So what if you’re the one who cheats?
First and foremost, own what you did. Even if you decide not to fess up to your partner (more on that in a minute), you certainly shouldn’t live in a state of denial. You were in a relationship and no matter how bad or good it was, you weren’t faithful to your commitment. It doesn’t make you a horrible person, it just means that your actions don’t always live up to your expectations.
Analyze why you did it. Was it unhappiness? boredom? fear? Put some time into figuring out why you did it and how you can fix it. Cheating is rarely about your partner so you’ll need to find what it is about you that needs to be improved upon.
If you decide to tell your partner, pick your moment carefully. Be calm. Answer their questions. Do not give details. Understand their anger. Suggest a way to get the relationship back on track but don’t expect that it will be accepted. Realize that they will need to be healed from this experience and that it won’t be easy or pleasant.
If you decide not to tell your partner, consider why you’re in the relationship. If you’re thinking that it was a one-time-thing, then make sure that it was. If you prefer not to burden them with your mistake then you need to make sure that they’re never going to find out. Think long and hard about it before you take this course of action; honesty is long regarded as an essential component of any successful relationship.
Lastly, forgive yourself. Neither you nor your relationship can move forward if you’re clinging to that past.
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