A lot of advice nowadays paints confessing an affair as worse than having one. Can you please rebut the following arguments?
- Confessing an affair is disrespectful and selfish.
- Only confess if you’ve been caught or you’ve contacted a STD. If neither happened and the affair is over, keep it to yourself.
- Cheating is none of your spouse’s business. This was a private act you needed in order to figure out what was missing in your marriage. Now that you know, don’t create unnecessary upheaval by confessing. Instead, just work on creating a stronger marriage.
1.) Having an affair is disrespectful and selfish. Continuing to keep secrets is disrespectful and selfish. Unilaterally making decisions about someone’s welfare whom you purport to love is disrespectful and selfish.
Confessing, however, is changing the balance of power and ceding control to the person you chumped. I would argue that confession comes from a place of humility, which is the antithesis of selfishness.
That said, some people “confess” to get to the narrative first before the affair partner does (who may threaten exposure). Although I think authentic confession is a good thing, affairs are messy, so I tend toward skepticism on the “truth telling.” Also, while confession is a good start, remember you don’t owe anybody reconciliation no matter how contrite they are.
It’s that very concern — that cheating could be a deal breaker for the chump — that excuses cake-eating. Why give up power when cake is so delicious?
2.) Only confess if you’ve been caught or have an STD? Please. Cheaters will cop only to what you catch them dead to rights about, and even then they’ll gaslight you until you doubt your senses. An STD? Oh you must’ve caught that 20 years ago with someone else and it’s been dormant in your system. Or you sat on the wrong toilet seat, or they didn’t wash the gym towels on a hot enough setting.
Hey Chump Nation — from your experience of cheaters, what’s a more likely scenario — unvarnished honesty about what they’ve exposed you to, or preposterous excuses?
This argument says you can only confess if there are demonstrable consequences — like mortification or disease. Of course during an affair, there are consequences for the chump — who is being disrespected and whose health is risked. And just because one’s penis didn’t break out in festering pustules doesn’t mean nothing was passed on. How the hell would you know?
The assumption here is that the only consequences that matter are consequences that effect the cheater. Hurting the chump? Carry on.
3. A private matter? I wonder how this person would feel if I embezzled their pension fund and claimed that enriching myself was just a private matter between me and my wallet?
It’s an illusion to think that affairs don’t hurt your partner. Did it take time? Did it cost money? Well yes, but so does my golf game.
Right… cheating is just recreational sport. No harm, no foul. Did anyone get pregnant? Catch a disease? Jesus Christ, we’re talking about PEOPLE here, not croquet wickets!
Chumps rightly believe in the “private matter” of an exclusive relationship. But apparently renegotiating those terms to benefit only one party is also a “private matter.” Funny how that works.
As for cheating to figure out what was missing in your marriage? You can’t be strange pussy no matter how hard you try. Cheaters have agency — if they feel something is “missing” in their marriages, they can try honest conversation, therapists, or divorce lawyers. They’re not entitled to harm chumps during their Happiness exploratory missions.
What all these bullshit arguments have in common is assuming that truth is problem, not cheating. It’s treating chumps like children (who I also don’t advocate gaslighting For Their Own Good either). You aren’t ready for the truth, it wouldn’t be good for you! I would tell you, but I can’t because it would hurt you!
You can hear this kind of condescending mindfuckery in other settings. When I lived in apartheid South Africa, white people used to tell me that blacks “just aren’t ready for democracy.” The problem isn’t white privilege, oh no, we just can’t give blacks the vote out of our benevolent concern for them. They can’t be trusted with self-determination!
Same bullshit here, different entitlement.
“Don’t confess” is just code for cake.