22 steps to forgive yourself after cheating and not telling

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It just happened. You didn’t mean for it to happen, but then it did.

Cheating isn’t always premeditated.

You might have found yourself on a night out and in a moment of stupidity, you found yourself being intimate with someone other than your current partner.

You know that fessing up will destroy your relationship and opt instead to keep it to yourself.

But how can you carry on knowing what you did? I’ve got you. This article reveals some of the best advice on how to forgive yourself after cheating and not telling.

Let’s go.

But before we do…. I want you to acknowledge something very important.

Remember that you’re not a bad person

You made a mistake and you’re human. The sooner you realize that the easier it will be to actually make your relationship work again.

You might feel like you’re not worthy of love after cheating and keeping it a secret but that’s in your head. You are still worthy of love, no matter what happens.

1) Take accountability

You need to man (or woman) up and acknowledge the fact that you messed up

Your actions were the reason why the cheering occurred, even if it was a once-off fling. You need to live with yourself and the sooner you realize that you’re going to carry this burden with you, the better. 

You need to own the fact that you made this mistake and cheated. 

No excuses, no blame-shifting or reasons. You made a conscious choice to be unfaithful to your partner and nothing is going to change that.

2) Journal your experience and feelings

But whatever you do, don’t let your partner find your journal!

You need to process what happened and get it out of your system. Write down how you feel and how you wish things could have gone differently. Make a point of writing down your emotions, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

You might even want to write some letters to your partner, explaining why you cheated and how sorry you are (even if they obviously won’t get to read these letters).

The point is, you need an outlet for all of this and there’s no better way to do this than good old-fashioned pen to paper.

Reading what you’ve written down might also give you some much-needed perspective on what transpired and you might even experience a sense of relief.

You can take things to the next level and burn what you’ve written down as an act of getting it all out of your mind and taking the step towards moving forward.

3) What would a relationship coach say?

While this article will shed light on the main steps on how to forgive yourself for cheating and not telling, it can be helpful to speak to a relationship coach about your situation.

With a professional relationship coach, you can get advice tailored to your unique situation…

Relationship Hero is a popular site where highly trained relationship coaches help people work through complex relationship issues, like guilt and infidelity.

Their popularity boils down to how skilled their coaches are. 

Why am I so confident that they can help you?

Well, after recently experiencing a tough patch in my own relationship, I reached out to them for help. From the moment I got in touch, I was given genuine, helpful advice, and was finally able to see my relationship issues with real clarity.

I was blown away by how kind and empathetic my coach was. 

Within minutes, you could be receiving life-changing advice on how to navigate and repair the issues you’re facing in your relationship.

Click here to get started.

4) Talk it through with someone else (and only someone who will be supportive!)

This can be a huge help to lift the weight off your shoulders.

If you feel that’s too awkward, go online. There are millions of forums and websites out there where you can offload how you’re feeling in an anonymous, judgment-free space.

There’s no right or wrong way to talk about your feelings, so if you’re feeling comfortable enough with a friend or family member, talk to them about the situation. 

Be honest and open up to them about how you feel and what you want to do. If they aren’t supportive, then find someone else who will be.

5) Get out of your head

You might try going for a walk, lifting weights, playing a sport, or doing something else that helps you relax and de-stress. 

Physical activity can have many benefits, including stress reduction, improved mood, improved sleep, and more. 

Exercise is a great way to get things off your mind and lift your mood. It doesn’t have to be strenuous; even small actions like taking a walk outside in nature or doing mindful exercises can help lift your mood. 

Also, make an effort to spend some time outdoors and with nature. Sunshine has been shown to have mood-boosting benefits, so try going for a walk outside when you’re feeling down. 

Being exposed to natural light can make you feel happier because it helps regulate your circadian rhythm (your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle). 

This can help improve your sleep quality and lift your mood in the morning.

There’s no better way to move past something than by moving forward and taking action.

6) Don’t give up!

Let’s be honest about trying to forgive yourself after cheating and not telling.

It’s not easy. It’s enough to make you want to give up on love and walk away. 

But I want to suggest a solution. You have all the tools you need to do this right now, right where you are. 

I learnt about this from the modern-day shaman Rudá Iandê. He taught me how the lies we tell ourselves about love are part of what trap us in things like infidelity and the taboo subject of keeping quiet about it.

