Forgiving a cheater isn’t just about saying ‘I forgive you’ and moving on. It opens up a whole new chapter in the relationship, one that can take unexpected turns.
In the spirit of understanding what you might be getting into, let’s dive into the four common things that can happen post-forgiveness.
1. They hide better
First up, some cheaters become more secretive. Once forgiven, they might feel like they’ve been given a ‘get out of jail free’ card.
This can lead them to believe they can get away with it again, only this time, they’re more careful.
They’ve learned from their previous mistakes – not in a good way – and might become better at hiding their tracks. This doesn’t mean every forgiven cheater will repeat their actions, but it’s something to be wary of.
2. They develop trust issues
Ironically, after cheating, some individuals develop trust issues themselves. They might start projecting their guilt onto their partner, suspecting them of cheating too. It’s a classic case of ‘I did it, so they might as well do it.’
This can lead to an unhealthy cycle of suspicion and accusations, turning the relationship into a battlefield of insecurities and mistrust.
3. They become bolder
Then, there’s the scenario where a cheater becomes bolder in their actions. Forgiveness, instead of being a wake-up call, becomes a license to push boundaries further.
They might interpret your forgiveness as a sign of your acceptance or inability to leave the relationship, no matter their actions.
This emboldens them to take more risks, potentially leading to more hurt and betrayal.
4. Some may genuinely change
But it’s not all doom and gloom. Some individuals genuinely change after being forgiven for cheating.
This experience can serve as a serious wake-up call, leading to self-reflection and genuine efforts to rebuild trust.
These individuals often go the extra mile to show their commitment and rebuild the relationship on stronger, more honest foundations.
Forgiving a cheater is a complex and deeply personal decision. It’s not a guaranteed fix, and the road ahead can be unpredictable.
Whether it leads to more deception, trust issues, bolder actions, or a positive turnaround depends on numerous factors, including the individual’s personality and the dynamics of your relationship.
Forgiveness is a process, not a solution, and it requires open communication, mutual respect, and a strong commitment to healing and growth. Stay informed, stay vigilant, and above all, stay true to what you believe is right for you.