Lena Russell*, 32 from the UK, has been married for five years and has two kids
If my husband had a one-night stand an dregretted it, I would not want to know. Knowing would cause endless damage and I would never be able to trust him again, or forgive his infidelity. So, I would rather not know.
If he felt he had made a mistake and he regretted it, then he must have realised that he loves and wants me. I do think mistakes can happen that don’t mean anything. Sometimes people use sex to boost their ego. Whether people are single or married, meaningless sex happens all the time.
If it was an ongoing affair, I would want to know and I would be kicking him out immediately. A mistake is not something you repeat.
If the affair was with a woman I know, I would be even more horrified. I would have been betrayed by a friend as well as my husband. Furthermore, I would be wondering if they were laughing at me behind my back, or if the woman was gossiping about me and my husband with her friends.
I was the other woman once. I fell in love with a married man and he fell in love with me. But I refused to let anything physical happen until he left his wife (which he did very quickly).
Looking back, I can see it was very wrong. But we never intended for it to happen. We were close due to family connections, as his brother was my father’s business partner. So we spent a lot of time together and it just happened. He was in a loveless marriage anyway. If he hadn’t been, I don’t think he would have even considered opening himself up to the idea of falling in love with someone else.
Kirsty Burns, 32 from the UK, has been with her partner for two years
I would want to know if my partner was cheating on me. If I had any suspicion, my imagination would be creating a story far worse than the reality. And if I was completely oblivious, I would still want to be told — preferably by my partner and, if not, then by a friend.
Secrets like that shouldn’t be kept. I am a firm believer in the fact that they will always come out and I would feel worse if I thought people had been laughing behind my back at my naivety.
I have been cheated on three times. The first boyfriend cheated with my best friend at the time. That hurt, not only because I lost my boyfriend and my best friend, but also because I lost respect for them as people. I am not saying I would never have been happy about it, but I would have respected them more if they had come to me and said they had fallen in love rather than just sleeping together in my bed!
The second boyfriend denied it until I checked his phone bill and confronted him with evidence that he had been on the phone for an hour on Christmas Day while I cooked dinner for his family downstairs.
Finally, the third one admitted to me straight out and I had no idea. We weren’t very serious anyway... But I coped better knowing the truth and we’re still friends to this day.
Now I am in a relationship with the love of my life, so if it happened again I would be devastated. Trust is very important to me and I freely give it. However, if it’s broken I struggle to regain it. Right now, I have complete trust in my better half and it’s comforting. The dynamics of our relationship would change if that trust was gone so even if I decided to stay, I don’t know if it would work.
People deal with infidelity differently. Some people can turn a blind eye to it. Some people can move on. I don’t think there’s a right and wrong way — I just prefer to know the truth. This is why I told a friend about her boyfriend’s double life. Obviously you don’t drop a bombshell like that without having evidence, which I did, including details of a child he had fathered. She decided to stay with him, which I fully supported. It cost me my friendship but I don’t ever regret it — she deserved to know. Another friend had suspicions about her hubby and I helped her catch him. They worked through it and are still together today, which I am happy about. But at least she knows the truth.
*Name has been changed