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 may try talking to her or reading her messages to understand her state of mind. 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 expert level perspective on the subject.
I Cheated On My Girlfriend – How Do I Fix It?
It’s not the cheating that jeopardizes relationships and marriages; it’s the cheating partner’s inability to confess, be honest and leave the past behind and start anew.
How to Save Your Relationship If You’ve Cheated on Your Partner
Almost half of the couples don’t split up and work on saving their marriage and relationship, but the healing process is difficult. Once trust is breached, it’s very hard to bring it back, and most couples suffer from emotional deprivation, guilt, and resentment.
So, if you have cheated on your partner, then read on how to gain the trust of your spouse and in the process save your relationship.
1. Confess The Truth
The first step in saving your relationship is to regain the trust of your partner. Confess the truth to your partner about everything that leads to this unfortunate event. Be open and leave nothing secret about the affair right from the beginning. Share important details of your affair, how long have you been cheating, have to tell your affair partner about being in a relationship, so that your partner can come to terms about the cheating and decide if he or she can forgive you and move on.
2.When You Say “Sorry,” Mean It!
Just saying “I’ m sorry,” will help to get out of most situations, but it won’t help here that much.
You have to apologize sincerely, write a heartfelt, meaningful letter, and read it to your partner. You owe this to your partner given that you have so caused tremendous emotional damage to your partner and help him or her with the healing process. Remember that your apology should express deep remorse for your actions and not have any reasons for your cheating.
3. Leave No Secrets & Answer Every Question
Don’t hide anything of your affair and answer every question your partner asks you after you confessed about your affair. Do every possible thing you can so can your partner can trust you again and feel more secure in the relationship. Be accountable for your actions from now on and provide him or her detailed information about whereabouts, your cell phones, your credit cards bills, text messages, Facebook messages, etc. Limit overnight travel, and business trips and make efforts to quit your job in case if your affair partner happens to be a coworker. This may look uncomfortable or even unrealistic to you at first, but it proves you’re dedicated to doing everything possible you can to save this relationship and advance it more than before.
4. End All Connection With Your Affair Partner
It’s common sense that you need to sever every kind of contact with the man or the woman whom you had an affair. If you get call, emails or text messages from your affair lover, even after breaking up the affair, tell your partner about it. Don’t ignore, hide or even delete the evidence of it, without telling your partner about it first. Otherwise, this will be a disaster for your relationship and your partner will assume that your are hiding information and doing things behind his or her back, and all the progress you made will end.
5. Take Help From A Marriage Counselor
Sometimes coping with the cheating partner can be overwhelming for the cheated partner, so taking help from a couple counselor may help him or her in the healing process. A trained and licensed couple counselor will assist you with recovering from the infidelity and guide you and your spouse about saving your marriage and advance your relationship.
6. Take An STDs Test
This can be the most embarrassing part of the affair; most cheating partners try to avoid. But If you want to get back your partner’s trust and take full responsibility for your actions, then get yourself tested for any sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), you might have contracted from your affair partner. This is necessary not because you want to get intimate with her, but she can regain your trust again.
7. Saving Your Relationship Should Be Your Top Priority
Now that your affair is over, it’s time that you dedicate all your energy, attention and time on devoting entirely to save your relationship. This means that you should attend couple counseling and spend more of your free time with your family, including your kids (if you already have them) and extended family members. Make saving your relationship your number one priority.
8.Be Accepting To The Consequences After The Affair
Even you have apologized and cut off all kinds of connections with your affair partner; there are some consequences of cheating on your partner. So, have patience and be prepared to accept them because that’s the only way to prove you are remorseful about it. The consequences are you may be living separately or in a separate room, lack of intimacy, anger, and occasional mistrust towards you.
Some of them might be very painful to you emotionally and physically, but if you can accept them open heartedly, you can demonstrate to your wife or husband that how the cheating has hurt your partner. This might also help speed up the healing process in recovering your lost marriage.
9. Get Used To The Fact Your Partner Will Keep Talking About The Affair
Infidelity is the tough thing to deal in a relationship. Your partner won’t be forgiving you overnight, and he or she won’t get quickly over the fact you cheated on them either.
Once you admitted about your affair and took all steps to move on, you partner will continue asking you questions about the details of your affairs and will continue to demand answers. Be willing to respond to them, regardless how burdensome it might be for you.
The healing won’t happen unless the cheating partner is ready to open up to his spouse about his or her affairs, communicate freely and honestly about what happened and get their betrayed partners feeling heard.
10.Revive Your Relationship With Your Partner Daily
No matter how remorseful you are or try to put the pieces together to save your relationship, it is your husband or wife who will have the final say whether they want to be in this relationship or end it straight away. So, try to connect with your spouse meaningfully, get needy for attention more than ever, to prove that you’re far-reaching in saving this relationship.
Be focused, calm, make eye contact, and go to a quiet place and spend more time together. You will notice that this kind effort will reignite the passion in your spouse that will sustain your relationship in the long run.