I feel horrible about what happened.
I cheated on my boyfriend how do I fix it.
Imagine this scenario for a moment:
You’ve been dating this guy for some time now. And everything is going just great between you.
You’re both head over heels in love with each other. You know he’s a great guy, and you’re lucky to have him.
Along the line, a friend flies in from another city, and you go to a party, spend the night together, and get super drunk.
And you slept with him.
Sure, your relationship has always been healthy.
But being with your boyfriend’s friend gives you the adrenaline rush and excitement you’ve been missing.
You wake up the next morning feeling terrible and shattered about your actions.
“I can’t believe I cheated on my boyfriend,” you say.
You spend the week feeling cold towards your boyfriend because the shame and guilt kill you inside. And then, you eventually open up.
But you missed the part where you had slept with his friend.
He believes and forgives you. Things went back to normal.
And you started feeling a little better. After all, you’ve realized your mistake and have no intention of repeating it.
But then, the guy returns to town again and texts you.
Again, you went out for a drink with him. This time, though, you’re clear about your boundaries. It’s just drink and nothing else.
You want to clear the air. Unfortunately, you end up spending the night together…again.
You return home the next morning feeling ashamed and horrible.
You realized you’d crossed the line.
Now, you don’t even know how to face your boyfriend. You know he doesn’t deserve such actions.
And now, you’re confused. Wondering: “I cheated on my boyfriend how do I fix it”
You want to know how to fix a relationship after cheating.
Well, in this article, I’ll show you what to do when you cheat on someone you love.
I Cheated On My Boyfriend How Do I Fix It? 7 Ways To Handle It
1. Don’t Automatically Assume The Relationship Is Ruined
I can’t stand the shame, The guilt.
He doesn’t deserve what I did to him.
Our relationship has been amazing and healthy. And we both love each other.
I’m so confident he loves me. Yet, I cheated on my boyfriend, but I love him.
I don’t think I can ever forgive myself for what I did.
So, I went to his place and broke up with him.
Sounds like the best thing to do, right?
Not really. And I’ll tell you why.
You see, most times, the guilt and shame people feel from cheating on their partner make them automatically assume the relationship is doomed.
Like, it’s beyond salvage.
They assume that once their partner finds out about their love escapade with someone else, there’s no way they’d ever forgive them. Never!
So, the easiest thing to do is to bail out on them.
They believe the breakup justifies what they did.
But leaving a broken partner can occasionally be a cover for not accepting responsibility or admitting your shortcomings.
Instead, think about how equally possible it is to stay together if you’re prepared to put in the necessary effort.
In fact, according to research, “a couple can become stronger as a unit if they can overcome an affair and restore trust in their union.”
I know what you’re probably thinking. It’s easier said than done.
Case in point:
When Ryan’s girlfriend, Sally, began spending more time at the office – with her coworker, he wasn’t immediately suspicious.
According to him, she’d never liked him. So, he wasn’t bothered.
She had told Ryan that the guy was too difficult to work with.
And that she wasn’t into him. But he kept having this nagging feeling in his brain.
Ryan felt there was something wrong although he had no proof.
Gradually, the truth started to surface. She opened up a little and then opened up a little more.
Ryan was shocked and devastated.
Although she cheated on him, they persisted in their relationship, and today, they are currently approaching their three wedding anniversary.
But for many relationships, cheating is the final straw.
Now, cheating in a relationship isn’t an easy thing to heal from.
However, one critical characteristic that partners who stay strong and together after someone cheats,
Is the readiness to analyze the problems that may have contributed to the affair rather than focusing exclusively on the act of the affair itself.
2. Acknowledge That You’ve Created A Mess
I cheated on my boyfriend. And now, I regret my actions.
There must be enough remorse.
In fact, guilt and shame are the most common emotions with cheating.
But these emotions depend on the reasons surrounding your cheating.
There are some people who don’t feel anything when they cheat. No remorse whatsoever…
However, if you are the cheating partner, you must feel enough remorse for your actions. It cannot be something that conveys indifference in any way.
Although not to the point you feel you’re irredeemable.
Awareness, they say, is the first step to change.
Unfortunately, you can be aware of what you did and still not acknowledge that you’ve created a big mess.
The recovery process won’t begin if you don’t accept that you made a mistake and, as such, messed up the relationship.
Instead, acknowledge that you were at fault for the hurt you caused your partner.
You have to accept responsibility for your wrongdoings, even if your boyfriend was doing things that led you to cheating.
I know that humans love to shift blame.
You could probably come up with many reasons why you cheated on your boyfriend.
