“I'm sorry” isn't good enough.
When you've made a mistake, you've got to show that you're genuinely aware of how much your actions hurt your partner or your ex that you're trying to win back.
You've also got to prove that you're making positive changes.
John lied to his wife about going drinking with his buddies.
Cindy texted with her ex-boyfriend even though she promised her current boyfriend she wouldn't.
Alex had an affair while away from home on a business trip.
Kristin threw a lamp at her partner during an argument.
Pete went through his girlfriend's phone messages even though he claims not to have a jealousy problem.
There probably isn't a person alive who has never done something that broke trust or caused pain to a loved one. It happens.
Your mistake may have mostly disappointed your partner or maybe it made him or her very angry or extremely sad. What you did might be the reason why your mate is, right now, considering whether to stay in or leave your relationship. Perhaps your partner already broke up with you and you're hoping for a second chance.
Taking that first step and owning up to what you did is essential.
You certainly can't make amends for a mistake until you own up to it.
If you want to repair the damage and start to move closer again to your partner or your ex, you've got to prove to him or her that you've actually changed. At the very least, you need to show that you are making strides to change-- even if you're not there yet.
4 Steps to Prove that You've Changed...
#1: Convince yourself first.
While showing your partner that you're changing is probably at the forefront of your mind, your first challenge is to prove it to yourself. Your partner or ex will see through if you are hesitant, uncertain or you aren't genuine about making a significant change.
It's going to show.
Take the time to truly develop that new habit.
Identify what triggers and fuels your tendency to be jealous, flirt, lie, yell, jump to conclusions or whatever it is you do that pushed your partner away. If there's healing to be done within you, begin to do it.
Give yourself credit for the strides you have made and are making. Allow yourself to feel hopeful that you are now pointing in a direction you want to go...and a direction that will be beneficial to your partner and your relationship too.
#2: Make sure you're changing what is really at issue.
While your partner might appreciate that you now do a better job of taking out the trash, this still doesn't address the way that you lied about the porn on your computer.
Sure, making improvements and being more accountable does help, but if you continue to undermine trust in other ways, you're not proving that you've changed.