So you cheated on your guy, and he found out. Whether you only strayed once or have been embroiled in a steamy love affair for months, any form of infidelity will have a lasting effect on your partnership. If you want to stay with your guy and save your relationship, follow these five steps to regain his trust, earn his forgiveness, and protect your relationship from a future affair:
Step 1: End the affair 100%.
You can't heal what's broken in your relationship if you're still emotionally and physically invested in another person. If you want to save your relationship, you have to completely recommit yourself to your guy only.
Step 2: Don't compare your relationship to the affair.
Of course the affair was exciting, hot and steamy; it was new and forbidden. However, that high isn't what a true, committed relationship is all about. Choosing to be with your man for the long haul is about building a deep intimacy and sharing your lives together. Remember: just because the affair felt good doesn't mean it was right; the affair was a fleeting, passionate moment, but could never be sustained for an extended period of time.
Step 3: Take responsibility for the hurt you caused your guy.
When you apologize for cheating, your guy needs you to take responsibility for hurting him. Don't try to make the affair his fault by saying, "I'm sorry I cheated, but we never have sex anymore." Instead, try saying something like "I know it's really unfair, and there are no words that I can say to make it better right now. I want you to know that I am truly sorry, and you do not deserve to be hurt like that. You're a good guy, and it has nothing to do with you, it was my fault."
Step 4: Help your partner through the pain.
Talk to your guy about what he needs you to do so he can learn to trust you again. Offer suggestions like closing down your Facebook page, going to therapy, sharing your email password, or checking in frequently when you're out with the girls. Ask him what he needs to move on, and commit to giving it to him.
Step 5: Affair-proof your relationship.
The final step is to affair-proof your relationship so you don't stray again. To do this you need to figure out what you have to do to make your relationship healthy. For example, if you know you have a tendency to flirt with guys at the gym, acknowledge that this is your weakness and change your routine so it's not an issue anymore. In this case you could go to a class that's all women, or hire a female personal trainer to work with you at your home.
Rebuilding your relationship after an affair won't be easy. Your guy will feel hurt, betrayed and suspicious for a long time. He will want to vent his anger and sadness to you. As long as you're loving, patient and kind to him during the healing process, the two of you can work together to rebuild your bond and save your relationship.
For More On Infidelity From YourTango: