Infidelity is horrible in every romantic affair. There is no justification for cheating. It is an ugly practice you must be determined to move on from so that you can live a dignifying life.
But how do you move on?
You are most probably reading this because your conscience cant stop tormenting you of such an awful act, and you are finding it difficult to forgive yourself for such a callous act.
Does the guilt of cheating ever go away?
Can you bury such a regrettable act in a grave of no remembrance?
The truth is the guilt of cheating will never go away, especially if your partner is aware of the situation. However, that does not mean you should torment yourself with this guilt and live your life like an oppressed soul.
Do not allow your mistake to define you, though irredeemable but can be moved on from. So what do you do?
It is very usual to feel bad after cheating. However, continually berating yourself to the point that it affects your mental health is unhealthy, and you do not deserve to feel that way.
You can learn from your mistakes, forgive yourself, and move on instead of feeling guilty.
We acknowledge that this is easier said than done, which is why we are here to assist.
We have come with some beneficial, actionable activities you may do to begin dealing with your guilt and forgive yourself for cheating.
How to forgive yourself for cheating and not telling
Bear in mind that you must be determined about the regret and be sure you will not have any reason to indulge in such ever again.
The guilt will forever live with you as good unforgettable memories live forever in humans.
But if you forgive yourself and stop hating yourself about it, you will remember it less often and leave it to the past by dwelling on the good the future has to offer.
1. Understand the gravity of your offense
The first step of moving away after cheating and forgiving yourself for the immoral act is to understand the depth of the offense.
Understand that it is a great betrayal to your relationship and that you make a fool of your acclaimed partner. Eliminate any instinct of justification and accept the full responsibility of your action as a misdeed.
Your partner cheated is not enough justification for you to ride in the same poor manner. Breaking up could have been the best alternative.
In essence, trying to make sense of such an ugly behavior is a clear indication that you are yet to admit to your misdeed, and without acceptance, it will be difficult for you to lessen the guilt.
2. Talk to someone you trust
Right now, you are in sober reflection, you are confused, and the fear of losing your dignity is eating you deeply. It would help if you had someone to talk to, a confidant at that.
You need to pour out your regret to someone who can lighten the burden your heart carries.
Reach out to a friend who you can tell everything and still won’t judge you but will rather understand you and help you out in the healing process.
Make sure such a person doesn’t share loyalty with your partner if especially you are not ready to tell.
3. Decide whether to tell your partner
If your partner is unaware of the infidelity, do not assume telling will make you (or them) feel better or clear your guilt. Confessions of infidelity make way for pain, distrust, and insecurity in the relationship.
Weigh the pros and cons before letting your partner know. Be sure whether they will later know even if you do not tell.
Be confident they can handle the situation and accept your mistake.
Be sure they are ready to forgive you of your infidelity. If you are sure of this, then be prepared to make a sincere apology to your partner.
4. Sincerely apologize to your partner
A heartfelt apology to your partner is an essential step in forgiving oneself after infidelity. Make them understand that you will not do it again.
Furthermore, please do whatever you can to make them happy.
You may, for example, propose a date or lavish them with gifts. Also, try not to hide anything from them. Don’t let them have any reason to distrust you or doubt your genuineness of the apology.
5. Cut off affairs with the person you are cheating with
You will never feel good about what has happened if you don’t cease from its reoccurrence. If you do not cut off communication with the person you cheated with, you’re going to continue to feel guilty about it.
You will find it difficult to forgive yourself, which means your moving on process is a mere wish that cannot be achieved.
Putting an end to cheating makes you acknowledge that it was something you did and it was wrong. It gives you the reason to start forgiving yourself because you can recognize that it is a thing of the past.
6. Accept the blame
You must be prepared to take the blame for what you did, but that does not mean you must be angry with yourself for the rest of your life.
Human beings are more hurt when the betrayal comes from somebody they least expected.
You destroyed your partner’s trust in you and possibly in themselves, which is something that you will have to take full blame for.
By cheating, it means to them they are not enough for you. You put them down into regret and solitude.
You have to take responsibility for everything and assure that you are trying to correct your misdeed and be committed to the relationship henceforth.
7. Pay attention to why you cheated
There is no reason to cheat, though. It is an outright lack of discipline. However, most people cheat under the guise of having issues with their partners.
As a cheater intending to make changes, first track your mind back to why you cheated. Are you tired of your relationship? Or were you convinced by friends to indulge in such? Or you take advantage of a situation that presented itself to you?
If you can determine why you cheated, you should deduce the best approach to fight against the reoccurrence in the future.
Keep in mind your partner isn’t why you cheated. Blaming them isn’t healthy or accurate for your moving on process.
8. Dont rush the process
You’ll have more trouble if you base your ability to forgive yourself on your partner’s ability to forgive you.
It would be best if you realized that it would take some time for your partner to forgive you, and that is perfectly alright.
Accept the fact that you’ll have to wait for them to finish their disappointing phase. You will also need to follow the earlier steps of being open and honest with them to assist them in the forgiving process.
It’s also worth noting that there’s no guarantee of how long it will take. Some couples may rapidly recover from betrayal and go on with their relationship. Others could take a little longer.
The bottom line is don’t ever rush the process; take your time to heal from the guiltiness.
9. Accept the outcome and move on
Your relationship may withstand this phase, and your partner is willing to push past the infidelity and forgive you.
However, it is still possible that they will not. Accept that too.
In this situation, you do not have an ultimate say over what occurs next in your relationship. It is totally up to your partner and what they are willing to tolerate or deal with in this situation.
Understand that if they cannot accept or move past the cheating, they have the right to do so. They have the right to believe that the relationship is irreparably damaged. You must be willing and capable of accepting this reality.
If your partner decides that they are done with you, then it is time for you to move on as well. Accept that this is the decision they feel is best for them, and allow yourself to move forward.
Just because you cheated once does not mean that you will always cheat on your partner in the future.
Move forward with an understanding that you will do better in your next relationship and be ready to avert anything that will detriment your future relationship.
Still, it will take hard work on your end. Get prepared to make actionable changes.
10. Stop punishing yourself
It is natural to feel guilty and regret your action. However, by punishing yourself for it, you waste your energies, which could be used to make your relationship work.
You are not moving on or being a healthy partner by punishing yourself.
You might think you are cleansing yourself of your infidel and making up for cheating, but all you are doing is generating a hole of self-hate to consume you.
This will not help you forgive yourself after being unfaithful, nor will it make you a better partner.
Stop denying yourself the fun you used to have when you were in your true self. Be mature enough in handling the situation. Don’t let the remorsefulness turns you into a deranged person.
11. Seek professional help
Finally, you can talk to a professional relationship therapist. You can do this without letting your partner find out, especially if they are unaware of the cheating.
If you think you need a break to sort yourself out, give yourself one and let your partner know you won’t be available or responsive for a while.
In conclusion. We strongly advise that you focus more on the future rather than dwelling much on the past. After all, we all have our dirty histories.
Dwelling on the past will do no good but only keep you hostage.
Practice thought-stopping when guilty feelings come to your mind.
Rather than allowing guilty conscience to hunt you, engage in many positive activities that can easily get you interested and enable you to avail yourself of the thought of past mistakes in your life.