Regaining trust after cheating

AifeAife Posts: 990 Moderator

Hey everyone,

For some people it can difficult to forgive their partner for cheating on them because the trust that formed their relationship has been broken. Re-building trust after cheating can take time and involve a lot of hard work. What would your partner need to do to regain your trust after cheating on you?

Look forward to hearing your thoughts :)

- Aife


  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,769,851 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If a partner cheated on me I'd probably take it as a sign to reassess whether the relationship is healthy/worth-it or not. I feel like mutual commitment is important in a healthy relationship, and if you're much more dedicated than your partner then it could lead to having more conflicts of interest than usual. However, some people decide to hear their partner's story (why they did it, if they weren't thinking straight for some reason, if they show genuine remorse...) and forgive or let it pass for the time being. It is a set back in a relationship, but over time things should hopefully get easier. I think the feeling of "I love them more than they love me" can also be very hard to deal with, and the partner should try extra hard to show that this is not the case (ie. they should make effort to "woo" you again).
  • LaineLaine Posts: 219 The Mix convert
    This one Is rather difficult for me because I feel like I wouldn't trust them 100% again especially already having trust issues.
    I would of course listen to their side properly and ask if they have feelings for them instead etc. the struggle with cheating(for me personally) is that i'll never be able to 100% put it aside as i'll find myself thinking "are they going to do it again" and "do they really love me then?" if the relationship was strong I might be able to forgive them however it would take a lot of proof to regain the trust again x

    🌈Positive thoughts🌈 

    "Wake me up when it's all over,  when I'm wiser and I'm older"
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,769,851 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think this is a really tricky one. To have any hope of rebuilding trust then I would hope my partner would cut the other person out of their life. On the whole though it would just take time, I would want to see that they are trying to build trust just by doing little things consistently and by showing that they are thinking about how I feel. By putting more attention onto our relationship than they had before, trying to work out what the problems in the relationship were which meant they felt like they wanted to cheat.

    I'm not sure I could ever fully forgive someone for cheating, I think I might just feel paranoid about the possibility of them doing it again. However if I had been dating this person for a really long time and there had been a strong bond of trust prior to the cheating then I might be able to move past it. It would take a long time to get back the trust though.
  • GlennGlenn Posts: 52 Miniposter
    I would need to feel from them that they were genuinely sorry. Not sorry for getting caught or being found out but sorry for what they had done. Also, I would want to know what cheating gave them, what it was that was missing or lacking. If they did not know or couldn't answer I would not be confident they had worked it out yet and so would make me feel like they could do it again.

    It reminds me of a great ted talk I watched called "why do happy people cheat"
  • PositiveAuraPositiveAura Posts: 150 Two little ducks
    Hi everyone! :)

    You've all got some good thoughts on this. It is a tricky subject, especially if you are in love with that person.

    What an interesting TED talk @Glenn :chin:

    ​For me, it's more about seeing if the partner that cheated actually wants to be with you and making sure that you want to be with them too.

    ​Unless you are in an open relationship or have different boundaries, cheating means that that person has gone to seek and be with someone else. And I know that relationships all have their own obstacles and problems but if there has been unfaithfulness, then I don't think that both people can be completely happy.
    I always think, maybe there is someone out there for both people who would only want them and could make them truly happy?

    Maybe the partner that cheated is seeking something else, something different? An open relationship? Another life path? Someone else? Maybe they need to go and find themselves or explore their sexuality? This is all fine, but I think if this is the case, staying in the relationship may not be the answer and the one that was unfaithful can go and seek what they need. And at the same time, the person who was cheated on deserves to fulfil their life too and get what they want. :)

    ​But, all of that being said...If it was that you are both happy and only want eachother, reassurance of this would definitely be the most important thing for me. I'd need to know that I wasn't holding them back from fulfilling what they want and I'd have to be comfortable that I was happy too. Over time, if it was a one off mistake, the trust may be built back up from here. :chin:

    There are just a few thoughts of mine, what does anybody else think?

  • SunshineSoulSunshineSoul Relationship Squadee Posts: 57
    Hi all,

    ​This is a very good discussion topic. I am sure most people on the boards have experienced some form of cheating before or has been the one to cheat and even if not, it is a common concern we have in our relationships.

