You were caught cheating. Chances are your significant other found out about your behavior in a shocking and ugly way and now things are extremely painful, awkward, and stressful for everyone involved. What can you do to make it better?
The first thing to do is apologize. How, where, and when you apologize are all important considerations.
Below, you'll find.
- How to say you're sorry properly: What to say and what not to say.
- How to write a letter of apology (and three different example letters).
- What to do after you express your sincere apology.
How to Say You're Sorry for Cheating
These options are listed in order of preference and impact. If you're really sorry and sincere, apologize all of the ways listed below. If your partner refuses to meet, then start by writing a letter and sending a text.
- Don't wait too long. It's hard to face the truth, but the longer you wait, the worse it will be.
- Apologize in person. If you only choose one method, a face-to-face apology will always be the most sincere and effective.
- Deliver a physical, hand-written letter.
- Apologize via voicemail, text, and/or email.
- Give your partner plenty of time to grieve and respond.
- Whether they forgive you or not, you will need to work on the issues that led you to cheat in the first place.
How and when you deliver your apology isn't the only consideration. What you say and how you say it is what matters the most. Crafting an effective apology is not easy. Don't make things worse by saying the wrong thing.
How to Apologize Properly
- Take Responsibility. Admit your cheating. Take full responsibility for your actions. Don't try to minimize or blame or you will only give your partner more reasons to hurt.
- Have Empathy. Show some understanding for how your actions have effected your partner. Acknowledge the hurt that your actions have caused. Focus on and verbalize how your partner must feel.
- Say That You're Sorry. Express your remorse explicitly. Don't try to explain or give any excuses, since all of these actions will detract from your apology.
- Ask for Forgiveness. There's no guarantee you will be forgiven, and you don't get to control their decision. You have to ask.
- Make Reparations. Ask them if you can do anything to help repair the wrong and rebuild trust. Better yet—start by listing all the things you will do to make things right, then ask them what else you can do.
- Promise to Never Cheat Again. If you can't keep this promise, then you'll need to come clean—with yourself and with your partner. This step of the proper apology is very important and will require some serious soul-searching.
- Give Them Time to Answer. Even if they lash out in the moment with sadness and anger, give them more time to digest your apology fully before you do anything more.
Never ruin an apology with an excuse.
— Benjamin Franklin
How to Write an Apology Letter for Cheating
If you have cheated and want to apologize properly, then following your face-to-face apology with a handwritten letter that adheres to the seven ways to apologize properly (see above) will help show your sincerity. It may also help you express everything you need to say in order to heal and move forward. If you have cheated on your partner but want another go at the relationship, then then you'll need to ask for another chance to make things right.
Example #1 of a Sincere Apology Letter for Cheating
Below, you'll find three samples of apology letters for cheating, each written to address different needs and situations.
Dearest [ __________ ],
Sometimes, there are simply no words that can adequately express the depth of a person's feelings that are plagued by regret, guilt, and sadness for a wrong done. This is my predicament now for hurting you so badly when you trusted me so.
I want to tell you I'm sorry a thousand times, but I know my apology can't undo what has been done or ease the pain in your heart. Cheating on you is certainly an unforgivable mistake. I totally deserve all the anger and resentment from you for what I have put you through.
However, it also pains me to see you suffering as a result of my misbehavior. Guilt burns in my heart thinking of all the hurt that you must have felt because of my recklessness. Each time that I think of you, I get angry with myself because I can imagine all the bitter tears you must have shed when you learned of my indiscretion.
I'm feeling like this because there is still love for you glowing in my heart. Otherwise, I wouldn't have cared one bit and moved on. But I don't want this relationship to end. I still care deeply about you and love you with all my heart. I truly want you to be happy again with me still being a part of your life.
Well, a mistake is a mistake. I know I don't have the right to ask anything from you when I have foolishly betrayed your trust in me. But if you can find it in your heart to forgive me and give me another opportunity to prove to you how much I love you, I will be very, very relieved indeed. For that would mean I still have the chance to love and cherish you as you deserve, and a chance to make your future a happier one with more laughter and fewer tears.
Lastly, I just want to say that I have faith in my love for you. I have faith that we will overcome the odds and make our relationship even better than before. Give me another chance and I have faith that, one day, we will look back at this and be glad that we didn't walk away from each other.
Loving you always,
You cheated on your husband or wife by having an affair — and now you have no idea how to apologize to them so they know you really mean it. You want to learn how to save your marriage after cheating, yet you wonder if your spouse will ever be able forgive you for your infidelity.
But here’s the rub: True forgiveness takes two people.
Most of the time, when we talk about forgiveness, we’re thinking of something one person chooses to do, for their own reasons.
Maybe there’s family to consider. Maybe you’ve invested so much in this relationship that it doesn’t make sense to destroy it completely. Maybe you just don’t like the way you feel when you think about the violation and you want to forget about it.
However, there is a tradition that says real forgiveness is impossible unless the errant partner asks for it, sincerely and humbly, and the wounded partner is ready to accept the apology. Until that happens, your relationship is shaped by distrust.
You got caught having an affair and now you’re humiliated, ashamed, and frightened about the future of your marriage.
You panic. Have you wrecked your relationship and your family? Maybe. But, you can work on making a true change and regain the trust you lost.
When you’ve been caught having an affair, here are 7 tips for how to apologize to your husband or wife that can help save your marriage after cheating.
1. Don’t make excuses
If you’re hoping to heal your relationship and save your marriage, get over the idea that you have some excuse. You don’t.
There are reasons for what you’ve done, but there are no excuses. You’ve broken your promises and invalidated your contract.
2. End the affair
It has to be done, clearly and without any doubt. Waffling will make everything worse for everyone.
No matter how much pain you feel, you need to be willing to do the hard thing. You will have to tolerate a lot of horrible feelings.
3. Apologize to your partner
It might not be accepted the first dozen times, but do it, anyway. Tell them how very sorry you are. No matter how much you want to make excuses, don’t.
Tell them you want to mend your relationship and you’ll do anything to accomplish that. At this point, no matter how your partner responds, stick to this message, and only this message.
4. Acknowledge what you did
Your shame about your affair is so painful, the last thing you want to do is to look at it. But you have to.
Chances are, you have never thought of yourself as a cheater. Even the word may make you cringe. Now that you know you have a cheater in you, you will not be able to stuff it away and pretend it doesn’t exist.
Since you’re taking the time to read this, I have to believe you are a “good” person who did a “bad” thing. When a person acts out by having an affair, it’s usually because there’s something inside that needs expression, and hasn’t become clear enough to be put into words.
When you shame yourself for your behavior, all you’re doing is punishing yourself. And while both you and your partner may agree that you should be punished, this self-inflicted shame gets in the way of learning.
It’s tempting to hate the “cheater part” of you and want to wipe it out, but that can make things even worse. Pushing away parts of yourself you don’t like is probably one of the sources of your actions.
Instead, take a breath and tolerate the knowledge that you have flaws. What you did is in you, and you are the one who needs to get familiar with it. Only then can you be confident that you are capable of making better choices.
It’s a good idea to get involved in therapy at this point. A neutral outsider can make space for you to open up your hated parts and get to acquainted with them. In this way, you can begin to forgive yourself. Paradoxically, forgiving yourself is a vital step in taking responsibility for yourself.
5. Empathize with your partner’s feelings
While you are practicing this self-examination, you also need to have empathy for your partner. At this point, they are probably not being their “best selves”. There will be a long time of rough going.
One moment, you’ll think all is well again, and the next, out to the doghouse! Keep in mind that your partner, who didn’t do the deed, is at least as off-center and mixed up as you are. Their world has been turned upside down, and they’re trying to find their own safe harbor.
When they’re in a rage, all you can do is tolerate your own feelings about it. Have faith that it will pass, and you’ll be back on the path of healing.
6. Be circumspect in your behavior
Be impeccable about doing what you say you will do. Be transparent at every step. Take full responsibility for your own actions. Be affectionate, and make room for their feelings and behavior.
Some of you may justify the act of cheating as being human, or a moment where you become vulnerable. Whatever your reasons for delving into infidelity, an apology letter for cheating would suffice if you can’t do so face-to-face if you fail to express yourself through words.
Some of you may justify the act of cheating as being human, or a moment where you become vulnerable. Whatever your reasons for delving into infidelity, an apology letter for cheating would suffice if you can’t do so face-to-face if you fail to express yourself through words…
If there’s one thing a man or woman can’t stand if they honor commitment, is cheating. It is an ugly indulgence that a lot of people give in to, and one that is usually swept under the rug or carefully hidden from unsuspecting (or suspecting) partners. If you’ve cheated on your partner, the best thing to do is to own up to your mistake and apologize for it. Whether it’ll end things or bear you a second chance if you’re lucky is unknown.
Either way, it is better to muster the courage to apologize for your indiscretion. Many of you may find it hard to do this in person, so writing a letter through email and not by hand, is a better approach. At the end of the email you can give the person a chance to think it over and come up with the next course of action.
How to Write an Apology Letter for Cheating by Email
If it crossed your mind to scribble a letter of apology to your partner, think again – is this how you would like to be told about something you look down upon? Be considerate and write an email so that your partner has time to process the information and act out accordingly. Here’s your sample email of an apology for cheating.
I don’t know how to begin this email. You may have suspected what I am about to reveal, or maybe you just trusted me enough to never conceive the thought, but in any case I have wronged you. What I did is inexcusable and downright unacceptable, and I don’t know why I did it. I don’t understand what got into me but I found myself deceiving you. I’ve been seeing someone ( say this only if this is the case, otherwise mention if it was a one night stand, or a random encounter with an old ex or present friend ) while we’ve been together, and I ended it last night after I realized what I was doing was wrong. It’s been going on for a little over two weeks now ( mention how long the affair has been ensuing, otherwise just tell him / her when the cheating occurred and how often ) and it kills me every time I think of the way I’d lie to you constantly about being somewhere I wasn’t, or caught up with work that never came up. I know that you’re hurt upon knowing this, and I am truly very sorry for putting you through this.
