How To Forgive A Cheater: 12 Tips To Heal & Rebuild Trust

12 Tips To Forgive Him For Cheating, Heal, Rebuild Trust & Stay Together

How to forgive cheating a husband or boyfriend and move forward in your relationship

In this article you will learn:

  • Why it’s very courageous to forgive your cheating husband or boyfriend (most women don’t)
  • The answer to your question “He cheated on me, should I forgive him?”
  • How to heal, rebuild, and stay together in your relationship after being cheated on.
  • The most effective way to forgive a cheater and stop him from being unfaithful ever again.
  • How to make sure your cheating boyfriend or husband does everything he can to make it up to you.

How to forgive a cheating man and move forward in your relationship after he betrayed your trust

A woman forgives her cheating man and stays together with him

“Why should I even forgive him for cheating on me?”

“How am I supposed to just let this go after he did such a horrible thing…”

It’s one of the toughest questions you can ask yourself.

Yet, sometime the majority of people will eventually have to deal with how to forgive infidelity.

Cheating is very common.

We can pretend it doesn’t exist, but the numbers tell a different story

I’ll explain to you in a moment how you can forgive your husband, or boyfriend after such a terrible thing as adultery.

But first, I’d like to say that I’m proud of you.

You are reading this article because you are at least considering the possibility of forgiving your husband or boyfriend for the greater good of your relationship, even after he’s done something so unforgettable.

If you’re not sure yet if you want or can forgive him, then read on and I’ll help you to make up your mind.

In this article, you’ll learn my best advice to forgive, heal, and move forward in your relationship after your husband or boyfriend cheated on you. Either alone or together.

Here are 11 tips to forgive a cheating husband:

Tip #1: Realize that cheating is extremely common

A woman catching her man cheating on her.

I have good news and bad news.

First of all, I think it’s audacious of you that you’re thinking about forgiving your husband or boyfriend for cheating on you.

That takes a lot of courage, and most people don’t dare to do that at all.

They tell stories like:

“If my boyfriend or husband ever cheated on me…”

“Yeah, if my boyfriend would do this to me, he wouldn’t be allowed into the house anymore. He can sleep on the sidewalk for the rest of the week for all I care. He can come and pick up his toothbrush during the weekend when he is returning his key.”

(No joke, this is literally what I heard a woman say at a birthday party.)

What I think of that, I’ll tell you in tip #2.

But first, a statistical fact, that will blow your mind.

Half of all people cheat

Cheating is more common than you think.

46,1% admit to having cheated on their partner (that’s only the ones that admitted to it in this study).

Adultery is very common. If you’ve had multiple relationships, chances are it has already happened to you.

Maybe you know about it, or maybe your partner hid it well. Or maybe you’ve been guilty of it yourself.

Whatever your thoughts are regarding infidelity…

Cheating is very commonplace

That’s not a way of justifying it.

But when it happens on such a large scale, you just can’t pretend it never happens. It’s not like it’s an impossibility that your husband or spouse has an affair.

In fact, you could even make the argument that it makes sense to learn how to forgive a cheater.

Because if you reject all men who cheat, or could potentially cheat – then it’s impossible to start and maintain a good relationship.

And this of course, also applies to all men.

If you want to have a relationship with a woman, you may expect that one day she will cheat on you.

The question remains:

How do you deal with it?

Tip #2: Many people don’t talk about it

A woman avoids talking about the fact that she got cheated on.

I just told you about the outspoken lady at the birthday party I attended.

She received the support of several others that heard her story.

There were even some men who couldn’t wait to support her, and tell her how right she was for never wanting to see this man again.

After all, he was a big jerk who didn’t deserve her.

According to them.

“All cheaters are bastards” is easy for one to say

But if half of the people are cheating, are half of all people genuinely bad, then?

No, I don’t believe that.

There are many different reasons why men cheat. It’s not always as black and white as mainstream opinion makes you think it is. There is a huge grey area and it means that not all men (or women) are cheating bastards.

