So you cheated on your partner. You went behind their back, betrayed their trust, and shattered their heart into a thousand pieces, and they found out.
You messed everything up, and you messed it up badly.
Your boyfriend likely learned about your infidelity in a disturbingly unpleasant way, and things are now painful and mentally exhausting for both of you.
He wants you out of his life and heart – but you’ve seen the error in your ways and are prepared to do everything in your power to make everything go back to the way it was before.
So what should you do?
Here are the 15 steps to take to properly apologize to your boyfriend for cheating on him.
1. Cut off ties with your “side piece”.
Before you do anything else, you must part ways with the person you were having an affair with. You don’t have to storm out or have a loud and miserable breakup, but you should let them know that you cannot be associated with them anymore.
Of course, if this person is a coworker or someone you can’t permanently remove from your life, you should nevertheless keep your interaction to a bare minimum.
You must ensure that you can no longer text or call them out of the blue, and you must shut down all conversations they try to initiate.
If there’s a chance that your boyfriend has no idea of your affair, you should let him know anyway. This is the first step in asking for their forgiveness.
Confessing before you get caught makes your apology more sincere and impactful because it shows your partner that you’re truly sorry for cheating – and not just sorry you were caught.
If he confronts you about not telling him sooner, understand he is coming from a place of hurt. Tell him that you’re sorry you didn’t tell him sooner and that it was hard for you to keep it in any longer.
3. Discuss your feelings.
Give your partner a thorough explanation of the circumstances that led to the affair and what occurred during it. Be as transparent and honest as possible while still being considerate of his sentiments.
Unless they’re relevant to your relationship, stay away from the complicated details. Ask him what he is interested in knowing and what kind of information is too much for him.
Highlight the affair’s adverse and unsatisfactory aspects and explain the psychological and emotional process of terminating it.
Discuss any personal revelations you have about why you cheated, as these kinds of insights can make you break this habit.
4. Explain your actions but don’t try to justify them.
It’s possible that your cheating was caused by problems in your relationship, so it’s a suitable time to discuss areas where you’re discontent or disappointed. This should be part of the confession and recovery period, and you can figure out how you and your partner can strengthen them.
Explain to your partner how your affair stemmed from discontent in your relationship. However, never gaslight him or tell him that it was his fault.
It is nobody’s fault but yours that you cheated – and you should own up to it. You should have dealt with these problems within the relationship with your partner rather than looking for help somewhere else.
5. Accept responsibility for your mistakes.
Confessing your mistakes is the best way to say, “I’m sorry.” The main reason someone is angry with you is that you haven’t admitted how much you’ve upset them; therefore, the best way to resolve a conflict is to admit your mistakes.
Make it clear to your partner that you’re sorry because you’re aware of your actions toward him. This act will increase his empathy for you and make him more inclined to forgive you.
When you acknowledge his suffering, the conflict will be over.
6. Show your remorse.
It’s one thing to admit your mistakes, and it’s quite another to express regret. Feeling bad about what you’ve done puts you in the shoes of the person you’ve wronged. It demonstrates that you are aware of their distress and are looking for solutions.
You can show your remorse by promising your partner that you will never do it again. Furthermore, you must take active steps to keep your promise and alleviate the pain you have already caused.
7. Assess your own feelings about your cheating.
The next step is something you must do on your own and has little to do with your significant other.
Begin by evaluating your relationship issues and attempting to understand why you did everything you did. This is likely to be one of the first questions you’ll be asked when confronting your partner, so be prepared.
- What were you looking for that you couldn’t find in your relatipnship?
- Have you ever felt emotionally abandoned?
- Or you were attempting to recompense a loved one for something they had done in the past?
- Maybe you weren’t thinking straight and have no idea why you did it?
Even if you figure out the answers to each of these questions, you are still guilty. Cheating is never an option, regardless of what was going on in your relationship- however, this will allow you to have enough clarity for the next step.
8. Determine whether the relationship is worth fighting for.
After you’ve received all the answers above, it’s time to take a comprehensive look at your relationship.
Is it really worth fighting for – and do you think you and your partner will be able to work things out after this disaster?
Do you and your significant other have the courage and ability to start over, never looking back – or will your entire effort be for naught because you know deep down that it won’t be successful?
Ask yourself what kind of impact this incident will have on your romantic life and how willing your partner is to make it work again.
9. Apologize without expecting anything in return.
You’ve been through a lot together and have spent a lot of time together. If you were in a committed relationship before this incident, you and your partner must have made great plans for your future.
