Affair? Should You Tell?

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  1. profile image0
    Wag The Dogposted 14 years ago

    I have never had an affair, but the question intregues me.

    Let's say that you had an affair. Your significant other would never find out about it unless you tell them. You realize your error, and  vow never to do it again, should you tell your significant other?

    Keep in mind, you will never do it again, and they would never find out about it, unless you tell them.  Should you tell them.  Yes?  No?  And Why?

    1. Tadeusz598 profile image74
      Tadeusz598posted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Of course you should keep your little trap SHUT, and preferably BOLTED too.

      Why? Because if you tell spouse all you'll do is make them miserable and bitter and resentful.

      Honesty has it's uses. Injuring others isn't one of them.

      1. profile image0
        Wag The Dogposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        Wouldn't honesty include letting them know what a POS you are?  They have no need to know that?  Even if you will never do it again?

      2. Marisa Wright profile image86
        Marisa Wrightposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        I have to agree, although I feel uncomfortable about it.  I mean, if my man cheated on me, I'd want to know - but then I'd dump his ass.  I'd have to, because I'd never be able to trust him again.

        Cheaters often want to tell, because keeping it a secret is tough.  They make the excuse that they "have to be honest" with their spouse, but really they just want to unburden themselves.

    2. profile image59
      logic,commonsenseposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Don't ask, don't tell is the best policy!

      1. DeltaSec profile image60
        DeltaSecposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        I think telling is the best policy, at least give a chance for the faithful partner to make a decision if they can forgive or move on.

        Unfortunately, a lot of people cheat because there are too many excuses to mention. As an advice if you are concerned about your partner, then invest in tracking technologies and surveillance, at least you will have a piece of mind.

        1. affairdetector profile image60
          affairdetectorposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          i would agree..TELLING is the best policy.
          If your partner really loves you he would forgive you.
          If he doesn't ,bear in mind that after all it was your fault.

          The important part, you tell him youll never do it again (but don't just say it, do it of course).

    3. profile image0
      Poppa Bluesposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Why would you tell them? What would be gained? You already hurt them by having the affair and after having realized that you corrected your mistake, so why would you want to knowingly hurt them now?
      There might be a time to reveal the secret at some point perhaps in response to a direct inquiry but I wouldn't just bring it up over dinner.

  2. profile image0
    Madame Xposted 14 years ago

    No. You should suffer for being a POS by yourself and not drag them into it.

    1. profile image0
      Wag The Dogposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Very good.  I like that.  No need for them to suffer too if you regret what you did.  Suffer alone and never do it again then?

  3. Rochelle Frank profile image90
    Rochelle Frankposted 14 years ago

    Marisa gives such wise answers!

  4. profile image0
    Wag The Dogposted 14 years ago

    If it happend to you, you would want to know, but if he told, you would dump him.  But...  It is best if the cheater doesn't tell because they only tell in an effoert to ease their own burden, and not to be "honest?"  Quite the mess you have going on.

    1. Marisa Wright profile image86
      Marisa Wrightposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Wag, that's why I said I was uncomfortable saying the cheater shouldn't tell!

      In my book, he shouldn't cheat in the first place. It's just not acceptable, there is no possible excuse.  I would lose all respect for him and in my book, I can't love a man I don't respect.

      So if he feels so much remorse he feels it's appropriate to end the relationship, then he should tell me. 

      If he wants the relationship to survive, then he'd better keep his trap shut and suffer his own guilt in private for the rest of his life - and pray I never find out!

  5. Misha profile image63
    Mishaposted 14 years ago

    Open relationship solves this dilemma smile

  6. Cagsil profile image70
    Cagsilposted 14 years ago

    Affair? Should You Tell?

    Answer: YES! You do the honorable and moral right thing to do. It doesn't matter, whether or not, they ever find out. It's about be true to yourself and who you are as a person.

    This is the basis for morality. And, for those who think morality is subjective to what the individual believe is moral, then I would say that you would be wrong, and morally wrong, because that single action, in and of, itself is based on wrong knowledge about morality.

