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Jewish Journal

Do I Tell Him I Cheated?

by  Merissa Nathan Gerson

July 12, 2010 | 9:07 pm

Guilt sucks, but sometimes it is our duty to bear it. Photo courtesy of www.davidhenrygerson.com

Dear 27-Year-Old Yenta:

My ex-boyfriend Randy and I did a really good job of “being friends” a year after our breakup. He earned an internship at an engineering company located 3 miles from my house and a long 2 hour drive from his. I agreed to let him stay in the alcove of my studio apartment while I dated someone else. We were cool the first 2 months, but one day it was too much to bear. We ended up having wild fuck-sex for hours while my real boyfriend was out.

My present boyfriend isn’t stupid, he knows something’s not right but there
is nothing he can pinpoint. I know you’ll probably say honesty is
the best policy but I know he’ll leave me if I tell him. And what’s
the point, Randy moved out, so it’s not like it’s going to happen
again. So why ruin a good thing?

-Guilty As Charged

Dear GAC,

I had a cousin who once, sitting at the bar of the restaurant where I worked, whispered to me that women must always have a few secrets. I don’t know if my entire moral compass agrees, but my instinctive response is to tell you to suck it up and guard this secret with all of you.

Honesty may not always be the best policy. In this case, if it was an accident and will never happen again, then why hurt the man you love? Further, there is something to be said for the valiance of shouldering the guilt rather than passing on the pain. This is your business and your problem, so manage it.

There is always the question, though, “What would you want your boyfriend to do in the same position?” Would you want him to tell you? Is honesty everything? Or are there moments and secrets that are yours, and his, and not to be shared? Some people believe that sexual indiscretions are unrelated to commitment. Some people believe that a physical moment in time does not compromise the deep and real love for your partner.

This is not to say that it is ok to make Randy moments like that habit. It is not ok.

Ultimately, I don’t know what you should do. Only you do, because only you know your own heart, your own man, your own relationship, and your own capacity for self-control. Just be sure to remember your heart, AND his, in your decision-making process.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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With more than 10 years of talk therapy under her belt, Merissa has waded through life’s dilemmas with a constant reflective therapeutic bird on her shoulder. Add a few...

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