Last post I talked to you dudes and dudettes about a girl I met in my favorite coffee shop. She'd cheated on her boyfriend and wanted help deciding whether or not she should accede her misgivings. I told her not to. It seems as though some of you would disagree with me. In the comments for that post, Clara wrote:
"I guess what I'm saying is that I think it harms the relationship to keep the secret. It may keep things smooth for a while, but do we want an easy relationship or a real one?
Cheating in the first place means that something is off. It could mean she isn't really ready for monogamy, that her feelings for her boyfriend are waning, that she isn't mature enough to make the good choices, or that she isn't really happy. Whatever the reason, the mistake she made is proof that there is something to fix. But she shouldn't fix it alone, she's in a relationship!
The whole point is it's not just up to her if they should stay together and work on it or end it, it's up to him too. He should know all the facts, and they should make these decisions together.
By keeping this secret, she is being unfair to her boyfriend by taking his vote, and limiting her own growth as a person. By pretending nothing is wrong, whatever IS wrong cannot be addressed."
Clara makes sense. I mean, nothing in that comment is wrong. However, I think, in this situation her reaction is the wrong one.
Our young woman slipped up only once, in her two-year relationship. She has been drenched in guilt since the incident with her spicy Latin co-worker and I think she should give herself a break. We too often put extreme amounts of pressure on ourselves to be perfect, which is an unrealistic goal.
Everyone deserves a get out of jail free card every once in a while, consider this hers.
If she ever slips up again she needs to confess. If she finds she has any negative consequences that will soon be communicable - ex. flaring up or soon-to-be exiting from her uterus - she needs to belt it out as if Mariah Carey became She Hulk then ate Beyonce, Whitney Houston and Minnie Ripperton.
If no negative consequences come from this mistake then a confession will only serve to remove the weight of guilt from her shoulders and put the weight of betrayal onto his.
Along with giving ourselves a break, we need to learn to shoulder our own burdens and not pass them off to others. Your mistakes are yours.
To illustrate, say you are a multibillion-dollar multinational corporation of British origin that sells petroleum. If you where to say make a bad decision, which caused hundreds of millions of gallons of crude oil to pour into the ocean over several months, killing unprecedented numbers of wildlife and causing an untold amount of damage to the ecosystem of the world then you should keep your mouth shut. You should also stop the leak immediately, fund wildlife preservation efforts and pay dividends to the families that have gone bankrupt because you murdered their only source of income. You should not make a half-hearted apology on global television and continue not to give a fraction of a millionth of a shit about the devastation you've caused.
We are humans and to human is err. There is no reason why we should be held accountable for every single one of our missteps in life. Think of all the little - and big - things you have done that you have gotten away with. If you have none, then you are holier than thou - I guess - and you can look down upon us mortals in judgment. I’m guessing you are not a metaphysical being that may or may not exist so, just focus on loving and embracing yourself, all the while crossing your fingers no one is currently digging up your dirt.
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