Yet no one said anything about that during the birthday party.

There can be two reasons for this:

  1. Everyone on the birthday agreed with the opinion of that woman.
  2. People don’t want to get criticized for beliefs that go against the norm.

There is an enormous amount of taboo regarding infidelity

And if there is something that’s considered even more taboo, shameful, and weak – it’s when you forgive your partner for cheating on you.

People think you’re a fool and that anyone can just walk all over you.

Tip #3: Forgiveness is a strength NOT a weakness

A woman's ability to forgiveness shows how strong she is.I’ll give you an example of this,

A friend of mine forgave her boyfriend for having an affair

When she told this to the people closest to her…

Her family criticized the decision and gave her a lot of sh*t for it, and pressured her to end the relationship.

It’s horrible when people you trust do that to you.

Who wants his or her parents to interfere so strongly with your choice of partner?

These people wouldn’t leave her alone, they had to do something about it.

Because that man didn’t deserve their daughter, they thought.

And she was called weak and naive because she could find it in her heart to forgive him.

But they overlooked something very important.

It’s incredibly hard to forgive someone for cheating

A woman forgives her cheating man to fix the relationship. Despite the fact of how hard it is.

Especially since that person hurt you badly and betrayed your trust.

It’s easy to ‘blame everything on him’ and break up with him.

What’s incredibly challenging is to willingly look inside the relationship and ask yourself why it happened, and figure out if you can fix it.

And willingly decide to take the long and difficult road ahead, for a chance of making it through together and come out stronger on the other side – with no guarantees that it’s going to work out, or that he won’t cheat on you again.

That’s not just brave, it’s absolutely courageous and straight out impressive.

Now don’t get me wrong. There is a time for forgiveness, and there is a time when you absolutely should break up with him.

In the next tip, I’ll help you get answers to get clarity on your situation so you’ll better know what to do with him.

Tip #4: Talk to him and figure out where things stand

A woman asks her partner to help her to forgive the cheating.

The first thing you have to do is to figure out where things stand.

He might not want to be 100% honest with you in fear of hurting your feelings, even though he just broke your heart.

Ask him this, and tell him he has to give it to you straight.

  • Is he genuinely sorry and regret what he did?
  • Was it just a stupid mistake or something he’d been thinking about for a long time?
  • Was it just a one-time thing? (and he got it out of his system)
  • Was the affair just physical or does he have feelings for her?
  • Does he want to continue with the relationship or would he rather be with her?
  • Is he 100% happy and fulfilled with you and the relationship?

The only way you’ll have a chance of getting through this and making sure that it never happens again, is with 100% brutal honesty and get to the root cause of the affair.

You might have to drag it out of him to find out the truth since men are such bad communicators.

Hear what his desires are regarding the relationship and his goals. Maybe he has the feeling that something is ‘missing’ from his life regarding:

  • Attention
  • Needs
  • Affection
  • Sex
  • Desires
  • Goals

When you have discovered the real reason for the infidelity

Ask yourself: Is it something you can actually fix?

For example: If he wants to have kids someday and you don’t, then it’s a sign that your relationship is over. 

But maybe you could give him more attention, do more fun activities together, or find other ways to spice up your sex life if that’s what caused it.

Explain to him that you want to forgive him, but you need his help to accomplish this.

And in the next tip, I’ll guide you further on how to do this.

Tip #5: Let him regain your trust by putting all his cards on the table

A man gives his password phone to a woman to regain her trust after cheating on her.

Look.

The first thing that needs to happen in your relationship after the incident is for him to start regaining your trust.

Tell your man he needs to be completely transparent with you by:

  • Sharing his phone and let you check everything on it.
  • Sending over the passwords to his email and social media accounts.
  • Always be open about where he’s going and with whom.

His job is to make you feel safe again, no matter how long it takes

If he cares about you, the relationship, and he wants to be forgiven – he’ll agree to it without hesitation.

