There’s nothing worse than a cheating partner. Based on one move, a whole relationship can crumble. Sometimes the relationship is over the second you find out he’s been unfaithful. Other times, you may want to give him just one more shot. Here’s how to figure out which decision is right for you.
- Did he tell you immediately? If he told you right away, it means he’s ashamed of his actions. He knows that he’ll be lying to you every day he doesn’t tell you the truth. After being unfaithful, the least he could be is honest. If his intentions were worse, he’d pride himself on the fact that you didn’t find out—and he’s more likely to cheat on you more in the future.
- Was the situation premeditated? Cheating is cheating, no doubt about it. However, you may feel differently if your guy just happened to be in the wrong place and wrong mindset at the wrong time. If he sought out the other woman, flirted, and set things up himself the last few months, it means he had a long time to realize he was making a shady call. Consider forgiving the guy who says he won’t do it again and actually means it.
- Did his friends know? A guy’s friend should have his back in all situations except for this one. When you cheat on someone, you’re exposing your partner to a lot more than hurt feelings—there are also STDs and pregnancy scares to worry about. If he told his friends and they seemed fine with his actions then he’s more likely to hurt you again. But if his best friend called you up to clue you in, you can tell he at least hangs out with people who respect you and know his situation was wrong.
- Did he blame it on you? A bad boyfriend will tell you that he cheated over something you did. Don’t fall for this and don’t take a guy like this back. He’s a grown adult and his poor choices are all his own. If he was unhappy with you, he would have broken up with you before sleeping with someone else.
- Was it just one time? Again, cheating is cheating, and it’s completely OK to break up with someone if it only happened once. Once, for most people, is enough. But if you found out that he cheated on you three time with three different girls, would you wager that it won’t happen again? Probably not. Every situation is different, but the guy who made one drunken mistake that he fessed up to is a little more deserving than the guy who slept around multiple times.
- Did he apologize? And even more, did he actually seem to mean it? An “I’m so sorry” is only valuable if you can tell it comes from the heart. Otherwise, it’s just empty words. He’s probably more sorry that he got caught, not that it happened.
- Does he have a history of this? I’m sorry to say this, but if he cheated on his past girlfriend with you, it’s not because you’re his soulmate. It’s because he doesn’t see anything wrong with cheating—and if you dump him for it, he won’t even learn his lesson. Next time, try not to get into a serious relationship with someone who you know has a past of cheating, as hard as it may be.
- How well does he treat women? Ask yourself how well he treats the women around him outside of your relationship. Does he show love and respect towards his mom or sister? A lot of men who view women in a strong way are more likely to be in touch with a woman’s feelings. That might give you the extra perspective that you need. If he treats women like they’re disposable or lesser than, then he really shouldn’t be forgiven for this.
- Will he let you see his phone? When you’re tempted to snoop in your relationship, it’s usually at a much worse place than you may think. Your boyfriend shouldn’t be keeping secrets from you. If he’s open about you using his phone after admitting that he cheated, he’s more or less saying that he has nothing to hide from you anymore. He’s not keeping up a relationship with the person he cheated with and he’s probably genuinely sorry the affair happened in the first place.
- Is he actively making it up for you? Listen, a brownie or cookie from Starbucks isn’t going to make up for the fact that he cheated. But if he’s continually trying small gestures like this to make it up to you, he knows he did something wrong. Just remember to never let your forgiveness be bought, especially if you’re not actually ready to move forward from this. The relationship will only improve if you’re both willing to move forward from this.