    ​Personally, I have a very black and white view on cheating in my own relationships and that is that life is too short to be with someone that wants to be with someone else. I understand that all relationships are different and sometimes people make mistakes but ultimately when someone has cheated they have made a conscious decision to be unfaithful and go back on their commitment to you. As @PositiveAura mentioned a person cheats for many reasons and sometimes that person needs to not be in a relationship to explore themselves more.

    In the past I was cheated on by a partner and it sucked, I was heart broken and I thought we could make it work but unfortunately I always had a niggle in the back of my mind that it would happen again and I ended up putting myself down because I would constantly think that I wasn't good enough. Sounds fun eh? Well I learnt from this awful experience and decided to move on and although my self esteem took a hit I was able to forgive this person but realised that if she cheated in the first place she wasn't happy with me and there was someone else out there who could make her happy, and that was the same for me too.

    Fast forward 5 years and I've been in a happy and committed relationship since then and although it took some time overcoming trust issues, my partner made me realise my self-worth and I no longer worry about cheating. With that being said, if it were to happen in the future (I kind of contradict my own views here) then I feel I would want to make the relationship work - but I think the difference here is that I love my current partner in a different way to previous partners and feel that there would be more to lose if that makes sense? :confused:

    ​I also agree with @PositiveAura[/USER] that a one off mistake may be forgivable in certain circumstances and as [USER="99682"]LaneBoi said it would take a lot of work to regain trust , but it all depends on you and the agreement you have with your partner and how serious you are about the relationship.

    I look forward to hearing more views on this

    - Sunny :rainbow:
  • MegglesMeggles Unicorn. Posts: 742 Incredible Poster
    This is a difficult one for me, I have a lot of issues when it comes to trusting people, but I think i would have to to take a back step and think about weather rebuilding trust is even worth it. I would approach my partner and encourage an open and honest discussion. This would enable me to listen but also openly ask about their feelings towards the other person. I would also hope my partner would listen to what I have to say. I feel communication is really important in building a healthy relationship, a discussion would enable both to be heard and as said ' clear the air'.
    I think re building trust would be very challenging, but clear communication would be important to work out where the relationship stands. To trust them again, I'd have to know they aren't communication with said person, and be honest about it. I feel my partner would have to show he is actually sorry also.

    This topic is hard because i have experienced being cheating on, but in my teenage years and it was a straight out, I don't want anything to do with you again. Now that im in my 20's I feel completely different about how i would approach being cheated on.
    Does anyone else feel that age influences how they would approach re gaining trust after being cheated on?
  • AifeAife Posts: 990 Moderator
    Hey everyone,

    You've all talked about some really interesting things here about what your partner would need to do to regain your trust after cheating. The main theme that stood out from your discussions is the need to take time for trust to rebuild itself. A few of you have mentioned that if your partner cheated, you'd need to work on parts of the relationship that had problems and also communicate with them why they cheated. Some of you have also mentioned that you'd reassess the relationship and find out if they really want to be with you. These are all really important steps that can help rebuilt trust again.

    Something interesting that @LaneBoi mentioned, is that if someone cheated once, you'd be worried they'd do it again.

    Research has found that partners can get used to cheating. If your partner is a serial cheater, you’re less likely to worry about them cheating again than if your partner has only cheated on you once. What do you all think about this?

    Look forward to hearing your thoughts,

    - Aife
  • PositiveAuraPositiveAura Posts: 150 Two little ducks
    Hi everyone! :wave:

    ​It's been interesting to read everyone's thoughts!

    Research has found that partners can get used to cheating. If your partner is a serial cheater, you’re less likely to worry about them cheating again than if your partner has only cheated on you once.

    ​Well @Aife, cheating once is hard enough as it is, but it's better than cheating all the time.
    ​That being said, I can see why the research shows that people worry more if it's once.

    ​The definition of worry is: "feel or cause to feel anxious or troubled about actual or potential problems"

    Therefore we tend to worry more about the 'unknown'.

    ​By cheating once, some partners will promise never to do it again and are forgiven so both people work through the relationship. But there may be this feeling or thought of 'what if'. If you didn't know before, would you know if they did it again? Among many other fears or worries.

    ​But if you know that your partner is a serial cheater, you are already aware that they are probably cheating with somebody else. So since there is no potential problem there, over time people can sadly just accept it and see it as a 'norm' in their relationship.

    ​What does everybody else think?

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