DYK Post


I need help figuring out why I keep feeling guilty.

I dated a guy years ago (at least 15 years ago). It wasn’t serious and when I wanted more, he wasn’t ready and we just drifted apart. But we stayed in touch casually (like a hello on facebook). Also we have mutual work but different locations so once every few months we see each other.

I’ve been married over 10 years. My husband knows this is my ex. The other day we were bringing things to store at my ex’s home. Another coworker bailed last minute so it was just me and him. Out of nowhere he said he regrets not being with me and when we were dating, he found out he is not able to have kids and knew I wanted a big family so he tried to act like he didn’t want more than casual thing so I would break up with him. And that happened, I found a good man and we have a family. So I said I guess everything worked out for the best as I found the right one for me. I know he never married so I said I hope he finds the right one too.

Then suddenly he kissed me. Not a quick one but he pinned me against the wall and it was this intense heavy kiss. I never kissed him back but I pulled away after about 3 or 4 seconds because I felt a shock, he never did that before. He mumbled “I’ll do anything to get you back” so I pushed him away. I told him that’s not appropriate, I walked out and I asked my boss to reassign me.

I told my husband as soon as I got home. He said he knows I’d never cheat on him and I shouldn’t feel bad about anything.

I never cheated on my husband and he keeps telling me I did nothing wrong. But I feel guilty. I haven’t slept for 3 days. I keep wondering if I gave any sign or lead him on but I don’t think so. I start falling asleep and the kiss starts playing in my head. I feel guilty so I get up and read a book for a bit. I can’t stop playing that moment in my head. Or wonder if I did anything wrong or he was just a jerk or what. But overall the guilt is driving me crazy. The more I talk to my husband, he says I analyze too much, just let it go as its past. Why am I feeling guilt? Why is the entire situation playing in my head? Am I a bad person or bad wife? Was I even turned on by that kiss (and no, I know as soon as I pushed him off I knew my husband is the only one I want kissing me)



33 Responses

  1. You should only feel guilty if it went too far. You told your husband and he does not seem to be concerned or upset by it and therefore, you should just let it go. You now know this fella has different intentions and you can stay clear of him. Best of luck to you.

  2. That feeling goes away just know it is temporary

  3. Renee Thomas Renee Thomas says:

    Not ok!! He’s out of line! It’s not ok for ANYONE to sexually harass you, you have the right to feel safe and let’s call it what it is. Even if you had a past relationship, that has nothing to do with being assaulted!

  4. I honestly think you did everything right. And you made the right decision. You’ve been communicating with your husband, and I’m glad that you talked to your work. I think you made even more of a right decision since the info he told you about how you guys broke up.

  5. Ruth Wadley Ruth Wadley says:

    You were sexually assaulted by an ex & coworker. Having all kinds of thoughts & feelings is to be expected. If it helps, do an exercise of forgiving yourself, you’re not to blame but saying forgiving statements aloud to yourself may help put it in it’s box. Or if it continues seek counseling. If you believe in God, talk to Him about the situation and how you are feeling & ask Him to take away the confusion.
    You have an amazing hubby btw.

  6. Karen Ann Karen Ann says:

    This is very sensitive ground and I first want to say I’m sorry and that I hope you can’t find some kind of help to get you to a spot that you are comfortable and clear your mind if this experience.

    I’ve read your post a number of times to be sure I understood and I keep coming up with the same concern for you,,,it comes down to CONSENT! And there was none! You may be feeling guilty for being there in the first place but you don’t have to, this person crossed the line and that’s all there is to it, so without “consent” what do you have?

    Do you know for certain that he won’t try it again? Maybe that is weighing on your mind as well?

    I wish you all the best, please consider all options and keep reaching out for help.

  7. Maybe it’s guilt from your sub conscious because you still have feelings. Your husband is amazing!! Stop talking about it or you’ll drive him away. You’re obsessing stop it!

