Sorry He Cheated, Or Sorry He Got Caught?

April 26, 2011  |  

I recently received an email from a woman asking for advice on what she should do since catching her boyfriend cheating. She wrote that they are in a serious relationship, that she recently met his family, and that they were discussing marriage. To make a long email short, she wrote that she caught him sending sexually explicit texts to someone he once described as a female “friend.”  In the texts her boyfriend also suggested meeting up for sex. Devastated, his girlfriend confronted him and he apologized. She wants to believe him and patch things up, but she also wants me to help her determine whether he’s genuinely sorry for cheating or just sorry he got caught.

I truly empathized with this woman because she is now in a place where she has to make a very serious decision while in a state of great emotional pain that is most likely clouding her better judgment. I’ve been in similar positions myself, and I have counseled other women in similar positions. So here’s my take…

When it comes to a man cheating (or anyone cheating for that matter), I think it is very important to take some time away from the relationship to objectively re-evaluate things. Why? Because you need to think things through with a clear head. And one of the most important things you need to look at is whether he a) confessed on his own or b) was caught cheating.

It is my firm belief, from personal and professional experience, that if man takes the initiative to confess his wrongs, then he is a man who has a core set of moral values as well as a conscience. People make poor choices, and the ability to fess up to those choices speaks volumes about an individual’s character. Now mind you, I said people make “poor choices” and not people make “mistakes.” I worded it this way because cheating is not a mistake- it is a deliberate choice. A man who cheats should be held accountable for his actions- one of those consequences being that you will leave him. And a man who confesses is a man who is willing to accept this consequence. So take some time away from him. If your man’s truly remorseful, he will understand and use that time to work on himself. And if you decide to reconcile after some time away, I highly advise taking all the necessary steps to heal the relationship (i.e. getting counseling).

Now let’s talk about the other type of man- the man who gets caught cheating. Remember, cheating is a “choice.” It is not a “mistake.” And the man that can guiltlessly cheat while masquerading as “faithful,” or even worse yet, propose marriage, is a man that lacks a moral compass and a conscience… PERIOD. There is no other excuse or explanation. Ladies, you have to accept this fact. Is this someone you want to tie your life with or even associate with? Only you can answer that. But before you do, I’m going to once again urge you to take a break from the relationship to re-evaluate things. In the time away, critique your relationship. Look at what you have to offer, and what he’s compromised. Fully weigh your options and whether he’s worth anymore of your time. You may even realize that he actually has a lot more to gain from being with you than you have to gain from being with him.

In life we must accept that love comes with sacrifice and occasional disappointment. And I think Bob Marley summed it up best when he said, Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.”

Is your man worth it? Only you can determine that. But before you do, take my advice and take some time away from him and the relationship. Forgive him, but also give yourself the opportunity to live life without him. And trust me, once you’ve had some time away to reflect and see things more objectively, you’ll have all the answers you need.

Would you ever choose to stay with someone who cheated? Do you think relationships can totally recover from this type of betrayal?

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  • Whitney Moore

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  • i thought i was past it

    The issue for me lies here: I truly, honestly believe a cheater is not who he truly is as a person. It was a bad choice and it was the in between stage at the beginning of a relationship where we didn’t know exactly “what we were” just yet. But the one time act made me feel less important. Thats what matters most. And nothing since then besides the persistent begging and pleading has made me feel important again. If it was me who cheated (not that i would) i would make sure that person feels important all the time and always knows how i feel about them and how much i care for them. Am i expecting to much or simply answering my own question??

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  • cristin

    i am engaged to my boyfriend of 3 years. we just had our first child who is 4 weeks old. I went away to vacation with my family for 3 days. and when i returned home, i found out he slept with his ex. he says hes sorry, but we have a 4 week old child. my mind says leave, but my heart wants to stay… i dont know what to do

    • i thought i was past it

      what did you do?

  • Not only Christians pray. So how about you PLEASE pick up a HISTORY book and LEARN that there are many different religions that use pray and meditation

  • Anne

    If she was so unsatisfactory in all the respects you claim, then why didn't YOU leave HER at some point before you started cheating? That would have been a lot better than cheating and taking the kinds of risks that cheating brings. That said, I am glad you are with someone you love and value, and who feels the same way about you.

  • Chris

    Dam and i thought I had it bad!

  • Brown Beauty

    Congrats on your 10+ year marriage. I do agree with you that having unmet needs might make cheating an attractive option, but where I roundly disagree is, if the relationship was so bad your needs weren't being met, why even go "home" to that person. THAT's the biggest problem I have with cheaters. If I'm not meeting your needs, then either tell me or leave me but don't get them met elsewhere AND then come back to me. At that point it's your fault for putting yourself back in an unfulfilling situation.

  • April

    I would not stay with someone who cheated on me. I champion communication over everything. If you can't communicate with me about your feelings and desires for someone else, then I don't want to be with you. You need to speak up to get what you want, and I will have far more respect for you if you want to ditch our five year relationship for a quickie with the next chick if you talk to me about it and not just do it and taint our relationship. It will hurt that you feel that way, but I prefer it.

  • krys

    Since when are Christians the only people who pray? Buddhist,Jews,Muslims,Agnostics,scientologists….what about them?I have friends with no religious affiliations and they pray more than my Christian ass. And if you don’t want to pray meditate or reflect which is the same thing as praying depending on your religion…

  • prettyLady

    But the author is right, replace mistake w/ the word choice…however making a wrong choice can still be a mistake 🙂

  • prettyLady

    You don’t have to be a Christian to pray or be spiritual…even an Athiest can pull strength, hope and endurance from something/one greater than them self…

    if a man/woman cheats doesn’t mean they’ll cheat again. Cheating is just like any other mistake. If you no longer want to do it (maybe because you internalized the hurt you put on some1 you loved – if you loved them in the 1st place) or learned a better way to go about things….in my opinion THAT’S when you won’t make the mistake again

    • Brown Beauty

      Cheating is NOT a mistake but a bad CHOICE – reread the article. In my opinion, when someone calls cheating a mistake is exactly when they will do it again.

  • Lena Jones

    I’m going thru something similar. My boy won’t admit 2 nothin, keeps saying the person is a relative. Says sayin I’m sorry is an admission of wrong doing. So now I’m movin on…….

  • coco

    I don’t believe that once u cheat u always cheat.. if ur honest about ur poor choice and really want to turn a new leaf, its possible… but it’s awfully difficult to get over these hurtful choices and its up to u to see whether the relationship in question is really worth it sticking around for.

  • Prissy

    THIS!!!!!! times 10.

  • Audacity

    Great article

  • seek2027

    If he or she cheats on you then you walk if you stay and that mofo does it agin its no one foult but yours

  • Nisani

    Once a cheater, always a cheater.

  • Newmommy1016

    You can over come such betrayal. But it takes prayer and the commitment of both parties to move on and want to make it work.

    • Prissy

      Prayer? Now what about folk who don't believe in a religion?

      • overit

        If you don't then don't pray. Do seek help to heal what is broken.

    • Guest

      I’m not particularly religious, however lighten up folks. Prayer and commitment work for many people. You have criticized Newmommy1016 for her religious beliefs yet you also have religious beliefs. Even if you are atheists you have beliefs about religion just like she does. Stop being so overly sensitive. You go Newmommy 1016

  • Hot Mama

    probably a little bit of both.. i know men..*wink*