I Cheated On My Boyfriend And I Feel Awful
Updated December 10, 2018
Reviewer Wendy Galyen, LCSW, BC-TMH
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. This 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. Many of us are slaves to our urges. Sometimes, we don't think about the long-term or we act impulsively.
Even though I cheated on my boyfriend, can our relationship recover?
Cheating is sometimes a reaction to an underlying problem in the relationship. Firstly, you need to be honest with yourself and ask why you cheated. Was it through boredom? 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 need to be honest with him about your actions. Make sure you have this conversation with him in person. Doing things over text will just make matters worse. Tell him that you've cheated on him and give him the necessary details. This is the only course of action that can help your relationship improve. You can lie to both yourself and your partner by keeping it a secret, but there is always the risk of him finding out further down the line. If this happens, there's a much higher chance of the relationship coming to an end at that point than there is now.
Your boyfriend will, of course, be upset or outraged; two normal reactions to betrayal. Apologize to him and let him know that the guilt was too much for you to handle. Initially, he may be inconsolable, but soon he will 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, however, it is the only option you have in order to address your guilty conscience. There's a high likelihood 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.