    Morality is your ethics code for life. You are to live a moral life, which means that NONE of your actions harm or hurts another human being or society, as a whole.

    Morality isn't a natural ability. It is taught, passed down by generation to generation, ages to ages and thru culture to culture. The simple fact that cheating breaks the agreement and trust, created by the marriage. Makes the affair moral wrong.

    The action- cheating, is morally wrong. It makes no difference if they know about it - YOU know about it. And, you're not being honest with yourself. smile

    1. Marisa Wright profile image86
      Marisa Wrightposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Cagsil, if the person had morals, they wouldn't have had the affair in the first place. The question is, having done the immoral thing, does the culprit then take an action which will harm or hurt his/her partner (i.e. confessing).

      1. Cagsil profile image70
        Cagsilposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        Marisa, I understand that. But, by not saying anything at all(ie, confessing), they are compounding their own moral wrong action. Which only adds to add pressure upon self.

        I did understand what the question was. I answered it. But, thank you for your input. smile

        1. Marisa Wright profile image86
          Marisa Wrightposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          Cagsil, I wasn't implying you didn't understand the original question. I was posing another one. I understand where you're coming from - you're taking the moral high ground, and saying that morally it's right to always be honest, regardless of who it hurts.  That's my instinctive position, too.

          However in this case, while keeping silent compounds their own moral wrong action, telling also compounds it - because telling  causes harm to another person, which is morally wrong too, isn't it?

          Several people have posted that they would tell because otherwise, their conscience would "eat them up inside".  In other words, they'd tell to reduce their OWN suffering!!!  The urge to tell in order to receive forgiveness is a selfish act - and Steve is being naive when he says the other party would forgive and forget if the apology was sincere enough. 

          I've never yet met someone whose partnership has survived an affair.  The couple may still be together, but the innocent party is never totally happy. A marriage has to be based on trust, and if one party has betrayed that trust in the most fundamental way possible, the basis is fundamentally broken.

          1. profile image0
            Stevennix2001posted 14 years agoin reply to this

   did you responding to someone else turn into calling me naive? couldn't you have responded to either of us individually? Or left my name out of your response to someone else? Look, i sincerely believe this forum was made for us all to share our own individual view points of what we feel about this issue.

            As I've stated before, I for one would NEVER be in this predicament as I know myself very well.  However, I did say HYPOTHETICALLY if I did do something that morally stupid, then I would confess to my girl friend/wife as I wouldn't want to lie to her.  Plus, I don't believe in such a thing as being able to get away with something without anyone finding out about it.  As I'm a very big believer in karma, where if you do something good or bad, it'll come back to you ten fold. 

            Plus, there's always the possibility that your mistress or whatever might end up telling your lover.  then what do you do?  don't you think it's better for them to hear it from you than to hear it from a  stranger?  seriously.  that's all i was getting at. 

            for the record marissa, maybe i am being naive when i say that.  however, that's how i deeply feel about this issue.  therefore, if your going to ridicule my opinion.  at least have the decency to say it to me directly as opposed to someone else.  as i find that to be offensive.  thank you.

            1. Marisa Wright profile image86
              Marisa Wrightposted 14 years agoin reply to this

              Steve, I apologise if I offended you, the reason for not posting separately was simply to reduce the number of multiple postings. You and I obviously have different perceptions of the word "naive".  I didn't mean to "ridicule" your opinion, I merely meant to convey that perhaps you had not actually had sufficient experience, either yourself or through friends, to make an informed comment.

              1. profile image0
                Stevennix2001posted 14 years agoin reply to this

                oh okay.  i get what your saying now.  I apologize then as I misread what you were trying to get at.  anyway, you are right, i do lack a lot of experience when it comes to relationships, so maybe im not the best person to seek advice from about this.  however, i was merely stating a hypothetical about what i would do if i got into that predicament. that's all i was trying to get at.

