Opening up about an infidelity can be very difficult, but you should always do it yourself if there’s a risk of him finding out another way. The Ashley Madison hack may cause trouble in a lot of relationships, whether the site’s users actually cheated or decided they wouldn’t after signing up.
When you’re trying to figure out how to tell him you cheated, there are a few steps you can take to make the process easier for both of you. Here’s what you should take into account.
Decide You’re Doing It for the Right Reasons
You might think that honesty is the best way to go, but that’s not always the case. If you’ve contracted a STD after carelessly having unprotected sex with another guy, then you don’t have a choice, and you have to come clean.
However, if you feel that your partner knowing about your one night stand or affair that ended will destroy your relationship and your family, you might consider keeping it to yourself. When you’re certain it will not happen again, and you’ve found a new appreciation for your guy, telling him you cheated might not be the best way to go.
Sometimes, coming clean is the selfish thing to do, since you just want to unburden yourself of the guilt. But if you decide that you can live with it, then telling your significant other is basically hurting them for no good reason.
Choose the Right Time
When you’ve decided you’re doing to tell him you cheated, you have to be tactful about the right time and place. Unless you’re afraid for your safety, don’t do it in a public place. Friday nights, when he has the weekend to process it without having to go to work in a very emotional state, might be the best choice.
If you start sobbing right away, you’re sending the wrong signals. You should stay calm and strong when you confess your infidelity, because this is about breaking the news as gently as possible to your boyfriend or husband, not about your feelings of regret and your need to be consoled.
Once you reveal that the monogamy was a lie, you can’t hold back. Spill it all when you tell him you cheated, without hurtful details. Whether you decided to come clean, or he found your name on the Ashley Madison hack list, be prepared to be open about who you cheated with and when.
Don’t Blame Him
Unless your plan it to confess your infidelity and then end the relationship, you should not blame him. Your partner might have played a significant role in your decision to cheat, but this is not the time to bring it up and accuse him.
See also: How to End a Fight
When you’re working on how to tell him you cheated, there’s a very important step that can get lost in such a difficult discussion: your apology. Make sure that it’s heartfelt, sincere, and that it highlights your regret about hurting him with your actions.
Give Him Space
If he wants to be alone right after you fess up, don’t try to object. Pushing him for forgiveness is one of the worst things you can do right after admitting you cheated. Let him go and give him space in order to process it. Once he thinks things over, he might see the road to forgiveness, but if you push too hard, it might end the relationship.
Be Prepared for the Worst
Sometimes, there’s nothing left to salvage after your confession. If your name is on the Ashley Madison hack list, or if your cheating became public in another way, your boyfriend or husband will also have to deal with the reaction of his friends, family or coworkers knowing about it. Even if you tell him you cheated before any of that, he might still decide it’s over.
Give Him Time
His initial reaction might be hurtful, but you should definitely allow him to cool off. After the anger, he might realize he doesn’t want to lose you, and that he’s prepared to forgive you. Don’t push him and be prepared to wait.
Work on the Relationship
Once you managed to tell him you cheated, and your relationship has survived, you should be open to counseling and working on things, in a reasonable way. If the incident makes him very jealous and he’s starting to have irrational demands, you don’t have to put up with everything, but you should make a big effort to set things right.