Hide or confess?
This is usually the very first question that arises in a situation like this. The main reason for hiding betrayal is that something that a person does not know about, cannot hurt him and, therefore, will not destroy the relationship. Most couples therapists find such arguments untenable.
Robert Weiss, an American clinical sexologist and practicing psychotherapist, is a categorical opponent of hiding cheating in the hope of maintaining a relationship. “Healthy long-term relationships are not supported by sex, money, or children. They are based on trust. When you cheat on your partner, you undermine the foundation – even if you are just keeping secrets and not actually lying (although, in my opinion, withholding is just another form of lying). “
Weiss’s opinion is shared by most therapists. At the same time, almost all of them emphasize that, by admitting, you run the risk of losing your partner, since he may not be able or will not want to accept what happened.
Scary? Yes. But no one but you can decide what is more important to you in a relationship – genuine trust or its appearance. Visibility – because partners more often than not feel that something is wrong with you. And sooner or later all the secret becomes clear. There will be more hopes for a favorable outcome for your union if the initiative to overcome the crisis comes from you.
How to save the union and restore trust?
Let’s analyze the situation when the deceived partner wants to keep the relationship. Most experts agree on one thing: the changed partner must start with himself. The list of questions to ask yourself may seem long. But by answering them, you will understand what prompted you to cheat on your loved one, and you will see a way out of a situation that seems almost hopeless.
Psychotherapist Michael J. Salas, who specializes in family crisis therapy, puts the key questions in this way:
- Are you feeling insecure due to age-related changes?
- Don’t you feel as attractive as you used to?
- How do you rate sexual relations with a partner?
- What are you missing in your relationship?
- What do you think you were looking for in a relationship with another person?
After you understand what led you to the decision to cheat on your partner, ask yourself again if you really regret what happened. If your answer is yes, sincerely apologize. Now that you understand the reasons for the action, it will be easier for you to take responsibility for your actions.
Take responsibility for overcoming the crisis
Responsibility for the crisis means that you truly regret your actions and rule out new betrayal. When apologizing, don’t try to make excuses or discount the problem. Otherwise, you run the risk of losing the remnants of trust, which, although it was undermined, was not lost at all. Otherwise, your partner would not stay in touch.
You must clearly understand the reasons for your actions and prepare for the fact that your partner will ask questions. This is often a very painful process. When answering, be careful, tactful and sincere, because your goal is to restore trust.