trying to make it work after cheating

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  • #929548 Reply


    We were having a bad relationship, i never thought he would cheat but he cheated. and the relationship was ad because he had stopped being in it, he was never happy and felt i was clingy. although i wasnt, i would just have normal expectations like talk to me, or share what is wrong etc that too not repeatedly as e claimed he needed space and had no problem with me but I sufferded so much not knowing what was going on with him and then I found out he had been cheating on me. I am so angry. but he kept trying to get me back and now after 7 months I am thinking of getting back although I am still hurt and angry. we both want this to work but I don’t know how. I always feel humiliated and suspicious and very ashamed and alll this leads to anger. how to make this work. i want to be with him because he wants to make it work: will go for therapy with me, then quit drinking etc. and also because I feel awesome with him, I can do anything when I am with him, just his presence is enough, it is basically true love for me…he understands and sees me like no one else and still loves me and cares for me always…..but i cannot take the risk of being betrayed again

    #929549 Reply


    My advice is you never give a cheater a second chance. Ever. Their betrayal is very likely to repeat.

    It’s best that you start dating other guys. All the best to you.

    #929550 Reply


    I tried my best but I was just not able to forget him and move on. I want to be with him….but I am not able to manage the difficult feelings I mentioned. I need help with that.

    #929551 Reply


    Honey, I’ve been there I know this is tearing you apart. But if you take him back chances are he will do it again trust me it’s going to crush your heart even further. Plus, things will never be the same after cheating. You’ll get uneasy and suspicious and all the resent it’s going to be real ugly.

    Honestly I don’t think that you’ll take my advice. It’s okay if you give it another go so that you’ll feel like you won’t have to hold any regrets or something again I’ve been there. I just wanted to forewarn you.

    About your asking for help with your feelings, it’s tough I’m sure others will give you better insights but in my opinion, you have to get there. It’s not like anyone can make you think differently or feel better with just some talk. That’s why I made the second point.

    #929552 Reply


    if this was the other way around, he wouldn’t even consider taking you back

    #929553 Reply


    Ewa- he would take me back. He does love me. I don’t know why he cheated. It was clear he did not want anything with that woman, he never really wanted to leave. Maybe he was going through a tough time and felt like dating someone else for a little excitement but he never intended to really leave me. And be with someone else….I don’t know, I feel like I will never get past this……only if he repairs the damage can I be fine…..I know no other way.

    #929555 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    How old are you both, and how long were you together?

    Does he have a drinking problem? You mentioned he said he’d stop drinking.

    You say he says he’ll go to therapy. I think therapy is the best (and possibly only) way to get past this. You should both go to couples counseling.

    #929557 Reply


    Yes he has a drinking problem too. And he cheated. He has problems opening up and talking, basically communication issues. He has intimacy issues. He has low self esteem issues. Is manipulative. Has said things like he feels he cannot take up a wife but then goes on to say he wants to marry me in he future. He is 27 and I am 26. He has said he wants to work on all these issues properly with a therapist and give up drinking as he wants a happy and healthy life too. But I have become way too impatient and anxious and fearful.

    #929558 Reply


    Hazel – this man is a nightmare, he has major problems that make him a bad partner for the foreseeable future. DO NOT GET BACK WITH HIM. It could take him YEARS in therapy to sort out all of these issues. You are 26! Right in front of you are the best years of your life in that there are many HEALTHY men to choose from to date and marry. After 35 the dating pool of decent guys shrinks. Don’t throw away your chances to meet a guy who is emotionally healthy and adores you and would never cheat on you. Your feelings of being impatient, anxious and fearful are your intelligent instincts screaming at you to get away from this man no matter what he says or promises.

    I’ve said it here before and I’ll say it again – when saying yes to someone else to please or placate them means you’re saying no to yourself, you need to switch that up. Stop shortchanging yourself.

    Break this off and don’t look back. Please.

    #929559 Reply


    “Ewa- he would take me back. He does love me. I don’t know why he cheated. It was clear he did not want anything with that woman, he never really wanted to leave. Maybe he was going through a tough time and felt like dating someone else for a little excitement but he never intended to really leave me. And be with someone else….I don’t know, I feel like I will never get past this……only if he repairs the damage can I be fine…..I know no other way.”

    This is big time codependence. I think you would benefit from some sessions with a therapist yourself to help you deal with that so you don’t leave this guy and go get someone else just the same.

