You Cheated on Her . . . Now What? Shhhhh!
You may really dig your beau, but admit it, occasionally, when a good-looking woman crosses your path, you wonder what it might be like to get together. And these days, more and more men are caving in to the cheating impulse. “With the rising number of women in the workforce and on the Net, the opportunities to stray are increasing,” says psychologist Marc Weiner, Ph.D., author of Cheaters.
But whether it’s a kiss or the full monty, oftentimes the subsequent guilt is hard to shake. Fret not. We’ll help you handle the aftermath of your infidelity.
Your father may have told you that honesty is the best policy, but in this case, many experts advise keeping your mouth shut. “If it really was just one indiscretion, don’t tell her,” says Weiner. “Although it might make you feel better, it will only hurt her and ruin the trust between you.” Even if the guilt is killing you, let it be your burden to bear. And don’t tell other people either or you increase the possibility of his finding out.
Examine Your Motives
When a man cheats, even just once, there’s usually a problem in his relationship. “Men often stray if their sex lives are stagnant or they’re feeling neglected,” says Robert Houston, author of Is She Cheating on You? “The other woman fulfills something that his current gal isn’t giving him.”
If the love is worth salvaging, you have to fix the problem or the issues will fester. “Ask yourself why you did it,” advises Weiner. “Then let your girlfriend know what you need from her.” But still, do not confess.
Of course, the relationship could already be dead in the water. “You may just be too lazy or scared to address the issues,” Houston points out. “So you sleep with someone else, trying to sabotage it, even if only subconsciously.” Or you just want to see what else is out there before doing anything drastic. But do yourself (and your girlfriend) a favor: Cut the cord.
What If She Finds Out?
Even if you’ve covered your tracks, your woman could discover your indiscretion. Assuming you still want to be with her, your best bet is to say how sorry you are, swear it’ll never happen again, and beg for his forgiveness.
Now is not the time to get into the reasons why you did it. “Wait a couple weeks before airing your grievances,” says Weiner. “She needs time to process the betrayal without being confronted with the mistakes she’s made.”
Finally, being cheated on can do a number on a person’s self-esteem, so you have to stroke the poor gal’s ego. Regardless, she will be pissed and might need space. If so, leave her alone until, fingers crossed, she forgives you.
Born to betray: Some men could be hard-wired to cheat. A study done on male twins at St. Thomas’s Hospital in London suggests that one in five men may carry a genetic “cheating” trait.
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