5 Reasons to Forgive a Cheater

Love & Learn 13

heartIt's a question we've all asked ourselves: Could I forgive someone who cheated on me? Many will not hesitate to say they would kick the jerk to the curb, but is that really so easy, even in the face of betrayal? No it's not. Robert Pattinson is a prime example of that.

A lot of fans are wondering how he could go back to Kristen Stewart after her affair. As far as the world was concerned, he should have kicked her to the curb for that fling. But that isn't always the first move when you are talking about a long-term relationship.

While some people may think Rob is nuts for reconciling with the viciously dubbed "twi-harlett," it's easy to see why he didn't. It's hard to let go when there is still a lot of love there. Ending the relationship may not be the right choice for many reasons. Now some people in your life will criticize that decision, but bottom line is it's not their choice. It's yours. So here are five reasons people give a cheater another chance.

  1. It was a momentary indiscretion. I know this one will get a lot of eye rolls, but it's a valid consideration. We are all human after all and not infallible. Think about married country star Jason Aldean who was caught canoodling with former American Idol contestant Brittany Kerr. He blamed the hook-up on booze. "I had too much to drink, let the party get out of hand, and acted inappropriately at a bar," he said in a statement to fans. "I left alone, caught the bus to our next show, and that's the end of the story." I am sure his wife gave him hell -- as she rightfully should -- but she likely deemed this lapse in judgement not worth throwing away their marriage. Now if a person is a repeated adulturer, that's another story.
  2. You won't forgive yourself if you don't at least try to move past it. Regret is very hard to live with, especially when it comes to missing out on what could have been the love of your life. Now, I know a lot of people think that if someone is really The One, they wouldn't cheat, but I just don't think that's always true. It's okay if you want to try to work through things and see if the relationship can keep growing. If after a few weeks or months you can't move past his mistake and can't trust him, move on for both your sakes.
  3. You were on a break. Remember that whole Ross-Rachel debate on Friends? He slept with someone else while they were on a "relationship hiatus" after a fight. She considered this cheating, he didn't. Well, I am apt to side with Ross on this one. A break is a break. If you are not officially together, then you are both free to see whomever you choose. That said, once you reconcile, monogamy is a must.
  4. The cheater is sincerely sorry and tries to understand how you feel. One of the biggest problems with a lot of cheaters is that they refuse to admit they were wrong. They will try to blame it on everything from you guys not having enough sex to the fact that you two were bickering all the time. But if he is open about where he went wrong, wants to hear how you feel, and wants to earn your trust again, it might be worth a try.
  5. You have a strong, loving foundation. This is actually critical for any relationship to last, but especially when cheating is involved. You will need to remind yourself of the life you have built together as you sort through your feelings and your future together. Love doesn't conquer all, but it can conquer this if you are both committed.

Could you forgive a cheater? Have you?

Image via CarbonNYC/Flickr

cheating, commitment


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nonmember avatar blh

I forgave a cheater, bc I had a child with him and didn't feel like being alone. It was a horrible mistake. I feel the only reason to frogive a cheater is if there are kids involved and you can't afford to be on own financially. Id never even consider taking a cheater back under other circumstances.

Daniella Ivette Mendoza

There's NO reason to do that. Once a cheater, always a cheater. Period. Erase the cheater from your life, and move on, people. 

the4m... the4mutts

Fuck that. Some ppl may want to, but thats their deal. I.have never, and would never, forgive a cheater

nonmember avatar kaerae

I might forgive, just so he didn't still have control over me, but I sure as hell wouldn't STAY! You can forgive from a distance, it doesn't mean you have to be a doormat and stick around.

Misty... Misty.Dawn

absolutely not. Even if it was a momentary indiscretion bcus he was drunk. All that would tell me is he cant be trusted to go out drinking without me & who wants to be with someone they feel like they have to "watch"?? As for the #2 reasons, ill never forgive myself if i stay after the first time & it keeps happening. That would be worse than losing "the one" im one of those people that think "the one" wouldnt cheat. #3. A break wouldnt be cheating. Cheating is when there are clear lines of a relationship. #4. Even if he was sorry & tried to understand how i felt, he didnt care while he was doing it, so NO! #5. If we had a strong foundation, cheating wouldnt be happening. love wasnt enough to make him not cheat, its not gonna be enough to make me stay. **theres never an excuse for cheating. Theres not a reason thats justified. Some people choose to forgive, thats their business. Id certainly stand behind any of my friends who chose to forgive. But i definitely wouldnt.

nonmember avatar Vicki B

I have forgiven my husband. He made every move towards remorse. He is doing everything right. You never hear the success stories because no one tells them for fear of stupid comments such as "once a cheater always a cheater". I cheated in my past and I will never ever do it again because I am truly sorry I hurt that person, and could never do it again. I believe only true love can survive this. It takes a long time to heal, and we have a long time to go still. Our relationship has never been stronger, and we have never been closer. I whole heartily agree with #2. I would rather say oh well then ask what if, and I will never believe this time we have spent trying a waste. And I have found more support in strangers then family and friends. I've lost friends over this already.

Nikko... NikkosMommy820

I didn't think it was ever possible, but I did forgive him.  It was over 5 years ago, we were extremely young and I don't regret it.  In some ways it brought us closer together.....If it happens again I will make his life a living hell, however sidesplittinglaughter

nonmember avatar Jason

I think you must forgive to heal and move forward in life. However, that doesn't mean excusing the behavior or even reconciling. Forgiveness is something we do for ourselves, a decision to let go of resentment and all the negative feelings associated with the event.

nonmember avatar S

After 11 years of marriage, I was the stupid one. I was forgiven 13 years ago. We just celebrated our 24th anniversary and our marriage is stronger than ever. I do not want to ever hurt my husband again. I love him far too much. I thank God he was able to forgive me and give me a second chance.

Moonset Moonset

I forgave but did not reconcile.. I wanted to but my spouce did not. He said " I will never live it down" my family is still hurting because of this... Especially at Christmas;(

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