Telling You He's Cheated: Reasons Pro And Con

When my boyfriend of six years told me he'd been cheating, a friend said, "Why did he tell you? That was so selfish!" AskMen would agree! Common sense? Not so much!

In their enduring quest to provide an arbitrary 10 answers for any question (and there are generally only about five), AskMen has presented the world with "Top 10: Reasons Not To Tell Her You've Cheated" and, correspondingly, the Top 10 reasons to come clean. (Which, I guess, frees the site from flagrant emotional irresponsibility?) They're about what you'd expect, a mix of the obvious, the self-justifying and the same-thing-differently-worded-to-make-10-answers.

Pro honesty rationales include: guilt/paranoia will kill you; she'll hear it somewhere else; and (oddly at #2) "it's the right thing to do." The "Don't Tell" list is a combination of self-righteous (it would only hurt her; it's "selfish" to tell; it meant nothing) and the self-serving (she'll leave you; she may be cheating too!; she won't find out.)

But there is really only one answer: where sex has taken place, nowadays, secrecy is not an option. Whatever the emotional rationale for concealing such a mistake, health consequences render the debate moot - or should. But grown up life is disappointingly messy and I'd be lying if I said that was my first thought when I got The Confession - not least because I'd never had to consider that stuff before. I remember when my friend asked me if I was sorry to have been told, my response: "No, I'm sorry he did it in the first place!" I mean, as long as it had happened I'd rather have known, and I'd rather have known a lot sooner. Strange as it sounds, while ignorance may have been bliss, retroactively the period of obliviousness felt like the worst part. In some ways unburdening oneself is selfish; but so is keeping a partner in the dark and not arming them with the facts of a situation, emotional and otherwise. (Although, given that that's only maybe four arguments, we should probably defer to AskMen.)

Top 10: Reasons Not To Tell Her You've Cheated [AskMen]