As Rudá explains in this transformational free video, love is available to us if we cut through the lies that we tell ourselves. 

We need to face the facts about why we cheat, why we choose to remain silent, and love. 

The alternative is to end up in loveless relationships or endless dating frustration that only leaves us cold and empty. 

The alternative is to be sunk in stagnant codependency and completely unable to resolve things like communicating with one another.

Rudá’s teachings showed me a whole new perspective. 

While watching, I felt like someone understood my struggles to find love for the first time – and finally offered an actual, practical solution to how to forgive yourself after cheating and not telling.

If you’re done with wasting your time on love that doesn’t work, I invite you to watch this short video and open your mind to new possibilities. 

Click here to watch the free video.

7) Don’t isolate yourself from the world

I know that you’re probably feeling like the scum of the universe and want nothing more than to shove your head in the sand and forget the world.

The point is you can’t. You can’t hide the fact that you did what you did.

You don’t have to hide from everyone, but you do need some time off from your friends and family. They love you and want what’s best for you but they can’t give you the objectivity that’s required when dealing with your infidelity. 

If possible, take a trip out of town for a few days so that no one knows where you are or what’s going on in your life at the moment. A change of scenery might just be exactly what you need to  get your mind off the situation.

Spending time by yourself might be exactly what you need to get over infidelity and move forward in life. (but this is the exception and shouldn’t be the norm!)

Being with other people can make it hard for you to focus on yourself and your own thoughts because they are always asking how you’re feeling and trying to help fix things for you.

Being alone allows you the chance to think about what happened without anyone else’s input or opinions; this will give you plenty of time to reflect on what happened without anyone else’s judgment or opinions getting in the way (and it will also give them time to get used to the idea).

8) Be thankful that you recognized the mistake and stopped it

This point is for those who didn’t go the full monty but were perhaps unfaithful emotionally and or, was “cheating” electronically.

When you’re in the thick of an unfaithful situation, it can be difficult to look past the moment and see what’s coming next. 

You might think that you can hide the affair or that you can somehow keep it under wraps. 

However, it’s important to be thankful that you stopped yourself before it got too serious and that you recognized the mistake you made – it’s not easy to do that when you’re in the moment.

It shows that you’re mature enough to know when something is wrong and that you’re not going to let it go too far. It’s a sign of strength and shows that you’re not a serial cheater.

9) Let go of the past

Repeat after me.

What you did in the past doesn’t define you. You are not your mistakes. 

You are not your mistakes and you don’t have to be ashamed of them. You have the power to change your future, and you have the ability to make better choices now. You can’t go back and change the past, but you can shape the future.

Learn from what happened, forgive yourself, and then let it go so you can start fresh and make better choices. Dwelling on the past will only make you feel worse. 

Let go of it and focus on the future – there’s a lot to look forward to!

10) Look after yourself physically & mentally

You can’t expect to be at your best when you’re not taking care of yourself. 

Make sure you are eating well, getting enough sleep, and doing things that make you happy. Look after yourself physically and mentally so that you are in a good place to handle the situation. 

This might mean going to therapy, getting treatment for any mental or physical health issues, spending time with friends, exercising, eating healthy, getting enough sleep, or something else. 

It can also help to write down everything you’re thankful for or create a list of things that you want to happen in your life. 

Reminding yourself of the good things in your life can help you feel more positive and grateful. If you’re feeling really upset, you might also want to try these strategies: Practice self-acceptance.

Forgiving yourself is an important first step. Remind yourself that you are human and that you are allowed to make mistakes.

11) Find what led to your decision to cheat

Again, a reason for your actions can help shed some light on your decision to cheat and can help you understand why you made that choice. 

What led you to the decision to have an affair? What was going on in your life? What were your feelings towards your partner at the time? 

What were you feeling about yourself? What were you feeling about your relationship? What did you think you would gain or lose by cheating?

You will be able to see how you learned from the mistake and used it to become a better version of yourself. You will also be able to see how this mistake changed your life for the better. Mistakes are meant to be made. 

They are meant to be learned from. Once you have learned from your mistake, you can’t go back and change it. What you can do is be thankful for it. Thankful for the mistake because it taught you something that you may not have ever learned otherwise.

12) Turn a negative into a positive

Find a way to turn what happened into a positive. 

Perhaps you cheated because you were dealing with a mental health issue or because you were going through a difficult time. 