The slightest gap of unanswered texts, a phone that’s turned off, being in a location different from what he said, coming home late or not at all – all run a high risk of reopening the healing wound from his betrayal.

He must 100% believe that earning back your trust is the right thing and he’s okay with full accountability – for as long as it takes.

After all, trust can be ruined by one single action. But regaining the trust, that can take months or even more than a year.

And that brings me to the next point:

Tip #6: Don’t hang it over his head for 10 years

A woman hangs cheating over her man's head for a long time.

It’s awful that your man cheated on you.

And you are undoubtedly heartbroken.

But the worst thing you can do is to hang this over his head for the rest of the relationship.

This has an unintended psychological effect on him, which I’ll discuss later in tip 11.

Realize that it’s awful to be in a relationship with someone who doesn’t trust you.

If he doesn’t try his best for you, or you can’t bring yourself to forgive him… then it’s better to break up.

Because there’s always someone else.

Tip #7: Find a distraction from the situation

A woman finds distractions to take her mind off the cheating.There is a good chance that you are constantly thinking about what he did to you.

Especially when you just found out, then you might think about what he did with her and envision it in horrible detail.

  • “Maybe they laughed at me together.”
  • “Maybe he took her to the same restaurant as me.”
  • “Maybe he did it with her in our bed when I was watering my sick grandmother’s plants.”

These kinds of thoughts are very tough to have, just because there’s a possibility that they’re true.

Fortunately, most people are not mean, and your man would not intentionally try to make your life as miserable as you might think.

But when you get into this spiral of negative thinking it’s hard to think about anything else

You get sucked into it, and you picture worse and worse scenarios in your head.

You get more paranoid, more pissed off, and more hurt with every passing thought.

That’s all very destructive, unhealthy, and pointless if your goal is to feel better, or forgive him.

My advice:

Find a distraction from the situation.

Go and do something fun

Alone, or with your friends.

It doesn’t matter, as long as you get out of the apartment, and out of your own head.

So if you get stuck in a negative spiral:

Distract yourself with:

  • Go for a run (or any other sport you like)
  • Read or listen to an audiobook (a great book can take your mind off things)
  • Work an extra shift at work (you earn some extra money at the same time, and you have something else to focus on)
  • Have a night out with your friends (You can have a great time and let your friends distract your attention)

It’s especially important to do something enjoyable so that the hurricane of negative thoughts can slowly subside.

But before you do, it’s important to understand the following.

Tip #8: Him cheating on you doesn’t mean he likes her more than you

A cheating man usually loves his girlfriend more than his mistress

All studies show that a man who is having an affair, mistress, or a few casual relationships (while having a girlfriend), doesn’t mean that he likes them more than his girlfriend.

Think about that for a second.

Men are so stupid that they risk losing their relationship for a woman they don’t even like

And it often happens that they’re very sorry for what they did precisely because the other woman doesn’t mean anything to them.

Most times, he’ll ask for forgiveness because he likes his girlfriend far better than the other woman.

You probably won’t have to convince him to do this. He’ll do it freely.

Because even if he didn’t mean to, he’s well aware that he hurt you.

Tip #9: Understand the reasons why men cheat

A man daydreams about another woman.Men usually don’t cheat because they like another woman better.

The following things usually play a much more significant role:

  • Alcohol. Cheating often happens after drinking. Sober people behave a lot more decent than drunk people.
  • A lack of appreciation. Men who don’t feel appreciated in their relationship are more likely to cheat.
  • Distraction. If men aren’t satisfied with their relationship, they’re more likely to fall for the temptation of being with another woman.
  • Escapism. Some men are emotionally dissatisfied with their lives, for example, in a mid-life crisis. So an affair can help them forget about their misery for a moment.

Realize that it’s NOT a reflection of what he thinks of you.

In most cases, he loves you very much and doesn’t want to lose you

The reasons why he cheated usually have nothing to do with you personally, but may have to do with the relationship.

And you can always change the relationship for the better, as long as there is still hope and a will for it.

