No relationship is perfect in the real sense of the word. Even the seemingly perfect couples admit to struggles and the effort they invest in their committed relationship to make it work.
More than any other ruptures that a relationship may face, infidelity, cheating, and suchlike leave an indelible mark on it if the relationship is fortunate enough to survive the heavy blow that it inflicted.
In case you are the offending party, how did you deal with the episode? Was it deliberate, one-off, or long-term? What made you end it? Did your partner become aware of it? Did you admit your mistake? If you didn’t, how do you feel about it?
Do you feel guilty and ashamed? And most importantly, did you forgive cheating and come clean?
Coming clean is not an easy decision to take. Its ramifications are enormous – pain, anger, blame, shame, and possibly a breakup. However, telling the truth has its pluses as well. You don’t feel the weight of it weighing you down all the time.
Whether you tell or not tell, you must forgive cheating and learn to move on. In this article, you will find suggestions on how to achieve this.
7 tips to pardon yourself for cheating and not revealing
You may have a hundred excuses for cheating. You may have a thousand more for not coming clean about it to your partner. Whether it was a one-off or not, you will find yourself weighed down by guilt and shame. Even if you want to forgive cheating and move on, you find yourself unable to.
However, your mental health and well-being demand that you do so. Whatever the justification for your past and present behavior is, you must forgive yourself. If you want to know how to do this, read on.
1. Be accountable
Admit to yourself that you did something wrong. You made the decision and took the choice. It is important that you own up to your responsibility rather than find excuses for your behavior.
One of the easiest things for you to do is to shift the responsibility of the entire affair to anything other than yourself. And, therein lies the problem. Because if you don’t own up, you will repeat the same mistake and you may not be able to keep it under wraps.
On the other hand, irrespective of your excuses for your behavior, you need to recognize that you always had the freedom of choice. And, you choose to cheat. There is no escaping that. You made a mistake and now it is up to you to decide how you are going to use it. The ideal thing would be to learn from it and move on.
Again, it is also important that you don’t beat yourself up over the episode. Guilt and shame can cause serious damage to your mental health. If you go down this path, it will not help your relationship. If you did not tell because you don’t want to break up your relationship, this doesn’t make sense. It is better to tell and deal with the consequences than not tell and feel distraught because of the guilt.
2. Understand how you are feeling
When you are in such a situation, you may be going through so much that you are no longer sure what you are thinking or feeling. And, since you can’t get help from your partner to untangle your muddled feelings, you should take steps to do it yourself.
Writing them down in a journal is always helpful in clearing your mind. Use journaling as an emotional outlet to vent your frustrations, anger, and even guilty feelings.
Journaling is considered therapeutic for troubled minds. Instead of keeping them suppressed inside, you should let them out. Your heart will feel lighter and you may even be able to forgive cheating and move on.
If you are worried that your partner will come across your journals, you can write them on paper and destroy them immediately. In fact, what you do with the writing is immaterial. Get the troubling thoughts and emotions out of your chest.
3. Saying sorry isn’t enough
Back it up with constructive action. Of course, you don’t want to tell your partner that you cheated on them. When you don’t give yourself a chance to apologize to them, it can get really tough. You can begin the damage control by accepting your mistake in your mind and saying sorry to yourself.
However, feeling sorry for your mistakes is not going to leave the episode in the past. It will continue to haunt you unless you take more serious action. One simple thing you can do is to promise yourself that you will not repeat this moving forward. Tell yourself that you understand how much your partner would be hurt if they come to know about you being the cheating partner and you would never put them in such a position.
Even if you don’t tell your partner about your cheating, you can always put in more effort to improve your relationship.
4. It’s no use punishing yourself
You did not reveal the fact about your being the cheating partner because you wanted to save your committed relationship. However, if your feeling of guilt is weighing too heavily on your mind that you begin to hate yourself, the whole point of not telling is lost.
Denying yourself little joys and worldly pleasures or drowning yourself in self-hate or self-pity is not going to help either you or your relationship. This will only help you get stuck in a rut and you would be unable to move on.
You may think that punishing yourself will help you get rid of the guilt. You will find it the hard way that this is not the case. Atonement is good only if it helps you to forgive cheating and to get on with life.
5. Confessing would be selfish
You may get relief by confessing but the hurt your partner may feel will be enormous. So, the question is do you want to hurt your partner to feel good yourself?
You may feel that you are stranded between the devil and the deep sea. However, if you care to think deeply, you will understand that protecting your partner should be your prime goal, even if it means living with the guilt yourself. Use the guilt in a positive way to prevent a repetition of such episodes.
6. Take constructive action
Feeling guilty, or sorry is not doing any good to anyone. But you can use these feelings to make the right decisions. You can change your behavior and outlook. Let something good come out of the episode moving forward. This and only this can help in making you feel better.
If you do nothing about your feeling of guilt, it will soon turn into anger and resentment towards your partner. You may even start thinking that they are deliberately making you feel guilty. This may make you retaliate. That is not helping in any way.
7. Understand why you cheated
Don’t try to find excuses or cover up the episode. See it for what it is. You wanted something and went ahead and got it without thinking about the repercussions. What made you want it in the first place?
Again, the reasons are many. You need to find out the real reason why you behaved in a hurtful way. You may come across the not-so-desirable truth that your current relationship is not what you wanted or expected. This can come as a rude shock and a bitter pill to swallow.
However, are the perceived inadequacies of your relationship the only reason? Maybe your alcoholism contributed. Or you felt flattered by the attention shown by this person. If you believe that the missing aspects of your relationship contributed to your misadventure, you should make an effort to talk to your partner about them. But not as an accusation and not to make matters worse but as a step in the right direction.
If you thought it is easy to cheat your partner and not tell them about it, you got it all wrong. The burden you will be carrying will make you an emotional wreck.
It is understandable why you want to keep the episode from your partner a secret. It is up to you to treat it as a positive step and make your relationship stronger, healthier, and better in every possible sense of the term.
- What You Need To Know About Forgiveness
- How to Forgive Yourself for Something Unforgivable
- What to Do When Someone You Love Hurts You Deeply
- How to Fix a Relationship after Trust is Broken
- How to Let Go of the Past and Be Happy
- The Psychology Behind Cheating And Lying
- Can a Cheating Woman Change and be Faithful?