Do you think a relationship can ever be successful after someone has cheated?
Is it possible to make it through a problem as tough and hurtful as cheating? How hard is it to trust again? How should a person deal with the hurt and try to get past it? And how should a person try to make things better and gain trust again after they have committed such a crime against the one they love? Is there any hope for such a relationship?
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@lilyskye, Speaking from a place where I have never cheated or been cheated on (that I know, but I’m quite certain), I’d have to say that there’s just no way. You take into account the factors that influence it…for me, I would be shocked because it’s just something so big that I didn’t think my partner had in them, and to now know that they did.
I might be able to get passed it, and forgive, but I could never allow that trust to return. I just…man, if I knew of a way, I’d give it out and share with the world, because to lose so greatly is painful on both sides.
The only way I can see this being ok is if they both cheated within a similar time frame and to a similar extent. Only through this relation could they reflect on their actions and still see each other as equal partners. To have only one, though, is just…it seems so impossible to me.
There isn’t any hope for most relationships. That’s why it’s so interesting for people to try and be true. It’s like a game of emotions. Here’s an insensitive example – don’t make the relationship the only thing on your mind and be so needy, then you’ll be honest and not play the blame game. If someone’s going to cheat, let them cheat. Some people won’t have time for dealing with such bullshit so they’ll move on fast. True story.
This is definitely an extremely painful situation, for both sides. The relationship was “perfect” before it happened, and neither of us can explain why it happened. I am so completely devastated with my decisions in the past, and how it is affecting us now. I am afraid of losing such an important person in my life. We have been dealing with this for about 5 months now, and at times it seems to be going better, and then seemingly out of no where it pops up again, and he cannot stop thinking about it, which I understand… I have promised to be faithful, and I totally mean it. At this point, I am lost as to what to say. I have apologized so many times and in so many ways. I am the only one to blame for all of this. And it has put so much stress on both of us. I have put in so much effort in the past several months, and he agrees that I have been a great girlfriend, and he appreciates my efforts. I understand that if this is to work, it will take time. But I feel like he is giving up. I am wondering if it is even worth it anymore, on his side… He is worth it to me, and I am willing to continue putting forth work to make this better. But I think he is close to giving up. I wish there were a way for us to enjoy the relationship as it is now, and not be stuck in the past.
@lilyskye Hi sister, I think this would greatly depend on the relationship and the two people in that relationship. For me, personally, I do not think I could ever be in a relationship with someone that has cheated and broken my trust. I believe in free love and to love openly but feel that it can be given into a committed relationship, like, for example experimenting in sexual activity, if both people in the relationship are together it could be fun to have a threesome or an orgy. I feel the connection between you and your partner is strong and the energy between the two will get more intense and stronger when they are surrounded by others that are in love and feed off the love energy. Humans are attractive, my boyfriend and I are monogamous but open to expressing to one another when we think a boy or girl is sexy or beautiful in more than “She is really pretty” kind of way. We are ourselves and we do not trap ourselves. We are committed which is a big difference from being traped. I am not jealous because I trust him as he is with me. We respect and love each other but if for some reason he cheated on me it would be over because it would shock me so much that it would be to painful to bare seeing him and being reminded of the moment he cheated because our relationship was open in a sense
@lilyskye, Had you ever cheated before? In my opinion, and experience, those who have cheated once have done so multiple times. Only you know the reasoning behind it. There was sonething missing from your relationship that you looked to find elsewhere. That something might still be missing, and while you don’t want to lose him, you wont ever truly be completely happy or totally move past this. I hate to be negative, because I honestly never am, but I don’t think any relationship can survive cheating. All relationships require trust and that is crushed by cheating. I hope you find what you are looking for though.
@moozy, No, I have never cheated before. I guess the relationship was lacking some physical intimacy, but I had never thought about cheating. Unfortunately, the incident happened while I was extremely intoxicated (I have since stopped drinking) and while I know that is not an excuse, I know it played a roll in it. I have always been one to seek intimate attention. I feel that I may have been hurt more subconsciously, by the lack of intimacy between my boyfriend and I in the preceding months, than I had thought. And while intoxicated acted on that. I can honestly say though, that I love my boyfriend immensely and that I never meant to hurt him, never planned it, and I was completely shocked with my own actions. I feel as though I do not know the person that I was when it happened. I do not understand my own actions during that time period. And if I were conscious enough at the time to realize how much pain and stress this would cause, I certainly would never have done it. The past five months have been hell. And I am now worried that we have both put in so much effort for no good end result. Although I hope it has been worth it.