I’d do anything to make our relationship ( if you’re married to him / her, change the status accordingly ) work, and I know now that you are the only one I want to be with and no one else ( if you wish to apologize and end things in a peaceful manner, word it out differently like – you deserve better or I wish I’d told you sooner but sadly things aren’t working out for us, and I wish you well and I hope you hold no resentment for what I’ve done ). I’ve not been myself but I’ve had time to clear my head and sort through the mess that’s been crammed away in my mind, and I only hope and pray that you will give me another chance to prove that I am worth staying with. I will make it up to you till the day I die if I have to, and only hope that you find it within yourself to forgive me and reconsider anything that would separate us.
I do love you with all my heart ( write your partner’s name. If you’re ending the relationship wish them well and apologize once more ).
It’s not easy writing an email such as this, but it is an absolute necessity whatever the consequences. Be sure to word it out in a way that is not offensive, critical, or defensive. If you wish to point out why the cheating happened as a result of something your partner did, then mention this and justify your actions in a way that doesn’t start an ugly argument. Think about if this relationship is what you want, and be honest more than anything else with your partner.
Cheating is awful and can destroy a previously strong relationship. However, breaking up isn’t the only option when one person has cheated. Many relationships recover from infidelity, whether it’s a marriage, engagement, or other long term relationship.
However, it’s not an easy path. Forgiving the apology of someone who cheated can take days, weeks, or months. But, if you’ve cheated in your relationship, the first step towards making it right is an apology.
But, having an affair isn’t like drinking too much one night or buying something you don’t need on your credit card. Cheating hurts your partner (and the relationship) on a fundamental level. It’s why knowing how to apologize for cheating is key. It isn’t as simple as saying “I’m sorry,” like in other situations.
While there is no guarantee your partner will forgive you, these tips in this guide will at least help you give an authentic apology for your infidelity and increase the odds that your partner will forgive you and open up the lines of communication to save the relationship.
In the vast majority of cases, you’ll be apologizing for cheating for one reason: you got busted. So, your partner will already question your motives for saying sorry. After all, would you have even stopped cheating if you weren’t caught? You might think that’s an unfair question, but it’s what your partner will be thinking.
If you’ve been unfaithful and weren’t caught, but have a guilty conscience, then it’s a slightly different story. But, the advice is the same: be upfront.
In other words, when you’re apologizing, you want to be blunt about the reason you’re apologizing. It’s hard to admit it, but you’re going to have to come out and say that you’re a cheater.
Don’t Make Excuses
If you cheated and you regret it, then there’s no way around it: you messed up. You can give every excuse in the book to your partner. And, you know what? Those excuses might even be somewhat valid.
Perhaps you were stressed, unhappy, or even emotionally neglected. Maybe your partner wasn’t always the best to you and you needed love. People usually cheat because they feel something is lacking in their relationship. But, whatever your excuse and whatever its validity, your partner doesn’t care.
Because of this, don’t even bother offering excuses. Just own up to what you did and say you’re sorry for it. If he or she asks for reasons for the affair, just emphasize that you messed up and it was wrong.
Don’t Give Every Detail
While you want to be upfront and honest, that doesn’t mean you want to give your partner every little detail of your unfaithfulness. What you did was not something you want your spouse or partner to know in detail.
It’s not hiding information, only minimizing hurt to your partner. For example, if you sneaked off and did the deed in a closet at work, your boyfriend or girlfriend definitely doesn’t want to know that.
However, human nature sometimes causes us to do strange things. For example, your partner might ask you for the dirty details. This isn’t uncommon. However, even if you’re apologizing and contrite, you don’t want to reveal all of that.
It’s not healthy to fixate on the details, especially not for your partner. Just tell him or her that you don’t want to relive the details or think about them since you’re trying to put that in the past and move on. This will avoid having to discuss that topic and let your partner know that you are fully committed to the future with him or her.
Cut Off Your Lover
This might sound like common sense, but you must cut off the person you cheated with. A lot of people who don’t know how to apologize for cheating fail in this regard. They still have some feelings for their lover, but also want to get back with their partner.
As a result, they apologize to their husband, wife, or long term partner, while continuing to keep contact with their side piece. They might do this because they still have feelings for their mistress or side guy, feel guilt or pity, or hope that they can somehow “control” themselves now and view the person as only a friend.
However, if you’re truly committed to moving on after infidelity, you can’t keep the other person around. This means removing that person from your contacts, blocking him or her on social media, changing schedules at work, etc.
And, when you apologize to your partner, you can show him or her the evidence. So, you can point to Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and other areas where the person is blocked. Make sure this is clearly communicated!
Don’t Do It Again
One study showed that cheating once is a good indicator of cheating again. While your partner isn’t likely aware of this research, he or she does know, deep down, that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. So, if you cheated on your fiance, fiancee, wife, or husband in the past, the odds are you’ll do it again. Or, your partner will see it that way.
It’s important to emphasize that you’ve changed your ways in your apology. And, of course, you’ll have to live those changes. Stop the behaviors that led to the cheating to begin with. Cut back on drinking, don’t go to bars that tempt you, and so on. You’ll want to show your partner with your words and actions.
Give Space And Time
Since cheating is such a major emotional blow, you shouldn’t expect your partner to graciously accept your apology and act like everything is the same. He or she might break up with you. Perhaps your partner will retreat into an emotional shell. It’s possible you’re going to get ignored or even treated cruelly.
People react to hurt and disappointment in many ways. If you sincerely apologize and want to work it out, you’ll have to accept that it will take time and space to heal. You can’t rush true forgiveness.
As long as your partner is trying to forgive, communicates with you, and takes steps to make it work, then it’s a good sign. Certainly, however, you can be proactive.
Work to make the relationship successful, seek counseling, and take other steps to fully reconcile. After time has passed and you’ve changed your behavior, your relationship can be saved. Just don’t expect to rush it.
This guide should help you apologize for cheating in the most effective way possible. Best of luck in repairing your relationship! Remember, above all, to communicate and continue working on your relationship.
Infidelity, for many obvious reasons, is looked down upon; it wrecks marriages. And, without a doubt, it takes a huge heart and immense courage in forgiving infidelity.
Infidelity by your partner scars you for life. You wish that your partner could have chosen to walk out of the relationship gracefully if they were not happy.
But, most marriages break off because the spouse who has an affair is not honest about their doings and fail to put it behind them. In this case, there is no question of forgiving infidelity.
However, all hope is not lost. Infidelity is a huge thing to accept and forgive, especially when it comes to something you never expected from the love of your life.
But, you can move on, and in many cases, people have reconciled and grown to have a stronger marriage post an infidelity episode.
Read on to get insights on how to forgive a cheating spouse and how to forgive infidelity from your heart.
When should you accept your partner’s apology?
Can cheating be forgiven? If it is possible, the next question that pops up is how to forgive a cheating wife? Or, how to go about forgiving a cheating husband?
An honest and immediate response to all these thronging questions would be – forgiving a cheating spouse is almost next to impossible. Accepting the fact that someone who you love can cheat on you, is admittedly, a tough thing to take.
In many cases, the cheating spouse acts like they are sorry, but in truth, they aren’t. If that is the case, instead of forgiving after cheating, it is best to let go of your relationship.
Forgiving cheating is not worth your tears, trust, and peace of mind if your partner has the tendency to cheat on you, time and again.
But, if you genuinely believe that your husband/wife is apologetic, and your marriage can survive this emotional setback, then consider recovering together. Only accept this and move on after taking care of yourself.
Here are some tips to consider while forgiving infidelity.
Let your partner realize your worth
Expect genuine remorse from your partner. Let them recognize that you are an asset, and you cannot be hurt like this repeatedly.
Ask for space and make them realize your worth. After all that they have done, they deserve to go through the process of winning you back. It is not to torture your partner but to make sure that they don’t happen to indulge in adultery again.
Take care of yourself
While forgiving a cheating wife or forgiving a cheater husband, the foremost thing is to take care of yourself.
Forgiving infidelity is a painstaking process. It will take you quite some time to recover, and you might feel traces of emotional pain even later. But, have lots of patience and trust that you will heal!
Keep meeting your friends
Forgiving infidelity doesn’t ask you to stay alone and gulp down the pain in solitude.
You must meet with your friends often. If your friends are not going to add fuel to the fire, you can choose to discuss your problems with them.
Just don’t let bias cloud your judgment.
Talk to your partner
It is essential to talk to your partner about what they did and why they did. Even they need to realize that forgiveness after cheating is not a cakewalk.
They may not know why, but if they are persistent, they will never do it again, and you can get past this, you can go about forgiving adultery.
Cry it out
Cry it out when the pain of forgiving infidelity becomes unbearable. You are not God to extend forgiveness in no time.
Be easy on yourself and express your anger whenever you want to. The intensity of your pain would reduce with time, and if your partner stays supportive, you will be back to normalcy pretty soon.
Take a break
If you need a break while deciding on forgiving infidelity, just go for it.
If, after staying apart for a considerable amount of time still makes you believe, you can recover from this pain and save your marriage, you must!
More tips on forgiveness after infidelity
Can you forgive someone for cheating? Can you forgive a cheater? Also, on the flip side, can you be forgiven for adultery?
But, it is possible only if both of you are willing to invest your energy and make honest efforts to make things alright.
Forgiveness for adultery takes your will to heal, redesign, and understand why it happened.
Marriages don’t end because they cheated, it ends because both of you couldn’t deal well with it.
Watch this video:
Here’s what you should do, alongside your partner, after you both decide to give your marriage another chance:
- Seek support, such as counseling and therapy. Talk to a marriage therapist, discuss and try to understand why it happened and what you both can do effectively to ensure a happier marriage. Was it because you both were too busy to prioritize each other? Family crisis? Understand.
- Infidelity is devastating and painful, so take it slow. Set boundaries in your relationship, allow your partner to earn your respect again.
- Take care of your children, support them, and make them believe that you will be okay.
- If you’ve decided to reconcile, stay away from the blame game. That will only slow down the entire process of forgiving infidelity and make things worse.