Make sure you get help for that issue so that it doesn’t happen again.

If you cheated because you were bored in the relationship, try to find ways to make life more exciting. Maybe one of you is more of an introvert and the other is an extrovert

Maybe you have grown apart over the years and need to find ways to reconnect. Maybe you have fallen into a routine and need to shake things up. Maybe you have drifted apart and need to find ways to reconnect. 

Maybe you crave more physical intimacy in your relationship and need to find ways to make that happen. Maybe you need to find ways to improve communication with each other. Maybe you need to find ways to spend more time together.

13) Learn from your mistakes

 Maybe you were feeling unfulfilled in your relationship, and you decided to seek attention outside of it to fill that void. 

Or maybe you were feeling insecure in your own body and were trying to seek acceptance by attempting to change something about yourself.

If any of these sound like they could be the reason behind your infidelity, know that you’re not alone. 

Many people struggle with self-image issues, and unfortunately, some of those people are in relationships with others who also struggle with self-image issues. 

It can be a vicious cycle, but there is a way out. If you’re reading this and feeling guilty or ashamed for your actions, know that you’re not alone in that, too.?

Learn how to deal with those feelings properly next time and don’t let them boil over. Did you cheat because you felt neglected? 

Make sure you don’t let it happen again – talk to your partner and find ways to keep them close to you. Whatever led you to make that decision, learn from it and apply it to your next relationship.

14) Guilt, shame, and regret

When I cheated on my husband, I felt like the worst human being to walk the earth. Forget Manson, Gacy or Gein, I felt like those guys were angels in comparison to what I had done.

But, these three don’ts really helped me out.

Don’t let guilt consume you.

It’s perfectly normal to feel guilty when you’ve cheated on your partner. But don’t let those feelings consume you. Instead, channel them into something positive.  Use it as a learning experience.

Don’t let shame consume you.

It’s also normal to feel ashamed after you’ve cheated on your partner. But don’t let that shame consume you, either. Instead, channel it into something positive and use it to motivate you to make changes for the better in your life and relationships.

Don’t let regret consume you.

Regret is another normal feeling after cheating on a loved one, but don’t let it rule your life. Learn from your mistake and move forward with the knowledge that this will not happen again in the future.?

15) Realize it wasn’t about your partner

Cheating isn’t a reflection of your partner – it’s a reflection of you and your own issues, insecurities, and needs. It’s important to realize that and not blame your partner for what happened. 

It may have been a rash decision or something that you wish you could take back, but it’s important to remember that it wasn’t about your partner. It was about you and your needs.

Cheating isn’t a reflection of your partner – it’s a reflection of you and your own issues, insecurities, and needs.

It’s important to realize that and not blame your partner for what happened. It may have been a rash decision or something that you wish you could take back, but it’s important to remember that it wasn’t about your partner. It was about you and your needs.

You cheated because you wanted to. It was your decision to do so and it was your fault. 

You cheated because YOU wanted to.

16) Give yourself time to think before doing anything else

You’ll likely feel guilty and sad about what happened and you may want to rush into telling your partner or asking for forgiveness – but give yourself time to think it through and let the emotions subside. 

You’ll likely feel guilty and sad about what happened and you may want to rush into telling your partner or asking for forgiveness – but give yourself time to think it through and let the emotions subside.

You don’t want to say anything you might regret or do anything you might regret. Be patient with yourself and let the feelings fade away before you make any rash decisions. 

Once you’ve done all of these things, you can move forward and start to forgive yourself. It won’t be easy but it’ll be worth it in the end!

17) Acknowledge the pain you’re going through

You will feel bad about what happened and that’s completely normal. You’ll probably feel like you’re a horrible person and will want to blame yourself for what you did. 

While it’s good to acknowledge that what you did was wrong, it’s also important not to be too hard on yourself. You aren’t a bad person just because you made a mistake. It’s okay to feel remorseful. What you need to do next is seek out help. 

Talking through your fears and insecurities with your partner can be incredibly helpful. Even something as simple as writing down your thoughts can be helpful. There’s no “right” way to do this, but the more you talk about your insecurities, the easier it will be to work through them.

18) Feel your emotions

Feeling your feelings is the first step towards healing and letting them go. When you acknowledge what you are feeling, it reduces the power it has over you. 

You don’t have to be afraid of your feelings, they are not something to be ashamed of or dread. They are natural and normal. 

