With that said, many people admit to me that they aren’t sure how much longer they can live a lie. They often feel compelled to tell their husband but, at the same time, they are terrified to do so. Below, I’ll offer some things to think about when you’re considering telling your husband you cheated.
Some Things That Might Help When You Tell Your Husband You Cheated: Maybe I can give you some insights that might make this go a little easier. As someone who has been cheated on, I can tell you the things that your spouse is most going to want to know. They will often immediately wonder things like: Is the affair over? Was it a one time thing? Does she love him? Does she no longer love me or find me attractive? Why did she do this? Will she cheat again? Can I trust her again? Is our marriage over?
I’m not telling you these things to discourage you or to make things feel hopeless. I am telling you this to help you address some of these things while you are confessing. To the extent you can, you want to tell him the truth but you also want to reassure him that this was a one time mistake that you will never ever repeat. Also, you should show him that you understand what you did was wrong (and where you were vulnerable) so that he will at least have some hope that this self awareness means that you won’t cheat again once you find yourself in a similar situation.
Try as best as you can to not make it all about you. Do not make excuses for yourself. Never make it seem as if this were your husband’s fault. Resist the urge to defend yourself by saying that the other guy gave you the attention or appreciation that you needed because the implication of that is that your husband did not. You don’t want to imply that he did anything wrong. The main idea should be that you made a mistake for which you are desperately sorry. And, if he will give you the chance, you will do everything in your power to regain his trust. You should make it clear that you are telling him not to hurt him but because you want to respect him and your marriage enough to be honest and tell the truth.
Know that his reaction might change over time. Have patience as he struggles to process this. I can’t predict how he will react or even if telling him is the right thing. I can only tell you that as someone who was cheated on, I would be much more willing to walk away from my marriage if I found about the cheating from someone else or found out much later when my husband had the power to tell me himself all along.