- The pain may be too much for you so that you may have post-traumatic stress. Consult with your doctor as soon as possible.
- Be practical. Do you really want this? Don’t let emotions guide you.
Infidelity is one of the most destructive and painful things a marriage can suffer. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t recover, but that can only indeed happen if your partner chooses never to hurt you again, and you wish to believe and trust them.
Trust is the foundation of any relationship for a reason. In the process of forgiving infidelity, you both must decide all the changes you must make to reach where you want to be, and have a stronger, more loving marriage!
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Mistakes are a very human thing. But ignoring them can wreck relationships. So, If you have somehow messed up a little bit and want to know how to apologize to your boyfriend, we have got you covered. The best way to maintain your bond with your beloved is to acknowledge the wrong with a heartfelt apology. A sincere ‘sorry’ can win back the heart of your boyfriend. But if you need some more words to express your regret, swipe up and explore.
In This Article
7 Ways To Apologize To Your Boyfriend For Hurting His Feelings
1. Check Your Tone
Words matter, and so do your tone, volume, and body language. The way you apologize can make or break your relationship. So, you need to check your tone while apologizing to your partner. If the apology doesn’t sound sincere, it can complicate the situation and lead to an adverse outcome.
Try not to escalate matters by yelling or talking in a loud, sarcastic tone. It is both annoying and insulting, which does not resolve anything. Even the best words will not be meaningful if delivered with an angry look, rolling eyes, and lack of sincerity. If you do not mean to apologize, it is better to move back rather than make things worse. Remember, your boyfriend can easily identify if you render an empty apology, which can break his trust.
2. Cool Down Before Apologizing
You may utter words in the heat of the moment that you do not mean. In such a scenario, words like “I am sorry” don’t sound even half good when followed by “you are not trying to understand my views.” So, take some time to cool down and think through your feelings before apologizing. Do not be hasty; otherwise, it can simply mean you want to bypass the tension in your relationship.
3. Take Responsibility Of Your Actions
Make your apology crystal clear and show regret that he has been wronged. Be accountable for your actions, and don’t try to minimize, justify, or share the blame. This is your apology, so focus on what you did wrong.
Get to the point straightway and open up about your remorse and dedication to heal the wound. You can use sentences like “I realize I hurt and misunderstood you”. Add the specifics of what actually hurt him and what you will do to fix the issue or prevent a repeat.
4. Respect And Understand His Feelings
You cannot expect your boyfriend to forgive you immediately and accept your apology on the spot. He might need some time to heal and unload his hurtful feelings. Try to understand why your boyfriend is angry at you and allow him some ‘me’ time to vent his frustration and disappointment.
Don’t demand or expect forgiveness – at least not right away. Otherwise, he may clam up and avoid listening to you. Instead of putting it on him, respect and understand his perspective. Instead of nagging, “please forgive me”, say, “I hope you can forgive me at some point.” Focus on what you can control, and listen patiently if he wants to talk.
5. Do Not Give Excuses
Show that you are sorry and follow through your promises. If you are justifying your behavior, it indicates you are not ready to apologize. Your actions are nothing but a ploy to earn back his good graces rather than true feelings and expressions of regret.
If you have offered a remedy with your apology, be sure you are willing to back it up with devoted, careful actions. Your apology is incomplete without a significant behavior change. Every time you make the same apology and try to normalize such acts, it will become less believable and acceptable for your boyfriend.
6. Discuss The Issue In Detail
When someone is hurt, their feelings are more profound than a mere reaction to careless words and thoughtless mistakes. For instance, your partner might get mad at you for being late for your date night, but that’s the surface issue. He probably feels you are ignoring him, he has stopped being your priority, or you are not putting enough effort to sustain the relationship.
So, instead of focusing on the apology or mistake, delve deeper into the matter and prioritize his feelings. A meaningless, hollow apology will save face and act as a momentary filler, but a true and sincere apology can be validating and help your boyfriend move on.
7. Work On Your Relationship
It requires a lot of hard work to maintain a healthy relationship. If both of you are fighting continuously where the problems seem endless and difficult to resolve, seek the help of a relationship counselor for better communication. Express how eager you are to work on your relationship and looking forward to fix the issues. Your boyfriend will appreciate how you are handling the mistakes and constructively resolving the matter.
To err is human, but only responsible adults can own their mistakes and ask for forgiveness. Admit to your partner when you are wrong and be regretful of your actions. This will help keep the relationship healthy and happy based on mutual trust and understanding. Forge empathy and care, and try to understand the other person’s feelings better. Apologize with sincerity, show your boyfriend that you are working to fix the issue, and avoid further miscommunication.
Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
How to apologize to your boyfriend for lying?
Figure out why you lied and take responsibility for your actions. Forgive yourself and try to heal from the guilt, shame, and remorse. Say sorry sincerely, and be prepared to listen to how your boyfriend feels. This way, you can work on your relationship and rebuild trust.
How do I apologize to my boyfriend after a breakup?
Explain to your partner why you did it and never ask them to start a relationship again. Apologize if you were at fault and acknowledge what you did and the impact it had. Try to make him feel safe, validated, and inclined to keep listening.
I’m a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist based in Miami, a relationship podcast host, and an educator. I help couples transform their patterns of communication and heal after infidelity.
I’m Idit Sharoni
Our highly effective coaching program for couples in the aftermath of infidelity looking to heal and regain trust.
“I said I was sorry!”
Tense and exhausted by the fallout of your unfaithfulness, you repeat your apologies. You’re likely anxious, upset, and ready to start recovering from an affair so you may finally move on.
Yet, the wounds of your partner remain open. the betrayal and all its consequences remain unaddressed. At the moment, forgiveness seems to remain out of reach.
How come you can’t get past this? Why doesn’t “I’m sorry” work, no matter how much you say you are?
Why Talk About Remorse Expression?
It’s important that couples discuss post affair remorse and effective expression when recovering from an affair . As much as you may want to recover your marriage, you are likely very far apart from what “sorry” looks like.
As the unfaithful partner, you are the one in possession of the full picture. You are the more stable party.
“I’m Sorry” Never Healed Anyone…It’s Simply Step One
In a nutshell, recovering from an affair demands sufficient, actionable, and expressive remorse to be effective.
You’ve admitted cheating. The affair a level of deceit and engagement with another person that severely damaged your relationship . Thus, making you a stranger to your spouse on many levels.
Recovering From an Affair Takes More Than Just “Sorry”
Apologies only acknowledge that you’re willing to start the work. That’s it.
So, What is the Right Way to Express Remorse Now?
First, it may encourage you to know that there is a formula for making your commitment to recovery clear to your spouse . Second, I’ve also provided a Blueprint of an Effective Remorse of actual things you can say to help your partner understand your remorse . Let’s begin with the first point:
Two Components of Effective Remorse:
1. Quantity of Remorseful Expression –
- Apologize as needed. Your ability to provide reassurance depends on your sensitivity to your partner’s need for it… not your need to be forgiven or ideas about how long forgiveness should take.
- Try to keep apologies appropriate given your situation. Again, respond with the long game in mind. Moderation is key. Your entire relationship needn’t center on your apologies. Think “not too much and not too little.”
- Try not to clam up when your partner is emotional or resistant. It’s better to apologize more than less.
- Try to be less reactionary and more responsive and sensitive. Remember, you are trying to communicate your dedication to recovering from an affair. Your remorse is a thoughtful response to the consequences of your mistakes. Not a reaction to your partner’s anger or sadness. Do your best to keep your expressions of remorse separate from your spouse’s feelings and thoughts .
2. Quality of Remorseful Expression
- Accept that “I’m sorry” doesn’t cut it.
- Avoid brief, closed statements of apology. Communication without depth or engagement will not do now. Your partner’s world has been rocked. They need to hear from you. Your expressions of remorse have to be substantive. You need to explain WHAT you’re sorry for and WHY.
- Nonverbals matter immensely. They communicate respect and sincerity. Keep your tone open, never dismissive. Consciously use facial expressions that convey an apologetic message. Willingly engage. Appearing to be withdrawn sends a contradictory message of disinterest.
- Take responsibility vs. being defensive. This no time for manipulation. Don’t play coy or innocent, it undermines trust. Avoid accusing or blaming your partner, it creates resentment.
- Listen and acknowledge your partner’s experience. Work hard at validating what they’ve gone through and how they feel. Avoid minimizing any part of your partner’s pain, upset, or response.
Now. What does all this look like on a practical level? If “I’m sorry” doesn’t cut it, what should you say and how should you say it?
Consider My Blueprint for Effective Remorse When Recovering From An Affair
The Remorse Blueprint is an instant online course for you to access at any time.
It is designed to help you do the following:
- Identify whether you are expressing remorse in a helpful way.
- Understand the 6 parts of an effective remorse expression.
- Craft and express your remorse effectively (using a downloadable blueprint for direction).
- Make remorseful expressions sincerely and as often as necessary by using the ideas in the course and blueprint.
When all is said and done, don’t you want your partner to feel safe with you again? Do what it takes to ensure his or her feelings are known , validated, and respected. Communicating what you are sorry for and why allows for hope and warmth to return. Thus forgiveness will become more possible .
Begin Infidelity Recovery With Idit Sharoni
I do hope this information is helpful and encourages you to take steps toward recovering from an affair and creating a healthier relationship. For more support and information, please consider learning about my Infidelity Recovery Program or contact me for a consultation soon. My Miami FL-based counseling practice would love to help your relationship thrive no matter where you are in the country. To start recovering from an affair, follow these steps:
Other Services Offered at Idit Sharoni Relationship Experts
Infidelity Recovery isn’t the only service offered in our Miami FL-based counseling practice. Other mental health services our relationship counselors provide include couples therapy and marriage counseling, communication counseling, and online therapy. For more useful relationship information, please visit my podcast!
Now that you’re aware of your partner’s affair, it’s likely that they’ve told you over and over again how sorry they are for cheating.
But how can you be sure?
This is a highly emotional time for both of you.
