MICHELLE: We got an email from Angelica, a successful financial advisor. She said she and her boyfriend Pappy are trying their best to keep their relationship pure. There were close calls for the last one year and a half but they’ve been quite successful in keeping that agreement. But that’s not her problem. Recently, Angelica went on a foreign trip along with other colleagues. And she lost her virginity to one of them who is also a friend. It may be the combination of alcohol and being in a foreign, romantic place. Angelica is now back in Cebu and feels guilty about what happened. What should she do? Tell the truth. It will set her free. And if in the process her boyfriend decides that they free themselves from their commitment from each other because of what happened, she should be prepared to let go or be let go.
DJ: I suggest for Angelica to understand what her motivation was. Was it just alcohol and the place? Is there something she’s looking for that she’s not finding in the relationship? Were there changes in its dynamics that’s affecting her? Does she still love Pappy? I’ll have to say, though, that it was still her decision to cheat. It’s good that at least she’s taking ownership of the situation instead of blaming him for her unfaithfulness. Getting clarity, however, is a good initial step to take before looping her boyfriend in.
M: The guilt Angelica feels is expected. She made Pappy wait while she didn’t delay to do it with someone else she was not even romantically involved with. If she had the self-control to refrain from doing it all the way with the man that she loves for a year and a half, it is kind of difficult to think why she didn’t have the restraint when she was with someone else. Even with the combination of alcohol and a romantic ambience, she could have stopped herself before throwing caution to the wind. Maybe she didn’t want to stop anymore. Sometimes, the more we restrict ourselves from something, the more we want it or crave for it. And it’s not just about sex or food. It can be anything forbidden.
DJ: Well that’s for Angelica to find out. Now should she tell Pappy? She has to be clear what her reason is. Is it because she’s truly sorry? Or is it because she simply wants to be relieved from the guilt? The latter is about selfishness while the former is maturity kicking in. My take? Honesty is the best policy. Her realizations after going through my first suggestion will help. There is nothing that can justify cheating. It is still ultimately a choice. Trust is both earned and given and because she decided to break her boyfriend’s trust, I think it’s fair to give him the chance to decide whether he’ll trust her again or not.
M: Angelica, you have to be honest with yourself. Might it be that you are no longer attracted to your boyfriend? Or have fallen out of love? Or maybe it’s just raging hormones or a very strong sexual urge that you can no longer deny. Whatever it is, the deed is done. It may have nothing to do with just sex. It has something to do with faithfulness, honesty and love. Nobody is perfect. Admission of one’s transgressions is the first step to healing and recovery of whatever that has been lost or broken. Your hymen might have been broken, but it does not have to break your spirit or break you as a person.
DJ: Not every person will be on board to work through cheating. But if her boyfriend is, he’s a true life partner she should treasure even more. But should Pappy decide to want nothing to do with her, it’s a consequence of the risk she took when she went all the way with someone else. The relationship can’t stand through better or worse, richer or poorer. Time to move on. But from all the lessons she’s learned from this experience, she’s already better, wiser and a better Angelica when the right one comes along. And that still matters.