Duke It Out: Cheating Confessions

[It’s pretty obvious that the average CollegeCandy reader has some very strong opinions. Opinions that she likes to share with everyone on the site. We love a strong woman (unless she happens to be charging at us with her fists raised), so we thought we’d give her a real forum to discuss her thoughts, feelings, and perspectives. Every Friday I’ll be featuring a hot topic (like botox! ) and leaving it up to you, the readers, to duke it out. So, read it and get your debate on in the comments section below!]

Cheating has always been, will always be, a touchy subject. We’ve debated what cheating is, whether you should forgive a cheater, but now it’s time to turn those sneers inward and ask the dirty little question – what if you cheat? (BF DISCLAIMER: This is all totally hypothetical, I promise!) There seems to be a little dissent about whether or not (assuming you don’t get caught) you should confess that you cheated and I think it’s time we got a consensus.

On the one hand – you cheated! Of course you should tell you significant other and take your lumps. Part of being in a grown up relationship (or even a not so grown up one) is being honest with each other and being able to trust that no matter what happens you will deal with it together. Admittedly, this would totally suck if you were the one who had to go begging for forgiveness, and there is a chance that the whole thing will fall apart because of your confession, but otherwise you’re basically forcing yourself and your SI to live a lie.

Also, there’s pretty much always some underlying reason why a person cheats, and if you never admit what you did, odds are that reason is just going to fester inside of your relationship and slowly destroy it anyway. Whether it’s breaking up or getting help for the relationship, at least by admitting it things are moving forward instead of stuck in the bogs fake intimacy.

But, there are some valid reasons not to come clean too (I can’t believe I’m saying this – don’t even think about it, mister!). Obviously, every situation is different, so it’s hard to make a no-exceptions ruling. Some people do cheat once and then realize what a mistake it was and recommit to their relationship. And if you’re never going to cheat again, then isn’t confessing making your partner suffer the torture of knowing they’ve been cheated on just to ease your own guilt? Wouldn’t it be kinder to take the burden of that misery on yourself, to make you and only you live with the pain of what you’ve done and spare the person you care about that anxiety that (let’s face it) will never totally go away? Is it fair that they should have to spend sleepless nights wondering about it, that they should have to question every night you come home late, every friend that’s a little too good looking? No, it’s not. So if you could save them from that, would it be better to?

So here I am on the fence. It’s hard to say what I would do in the situation, or what I would want my man to do if he found himself in it (have I mentioned what a nice bonfire all of your stuff would make, baby? Yeah, seriously, don’t.). Where do you stand? Have you been there? Does anyone else have that Usher song stuck in their heads?  Duke it out, girls!



  1. Jennifer says:

    Hi. Cheating is always wrong. You couldn't even come up with an example of why it would be ok.

    And I hate the martyr's way out. If someone's too chicken to talk about it and give the other person the fair chance to break up with them they are avoiding, not being some saint. Suffering a little with personal guilt is just not as bad as the public shame of having to deal with what they did.

  2. H says:

    To me, keeping it a secret isn't an option. Is it really about sparing them the anxiety, or about sparing you (hypothetical you) the pain of getting dumped?

    I know I would rather know, even though it would suck. But at least I would be able to move on, either way, with an informed decision. I would have the power to choose my own path. That power, at the very least, would be some comfort. You can't control what already happened, but you CAN control how to deal with it. As long as you have that information.

    I'm pretty sure almost anyone who says that it's better not to tell, would want to be told if they were the one getting cheated on. Which is really hypocritical. This is definitely one of those issues that we, as women, say "don't tell" if it's one of our girlfriends who cheated, but "he should have told you" if it happens to one of our girlfriends.

    And really, who are WE to make that choice for another human being? Unless your partner has specifically told you "I don't want to know", you have no right to keep them in the dark. By giving them the truth, you are giving them the power. Which is really the least of what they deserve, if you have broken their trust.

    I don't really buy into everything from the bible. But, I think they have a pretty good idea with the whole "treat others how you would want to be treated" deal. Would YOU want to be left in the dark? Would YOU want to be powerless? Would YOU want to live out your life committing to someone who didn't fully commit to you, and then didn't have the guts or decency to give you the chance to leave?

    I know my answer would be a resounding "no".

  3. Matthew says:

    If you get away with it it's not just for the benefit of the other person but for yourself. And there's a theory that infidelity can be habit forming. Once you get away with it once, what's to stop you from doing it one more time? You have to face the consequences of your actions or else you're just disrespecting your partner and yourself.

