Cheated on my boyfriend of 3 years **REVISED**

Dear Edahn,

I don't know what to do. I cheated on my boyfriend of three years one night many months ago when we were going through a rough patch. We've since gotten very close and very serious, and I feel like marriage might be in our future. I'm haunted daily by my guilt over the situation and feel like I should be honest with him if we are going to be married. I know that if I tell him what I did he will leave me, as trust is a big issue for him. Please don't tell me that I shouldn't be with a guy who would leave me over that, and that I should be honest, because in truth I would probably leave him if I found out that he had cheated on me. I know this is a double standard. I dont know what to do. I think I'm really looking for a way to get rid of my guilt without actually confessing to him... any suggestions?

If you cheated on your boyfriend a few months ago, then you need to be honest and accept the consequences of your behavior. You can explain to him what it meant to you, why you did it, what you've learned, and beg for his forgiveness, but if he dumps you, that's life. That's what happens when you cheat. By telling him, you're showing him that you're the honest and trustworthy person you claim to be, and by concealing this from him, you're just reinforcing how untrustworthy you are. 

I know you want there to be an alternative -- a way to rationalize this, absolve yourself of responsibility, and get closure -- but there is no good way to do that short of resorting to some form of self-deception where you pretend concealing this is somehow justified. That's a terrible life to live. Disclose what you need to, accept the consequences, learn your lesson, and move on.