Dear Crabby, I’m an 18 year old female who has had a boyfriend for the last two years. Recently, he told me he needed to “find himself” and we broke up. The next weekend I went to a party and had sex with someone I didn’t know. Two weeks later my boyfriend asked me if I would take him back, and I said yes. Now I don’t know what to do. If I told him I screwed a stranger, he’d break up for good. But, if I don’t tell him, I’m worried he’ll find out from someone else. I don’t know what to do. [signed]Deeply Concerned
And Crabigail’s approximate bizarro response:
You did absolutely nothing wrong. You are not obligated to tell him anything unless you have contracted an STD. If he can’t handle the truth, he’s not worthy of being your boyfriend. After all, he was the one who broke up with you.
Holy hotpants Crabbington! You are now this gal’s conscience guide? When a client comes in deeply concerned about something, to tell them “you have nothing to worry about” is useless. Remember telling our three year old child that there was nothing to be afraid of when they were going to bed? How did that work out for you? Additionally, you grossly underestimate the power of having sex. You may think it’s just another “thing to do”, but you are wrong. It is a powerful physical and psychological act that yields numerous consequences. Did ex-girlfriend do this to “get even” with the ex-boyfriend? Was she drunk at the party and regrets her diminished capacity? Did she want this to transpire and really had a great time? You assume the latter, but being as she expresses regret for the act, my guess would be it's one of the first two choices. Your “it’s a woman’s choice” position is not the issue here, in spite of your own freed self. This girl is asking for your help, and the best you can offer is, “don’t worry about it”? Perhaps you should occasionally consult with a counselor.
So re-reading her question above, here’s this therapist’s answer:
Dear D. Concerned,
I share your concern on a number of fronts. Mr. Boyfriend was lucky you took him back after he pulled the plug on y’alls long relationship. Still, I think you need to consider the stability of a relationship that ended so abruptly, then resumed. As I lectured Abby Jr., you also underestimate the power of sex. Having immediately jumped into the sack with a stranger, an STD check is absolutely essential. You will be instructed to have a follow up HIV check in the following months. As you do guilt about as poorly as I do, consider waiting until you have genuinely reestablished your relationship with Mr. Boyfriend (weeks? months?) and discuss it with him. Although he will rightfully be hurt, you both have screwed up your relationship. If you have a sound future together, it will include forgiveness.
p.s. Watch out for that alcohol at parties thing. Mistakes made during times of impairment can be life altering, and sometimes life threatening.