Can You Ever Really Forgive A Cheater?

Let me just preface this by saying, being cheated on is the worst pain I've ever known, and as an atheist I pray that none of you reading this will ever have to experience that kind of pain. Being betrayed by the one you love most, it just destroys you to your inner most core.

I've only had one really serious relationship in my life, and it ended as a result of her cheating on me. I started to have my suspicions when she would always be texting this guy friend of hers when we were together. Eventually she admitted to cheating on me with him, and I initially tried to move past it but a month later I found out they were still talking and I told her to get bent.

That was about a year ago, and i've pretty much moved on, but I can't shake the feelings and memories I have for her. Every 4 weeks or so she calls me up apologizing and telling me she'll do anything for me to take her back. The scary calls are the ones where I consider it and feel like i'm telling her cheating is ok. I do still care about her, but I just don't know if I can ever forgive her, or more importantly if I can live with my self if I chose to be with someone who has treated me so poorly.

The relationship will never be the same and its all her fault, I've never understood why victims of cheating blame them selves, it was her bad decision and her being selfish, not anything I did. I feel like, and even told her, at a certain point I feel like she should just take a look at all she's put me through and realize that she's done enough and just bow out. If you ever have been a victim or perpetrator of cheating than you know how painful it is, and you know how badly it makes each party feel. I almost feel like its wrong to ask for forgiveness for something so horrible, you should know that what you've done is unforgivable and just accept your fate.

Sometimes I think that if we got back together I'd eventually look back on this as her being immature and stupid, but part of me thinks that i'll always resent her and there will always be an unspoken tension between us. There already is, when we talk, or fight specifically, we get to points in the conversation where I can "play that card" and we both kind of get quiet in recognition of that. Her because she knows that me having that card to play always trumps anything she can say, and me because bringing it up again is just to painful and i'd rather not open the floodgates.

I just wonder, can you ever truly forgive someone who cheated on you? even if you really wanted to? I keep going back and forth on it, but every time I stray to the side of no I build a bigger and bigger case against it. The only real argument I have for giving it another chance is she is truly sorry, but then again i'm sure they all are, and after a year of looking for someone else, I just haven't found someone who makes me feel like she did or even does at times now. You know that smile you just can't help when you look at them, the way that even when they're talking about something mind numbingly boring you just can't look away, and the amount of bullshit you realize that you put up with without a justifiable reason.

Then come the days of remembering how I felt when she cheated, unable to get the images of her and him out of my mind, laying in bed for hours at a time not wanting to do anything or see anyone, feeling absolutely alone like there's no one who cares and no one you can trust. To this day I still don't trust women aside from my direct family, and i'm trying not to get close to anyone just so I can avoid the possibility that this could happen again.

So I ask you, should bringing me to such a dark place, breaking me down to my very core, causing a lifetime of trust issues with all women; be out weighed by the possibility that I won't find anyone else who I'll really care about?

If you cared enough to stick in there for the end of the entry than please care enough to take an additional 2 minutes to share your opinion or a story of your own, its greatly appreciated.
blackfire459 blackfire459
18-21, M
8 Responses Dec 20, 2012

Yes,you can forgive a cheater.The question on the flip side is will you be in a relationship with them or not when you forgive them.I f you can't imagine your life without them then you should consider giving her another chance.It took me over a year to forgive my ex that cheated and bested on me on and off during our entire relationship of over fifteen years.I'm happy now.I have a girlfriend that I met after me and my ex broke up and we plan on getting married and having a little family.

Honestly while I have heard stories of relationships being repaired after cheating, from personal experience that is not the case. At your young age I would let it go and move on. It sounds like you will never be able to forgive her, you ve lost trust and respect for her. That is near impossible to get back. Even if you tried your relationship would never be the same again, what you had is truly lost for ever. It was more painful in the long term for both my ex and I to try and work through his cheating. We tried for nearly two years. It would have been better to let it go sooner for us.

I'm starting to think I made the right call and its nice to hear some reassurance from someone who has tried and regretted it

It just seemed to drag the pain out longer, we tried counselling, so did give it a good shot. Ultimately I could not forgive or trust again. It wasn t worth the pain, we had been together a very long time and invested alot in the relationship, and still I would say it was not worth it. You can always care for someone, but that does not mean you should be together.