There is no quick solution to fix and move forward with your relationship after the infidelity.

Only if he’s willing to work for it, and you find the courage to forgive him will you have a chance of bouncing back from this.

Tip #10: Think of it as an opportunity to restart the relationship

A couple has a date night to fix and restart their relationship after cheating.

When I present the idea that my female clients forgive their cheating husbands or boyfriends – I often hear that they can’t see him the way they used to.

The image of him has changed forever because of what he did.

“I can never go back to the way it was,” they say.

But no one’s telling you that you have to go back to the way it was.

In fact:

It’s rather good not to go back to the way things were.

Because your husband or boyfriend cheated on you when things were the way things were.

And of course, you don’t want that to happen again.

You want to heal and get over his adultery as fast as possible.

So you can think of this as a moment when you can start over and create the perfect relationship, together.

You don’t have to go back to believing things were great when he was in fact cheating on you.

You can learn to love your man again and strengthen your relationship for the better

So it becomes amazing for both of you.

It’s a new opportunity to make the relationship fun, exciting, and the way you’ve always wanted it.

Many women who make it through this, say years later that it was the best thing that could happen to their relationship.

Tip #11: Don’t give him a reason to cheat again

A couple talks about how to fix their relationship after cheating.I know this sounds very crude.

You may think I suggest it’s your fault.

Of course, it’s not.

Your man is 100% responsible for his own behavior.

Period.

If he cheated on you, that’s a terrible thing. That goes without saying.

But what can you do to make the relationship so amazing that he will never even consider cheating?

Look.

You can’t forbid him to drink alcohol if that’s what caused it.

But if he’s:

  • Very bored with the relationship.
  • Misses his freedom.
  • Not receiving enough affection or attention.
  • Not getting sexually satisfied.
  • Love to go out and have a drink, and you don’t.

Then you can figure out how to help him with this, and come up with a solution so that both of you can get what you need without getting hurt.

Remember: If you only forgive him, without making sure that his wants, needs, desires, and goals are met moving forward then there is a great risk of him cheating on you again.

And I hate to break it to you, but that risk is already very high. Research shows that people who have cheated before are 3x times more likely to do it again.

Which makes it very important to figure out how you can prevent him from even thinking about it.

Maybe it turns out that there is nothing that you can do.

So you decide whether to end it or to have an open relationship (see the next tip).

You must find something that works for both of you

You may later decide that you cannot forgive him.

In that case, it’s a good idea to break up with him.

Because if you are going to behave like you expect him to cheat on you again, then the risk of him doing it to you again will increase.

Tip #12: Consider an open relationship

A couple having an open relationship.This is a tip for the advanced readers of ChangeHim.

I don’t talk about this very much.

But given the context, I think it’s important to mention it.

An open relationship is a situation in which both of you can do whatever you want, within certain boundaries.

You can make agreements about what is, and what isn’t allowed

Some couples give each other the freedom to have another partner outside of their relationship.

It’s not something people talk about publicly.

But there’s every reason to consider this.

If you can’t give your partner what he needs (or vice versa), but you still love each other a lot, why not see if you can’t remove the barriers that are holding you back?

It’s at least an option that some couples decide to do, and a lot of them turn out a lot happier because of it.

So this was the article how to forgive a cheater

I want to end it again saying how incredibly difficult and brave it really is.

Forgiving someone after adultery is one of the hardest things you can do in your life.

Still, I’d like to ask you to think about it.

If you care enough about him and the relationship, and perhaps more importantly, that you’re willing to fight for it. You’re a lot stronger than you think.

What I recommend for you to do now is to read this article with 7 things you should do now when he cheated on you.

I wish you all the best.

Love,
Tim

Share

Tim Veninga

Tim Veninga

Tim Veninga is the head coach of Change Him. In The Netherlands more than 155.000 women follow his advice. He has been featured in numerous Dutch media and magazines like Cosmopolitan and Glamour.
Connect with Tim:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top