Should we take back someone that has cheated?

Should we take back someone that has cheated?

I was with my first serious boyfriend for four years from the age of 16. I trusted him wholeheartedly (and perhaps naively), I used to joke that I could happily leave him in a room full of underwear clad women and not worry about what would happen.

A year into our relationship, I found out he had cheated on me, both emotionally and physically. I was devastated and the trust I had so easily instilled in him was shattered. I took him back and we stayed together for 3 more years, but looking back, I don’t think I ever truly trusted him properly again.

Should we take back our partners when they have cheated on us? Below I explore the reasons why we should (and shouldn’t).

 

YES WE  SHOULD

If he confesses and explains why – instead of you just finding out from investigating or from the girl/guy herself. By confessing, it shows they have regretted it and are also honest. Often the main heartache with cheating is the fact the person has lied and being secretive. If they have confessed straight away it shows they are still somewhat, an honest person that made a mistake.

It depends on the type of cheating – was it emotional cheating or physical? If I had to pick, I would be more inclined to forgive a drunken one night stand than a long emotional affair that perhaps didn’t involve a physical element.

Look at their track record – does the guy or girl have a history of cheating? If they don’t and it’s a one off, then you may be more inclined to forgive them on the basis that it would be unlikely (but not definite) that they would do it again. If you are one of many girlfriends that he has cheated on, alarm bells should be ringing, and you should use this as your chance to get out.

Address your relationship issues – sometimes, when a partner cheats, it forces the couple to address the obvious issues in their relationship that perhaps they have avoided in the past. If both parties are willing, they can work together to improve the problems they are facing. This may result in change in character for the guilty party – they may stop drinking/drugs/going out all the time. In order for this to work, the couple need to address why they think this happened in the first place.

 

NO WE SHOULDN’T

Can you ever trust them again?– you need to ask yourself this question and listen to what your inner voice immediately responds with. Is the relationship past fixing, or do you both care enough to still make it work? Can you promise yourself that even if you forgive them you will forget it completely and not hold it against them in the future?

Address your relationship issues – in the same way as this conversation may help improve the relationship, it can also flag the glaring reality that you are both in fact, not compatible, not in love, not right for each other etc.

Do they show any guilt or remorse for what they did? – If they confessed, then obviously they do, but if you found out, are they annoyed that you discovered their secret, or genuinely regretting their actions?

Are you sure affair is over? – just because you have found out that they have been cheating on you, doesn’t necessarily mean their affair is over. Given that your trust in them will have faltered, can you be sure that they will call off the affair once you discover it?

If get away with it once, think they can get away with it again – perhaps the biggest argument for why you shouldn’t take a cheater back. Regardless of how you get around the issue, whether you take a break, talk it out, get therapy, ultimately, the outcome is that they have cheated on you and you have taken them back. There always be a possibility, that once they are aware of this, they may not hesitate in doing it again.

 

To my fantastic readers – have you had a partner cheat on you? If so, how did you react? Would you do anything differently now?

@asinglegirlinlondon

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68 Comments

  1. January 13, 2017 / 1:22 pm

    My answer is No..don’t take back someone who cheated. If they chose someone else whilst being with you then they didn’t love you so keep the second person.

    • January 13, 2017 / 2:20 pm

      That is a true – it’s not possible to love two people at once, as if they truly loved you they would never have fallen for the second person!

      • FNU MNU LNU
        January 14, 2017 / 4:01 pm

        I disagree. dont you love both of your parents, siblings? yes its a different type of love, but not that different.

        i believe that if you ever completely stop loving someone, that it never really was love to begin with.

        i will always have feelings for people i cared about, just to varying degrees.

        doesnt mean i’d bang all of them.

        • January 14, 2017 / 4:05 pm

          Yes, but I mean in terms of loving someone to an extent you wouldn’t cheat on them – not something that could apply to friends or parents.

          • FNU MNU LNU
            January 14, 2017 / 4:06 pm

            betrayal is cheating… no difference

  2. January 13, 2017 / 1:24 pm

    My problem wouldn’t be with taking them back. I can forgive, but I cannot forget so I would never get it out of my mind and it would drive me nuts!! So I’d have to leave him.

    • January 13, 2017 / 2:21 pm

      I would be (and was) the same!!

  3. January 13, 2017 / 1:30 pm

    I finally had a wake up call, had my entire lifes behaviour brought to the surface when he found out I was emotionally cheating. I snapped to attention and it started my new way of living. With counselling sessions and total new set of friends and evident changes and continious choices, i finally became someone that could admit her wrong doings, come to terms with everything and hey, me and him are still together . Kinda seeing me through it as it were. There are so many different circumstances and situations out there. I am so happy he chooses to continue to be with me. As difificult as it gets sometimes and intense… I know he knows I’m actively trying to be my best self without any of those old habits in place.

