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After The Affair: Tell Or Do Not Tell?


I cheated on my husband and I haven’t told him. I’ve broken it off with the other man. I know what I did was wrong and I feel guilty and awful. I don’t even know why I did it. My husband is a wonderful man and he’s been nothing but devoted and good to me. I fear that if I tell him, I’ll destroy our marriage of 12 years and create even more problems. I don’t want this to instigate a divorce or hurt our kids. What should I do? Should I just try to move on as if nothing happened?
—- Michelle

Dear Michelle,
Yes confess, but to a professional or mature friend, who can support you. Look inward. You may feel a range of emotions from guilt, fear, shame to sorrow. Figure out why you cheated. Both men and women cheat primarily for emotional reasons. They feel lonely, disconnected, distant from their partner, taken for granted, or bored. They also cheat when there isn’t enough sexual intimacy, which can happen when the relationship is not balanced: ranking high on being safe and secure but low on passion and spontaneity.

Once you have sorted your feelings and reasons then decide how to proceed. Sometimes it is only necessary to ask for changes to get things back on track. Sometimes a confession is necessary. At other times you can make the adjustments without involving your partner and let the past stay in the past. An example of the latter is if you have been neglecting yourself and your sex life. Embracing your sensuality, feeling beautiful and sexy doesn’t require a man!

No matter what you decide to do, don’t forget to forgive yourself. Forgiveness of self is necessary for healing and growth.

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