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Should You Tell A Spouse About An Affair - 4 Items To Consider

Nov 4, 2007
Whether you should tell a spouse about an affair is a highly complex and personal matter. Here are 4 items to consider when making the decision for yourself.

Item #1: The ethical dimension: The field of ethics can be divided largely into two camps: the good and the right. The good - called the teleological viewpoint - emphasizes doing what is best in terms of the ultimate consequences of an act. Meanwhile, the right - called the deontological viewpoint - emphasizes the nature of the act itself. In terms of cheating on your spouse: if you are in the first camp (the good), you may feel it best to not mention your indiscretion to your spouse if you feel that your relationship would be better off that way. Meanwhile, if you are in the second camp (the right), you may conclude that right is right, wrong is wrong, and therefore you must tell your spouse about what you did.

Item #2: The social dimension: Revealing that one has cheated can often lead directly to an immediate break-up, since the spouse hearing the bad news may feel that the blow is more than they can handle. However, there is also the larger social circle for you to consider before you tell your spouse: do you have kids? How close are you to your extended families? Do you share many friends in common who would be devastated by a breakup? How would a breakup due affect all of those other people?

Item #3: The psychological dimension: As the cheating spouse, you need to ask yourself the reasons for what you have done. Was it out of a basic lack of respect or caring for your partner? Were you feeling unhappy in your relationship and needed to seek extra attention elsewhere? Or, have you fallen out of love with your spouse? The answers to these questions will point you in the direction of either the need to tell your spouse the truth or to keep things under wraps and just commit to choosing a faithful road moving forward.

Item #4: The physical dimension: If cheating has put you at risk for social diseases such as venereal disease or AIDS, you first need to get yourself tested for these diseases and meanwhile put all sexual contact with your spouse on hold. This aspect of cheating is one of the potentially most threatening to both you and your spouse. Even if the tests show that you are disease-free, you still must keep the potential unknown disease-related effects of an indiscretion in mind as you move forward.

Some people feel that telling a spouse about an affair is an absolute must for any number of the reasons mentioned above, given that for some people there are religious, spiritual, or karmic aspects of confessing the wrongs one has done to others. Others feel that under certain circumstances it is best to put the episode behind you and try to heal the relationship. This is ultimately a very personal decision, but by considering the various dimensions of your decision you will be better informed to make the right one for you.
About the Author
The knowledge you have cheated on your spouse can tear a relationship apart - whether or not you decide to share the truth with them. You can learn about ways to heal your relationship and rekindle the love after an affair at: www.Earth-Matters.com
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