Tuesday, February 9, 2010

How to tell her you've cheated?

(Published in Magnificent Magazine, December/January 2010 issue)

Ever since horror stories have been told about men confessing cheating to their women and then mysteriously vanishing from the face of earth, men have been sneering over the same question; should I tell her or should I not? Even if your cheating was on the minor side, may it be a slip of the heart or technology hype, you're still faced with the two options you've been intentionally avoiding.
While not telling her may seem like the sanest and safest thing to do, it's also preferred religiously! Exactly like adultery, where you come clean and remorseful to God, ask for His forgiveness and never go back. You deserve punishment when sufficient number of witnesses hand you over. Following the same manner, wrecking a happy home under the umbrella of "the wife deserves to know" is also frowned upon. Yet deciding to tell her remains your decision and her right as well. Assuming of course you are willing to bear the consequences...
So, how to prepare and tell?!
1. Ask yourself, why do I want to tell her?!
a. For the sake of honesty? Well, that's rational and given, but I'm talking about an affair that's happened and done where you don't want to be with another woman, but suffering from the fact that you've betrayed her trust and offered your love and emotions to someone else.
b. You've been served?! Usually it takes two to tango, and if your plan was to keep that quickie dance in hiding, it doesn't necessarily mean that your partner in crime has the same thought. So, you're doing the right thing by telling her yourself as it's always best for her, your safety and the tiny probability that your relationship may still go on if she hears it from you firsthand.
c. You want to dump her? While I believe this way to be the most childish and weakest thing a man can ever do, but yes, when a woman is humiliated that bad, she'll walk away, yet you'll remain the lowest creature ever lived.
d. You need a solid barrier to keep you away from cheating? There's nothing like pleading for your woman's forgiveness and her shaky trust to keep you from falling off the wagon. But please don't be selfish, if you know that you're all for polygamy, don't torture her by giving fake promises. The worst scar a man can leave a woman with is betraying her second chance.
2. Prepare yourself for all possible Consequences
Z.M sent me his problem with cheating saying: "I've been engaged to a girl I love deeply for four months. Exactly three weeks ago, one of my old girlfriends called me in order to help her with some problems she's been having and knowing my fiancée, I didn't bother to tell her about the whole thing. I admit I lied about where I was and whom I'm with, until my fiancée accidentally walked in the same café I was at with the other girl. I admit my feelings resurfaced for my ex especially that she really needed me, but I love my fiancée very much and I never planned on leaving her or cheating on her. Now she wouldn't talk to me or even discuss it with my cousin who's also her best friend. What should I do? "
I've already emailed Z. back with the answer but here's the part you need to know to forecast the outcome of your situation…
Setting your personal flaws aside, when a woman finds out her man has enjoyed an extra-relationship fling; her reaction usually depends on three things;
1. How she found out?
2. How much she loves you?
… And her personal vision regarding cheating, which is our main concern, and accordingly women can be categorized into three classes:
a. Women who believe all men are cheaters
So she awaits the moment you do and may seem like she's forgiven you on her holly being and decided to continue in the relationship but make no mistake you're on constant probation. She'll suspect your every move, word and even smell. For her, subconsciously, you'll constantly be a perfect suspect for betrayal. Now answer me this, will you be happy spending the rest of your life trying to prove your honesty every second of every day? Will you be able to live with someone who thinks you're unworthy of her love and trust, because she'll never make you forget it? Will she be able to handle living in doubt? In the numbing fear of you walking out on her?! Well, your answer will determine whether your relationship will survive the cheating or not…
b. Women who are new to cheating
Just like anyone would be in such speechless moments, this type of woman will be shocked, hurt and more confused. As she believe in good, decent men, it's quiet difficult to predict their reaction. Maybe she'll forgive and not forget and may be she'll forget but not forgive you for the pain you caused her. In all cases, you need to give her time to digest it all in, make up her mind and react. Only then you'll be able to see if you can move on or let it die…
c. Women who can forgive and forget
Every person alive has his own definition for cheating, we have different points at which we draw a line and pause to write the "C" word. Women have that too; believe it or not, there're many women who doesn't consider flirting, casual talking or even the occasional eyeing as cheating. They may forgive and forget because you've confessed cheating the right way, with the right reasons that they empathize with you and at the perfect time.
3. Start telling
So you've talked it through with yourself, made up your mind about the reason why you want to spill the beans and kind of forseen the outcome when it comes your woman's acceptance, now is the time for you to evolve to a much moral being and tell it all…
a. Perfect your timing: Not only to choose the time when she's calm and at a better receptive mode. You need to confess your sin ASAP, because the more time that passes, the less you seem sincere and tormented with guilt in her eyes.
b. Flatter her: Tell her how kind and forgiving she is. Tell her how much her love means to you. Mention all the good things you've done and accomplished together. It's true she may not remember your gestures after you confess but when deciding what to do with you, the entire conversation will hit her back and it'll sooth things out.
c. Start telling! You must start by explaining the situation first, not the reasons why you did it, but rather how you slipped. A momentary lapse, a lack of judgment or else. But never blame her for it, because then she'll switch to defensive mode and start attacking back. Then tell it as it is, no graphic details involved nor heart beats melodies unless of course she asks you to, but even then, try to make it less intense.
d. Give her time to digest the news, cool off and make up her mind.
e. But at that time, don't disappear and don't be too near. Send her flowers, sweet messages, a letter or something to show that you care and want to be with her, only her, as some women need to feel the appreciation and most of them likes to torture their men before settling back.
f. And finally, you have to respect her decision and live with it.

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