Today we’re talking about guilt. A bride wrote to me asking me to help her figure out how to deal with guilt. She married and let herself be wooed by another man. Not only did she feel gratified and pleased with her colleague’s attentions. She realized the danger and cut it all off. She also wanted to talk to her husband about it to keep him informed and to apologize to him.
Is it right that you feel guilt? I’d say so. There’s already a little betrayal in his attitude. She shifted the focus from the marriage relationship to another relationship. His guilt, however, must be constructive and not destructive. What do I mean? Guilt is a good thing when it sounds like a wake-up call. She realized that she was seeking the attention and care she wanted no longer in her husband, but in a third person. This convinced her to change course and direct her gaze towards the groom. It’s not enough, though. Now she and her husband must, must, reflect and ponder why she is faced with this danger, temptation, weakness, call her what you will. Many betrayals and then separations are born thus. They must reflect well; this escaped danger is a sign that something in their relationship is to be put right. It often happens that the ordinary life of a family leads to take for granted. Gradually you lose sight and slip into the absence of loving dialogue. Dialogue made of gestures of tenderness and mutual care. Here, this situation can be an opportunity to put the dynamics of couple in place, to start looking again with the eyes of the person who loves and who cares about the other. What could be a mortal danger to the couple can turn into a beginning of rebirth and renewal. It’s up to the couple to take advantage of it.
When is the guilt not good? When it’s destructive. When, the risk is there, you identify with that behavior that we had. This bride feels wrong because she indulged in misbehavior. Nothing more harmful. We make mistakes, we fall into small and big temptations, but we are not those mistakes. We can with our choices remedy, or when it is not possible at least to change attitude is to learn from those mistakes. The bride who wrote to me feeling bad about her behavior should focus more on her positive reaction that prevented that little betrayal from becoming something more serious and perhaps irreparable. That bride should focus now not on her misbehavior, but on the cause that caused it. This is the way to deal with a guilty sense in a winning way, this is the way to start again stronger and with more conviction than before.
Antonio and Luisa