Why It’s Important to Learn How to Forgive Yourself for Cheating

Having a relationship is, to put it lightly, complicated.  It’s like having a baby.  The couple should help each other with making their relationship work.  Doing so includes managing its several aspects.  Mismanaging one aspect could make their whole relationship fail.

When it does, the man might cheat on the woman, she might cheat on him, or they might cheat on each other.  If you’ve become unfaithful before, it’s likely that you haven’t yet really owned up to your mistake.  No matter what your reason was for doing it, you should learn how to forgive yourself for cheating.

Admitting that we’ve done something wrong is one of the hardest things to do.  Not only is it embarrassing; it also makes us vulnerable.  But since every action has an equal—and opposite—reaction, you can’t avoid the repercussions forever.  The worst ones of all are the negative feelings you have.

The most common among women who’ve had affairs are resentment and guilt.  Both can have adverse effects in your life.  For instance, feeling bad most of the time can cause stress.  Stress is both a cause and a contributor to many diseases, which include disease and cardiovascular diseases.

how to forgive yourself for cheatingYou might find it wrong to forgive yourself for having been unfaithful.  You didn’t cheat on yourself, so you might assume you should just ask your ex-boyfriend, ex-fiancé, or ex-husband for his forgiveness instead.  You’re right but only partially.  Whether you believe it or not, forgiveness works only if the person who has done wrong forgives himself as well.

The effects of resentment and guilt are insidious, and only the person suffering from them can make himself well once again.  Even after your guy has forgiven you, if you don’t forgive yourself, it’s likely that you’ll continue to beat yourself up on the inside.

True change comes from within, according to an age-old saying, so not forgiving yourself will cause you to still feel bad even after you and your guy have kissed and made up.  Over time, you’ll feel so bad you won’t be able to stay in the relationship.  His good deed would have been in vain.

After some time, you might feel like your old self again and therefore decide to have another romantic relationship.  Since you didn’t bring closure to your previous relationship, there’s no guaranteeing any of the new relationships you’ll have can work out.  If one turns rocky, you might become unfaithful once again.  You’ll be able to break the cycle only after you’ve learned how to forgive yourself for cheating.

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There’s nothing wrong with following your instinct of self-preservation.  It’s an impulse we all have inherited from cavemen that is necessary for survival.  But if yours causes you to do wrong, like hurt other people, you should learn how to keep it in check despite how hard doing so may be. To get the most out of life, we must learn from our mistakes.

If you’ve cheated on your boyfriend, fiancé, or husband, among the necessary parts of making amends is to learn how to forgive yourself for cheating. Just asking him for forgiveness won’t solve the problem. Even after you’ve kissed and made up, you’ll continue feeling bad about yourself. Feeling so can have negative effects in the relationship that could end it.

Since cheating is an act that seems to hurt mainly the person to whom it has been done, it’s unlikely that there’s a cheater who has actually forgiven himself for doing so. Hence, it’s also unlikely that everybody knows how. To help you avoid making an even bigger mess, here are guidelines on how to forgive yourself for cheating.

how to forgive yourself for cheatingTake Responsibility

Regardless what your reasons were for being unfaithful, you should admit you were wrong and accept what might be said or done to you. Nobody can make you realize your error except yourself. Being stubborn can make you deaf, as well as blind, to what people say or do to help solve the problem.

Since you’ve convinced yourself you’ve made no mistake, it’s likely that you won’t do anything to reconcile with your boyfriend, fiancé, or husband. Not attaining closure can lead to even more problems. For instance, not admitting that cheating is wrong can make you believe doing it again will be okay. Assuming so could lead to even more failed relationships.

Accept the Repercussions

It goes without saying that all couples should be faithful.  Being so is necessary for their relationships to work.  An undependable partner is sure to cause a relationship to fail. Hence, if your boyfriend, fiancé, or husband decides to leave you, you should respect his decision. Not letting him go would be bad for both of you. While he might end up feeling trapped, you might end up bending over backwards to make the relationship return to normal. Doing so is hollow, unhealthy, and puts you at risk of abuse.

Learn From Your Mistake

After the dust has settled, you should reflect on why things went to hell and how you can avoid making the same mistake again. By this, we don’t mean just figuring out how to never cheat again. Among the other lessons you should learn is how to avoid or prevent what caused you to cheat. Perhaps you felt neglected.  Perhaps you felt your guy changed in an undesirable way. Perhaps you fell out of love and assumed cheating was the only way to escape.  Whatever it was, you should determine the cause. Knowing for certain makes avoidance or prevention easier than making assumptions.

