26 Women Who Gave Their Cheating SO A Second Chance Share Why And Whether It Was Worth It Or Not

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1. I Will Never Forget

We have kids and I honestly don’t think I could afford being a single mother. I have a job, but I don’t think I could live off of my income alone.

Plus I was still in love and willing to forgive.

But I can’t forget. I never will. I am reminded of it every day. Next month it will be a year since I found out.

In the back of my mind I feel like it will probably happen again. I won’t stay if it does. My heart already has partially shut him out. I don’t think it will hurt as bad the next time. I already have a secret bank account so I can save up in preparation.

2. He Completely Turned Himself Around

When I found out my husband cheated I told him I could not afford to throw him out. I told him I was done and our marriage was over, we just were living in the same house. I told him there was a tiny chance our marriage could be saved. He had until I could afford to take care of the kids on my own to convince me to let him stay. In the following six months he completely turned himself inside out to fix our marriage.

After that 6 months, I agreed that we could work it out. We did counseling, and a LOT of very serious and painful talks. We did a the work and have come out ok. That was 5 years ago. I would tell anyone in that situation to only stay after a spouse has cheated if

a)The cheater can honestly commit to the amount of shit required to fix that kind of fuck-up. It’s a big job and not everyone is up to it.

b)You can honestly commit to the amount of shit you have to wade through to work through it. Again, not for everyone and there is no shame in not wanting to walk that path.

c)You can find some way to live with it. It will always be there in your brain and will pop up and punch you in the throat at weird times.

Even though we are good, and possibly better, now, I wonder what would have happened it I would have had a better job when it all went down.

3. Like A Bolt Of Lightning

I had been having hunches for some time that husband might be too involved with N. N was a friend of ours from long ago and I’ve never liked or trusted her, but I trusted my husband and it would be a serious step down from me to her so I sincerely never thought he would be that dumb. I ignored the many phone calls on our bill as them just being friends. I would periodically check his phone when I felt something and never found anything questionable. One night after a long day of clinicals topped by a 12 hour work shift (so 24 hours straight), I crawl into bed exhausted.

My spidey senses had been tingling all day. I check his phone and the first thing that popped up was his texts to N. Previously there was never new ones. I know now that it’s because he habitually deleted them. The texts were all dirty and made comments about how they were going to fool around later. There was a pic of his dick and a reciprocated one of her tits. It was like a bolt of lightning went through me. I had been right. I sat up in bed and turned the light on until he woke up, a few seconds later. The convo that followed is hazy because all I saw was red. Something along the lines of “How long have you been fucking N? ” and him denying it. I went to the living room and Googled houses for rent, etc. He never came out to get me or talk or anything. The next day we text fought all day until my last text was “Well, maybe you’ll have better luck with your next wife, have fun with that.”

He adamantly denied ever having sex with her and swore it was just texting and he blamed me because I don’t like to text with him like that and I don’t put out enough. We have always had a good sex life, or so I thought. We had sex 1-3 times a week consistently and I know he would have liked it more but never thought it was a big issue. He suddenly changed tone and became remorseful and begging for forgiveness.

Things were tense for a couple weeks. I came up with some stipulations and he realized that he had a major sex and porn addiction problem and it just kind of manifested itself into this sexting relationship. I was still angry because he admitted that it had been going on for 2 years and that he did something similar with a friend a long time ago. Things were very slowly getting better but I was still so angry.

Three weeks after I found out, a major storm hit across the country and I was deployed with FEMA on a disaster response team. I ended up being gone for 4 weeks. Throughout that time he got a taste of single fatherhood and became even more loving and remorseful. At this point it was up to me and whether I still wanted to be married. I was pretty busy during the deployment but also had long hours of downtime and I was driving myself batshit crazy thinking about it all. I met a guy, I’ll call L.

L was a breathe of fresh air. We talked for hours and texted constantly. I knew I was going down a slippery slope. We talked about my marriage and all of our problems and he shared his recent breakup from a 10 yr relationship. I know it was wrong and that two wrongs don’t make a right. I would never, in a million years, have thought I would cheat on my husband. But I did. It was like I watched myself going down a road and no matter what I did, I couldn’t get my own attention long enough to stop myself. I had sex with L twice and when the call came that I was going home the next day, it was like a weight was lifted off of my shoulders.

All of my anger. All of the disgust I felt towards my husband were gone, just like that. Our reunion at the airport when I got home was emotional and so confusing. I wasn’t angry any more but I still didn’t know if my marriage was salvageable. And I knew I would tell him what I did. I just didn’t know when or how.

