How to Forgive Yourself For Cheating and Not Telling

forgive yourself for cheating and not telling

Unable to let go of the guilt and regret after cheating on your partner? Read this article to learn ways that can help you forgive yourself for cheating and not telling.

Most people cheat out of selfishness. It’s an act of transgression where you keep your self-interest above that of your romantic partner, lover or spouse. 

Some cheaters are racked with a sense of all-consuming guilt and shame and then there are cheaters who don’t feel anything and keep on living their life, as usual.

Cheaters not only hurt their partners but they cause a lot of damage to themselves too.

Living with a persistent feeling of guilt can prove detrimental to your physical and mental health.

‘I Cheated and Can’t Live with Myself’

So, you cheated and can’t forgive yourself?

It’s only natural to feel these distressing feelings of guilt. Maybe you are finding it difficult to live with yourself after cheating on your partner. The guilt can trigger feelings of self-loathing and worthlessness. 

Once you have transgressed, you start to feel that you don’t deserve the person whose trust you have broken.

If you have begun to loathe yourself, and feel that you don’t deserve love anymore, you might be punishing yourself too hard.

With these self-sabotaging thoughts, it will only get more difficult to live with yourself.

If you feel you can’t be forgiven or struggling to forgive yourself for cheating and not telling, this article can help you with easing off your emotional pain.

Will the Guilt of Cheating Go Away?

Sometimes, the guilt of cheating can be so overwhelming that it interferes with daily living and makes your life unbearable.

You begin to wonder, will these feelings of guilt ever go away?

The fact that you are feeling miserable indicates that you are remorseful and maybe even full of shame for what you did.

You want to get rid of the guilt of cheating, and want to regain your former self, but the feelings just don’t change!

The good news is that guilt can be overcome. 

How do You Live With Yourself After Cheating on Someone?

What you did will always be a part of you, but it doesn’t need to define you.

Once A Cheater, Always A Cheater?

While there is no justification for cheating, it’s good to keep in mind that not everyone who cheats will cheat again.

People cheat for all kinds of reasons and they come in all forms and shapes.

Many of those who cheat don’t repeat their mistakes.

Some cheaters learn from their transgressions and move on in life while others blame others for what they did.

So, don’t let the saying “once a cheater, always a cheater” demoralise you.

It’s totally up to you how you choose to move forwards with your life.

How to Forgive Yourself for Cheating and Not Telling

7 things to do to help you forgive yourself for cheating and hiding it:

1. Admit You Were Wrong

You can’t get rid of the guilt if you don’t face it head-on.

Many lack the courage to sit with their thoughts of guilt and really listen to what it is trying to teach you.

Acknowledge your feelings of guilt and admit that you broke an emotional contract with your partner and now you stand guilty.

Avoiding your guilt may look like a safer option, but research shows suppressed guilt make its way out in strange ways in your life, either in the form of anxiety, depression or irritability.

One of the initial steps to end the lifelong suffering is to admit what you did was wrong and feeling remorse for it.

2. Acknowledge the Pain You Caused to Others

Cheating could be extremely stressful for a partner who has been cheated on. It can make them lose their self-worth, a safety net and break all their future dreams that they shared with you.

Letting the partner who has been cheated on know that you understand what pain you have caused to them is one step closer to getting rid of the guilt and regret of cheating.

It might require a lot of courage from your end to have this conversation but it could be a crucial step that can help your partner and you to heal from the pain of infidelity.

3. Identify What Caused you to stray?

You can’t expect to not repeat behaviour from yourself unless you know what caused you to do, to begin with.

Cheating says a lot about a person. You might have low self-esteem, intimacy issues, or maybe you have been feeling neglected, alone, sexually dissatisfied with your partner that triggered you to cheat on your partner.

Identify the root cause of your behaviour and taking the necessary steps to work on it will help you not make the same mistake again!

4. What’s Your Learning?

The guilt exists for a reason. 

The reason is to help identify your mistake, realise the damage your actions have brought upon your partner and then mend your ways.

One of the surefire ways to deal with guilt is to learn from what happened and grow from your mistakes.

If you can’t stop thinking about it over and over again, it’s time for an intervention.

Rumination will only add to your suffering and may even make you depressed!

Your best bet is to use that guilt to learn your lesson and let the guilt go.

Related: How to Stop Ruminating

5. Challenge the Self-sabotaging Thoughts

If your guilt is unbearable, you might start to loathe yourself. It’s not uncommon to see the self-sabotaging thoughts in cheaters post cheating.

Feeling worthless and believing that you don’t deserve love anymore would only make you feel insignificant and depressed.

6. Accept You Will Make Mistakes in Life

You can’t go about life without making mistakes. 

There would be moments in life where you would not meet your standards, face setbacks and just do things that you didn’t expect out of you.

Let’s face it: humans are imperfect creatures.

Beating yourself up about a mistake, no matter how grave it is, will make your life stagnant.

You will feel stuck day in day out and your emotional distress will only add up.

When we make mistakes, what does the world really expect out of us?

Taking the corrective measure so that we don’t do what we did, mostly, that’s it!

There’s no point punishing yourself if you have felt genuine remorse for your mistake and have corrected your actions.

Letting go of the perfectionist mindset will serve you more good.

We all have flaws we are not proud of and torturing yourself all your life for some bad choices you made in the past will only make your life miserable.

Related: How to Let Go of Perfectionism

7. Seek Counselling

If your feelings of guilt and regret are consuming you and nothing you do seems to change these feelings, it might help you to seek professional counselling that helps address the guilt.

Related: How to Let Go of Guilt and Regret


The guilt and regret of cheating on your loved one could be crippling in more than one way. However, using the aforementioned tips you can help forgive yourself for cheating and not telling.

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Suggested Reading: Forgiveness

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