Reader’s dilemma: I cheated on my husband with my workmate; should I confess?
I am a 29-year-old married woman living in Nairobi. I have been married for the past four years, but my husband travels a lot.
There’s a close colleague that has been flirting with me for a while, but things got out of hand at a recent out of town strategy session.
We got drunk and he opened up saying that he has always been attracted to me. One thing led to another and we ended up making love.
He is also married, and he has two kids. We have tried our best to forget about it for the sake of our respective marriages, but my feelings seem to have grown.
The thing is I do not want to divorce my husband. I am torn on whether I should confess or pretend that all is okay. I want to save the marriage, but I am afraid confessing could make us split up.
Infidelity is a deep hurt. Not only for the offender but also for the offended. I am sorry that you have to bear this hurt at such a young age. It may feel like the end of your life but I pray that you will have a sliver of hope after this.
Before we talk of a solution, certain factors need to be established and recognized. They may not be exciting to hear but they are necessary for your well, being, Beloved.
The first factor is this: look at where you slipped and not where you fell.
The affair with your co-worker seems like the crux of the problem. I bet if you had a time machine, you may tell yourself that this would be the day you would visit and mend all things. However, the night of the affair is simply the point of impact; there was a separate launching point.
Beloved, before a woman willingly opens up sexually to a man, she had intentionally/unintentionally opened up emotionally to him a long time ago.
The forbidden act between the two of you was where you fell. However, the influence of alcohol and an emotional bonding with your worker was where you slipped.
Proof of an emotional bonding is seen in how your guard was let loose when he confessed attraction. You must cultivate from henceforth clear boundaries with the opposite sex and this particular co-worker,
With relationships, lightening can strike twice at the same place.
Enjoy the company of a co-worker in the presence of other people when out on a retreat. However, exclusive communication (especially intimate ones such as your family, your struggles, your dreams, your past hurts and your fears) creates emotional bonds between you two- even if you don’t have sex.
This is emotional infidelity and is more often than not the foundation of devastating sexual affairs. Even an exclusive hangout (such as having a meal, a beer or a glass of wine together alone) puts you in a precarious position.
The second factor is this: things will not be the same whether you hide it or confess it.
We are often blinded that if we cover up the sin, time will heal the error. We perhaps imagine that we will ignore it as a petty and silly mistake and all will be back to normal. This is not true, Beloved.
Secrets may go with us to the grave but a seared conscience will leave us for dead long before our funeral. This is specifically harder with sexual encounters.
Why? Because sex is more than just a flesh on flesh experience, Beloved. It is a deeply emotional and spiritual act that binds two human beings together
Ironically, the best way to deal with the guilt and shame is to confess it and expose it to light. That is why even after decades, the person you slept with can still haunt your mind if the matter is not dealt with.
In confessing, however, expect an angry and hurt husband. As a bonus though, your husband finding about it through a confession gives the relationship a better chance of salvation than having him stumble onto the secret. S
ecrets have their funny ways of revealing themselves at the least opportune time. Even if he did find out 5 years from now, the broken trust coupled with anger and hurt will be infinitely worse than when confessed in the immediate future.
I would advise engaging the help of someone your husband respects after you confess. Perhaps a mentor or a spiritual leader. Ensure it is a trusted third party. They will need to be there actively for your husband when he mourns.
Also, this person will serve as a reference point for him and yourself when reconciliation efforts from your side persist and it seems unfruitful.
If it is any consolation, I have heard of marriage relationships restored even after adultery wrecked them. The couples put their trust in God and humbled themselves.
I pray you may do so too and have your marriage survive the storm. For as the good books counsels us, “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” Proverbs 28:13 (NIV)