I admit it. In 2013, I cheated on my wife. For any of you that have cheated, here's what I learned about how to prove you will not cheat again:
After an affair, it's crucial for the cheater to be 100% honest, transparent, and open. Put aside excuses, ego, or defensiveness. Give your spouse complete access to phone, email, and social accounts, and over-communicate your whereabouts when not at home or at work.
But there's a lot more to say about saving and restoring a relationship after an affair.
So in this post, we're diving deep into a world I am unfortunately all too familiar with. The good news is I KNOW you can restore trust and save your marriage because that's exactly what I did.
In fact, my marriage now is better than it's ever been and we even had our 3rd child at the end of 2017.
So if you're wondering how to prove you will not cheat again and hoping to save your marriage, you've come to the right place.
You CAN save your marriage — even after infidelity.
You CAN rebuild that connection you felt for one another when you first kissed. And you can bring back that love and devotion you felt for one another when both of you said, “I love you” for the first time.
If you feel like your marriage is worth rekindling, then do yourself a favor and check out all the info and free video at Mend the Marriage. The marriage you save may be your own!
How do you fix a relationship after cheating?
There's nothing quite as devastating to a marriage or relationship as someone cheating.
I know as I've been cheated on in a prior relationship and I cheated on my wife in 2013. So I'm in an unfortunately unique position to see both sides of the issue.
There are a lot of steps that have to happen after an affair, and it's vitally important for the cheater to not try and rush the process, pressure your spouse to get over it, or to skip any of the steps. San Jose divorce lawyers say these types of issues often need to be handled with compassion and sensitivity.
Because you cheated, you'll have to take the slow and steady approach of trying to rebuild trust and convince your partner you have changed. But you'll also need to dig deep and really examine WHY you cheated.
After all, if you can't get to the root of your infidelity, the chances of your doing it again are pretty high.
So be prepared to do a lot of work on yourself while you work to prove to your spouse that you won't cheat again.
Here are the steps you need to take:
STEPS TO TAKE
WHAT IT DOES
HOW TO DO IT
Admit the affair to your partner
Arguably the hardest step
1. Tell them straight up
2. Don't make excuses
3. Don't use any of your spouse's possible shortcomings to justify the affair; there is no excuse
4. Coming clean is MUCH better than getting busted in terms of rebuilding trust
Cease all communication with the person you had the affair with
The 2nd, but most important step in rebuilding trust
1. Change your phone number and email address.
2. Block them on social media accounts
3. If they are a co-worker, change jobs
Be 100% transparent and open
Eases your partner's mind which will vacillate between insecurity, anger, frustration, and self-doubt
1. Give them all your passwords to email, phone, and social accounts
2. Over-communicate anytime you are not at home or at work
3. If you receive text messages at odd times, show them the phone before you respond
Work On Yourself
Nothing proves to your partner that you have changed like seeing it in your actions
1. Join a support group, go to therapy, seek out counseling from a pastor
2. Work to identify the root of why you cheated (which may be rooted in your own childhood)
3. Change your habits, actions, and friends if they at all contributed to your affair
Allow Your Spouse to Vent
It is not healthy for your spouse to bottle up feelings and they need to feel heard
1. Always say yes anytime your spouse wants to talk
2. Avoid trying to defend yourself, even if they bring up things unrelated to the affair
3. Look them in the eyes and let them know you hear them
4. Be OK with the fact that this may happen on and off for months
Keep Your Promises
Continues to build trust as they learn to count on you again
1. While it's always important to do what you say and say what you mean, it's even more crucial now.
2. Be on time for any meetings or therapy
3. Be at home when you say you will
In short, over-communication, complete transparency, and having your actions, words, and thoughts all line up.
I used to have a lot of friends who would say or do 1 thing in front of their wives, and then behave differently when they were out with the boys.
I've been there too, so I'm not here to judge.
I am here, however, to say life gets a whole lot simpler when you are just "you". When the "you" your spouse sees is the same "you" your parents see, your friends see and your co-workers see.
So stop compartmentalizing your life and be your authentic self to everyone and if they don't like the real you then maybe you don't need that person in your life.