Perhaps, he took you for granted. You felt lonely and unloved. He didn’t give you enough attention. Maybe he even cheated on you before.
Whatever your reasons are…
You must own up to your mistakes and acknowledge that you messed up.
This isn’t what you probably want to hear, but it’s the bitter truth you must come to terms with if you want to fix your broken relationship.
Maybe you didn’t plan to cheat but it happened. And that’s okay. But you have to acknowledge that you’ve created a mess.
And sincerely apologize for it.
3. You Cheated For A Reason. Be Honest About It
Do I tell my boyfriend that I cheated?
Remember the story I shared earlier in this article?
The girl lied and never told her boyfriend that she cheated on him.
Many people are like that.
If you want to stay with your boyfriend, keeping your affair a secret may be tempting. After all, he doesn’t have to know. And probably won’t find out.
And that’s understandable. You probably don’t want him to get hurt.
But cheating is too big of an issue to hide if you want to have an honest relationship.
It hurts to keep something so important a secret.
No matter how often you tell yourself, it doesn’t matter; the fact that you cheated lingers within.
And if you refuse to tell him, it’ll definitely affect the relationship –maybe not immediately but it will eventually.
Cheating doesn’t just happen randomly. You may have decided to cheat for a variety of reasons.
Perhaps, you no longer think your boyfriend is attractive.
Or maybe you were seeking revenge for whatever emotional pain he caused you.
Your cheating may even have absolutely nothing to do with your boyfriend.
But with low self-esteem, which can make you seek validation by cheating with someone else.
“People occasionally make bad decisions.” Maybe you made one.
The question then is: Does that poor decision and symptom(s) now have to determine the future of your relationship?
Your response is heavily influenced by the motives behind why you cheated.
Cheating may be triggered by unfulfilled needs in a relationship, inadequate communication, attachment styles, etc.
You must identify the primary reason(s) you cheated in the first place before making any significant judgments on how to move forward.
Did any of the following have any influence?
A lack of respect
Low sexual satisfaction
You’ll be prepared to start working on a solution once you address the root cause of cheating, both within yourself and with your partner.
4. Cut Off Contact With The Guy You Cheated With
Can I have a successful relationship after cheating?
The answer is an absolute YES.
But you must not only acknowledge that you cheated and the root cause,
But you must also decide to cut off every form of communication with the person you cheated with.
Let’s assume the first time was a mistake. But cheating the second time – with the same person – isn’t a mistake. It’s a choice.
I know how sensitive this topic is. And I’m not saying this to make you feel less of yourself in any way, but it’s the truth.
Remember the story I cited above?
The guy returned the second time, texted her, and she went out with him and they slept together again.
Putting yourself in such a difficult situation with the mind that you can handle it is such a big joke.
The only permanent and healthy solution is to run.
Honestly, she didn’t go there with the mind to resist him. She wanted him.
Don’t even put yourself in that position, to begin with because you’ll give in.
Your emotions will betray you every single time. Emotions aren’t logical. They’re so powerful.
Sex does something to the brain that keeps you hooked.
And that’s because our brain is wired to remember, and seek out pleasurable experiences and memories.
Your emotions are heightened, your feelings are on the verge, and everything feels overpowering.
Sex is addictive.
That explains why you keep chasing the feeling and going back even when you know it’s wrong or regardless of the consequences there may be.
If the sex were great, it would happen again as long as the opportunity presents itself.
She didn’t realize that when a guy sleeps with a woman,
There’s about a 99% chance he will sleep with her again when they get together. And vice versa.
It’s called Okafor’s Law.
It says, “once a man has electrifying sex with a woman, he can get a free pass to having sex with her every time….”
Unless, of course, she puts an end to it…which is difficult for most people to do.
Put differently, “If a man can sleep with you once, he can sleep with you again and again and again.”
I guess you’re probably saying to yourself right now, well, it isn’t true for everybody. It isn’t true for me.
Whether or not you agree with the stereotype doesn’t matter. It’s true for a lot of people.
“Old fire lights better,” they say.
That’s why I’m asking you to cut off from the guy you cheated with…because if you don’t, he’ll have you again when the opportunity present itself.
5. Repairing The Relationship Won’t Be Easy
The real work can begin after you confess your infidelity.
Don’t expect it to be easy. That’s why depression after cheating on someone is common.
The victim (your boyfriend) may experience it as a gunshot. On the other hand, as the shooter, you have a lot of damage to fix.
Merely saying “I’m sorry” won’t likely be enough to restart your relationship with your partner if he decides to stay.
