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Should You Confess to Cheating? 3 Key Questions to Ask Yourself First

By Elliot Yoo, Editorial Staff

As if relationships weren’t tricky enough in themselves, sometimes we make them even harder. Cheating is not something that is reserved strictly for playboys and promiscuous women who make a sport of it. Oftentimes it can happen a lot more innocently and unexpectedly than one would think.

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Whatever the reason it happens, the morning after can bring about a lot of harrowing realizations and questions. “What do I tell my boyfriend/girlfriend?”

Related: 5 Common Dating Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making

Figuring out whether to confess or not is a difficult decision to make, and in the small window of time you have to figure this out, there are some key questions you need to ask yourself:

Is your partner going to find out?

This is the first rule above all others for a reason. This is because if the answer to this question is “yes” or even potentially “yes”, then you are literally left with no other choice but to confess. Finding out a partner has cheated is devastating, but hearing it from any other source but the partner themselves is enough to make your significant other’s brain explode. Presuming you feel horrible about what you’ve done, it is also best to tell them quickly and get it over with for several other reasons, the main being that the more time goes by between your crime and the confession, the angrier your partner will be. Tip: Be in a secluded area, hold their hands, tell them you love them, confess, and pray for the best.

Related: How to Avoid a Cheater: Watch for these 5 Red Flags

Can your conscience take it?

If you choose not to tell your partner, you have to be able to live with the mistake. If not, you will quickly become a guilt-ridden zombie every time you’re around your significant other. It’s never a good thing when the sight of the person who is supposed to bring joy to your life brings irrepressible guilt. If this is going to be the case, your best bet is to confess. However, if you can live with the mistake you’ve committed, perhaps it might be best to bury it and move on.

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Does honesty take precedence over staying together?

This is without doubt the toughest question that you will have to ask yourself. As any relationship expert will tell you, trust is the foundation upon which healthy relationships are built. Unfortunately, if you’ve cheated, that foundation of trust is just one confession away from turning to a pillar of salt. At this point you really need to consider the honest consequences of what may happen by admitting you’ve cheated. Depending on how well you know your partner, there are varying levels of likelihood that they will break up with you when you admit to cheating. Knowing this risk, should you still confess? This is a question that we cannot realistically answer for you, but to give you an idea of how vast the scale is, we’ve asked several people this question and provided the most polarized answers below:

“What’s the point in telling them if it means the end of your relationship? That makes absolutely no sense.” – Jason, 25

“I would never cheat on my boyfriend, but if I did, I would tell him. We’ve been together long enough where I think with time he would forgive me. It’d just be a long process in gaining that trust back”. – Ana, 31

“If I had a boyfriend and I cheated on him, I don’t think I would tell him. If I really loved him, then telling him would only cause him pain, plus, it would probably mean the end of our relationship. If I loved him enough, I wouldn’t risk that, even if I already made a mistake that did.”

– Olivia, 27

Related: Should You Stay Or Should You Go? 5 Questions to Ask

As you can see, there is no real easy way out to deciding whether to confess to cheating or not. Much of what dictates the decision is circumstantial and is based on variables unique to your situation. However, when making this decision, make sure to ask yourselves these three key questions before deciding one way or the other.

Do you think telling your partner you’ve cheated is a good idea? Would you stay with a partner if they were honest and told you they cheated?

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