Should you forgive a cheater?

Infidelity is a very delicate topic, but plenty of people around the country know the pangs that come along with this act of betrayal. It’s not a new phenomenon, but it creates a deep wound when you find out that someone you love had a physical relationship with someone else. So should you continue a relationship with someone who cheats or send them on their way?

When your partner is in the wrong, how can you forgive their act and continue the relationship? Another thing you must consider is if it’s even worth trying to repair. Remember the old saying, “once a cheater, always a cheater?”

So, if you use the mentality that a tiger never changes its stripes, you might second guess your decision to forgive them. Plus, there is the self-dignity aspect, as some people believe if you take a person back once they’ve cheated, you’re permitting them to do it again.

Should You Forgive a Cheater?

It feels good to think that you’ve forgiven someone who has done the unthinkable to you, but breaking fidelity isn’t so easy to get over. You know that you deserve better and more from a relationship, but there’s always the ties that bind. For example, if you have children, a long history, or financial commitments, then it’s not so easy to send them packing.

If you’re considering forgiving your cheating partner, there are some things that you need to consider. So here are some questions to ask yourself.

forgive a cheater
1. Have They Cheated Before?

History always has a way of repeating itself. One of the most significant indicators of future behaviors is the actions of the past. If this person has a history of cheating, don’t fool yourself into thinking that things will be different.

Don’t ever think the problem was you or something you’ve done. If there’s an issue, your partner needs to communicate with you about it and not go elsewhere for a fling. Relationships are complicated at best, and if you can’t turn to each other, is it worth saving the relationship?

2. How Is Their Demeanor?

Attitude is everything when it comes to cheating. Is your partner apologetic towards you and truly feels remorse for what they did? You must remember they’re human and will make mistakes, but if their attitude is not regretful, it’s an issue.

A person who isn’t sorry for what they did should be given different considerations. They will cheat again; they need the opportunity. Another issue is when someone denies and acts like it didn’t happen, especially when you had proof that it did. You may not want to forgive a cheater that pretends like it was no big deal.

3. What Type of Cheating Did They Engage in?

With the creation of online dating and the entire virtual world, there are many different types of cheating. Someone can step outside of the relationship emotionally, and some consider that infidelity. To be classified as an affair, one must have a physical relationship, but that doesn’t mean that it lessens the blow of any other types of affiliations.

Each couple establishes boundaries and beliefs in their union. You may consider it a horrible mistake if your mate talks or texts with someone they met online. Decide what you consider cheating, and before you forgive a cheater, you must weigh the gravity of the situation. Most people are more eager to forgive those that have emotional affairs more so than physical ones.

4. How Would They Act If You Cheated on Them?

Look at the situation through reverse lenses for a minute. How would this person act towards you if you were the cheater? While they may be in the hot seat now, how would they be if the shoe were on the other foot?

5. Do You Have the Time and Patience to Work Through Things?

Before you decide to forgive them, do you have the time and patience to do all that it requires? For instance, you will likely need counseling, a cooling-off period, and lots of conversations with each other about the relationship? Is this person worth all the effort that fixing things requires, or is it better to send them on their way?

6. Can You Truly Forgive Them?

Many folks say that they can forgive their partner for cheating, but they don’t truly forgive them. If you harbor ill feelings towards them in your heart, then the relationship will never work. To truly forgive someone means that you don’t think about it 24×7 and harbor resentment for their actions.

Now, keep in mind that it doesn’t mean it won’t hurt, but you can’t replay the events like a loop in your brain. Instead, you must forgive and move on. Are you strong enough to get over such an act of betrayal and have a future with this person?

7. Is It Possible to Repair the Trust You Once Had?

The biggest issue with forgiving a cheater is the trust between you two has been destroyed. Unfortunately, repairing that broken trust isn’t going to be something that happens overnight. In fact, it can take years to rebuild something once it’s been lost.

According to Smart Health Women, trust issues can develop overnight, but it often takes a lifetime to overcome. Once an individual has been cheated on, they often live with the residual pain and become untrusting of future partners too. In addition, the article says that this person usually has insecurities, jealousy, and paranoia, which will hurt the relationship.

8. Is Your Confidence and Self-esteem Destroyed?

While it’s impossible to predict the future and how you will feel, you can tell if what’s been done has destroyed your confidence and self-esteem. Some people flat out don’t deserve your forgiveness, and this is especially true if the relationship has been nothing but rocky. However, if a person is willing to get counseling, eager to ask for your forgiveness, and terribly sorry, then you might be able to work through this issue.

When their act causes you to change your views of yourself and the world around you, then you should think twice. You need to rebuild your self-esteem, and it might be easier to do that if they’re not in the picture. This all goes back to whether you can genuinely forgive them or not.

Some people have the unique ability to let things roll off their backs, but other folks can’t get over something so quickly.

9. Are They Trying to Repair Things?

Evaluate the entire situation from the time you found out until now. Is this individual doing everything they can to repair things with you? Their attitude, eagerness for counseling, and willingness to try speaks volumes.

Someone who is genuinely remorseful is going to do everything they can to make it up to you. However, someone who feels justified in their decision won’t care. Someone selfish or narcissistic will undoubtedly pin this error on you, so why would you want to forgive a cheater who acts like that?

They can make you think that your actions caused them to have their needs met elsewhere. According to Mental Health Matters, those with a diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder often feel they’re entitled to cheat. They have no remorse for the situation, so they can and will do it again.

10. Are They Worth It?

If possible, you need to remove yourself from the current situation and look at the big picture. Is this person and the relationship worth it? If you’ve been together for ten years, have three kids, and outstanding debt, you might feel differently than if you’ve only been together for a year with no ties.

Each situation is different. You know the person you’re with, or at least you thought you did. You must decide if they’re worth putting the time and effort into repairing this relationship. There’s something broken in the union, or they would never step outside the relationship.

The chances are that this whole situation has little to do with you and so much more to do with them and their feelings.

forgive a cheater
Final Thoughts on Forgiving a Cheater and Whether You Decide to Move Forward in the Relationship

Let’s face it, people cheat. A study conducted by Health Research Funding Found that infidelity happens in at least 60 percent of relationships. That staggering number is, no doubt, why the divorce rate is so high.

It takes a strong person to forgive a cheater, and the relationship may or may not be salvageable. You must consider the type of cheating involved, their attitude towards the events, and the future. Can you truly forgive this person and continue the relationship?

You will need counseling and time to heal such wounds, but many people flourish after such an event. Some even say it’s the wake-up call their relationship needed. However, since each person handles stressors like this differently, you must decide if you can move on from such a blow to your self-esteem.

When you forgive a cheater, it doesn’t mean that you must continue the relationship any further. In many instances, forgiveness does more for you than it does for them. However, you don’t have to choose to live with someone who has broken trust with you and has an overall lack of respect.