The whole situation may have you feeling very unsure of your feelings and wondering what to do next. Of course, you’ll likely have the advice and support of close friends and family, a therapist or counselor, or even an attorney.
But there are some things only you need to think about and decide. And one of those things is whether or not your partner is really sorry for their infidelity.
Here are some signs to look for to know if it’s time to forgive a cheater or not:
1. Your partner no longer communicates with the other person.
Someone who regrets their affair and wants to make amends with their partner will have no problem cutting off all contact with the other person. That means no phone calls, no lunches, and no cups of coffee — in public or private.
And it definitely means no “accidental” meet-ups at the grocery store, gas station, or anywhere else around town. That relationship must be severed, completely and concretely.
Look for signs that your partner has totally cut that person out of his or her life. This includes getting rid of any notes, gifts, photos, or other mementos. Every evidence of that person needs to be gone.
Imagine that Jean cheated on John with Tom. When John finds out, he’s understandably devastated. After he realizes that Jean is still texting Tom, he’s forced to wonder how serious Jean really is about trying to mend their marriage.
Meanwhile, Tom’s wife, Sally, feels the same way when he comes home from the post office and casually mentions that he bumped into Jean. This kind of contact — no matter how casual or supposedly “innocent” — just looks bad and for the partner who’s been hurt, this opens the wounds all over again.
How sorry can someone be if they, in reality, are still doing the things that got them into trouble in the first place? They might not be sleeping together anymore but that emotional connection is still there.
2. Your partner is willing to adapt to your needs.
You’re the wronged party here. Naturally, it’s an emotional time. You may feel angry, sad, humiliated, or even numb, and these emotions can cycle through quickly. Many people dealing with a partner’s infidelity describe intense feelings unlike any they’ve ever felt before.
And your partner should be supportive of what you’re going through, in whatever way you need to process this experience. If you want to re-hash the affair and talk about every encounter, your partner should be willing to do so.
If you feel that therapy is the only way you’re going to work through this, they should be offering to go with you if that’s what you want. Your partner, if they are really sorry, will be doing everything possible to ensure your security and comfort going forward.
When Sally found out about Tom’s affair with Jean, she spent days locked in their bedroom crying. She sent Tom away and he went. When she called him asking for details about the infidelity, he provided facts.
When she insisted that she didn’t want to talk about it, Tom let it drop. When Sally called him, screaming and crying, he listened patiently. He understood that his role right now was to meet her emotional needs, as much as he possibly could.
3. Your partner shows how trustworthy they are.
An affair destroys trust. Your partner should be working as hard as possible to earn it back. That means being home on time, every time. It means picking up the phone within three rings when you call, every time.
The fact that your partner is willing to do what it takes could be a very good sign for the future of your relationship.
Now that John is aware of Jean’s affair with Tom, she takes extra special care to be where she is supposed to be and when she is supposed to be there. When John calls the office at lunchtime, Jean is at her desk, eating a homemade lunch.
When she’s at the grocery store and he calls her cell phone, she picks up immediately. Jean goes out of her way to ensure that John has no reason to doubt her word. It’s the only way to help John establish trust in her again, and show him that she is really sorry for her actions.
Everyone makes mistakes from time to time, and sometimes we hurt the ones we love. One of the most important things that we can do for our relationships is to apologize when we have messed up. Yet, it can be hard to know what to say. Don’t worry, we are here to help. Below are short and long messages to tell your boyfriend that you are sorry.
Short Apology Messages For Him
#1: Waking up this morning without you, I realize how much I miss you and how much I want you in my life. I am so sorry that we fought. Can we make up?
#2: I want to apologize for accusing you of cheating on me. It is just that I love you so much, and I can not bear the thought of losing you. Do you forgive me?
#3: I am sorry about how I acted. That was really thoughtless and selfish of me. I love you so much. I will try to do better in the future.
#4: I am so ashamed of how I acted. I do not know what got into me. I love you more than you can know, and I never want to do anything that would hurt you. I am truly sorry.
#5: There is nothing worse than fighting with the one you love. I am sorry for how angry I got and for keeping the fight going. I love you so much.
#6: I really hate it when we fight. I hate it even more when I realize that it was all my fault. I am so sorry. I love you so much. Please forgive me.
#7: They say that you only hurt the ones that you love. I do love you, and the last thing that I wanted to do was hurt you. I am so sorry. Can you forgive me?
#8: I was not thinking when I did what I did. I never wanted to upset you or make you mad. I am so sorry, and I love you more than anything in the world.
#9: What you said last time surprised me and I was not ready for it. I know that I reacted badly and that I hurt your feelings. I love you so much. Can we start over and try it again?
#10: I am so sorry about what happened. I did not mean to yell at you. I love you so much, and I got worried that you were not taking care of yourself. Please forgive me.
#11: I don’t know why I said such awful things to you last night. I did not mean any of them. I really love you, and I want you in my life. I am really sorry.
#12: I am very sorry about last night. I do not even really know what we were fighting about. Can we make up? You are the man that I love, and I want to be with you forever.
#13: I cannot believe that I forgot about our date last night. I have been so busy. I really am sorry, and I hope that I can find a way to make it up to you. I love you.
#14: I am so sorry about the fight that we had. I was really stressed, and I took it out on you. I love you so much, and I really like having you in my life.
Long Apology Messages For Him
#1: I know that I messed up, and you have every right to be angry with me. I was not thinking. I really did not want to put our relationship in jeopardy. I do not know what I would do without you. I love you so much. Can you find it in your heart to forgive me?
#2: I am so sorry for what I said to you. The last thing that I ever want to do is to hurt you. Is there anything that I can do to make it up to you? I love you so much, and I want you to be happy. Please forgive me for being so thoughtless.
#3: I know that sometimes couples fight and that there are times when we hurt those that we love. I am not really sure what happened between us, but I really hate when we are apart. I am sorry for my part in our fight, and I hope that we can make up. I love you so very much.
#4: I was so angry last night, but this morning, it all seems so silly and self-centered. I am sorry for all of the awful things that I said. I am really sorry. Do you think that you can find a way to forgive me?
#5: You are the man of my dreams. I am not sure what I did to make you so angry at me, but whatever it is, I am truly sorry. Can we talk? I love you, and I miss you so much. I want to find a way to make up with you.
#6: You are the man that I love, and I want to be with you always. I am so sorry that I need to go away for a while. I wish you could come with me. I will be counting the days until I can be with you again.
#7: I know I said some horrible things to you when we were fighting. I am not sure why I said them, and I did not mean a word of it. I am so ashamed of losing my temper. You are really good to me, and you did not deserve that. I am truly sorry.
#8: Thank you for being such a sport when you met my family. I know that my parents were hard on you. I am so sorry for putting you through that. I love you more than you can know, and I do believe that my parents will accept you once they realize how happy you make me.
#9: I acted irrationally when I saw you with her. I do trust you, and I know that you would never hurt me. I am so sorry. I love you so much, and I could not bear to lose you. Please forgive me.
#10: It was a difficult night last night, but I am really glad that you told me how you have been feeling lately. I had no idea that I have been being so thoughtless. I am so sorry, and I love you very much.
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Being in a relationship is a good thing but like life, it has up and downs and sometimes it is not an easy road. Relationships are based on trust; hence cheating not only hurts a relationship but may mean the end of a relationship. Many times, cheating occur due to frustration or temptations. It may be a co-worker that came too close, a friend that you could not resist, maybe you were too drunk thus ending into a one-night stand or even an exam that you feared falling. After all, we all fall into temptations and saying sorry or writing apology letter for cheating to your supervisor or partner is the best way to acknowledge that you were wrong and you betrayed him/her.
Apology Letter for Cheating in Exam
To any college, profession body, university or school cheating in an exam is taken very seriously; it can mean the end of termination studies and other disciplinary actions that may be very painful or may end up hurting your career. Writing an apology letter is, therefore, the best thing to acknowledge that you are wrong and sorry. The apology letter may save you from studies termination or other hurtful actions by the authorities.
Cheating or lying to a boyfriend not only destroy the trust in a relationship but sometimes may mean the end of it. Whether it is over or you want to be given another chance writing an apology letter to him is a way of accepting that you apologize hurting him and ask for forgives. This gives you peace of mind to start another relationship or continue with the relationship if he forgives you.
Apology Letter to Boyfriend for Cheating
You may have cheated her with a friend or someone close to you and know the fear that she is about to go and you will never find someone like her. Writing an apology letter to your girlfriend may be the perfect way to bring her back. Expressing how sorry you are to her may also strengthen your relationship as ups and downs are normal to any relationship, no one is ever perfect and we all learn from mistakes. If it is already done just be a gentleman enough, say sorry and move on at least you would have learned from your mistakes.
In relationships, things are not smooth as we always want, but there are some things which needs to be put in place, to prevent relationship breakdown.
Cheating in a relationship is known to be one of the issue causing relationship breakdown today. Cheating in relationships can result to, divorce, breakup and many more.
Cheating on Your Partner
When you cheat on your partner, know that you are guilty and you are not expected to put the blame on anyone, so it is better for you just to take responsibility.
Taking responsibility for your actions will help to resolve matters, and it will also help to bring your romantic relationship back to normal.
If you got caught cheating on your partner and you do not wish for a breakup, then you have to be able to apologise and get back with your partner.
Many people who cheat on their partners don’t really have the full knowledge on how to apologise, but in this article, you are going to learn how to apologise after cheating on your partner.
How to apologise after cheating on your partner
1. Tell your partner all what has happened so far
The first thing to do when you want to apologise is to explain vividly how you started cheating on your partner. Let your partner know full details of how everything began.
While explaining, make sure you don’t lie, as this might affect your relationship again in the future.
2. Don’t blame anyone for your wrong actions
When apologising, make sure you do not blame anyone or your partner for your cheating.
Take full responsibility for what you did and be sincere.
3. Involve your partner’s best friend
If you feel your partner is not willing to listen to you, you can involve your partner’s close friend, as this friend might be of help in begging on your behalf.