Two days passed and things were settling back to normal. We were sitting on the floor folding a huge mound of laundry and suddenly I realized that I can’t imagine a life without him. I didn’t want some other man to match socks with. I decided my marriage was worth fighting for and it was up to me to do it. He was already bending over backwards and doing anything possible to keep me. I told him that and we hugged and cried and held each other. I still hadn’t told him what I did though. I knew he wouldn’t be mad but I didn’t want to hurt him, he didn’t deserve that. He’s a good man.

A couple days later, I had a long day of shopping and talking with a good friend whom I was deployed with and who knew the whole story, including L. She convinced me to get it out in the open because we can’t move forward until I do. So that night I told him. I cried and told him that I had sex with another man. He hugged me said that it was ok and blamed himself for starting the whole thing in the first place. That night we vowed that from this day forward we would be better people and better spouses and that we would fight for our marriage.

Six months later we went on a vacation for our 10 year anniversary and first honeymoon (we never had one). Its been one year now and sometimes I love him so much I want to cry. We have a great relationship. Our sex life is more meaningful with about the same frequency. He doesn’t watch porn at all and I’m positive that he has become more appreciative of sex because of that. Prior to this I was never a jealous wife. I didn’t care that his phone was x rated and that he watched porn habitually. Although a part of me knew it wasn’t normal and he might actually have an addiction, I ignored the warning signs. Nowadays I still check his phone but it’s become less frequent. And he is an open book whereas before he was guarded and defensive.

So, altogether, things are good and I think we’ll be fine.

4. He Begged

Because I loved him more than myself. He also got down on his knees and literally begged me to stay with him. He dumped me a month or two later because he said I wasn’t “dedicated enough” while also claiming that I loved him “too much” and that made me crazy.

5. Because Dating Is Just Too Much

Because I’m crazy for him and did not know any better. Plus I really hate the feeling of wanting and needing him back when his gone. I hate the feeling of being broken hearted and I hate going through the whole dating process all over again.

6. Afraid For Him

I love him and am afraid he will totally screw his life up if I do leave.

But, more and more, because I can’t afford to. We have a child together, I lost my job while pregnant and am in school now, and I haven’t been able to find anything that would pay enough to support my son and I if I left.

I have also never lived on my own and the thought terrifies me.

7. I Still Have Freak Outs

Because he told me as soon as he remembered and there was no way in hell I would have found out otherwise.

He honestly thought I’d leave him. He was crying and completely devastated.

It was a decision he made whilst stupidly drunk (which he won’t do anymore – his decision) and not a conscious decision to hurt me.

It hurts sometimes when he’s drinking at all without me, or I go to bed earlier than him and he doesn’t answer texts, but I made a decision to trust him. I have freak outs still but they’re much much less frequent now and much more easily calmed. I even just came back from a 2 week trip and he was freaking out more than me (his ex cheated on a trip as well as many other times).

8. We Dealt With It Like Adults

Because it doesn’t particularly bother me. I choose not to “cheat”, but we are both adults and he can do what he wants. He travels for work and I’m OK with an occasional passing romp. I almost expect it, as that’s how we met. The odd thing – he came to me admitting it and apologizing, saying he was drunk and stupid. I honestly think he was disappointed that I wasn’t jealous. Then we talked it out and dealt with it like adults.

Here’s the thing. We are secure together and committed to each other. That’s what matters. Emotionally, I know that he is all mine and I am all his. As I explained to him: if he wants some strange occasionally (not locally or regularly), and he is safe, and it doesn’t interfere with our relationship, it doesn’t bother me. In fact, I’d like to know the details. If I do the same, I’ll share my details.

It might be worth noting that we are both more mature and we both came out of long relationships that ended over infidelity.

9. He Was My First Love

Because (especially since he was my first love) I wanted to believe the apologies and promises that it was a mistake and he really love me and would never do it again. After pouring myself into the relationship for over a year I didn’t want to just throw everything I thought we had away. I honestly believed it could be fixed. I’m sure at least a few people on here can agree with me when I say that you go through something mentally when someone cheats on you. It hits your self esteem really hard and sometimes it makes you cling to the person even more.

10. Being Alone Is Worse

Because I love him and am afraid to be without him. I think that would be a lot worse than the cheating.

11. I Don’t Know Why I Took Him Back But I’m Glad I Did

Giving him a second chance when he wouldn’t even admit that what he had done was wrong was a decision that could easily be regarded as stupid, but I’m glad I did. Honestly, I can’t 100% figure out why I did it. I have theories (path of least resistance, desire for a relationship with a guy who had cared for me so much prior to that, to stop my own, constant pain… well, that took a long time to actually stop), but I don’t know that I can ever put logical thought to my behavior after all of that happened.

