The popular words of caution, once a cheat, always a cheat resounds in the minds and heart of the cheated as they feel used and abused. Statistics show that cheaters are more likely to cheat again and you might then be dealing with forgiving a repeat offender or trying to revive a doomed relationship. Yet, there are times when forgiveness is tantamount for both the cheater and the cheated. The big question is – do you forgive a cheater or pack up and leave?
Recently, Kayla Knopp of the University of Denver held a survey of 500 people to prove the words of ages that once a cheat, always a cheat. The result shows that people who were forgiven after cheating their partners cheated again and again and the cycle just continued and the baffling aspect is the fact that the faithful partner is willing to give a second chance repeatedly without any reserve.
What are the obstacles to forgiving a Cheater?
There is no negative feeling that equates the feeling of being cheated on; the betrayal, anger, sadness, hurt and disgust are fewer words to really explain how you really feel as your life is practically ripped apart before your very eyes. When everything you hold precious and thought was safe and revered is suddenly turned upside down. Every trust, love, and care disappears. Now trust, or the lack of it, becomes the singular factor that forgiving your partner hinges on.
1. Finding Trust Again
2. BetrayalKnowing that you were manipulated, lied to, and played for a fool in a relationship is heartbreaking; but knowing that they will cheat again is a strong wall that poses an obstacle to forgiving a cheating partner. The sight of them irritates and reminds you of the past pain. How can you love or trust them completely? How do you start to rebuild the broken pieces of your relationship when love and trust are gone from a relationship? There is little that can be done. Everything is gone with the wind, sometimes, forever.
3. General Reasons for CheatingEven though no excuse warrants the act of cheating, there are some reasons for spouses or partners to cheat.
- High libido and unsatisfied sex life
- Fidelity and loyalty are taken for granted
- Lack of emotional and sexual fulfillment
- Lack of communication and commitment in the present relationship
4. Cheater’s Second Chance OptionsCan mitigating the reason for cheating help the partners to work out their differences, rebuild the relationship, and develop a stronger bond than the usual?
- The cheating partner must commit to working with a counselor or mediator to improve and develop the relationship. However, both partners should be prepared to deal with some naked and hurtful truths about themselves and their relationship and be aware that counseling and mediation do not guarantee coming back together again. It most cases, cheating bring to the surface attitudes and problems that have been swept underneath the carpet. Couples that endure this process often go on to have a better relationship with stronger trust bonds.
- When the cheating occurs as a result of been neglected by their partner. This is an often tricky one to come to terms with especially if the non-cheating partner is ill or physically impaired and they refused intimacy due to their conditions. In such cases, a professional help is the last resort to rebuilding the relationship.
- When the partners take a momentary break from one another to breathe new life into their relationship, things can go wrong. However, couples that proposed to do this should set the rule on how they intend to handle themselves while apart. They should decide if to remain celibate during the period or to meet and mingle with other people. This is to avoid any betrayal that will destroy their partnership. However, even partners that agree to the latter suddenly realize that they are not in agreement with it.
Have you yielded to your partner sweet words again? How many times has he/she reassured you that it was a mistake, they love you and can’t afford to lose you? How long do you intend to be tortured by their behavior and consistent lie? How many more time are you willing to forgive a cheater? The answer is none.
5. When forgiveness is not an Option
What do you do when you realize that the supposed fling is a well-staged betrayal and your partner has been leading a double life? How will you feel? Maybe you had your suspicions and confronted him/her and they denied or you blocked out all the signs thinking it will pass away soon. This means you are willing to stay and fix the marriage. Although you are strong, most people will not forgive and won't either.
Just because you have not received forgiveness from your partner doesn’t mean you should not try to fix things. Below are some things you can do to put things right:
Can you make amends after an Affair?
- Sincerely apologize
- Be truthful and honest about the affair
- Don’t manipulate your partner’s emotions
- Don’t play the victim when you are the cheater
- Don’t shift blames
- Be responsible for your actions
- Try to open all communication channels with your partner
- Be ready for the worst as they will be many.
- Be patient and rebuild the trust level
- Attend counseling, retreats, meditation, and therapy alone or with your partner to fix the relationship
- Don’t fail or fall again.
We may never understand why non-cheating partners forgive their cheating partners. It is hard to come to terms with a loved one accepting their cheating spouse and turn a deaf ear to all the advice of friends and family. We have to understand that the dynamic of a marriage or a long-term relationship have a strong hold on us regardless of how toxic or destructive it may be. However, factors like child abuse, drug abuse, domestic violence and repeat cheating offenders need professional help and mediation.
Forgiving a cheating partner is a choice we make on our own. For some people, a single affair destroys years of hard work that can never be redeemed, for others they seek for a way to work through and around their relationship and end up with a better and stronger relationship. However, there are others that play on your emotions; to those people, your time is up, you had your chance, now go because I need to move on.