Q: We’ve been in a long distance relationship for 9 years and deeply in love (were?). I was unfaithful 2 years ago and I told her. She told her parents. I decided to make amends and have been working on it since. I asked her parents for permission to marry her. They reluctantly agreed. Now I’m having second thoughts and am attracted to others again. Am I evil? I think I’m in deep sh#t. The guilt is unbearable. Help?
A: Calling yourself evil will not put you in problem solving mode, or let us make proper amends, which could possibly help the situation. It is important for me to say here, that most of what psychology does is understand and explain human behavior. Psychology as a science, quite deliberately stays away from making a moral commentary about human actions. We mostly talk in terms of effects of increased overall functionality or dysfunctionality.
Related reading: You may call me unfaithful
To expect a relationship without flaws and foibles is as unrealistic and irrational as it is appealing.
Especially in a long distance relationship when it is harder to get reassurances of emotional and physical nature from your lover, it becomes easier to look for other avenues to fulfill one’s desires. Now that everyone knows and have gone past your act of ‘unfaithfulness’, you need to ask the age-old question to yourself especially in the face of the confusion you face, why do you want it to be the person that you have agreed to marry?
Marriage is not a commitment of not finding anyone else attractive for the rest of your life, but of not acting on those urges. You will find other people attractive regardless of whom you marry. It is the strength of your relationship, which is based on the mutual respect of the virtues you both bring to the table, which will save any marriage through the test of time.