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If you wish to remain in the relationship, and consider the act a one-time indiscretion, you must come clean. Whether or not they desire every detail about the event, well, that is entirely up to your partner.

I know of situations where the partner inquires about the sexual positions, which party initiated the entire ordeal, location of the rendezvous, how many times it occurred in a given day, etc. Your partner will explain how much detail they deem necessary.

I know that it sounds ideal to maintain your secrecy. You believe it will hurt their feelings, they may leave you and if they remain, they may never trust you again. I see things differently. You decided to cheat, not your partner. Our actions are our own.

However, the decision on how to react to our actions, well, that rests in the hands of the other party. Allow them to determine what decision works best for them.

Allow your partner to say:

1AThough the child is not mine, I still consider myself the father.

1BNow that I know you lied about the paternity, I no longer want to be part of this family.

2AThough you’ve cheated on me, and as much as I want to kill you right now, I want to see if we can make this work.

2BNow that I know my suspicions were not unfounded; I want you to pack your bags, leave and never contact me again.

You made the decision to go astray, without any input from your partner. To decide against facing the repercussions of your actions by coming clean, well, that is no longer up to you. Well, in an ideal world, the decision is no longer up to you.

Now that you are going to present the infidelity, how do you go about doing so?

There is no ideal time. Their pain will not be less if it occurs in the morning, Thursday, summer weather, etc. In other words, people find a thousand excuses not to come clean, because it is not a good time.

As a man, you had little reservation about entering another woman. As a woman, you had little reservation in allowing another man to enter you. However, all of a sudden, you want to ponder about appropriateness, concerning coming clean. In my best Yoda impersonation:

The hypocrisy is strong with this one.

Find a place where there are not too many objects present, for your partner to toss in your direction. Make sure it is somewhere; no other party will impose upon the discussion. It is best, in my opinion, to share this information without the presence of others.

 (Insert Name), I have to tell you something, because the secret is destroying me from the inside out. To continue the relationship with this secret is a disservice, to everything we are building together.

I love you immensely, and because of this, I cannot withhold this from you any longer. I want to give you the opportunity, in deciding how to proceed after hearing what I have to say. It would be selfish to make the decision for you.

By now, they are on edge, because a million thoughts are going through their head, wondering what this secret could be.

A few days ago, I had sex with the two girls from my office. It was a stupid decision—a horrible decision. I was not thinking at the moment. I was just so angry about our argument the night before, that I let down my guard after a meeting the next morning.

It started with the usual flirting on their end, and ended up with us going to a hotel, located by the office during lunch. I love our relationship and I want to do whatever you want to make it up to you. I understand I do not deserve your sympathy or forgiveness, but I am begging you to allow me to regain your trust, and the purity of our relationship.

By now, they are either leaking with tears or fuming. Based on how they react, and what they say, this determines how to proceed with the conversation.

You want to make it clear that you wish to remain in the relationship, and the ordeal will never happen again. I cannot say with certainty, how believable your message will appear.

If you undermine the trust in your relationship and go astray, this decision is one you decided to make. Although you wish to remain in the relationship, well, that decision should be in the hands of your partner…not you. Come clean.

The amount of detail to share is entirely up to your partner. Some are able to stomach it at all, so they may request an X-rated version. On the other hand, some are simply okay with knowing the PG-13 version.

Regardless which version they decide upon, coming clean is the decision you must make. There are consequences for our actions. It is about time you embraced yours.

However, this is my opinion. I am more interested in yours. Do you think it is ever acceptable to withhold the affair? Would you want your partner to tell you about their affair? Would you prefer not to know? If you want to know, how much detail is necessary?