Is it a bad idea to give a cheater a second chance?

My boyfriend of 6months recently cheated. I won't bore you with too many details but basically he went out drinking w/ the guys, ran into a girl he used to know (hooked up w/a few times before) then ended up going home with her. I found out, of course. It hurt a lot because I really like him. After taking a few days to cool off I agreed to meet him so we could talk. He was/is sincerely sorry, feels awful and knows it was a shitty thing to do. He talked about his feelings for me, how mad he was at himself for f'ing up what we had. Then he said "I wouldn't blame you for ending things but I hope you don't."

I can tell that he's sincerely sorry for what he did and not just because he got caught. I want to forgive him and try to move forward with the relationship but I don't want to be "that stupid girl" who gives her boyfriend a second chance then gets hurt even worse the next time around. I also don't want to be a bitter person who can't forgive and believes the mistake defines the person.

Is it a bad idea to give a cheater a second chance?
Updates:
Follow Up to My Question Above. For anyone who has cheated on someone in the past... did you end up cheating again? If so, on the same person or in a different relationship?
Thanks for all the advice. I read and thought about everything everyone wrote. I've decided to forgive because this is so out of character for him, he is sincerely sorry and says he will be patient with me while trust is rebuilt. I care about him and like him a lot so I am willing to take a chance. Obviously if anything like this happens again it is over for good. But my hope is that we will get past this amd back on track with the relationship.

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Most Helpful Guy

  • You sound like an insightful girl, so good for you for thinking it through. I don't know you or him but the biggest red flag to me is that he hooked up with a friends with benefits. That might cause some problems in the foreseeable future or i could be spewing shit, who knows?

    But if it were me I would take a break, and tell him that, I know you're sorry, but I need a break for a bit to think and once i've time to think we can be together again. I would use that break time to so how he acts. If he goes back to that women or any other woman, then i wouldn't because if he genuinely wants to be with you he'll use that break to think about what he's done.

    Best of luck to you!

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Most Helpful Girl

  • I don't think this matter is as simple as some make it out to be. It's not always because they have found someone better etc. In some cases there's a reason behind it (psychologically). What you can do is try to find the reason and see if it's always gonna be there (In that case there's no point in continuing with the relationship). Examples of when there's still hope for the relationship: 1. He's the one who tells you about it (u don't catch him do it). He admits cheating on you/not being loyal to u. 2. The relationship he has with another person hasn't been going on for a long time and is not emotional.
    3. He doesn't deny it. 4. He deeply regrets having done it. 5. He's willing to solve the issues it has caused.
    Now, wether the person chooses to stay in the relationship or not is their choice and there are a lot of factors to consider.

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What Guys Said 41

  • I generally think it is unless perhaps if you have kids together, in oatrt because the cheater can't be fully, truly forgiven and trusted again.

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    • Even then to stay in a relationship because they have kids would not be a good outcome as it can damage not only the couple but the mental states of the children

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    • @SjE78: It sort of seems to work for some People.

    • yeah true but only in very rare circumstances though

  • At your age? Not married? I dunno... there's a lot of gray area there.
    If you had two kids by him and had been married for a number of years and he vowed to honor and cherish you and to always be true, then maybe. But just a casual relationship?
    First, he really has no commitment to you in the first place. Secondly, all of those explanations and excuses are just that - excuses. I doubt he felt bad when he was doing her. He didn't honor his relationship with you enough to pass on the other, she was too irresistible. There is absolutely nothing to stop him from doing that again, with her, or someone else.

    No, this is on you, you'll have to decide. It would be a giant red flag for me if my date stepped out. I would likely cut ties before it got further along and harder to do. This is someone that has already proven they don't consider you worthy of exclusivity and respect. And you're so young with your entire life and future ahead of you.

    Choose wisely, treat kindly. __Dr. Laura

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    • On update...
      First wife was awful. Although we were together over a decade, after some years I started looking for new wife while still married. Yes, not exactly morally acceptable, but that was some 35 years ago.
      So there were several affairs, but only one at a time. Wife thought cooking cleaning and fucking were three cities in china. It was a dead end. She was usually stoned and asleep on the couch by 8:30 at night. Most days i would stop at the market for something for dinner, and make it when I got home. Sometimes she was around, sometimes not. I should NEVER have had children with her. That's another long story.

      So yes, I'm what one could call a serial cheater. But then I met a girl at work and fell in love with her. We worked together, became very close, would go out after work, and eventually this turned from an emotional affair to a physical one. She would cry on Fridays because she wouldn't see me over the weekend. I was building a huge mansion with the ex.

