Cheated but now faithful - should I confess?
So I'm in a long distance relationship (I'm in the military) with a girl I love tremendously. We've been dating for about 2.5 years and are very serious about our future together when I get out.
However, I cheated on her over a year ago. The first time I have no real excuse, it was someone I had been interested in since high school and we met up to catch up and then it happened. The second time I was extremely drunk and put myself in a bad situation alone with a girl I had been (stupidly) flirting with for awhile.
Both of these happened within a couple months of each other, and I feel like scum for doing this. I've been completely faithful since then, and when I'm with her it's like other women simply don't exist anymore. But I'm worried. We're starting to make decisions now, about our future and I fear that if I keep it buried to avoid hurting her, she'll somehow find out and it will be 30x worse. Not only because
I was hiding it, but also because I'd "wasting" her time by making and carrying out our plans to be together.
I know a large part of me wanting to tell her is my own guilt, but I can deal with that. My biggest fear is it coming out on its own, which is far worse for her, and why I'm serious considering telling her myself. Please help!
My help is only that these thngs happen and can be resurrected given good will on both parts and lots of love. I had several cheatings after marriges, including 8 yrs affair with her best friend and all found out. I was on a male ego success trail and in the end was caught by my open stupidity.
My wife has amazingly forgiven everything and stuck with me through many other issues and we have been married over 50 yrs.
I can't advise which way to go, but I think for her to find out from others is going to be the worst case, but I am sure someone in here will help as they have helped me tremendously.
Good luck mate.
How likely - being realistic, mind - is it she could find out or be told?
From all you say it seems pretty obvious that these cheating incidents represented you struggling your last against getting yourself all the way into that really nice and hot bath (compared to all the tepid or downright cold ones of the past). Perhaps you weren't used to a relationship that was so promising and felt somehow unworthy of it or were still stuck in bad habits prior to the point where you fell PROPERLY AND IRREVERSIBLY in love.
This isn't current information nor something that's likely to ever get repeated. Were it, I'd say you had to adhere to the healthy relationship rulebook guide that says you are duty-bound to furnish your partner with all the information she needs in order to properly protect herself going forward. Telling her now, however, would be a selfish, destructive act if she's otherwise very happy. On the whole, if those acts or anything similar will indeed will never be repeated, disclosure would achieve nothing but HARM to her. So it is NOT information by which she could protect herself, not in the short and median term (although what about long-term?). HOWEVER, secrets can be like outstretched arms holding intimacy at bay. There again, so can disclosures. So INTENTION is key, isn't it.
You have two demands vying for precedence, the issue being whether either truth or lie in this instance would be for the power of lasting good or bad. You're going to have to weigh them to see which is heaviest in terms of power for good. And when you do so, you're going to have to hop on each scale yourself (in terms of who you are and whether you indeed can live with this secret or not).
Difficult, isn't it? So what - hand on heart - do you think SHE'D choose? After all, like the song says, 'to know, know, know you is to love, love, love you'. So you should know which based only on that, shouldn't you?
I really think the time for confessing was back then, not now. That seems most logical. Does your considering telling her therefore represent just yet another, albeit less decidedly 'criminal' attempt to get yourself fired from that top management career with its executive washroom because the job - despite joyous and very high paying - is on the downside so demanding and you'd prefer the lazier life no matter it comes with a so-so relationship? Or does it represent your inner animal disagreeing with Conscious You's choice thus yelling, NOOOOO!, and scrabbling around for ways to pull the plug before it's too late?
I think it does. But not because of HER or her and you as a good romantic fit, I don't think. Because look again at your very revealing semantics: "We're starting to make decisions now, about our future and I fear that if I keep it buried to avoid hurting her, she'll somehow find out and it will be 30x worse."
MAKE DECISIONS ABOUT OUR FUTURE AND I FEAR (no comma, no 'so' I fear).
So let's tell it like it is: FUTURE I FEAR.
