Could you forgive your partner for cheating on you?

My Charlie - this is my significant other.
United States
November 15, 2007 10:30pm CST
I have been involved with someone for almost a year now. I am very much in love with this man. He's the kindest man I've ever known and treats me like a queen. I've never known a man to be so generous and loving, not to mention attentive. Before we met, he had been involved with a woman who took him for every cent he had, almost 20,000 and cheated on him when the money ran out. He was incredibly hurt and walked away with nothing. After we had been together for several months, he came to me and confessed that he had been thinking about this woman and had, in fact, spoken with her and had been thinking about returning to her. I know he didn't actually see her and he came to his senses and couldn't take the dishonesty. He came to me himself and told me everything. I forgave him because I understood that he had fallen hard for this woman when he met her and that he had come to his senses on his own and been decent enough to be honest with me about what had happened. I was upset, but not to the point that I couldn't trust him anymore. I understood that. Recently, however, I discovered that this man that I love with everything that I am, was becoming involved with a woman that he had met online. It went so far as him actually going to her home and spending brief periods of time with her. When I confronted him about it, he denied it vehemently, insisting that it was completely untrue. I have an uncanny ability to sense it when someone is lying to me and I KNEW he wasn't telling me the truth. I had known that he was talking to this woman for some time because I'd asked him about her. When I finally forced the issue by demanding access to his e-mail, he stormed out of the room and started packing his bags. I was absolutely stricken at the thought that he was going to leave me! I stopped him and insisted that he tell me everything and be honest with me. He's told me that he never slept with her, only hugged her once or twice and that was it. I don't know if I believe him and I begin to wonder if it really matters. In the past, I've spoken very resolutely about my opinions on cheating. I have always believed in "once a cheater, always a cheater", but now I find that I am digressing. I never understood the notion of forgiving someone because you loved them until now. Would you forgive your partner if they cheated on you? Would you let it go if they insisted they were innocent and couldn't prove it?
4 people like this
28 responses
@Ciniful (1589)
• Canada
16 Nov 07
I think it depends on the circumstances. Honestly, in your situation, and you're probably not going to like this, I don't think you're doing yourself a favor by putting your trust in this person. I honestly think you're setting youreslf up for a world of hurt if you continue to invest feelings in this relationship. It isn't so much the cheating aspect, it's the dishonesty involved. He lied to you, and you have no way of knowing that he isn't still lying. Personally, I don't think I could forgive my husband if he cheated on me. Thankfully I know I don't have to be concerned about that. After 10 years he's never even looked at another woman short of admiring a pretty face, even when things were very, very rocky between us. But if it ever came to that, I would walk away from 10 years ... simply because that kind of trust is 'almost' impossible to get back once it's gone.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Nov 07
I understand what you're saying, but ... I love him. Period. I never thought I would be one of those women who would overlook something like that, but suddenly I find myself doing just that. I don't know what will happen if I find that he does it again, but I don't think I would be able to get past it again.
@Ciniful (1589)
• Canada
16 Nov 07
Heh ... I was you once. I 'loved' someone despite the pain he put me through, despire the fact that I couldn't trust him or believe a word he said. That's not love. I know you think it is NOW, and I know anyone telling you different isn't going to make any difference to you. It's something you'll have to realize on your own, and unfortunately you'll only do that once it's too late. I'm very sorry for you, and hope you realize what's going on before rock bottom hits.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Nov 07
let's clarify something here. I didn't ask you what you thought I should do, I ask what YOU would do if it happened to you. I didn't ask for advice and I don't want it. You can't live my life any more than I can live yours and while I thank you for what I'm sure was well intentioned advice, I don't appreciate your telling me that I'm going to have to learn the "hard way". No two situations are the same and you can't measure my life by your own.
@Grandmaof2 (7603)
• Canada
16 Nov 07
I am just appalled at how many women are willing and able to forgive cheating husbands. Now I realize we're all entitled to our opinion so I beg that you don 't hold this against me but I'd kick his a$$ to the curb. How does he think it's "OK" to hug this cyber chick whether it be once for 100 times???? Are your hugs not good enough???? There's little sense in wasting your time on someone who has outside interest. Just my opinion. Thank You.