4. Make a promise
Making a promise to your partner that you won’t cheat again, can go a long way in making her accept your apology.
If you carefully follow everything written here, your broken relationship will surely be restored.
According to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s autobiography, Total Recall, after he committed adultery with his housekeeper, he denied to his wife Maria Shriver that the child was his — because he “didn’t know” he was the father. Having both lied and cheated, there’s little room for doubt that Arnold had wronged his wife.
When, years later, Maria confronted him in the therapist’s office with concerns that the governess’s child looked an awful lot like him, his tactic was to finally reveal the truth. Then he offered an apology: “I told her how sorry I felt about it, how wrong it was, and that it was my fault. I just unloaded everything.”
Arnold’s case, while headline grabbing, is not unique. When couples struggle with the complications of infidelity, there’s a lot of work to be done; part of that work involves owning up to an affair and offering an apology. And an apology isn’t easy; it is a complex form of communication. I explore the details of apology and forgiveness in my new book, The Secrets of Surviving Infidelity.
In order for an apology to be an effective means of communication, it must include five steps. These steps don’t apply just to affairs or infidelity. They are necessary to mend any kind of perceived wrongdoing.
Step 1: Understand what you are apologizing for.
A genuine apology sounds easy. You probably know by now that it’s not. If you’ve had an affair, I’ll bet that on many occasions you’ve already tried to say “I’m sorry.” Or, having had your first apology rejected, you may have tried, “I’ve already said I’m sorry. What else would you like me to say?”
If you have already apologized, your mate may have failed to accept it because it does not feel genuine. Even if, in your heart of hearts, you swear you mean it, it may not be perceived that way. For your message of remorse to get across, you’ve got to do a fair amount of introspection to figure out what you are apologizing for — even before you say the words. You are apologizing for much more than “having an affair.” There is a lot more that you have done, or not done, that surrounded the affair: things like causing embarrassment to the family, giving up family time, or even bringing home STDs. Your partner wants you to take responsibility for all of it. You should.
When you do tell your partner that you hurt them with your actions, you should give a full account of all the wrongs you have committed. Don’t be surprised if your partner chimes in with a few you didn’t think of.
Step 2: Accept responsibility.
When it comes time to offer an apology, you must, above all, be clear about what you have done. Be absolutely certain not to shirk responsibility by sharing the blame with anyone or anything else. Apologizing is not saying, “It never would have happened if I hadn’t been hanging out with my sister,” or “The captain shouldn’t have assigned me a female partner.” In particular, be careful to avoid labeling your spouse as responsible, for example, with words like: “If only I had been getting more love from you, I wouldn’t have looked elsewhere.” Your behavior is your responsibility and no one else’s. You’ll know you’re on the right track when no one offers any disagreement about what you are apologizing for.
People sometimes try to decrease their own responsibility by adding “if” to their statement about the other person’s reaction. Saying “I’m sorry if what I did hurt your feelings” is very different from saying “I’m sorry for what I did, and I know it caused you pain.” The “if” statement tells the person that you have remorse about the outcome, not about your actions. Don’t do that.
Step 3: Offer alternatives.
You’ve probably heard the advice to stay away from the “coulda, woulda, shoulda” attitude toward life. Well, here’s a place where this is exactly the attitude you need. A hearty dose of “I should have told you that I was going out to lunch with her,” or “I wish had not shared my problems with him” tells your partner that you understand there “coulda” been a better way of handling things, and gives hope that you will make better choices in the future.
Step 4: Abolish expectations.
Another aspect of a genuine apology is to offer it without expectation to get something back. This isn’t a proposition of “I’ll say what I did wrong so you will tell me what you did wrong,” or even “I’ll say I’m sorry if you say you’ll forgive me.” Your sole goal should be to make sure your partner hears you. It’s certainly okay to offer the hope that your partner will accept the apology, but you cannot make that a condition for offering it.
Step 5: Say, “I’m sorry.”
You may be thinking that you are very, very sorry. You may have admitted to all your wrong doings. You may have asked for forgiveness, and you may have promised never to do it again. But your partner may still turn to you and say “You never said you were sorry.” Don’t forget to say you’re sorry!
Studies about gender differences reveal that women tend to offer spontaneous apologies more than men do. Women are more likely to perceive things they have done as requiring the offer of apology, but men tend to see real and imagined wrongs as not deserving an apology, because they “weren’t that big of a deal.” In the case of affairs, there is no room for gender differences: saying “I’m sorry” is a necessity.
Not every affair gets splashed across international headlines, but mistakes do happen in everyone’s lives. That’s what apologies are for. Having an affair is a big mistake, and it healing requires a genuine apology. Then the rebuilding can begin.
Feeling guilty and sorry for cheating on your partner? Want to start a new chapter? This is not an easy task to do.
However, if you are really sorry, then admit your mistake. If you really want to make a fresh start, do it with honesty. It is possible that your efforts will work and your partner will forgive you and give you another chance to move forward in the relationship.
Here are a few important things to consider if you want a new beginning with honesty.
Accept truth: First of all you have to admit that you cheated on your partner and made a grave mistake. Try to convince your partner only when you are ready to tell them the truth. No matter how bad the truth is and no matter how much it hurts.
Set new definition of commitment – If your partner knows that you have cheated on them, then remember that it will not be such an easy task for you to get their trust once again. You have to define a new definition of commitment in your relationship. You have to sincerely try to win his love and trust.
End old relationship– You have to completely end all the relations with the person for whom you cheated on your partner. Don’t even keep friendship with them. You have to try to get your partner back with complete sincerity. You have to prepare yourself completely mentally.
Full time with partner: Give the partner their full time. The partner will be shocked if he/she comes to know about the deception. Give them full chance to recover before patching up (ways to patch up). If they want to stay away from you for a few days without talking to you, then give them all their time. They may be preparing themselves in many ways before giving a second chance.
Never give up trying – If your partner is ready to talk to you, then it is a very good thing. You shouldn’t miss this opportunity but even if they don’t do it, don’t give up on your efforts. Don’t expect that everything will be fine with a very first day. You have made a mistake, so apologize unconditionally until he/she forgives you.
We’ve all been there, the hurt and anger caused by a nasty argument with someone we love. Unfortunately, relationships involve strife, and blowups are at times just part of the relationship process. In fact, conflict theorist Murray Straus explains that conflict is widely considered to be an unavoidable yet necessary part of all human relationships in an article published in the “Encyclopedia of Domestic Violence.” What ultimately matters, however, is not the fight itself, but the way in which we make amends afterward. There is a way to apologize to your partner after a fight that will not only ease the tension present, but may ultimately lead to making the relationship stronger.
Remove yourself from the situation and give yourself as much time as you need to feel less tense. Take time to cool off. Do not try and speak about the fight until some time has passed. In a study published in 2006 in the “Journal of Family Violence,” Zeev Winstok found that escalation within conflicts reduces the ability of both parties involved to clearly understand and grasp the underlying initial issue. Removing yourself from the conflict will allow you and your partner to communicate more clearly.
Apologize to your partner for the way you acted during the fight. Let your partner know that any hurtful things you may have said were simply due to anger. It is important to show that you do recognize behavior that may have been spiteful or cruel.
Validate the feelings of both parties during the blowup. Explain that you realize that your partner was angry and upset and that you felt that way, too. Laura Rizkalla and colleagues, in a study published in 2008 in the “Journal of Research in Personality,” found that greater perspective-taking among couples after a fight led to higher rates of forgiveness.
Apologize for any hurt feelings that your partner may have experienced during the fight; explain that this is the last thing you want. This confirms to your partner that you still care and that the fight has not changed your feelings.
Explain to your partner that whatever the underlying issue was that caused the fight, it is clearly significant enough to cause such an impact. Let your partner know that you want to discuss this issue, but don’t do so on the spot. Pick a time to sit down and discuss it further. This will give you time to collect your thoughts so that you are more prepared when you speak.
End the apology by letting your partner know how much love you feel. Conversations that end on an affirmative note are more likely to be interpreted more positively by both parties. This will help your partner to feel less defensive and to enter the discussion feeling hopeful and optimistic about the outcome.
A girl we’ll call Lisa has made the biggest mistake in her entire life : she cheated on the man she loved, once, without thinking about the consequences, and this is the emotional apology letter she wrote for cheating on him.
Emotional apology letter for cheating on him
I am very ashamed of myself as I’m writing to you today. So ashamed and so sad of the way I hurt you. Sorry, sorry my love, sorry for this horrible deed that goes against every one of my principles. I don’t know what took hold of me… How could I have done this to you, the man of my life, the one who brings me all the happiness in the world? Please Thomas, forgive me.
I had too many drinks like an idiot, I wasn’t thinking and got carried away, without even wanting to.
It was stupid, I have no excuse. I can’t even process it, that’s how much I don’t understand it, don’t remember it, and hate myself for it! You are the only one in the world who counts for me, nothing else is important in my eyes.
I don’t know what your decision is going to be and I’m petrified with fear. I can’t imagine my life without you. I fucked up, I really did but I never had any feelings whatsoever for anybody other than you. Ever.
Don’t forget that I love you and will keep loving you whatever happens.
I don’t know which one of us is unhappier right now. I know I never felt so many negative emotions all at once : shame, regret, remorse, sadness…
I think about you, about us, about all the memories we are made of and that have made us the happiest pair in the world. I beg you, let’s not let this mistake ruin four years of love. Let me prove to you that our love is stronger than anything, and that you will be able to revive the trust you used to have in me that is now lost. Because rest assured that if we survive this, nothing else will ever be able to destroy us!
I step in your shoes and imagine how ripped apart you must feel.
How distraught you must be, lost between your fear of “our future” and the love you bear me. Because I know you still love me, you can’t forget a love so strong, so quickly.
On my part, I imagine a wonderful future for us. Better still than I imagined it before! I’m so angry at myself, and I’m ready to do anything for you to forgive me. I wish you were in my head and in my heart so that you could understand that it meant nothing, really nothing to me!
I love you so much Thomas, I so much want us to be in each other’s arms, and for all of this to vanish!
