General Question

wundayatta's avatar

How would you break it to your spouse, if you wanted to fix things, that you had been involved with someone else?

Asked by wundayatta (58367 points ) February 5th, 2009

I’m curious as to how people would approach this conversation. I’ve had it, and I thought about it for days, rehearsed it in my mind, and went into it not sure at all that I could do it.

I was afraid that I’d be out on the street that night. I was afraid of other reactions. Maybe she’d get violent. So I came up with a way to tell the story, so she could understand it, if not get it.

I’m wondering how other people would approach this? Would you cut to the chase? Beat it around the bush? can I think of any other cliches? Would you get a mediator. Blurt it out and beg forgiveness? Beg forgiveness and then blurt it out? What?

This scenario assumes you value the relationship and want to continue it, if possible.

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57 Answers

SuperMouse's avatar

I would probably do it with the help of a marriage counselor. I don’t mean getting advice before having the conversation, I mean right there in the counselor’s office. Odds are good the spouse won’t kill you if there is a witness, and a unbiased third party might be able to help put the couple on the path of healing.

Mizuki's avatar

I’d have some adult beverages and think about it until the urge to spill the beans passes.

that and whatever tits has to say…

Bluefreedom's avatar

I’m inclined to go with the answer that I’d be very candid about the situation because it seems like it would be more agonizing and painful (for both persons) if the reavealing process was drawn out too slowly or indirectly.

After explaining the reasons for the infidelity, I would certainly ask for forgiveness but I’d also be prepared to hear that none was forthcoming due the circumstances. I would certainly hope for it at a later time though.

I think marraige counseling after the fact would be a very prudent idea because I believe that postive steps can come from this if both parties are open and receptive to participating in that.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

Well, seeing as how my wife of twenty years and I have already faced this particular conundrum (that is, we have discussed it, although neither of us has had a need for it) we have decided that the simple honest truth is the best policy, period. You see, we are realists. We understand that either one of us might feel the need to stray. Neither of us has done so, but if either one of us does, we already know how to handle it.

A relationship without complete honesty does neither party any good. We have no secrets from each other, and would never think of doing so, since we are best friends. Anything less would be insulting and disrespectful.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

Definitely get into counseling before hashing out the details. I wouldn’t know how to make that kind of confession (especially because I had trouble telling my ex, whom I’m still friends with, that I had a one night stand, even though we’ve been broken up for almost a year).

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

Don’t do what my husband did, and tell your children that you’ve been having an affair for the last 12 years, but not to tell their mother.

I would suggest thinking really hard about what you hope to gain by telling the information. If it’s to make yourself feel better, you might want to think about how making her feel bad will really help you. If she suspects that there was an affair, you might want to validate that she was not crazy, that her suspicions were correct. And you better have a good idea where you want the relationship to go moving forward. If you want to stay married, an apology might be a good starting place.

veneziana's avatar

I would take her on a mini vacation and tell her.

Dog's avatar

@veneziana Like in Jerry Maguire huh?

May just be me- but it seems pretty nasty to take someone out for a good time on a vacation only to drop an emotional bomb.

cheebdragon's avatar

Show them this question….

bythebay's avatar

@veneziana: That;s a vacation she might return from alone, because you “Mysteriously and without provocation just stepped off the cliff!”.

@Alfreda: I’m really sorry that happened to you and your children.

And this question is crap, just like all the other cheating questions. How do you tell someone gently? Let’s see; I’m going to turn their world upside down; rock their foundation to the core and shatter all their beliefs…ummmmmmmmmmm, there is no nice way. Pull your head out of your ass and start behaving like a grown up now, because you obviously weren’t when you cheated. Your partner doesn’t want your pity -they want honesty.

If you are one of the lucky few to survive such a catastrophic collapse of your marriage, good for you – you obviously worked hard to repair the breaks and have a very forgiving and generous spouse who still works everyday to trust and have faith in you and your marriage.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

There is exact scene in Revolutionary Road, where Frank confesses to April he’s had an affair, but it ‘s over. She asks “Why” and and he begins to explain the why of the affair, and she asks him “Why are you telling me? To make yourself feel better?” Be prepared to answer that question. Because making your spouse feel worse should not be the by-product of such a confession. You should be the one wearing the psychological hair shirt. With my husband, he feels like he cleared the air; my daughters headed to counseling over his confession. We know what I’m doing.

