Honesty: does it depend on the context?

Discussion in 'Rebooting in a Relationship' started by Braveheart1990, Feb 14, 2018.

Does telling your partner depend on the context?

  1. Yes - tell if it would do more harm not to

    7 vote(s)
  2. No - you must always tell

    14 vote(s)
  1. Braveheart1990

    Braveheart1990 Fapstronaut

    I'm new to this website but not new to the challenge. I've tried and failed a number of times. I'm in a long term relationship and interested to know people's thoughts about telling my partner.

    The consensus seems to be an overwhelming yes to telling, but surely it all depends on the context? For example, the most destructive part of my addiction is to cam girls. I use a lot of my personal surplus funds, never joint funds! I never jeopardise our ability as a couple to pay our mortgage and bills. I earn far more than I need, meaning that we can still afford to go on very nice vacations etc. I only resort to cam sites when alone (my girlfriend works late a lot, but that's not her fault, it is a symptom of her chosen career).

    The result of this is that she knows nothing about my addiction and, if she did, it would ruin a great relationship we have. For me, giving up before I hit rock bottom and lose her is my greatest motivation for getting better. She is always very stressed in her job and often mentions that she doesn't know what she would do without me. Neither of us want to find out. I attempted to tell her once before in a round about way ("my friend") and she was repulsed.

    Russell Brand's book on addiction advocates honesty as long as that honesty wouldn't do more harm than good. I think, in my case, honesty would be the most harmful thing. It would result in my partner losing, or at least forever changing, in her words, "her rock" and it would leave me without my strongest possible motivation for getting better - getting better for her!

    Although some might think it is, this isn't a question of cowardice. If I thought it would do more good than harm, then I would say. I've very carefully weighed up the pros and cons.
    Protagoras likes this.
  2. realcheese

    realcheese Fapstronaut

    Honestly, you don’t have a relationship, you are selfishly having intimacy outside of what it is you have with your real life girlfriend and you don’t tell her because you know that she will leave, so you take that choice away from her. Honesty starts with being honest with yourself and justifying your infidelity by saying you are keeping it from her to protect her is still a lie. You are only protecting yourself.
  3. Johns80

    Johns80 Fapstronaut

    Honestly is honesty. It’s that simple. Your GF deserves full disclosure and then she can decide if she wants to stay and support you through your addiction and recovery. It’s selfish and extremely harmful otherwise. And....they always find out eventually. Better she hear it from you first.
    Kris456, GG2002, Jagliana and 6 others like this.
  4. Numb

    Numb Fapstronaut

    You don't have a real relationship if you are lying to her and withholding this is with out a doubt, lying. She may very well be repulsed, angry and hurt. She may leave, but she may also choose to stay. It isn't fair to keep this from her and fight this alone. It would have been so much easier on me if my BF came clean to me instead of me having to find out time after time. Lie after lie.
  5. Braveheart1990

    Braveheart1990 Fapstronaut

    Thanks for the responses. I know that my opinion is one that seems vastly outnumbered on this forum and I wanted to know the other side of the argument (essentially using the forum as a form of devil's advocate).

    Perhaps my view is clouded by my profession as a lawyer. Much of the decisions I have to face every day are not a definite yes or no. Very often the answer is it depends. I don't think you can ever have an absolute "you must do this" in every situation.

    However, I take exception to the comments that I don't have a relationship with my girlfriend because of this. We've been through absolute hell and back in the last few years (not PM related). Without knowing what we are like as a couple, you cannot possibly say we do not have a relationship. I would understand if you said something about the quality of the relationship in light of an important omission and my conduct. That I could accept, but to dismiss it completely as nothing is wrong.
    Protagoras likes this.
  6. Peace467

    Peace467 Fapstronaut

    I agree with the other posts in this thread, but want to add that I don’t think you can ever truly be free if you still hold onto the lie and try and live like it never happened.

    Where there is a lie it’s still going to be damaging the relationship to some extent and prevent you from being fully restored, even if it’s just the way you think about it (as in having to hold onto the lie for the rest of your life).

