You probably didn’t plan to cheat but sometimes these things happen and in as much as we don’t condone cheating, it’s important that we all realise that we are humans and we are fallible. This isn’t an excuse to cheat. We are talking about first (and only time) cheats.
The reasons why someone would cheat are a lot but it’s important to know that a “cheater” isn’t what you are. It’s one mistake and even though you’ve disappointed and hurt your partner, the only thing you can do is to forgive yourself and hope that they will be willing to forgive and go the extra mile of forgetting. If you’ve cheated on your partner, here are 5 things we think you should do.
Why did you cheat? What was it about the other person that intrigued you so much that you had to go to them? At what point did a simple conversation switch to something else? Did you cheat sexually because you aren’t getting what you want in the bedroom with your current partner? Or is it because you have a need to feel “alive” and you wanted the thrill of something exciting again?
2. Tell your partner at your own discretion
Generally, we would advice that you tell your partner right after it happens. Let them know because they deserve to know that you went behind their back and let them decide for themselves whether or not they would like to continue being in a relationship with you but the truth of the matter is that every relationship is different. Assess yours for yourself and weigh the pros and cons especially when you know for a fact that it will never happen again. If your conscience will not let you rest, you need to let them know.
3. If you want to continue your relationship, cut contact with the other person
Cease all forms of communication with the person you cheated with if you’re serious about your own relationship. If you’re still communicating with the other person, it shows that you don’t respect your partner and their feelings and you plan on cheating again. At this point you may need to initiate a breakup.
If you decide to tell your partner what you did, you need to apologize sincerely and not just by saying sorry. They’ll ask a bunch of questions including why you felt the need to cheat. Don’t explain in a way which makes it seem as if it’s their fault. Be truthful and apologize.
5. Anticipate a break up
For a lot of people, cheating is something they can’t and won’t tolerate. It has broken their trust for you and they may not be able to see you the way they used to. Know that your relationship might be over.
6. Forgive yourself
Whether your partner forgives you or not, you need to forgive yourself especially if you’ve learnt from your mistake and you won’t cheat again.