Silly Revenge Causes Her Guilt
Q: My boyfriend cheated on me and didn't know I found out. I got back at him by leaving the windows down on his precious sports car in the pouring rain. He didn't know it was me that caused all the damage. I broke up with him a few days later and told him I found out about the other girl. The problem is, now we're back together, and the car smells bad all the time. I feel guilty. Should I tell him I was getting revenge for what he did to me? - Jade, 31
Dr. Susan: The two of you have some serious problems beyond your boyfriend's car's bad smell. He cheated and lied, you found out and lied, you took revenge and are still lying. Whew. Come clean, preferably when he's in a good mood. Offer to have his car thoroughly cleaned as a way to get a fresh start. Apologize for acting so childishly and for not letting him know. But insist that his betrayal hurt you so much you simply couldn't manage your distress rationally. Both of you can now let go of your guilt, so long as he knows that what he did was much worse in terms of your relationship.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.