  8. I wasn’t there so my opinion is just that – an opinion.

    I have many of my ex’s that I am friends with. It is fine when you know there is mutual respect for each other and marriages.
    It sounds like your ex does not fit into that. He let you go. Regardless of why. I understand he is still single. Again, that’s his life choice. You are in a good relationship (which is great) and you are not responsible for morals or issues of your ex. If he is struggling, that means he can reach out metaphorically to you, but physical actions are just wrong.

    I agree that it is unwanted contact. If someone was a rape victim, we wouldn’t say did you like it, did you lead him on etc. While it isn’t rape per se, he made contact that was not asked for nor encouraged (as I understand). So what ifs you are feeling? That’s not on you but on him.
    He crossed the line. Victims of sexual assault do have a history of having a sexual response. Some freeze. This is normal. You froze for a few seconds. That is barely enough time to register what’s happenning, so you didn’t do anything wrong there. You did remove yourself from the situation, which shows your character and good morals. And if you cut an onion, you cry. That is a body physical response. So even if you felt a little turned on, it is same thing – a body physical response. It does not mean you led him on or encouraged him.

    Bottom line is he is in the wrong. Maybe you feel guilty that you can’t let it go. If it is based on what happened – just know that you did the right thing. And many wouldn’t. This guy wouldn’t.
    Talking helps, whether it is to a friend or someone that is a professional if you feel it is affecting your relationship.

    I agree with Kelsi Ann that I am nice too with my ex’s. And to the wrong person it can be mis-interpreted. Luckily my ex’s are awesome and know I would never cross that line and I am married. You didn’t do anything wrong and obviously your husband thinks so too. Perhaps this ex needs to be removed from your life. No explanation needed. Period.

    Many would say it is in the past, move on. Which is easy to say but not always easy to do. The action is in the past but how you feel is in the present.
    Maybe you need to figure out what is keeping it in the present. Guilt towards your spouse? Guilt that your body reacted? Wondering if you could have avoided it? I say this because you mention “guilt” a lot. Figuring out the origin/reason of guilt will help you move it from now to past.

    Just know that your ex is a jerk. He did not respect you nor your wishes. He had his chance. He is an ex by his own choice. Have a nice evening with your husband, remember that love and honesty are hard to find but you both did. Enjoy that

  9. Maybe your feeling guilty because you got turned on when he pushed up against the wall?

  10. Sounds like you did nothing wrong and have strong morals.
    Maybe look into talking to a third party such as a councillor, or even your family doctor.
    This way they can help you analyze everything.
    I am an over analyzer too and I find it sometimes difficult.
    Maybe you just need someone to hear you out.

    Good luck and you did all the right!!

  11. This is called sexual assault and fuck him for making him feel the way you do now.
    It is not your fault, and entirely his. I am so sorry you are going through this, I can’t even imagine.
    Sounds like your hubby loves you, and I hope you receive the care and love you need during this time. ♥️

  12. Psilo DeMent Psilo DeMent says:

    It may be passed emotions in a conflict ball. There may have been unresolved issues or may have tiny residuel feelings that were stirred up- and it’s okay to be turned on by it if you were as it’s your body reaction to the situation, but you did the right thing by pulling away and responding appropriately. You’re a human being that got caught in someone’s loneliness. The man is probably lonely and once he saw someone he cared for, you were a good “target”, especially since you already have kids so now he may think you’re more availible regardless. Be careful, he may still need to work on himself emotionally and you did nothing wrong. Your husband loves you and I promise to let him go and/or forgive him for using you as an outlet and causing conflicting reasons. (entire paragragh is a “perhaps” vibe, im not a mind reader)

  13. A man aggressively sexualized you, and you rejected him, as your conscience told you you should, and you even told your husband. You did everything right, as I see it.

  14. Diane Peters Diane Peters says:

    I think what you’re feeling is violated. He kissed you without permission. You could charge him. He sounds like a complete jerk and I hope you move onto feeling angry instead of guilty.

  15. I may not be of the popular opinion in saying this…

    Hindsight is always 20-20, and I can see that here. Only you will really know why you feel guilty, you are feeling it for a reason and that is what you have to resolve.