I wish I could have a butterfly effect super power, that I could change everything, delete this abominable act that makes me want to puke in disgust today, just thinking about it.
Love evolves. I want to go to the restaurant with you, go on vacations, see a movie, laugh, walk in the sunny streets, my hand in yours, I want us to grow old together. I love you more than anything in the world! Without you, I no longer have a goal, I am empty.
I know it will take time for the wound to heal.
But be aware that it will never, and I mean never, happen again. It’s the worst thing I have ever done in my entire life and I’m punishing myself in the most painful way there is. Your sadness is my death.
Love, forgive me, forgive my stupidity. I will prove to you with time that forgiving me will be the best decision yo ever take. Because it’s a fight we can win together, I know it.
I was married for 13 years and thought we would be married forever.
Obviously, my husband cheated on me. We have 2 children and we were always so close and very much in love.
When I found out about his affair I expected him to apologize and be willing to find a way to work this out. He surprised me by refusing to stop seeing the other woman and we divorced.
Since then he has had several "women" in his life and I am having a terrible time getting over the feeling of wanting him to pay for totally devastating me.
He has never apologized and would not even talk to me about his cheating.
He has little time for me or our children and really seems to be living it up.
I am now remarried (after 2 1/2 years) and don’t want to feel this way. But, I seem to be consumed with knowing that he is suffering too at the loss of what we had and our family.
How do I get over this?
And could it be that he is suffering and just doesn’t want me to see? I am so confused and need some closure.
One of our most fundamental needs is to be understood. And this need to be understood becomes even more intense when someone close to us does something which is hurtful.
Essentially, we think that if a partner could only understand our pain, then they would never act as they do. In essence, most people try to control a partner’s harmful actions through the use of empathy.
Most of the time this tactic works. Most people try to avoid causing suffering to others.
But from your description, your ex-husband does not seem to care. Your husband seems to have little concern for how his actions have impacted your life.
And while it is natural to want to assume that he is hurting on the inside or that he feels sorry for what he has done (because this is how you would feel), perhaps it may help to look at the situation differently. Your husband changed his behavior toward you because he got caught. Perhaps you were only useful to him as long as you did not see how he was truly behaving.
We know that this idea can be difficult for people to entertain because it leaves most people feeling out of control—how could I have gotten so close to someone who does not really care?
But if you can, it may be helpful to consider how fortunate you are not to be involved with someone who has so little empathy for your feelings (see ludus and lovefraud).
You may find some closure when you realize that he will probably never feel sorry for what he has done.
So, you cheated. Maybe he was really hot, maybe she was really understanding of your workload, or maybe you were just really, really bored. The potential reasons behind cheating are legion, and afterwards, many people are at a complete loss about how to move forward in their primary relationships. Do you try to keep it a secret? Spill it all with the promise that you'll never do it again? Or should you completely end the relationship instead? Here, experts explain the various options at hand after you cheat. The good news? An affair isn't necessarily the harbinger of relationship death. Still, that doesn't mean figuring out your next step is easy.
Before taking any action, think back to why you cheated, Jane Greer, Ph.D., a New York–based relationship expert and author of How Could You Do This to Me? Learning to Trust After Betrayal, tells SELF. There's the obvious chance that you went outside the relationship because you weren't getting what you needed sexually, she says. It could also come down to a chronic need to feel the excitement of something new, wanting to feel “alive” again, or merely that some people enjoy the risk of pursuing a so-called forbidden fruit.
"If the affair is the result of you feeling sexually or emotionally abandoned by your partner, then you may feel a degree of justification,” Gary Brown, Ph.D., a Los Angeles–based psychotherapist, tells SELF, although he notes that “even in very good relationships, you may feel that something is missing.”
Additionally, Brown says it’s not just the “why” of cheating, but the “why now” that matters. “The timing of the cheating may say a great deal about [your] emotional state,” he says. You may not be able to put your finger on why you wanted to roam when you did, but it's well worth thinking about.
Although this view is controversial, it can be best to keep the whole thing to yourself. “Most people don’t tell their partner unless they get caught, and that’s a really personal decision,” says Greer. “You have to consider the nature of the cheating relationship you had." She suggests deciding whether it will help you recommit to your partner and if you're prepared to take on the burden of keeping the secret just so you don't lose this person.
Recognize that if you’re acknowledging an otherwise undiscovered affair (especially one that’s ended), you’re creating emotional pain for your partner. Although it may temporarily relieve you of some of the stress associated with keeping a secret, the tradeoff of your partner experiencing possibly permanent emotional damage may not be worth it, says Brown.
One major caveat: if you put your partner's health at risk by forgoing condoms or other similar contraceptives, it may be your duty to tell them. And remember that condoms don't protect against all STIs, so using them with other people doesn't guarantee that you're truly keeping your partner safe. But not all cheating goes that far, so it depends on the situation.
Naughty photos, dirty sexts, love letters over email? All of that is hard evidence. If your partner confronts you about it, trying to deny the truth is straight-up hurtful. “If you’ve been caught in a number of lies, you should really not try to cover it up if it’s clear there’s something going on,” says Greer. Instead, own up to it, and be prepared to apologize repeatedly.
Yes, it’s going to hurt your partner—that can be especially true if you’ve developed an emotional affair with someone like a colleague or classmate—but lying so you can hold onto them denies their agency in the situation. Also, the clear conscience doesn't hurt, although that shouldn't be your biggest concern.
It may be even better if you can first discuss the situation in front of a neutral party like a therapist, says Brown, although that's not always an option (unless you're already regularly in therapy together). “This provides a measure of safety to help both people process the situation,” he says. Even if you confess in a spontaneous moment, scheduling an appointment with a couple's therapist may help you both work out your feelings.
In either case, your partner may explode emotionally in the initial learning stages, and you’ll have to accept his or her emotions. The only thing that’s unacceptable? Violence of any kind, even in such an emotionally fraught situation.
The affair may signal that your relationship needs to end, whether you’d consciously like it to or not. Once an affair happens and has been disclosed, it forever changes the nature of your bond with your partner, says Brown. For example, it could cause your partner to be sexually withdrawn, says Greer, and that shouldn’t come as a surprise. “Their trust has been violated,” she adds. And sometimes, that violation of trust is too great of a chasm for a relationship to successfully cross.
Alternatively, even if you don't tell your partner, cheating can make you realize you’re unhappy in your primary relationship. In that case, you should end it, but there’s not necessarily a reason to divulge your affair if it’s otherwise unknown.
The majority of affairs end at some point, and the price is quite often the primary relationship. (Although that's not always the case. Brangelina, anyone?) So, if you've got wandering eyes, tread lightly so you can avoid making a hurtful decision. Even though it's possible for a relationship to rebound after cheating, “recovery to the point of completely letting go isn’t going to happen,” says Brown. Now that’s some food for relationship thought.
Genuine, heartfelt apologies and acceptance of each other’s faults strengthen relationships. However, these apologies should be made before time runs out and wounds heal on their own. If you have knowingly or unknowingly hurt your boyfriend, here are a few samples of apology letters you can use to make it up to him.
Genuine, heartfelt apologies and acceptance of each other’s faults strengthen relationships. However, these apologies should be made before time runs out and wounds heal on their own. If you have knowingly or unknowingly hurt your boyfriend, here are a few samples of apology letters you can use to make it up to him.
We all know that relationships grow not only because of the good times a couple shares, but also because of the numerous fights they have and the lessons they learn from them. A few quarrels are a part of every relationship. However, what really maintains the harmony after a fight, is acceptance of the wrongdoing by a partner.
It may be you, it may be him. In this case, you’ve broken his heart and you need to make it up to him. If you’re embarrassed to meet him and talk things out or if he isn’t willing to see you right now, writing a letter to express your thoughts at the moment is a good idea. However, saying something before the moment passes is important.
Sample Apology Letters to Boyfriend
We all know that a couple can fight and argue about many things, isn’t it? It would be thus impossible to address all those in one single letter. Here are three sweet apology letters you can send to your boyfriend. Depending on what suits best with your situation, you can select one.
They say that the perfection of some relationships lies in its imperfections. Without our ups and downs, we wouldn’t be where we are today. You know how I feel about you better than I do. You know you’re my strength, but what you don’t know, is that you’re also my weakness. I don’t like people taking you for granted, and sometimes I don’t like the misconceptions they have about you. What I don’t like even more, is discussing these misconceptions in public. Though you may already know this, I thought I should start this letter from the problem itself.
My rude remarks towards your friends in yesterday’s party, were uncalled for. I am sorry I behaved in this particular manner and that somewhere, I embarrassed both of us. Maybe I read more than I should have into what was being said. Whatever maybe the circumstance, I agree those words were completely unnecessary and uncivil. I am really, genuinely sorry about what happened and I apologize from the bottom of my heart. Please give me a chance to make it up to you in person. Let’s put this incident behind us and look at better things in the future.
I know you are more hurt than angry. Trust me, it was never my intention. Sometimes, things are complicated. The only way they can be made simple, is by ignorance. It was never by intention to lie to you, I never have had to. And you know this. In all these years, we’ve shared our deepest feelings, our most complex emotions. Why then would I not tell you something so naive? Yes, I did like John. However, this was before you came into my life. It wasn’t something worth discussing because I never told John about it, and in just a few days, you had me fall head over heels for you. I still could have told you about it, but you and John being friends just complicated the whole thing.
I’m sorry you had to know about this in these circumstances. I can completely understand how it must have been for you to get to know about this in front of so many people. It isn’t their fault either, I’m sure they thought you knew.
All I want to say is I’m sorry, and trust me, this apology means a lot to me. I don’t know why I can’t do this in person. Maybe I’m a coward, maybe I’m just bad at confrontation. However, whether in person or through this letter, it is important that my apology reaches you.
I love you, more than what both of us know. I’m sure our love is stronger than the troubles that are a part of it. Whenever you’re ready, let’s talk it out and give this relationship one more chance. We both deserve it.
