An article that appeared in US Weekly discussed Kyle Richard’s, of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” controversial statement about marriage and cheating. According to Kyle, who has been married to Mauricio Umansky for 17 years, if you have a one-time indiscretion, that doesn’t put your spouse in harms way, then you should keep it to yourself. She espoused these sentiments during her recent appearance on Good Morning America and understandably took some heat for her opinions. She even has a new book out that tells readers that if you cheat once, “you get a pass.”
Kyle believes that disclosing the information about the one-time affair may be more detrimental to the relationship than having to hold the secret. Certainly marriages have been ended after confessions have been made; but I contend that it is not the information itself that ends a marriage, but the general lack of trust and intimacy present in the relationship in the first place.
As a therapist who works with couples I can report that affairs, even one-time indiscretions, are almost always symptoms of a greater problem that exists within the relationship itself. Concealing what may seem like one little mistake is really avoiding the real issues, so the relationship may very well end anyway.
In addition, the old expression, “lies have little feet” applies well to this type of situation. Of the couples I have seen over the years, which have sought therapy because of an affair, all have had less of a challenge forgiving the act itself than forgiving the lying that accompanied it. Somehow, in some way, the truth usually comes out and the residue left by the lies can leave permanent scars.
Clearly there are differing opinions on the matter and everyone, including mental health professionals, arrives at their opinion from their own perspective. I am an advocate of the truth and of open communication between couples, even when that means having difficult or painful conversations. I would be interested to hear some of your thoughts on the subject. Do you believe it is better to come clean if you have had a one-time affair or to keep the information to yourself forever?