Did you cheat on your girlfriend and break her trust? If yes, this blog post is for you. This article will cover all the steps necessary to get back with your ex-girlfriend after cheating on her.
Inside this article:
- Give her space to vent and process her emotions
- Make yourself unavailable to other women
- Be honest about what you did and why you did it
- Take responsibility for your actions
- Show remorse and apologise to her
- Forgive yourself
- Demonstrate the right behaviour
- Accept that she may not want to get back with you
- Spend time with her without the pressure of being romantic
- When she is ready, prepare to begin a new relationship
Before we begin:
I’m sure you can appreciate how devastating it is for your ex to know you cheated on her. I have conversed with many women who faced the challenge of picking up the pieces after discovering their partners’ affair or betrayal. It was always unpleasant for them.
The pain and misery is traumatic. And so the work involved in processing that hurt and moving forward (however that looks) is hard going. The chances are good your ex has yet to process and deal with her pain which is why we begin by giving her space.
Give her space to vent and process her emotions
Give your ex-girlfriend space because she needs it. While she may want you to beg and ask for forgiveness, the wound created by your betrayal will take time to heal. This is not the time to call or text every day or write apology letters.
Most relationship coaches will recommend starting a period of no contact. No contact means not contacting your ex in any way for a set period of time. For example, you might cease all communication for 14, 21, or 30 days.
For the first few weeks, your ex-girlfriend will be asking herself a lot of questions about what you did, for example:
- “How could this happen?”
- “How long has this been going on without my knowing it?”
- “How many people know about it?
- “How could my boyfriend do this to me?
- “How can I ever trust him or anyone else again?”
- “Have there been other affairs or is this it?”
- “Am I overreacting?”
- “Was I a doormat?”
In all likelihood, your ex-girlfriend will find no satisfactory answers to her questions. And even if you gave her the answers, she would still be unhappy and unfulfilled. Just keep this in mind as we will come back to this later.
Make yourself unavailable to other women
Damage limitation is a top priority after breaking your girl’s heart. For the time being, make yourself unavailable to other desirable women by avoiding places where they hang out, such as bars or clubs. Do not fuel your ex’s anger.
If you talk to other girls, your ex-girlfriend will get angry and hurt.
Most obviously, after cheating on your girlfriend, you should have ended the relationship with that other girl. It will also help if you stay away from her. Even casual interactions with the other woman can hurt and anger your ex.
Be honest about what you did and why you did it
While you are giving your ex-girlfriend space to breathe, use the opportunity to think about why you cheated. If you know why and what caused your betrayal, it will help you in the future.
Common reasons for cheating include:
- Feeling that you do not get enough admiration;
- Feeling insecure about being with someone you love who might be cheating on you;
- Having a moment of weakness where things happened too fast (sometimes coupled with alcohol or drug use);
- Not knowing how to say no to someone you are attracted to (weak willpower);
- Not getting enough sex;
- Not feeling fulfilled in the relationship;
You must be aware that even when the cause of what you did was significant, the bigger sin was to cheat. Whether the reason is justified or not, you have to take responsibility for your actions.
If you are lucky, you will have a chance to show your ex-girlfriend what you have learned while apart. If you know why you cheated and realise there are better answers to problems than cheating, you can better explain how and why it won’t happen again.
Take responsibility for your actions
If you want to get your ex back, you have to take responsibility for what led to the breakup. Taking responsibility means acknowledging you’re responsible for how you interact with the world. It means taking stock and noticing where you’re making decisions that ultimately create more suffering, either now or later.
It also means taking practical action to right any wrongs.
Here’s what this means:
- Accepting responsibility for the role you played in the breakup.
- Willing to learn from the past so you won’t repeat mistakes and create more future regret.
- Taking the necessary steps so you will behave better should similar circumstances repeat in your future.
- Doing the work to modify or remove non-serving habits and replace them with better habits.
Do this work for you. When you next cross paths with your ex, it is a bonus if she notices your changes.
Show remorse and apologise to her
After you have given your ex-girlfriend ample space, she will be more likely to hear your apology. She needs time and space to help figure out how she feels, and if you approach her while still in the early stage of anger, she will want to hurt you more than hear your words.
For this step, take what you have learned about why you did what you did and how it affected your ex so that you can make a good apology. Genuine remorse only occurs when you are honest with yourself and when you can feel how your actions affected those around you. The better you understand how your cheating made your ex feel, and the clearer you convey this, the more effective your apology will be.
