You cheated on your boyfriend. As unthinkable as it may seem now, you're faced with that reality. It was the biggest mistake of your life and now all you want to do is take back the moment you betrayed his trust and cheated on him. Men are less likely than women to forgive cheating, experts say, because men experience cheating as an attack against their identity, according to therapist Phillip Hodson, in an article for the "Daily Mail" and cited on Lemondrop.com. If you are committed, however, there are ways to win your boyfriend back.
Think Why You Cheated
Ask yourself why you strayed and what your relationship may have been missing. First, you need to understand why you violated your relationship before you can begin building trust, according to Dallas therapist Michael J. Salas, cited on Psych Central. Likely, your boyfriend will want to know these answers, since a 2001 study in the "Journal of Personality and Individual Differences" indicated that men want to know the sexual details of an affair while women are more focused on emotional aspects of an affair. Consider how you will answer his questions, and prepare yourself to answer them.
Let Him Vent
On his road to rebuilding trust in you, give him time to vent so that he can express his hurt and anger, according to author Sheri Meyers, in the article, ”For the Betrayer: 8 Things You Must Know and Do to Rebuild Trust After an Affair," on Huffington Post. Likely, this won't be pleasant to hear, but you need to allow him his feelings and to hear what he has to say. Try to have an open heart and do not place the blame on him for your actions. Don’t make the mistake of putting a timeline on his anger, as well. Instead, be open to having the conversations he needs to have and to allow him to work through his feelings of betrayal. Continue to remind him of how sorry you are and how committed you now feel about making things right.
After identifying why you cheated, learn from your mistakes and make changes, so that you don't repeat these mistakes in the future, says Susan Heitler, Ph.D., in the Psychology Today article, "How To Get An Ex Back: 5 Essential Steps.” This is the crux for preventing a recurrence. If you cheated while under the influence, then consider giving up alcohol entirely. If your relationship was under too much stress because of your job, think about rearranging your priorities. Consider how your actions and choices may have opened the door to cheating, and then to make the necessary changes to avoid finding yourself in a similar situation again. This won't happen overnight, however, because it is a process, and the psychological forces within you must change.
Your boyfriend likely feels as though your cheating has diminished his masculinity, and he needs to feel in control, while you rebuild your relationship with him. The only way you can prove to him that he is who you want is by being consistently reliable, says Salas. If you say that you are going to call by a certain time each day -- do it. If you promise to join him for an outing with his family, be there on time and have a smile on your face. Reassure him of your attraction to him every step of the way and show him that he can trust you -- not only by your words, but more so by your actions.
- PsychCentral: How to Get Your Partner to Trust You Again
- Psychology Today: How To Get An Ex Back - 5 Essential Steps
- Journal of Personality and Individual Differences: Did you have sex with him? Do you love her? An in vivo test of sex differences in jealous interrogations
- Men More Likely to Stick with Girlfriends Who Sleep with Other Women Than Other Men, Research Shows
- LemonDrop: Why Guys Can't Forgive Us for Cheating (But We Can Forgive Them)
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