    #929560 Reply


    AngieBaby took all the words right out of my mouth. She’s completely correct. His issues are serious and deep and existed long before you came along. It is likely to take at least a couple years for him to start to change into a good partner ready for a healthy relationship, and that’s IF he’s truly self-motivated and even wants to. Nothing has changed yet at all, no actions have been taken and consistently stuck with for long periods of time yet, and reconciling will be just the same. ESPECIALLY since he still can’t understand or communicate why he cheated, that means he’s not addressed the underlying reasons and he’ll likely do it again or blow things up and sabotage in some alternate way.

    You haven’t gotten over him because of a combination of not processing how traumatizing the relationship was for you over the last seven months (so you’re still on square one with your feelings after the breakup) and due to your own insecurities. It feels like it’s because of the pull of love so you should be together, but that is not what’s actually going on here. What you’re feeling is entirely normal for this type of situation, and very difficult, and as AngieBaby said, a form of codependence.

    What I strongly suggest is fully taking space from him for at least a few months and starting therapy on your own in earnest during that time while he does whatever he needs to do. After maybe 6 months, check in with yourself and how you feel. Decide if you still want that kind of relationship back at that future time, and if you still desire to talk to him, see if he’s been true to his word and gotten sober and started getting his own help at that time. If not, he is not serious about working out his issues yet and won’t be ready on a timeline that’s fair to you. I think if you do that, you will start to feel better in the short-run, and your perspective may change so you find yourself in a different and less hopeless place 6 months down the road.

    #929568 Reply


    You DO NOT give a cheater a second chance. And you NEVER get over cheating.

    #929571 Reply


    The advice is all great here. But I still feel we have something special. I tried taking those 6-7 months to myself to stay away from him and process all my feelings. All I could feel was dead and anxious and shocked and extreme rage. It was so difficult for m to deal with these emotions. I just couldn’t. It is difficult to explain but I am not a naïve person, I understand that he is not a good guy for me after all this cheating and bad behavior…..but I feel equally awful about not having him in my life. It is just too bad. And he wants me in the exact same way and intensity. Plus we both want to work on our things which just makes it more tempting. He clearly says things like I really wan to work on myself and bring all the behavioral changes that are needed in me, I completely really want to become the guy that you want. And when I say things like why should I risk more years only to find out that you are still fooling me? He says that I won’t do it and if you want I can disappear for sometime, work on myself and get better and then show up….(tbh if I let him go to improve right now I am sure he will be talking to some girls behind my back, because I know he won’t be able to cope up with his anxiety and other issues) and you will know for sure if I do it again, I will never again ask for another chance because I will really never mess up.

    #929574 Reply


    Hazel there is A LOT to unpack here.

    My biggest fear for YOU is that you are in the throws of “codependency” and unable to think clearly because of all the obstacles in front of you. I always think there’s a chance but BOTH PARTIES have to do the hard work to remove all those obstacles before you even think about a do over, or you are just setting yourself up for failure and heartache. Do overs have an abysmal success rate (less than 20%) because the issues that led to the initial break up haven’t been fully resolved and the couple ends up in the same toxic and dysfunctional cycle until it spins out of control again—wash, rinse, repeat.

    If you are hell bent on giving him another chance, then I suggest you both seek counseling separately at first. Let him do the work he needs to do on his issues with his therapist, and you do the work you need to do with yours before you even consider couples counseling.

    If you aren’t seeing any improvement on his end, then continue to work with yours so you at least have the tools and skills to help guide you in your next relationship should this not pan out. Good luck.

    #929582 Reply


    Hazel, you don’t bet your time and love and life on what a man says. Ever. Actions speak louder, so the saying goes and it’s true. You are so desperate to stay in this relationship that you want to believe the pretty words.

    If he wants to be the man you want and never let you down again, then he should be showing you by getting treatment to stop drinking, getting counseling for the emotional issues and making amends for the cheating that includes explaining exactly why he did it, what he learned from it and why he won’t do it it again.

    What exactly happened with the cheating? Was it a one time slip or did he see someone behind your back for a while?

    Maddie and Lane gave great advice here as well.

    You need to be in counseling to sort through your feelings about the cheating and about him. I realize you think this is something special but this guy has a lot of problems and you have what appears to be a unhealthy attachment to him.

    When women post here with a bad situation and then say thanks for all the great advice, but I LOOOOOVE HIIIIIM and can’t live without him, it usually means they know they need to get away but haven’t developed the strength and resolve quite yet to do it. I hope you will figure out how to put yourself first so you don’t waste years of your life on this situation.

    Good luck honey.