Because when trust is broken, sorry means nothing.
You’ll need to repeatedly demonstrate to your partner how much you care about him before he can again put his trust in you.
The truth is, it won’t be easy. You’ll have to work five times as hard, if not more, to regain his trust…that’s if he will ever trust you again.
It may even take years or forever because that memory can never be erased.
It will require patience, time, and work (a lot of it).
However, your hard work will be worthwhile if your relationship is truly essential to you and your boyfriend.
According to research, a couple needs to pass through each of the following stages to overcome any kind of trust issue, including cheating:
knowing the specifics (the root cause)
letting the rage out
reestablishing the connection
And none of these steps is easy. It’ll take forever…literally!
6. Your Boyfriend Will Have A Wide Range Of Emotions
When Ryan discovered his girlfriend cheated with her coworker, he was torn with conflicting emotions.
His brain was on fire…literally.
He was devastated and heartbroken. And even started to fall sick
He stopped talking to her for weeks because he couldn’t believe she would do something like that.
He’s warned her about the same guy, but she waved it off, saying “nothing could happen between them.”
He spent a large part of his time ruminating…trying to imagine the scenario and picture them having sex and whatever they did.
Knowing that someone else slept with your partner can be a constant torture.
Ryan felt betrayed.
The whole saga made him angry, bitter, and confused.
See, understand that it’s normal for your boyfriend to feel this way.
Don’t even try to convince him not to.
One of his coping mechanisms for the betrayal may be to withdraw, distance himself, or even stop talking to you altogether.
You can’t fault him for doing that. People process infidelity differently.
Although he’ll require healthy means of letting these bad emotions out, it is your duty as the offender to ensure that you are present as a supporter…
…Until he’s able to come around after processing his emotions.
However, your boyfriend has to be willing.
You both have to decide whether to remain together.
None of the suggestions I’ve given so far will work if your boyfriend isn’t as committed to making things work as you are.
You might not have an option but to move on if your boyfriend isn’t eager to put your affair behind him.
Beg him if you have to, but he still has to make up his mind.
You must realize that he has to decide on his own whether you deserve his forgiveness and if the relationship must progress and worth saving.
While you have a huge part to play, it’s left for him to decide in the long run.
7. Forgive Yourself
When cheating happens, the first thing is for us to feel guilty and ashamed of ourselves.
We feel worthless and horrible.
It’s perfectly normal to feel this way.
While it may take a long time to get over it (depending on your situation,) you must forgive yourself.
Only someone who believes they deserve forgiveness would want to work things out with their partner. While those who believe they don’t will walk away.
But here’s the funny thing:
Walking away from your boyfriend and the relationship won’t make your problem disappear,
Because you’ll still have to deal with the root cause if you ever want to move forward.
Otherwise, you’ll remain stuck and carry the same shitty behavior into your next relationship.
And trust me, that isn’t what you want.
I tell couples in relationships all the time when cheating happens; they must be willing to bury their first relationship,
Forgive each other and consider forging a new relationship with one another.
And like I mentioned, it won’t be easy, but it’s possible…if you’re both ready to do the inner work.
8. Seek Professional Help
It’s okay if you both decide not to participate in couples counseling.
But remember that a qualified therapist can assist the two of you in determining how to move past the affair by considering the reasons why you chose to be unfaithful.
The therapist can also assist you in formulating concrete plans for rebuilding trust and keeping your relationship strong.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Fix My Relationship If I Cheated?
It’s absolutely possible to fix your relationship after cheating.
Countless partners have successfully rebuilt their connections.
The first step in fixing a relationship after cheating is for both partners to want to put up the necessary work.
How Do You Get Rid Of A Cheating Guilt?
1. Acknowledge what happens
2. Own your mistake. Don’t hide it. Don’t run from it.
3. Why did you cheat? Be brutally honest with yourself.
4. Forgive yourself
5. Promise yourself to be a better person going forward (that’s how you rebuild your self-esteem and confidence)
6. Be prepared to do whatever it takes to prove you’re committed
7. Ask your boyfriend for forgiveness
8. Tell him you’re ready to work things out
9. Don’t let him treat your poorly because of your mistake
10. See a therapist
Do Men Forgive Cheating?
Yes, they do. But it’s extremely hard.
Men take physical infidelity—when their girlfriend (or wife) engages in sexual activity with another man—more seriously than women do.
Most men find it hard to forgive…because they can’t stomach the fact that someone else sleeps with their partner.
The natural thing to do after someone cheats on you is to revenge. And most men often revenge.