    That being said, I have never been in your situation with s/o, but just know that even when I’ve been honest with close friends, it has always enabled greater freedom and understading just from not having to be worried about holding onto a lie - this in turn made it easier to progress forward. I was no longer scared of the sin in my life, because I knew I could be restored from it!
  7. moonesque

    moonesque Fapstronaut
    NoFap Defender

    What you say is true, but let me tell you this. The SOs are talking out of their own personal experience as has been my understanding. Your partner will feel the same way when she finds out, and it will happen. Then you’ll have yourself and your actions to deal with, your argument will mean nothing because that is the reality that your partners lives in. If you never tell her, I’m not sure how you will ever be rid of it. To even say that you want a relationship but need to lie about this to her face, everyday, perhaps that should matter to you a little more than whatever argument could be true or the possibility of this relationship. Because that flawed relationship or lack thereof will never be the same as a relationship with honesty. Ideals matter more than good or bad sometimes.
    Soren K., GG2002, Jagliana and 4 others like this.
  8. Queen_Of_Hearts_13

    Queen_Of_Hearts_13 Fapstronaut

    Ok, I know a lawyer on here and she always advocates for honesty, so I don't think the laywer career is why you have trouble with deciding. I think really you're scared, and that's perfectly okay. But she Deserves honesty. A relationship isn't a relationship if it's a lie. There may be "real moments" but the overall relationship is based on a lie, it's based on the fact that she thinks your faithful but you're not, that's not a relationship.

    Most SO's (if not all) feel like their entire relationship was a lie because well, it was. That's the cold hard truth. They might not have been with that person had they known the truth, but guess what? Their choice was Taken from them. That's not okay. Some might have stayed, it all depends on the individual, their own experiences, and their own tolerances.

    If you Love your gf, you will tell her when push comes to shove because trust me, her finding out from you will be the best, because when, yes- when, not if- she finds out it will hurt a million times more.

    Now, personally, a letter is one of the best ways to disclose (I have a sample letter written that if you message me privately I can send to you to inspire you and give you an idea of a graceful way to do it). That way all your thoughts, your actions, your remorse is there, because there are some guys who try to disclose and they worry about crying or not being able to express what they are trying to say accurately in the moment, or they fear they will "space", so having it all there is great because if you get overwhelmed, you can just read from the letter, use it as a guideline or even hand it to her if you're too overwhelmed with emotion.

    I just had to point this sentence out as addict thinking. Which is perfectly fine since it seems you're in the beginning stages (I've struggled with my own addictions, so my opinions are not just because I am an SO). But take a moment and reflect, do you really have a great relationship if you are addicted and lying? Just a thought.

    I know that I didn't find out until a year into the relationship. The moment I found out, I concluded the entire year was a lie. In fact, when looking at my relationship I don't count that entire year of lies and addiction because to me (and lots of SO's) that isn't a relationship. True meaningful healthy relationships require trust, honesty, dignity, integrity, etc.

    By the way, I ended up marrying my guy, so yes, there are happy endings, but only with honesty, that's the only reason I stayed in the end was that he promised to not lie.

    I wish you the best in your recovery and hope you tell your gf.
  9. RecoveringLion

    RecoveringLion Fapstronaut

    The best way to break free of addiction is to cast it into the light.

    Yes - She might leave you. Make peace with that. It’s YOUR fault your in this situation and she deserves to know the reality of it. Women are way more loyal than men, and there is an at least 60% chance that she won’t leave, but things will be hard for awhile.

    Get help, and get better, then the side benefit is you aren’t pissing money away by encouraging women with their own set of problems to sell their self respect so some anonymous lawyer can jerk his shit late at night.

    Harsh? Yes, but your a lawyer and can handle the harsh truth.
    Soren K., GG2002, Kris456 and 3 others like this.
  10. RecoveringLion

    RecoveringLion Fapstronaut

    To backup AnonymousAnna, if you are a man about it and tell her you have a problem, she will be likely to have sympathy on you and want to help you.

    If she finds out some other way, she will view you as a monster.
  11. Queenie%Bee

    Queenie%Bee Fapstronaut

    You may think you have this great relationship putting your addiction neatly aside in a separate box . YOU have to ask yourself , is she getting what she thinks she is ?
    Darkligh, Kris456, GG2002 and 3 others like this.
  12. EyesWideOpen

    EyesWideOpen Fapstronaut

    When we say you have no relationship, what we are saying is that it is built on a falsehood. The longer you keep this giant secret from her, when she does find out, regardless of how, she will look back at all the memories the two of you created before she found out and find them all tainted. She will associate them with being lied to. She will recognize a random night that she knew something was off but shrugged off her intuition and it will suddenly make sense. This is also gaslighting. Unintentional, but gaslighting nonetheless. She will feel like your whole relationship is a lie because you've not been truthful and open with her about your whole life when she more than likely has given you her whole self.

    Unless the two of you break up, she will find out, whether you tell her or she finds out on her own. We always find out one way or another. Some of us it takes longer than others, some of us we knew there was always something off but couldn't pinpoint it. So right now you get to choose how she finds out. Are you going to tell her or is she going to find out on her own? I can tell you it's always a better outcome if we don't find it first.

    Good luck to you. It's clear you really love her.
  13. StillLori

    StillLori Fapstronaut

    It would be so much worse if she found out by herself.

