Say you’re in a serious relationship. You believe you love the other person, truly madly deeply do, but at a party you get ripped and have a one night stand with a stranger. You wake up the next morning, hung over and mortified, and flee home. Your significant other is due back that night, and you spend the day pacing back and forth, wracked by guilt, panicked and despairing. You’ve never loved them so much as you do now when it all stands to collapse upon itself–what should you do?

First reaction might be to bare all. Tell them, sobbing and clutching their hand, that you made a mistake, that you’ll never do it again, and hope for the best. Trust that your love is true and strong enough to survive such a stupid mistake, and throw yourself at your partner’s mercy. You can’t be in a serious relationship and hide such a grievous transgression; truth, no matter how painful, is of paramount importance.

But no, the other side cries out, are you mad? You made a mistake, and now you have to pay the consequences, suffer the guilt, by why should your partner suffer for them too? Why tell them when you know that it will result in pain, loss of trust and most probably the end of your relationship? Aren’t you simply telling them in order to expiate your guilt, to be punished so as to feel better about yourself? You fucked up, you carry that burden and deal with it. Ignorance is bliss, and when action can only hurt and destroy, it is better not to act all.

I don’t know where I stand. I think I wouldn’t have a choice and feel compelled to disclose my mistake, but the other argument is persuasive too. What do you guys think? What is the right course of action when you want to save your relationship?