How to Make Amends
to Your Partner After Cheating
By Susie and Otto Collins
A young woman, who was engaged to be married, cheated. Her
fiance took back the diamond ring he had given her when he
proposed and broke off their engagement.
In an effort to win back her partner, the woman stood in
front of a busy shopping center holding a homemade sign with
the words: "I cheated. Honk if you think I deserve a
In this case which actually occurred, there were reportedly
many vehicles that honked in support of the woman's plea for
a second chance with her partner.
Others actually got out of their cars and gave her hugs and
offered words of encouragement.
If you had an affair, you might be wondering what you can do
to make amends and have a second chance with your mate.
You may feel regret about your decision to cheat and also
for the hurt your partner is feeling. And you might be
hurting as well.
There may have been dynamics in your relationship that
contributed to you choosing to cheat.
Or perhaps there is upset within you that led you to reach
out to another person even though you were already in a
If you would like to get back together again with your
partner and try to rebuild trust, there are actions you can
take-- and there are also actions we would not suggest you
What NOT to do if you cheated...
- Do not get defensiveness or
make up excuses.
- Do not place the blame for your
actions on your partner or the person with whom you had
- Do not continue to be secretive
or evasive about where you've been and what you've been
- Do not say that you're sorry if
you don't feel it.
What to do to make amends...
- Own up to your behavior
Take responsibility for your actions and your choice to
have an affair.
This does not mean that you take the blame for an
overall feeling of disconnection or tension in your
relationship. Own up to your role and your behaviors.
When you express that you are sorry to your mate, be
clear that you are taking responsibility for the affair.
It was your decision to cheat and was not because of the
attractiveness or allure of the person with whom you had
You can follow up such an apology with a request that
you and your partner work individually and together to
uncover the relationship habits that contributed to the
disconnection that may have been between you before you
had the affair and then start to make changes to get
your relationship back on track.
- Understand why you
Take the time to figure out what motivated you to cheat
in the first place.
What needs do you have that possibly were not being met
in your current relationship? What feelings were more
intense within you as you had the affair?
Again, this isn't so much about pointing a finger of
blame at your partner or you, but instead it is a way to
identify where you are
dissatisfied and unhappy so that you can address those
Once you have a clearer idea about why you might have
cheated, ask yourself how you can best meet your needs
and feel more satisfied.
Many times this will require a change in your attitude.
It might also involve you making different requests of
Find the courage to be honest about what you want and
then listen to
what your partner is willing to do (or not do) at this
- Be willing to be
Show that you are ready to re-commit to your
relationship by agreeing to be transparent with one
This means that you will be an 'open book' for your
mate's questions and inquiries.
This is not the time to keep secrets. Be courageous and
absolutely honest. This is a very powerful way to
demonstrate your trustability to your partner.
Make transparency something you both agree to.
Allow one another to see very honestly how each of you
feel and what you want for your
future. This might not always be easy to do, but try it
Get in touch with your emotions and then be willing to
with your partner. This level of honest sharing can
promote healing and bring you two closer together.
You don't have to stand with an "I cheated" sign in
front of a shopping center in order to ask your partner
that you'd like a second
You do need to be sincere, genuine, self-reflective and
open as you and your mate take steps toward healing and