Things to know before you confess to an extra-marital affair to your partner

If you had an extra-martial affair and are planning to confess the blunder, then here are few things you should know.

1. Infidelity is not as common as one might think, for a 2006 online survey of 46,000 people revealed that one in five married men and one in ten married women had committed infidelity during their marriage.

2. In case there is no chance that your partner will find out about a one-off misdemeanour on a business trip, and you want your relationship to survive, honesty is not necessarily the best policy.

3. If you are crippled with guilt or you some need advice, talk to a neutral third party.

4. If there is chance that someone else will tell your partner, come clean.

5. If you have had unprotected sex, get tested for STIs and you may need to tell your partner the truth so that he or she can get tested too.

6. The motive of the confession should be a genuine desire to improve or, if necessary, gently terminate your relationship. Don’t confess to ease your own guilt, vent anger or get even.

7. Infidelity is often a symptom, not a cause, of trouble in a relationship, and admitting to it may force you to address the underlying issues.

8. Frank Pittman, a psychiatrist and relationship expert, says there are four types of infidelity – accidental infidelity (an unintended act of, usually drunken, carelessness); the romantic affair (you meet somebody wonderful while you are going through a big crisis in your life); the marital arrangement (comfort while you avoid dealing with a marriage that won’t die and won’t recover); and the philanderer (men who continually need their masculinity affirmed, women who are the daughters or ex-wives of philanderers).

9. According to the UK management consultants Grant Thornton, extra-marital affairs remain the biggest cause for divorce.

10. Only 3 per cent of 4,100 high-powered, but unfaithful, men divorced their wives and married their lovers. And the divorce rate among those who marry their lovers is 75 per cent.