Opinion: Even If You Stay Together, There’s No Coming Back From Cheating

While deciding to work through infidelity is a personal and difficult choice for every couple, I firmly believe that cheating means the relationship has run its course—here’s why.

  1. Cheating takes a lot of time. Very rarely do these situations just spontaneously happen. The person has to make the choice and then they need to emotionally live with that choice. With longer affairs, it’s even harder to manage. Think of all the excuses the cheater has made as to why they’re not home that night—it’s a lot of mental energy to keep up with the facade. Still, they’d rather invest that time in hurting you for their own pleasure than to have an adult conversation with you about how to work on your relationship.
  2. When you date a cheater, you’re dating a liar. This is someone who has lied to you literally every day that affair has been taking place. Who knows what moments were actually genuine? When you find out your guy has been cheating, it’s similar to finding out your partner has a completely different personality than what they told you. Why stay with someone you don’t even know?
  3. They’re not sorry it happened, they’re sorry they got caught. So many affairs end with tears and apologies. The guy can easily tell you how sorry he is and how things spun out of control. Stop for a second—if that was true, he would have been the one who told you. This affair that he’s “sorry” about may have gone on for years. Those aren’t the actions of a man who really regrets breaking your heart.
  4. Because yes, men can control themselves. Don’t believe the hype that men are more sexual and that it’s in their nature to sleep with as many women as possible. It’s 2019, and plenty of guys know how to keep it in their pants. If he blames it on biology, who knows what other archaic solutions he’ll throw your way. Don’t be a sucker.
  5. You will literally never be able to trust him again. All good relationships are built on trust, but this guy just broke yours. That’s going to take a long time to repair, and if you take him back, every multi-day work trip is going to make you suspicious. Even a trip to the grocery store may make you raise your eyebrows as to whether or not he’s off being unfaithful. Why add that pressure to your life?
  6. It’ll be harder than you think to get the image out of your head. Say it out loud: your partner had sex with another woman. At least once—and there may have been other women he hasn’t even told you about. He wasn’t thinking about you at all when it all happened. That’s an image that’ll scar you for life and make you question everything. There are so many other guys out there who are honest and trustworthy, so any more time spent with this guy is just time you’re wasting.
  7. Relationships are hard but they don’t have to be this hard. When you’re with your partner, you’ll get into your share of fights. There haven’t been any couples in history that haven’t had a blow up at least once. Still, most people don’t need to worry about whether or not their husband is sleeping around on top of that. He’s not a child who’s still figuring out what the moral option is. He’s a grown adult who knows the difference between right and wrong.
  8. He literally put your life in danger. When he slept with another woman (or women), it may not have been protected. Sure, she could have been taking the pill or using methods to prevent pregnancy, but was he wearing a condom? If not, and if they’re not part of your own sex life, he just risked your life. Some STDs are treatable, others aren’t. However, he probably wasn’t thinking about that part at all because it’s apparent he doesn’t value you.
  9. Cheaters rarely even change. If you seriously give him a pass once, he’ll keep on cheating. “Once a cheater, always a cheater” is a true statement. And since you pretty much told him there are no consequences to his actions, he’ll know that he can use excuses with you every time. Have a little more faith in yourself. Do you really think this is the best guy you can get?
Karen Belz is a New Jersey native who is currently living in Maryland. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication with a focus in Broadcasting and Print Media Studies from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. Since graduating, she has written for sites like LittleThings, HelloGiggles, and Scary Mommy and is currently an e-commerce editor at Bustle.

When she's not writing, she enjoys making her phone run out of memory after taking too many photos of her dog. You can find her on Twitter @karenebelz or on Instagram @karenbelz.