So you have done the inconceivable. You cheated and you want to tell your partner. You are most likely considering telling your partner because you are consumed with guilt and you need something to calm your conscience. You must have painted a lot of scenarios in your head.
You must have practiced multiple times in the mirror, every line to use, and body movements to make. You might have even tried to tell your partner after practicing for 1001 times one night and I think we both know how that went. Because here you are, reading my article and still searching for help.
Infidelity is a betrayal of trust, the earlier you recognize that you’ve done a bad thing, the better. However, this does not make you a bad person, we are humans and we make mistakes. If you’ve cheated on your partner, telling him about the infidelity will end in one of two ways; redeem the relationship and your partner’s trust or bring the relationship to an end.
Understanding this and still considering telling your partner already makes you the bigger person. That being said, here are 19 ways to tell someone you cheated.
Table of Contents
If you are planning to come clean about cheating, then you must understand why you cheated. This is not only for analysis sake or because you are reading it now, but because you need to know for the sake of your partner and the relationship.
You need to be prepared because when you finally inform your partner. He will want to know why you cheated too, and “I don’t know” is never a good response.
Take out time and ask yourself the following questions about cheating, “Did I do this to finally, have an excuse to leave the relationship?”, “Were we both in a rough place in the relationship at the time?”, “Did I do it for the thrill?”, “Did I do this to spite him?”, “Did I do it because the sex was boring between us?”, “Did I do it to feel attractive again?”, “Do I still love him and want to make this work?”.
Although you have done a bad thing, it does not make you a bad person for cheating. It does not mean you are a chronic cheat or you will cheat in your subsequent relationships or marriage.
After finding out why you cheated, try to forgive yourself. It is not the time to self loathe and lose yourself. You need to be in the right frame of mind to make things work and also know what the next line of action is.
Also, before you have a conversation about the reasons for the cheating, you need to determine what you want from the relationship moving forward. Do you want to make it work, or is it time to pump the brakes on the relationship?
You need to be sincere with yourself. Ask yourself “Am I willing to remain in this out of mere pity?” “do I want to make this work?” “Am I tired of the relationship?”
It will be very manipulative of you to come clean at a location that you know your partner has sentimental attachments to, like where you had your first date, or your first kiss, or your favorite spot. Not only is it out of touch and manipulating, but it will also forever impair the good memories you have shared at said location.
Also, this is the part where you address the elephant in the room. Be as clear as possible, don’t try to exaggerate or understate the events. Also, talk about how it happened and how many times it happened. Don’t hide or minimize words to say as it is best to say it all than to leave your partner to imagine the details of the event.
Say things like “I liked the attention I was getting and he seemed attractive at the time. However, this does justify my actions” not “He was giving me attention, and he knew how to make my nether regions wet with just a stare”.
You did it. You broke your partner's trust. You disrespected your relationship/marriage. Take responsibility, don’t try to shift blames, nobody pushed you to do it, nobody pointed a gun to your head.
You were aware of the circumstance, you knew you were putting your relationship on the line but you did it anyway. You had time to think of multiple reasons to not cheat on your partner, you had the choice to not do it, but you did it. So be a grown-up and accept the fact that you messed up.
Also, remember that you don’t have anything to defend. You are in the wrong, for being a cheating partner, this is the time to apologize and make things right at their pace, not the time for you to defend your character. Not the time to defend your actions, you are not in the court of law. Prepare to deal with their reactions, no matter what it is don’t be defensive.
Humans react to things differently. You feel horrible about it, yes, but simply because you say and feel that way, does not invalidate their reactions or emotions towards you. Do not expect sympathy simply because you were honest about the affair. You disrespected the relationship, give them the freedom to react in any way they want to.
If they are screaming out in anger, now is not the time to tell them to keep their voice low because of the neighbors. If they start crying, now is not the time to tell them to stop crying. If they tell you to leave or if your partner wants you to leave, kindly respect their wish. And if they are completely quiet, it is wrong to pressure them into talking.
Tell him how sorry you are and mean every single word. Don’t say “ I am sorry, but” avoid the use of but as much as possible. It makes it look like you are looking for an excuse and you are trying to justify your actions.
So, instead of saying “I am sorry, but we can both agree that the relationship (or marriage) was not in a good place at the time. Say “nothing justifies my actions, I betrayed us when we needed me most” you can agree that it sounds more sincere.
