How to Take Responsibility for an Affair

Take Responsibility for an Affair

Do the Work to Fix the Bond

Infidelity is one of the most difficult situations for a couple to overcome—both for the cheater and the cheated on. If you’ve cheated, you’ll no doubt feel immense remorse over your lapse in judgment, and your partner will inevitably feel betrayed.

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Moving Forward

In order to move forward, however, you may need to own up to your transgressions and take ownership of your actions—even if doing so will be extremely difficult for all involved. To navigate this often fraught situation, follow this five-step process for taking responsibility and restoring trust in your relationship.

1. Decide if You Need to Come Clean—and Why
Telling your partner that you’ve had an affair will unavoidably be devastating for him or her, and such an admission can potentially be the catalyst for the end of your relationship. That’s why it’s crucial for you to think critically about why you feel the need to tell your partner. If your affair was brief and is now completely over, telling your partner may not be the best option: Your admission may make you feel less guilt, but it will put an emotional burden on your significant other that he or she does not need. Of course, if you’ve been having a long-term affair or you’ve been caught in the act, fessing up is a necessity. Weigh your options and, when it doubt, do what your think is right for your partner, not what’s going to make you feel better.

2. Don’t Make Excuses
There may be a host of reasons why you cheated: Maybe you were stressed at work. Maybe you were feeling neglected by your partner. Maybe you drank too much one night. Making excuses like these, however, won’t change your actions. And outright blaming your partner for your mistake is not taking responsibility for what you did. If you’re going to come clean, do so without trying to justify your behavior.

3. Answer Questions Honestly
Your partner may request (or demand) to hear certain particulars about your affair. While you don’t want to go into explicit detail, it is important that you honor these inquiries and answer candidly. Some of the questions might include: How long did the affair last? Did you love him/her? How many times? Did you bring the person into our home?

4. Give Your Partner Time and Space, as Requested
After hearing that you’ve cheated, your significant other may need to be away from you. Distance provides some healthy space for him or her to grieve, think about and process what you’ve revealed. Try not to press or demand that your partner stay in your home or continue to speak with you about the situation at hand. While the thought of him or her leaving or not wanting to interact will be rough, time and space can be very healing.

5. Take the Necessary Steps to Repair Your Relationship
Show your partner that you are willing to do whatever it takes to restore your bond, if that is indeed the case. This might mean accompanying him or her to couple’s counseling, checking in throughout the night if you go out with friends, or committing to coming home right after work. Whatever it is that your partner requires from you at this time, do it. Your willingness to show him or her that you want to make things right will make all the difference when it comes to mending the damage you’ve done to your bond.

7 thoughts on “How to Take Responsibility for an Affair

  1. Chrissi

    My husband had an affair and fathered a child by the other woman I’d taken a caretakers job with a charity to get away from mother in law’s place when my son was about three months old not realizing I’d be expected to be on duty 24/7 even though they knew I had a small child our flat was tied to it, so I never got a proper wage and he was supposed to work and pay the bills, but he found the situation depressing and so had an affair with one of the other charity workers- I did not cope well unfortunately and the charity sacked me asking me and my son to leave the flat we had been given, and took on my husband so I had to move back to mother in law’s place, the affair continued until my son was 20 months old with him dropping over every other week to drop some money for our food as I didn’t get on with his mother, stayed upstairs and usually cooked our food separately as well he blamed the affair on the fact he was feeling left out and neglected since my son had been born- once he finally talked about it- it ended when I told him, that if it made him happy he could leave- he said that meant I must love him more than she did although he loved us both equally. Once he left her he never spoke of her nor the child again, though his mother told me she was going to accept the little girl as her grandchild same as my son- and sent her baby clothes while my husband was still with her He still won’t talk about things that bother him or his worries even after 25 years now, just gets moody and we’ve never really got back the laughter and fun part of the marriage I felt I should try at it though as my son needed his father and mother and I felt I shouldn’t bail just because of one affair

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  2. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Dear Robin,

    It takes TWO to make a marriage work….you can’t do it on your own. Since he won’t even admit to cheating, then it sounds like leaving is the right thing, in your case, to do.

    I’m sorry for what you are going thru, but you know what ?….you are setting yourself free to find the love you DESERVE to have.

    May your new beginning bring you love and happiness…..Gina Rose ext.9500

    Reply
  3. Rick

    An affair is nature’s way of telling you that it’s over. There is no fixing that. Once the thing that was reserved for just you and your SO has been contaminated by a third person, it can’t ever be the same. It’s like trying to call back a bullet. Deal breaker.

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  4. Robin

    Yeah, I printed this out for my cheating husband to see – he picked it up, saw the title and then set it back down. He’s been cheating since 2010, but ONE, I can’t catch him, and TWO, he don’t tell the truth on it. He even goes as far to actually beat people up WHO DON’T OR WON’T LIE FOR HIM about it. One of his workers gave me a girl’s name and address last year of someone he was cheating with, and they also told me she was coming into our home and scratching her initials ALL OVER MY STUFF ( I collect gemstones and she LOVED to scratch her initials all over ALL of them). Anyway, that guy SAID I could tell my husband he told me that – my husband beat him up, and TRIED to MAKE him lie still – and he still didn’t lie. So when I went to the girls apartment, who my husband happened to be the “handyman” for – she had already moved – NOT EVEN TWO DAYS LATER. I keep HOPING my husband will cop to his infidelity and that we can move on, but he’s NEVER GONNA do that. So NOW it’s time for ME to move on. I can’t live like this anymore. I’ve put every article, psychology report, etc… in front of my husband, ONLY FOR HIM TO NEVER read them. I suspect because it’s because of the fact that HE DON’T LIKE to face his consequences and he thinks by lying about them will get me to believe him, EVEN THOUGH my things are being desecrated by whoever IT IS he’s having an affair with. NOW I can only hope that karma will come to collect FROM BOTH OF THEM – but in the mean time, I’M DONE. I don’t deserve this.
    But you ARE right with your post. In my world though, I can only think, “I wish”.

    Reply
  5. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Tip # 5 is extremely important ….restoring trust.

    I highly advise marital counseling as well , individually, and as a couple. Go as long as it takes or as long as your partner wants you to go.

    I don’t know if the rust can ever be restored 100% but these tips are a good start , and I have seen marriages heal from the trauma of infidelity.

    In in some cases, the partnership bond was even stronger than it ever was before…..mainly because during the counseling process the issues were finally addressed and properly dealt with.

    Great work, Natasha, I look forward to more articles written by you.

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

    Reply

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