Dog's avatar

@AlfredaPrufrock I agree- to tell is to do even more damage expecially where kids are concerned. How about instead making a vow to oneself to keep the Johnson out of foreign territory henceforth?

bythebay's avatar

@AlfredaPrufrock: I thought that scene in the movie was the most telling and the most honest. Painful and raw. It showed how very selfish he was and also how narcissistic.

wundayatta's avatar

@bythebay: I think there are three questions you need to ask yourself and be prepared to answer before you do this. First is “why am I telling you?” If you are doing it just assuage your guilt, I don’t think that’s a good reason. If you are doing it to initiate a process of repairing the relationship, then I think it is worth doing.

I think it would be lying to yourself to believe that if you keep it a secret, it won’t hurt your spouse. Your spouse is already being hurt, as you are, when you have an affair. You may not know why or what has come between you, but you do sense it. If you don’t want to tell your spouse, you might as well get out of the relationship, because everything after that is a lie.

The second and third questions have to do with helping the spouse understand how and why this happened. I think these are questions a spouse will want to know. Maybe first is: “why did this happen?” Were you crazy? Do you have a sex addiction? Are you merely selfish? Were you just not thinking? Was it a one-night stand or a longer-lasting thing? These questions may be difficult to answer, because you may not be introspective enough to figure it out. Still, there’s a story there, about how you got into it, and I think that’s an important story to tell, for both of you.

The third question is how. This is especially important because cheating can take so many forms. It is no longer limited to physical affairs. There can be online cheating, or phone cheating, or porn cheating. Not every person would consider all these cheating, and so that has to be worked out between the couple.

There is also the issue of how in terms of the mechanism. Were you going on “business” trips to do it? Doing it during lunch hour, or when you were working late? Was it online late into the night? Were the phone calls made from your cell phone or the landline? Did you practice safe sex?

I think all these things are important in order to understand what happened, both for the person who cheated, and the person who was cheated on. The issue is not how do you tell someone gently; it is how do you tell someone so it makes sense. Or as much sense as possible.

Finally, I think there is another question: “what are you going to do now?” This goes back to addressing the concern at the top. Are you doing this in a selfish way (to reduce your guilt), or are you doing this to try to fix things? Do you want to get counselling, or try to fix it yourself? Do you want to apologize and have it be over? Do you want to get permission for it to continue? Do you still love your spouse? Or is it over? What about the kids? Do we tell them, or not?

This can not be made easy, and feelings will be hurt. Trust is destroyed, and that is so difficult to rebuild. The story is crucial in that process of rebuilding trust. Honesty is crucial. It may work out, and it may not. There is no guarantee of anything.

mzgator's avatar

If you were “man enough” to make a concious decision to cheat on a woman you pledged to be faithful to for the rest of your life, be “man enough” to tell her the truth without excuses. She does not want your excuses. Even with counseling, you will be making up to her for the rest of your life in one way or the other because of your actions, and she deserves nothing less. The affair was no accident. You did not slip and fall into another woman’s body and accidentally have sex with her. You chose to do it. The reason behind it is the most telling. This reason, and your wife’s amazing ability to forgive, if she can, will determine if your marriage can last .

bythebay's avatar

@daloon: I’m not sure why you directed your answer/statement toward me?
Your question, was how would you break it to your spouse….
NOT, how do break it them so it makes as much sense as possible. The rest of your diatribe is self indulgent and speaks only to your opinions on what one needs or wants to know. Each relationship and betrayal is unique in it’s details, obviously. Your closing statement mirrors mine; I’m not sure what you’re asking me – if anything?

wundayatta's avatar

@bythebay: I’m miffed that [Edit] You got my Irish up when [end edit] you said my question is crap. I don’t know why you even bother to answer it if you think that. However, I’d love to hear a non-self-indulgent perspective on what you would want if you were in that position, or how you would announce it, if that is what you had to do. You say what you think people, in general, want, but you don’t say how to get there, and that is what this question is about.

You are right that each relationship is unique in its details. The only way to get at that, that I know of, is to ask people for personal opinions or stories before we attempt to synthesize anything. I also would like to say that I apologize to you for releasing a self-indulgent diatribe. I shouldn’t have addressed you, personally. I hope you can forgive my mistake.

bythebay's avatar

@daloon: You need not apologize to me nor do you need my forgiveness. My thoughts on your question are mine to own, and my answer to your question is above. But you are right, perhaps I shouldn’t have answered at all. But I think we both agree, honesty is crucial.