    #929590 Reply


    “tbh if I let him go to improve right now I am sure he will be talking to some girls behind my back, because I know he won’t be able to cope up with his anxiety and other issues”

    This means you don’t actually trust him to be able to deal with his issues or change. You don’t trust him to be an adult. That’s in part because he’s done zero to earn your trust, quite the opposite, and because he’s said plenty but taken no actions yet. He’s not sober yet. He’s not in therapy yet. He only vaguely wants to change, at this point.

    But listen to him: he actually suggested the same exact advice we all did! “if you want I can disappear for sometime, work on myself and get better and then show up”, yet you’re the one being resistant to that idea, from both all of us and from him. Recognize that you are stuck in a form of addiction right now and getting in your own way, which is separate from his issues.

    You will make your own choices in spite of our advice, but really do consider getting individual therapy underway for yourself whether you try again immediately or not. Re-read what Lane and AngieBaby have posted and the other advice you’ve gotten in this thread, which is pretty much all unanimous in that your situation is toxic and will continue to be if you’re both resistant to honesty within yourselves and to change. It’s equally on both of you, and if one (or both) of you is too scared to address your own issues, it won’t be enough to improve your dynamic or relationship.

    #929627 Reply



    I’ve been there hunni and these guys never change. If he wants to change, let him change and then come back to you afterwards. In the meantime, take the time to work on you and if you still want him when you’ve both worked on what you need to, then try again.

    Right now, you are trying to ease the pain of what he did to you when you loved him by taking him back. Like we do with Illness… we take something to stop the pain for a short time.

    And sadly, I think your pain will only ease for a short time before it starts again if you take him back now. Because he’ll continue as he has been and you will be unable to trust him which will cause you more pain.

    If he comes back a new man and you are a changed woman, it will truly show if you are meant to be together. I found when I worked on me after being cheated on continuously, and wanting it to work because I loved that man that actually I realised he would never change (& 7 years later he hasn’t) and that I deserved more!

    You deserve more than the pain this man has put you through

    #929629 Reply


    I would not get back with a cheater.

    If you take back a cheater, he knows that he can do whatever he wants because you will always take him back.
    If it was the other way around, if you cheated on him, 9 out of 10 times, he would not take you back. Men don’t forgive cheating because they know it’s unforgivable.

    If he cheats on you, he doesn’t respect you. If he doesn’t respect you, he’s only with you because you’re convenient and/or he doesn’t want to be alone. But, when he finds the woman he truly wants to be with, he will leave you for her (and won’t cheat on her).

    Sure, it’s gonna hurt not being with him, but use this time to reflect, work, and better yourself & date casually with multiple guys so you don’t get attached too quickly.

    Easier said than done, I know, but it’s easier to quit now, than to be with someone who’s using you for whatever reason(s).

    #929654 Reply


    Lane: “Do overs have an abysmal success rate (less than 20%) because the issues that led to the initial break up haven’t been fully resolved and the couple ends up in the same toxic and dysfunctional cycle until it spins out of control again—wash, rinse, repeat.”

    I can totally understand what you are saying. But a lot of articles on the internet say that “once a cheater always a cheater “ is not true. My own therapist said people do improve, but it is very rare as it is extremely difficult to change patterns that and overcome traumas that have sort of defined your existence so far. But it’s just that maybe I am thinking, or rather hoping, that my situation falls in this “rare” scenario…. I mean he has hit an all-time low. He has taken to excessive drinking and keeps begging and crying to take him back and he will do anything to get better. He says he feels pathetic, he was dumb to have cheated as he only wants and loves me. There are many other incidents which show that he does feel very empty and hollow after having lost me…. And I have been very bad to him since the breakup as my hurt and anger took the better of me and did some things that I am not very proud of like dating his best friend who always had an eye on me for 1.5 months, breaking my ex’s newest mobile phone in anger as he was just not leaving my place, calling him and his entire family names, telling him he never deserved me as I am so much better than him etc…But he let it all slide and still just wants to do things that will make me love him again the way I did before all of this happened. That’s why I feel like believing him….But I am not able to as I really don’t have anything to depend on and from within I just feel so hurt and bad and doubtful of what he will make me go through again if I get back, how does he really think about me etc….and I feel like running in the opposite direction.

    #929657 Reply


    I wanna post more but I am not able to

    #929660 Reply


    Assuming someone has hit rock bottom is not in any way an indication that they’ll be a rare exception and change. First of all, your definition of rock bottom may not be his. Second of all, he’s still all words and no actions. There’s nothing to believe until he gets sober and attends therapy for several months and sticks with both *for himself and not for you*. If he can do that, it’s possible he may fully deal with himself, and it’s equally possible he may not. Until then, I assure you from experience that he’s 100% not a rare exception.