    • I finally told this new woman to give me a reason to leave my current wife. She never wanted to be involved with a married man, and didn't want to break up a family. In the end she could see I wasn't going to stay anyway. She said she would always love me and wanted to be with me. So I left the ex, moved out of that new mansion into an apartment with her and girlfriend. Ex wife was more upset about losing her new fancy house than her husband. She never really gave two shits about me. It was always about her and her horses.

      It's been about thirty years now. All the kids are grown and gone, all doing well, and the ex remarried four times, now divorced again.

    • Oh, and there's never been a reason to cheat with wifey ver 2.0. Well, there was, but that's a whole 'nother long story. Bottom line is a cheater is not always a cheater. The people involved and the situation is what determines whether cheating can or will happen, or not.

  • If he is someone who is worthy of your forgiveness, then yes, give him a second chance. If you give him another chance, that doesn't mean you have to marry him. He has to rebuild that trust again, sorta like starting over. Hard question to answer. But, this world would be a pretty sad place to live if nobody ever got a second chance and/or nobody ever forgave anyone.

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  • I for one believe second chances are often warranted. It's not cool by any means what he did, but if there's any light at the end of the tunnel, at least he isn't denying it. He's got a lot of proving to do at this point, and should work hard at always being open with you. If he appears to be capable of that, then good. If things start to look like he is being sneaky, call him on it.

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  • not a good idea, especially depending if they cheated without good reason... if they were unhappy but stayed with their partner due to certain reasons
    fine but they should have told their partner and called things off before it progressed beyond the point where it could be salvaged...

    but if they cheated cos of just infidelity then chances are they will do it again

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  • You can forgive him and still say "sorry, my standards are higher than guys who can't be left with alcohol unattended."

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    • No need to even say the sorry word 😉 i agree with the rest.

  • I might if they saw the error of their ways and took positive steps to prevent that temptation from happening again. However in your case it doesn't sounds like he is willing to change any behaviors or patterns so you are going to turn into a huge worrier next time he goes out with friends.

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  • It's a terrible idea. Run the other direction. Find other stuff to occupy your time. Meet one of the 7 billion people out there who HAVEN"T cheated on you and date them.

    Do not let him near you again.

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  • I tried that once.. And never will again. If they cheated once, it means that under circumstances they'll do it again, even if at the moment they can make all kinds of promises... by the way. cheaters always say that they're sorry and know how terrible it was. And I guess in that moment when they say it they actually think they mean it. But what do you think would happen if your boyfriend was in that situation again? Plus if they did it once, it's easier the second time.

    My perspective is obviously somewhat biased so decide yourself. But be aware that he probably won't change a lot

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    • Thanks -- tough to hear but we're around the same age and I think you can probably relate to my situation, so I appreciate your honesty.

  • Depends on if and when he does again. Just remember you took him back knowing the possibility of such an event. Don’t be mad the second time. But maybe you will have the 1 in a million that doesn’t again. Respect is Respect

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  • Hmm... A woman I know at work has been with a guy for 19 years. They have children. He cheated. I knew as soon as I saw her something was wrong. She looked sick. Face all red, like she eczema. She told me what happened. She did her paperwork and went home. She said she like she was going to throw up. I felt like crying all day. In the end, she couldn't do it. She couldn't walk away from 19 years. I know. Not the same thing.

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    • My grandmother accused my grandfather of "getting his pencil sharpened" by the woman at the post office. Probly true. They survived. They stayed married for over 70 years. Until their deaths.

  • Do you think if you went out with the girls and got smashed and ran into a dude youve hooked up with before that you could end up in bed with him at the end of the night? If you say yes, forgive dude and work out something to prevent that in the future. If there's no way you would ever then tell him to take a hike. In relationships if you are willing to play the game then don't jusdge your partner when they play

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  • Always a bad idea, at least until he is at least 30. Then maybe he'll be mature enough. Of course you'll probably have found someone else by then. Move on.

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  • I wouldn't. At that point the trust is just dead and you need that to make a relationship work.

    But if you genuinely think he's sorry and that it won't happen again, maybe it's worth giving him a second chance. It all depends on whether you feel you can trust him after what he did.

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  • I gave a second chance before to cheaters and it doesn't work. They WILL cheat again given half the chance and if they are attached in even the smallest way to the person they are cheating with you can almost guarantee it.

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  • You can forgive. But that dosen't mean staying.
    He broke your trust. Only you can decide if you can move past that.
    Personally, I'd move on

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  • I think you are incredibly niave for even entertaining the idea of taking him back..

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  • Dump his sorry ass ! You deserve so much better. Once a cheater always a cheater in my opinion. He's just sorry you found. These things always come out sooner or later.

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  • No don't give him a second chance. They rarely change and if they do they need time to change and they should move on. Do not make the mistake of telling him back!

