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If you came here because you searched for something similar to the phrase, “I cheated on my boyfriend,” then you’re in good hands. Cheating happens for a variety of reasons, some of which we’ll get into below. It’s more common than you might think, and contrary to some beliefs, relationships can even survive and prosper after cheating.
However, every person and relationship is different, and what you choose to do after cheating on your man will depend on your goals, needs and personal values. We’re here to try to help you out with that.
I CHEATED ON MY BOYFRIEND, NOW WHAT?
It’s important that you figure out the reason why you cheated. This post outlines some reasons. Perhaps you’re stressed, you feel taken for granted, there’s not enough time in your schedules to be intimate with your boyfriend, you fight too much or you’re looking for an out from the relationship. All of these reasons and more can cause people to cheat. More on that in this post.
However, examining your reasons helps you determine whether you want to continue in your relationship and fix those problems or walk away from if. If you do choose to continue the relationship, you’ll then need to decide whether you want to tell him that you did cheat. In some circumstances, opening up is the only way, and you may feel that you owe the truth to your boyfriend
If you want the relationship to work, you might decide not to tell him, especially if you don’t think the two of you will be able to work through it once the truth is out. Of course, that comes with the risk that he may find out, and that he may be even hurt that you lied about it. These are serious ramifications to this decision no matter what way you decide to go, and you may also be considering shared children, pets and a home. You may worry that he make seek revenge, either on you or the person with whom you cheated. Or he may tell friends and family and make a spectacle about it.
If you stay with your boyfriend without telling him you cheated, you’ll have to make sure he doesn’t find out by removing evidence from your phone, clothes, car or even credit card bill. Don’t keep any photographs or texts no matter how bad you may want to! Consider whether he knows the person you cheated with and if there’s any risk that this person will come forward to your boyfriend. There’s potential that their friendship could be ruined because of cheating – or that work or other situations become awkward. There are many reasons why people choose not to tell their significant others after cheating.
Telling him may seem risky because you don’t know how he’ll respond. If you decide to break up with him, it may not be worth telling him why. However, if you want to make it work, your boyfriend may suddenly wonder where your complaints are coming from. Wanting to work on your relationship may seem like it’s coming from out of the blue, even though you may have been happy for some time. On the other hand, he might agree that you need to work on your relationship, spice up your sex life and work on communication inside and out of the bedroom.
For the best chance at success, you’ll want to tell your boyfriend that you cheated in a calm way when neither of you are distracted. Don’t do it in the middle of a fight, for example, and certainly don’t do it because you’re trying to seek revenge. You should do it because you think he deserves honesty and possibly because you wish to continue your relationship. He may be angry and have harsh words for you, which you should prepare yourself for.
In fact, brainstorming the type of things you’ll want to say is advisable so you stay on topic and don’t say the wrong thing. For instance, you can tell him you cheated, but you may not want to tell him with whom or give him any details. Be vague about the specifics. Focus on your feelings and your relationship if you want to continue it.
Even if he agrees, it’s still an uphill battle. Of course, telling your boyfriend that you cheated increases the risk that he will want to break up with you for betraying his trust. And even if he agrees, he’ll still be hurt, angry and have difficulty trusting you – all of which is to be expected which could also lead an unhappy, unfulfilling relationship. One or both of you may need some time apart before you can start working on your relationship, too. This may be difficult because of your living situation.
This is why seeking help from a professional counselor or therapist may be beneficial. A third party who is unbiased can help to point out deficiencies in your relationship without blaming either of you. After you’ve cheated on your boyfriend, you may try to take on all the blame yourself, or he may blame you. In some cases, the person who cheats points out how all of this could have been avoided if only their partner had done something. The truth is, relationships are two-way streets, and you both contribute to their presence or lack of happiness and healthiness.
Even if your boyfriend declines to go or you’ve decided to break up, seeking a professional can help you get over the breakup and get on with your life. More on that here.
After cheating on your boyfriend, you may need someone to confide in. This person should be someone close to you who is trustworthy. You’ll need to rest assured that they won’t tell anyone, especially your boyfriend if you have decided not to tell him that you cheated or if you haven’t figured out how to do so just yet. It’s also important that this confidante is someone who won’t judge you too harshly. No matter how close you might be with his family or a mutual friend, look for someone who will be “on your side” enough to give you practical advice rather than just berate you for cheating on your man.
Consider talking to your mother, your best friend or sister. You may want to avoid someone who has been cheated on in the past, especially if it was recently. Someone who has been through something similar might be able to give you advice about how to proceed, however.
You may need to enlist this person as an alibi for the time you spent away from your man when you were cheating, too.
Aside from finding someone with whom you can talk to, you may need to talk to the person with whom you had the affair, especially if you have to call it off. This may be a difficult conversation if the cheating was ongoing, if he’s immature or if the man has developed feelings for you. If he was aware that that you have a boyfriend and that your situation was temporary, it may go more smoothly.
However, you should be prepared for a conversation that is difficult – perhaps as difficult as discussing cheating with your boyfriend – when you talk to this man. Beware that he may try to convince you that what you’re doing isn’t wrong or appeal to you sexually. It’s sometimes easy to give in to coercion like that, but you don’t want to cheat on your man again if you want to continue in your relationship.
We also recommend taking a pregnancy test and getting checked for STIs. Here’s some signs that you might have contracted something from a partner, even if you’ve used a condom! Some STIs have no symptoms at all, and you may want to forego having sex with your boyfriend or anyone else until you’ve got a clean bill of health.
Let’s rehash the steps to take when you cheat on your man. Remember that these steps may not happen in a particular order. For example, you might not really understand why you cheated until you’ve come clean to your boyfriend and the two of you begin talking about parts of your relationship that can be improved.
- Figure out why you cheated.
- Determine whether you want to continue seeing your boyfriend.
- Break off your affair if it is ongoing.
- Get pregnancy and STI testing done just in case.
- Break up with your boyfriend if you choose to end the relationship.
- Decide whether to tell your boyfriend you cheated.
- Find a confidante whose shoulder you can cry on.
- Suggest ways that you can improve your relationship if you choose to continue it.
- Consider professional counseling to work on any problems, even if you go alone.
There is a lot to think about and do after you’ve cheated on your boyfriend. Moving too quickly and not making the right decision could sound the death knell for your relationship. On the other hand, waiting to figure out what to do can give someone else the time to spill the beans about your indiscretion, which may be even worse than you being honest with your boyfriend from the start. You’ll have to find the balance when it comes to time and honesty, and it will be difficult no matter how you decide to go about it or what the outcome.
Although no one really condones cheating on your boyfriend, we do understand the feelings and frustrations that can land you in that situation. When emotions run that high, making the right move after you’re cheated on your partner is crucial, even if you intend to break up with him. Acting too rashly can ruin a relationship you wish to repair, damage your reputation or leave both of you miserable, and no one wants that!
While your relationship may not be able to survive cheating, you can certainly find life beyond cheating. Good luck!