This complex issue was explored recently when 13 stories of people who stayed with a cheating partner came into light.
Cheating has unfortunately become commonplace in our society.
With social media making it easier than ever for people to connect behind their partner’s back, cheating has become the most common reason relationships end.
And if you have seen a very public Facebook breakup, you know it can get rather nasty at times. Here are 13 real online stories of people who have been cheated on, and cheated – and how their relationship was in the aftermath.
Whether to stay with a cheating partner or not is an intensely personal decision. For some, it’s seen as unacceptable, while for others, they believe that trying to work things out shows strength and commitment to their relationship.
Read their stories
This complex issue was explored recently when 13 people shared incredible stories of what made them decide to stay with a cheating partner. These stories offer us insight into the depths of human emotion, revealing how love can endure in even the most difficult of circumstances.
Most compellingly, these stories demonstrate that there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution – but that each must make the decision for themselves and strive to find what works best for them.
1. “It Took Major Counselling over Two Years..”
“He cheated after 7 years of marriage + two little kids. We were separated for over a year and I filed for divorce. He asked for one final chance and we did major counseling over the next two years.
“We just celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary. Our family is thriving, and we love hanging out just the two of us. I still have some residual pain that pops up now and again, but if I knew then what I know now, I’d still think it was worth taking the chance on us.”
2. “Forgiveness is a Long Process”
“I was cheated on during the long-distance period of our relationship. It took a lot of work, but it’s 4 years later and we are still together. No more cheating.
“He told me right away, didn’t try to hide any of it. That changed my approach entirely. It was painful, but I think it was painful on both sides.
“Forgiveness is quite a long process, but I’m really grateful that we managed to move past it.”
3. “Cheaters Always Get Caught”
“She picked me up to hang out one night and when I got in her car the passenger seat was reclined back really far kinda like the ‘gangster lean’ that guys will do from time to time. I questioned her on it and she denied it and made me feel like a dick for questioning her.
I’m not an idiot and knew that she obviously had another guy in her car who changed how the seat was positioned. But I gave her the benefit of the doubt and didn’t freak out and stayed with her like everything was normal because it was just a car seat.
“Fast forward about a month later. I’m sitting at home when my buddy calls me out of the blue and says “Hey man I’m at work and I just delivered a pizza to some guy’s house and your girlfriend answered the door” he said she looked like she saw a ghost when she realized he was their pizza delivery guy.
Well that guy was her ex boyfriend. Called her right after and told her to ‘shove that pizza up her ass’ and broke up with her. Now I always trust my instincts when it comes to that stuff.”
4. We Put in the Work
“Surprisingly and a little anxiously, it’s been working out very well. It’s been about 3 years since it happened. The ‘once a cheater…’ mentality is always in the back of my head, maybe it always will be. She knows this though. It was a big struggle those months after, but it was just a lot of talking and honesty about why it happened.
We actually had a good talk about it a few days ago. I haven’t had the suspicion of her doing something in a long time. I know there are no guarantees, but I believe that it’s a mistake that she truly regrets and still has remorse for. Forgiveness is a very tough thing to do once you’re brutally confronted with it, but I am thankful that we are both putting in the work for our marriage today, and hopefully, it will continue tomorrow.”
5. He Cheated Again
“Stayed the first time. He cheated again within 6 months.
“Stayed the second time. He cheated again within 2 years.
“The third time? I got a lawyer and packed his shit. Good riddance.
“He cheated on his next wife too, so.. Yeah.”
6. Karma is a Bitch
“We went on a break, got back together, moved in with each other, and she proceeded to fuck guys on my bed while I was at work for about a year. The truth came out when she broke up with me because ‘it wasn’t working out’.
She now has a child with one of the guys she cheated on me with, they both have trackers on each other’s phones because they can’t trust each other. I find it amusing and know that the baby daddy constantly cheats on her. Karma is a bitch.”
7. I Was Constantly Paranoid
“About eight months ago, my girlfriend of 4 years admitted to having sex with a co-worker for the past year. I was absolutely devastated. I asked her if she could stay somewhere else for a couple nights, which she understood and agreed to.
I sat, and cried, and stewed. Too embarrassed to tell friends or family, just wanting her to knock on the door, come in and tell me everything would be alright, to hold me, to help me pick up the pieces of my broken heart, that she ripped in half. I managed to convince myself that it was my fault. If I was a better boyfriend, she wouldn’t have felt the need to look somewhere else, so I apologized to her, and begged her to come back.
