Are you at that point in your life when you’re trying to figure out how to forgive yourself for cheating and not telling? Sorry to hear that…
Being in a committed relationship can sometimes be really challenging. All those beautiful single men and women everywhere around when you go out are not making it any easier. Why would they, though? You chose what you thought was the best for you.
But, you did cheat.
Since you’re reading this article, there has to be a reason behind it. So, be true to yourself at least, I’m not asking for a confession. You’ve made a mistake and now you’re trying to figure out how to fix it. It’s not going to be easy, but you have to bite the bullet.
The awful thing happened and there’s no doubt about it. What can you do now to make it better? There’s no some kind of magical eraser that could help you with the horrible mistake you’ve made. But there are a couple of things that you can do to ease the consequences.
Most situations are not simply black and white but in this case, you’ll either stay with your long-term partner and strengthen your relationship or you’ll break up for good. If you want to know how to forgive yourself for cheating and not telling, keep reading this article.
Sweet denial or the painful truth?
Having someone who loves you and cares about you, is the most beautiful thing in the world. And when that person is by your side, you can conquer the world. Healthy relationships are pure bliss if you take care of them appropriately.
Unfortunately, you somehow managed to compromise that. Maybe it was a moment of weakness, you were under the influence of certain substances, or you simply wanted to put off that fire that was burning inside of you – it happened.
What should you do now? How do you forgive yourself for cheating on your partner and well, is not telling it an option? Honestly, it’s up to you.
Put yourself in your partner’s shoes and decide if you’d like to hear that painful truth, or you’d like to live in sweet denial. Personally, I’d like to know it. No matter how terrible the act of cheating is, I’d love to hear it happened directly from my partner.
At least, he had enough decency to confess and he didn’t wait for me to find out from other people. I’d be devastated if someone would tell me what happened, even if it would be years later.
Knowing that I’ve been cheated on would hurt like hell. But, the realization that my partner wasn’t honest with me and didn’t respect me enough to tell me – would completely destroy me.
We’re all different and you know your partner the best, so you’re the only one who can make this decision. As mentioned earlier, the how-to-forgive-yourself-for-cheating-and-not-telling problem has only two possible solutions. Let’s dig deeper into the topic.
How to forgive yourself for cheating and not telling
The not-so-inevitable thing happened and now it’s the time for you to figure out what to do. Staying quiet after cheating may cause some serious problems, but being open about it and confessing calls for a lot of collateral damage.
If you opt for the second one, and I hope you do, here are some tips to forgive yourself for cheating and not telling it to the one you love. It will be tough and even confusing at times, and you may want to give up, but don’t.
You owe it to your person and to that wonderful relationship you two share and you don’t need the weight of that burden. So, what are you supposed to do?
1. Accept that you cheated
First and foremost, accept that you cheated. We’re all grown-ups and we are responsible for our mistakes. You have to do the same now if you want to save your relationship or marriage.
Instead of making up excuses, blaming others, and avoiding the truth, acknowledge that what you did was wrong. Your actions may have some serious consequences, but it is what it is. The only thing you can do is to try and minimize the impact.
It’s not possible to go back, and wishing that things could be different won’t help either. You could’ve stopped it before it happened, but you chose not to. Whether it was an emotional or physical affair you couldn’t resist and here we are now.
There’s no reason to cry over spilled milk because you did what you did. Take the responsibility for your actions and clean up that mess.
2. Cut the contact with the person you cheated with
If you want to save the relationship you already have, cut the contact with the person you cheated your other half with. You don’t want to get yourself in the same situation one more time. Resisting the temptation won’t be a problem when that person is not around.
Whether it was just a one-night adventure, or it was an ongoing thing for a while, the easiest way to forget someone is to pretend like that person doesn’t exist at all. Stop answering his or her calls, and messages. Avoid their social media profiles and cut contact with them.
However, try to make it as painless as possible. In case you’re not strong enough to do this, simply block them. Out of sight out of mind, right?
It’s not going to be easy, but this way you’ll show your partner that you’re eager to change and that you’d do anything to go back to how it was. Don’t let the other person expect you’ll come back in case your partner decides not to continue the relationship with you.
This would be completely unfair towards them and in case you actually end up fixing everything, they may want to destroy what you have, simply out of spite.
3. Identify the reasons why you cheated
Another important step in confessing your mistake is to actually figure out why you cheated in the first place. Maybe something is missing in the relationship with your partner, maybe you were intoxicated. It could also happen that you simply wanted to, pure lust, nothing else.
Whatever happened, you have to identify why it happen in order to get to the how-to-forgive-yourself-for-cheating-and-not-telling part. You have to know if it was the desire for someone new, for the adventure, or if you have some deeper problems with your partner.