    Don't do that to her.

    It's cam girls my PA partner was fond of and yes, it's a special kind of hurt she'll feel because of the intimacy you've betrayed her with but when she does stumble upon your secrets, the deceit will add an even nastier sting.

    The fact you've admitted the addiction to yourself and already begun your recovery is a massive achievement. many men don't even manage to do this even after they are discovered. She'll be proud of you and appreciate that you're making the right steps for the right reasons all on your own.

    RoyalsChick, Kris456, GG2002 and 2 others like this.
  14. True-Self

    True-Self Fapstronaut

    I think you need to delve more deeply into why you are using cam sites. There are most likely other reasons aside from your girlfriends schedule that you are using them.

    I also agree with everyone on being honest. If your girlfriend was interacting with other people in a sexual manner wouldn't you want to know?
    CowardlyLion, Kenzi, Kris456 and 3 others like this.
  15. Beamer_Dreamer

    Beamer_Dreamer Fapstronaut

    Yeah, not telling her is a problem whether you admit it to yourself or not. You have a relationship of some sort, but it's not good, it's not close, it's not honest and most of all it's not real. You can't have a real relationship if you're hiding big chunks of your life. She should know, I'm sure you'd expect the same if the roles were reversed.

    As for your addiction itself, you should really look into why you watch what you watch. And spending money on it? That's a huge piece that's should be deciphered. I really think you should go see a therapist if you don't already. I would bet a lot of what you do comes from your past, it always does.
    GG2002, Numb and Queen_Of_Hearts_13 like this.
  16. GG2002

    GG2002 Fapstronaut

    Sure you have a relationship but it’s a farce, and based on lies. If you know it would ruin your relationship if you told her, then it’s a fake relationship. She thinks she’s with one guy, a non addict who tells the truth, but she’s not, she’s with someone totally different than that. This is not a real relationship. It may be for you but it’s not for her, she just does not know that yet. I gotta tell you the lengths that addicts will go to to justify lying is astounding. Don’t you see how horrible what you are doing to this person you say you love is?
    Kenzi, Kris456 and Queen_Of_Hearts_13 like this.
  17. GG2002

    GG2002 Fapstronaut

    It seems like he’s trying to justify him not telling her by saying it does not effect her, he’s spending his own discretionary money. But what’s he’s missing is that it does effect her in many ways that have nothing to do with money.
  18. GG2002

    GG2002 Fapstronaut

    Neither of us want to find out? So you speak for her? She said to you I do not want to find out about your porn and cam addiction so please don’t tell me? How did you attempt to tell her in a roundabout way? Tell us yiur exact words. And you say she was repulsed how does that mean she does not want to know. That’s not what Brand is saying. Often addicts in recovery or rehab call people from their past and tell them things to make the addict feel better, to relieve the addict of the guilt, not because it will help the other person. The flaw in your thought process is that you don’t see that keeping it from her is doing more harm than good. You are deluding yourself into thinking that you not telling is about not hurting her, but actually it’s about you not wanting to deal with or see the pain that you have caused. Let me be clear with you, not telling her does not change what you did or what you are doing. So if you are so concerned about her well being, why not stop it? You are hurting her lying not only does not change that, it makes it 100 times worse and as others have said she will find out no matter if you tell her or not. Your motivation is selfish.
  19. GG2002

    GG2002 Fapstronaut

    Yep I’m that lawyer I suspect and to the OP please stop bringing the respect for the profession further down than it already is by insinuating it’s okay to lie in our personal lives , I mean we already have enough lawyer jokes to deal with lol. When a lawyer is at work his or her job is to play a part, to argue what our clients have asked us to argue, whether we believe it or not. We are not personally invested in those decisions or arguments. Are there gray areas in a court of law, sure there are, but your relationship is not a court of law and if you treat it as such your relationships will never work. To the OP if you were on the stand under oath or if bar Counsel brought you before them and specially asked you if you these questions would you be willing to put yiur career on the line with these answers? Even lawyers who argue gray areas can see that in certain circumstances the truth is just the truth. You may make arguments that favor your client but you still have a moral compass. And a judge and jury heck even bar Counsel will be easier on the op than his gf will if she catches you being dishonest. And to be clear it’s dishonest. And not to offend the OP at all but the idea that he would use his legal profession to try to justify his lying make me both angry and also gave me a chuckle. Legit if a lawyer I was dating said something like that I would laugh out loud and slam the door on my way out the door. Again the lengths addicts will go to to justify lying, it’s ludicrous
    CowardlyLion, Kenzi, Kris456 and 4 others like this.
  20. realcheese

    realcheese Fapstronaut

    A lawyer, so you understand Tort. No further questions
    Kenzi and Kris456 like this.

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