Reply To: Remorse & Guilt

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Thanks for the replies everyone.

I’ve been letting things ‘marinate’ with me for a while. Just a quick update.

First, I talked to my counselor and let her know what’s been going on in my mind. It probably was the most emotion I’ve shown to someone who isn’t my wife or my best friend. While I didn’t actually cry or anything, she could tell I was/am emotionally affected by this. I didn’t ask her what I should do, I more focused on the why. Why is this springing up now?

I’ve tried to rationalize it every which way from Sunday, and they all make sense. I’m changing careers. I’m going back to school. I’m turning 50. COVID-19. All of these are valid, but none are associated with her, at least not consciously. It’s like I want closure, which I thought I had moved on, years ago.

My counselor said sometimes it just is what it is. Meaning, I need to learn acceptance. This has been the hardest part. One thing I’ve learned about ADHD, is that people with it can think there is more to a friendship or relationship than there really is. So, one of my compensatory habits I developed, before I knew I had ADHD, was to deconstruct things when they go wrong. Take it apart and put it back together, so I could learn from it and not repeat it. Whether it’s getting through life or dealing with people, this is what worked and helped me get control of things. But in this case, I can’t put it back together. I can’t rationalize it. For any sci-fi fans out there, it’s like the quote from Picard in Star Trek: “It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness; that’s life.”

Finally, I talked to my wife. She’s the opposite of me. She doesn’t understand why I would feel this way because for her, she just moves on. She’s the type of person who can set her mind to something and just do it. I’m really jealous of that. But, as to relationships, she doesn’t really think back. She doesn’t have remorse or regret. So for her it doesn’t compute. She said if I wanted to contact the ex I could, she trusts me. But, she asked me one thing. If the roles were reversed, how would I feel? And she’s right.

So, for now, I’m still letting things marinate. I’m focusing on other things in life and not letting this get in the way of things.

A sincere thanks to all of you that replied. It’s encouraging me to pause and think.

And breathe.