SuperMouse's avatar

@bythe bay, while I understand the points you are making, I think that one thing that always gets lost in these discussions is the fact that cheating does not happen in a vacuum. This happens and the cheating spouse tends to be totally demonized and told things such as “pull their heads out of the asses.” While I am sure there are philandering spouses out there who are just out to put another notch on their headboard, no matter what the cost, I continue to believe these people are the minority. Generally a person like that will show their true colors during the courtship and if the spouse married the person anyway, well that is on them.

I stand by my belief that most people who cheat do so as a reaction to the circumstances of their relationship. In many cases I’ll bet the cheating spouse begged their partner to help them fix the relationship and the pleas fell upon deaf ears. I also believe that most people don’t set out to have an affair, it is something that happens and is anything but an f-you to the spouse.

It will take both spouses to heal the divide caused by an extra-marital affair and aside from getting over the actual act of cheating, they are both going to have to take a hard look at the issues in the marriage that brought them to that point.

bythebay's avatar

@SuperMouse: You make many good points, but whether someone begged for help in fixing a relationship (or not), straying from your marriage is wrong. Of course each persons motives and beliefs are different, but to oversimplify it, wrong is wrong. And while there are those who will cheat to punish their partners I am sure there are just as many who hope to never be caught. How you get there is not really the point.

As with with any situation like this, the crime is not in the telling.

And you’re right, two people can get married, one or two people can destroy a marriage, but it certainly takes two to heal a marriage. The responsibility for maintaining a marriage lies with two people, the responsibility (fault) for cheating lies only with one.

bythebay's avatar

Edit/Addition to my answer above:

I do want to make clear that I do not think everyone who cheats is a bad person or beyond hope. Wonderful people can and do make very bad choices sometimes. But it is a choice, and therefore I believe they alone hold the responsibility for their choice. Not for the demise of their relationship, not for the behavior of their partner, but for their choice.

laureth's avatar

I’m largely with @AlfredaPrufrock on this.

Here’s how I see it. There might be some circumstances where the spouse is in a “need to know” situation (for instance, you now have VD), but for the most part, I’m not sure they should be told.

Here’s why. The spouse is innocent. They probably love you. They did not do anything wrong. It’s the cheater who did wrong and should pay any penance that needs to be paid. By telling the innocent spouse, the cheating spouse has gotten a load off of his/her mind, but that load is now transferred onto the mind of someone who does not deserve it. The innocent spouse will now think of the betrayal every time they see you, every time they make love with you, every time they breathe, every time they wake up and every time they go to bed. It will always be “what could I have done differently to make my spouse not cheat? Why am I not good enough to deserve fidelity? What is wrong with me?” – life is hell for the cheated-on. Meanwhile, the cheater “feels better for having been so honest, and now that the truth is out, can’t we just forgive and forget?”

No. The cheater owes it to the innocent one to never let them feel like the piece of crap that cheated-on spouses feel like. Their penance is to feel that guilt themselves. Every time the innocent spouse says “I love you honey!” or “We’re so good together” or “I’m so happy with you!” or “You’d never hurt me, sweetie!”, that pang of guilt rightly belongs to the cheater, not the innocent. The lying awake at night, the horrible self esteem, the “how could I have done that?” all belongs to the cheater. It’s something that they might need to carry to the grave someday, but why unload and “come clean” when it will only make the cheater feel better and the innocent spouse feel worse?

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

I would think that the best way to make it all hang together is to not tell, but really, really, really make a committed effort to work on your marriage. Eat the guilt. You own the guilt. You deserve the guilt. But you also deserve a second chance to be what it takes to make your marriage work. Which means that, starting out in the repair process, you own 70% of the effort to make it better, and your wife owns 30%. Or maybe it’s 80%/20%. But you’re going to have a much easier time in the long run if you don’t tell her (unless she asks you directly) and let her believe that the reason you have a renewed commitment to your marriage is because you value and love her above anything else in your life. If you can convince her of that, then things will get better all around.

In spite of everything I really am a person of hope. Not for my marriage, but for relationships in general.