If YOU don't like the real you, then perhaps it's time to do some work on yourself.
If you find yourself in a marriage that isn't what it used to be whether due to infidelity or not, check out my most popular relationship post which covers all you need to know about how to Rekindle Your Marriage (click to read on my site).
But for some basic steps to take after you have cheated, here's what I recommend:
100% accountability for your actions - No excuses, no blaming others
Be clear, honest, and transparent in all communication - Over-communicate
It will take time - Understand that it may take months or possibly even a year or more before you can rebuild trust fully
Don't pressure your spouse - If you cheated, you dealt a devastating blow to them and your relationship - only time and consistently good behavior from you can heal that
Understand your relationship may never be the same - In the aftermath of an affair, both of you may re-examine life choices, childhood issues, and how your relationship works. While you can definitely save your relationship, and it may well end up better than ever, it will likely be different in some ways
What percentage of marriages survive infidelity?
Statistics are interesting.
While a recent poll showed that only 31% of spouses say they would stay with a cheating spouse and try and save the marriage, in actuality, between 60-75% of spouses stay married after their partner had an affair.
That being said, between 20-40% of divorces cite infidelity as the primary reason for divorce.
Overall, 10-15% of women cheat on their spouses and 20-25% of men cheat on their spouses, although Millenials are seeing slightly lower than average rates.
But Millennials are also marrying less and waiting longer to marry, so they could be getting their wilder behavior out of the way before saying "I do".
But ultimately if you cheated on your spouse, the odds are well in your favor of being able to fix things and save your marriage.
In one of my most popular articles, I compile all the Statistics about Infidelity Recovery (click to read them on my site), so if you're curious to see more about your odds of saving your marriage, I highly recommend you take a moment to review those.
How to convince someone you won't cheat
There's probably nothing you can say to convince a partner you won't heat.
Back in the earlier days of my marriage, when I was more insecure, my wife would often proclaim that she didn't cheat and that she would never do that (despite having actually done it with boyfriends in the past).
In truth, that never convinced me she wouldn't cheat. Between my insecurity, the volatility of our marriage and her general flirtatious nature, at that time, I was always a little distrusting.
So all that is to say that words mean nothing, especially if you were already caught cheating once.
After all, if you have already been found cheating, your spouse has proof that you were willing to lie, sneak, break your commitment and be dishonest.
So why would your words mean anything at this point?
But that's not to say you can't do anything to convince your partner you won't cheat. If you cheated before, then only your actions and time will help your spouse to learn to trust you again.
Be consistent, don't be defensive, be transparent, and err on the side of going overboard to explain any behavior, calls, texts, etc that might seem suspicious.
If, however, you never cheated but your spouse thinks you might have, then you have to help your spouse through their insecurities and examine your own role in making those worse.
Why is your spouse insecure or distrusting of you?
Are you doing things that seem secretive or deceptive?
Was your spouse always insecure?
Are they aware of their insecurities and if so, are they taking steps to work on them?
Ultimately if your spouse suspects you of cheating, even if you're completely innocent, we have to recognize they are in pain.
Yes, it's frustrating to be falsely accused, but your partner is hurting and chances are, you have done things, even unknowingly, to make that insecurity worse.
So put aside your ego, have open and honest communication, and help them work on their insecurity.
One of the BEST ways to improve communication in your marriage or relationship is with Empathetic Listening Skills (click to read my article).
In that post, I break down exactly what it is, why it's important and how to incorporate it into your relationship.
How do I make my partner trust me again?
Trust takes time.
But that's cliché and you already knew that. But like Rome, trust isn't built in a day. You have to show up, day after day being the best, most honest, and most transparent version of you that you can be.
How long this will take depends on a few factors such as:
Did you come clean about the affair or were you busted? You being honest is far more trustworthy than simply getting caught
How long did the affair last? If it lasted years, it could take a very long time to rebuild trust
Do you have a history of cheating? Cheating multiple times with multiple people shows a pattern and proving you have broken that pattern will take a long time
But ultimately what needs to happen isn't hard.
You just have to be diligent, dedicated, put your ego aside for the sake of what's right, and let down your defenses and excuses.