@lilyskye, it comes from a feeling of inequality. I mean, that’s just the way it is. If you can overcome the obvious void that exists between what they’d do for you and what you’d do for them…then it could work. For the other partner, it’s like trying to get over the fact that you didn’t do anything wrong but your partner STILL didn’t think they were enough for you. They cannot be made to see it differently, but rather, they have to find their own way to get to the conclusion.
@mercurial, anything is possible, but it is, by far, one of the most difficult tasks you can place in a marriage.
@lytning91, “They cannot be made to see it differently, but rather, they have to find their own way to get to the conclusion.”
I agree. I guess at this point there is nothing left for me to do except for to continue being the best I can be for him. It is up to him and I cannot change the way his brain is working, or how he feels. All I can do now is hope.
@lilyskye, cheating isn’t always as cut and dry as people make it out to be. Sometimes the cheater really does exhibit a lot of issues that they just didn’t have a healthy way of addressing. I think it must be a strong feeling of negativity to think about your decision to cheat on someone, and though people can say a lot about “well, you brought this on yourself so whatever,” that attitude doesn’t actually foster any positive change.
I think you should work out why you decided to cheat, but don’t allow yourself to be stricken with paralytic grief and regret. Accept the actions and try to learn from them so that you can be bettered for your current or future partner. You have the strength.
@lilyskye, I apologize if my first question sounded dickish. It didn’t really convey my message as much as it sounded like an accusation so I am sorry if it came across like that. Our subconscious motivates us through emotion and feeling and when we aren’t consciously thinking, whether intoxicated or sober, those emotions come to light. I’m sorry youve had to go through it all, but it’s possible that it’s for the greater good. I’ve been on the other side of it and it puts a lot of stress on the relationship that i wasn’t able to overcome in my situation, but maybe you can. If you need any insight into the things he might be thinking/feeling, I might be able to enlighten you if you guys aren’t ready to discuss it yourselves.
@asdfghjkl77, It’d have been nice if you read the whole conversation before throwing that out there.
@lilyskye, My first thought (not very helpful) is “well, guess you better not drink so much then”.
I have no experience in this, never cheated or been cheated on, so I’m trying to imagine how I’d feel if my girlfriend cheated on me. I don’t know the exact details of your scenario, so I’ll try to get both sides.
If it was mostly a strange guy who kind of “forced” himself on to her when she was really drunk (not like rape, but if she was only half into it and he was super aggressive and then it happend) I may be a little more lenient. However, I am very opposed to drinking and have no mercy for drunk people and them using “Well I was drunk” as an sort of excuse. If that was the case, I’d probably feel like trust was pretty dead.
If it was kind of mutual, she was drunk, met a drunk guy at a party, and away they went, I still think it’d be pretty dead.
If she was drunk and was throwing herself at another guy, game over. No returning from that.
However… Now that I think about it, I’d almost base these break ups on the drinking, not the cheating. If my girlfriend drunk to the point of doing something that stupid, that alone would be a game ender for me. If she can’t control herself, I’m not interested.
So on that note, how about it these scenarios were sober. I think it may work out. If she said “Hey, I want to go sleep with this guy” I may let her, and I may be OK with it (I’ve actually been thinking about that for ages, not quite sure where I stand yet. But I might be OK with it…) But if it’s cheating…. It would depend what she said/how she told me she felt.
Geez, even still thinking about it, it would almost be worse if she regretted it. I know I think weirdly (I’m sure most people are very different then me), and this is a strange way of thinking, but I feel like I’d be better with it if she didn’t regret it. If she said “Omg, I’m so sorry, I slept with this guy, I’ll never do it again” I feel like it’s bad that she let her emotions get away from her, and shouldn’t be controlled by her emotions that much.
On the other hand, if she said “Yeah, I met a guy, and I slept with him. He offered something that you couldn’t” I think that I’d be more OK with it… It was a conscious decision, not a spur of the moment thing, and it was thought out. If it was a pure emotional thing, then I’d never know if she would do it again. Who’s to say that another spur of emotion will appear. But if it was a conscious decision, then I feel like I’d still be able to trust her.
I know this is a long reply, and seems a bit like I’m just dropping thoughts (I kind of am), I’m just trying to share all my train of thoughts about cheating. I don’t know all the information about your scenario, so I tried to cover all the ones I could think of.
I think in life sometimes you have to make that decision of either forgiving and forgetting or just leaving things as they are. He may be deciding if things are worth sticking it out for. It might just be something that he can’t forgive and there’s nothing you can really do except respect it. I’m sure you never intended on doing something like this but sometimes there are things people just can’t move past and that’s when you usually decide to just let it go. I mean continuing to be with someone who did something you just can’t get past would just be insane.