  4. Bonnie says:

    If I was married with kids, and it was a one time thing, I wouldn't want to know. But currentlyI would want to know no matter what.

  5. L says:

    I know I might get grief for this but I'm all for not telling in certain situations.

    Early on in a relationship I kissed another guy (someone I had just met and never saw again). I felt horrible about it but I realized that it happened because I was scared about being in a relationship and that I needed to get over it and commit to my boyfriend. It was kind of my way of testing the waters before letting my guard down and going all in with someone who had potential to be a long-term boyfriend. I contemplated telling him but didn't. It may have been for partly selfish reasons but we've been together for 2 years now and have a healthy relationship. In the same vein, if he cheated in a way that didn't involve sex (emotionally, verbally, kissing, whatever) and it was a one time deal I would rather he figure out why it happened on his own rather than making me upset and paranoid. If it was because the relationship wasn't working out I'd want to talk about it and probably break up but if it was a personal issues that wouldn't come up again then I wouldn't want to get into it.

  6. Misty says:

    I have cheated on just about every boyfriend. I haven't told a single one of them, never gotten caught and I never feel even a pang of guilt. Call me evil, but that's the truth. I wouldn't want to know if a boyfriend cheated on me, either.

  7. Alex says:

    If I was going to break up with the guy anyway, I wouldn't tell him. It would just be salt in the wound.

  8. m. says:

    I can't believe this hasn't been brought up, but it's something you can't really avoid if someone in a relationship cheats.

    What if the cheater (you, or your partner) contracts an STI? If you and your partner have assumed monogamy, the cheater risks passing something to their ignorant partner, who might then not find out about the infection for months (or, depending on the infection, years). If someone does cheat, they owe it to their partner to tell them so that they can get tested–or, if they're too chicken shit to tell them, to go get tested themselves before simply deciding not to tell their partner.

  9. Guy says:

    Misty sounds like a real catch.

  10. Mel says:

    Misty, doll…. you might want to go talk to someone about that professionally. I mean… were they douche bags or something? …. Not even a little bit of guilt?

  11. lostduality says:

    I'm a guy and I wouldn't want to know if it was one time thing! Why mess up my utopia because of a stupid 1 night act. Now if this was some weekly ongoing affair then yes I would want to know.

  12. anonymousthistime says:

    I definitely think if we're talking "sexual intercourse" cheating, you have to tell. That is a long way to go from the point of kissing up to taking off your pants and deciding to let it happen. Furthermore, the point already made above about STI/STD's. You have to give your partner that chance to take care of themselves or else you're really hurting them beyond a one-time emotional pain. You're scarring the rest of their life.

    Now, if we are talking a kiss – and you pulled away and said something like "Hey, I can't do this" – do you have to tell? Is it better to tell?

    I also agree that if you're going to break up with them anyway, do not tell (unless they are at risk for STD's now, but if you're going to break up with them anyway you shouldn't have sex with them one last time post-cheating anyway).

    See, this is why it really is a complicated issue and not cut-and-dry.

    *And Misty – damn, girl. Why do you do that to people? Unless they're all assholes that are hurting/cheating on you too (in which case, stop dating them, maybe?) why would you hurt so many people? You may say "it's not hurting them because they don't know" in which case I would say, then why do you even date them? Just leave them alone.

  13. Al says:

    Well, at least Misty's honest.

    Cheating is so complex, in my opinion. It's grey area. It's about more than just morality but questions of obligation, honesty, nature etc. I've never cheated, but I know I would cheat with my first love. Like, in a heartbeat*. So much happened between us, including five years and long-distance, but the split was amicable. I'm still not over him entirely, but I'm trying.

    In which case, my intentions would be completely self-interested, yes, but not malicious. I would NEVER tell my current boyfriend, not even if we broke up. I never want to hurt anyone and I think that lying about an affair is the only way for the relationship to go on without blame, resentment, mistrust., or a finale. In other words, if you cheat and you want your relationship to prosper then it's worth considering concealment, like, forever.

    *It's not like I think about cheating with my ex, but if you knew us, there's too much magical history and chemistry that if we are in a room together it's hard to not drop trou and GO. Not JUST lust, KWIM?

  14. Nat says:

    I have to say, I've cheated on my current boyfriend a few times with a handful of people, but only slept with one other person during our 11-month relationship.

