Do I tell him?

Two nights ago, I drank far too much and blacked out. I don't remember much of anything, but I vaguely remember fooling around with a guy I know. I talked to him yesterday afternoon, and he told me that we had sex. He also didn't use a condom (I'm getting the morning after pill as soon as the pharmacy opens). I'm distraught because I've never cheated on anyone before, and I'm distraught; I don't know what to do.

If I tell my boyfriend, I'm scared he may hurt himself. I'm scared he may go on a drug binge (heroin, painkillers, etc). If I told him, I would lose him.. and rightfully so. But I'm also scared he may send my nude pictures that he has around or put my personal information online (4chan.org) so I will be harassed.

I've always had a no-cheater policy with my relationships.. I never tolerated it and I wouldn't blame my boyfriend if he left me too.. but I think he could and would do all of the above things if I told him. He's coming down today (we live about 2 hrs away and I only see him weekends) and I have a few hickies on my neck.. so I have to decide today whether or not to tell him.

Please help, I don't know where else to turn. A couple of my dear friends said I shouldn't tell him, that it was an honest mistake, I'm a good person, and just not to let myself get into a situation like that ever again.. but one of my friends says not telling him isn't an option.. Please please help.

Short answer: NO.

You do NOT tell him. What's the good in telling him? If you can come up with a reason that isn't selfish and self-serving, great. But it won't be easy. For example, if you tell him, well you won't have to live with the guilt. Maybe not as much, but he'll have to live with the images, with the torment, and as you suggest, he may hurt himself or do something awful to himself.

Don't tell him. I'm not sure how long you have been with him, but here's a little secret about couples in long relationships, often couples with kids--- if you slip up and cheat, keep it to yourself. Eat it. The spouse is better off not knowing, and generally doesn't want to know anyway.

The key is this: Just don't let him find out any other way. Most of the time, it's a question of humiliation as much as pain-- a person who has been cheated on does not want everyone to know they've been cheated on, and they certainly don't want to be the last to know. So if it can be buried, bury it.

All this BS about public figures coming clean does not pertain to us ordinary folks. You probably are a good person, you sound like you made an honest mistake (it even sounds like you were taken advantage of a little, but nothing criminal), you shouldn't make HIM pay for it.

Seriously sweetheart, bury that ****. Kill it. Move on. Be a better girlfriend on account of it. But don't tell him. Sometimes ignorance is the greatest bliss.

Ross

I’ve been with him for almost 8 months and I love him dearly. I can’t really even begin to express the amount of guilt, remorse, and shame I’m feeling… I haven’t slept and I can’t stop crying. Luckily I’ve been going through a lot of family issues currently, so me being emotional won’t be anything that raises suspicions.

The few people I have told wouldn’t say anything; they feel the same and said shouldn’t tell him.

Thank you so much for replying.

I have been in recovery nearly 20 years (a day at a time) and I disagree with Ross on only one account- burying it. That's the last thing a recovering drunk needs to do. It will haunt you right int another drunk. Do what the Big Book says, but remember, it also says that we cannot save ourselves at anothers expense. The Big Book says to come clean, but dont include names or specifics. If this happened as you say, during a blackout, then your boyfriend probably already knows you have drinking issues and knows you need to quit. Remember, we are trying to remake ourselves and honesty is paramount. Let what's going to happen just happen. I do t think you cancarry this with you & not get drunk.

Dave-
Good catch, I hadn't associated blacking out with an alcohol problem, and to that end I would retract the notion that she should 'bury' it. It certainly shouldn't become something that drives her to drink again, or find some other way to punish herself. I do think she needs to forgive herself for this, realize that telling him will only cause more hurt, and try to move on.

But thanks Dave, for the catch. You make a very good point.

Ross

DaveC, I'm not really a big drinker.. this is the first time I've drank in months. I've already made the decision not to drink like that again (especially without my boyfriend) so I don't put myself into a situation like this ever again.

That's a great start. All of this depends on what you're able to bear. Are you able to make these amends without creating more pain, or are you able to live with it and not tell him? Very tough choice to make here. What does bother menus that you blacked out and you don't drink often. Blackouts are a sure sign of alcoholic tendencies, so whatever choice you make, do be careful about your drinking. As far as what to do here? If you love him enough, and he loves you, wouldn't he be even more upset if he found out by other means later? I think that would be even more devastating, at least for me. Good luck, let us know how it goes.