My current boyfriend, when we first started dating, didn’t really cheat on me but the girl who had been pulling his heart strings for years finally told him she wanted to make it official since he was with me so he broke up with me. Literally two days later told that girl he changed his mind and we got back together. I was mad for maybe
a month or two but eventually you just have to decide to get over it or don’t. And that was over a year ago that it happened. Sometimes I even forget that it happened. So if he hasn’t moved on by now it’s hard to say that he ever will.
I also have a friend who cheated on her boyfriend almost two years ago and he still brings it up every moment he gets to trap her and make her feel bad. I just think that it’s insane to continue being with someone if it really bothers you that much. But also, everyone is different.
>>I also have a friend who cheated on her boyfriend almost two years ago and he still brings it up every moment he gets to trap her and make her feel bad.
@dammitmadison, that kind of manipulation is way worse than cheating in my book.
the trick is to move away from possessing people, and instead enjoying the time we have with them. but, if someone isn’t comfortable with that and chooses to promise to be faithful, and then cheats, that person broke “A” promise. Not “THE” promise. The idea that cheating is The Unforgivable Sin is a creation of society (hmm another entry for the societal conditioning thread . . .) even defining cheating is impossible. is staying up all night in deep conversation and cuddling “better” or “worse” than throw-away sex with a random stranger in a bar?
@xyver, I agree with your whole post. my wife chose to cheat on me many years ago and we got over it together. if she drove drunk with our kids? different story.
@lilyskye, it took us a few months to get past the pain, and a few more months to get past the “it just bubbled up” phase. after a year we were joking about it. we just had to keep being honest with how we were feeling, and making sure not to use those moments as weapons against each other. it ended up (like most tough shit that you get past) bringing us closer together. good luck either way, all I can say is stop apologizing (if he doesn’t know your sorry he never will) and do your best to put your behind in your past!
I think it depends on the circumstances, people, etc. In my experience, I had my, then boyfriend, now fiance, cheat on me about 3 months into our relationship. He didn’t tell me about it for 2 months later because he didn’t want to lose me. When he did tell me, I had to decide whether or not he was the “once a cheater, always cheater” kind of guy, or he had just simply made a mistake. I asked his friends, did a lot of thinking, and I ultimately decided to forgive him because I love him that much and decided he’s worth it.
BUT that doesn’t make it hurt any less, or be able to trust him any faster. It’s just something you both have to work though and give it time. It still hurts somethings, but I’ve reached that point now that I’ve almost completely moved on.
But like I said, that is just me, I’m a very forgiving person. Some people aren’t so, and thus would probably have a harder time moving on.
What in the world do you mean by “cheating”? Did you two agree that you would be sexually and emotionally intimate only with each other? If you did make that agreement, why did you make it? If you didn’t make it, what do you mean by using the word “Cheating”? Why in the world are you “shocked by your actions”? You got drunk, you had sex. Welcome to humanity. People are neither angels nor demons: We are people. We can be both demonic and angelic – sometimes at the same time. Anyone who is surprised by that is living in a fantasy world.
I find most of the difficulty in my own life has come from failing to recognize the world that actually exists because I have focused so obsessively on the world I imagined. I think you may be in the same boat.
The only reason your b/f hasn’t had sex with another woman yet is because the opportunity wasn’t right. Human beings are not naturally monogamous. We are idiots for believing otherwise. The fact that we are NOT naturally monogamous doesn’t *have* to be an impediment to having a terrific relationship. However, I can assure you: being dishonest is ALWAYS going to be an impediment to having a terrific relationship.
Clearly you haven’t even forgiven yourself (for being stupid, which is another way to say being human.) How then can you expect your boyfriend to give you what you will not give yourself?
