In the 80's, I lived in the Castro in SF. My roommates were all gay men. They took me in when I was a young runaway and had nowhere to go. I loved them dearly but, they would have admitted to, took pride in, being a bunch of sluts. This was pre-AIDs in a culture where people had migrated for the sake of acting out sexually. Despite your "traditional" view of relationships, you were still young, making your way through the maze of non-traditional territory on the path of becoming who you would become. You still are on that path and who you will become is up to you. Please let this be an opportunity for you to mature into a compassionate man who has compassion for yourself as well as others.
[This message edited by Ladyogilvy at 12:43 AM, June 22nd (Saturday)]
How we each cope with trauma/heartbreak/betrayal is less about what was done to us and more about our coping mechanisms.
You see it on these boards all the time - there are some truly horrific stories or betrayals, hideous childhoods, hideous marriages etc. These people did not choose the suicide path.
The sad clown told me he felt suicidal when I turned my back on him after DD. During our first S I actually came home one day to check on him because I was worried he was going to hurt himself. To be brutally honest I was less worried about him and more worried about my own guilt.
I slept around immediately after DD. Not to get revenge, not because his betrayal made me do it - it was simply my toxic coping mechanism. I don't regret what it did to him - that part never really bothered me. I sure as hell regret what it did to me.
He used the suicide talk as a way of manipulating me and I allowed it. I let little shards of guilt creep into my heart.
In short - focus less on the guilt you feel and more on finding healthy coping mechanisms. Guilt is an empty emotion - like a black hole that only sucks goodness and light out of you.
IMO there's always a pay off when we allow ourselves to be submerged in negative behaviour or emotions. We're getting something out of it. A good IC can help you identify what that pay-off is here and replace it with healthy behaviour/emotions.
This is not your fault. He was mentally unstable it sounds like from the beginning. He had some serious issues with himself and he was broken before you ever even knew him.
The only one you have control over is yourself. He made himself who he was. There were other options like counceling, medications, etc...HE choose suicide. You were not there to make him do it, just like you were not there when he cheated on you and made that choice. Do not take responsibiility for HIS actions.
We all do stupid things when we are young. I also had a revenge affair on my XWH#1 when I was in my early 20's. It was stupid and I regret it now, but I can't change it. Just like my XWH#1 can not change what he did to me. I was stupid, young, and looking for love in all the wrong places. My marriage was a mess, my husband was mentally and physically abusive, and I was a stupid, niave young woman who thought this guy really cared about me. He wasn't married, but he was in a relationship with a SO. All he wanted was sex and no commitments to me and threw me under the bus on DDay. That was when I realized that I didn't really know him at all. He had lied to me and used me.
You can spend the rest of your life feeling guilty and punishing yourself for choices you made, but that is no way to live your life. If you haven't spoken with IC then I would suggest that you give it a try. (((HUGS)))
I'm very sorry stuff you did as a kid had such awful consequences. Sometimes that happens.