You Cheated on Your Boyfriend. Now What?

So you strayed into another man's bed and now you're confused and guilty. It's time to get your affairs in order. First step - Admit to yourself that you cheated.

It's common for women or men who cheat on their partners to deny their actions by rationalizing them. Lou Paget, author of the Big O: Orgasms: How to Have Them, Give Them and Keep Them Coming, says, "Many men have told me that even though they're having intercourse with other women, they're not being unfaithful to their wives, because they don't ejaculate. Many women have told me they're not having sex, because they're giving blow jobs." Here's a fool proof definition of cheating: any physical and sometimes even emotional contact, that your partner would consider being unfaithful. Once you admit you've cheated, you can figure out what to do about it.

Tell vs. Don't Tell - Because women are trained to please, they don't want to deliver any bad news to their partners. But at the same time, we've been trained to believe that honesty is the best policy. So what's the right answer? It depends. Here's what you should consider before dropping the bomb:

Can you live with yourself if you don't tell? If you can't bear the burden of a lie, fess up. Plenty a cheating heart have blurted out their infidelities after they've had too much to drink. If you don't have the willpower to conceal the truth forever, tell him soberly.

Will someone else tell him? If your affair wasn't so secret, and someone may intentionally or accidentally mention your dalliance, fess up. And quick. He needs to hear it from you. Hearing the truth from any other mouth is just plain cruel.

Does he love you enough to forgive you? Sure, he'll be mad. But it's possible to work through these things.

Does he already suspect? If he does, and he probably does, it may not come as the biggest shock.

End it - If you decide to stay with your man, end the affair. You can't have two men. Stevie Wonder's Part Time Lover was just a song. Don't fool yourself into thinking you can be friends with the man you cheated on your boyfriend with. If you work with the man you had an affair with, don't send emails or meet for lunch or drinks. Maintain a professional relationship only.

Forgive yourself - If you don't forgive yourself, how is your partner supposed to forgive you? You made a mistake. Humans make mistakes. You're human. And humans are animals. Most animals are not monogamous. And while this doesn't make infidelity ok, it makes it understandable. And remember, no one died because you fell into bed with another man.

Figure out why you cheated - As long as you learn a lesson from this experience, something good has come out of it. The lesson isn't that cheating is painful. You need to learn why you strayed. People have affairs because something is wrong in their regular relationship. The new man offers something that your regular man lacks. Figure out what that is and correct it. If you do, you stand a good chance of never cheating, and never feeling such pain, again.

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