When you acknowledge what you are feeling, you acknowledge that it’s okay to feel it. You don’t have to fight against it or try to repress it. The more you resist your feelings, the more power they have over you. 

The more you acknowledge and accept that it’s okay to feel them, the easier it is to let them go.

19) Ask yourself what else can you do to help your current relationship

Once you are ready to move past the pain you are going through, ask yourself if there is anything else that you can do to help your relationship. 

Maybe you can find ways to make yourself feel more secure or maybe your partner was feeling neglected. Whatever it was – focus on how you can fix it.

It’s important to do something now and make sure that you don’t leave things the way they were. Instead, work on creating a plan so that you know what happens next and how to minimize any damage from this mistake.  

It’s going to take time and effort, but you can do it.

20) Don’t try to go back to normal too quickly

You’ll be tempted to get back in bed with your partner as soon as you can and get back into the swing of things but that isn’t always the right thing to do. 

Instead, try to find ways to make sure that you’re doing what’s best for you. 

For example, maybe you need to take a break from your relationship for a bit so that you can focus on yourself and how you can start to heal. 

Or maybe you should stop contact with your partner for a few days or maybe even months in order to give yourself time. 

Whatever the case may be, you need to make the decision that’s best for you.

21) Take a break from social media and the news

As they say, misery loves company.

If you’re feeling down or upset, avoid looking at your phone or computer altogether. 

If you’re not careful, looking at social media can make you feel like everyone else’s life is better than yours. 

You don’t know what’s happening behind a screen, so avoid comparing your life to others’ online

The news can be just as damaging; it’s often focused on negative events that can have an impact on your mood and make you feel worse about yourself

It’s important to stay informed about what’s going on in the world, but try to limit how much time you spend consuming negative news stories.

22) Do something nice for yourself

Self-care is more than just taking care of yourself physically; it also includes taking care of your mental health and emotional well-being as well – which is what this list is all about! 

Also, it doesn’t have to cost money (although there are many things that fall under “self-care” that do). 

It’s not about what you do or don’t do, it’s about how you talk to yourself. Even if you can’t change your circumstances, you can change how you react to them. It’s easy to fall into the trap of negative self-talk, but it’s just as easy to climb back out.

Taking the time to look after yourself isn’t self-indulgent; it’s necessary and you shouldn’t feel like you don’t deserve it because of what you did. You do!

Whether it’s a daily indulgence or something more extravagant, making time for self-care can have a significant impact on your overall well-being. Self-care isn’t just about relaxation; it’s about tending to your physical, emotional, and mental health.

Why it’s a good idea not to tell your partner that you cheated

This is especially true if you are still in the relationship with your partner and if you think that there’s a chance that it might work out. There are two main reasons why this is a good idea.

First of all, if you confess to cheating, then you will put yourself in the position of having to explain why and how it happened. 

This can be traumatic for both of you and can cause more tension in the relationship than it has to. 

In fact, this kind of confession can often be used against you as evidence that your cheating was planned or that there were other cases before this one – which can lead to more pain and heartache down the road.

Secondly, even if your partner forgives you for what happened, they may have some doubts about whether or not they should trust you again. 

Even though they don’t want things to end between the two of you, they may start doubting themselves or their ability to trust others again – which leads them back into self-doubt and insecurity instead of building up their confidence again.

If things do work out between the two of you after an affair, then it’s best not to bring up what happened in the past for at least a few months after your reconciliation – maybe even longer depending on how everything goes from here on out.

If things do continue down an unhealthy path where things aren’t going well between the two of you, then it’s best to bring this up before you completely break up. 

This way, you can both have a chance to talk about what happened and figure out what needs to happen for things to work out between the two of you.


I hope this article has helped you to realize that there is loads you can do to make yourself feel better.

The key takeaway, you are not a terrible person and there is life after infidelity.

You are only human and you were only trying to make yourself feel good. It doesn’t make what you did right, but it does mean that it isn’t the end of the world. 

You aren’t a bad person for making a mistake – everyone makes mistakes!

Can a relationship coach help you too?

If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.

I know this from personal experience…

A few months ago, I reached out to Relationship Hero when I was going through a tough patch in my relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.

If you haven’t heard of Relationship Hero before, it’s a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations.

In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.

I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.

Click here to get started.

The above link will give you $50 off your first session - an exclusive offer for Love Connection readers.

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