I Cheated On My Boyfriend And I Feel Awful
Updated April 15, 2019
Reviewer Kristen Hardin
When one partner cheats in a relationship, both parties end up suffering. The cheater usually feels racked with guilt and struggles to come to terms with their actions, while the partner who has been cheated on feels betrayed by someone they believed was loyal to them. Although men are slightly more likely to cheat than women, it is not uncommon to hear a female claim "I cheated on my boyfriend - what should I do?"
If you have cheated on your boyfriend and are currently suffering from severe guilt, this is in some way a good sign. It shows you have an emotional connection to your partner and you understand the implications of your actions. Some people are serial cheaters and struggle to understand the damage this does to themselves and their partners. Acknowledging your actions and understanding the implication is the first step in addressing the issues at hand.
Why do we cheat?
Cheating is more common than we may think. Around 40% of women will cheat at some point in their lives, whether that be a long-term affair or one-off incident. This is a huge statistic and one which exemplifies our flawed human nature. No one is perfect and mistakes happen. There are so many reasons why people cheat. Especially, women may be more prone to cheating if they are lacking an emotional connection with their partner. Many affairs start out with connecting intimately on an emotional level. Anger and frustration are other reasons. Sometimes, we don't think about the long-term and we act impulsively, which is especially likely if drugs or alcohol are involved.
Other reasons for cheating range from people who feel a "high" or a rush of endorphins from feelings of lust and the thrill that can come with a sexual encounter that is "wrong". If you feel this is something you have experienced, therapy can help you learn how to find healthy ways to deal with these feelings so you can avoid these high-risk behaviors in the future.
Even though I cheated on my boyfriend, can our relationship recover?
Cheating is sometimes a reaction to an underlying problem in the relationship. First, you need to be honest with yourself and ask why you cheated. Was it through boredom? Are you searching for something that you don't have? Was it simply because the opportunity presented itself? Was it because you crave something more than your partner can offer?
If you feel as though you still love your boyfriend and want to still be with him, you have two options. You can choose to be honest with him and tell him so he can decide on whether or not he wants to continue the relationship. Make sure you have this conversation with him in person. Doing things over text will often make matters worse. Tell him that you cheated on him and give him the necessary details. The benefit to this option is you won't be looking over your shoulder, worried your secret will catch up to you at any minute. The risk you take is that your boyfriend may not want to be with you anymore. But, he might, and your relationship could grow stronger.
Your other option is, of course, to not tell him. There is always the risk he could find out anyway, so if you choose this option you are taking a gamble that you could end up hurting him more. If this happens, there's a much higher chance of the relationship coming to an end at that point. The reason you might choose this is because sometimes telling a person can cause more hurt than good. For example, let's say you were on a girl's night out and you got intoxicated and ended up cheating on him. If you feel terrible and know it was a horrible mistake, you might choose to not hurt him by telling him. If you choose this option, you likely could benefit from talking to a professional and exploring why this happened and what you can do to prevent it from happening again. While working with a professional, you can get some help deciding what is the best course of action for your relationship and decide if or how to best tell him. The thing with honesty, is sometimes people choose to be honest to relieve their own guilt. This is sometimes very unfair to the other person if the secret causes more hurt than healing. Again, this is something a professional therapist can help you evaluate your motivation for coming clean.re's a much higher chance of the relationship coming to an end at that point than there is now.
If you decide to tell him, your boyfriend will, of course, be upset, hurt, or outraged; all normal reactions to betrayal. Apologize to him and let him know that you felt he deserved to know. Initially, he may be inconsolable, but soon he will likely realize that being honest was the most necessary course of action for you to take.
It is important to be aware, while many people are able to process their partner cheating and come to terms with it, some people will find it emotionally crippling. Confessing to infidelity could well be the end of your relationship, but you will not have the burden of carrying the guilt around with you and your boyfriend has the ability to decide if he wants to risk being with you and getting hurt again. Depending on the situation and your relationship, there's a chance your partner will forgive you. They may be very understanding of your predicament, they may have even experienced similar feelings in the past. If you and your partner are willing to work to fix your relationship, relationship counseling can be very beneficial to restoring it on how it once was.
If you have cheated on your boyfriend, you may find that individual counseling is extremely beneficial. It is important to explore why you cheated and how you and prevent this behavior from happening again. Many women report that low self-esteem has led them to cheat. Sex can make a woman feel powerful and the attention can be very gratifying and intoxicating. If you believe that you are cheating, or did cheat, because of this, individual counseling can really help you work on these underlying issues and help you find your worth and value outside of being attractive and sexual. If you feel you may be unsatisfied in your relationship, counseling can help you process what is missing and how you can either ask your boyfriend to help you meet those needs, or find ways to meet them on your own.
BetterHelp is a great platform for both couples counseling and individual counseling. You can be matched with a therapist who is trained in working with infidelity. You can get started right away, anywhere you have an internet connection. All you need is a smartphone, tablet, or computer and you can communicate with your therapist in a variety of ways, including phone, video, live chat, and messaging. Regardless of what happens with your relationship, this can be a very beneficial and important step in your life.