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How To Let Your Partner Know That You Cheated On Them

You have been working way too hard over the past months and are living in a permanent state of sleep deprivation and stress. The extensive project you spent all of your time, energy, and effort on has finally paid off. Your boss called you into his office to tell you that you will finally be getting that promotion you have been dreaming about.

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You are beyond excited and ready to have some fun and relieve the stress. So when your work colleagues insist on taking you out Friday night to celebrate, you gladly accept. Your boyfriend is away at a conference, and your only other weekend plans consist of catching up on laundry and errands. Besides, you desperately need a night out on the town and a reason to wear that fabulous new dress that’s been hanging in your closet for weeks.

friends having a drink_New_Love_Times

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

The festivities begin at 8pm on Friday at the trendy wine bar downtown. You are the center of attention and everyone is there to congratulate you on your new promotion. You are having a great time and not surprisingly, the hours have gone by like minutes. Before you know it, you are a bit tipsy. Your colleague introduces you to his friend from college. Like the others, he congratulates you and asks if he could buy you a class of wine. How could you say no? He is handsome, charismatic, and funny.

He begins asking you about your background, interests, and motivations. You are flattered that he is showing such interest in you and the two of you begin a deep conversation. Of course you love your boyfriend, and the two of you have built an amazing life together over the last five years. Still, as great as things are, your relationship has become a bit routine; so the harmless flirting with your new acquaintance is fun and refreshing for a change.

Looking around, you see that all of your friends have left, and now it’s just the two of you. By this time, you are plenty drunk. You have little recollection, but at some point the two of you left and eventually ended up at his house. One thing leads to another, and you end up having sex with him.

couple in bed_New_Love_Times

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

As you wake up the next morning, you quickly realize that you made a horrible mistake and cheated on your boyfriend. You’re completely beside yourself and waves of guilt, shame and sadness overwhelm you. Your thoughts run on a loop: I cheated on my boyfriend. I cheated on my boyfriend! Oh God, I cheated on my boyfriend! How could you do this to him? How could you do this to your relationship? How are you going to face him? You feel like a terrible liar and won’t even be able to look at him when he comes home this evening!

So now what? You clearly made a mistake and cheated on your boyfriend, but do not want to lose what you have together. How do you let him know you’ve cheated when you still want to maintain your relationship? This is certainly a difficult situation, and if this scenario sounds familiar, you are not alone. This happens way more than any of us would like to admit.

Suggested read: A step-by-step guide on how to confront a cheater most effectively

There are two schools of thought regarding how to deal with this unpleasant situation, and there is no ‘right’ solution. Ultimately, you have to do what you feel is best for you and your relationship.

The first school of thought: Tell him nothing. This is the classic ‘what he doesn’t know you won’t hurt him’ concept. This works well for some and may ultimately be the easiest way to deal with this situation as it puts the least amount of stress on you and relationship. More power to you if are able to pull this one off.

couple disagreement_New_Love_Times

Image source: Shutterstock

If you’re like many others, including myself, this isn’t a great option. Even if you want to tell him nothing and pretend everything is just peachy, your face and body language will give you away. In a matter of moments, he will know something is off and will want to know what’s going on. If you do break down and tell him, he may likely feel more betrayed that you tried to hide it from him. These acts could spell the end of your relationship or at the least, create trust issues and resentment.

The second school of thought: Tell him everything, as soon as possible. This is the ‘honesty is the best policy’ approach, and you’re telling on yourself in hopes that he will appreciate your honesty and the fact that you told him despite the possibility that he may have never found out. This is a calculated risk and may still mean the end of your relationship. On the other hand, it could actually make your relationship stronger. Yes, in some instances, a cheating incident can actually be the catalyst that takes your relationship to the next level.

For example, one of my clients was in a similar situation – she cheated on her husband with a co-worker. In the end, this incident actually brought her and her husband closer together. Once both were faced with the realization they may lose one another, they were forced to have honest and open communication about their relationship and what was missing. This ultimately created deeper communication, trust, and intimacy in their relationship.

Still, this isn’t to say that things won’t be rocky for a while. After all, you are dealing with some pretty dark emotions, broken trust, and betrayal. He will need time to process how he feels about what’s happened and how he is going to deal with it. If you decide to tell your partner you’ve cheated in hopes to salvage your relationship, I have three pieces of advice for you.

1. Pick your moment.

couple talking_New_Love_Times

Image source: Shutterstock

You want to be sure you speak to him when you have his complete attention and he’s not stressed or preoccupied. I also suggest you speak to him in a public setting where you have some privacy. I suggest a restaurant or coffee shop with booths. If things do not go well and he becomes violent, you don’t want to be in a private setting such as your home. Talking to him in a public setting is safer where there are other people present and you can leave if you feel unsafe.

Suggested read: Once a cheater always a cheater: Is it possible to forgive and forget?

2. Own up to your mistake.

In a calm manner, explain what happened while maintaining eye contact with him. Tell him that you disappointed yourself just as much as him by your actions and ask for forgiveness. Do not try to blame others or make excuses for what happened. You don’t want to seem like you are not holding yourself accountable for your actions.

3. Give him time.

Of course he is going to be upset and have many thoughts and feelings running through his head. Give him several days to process his feelings. If you have a close friend you can stay with for a few days, it may be a needed change of scenery for you.

Relationships are not easy and real life scenarios such as the one described here can damage your relationship. Still, if you choose to be honest with him, he may respect you more. Your relationship will not only survive, it may even become stronger and more fulfilling than ever.

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Article Name
I Cheated On My Boyfriend: How To Tell Your Partner That You Cheated On Them
'I cheated on my boyfriend, but how do I tell him that?' Here's how...
Jessica Brighton

Jessica Brighton

Jessica Brighton is your all-American girl, who had a good life and a good marriage, until the 2008 financial crash brought down her relationship. That's when she turned to escorting. And through that, she has gained insight into what makes up a successful relationship. Former escort-turned-relationship coach, Jessica helps people build healthy relationships. You can know more about her here: