Should You Tell Your Boyfriend You Cheated?

September 8, 2012
Should You Tell Your Boyfriend You Cheated?

We all want to believe that honesty is the best policy — and, in a perfect world, it is. But it can also be argued that the truth has destroyed more great relationships than lies ever have. This is not to say that withholding the truth about your cheating ways is ever the good or moral thing to do, but there is a case to be made that it might be the best thing for the relationship.

In any case, it could be helpful to explore that train of thought.

Let’s start off by saying that we would never condone cheating, and we are not talking about ongoing cheating as a way of life. People never tell on themselves while they are still cheating anyway.

We’re talking about women who’ve made a mistake, feel terrible about it and have no intention of ever doing it again. Do you have to confess? Or can you make a decision to carry the guilt for the sake of your man and the relationship?

What is the upside for him?

There is an upside for you if you confess. You get to lift the burden and get the guilt off your chest.

But, what positive thing does he get out of it? By telling him you’ve cheated, you are, in effect, hitting him in the stomach with a shovel. Is this a caring and loving thing to do to the man you love?

You will be putting him into deep emotional pain. He may even forgive you and blame himself, but he will still suffer.

Now, think about how men handle suffering. They don’t hug Mom and cry on her shoulder. They don’t talk on the phone with their sister or have a friend braid their hair to ease their pain. They don’t eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey, take a bubble bath or buy a new pair of shoes.

No. They drive cars real fast and recklessly, they get drunk, they put their fist through a wall, they get in fights, they get high on drugs, they have sex with sleazy women, and they stay out all night or even for days at a time.

He might end up losing his job or ruining his life. But he can’t just have a good cry with the guys. You are his only support system, and you just blew up his world.


“You are the only one who can decide

the best way to handle the situation.”

How will it help the relationship?

Nothing will be the same between you for a long, long time — if ever. When a man cheats on a woman, she tends to be more concerned about the possible feelings he might have for another lover.

A man, on the other hand, is more concerned that another man has defiled something that was special just for him. It is not uncommon for a man with an unfaithful woman to avoid her private areas, which he feels have somehow been ruined.

When do you think he will be thinking about what that other man did with you? It will be when he’s about to make love to you — every time. And it may take a lot of the desire and zest out of his lovemaking.

If you tell him you cheated, you may ruin sex for him for a long time. Sex with you, anyway. Even years later he will still remember what you did. He will never forget, and it will never make the relationship better.

There may be exceptions to these doomsday scenarios but probably not with long-term relationships. If you are still a fairly new item and he feels he has not totally “earned” your full commitment yet, it may not be so serious.

Telling him you had sex with another man wouldn’t really be so much like telling him you “cheated,” and it could even make him work harder to earn your full and dedicated affection.

However, once you have become the basis of his reality, everything changes. Think about how you would feel if he told you the same thing, and then you may be able to better decide if it’s a good idea to tell him or not.

We can always rationalize our own mistakes better than we can the mistakes of another perpetrated against us. If you can find a way to forgive yourself without dropping the bomb on your boyfriend, the world will certainly be a more peaceful place.

Devastating his life when you’ve already seen the folly of your ways and turned your life around might seem pointless. Ending a good relationship or throwing it into turmoil might not be the best or only possible way of handling your own infidelity.

Not telling him you cheated might be an easier way out, but it is not necessarily a selfish way to go. You’re also saving him, friends and families a lot of pain and grief. Life and love are imperfect quantities. He’s not perfect either, and you are the only one who can decide the best way to handle the situation.

You’re not living a lie if you truly love him and intend to be faithful. You don’t owe him the truth if the truth is a punch in the gut. But you do owe him your love and loyalty from this day forward.

If you choose not to tell, then you have to forgive yourself, love him more and never look back.

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Related Topics:
Cheating Featured

6 Responses

    I don’t think it’s fair to live a lie. It’s not fair if you cheated or if your boyfriend cheated. You think you’re dating someone you “think” you know very well and if you prolong the situation, it’s just a deeper hole you’ll have to dig out of

      C. Price
      Cynthia (

      Great insight! Why keep both people in the dark? Some things are worth confronting each other about.

    This is the silliest advice I have ever heard on such a matter so delicate and serious as CHEATING. So, if a man cheats on a woman, should he also not tell her and just promise to himself that he won’t do it again? Its is not fair to be cheated on and not be given the option to stay or leave. That is a serious character offense that the other partner should be made aware of. Not to mention the need to check for STDs— lots can be passed on in just kissing and take a while to develop. So then the cheating woman, as is the case of this article, is not only playing with her partner’s heart, she’s playing with his health too. Not sound advice at all. The entire article just sounded like a bunch of excuses. Not cool at all.

      C. Price
      Cynthia Price (

      Hi there! Thanks for commenting. I see what you mean, some advice when it comes to serious matters can really be subjective to the person, whether they understand the scope of the situation or not. I think Nick was trying to offer advice for both sides of a story – a chance to think about what has been done and also consider future actions before admitting the truth (or withholding it). You bring up a valid point with STD’s and the serious effects a relationship will have to confront with the repercussions of cheating.

    Hi there, thank you so much for this advice, if I had read this advice before now I would’nt have been this heartbroken. Similar thing happened to me and I confessed to my BF cause I felt bad after doing such a thing. But he refused to forgive me, he went ahead and married another woman, just to get back at me. But life still goes on and am doing better with my life now.

      C. Price
      Cynthia Price (

      Alice, it’s good to hear you are still rising strong regardless of the circumstance. You have the time and space to grow and find someone else. Don’t let the past burden you, learn and move forward!

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