From Spain: I am gay man who is 28. Before I came out as gay, I was meeting people via a dating app secretly. And one day I started doing something disgusting which I fully regret now. I came from a good family who have always loved me and supported me, but what I did would definitely shock them. One day a man wanted to meet me, however he was 70 and I was 22! I said no, but he finally offered me a lot of money and I agreed to meet. We did meet for at least 3 months for several times and even though we never had proper sex, I did let him do things to me.
I do now deeply regret this. I live with my partner now 5-6 years after that disgusting part of my life happened and I regret it so deeply, I cannot even sleep sometimes. I also think of the reaction of my parents or my current partner if they found out and my anxiety levels go through the sky. I am beaten myself every day for what I did and I need help to overcome this.
I am so very glad you wrote. It’s been over 5 years — long past time for you to forgive yourself and move on.
I don’t think there is a person in the world who at one time or another did or didn’t do something they regret. Making mistakes is part of how we learn who we are and what we stand for. We often remember such things in order to remind ourselves to not go in that direction again.
In your case, the “reminder” has become a daily poison. It’s as if you don’t quite trust yourself to be the man you want to be. Please take a good look at how you’ve been living these past five years. My guess is that you have reason to feel good about yourself. You left behind a behavior that you didn’t like then and don’t approve of now. That’s something to be very proud of.
I hope you can be proud of the man you’ve become. I doubt very much that you need to keep beating yourself with regret in order to be that guy. If you find that you can’t keep it in perspective, then please fine a counselor who can help you with it.
I wish you well.
Regret Is Ruining My Life
Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker
Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.
APA Reference Hartwell-Walker, D. (2019). Regret Is Ruining My Life. Psych Central.
Retrieved on November 20, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2019/04/25/regret-is-ruining-my-life/
Last updated: 24 Apr 2019 (Originally: 25 Apr 2019) Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 24 Apr 2019 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.