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  • It doesn't matter what he did. The question is can you forget it? Or will you look at him and all you can see is the other girls face?

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  • No matter what, you are taking quite a chance. For MOST, once a cheater, always a cheater. The exception is slim, thus , quite a chance!

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  • Putting your dick in a vacuum cleaner is a bad idea, this is suicide.

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  • Well, depending on if the same cheater is gonna cheat on you again or not, and depending on how much they loved you not to do it again.

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  • It's rather stupid in my opinion. Forgive but never forget. One strike and you're done.

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  • You cheat once you'll cheat again sadly it's not a habit that's easily dropped

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  • Cut him loose and move on. I made the mistake of forgiving my ex her 1st infidelity. At that time we'd been together 2 years. Well, 3 years later and last week I found out she's in love with someone else. So after 5 years together, I dumped her and kicked her out. It kills me to do because I have loved her for such a long time. She is not the only woman that ever cheated on me. She is the only woman I ever forgave and granted a 2nd chance. Now I'm laying here alone with a lot of and heartache in the pit of my soul. Do yourself a favour and move on. Letting go is the hardest part of moving forward.

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  • How much of a hoe was he to cheat so early in? NEVER give cheaters a second chance!

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  • Tough one. I have a real problem with cheaters but if you truly believe he's sorry hmmmm

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  • No if for example u werent able to satisfy him if its just sex

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  • If he cheated in the first place, it makes you think if he ever loved you in the first place.

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What Girls Said 17

  • Can you truly get through this? Will you always be wondering if a similar drinking session happens that he might be tempted again? If he is late home one night, will you wonder what he is up to?

    Biggest of all, do you want to risk trusting him again with the possibility it will happen again?

    Your choice, your risk.

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    • by the way, it was NOT a mistake. It was a deliberate act of betrayal. He knew full well what he was doing, and at the time, could not have cared less about you, and you probably did not feature in his mind while he was fucking her!

  • Cheating while drunk I think shows they aren't very adverse to it in the first place. I knew a guy who found out he had an std, and not wanting to give it to anyone he had such a strong aversion to sleeping around with women even when he couldn't remember what happened. He could hardly speak but knew not to have sex with my friend. I'm sorry but I think you should look elsewhere.

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  • I’d personally move on. Even if I forgave him, I couldn’t ever fully trust him again as I follow the motto ‘once a cheater, always a cheater’ and since relationships are essentially built on trust, that’d be a major issue to me.

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  • If drinking and meeting some chick he kind of knows is enough for him to stick his junk where it doesn't belongs, I wouldn't trust him personally. To me it just sounds like it might happen again far too easily.

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  • If they had recently cheated in the relationship before me, I'd probably be less than likely to give them another chance because they might still have the same mentality as they did in that relationship. But if they cheated in a relationship a long time ago, I'd give them a chance because they've probably changed since then.

    BUT if they cheated on me, I wouldn't give them another chance. They made that choice.

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  • Very bad idea i know they have feelings too but they won't ever stop till they experience a kind of pain like that themselves don't you think?

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  • I wouldn't give him the benefit of the doubt, and move on. If he cheated once he will do it again. Once a cheater always a cheater. If he cheated on you the first time, mostly likely he will do it again and he never loved you in the first place.

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  • I'd have dumped his ass there and then! 6 months in and he's already bored of you so has to look elsewhere. Would he forgive you if it were the other way round? Probably not!

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  • hi!
    okay, question: how did you know about this? did he tell you?

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    • He told me but I had already figured things out by that time. His friends showed up at a party where I was at, but very late (after bar hopping). When I asked where he was it was obvious that a few were trying to cover for him.

    • okay, him telling you is a good sign, and the fact he's apologetic about it is also a very good sign. :D

    • Cheaters gonna cheat. The crime was done. There is no going back after that. 🙄

  • U should not trust him... if a person is drunk still they know what to do or not basically drunk tells the truth... I don’t think u should give him a chance or else u will always be get cheated

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  • There's only two options.
    One Yes because ones a cheater always a cheater
    Two Everyone deserves a second chance.
    But you say he when out with her a few times that's a lot to take in because it shows the he didn't care about you or thought about you sense the beginning and he new exactly what he was doing but that didn't stop him. All I'm saying is if you give him a second chance do it with the thought the if he does it again. That would be his last ever. But don't rush take your time to think about it because only you know exactly what happened.

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  • Yes, he'll do it again. Once a cheater, always a cheater. You can forgive him and be civil but you should end things

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  • Yes it is bad

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  • It’s good idea to give second chance

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  • No he has to show he wants it

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  • Once a cheater always a cheater!

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  • Yes, don't do it

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