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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Dear NwaVic, To Tell or Not to Tell: I Cheated, I'm Not Sure Why

Dear NwaVic,

I'm wallowing in guilt. I've been in a serious relationship with my boyfriend for the past 3 years. We are happy and he has said he sees a future with me. In fact, I highly suspect he'll propose on my birthday next month. Last week, I went to California for my friend's wedding. My boyfriend couldn't go because his friend was also getting married that weekend in Virginia. I drank too much at the wedding and lost my judgment. Fast forward to 5am sunday morning when I woke up in bed with one of the groomsmen and 3 missed calls from my boyfriend. I love my boyfriend and I can't understand why I did this to him. Now I'm not sure if I should tell him or not. Please help.


Dear Shameful,

Thank you writing This is serious and I had to scratch my head for a bit. Hmm are you sure you actually slept with the groomsman since you said just "woke up" next to him? Maybe you should ask him exactly how you got there. If you did sleep with him, your body should've and would've told you.

This is the thing; I think the first step is to figure out why you did what you did.

Women cheat for a number of reasons. Some cheat because they are missing passion or something else in the relationship. Some cheat because they get bored in the relationship.  Some cheat for revenge. Some cheat because they secretly desire to explore their options and don't want to be monogamous until they've decided there's nothing better out there. Some cheat just because they have an unquenchable desire to be sexual with more that one person. Some cheat just for fun; the excitement of a new fling can be intoxicating.

Then there's the most plausible reason for your cheating, some cheat because they are human, AND acted irresponsibly by putting themselves in a bad situation. How? you may ask. You drank too much when you knew you didn't have a friend or boyfriend with you to keep tabs on you. You must've been attracted to this groomsman or half-hoped for it to happen to allow yourself be this wasted. (Unless he drugged you). No one is exempt from being attracted to someone else, even after they've been married for years and are head over heels in love with their significant other. It's what you do with it, that counts.

After you've sorted out the "why", you'll know if you're likely to be a repeat offender.

Next, you have to weigh your options in black and white. I wish I could tell you what to do but you know yourself, your relationship and boyfriend more than I do so I'll paint both the bright and gloomy pictures for both.

First option: You tell him and you tell him why. The bright side is that a solid relationship is built on honesty and understanding. The gloomy part is that you have to be prepared to accept that after you tell him, there may be no relationship at all.  Won't he be hurt? He might even break up with you, right? And if he stays, won't it dent your "closeness" and trust?

Second option: You don't tell him. This can work only if you're sure you have quit the affair as a one-nightstand/mistake and won't do it again. The bright side? You spare his feelings and maintain your relationship, at least on his part. Because on your part, it'll never be the same, right? Some say the punishment of cheating on someone you love is living with the guilt and that telling them will only hurt them. The gloomy side? Can you live with it? Won't you continue to wallow in guilt? Also, isn't there the possibility that someone saw you leave with him and may tell? If he finds out one day, won't he be mad at you for cheating AND hiding it from him? Also, won't carrying such a secret by yourself can dent your transparency in the relationship?

Lastly, what would you want him to do if he were in your shoes? When you find the answer to these questions, as only you could, you'll find the answer to your dilemma. Whatever you do, the most important step is to be honest with yourself.

Best of Luck!


*Email with any issues, concerns, questions, suggestions for a prompt and neutral response/advice. :-)

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