Are your feelings the same, or has something changed? Be honest with yourself first so you could tell the truth to the one you committed to.
4. Confessing will hurt your partner
You’re well aware of this, otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this article and seeking answers. It’s going to hurt, it’s inevitable. Yes, you have to be honest about what happened, but don’t simply transfer the burden to them. Don’t say what happened for the sake of saying. Think about it first.
Your partner doesn’t have to know exactly what happened and how you felt at that moment, even if they insist – the devil’s in the details. I know you want to be completely honest, but some of those words may cut deep and the one you love with all of your heart may remember them for the rest of their life.
Would you like to know if someone else better understood your soulmate at a certain moment? I think not. You’d be constantly asking yourself if your partner is honest, if they are hiding something or if you’re asking too many questions, right?
You wouldn’t be able to balance it anymore, and what once seemed good, would be questioned now. Did their kiss feel better, or was their hug a bit tighter and more comforting? I promise you, it’s not something your partner wants to know.
5. Remember that “Sorry” is not enough
Saying “sorry” is not going to do the trick this time. You have to make your partner believe those words and you have to be confident that it’s not going to happen again. If you’re truly ready to work on your relationship or marriage and on yourself, make it clear.
When the one you love the most hurts you, it’s not something you disregard. You start asking yourself if you had something to do with it or if you were the one who pushed him or her away. Overthinking becomes a daily habit and you just can’t shake it off.
The cheater is not the one to blame in your partner’s head. Even if your partner is self-aware and confident, they may start doubting themselves. This can lead to analyzing every aspect of your relationship and their lives and a lot of problems may come to the surface.
So, a simple apology will never be enough. Prove that you really mean it with every part of your being and don’t let it happen again. Use this wrong choice to strengthen your relationship.
6. Don’t make excuses
I was drunk; I really needed someone to hold me, because I was falling apart; I thought it was just some harmless flirting but one thing led to another… Cut the excuses, we’ve heard it all before.
The only thing that you should never do, well after you’ve cheated, is to make excuses. You made a terrible mistake, now face the reality. It’s not the time to be creative and think of the lamest excuse possible. We don’t do that here.
I understand that you had your reasons for cheating, but I don’t want to know them and neither does the person you cheated on. They trusted you completely and you did something that will cause them pain. Is that how you’re proving your love? I hope not.
When you decide to tell your partner about what happened, don’t beat around the bush. Be straightforward and save both of you additional suffering. Take the responsibility for your actions and confess what you did.
It’s going to be at least a little bit easier for your partner to hear it from you and as it is, rather than to hear it from someone else. Don’t distort the truth and, please, don’t add a very creative (or mainstream) excuse. That’s truly not going to help.
7. Work on yourself
The next thing you have to do is to work on yourself. The sooner, the better.
If you’re feeling guilty for cheating, start doing something to change that. Guilt is going to eat you up and you won’t be able to think straight. So, just stop it right now and improve yourself. Write down the reasons why you cheated and start from there.
Discover your deepest desires and figure out why you did what you did. Then change it. Improve yourself in every aspect and show your person that you can change and that you are willing to do so. Think about your actions and how they affected your life in total, not only your relationship.
Bettering yourself is going to be challenging, but I think the love of your life deserves it all, right?
8. Inspect your relationship and figure out what was missing
While you’re trying to improve yourself as an individual, think about what went wrong in the relationship as well. Yes, it’s your fault, but something was probably missing and you tried to get it somewhere else.
Maybe your partner was having some demanding tasks at work that consumed a lot of time and they had to bring the work home. For that reason, you probably didn’t get enough attention or care from your loved one.
It could also happen that the spark in your relationship got lost, so when that handsome stranger started flirting with you, you got excited. We all need to feel desired and loved, so if that’s missing in your relationships, you have to talk with your partner.
Healthy relationships require communication and we have to try harder when it seems like our partner is not making any effort. Relationships are never 50-50, sometimes you have to give a bit more, the other time it’s up to your partner. But it always has to be 100% of love and understanding.
9. Rebuild the broken trust
This is not going to be an easy task, but I’m sure if you prove to your partner that you’re willing to change and if they already see the effort you’re investing in it, you’re on the right path.
I know it’s not going to be easy to forgive yourself for cheating and not telling, and especially it’s not going to be a piece of cake for your partner to simply forget what happened, but you have to prove your worth.
Learn from your mistakes and slowly build that trust again. Prove to your partner that you’re reliable and that cheating was just a mistake and that it won’t happen again. The whole process is going to take some time, maybe even time apart.