Well,so far I have chosen to stay.My husband and Ihave been together for 16 years but married 13 out of the 16.I was a virgin when I met my husband and he is the only man ive been with ever.He had an affair in December of 2012,and I found out in January 2013.My heart is still breaking but healing slowly.Know wether or not its worth I am still unsure.My husband is very remorseful and is doing everything in his power to make it right but this is just something that cant be made right.Ive done all th research,read books,gone to 3 counselors in which 1 im still going to and hes great.He says its a personal choice.We have to choose what we want or how we feel.That unforgiveness is like an infection.It will make us sick and take over our whole lives which has pretty much happened.For me im trying to justthink about myself and my kids.Yes we have 2 children also.It was a one night stand,one time deal while he was out of town for work.Not saying it makes itless painful,it doesn't,but he has cut all ties off with her and has goneto counseling with me and has been honest with me,but I wonder also,am I an idiot to stay.Its like saying it was ok.I just am unable to make a decision right know but wanted to let you know your not alone.Alot of people have asked me if I didn't stay would I wonder the rest of my life if it could have worked?Yes.So,I would like to try so I atleast say I can.Right know you miss her and wonder if she is really sorry,Why not do that while you two are together.Right know your apart and your still wondering.Whats it gonna hurt if you try a second go around.Atleast you tried.I say go for it.Worse case scenario you cant do it.Hope it all works out.Keep me updated on how your doing.

I'm reading through my old stories and noticed you commented on a more recent one as well so I figured I'd give you an update. We are no longer together, she didn't cheat again, that I know of, but she's still the same person who made me miserable. She said she would do all these things and be the person I needed and it was just another broken promise. I herd something a while ago that really stuck with me "trust is like a mirror, once its broken you can try and fix it but it will never be what it once was." and I just decided I'd rather spend my life alone then spend it looking at a shattered reflection.

Hi backfire 459. I'm so sorry you are goinng through this. It IS one of the worst pains -emotional- one can go through...Forgiveness may come years after...when she gave you true, honest EMPATHY...something she might not feel now...cause she never felt it for anyone before....but yes, this people can change, if they want to. I have been cheated by someone I dedicated my life to, father to my three children, the love of my life....he had a sex addiction, a deep, deep rooted low self esteem, abandonement issues that resurfaced when we were going through difficult times with our oldest having said this...if you are as young as your profile says (18-21) or if this relationship involves NO children, you are not even married......LEAVE!!! It is not worth it. There will be someone else in your life that will love and respect you, someone whole, with no baggage. This will always be in the middle, is not worth it. I probably woud not marry my husband knowing what I know now, even though we are getting through, he had stopped the behavior 7 months prior to me finding out and such (it's been 10 months since I found out), this is always going to be between us, that is the reality. Yes your GF is a sick person, she is NOT doing this to hurt you, but again, I discovered this 26 years into my marriage, it went on for 8 years, right in front of my eyes....but if you told me that when we were dating, or even before having kids, he cheated repeatedly..I would not have cared about the reasons, or even if he was sick,.I would have left. IT IS NOT WORTH IT. This is their problem, not yours, don't make it yours. Leave her, tell her to get counselling, live your life....who knows? maybe you meet again in a year, she embraced recovery, goes to support groups, she acts differently, she is a different person, who knows? maybe then you go back together, but don't promise her that. Break up, this is her journey, don't make it yours too. is too painful, and you are too young. I hope I helped you.

you already know the answer,once a cheater always a cheater.In other words theres like millions of other girls in the world that woulden't do that to you ,find one!peace.

