Taking back a cheater is something I never thought I’d do. I always wanted to be that strong woman that was able to stand up for myself and kick an unfaithful partner to the curb, but then there I was taking my ex back after they cheated. I learned A LOT from doing this, and although I wouldn’t necessarily recommend taking anyone back if they cheat, I also wouldn’t say you should completely snub them if you’re not ready to give them up. If you find yourself in this position, here’s what you need to remember:
Things will never be exactly the same. I know this isn’t a shocker, but your relationship will never look like it did before they cheated. Of course, relationships change all of the time, and if it isn’t this hardship, it will be another. But, the couple you were before the cheating no longer exists, so don’t try to get your relationship back to that. It won’t happen.
You don’t have to let it define you. Theye cheated, they made the mistake, they came crawling back. You did not do anything wrong and it isn’t your guilt to carry. Seriously! The minute you stop letting it have anything to do with how you look at yourself or feel about yourself, the second it stops weighing you down. Does it still hurt? Yes, of course it does, but it doesn’t need to control you.
In fact, it has nothing to do with you. You need to remember this. They did this all by themselves, and as much as it feels like it has everything to do with you, it doesn’t. They cheated on you, but that’s the part where the link to you dies. If you choose to take them back like I did, then you need to stop involving yourself in it. You weren’t there.
People are only human, and they do make mistakes. I am by no means saying cheating is okay because it never is. But, people make mistakes. Its kind of what we do as humans. The important part is drawing a line between him making a single mistake and you letting them do it to you again. You know the saying: fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.
I got over it eventually. Really. I think the most important thing I learned from taking back a cheater (that I am no longer with, I should mention) is that I did get over it. I went entire weeks without thinking about it, and our relationship grew and developed the way one does without such a transgression ever occurring.
But I never really forgot it. In moments of weakness, I thought about them and their choice to cheat. It happens no matter how hard I tried to avoid thinking about it. Sometimes it still caused fights when I let it get the better of me. The scar will never completely fade.
It gives you a weird, new boost of confidence. In a backwards kind of way, though. I got this interesting injection of confidence knowing they had messed up, gone to someone else and literally came crawling back begging for my forgiveness. They worked their ass off to get me to trust them again, to get me to open back up to them. There is something empowering in knowing you matter that much.
You’ll always worry they’ll do it again. But no matter how hard they worked, I always had a nagging thought in the back of my mind that they would cheat again. As far as I know, they never did, but the feeling of wondering if they would slip up, never left me alone.
It somehow makes you freer. After they cheated and I decided to move forward with our relationship anyway, I somehow felt a lot freer. I think because they had screwed up so badly, I felt like there was little I could do (short of also cheating) that would match them, so I stopped stressing about being a perfect girlfriend and just tried to be an awesome me.
Relationships can survive and even thrive following infidelity. To everyone out there who have been cheated on and walked away, I admire you. To everyone out there who are choosing forgiveness and trying to make it work, I admire you too. Neither is an easy choice. But to those choosing to try again, it can work. As long as you know what you’re up against and you’re willing to try to move past it, you can make it.
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