    • January 13, 2017 / 2:22 pm

      Thank you so much for sharing this! It’s great to hear about it from the other perspective and goes to show that if you are willing to work at a relationship and iron out the issues it can work 🙂 I’m glad all is well!

    • January 14, 2017 / 5:54 pm

      You are one lucky lady to have a man that confident in keeping things together like that. He must be a saint

      • January 15, 2017 / 1:14 am

        He isn’t confident in keeping things together. But trying to sometimes is the driving force behind togetherness. Thank you for your comment Rob.

        • January 15, 2017 / 1:18 am

          Rebuild his trust one day at a time. I would be destroyed. No judgement here whatsoever I did the same once to a woman. Never was the same

          • January 15, 2017 / 1:19 am

            I don’t expect it to be- at least, in a way, i dont want it to be. Im scared as to the reality of it and whether we’re just kidding ourselves as we attempt to break free of it. Do we ever break free of it ?No matter how hard we try?

          • January 15, 2017 / 1:28 am

            Alas, I didnt, she couldn’t. We were in settling mode and wasted a few more years for nothing

          • January 15, 2017 / 1:54 am

            I don’t take wasted lightly. You learned something big. Even if it’s so small you don’t recognize it in your now. Or maybe you do.

          • January 15, 2017 / 2:06 am

            Oh I do. It was many many years ago. I’ve been true to myself since. I’ve changed for the better. I also made sure whoever I decided to be with could satisfy my mind and my body to the extent that I didn’t need to engage in destructive behavior. Being sober now I am sure my next relationship will be even healthier

  4. January 13, 2017 / 4:39 pm

    Cheating is the one thing on my list that I could never forget, because it usually involves a multitude of other things – like lying. No trust after that.

  5. January 13, 2017 / 5:14 pm

    None of my ex’s have cheated on me (as far as I know), but I was guilty of it only once many years ago. It didn’t seem like much of an issue (it was purely physical) until I realised the gravity of what I had done.

    My (now ex)wife wanted to remain together because we had many similar interests, but she never quite looked at me the same way again. There were a lot of emotions behind her eyes whenever we interacted, and it stabbed me in the heart every time I saw them. We would have eventually divorced anyway because we got married for all the wrong reasons, but this should not have been the reason for it.

    Would I do anything different now? Absolutely. It still kills me when I remember that look she had, and I don’t ever want to do that to someone ever again. I am very sorry to hear about your situation because it sounds like you experienced what my ex-wife went through with me, and I hope he realises what he has done as I did.

    • January 14, 2017 / 10:40 am

      Thank you so much for sharing this and for being so honest. Your comments go to show though that people are completely capable of change if they are given the chance 🙂

  6. January 13, 2017 / 7:48 pm

    It boils down to respect. I would feel if someone cheated on me then they were disrespecting me as a person to do something like that behind my back. If someone wanted to cheat I would rather them be honest and end the relationship before they do anything. If it happens on a night out with a random person then it’s still bad even if they were drunk because you don’t get drunk and put yourself in bad situations. I don’t think could forgive anyone because I wouldn’t forget it 😕

    • January 14, 2017 / 10:42 am

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts! It’s true that often it can be cowardly to have an affair instead of end a relationship, too often people pick the easier, more cowardly route than the harder one.

      • January 14, 2017 / 10:44 am

        A lot of people want to have it both ways too. They want the excitement of a fling or affair but still want the security and niceties of a relationship. It’s a shame really. I will try and make sure to hopefully meet someone with the same ideals as me, everyone can make mistakes but you hope they don’t make them for you.

        • January 14, 2017 / 10:57 am

          Exactly – they want the excitement but the safety blanket to come home to. It goes back to another comment I’ve made questioning how realistic it is to be monogamous. But at the end of the day like you’ve said, everyone makes mistakes (and not just in terms of cheating) we are all human at the end of the day and deserve second chances!

          • January 14, 2017 / 10:59 am

            Yeah I questioned the same. I guess there are people who can stay monogamous! Let’s hope we can find them one day! 😊

          • January 14, 2017 / 11:12 am

            Fingers crossed!! 🙂

  7. January 13, 2017 / 11:44 pm

    I have cheated and I have been cheated on both. I can say the hurt I felt from being cheated on was worse than the guilt I felt when I was the cheater. But remember, most people will cheat on their spouse/lover at least once in their life. Monogamy is rare amongst all mammals and it’s difficult with temptations everywhere every day. So don’t cast stones at the cheater unless you have lived a long life without ever cheating.