1 person likes this
@aowaow (1517)
• Indonesia
16 Nov 07
It's hard to pack-off the lust, but rather when love is always been an edgeless measure to be grabbed on. When you let the lust takes control, you are losing on no where boundary, you didn't know where you are now. But not with love, credible and see things properly. What he encountered now to this woman is more a shape of an avenge of lust to this woman. No one wants their most lovely part go away, before he knows what is the right reason. He is losing himself now, men's nature is just like rubber ring, one time they will very stretchy, they will give everything. Another time, they will get loosen, they will be disappeared, and no love will be given at that time. They lost contact with themselves, trying to find their self back with exiling in their dark-introspection cave. This will takes time before he really finds out what the core of this is, then if he did, he will let it go forever in satisfactory.
• United States
16 Nov 07
I would be very upset, but I would tell her to get the hell out of my life and never talk to me again. No reason to be sad, no reason to forgive. If they cheat, they need to go.
• United States
16 Nov 07
I'm sorry, but .... what you said makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. It doesn't apply and sounds like jibberish.
@aowaow (1517)
• Indonesia
17 Nov 07
Sometimes, we had to choose the worst...
@lilaclady (28238)
• Australia
16 Nov 07
I think it is a matter of trusting again which is the hard part, I think people can forgive sometimes they never really forget but what you lose when some one cheats is the trust and once that is gone I am afraid it is gone for good even if you think you can suspicion always raers its ugly head. It is not easy getting over a situation of being cheated on, to me trust is the most important thing in a relationship and so easy to lose forever.
• United States
16 Nov 07
You're absolutely right. That's the problem that I've had since I found out about this woman. I don't trust him to go anywhere except work and a quick run to the corner store. I know how easy it would be for him to get in touch with her without my ever knowing and, knowing that he did it before, I worry that it could happen again. The fact that he lied to me about it was the worst part of it. If he'd simply confessed when I confronted him about it, it would feel a lot different, I think.
1 person likes this
@lilaclady (28238)
• Australia
16 Nov 07
But remember sometimes a man can see the pain he has caused his partner and the extra trouble it has caused him and it can turn them off straying again but there will always be doubts on your side of things, once the trust is broken it can't be mended 100% but for you I hope he can pull himself together and maybe even put in a little extra effort to gain a little trust back at least... I wish you the best my friend...
@wolfie34 (26792)
• United Kingdom
16 Nov 07
It would strongly depend on the circumstance, and how strong the love is, it's whether you can forgive him for his dalliance and whether the relationship is strong enough to survive, to them the extra marital affair could mean nothing a one off, it's whether the trust can hold, because without trust there is no relationship. You need to get to grips with WHY he cheated and you need to think about whether it is worth ending the relationship, by using both heart and brain not just the heart to determine whether you should forgive or not.
• United States
16 Nov 07
Thanks Wolfie. Once again, you make a lot of sense and I appreciate that.
@eyewitness (1577)
• Netherlands
16 Nov 07
I think that i depends on the situation wether you forgive your partner on what.But can you ever trust him/her again? If you say no to that answer you can forgive the partner but never get back with him,because what is a relationship without trusting eachother.If you can say yes than your relationship must be very strong.But i think you're doing great because you look at the whole picture and not to just a moment.
• United States
16 Nov 07
Thank you. I felt so strongly about the fact that I didn't want to lose him or our love for each other. I know this man loves me and I know that I love him more than I've ever loved anyone before. I've long been disgusting and deeply disheartened by the ease with which people are will to simply discard their relationships in this day and age. There was a time when marriage vows and love meant something and people held to them. I believe those were better times, I think. After all the responses that were so negative, taking the "he's a cheater, how can you forgive and forget?" tact, I found it very refreshing and a huge relief to finally get someone who understood. Thank you.
@lucky_witch (2711)
• Philippines
17 Nov 07
Well, you could tell to yourself if he is telling the truth. Do you believe that love sometimes mean letting go? Ok you could keep him and forgive him, but will it make you happy? Can you trust him again? I believe how much you love him... you can give him a chance, a last chance... maybe it was a pure mistake( though I doubt it), but please do not make it to the point that you are already forcing yourself to believe over something that you believe is not true anymore. Leave yourself a little love and respect and you will be on the right track.
@tryxiness (4548)
• Philippines
17 Nov 07
That really depends on you. On the extent on how you take his word as the final say. I hope you will be fine. When you feel like he is abusing your kindness already, let go.
@Jasmine78 (135)
• United States
17 Nov 07
No, I will never forgive him if what you said happens.
