Updated: Friday, 24th November 2017 @ 8:08am

Mancunian matters of the heart: I'm cheating on my partner with a pal... do I tell?

Mancunian matters of the heart: I'm cheating on my partner with a pal... do I tell?

| By Kim Reader

Bored in the bedroom? Fretting over infidelity? Whatever your love dilemmas are, MM's agony aunt Kim Reader has the answer.

Ahead of Valentine's Day, here at MM we thought it about time that we do our bit for those worrying over matters of the heart.

This week, a cheater has been feeling the pangs of guilt and has reached out to Kim for advice. Should she come clean? Read on to find out.

If you have a question for Kim, you can email us here.

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Dear Kim

I don’t know how to say this without sounding stupid, but… I am cheating on my boyfriend and I need help.

I’ve never cheated before and our sex life is good, but I just can’t seem to stop. It started after we had a massive argument. I went out for drinks and ended up sleeping with just some guy, but now I’ve kind of ended up in a situation where I’m casually having sex with one of my friends as well.

This sounds so awful. I know it is wrong. The thing is do I tell my boyfriend? I love him. I really don’t want to hurt him.

Please tell me what to do.

Once a Cheater

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Dear Once a Cheater,

Brace yourself, my dear, I am going to be firm – not because I don’t sympathise but because I must. You really need to get a grip.

I am not judging you, we’ve all been there – or at least I am willing to put my hands up and say I have – but sometimes the truth is hard to take and this one definitely will be.

You say you don’t want to hurt your boyfriend, but you already have. If you are in a committed, monogamous relationship then the trust between you is, in part, built on the expectation of fidelity. You have betrayed that trust.

Also, the person in a relationship being cheated on will often know their other half is being unfaithful. Intuition is a powerful tool so he probably, at least, suspects something is going on, which means you are both living with secrets and that is certainly not the way forward.

Those two points are fairly obvious, but still two things you need to come to terms with and accept – the head in the sand approach only works for so long. However there is a bit more to it.

Without calling into question your love for your partner in the slightest, there is clearly something wrong in your relationship. Whether it is obvious or not – problems aren’t always blazing rows or a loss of passion – people do not cheat for no reason.

Whatever the issue is, be it you, or him, or a fear of commitment, your reaction to it has been to seek comfort elsewhere and lie about it. Happy people do not act out with betrayal and secrecy.

Your partner deserves to be with someone, who makes him happy AND is happy enough with him not to stray. YOU deserve someone who makes you so happy you do not go to others for the false happiness the instant and albeit brief gratification sex gives.

So, if you do love and do care about both your boyfriend and yourself, it is time to move on. Explain that you still love him and tell him the relationship has just run its course. It will be better for both of you in the long run.

Whether or not you disclose the cheating is an issue I’m less willing to give a definitive response to. I am a true believer in the saying ‘honesty is the best policy’ and I try to live (and unfortunately sometimes metaphorically die) by it.

But, there are sometimes truths that when disclosed serve no purpose other than to cause one person pain – in this case your partner – and relieve another person’s guilty conscience and, to be quite honest myself, you need to suffer through the guilt on this one. It will be a lesson well-learnt.

You made a mistake or two, you’re only human. It happens. Don’t beat yourself up, but don’t make another one by dragging out a relationship that is clearly over.

If you have a question for Kim, you can email us here.

Image courtesy of Mislav Marohnic, with thanks.