          2. wychic profile image84
            wychicposted 14 years agoin reply to this

            I think I'm the first one here to use those words...and it sounds like I need to clarify. Because of my own reactions to my own conscience, I would end up hurting my SO whether I told him or not, but then he wouldn't even understand where it was coming from. In my opinion, it's much better to properly identify the issue, get it out in the open, and deal with it...even if it means going our separate ways forever. It would either be that, or constantly have issues come out in my behavior that would confuse and hurt him on a daily basis, rather than be able to start getting rid of the hurt. I have to agree with Cagsil that not telling is compounding your own immorality, because you're hurting the other person either way.

            And yes...this is yet another reason I take such a hard line against infidelity, no issue at all that way wink

          3. Mikel G Roberts profile image72
            Mikel G Robertsposted 14 years agoin reply to this

            Very Nicely Stated My Compliments...and I agree

            1. Mikel G Roberts profile image72
              Mikel G Robertsposted 14 years agoin reply to this

              ...and Steve's reply to your post re-demonstrates his or her naiveté...

              (posting this where I know you will see it, is posting it to you even if at the top I don't write Dear Steve this is for you...)

              1. profile image0
                Stevennix2001posted 14 years agoin reply to this

                ok......thank you mr. comedian.  lol lol

                1. Mikel G Roberts profile image72
                  Mikel G Robertsposted 14 years agoin reply to this

                  Thank You, for killing what was a very interesting thread...   sad

                  1. profile image0
                    Stevennix2001posted 14 years agoin reply to this

                    your welcome mr. comedian.  maybe we can do it again sometime. wink  lol

  7. SandyMcCollum profile image62
    SandyMcCollumposted 14 years ago

    What you don't know can hurt you. I'd tell, but could see myself not wanting to, if the relationship hasn't shown signs of his knowing, yet.

  8. profile image0
    tequilarosemama4posted 14 years ago

    i think being honest is the best policy. i think your spouse has a right to know that you have cheated on them. because say you make the vow to never do it gain but yet the temptation becaomes to much and you do? and the whole thinking they won't find out unless you tell them. well what if your friend saw you or his friend saw you do it and tells your spouse? then what? play the idiot and try and pretend it never happened? no if you truly love and care for yor spouse first of all you wouldn't have done the cheating. but if you did the right thing is to be honest and tell them. yes lying will sufice for so long but secreats have a way of coming out too. they deserve that much for you to be honest with them.

  9. profile image0
    lyricsingrayposted 14 years ago

    Are you INSANE? Never ever ever tell. ever. big_smile

    1. tantrum profile image60
      tantrumposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      If I had one, I wouldn't tell, but I would leave my husband immediately.
      if I have to cheat ,is that there's something very wrong in the relationship

  10. wychic profile image84
    wychicposted 14 years ago

    That's a really tough one...while it seems like it could cause unnecessary pain on the one hand, wouldn't it cause much more pain if he found out on his own?

    For me, I'd have to tell...I don't see where there would be any possibility of rebuilding because he and I have both been hurt before, but no matter if he ever knew on his own, I would always know. My conscious would eat me alive, and he would be completely clueless as to why the relationship kept deteriorating under my seemingly irrational temper and depression. It would hurt to know, but the hurt that heals is much better than the one that keeps on hurting.

  11. Daniel Carter profile image62
    Daniel Carterposted 14 years ago

    It's a double-edged sword. Knowing what I know, having gone through what I've gone through, I wouldn't tell. I'd have to live with the guilt and deal with it, without putting that miserable burden on the other person. Misery loves company, but the long range effect is that you will pay for this 100 times over having lost all trust from your significant other.

    That being said, because your sense of morality took a nose-dive, be prepared to be "found out" at any time, and deal with it. It's just part of your own consequences from your own choices. If you don't like the consequences, then for crying out loud, THINK before you get yourself into such situations.

    As if our lusts somehow entitle us to a holiday from the natural consequences of our actions.

    I don't think so!

    Learn to deal. That, apparently, is what life is about.