Hey, I agree that it'll be more devastating if he learns later, but that was my key-- don't allow him to learn later. Control the information. This guy knows or should know by now you have a boyfriend and that you want to stay with him... I just honestly don't see the point in coming forward and telling him. It's often something that couples can never fully get past. Look, if you do it again, OK- fess up because you can slip once reasonably, but twice, no.

You risk throwing away everything you have with him over this minor fuck-up. Is it worth it to you, to him, to your conscience? Do you want him to go on in life thinking that all women are cheaters? Whether they are or not, or whether your example supports that or not, isn't the point. I'm 39, I've had many serious relationships and I've been married for several years now, and as far as I know, I've never been cheated on. Consequence? I have faith in women. I think they're wonderful. Fantastic. I'm not jaded. Naive, yes-- but only to a point. If I have been cheated on, the girl(s) made the right choice, because I'm a better, happier person for not knowing. And my relationships with women have been excellent because of it. I never suspect infidelity. This is better than having been burned, I really believe that.

Look, if you absolutely have to tell him, all I ask is that you challenge yourself to find a selfless reason to do so. One that doesn't at all serve your interests somehow.

Ross

My biggest concern is his safety. I think the actions he could take if he found out could be very self-destructive; if he did something horrible to himself because I told him about this whole ordeal… I would never be able to forgive myself.

He’s already been cheated on in a previous relationship, so he’s already had some trust issues from the start. He half-jokes and says things like “Don’t ever let me catch you cheating on me” and stuff like that…

I have already told the guy that I want this to be kept between us because I am in a relationship and it shouldn’t have happened in the first place. He understood. All I can hope is that this doesn’t come back to bite me in the ass (him finding out later on). If it does, then I will own up to it, and tell him I was scared for his safety. Yes, it will hurt… but I think moreover my intentions are not malicious; I’m not trying to hide this from him so I can continue to do unfaithful deeds. I love him.

Well, I do have another idea, then. Seeing as how you seem to know for a fact that you would tell him if you could, and your intentions are sincere, why not make an "anonymous" amend? Firstly, set down and write out what you would say to him if you could, complete with all the emotions. Then, burn it. Put it to rest. If you are a praying person (I realize not everyone is), then ask for forgiveness from whoever your God happens to be, and then do some random act of kindness for him and tell him you love him? I think having sincere intentions is truly worth something and if you really think it would be too harmful for him to know, then you might be able to rest at ease. If it continues to bother you, then maybe another approach needs to be looked at. Just my two cents here.

I still feel like a horrid person for letting this happen.. I'm going to quit drinking for awhile; I never want to put myself into any situation like this again.

DaveC, I like your idea about writing it out and then burning it. I might actually write it out and send it to the PostSecret project (postsecret.com) instead when I have some time alone..

Thank you both so much for your responses. I don't think I will be able to forgive myself right away for this.. but I hope in due time I can.

You should feel like a horrid person, you did a horrid thing to someone you care about. Unfortunately we all do it, often more than once. We all hurt the people we love now and again. But just because you feel like a horrid person doesn't make you one. Don't judge yourself by these irregular fuck-ups, they happen to the very best of people. I have no doubt that you're a good person, a sweet person, a good girlfriend and a great friend.

None of this means you need to come clean. I too like Dave's idea, there's a confessional aspect to it, that helps you without hurting him. As for the random act, if he's a suspicious person he may interpret that differently, but I suggest either doing that or simply recommitting yourself to him and to your relationship.

You fucked up sweetheart. it was a horrid thing. but if it unfolded the way you say it did, i.e. while you were basically passed out, then you hardly fucked up. it doesn't much sound like you had any control over the situation. some people could convincingly argue that what took place, as you describe it, was a sexual assault. I'm not saying it was, I'm just saying it's not like you hunted this boy down and made it your mission to nail him. Don't hang yourself on your former intentions, raise yourself up to your new ones.

There used to be a great website called DeadLetterOffice.com where people sent things like this but I think they faded out. Anyway, good luck. Forgive yourself.

