Nothing rocks a marriage likes infidelity, and quite often the result is divorce. But once the truth comes out, do the cheating spouses regret the affair -- or just regret getting caught?
Many people whose secret regrets are featured in my bestselling Secret Regrets book series are truly sorry for betraying their spouses, and are ready to accept responsibility and learn from their mistakes. Others try to justify their actions and don't regret the affair -- they regret the way they handled the situation.
"I regret looking at that email sent to you by another women that seemed like a sign that you were cheating, or even just exploring. I should have known better since you were in Iraq, fighting for our country. I regret going out that night with the thoughts of that email in my head and meeting him. I thought I knew it all back then, and with the conception of my daughter, I knew our marriage was over. Although I will never regret her, I regret that she was not a part of you and me. God only knows how much I truly loved you back then and continue to even today. Since we divorced, you remarried, divorced again and live happily. How I wish I could rewind time or even just have a second chance. I can only continue to be happy for you from a distance, and wish that maybe one day our young love will return and we can grow old together. I will love you always." -Female, age 23
"I honestly don't regret cheating on you. But I regret how I did it. I regret rubbing it in your face and making it public at work. I regret disrespecting you the way I did and humiliating you with my brazen acts. I don't regret marrying you and I don't regret divorcing you. But I regret treating you like a dumbass who wouldn't know what I was doing." -Anonymous
"I regret being with other women during my marriage to get even when my wife cheated on me. I never once thought of straying until I was cheated on. I was devastated. I had no one to talk to when it happened. I regret taking her back. Each time for the sake of our family. I thought being with another woman would make the hurt better of being cheated on, but it didn't. It made me feel worse. I never told her or anyone else for that matter. I regret letting myself stoop down to that level. We are divorced now. I know that I won't stray again, but I regret that I ever went down that road." -Male, age 37
"I wish I hadn't left my husband for my co-worker. I left a sure thing. Nothing in this world is guaranteed, but my husband truly loved me and still loves me a year after I forced him to move out. I don't know how he tolerates me, but my husband is still my best friend. Now I'm stuck with another man who tries to make me feel small and ugly. He wants to bring another woman into our relationship. I feel compelled to stay because I have nothing else, and the relationship with my husband would NEVER be the same. I wish I could go back to before I lost both my career-building job and my stable, normal marriage to a good, kind man because of my affair. How did I ever allow myself to get into this situation?" -Female, age 34
"I regret divorcing my children's father. He believes that I cheated on him while we were married. I did not have a sexual relationship with anyone while we were married, but I did have an emotional one with a man that cared about me. I went through mid-life crisis and wanted to have some fun that I wasn't having being married to him. I will always regret the divorce because I will always love him and I hated what it did to our children." -Anonymous
"I regret meeting a cruel, vindictive, disgusting man 3 years ago. All he had to do was end our sexual fling. He didn't have to rat me out to my husband. He was so stupid to think I wouldn't know it was him. I also regret cheating on my husband but I didn't need some low life to play judge and jury when he knew I was married and he was no less wrong than I was. I did get my revenge by telling his girlfriend." -Anonymous
"I don't regret cheating on you, it was my escape from your abuse. I regret you bad mouthing me to my entire family. I regret letting you make me think I was the cause of the divorce. I regret that you turned my only childhood friends against me. I regret that you manipulated us into having a child, and blaming it on the birth control when in fact you didn't take it. You said nobody would ever want to love me. But I found someone. She is more beautiful than you. She loves me. I guess there are a lot of things I regret. But not her. She loves me for me. So screw off, my Satanic ex-wife. I REGRET YOU!" -Anonymous
"I regret cheating on you with women who didn't matter to me. I regret thinking I was in love with the last one, the one that made you throw me out. I didn't really love her, I just thought I wanted something different. Well, turns out I had what I wanted all along and now it's gone. I've hurt you and the kids more than anyone deserves to be hurt and I will regret that to the day I die. You loved me, truly loved me, and when you finally had enough you seemed to hate me, but I see now that it was just pain. I can't believe how much I hurt you and continued to hurt you while I chased that young girl. I will regret it always and I hope one day you find it in your heart to forgive me." -Anonymous
"I regret having an affair with my ex girlfriend. Initially, I kept in touch with you because your son had died and your mother was also dying of cancer. It was about being a sounding board for you, but soon old feelings surfaced. I've been having trouble being intimate with my wife now and I never got you completely out of my head. You acknowledged you weren't forced, but I still blame myself for not having a better sense of boundaries. Now, I am soul searching to find out why I did it and (hopefully) be able to repair the damage I've inflicted on my crumbling marriage." -Male, age 39
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