So you’ve decided to take back a cheater. I do not know what your specific situation was. Are you married? Were you on a break? Was it sort of unclear as to whether or not you were meant to be monogamous, but you know deep down you were? Was this a first-time offense after an otherwise long and committed relationship? Did you also cheat, so you feel you’re all even now? There are a lot of possible circumstances surrounding cheating, and only you really know—deep down—if you can take back a cheater and make it work. That being said, just because you’re the only one who knows, you aren’t the only one with an opinion on the matter. It’s hard for your friends to see you take back a cheater, for many reasons. Here are ways your close friends may judge you for taking back an unfaithful man.
They may think you’re codependent
They may say things that insinuate you struggle with codependency issues. They might think the only reason you took him back is that you’re afraid to be alone, so you’d rather be with a cheater than be by yourself.
Or have low self-worth
They might also give you some pep talks about your self-worth—about how you’re amazing and deserve to be treated like a Queen. If you hear this, it’s because they worry you deal with low self-worth, and that’s why you took back a cheater.
They can worry you’re weak
They might talk to you with pity in their voices. They might start trying to pump you up, help you find your inner lion, and remind you that you are fierce. They can think that you took him back out of a place of weakness. It’s hard for them to believe you took him back out of a place of strength (the strength of forgiveness).
Or that he’s brainwashed you
Your friends may start poking around to see if it sounds like any brainwashing has gone on. They might worry that your partner brainwashed you into believing that he’s the best you can do and that you’d be silly to break away.
They can fear your standards are low
Your friends might talk to you about raising your standards. They might try to survey you on what you look for in a partner, what you think a relationship should feel like—a dream relationship—and whether or not you think this relationship meets those standards.
And that this will happen again
Naturally, they think that this will happen again. Maybe your friends don’t really think “Once a cheater, always a cheater”—but when it comes to their good friend who was cheated on, they think that. They’re protective of you.
They don’t want to see him
They really don’t want to see him. They’ll cringe when you ask if you can all get together. It’s going to be quite hard for them to conceal their anger towards him, even if you insist there is nothing to be angry about.
They fear you condoned cheating
They worry that by taking him back, you sent the message that cheating is acceptable. No matter how much counseling you went through with him and how terrible he feels, they think that’s the only message you send by taking him back.
They’re not into his cute gestures
When you tell them about the sweet things he’s been doing for you, they won’t react the way you want them to. They’ll roll their eyes. They know he’s just trying to pretend to be a good guy.
They don’t think you punished him enough
They’ll never feel he’s been punished enough. They may even punish him a bit more for you, by being cold and dismissive towards him. They were there for you when you were hurting, and no amount of penance will be enough for them.
Or that you discussed improvements
They also will struggle to believe that you and your partner really made a game plan to make sure this won’t happen again. So he just…said he’s sorry? They want to know that he delved into the depths of his soul and psychosis, found deep issue with himself, and addressed it in therapy.
They think your anger is oppressed
You may say you’ve forgiven him, but they think your anger is just hiding. In fact, they may try to bring it out. They may prod you a bit, trying to bring out the lion.
They told their men everything
They told their partners everything, by the way. Of course they did. They did it as part of a warning story—they tell their partners, “I’d never take back a cheater like she did” as a way of telling them they’d never be forgiven if they cheated.
And double dates are uncomfortable
Since they told their partners everything, double dates are uncomfortable. Their men feel like, by being even a little bit nice to your man, they are fraternizing with the enemy…or something like that.
They think you should watch him
They think you should still keep an eye on him. Even if you insist that that would go against the environment of trust that you’re trying to nurture, it’s impossible for them to be okay with that man running around unsupervised.