That's the trouble with the military, isn't it. Despite it super-manlies you up in a lot of ways, it also kittenifies you in others: Time to wake up, time to eat brekkie, time to go potty, time to brush your teethipegs, time to go to beddibyes, ....sit, stand, lie down (roll over)... On that score, it's like going from micro parents to macros parents. Hardly surprising you don't feel ready on the whole domestic and independence and taking-charge level.
Well, what is SHE - chopped liver? Isn't it going to be a team of TWO Generals where concerns every practical? Or is she not as lifeskills-capable as you and would be more like a dependent?
I thank you for your input. The parts about whether or not it's to be repeated resonate with me strongly, and I know I won't.
However, your presumed Freudian slip is a bit off the mark, actually very. I'm the one who is patiently waiting for her to be ready. The real TROUBLE with the military, however, seems to be that it forces young men to mature and take on more responsibility than their civilian counterparts. The metaphoric umbilical cord is dispassionately cut, making boys feel and act as men much their senior. Hence why the average marriage age is 22 versus the civilian 28. Our planning involves us coordinating us living together while we attend college after my End of Active Service.
- And she is most definitely NOT chopped liver.
No - 'the real *OTHER* trouble' (ec..tually!, LOL). You still get kittenified... emphasis (ref the umbilicus getting *prematurely* cut) being on the word 'ACT'. It's never genuinely deep-down global...bits get developmentally missed due to said tearing-away from the parents, particularly God-I mean Mum, the great emotional developmental officer *not* in the sky, as leaves you NEEDING to jump quicker into the arms of a (behind-closed-doors) quasi replacement mum... for vicarious cramming on the remainder of that curriculum. In other words, no-one helps you to pump the *emotional* muscles. Or your 'feminine' side, if you prefer. And, that, you need *precisely* for this type of terrain.
Don't whinge about it, though, because  I've known and dated more forces blokes, i.e. got very mentally intimate, than you could shake a stick at (so have seen it for myself, not just read about it) and, , at least I've compromised. ;-p But we could always settle it with an arm-wrestle...if you don't mind crying in public?
But, back to all seriousness... If YOU were truly ready and had been for a while, you wouldn't be capable of waiting for her to be. Think about it (or just recall that truism Billy Crystal comes out with in the end scene of When Harry Met Sally). When you know what you want and how to achieve it, not getting to act on it is too frustrating. So what you're actually doing by whatever percentage is using her as your front. There again, saying that - if SHE'S unsure then, what with you being naturally reactive to her due to you and she being especially close compared to all other people, then it could well be that her own fears have started to infect you (fear's contagious, as you know), meaning the Freudian was correct but you simply were expressing what you know/sense to be HER feelings.
This might then leave you in a position of not knowing where you your very self stand (because 'standing' is a joint thing). And we human beans detest that, particularly those among us who're used to taking instant action; we'd rather hear a firm No than have to sit for ages with a Maybe. So what we tend to do is push matters to a head one way or the other. Even if we push the WRONG way (because the right way's blocked off) - at least we get to know where we stand ...even a negative outcome we engineered ourselves is preferable to remaining in the dark at the mercy of things not within our control. And as knowing where we stand trumps *everything*, that too might explain just as equally why you're toying with the idea of removing the pin.
My vote is still, Don't. Wait. If you want to push things to a head, do it in a POSITIVE way: woo and impress her even harder until her ring finger ends up, whoops!, diving into your ring (- sounds rude - isn't).
What are her reasons for not being ready? And why can't you be married WHILST you attend colege?
I have been a wife of a military man for over 20 years, now retired. I know the pressures of military life from the other side. I first thank u for ur service!
The rest of my response was some how not posted. First your not married as of yet and we all make mistakes. I understand the pressures of military life and people can't understand unless they have lived the life. I feel some secrets should stay just that SECRET!! As long as u were safe and there is no repercussion of children I say don't hurt her! If u are truly sorry and she is the one marry her, LOVE her, and be FAITHFUL.