    • January 14, 2017 / 10:54 am

      You raise a good point there about monogamy, there are so many studies that suggest society has forced us to be monogamous when in reality we are more suited to being polygamous.

      • January 14, 2017 / 9:28 pm

        Me and my gf find that polyamory works well for us. Third party lovers have come and gone and we both usually fall in love with them but the two of us have stayed together 13 years now. The variety of sharing a string of different third party lovers over those years, both male and female, has kept us from going behind each other’s back for variety. We never have had to deal with jealousy or hurt. during these 13 years. The third parties always left with fond memories and no hard feelings either. It’s certainly unconventional but it works for us.

        • January 14, 2017 / 11:41 pm

          That’s incredible! I think if you are both of the same open and willing mindset (which I admit, I don’t think I could be.. I think jealousy would get the better of me!) then it would be a perfect set up!

  8. thereadersaffair
    January 14, 2017 / 4:03 pm

    I’m glad you approached this from different angles because it always depends on the circumstances! I was with my first boyfriend for about four years and I found out he’d met another girl the same week we moved in together.. After that the trust was gone! I know other girls/ guys who have forgiven partners who cheated and they are still together and happy. Thanks for this post!

    • January 14, 2017 / 4:06 pm

      thanks for your comment! I thought it was worth weighing up both sides as there are so many factors to consider it’s never a straight forward decision. I hope you are able to trust again one day 🙂

  9. January 14, 2017 / 5:49 pm

    A great topic. This is just FOR ME, not what I think everyone else should do. I could NEVER trust again. The idea that someone would go outside me for someone else would be devastating. I could never see the purity in the thing again. It would be tainted forever. I just couldn’t forget, I might be able to forgive, but there would always be that haunting question in the back of my mind: “Will she do it again?” And that belies the fact as to WHY she would have done that in the first place. Nope, never gonna stick with a person who is that deceitful. Hit the road Jane, and dontcha come back no more, no more, no more.

    • January 14, 2017 / 11:37 pm

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts 🙂 I especially loved the last sentence!!

  10. January 14, 2017 / 6:10 pm

    Funny thing is, even after she cheated, I wanted her to come back, and she didn’t… I didn’t have chance to reject or accept her..

    • January 14, 2017 / 11:39 pm

      That’s so sad 🙁 hopefully it’s for the best and a much better person will come along for you!

      • January 15, 2017 / 6:17 am

        It’s okay.. And yes everything happens for something great..😊..

  11. January 18, 2017 / 2:10 pm

    Preach, girl. It’s entirely dependent on the situation, no one can say which is the wrong or right way.

    • January 18, 2017 / 8:24 pm

      Glad you agree 🙂

  12. January 18, 2017 / 5:59 pm

    Yes. My ex-husband cheated on me. It was difficult to get over, but I probably wouldn’t have stayed. I would have asked for a trial separation and intensive counseling before thinking we could work it out.

    • January 19, 2017 / 8:42 am

      That sounds reasonable!

  13. January 18, 2017 / 8:59 pm

    I’ve been blamed for cheating on 2 occasions: 1) I was raped and hid it from my very Christian boyfriend. When he found out, he broke up with me on the grounds of me being a cheater. 2) While I was going through a bad breakup (with the same guy in instance #1 after we got back together), I confided in another man for support. He was married, but separated from his wife around the same time. His wife found out about our friendship and blamed me for destroying their marriage. I know I was wrong for turning to a married man to confide in while my own relationship was deteriorating, but it was strictly in a platonic basis. They ended up getting divorced and he and I have been dating for going on 2 years now. I write about all of it on my blog if you want more details. https://bexoxoblog.wordpress.com/

    • January 19, 2017 / 2:10 pm

      I’m so sorry – thank you so much for sharing this, I hope you are ok! I will definitely check out your blog and find out more! sending you a virtual hug x

  14. January 20, 2017 / 10:10 am

    Full disclosure I was the one who cheated on my then wife. I knew by that point it was over which in part was why I cheated in the first place. I was asked if she said she would take me back would I go back …my answer was no. I knew the trust factor was huge …She wouldn’t trust me again and I knew to be honest as I told a family member at that point in my life I didn’t trust me so going back wasn’t an option for me.

    • January 20, 2017 / 12:21 pm

      That’s very refreshing and honest to hear – I guess the trust factor works both ways and it’s very mature of you to admit that you couldn’t fully trust yourself to not do it again instead of just going back to the relationship but deep down knowing it could happen again. Very brave!

  15. January 20, 2017 / 12:23 pm

    I have given this a lot more thought, and it brought me back to about 3-4 weeks after I got engaged. After a marathon session of having sex with my fiance in the bathtub, she admitted to me that just a few weeks earlier she had sex with one of her ex boyfriends. At the time it bothered me a little, but i didn’t ask much about it and didn’t push things.