SuperMouse's avatar

Isn’t the spouse being played at least a bit if they are cheated on and never know it? I mean how horrible would it be for the spouse to find out from someone else, be floored by the news and feel like a complete sap? I think that I would want to know if I was being cheated on.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

She probably does know it, and would rather not know it. It’s easier to put things back together if you feel you’re the chosen one, than to know that something about you led the other person to want to leave.

laureth's avatar

Not all advice is appropriate for all people in all situations, this is true. It’s best to judge the situation and decide what is right in your particular circumstances. However, I did tell it the way I see it – and it’s a side that I don’t think many people consider right off the bat, so I threw it out there.

There are going to be cases where “not telling” seems like the easiest, sneakiest thing ever – much easier than owning up. Those are not the people I’m speaking toward.

bythebay's avatar

I’m sitting with Supermouse on the need to know side. I can’t imagine the horrible scenario of hearing about it from someone else; or stumbling upon some shred of odd evidence. This would be especially painful if time had passed and your marriage was now in a good place. It would seem like a house of cards built on a shaky foundation if all the truths were not laid bare.

wundayatta's avatar

It’s hard for me to see how you could rebuild a marriage if one of the parties doesn’t even know you are trying to rebuild. How can they work on it, if they don’t know what the problems are? If you can’t have honest communication, I don’t see how you can rebuild a relationship. I dunno. Maybe I’m just parroting what our couples therapist says. Still, he’s pretty adamant that the first thing you have to do is come clean on everything. Both people.

I also think it is a gross generalization to say that men cheat because they want to get over on their wives, and that their wives are blameless. If people are getting the intimacy they need (and I mean emotional intimacy) they don’t go outside the relationship. Sex is just the excuse. The real need, I belive, that most or all of us have, is for intimacy. We’d prefer it with our spouses, but if we aren’t getting it there, we’re in a bind, especially if we don’t even know what is wrong. I think people cheat in an effort to fix what is wrong. It’s not an effective solution, but if the betrayed doesn’t do their share of the work, the relationship can’t be fixed, either.

Apportioning blame really doesn’t help. Both sides have to work, and take each other’s complaints seriously. If the betrayed feels like the betrayer owes them, it’s not going to happen. The relationship will never be able to be fixed, just as it can’t be fixed if the betrayer doesn’t admit that they betrayed.

laureth's avatar

For what it’s worth, I tried avoiding pronouns expressly so it wasn’t always the man cheating on the woman. It’s not that way in real life – cheating is not limited by gender.

If the marriage is so unsatisfactory that someone cheats, I’m still wondering what it does to heal the relationship if the cheating is mentioned. The person who isn’t cheating may indeed think the relationship is broken, but they may think it’s just fine. Perhaps the best way to fix this one is to say something like, “I think there are things we could do to make this situation better,” not “I put it in someone else, dear, now tell me how you’re going to work on fixing that.”

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

I think that finding out your spouse is cheating is a kick in the teeth. Do you really think the relationship needs to hit absolute rock bottom before it can be rebuilt? Because it seems to me that you hit rock bottom and are working your way up. Do you know how unhappy in the relationship your wife is? It could be that finding out you’re cheating is the impetus for her to walk away from you. Would you really want that? Do you want her to be the one that decides it’s over? I wouldn’t lie to her if she asks you outright, but I would not volunteer the information. Affairs are symptoms of something both parties have fault with. Usually what happens is the person who cheats believes the other person is entirely at fault, and that justifies cheating. But in reality, what led to the marriage getting off track is the result of life events and both parties.

She probably knows or suspects. People who cheat are rarely at good at hiding it as they would like to believe they are. If she wants to know, she’ll ask, and then you should by all means tell her. I’ve been thinking about it, Daloon, and I feel that a conversation that starts with a spouse telling you’ve they’ve had an affair, plays out in the listener’s head as, ”I was unhappy, I found you lacking, and I went elsewhere.” That puts the fault on the non-cheating spouse right out of the gate, and makes the marriage all about you and your happiness.

SuperMouse's avatar

@AlfredaPrufrock it is a sweeping generalization to say the person who cheats usually blames the spouse. Like you said, both people contributed to the marriage getting off track. My point is that because cheaters are always demonized, the spouse’s role in the situation tends to get lost. Not that it is all the cheatee’s fault, but that the cheatee does have to accept responsibility for his/her role in the marriage.

I think Daloon hit the nail right on the head when he wondered how a marriage can move forward shrouded in dishonesty. Say a relationship is ten years post affair, the spouse doesn’t know what happened, but they have worked hard in counseling to fix the problems. All seems well. Somehow the spouse finds out about the affair – this couple will be back to square one, but now they have the extra baggage of the spouse knowing he/she was lied to about the issues in the marriage and what really happened. Not a very healthy way to fix a relationship.