    This is why when you marry/start a relationship with someone else and keep some form of connection with an ex, you and they will always remind yourselves of “what if; they look good today; I wish…” and those kinds of thoughts happen, whether we admit to them or not. And the longer that contact remains, the more those thoughts will occur.

    If you want your marriage to succeed or your relationship, past ex’s, (soul ties really), have to be severed. Otherwise it will be damaging to either you or the relationship you are in, or both.

    Where you giving him hints (led him on or any sign)? Idk, none of us know.

    If things are as they say they are, he shouldn’t have done what he did and you need to remove and block any/all contact in any form from him. He needs to figure out why his marriage is not satisfying him and not use you as an out.

  16. Your friend should feel guilty , no one should all of a sudden
    Kiss someone without permission
    You did nothing wrong

  17. Meena Milley Meena Milley says:

    It should fade over time. Consider talking to a professional to work out your feelings. It was Not your fault.

  18. Kelsi Ann Kelsi Ann says:

    You are like me I think. So nice that sometimes men take that as more than simply being nice. It’s nothing to be ashamed of if they can’t appreciate that and try to push it. Your reaction was perfect and still kind. You couldn’t of reacted better.

  19. Kelsi Ann Kelsi Ann says:

    You couldn’t of changed a thing. He didn’t end up as happy as you. Clearly, but that’s not your problem or guilt to carry. You sound very sweet and committed. Every once in a while these tests may come but you rocked it. You have nothing to fret over love.

  20. Yes you really need to get over it or it will probably start effecting your marriage. Maybe you might want to be honest with yourself and think about whether or not you might have enjoyed it. Otherwise not sure why else you would be letting it still effect you like that.

  21. You did nothing wrong! I wonder if feeling guilt is actually from being sexually assaulted. It’s a pretty common reaction really. You are not a bad person for feeling this way. If you are still unable to mentally/ emotionally let it go, I suggest even just a one-time appointment with a therapist/ counsellor. What your husband is saying is right about letting it go, but this mental health appointment can guide you into HOW to do it. Good luck!

  22. It is no big deal, he tried, you didn’t. You sound like a nice person. Let it go.

  23. You did nothing wrong. He crossed the line. You are processing and blaming yourself for his actions. This is normal for all women when a man makes an unwanted sexual advance. It’s not your fault. It was him. You had moved on and were professional. He took advantage of you. You being friendly and a good coworker is not a billboard to for sexual harassment.

  24. Kathy Arndt Kathy Arndt says:

    Your ex is the one that crossed the line. You did nothing wrong. You and your hubby are meant to be! <3

  25. Boo boo.. move on buddy.. why do people insist on living in the bloody past?

  26. Faye Segaran Faye Segaran says:

    Maybe it is bothering you because it was an assult, unexpected and unwanted and in ko way your fault. If it keeps bothering you maybe you need to find someone to talk to.

  27. Mj Mank Mj Mank says:

    Wow that is interesting. Sometimes that kind of kiss either has someone or distances someone. Did you at anytime found yourself perhaps somewhere a bit liking a bit of that kiss? From what you explained you did nothing wrong. Sometimes with people absent does make the heart grow fonder sometimes not. Perhaps seek professional services if you are not finding answers here and you are still feeling guilty. Good luck

  28. Stop beating yourself up. You are not responsible for the actions of another person.

  29. You might think it’s guilt but could it be slight ptsd? You’re processing and it was not your choice, it’s causing anxiety.

    Go for a date night with hubby! This may help alleviate some of this anxiety.

    I always find journaling helps with more difficult emotions and situations!

  30. Lois Sunley Lois Sunley says:

    you really need to let it go or you will affect your marriage get help if you need to

  31. If hubby knows and you did not want anything with your ex, I would take it as that. You just saying your husband is the only one you want is your answer. I would only feel guilty if I felt something, which it sounds like you don’t. You might be feeling guilt over what couldn’t happen with your ex. I would say your husband has a good woman, if you were willing to go to him right away and say what happened,

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