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Should you take him back after he cheated?

Updated on August 23, 2014
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at

He cheated, now what?

Taking him back after he cheated is not a decision that should be based upon another person's opinion. With that being said there is no right or wrong answer that can be given, but varying scenarios will cause one to lean more towards taking him back. Others will have most ready to throw his remaining clothes and personal items off of a third floor balcony and pray that it rains or the neighbor’s dog finds them. Based on that I’d like to offer up some advice that will only aid in helping you make the ultimate decision.

First understand that every relationship is unique. There will be people dead set in their beliefs about what you should and shouldn’t do, mainly close friend and family members. Your best friend may have been in love with a guy that ended up cheating. He even continued to cheat after he begged for forgiveness and she took him back but this doesn’t mean it will happen to you. The same point can be made for your aunt that has been married to the love of her life for twenty plus years to a man that cheated on her once, admitted his mistake and earned back her trust.

Anything is possible so don’t be so quick to jump to any conclusion and potentially trap yourself in a life full of heartache. But don't let your emotions cause you to miss out on the one mistake that turned your guy into the man he was meant to be. Below you will find arguments both for and against taking back someone after they cheated and hopefully you can make a decision considering both sides.

Image courtesy of Marin at
Image courtesy of Marin at

Something to consider

Did he cheat in a previous relationship? I’m sure you’ve heard the saying once a cheater always a cheater. Unfortunately this seems to be true in most cases. He may have admitted it to you so that you know for a fact he’s strayed before. Now is the time to take that piece of information into consideration. It’s possible that this is a pattern therefore no good can come out of taking him back. He did it before, he has done it to you, and he will do it again if you let him.

Or, maybe he didn’t admit this to you and presented himself to be the kind of guy you can trust. If so and this was really the first time at least try to find out what went wrong so that if you decide to take him back you will know what to work on as a couple.

Was it a one time deal or an all out affair? This piece of information is important. Whether this was a one time indiscretion or something that has happened over the span of a few weeks to months, time actually matters. People do make mistakes. So if he admitted the mistake and has not done it since that is probably a good sign.It doesn’t mean he won’t do it again but for starters it looks much better that someone who was busted after about six months of being with someone else.

Think about it. Do you really want to take back the person that looked you in the eyes and continuously lied to you day after day? Being with you one moment and then having intimate moments with another person and lying to them too.

If it was that easy for them to continue being deceitful for so long it will also be easy to lie just to get back in good graces with you.

Has he kicked the other woman to the curb? If you consider taking him back he will have to cut all ties with the other woman. And if he doesn’t understand that or disagrees with you then you might want to consider letting him go.

He should understand that this person has already come in between what you once had and that they pose a threat to the relationship. I mean he did cheat on you with this person so even if he makes all of the promises in the world that you have nothing to worry about I would worry. Why is he fighting so hard to keep this person around? He should be fighting for you and if that means severing ties with a friend of five plus years he should be willing to do that for you.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at

Has he done something to prove to you that he is serious about the relationship? Obviously he cheated and broke your trust but has he started to do anything to earn back your trust and show you where his heart is? And I’m not talking about calling and leaving messages full of sweet nothings. But that is a start so you can give him credit, just not too much.

At this point though, he will have to do things to make you more comfortable with his agenda while at the same time doing something that will make him uncomfortable. I’m talking about being transparent. Although you two aren’t officially together a man that really wants to make it work with you will treat your friendship like a relationship in order to make you feel comfortable.

For example if he was “working late” most of the time that he was actually having an affair, he would now be spending that time with you. Or going out of his way to call you from the office so that you know he is actually at work. Better yet he invited you to have lunch/dinner with him at the office (if his company allows).

Keep in mind that this cannot and should not go on forever. If you have to constantly check on his whereabouts, stalk him on social media and have tabs on him all the time then it's totally not worth it. That is a sign of a very unhealthy relationship and can be draining for the two of you.

Has he taken responsibility for his actions or is he still blaming you? The man that is still blaming you for the reason he cheated is not the man you want to take back. A real man will acknowledge his shortcomings and ask for your forgiveness.

Plus the man that says he cheated because you didn’t cook enough or you nag too much or whatever lame excuse he came up with will only find yet another reason to cheat on you in the future. To some extent your actions, or lack there of, could have had an impact on him getting closer to another woman, but the action of cheating was one made on his part, not yours. If you decide to take him back consider whether he has taken full responsibility and willing to do what it takes to win you over. If he continues to blame you and make you feel insecure then he is probably not worth giving another chance. Do not let him guilt you into changing the person you are to be with a cheater.

Did he confess or did he get caught? This one is also very important. Like I stated above, people aren’t perfect and we all make mistakes. So, if your man made a mistake, cheated and then felt bad about it and confessed it doesn’t make it right. But it does give off a sense that maybe this was really just a one time event.

On the other hand if your man cheated and eventually got caught you can’t help but wonder. If he hadn’t gotten caught would he have continued the affair? Chances are he would have continued as long as it was working for him. So in that case do you really want to have this kind of a person for a mate? I don’t think so.

Taking him back after he cheated is a tough decision. It’s a decision that shouldn’t be made immediately. So my advice would be to give it time. You need time to real the hurt and betrayal. And time will also allow him the opportunity to prove that he is worthy of being back in your life. With time you should also give each other some space. Most women want to keep a short leash on their man after he cheated but with space you should be able to make a better decision.

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