Cheating. Infidelity. Betrayal. These are just a few words that try to describe and explain one of the most painful things a person can go through. What makes the act of cheating so devastating and heartbreaking is the fact that it is done by the person closest to you – your partner or your spouse.
The thought of the person who you love most in the world, choosing to betray your trust is something that many people never move on from, no matter how much time passes.
Having your other half betray the dignity, exclusivity, and fidelity of the relationship that you both have so painstakingly built over time, can be emotionally crippling and mentally wounding. However, some couples choose to try and save their relationship despite their partner’s infidelity, and some feel confused as to what is the right thing to do – forgive them, or leave them for good.
This dilemma is a common one and one which many people face. But ultimately, the choice is yours and yours only. You have to make this difficult decision, and only you have the power to decide which path you want to take, and no matter what you decide, always remember that you have to own it. So, if you are feeling confused as to whether you should forgive your partner for their cheating or not, keep in mind a few things, as this will help you make an informed decision.
Related: 5 Things To Do If You Suspect Your Spouse Is Cheating
Here Are 10 Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Forgive Their Cheating
1. Do They Regret Cheating On You?
This is probably the most important question you should ask yourself. If the answer is yes, then maybe you can still work on your relationship, move on from this painful chapter and rebuild everything again. However, if the answer is no, then there’s no point staying with someone like this, no matter how hard it might be to let them go.
Observe their demeanor and see how they behave with you, and whether they are giving any efforts to make things right. If they are trying their level best to make it up to you and are extremely apologetic, then they might deserve a second chance. But if they behave as if it’s not that big of a deal, and they don’t regret their actions at all, then let them go for good.
2. Have They Cheated On You Or Any Of Their Ex-Partners In The Past?
This is another question you need to ask yourself if you are a victim of cheating; this question can single-handedly help you make the right decision for yourself. If your partner has cheated in the past and has now also cheated on you, then it’s a pattern, and this is who they are – a cheater. No matter how much they ‘promise’ they won’t do it again, there’s a very strong chance, that they will go back on their word. A leopard doesn’t change its spots, you know.
But if this was a one-off thing, and this has never happened before in the past, then maybe you can think of giving them a second chance. It will be difficult in the beginning, but gradually, you can work towards going back to the place you both were before all this happened.
3. How Would They React And How Would They Treat You, If You Had Cheated On Them?
Before you make any kind of decision, put yourself in their shoes, and flip the situation in your mind. How would they behave if you were the one who had cheated? Would they forgive you, and give you a second chance? Would they have made you suffer? Would they have left you, then and there? Would they have made your life miserable?
Think about all this long and hard, and be honest with yourself. Your answers to these crucial questions will help you to decide what your next course of action should be. And most importantly, it will also help you see your partner for who they truly are.
Related: 5 Clear Signs He’s Cheating On You
4. How Did They Cheat On You, As In, What Kind Of Infidelity Did They Indulge In?
Try and understand how they were unfaithful to you, and what kind of cheating did they indulge in. If they had an emotional affair and were connected to the other person emotionally, then it goes much deeper than just being unfaithful. In the case of an emotional affair, things can get way more complicated for you both, because it’s not just physical, it’s something so much more than that for them.
But if it was a drunken one-night stand, and they regret their actions, then there’s still a chance of making things right. It’s not that a one-night stand is any less painful, but if it doesn’t mean anything deep and emotional for your partner, then this crack in your relationship can still be repaired. At the end of the day, it all depends on how you want to handle this and what you want to do.
5. How Broken Do You Feel, And How Wounded Is Your Sense Of Dignity And Self-Esteem?
Going through an experience like this is enough to make you feel broken, insulted, and humiliated, all at the same time. Ask yourself, how much you hurt, and how much is your self-esteem and dignity damaged due to the actions of your partner. When the person you love, breaks your trust, it can be devastating, and no matter how much you love them, trying to get out of this mental and emotional darkness is extremely difficult.
You have to decide whether you will be able to forgive them at all and whether you will be able to repair your self-confidence and self-esteem while being with them. If you think you can, then it’s worth a shot, and if you think you can’t, then you might want to rethink the whole relationship.
6. Do You Think You Will Be Able To Trust Them Again Like Before?
Once your trust is broken, it can be very difficult to come back from that. Broken trust is like broken glass, once it breaks, no matter how much you may try to fix it with glue, the cracks will always show. If you feel that your partner is a good person, genuinely loves you, wants to make things right with you, and with time, you will be able to trust them like you used to, then it’s a good sign that your relationship deserves a second chance.
But if you feel at the bottom of your heart that, nothing will ever be the same again, and there’s no way you can trust them 100%, then think about your next step very carefully.
Related: 10 Things No One Tells You About Cheating
7. Are You Willing To Deal With All The Complications That Might Arise Due To Your Partner’s Cheating?
When your partner cheats on you, it doesn’t just end there; there are so many more complications that can arise out of this one single act. If you choose to tell your friends and family about what happened, the drama and the extra conversations can be hard to deal with, especially for you. The person your partner was involved with, might pose more problems.
And most importantly, all the difficult conversations that you and your partner need to have, in order to come to terms with what happened can be mentally and emotionally very draining, again especially for you. Wanting to understand why they did what they did, and how everything went down can be heartbreaking for you. So you have to put yourself first, and decide whether you have the energy and patience to deal with all this or not.
8. Are They Worth It?
Is your partner worth it? Do they deserve your forgiveness? Can they guarantee you that they will never engage in any kind of cheating, ever again? Are they worth all the efforts? Everybody makes mistakes, including your partner, and if you genuinely feel that they are worth it, then take baby steps towards making things right again.
However, there are some people who no matter how much you give them the benefit of the doubt, and no matter how much you do for them, they are just not worth it. They will simply exploit you and your niceness, and keep on tricking you and manipulating you, to do what serves them the best.
9. Have They Made Any Efforts To Fix Things, And Earn Back Your Trust?
What’s done is done, and what matters now is whether your partner is making any efforts to right their wrongs, and make things right again. Any person who is willing to work on themselves, realize how much their actions have hurt someone else, and then do the necessary work to make sure it never happens again, is the person who deserves you and your consideration.
On the other hand, if your partner shows no remorse at all, then you definitely deserve better. They don’t deserve your love, nor do they deserve your tears and forgiveness. If they are not doing anything to make things right, and are simply expecting you to accept everything and move on, then leave them, and don’t look back.
Related: 5 Ways to Forgive Someone Who Has Had an Affair
10. Do You Think You Will Ever Be Able To Forgive Them Fully, And Move On?
Whether or not you are able to forgive your partner for their cheating is ultimately going to decide whether the relationship lasts or not. You cannot choose to be with them, and not trust them at all; this will just end up making things worse and more bitter in the long run. The only way to move forward is by forgiving them if you can.
So, think long and hard about whether you can forgive them for their mistakes and move forward with optimism and healing in your heart. If you can, well and good, and if you think you can’t, then both of you are better off without each other. You might not realize this immediately, but you will with time.
Cheating is hard to come to terms with, but ultimately you have to decide what your partner deserves and what they don’t. Put yourself and your feelings first, take some time and think deeply about what it is you should really do; not what your partner expects you to do, and not what your family and friends expect you to do. What matters is what you want. Is your partner’s cheating forgivable or unforgivable? Think about this and do what you got to do.
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