You’ve cheated on your husband and he left you. You’re consumed with guilt and utterly baffled as to how to make things better if that’s even possible. What are you supposed to do to get him back and salvage your marriage?
Even though it feels like the end of your marriage when your husband left you after you’ve cheated on him, it doesn’t have to be this way. It’s possible to come back from this and repair the damage provided you’re willing to stop the affair and make necessary changes in your marriage. The cheating was your choice for sure. But, to get your marriage back on track, you’ll your husband’s forgiveness and support since marriage is a two-way street.
So if you’re wondering if your relationship can go back to normal after cheating and if yes, what should you do to get your husband to take you back, keep reading. You won’t be the only one to regret cheating and I’ve seen marriage come back from a lot worse.
I would suggest taking the marriage assessment quiz. Both the cheating and the separation might be symptoms of a deeper root cause which might be where you need to focus your energy.
What should I do if I cheated on my husband?
I know you’re eager to get things back where they were but first things first. You need to get him to forgive you or at least think of forgiving you. Let’s look into the steps to ask for forgiveness.
End All Communication With the Other Person
Pull the plug on your affair right away. Don’t fall for those ‘one last time’ traps while you’re trying to get closure. That never ends well. If anything, you might get caught up in the moment and end up having sex with him again. Rather just call or text him to end the affair and block his number.
You can ask your husband if he wants to be there when you do it so that he can see it for himself. If he won’t talk to you at the moment, let him know through a friend or leave him a message. He won’t respond? Just end it and text him it’s done.
Respect His Wish to be Separated for A While
A temporary separation might feel like you’re losing him forever. But, maybe that’s what will save your marriage if you can use the time apart productively. His world has been rocked and the affair has marked the end to the married life as he knew it.
He needs time and space to process the pain and anger so that he can put things into perspective. The affair has changed his perception of you and you can’t force him to change it back right now. Let him deal with the frustration in his own way before you start scheduling meetups with him again.
Identify and Work on Root Causes
Take this time-out as a blessing in disguise. The affair was your choice but surely there were underlying causes that led you astray. Use this time to take a step back and get perspective on your relationship.
If and when you two get back together, that’ll help you to work on those issues so that you can avoid going down this road again. Take help from a licensed therapist if things get too overwhelming for you. Prioritize your relationship and be committed to doing whatever it takes to rebuild it.
Don’t Lose Yourself in The Process
It’s imperative to take care of yourself when you’re dealing with all of these. To put things behind, you need to forgive yourself as well. Pondering over the slip-up is normal and that’s how you’re gonna figure out how you’ll avoid falling into this rut again. Sure it’s not a guilt-free pass.
But, focusing only on the past will restrict you from giving the relationship your best shot. So, go out with your girlfriends, go to the gym and sleep well. That’ll make your husband see you as a strong, independent woman who wants him back not because she needs to but because she wants to.
Getting Him to Take You Back
You can’t let him stay away forever and will need to take action to get him to take you back. Let’s get to that, shall we?
Don’t Do Anything Rash
You’d like nothing more than undoing what you’ve done. But since you can’t do that, you’d have to accept that you can’t rush him into forgiving you. It’s a gradual process and you don’t want to make things worse by pushing him too hard.
It’s in your best interest to give him some space after he’s left. If you keep pressuring him into coming back right away he might start avoiding you and stop picking up your calls altogether. Rather go with the flow and let him process the pain you’ve inflicted upon him by cheating.
Own up to Your Slip-up
Maybe your marriage wasn’t ideal and your partner wasn’t there when you needed him. But, that doesn’t justify you trying to get the love and affection from someone else. So, if you want your husband to take you back, take full responsibility for your blunder.
Request him to meet you just once and apologize. Let him know that you are not going anywhere and willing to do whatever it takes to restore his broken trust. Don’t give him a timeline to heal. Don’t reciprocate if he loses his temper. Stay calm and stay the course.
Start Meeting More Frequently
Now that he’s had some time alone to process his emotions ask him if he’d want to come over for dinner so that he could see the kids.If he doesn’t want to come home yet, meet him in a park or somewhere you can talk to him peacefully.