    I do feel guilty as hell afterwards, but it seems I can resist everything but temptation. Before I started going out with him I did sleep around quite a lot, not that I think there's anything wrong with a few one-night stands, but there IS when you're supposed to be commited.

    Our relationship's been on the rocks for some time now, and I've been considering dumping him for ages, but it honestly seems like there's never a right time to do it! I know it's not just the issues I have with him, but the issues I have with myself, that I need to address. I just want to have my cake and eat it- I want the security of a relationship, but I like the sense of extreme gratification pulling a guy gives me.

    I know I sound horrible, but at least I'm remorseful. I have to realize men aren't meat, after all.

    I'm at a bit of a crossroads here…

  15. tank says:

    Cheating is bad. I its really bad and if you do it know it comes consequences. I got into a relationship that i was not ready for and i did some bad stuff. i didnt come clean with it but the guilt ate me up inside. she went off to college i went off to my college and she always called me telling me she missed me. i wouldnt forgive her for something she did over there but i felt bad because its like she seen me as a saint and i came clean. but it sucked for me cause i lost her and like after i cheated in the past i stood with and stayed loyal and in love with her, but its my fault and i lost the girl i loved.

    So in my opinion dont cheat and if you do just admit it. the guilts very hard to deal with and nature somehow always seems to fix it self out so. dont looke back

  16. vanessa says:

    i’ve been cheated on once. i wish he never told me. he’s so perfect in every other way, he made a stupid mistake, and it killed our three year relationship. i couldnt get over it. i love him so much but the idea of him getting it on with another girl absolutely kills me! if you have a really wonderful relationship, and you know you won’t cheat again, don’t tell!! i wish he wouldn’t have. it’s been 6 months, we aren’t together, and i’m still not over it.

  17. […] discuss her thoughts, feelings, and perspectives. Every Friday I'll be featuring a hot topic (like cheating confessions! ) and leaving it up to you, the readers, to duke it out. So, read it and get your debate on in the […]

  18. ace says:

    Cheating is a very difficult subject. I believe that everyone who is saying it is unforgivable and they would never do something like that is either in denial or someone who never questions anything. First of all, I’m assuming that the age demographic for this site is about 18-25 and nobody knows what they want at this age. This time is about developing your own identity by trying new things and figuring out what you like or don’t like. It’s not a crime to test the waters to see what you really want in your life because the less you experiment with all your options, the less sure you can be.

    I speak from experience as a sufferer of the internal struggle to find out who I am and what I want in my life. I’m currently in a long-term relationship and I recently cheated on my boyfriend. It wasn’t because we were having problems or anything but quite the opposite, we have a perfectly healthy relationship and I love him with all my heart. The problem was with me because I’m only 20 years old My boyfriend is a few years older and we’ve been together from over a year now and friends for even longer. Basically we’re in different places in our lives but we both ultimately want to end up in the same place together. The fact that he had already been through school and I’m still going through it got me questioning a lot of things. To all you haters that say a person wouldn’t think about stuff like that if they were truly in love: love has nothing to do with it.

    The point of this is that I cheated on my boyfriend to see what if I was doing what was really right for me by being in a serious relationship. I’ve always been the type of girl who thrives on the excitement of the chase and my boyfriend has been the only guy that has kept me hooked after the catch. Combine this with a severe fear of commitment and you got yourself a perfect storm. For most of our relationship there were only a few other guys that caught my eye. After thinking about what to do about the most recent one for weeks, I was not getting anywhere not doing anything. Basically I could either sit around thinking non-stop about this other guy because it was forbidden, I could tell my boyfriend I needed a break and hope he would still be around once I hurt him and got things out of my system, or I could do something to see if the single life was what I wanted for myself at the moment. I went with the latter because it seemed the most logical and efficient to me. My cheating escapade did go farther than I initially intended, but I now know for a fact that I’m not missing out on anything and being in a relationship is the right thing for me. Sure, the sex was good and I had fun but didn’t feel anything the next morning for the other guy.

    So no, if it’s a one time thing and you’re positive it didn’t mean anything between you and the other guy, I don’t think it’s necessary to come clean. If it starts happening regularly that’s another story. In my case, I feel like I’m now a much more-dedicated girlfriend after the matter so I can’t say I regret cheating because of what it taught me.

