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I cheated (on my fiance; we are both men)


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Old 19th December 2018, 5:28 PM   #1
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I cheated (on my fiance; we are both men)

So, I've messed up in a horrendous way.

The background is that my fiance and I (both dudes) moved across the country about a year ago. At that time I became unwell with depression and panic attacks, and I think my fiance became depressed too, but he never went to see a doctor.

We were under a lot of stress, new jobs, being ill, financial pressures etc. We were isolated as we don't have any friends here.


I did something *really* stupid by joining a hook up website. I met a handful of guys over a 5 or 6 week period and would get naked, "heavy petting" etc. There was never any oral or penetration and i specifically never did anything to put my fiance at risk of STDs.

I have no idea why I did this. No idea why I cheated. What a f*cking stupid thing to do.

For the last few weeks I've been doing a lot of reading, the arguments of telling Vs not telling and I can honestly say I am so confused.

There is no excuse for my bahviour and I am so, so, so ashamed. I feel guilty every single day.


Im struggling to figure out a way forward. I completely understand that argument of honestly telling your partner, but also that one reason id be doing that is to make my own guilt feel better. I don't want the relationship to end, I love my fiance and I would take a bullet for him. That hasn't changed, don't think it ever will.

Does anyone have any advice from either side of the cheating argument that might help me clarify what to do?

Thank you, apologetically in advance,
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Old 19th December 2018, 6:12 PM   #2
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The majority on this forum will say you must confess. I don't believe that to be a certainty. There are valid arguments on either side, and many circumstantial things to consider. I think you should get into therapy and arrive at your own decision. It's not going to be easy. I don't think you should decide anything based on what people tell you to do on an internet forum.
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Old 19th December 2018, 7:28 PM   #3
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I feel guilty every single day.
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Originally Posted by Lowlyguy View Post
I have no idea why I did this. No idea why I cheated.
Both of the above are going to prevent you from being a fully engaged partner and complete participant in the relationship. Is that how you want to start off your marriage?

You don't fix lies and deception by continuing to be untruthful. While it may not be the answer you want to hear, the correct choice not that hard to determine...

Mr. Lucky
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Old 19th December 2018, 7:40 PM   #4
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So, I've messed up in a horrendous way.

I did something *really* stupid by joining a hook up website. I met a handful of guys over a 5 or 6 week period and would get naked, "heavy petting" etc. There was never any oral or penetration and i specifically never did anything to put my fiance at risk of STDs.

I have no idea why I did this. No idea why I cheated. What a f*cking stupid thing to do.

There is no excuse for my bahviour and I am so, so, so ashamed. I feel guilty every single day.
The fact that you stopped yourself, you did not put your partner's health at risk, and you show remorse would mean that this may not be an automatic deal breaker for me...

The fact that you have no idea why you made such a poor decision (and thus, you are risk of doing it again), and you were not honest about what happened, that most definitely would be an automatic deal breaker for me... Sorry.
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Old 19th December 2018, 8:03 PM   #5
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Thank you all for your honesty.

I have arranged a therapist appointment for the Friday after Christmas, I'm not sure what to do.
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Old 19th December 2018, 8:10 PM   #6
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Personally, if it was me, Iíd want to know.

And if I ever found out about it AFTER we got married, it would be much, much worse and harder to bear.

But thatís just me. Everybody is different. But in my opinion, dishonesty is not a good base to build a marriage on.
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Old 19th December 2018, 8:11 PM   #7
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The fact that you stopped yourself, you did not put your partner's health at risk, and you show remorse would mean that this may not be an automatic deal breaker for me...

The fact that you have no idea why you made such a poor decision (and thus, you are risk of doing it again), and you were not honest about what happened, that most definitely would be an automatic deal breaker for me... Sorry.
Can people not develop insight after the event? Can people not realise how stupid they were? Can people not have been ill and on meds and not thinking clearly (these are not excuses, but j actually don't think I'm a terrible person, I don't even think I'm a bad partner, but I am a person who did a (very) bad thing.
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Old 19th December 2018, 9:53 PM   #8
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Can people not develop insight after the event? Can people not realise how stupid they were? Can people not have been ill and on meds and not thinking clearly (these are not excuses, but j actually don't think I'm a terrible person, I don't even think I'm a bad partner, but I am a person who did a (very) bad thing.
I don’t think you are a bad person. And I don’t know that you are a good or bad partner.

I know that you made a mistake that you now regret. I also know that you have not been honest. And, I know that you don’t know why you did it... and let’s be fair, creating a profile on a hookup site and meeting/getting naked/heavy petting SEVERAL men is not a very typical or minor mistake. It’s not a drunken kiss, it’s a purposeful act to create a profile, plan, and meet up with other men...

Perhaps you have learned from this experience and you will never do it again. Or perhaps, the next time life gets stressful you will do it again and take it further... I could never know (if I was your partner). These are the things to discuss in therapy - find out why you chose this particular coping strategy (because it’s destructive and not conducive to a healthy, long term relationship) and make amends with your partner. Then, and only then, will you be able to move forward in any relationship with confidence...
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Old 20th December 2018, 5:17 PM   #9
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if you look way deep down inside yourself to figure out why you did this, what have you found?