Take time to “walk a mile in her shoes” and see things through her eyes, so you appreciate the pain you caused. A heartfelt apology is more likely to happen when you feel the other person’s pain.
Lastly, you should not justify your cheating when apologising. When you are sorry, it is not the time to defend your actions. Instead, it’s about taking responsibility for what you did and how that hurt your girlfriend.
Giving a sincere apology is one of the most critical steps in winning your ex-girlfriend back after cheating. Without a good apology, they can never forgive you.
It is normal to feel bad for breaking your girlfriend’s heart. You may find yourself battling with guilt, shame, fear, and anger. You may also feel condemned and lonely.
While it is a good sign to feel bad for doing something terrible, it is not healthy or practical to stay feeling bad.
If you understand the damage you caused and sincerely apologise for your actions, then it is time to forgive yourself.
Here, you will want to:
- Be compassionate with any lingering feelings of guilt and shame, etc.
- Remember that the past is unchangeable, whereas the present and future are entirely in your hands.
If you beat yourself up and dwell on your mistakes, you’ll never be able to move forward.
Keep your goals in mind and stay focused on the small steps you can take every day to move forward.
Talking about the past with negative thoughts will only feed them, so try to guide your mind toward the good parts of your life for balance.
Demonstrate the right behaviour
If your ex-girlfriend gives you a second chance, it will happen because she believes you do not wish to repeat your mistake. And you can help her to feel this by demonstrating the behaviour that backs up this desire.
Now, when I say “demonstrate the right behaviour,” I am talking about the things you can say and do to help raise your standing with your ex. The correct behaviour for you might be to reduce or cut out alcohol, for example. The thing to do is ask yourself, “what would help my ex to believe I am doing all I can to ensure history would not repeat itself?”
The reality is that cheating destroys trust, and trust is an essential ingredient in relationships. Therefore it is critical to take every possible opportunity to rebuild trust with your ex.
One way to rebuild trust is to do what you say you will do. If you say you will do something at 15:00 on Sunday, then do it. If you say you will give her space for two weeks, then do precisely that. You want to make it as hard as possible for your ex to continue casting you as the bad guy.
Accept that she may not want to get back with you
Do not push your ex-girlfriend into getting back together with you. Instead, accept that your ex-girlfriend may not want you back and be okay with that decision.
While it will be hard to accept she may not want you back, cultivating this state of mind will improve your odds of success.
Here’s what I mean:
When you accept things are over, your ex-girlfriend will feel less pressure from you. And the more you relax, the more she will relax. If you make no demands on her, she will find it easier and more pleasant to talk to you.
If you make no demands, she may open up to you and be more amiable.
Without strong-arm tactics, your ex is free to choose for herself what she wants rather than do so from a defensive position. And even if her choice is to move on, you still have options.
Now, you might say, “but I don’t want her to move on!” Yet moving on can also mean reaching a place where you are seen in a better light. It can mean giving you —and the relationship— another chance.
The alternative? You try to push her into coming back to you. Or guilt her. Or beg and plead. But after a decade of saving relationships, I can tell you these strong-arm tactics are not persuasive at all.
Spend time with her without the pressure of being romantic
Your goal now is to spend time with her without displaying any pressure to be romantic. You can go on a walk or grab a coffee, play sports, or pretty much participate in any activity she likes to do.
In all likelihood, the more innocent your interactions seem, the less she will feel like resisting you. Avoid rushing into anything that looks like dating for this reason.
Over time, if you build good feelings with her, you will improve the odds that she will consider giving you another chance to be her boyfriend.
Because emotions fuel our actions and words.
When the negative emotions subside, the likelihood of positive words and actions increase in your favour.
Your job is to increase the good feelings enough that she begins to consider the idea of getting back together.
When she is ready, prepare to begin a new relationship
If your ex-girlfriend agrees to explore the possibility of reuniting with you, you are lucky! However, you should prepare for a difficult journey ahead as you begin to form a new relationship.
Because after cheating on her and betraying her trust, she will be cautious and in need of reassurance.
Of course, it is natural for your girlfriend to be suspicious of you and question where you are etc. Happily, one effective way to demonstrate your desire to be faithful is by offering complete transparency of where you are and what you are doing.
You could avoid staying out late at night. And if you do have to work late or get held up someplace, you can let your girlfriend know.
You can also let your girlfriend know where you are going and what time you will back before you leave. Think of this as a kind of courtesy to show you are sensitive to how things may look from her perspective.
The fewer secrets you keep from your girlfriend, the less space there will be for doubt in her mind.
Thankfully, over time, the need for transparency should subside as trust increases.