I Cheated On My Girlfriend. What Should I Do?

By Dr. Karen Finn

Posted 8 months agoDATING

So you’ve cheated and now you’re feeling a mixture of guilt and elation. Elation that it was so fun (and easy). And guilt because you have a girlfriend who trusts you implicitly.

And so you struggle. You wrestle with whether or not you should tell her because you know if you do, there will be repercussions. You could even lose her if you told her the truth.

So you begin rationalizing …  We’re not married; so really, what’s the problem? Biologically we’re all wired to cheat and there’s no beating my DNA. Right? It was only one time. She’ll never find out.

But that’s all just game playing. Your struggles with whether or not to tell her mean that you know you should, but that you’re scared.

You’re afraid of letting her know you’re not as good a guy as she thinks you are (or maybe even as you thought you were). You’re frightened about her reaction when you do tell her. And you’re worried because you could lose her.

Despite your fears, coming clean with your girlfriend is the best thing for both of you.

Still not sure you want to tell her? Then, here are the 3 most important reasons you should:

1. You had sex without a condom and she deserves to know her health has been compromised

It doesn’t matter whether you see a future for your relationship with her or not, you have to tell her as soon as possible.

STDs are a real threat and, according to the CDC, can be passed through having unprotected sex (vaginal, anal or oral). Yup, even if you’ve only had oral sex without a condom, you’ve put yourself and your girlfriend at risk.

Many STDs don’t cause any symptoms that you would notice, so you can only know whether or not you have one by being tested. Both of you need to be tested.

2. You promised her you’d be honest

You cheated! That’s about as dishonest as you can get in an intimate relationship.

Your guilt stems from your dishonesty. You know that relationships can only work when both partners are respectfully honest with each other. You will continue to live with the nagging guilt of your actions until you come clean.

3. You owe it to yourself

You made a mistake and the best thing you can do is to admit it and then learn from it.

We all make mistakes. But, as cliché as it may sound, unless you learn from your mistake, you’ll continue to make the same one until you’ve learned the lesson you need to learn. And once you’re learned the lesson, you’ll grow and not need to make the same mistake again.

Look, just because I believe that honesty is the best policy when it comes to cheating, doesn’t mean you have to (unless you’ve had unprotected sex). You’re the only one who has to struggle with the emotional toll of betraying your girlfriend.

But, you can free yourself from the trap by having a real and respectful conversation with her.

If you continue avoiding the truth and facts, you’ll continue feeling guilt and regret for the rest of your life. Yes, you’ll get used to the misery over time, but it will still be there sucking away at your soul, even if you choose to end your relationship, until you can be honest about your behavior and admit that you’ve strayed.


We also highly recommend reading our another article about what to do when you’ve cheated on your girlfriend, which shows a slightly different perspective on the subject.

About the author Dr. Karen Finn

Dr. Karen Finn is a life and divorce coach. She works with clients to help them deal with unhappy relationships. You can get free advice or email her at Karen@functionaldivorce.com for a free consultation. Don’t let the worry about divorce ruin your life, help is available as soon as you’re ready.

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