    Your instincts are saying run away, though your withdrawal symptoms are clouding that as they’re saying make the anxiety stop. Don’t drown out your own instincts. Trust them and yourself. You’ve gotten good advice in this thread, and you need to decide if you’re at rock bottom enough in this shell of a relationship to take any of it. I’m truly sorry about whatever you went through to feel like this is all you deserve.

    #929672 Reply


    This is very annoying, haven’t been able to comment till now. It is just not getting posted

    #929675 Reply

    ANM Staff

    Hi hazel – I’m sorry you had trouble posting earlier today. The forum filter doesn’t like the word sh*t — I think if you edit that part, it’ll go through okay. Best wishes to you!

    #929676 Reply


    AngieBaby: I am reluctant to the idea of him solving his sh*t alone because yes you guys are right I don’t trust him. I feel like if there is no check he will drink himself to death without me. In stressful situations he drinks more He is overly dependent on me for his emotional well-being. He has many times in the relationship shown this aspect of his personality to me. And when he feels like he will really die and he can’t approach me as I have shut him out he will go to other girls. This is his pattern. Now coupled with his cheating, I have obviously started believing that he can live just fine without me. So why will he improve if I leave him alone? And this brings me to my answer: why do I even need this guy? You guys are right I am heavily addicted and dependent on him for my well being too. And I have to start depending on myself for that. Have to stop caring about others so much. Especially those who are not at all caring about me, in fact just the opposite. Since a lot of you have been in a similar situation can you guys tell me what kind of work you did on yourself to feel better after getting cheated on?
    Also, to explain the kind of cheating he did: he had a sort of certain ex from another continent that he has never met in person. But they used to se*t and send pictures to each other. I don’t know how he really feels about her. As I don’t know or trust him at all. So in 2020 July he started emailing her again from a different email account altogether that I had no clue about. They must have exchanged some 20-30 emails wherein she refused to flirt or se*t as she knew about me and he had clearly told her as well not to text on his gmail account as he doesn’t want me to find out at any cost. When I found out I did more digging and found out that he had been using dating apps since 2019 September and never really stopped after that. Our relationship began March 2017. And I have no idea whether he met anybody from the apps or not as he used to spend most of his time with me or at home but how would I know. He claims vehemently that he has never met anybody or had sex with anyone. Other than that he kept using a lot of snap chat and other video apps to talk to foreigners on video calls and see their body parts for money and probably mastur*ated to them. I don’t know if he went to massage parlors and pro*titutes but I just cannot rule out the possibility because I know some of his closest friends who do go for these things, he told me himself, but also said that he never went and any way he is not into pr*stitutes but obviously maybe he was trying to manipulate me so I think if he was doing these things why would he tell me himself about his friends? Yeah so this was his stint on cheating. Yeah one more thing, I am not sure but maybe he sent a gift as well to that girl from another continent that I mentioned previously, I am not sure about this one as I did see in his history that he had been looking for Christmas presents, but didn’t see any payment details. We aren’t Christians we don’t celebrate Christmas, even if we do, we definitely don’t send gifts on Christmas, I mean never in the last 4 years did he send me a present on Christmas or anybody else for that matter. We are hindus, he used to send me gifts on hindu festivals.

    #929679 Reply


    Hazel… holy cow, this gets worse every time you post with more details. Read what you’ve written. This is an incredibly unhealthy situation, especially for two people so young. Very, very codependent both ways. I think the suggestions above about take some time out to handle your own situations first. I believe if you got in a healthier state of mind, you wouldn’t find this guy attractive at all.

    This man is not at all trustworthy and may have a sex addiction of some kind. And very, very messed up. He’s going to drag you down with him and that at this point is your own responsibility because you know what he’s like and you’re still in this.

    If his friends are into call girls and massage parlors, highly possible he’s doing it too. Which means if you have sex with him, you are being exposed to who knows what kind of STDs.

    Tell him both of you need to take 6 months at minimum to work on yourselves. If he meets someone else in that time period then all his insistence he only wants you is a big fat lie. (And I still think it’s a big fat lie.) What you two are doing here is not love. It’s codependence and fear of being alone. Again, you are only 26 and you are way too young to throw your life away.

    I’ve said all I can say – please take all the good advice you’ve gotten here, find a counselor to work with in person and stand up for yourself and create a life that makes you feel good and thrive. This guy is a one-way ticket to hell. Please want more for yourself than that.

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