However, if you genuinely love your partner and there’s no one you’d rather be with, it’s going to be worth it. Can you gain back the trust in a relationship once it’s broken? Honestly, it’s a difficult question to give an answer to. It completely depends on the couple.
Some people will say that cheating is, without a doubt, a real deal-breaker and there’s no way in hell they’d come back with that person. For others, it’s going to be a heartbreaking experience, but they’ll find their own way to overcome that obstacle.
10. Put an end to the guilt-tripping
Once a cheater, always a cheater; a cheater repeater, and all those phrases and sayings have to be thrown out of your head, right about now.
If you want to bring those ruins that stayed after destroying your relationship back to life, constant guilt-tripping won’t help. You have to stop blaming yourself, the person you cheated with, and the love of your life. It happened and there’s no going back.
Give everything that’s in your power to make things better, but don’t expect to bring it back to normal. Because the normal is now different.
You’ll have to live with the mistake you’ve made and with all the consequences of the act, but you can either let it ruin everything you have, or you can fight for what you love. It is solely your responsibility to prove that things can be improved.
There’s no time to go around and blame the circumstances you were in, or to go out of your way to explain how the person, you cheated with, seduced you. Instead of talking about it and clarifying the obvious, focus on fixing what can be repaired.
11. Ask for help
It may be hard to accept that you need to seek professional help, but a therapist can encourage you to solve the problem as soon as possible. You can also suggest to your partner to visit a relationship expert together and work on that bond between the two of you.
This way, you’ll show you’re ready to change and that you’ll actually go above and beyond for a person that matters to you. You’ll do anything for their happiness even though it’s not going to be easy.
Don’t be embarrassed to book an appointment. You’d be surprised how many couples are facing infidelity and trying to work their way through it. There are a lot of good examples of couples bouncing back and creating even stronger bonds than before.
Nobody’s happy when they’ve been cheated on, that’s a fact. But, if you’re madly in love with that person and there’s no other one on the planet that you’d rather spend your days with, then there’s no giving up. Not a single requirement should be a pain in the neck when you know what are you fighting for.
If anyone can tell you how to forgive yourself for cheating and not telling, a professional definitely can. With their help, you’ll heal faster and you’ll be able to keep your focus on the important things, so it’s worth a shot.
12. Focus on the future
Focusing on the future may seem like an irrational thing right now, but what I’m trying to say is that you should try to leave behind what happened. Leave the past where it belongs, but definitely see how it affected your future and work from there.
What ifs and buts will only bring more confusion and pain to the table, so try to avoid those. Honestly, there’s no point in that. The worst thing already happened, you don’t have to constantly remind your partner and yourself about it.
Don’t go around accusing one another and definitely don’t point the finger at your partner, because last time I checked, you were the one who cheated. So, instead of dwelling on the past, get on your feet and start doing what’s right.
In order to grow and develop as a person, you have to focus on your future and make sure that the same mistake doesn’t happen twice. Because then, it’s not a mistake. It’s definitely a choice that you’ve decided to make one more time.
13. It’s going to be a long way to forgiveness…
I know you’ve been wondering how to forgive yourself for cheating and not telling and I’m sure you’re well aware by now that it’s going to be a long road. Buckle up. You’ve made a huge mistake and the person you love needs to know about it.
The decision right now will be your partner’s. They have to decide whether they want to move on with their life without you in it, or if they want to stay and fight for the sake of every beautiful thing you shared.
It’s not going to be easy, so you’ll have to be patient. There will be times when you’ll want to give up but don’t. If you truly want to stay with this person, give your best to prove that you’ve changed and that things between the two of you can be even better than before.
Accept your mistake, but don’t act like it never happened. Everything has changed and so did your partner and their feelings. Heartbreaks hurt and pain changes people. It’s inevitable that they’ll need some time to process what happened and to make that final decision.
In this case, the only thing that you can do is to make it clear that you’ve changed and that the same thing is not going to happen ever again. Be patient and hope for the best.
When the confession didn’t go as planned: What now?
How to forgive yourself for cheating and not telling is definitely not an easy task and now the confession part didn’t go as planned either. What are you supposed to do now? You’ve lost someone you love with all of your heart, but it seems like there’s nothing you can do about it.
Maybe your partner doesn’t believe you that everything is done because your remorse doesn’t seem real. What is the problem? Do you have different definitions of cheating and you don’t see flirting as something harmful, but they think it’s a big deal?
Whatever the reason, apparently you’re on your own now and you have to figure out what your next step is. I wish you the best of luck in finding that peace you once had and I hope that these tips will be helpful.
1. Accept what happened
When all is said and done, there’s nothing else left to do than to accept what happened. I know it’s not going to be an easy task, but you have to admit to yourself that your actions caused this. You’ve lost your partner and you know why.