I hope it is possible to forgive because I am in that situation right now. I have been with my husband for 16 yrs and he just recently cheated. He is so apologetic and is doing everything to fix us. People make mistakes but its the ones that truely try to right Thier wrongs that are worth the risk.

i can totally sympathise with you, let me tell you my story about how i gave a second chance and had it thrown back in my face. i have just recently within the last few days been going though a similar hell as you. and all because i gave me 'ex' a second chance. i started seeing him last year just afer he had broken up with his previous girlfriend. he's not my type at all and we are two very different people but i still had a connection with him that gew more and more as we spent more time together. my world came to a end though after about 4 months when i dicovered he never broke up with his previous girlfriend and he was seeing her just as much as before. reading his messages to her ( i shouldnt of snooped but im so glad i did) asking 'are you staying round mine' to her response 'no becuase i stayed round yours last night and i didnt get any sleep ;) literally broke me. but i still stayed with him not letting on that i knew what he was really up to. i would go to the movies with friends and he would say , im going to the same place with friends also but my ex is going..ughh shes so annoying and will probably try and hold my hand (just so if i saw them i would feel sorry for him that she was being clingy?) well i eventually told him that i knew and he was pathetic making up excuses like, i never knew where i stood with you and i like too much attention, i was going to end it soon blah blah...well i didnt talk to him for about two weeks and then i missed him too much so i did go back to him. he was amazing and was so good to me but i was sooo insecure that he was still seeing her behind my back. he assured me that he didnt need to aas he had me but i kept seeing signs like clips being left by his bed, he would delete all his text from her:/ well i pushed them and my doubts aside and tried to forget all of the dreams i had of discovering them in bed together and laughing in my face. I came to realise that even though we were good together i had completley changed as a person and was sooo paranoid and insecure we as before i was lighthearted and care free. this weekend i went out to a bar with friends and bumped into the previous girl in the toilets ( she had previously mesaged me calling me a ***** and a ****) so this was awkward. she had only realised recently that i had been in a relationship with him and had done everything that she had with him (he was my first). he never told he just let her find out though rumours and friends so had painted a picture in her head of me being some super *****, when i know i am a nice girl. anyway the whole night was awkward with her being in the same place and when i got home i saw a message from her saying that she had been sleeping with my boyfriend even thought hey hadnt been together and that he said he loved her and is spoiling her for christmas and she can move in with him. he at last all my insecurities were confirmed and i felt better for having known it the whole time but a fool for giving him another chance. i spent a whole day saying the most awful and cruel and unforgiving things to him and and left it with ' you never made me happy' even though he did. i just wanted to hurt him. i have spent all of christmas crying and alone and trying to put on a happy face for my family but i dont know what to do with myself. i need him in my life and i feel like im currently going through withdrawel symptoms. me and the other girl are on better terms now though which is good as i respect her for telling me even though she just wanted to repay the favour, although doing it willingly to hurt another unlike me. i know he is sorry ( he threatened suicide becuase he hated himself so much) and i would give anything to pick up the phone and get back with him but i know for myself that i have to be strong resist becuase i wouldnt be able to survive if he did it again. I'm sorry my story is so long and i hope i don't shadow yours but i just wanted to share my experience and say that i forgave him the first time and took a risk but had it thrown back in my face literally. i will never forgive him for what he has done to me, i hate him but at the same time i love him so this has torn me into pieces. I also know that i won't find anyone else like him for the restof my life, and i know that i will be lonely for a very long time. but i have decided that i cant risk it again and that i would rather face the future with that to contend with than a cheating boyfriend who doesnt respect me and could be the death of me. thank you for reading I hope you feel better in time about your situation, im still in a dark place with no light whatsoever but hopefully one day i will see that there are plenty of other places to be that are easily within my reach xx

your right you won't find anyone else like him again, you'll find yourself with someone significantly better who would NEVER do anything like that to you. I can't say our circumstances are the same but you've definitely given me doubts, its just hard, as you know, to turn your back on what was once such a strong connection, and to force your self to stop having feelings. I told my ex that even though we're talking again she's on thin ice and I'm not guna put up with half the bullshit I dealt with last time. I just hope it works out this time though it seems like no one has a reassuring experience with this.

Do you love her? This is a trick question. Love is a choice. There is no perfect marriage, relationship or family. No one person is without flaws. What you have to decide is do you want to share your life, the good and the bad, with this person? If you do then you should take some steps in forgiving her. I am not talking about forgetting what she did, that will hopefully be pushed in the back of your memories later on in life. If you do decide to take a chance on love, PLEASE remember that everyday is a new day with its own rollercoaster of feelings. Bad memories have a way of sticking around longer and the bad memories will pop in your head just when you are smiling the biggest. Your mind is always your worst enemy, I believe if we would let our hearts think a little more often people in the world would be less selfish. I wish you the best of luck.