No one said relationships were easy. In our latest op-ed article, a contributor of ours discusses cheating and questioning one's integrity afterwards. Have you ever been caught in a similar situation like below? Let us know what you did in the comments!
So you went out last weekend, had a few (too many) cocktails, and ended up going home with a guy who just so happens to not be your boyfriend. Damn those Bloody Marys and your inability to keep your clothes on when you’re drunk.
Since then, you’ve ignored several calls from your boyfriend and have had a few full-blown panic attacks on your bathroom floor. Your internal conversation is made up of expletives and you’ve spent the last several hours crying on the phone to your BFF. Now that you’ve gathered yourself, you’ve established a list of reasons as to why it’s best to never tell your boyfriend what happened.
And although you’re convinced the reasons you’ve come up with are all legitimate — you were really drunk, you’re confused about your relationship at the moment, he’s already in a really bad place emotionally, you were really drunk — you may want to reconsider your decision to keep your cocktail-induced fling a secret.
For one, the whole, “Telling him will absolutely crush him. He’s going through too much right now to have to deal with this, too,” reeks of illegitimacy. Really? Now you care about what he’s going through? You didn’t seem so concerned about his feelings when you were getting with Mark in the back of Fruity, the nightclub, last night. Further, what your boyfriend is going through outside of your relationship isn’t meant to be a free pass for keeping him in the dark about the things going on inside of it.
Now, don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a lecture against sexually liberal feminism. I’m not slapping you on your wrist for hooking up with someone, nor am I reprimanding you for not repressing your sexuality when you were chatting up your best friend’s guy friend. If you feel like should be able to hook up with as many guys as you please, go for it, girlfriend. And more power to you. But do yourself — and your boyfriend — a favor and end your relationship, first. He shouldn’t have to suffer through your inability to distinguish between sex-positive feminism and fidelity.
And I haven’t overlooked the fact that relationships can be extremely complex and convoluted, but isn’t lying to cover up something that you’ve done just adding to all of the complexities? Besides, if he does end up finding out some other way, he’s bound to be feel more hurt, angry, and betrayed by you, resulting in his resentment of you and establishing a plethora of trust issues. And if that time comes, you’ll have no one to blame but yourself. It may have taken two people to cheat, but there was only one person he was trusting to stay faithful to him — you.
Besides, do you really want to force your significant other into staying in a relationship with you? Because, by withholding this information from your boyfriend, that’s essentially what you’re doing. You’re blinding him from seeing his relationship in full, thus handicapping him from making informed decisions. Information shouldn’t be kept from him just because it benefits you. Life doesn’t work that way. You can’t have your cake and eat it, too.
Finally, who’s to say that someone else isn’t going to tell your boyfriend? Let’s be honest, you weren’t exactly discrete last night. With your luck, someone caught it on their iPhone and it’s just a matter of time until it’s “accidentally” uploaded along with all of the other photos from the night. Shy of untagging yourself and begging for the photo to be removed, the situation will be out of your hands. And if you think your boyfriend will be hurt if you tell him the truth, imagine what he’ll feel when he finds out for himself while browsing Facebook.
In the end, it’s up to you. You can carry the weight of your mistake on your shoulders, and you may even get away with it. But if (and that’s a big if) you don’t, you’ll not only be on trial for cheating, but for lying about it, too. So do yourself a favor: plead guilty.