Well, I do believe that its possible to move past something like this.. But he can’t do it right now. We live together (now looking like it was a mistake in the first place), and now I am in the process of moving my stuff to my parents house for right now. We agreed to separate and give each other space. I’m not sure if that means we’re done for good yet. But I do know that the best thing right now is for me to move out. We have both agreed that there may be some hope for making this work in the future, but not promising anything right now. After all of this, I know that I need some time to myself to get my own shit straight… For the past several months I have been only worrying about our relationship and about pleasing him. I have abandoned myself and I am tired of ignoring it. I told him that I am truly sorry and that’s all I can say. In our extremely long and emotional talk the other night I told him there is nothing else for me to do, I can’t go back in time, and I’m tired of “trying” to make it right. At this point, there really is nothing I can do except to respect his feelings. He doesn’t seem to want to try to get past his feelings about it or work on anything right now. And I understand that it hurt him that badly. So for now, I am working on myself. Its gonna be a hard week for me though, going through the moving process and all… And not having him by my side every night is going to be really tough. But on the bright side, I have finally found a job that I love and will be starting this week. I had quit bartending about a month ago because of the extra stress it was putting on the relationship and myself, and it was taking a while to find something else… And about my drinking, the incident happened over 5 months ago, and since then I have been doing much better and have not had another “blackout” episode. I do understand that drinking has caused the majority of the problems in my relationships. Not that I am an alcoholic, but I occasionally have gone past my limit while having fun, then it turns into no fun. I am looking forward to hanging out with my friends and building stronger bonds with them. That is something else that I have come to terms with lately… I will never have a really good relationship unless I have a good group of friends, a job I like, goals, and a forward momentum. I need to get rid of some issues and have more to offer before I “settle down” with anybody, including the boyfriend I have been talking about
@lilyskye, I can completely understand your last bit in regards to what you’ve come to terms with lately, the jobs, goals, forward momentum, and most importantly, the people that you have surrounding you. I’m in the unfortunate position of being at the receiving end of finding out about a short lived affair between my long time partner and an old ex-flame of his from back in the school days.
This actually eventuated just over a year ago, but I didn’t find out the whole truth about it until 2 months ago=( I made the conscientious decision to forgive him, and to work through it together, blood sweat and tears..but making this decision still doesn’t make the healing any easier, or make the pain go away. Having to face the reality (and all the gory details of the ordeal, whether or not one dares to ask) of what someone you love so much, did do to betray your trust, love and loyalty, is the most challenging bit of all. My relationship had always been the one in which my friends aspired to, our families are tight, we never had issues, or so much as a harmless bicker to our reputation as a couple, but then circumstances changed, there was a job loss on his end, which took a huge blow to my partners pride, we took in a family member who had alot of issues which took it’s toll on our family for a while, then there was my partners time consuming sports, and the extroverted and (drink happy) teammates that came with it. A new job presented itself to him, which was a blessing, but also a bunch of lowlife sponges with their dramas to contend with, a blessing?…not so much. At this point, my partner was being thrown influences and distractions from all different angles at the same time, and I know he was still some what depressed at what happened with the job loss, so he immersed himself into the new job and his sports, which took him away from home alot, and also drinking. Then enter the ‘other’ person, let’s say she approached at the right (or wrong, whichever you see fit I guess) time, my partner was pretty vulnerable at this point, and should I say WEAKEST. I’m not defending my partners actions for what he did, nor will I ever condone it, but I do believe that people are only human, and make mistakes, saying that you’ll cut a person out of your life when they’ve cheated on you, is easier to say than do, there alot of factors to account for when you are faced with a life changing decision. It took 10 years of him being faithful, before he became unfaithful, and I came to my decision, by taking into account all the hundreds of right things he’s done by me through out our relationship, rather than focusing on the one thing he did wrong. I hope your partner can find a way to make peace with what happened in your scenario, there are people out there that will always do things that may hurt you, it’s just deciding on who it is out there that is most worth suffering for. x
@fiberoptic21, I hear ya, but it’s easy to get caught up in situations where you cheat on someone you care for and love, especially if there are circumstances which push you into the wrong frame of mind, also when there’s a willing (and persistent) participant to do it with. But if you’re with someone who you know through and through, and is genuinely decent and well rounded as a person, and you’ve experienced more good than you ever have bad…it pays to give it a second chance. Mistakes are made, lessons are learned, problems are addressed, life goes on. True love evolves through different journeys, there are always gonna be roadblocks along the way, it’s up to each individual couple to learn how they work their way around them, but either way, they’ve got to do it together, or not at all. Everyone’s opinion is different, I guess it depends on what you’ve experienced in life =)
Wow! Wrong question.
Can a relationship be good if the parties think they own the other? Can a relationship be good if the parties care if the other cheats? Can a relationship be good if the parties try to control the other? Can a relationship be good if the parties blame the other for not meeting their needs and not making them feel special?
All these questions are the same and the answer is NO.
The best thing that ever happened to your relationship is the cheating. Now you have a real chance to have a good relationship with him or her. Now that you know you are not special, you have a chance to just enjoy experiencing him or her without demanding that the other meet your need for being special.
If you need someone you will never have a good relationship with them. Go into the woods and live alone until you learn to meet your own needs and feel confident that you can.