All those plans you made for your future with them went to waste and now you have to start everything from the scratch. Accepting your mistake and wanting to make it better is actually the first step toward healing.
I know it’s not an easy road, but you can do it and the sooner you accept it, the faster you’ll be able to react. Your healing process will depend solely on you and it’s your responsibility to get back on track.
2. Stop being tough on yourself
You have to stop judging yourself and minimizing your self-worth. If you cheated that doesn’t mean that you’re the worst partner anyone could ask for. It also doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve forgiveness.
It’s completely normal to feel guilty, but don’t punish yourself. Don’t enter that vicious circle of negative thoughts and harm yourself. This is going to help neither you nor your partner. You have to stay strong and find the motivation to be a better person.
Practice some self-love and stop that self-punishing process. Did you hurt your loved one simply because you enjoy seeing them in pain? Of course not! So, stop believing you’re a monster and learn how to forgive yourself for the wrong move.
3. Give your partner some time
Keep in mind that your partner is deeply hurt now and will need some time to bounce back. I mean, put yourself in their shoes, would it be easy? That’s what I’m talking about.
When a person we love the most betrays our trust and hurts us, we’re devastated. So, give your partner some time to think everything through. Don’t reach out to them over social media, don’t send them text messages, and don’t call them.
Also, don’t ask mutual friends about them and how they’re handling things. If you do this, you’re definitely not playing fair and you’re crossing the boundaries that your partner set. Another way of disrespecting them, are you sure you want that?
4. Forgive yourself
After you’ve accepted your mistake, forgiveness should come naturally. I know you probably think all the worst things about yourself right now, but hey, don’t make such a big deal out of it. Indeed, cheating to some is a deadly sin, but you have to find a way to forgive yourself.
Feeling guilty all the time will only stop you to focus on what’s essential. You won’t be able to work on yourself and repair that broken bond. Understanding how to forgive yourself for cheating and for not telling it is going to be utterly important for your future.
You can go on for hours thinking about what went wrong, but you have to forgive yourself and make sure you learn from that terrible mistake.
5. Give yourself some time to recover
Recovery time is needed for you in the same way that it’s needed for your partner. Take some time to thoroughly think about what happened and discover all the reasons behind it. Cheating will definitely leave a mark, so take time to heal those wounds.
Try to focus on yourself a bit, and keep your mind busy. If you’re constantly thinking about your partner and the betrayal, maybe visiting a therapist will be a good thing to do. You can also talk with someone you trust, like a best friend or a close family member.
They may give you advice that will help you conquer the problem one step at a time.
6. Decide to change
Another important thing is that you have to decide to change. Don’t only go around saying that you want to change. Work on it. Support your words with actions. Fulfill your short-term goals in order to accomplish those big ones.
Silence that voice in your head that keeps repeating how you can’t do it. This will all have an effect on your future and the person you cheated on, may decide to come back once they see you’re serious about that change.
Even if life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, there are some things worth fighting for. So, don’t limit yourself, grow as a person and learn from past mistakes. Don’t let them define you, because you are so much more.
7. Make a final apology
Make a final apology. Yes, final, I said it.
Even though you were the one who made a mistake, that doesn’t mean that you should be waiting an eternity for your partner to make the decision. In case they are failing to see your efforts, you have to move on.
Your priority has to be yourself and there’s no compromising about that. Again, yes, you did make a mistake, I’m not going to argue with that, but nobody has the right to lead you by your nose. Not even the person you truly, madly, deeply love and care about.
So, once you’re at least partially content with the way you’ve improved and the change is already visible; enough time has passed since you two separated – it’s the perfect moment to try one more time.
Go ahead and apologize from the bottom of your heart (but don’t do it if you’re not sure that you’d like to continue the relationship or marriage). Be sincere and pour your heart and soul to the one that means the world to you. Good luck!
Allow yourself to move on
Of course, it’s not a sin to forgive yourself for cheating and not telling, but it’s something you’ll have to do. You need to allow yourself to move on, no matter the outcome of your confession.
You accepted your mistake, and even if it sounds like a cliche – we’re all human. Making mistakes is in our job description. Maybe we didn’t voluntarily sign up for that, but we didn’t carefully read through the contract either.
Therefore, don’t be so hard on yourself, and don’t let this fault define you. As I said earlier, you’re so much more than this one step in the wrong direction and there is still time to make things right. If you truly want to and if you dedicate your time to it, you can make up for that mistake.
Whether you were emotionally cheating on your partner or it was rather physical, not repeating it clearly states that it was a mistake and that you understand that. So, don’t turn to self-destructive behavior and work towards improving yourself.
Only that way you’ll be able to be happy and feel the love you deserve, again.
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