Also, try saying sorry is not enough. Understanding the depth of what you are apologizing for and asking your partner to ignore or look past is important. You are asking him to look beyond the disrespect and risk you put him through. I think this will help you curb your reactions or at least stop you from overreacting.
Before you apologize, reflect on what you have done and understand how deep it is. Understand that cheating, no matter how many times or how loyal you have been in the past is a big deal and most likely a deal-breaker.
Tell the truth and ask if there is any way you can help in rebuilding back your trustworthiness. This is if your partner still wants in on the relationship. Let them know you are willing to do everything in your power to make it better and more. Tell them what you are willing to do, don’t only say the words, back them up with a lot of action.
You can also ask them what you can do to make things better between you two. I understand that you cannot control whether your partner will ever forgive you, but at least let them know you are willing to try.
Also remember that sometimes, it is better to just stay quiet and look. Just let them vent and let it all out. This is after you have relayed every activity surrounding the cheating, without omitting, understating, or exaggerating any part of the information.
Just watch him react and don’t interrupt or try to minimize the extent of his reactions to what you have just said. It’s a big deal, so give him decorum, he deserves that much.
If your partner agrees to work on the relationship and try all over again, you have to be patient. As there will be good days and bad days as he tries to trust you again. There will be days where he would be distant and feel insecure because of the lack of trust.
Remind yourself that it’s not easy for them and instead of getting frustrated, try hard to reassure your partner that you are fully committed to the relationship and that was a one-time thing.
Also, this is not the time to call your girlfriends or his homies to intervene for you as this is between both of you and you should only share the information if you both agree to. It is also not a series you are reading. This is his reality, and reporting or making other people come to have a conversation with him about the situation is like making him relive the situation.
So, unless you are both okay with talking to your friends about the situation, it is best to trust that your partner will decide at their own time, no matter how long you have to wait.
We both know you messed up, but everyone does, some just do it on a larger scale than others, so don’t be so hard on yourself. Don’t punish yourself so much for not choosing to do the right thing. It happens even to the best of us.
Although you are in the wrong, it does not justify any form of emotional or physical abuse that your partner might react with. If it is becoming abusive and manipulative, respect yourself enough to excuse yourself from the relationship or marriage.
Also, if you are open to seeking professional help, this will translate to your partner that you are ready to make things work with them. Although it does not give 100% assurance that things will work out after you seek professional help, at least you tried, you suggested a solution.
A professional will create a safe environment for you both to hash out your differences and talk about the situation in a conducive environment. And as a neutral 3rd party, she has no sentiments towards you or your partner, so it makes it easy.
The only good way is by stating it exactly how it happened, without understating it to look less than it is or exaggerating it to look more than it is. Telling them the truth surrounding the events is the best way to reveal to your partner you cheated.
Infidelity is disrespectful. I think you can disrespect someone even though you love them. It is however the extent of the disrespect that determines the depth of your love. Was it a one-time thing? You could have slipped up, but when infidelity becomes recurrent, that is no longer love. You are no longer working hard to respect your partner or the relationship.
Yes, you should reveal you’ve cheated. Not admitting to infidelity is lying, so now you are not only a cheat but also a lying cheat. Honestly is always the best policy, so you need to tell everything if you want to stay together. Coming clean might be hard and you might have to do rigorous work and be intentional about your partner before they can trust you again. But surviving that will make the relationship stronger.
This is unnecessary if they don’t ask for the details of this, then try as much as possible to make your partner see him as insignificant to you. Do not tell him who you cheated on except he is a mutual friend to both of you or a colleague. Ignorance is bliss for a reason.
Most times, it is more about the cheater than the person being cheated on. They might be in a difficult phase of their life and decide to act up. They may no longer feel sexually attracted to their partners and might want to try out sexual relationships with other people. No reason can justify disrespecting one's partner with infidelity, but you must understand that people's actions reflect what they are going through.
I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing every bit of it. Remember, relationships are hard work and it is human to make mistakes and feel guilt. You are on the right path by choosing honesty and having a conversation, to tell your partner the truth. So go ahead and follow the steps in this article for rebuilding trust.
Let me know what you think in the comments and if you loved reading this kindly share it with others.