“It ended 3 months later, I was constantly paranoid that she was out with someone else. I wold call/text her constantly and eventually had a breakdown when she wouldn’t respond. I was with my best friend at the time and ended up tearfully confessing all to him. He basically told me to check myself and that I was being a complete idiot about it all, but in nicer terms.
The moment of clarity that followed is indescribable, a thick cloud of fog cleared, my confidence came back and I was ‘me’ again. I ended it with her when she walked in the door that night. When she cried, I felt nothing, told her I had no sympathy and maybe she would find some with one of her other boyfriends.
“I got over it fairly quickly but it still sucks a lot because I have a hard time finding the motivation to go out and meet new people, so my life is a pretty depressing routine of work>video games>sleep>repeat but I’m sure one day I’ll find someone who truly cares.
“P.S. It felt really good to actually type this out”
8. I Had Become Co-Dependent
“I finally confirmed my ex had been cheating on me after months of him gaslighting me and wrecking my self-esteem. He begged me to forgive him and started going all out to please me.. expensive dinners, gifts, trips.. I stayed, but I knew deep down I didn’t want to end up with someone like him. I felt ashamed for staying with him and being too weak to walk away. After a few months, I caught him in another lie and I was so numb that I could barely react. I told him I didn’t care because I didn’t love him anymore. He moved out a week later.
“I had become very co-dependent, so being alone was rough. After a few months of destructive behaviour, I decided I needed to change my situation and moved to a city 2,500 miles away. It was scary, but I have honestly never been happier. I feel like myself again, and now I know to trust my gut when I see red flags in people. I can’t see myself ever putting up with mistreatment like that again.”
9. Both Have to Want to Make it Work
“My husband had an emotional affair while I was pregnant with our first. I discovered it right before giving birth, after I had left my company to become a stay-at-home mother.
“I told him that I wanted a year to decide whether to stay married or not. I knew I wasn’t in the best emotional/physical state to decide and I also knew he’d say anything in the moment to convince me to stay.
“So we spent one year together learning how to adjust to parenthood while simultaneously reevaluating our lives and relationship. We went to marriage counseling, he went to individual counseling. We relearned how to actually communicate honestly, how to say things that would hurt but at least were real.
“We realized that we loved each other dearly but we weren’t in love with our relationship/marriage. So we changed it. We rolled up our sleeves and reinvented our world.
“It’s been about 9 years since deciding to stay after that year of introspection. We’ve not dealt with infidelity since and are genuinely happy in our marriage. I’m glad I gave us the time and opportunity to fix things, I’m glad he’s held up to his promise to make things right, and we’re that odd couple who are actually in a healthier marriage after an affair.
“But holy shit. It took a lot of work to get to this place.”
10. I Cheated in Revenge to Her Cheating
“We together about 4 years at the time. Lived together, I worked an extra 20 hours a week so we could afford for her to finish her practicum. Wierd things started to happen. First was the odd auto-correct in Google search to a dating site. Said it was her sister. Believed her. Then randomly hours of internet history would completely disappear every time I wasn’t there. Even if I went to the grocery store.
“Decided to take a really big risky step and install a key logger. Had it on for not even a day and found out she was making plans on a dating site, messaging her coworker about how she cheated on me before and would love to with him.
“I actually didn’t say anything to her. I kept quiet because I loved her and wanted to try to be better for her. Felt I would never meet anyone as good as her. And I loved her more than life itself. I kept quiet for a few months til it ate me up inside and I was a shell of who I was. I kept looking at the key logger and found she was basically sleeping with 3 different people.
“Instead of being mature, I started to flirt with someone online. I cheated. I became the worst version of me. She found out. I told her a tenth of what I knew and i became the bad guy. We ended up hanging out all the time within 3 months, arguing and angry then not talk for a few weeks. Every argument I would spill a bit more about what I knew. Did that for about 3 more years.
“Then one day I got tired of all the games and drama. Sat her down, told her I was madly in love with her, forever and always, and I’m tired of us going back and forth. Told her let’s make a choice. She said ok, that she loved me also. We went for dinner, had sex, and the next day went to work happier than I had been in years.
