So communication and being honest is important in relationships, right? Yeah, we think so too but there is a grey area when it comes to cheating and whether or not you should tell your spouse that you’re doing so. The only scenario that we could come up with where you should tell your spouse that you’re cheating is if you have an open relationship and trade tales of sexual romps over breakfast, but otherwise there’s just really no need for it. If you’re caught, then you might as well fess up (if they’ve got the evidence against you), but otherwise? They don’t need to know.
We had a member email in recently saying that he was getting a divorce and asking if he should tell his wife that he was cheating on her before the divorce to which we answered an emphatic “No!” People cheat for a variety of reasons, but generally the reason isn’t so that they can rub it in their spouse’s face that they’ve done so. That’s cruel on a myriad of levels. If you’re getting divorced then the relationship has already fallen apart so why would you set fire to the wreckage? Also, let’s be practical here, that just gives them something else to leverage against you if there’s need for a divorce settlement.
There are plenty of reasons why you should not tell anyone that you’re cheating and you know what the biggest reason for it is?
That it’s selfish. You’re in an extramarital affair to find something that’s missing in your marriage, but maybe your spouse is completely happy with the way that things are. By telling them that you’ve cheated, you’re disrupting the status quo and sending their house of cards crashing around them. If there’s a sense of guilt and it’s getting to you, then you’re going to want to go to church and confess or something. Find someone else that you can talk about this with who’s not going to bring it back to your spouse because why shatter their rose coloured glasses?
It will also introduce doubt into your relationship. Having an extramarital affair is all well and good, but once you tell your spouse that you’ve cheated things will never be the same again. It’s human nature and as much as we might want to forgive, it’s harder for us to forget. In fact, the more that we try to forgive the more impossible it is for us to forget thanks to the way that our neural pathways in our brain work. The more you think about something, the more worn down that pathway becomes and the more habitual that thought process is.
The chances are that while your affair partners gave you something that you were desperately missing in your life, you don’t care about them in the same way that you do with your spouse. Generally people have affairs to find something in their lives that they’ve been missing, but that doesn’t mean that they wish to hurt and lose the person that they’ve made the foundation of their lives. So why would you want to hurt the person you’re with by forcing this new realization into their lives?
It’s better to keep quiet and if your spouse never knows then you’re going to be all the better for it.