Have you ever been in a situation where you are perplexed, deeply conflicted, and unsure of what to do? Have you ever been in a time of great uncertainty where it seems that every path before you is sub-optimal and not something you would want to take?
A Reader Dilemma
In October 2011, I ran an Ask Celes column, where I addressed reader questions every day on the blog, for two weeks. Out of the 120 questions received, I addressed 22 of them. One of them was on infidelity—what to do you have been unfaithful to your partner and whether you should tell him/her.
One of the PE readers, Sharon, was in a moral dilemma on what to do about a past infidelity. She had been unfaithful to her ex before, something which he never knew (it was also not the reason why they broke up). She had since felt remorseful about her infidelity, and when her ex approached her wanting to get back together, she became conflicted over what she should do.
You can find my detailed response to Sharon here: ‘Should I Tell My Ex That I Cheated On Him Before?’
The gist of my advice was to consider her values and to take the path which would be in alignment with her highest self. The implications of the path shouldn’t hinder her decision, because ultimately her values should be the ones guiding her decision making, not the consequences. It’s a matter of learning to break down and manage the consequences as they come along.
A Happy Ending
Fast forward 10 months later (Aug 2012).
Four days ago, while I was on my way for a business meeting, I received an email titled, “Heartfelt thanks”.
Curious, I opened the email, and was greeted with this message:
I don’t know if you remember me but I was the one who posted a question about cheating on my bf and whether to come clean to him during the Ask Celes period.
I want to thank you so much for answering my question as it had shed light on a different perspective for me, especially the part where I was afraid to come clean because it might affect how I look to him. I’m very happy that I had heeded your advice and told him the truth.
I did hold something back from him but only because I find them too hurtful to be repeated and I told him that I do still hide some things from him but only because I don’t want to repeat and relive those things. He agreed not to dig into it and told me to look forward to the future instead.
As you can guess, we’re now back together and are very happy. He’s just proposed to me last week and I’ve accepted it. It’s really great to be in a relationship where I can be myself and in a way, we did start again on a clean slate.
You’ve no idea how big a help you had been to me and I am truly very grateful to you. I wanted to email you months back when we got back together but couldn’t (as you don’t have an email for such purposes). The recent proposal made me die-die also must let you know (Celes: colloquial phrase meaning, “I must let you know, regardless of the obstacles”), because your post had helped a lot.
Thank you so much.
I broke into a big smile as I read Sharon’s email and continued smiling to myself even after I had finished reading it. I feel so happy for her! Sharon’s situation exemplifies the positive outcomes that come as a result of doing the “right” thing, where the “right” thing refers to what you feel is the best for you. In Sharon’s case, the “right” thing meant telling the truth, even if it meant that she had to face the not-so-pleasant consequences.
Sharon shared more in a separate email:
I had asked my friends for opinions before and had thought a lot regarding the issue. I had also tried surfing the net for answers but people are always more concerned about being the one who was cheated on and not the cheater. Your reply helped me understand the reason behind my hesitation to come clean and in a way helped me to choose the correct answer.
The truth is, I had always wanted to to tell the truth, but I was afraid it might change how he would perceive me, which I wasn’t aware of until your post. I had to reconcile that fact with myself first before I could decide to come clean. It was good to know what I was missing so that I could include it in my thought process. The bonus of telling the truth is that it has shown me how true love can stand the test of anything.
The night before meeting him, I asked him what he liked about me and he said that he found me pure and honest. I was devastated because I knew I was anything but that. After I told him the truth, I said that perhaps now he knew that I was not that pure nor honest. His answer was that since I chose to tell him the truth, I was still the pure and honest person he thought.
It really touched me to know that this person can accept me as the whole package, which is something I have found very extremely rare after dating around (a lot) after we broke up previously.
I’m truly very grateful that I made the right choice and feel very blessed.
Dark Clouds and Your Happy Ending
You know, sometimes happy endings may not seem that evident. It may seem that all you see before you are merely dark, gloomy clouds that continue on and on to oblivion. If anything, a storm seems to be brewing.
I just want you to know that these are merely in the short term and not indicative of what’s going to happen in the future. In fact, what happens in the future is a function of the kind of actions you take today. The dark clouds you face today are merely part of the many trials you have to overcome to achieve your desired happy ending.
Don’t hate the obstacles you are facing now; learn to love them. These obstacles are part and parcel in life. They help you to grow and become a better person. They are a necessary part of every happy ending situation. Where there is no dark, there is no light. Where there are no difficulties, there are no victories and celebrations.
I hope Sharon’s story has inspired some of you out there who are in a moral dilemma or in a conflicting situation at the moment. I also recommend you check out my recent articles which will help in your situation:
- How to Make Life’s Hardest Decisions (3 Useful Decision Making Methods To Help You Solve Current Dilemmas)
- When Life Throws You Curve Balls: How to Manage Uncertainty
Of course, Sharon’s example isn’t a happy ending as much as it’s a happy beginning of many great things to come. 😀
Congratulations, Sharon, for deciding to come clean with yourself. Congratulations for finding someone who is able to accept you for who you are, and with whom you can be yourself around. Congratulations on the proposal and the upcoming wedding. I’m really happy for you and I wish you all the best in your wedded life. 😀 Many hugs and kisses. ♥ xoxo
So happy for Sharon, and I’m very sure that there’ll be more exciting things to come. When you’re with the right person, everything will simply fall into place and magic happens, every single day, again and again. 🙂
Update: Wedding, Pregnancy, Now Baby ♥ 🙂
May 2013: 9 months after posting this article, I got this update from Sharon:
I finally got married with the love of my life yesterday. The ride has its ups and downs and I couldn’t be more glad to have heeded your advice. Because of your invaluable insight and advice I found a wonderful husband who I [will] love forever. Thanks again for that.
The wedding was beautiful, everything that I wanted. And I’m very happy that I’m with someone who loves me and who I love.
We both learnt a lot over that period and is ready to take our relationship to the next level.
Thanks again and I wish you all the best in your new relationship with your beau.
Feb-July 2015: And here’s another update from Sharon 2 years later 🙂 (we’ve since worked together with via my 1-1 coaching too!):
[Feb 2015] I can’t believe how much your reply has impacted my life seriously. I’m 5 months pregnant now and I feel happy and contented with my marriage. Would never have been possible without your help Celes! Thanks so much and have a wonderful Chinese New Year! ~ Sharon
[July 2015] Hi Celes, we welcomed our little bundle of joy on 1 July! It was a smooth delivery via hypnobirthing. An enlightening experience for me because I’m very adverse to pain but used no pain relief at all. It’s a huge breakthrough for me. I’m so blessed with a supportive husband without who I won’t be able to get through my delivery because of the pain.
[Celes: She included an absolutely adorable pic of her baby which I can’t show you guys due to privacy reasons, sorry guys!!!]
Anyway just wanted to share our joy with you and thank you once again for that invaluable advice that helped me get here.”
It’s been 4 years since that fateful Ask Celes post. Today, Sharon and her lovely husband have an adorable little addition to their beautiful family. They’ve come such a long way and I honestly can’t be happier for them.
Part of what I love about PE is that it’s where all of us grow, TOGETHER. Through life. Through our obstacles, pains, and struggles, to be happy and achieve what we want, be it a happy family, a loving partner, a career of passion, and so on. I’m excited to see Sharon’s updates and I know she’ll be such an awesome mom to her little one. Cheers to motherhood and much love to you Sharon and your family!!! :)) ♥♥♥