Would you want to know if your mate had committed the ultimate betrayal and cheated on you previously? These answers may surprise you.
Most people say ignorance is bliss *what you don’t know won’t hurt you* but could anyone apply this turn of phrase to a cheating mate?
Would you want to know if your mate had committed the ultimate betrayal? Most people’s knee-jerk reaction may be a resounding “Yes!” but the answer isn’t always so black and white. Some say what their mate doesn’t know won’t hurt them, while others insist they would want to know immediately about an affair so they could decide with full-facts whether or not to give their lover a second chance.
If you had been with your mate for 20 years, and they had previously had an affair that was now 100% over—would you want to know about it? This answer isn’t so easy, and here’s why… [Read: You only cheated once, should you tell or just shut up?]
Pros and cons of knowing the truth
PRO: You’ll know the absolute truth. Your mate has betrayed your relationship, and now you can continue on with your decision knowing everything there is to know.
CON: What seems like forever ago to your mate is an earth-shattering truth just hitting you now. This can have a cataclysmic effect on your psyche, especially since your mate’s reactions to things will no longer be “fresh.” If you do stay in the relationship, your trust has been crushed to smithereens.
PRO: Now that you know it happened once, you won’t be naïve to it happening again in the future.
CON: Staying in the dark about it could lead your mate to rightly believe they’ve gotten away with something, and it may prompt them to have another affair in the future.
PRO: If you do know about the affair and leave your partner, you’ll no longer be living with lies, deceit, and betrayal.
CON: If you do stay together, this information can be needlessly hurtful, especially if the affair ended a long time ago. Now you have built a life together for X amount of years, and you will begin to question what was true and false about your relationship.
[Read: Affairs in a relationship and the big role that ego plays in the outcome]
Polling for answers
We’ve asked males and females in varying age-ranges their take on “ignorance is bliss” in relationships, and we think their answers may surprise you! If you were in a 20+ year relationship and your partner previously had an affair that was now over, would you want to know about it?
We’re looking at 10 takes on cheating mates in relationships, and whether these couples would want to know about past wrongs!
#1 “If I was happy and in a good place, and the affair was for sure a long time ago, then no… I don’t think I would want to know. At that point, we would have built a life together and I wouldn’t want “my” life to be ruined just because my partner made a stupid mistake.” – Jen, age 21.
#2 “Is ignorance really bliss when it comes to this kind of stuff? Depends. Are there kids involved? If we had kids then I’d say… Yeah, tell me about it and we’ll work it out, if not for ourselves then for our kids. I guess either way I would want to know about it, since I wouldn’t want to be living a lie with my partner.” – Matthew, age 32. [Read: 9 practical ways to rebuild trust after you’ve cheated]