Tell him how much you miss him and want to make things right. He might not want to talk about it. Let him be. But try to keep meeting like this even if you two just sit quietly when you’re at it. Once his anger starts melting, ask him out on a date.
Express Your Remorse the Right Way
Your husband needs to be convinced that you’re coming from a place of remorse rather than mere guilt. You may have said sorry a thousand times already and don’t mind saying it every day if that’s what he needs to take you back. But, will it work? I’m sorry that only ‘sorry’ won’t cut it this time.
You’d have to be willing to live out your apology. Research shows that to heal from infidelity, a sincere apology and genuine reparation should be made by the cheating partner. So, make sure your husband can see, hear, and feel your remorse so then he can be able to start trusting you.
Don’t Beg Him to Come Back
Doesn’t matter how much the loneliness and guilt make you want to beg him to take you back, don’t give in. While you can make him want to come back by providing constant reassurance and genuine remorse, your best bet is to let him decide if and when he wants to come home.
You don’t want to come off as a needy, desperate wife who put her life on hold till her husband comes back. It’s hard to stay strong and do the right thing when you’re burdened with guilt. Surround yourself with your support system and let your husband see that you’ve got a life outside him.
Be an Empathetic Listener
Let him rant and rave when he is ready to talk. If he suppresses his feelings, that’ll come back to bite your marriage later. Be Empathetic and try to look at things from his perspective. Even if he gets really mad, try to be supportive and validate his feelings instead of overlooking them.
If he wants to know the details of your affair, don’t play coy or get defensive. Answer all of his questions, doesn’t matter how uncomfortable you feel talking about them. Don’t lie if he wants to know how it started and how long it has been going on. Look him in the eye and be brutally honest.
Be Yourself and Be Consistent
You need to be consistent with your efforts to fix the relationship and earn your partner’s trust again. Keep up the commitments and promises you make unless you want to lose credibility. Keep making positive changes and provide as much reassurance as he needs.
But, don’t start doing things to overcompensate that you won’t be able to continue. He’d think that you’re putting on an act and that will drive him further away. Be your authentic self and keep loving him in a way that comes naturally. Write him a letter and pour your heart out to him.
Remember to be as kind and compassionate as you can. Don’t show anger or try to blame him for your affair. Let all the resentments go and be willing to start from scratch.
Can you really love someone and still cheat on them?
Infidelity certainly can be a sign of a loveless marriage. If you can cheat on your partner knowing that it’ll break their heart, you certainly don’t love them, right? But, it simply isn’t that black and white. If you didn’t love him, would you be wallowing in these feelings of remorse, shame, and self-loathing for cheating on your man?
So, YES you can be madly in love with someone and still cheat on them. While an affair could never be justified, it doesn’t always stem from falling out of love with someone. There are many factors that can lead a loyal partner to infidelity such as situational factors, unmet emotional and sexual needs, insecurities, etc.
So, you might be still in love with your partner when you cheated with another man given the fact that:
- It was a drunken mistake
- You’ve never been unfaithful before.
- You promise to stop cheating and will never do it again.
But what if:
- you’ve cheated on your husband before and he’s already given you a second chance only to find that you didn’t really change?
- you feel bad for hurting your husband but don’t really feel guilty about the affair?
- the thought of seeing the other person excites you and you don’t want to stop?
You might have fallen out of love with your spouse.
Can a relationship go back to normal after cheating?
Surveys show that around 60%-70% of relationships go back to normal after cheating. That sounds promising, right? The catch is both spouses have to be willing to go the extra mile and put in the work to make this work.
It’s normal for your betrayed spouse to expect more effort from you and provided you’re willing to cooperate, you stand a good chance of restoring your relationship. However, you gotta accept that it won’t happen overnight.
According to experts, it takes around 18 months to 2 years for a betrayed spouse to completely heal. So, be patient with him and show your unwavering commitment to regain his trust. Not only could your relationship go back to where it was, but this study also suggests that couples who move past infidelity, experience an increase in their relationship satisfaction.