Is it possible you're a bit scared of the lifetime commitment you're going to make?

I'm in the "tell" camp too. It will give you and your husband a chance to stat your marriage off on the right foot with a clean slate. you're going to be with this guy for the rest of your life. Do you want this hanging over your marriage?
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Old 20th December 2018, 5:34 PM   #10
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You really do need to get absolutely clear on why you did it, so it's good you are going to see a therapist. As others have said, without knowing why you are very much at risk for it happening again.

As for telling? If I were you I don't know that I could keep that secret and the related guilt would probably show up as an inability to feel close with my partner. If I were your partner I would definitely want to know. Given the facts, it's very possible it won't be a deal breaker for him. But as Bailey noted, your not having any clue WHY you did it would be a big problem for me. So again, you very much need to figure that out.
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Old 20th December 2018, 5:48 PM   #11
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I say either change it and let it never happen again or end the relationship and realize you're not ready for a committed relationship. Look, old habits, you know. There's no shame in not wanting to settle down and be a husband, but it's not right to pretend to be when you're not. Figure it out.
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Old 20th December 2018, 5:51 PM   #12
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There was never any oral or penetration and i specifically never did anything to put my fiance at risk of STDs.

I have no idea why I did this.
So, if I read it accurately, your cheating was specifically related to physical interactions with other people (not emotional bonding or fully satisfying sex).

If that is the case, then you have the self-obligation and the responsibility to your relationship to figure out why you did it..."I have no idea" is simply not good enough,
and neither is state of psychology or being (or not being) on meds.

I would offer to figure out why you did it before you take it to your partner. You can work on this privately before you see the therapist after the Holidays.
What is it that you thought you might receive, or that, with hindsight, you did receive, from these liasons? Start there, and work really hard to uncover it. (I'd suggest using a journal to assist.)

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Can people not develop insight after the event? Can people not realise how stupid they were?
Yes, of course. In fact, many of our experiences are specifically to afford us the opportunity to learn from them.
(Do not take on other people's distorted or false views that give rise to their negative judgments; and, do not let those judgments cloud your own vision or path.)

Wishing you the best.
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Old 21st December 2018, 11:43 AM   #13
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Thank you

Thank you all for the suggestions, particularly the one about the journal.

I have been thinking since my first post about why this happened. To be clear, I am not trying to blame my meds or psychological state at the time or use them to abdicate responsibility- but actually I think my state of mind played a part in it. There was no emotional involvement at all, there was not even any small talk afterwards.

Looking back on the time when it happened my partner and I hadn't been physically intimate in a few months. We were both starting new jobs, were away from our friends and family.

My psychological state at the time wasn't great and I actually think that (for a little while) meeting people and being anxious about it matched with how my psychological state was in the first place (I'm looking forward to discussing this with my therapist).

I obviously didn't communicate well with my partner that I missed having sex. Because that was a factor. Not an excuse at all.

As to the other comments, one of the reasons I'm so distressed is because I am ready to be a husband. I am ready to settle down and plan out a joint life together, and I'm furious at myself for doing something so damaging and so unkind. I'm angry at myself for doing this to my partner.

I really appreciate all your advice, and I'd appreciate if you have any further thoughts to post them

Thank you again
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Old 21st December 2018, 5:07 PM   #14
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Looking back on the time when it happened my partner and I hadn't been physically intimate in a few months. We were both starting new jobs, were away from our friends and family.
So, I think...that is your starting point to help you understand your out-of-character behaviour; to explain it to yourself even more so than to your partner or your therapist.

Not to put words into your mouth, but it sounds like you may have been experiencing uncertainty/anxiety about all those life changes that happened all at once, but did not, at that time,
have the personal skills (including courage?) to clearly and honestly communicate your concerns and feelings to your partner.

Quote:
, one of the reasons I'm so distressed is because I am ready to be a husband. I am ready to settle down and plan out a joint life together,
and I'm furious at myself for doing something so damaging and so unkind. I'm angry at myself for doing this to my partner.
So...that's not gonna work. . You will need to stop feeling furious at yourself, in favour of feeling silly that you had not yet acquired better relationship skills.

You will also need to be able to congratulate, appreciate and admire yourself for how well you've learned this lesson.

Certainly you can see that it makes you even more of a 'catch' now; and more able to settle down and plan out a joint life together...
...now including how you're going to handle challenges and anxiety in the future, in constructive instead of destructive (self-defeating) ways.

Wishing you the very best.
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Old 23rd December 2018, 7:56 PM   #15
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Thank you so much for your reply. You are correct about the anxiety, and that was one of the reasons I started the meds at the time. I'm still utterly ashamed of what I've done. I'm really struggling with some arguments that I've read online about disclosing to my partner. It appears that some experts think it's something to carry to the grave, avoiding hurting your partner if it's something never to be repeated. Bustle has an article about this and psychology today has an article about utilitarianism in this context. Does anyone have any advice?
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