As I mentioned earlier, words are meaningless at this point.
You have already proven you can't be trusted. So only your consistent actions over time will earn their trust back.
Over-communicate. Give your spouse access to your phone, social accounts, and email.
Don't be defensive or make excuses. And above all, allow them to vent and process when, where, and for how long they need to. Rinse and repeat.
So here are my . . .
11 Crucial Steps on how to prove you will not cheat again
1. Avoid all contact with the person you had the affair with
You must have a zero tolerance policy here. There can be no exceptions. If they are a co-worker you should strongly consider changing jobs.
2. Change phone numbers and email addresses
Eliminate all the ways the 3rd person can contact you. Just because you have moved on and are no longer interested doesn't mean they will be too.
3. Block the 3rd person on all social media accounts
Social media is a very tempting thing. Eliminate your own temptation to check up on the 3rd person while also eliminating another way for them to contact you by blocking them on all social media channels.
4. Give your spouse complete access to your phone, social accounts, and email
Your spouse will naturally be suspicious every time your phone rings or you get a notification of some kind. They may not ever actually check them, but give your spouse 100% access to all your accounts to ease their mind.
5. Allow them to vent as often as needed as long as they need to
A spouse who was cheated on will have a lot of pent up anger, frustration, and confusion. They will have good days and bad days, and some things will trigger those feelings more than others.
When they want to "talk" just allow them to vent as much as they need to. This will really allow them to feel heard and supported.
6. Avoid defending yourself when they are venting
When they are venting, they may say things that get your defenses up. They might even say things that aren't accurate. Just allow them to vent without feeling the need to defend yourself.
Defending yourself will only drag it out longer, make them feel less heard, and could make you look guiltier.
7. Over-communicate your whereabouts when not at home or at work
If you are going somewhere other than work or home, make sure your spouse knows exactly where you are, who you are with, and when they can expect you to be home.
Then make sure you do exactly what you say you will do.
8. Don't go out without your spouse for at least 6 months following the end of the affair
In the immediate aftermath of an affair, you should consider yourself under house arrest. Don't plan to go anywhere other than work for at least 6 months unless your spouse is going too.
This will go a long way towards building trust and easing anxiety.
9. Expect this to take time, as much as 6 times however long the affair lasted
However long your affair lasted, multiply that number by 4.
While it's not an exact science and your actions can definitely have an impact, that's roughly how long it could take for things to get "back to normal".
So a 6-month affair could take up to 2 years to work through.
10. Don't put pressure on your spouse to "get over it" or even ask when they will "get over it"
Your spouse has a lot of emotions to work through. If they had a parent who cheated then it's also bringing up their deep-rooted emotions over that too.
This will take time and you, as the cheater, must be patient with them or this won't work. So don't ever put pressure on them to get over it or ask for a deadline or timeline.
Do the right things, be patient and kind, and you'll get where you want to be.
11. Focus on being the best version of you that you can be - your consistent positive actions over time will do more than anything else
Nothing will prove to your spouse you won't cheat again more than simply changing your own actions.
Be consistent, each day, in being the best version of you that you can be. Work on improving yourself and show up every day and you'll not only end up with a better version of you, but you'll also end up with a better marriage too!
Did I cover all your questions about how to prove you will not cheat again?
In this article, we took an in-depth look into the world of cheating and affairs.
We examined the crucial steps in the aftermath of the affair that must be taken to rebuild trust. But we also looked at what percentages of marriages survive this fragile time.
Specifically, we answered the question of how to prove you will not cheat again.
If you can prove that to your partner, you'll be well on your way to completely rebuilding trust, restoring the relationship, and hopefully making your marriage better than ever.
I know that because I did it in my own marriage. If I can do it, so can you! What has been the hardest part of this process so far?
If you feel like your marriage is worth fighting for, then do yourself a favor and watch this quick video on how to Mend Your Marriage (click to watch the video on their site)
The video walks you through everything you need to know about saving your marriage, even if your spouse isn't sure they want to.
If you like this post, please follow my Save Your Marriage board on Pinterest for more great tips from myself and top relationship experts!-Statistics data courtesy of the General Social Survey conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago.
Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me
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