Guilt- please be kind

I lost my partner. I need to get this off my chest but there were many problems in the relationship (addiction) whereby I loved him so so much and couldn’t walk away because I loved him and he was Ill. but I also felt the lack of love and support that comes with being with an addict. You come second to the addiction. You give and give but it’s a bottomless pit of giving every ounce of your peace of mind, spare time and energy… with sometimes very little or anything back but knowing that deep down behind all the addiction they love you. You wait for them to be them again… always hoping that you’ll get a glimpse of them as you know and love them.
Anyway I gave in to temptation at times and had affair on off with people from my past. It was just that it felt so good for a night here and there to be free from the fear and pain and anxiety. To not be a nurse or a policeman trying to keep him on the straight or a superhero rescuing him from himself and instead just be a desired woman.
I found the guilt so hard that I have had a year at least in therapy but still can’t live with the choices I made.
I did so much for him from saving his life, giving chance after chance, forgiving everything that he did that hurt me, making myself sick with fear and worry and crying myself to sleep. Being up any and every hour of the day and night that he needed me. Risking my own family and security… I never gave up even when everyone else he had had left and up to the very end I was there loving him, supporting him and fixing his problems. But I know for a fact the affairs would be unforgivable to him. I just am so desperately sad and regretful, I wish I could go back in time, and I worry that wherever he is he knows and hates me. He used to call me an angel and I wish I deserved that title but don’t feel I do.
The worst thing is that I think it’s stopping me grieving properly because I think the pain coupled with regrets if I allowed myself to fully feel it would kill me. So I’m full of love for him and miss him so much but I feel I don’t deserve the good memories or the memory of him loving me… and I feel it’s all ruined, all I can remember is the bad I did, the feelings that pushed me there… that I broke what we had, and I don’t deserve to grieve properly. He deserves to be mourned and I feel this is a barrier in the way.
I cry and miss him but In my head I just know what I did and it’s all I can think about.

Hi @Lostmyperson . Really sorry you are feeling guilty. An awful lot of us are left with all sorts of feelings, including guilt, so you are certainly not alone.
We are all human with typical human frailties.
One of the most difficult things we have to do is forgive, but we have to do it, it’s the only real way forward.
Why is it that you have been amazingly forgiving of your husband, yet unable to be the same to yourself. Be kind to yourself, you deserve it.
You are only human.
Good luck.


@Lostmyperson please don’t beat yourself up anymore.
Loving an addict is the most difficult love to give, as you rightly identified you are second to the addiction, which in itself is heartbreaking.
You stuck by him when others couldn’t and didn’t, probably for good reason. But you needed some love in your life and if you could find some comfort elsewhere for a short time then I think you deserved that.
No one is perfect, no one has had to endure the pain and distress that you have gone through and no one, including yourself , should judge you for that.
Grieve your partner and the life that you could have lived if he had made different choices, but don’t blame yourself. You have nothing to feel guilty about and I admire your love that kept you by him through all the heartache you must have experienced.
If you can remember the good times then that is all anyone can hope for.
Sending love and hugs xx


Thank you Tykey and Roni52. I am really trying to be compassionate with myself it’s just hard because I wish I knew he was ok with it. I know I’ll never know and I probably already know the answer. I just feel awful that he may be somewhere hurting knowing the truth or hating me. I really miss him and now thinking only I feel that love hurts.

1 Like

That you miss him just shows the love you had for him and wherever he is I’m sure he doesn’t blame you for anything, and maybe wishes he had been better to you.
What has happened we cannot change and I always feel guilt is such an unhelpful emotion. Grieve him in a positive way and try let go of any unhelpful feelings you have. Although I know how hard that can be.


Hi again. I was just thinking, and your predicament is not too unlike what mine was. As with many (most) 50 years marriages, we hit a crisis similar to you, and looking back I hated what she did, and I felt very guilty at what I did.

I have some sleepless nights and often finish up watching Dr Phil on YouTube. I learnt from him that we are the result of what happens in our past. That got me thinking back to what went wrong between us, and realised that we were damaged by the past, not by each other.
Penny was damaged by things which happened in her childhood, and I was damaged by a vicious work environment resulting in PTSD.

So the blame falls firmly at the feet of who hurt her in childhood, and the nasty culture of my employers, not her, and not me! That made forgiveness a piece of cake.

Sometimes, I wonder how we managed to stay together for 50 years - Well done us !

I just won’t let the past influence my future negatively. I just wish I’d figured this out before she died.


Thanks for that. My therapist says similar Tykey, she said that I had a tough time and his behaviour brought out a lot of old wounds and attachment issues I have, and I sought comfort elsewhere. It’s not an excuse but I do know now that this is something I need to be aware of about myself. I just wish I could have resolved it when he was alive but I know it wouldn’t be resolvable- he would have gone off the rails even more.

Hi lostmyperson. Put simply people don’t look elsewhere when everything is alright at home. You were living in the most challenging of circumstances and whatever you did, addiction is always bigger ( more important) than anything else to them.
I’m learning that guilt is a big part of the grief process. You were more loving and kind to him than anyone else in the world. He knew that and the reason he wouldn’t have liked the other relationships is that he feared losing you.
You never left him and loved him to the end. Be kind to yourself. You have nothing to be forgiven for. You are human and seemingly a very kind hearted and unselfish one xx