“Next to hurting my family, cheating on me is the worst thing someone could do.” — Robert Buckley
Relationships without trust have no value. You’ve worked hard to build something up with your partner… but all of it can tumble down around your feet in one quick move.
Saving a relationship after cheating is not easy.
You no longer have the solid base of trust that was keeping you together. You doubt each other. You can’t be sure that when either one of you walks out of the door, you’re not seeing someone else.
Some couples decide to call it quits.
Before I get into how you can rebuild trust, give that a moment’s thought. Is this a relationship that is worth saving? Is she the ‘one’ for you? Would your life be less without her by your side? If you can walk away and be happier with someone new or alone, is that the right move for you? Don’t be too hasty here.
Cheating is all too common. In this quick guide, I want to go over the ways that you can work to improve your relationship. All is not lost. However, you must be ready to make serious changes in your life and relationship if you want to move forward.
What Does it Mean to ‘Cheat’ When You’re in a Relationship?
Think all cheating equals sex? Think again.
I’m going to reveal how you can rebuild the trust in your relationship, but first, let’s talk about what it means to cheat. Most guys consider cheating to be sex. Yes, if you or she has slept with someone else (unless you’re in an open relationship), that is cheating.
However, it’s not all about the physical side of things.
Research from Scientific American sheds some light on what type of behavior cheaters engage in. The most damaging part of cheating is not the sex… it’s the emotional attachment to a new person.
Let’s take a look at the stats. The study into unfaithfulness found the following results:
- 62% of cheaters express affection toward their new partner
- 61% engaged in sexually explicit conversations with them
- 37% had intimate (e.g., loving) conversations with them
- 11% went all the way and said ‘I love you’ to their new partner
To make matters worse, the people less emotionally attached to their first partner were likelier to show more affection to their second partner. Break that down for a second.
If a person is not getting what they need from their relationship, they will look elsewhere. We’ve all been there — our eyes wander when we are dissatisfied.
We all have it in us to cheat. I’ve worked with a selection of men who would otherwise be faithful, loving partners. But when one part of the puzzle is missing, things change.
Why People Cheat When They Are in Long-Term Relationships
The age-old question remains: If you’re unhappy in a relationship, why not just leave? Why put your partner through the emotional hardship of cheating?
If you’ve never cheated, the above questions will ring true. Yes, the ‘right’ thing to do when you’re unhappy is to leave. But it isn’t always that simple.
When I am coaching clients, this conundrum comes up time and time again. Sometimes, men feel stuck in their relationship and don’t know how to get out. There may be children in the picture, a mortgage, or a wedding ring. There’s always something binding them.
That’s only one side of the story. Other men are happy with their relationship… but they are missing something vital. So, out of sheer desperation, they start looking elsewhere. The study from Scientific American highlighted the following reasons for cheating.
1. Anger or revenge
Hell hath no fury as a woman scorned — but the same goes for us men. If your partner has cheated on you or disrespected you another way, you might want revenge.
Anger is a powerful motivator. It strikes the best of us. Guys who see red often forget where their values lie. You might want to show her that you are in charge.
Hulking out is far from mature. However, I work with many men who have problems controlling their emotions. If you’ve got an angry streak, it might result in cheating.
2. Lack of Love or Affection
Solid relationships require love and affection. You might have had a real connection at the start of your relationship. You wanted to spend every waking minute with each other.
But — the sad truth of the matter — is that love fades. Say you’re in a long-term relationship: Chances are, there’s less sex, less love, and less affection over time.
That is the moment that people choose to cheat. When they aren’t getting what they need, their head can be turned quickly. Before they know it, they are in someone else’s bed.
Alcohol does wild things to our priorities. The most unassuming (even shy) guy can turn into a complete sleaze after a few beers.
One of the top reasons people cheat is that they are drunk… or under the influence of some other substance.
Waking up with a killer hangover and a regret-filled night is never easy. It’s a simple enough mistake, but it can ruin your relationship overnight. When your wife or girlfriend finds out, she’s unlikely to care how many drinks you had before you did the deed.
4. Low Self-Esteem
Attention equals confidence. You will look for it elsewhere when you’re not getting it from your partner. Too many men think cheating is the only way to get that boost.
Insecurity can push you to make poor life choices. But wait, you already know that.
You might not be born the confident man you want to be. It takes work to become an alpha male.