“She then texted me at noon saying she was leaving the city to move in with a married man who had her as a side piece. He was going to get a divorce and be with her. She said she just wanted a hook up so went along with everything. Blocked me and the one time I saw her in person back in the city she pretended I didn’t exist.”
11. I Was the Cheater and I Destroyed Our Relationship
“I’m going to use this as a chance to offer the flip side. I was the one who cheated, and it was by far the worst thing I’ve ever done.
“I was in a relationship with a woman, who we will call Ally. I had to move away for work about 6 months into the relationship, and knew I would be moving again within a few years, plus I wasn’t able to move her with me. So, we decided to try a long-distance relationship.
“This worked fairly well, except I only got to see her every few months, and even though we made the effort to talk every night, it was hard to have anything new to talk about. So mostly, we argued. But then we would get to see each other, and it was like a honeymoon. Romance, passion, and love. So we persevered and managed to make it work.
“Then I moved again, and we started making plans to move her out to live with me, and start making a life together. However, it would be 6 months before she was ready (she had to finish her year at university, pack her stuff, and I had to organize a place for us). At this time, I ran into a receptionist at work. We clicked instantly, both physically and emotionally. However, I behaved myself, and kept everything platonic.
“One night, she invited me out for drinks with friends. This turned into a huge night out, clubbing, drinking, and dancing. Somehow, we ended up separated from her friends, and we got to talking about our mutual attraction. The tension got too much with the alcohol and the teasing, and I kissed her. It was my first physical contact with someone in about 3 months, and although I knew it was wrong, it felt amazing in the moment.
We started having an affair, for about a month, leading up until Christmas.
“Now, the part I really wanted to tell. I decided that I’d made a mistake and that it wasn’t worth mentioning to Ally. But I knew, and I think she suspected. I felt so guilty, and I’m sure she could see through my lies. And there were a lot of lies. You lie about what you did, who you were with, why you didn’t call/message.
“I managed to maintain the relationship for another year and a half. But I couldn’t forgive myself. The torment was worse than being cheated on by me (and I know that feeling firsthand), because at least then I could be angry at someone else. Instead, all I felt was disgust for myself.
“As I said, the relationship didn’t work out. Eventually, we both stopped caring for each other, and broke up semi-amicably. But that’s the point when I could stop, and really take stock of my emotions, and what I had done. I realized that cheating was definitely NOT worthwhile.
“I took some time for myself, and worked out what I had done wrong, aside from the physical sex. I lied, I broke my own rules, and I tried to make excuses for myself. So I made a new mantra. I would be totally honest from then onwards. No little white lies, no excuses.
“Since then, I have started a new relationship with an amazing woman. She knows my whole past, including cheating, I even broke the taboos about talking about exes. She understands why, and she trusts me because she can see I don’t want to be the disgusting person I was. We have an entirely open line of communication, and we are free to be 100% ourselves around each other.
“Honestly, I have never felt safer with someone. I have never felt closer. I know what I did was wrong, and a part of me will never forgive myself. But I accept that, and the memory of the guilt and pain I caused is enough to encourage me to continue being honest, even when a small harmless lie can be so tempting.
“I was the cheater, and it destroyed a relationship. I learned my lesson, and won’t ever be that person again.”
Via Balthazar_rising12. We Tried But Couldn’t Make It Work
“Yep. I still loved him so we tried to make it work but i didn’t love him the same way i did before and everything became a chore. Talking, seeing him, sex, going out. Everything he did annoyed or aggravated me, I don’t have a reason to why I stayed for so long other than thinking we could fix something that was irreversible. Everything changes when someone cheats. ‘trying’ to make it work is really about the person trying to forget what their SO did. it doesn’t work. RIP to all the relationships trying, it will never be the same and you’ll always be seen as the lowest version of yourself to them.”
13. I Feel Like an Idiot
“Yeah and still together. I don’t know why. Every day I feel like a fucking idiot and have lost all self esteem. Maybe I never had it. Been together for three years. Multiple times. I have no explanation. Don’t even know why I commented.”
To be cheated on is difficult, and confusing because your mind and your heart have contrasting desires. Your heart wants to stay, but your mind says ‘don’t be ridiculous’. It’s a battle, and it hurts. But even though they don’t deserve it, you give second chances because that’s what love does to us – it makes us dumb.