A relationship is a two-way street. It will work only if the man and the woman help each other. Everything pertaining to it involves both of them, including ending it. If you cheat, you should learn how to forgive yourself for cheating despite how difficult doing so is. Not only can it give you both peace of mind; it also improves your chances of finding love anew and making your next romantic relationship work.

How to Forgive Yourself for Cheating Part 2: Face the Music

If you’ve read Part 1, it’s likely that you know how to forgive yourself for cheating already. Doing so is necessary for making up for your mistake. But it alone can’t solve the problem. To obtain forgiveness, you should get your loved ones involved. It will be difficult, embarrassing, and painful. But it’s the only way to attain closure.

To help you do the right thing, here are some guidelines:


No matter what your reasons were for doing it, you should admit to your boyfriend, fiancé, or husband you’ve cheated on him. You owe it to him. If you don’t, he might blame himself. He isn’t the only one at fault. He may have had shortcomings that caused you to go astray, but you should’ve tried to fix the problem with him instead of just replacing him.

Confessing also helps you accept that you were wrong. Owning up to your mistake helps you avoid making the same mistake again. Doing your best to be a faithful girlfriend, fiancée, or wife improves your chances of making your next romantic relationship work.

forgive yourself for cheatingAsk for Your Guy’s Forgiveness

It goes without saying that a person should ask the person she’s wronged for forgiveness. It’s the right thing to do. It proves that she’s sorry. Such a show of remorse can alleviate the pain of the slighted person. When she feels better once again, she can truly forgive the one at fault. This reciprocity is sure to result in closure.

Talk to Your Boyfriend, Fiancé, or Husband About What Happened

Not knowing exactly why you were unfaithful renders you unable to avoid or prevent it. You may try to figure out what it’s on your own, but there’s no guaranteeing your biases won’t prevent you. As the other person who knows the relationship as well as you do, your guy can help you determine the cause. You should also talk to him about what both of you should’ve done to prevent your relationship from failing. Gaining this knowledge improves the chances that your next romantic relationship will work even better.

Learn to Forgive YourselfHave you ever committed an irreversible mistake?  Have you ever messed things up big time?  Have you ever blamed yourself for something that you’ve done in the past?  Have you ever blamed yourself for not trying?  Or have you always hated yourself for doing something stupid?  All of us commit mistakes; we all mess up sometimes.

However, there comes a time when we really mess up things big time.  At first, we become angry with ourselves for doing such a thing.  What have I done?  Why did I do it?  Why was I so stupid for doing such a thing? It’s normal to feel this way at this stage because the sad truth is that it’s really hard to forgive yourself.  It’s even easier to forgive others than to forgive yourself.  Self-forgiveness is really not an easy task, but we should exert all our efforts to learn to forgive ourselves because if we don’t get over our past mistakes, we will always be trapped in a limbo of negativity.
forgive yourself

After the initial anger with ourselves (and maybe also with the entire universe for conspiring against us) comes the self-blaming.  Normally, this self-blaming would include replaying what happened, daydreaming about the what-ifs, overthinking the many possible scenarios that could happen if only we hadn’t done what we did, and of course, wallowing in hurt, pain, and blame.

It’s only when we come to forgive ourselves that all the burden and heavy feelings within us will fade.  If we wallow in despair and blame, nothing will change; we’ll forever be stuck with our past mistakes.  But when we begin to try to understand our fallibility and shortcomings, we will begin to see that yes, we may have messed things up, but it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world and it’s the end for us.  Yes, we may have failed, but we also learned many lessons in life from such failures.

One cannot fully appreciate the light of day without experiencing the darkness of the night.  Mistakes are important.  We won’t be able to fully savor the sweetness of our success if we haven’t undergone any lows and any failures.  That’s why, whenever you mess things up, stand up, learn from those mistakes, and forgive yourself.

“Cry. Forgive. Learn. Move on. Let your tears water the seeds of your future happiness.”
― Steve Maraboli

5 Emotional Upheavals Cheating Can Cause

5 Emotional Upheavals Cheating Can CauseCheating is messy business.  Nobody can predict what happens after the cat is out of the bag.  While some couples end their relationships amicably, many couples fight tooth and nail until the bitter end.  We doubt you’d ever want to fight with your boyfriend, fiancé, or husband over another guy.  But, since making mistakes is part of being human, you can’t guarantee you won’t ever cheat on him.