I work closely with elite clients to support them reclaiming their masculine power. Becoming the leader you were always meant to be is a long and strenuous process.
Men who have leveled up don’t need to cheat to give themselves confidence. They already have it — they are already comfortable in their skin and know it.
How to Rebuild Trust If You Have Cheated
Did you do the deed? If you’re the one who cheated on her, you’ve got some makeup to do. Spoiler: You can’t force her to trust you again. She might find it hard to forgive and forget what you have done. However, there are strategies you can use to get her back.
I’ll be honest with you. There’s no magic secret to winning her trust again.
Too many men want a quick fix, but that’s not the reality of the situation. But some approaches work here. I want to share some of the tactics I’ve seen get real results with women.
1. Be 100% honest about what you did and why you did it
She’s going to have questions.
Hiding from what you’ve done won’t do you any favors. It’s a mistake. You’ll have to fess up to everything if you want her to trust you again.
Now, she might not want to know the gory details of what you did and where you did it. You have to let her take the lead here.
Explain that you have cheated and are sorry, and let her dictate how the conversation goes. You owe her an explanation or two.
2. Don’t make up any excuses for your behavior
There is no good excuse for cheating. You need to learn that right from the offset.
You might think you can get away with it by explaining that you were drunk or angry about something. It doesn’t matter — and you’re likely to make things worse.
Sure, she might want to know why you cheated and she might ask you for answers.
If she does that, you need to be as honest as possible. Explain how you felt before you cheated, what drove you to do it, and how much you regretted it.
Never try to excuse your cheating. If you do that, she won’t trust you ever again.
3. Ask her what she needs to rebuild the trust
To get the relationship back on track, you need to be willing to make sacrifices. What are they? That is something that she can answer for you.
Be open with her and ask her what she needs you to do.
She might ask you to cut all ties with the woman in question, tell her more about your social activities, or even let her read your emails. So long as her requests aren’t out of order, see how you can help.
When you cheated on her, you stripped her of her power. That’s got to hurt.
Let her have some of it back by telling you how to even the playing field. Listen to what she needs now.
How to Rebuild Trust If She Has Cheated
Let’s flip the tables: What if she has cheated on you? If you want to salvage the remains of the relationship, you need to consider what you need. How can you trust her again?
It’s not going to be easy. But you will have your reasons for wanting to trust her again. You will need to work together to rebuild what has been destroyed.
Before you do anything else, talk directly to her and let her know you’re willing to give it a try. When you’ve done that, here are the approaches you can use to move forward.
1. Explain how the cheating made you feel
You’re hurt. You’re angry. You feel disrespected. Let her know about it.
Keeping all of these emotions inside is a recipe for disaster. Before you can start trusting her again, you need to be open about how you’re feeling and the impact that the cheating had.
There’s no room for screaming or shouting here. That’s just a representation of toxic masculinity and it hurts more than it helps to rebuild trust.
Have a frank discussion about cheating and how it has changed how you feel. She must understand how her actions have affected you. That way, she will learn from her previous mistakes.
2. Try to understand what went wrong
People don’t cheat when they are happy — at least, not usually.
If you want the relationship to be stronger than before, you need to understand what drove her to cheat. She might be selfish. On the other hand, she might have been craving something new.
Ask her what happened and why she made that move. Try to hear what she has to say with an open mind.
Don’t judge her. It’s already over. Sure, you might be hurting, but if you want to give things another shot, it’s worth looking for ways you can both improve.
3. Tell her what you need to move forward
How can you move forward with this relationship? What do you need from her?
It’s time to put everything on the table. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need to rebuild things.
If she wants to make things work, she will listen to what you have to say. She will take it all on board and work with you to become a more solid unit.
Think deeply about how you want to proceed with the relationship, what that looks like and be as specific as possible.
Rebuilding trust when someone has cheated in a relationship is a challenge. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
If you’re willing to give your relationship another shot, you need to put in some work. Keep in mind that these changes won’t happen overnight. You are starting from the bottom and building yourself back up here.
So, as long as you’re sure it’s worth your time, you can get back to a good place with your partner. Use the approaches I have outlined in this guide to help accelerate your romantic life. You deserve a high-quality relationship.
All too many guys put up with less than they deserve because they fear what is out there. In my exclusive coaching program, I work closely with elite men to build the types of romantic connections they desire. When you focus on what you need from a relationship, you can manifest it into reality.