Ross

Good luck to you.

Hun... I just joined this site. I have cheated and recently been cheated on... Don't tell him. Don't do it again, and if you do, break up with him without telling him about your affairs. Trust me, it hurts far less to be dumped because it just isn't working than for another.

Thistle I could not possibly agree with you more on this subject. You are spot-on here.

You need to tell him. If you don't it will forever affect your relationship with him. It will also affect you in the future when you have to be truthful about other things.

Granted, he may do a lot of things. However, he has a right to know. What if you contracted an STD. Your friend may be a carrier and not even know it.

I highly suggest you tell him. You can't hide this. It will come out at some point in the future. It will HAUNT you.

Also, if he really loves you, then he might be able to move past this and work on your future.

If he wants to work this out with you, then I suggest getting some help from a marriage counselor. He/she may have some excellent suggestions for the two of you on to proceed with your relationship.

If you truly love him ... then tell him. You will both grow from this experience.

1) You tell him, its a self less act of mercy on your part. He'll feel incredible pain. He then has to choose how to deal with it, incorporate it, learn from it or turn bitter. He may not trust you again but he can heal in time. You need to show remorse and responsibility and accept that it could end regardless. Is it better this way? well, the experience has a start and an end, you may learn from it and grow in time to find true love in the future. This incident may be showing you about issues that you have buried or hidden and that's a good thing. identify then treat. Your salvation and his if he chooses.

2) you dont tell him. You move on knowing this about yourself. This can corrupt your self image, sour you and expose you to greater problems, including with him. How strong a person are you? do you have kids? is this the only person for you? there are others. Your issues may remain buried..and may grow worse. definitely get counseling and talk this out in a safe environment to explore what is there. it can only help. There may be issues that havent surfaced until now that may be preventing you from finding true happiness. its worth it.

We're not perfect but sometimes we need the help to guide ourselves out of our own darkness. Talk to a COUNSELOR, friends may or may not help but you need an impartial guide and.... its not the end of the world. Change things, improve yourself, we are all worthy of redemption and forgiveness.

If you drank to the point that you had sex with someone you knew then the situation is complicated. Everybody makes mistakes, life is hard at times and decisions and actions have consequences. Having sex with a total stranger lends itself to bad judgment but someone you knew sounds more like an underlying interest to begin with and points to something lacking in your current relationship. Don't beat yourself up, suck it up and be a good girl ask God for forgiveness, help someone else that has problems, and ask God to remove your guilt. telling your boyfriend will only hurt him to lightened your burden. If you love him then do something about your alcohol intake and straiten up or leave him because this will happen again. You're probably powerless over all of this so find a power greater than yourself to draw strength from. AA has a great track record of fixing these issues, but it can't fix someone that isn't willing to try. Good luck

plurtastic-

i am so sorry about your situation, especially because you seem to truly care about your boyfriend and are not taking the cheating lightly.

i was cheated on by a boyfriend that i was with for many years. He told me about it both times, they were years apart. It was very painful to hear, but ultimately i made the decision to stay and work it out with him. We are no longer together, but for different reasons and basically it wasn't working out and i wasn't happy. I think i am glad that i knew about it because then i made the decision to be with him on my own and not because he hid something from me. But it did hurt a great deal.

I think you need to go with your gut on this one. Also be sure to get tested for STD's because that is a very big deal and you don't want to spread anything to your boyfriend.

Take your time to think about this one. While it is a tough situation and you don't want to hurt him, it will hurt more if he finds out from someone else.

wishing you the best!

I was JUST in the same situation! However mine turned out to be a set up, I think. I tried to tell my BF but since I didn't remember anything at all, I couldn't and a bunch of other people took the liberty of telling him. I still don't know what happened no one will talk to me.

Do what you feel is right? In my relationship honesty was always the best. But for others it could cause more harm than good. My advice is sit with yourself for awhile and think about what you want to do and follow your gut instinct. Make sure you do everything you can to protect yourself. I have been to 3 doctor's already but like I said someone set me up, my doctors believe I was slipped something. If you feel that could have happened to you, and need advice feel free to talk to me.

Good Luck with everything!