Dear Therapist: I made a mistake but I don't feel guilty

Making sense of the world we inhabit

By Prateeksha Shetty

Published: Thu 13 Jan 2022, 7:08 PM

I am a person who takes pride in moral values and don’t allow it to be compromised at all. However, recently something happened and though I know it’s a mistake, it did not feel like that at all. I was with a person who cheated on their partner. We have had a history before the person got into the relationship. It was just a one-time thing but I can’t make up my mind if it was wrong or not.

— Name withheld

Dear Writer, I sense that you are trying to grapple with a moral predicament as well as your identity as a morally correct person. You may have accepted the incident from an emotional sense, but in the aftermath, you seem to be reconsidering it using your moral compass. Everyone decides what is morally right for themselves and no one else can answer this question for you nor absolve you (if that is what you seek). There are many grey areas when it comes to moral dilemmas and it is completely up to you how this defines or affects you. Working through the guilt, shame and self-doubt can enable you to understand yourself better. You may not be able to change the past but this can teach you to be more compassionate towards yourself and those who do not necessarily stick to the rules.

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