It will take time and hard work to rebuild trust.

How to Confess an Old Affair Without Losing My Marriage

by C. Giles

You may be confessing to an old affair because you want to be completely honest with your husband. You want to build a relationship based on mutual trust and respect, therefore he needs to know the truth. However, there is always the possibility that your husband won't be able to handle your admission. It's up to him whether he gives you the chance to repair the hurt you are inevitably going to cause.

1. Be Sure

Before you confess, think carefully about the potential consequences of what you are planning to do. Work out whether confessing to an old affair would cause more harm than good. Decide whether your partner is likely to value your honesty above any anger and disappointment he may feel. Hearing that you cheated on him is going to be difficult, no matter how long ago it happened. If the affair was in a the distant past and there is no risk of you repeating your mistake, no good may come of confessing. You also need to consider your children and take steps to minimize any distress on their part. They are the innocent parties in this and their well-being should be your main concern.

2. Be Prepared

The time and place of your confession is important. Make sure you aren't going to be interrupted or distorted. Turn off your cell phone and give your husband 100 percent of your attention. This is not a conversation to have in a public place, warns Dr. Scott Haltzman, author of "The Secrets of Surviving Infidelity," in the article "Marriage Affair: Should You Tell Your Spouse You Cheated? Expert Weighs In" for "Huffington Post."

3. Be Honest

Saying "I cheated, and I'm sorry" simply isn't enough. Explain your reasons for having an affair. Give your husband as much information as asks for. The more prepared you are to answer his questions (and he's likely to have many of them) the more productive your conversation will be. Be direct in your responses, advises Haltzman.

4. Be Committed

You must apologize for your betrayal, accept full responsibility for your actions and tell your husband that you are willing to do anything to make amends for your mistake. Only by backing your words up with actions will you give your marriage the best chance of survival. Give your partner time to come to terms with your confession. In the meantime, do whatever is neccessary to rebuild trust, one day at a time, advises "Dr. Phil" Philip McGraw in the article, "Advice for Cheaters and their Partners" on "Dr. Phil."

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