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Relationship built on lies - reveal or keep going?

(58 Posts)
Notafixer Wed 02-Apr-14 21:25:19

To cut to the chase, I cheated on my partner on and off for the first six months of our relationship. It started accidentally. I meet my boyfriend, I happened to meet someone else at nearly the same time, I agreed to go out for a drink with both and it snowballed... I kept pushing the other guy back and my boyfriend became my boyfriend, but the other guy never entirely left the scene and we slept together a few times.

My boyfriend and I broke up a couple of times over this period so it's not like he ever thought our relationship was all rainbows. On some levels I think he knows about the other bloke but he's never asked me out right. I don't really have an excuse for it, except it just kind of happened, the other guy was very persistent and I was bit of a mess. I met them both about six months out of a six year relationship and I'd decided that I absolutely wasn't looking for a relationship at that point. The problem is of course that now I've realised how wonderful my boyfriend is, or rather I'm in a better place to appreciate that.

It is now definitely, 100% over with the other guy and I'm looking forward to pursuing the relationship with my BF without complications. The problem is I'm not sure if I should come clean or take this as a fresh start and just be a better person. Friends know but I'm pretty sure they'd be discreet. I'm just very aware that accidents happen - I remember a thread here a few months ago where a woman overheard a chance remark about her fiancee's early infidelity at their engagement party and called the wedding off. If we are going to build a future part of me would rather do so knowing there aren't any surprises that could derail it. But the selfish part of me would rather just keep quiet. I know it's not fair to give him the wrong impression of who I am, but as I say above, our relationship has been rocky so it feels less dishonest than it could do IYSWIM.

Offred Sat 05-Apr-14 15:50:47

What you did is upsetting. How you are now choosing to handle it is going to be upsetting too. You may think he would handle the infidelity but will he handle the infidelity AND the dishonesty/disrespect?

Apart from anything else the way you describe the relationship makes it sound as though you are getting into another crap relationship with this bf.

Offred Sat 05-Apr-14 15:48:52

to upset him and make him question things he doesn't need to question.

Because from what you mention basically not even being interested in the other guy, just being pressured he absolutely does have reason to be worried because you are not in control of your sexual behaviour... Demonstrably...

Because, selfishly, this is very likely to come out and lying about it proves he has something to worry about - that you don't respect him or consider him an equal.

Because, unselfishly, this is something you should respect him enough to allow him to choose for himself.

Twinklestein Sat 05-Apr-14 10:40:49

I agree with you that describing your relationship as 'built on lies' is not being a drama queen it's just calling it like it is.

If you're so confident that you can work through this then you'd tell him now. It's because you fear you couldn't, and you want to manipulate him into being with you, that you don't.

But hey, it's your life, it's no skin off my nose what you do.

Notafixer Sat 05-Apr-14 10:03:06

Did you really want the other guy but he just wasn't interested enough?

No. It was the opposite in fact. I supposed I realised early on it wasn't going to be a goer but he was so persistent and I guess I was flattered with the persistence. Plus as long as I kept both on the go it meant I didn't have to make decisions, could tell myself I wasn't really getting into a relationship etc.

Calling it "built on lies" isn't about being a drama queen, I'm trying not to minimise. During the six months I had all kinds of reasons why it was fine and now I'm just trying to be honest with myself that it wasn't.

And it's him, not a relationship. If it was just a relationship I could get another one before the summer ends, and one with far less chance of blowing up! But he is special.

This relationship has one shot of working out: coming clean and her bf liking her enough to essentially start the relationship again,

As I said above, I am confident we could work through this, so I'm actually not convinced it's helpful to upset him and make him question things he doesn't need to question.

Twinklestein Fri 04-Apr-14 22:07:16

This relationship has one shot of working out: coming clean and her bf liking her enough to essentially start the relationship again, and build up up the trust from scratch. Otherwise, it's fucked.

jellybelly29 Fri 04-Apr-14 22:00:02

This scenario is odd. Why did you carry on with the other guy for so long, and why are you still with your boyfriend now? Did you really want the other guy but he just wasn't interested enough?

We can't all have everything we want, of course. It's bad that it carried on for so long, but if you want to be with your boyfriend long term, no good will come of telling him now. Decide if you want him, or just a relationship (and if it's the latter, end it).

Otherwise, work on what your relationship is now. It's not 'built on lies' (stop being such a drama queen), focus on what you've got and giving it your all.

Just because bad things have happened in the past it doesn't mean that you can't have a good and meaningful partnership now. But make sure you are honest with yourself about why you're still with him.

Springheeled Fri 04-Apr-14 19:00:25

I am intrigued by the dynamics of this as I guess I have been person B in the past in this kind of scenario. I would not want to swap places with person A though, in a million years.

LadyHH Fri 04-Apr-14 18:52:40

Don't tell him. I stupidly told my DP about an affair I had 10 years before met him. Our relationship has never recovered and he considers me a liar for not telling him I was the sort of person who would do that. Don't make the same mistake I did. The chances of it coming out by some other means are slim. Mind you my DP is an unreasonable B!

MamaMumra Fri 04-Apr-14 17:29:32

Well as long as you realise that you're keeping this secret for your own benefit only and not because this is a great love or anything.
You don't respect this man and you don't seem to particularly care for him either. Sorry to sound harsh but don't you think he deserves better than you?
You have taken away his choice - you have decided for him and you have done this for selfish reasons.

Springheeled Fri 04-Apr-14 07:03:14

I feel for the partner here. When/if it's found out, it will be the lack of respect that will hurt way more than the cheating.
I couldn't do it. Each to their own!

Offred Thu 03-Apr-14 23:50:49

Honesty for honesty's sake i.e. To be an honest person and a respectful partner is always better than lying for the sake of keeping a relationship btw.