I don’t know where I should start this letter, and how I should word my apology to make you believe the guilt I’m dealing with right now. Whatever happened yesterday, was the stupidest thing any girl would do. I had just lost control over what I was saying. Now that I think of what happened, it’s really something I feel horrible about.
I don’t mind Sally calling and texting you every now and then. She’s one of your oldest friends, and you’ll have a relationship beyond the one you have with me. What disturbs me, is the constant disturbance it causes during some of our most intimate moments. What I want you to realize, is that these moments are never coming back. These moments are later going to turn into memories. It is very important that we make more memories to cherish than regret.
However, instead of talking it out with you, I lost all my cool and created a drama. I’m sorry to have put us both through this. It’s not only embarrassing but also hurtful. Somewhere, in the things I said, I showed a little distrust. And for this, I’m more angry at myself than you are. I’ve disappointed you and myself.
Please forgive me for the things I said, for the things I believed and the things I ended up doing. Give me a chance to do something that will help erase this incident from our life together. My love for you is and will always remain unconditional.
Messages for your Boyfriend Saying you’re Sorry
Sometimes, we don’t get the right words to say what we really want to. Sometimes, we get the right words, but they aren’t enough. At such times, you can take the help of these messages and add them to your letter. You can also send your boyfriend one message everyday, till the day he forgives you. Hope they help.
“How do I say the words I’m sorry when I know that words are not enough? And how can I ask you to forgive me when I know I can’t forgive myself?”
– Martin Kember
“Patience is a virtue, it teaches us to wait, I’m sorry I hurt you, I know it’s too late.”
“You can be mad in the morning
I’ll take back what I said
Just don’t leave me alone here
It’s cold, baby
Come back to bed.”
– John Mayer
“Words will not be able to ever express how sorry I am for this, and I have profound regret and sorrow for the multitude of mistakes and harm I have caused.”
– Jack Abramoff
You can choose any one of these apology letters and send them to your boyfriend. It is always a better idea to write the letter than get one printed. This way, you add a personal touch to it. Send the letter when he’s least expecting it so he won’t have time to think about it before he reads it. Best of Luck!
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Your responses to questions and blog posts related to trust have been such an eye and heart opener to me. I have carried so much baggage from past relationships related to trust and infidelity, and it almost ended my marriage to a wonderful man. I have engaged in shameful behavior of reading emails, looking at computer history and looking at his cell phone. However, in the past year I have been doing intensive therapy and self-reflection because I don’t want to give any more power to insecurity and mistrust than I already have; I won’t continue to spin a storyline that could cement me in this place of insecurity. So my question is this, how can I apologize to my husband in a way that will speak to him about the gravity of how badly I feel and that I am completely committed to not getting pulled into that dark place ever again.
Appreciate your kind words and am thrilled that you’re becoming more secure in your relationship. It’s really hard to move past insecurity — especially when you’ve had reason to be insecure in the past — and you deserve a ton of credit for getting into therapy.
The ONLY reason to tell him is to absolve yourself of guilt.
I would love to answer your question simply and directly, except there’s one piece of information I don’t have:
Does your husband already know that you have read his emails, checked his computer history and browsed his cell phone? Did he discover this independently? Did you have a long, drag-out argument, which is why you said your mistrust almost ended your marriage?
Or is this just a matter of guilt that you’re carrying around in your head for your misdeeds?
The answer makes a huge difference.
If your husband already knows, I would guess that you’ve already apologized profusely. I would think that such an apology would be about the only thing that could mend your breach of trust. But if you’ve already apologized to him, then why would you be asking me how to apologize to him?
On the other hand, if your husband doesn’t already know, what is the value of telling him?
As far as I can see, the ONLY reason to tell him is to absolve yourself of guilt. But that’s pretty short-term thinking. Because what will happen when you tell him is that you will be putting a sledgehammer to the underlying trust of your relationship. Right now, your husband thinks everything is fine. When you come clean about how much you’ve been spying on him, everything is going to get really weird, really fast. And what for? To make YOU feel better — not him.
I’ve written about this before, but this completely reminds me of a recurring conversation I had with a jealous ex-girlfriend who was convinced that I was at risk of cheating. Sadly, she didn’t know that my integrity is my most cherished value, and even though I like looking at other women, I would never act upon it. Anyway, one day, she tells me that if I ever cheated on her, she would dump me instantly. Furthermore, she tells me that if I ever cheated on her, she’d expect me to tell her? Wha-?
“Wait,” I say. “If I’m going to receive the death sentence for drunkenly kissing a stranger, why exactly would I tell you?”
I thought this was a reasonable point. I thought wrong.
“Because that would be the MANLY thing to do,” she replied.
“It doesn’t make any logical sense,” I continued. “If I made a colossal mistake that I instantly regretted and vowed to never do it again — and if I know I want to spend my life with you — why would I sabotage that entire thing just to be ‘manly’? Once again, I’m not saying I’d cheat on you, but since you’ve already told me that you would definitely not forgive me, you’ve given me no incentive to tell the truth.”
The best apologies are the heartfelt ones that completely own the situation — instead of trying to share blame.
This logic INFURIATED her. We must have had this conversation a half-dozen times in the six months we were dating. She ended up dumping me after learning about a friend’s bachelor party at a strip club in Vegas…even though I wasn’t at the party.
I love that story and try really hard to be consistent in my walk and my talk.
If your husband has no idea what you did, I see less value in telling him and rocking the boat than in keeping it to yourself and silently trying to improve your trust. This should be YOUR burden, not his.
And if he knows what you did and is still with you, I’m not sure what else to say. The best apologies are the heartfelt ones that completely own the situation — instead of trying to share blame. If you own your jealousy and let him know you’re working on it, I see no reason why he shouldn’t forgive you.
When trying to rebuild trust—it helps to give the right type of apology at the right time.
Unfortunately, most people do not know how to apologize or say "I am sorry."
Typically, people make the mistake of apologizing too quickly. People say "I am sorry" at the moment they are caught in a lie or caught doing something wrong. Apologizing too quickly—especially when in trouble often comes across as being insincere.
It looks like you are saying "I’m sorry" as a means of appeasing a partner. It does not come across a thoughtful or meaningful gesture. Rather it looks like you are simply trying to protect yourself from harm.
Apologies work best when given after some thought and consideration. Especially, after you have made your partner feel understood—that is, after you explicitly acknowledge how your partner’s feelings have been hurt.
Giving the right type of apology is also important. Often people apologize and then immediately offer an excuse ("I am sorry, BUT. "). Tying an excuse or explanation to an apology tends to take away from its impact.
The best way to apologize is to say you are sorry for the harm you have done and leave it at that ("I am sorry I hurt you by. I was wrong."). It is best to let an apology stand on its own.
It is ok to offer an explanation, but only when one is asked for (see next step).
Saying "I am sorry" at the right moment and in the right way is important because it leads to (see Cupach & Metts).
Relationships have so many steps, ups, and downs. If you cheat on your girl accidentally and want to keep her in your life then you can use these ‘Sorry Messages for Girlfriend after Cheating on Her’. I am sure these apology messages will help you a lot in this case.
Sorry Messages for Girlfriend after Cheating on Her
Dear, you are the best girl I have met ever in my life. I am so blessed and happy that you came into my life with so many blessings and happiness. But things turned very bad and awkward. I always wanted to be with you, but luck didn’t favor me. I am so sorry for everything that we’ve done for you.
Hey, I am so sorry because I can realize how bad you felt at that time when I broke your heart. I am accepting all my mistakes and asking for an apology from you. You are the most amazing girl I have ever seen in my life, I will miss you always and you always will be in my heart, I’m so sorry.
I am admitting all the mistakes that I have done while I was in a relationship with you. I don’t want to cheat on you, but things went very ugly. That’s why I left you. I know it was a mistake that is not possible to forgive, I am sorry for everything.
Sorry Messages for Girlfriend after Cheating on Her
I was the worst guy in your life, I am admitting you. You deserve someone better. And I know very well that you will find someone amazing, I am so sorry for everything dear.
I can’t even imagine that I cheated with a girl like you, you were the best person in my life. I am always blessed and happy with you. Now I can feel what I have lost from my life. I am so sorry for whatever I have done to you, honey.
Hey, please forgive me for whatever I have done to you. I never wanted to hurt you, but the situation was very tough and I left you alone. I know you moved out and now you are doing great. I pray for your good future ahead, I miss you so much.
Honey, I am so sorry for whatever I have done to you. Look, I am accepting all my mistakes and wrongdoing. I hope I will never repeat such things. Please forgive me for this, I am feeling extremely bad for whatever I have done, please forgive me.
I can’t stop thinking about you, I know I have committed a very bad crime, but you are the one who always supported and loved me in every situation, I am not the guy for you. But I can’t stop crying thinking about you. You are the most wonderful girl in the world and I know you will find happiness and joy in your life, God bless you.
You mean the world to me, I can’t stop tearing thinking about you. You are the best girl in my life. I am so blessed that you are with me. Please forgive me for whatever I have done. I can promise you that, I will never make such terrible mistakes, I am sorry for everything.
I am so sorry honey, I know I have made the worst mistake in our relationship, but I can assure you that I will never repeat such terrible mistakes, please forgive me for whatever I have done.
Apology Messages for Girlfriend after Cheating on Her
I am sorry because I cheated on you, and I am ready to accept all my mistakes. I will never do such things again and it’s a guarantee.
When I look back, I can see lots of good memories with you, but I did wrong by cheating on you. I can understand my mistake and I want to assure you that I will never make such a terrible mistake again. Please accept my apology and forgive me for this time, I am so sorry honey.
Honey, I am so sorry for whatever I have done. You are the best girl in the world and I know that I accept you as the most beautiful and sweet girl in the world. I feel blessed and grateful because you are in my life. But after all, I have committed a terrible mistake by cheating on you, I am so sorry for this, honey. I want to let you know that I will never repeat such mistakes.
I can’t tolerate to see you in pain, it breaks my heart. Please forgive me for the mistakes that I have done with you. Honey, I want to tell you that I will be the most loyal and dedicated boyfriend in the world and will follow every single instruction in my life, I am so sorry for everything.
