Secrets We Keep: The Cheater’s Confession

cheating heartBefore I start, I’m going to acknowledge that this post may be a complete contradiction of what I said in my post yesterday. But hey, we’re human and holding two completely contradictory viewpoints is not uncommon for our species and I’m certainly no exception.

So after posting yesterday, I’ve been wracking my brain trying to think of a circumstance where it might actually be better to keep a secret from your partner, where confessing it might actually be more selfish than keeping it to yourself. And I think I may have come up with one: if you’ve cheated and there’s no other danger of being detected, and you’re sure it won’t be repeated. 

So here’s the scenario: in a fit of poor judgment, lust, drunkenness or whatever leads people to be unfaithful, you sleep with someone other than your partner; afterwards, you’re plagued with guilt, search your soul and reach the conclusion that it will not happen again. You’re not just fairly sure it won’t happen again, you’re CERTAIN. In this case, I’m wondering: mightn’t it be better to keep that secret?

The Cheater’s Confession may seem like an incredibly mature gesture, but when the’re’s no risk that you might be found out, isn’t it equally possible that confessing is simply an act of selfishness? It will bring you relief from guilt, but transfer all the negative feelings onto your partner who will now experience hurt, anger, suspicion, disappointment and disillusionment.  Anyway, this is just a theory and I’m not fully committed to this viewpoint, so as always, I welcome a differing point of view . . .

And of course, none of my blogs would be complete without the shameless plug at the end: check out Secret on December 24!

Happy Reading!


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Woman-Centered Fiction Writer, commenting on books, culture and the human condition.

3 thoughts on “Secrets We Keep: The Cheater’s Confession

  1. I’ve actually heard that argument before and my question has always been – how do you know with absolute certainty that it won’t happen again? I mean, you never expected and you were pretty certain that it would never have happened in the first place, right? So if anything, doesn’t the fact that you’ve cheated once humble you enough to realize your own fallibility and therefore need for accountability like through a best friend/ priest/ pastor?

    As far as sparing your partner the heartbreak, em…i think that option was tossed out the window the moment the cheating happened so I don’t think you’d be the person to make that decision – isn’t selfish to decide for them that they shouldn’t know? The fact of the matter is that there is a very real possibility that they will find out. (Maybe I’m being too harsh here and it’s best for folks who’ve been through something like this to lend some perspective…)

    I think of Shawn’s (Commitment) initial plan not to confess and how it affected his intimacy with Riley, and not just from a health stand-point (I mean, for goodness sake, if you’re gonna cheat, at least cover up, right?). His attitude seemed to be “well, now that I’ve gone and made the big boo-boo, the floodgates are open and its open season”. It wasn’t until Riley clued in on it – – from his own behavioral cues – – that he confessed.

    Besides, the cheating will always be psychologically between you and your partner and affect your relationship, whether they know about the incident or not. I actually wonder how it would be possible to love someone so much and at the same time successfully hide something like this from them. But again, I may just be too idealistic.

    And does something like this ever really just happen out of the blue? Isn’t it usually more likely that there was some inching towards it beforehand whether it be flirting, or being overly friendly with someone else and then in a moment of weakness the actual cheating happens?

    And as far as there not being a risk of being found out – well, you can only be certain of that if the only other person who knows about it is dead. I mean, you wouldn’t know that they won’t say it to someone else or even tell your partner…or they’ll hear about it on the news. You have absolutely no control over the information not getting out. And if your spouse hears about it from a source other than you, isn’t that double betrayal?

    I’m sorry I’m so long winded btw – i’ve keep trying to work on it 🙂

  2. I see you’ve given this some thought! You make excellent points, and far be it for me to complain about someone ‘writing long’! I have the same issue. I think it’s because some people think and then write, others write as they think. I’m the latter and I suspect you are as well.

  3. You know, I’ve never thought about that – thinking as I write. But it makes total sense! Hmmm…If you find a cure, please won’t you let me know?

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