It is normal to feel guilty and shameful when you have cheated on your significant other. Even if you don’t do it at first, you will end up feeling miserable, at some point. Not only that, but unless you try to fix (to some extent) what’s done by following the steps listed in this article, chances are you will continue feeling guilty forever.
The more your partner shows you love, the more you will feel remorse. Obviously, you must love or “think that you love” your partner at least to some extent, which is why you chose to stay and cheat, rather than just leave. That is wrong on your part clearly, and will probably transform all the love you have for that person into pity and guilt that will eat you out, over time.
That’s why is important to remember that cheating is one of the worst forms of betrayal, when dating or in a relationship. It is natural for humans to have feelings of lust occasionally, but acting on them is on a whole other unforgivable level. The guilt comes from the fact that you have betrayed someone else’s trust in you and will stay unless you resort to the steps below.
These steps will not only guide you to learn how to forgive yourself for cheating and not telling. They will also do justice (to some extent) to your partner and bring peace and closure to both of you.
How to heal and forgive yourself for cheating:
1) Be true to yourself:
Unfortunately, there’s no going back from cheating. In the same way, criminals still pay for their acts by doing time, regardless of how sad and remorseful they are, you have to pay for it. A first step is to admit and confront yourself about being a cheater and being someone even you wouldn’t want to be with, or trust if you were someone else.
You have to understand the extent to which your reckless act could hurt someone and affect them forever. You can later check out our article on how being cheated on changes a person, to see what your partner would have to deal with when it all comes to light.
More often than not, it will end up coming to light, whether you choose to tell or not. And, when it does you should be ready to look like an absolute villain and get why that is the case. In the end, you have made a bad choice.
There are people that make bad choices and pay for them for life. That’s because the best thing to do is think and not make the bad choice from the start and once you do it’s impossible to undo.
2. Come clean about it:
The first step in forgiving yourself for cheating and not telling your partner initially about your infidelity is acknowledging that it was a mistake and that you did wrong by them.
Not only that but you should understand that it is a huge unforgivable mistake that you cannot undo. In fact, it’s a mistake that could come back and hunt you down at any moment in life, if you hide it, and when you expect it the least. It will come to light somehow on the worst possible day, be it Christmas or your partner’s birthday. These things have a way of coming to light to ruin what is supposed to be an amazing time.
The consequences of something like cheating could be very serious, heavy, and life-changing in the most horrible way for every person involved. So once you understand this, if you want to live without any fear of it coming back and ruining your life at any moment, the best thing to do is to still decide and come clean about having cheated.
Yes, telling your partner could cost you a lot and be devastating to everyone involved. However, they’d still appreciate having been told by you and not finding out some other way. And, regardless of what they think or say of you after that, nobody can take away from you the fact that you’ve been honest about it and chose sincerity. Also, you’d be removing a big weight and burden off your shoulder instead of living in fear and horror.
In the end, cheating is a complex topic and it’s hard to find the right words to tell someone you’ve cheated on them. However, it may be necessary to tell them.
3. Repent for it:
It can be hard to forgive yourself for cheating on your partner. You feel guilty, you’re ashamed of what you did, and you’re worried about the future. But there is a way to start repenting for having done something so wrong.
The first step to doing so is to recognize the mistake and accept that it has now become a part of your life. It may define who you are right now, how untrustworthy you can be, and what kind of a traitor you chose to become in the present moment.
But, it won’t stop you from reflecting on it, growing, becoming better, repenting, and choosing to have a different identity rather than always being an unethical person that will never have peace of mind.
4. Respect your partner’s decision:
After a cheating incident, it is important to respect your partner’s decision. While it is natural to feel guilty and regretful, you should not force your partner to forgive you when they learn about it.
The most important thing to do is to respect your partner’s decision. If they want you back, then you should be willing to change. If they don’t want you back, then that is their choice and it’s up to them.
5. Understand why you cheated:
Sadly, in today’s world, it is not uncommon for people to cheat on their partners. This is not what we should expect from our partners and what the new normal should be but unfortunately, it does happen more often than we’d want it to. This can be due to many different reasons, but most of the time it is because people become unhappy or bored in their current relationships.
If you have cheated on your partner and want to know why you did it, then you have to analyze the situation, talk to yourself and see what lead to that. The first reason you would’ve cheated could be that you were feeling neglected or rejected by your partner. This can happen if they are not giving you the attention and affection that you need in a relationship.
However, this is not an excuse as you could’ve had a talk with them or even broken up with them rather than do something similar. In fact, the worst thing you can do is blame your partner for having cheated on them. It’s you who is in the wrong and it’s you the only one to blame!
A second possible reason could be that you wanted to feel good about yourself again or feel wanted again, after feeling down for a while or bored in your current relationship. And lastly, this could also happen because of peer pressure from friends or colleagues who normalize cheating on their partners and who are a bad influence.
Think carefully, find the real culprit and eliminate it from your life.
6. Take the time to heal:
You might feel like you are not good enough and be very remorseful or even miserable. You might even feel like you don’t deserve to be forgiven.
But the truth is that the moment you get any of these feelings then know that you’re halfway through your healing journey. What matters is to grow, change and never make the same mistake twice. On the other hand, if you’re the type to cheat and be proud about it, brag about it, take your partner for a joke and be ready to cheat again in the right context, then life may teach you a bigger lesson sooner rather than later.
You may not like it much nor find it funny when you finally choose to settle down and start a family only to see the person you chose to be a parent for your kids and a lifetime spouse do the same to you and with no remorse. Or, you could keep on cheating on people until you end up alone, lonely, ugly as looks don’t last forever, and also weak and sick as youth has an expiry date too.
That’s why it matters that you take some time to be alone, reflect on what you did, self-reflect, self-doubt, decide what you want in life then strive to be and do better.
7. Learn self-discipline:
Self-discipline is a skill that can be learned. It can be learned by forgiving yourself after cheating and making a vow to never do it again. It can also be learned by making conscious decisions not to make a mistake when temptation arises.
In order to forgive yourself, you should first understand what self-discipline is and how it can help you in the future. Self-discipline is the ability to control your impulses and to make decisions that are in your best interest, even when they are difficult or uncomfortable.
You should also know that self-discipline is not just about resisting temptation but also about following through with commitments and promises that have made, even when there are obstacles in the way.