Apology Messages for Girlfriend after Cheating on Her
Honey, I can’t live without you. I can’t take the pain, I am so sorry for everything. Please forgive me and come back to me again. You are the best, and I know you will forgive me.
I have committed the most terrible mistake in my life by cheating on you. I should not have done this. I can assure you that I will never repeat such terrible things in my life, I am so sorry for everything, honey.
Honey, please give me a chance to prove myself. I can prove my situation to you and I can explain what happened. Please receive my call and talk to me, I want to talk to you. You are my life, I can’t live without you, honey.
I have a lot of faith in you, but I have broken your trust. I can assure you that I will never repeat such a thing, honey.
You can send her an apology text if you want to get her back to your life. Try to become generous and sad in your text. Let her know that you are feeling guilty for whatever you have done. Some Sorry Messages for Girlfriend after Cheating on Her could help you a lot in this case.
Thank you so much for reading these ‘Sorry Messages for Girlfriend after Cheating on Her’. These messages are very effective and loving. I am sure your girlfriend will feel great after reading these apology messages.
Victims of infidelity can feel like being on an emotional roller coaster. Most couples caught up in the tragedy of an affair tell me that they’ve never felt such intense emotions.
For instance, many betrayed partners ruminate about the infidelity and ask, “How could my partner do this to me?” or “I have so much anger and resentment that it scares me. I can never trust them again.”
On the other hand, the wayward partner often says, “I used to beg my partner for more attention and I get that from my lover. I’m not sure my spouse will ever trust me again, no matter what I do to prove myself.”
Learning to trust again
Learning to trust again after betrayal is a slow process and extremely challenging. That said, there is reason to be hopeful under certain conditions. However, both partners must first accept that they each have work to do to recover from the pain.
In “The Science of Trust” Dr. John Gottman explains that restoring trust is an action rather than a belief. It’s more about what your partner does than what they say. According to Michele Weiner-Davis, MSW, author of “Healing from Infidelity,” and Dr. Gottman, both partners must follow certain crucial steps to get past mistrust and resentment after betrayal.
The Tasks of the Betrayer
The unfaithful partner must:
- Be honest, use full disclosure about the affair, and find a way to atone or express remorse
- Deal with the traumatic feelings after the discovery and be willing to ask and answer questions
- Must end the affair
- Be willing to apologize for cheating in a sincere way and promise not to repeat it
Additionally, if you are the betrayer, you must focus on transparency and restoring your partner’s faith in you. This might range from daily check-ins to reassuring them by saying things like “I love you and I won’t cheat again. I don’t want to lose you.”
If you are a betrayer, ask yourself: what can I do to restore my partner’s trust? This might mean apologizing often or giving details about the betrayal. Most of all, you must demonstrate empathy by saying things like “I get it. I understand why you would feel this way. If I were in your position, I would struggle as well.”
The Tasks of the Betrayed Partner
The partner who is betrayed must remember to be kind to themselves, especially when they’re having a bad day and ruminating about their partner’s infidelity. For instance, you could be cleaning out your closet and see the shirt that you wore when you found out about the betrayal and suddenly go into a tailspin. During these times, try to remember that recovering from the trauma of betrayal takes time and it’s fraught with inevitable ups and downs.
Also, the betrayed partner should:
- Express your feelings to your spouse, but be sure to avoid accusations. Try to use “I” messages such as, “I feel deeply hurt by your actions and I’m not sure I can ever trust you again.”
- Avoid rehashing all of the events around the affair. Marathon talk sessions about it may deepen the wounds.
- Find a way to forgive or at least accept their partner’s actions and work towards forgiveness.
Lastly, remember that whatever you think or feel after experiencing your partner’s infidelity is normal, according to Weiner-Davis. She says, “In some ways finding out about infidelity feels like learning about the death of a loved one. You are in shock. And you are grieving the loss of the dream you treasured of a loving marriage to a faithful partner. The lies, the deceit, the betrayal, all go a long way to destroy trust and hope.”
Tasks for Both Partners
- Both partners need to talk about intense feelings respectfully without blame, judgment, criticism, and contempt.
- Partners need to find a way to connect emotionally and sexually or attach by risking more physical intimacy. Dr. Gottman explains, “Without the presence of sexual intimacy, that is pleasurable to both, the relationship can’t begin again.”
- They also need to be more attuned and to spend regular time together. This includes rituals of connection such as daily walks or eating meals without screens.
Ways to Move Ahead with Self-Compassion
Many of the spouses that I’ve talked to who have endured the trauma of infidelity have benefitted from a self-care routine that is consistent and soothing. Everyone’s ideas about this are different but usually include taking care of your body and some form of mindfulness practice such as meditation or yoga.
Further, recovering from an affair always takes the expertise of a trained therapist and a willingness to express hurt feelings in a safe setting that can facilitate healing. Find a specialist trained in the Gottman Method near you.
Has your relationship experienced a sexual or emotional affair? The Gottman Institute is currently seeking couples for an international study on affair recovery. For more information, please click here.
I was the cheater. Many years ago, I cheated on my long time boyfriend (6 years) with a coworker when I was in college. Later on, I half confessed but lied a lot to try to diminish my responsibility/cover my ass/whatever. I was scared. Eventually, though, my relentless boyfriend found out every thing. He was crushed and I was so confused. I asked for some time alone (we lived together) so I could get my head straight and all it took was one night alone to figure out that I wanted to do everything in my power to save the relationship.
When he came home, I did everything I could to try to regain his trust. I gave him access to everything, my phone, my email, all my accounts. I checked in with him with all my movement throughout the day. I stopped hanging out with my friends alone. He checked up on me randomly when I left the house. I gave up every single shred of privacy. I did everything he asked and was considering quitting my job when the co-worker ended up leaving first. I answered every excruciating question as honestly and openly as I could.
We also got in the habit of smoking weed at the end of the day. Weirdly, I credit this with being a major factor in saving our relationship. We would come home from work talk and cry and deal with the heavy shit, then we would get high and just relax with each other; laugh with each other. It gave us an out for a few hours and reminded us why what we were fighting to save.
It took a long time. But eventually, he started trusting me again. Eventually, we weren't talking about it every day and we got on with life. A year or so later he proposed. I said yes. It honestly was probably a little too early because the scars were still very fresh but we were so happy. So happy in fact that a few months after the proposal, I got pregnant!
Now its many years later and we are so madly in love. We've hit a few roadblocks, but we've dealt with them. And the transparency in our relationship has carried over to our marriage. We hace no secrets, but still respect each others privacy. It took a long time, but my husband has forgiven me. I still carry around the guilt and shame for having hurt someone I love so much. And I still grapple with how and why it happened. There's no one answer except that different factors came together in my life that caused me to be stupid and reckless. Now, I can happily say it's in the past. A life lesson, we paid for dearly, but that taught us something invaluable.
Oftentimes, people assume cheating means a relationship has to end, but that’s not always the case. While it certainly isn’t easy, there are steps a couple can take to properly repair a relationship post-cheating, according to psychotherapist Matt Lundquist. And the first step involves a trip to a couple’s counselor.
” People who are able to say ‘I need to go through a process here’ are more likely to do successful work to recover from [cheating],” he explained to INSIDER.
Therapy can help both a cheater and the person who was cheated on understand the reasons infidelity occurred, which is a key to repairing lost trust and forgiving each other.
But that is only one of many steps a couple must take to repair a relationship broken by infidelity.
A cheater has to be remorseful about their actions in order for forgiveness to happen
In order for an open and honest communication like couple’s counseling to take place, the cheater has to feel sorry for how they acted.
” The person doing the cheating needs to be somewhat unsettled and allow themselves to be disrupted by the experience,” Lundquist said. “It needs to be treated as a significant life event. It needs to hurt a little in order to grow and change.”
And if the cheater brushes off their actions, it could be a sign the relationship is ultimately doomed. If, for example, a cheater blames their infidelity on alcohol or an inability to control themselves rather than taking responsibility, it could mean the relationship is beyond repair, INSIDER previously reported.
Loss of trust is normal, but it can be built back up
After cheating occurs, it’s acceptable for the person who was cheated on to feel betrayed and, in turn, lose trust in their partner. Although there isn’t one surefire way to rebuild that trust, Lundquist says ” giving a credible understanding of how the cheating happened” can help. ” If the conditions that produced cheating aren’t addressed it will happen again,” he noted.
Oftentimes, cheating has more to do with the person who has committed the act than the person who was cheated on. “Many times, people who stray are also hoping to reconnect with lost parts of themselves, with the lives un-lived, with the sense that life is short and there are certain experiences … that they are longing for,” Esther Perel, a sex and relationship expert, previously told Business Insider.
In addition to seeking self-discovery, a person might cheat because they’re afraid of getting older, feel stressed out, or are unhappy with their lives, INSIDER reported. Lundquist said family history or childhood insecurities can play a role in infidelity too.
Once the cheater determines why they cheated and shares that information with their partner, they can discuss whether they want to resolve the issues. Though there isn’t a formula for rebuilding lost trust, working together on a solution can help a couple get there.
If both parties can’t reflect on the pitfalls of their relationship, it’s doomed to fail
Typically, the cheater has to do the majority of the work to understand their motivations and rebuild the broken relationship, but the person who has been cheated on plays an important role too.
According to Lundquist, a person’s dissatisfaction with their sex life can cause them to stray from the relationship. In that case, it’s important for both parties to understand how they can support each other and move forward.
At the same time, Lundquist says the reason for cheating is usually more complicated than bad sex and the cheater will have to come to terms with more deeply rooted issues.
” Half of the time, the work is for the cheater to do,” he explained. “Is there some trauma or trouble with commitment? Is this relationship for you?”
Lastly, the person who was cheated on shouldn’t feel rushed into forgiving their partner. ” Most couples we see in therapy are wanting to forgive and might want to do it too quickly as to not hurt the other person,” he said. Offering immediate forgiveness, however, can result in resentment and perpetuate issues with the relationship. Instead, both parties must take time to heal.