If you mess up, you should ask him for forgiveness (if possible)—and learn how to forgive yourself for cheating on him—so you won’t have to go through these emotional upheavals:

1. Self-loathing

Unless you’re a sadist, you’ll feel deeply remorseful for cheating.  Trust is among the foundations of all romantic relationships.  You broke his trust, which you know is wrong, so it’s likely that you’ll experience self-loathing.  Self-loathing can have adverse effects in your life.  For instance, constantly beating yourself up on the inside can lower your self-esteem.  Feeling unworthy of anybody’s respect can make you feel miserable.

2. Anxiety

Once the word is out, it’s likely that your families and friends will get involved.  The situation could get hairy.  There’s no telling how they’ll react.  They may stand by you or gang up on you. Either way, there’s still the likelihood that they’d blame you.  You won’t be able to help but be afraid of the repercussions.  Feeling so can stress you out.

cheating3. Isolation

To avoid reproof, it’s likely that you’ll distance yourself from your guy, along with your family, his family, and your mutual friends.  While you’ll do so to protect yourself, you’ll alienate all your loved ones in the process.  Isolation can make you feel even worse.  For instance, having nobody to turn to will force you to deal with all your negative feelings on your own.

4. Humiliation

No matter how hard you try to avoid everyone, sooner or later, you’ll have to face them all.  Prepare for whatever it’s they have to say or will do when you give yourself up.  But bracing yourself won’t numb you to the pain of being reprimanded.  It will be mortifying and painful.

5. Resentment

Although you’re the one who made the grave error, you won’t be able to help but resent everyone. You might think: “I’m only human, but they make me feel as if I’ve committed a heinous crime.”  You may have had reasons for what you’ve done that you believe are all justifiable, but it appears that no one understands or is willing to hear you out.  Making such assumptions can enrage you.  Anger begets more anger, according to an age-old saying, so the situation could get worse.

Whether you believe it or not, if you learn how to forgive yourself for cheating, you can avoid all the above emotional upheavals.  The solution begins with you.  It will come from within you.

4 Most Common Reasons Why Women Cheat

4 Most Common Reasons Why Women CheatIf you cheat on your boyfriend, fiancé, or husband, you should ask for his forgiveness (if possible) and learn how to forgive yourself for cheating on him.  You can attain forgiveness only if both of you’re involved.  Your involvement entails forgiving yourself.  If you don’t, you’ll keep beating yourself up even after he’s forgiven you.

Feeling so can have adverse effects in the relationship that could cause it to fail. But that’s just part of the big picture.  Why do women cheat?  There aren’t as many articles on why women cheat as articles on why men cheat.  There should be plenty, as far as we’re concerned, because having many articles on the topic could better explain why women become unfaithful, thereby helping create better solutions.

As our contribution, here are some of the most common reasons why women cheat:

1. Neglect

Loving someone entails caring for the person.  If a woman’s boyfriend, fiancé, or husband truly loves her, he’d go out of his way to attend to her needs, not as a servant but as a good partner should do.  If a woman’s guy disregards her, she’ll soon seek someone who’ll truly care for her.

2. Lack or Breakdown of Communication

It goes without saying that there should be healthy communication between a woman and her boyfriend, fiancé, or husband.  By talking to each other daily, they’ll learn continuously about each other.  For instance, they’ll find out about the things they each like, enabling them to make each other truly happy.

Rarely or not communicating at all makes everything in the relationship a mystery.  Not knowing everything a couple should about each other can cause several problems.  For example, a woman’s man can’t fix a problem with the relationship if he’s oblivious to it.  If it isn’t dealt with, the problem might worsen to a degree that could end the relationship.

why women cheat3. Falling Out of Love

There are various reasons why a woman might fall out of love.  Her guy can try to make her fall in love with him once again, but there’s no guaranteeing he’ll succeed.  Certain transgressions make it impossible to save a romantic relationship.  He could’ve avoided this tragedy if there was healthy communication between him and her.  He could’ve found out what was wrong and, with this knowledge, made the needed changes to the relationship.

4. Boredom

Love is among the spices of life.  This emotion is exciting, invigorating, and even life-changing.  A woman would be willing to do almost anything for the man she truly loves.  If he can’t make her feel this way, it won’t take long until she looks for someone who can.

Men have described women as enigmas for being difficult to understand.  While women tend to be cryptic sometimes, it shouldn’t stop men from loving them.  It only means that men should make a sincere effort in figuring out women.  Doing so will be worth it.

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Erin Lane on Email
Erin Lane
I'm a Dating Senior Writer at Independent Femme. I'm famously indecisive and love to write about love, marriage, and making the world a better place for healthy and sparkling relationships!

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