Infidelity presents one of the greatest challenges towards maintaining a successful relationship. For many, it is the ultimate betrayal of trust, and it is not uncommon to find that some relationships simply cannot be healed after the affair.
Not every relationship can survive infidelity. If you were unfaithful to your partner, what benefit is there to disclosing it, knowing that it can end your relationship? Should you tell your partner that you had an affair?
The Catch-22 of Infidelity
As a couples counselor, I wish there was a definitive response to the question of whether to disclose infidelity. But there is no “right” answer. Each situation has to be looked at on an individual basis. Consider the following:
- Guilt – For some, the guilt of infidelity is too overwhelming to tolerate. That guilt can cause you to lash out. It can cause you to feel depressed. It can make it harder to appreciate love. There are many issues that can be caused by severe guilt that there may be no choice but to share your infidelity.
- Ability to Move Forward – You have to ask yourself what can help make your relationship better and stronger. For some, telling your partner is important, because your partner will need to know for you both to move forward in the relationship. That may not be true of all couples.
It would be ethically and personally irresponsible of me to tell you that you should hide infidelity. It would also be difficult, and possibly just as irresponsible to tell you that you have to share it. Each couple and/or person needs to evaluate this decision based on factors within the individual relationship.
This decision is one that people often struggle with after it is made, as infidelity has a great deal of gravity, and it does affect the relationship whether or not it is disclosed.