Pros And Cons Of Forgiving Someone Who Cheated

Medically reviewed by Julie Dodson, MA
Updated March 27, 2024by Regain Editorial Team

Continuing a relationship with someone who cheated can be challenging. However, many individuals believe that a partner's infidelity should not automatically mean the end of a relationship and that it actually shines a light on issues that may need to be addressed.

Conflicted about your partner who cheated?

Others believe that infidelity should mean the end of a relationship. In many cases, people on both sides of the aisle feel strongly about their positions. However, whether a person should forgive a partner who has betrayed theirtrust depends upon themselves, what type of relationship they want to have, and what they would like to experience in the future. Learning how to forgive someone for cheating and rebuilding trust may be possible with time and hard work, and online therapy can be a valuable resource to support you through this.

"We always have to weigh out the pros and cons of staying in a relationship. If the pros outweigh the cons, repair needs to occur in order to continue. If you decide the relationship was already broken and you choose to move on, taking time for personal introspection can facilitate growth and healing."  Aaron Horn LMFT

It may help to give yourself time to grieve and feel all the emotions that may arise before deciding whether to stay or leave.

Why people are unfaithful

There are numerous reasons why people cheat. Occasionally, they feel a desire for different experiences. Rather than communicating this feeling with their partner or leaving, they engage in cheating.

In other scenarios, cheating can happen as a result of seduction. They feel attracted to someone new who enters their life even though they weren’t looking for a new partner.

Ultimately, cheating is a choice. When deciding whether to forgive someone for cheating and move forward together, it may help to remember that it is not your fault, regardless of the reason your partner was unfaithful.

The pros of forgiving someone who cheated

No two relationships are the same. As such, some people want to find a way to forgive someone for cheating. Regardless of the ultimate decision of whether to forgive them, if can help to know the upsides of such forgiveness.

Finding out that your partner is cheating can be a painful experience. Whether or not you decide the pros of forgiveness outweigh the cons (or vice versa) is entirely your decision. However, below are some of the possible advantages of forgiving someone for cheating. 

Ilona Titova/EyeEm

Healing and letting go of anger

The ability to let go of anger and resentment is one potential benefit that comes along with forgiving someone. Feeling hurt, angry, or even resentful after betrayal is common, and your feelings are valid. However, when these feelings are not processed or released constructively, problems can arise.

Forgiveness can sometimes allow for the person who was wronged to heal. The healing process can be complex because it may take some time to rebuild the relationship's foundation. Ultimately, holding on to negative emotions can be harmful, especially to the person who is maintaining those painful feelings. 

Learning how to let go, forgive, and move forward in life can be a valuable life skill, and the merits are not exclusive to a romantic relationship.

Fixing problems to heal your relationship

When infidelity happens in a relationship, it is sometimes a symptom of other underlying problems. This doesn’t justify infidelity, but forgiving someone who has cheated may allow for more deep-rooted problems in a relationship to be addressed.

Solving the cause of relationship problems can sometimes result in a partnership that is stronger in the long run. When addressing problems that exist in a relationship, it may be helpful to talk to a licensed relationship counselor, whether in person or online.

Having a potential future with your partner

Despite the opinions of others, not everyone is ready to end a relationship after infidelity. Many people are still interested in seeing whether a relationship has a future. They might have invested many years as well as time and attention into their relationship.

It may be difficult to know what lies ahead, but people who are interested in seeing if their relationship has a future deserve to do so. This will likely require them to forgive the one who cheated and attempt to move forward in the relationship.

The cons of forgiving someone who cheated

Despite what many people view as upsides to forgiveness, others maintain that cheating crosses a non-negotiable line. There can be some downsides to forgiving someone for cheating, and each person deserves to be aware of them as they decide what to do next.

Infidelity sometimes happens again 

One drawback of forgiving a person for cheating is that they may cheat again. Some people cheat multiple times after having been forgiven. Forgiving someone for cheating can be interpreted as acceptance of infidelity, and some people may take advantage of that. 

You may also wonder whether your significant other was cheating during the entire relationship. In addition, if the cheating happened with an ex, it might help to ask your partner about their contact and connection with their ex. 

Ongoing hurtful reminders

Remaining in a relationship with someone who cheated can sometimes be hurtful. It can be hard to feel comfortable around a partner who was unfaithful.

No matter how much the person apologizes, promises not to do it again, or tries to atone, they cannot take back their actions. To some degree, the act of cheating can add a new dynamic to the relationship.

You deserve better

Remaining in a relationship with a person who cheated may rob you of the opportunity to be in a relationship with a partner who won't cheat. Despite what you’re feeling at this time, it is possible to be in a healthy relationship that is free of cheating.

They may want to leave 

If your partner has cheated, knowing what to do next is not always easy. Weighing the pros and cons can be helpful, but ultimately you must make the decision that is best for you. Also, you might remember that forgiving someone who cheated does not always mean that they will want to remain in the relationship.

Occasionally, people cheat because they are looking for an out. Paying attention to signs might be helpful to avoid these situations, but ultimately there is nothing that you did wrong to cause this. 

It takes a lot of consideration to discern whether to forgive someone who cheated. Occasionally, people who have cheated attempt to blame their partner or claim that if their partner had or hadn't done a particular thing, they wouldn't have cheated. You might be cognizant of this so that you don’t internalize any such excuses. 

Each individual is accountable for their actions. How a partner conducts themselves after cheating may give you insight into their character. Are they remorseful? Do their actions match their words? Are they showing they can change and putting in the work to do so? In many cases, a sign of them working on themselves is through individual or couples counseling.

Conflicted about your partner who cheated?

You don't have go through it on your own

Wondering how to forgive a cheating partner? Relationship conflict is often complicated enough; adding cheating to the mix often makes matters more complex. Some people can work through these challenges on their own, but others may require help. There's nothing wrong with that.

The ability to seek advice when necessary can be a valuable skill that helps in relationships throughout life. Signing up for online therapy with Regain may help you navigate the process of deciding whether or not to forgive your partner. A relationship therapist or family therapist can be effective in helping you heal from this experience, no matter what you decide to do.

With Regain, you don’t have to go to a therapist’s office, as therapy takes place remotely, which research has shown to be just as effective as in-person therapy. This may be especially helpful if you live in an area with few therapists or if you simply prefer to speak with a licensed therapist who lives outside your community.

With Regain, you can speak with a licensed relationship therapist via phone or videoconference at a time that works for you. Also, you can contact them in between sessions via in-app messaging if you have questions or concerns, and they’ll get back to you as soon as they can.


If you’re trying to decide whether to forgive someone who cheated, you don’t have to navigate this process alone. With Regain, you can be matched with a licensed therapist who has experience helping people who are experiencing infidelity. By talking to a licensed relationship counselor, you may find that you are better equipped to make a decision about your relationship and move forward confidently. Take the first step and reach out to Regain today.

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