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Have I Been Punished Enough?

Adriana wrote:

Just over two years ago, I had an affair with my friend's husband. I was in a broken-down marriage with a man that travelled five days out of the week. I felt completely neglected, emotionally and physically. My friend and her husband had already filed for a divorce, but she was still in college and decided to let him back in. He really missed the kids, and she needed someone to help around the house and pay the bills. I know what I did is horrible. I just didn't know what to do or how to handle being in love with this man.

When we were found out, my friend and then-husband joined together to ruin me. They told everyone at my college (I was really involved in this school). Within days, I was impeached from office, no one was talking to me, and professors were avoiding me. I later found out that my friend announced every last detail of what she knew to be true and also made up additional details that made me look like a monster (e.g. saying we had sex with her daughter in the next room). I ended up dropping out of this program.

I am now engaged to her ex-husband. We have a son together. My friend is engaged to someone else, and my ex-husband is remarried and also has a son. I just cannot seem to regain myself. I deep-down feel so ashamed of how I did things, and it seems that the consequences of my actions have lingered and haunted me for so long. I don't know how to be whole again or how to feel like a good person again. Will the consequences ever stop following me? Will I ever be anything more than just a cheater?

Dear Adriana

You have already been punished more than most cheats, and it sounds like those you hurt were no angels either. And you continue to punish yourself.

Whatever you have done, You should be able to deal with it, learn from it, and move on.

If you cannot, then you may need to seek professional help.

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