  12. profile image0
    Stevennix2001posted 14 years ago

    although I can see both points of views on this, and sympasize with either answer.  However, if it were me personally, I would tell them.  Of course, I wouldn't cheat on my girl friend/wife to begin with but if we're speaking hypothetically here only, then yes i would tell them. 

    as one person said on this thread, even though they wouldn't know, but you would know.  That kind of deed would eat you up inside as you would have to face a faithful lover every time and lie to them everyday about what you did.  could you do that?  lie to someone's face about being totally faithful to them, when you know its a lie.  I know I couldn't.  Nor would I ever put myself in that predicament.  Of course, this question doesn't necessarily affect me as I couldn't get a girl to go out with me to save my life.  lol (joke) 

    seriously,  it's wrong.  although your lover would despise and resent you for it, but they certainly would respect and learn to forgive you if they saw you were truly sincere in your apology.

    It's like a friend of mine once said, "the hardest choices we make and the right ones, are often one and the same."  True words if you stop to think about it.

  13. profile image0
    Stevennix2001posted 14 years ago

    why does that policy sound so familiar?  lol.

  14. yenajeon profile image69
    yenajeonposted 14 years ago

    I would definitely tell him/her and then leave. Why would you stay with someone you're cheating on. Duh! Theyre clearly not enough.

    1. Cagsil profile image70
      Cagsilposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I knew there was a reason I liked you. lol big_smile smile

      1. Daniel Carter profile image62
        Daniel Carterposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        Which, when thinking about it, there should have been a dialog about the feeling of something missing anyway, before it got to the point of a case of cheating. Communication can solve a lot of problems. Not a lot of people are good at it, or they fear the retribution of their partner for being honest. It's a mixed bag.

        yenajeon, you make an excellent point, I believe.

        1. Cagsil profile image70
          Cagsilposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          Oh, Thank you Daniel. roll lol lol  I was just simply flirting with yenajeon and you have to stick your nose in. lol lol lol lol lol  No offense. big_smile

    2. profile image0
      cosetteposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      would you want someone doing that to you, cheating and  exposing you to STDs or something without your knowledge? no, of course not. if you're unhappy enough to crawl into the sack with someone else, you're unhappy enough to leave the relationship.

      1. Paradise7 profile image70
        Paradise7posted 14 years agoin reply to this

        Yes, true, that's where it ends up eventually anyway.

  15. Black Lilly profile image60
    Black Lillyposted 14 years ago

    There might be different situations in life, but overall policy is that I'd like to know.
    If my partner is hiding something from me, I think that's even worse than cheating itself.

    And I think I would tell him too. For the same reason.

  16. marcel285 profile image65
    marcel285posted 14 years ago

    When i was 16, my sister was 15, she discovered a voice mail on my dads phone from a woman whom we all knew he had an affair with in the past, but we thought it was over, because mum and dad were back together again, for about the 20th time. Mysister played the message to me, and we were like 'omg, what do we do?' We didn't tell mum for a while...

    My mum and dad broke up again, for good this time, a few months later. Mum and i were fixing up the garden one day to sell the house, so her and dad could get half the money each, and she broke down in tears and said to me, 'I wonder if this would be easier, if i knew your father had been cheating on me again..' I said to her, 'well mum, now's probably the right time to tell you this..' and i told her about the message. My dad had had an ongoing affair with this woman for about 10 years..

    My mum became very angry, so i said to her, 'come on mum, let's go give this bitch a piece of our minds!!!' So we got in the car, and went to her house. Her husband was on the phone, she was washing dishes, and she said, 'Hi marcel and Michelle.' I said, 'Don't fucking hi me, you dirty slut!! You gonna talk bitch?!!?' 'You've got some explaining to do.' Then she tried to get away from us and proceded to make her waay out side, i grabbed her by the arm and was screaming in her face.

    Then her husband came and broke it up, and we were outside 'talking'. She was denying it, which was obvious as fuck, because she was shaking like a headless chicken. Iv'e always been really protective of my mum, because she can be really naive when it comes to ppl. The screaming match lasted for about half an hour, then we had to go because they threatened to call the cops.

    Then after that, i saw her around a bit, it was a small town. When i did, i tried to make her life hell. I humilitated her in public, rammed up her cars ass in my car and such like. There's still a bit of anger there, but i have mostly let it go.

