When Sex is an Addiction: How to Tell Your Partner You Cheated
Have you been unfaithful, but aren’t sure how to come clean? Here’s how to tell your partner you cheated, and signs that sex addiction may be to blame.
There’s no way around it: cheating on your partner is bad news for all involved. Not only is your partner betrayed and deeply hurt, but you will be wracked with guilt, whether or not you decide to come clean.
If you’ve been on either end of this situation before, you know how uncomfortable the conversation can be. It’s not easy to tell your partner that you cheated on them. Does it even matter how you go about doing so? As it turns out, the way you communicate this can go a long way.
If this isn’t the first time you’ve cheated on a significant other, or you’re worried that you won’t be able to control your urge to do it again, your sexual behaviour may be compulsive – a sign of sex addiction.
What to do if You’ve Cheated on Your Boyfriend, Girlfriend or Spouse
Nothing will undo what’s already been done, but you can restore some goodwill by being honest, considerate, solution-oriented and communicative with your partner.
1. Decide on the Outcome You Want
Revealing to your partner that you’ve betrayed their trust is certain to make things tense. It’s not uncommon for relationships to end because of a partner cheating. Before you approach your partner, it’s helpful to know what your goal is for the relationship so that your conversation can revolve around finding a solution that works best for both of you.
- Figure out if you want to end the relationship, or if you’d like to repair things and try to move on.
- If you don’t want to break up, try to determine what your reasons were for cheating. Are you unsatisfied with your current sex life? Are your feelings for your partner dwindling? Are you simply not satisfied with one partner? Or are you acting out compulsively, feeling a lack of control over your sexual behaviour?
- Taking a moment to work through these questions internally will not only help you approach your partner, but help you determine if there’s a larger, underlying issue like sex addiction at play.
2. Take Responsibility for Your Mistakes
It’s important that you fully accept responsibility for your actions, both for yourself and the sake of your relationship. If you don’t approach the conversation intending to admit your mistake, it could quickly escalate into an argument with both of you pointing fingers about unrelated things and blaming each other.
Even if you do plan on ending the relationship, it’s ideal to do it on the best terms possible. Making your partner feel guilty or responsible for your infidelity won’t help either of you in the long run.
3. Stay on Track
It’s important not to stray from personal responsibility by shifting the blame onto your partner during this conversation, but it’s just as important to make sure that you keep the conversation on track. Now is not the time to bring up quarrels from your past or other, irrelevant details about your relationship.
The goal of this conversation is honesty. It’s not supposed to be an easy conversation, but you’re doing it because you care about your partner. It may be tempting to steer the conversation away from this uncomfortable subject, but it’s best to meet the issue head-on.
Can’t Stop Cheating? Speak to a Sex Addiction Therapist.
If this is the first time you’ve cheated on your partner, the guilt and regret might be enough for you to refrain from cheating again. However, if this is a recurring pattern for you, you may need to try something different.
If you regularly cheat on your partners, if you engage in risky sexual behaviour despite the consequences or if you feel you can’t stop yourself from cheating again, you may be suffering from sex addiction.
Here at The Cabin Hong Kong, our highly trained team of addiction experts can help you determine if you have a sex addiction and what your course of action should be. Our own Recovery Zones treatment model is especially effective in process addictions like sex addiction. We provide a confidential, non-judgmental environment with compassionate professionals who will work with you to overcome your problem. Contact us today for a brief phone assessment to learn more.