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What Are the Consequences of Cheating on Your Girlfriend?

by Stacey Elkins, studioD

It doesn't matter if a pretty co-worker caught your eye, a stranger in a bar made a pass at you or an old girlfriend was in town. The result was that you cheated on your girlfriend. The deed is done, and now you realize you don't want to lose her. When it comes to cheating -- there are always consequences. In this case, you could lose your girlfriend.

Guilt and Shame

You may feel guilt, shame and remorse. The awareness of your capacity to hurt your girlfriend may haunt you. These feelings can make it difficult to discuss the indiscretion with your girlfriend. As hard as it may be to discuss, it's important that you be able to set aside your feelings of guilt and shame in order to communicate with your girlfriend. Elly Prior, an accredited counselor and author of "Dealing With Infidelity" on her website, Professional Counselling, suggests negotiating a time limit on how long the indiscretion can be discussed each day. Listen to how your girlfriend feels and be willing to answer her questions and face her concerns.

Loss of Trust

If your girlfriend chooses not to end your relationship, it will take time to build back the trust that was lost. You should expect for it to take at least a year for your significant other to regain trust in you, says Joshua Coleman, a psychologist and author of "Surviving Betrayal" on the website, Greater Good. Expect your girlfriend to be more suspicious of who you are with and your whereabouts. She may question who you are texting or who you are talking with on the phone. Keep the lines of communication open and be patient. Your girlfriend needs time to heal and to be able to trust you again. She may need you to reassure her, on a regular basis, that you will not cheat on her again. You may also have trust issues of your own. The person who cheats has a hard time trusting that he will be forgiven, according to Prior,

Owning Up to Infidelity

You need to take responsibility for cheating on your girlfriend. If you point blame at your significant other, the more time it will take for her to trust and forgive you, says Coleman. For example, don't tell your girlfriend that you cheated because she didn't show enough appreciation for you. Own up to your mistake, apologize and make changes in your relationship, so that it won't happen again.

Possibility of Losing Your Relationship

There's a likely chance that your girlfriend will decide to leave you. Be ready for this possibility. If she doesn't and is willing to give you another shot, you are fortunate. If you and she can deal with your indiscretion, it is possible to develop a better relationship than you had before the indiscretion, says Prior. Be willing to face and work on any problems in your relationship. Seeking couples therapy may help to repair some of the damage done, rebuild trust and build a stronger foundation.

About the Author

Stacey Elkins is a writer based in Chicago. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and a Masters in social work from the University of Illinois in Chicago, where she specialized in mental health.

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