    I didn't talk to my dad for a while, but i forgive him, because i only have one dad and i love him a lot. Besides, my dad was a bastard of a husband, but he is and always has been a really great dad.

    1. Marisa Wright profile image86
      Marisa Wrightposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      This is a perfect illustration of why I said I didn't agree with the suggestion that your partner would forgive an affair, if you were sincere enough in your apology.

      The problem is, if you've had an affair, you've already proved to your spouse that you can lie and sound sincere.  Otherwise, she'd have guessed you were having an affair, wouldn't she? So as soon as you tell her, she knows you can lie with a straight face, so she can't have any confidence in your sincerity.  And even if you stay together, she's going to spend the rest of her life wondering.

      I do think the bottom line is that an affair will tear a relationship apart in the long run. If the culprit doesn't tell, he/she will be torn up by their conscience and won't be able to stand it - if they do tell, the other partner will be constantly on edge, fearful of another betrayal, and eventually will have the courage to walk away too.

  17. marcel285 profile image65
    marcel285posted 14 years ago

    It depends how much of a good liar you are if you get away with it or not. My dad is very clever, and smart, and is he got caught in the act red handed, he'd deny it till the cows came home.

  18. Paradise7 profile image70
    Paradise7posted 14 years ago

    Of course, you tell. First of all, you feel guilty, so you gotta, second of all, the pure satisfaction that someone else WANTS you when your lover/hubby seems to take you right for granted...

  19. Paradise7 profile image70
    Paradise7posted 14 years ago

    You know what else, Cosette, one of us should write a hub about SDS, the statistics are APPALLING

    1. profile image0
      cosetteposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      smile you can do it. i'm going to write about being a loner.

  20. Paradise7 profile image70
    Paradise7posted 14 years ago

    Stop worrying the guy, he was sincere when he asked the question...I mean really...

  21. Mikel G Roberts profile image72
    Mikel G Robertsposted 14 years ago

    I think someone else said that the true problem with cheating is that it is a symptom of the disease not the disease itself. The feelings that something is missing that one tries to fill by cheating instead of through communicating with their mate, is the disease...The feeling that communication isn't a solution or that it won't help is the true problem. I have to agree with the people saying that in that case the relationship is already doomed.

    Confessing after the fact, is a selfish act, designed to ease thier own burden, not cheating would have been the self-less act, they are concerned only with their own feelings, not their mates... my humble opinion.

    1. JBeadle profile image79
      JBeadleposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I like Mike's take on it and he probably doesn't screw up his their/there 's either.  It is a selfish act the confession.  Selfish act - the cheating.  It never works out on soap operas... they always find out.  Or get pregnant.

      1. Mikel G Roberts profile image72
        Mikel G Robertsposted 14 years agoin reply to this


  22. profile image0
    cosetteposted 14 years ago

    ...and a wonderful opinion it is...

    1. Mikel G Roberts profile image72
      Mikel G Robertsposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I think I like you...   wink

  23. Ivorwen profile image65
    Ivorwenposted 14 years ago

    I say tell.  If you and your spouse have any sort of close relationship, the other person is going to know something is wrong anyway.  It can be felt.

    If your partner can't feel it, then there is not too much to your relationship in the first place, so you ain't got much to loose.

  24. DIY Better Health profile image58
    DIY Better Healthposted 14 years ago

    I have observed both situations - One choosing to tell - One choosing not to tell! 

    Both had different circumstances, personalities & outcomes.

    If you really love someone, know what is right & wrong - it becomes very self destructive to keep it under wraps!!  Honesty will have the best outcome - What ever that outcome may prove to be.

    If you love someone & do not have a clear focus of what is right & what is wrong - You are more likely to minimize the wrong by justifying it with excuses - You will probably not experience any negative results - Your not honest or responsible enough to experience any!

    I hope never to ever have to make that judgment call personally by never allowing my relationship to deteriorate to the point it becomes a possibility. 

    Treating another person the way you wish to be treated - Is not a bad principle to keep in mind.

