Cheating is awful and can destroy a previously strong relationship. However, breaking up isn’t the only option when one person has cheated. Many relationships recover from infidelity, whether it’s a marriage, engagement, or other long term relationship.
However, it’s not an easy path. Forgiving the apology of someone who cheated can take days, weeks, or months. But, if you’ve cheated in your relationship, the first step towards making it right is an apology.
But, having an affair isn’t like drinking too much one night or buying something you don’t need on your credit card. Cheating hurts your partner (and the relationship) on a fundamental level. It’s why knowing how to apologize for cheating is key. It isn’t as simple as saying “I’m sorry,” like in other situations.
While there is no guarantee your partner will forgive you, these tips in this guide will at least help you give an authentic apology for your infidelity and increase the odds that your partner will forgive you and open up the lines of communication to save the relationship.
In the vast majority of cases, you’ll be apologizing for cheating for one reason: you got busted. So, your partner will already question your motives for saying sorry. After all, would you have even stopped cheating if you weren’t caught? You might think that’s an unfair question, but it’s what your partner will be thinking.
If you’ve been unfaithful and weren’t caught, but have a guilty conscience, then it’s a slightly different story. But, the advice is the same: be upfront.
In other words, when you’re apologizing, you want to be blunt about the reason you’re apologizing. It’s hard to admit it, but you’re going to have to come out and say that you’re a cheater.
Don’t Make Excuses
If you cheated and you regret it, then there’s no way around it: you messed up. You can give every excuse in the book to your partner. And, you know what? Those excuses might even be somewhat valid.
Perhaps you were stressed, unhappy, or even emotionally neglected. Maybe your partner wasn’t always the best to you and you needed love. People usually cheat because they feel something is lacking in their relationship. But, whatever your excuse and whatever its validity, your partner doesn’t care.
Because of this, don’t even bother offering excuses. Just own up to what you did and say you’re sorry for it. If he or she asks for reasons for the affair, just emphasize that you messed up and it was wrong.
Don’t Give Every Detail
While you want to be upfront and honest, that doesn’t mean you want to give your partner every little detail of your unfaithfulness. What you did was not something you want your spouse or partner to know in detail.
It’s not hiding information, only minimizing hurt to your partner. For example, if you sneaked off and did the deed in a closet at work, your boyfriend or girlfriend definitely doesn’t want to know that.
However, human nature sometimes causes us to do strange things. For example, your partner might ask you for the dirty details. This isn’t uncommon. However, even if you’re apologizing and contrite, you don’t want to reveal all of that.
It’s not healthy to fixate on the details, especially not for your partner. Just tell him or her that you don’t want to relive the details or think about them since you’re trying to put that in the past and move on. This will avoid having to discuss that topic and let your partner know that you are fully committed to the future with him or her.
Cut Off Your Lover
This might sound like common sense, but you must cut off the person you cheated with. A lot of people who don’t know how to apologize for cheating fail in this regard. They still have some feelings for their lover, but also want to get back with their partner.
As a result, they apologize to their husband, wife, or long term partner, while continuing to keep contact with their side piece. They might do this because they still have feelings for their mistress or side guy, feel guilt or pity, or hope that they can somehow “control” themselves now and view the person as only a friend.
However, if you’re truly committed to moving on after infidelity, you can’t keep the other person around. This means removing that person from your contacts, blocking him or her on social media, changing schedules at work, etc.
And, when you apologize to your partner, you can show him or her the evidence. So, you can point to Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and other areas where the person is blocked. Make sure this is clearly communicated!
Don’t Do It Again
One study showed that cheating once is a good indicator of cheating again. While your partner isn’t likely aware of this research, he or she does know, deep down, that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. So, if you cheated on your fiance, fiancee, wife, or husband in the past, the odds are you’ll do it again. Or, your partner will see it that way.
It’s important to emphasize that you’ve changed your ways in your apology. And, of course, you’ll have to live those changes. Stop the behaviors that led to the cheating to begin with. Cut back on drinking, don’t go to bars that tempt you, and so on. You’ll want to show your partner with your words and actions.
Give Space And Time
Since cheating is such a major emotional blow, you shouldn’t expect your partner to graciously accept your apology and act like everything is the same. He or she might break up with you. Perhaps your partner will retreat into an emotional shell. It’s possible you’re going to get ignored or even treated cruelly.
People react to hurt and disappointment in many ways. If you sincerely apologize and want to work it out, you’ll have to accept that it will take time and space to heal. You can’t rush true forgiveness.
As long as your partner is trying to forgive, communicates with you, and takes steps to make it work, then it’s a good sign. Certainly, however, you can be proactive.
Work to make the relationship successful, seek counseling, and take other steps to fully reconcile. After time has passed and you’ve changed your behavior, your relationship can be saved. Just don’t expect to rush it.
This guide should help you apologize for cheating in the most effective way possible. Best of luck in repairing your relationship! Remember, above all, to communicate and continue working on your relationship.