That is why your cheating has cut them so deep. No matter what the situation is right now, both of you were indeed in love once.
Once you apologize, don’t think it’s your right to be forgiven. Your partner is experiencing a world of hurt – and they will take their time mulling over your actions (and rightfully so).
Even then, if he doesn’t forgive you, understand that it’s his choice completely.
10. Don’t guilt him into forgiving you.
While it’s important that you convey your feelings accurately and apologize profusely, it isn’t right to make demands. Don’t expect him to forgive you and suddenly bring you back into his life as if nothing changed.
Even if they have no intention of forgiving you, don’t insult them or change your story. They aren’t the bad guys here. On the other hand, you must stay grounded until the very end – because you are the one who made the wrong decision.
Also, make sure to express your regret in private. Avoid writing open letters and posting them on social networking sites or asking your friends or relatives to talk to him.
Coercing him will not get you anything.
11. Prepare for the worst-case scenario.
Don’t take your boyfriend for granted. Entertain the possibility that he may never forgive you, and that this might be the end of your relationship. After all, many relationships end because one of the partners was unfaithful.
From the moment you decide to cheat on your partner, your boyfriend might leave you because of your actions. If he does choose to leave you, don’t blame the breakup on him or think that he was unwilling to compromise.
Regardless of the outcome, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you did all you could and tried your best. On the other hand, if your partner chooses to forgive you, remember to appreciate it more than anything else and to put them first in your life.
12. Don’t expect everything to go back to normal.
The harsh reality is that even if your boyfriend does forgive you and puts effort to restore things to normal, it won’t be the same ever again.
His trust was betrayed, and your entire relationship was jeopardized. In that moment of weakness, you prioritized cheating over saving your relationship.
Everything you two had and all the love you shared is in jeopardy, so don’t expect your partner to start acting normal again right away. Entertain the possibility that while you might stay together, the dynamics of your relationship have changed forever – and you’re going into uncharted romantic territory.
You’re going to have to find ways to rebuild the trust in your relationship and really put in the effort.
13. Take counseling into consideration.
It takes a lot of effort to forgive a cheating partner, rebuild confidence, and save a relationship after an affair. It is, however, possible.
When you’re scrambling to determine how to offer an apology after cheating, and your boyfriend, fiancé, or spouse isn’t sure how to forgive you, professional counseling is a perfect idea.
This is nothing to be embarrassed by. After all, there are qualified professionals and specialists available to assist you and guide you in the correct direction in these unfortunate circumstances.
In fact, if your partner suggests therapy and couple’s counseling, take it as a sign of good fortune. It’s a sure sign they want to make things better and want you two to work together to save the connection.
14. Make sure he knows how badly you want him back.
Demonstrating the depth of your regret is critical to resolving conflicts. If you made mistakes that you can’t undo, telling your partner how badly you want them back will help you communicate your feelings more effectively.
Showing him how desperate you are to solve the problem and the lengths to which you’re willing to go to resolve the conflict is a good way to apologize to your boyfriend when you’ve exhausted all other options.
15. Work on restoring trust.
If your partner has agreed to make things work, then you’re one of the lucky ones. Absolutely guarantee your partner that you are full of remorse and that you want to make things right with him.
Give him a litany of reasons why he is the partner you want, how your relationship with him is your main priority, and how you’ve changed yourself for good.
Motivate your partner to express his opinion about your cheating and ask about what he requires from you to regain his trust. Make sure you know when lying is and isn’t okay in a relationship, and communicate that you are looking to do whatever it takes.
Check out these 20 Things You Need to Do if You Cheated for more ways to show you’ve changed.
Why It’s Hard To Forgive A Cheater
While it is true that there are couples who work things out despite the odds stacked against them, recovering from infidelity isn’t easy for every couple. Despite their most sincere effort, couples often fail to look past the affair and resort to a passive-aggressive end to an already emotionally traumatic relationship.
Because the subject is so sensitive, most partners find it hard to wrap their heads around it.
Of course, it isn’t always possible for the innocent partner to forgive their guilty half. They might be constantly reminded of the act every time they look at their partner’s face. Or worse yet, they lack the emotional capacity to pardon the cheater, even though the partner has apologized profusely.
The Bottom Line
Cheating on a partner, no matter how full of love or loveless your relationship was, can have long-reaching and disastrous consequences. Most boyfriends never get over the fact that you forgot all about them and decided to sleep with someone else. Often, someone’s infidelity is just the thing that breaks couples no matter how hard they try.
Whether it was a drunken mistake or a choice you made consciously, be prepared for the consequences.