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How to Forgive Yourself For Cheating and Not Telling

by Haleigh Couture

Everyone makes choices in their lives and everyone makes mistakes. Some people make the mistake of cheating, while others make the mistake of cheating and not telling. Once you cheat, there’s no going back, there is no reset button. The immediate consequences may seem the most significant, but the long-term ramifications can be far worse.

According to research conducted by Cheating Buster, a website specializing in relationship issues, more than 20% of married couples are affected by cheating. Moreover, relationship experts suggest that the rate of infidelity can reach up to 30% in couples before they get married.

People cheat for different reasons. It is important to reflect on the relationship before the act and then self-reflect. People feel remorse to varying degrees. While some may feel as if remorse consumes them, others may experience it to a lesser extent. Chances are, if you’re reading this article, you may be experiencing seemingly inevitable feelings of self-loathing.

Moving forward from here will be the most challenging. To seek forgiveness from others, you need to put in the work to forgive yourself. There are more benefits to coming clean to your partner than there are benefits to secrecy. You may want to shelter them from the pain of your disloyalty, but it is important to understand that by not disclosing your actions, you are subjecting your loved one to the cruelest form of betrayal.

By choosing to not tell, the lie can easily manifest into an uncontrollable reality that can pit you and your partner against each other. There will always be something between you—an elephant in the room. The guilt will start to eat away at you, perhaps causing feelings of paranoia as you constantly wonder if they will ever find out. Your tainted love will grow fonder of resentment and shame. The consequences are not only harming you; they are crippling the person you love. After all, without trust, what is love?

If you wish to preserve what you share with your partner, you must come clean. At least if you come clean about cheating, you have a chance of a future with this person. The longer you suppress your lies, the more irreversible the damage becomes. If you love this person, you owe them the respect and decency to not lie about your mistake.

The road to self-forgiveness is through acknowledging your wrongdoing and being honest with your partner. Tell the whole truth, no matter how painful it may be. They will feel hurt, and perhaps never trust you or have faith in the relationship again. There’s no guarantee that you two will have a healthy future. But by refraining from the truth, know this, you will then have no real future.

You must understand that in this situation actions do speak louder than words. These moments of truth will be the defining moments for the health of your current and/or future relationships. Your partner deserves to know absolutely everything. The truth will eventually come out one way or another, so let them hear it from you.

If you are fearful that you may have contracted something from your affair, you must immediately tell them. For all of these potential what-ifs, you need to be prepared to tell your partner. Anything left unsaid will be exposed eventually. Consequentially, once the truth is out, know that your partner may need some time.

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This is a pinnacle point in the relationship. The healing process for something as damaging as an affair will take a lifetime of effort to repair as you attempt to rebuild what was broken. Even if you can’t fix it with your partner, fix it with yourself. Learn from your mistakes. Cheating doesn’t just affect your relationship; it implicates who you are as a person. Remember from this point on, you reap what you sow.


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