Also, like you said, the spouse being cheated on probably knows what is going on. How on earth is that spouse going to ever be able to trust his/her spouse again when she knows what happened and that they are living a lie. I for one would rather have a spouse with the huevos to admit his mistake, than one who thinks he is slick enough to cover it up and move on.

laureth's avatar

I think there might be a difference in these two messages, should the non-cheater hear it years later.

“Hon, I’ve been cheating behind your back, and it’s so fresh that I still think of her daily and have her smell in my nostrils, so can we work on the relationship now that I’ve broken your heart and the pain is raw?”

“Hon, yes, I did make a mistake, but it was ten years ago when we weren’t on such good footing. But since then I have really worked hard on the relationship, I have given it my all, and we’ve progressed to a point where I wouldn’t even consider leaving your side again. I’m sorry that I did it when I was young and stupid, but I’ve since come to realize just how important to me you are. This past is buried and dead.”

I think I’d deal better with the latter, but everyone’s different. I’ll agree to disagree. :)

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

@SuperMouse, I was thinking about why cheaters bear the short end of the stick while I was in the drive-though lane at the bank this morning. It boils down to this: most traditional wedding vows include love/honor/cherish or a variation on forsake all others as part of the vow, or language to that effect. The cheater tends to get most of the blame for that reason alone. In marriages there’s his side, her side, and the truth.

wundayatta's avatar

@laureth: as to your first example:
“Hon, I’ve been cheating behind your back, and it’s so fresh that I still think of her daily and have her smell in my nostrils, so can we work on the relationship now that I’ve broken your heart and the pain is raw?”

This is exactly why I asked this question. Is this how any sane person who wanted to stay married would say it? I don’t think so. But what would you say? How would you put it? You don’t want to kill your spouse with the information, but you do have to tell them.

Your second example:
“Hon, yes, I did make a mistake, but it was ten years ago when we weren’t on such good footing. But since then I have really worked hard on the relationship, I have given it my all, and we’ve progressed to a point where I wouldn’t even consider leaving your side again. I’m sorry that I did it when I was young and stupid, but I’ve since come to realize just how important to me you are. This past is buried and dead.”

Would probably be seen as a much greater betrayal. You have essentially been lying for 10 years. It says that you didn’t have the courtesy to admit to what was wrong when it was wrong, and you are only doing it now when you believe the coast is clear.

Obviously we all see these things different ways, and it is interesting to see these different points of view, even if they don’t answer my question. I guess it’s fine to question the premise of the question, although I am still hoping for more.

Alfreda, you wrote, “I’ve been thinking about it, Daloon, and I feel that a conversation that starts with a spouse telling you’ve they’ve had an affair, plays out in the listener’s head as, ”I was unhappy, I found you lacking, and I went elsewhere.” That puts the fault on the non-cheating spouse right out of the gate, and makes the marriage all about you and your happiness.”

I guess I agree with you. It will make the cheatee feel very insecure. I also think that it may also be the truth. The cheatee had a lot to do with the problems in the marriage.

In the end, though, I think that establishing blame does not lead to healing. A lot of people want to do that, and that’s why a lot of divorces are so acrimonious. Each side is trying to prove the other is in the wrong. If you want to save a marriage, you can’t afford to do that. Both sides have to accept some blame, and then quickly move on. It really doesn’t matter who is responsible. What matters is how you are going to move forward. Or, that’s what I think. It also is what our therapist thinks, fwiw.

SuperMouse's avatar

@AlfredaPrufrock, I’m not saying that the cheaters deserve much more than the short end of the stick. I just think that people seem to forget that it takes two for a relationship to fail. Once I was branded with the red A no one wanted to hear another word from me and it was very, very easy to pin all the problems that had been percolating for the past 20 years on me. Because I knew I made a HUGE mistake, I was willing to take the blame – I didn’t see as I had much choice.

laureth's avatar

This doesn’t really answer the question, still, I guess, but…

If one person is so miserable as to cheat, and the other person is bent on making that misery happen, I wonder what both see in the marriage that makes it worth saving. I know there is virtue in sticking with each other “in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer,” when bad times come or it’s just a rough spot. I might be wrong, but I what I’m hearing about the miserable cheater/evil cheatee relationship is more than a bad spot – it sounds like some serious incompatibility. (I might bicker with my spouse, but I love him too much to either cheat or make him miserable enough to do so.)

