How to Get Forgiveness After You Have Cheated

April 1, 2013 by Allen Teal  
Published in Marriage

This article discusses how to rebuild your relationship after you have been unfaithful to your spouse.

Cover of Unfaithful [Blu-ray]

Marital affairs happen. They are never an accident although they may be preceded by an unplanned easy opportunity. Once the cheating occurs, it cannot be undone. The fallout can range from a small ripple to a major marital dilemma. Getting forgiveness if you were the unfaithful spouse can be a tall task.

Decide why you were unfaithful.

The reason behind your cheating is important. Is your marriage so lacking that you believed you were justified in cheating? If this is accurate, you may not be able to repair the breach. If you were in need of proof that you can still attract the opposite sex, you probably need some counseling if the marriage is to last. If you were pursued and repeatedly tempted to stray, do not see this as the perfect excuse. You should have brought your spouse into the fray to help you stay faithful.

Consider what it would take to earn your forgiveness if it were reversed.

Would you forgive your spouse for doing to you what you did to him or her? What would you require of your spouse to be able to offer forgiveness? The answer to this second question will get you started down the path toward earning forgiveness for yourself.

Is the affair over?

Why bother to seek forgiveness for cheating if you plan to keep on cheating? This is true whether it is with the same partner or with a new one. It is not just ending the affair. You need to end the cheating. Otherwise, you are just delaying the inevitable end of a marriage.

Are you willing to be accountable to your spouse?

This is a tough one for many cheaters. Cheating is often based on a spouse believing freedom from being watched is a right. The idea of checking in and being accountable may be odious to you. If you want to be forgiven, you will have to get over this feeling. You will need to be accountable for a long time in order for true forgiveness to grow into your relationship.

Persuade your spouse to see a future together.

When the affair came to light, your spouse was most likely ready to end the relationship right then. The future with you was suspending in lieu of a future without you. Any hope that you have of being forgiven and staying married to your spouse depends on that future with your spouse being restored. This may require long hours of discussion and possibly marital counseling.

You may have to change jobs or move.

If you spouse sees your affair as a product of your job or location, this will have to change. Otherwise, your spouse will believe that it is only a matter of time before that affair resumes. Putting some form of distance between you and temptation will help your spouse accept that the two of you may be able to rebuild your marriage. You have to prove that you deserve to be trusted.

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