"Det føltes forkert at stå med hendes hjerte i min hånd."
Translation:It felt wrong to stand with her heart in my hand.
Perhaps said by Mads Mikkelsen? http://media.giphy.com/media/oYeCL3FMW5rGM/giphy.gif
How can we tell when to use simple past and when to use passive past in examples like this where it doesn't translate as passive in English? Are there some rules that we can follow? Or are some verbs always used in the passive in the past tense?
For føle you can do that decision with the following hints:
if you have a person as the subject who's doing the feeling, you use the active form
Han følte vinden. - He felt the wind.
if you have something as the subject that is creating a feeling, you use the passive form
Vinden føltes kold. - The wind felt cold.
bonus: if you want to express how someone feels, you use føle sig
Jeg følte mig skyldig. - I felt guilty.
That feeling of regret when you do a fatality on your girlfriend while playing Mortal Kombat.