Offred Thu 03-Apr-14 23:49:42

Yes, learning the hard way it is then for someone you claim to love too...

NotNewButNameChanged Thu 03-Apr-14 23:20:40

Why am I not surprised? Not sure why you asked. What a lovely social circle you must have, where people cheat and think so little of their partners.

Twinklestein Thu 03-Apr-14 23:20:37

If he strongly suspects, he will probe eventually, and then it will be over. You will have wasted x amount of time and have to start again.

You cannot build a solid relationship on such dodgy ground. But, you'll have to find this out the hard way...

Notafixer Thu 03-Apr-14 23:15:47

Well, I'm sure I'll get flamed, but I've decided to keep quiet. For various reasons I think we are strong enough to survive it if it came out. (I haven't gone into the rocky patches, but he really doesn't think I'm an angel). However, it would hurt him hugely, create unease where unease isn't necessary and always sour something that doesn't need souring and I'm not sure the price for honesty for it's own sake is worth that. If I thought he'd instantly want to end it then I might feel it was morally different.

But if he ever gives any indication that he knows and is looking for confirmation I will come clean. As I said, I'm pretty sure he strongly suspects but has never probed.

Regarding the "it will come out", this isn't actually an uncommon scenario in my social circle (and it's not even the worst story!) and those have all remained hidden.

Springheeled Thu 03-Apr-14 22:44:50

Have you decided OP?

LeapInTheDark Thu 03-Apr-14 16:16:07

I wanted to let you know that I am in a similar situation. Only some of the details are different which I think makes a huge difference although I recognise that some people here won't see that.

About 3 years ago I was young free and single and doing some online dating but getting a bit hacked off with it.

Just as I was about to give up I went on a date with a lovely guy - let's call him A. We arranged a second date but TBH I had been there many many times and wasn't overly hopeful. In between our first and second date I met a man in a bar (let's call him B) and there was instant chemistry.

So for about 6 weeks I saw them (and slept with them) both. I liked them both but didn't tell either of them about the other. I felt like I didn't owe either of them an explanation at the time, it was such early days. But quite quickly I realised that although I fancied the pants off B that A was a keeper and had potential for a long-term relationship.

So I finished it with B. He was really surprisingly upset and it took quite a few phone calls until he finally accepted it. But finish it I did and have gone on to have a lovely, happy relationship with A (3 years so far!)

Except I've never told him about B. I justify it in my mind that we hadn't had the exclusive talk or mentioned the L word and that I ended it quickly with B (6 weeks for me is a different matter than 6 months!). But I still feel guilty about it and sometimes consider confessing to A. But I never have because I know he would be very upset and it seems a bit pointless. There is no chance of A and B meeting as they live in different countries.

Where I think your situation differs OP is that you didn't end it when your BF became your BF and he believed you to be exclusive. Having said that, I don'tthink there's much point in telling your BF. Not sure what it would achieve tbh. Apart from assuaging your guilt.

Just wanted to know that I can understand your dilema

Offred Thu 03-Apr-14 15:50:26

You're being exceptionally dishonest and emotionally immature I think.

You've not got a relationship with your bf because you are only prepared to do that taking and no giving. You even sound like you are blaming him for talking about exclusivity too soon - too right it was too soon because your were seeing someone else!

Basic human decency should have seen you say to him that's what you were doing and how you felt when he raised that chat.

You blame the OM for pressuring you and you want to trick your bf into having stronger feelings before you expose yourself as a liar/before you can trust you'll be able to manipulate him into staying.

Astonishing levels of selfishness and deceit there.

I think you need to confess now and if he does want to split up I don't think you should date until you've sorted yourself out a bit, you just can't treat people like this.

OneMoreChap Thu 03-Apr-14 15:36:52

If OP thinks it will come out, she should tell him now.

MamaMumra Thu 03-Apr-14 15:28:52

If other people know then it will come out.

OneMoreChap Thu 03-Apr-14 14:53:16

Notafixer
I think I want to give us a few more months of just being happy before I consider raising it.

Bizzare.
Either keep shtum and never say anything, or tell him now.
Want him to "fall in love" so you can really mess with his head some months down the track?

Sounds like you want to make yourself feel better.
You won't.
You certainly won't make him feel better.

NotNewButNameChanged Thu 03-Apr-14 13:45:14

See, I never understand anyone who thinks people should keep quiet about cheating or affairs. Yes, of course the person cheated on will probably be devastated or hurt. But every decent person deserves to be in a relationship with someone that respects them and treats them well. Cheating on them shows a lack of respect. Lying about it ditto. They have right to know their partner's morals.

CoteDAzur Thu 03-Apr-14 13:10:26

Can you plausibly spin it as "I slept with a guy for a few times while we were not together (during the 'off' part of the on/off relationship) but now I know you are the one" etc?

KiKiKiKi Thu 03-Apr-14 13:00:12

You say you really like your boyfriend, yet you're not giving him to choice on whether to be with you whilst knowing all the facts.

If I were him, I'd ditch you immediately, especially if your other break ups have centred on you not being ready.

It sounds like now you're ready, but I think you've ballsed this one up OP.

Twinklestein Thu 03-Apr-14 09:11:33

OP, you're living in Lala land. You can probably get away with a few more months 'of just being happy' without it coming to light, but what's the point? It's completely fake. It's purely a selfish form of happiness because it's based on tricking your partner into something that he may not have chosen if he knew the truth.

Your partner has the right to make his own choice. The longer this goes on, the more culpable you become, the more horrified he's going to be. You have to accept that by very poor judgement you may have nuked this relationship. Take responsibility for that and learn that this is not how to do relationships, it's immature and unrealistic.

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