  25. JBeadle profile image79
    JBeadleposted 14 years ago

    If it serves no useful purpose, their isn't some kind of STD concern then I guess don't tell.  Even if they don't find out though, you would know.  I think I'd tell and have to do the hard work of rebuilding that trust.  Either way, the relationship seems a tad damaged after that.  But I know some people who don't feel infidelity is as big a deal too. So it does depend on the situation.  If it was a mistake, never happen again and only more harm would come to the person who truly loves you I could see keeping it secret.  A person needs to what-if this thing before they cheat perhaps?  It's just not a really good sign of a healthy relationship no matter how you look at it... that dark cloud would be hanging about always.  If it were me, I would tell.  Glad I've never cheated!

  26. thirdmillenium profile image59
    thirdmilleniumposted 14 years ago

    Did you take the marital vow? Then do not have affairs. If you must have one
    , go tell the priest that you are breaking the vow and then go ahead

  27. johndetlefs profile image61
    johndetlefsposted 14 years ago

    If you think that you should end the relationship, then I would tell, but otherwise I would keep my mouth shut.. I think to tell my partner in this situation is really just to make myself feel better by making them share the load (and also passing the buck and making them break up with me).

    It's a sad situation that I wouldn't be putting myself in in the first place! (but it happens I guess..)

  28. defenestratethis profile image59
    defenestratethisposted 14 years ago

    Noooooo never tell. If a persons conscience is driving him/her nuts and they just cant take it anymore, they should tell a shrink or a priest or the family dog. If youre brave enough to carry on an affair with all its attendant forms of deception (lying, hiding, secrecy, bullshitting, blowing smoke, covering up, rationalizing etc etc etc) and still sleep like a baby during the whole thing, then you can damn well tell your sudden attack of morality to take a hike on this issue, unless you want to end the marriage. Its not like a person isnt aware of the inherent risks going in, yet still chooses to participate.

  29. figment profile image76
    figmentposted 14 years ago

    If you weren't planning on telling when you did it, shouldn't tell

    Probably (in long run) isn't meant to be

    1. defenestratethis profile image59
      defenestratethisposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Yup. smile

  30. donotfear profile image83
    donotfearposted 14 years ago

    What comes to mind on this issue is a couple of the steps in the basic Twelve Step Program:

    8. Make a list of all persons we have harmed and become willing to make amends to them all.
    9. Make direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

    I'm aware that both clergy and counselors advise against telling an unsuspecting partner after the affair is over. What good would it do to blurt out and confess to the partner other than create more distrust.  The partner who is in error can confess to their Higher Power and work it out in counseling.

  31. Moon Goddess1854 profile image59
    Moon Goddess1854posted 14 years ago

    Here's my take.  If someone wanted to come clean to me in regards to cheating, I will listen as any decent human being would do.  And then after he has made his absolution.....I will cut off his family jewels, mince it finely, and then feed it to my father's goldfish.

    How's that. 

    On a more serious note, whether anyone says anything or not, deep down the other person will know at some level.

  32. TREX80 profile image60
    TREX80posted 14 years ago

    Tell, if not for their benefit at least for your own. That kind of guilt and burden to carry could cause some serious mental instability concerns that could manifest as physical. Thats why men have more heart attacks, strokes and die younger! Free yourself and allow that person to make the choice to do the same.

  33. Greek One profile image62
    Greek Oneposted 14 years ago

    If there was no way the person could find out, then don't tell.

    Why hurt your partner just to ease your own guilt?
    Wouldn't that be your second selfish act?

    Suck it up and deal with the reality that you are a weasel in private (actually, don't "suck it up" .. that's what got you into trouble in the first place) smile

  34. efeguy profile image38
    efeguyposted 14 years ago

    some secret shld b kept.

    why-for safety

  35. Aisla profile image74
    Aislaposted 14 years ago

    You have to first find out the reason for being dishonest. Were you dumped is this why you have a bad conscience? Sorry to be hard but i feel that if someone is unfaithful there is a deeper rooted problem to be solved.


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