    I should have, as it was an indication of things to come.

    I don’t know if she ever cheated on me again, but the whole rest of our time together was filled with other types of betrayals, lies, and lack of respect.

    betraying/cheating on someone at a time when you be working hardest at cementing your relationship, is a clear indication that yours is already heading down the drain.

    I should have asked more, and I should have walked. Because the following years were just more of the same

    When someone shows you who they really are, believe them.

    MY MISTAKE WAS NOT BELIEVING HER!

    • January 21, 2017 / 5:29 pm

      I think it’s difficult to not automatically try to see the best in someone that you care about and are in a relationship with.. you want to bat away the negative thoughts and believe it wouldn’t happen again so don’t be too hard on yourself! 🙂

      • January 21, 2017 / 5:34 pm

        i’m saying that much more negative in a lot of areas happened for many years. i should have just walked away when she told me 🙁

        • January 22, 2017 / 10:03 pm

          Hindsight is a wonderful thing! I’m sure the experience will help with any future relationships 🙂

  16. January 31, 2017 / 9:27 am

    Nice piece! I took back a cheating spouse twice. Both times it was with an ex-girlfriend he couldn’t get over. Very hard to understand. Ultimately, we didn’t work out. But at least he had understandable reasons and we talked through his hangups. It was worth a shot.

    • January 31, 2017 / 6:40 pm

      I’m so sorry to hear that! At least you gave it a shot to work things out and know that you tried everything you could!!

      • February 5, 2017 / 11:01 am

        That’s true. I don’t think I would’ve done anything differently. It ended badly, but we still had a lot of fun, even after the first breakup.

  17. January 31, 2017 / 10:30 am

    I learned the hard way, ex kept claiming it was just me and him. But he had a family behind my back and moved to the same state. Felt something, had a dream about it. Stomach kept hurting when I went past this building, couldn’t understand why then I found out he lived there. Broke it off. I thought I took every precaution to not be played and to stay away from men like my father but he slipped through.

    • January 31, 2017 / 6:41 pm

      No way! I think we always try to find the best in people though, so don’t be too hard on yourself.

      • February 2, 2017 / 12:21 am

        I’ll try not be hard on myself, I thought I did my best to avoid men like that but I see one slipped through the cracks. Really don’t trust men right now in my life but one day I will. I don’t want to block love coming into my life.

        • February 2, 2017 / 9:22 am

          You will definitely trust men again one day it’s just a matter of time 🙂

          • February 2, 2017 / 9:25 am

            I’m sure I will 😉

  18. March 10, 2017 / 9:40 am

    No! Don’t take him/her back!
    It will hurt to let him/her go… but it’s best for you.
    I once stayed in a relationship where my girlfriend (after weeks) admitted she met someone else. The thought alone killed me. She lives in London. I live in The Netherlands. Everytime she didn’t reply to my messages, I was thinking “she’s with the other guy”.
    Second remark: “the good guys” are single. I consider myself to be a “good guy”. I noticed that most girls like the guys who are in the center of attention. Who flirt.
    But hey! They will flirt with other girls too. And will get all the attention from other girls too… an accident waiting to happen.

    • March 10, 2017 / 12:34 pm

      I agree to an extent.. i think women up to a certain age like an arrogant man but after many years of being treated badly by them they just want a nice guy to settle down with.

      • March 10, 2017 / 2:27 pm

        I’m still waiting 😂☺

        • March 13, 2017 / 11:22 am

          good things come to those who wait 🙂

    • March 12, 2017 / 9:25 pm

      I thought I found Mrs. Right.
      I’m writing a book right now about how she cheated on me and dumped me… Hollywood material 😎…
      Being a hopeless romantic, I keep looking for that woman who wants to be loved 100%

      • March 13, 2017 / 11:28 am

        Good luck writing the book! often those experiences make for the best content. You keep being that hopeless romantic! 🙂

  19. March 12, 2017 / 3:38 pm

    I think cheating/betrayal shouldn’t be tolerated. It’s not tolerated in army, work and other states so why relationships is different.

    BOEGIE… ahh.. If I would get a dollar for every good guy waiting for the girl to look at him I would me millionaire right now. Don’t wait – act! 😉

    • March 13, 2017 / 11:28 am

      You raise some valid points and I guess fundamentally the act is just a symptom of the cause which is a major flaw in the relationship. I feel like girls (especially the ones I’m surrounded by) are constantly looking for the nice guy but only finding crappy ones. Do we live in parallel universes?! haha

      • March 13, 2017 / 11:58 am

        There must be a wormhole somewhere where the parallel universes do connect 🙂

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