  19. gorgeous green eyes says:

    I am the keeper of a secret along with a Married man who I RECENTLY have been seeing (met in Jan 2010) We recently ended again (for the 3rd time) because he is FEELING guilty and says he can't do this….well, when we met (I had to file a police report and that is how we met..he was the Detective assigned to my case) It was THE most MAGICAL moment ever..the chemistry was incredible and to this day I will never forget that moment….it was instant attraction FOR BOTH OF US… he was making excuses to come to my office…and I saw that he was married and I said to myself, darn! But everytime we talked and saw each other…I was shaking, and I was nervous and he said He could not stop thinking about me and I know for a fact this is a soulmate connection.. Here's the deal he is 21 years younger than me (I am 56 he is 35) and he is also a Baptist Youth Minister. It is not everyday that someone makes you feel 30 years younger. I can see through to his soul in his eyes and we talk to each other like we have known each other for many lifetimes. I tried to break it off in March and could not stop thinking about him. We reconnected and then decided again it is wrong…..BUT the wife does not know and I sometimes think that she should…but I also feel it is none of my business….Had I known this guy was ALSO a Minister and NOT just a COP I WOULD HAVE NEVER SLEPT WITH HIM !!!! NO WAY!!

    So, even though I promised I would never say anything…I know that when you are married (I have been married 4 times to 3 men..Widowed once in between there) It is truly hard to keep a secret like that. It will eat you up alive…..So I think he could come clean because if he keeps it hidden he can cheat again and I KNOW HE WILL, he is restless and bored with his marriage…..Just sayin! Sometimes you have to tell your heart no and I will never forget this man he is very special and I guess that it why I will keep the secret!!!!!

  20. says:

    Cheating is a very taboo subject. Nobody wants to be known as a cheater and nobody wants to be cheated on. Talking about it is one of the most difficult things to do. Everyone needs a shoulder to cry on and somebody to talk to, because whether they are the cheater or the cheated on they are hurting inside (unless they're an asshole of course). There is a place that you can anonymously confess to cheating on somebody, if you've been cheated on, if you're thinking about cheating, if you've been the other person. is the place you can go to confess, comment and vote on posts. See what people think of what you have been through

  21. […] are we’ve all cheated at some point in our lives.  Maybe is was on your fourth grade long division test because no matter how hard you tried you […]

  22. […] No one wants to hear “that dress makes you look fat”, or “yes I do think your boyfriend is cheating on you.” No one wants to hear the bad stuff. So on the off chance that your friend fesses up and […]

  23. […] His Requests Seem a Little Bizarre Only text me after midnight and before dawn.  Don’t add me on Facebook.  I can only see you Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons.  Can’t we just go over to your place instead?  …This one’s a tricky situation.  He’s probably interested, but he’s probably also cheating. […]

  24. […] he started dating my best friend. He and I agreed that it was never going to happen again and to not tell anyone. Two days later, when we were both drunk, it happened again. I believe he is a good person, and […]

  25. pughsabrina says:

    Song Title: What did I do
    Subject: R& B song about infidelity. The lyrics also address the new tinsel town bogus "sex addict" cop-out. Video is the lyric sheet synchronized to the audio recording.
    Video URL:

  26. sarah says:

    I cheated 7 times, never got caught and it torments me everyday. I ended the fling myself and I deeply regret it. I know my boyfriend deserves the truth but I love him too much to risk losing him. I can say for absolute certain that I will NEVER cheat again. The thing is, the thought of my boyfriend sleeping with another woman terrifies me. I know that makes me a hypocrite and that I don’t have a right to feel this way at all. I’m also fairly certain he will inevitably cheat on me whether I find out about it or not because that’s the way karma works – and that knowledge tortures me as well. At least I can say I know shat I’m missing so I will never be swayed again.

  27. Silviana says:

    you two really need to talk this over and come to a cosoiunlcn.who knows how long your affair went on and she should have the right to be upset. the time you two have put into each other should help you find a strong foothold into the relationship. that is if you two still love each other and think there is anything left to salvage.having an affair is not the end of the world for many marriages. I know more people who have cheated and still love each other and remain married. They learn to overlook the past and realize it can only make them learn to love what they have with each other.since you are letting her seek her independance and rejuvinate her pride again, you are proving you do love her very much. it also means you are aware these things to happen and it is hard to place blame because of it.look into her heart and seek what she is asking you for, give her the time she needs but make sure she knows of your love and what you intend for both of you in the future.I also might want to include that you cheating started this, I hope you do not intend to go that route again, you would rip out her heart if she took you back for you to do it again.

  • You Might Like