You still love your boyfriend, but you don’t know if you can trust him again after he cheated on you. These five signs will help you decide if you should give him another chance. You’ll also learn how to forgive your boyfriend for cheating on you (because without forgiveness, there is no trust!).
These tips are inspired by a She Blossoms reader who asked what to do about her boyfriend. She still loves him, but thinks he’ll keep cheating on her. “My boyfriend and I have been together for three years,” she says on 9 Ways to Know if Your Husband is Lying About Cheating. “I just found out he has been talking to three other girls on the internet. He says he won’t do it again but I am still not sure. I don’t know what to do anymore. What do I do? I love him but I think he’ll keep cheating on me.”
Deciding if you can trust your boyfriend after he lied and cheated on you is one of the most difficult – and perhaps one of the most important – decisions you’ll ever make. You still love your boyfriend and don’t want to leave him…but you think he’ll keep cheating on your relationship. What do you do?
These five signs you can trust your boyfriend not to cheat again aren’t guarantees, but they’ll help you move forward. They’ll help you decide what to do with a boyfriend you still love but can’t fully trust not to cheat again. The most important thing is to listen to that still small voice inside you – God’s voice – and take a leap of faith. Maybe that leap of faith is trusting your boyfriend after he cheated…or maybe it’s breaking up with him and rebuilding your life. Only you can make that decision, but if you make it with God’s guidance, you won’t go wrong.
Can You Trust Your Boyfriend After He Cheated?
What do you do when your boyfriend cheats on you but you still love him? I want to tell you to break up with him. I want to say that your boyfriend will keep cheating on you – and you know it! That’s why you’re searching the internet for what to do. You know your boyfriend cheats on you and you know he’ll keep cheating on you…but you don’t want to lose him because you still love him.
I understand that feeling because I’ve been in relationships with guys who were abusive. I still loved those boyfriends and I stayed with them even though they lied and cheated…and I regret it.
1. He can talk about why he cheated on you
If your boyfriend cheated because he wasn’t getting something from you or your relationship, then it may be easier to rebuild trust because you can change your relationship. It isn’t easy, but you can work together to rebuild trust together. But, if he cheated because he was bored or it’s in his nature to roam, then you might not want to trust him again.
The reason he cheated may help you decide if you can trust him again. In A Family Therapist’s Advice for Recovering After an Affair, I describe one reason husbands cheat: their wives make more money than they do. That may not be the reason your boyfriend cheated – but knowing his reasons may help you decide if you can trust him again.
2. Your boyfriend is willing to work to win back your trust
You can’t do all the work in figuring out why he had the affair, how he can overcome his tendency to cheat, and how to get your relationship back on track. Your boyfriend has to take responsibility for the affair. What does this mean? Admitting he cheated and working to make your relationship better.
It’s not your fault that your boyfriend cheated – it was either his terrible, stupid decision or a lack of moral character. If he made a bad decision in the heat of the moment, then you might be able to trust your boyfriend again after he cheated. It’s easier to know what to do when your boyfriend cheated if it was a one-time thing. You still love your boyfriend, and you can trust him not to cheat again. But if he’s a constant cheater, then you can’t trust your boyfriend even if you still love him.
In After the Affair: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner Has Been Unfaithful, Janis Spring offers tips for rebuilding a relationship after an affair. Learn what marriage and relationship counselors say about trusting men after they cheat on their relationships. Ask your boyfriend if he’s willing to read books with you, to talk about cheating on you. Ask your boyfriend what to do! Tell your boyfriend you still love him but you can’t live with him cheating on you. Can you talk to him about your relationship? If not, then it’s a sign you can’t trust him.
3. You know what you need from your boyfriend (besides love!)
You need to be able to trust your boyfriend not to cheat on you again. You have to be able to trust your boyfriend to go away for an hour or even a week, and not cheat on you. Above all, you have to be able to talk about your feelings with him. If your boyfriend isn’t willing to talk about his feelings, his reasons for cheating or your relationship, then you won’t be able to fully trust him.
Books like The Truth About Cheating: Why Men Stray and What You Can Do to Prevent It are helpful because they give an objective perspective on why men have affairs even when they love their girlfriends or wives. If you understand why your boyfriend cheated on you, you might have a better idea if he’ll do it again.
Before you can decide what to do about when your boyfriend cheats but you still love him, you need to get clear about what you need from him. if you feel like you’ll never be able to trust your boyfriend again, maybe there’s nothing he can do. Maybe you just need to accept that you still love your boyfriend, but he’ll never stop cheating on you. Can you live with that type of relationship?
4. Your boyfriend is willing to do anything to save your relationship
After you figure out what you need from your boyfriend, ask him if he’s willing to give you what you need. Will he spend more time with you? Go to couples counseling with you — or get help from a marriage or relationship coach? Start individual counseling for himself, if he needs to work through his emotional issues? Read books about rebuilding trust after an affair (even if that affair was “just” talking to other girls online)?
If your boyfriend isn’t willing to work towards saving your relationship, then you can’t trust him not to cheat on you again. You still love him, but it’s time to leave him.
5. He isn’t manipulating your love, fears, or insecurities
Is your boyfriend trying to reassure you? Is he helping you trust and rely on him? Does your boyfriend still love you even though he’s cheating on you? Is that even possible? Both men and women stay in bad relationships because they’re scared they’ll never be loved again. If your self-esteem or self-confidence is low, find ways to boost it without relying on your boyfriend or a love relationship.
Getting emotionally, physically, and spiritually healthy is more important that wondering what to do when your boyfriend cheats and you still love him. The healthier you are, the easier all your decisions in life will be – including your most important relationship decisions. Learning who Jesus is and figuring out why God created you is the only way you’ll find peace, freedom, and joy in your life.
If you decide to stay with your boyfriend and keep trusting him after he cheated, remember that you won’t feel better overnight. Rebuilding relationship trust is a process that involves good and bad days – as well as painful discussions with your boyfriend. But, if you’re both willing to work on your relationship, you can rebuild trust and strengthen your love and commitment to one another.
Help surviving an affair
The Chump Lady Survival Guide to Infidelity: How to Regain Your Sanity After You’ve Been Cheated On by Tracy Schorn is a fantastic way to come back to yourself. When your boyfriend cheats on you, you start to doubt yourself.
When you’re trying to read the signs you can trust your boyfriend after he cheated on you, you question your self-worth and lovability. Of course you’re scared he’ll cheat again! The Survival Guide to Infidelity will help you move forward and regain trust in yourself.
Torn Asunder: Recovering From an Extramarital Affair is written by respected pastor and marriage counselor Dave Carder. This book sorts through the factors that contribute to cheating in relationships and then maps out a recovery process for both partners. If you decided to trust your boyfriend after he cheated, you need insight and wisdom rooted in the Bible.
You might also want to read 4 Ways to Tell if Your Husband is Lying About Cheating. I wrote that article after seeing marriage counsellor Gary Neiman on the Dr Oz show. He and Janine Driver of the Body Language Institute discussed several ways to discern if someone is lying about cheating. Learning how to read nonverbal body language signs is a valuable way to decide if you should trust your boyfriend after he cheated on you.
Trust your instincts and follow what your heart is telling you, but don’t leave your brains behind! You are being guided all the time. God didn’t just create you, He is aware of every breath you take. Take time to be quiet and still in His presence, and to let your heart and spirit align with His. Meet the gaze of Jesus. You will feel your way to the right answers in your life.
If you think you can’t trust your boyfriend even though you still love him, read How to Accept a Breakup You Didn’t Want.