• United States
17 Nov 07
take your time and spend a lot of time just having fun and build up your trust..right now you are not sure of your partner..do not throw away the baby with the bath water...don't rush into anything but keep your eyes and ears open..it is obvious you care about this person so give him the benefit of the doubt...no..no ..no..it is wrong to say once a cheater always a cheater....we all are weak sometimes..the spirit is strong but the flesh is weak...you are not perfect either so try not to be so judgemental
@talisman (1308)
• United States
16 Nov 07
You may love this guy, but he obviously doesn't love you. What you believe(d) in IS true, once a cheater, always a cheater. Why would you want to remain with someone who cheats and doesn't love you? You'll just continually be hurt. Get out now. Not only does this guy not love you, but it also sounds like he was rebounding with you. You've been used, move on.
• India
16 Nov 07
well unfortunately i share the same trauma...Even my partner cheated me...V have been into the relation for more than a year now and jus 3-4 days ago he said that he doesnt have any feeling left for me...he lacks the chemistry between us n feels that v wud suite more as friends rather than being into the relation...He says that the relation doesnt have any future and he is not ready to keep such thing between both of us and mite b able to handle the relation after 3 yrs possibly...Hearing this i was completly shattered..i shared an unconditional love with this person and he jus devastated dat within a moment...I cudnt accept the breakup...For 2 days i shared very bad hatred feeling for him...i felt like i was the dumb person ever on the earth to love such a cramp...but then thinking about what happened i realised that was my love so feeble that hatred is more important to me rather than the unconditional love i had in my heart for him...I love him truely n v r very good friends for now...but i still nurture feeling for him...i sounds foolish but i loved him and it isnt a matter of some days that i wud 4get him....i dont even want him to compel to love me jus for my desire...but i still wud be loving him n caring for him coz he is special for me...
• United States
16 Nov 07
I say that I wouldn't take him back after cheating on me but I don't know if that would be the case if it really happened to me. I just think that you have to be in that situation to be able to know if you would forgive and take him back or not. I would forgive him because I've always been taught to forgive people. I would be sooo hurt though and I don't know if I'd be able to trust him again. Trust would be my biggest issue if something like that happened to me. So honestly I'm not sure what I'd do in that situation and I wouldn't know unless that happened to me.
16 Nov 07
Put plainly and simply, no, I would not return to someone that had cheated on me, regardless of how much I loved them. I know you want to put it off, as much as you possibly can, telling yourself things like 'I have no proof' or 'Everyone makes mistakes', but you're simply procrastinating, I'm afraid. I've been in a similar situation to you before, but with a man who also had violent tendencies, so I understand that you feel you're almost over-reacting, but there's no way you'll be able to trust him again, now, and once the trust is gone, there's no foundations for a relationship left.
@moneyandgc (3430)
• United States
16 Nov 07
This is a tough one. I personally have a hard time with forgiveness and trust. Do you feel like he cheated on you or just that he has the capability to do it? I think now that this is in the open, if it were me (and it has been) I would be paranoid every time he left the house. It is a terrible feeling. If I truly wanted this relationship, I would sit down and have a heart to heart about what happened. Probably more than one. I would need to find out why he felt the need to turn to someone else (even if it were just for friendship)and why he either couldn't tell me about it first, or break it off with me. These are things I would need answers to before I even thought about forgiveness or moving forward.
@Sillychick (3279)
• United States
16 Nov 07
Having never been in that situation, I can't say definitely whether I would forgive or not. I think it would be very, very difficult. I have trust issues, so breaking that trust, in any way, is something I always have a hard time with. I guess whether or not to forgive would depend a great deal on how he responds to the situation. If he took full responsibility, showed remorse, promised it would never happen again, and agreed to let me monitor him for an undetermined amount of time- until I felt I didn't need to anymore- then I would try to forgive and get past it. If he didn't take responsibility or if he got mad at me for having a hard time getting over it, I would not be able to live with that.
• United States
16 Nov 07
I also believe that "once a cheater always a cheater". Until now, I stand by that. It's very hard to trust your partner again and TRUST is a vital part in a relationship. Maybe I'm the type who is very unforgiving and I don't give second chances especially when third party is involved.
• India
16 Nov 07
There is only one answer NO
@ummiter (13)
• China
16 Nov 07
Yes,I will.We are just human beings,not the GOD.So,I will do it.
@wisedragon (2330)
• Philippines
16 Nov 07
Sorry but I'm pessimistic about this. I find it hard to believe that a man would search to meet a woman online and go to her house just to "hug" her. That's just too funny! And if he wasn't hiding anything, he wouldn't hesitate to give you access to his email. After all, that would be the best proof that he's not cheating. If my girl asked me for my email password, I would give it in an instant.