Is a marriage worth saving at all costs? Even when people are miserable and making each other hurt?

wundayatta's avatar

Sounds like an excellent question, Laureth. I think you should ask it.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

I’m thinking about how to really answer your question, but before I do, I have to ask you one more question: In wanting to work things out with your wife, is it because she is really your first choice, or is she the “rebound” choice because the person you had the affair with broke it off with you?

wundayatta's avatar

Yeah, she’s first. It was kind of interesting throughout this, because for a lot of the time, I didn’t see that. But everyone I talked to—and I do mean everyone—said the same thing: “It’s obvious you love your wife.” I knew that, but I didn’t know that, if you know what I mean. Oh, it’s even more complicated. I knew that I knew, but I was wishing that that I didn’t know. Of course, throughout much of the time, I was either manic or depressed, which didn’t help me cope with any of it.

One other thing—just in case you got the wrong impression—I’ve already done this. I know how I approached it. I’m just curious about how other people would do it.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

Yeah, I thought you might have from the way the question was worded. Starting from that realization, I would have to say leading with that, would couch the conversation to not be about the cheating, but about the continuity of the marriage…

How did you do it?

wundayatta's avatar

I told the story of how I got there: what I was feeling every step of the way, and how it seemed like I was trapped between some very bad choices (either be miserable the rest of my life, or try to take care of myself). She heard it, but it took a while for it to set in. She’d keep in asking me questions from time to time. Of course, we started counselling almost right away. First she had to get me healthy.

It all happened in a manic phase leading to depression, only we didn’t know I was bipolar at that time. I was getting suicidal by the time I told her, and she was more worried about keeping me alive than about what I’d done. Later on, we dealt with that stuff.

laureth's avatar

Sounds like it went about as well as could have been expected. Kudos to you both.

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wundayatta's avatar

Thank you, Richard!

bythebay's avatar

Richard saves the evening! All is well in the Fluther.

jellyfish's avatar

each partner is 50% accountable – cheater and cheated on – all i know is marriage is a minefield and over rated and all that endless hard work to get back on even keel feels like an awful lot of hideousness – I say women need to get the courage up to enjoy life on their own with shared child care and half the $ from the marriage. There is a great life…no need to hide yr shoes under the bed, no more mistrust, eat what u want, see who u want – all this clinging on to someone who wanted someone else that bad they needed to act on it – oh please !

justus2's avatar

I think that is ridicilous to say both parties contribute to cheating, if my fiance cheated on me then in no way am I one bit at fault for that, because if the relationship is not good enough to where one feels the need to be with someone else for any reason at all either take a mutual break from it or the one who feels the need to be with someone else needs to leave their spouse before they cheat, and that whole thing about not telling them is not cool either, I would never want to be in a relationship without honesty completely again, if my fiance cheats on me he better come to me and tell me without me having to ask, becuase if I ask him and he says yes then I am going to be pissed that I had to ask in the first place and that would probably ruin my trust way more than if he was just honest with me.

liminal's avatar

I would want my partner to know that I have been behaving in a way that, affects our life together, but takes away her power to choose whether or not she wants involvement. If I were to be involved in an affair I would most likely have some things seriously out of control in my life. I love my partner and not being honest about my infidelity would feel like am further trying to control a situation that has gotten beyond control. If I view her as a person of dignity and worth, then, I feel that she deserves all the information she can possibly have for making decisions. Yes I would want her to choose me and work things out. Yet, I want that to be because she has all the information and made an informed decision. I don’t want to decide for her if she is the sort of person who will work on repairing a relationship that has suffered infidelity. I wouldn’t want her to make that decision for me either. As far as the telling goes, I would be concise and short. I would avoid mucking things up with my own shame and guilt. Of course, I would communicate that I have remorse, but the focus would be on taking responsibility for violating her trust and the tragedy of that.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

???????? So what did you actually do?

Carol's avatar

Questions, not answers:

Are you medicated now? I’m asking because you indicate that your mania had a hand in your infidelity.

I’m wondering why you’re so curious about how others would have handled it at this late date, having told her already.

wundayatta's avatar

@Carol This question is more than two years old.

Why am I curious? Because I want to learn something. I wanted to know if other people had been in this situation and how they had handled it.

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