How do you say “Boyfriend, I cheated on you?”
When You’ve Cheated On Your Boyfriend
Choosing to admit cheating to him is a huge step. Are you ready? Are you ready to “put it out there” and deal with the consequences? If you feel that the only way you can move forward as a couple is to admit cheating to your boyfriend that you cheated on him, please do it with care. Here are some guidelines on confessing your indiscretion.
Avoid The Wrong Time Or Place To “Have The Talk”
Consider carefully when and where you are going to break the news to your boyfriend that you have been unfaithful. For this, put his yourself in his shoes for a minute to discern when to DENY cheating:
Don’t Tell Him That You Cheated When He’s About To Leave
for work, school, an interview, a drive, or anything that requires his attention and concentration.
Don’t Tell Him As You Are On The Way To An Event
—dinner with friends, a movie, or worst of all, a family get-together. You may think that having an event to attend will give him something else on which to focus. Not so. Having just been hit with bad news, he won’t able to focus on anything but the fact that you had sex with someone else.
Don’t Tell Him At A Crowded Restaurant
You make think that being in a crowded place will keep things calm, but you may end up in the middle of a scene. Besides, would you want to be given the news in a crowded restaurant? This isn’t a date you’re setting up; it’s a confession.
Don’t Tell Him While You’re In Bed
This one should be obvious.
If you fear—even for a split second—that he may become violent, don’t tell and get out of the relationship, pronto. Nothing is worth putting yourself in danger—no matter how bad you may feel about what you did. Period.
Find The Right Time And Place To Tell Him That You Cheated
Choose A Time When Neither Of You Has To Be Anywhere Right Away
This may be a short conversation or a long one, but the last thing you want is for either one of you to be looking at your watch.
So, if the big game is about to start, wait.
If he has a tee-time set up that afternoon, wait.
If his mother always calls at 3 p.m. on Saturday, don’t have the conversation at 2:45.
Of course, it’s tempting to have an exit route, but this is a serious conversation and it merits enough time to have it without rushing.
Choose A Place That’s Comfortable For Both Of You
It can be at home (if you live together) or at his place or yours. It can be outside, at a park. You can get coffee along the way and then sit down to “have the talk.” It should be somewhere that, if he walks off or drives off, you have a way to get home. So no hiking trips or walks along the beach for this conversation—unless the beach is walking distance from your place.
You’ll probably each have your cell phones with you, because these days almost everyone has a cell phone handy all the time. Put yours on silent mode before you even get together for this conversation. The last thing you need is the phone to ring and your boyfriend to ask, “Is that him?”
What To Say
Get right to the point. Don’t torture him with a long, confusing introduction about how much you love him or how this hurts you more than it hurts him. Trust me, it doesn’t. You can say, “I made a horrible mistake. I cheated on you. And I think that going into details about it will just make things worse. I was wrong and I’m sorry.”
Then stop talking.
If he walks away, let him walk. He needs space.
If he asks for details, say, “Going into details won’t un-do what I did.”
If he asks “With WHO?!” I suggest saying, “It was a mistake.”
Then stop talking.
Right about now you may be wishing you hadn’t told. But you cannot back out. The less you say, the better. Let him talk. Let him express his disappointment or shock or whatever he’s feeling. Just listen.
If he asks why you are telling him—and only if the reason is that you felt it was the only way to move forward—then tell him, “It was the only way we could move forward.” Remember, though: moving forward doesn’t always mean staying together. That part is still up in the air.
What Not to Say
Don’t offer excuses. If you were drunk or angry or in the middle of horrible PMS, it doesn’t change the fact that you did the deed.
Don’t bring up mistakes he’s made in the past. Even if he’s cheated before, this conversation is about what you did, and about trying to make it right.
Don’t say, “It meant nothing.” It meant something or you wouldn’t have done it.
Don’t trivialize something that is probably really hurting your boyfriend right about now.
What To Do Next
Now for the tough part: once you’ve told your boyfriend that you cheated on him, you’ll have to live with this. If you decide to split up, do it with dignity. If you decide to stay together, you might need counseling (for you, for him or as a couple).
Most likely, he’ll need some time. This will be the agonizing part, because the ball is in his court. He gets to decide how he’s going to process this news, and whether or not he even wants to stay with you, let alone figuring out how to make it work if he does.
He might need a day or a week or an hour… there’s no telling. Give him the time he needs. Don’t push. You can, later on, write him a letter (no texting for this one) explaining that you are sorry, and that it won’t happen again, and that you realize that you were wrong.
I wouldn’t recommend going overboard with gifts or cards or anything like that. Stay composed, don’t beg, just let him know that you made a mistake, one that you truly, truly regret.
Then wait to see what happens.
Oh, and while you’re waiting, erase the other guy’s number from your phone.