12. The Story He Told Me Was A Lie

Because he gave me the absolute only explanation that could have made it forgivable (he found out his mom’s cancer was getting worse, he was going to have to quit school right before finals to come take care of her, he got drunk, we were long distance, and he made out with a chick).

I found out a year and a half later that yes, he cheated on me, but the story he told me was 100% false. What actually happened was after he’d gotten back home, he met an ex for dinner, and ended up making out with her. He felt really guilty about it, so met up with her the next day to talk with her about it and slept with her.

He had told me the original story because he knew it was the only way I would give him a second chance. He only fessed up because I had pretty much told him to give me a reason to stay (he was sexually abusive and putting zero effort into having a relationship, and I was finally done), and knew he couldn’t, so he wanted to clear his conscience.

Turns out, not only did he cheat on me with that ex, but continued meeting up with her after that, AND introduced me to her at one point. As soon as he told me that, I realized I hadn’t imagined that she was laughing at me (in that way women can silently communicate to each other) when I met her, because she knew I had no idea.

He asked if there was any way I could forgive him, and I told him as far as I was concerned lying to me for so long was the same as him cheating on me a second time.

My current SO of 3 years was cheated on by his last serious relationship after he had bought a ring but before he could propose. Needless to say, we’re both understanding that cheating is not something that will happen, and that despite the fact we feel like we’ve found the one, it would take truly extraordinary circumstances for a second chance to be given to either of us.

13. I Couldn’t Believe My Best Friend Would Do That To Me

Because I couldn’t accept that the man I thought was my best friend would do that to me, even when he came home covered in hickeys. I mean, I knew it was happening, but I didn’t want to accept it. Gas lighting the shit out of me helped. After the second woman I was finally done.

I’ll never be that purposefully blind again.

14. I Thought I Could Handle Anything

Because I really fell for him hard when I met him. And because I was in a really good place before I met him and felt like I could tackle anything.

It ended up being the worst two years of my life. I couldn’t grow past how I felt, and he really didn’t help me be able to cope with his actions (kept lying about being in group situations with her when he said he wasn’t and expected me to just somehow stop being crazy when he was feeding the flame).

15. Sisters Help Each Other Out

Over. We were fucking miserable for another 3 months then it ended. We’re now sort of friends when we can be bothered. He tried to cheat on me with his ex, but she turned him down. I found out when I found texts from her basically telling him he needed to sort himself out and stop dicking me around. I never met his ex but if there’s some sort of general sisterhood solidarity type award she fucking deserves it.

16. Tip Of The Iceberg

I forgave him after I found out about the first time he cheated on me. He was drunk at a New Years party, and he told me he kissed another girl. So I went, oh okay, its not a big deal. You just kissed a girl at midnight. Whatever.

From then on I always had a suspicion that he was cheating on me with other people, but just didn’t have the proof. So I tried to convince myself, oh its just from that stupid incident that happened years ago.

Then cut to 3 years later I find out about the 30 other women he cheated on me with.

17. I Would Have Said Cheating Was A Deal Breaker…That Was Before

He took a year off drinking and is now able to have a night where he has a couple drinks and it doesn’t escalate to getting black out drunk (like he was when he did shady Shit).

He worked his ass off to be a better person in general. It wasn’t just for me-it was for him and his future (which I think made the biggest difference). We worked intensely on our communication (I grew up very emotionally closed and we didn’t communicate well at all as a result).

6 years later we are 1000 times happier than we were before he cheated. It brought us closer.

That being said- I was typically the one to say cheating is a 100% deal breaker. I understand my experience is unique to this situation and not everyone has such results.

18. He Vowed To Change, And Did

Our relationship is great now. Its been over 4 years since the cheating, and what I think really made it work was me getting my own apartment in a shitty unit and him seeing it (when about half my stuff was moved in) it really hit him hard that this was where we were. He said he absolutely did not want his girlfriend and son living in an apartment. He wanted better for us and vowed to change 100% and he did. Overall we have been together 13 years and have been engaged for the past few years, no big rush on getting married, we are just happy with the way things are now. I trust him 100% and he trusts me as well. I let him go out lots where my friends cant understand that, I tell them that if he wants to cheat he will find a way, and I trust that he wont. Im not into leashing anyone, if they want to risk it, they know the consequences. But yes have come a long way.

