Would you forgive a partner who cheated on you? Should you? Here are a few thoughts that can help you make up your mind on the right thing to do. By Sophia Strutt
Firstly, let’s get this out of the way.
There’s absolutely no excuse for cheating.
If a partner cheats on you, you have every right to walk away if you choose to.
When your lover cheats on you, it clearly shows that they don’t respect you, value you or care about your feelings.
When your lover cheats on you, they are deliberately indulging in an act that they know will break your heart and destroy your life.
And yet, they choose to go ahead and give in to their carnal desires without sparing the time to realize the world of pain they would be putting you through once they get caught.
The big betrayal of trust
An affair tears your world apart. And there’s no nicer way to put this across. No matter what you do or how you choose to look at it, it’s a fact that will never be forgotten. Forever!
In every relationship that involves a cheating partner, the affair is the elephant in the room. You don’t talk about it, but it always makes its presence felt behind awkward pauses and painful stares.
An affair takes several months, and often, several years to heal. And yet, the scar never fades. [Read: 16 signs to know if your partner is cheating on you]
Do you want to walk away?
The very moment you find out that your partner is cheating on you or has cheated on you, every cell in your body tells you to walk away for good. And you know what, that’s the best thing you can do. After all, the one person you trusted blindly with your life has just tossed your love, respect and trust into the garbage, by cheating on you.
But once the maddening rush of adrenalin and rage calms, let’s try to think again. Just how many of you can end it all and walk away, especially after all that history that both of you share? How many of you can harden your heart and watch your partner groveling on their knees, begging you to forgive them, without giving them a second chance? [Read: Why do men cheat? - 3 really big reasons and 27 more!]
It’s always easier to assume you know what the right thing to do is, until you’re forced to experience it yourself.
If you can walk away from a cheating partner, that’s the strongest and the safest thing you can do. But on the other hand, if your mind tells you to leave the relationship, but your heart wants to forgive your lover in the hope that they’d never hurt you again, well, read on. [Read: 25 truthful reasons why women cheat so damn easily!]
The intelligent human and the craving to cheat
Humans are one of the few species that can learn through others’ experiences and judge right from wrong without having to experiencing something themselves.
But some humans are dumb though. They need more than life lessons and lessons on morality to understand the value and importance of a romantic relationship or marriage.
They know cheating is wrong and they understand the consequences of cheating, and yet, they wonder what it would feel like to cheat on a partner. They constantly ogle and fantasize about others, and wonder how it would feel like to date someone else, or sleep with someone else. [Quiz: Will you ever cheat on you lover? P.S. This quiz won't lie!]
If a person wants to cheat on their husband or wife, or their boyfriend or girlfriend, why get into a relationship in the first place, you may ask. But that’s the problem with being human. We always question ourselves over every decision we take, even after we take them. And to make things worse, humans suffer from the annoying addiction of always wondering if there’s something better out there.
For some of us, we just have to test the water, taste the grass on the other side of the fence, or at least take a peek into the other side, just to experience what it’s all about. [Read: The truth about true love and promiscuous love in today's world]
Being curious isn’t always bad. But if you know the consequences, and still choose to go ahead with the decision to cheat on a partner that loves you, well, what can I say?
The two kinds of cheaters
When it comes to cheating on a spouse, there are two kinds of cheaters.
#1 The accidental cheater. This is the kind of partner who cheats on a partner *accidentally* in the heat of the moment. Perhaps, it’s a stolen kiss with an ex or a crush, a drunken escapade gone wrong, or a friendly date that just got carried away. It’s not really excusable, but we have to keep in mind that the act wasn’t premeditated. [Read: Has your partner kissed someone else when they were drunk?]
#2 The intentional cheater. The second kind of cheater is the worse kind, the one who knows exactly what they’re getting into. They understand that cheating on a partner is wrong, and yet they choose to go ahead with it. And what’s worse, they go to great lengths to cover their trail so they can still continue to pretend like they’re not up to anything behind their lover’s back.
Will you forgive a cheating lover?
Every day, we come across people we fancy or find attractive. And sometimes, a person we find attractive at work may start to find us attractive in return. Wouldn’t you ever wonder “what if?” Wouldn’t you feel good knowing someone you find attractive appreciates you and wants to spend time with you? [Read: 18 emotional affair signs you probably didn't even notice!]
Life is all about thin red lines, conscience and morality. And sometimes, it’s easy to lose your way. So if you find out that your partner has cheated on you, what would you want to do? Would you forgive them if the fling thing were a momentary lapse of judgment? Would you walk away if it were a premeditated plot where your partner went to great lengths to hide it for years?
All of us are different, and we live through different circumstances. So if you’re wondering if you should forgive a cheating partner, you’re the only one who can make that decision. [Read: The right way to confess to cheating in love - Things to remember]
Is it the first time?
This is probably the biggest factor that can help you make up your mind. Has your partner ever cheated on you before? Do you have reason to believe that your partner’s been shacking up with someone else before you caught him or her?
If it’s the first time that your partner’s strayed into someone else’s arms, it’s definitely never excusable, but it’s something to think about, and perhaps, worth forgiving.
All of us make mistakes, and sometimes, we walk too far into a mess before we realize we’re in the wrong place doing the wrong things. It could be a weak moment or a momentary lapse of judgment that blinded your partner and forced them down the path of adultery. [Read: 10 tips to help couples resist the temptation to cheat in love]
But if your partner’s cheated on you more than once, then chances are, they either don’t respect you or care enough about you to hold themselves back when an illicit opportunity presents itself. And as much as you want to forgive them and give them another chance, don’t do that. Just walk away.
Some partners are serial cheaters, and no matter how hard you try to change them, or help them see just how valuable the relationship is, cheating is hardwired into their system. And they’ll always find a sneakier way to cheat on you, in the hope of not getting caught by you. [Read: Emotional cheating and 10 really bad things it can do to your relationship]
Should you forgive a cheating partner?
It depends on the way you look at it. Would you choose to point all your fingers at your partner and blame them squarely for it?
Or would you choose to blame them for it, and look within to try and understand why your partner could have strayed in the first place? Was there something lacking in the relationship? Were both of you drifting apart? And most importantly, is the relationship worth holding on to and fighting for?
More often than not, there may be absolutely no reason or fault of yours that led your partner to stray. Perhaps, they just found an opportunity, and they took it without thinking about the consequences. So what do you intend to do about it? [Read: 6 tips to react better to a confession without losing your cool]
The silver lining of cheating
No good ever comes from an affair, but if you choose to see it, you could look for a silver lining through the mess.
Sometimes, for a few inquisitive ones, it takes a little peek into the other side of the fence to truly understand that what they already have is indeed better. When a person cheats on their lover, they realize the value of the relationship even if they had forgotten it all this while. They understand that the grass isn’t really greener on the other side, and they start to value the relationship with their spouse a lot more.
If it’s the first time your partner cheated on you, and you want to forgive them, you need to understand that you may be making a big mistake by forgiving them. But if that’s what you choose to do, you can do so with the consolation that your partner has burnt their hands once, and in all probability, they may never choose to walk down that road again.
It’s always hard to trust someone who betrayed you and broke your heart. But if you choose to forgive a cheating partner and want to give them another chance, make sure it’s the last chance you’ll ever give them in their lifetime!
We’re trying hard to create better relationships in the world.
But we can’t do it without YOU!
Did this feature help you better yourself or your relationship?
You can change someone else’s life too!