Should I confess my Affair ? Three reasons to keep quiet and five reasons to confess to cheating:
If you can’t decide whether to confess to an affair or not, you’ll be able to relate to this question to my website:
What if there hasn’t been a discovery… although an affair has occurred. Should one always be honest and tell one’s partner? I told my husband ILYB two years ago. He was very upset initially but has never really made any effort to really understand what went wrong. I was reading some threads there and was struck by the men who immediately sought self help books. I think that my husband believes that its all my fault and he doesn’t have any responsibility in any of this. Help? Should I confess my affair?
So let’s look at the pros and cons;
Reasons to keep quiet…
- It avoids a huge amount of pain. Your husband and wife will be incredibly upset and he or she will want to go every detail of your betrayal. It will not be pretty and you’ll spend the next months (and possibly years) going back over everything again and again. Lots of people who have been found out (or confessed) will probably envy your situation and would give a lot to be able to turn back the clock and avoid the pain and heartache.
- You have no idea what would happen next. It could be that your husband or wife will get over the initial anger, be forgiving and agree to work on your marriage or he or she could be revengeful, try and turn the children against you and go straight for divorce. Even though you might think you know your partner, it is impossible to predict how she or he will react because you’ve not been in this situation before (and if you have, you don’t know how much unresolved pain there is from the past).
- You could still address the underlying problems in your marriage. Few people cheat without being unhappy and having genuine issues with their partner. You could end the affair, tell your partner about these issues and go and get help to resolve them.
Reasons to confess…
- You will be found out. Affairs leave a trail of evidence, texts, credit card bills etc. It only needs for you to slip up once and your partner will find out. Alternatively, your lover’s partner will discover the truth and tell all or you could be seen out with your lover by someone who knows you. Worse still, it could be your son or daughter who will discover the truth and be left with a terrible dilemma. Even if you decide to end the affair, your lover might not agree and send lots of texts, maybe for months to come. He or she might become desperate and less cautious and even though ‘nothing is happening’ the evidence of past infidelity will come to light. (I’ve had clients where the affair came to light ten years later and the original hurt is compounded by the unfaithful partner keeping the secret for so long.) If you confess, you can chose the moment and how you tell. Although your partner will still be hurt, you have started to be honest and that will begin the long road to rebuilding trust.
- Couple therapy does not work with a secret in the room. Once you can talk about something, you can begin to address it. If the affair is a secret, floating round the room it sucks all the air of the session and couple counselling just goes round and round in circles without going anywhere. I sometimes wonder why I am making so little progress and time after time, an affair is discovered (or lots of texting) by one partner and they bring the truth to the next session. In some ways, it is better late than never but it completely destroys the trust of the discoverer because their partner has been lying in my room (where they expect honesty). The unfaithful partner has also been lying to me too and our relationship takes time to repair too.
- Your partner knows at some level. It could be they know everything and have been following all your messaging behind your back. At the other end of the scale, he or she knows that something is wrong and keeps trying to work out the problem but is missing an important piece of the jigsaw. So if your partner asks: are you having an affair. I would always advise telling the truth. otherwise, you have another black mark against your name when the truth finally comes out.
- You can’t do an honest appraisal of the situation without confessing. In order to justify being unfaithful to yourself and still sleep at night, you need to tell yourself that you’re extremely hard done by and your partner is an ogre or at least guilty of a long list of crimes. And it is amazing, when you start looking, how much you can come up with. But how fair is the picture you’re painting? In the bubble of an affair, you can’t take a honest look at your marriage or your affair partner.
- Confession can be the trigger for a better relationship with your partner. The couples who arrive in my therapy room the most upset are those where there’s been infidelity. The couples who leave the process the happiest are these couples. Infidelity makes couples dig deeper and learn more. Regular clients know where the bodies are buried but don’t go there (because they don’t want to upset each other) but in the aftermath of an affair everything is on the agenda. You can’t have your old marriage back but you can have a new and better one with your partner.
If you are asking ‘should I confess my affair’ I hope this post helps. I would be fascinated to read your experiences – please feel to post below.