19. My Divorce Attorney Made Me Love Him Again

I found out my husband cheated, and then admitted I had also. I wanted a divorce, he didn’t. So I agreed to go to counseling but also went and met with a divorce attorney. I don’t know if it was the greatest or worst divorce attorney but she spoke so hatefully if my husband that it angered me, and it was then I realized I still loved him. I started putting some effort into the counseling, and both of our walls came down. It was hard. But, it’s been 7 years (and we’ve had 2 kids in the past 18 months) and we have the best marriage out of anyone I know. We’re the people other people want their marriage to be like. I trust him completely. We cheated because our relationship was shitty and we weren’t putting any effort into it. Now, it’s wonderful and I wouldn’t do a thing to screw it up.

20. He Took Money To Leave Me Alone

Nonexistent. I ended up breaking up with him several months later for narcissistic tendencies, anger issues, and inability to communicate. I wish I had dumped him the second I found out he cheated, would have saved me a lot of heartache. And after we broke up he blew up my phone, called my parents, and showed up on my property unannounced. I had to change my phone number and my dad gave him money to leave us alone.

21. He Became Afraid I’d Cheat Back

Toxic. We were engaged when he cheated. We are not now. He’s manipulative and has control over everything I do. For example if I don’t text him back immediately he assumes I’m somewhere I shouldn’t be. If my phone goes off and I’m with him, he asks who it was and what they said. If I try to reason with him for the sake of my privacy he turns it into me hiding things. He’s scared I will cheat on him to get back at him for cheating on me. He won’t take initiative to be a better person and treat me better, but also refuses to see me with someone who will.

It’s a roller coaster every day and I’ve tried so hard to move past what he did and make something work but I can feel myself slipping away. I just want to be myself again. I want to be able to give myself to someone the way I did for him, but for the right person..someone who will respect me and cherish it. Sometimes life just sucks. It gets better, right? Right?!

22. Not All Cheaters Are Cheaters For Life

He had a rough patch in his life and in the span of 6 months, cheated on me with two other women. I was mad, furious of course, but I was still there for them. We (he, I and one of the girls) confronted the issue and had him make his decision. Obviously, that decision was me and we’ve thus far been together since. I trust him.

I always see and hear the ‘Once he cheats he’ll always do it again!!!’ But from experience these were always from women who hadn’t cheated themselves. People who hadn’t experienced that feeling. I can say I trust him because I have been one of those women whom have cheated and I can honestly say that I won’t do it again, because for me it was an awful, ugly feeling and it made me feel like garbage. Me and my SO have had many long talks on the issue and I can believe him when he says he won’t do it again, because of how it made him and the others around him feel.

You have to make the decision yourself. You have to be able to trust him if you feel you can, but in the instance that he does end up cheating again, you will need to put your foot down. This is what I have told my SO, that if he were to do it again I would be gone and no longer in contact with him and he takes that very seriously.

Think long and hard on the issue OP. Even talk it over with him and how it made you feel and that it wasn’t okay and that it did mean something. Cheating, whether physically or emotionally is not okay. He needs to be able to understand that if he wants to continue to be in your life.

Just because he’s cheated once doesn’t mean he’ll do it again.

23. He Couldn’t Resist

I took back my cheating ex, many years ago. I set a clear requirement that he and I attend therapy and that he learn to walk away from situations where he might be tempted — because the difference between faithfulness and “oops” is having the willpower and wisdom to recognize temptation and walk away from it. Cheaters tend to think they will never cheat, that they can withstand temptation. The truth is, it’s like being drunk.

Well, he quit therapy and cheated again, so I walked.

24. Took Him Back But The Trust Isn’t There

I took him back because of love and the fact that he truly is my best friend.

It’s hard going on every day because it’s like this cloud that floats in the back of my mind. My trust for him is definitely not what it was and it will still take an extremely long time until I can feel the same level of it before he cheated. It gets easier but certain things trigger this gut wrenching feeling. It could also be because I’m also emotionally kind of messed up but yes, I did take him back. I don’t regret it for now but I will say this, we are married and was married when It happened. Had I been in a bf/gf relationship I would of most definitely left.

25. Sometimes It Takes Two

Well, I might be the oddball here, but here goes….

My husband cheated on me. After hearing his reasons why, I forgave him. To be honest, I wasn’t being the most awesome wife at the time. So, it opened up a bunch of communication for us, and actually made the relationship better in some ways. We are still happily married after 8 years, and there hasn’t been another incident since.

26. Sometimes A Cheating Victim Just Can’t Recover

We worked really hard to get the trust back and were really honest with each other. I would tell him if I was uncomfortable with something and we took baby steps until it was back to normal. But normal only lasted a while before I got nervous again. I’m not sure I can blame the cheating for the break-up, it was probably a combination of my insecurity and the reasons he cheated in the first place, but a year later the relationship ended. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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About the author

Lisa Woods

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