Should I Get Back Together With An Ex Who Cheated?

Question: Should I get back together with an ex who cheated? I’m trying to forgive my ex but I keep thinking “once a cheater always a cheater”. I found out he had cheated, he apologized but I was so hurt that I broke up with him. He kept in touch and doing all he can do to get me back. He says he understands how much he hurt me and will do anything to make it up to me. My friends say if he really did love me he would never have cheated in the first place. But he is the first and only guy I’ve truly loved and he says the same about me. We talked about marriage and kids and he says he still wants that.

I believe that it is possible to save this relationship but it’s still in my mind that he may cheat again. I love him so much that it hurts every day that we’re not together. Do relationships where an ex cheated ever work? Should I give him a chance?

Yangki’s Answer: I’ll respond to your question in bullet form for clarity and will start with the easier question.

1. Should you get back together with an ex who cheated?

Some couples can get past the betrayal and stay together, and others can’t. Each relationship is different, and different people deal with situations differently. Some relationships can even improve if the two people can use the opportunity to grow and for the relationship to mature.

You obviously are still hurting, and that’s quite normal. This is where you need to start. Be emotionally honest with yourself. It doesn’t help you if you’re in denial about how you truly feel. The denial here is not about whether he cheated or not, or whether the relationship can be saved or not, I think you are very realistic about all these two.  The denial is in have you truly forgiven him? Can you bring yourself to trust him again? Can you trust your own judgement in the future? What exactly are the lessons both of you have learned through this and how might you do things differently in the future?

Without clear answers to these questions you’ll always feel terribly insecure and even suspicious of his motives and actions. This alone will make it impossible to save the relationship.

2. Do relationships where an ex cheated ever work?

Some relationships work after one person cheated and others don’t. The ones that work are where both people accept that once someone cheats that relationship is forever altered.

Bringing yourself to accept that things will never be the same between the two of you will make it easier to move past the cheating. Yes, you’ll still love and care for each other as before — may be even more — but you will not and can not have the old relationship back. The fact that “your ex cheated on you” will linger indefinitely, in some form or another.

My advice to people trying to get back together with an ex who cheated is not to work on saving the old relationship; but creating a new and better relationship with the same person.

3. Is there any guarantee your ex won’t do it again?

Nothing in life except may be death is 100% guaranteed. But you can reduce the risk by openly and honestly dealing with why the cheating happened in the first place. Even if you get over his cheating and get back together, if you don’t deal with the root cause it’ll show up again in some other form of “relationship problem”.

4. Should you give your cheating ex another chance?

Almost every relationship is savable if both parties are willing to work on it. If you can get past your pain and hurt and want to make it work, I say definitely give your ex another chance.

But don’t be in a rush to get back together. It’s NOT your fault your ex cheated but it’s your responsibility to make sure he does not take your love and trust for granted. Let him earn your trust slowly by doing the “right” things, consistently.

RELATED: My Dismissive Avoidant Ex Cheated, Will She Cheat Again?

More from Love Doctor Yangki Akiteng
Why Does My Ex Want to Date Other People?
Question: After 1 month of NC and 1 month of limited contact,...
Read More
Join the Conversation


  1. says: Alley

    Hi there:) I have been in an on and off relationship with my ex for about 20 years. We have a 15 yr old son now. We finally called it quit in July. He cheated throughout all our yrs together and thats why i left as he was continue to cheat and lie all the time. Now he wants me back after all his doing and says he wouldnt cheat on me ever again. He was also abusive and verbal as will.

    1. says: Love Doctor Yangki Akiteng

      If he has proven himself to be a cheater, a liar and abuser over and over, or “all the time” as you put it, then why are you even considering taking him back? The fact that you are even posting on a blog about a cheater wanting you back says a lot about you. Self -esteem issues, may be?

      What I’m saying is, it’s NOT a compliment that he wants you back. It’s an insult, on top of injury. That said, I’m humble enough to say, may be I’m missing something here. Please don’t tell me he’s a great father and besides his cheating and lying, he’s blah… blah. Heard it all before.

      I have a strong feeling there is more than one side to this story.

  2. says: Megan

    hi. my ex dumped me 3 years ago. me and him have had several relationships after that. He is 22 and im 19. We got talking over the internet and exchanged numbers. But he has asked me back out and i said yes, hes said he loves me and cant waits to see me. He said he has changed and is a better person now. We are going to meet up next tuesday but im a embarassed but really want to meet up with him! What do i do? Help please. 🙂

    1. says: Love Doctor, Yangki Akiteng

      There is nothing to be embarrassed about.

      Meet him but don’t rush into anything until you are convinced – ON YOUR OWN – that he has changed to the kind of person you’d want to have a relationship with. Don’t be fooled by “he loves me and can’t wait to see me”, it means nothing if they are only words. I may be wrong but this seems like a distance relationships which makes it harder to observe him in person. So I suggest many meetings before you can really be sure he is who he says he has become. Both of you are still young and will continue to change a lot over the years.

  3. says: Lauren

    My partner and I had been together for 4 months when i fell pregnant this caused us to be very on and off, constant arguing ect. He messaged another woman, this stopped, they met for a chat and ended up having sex but he stopped and left very quickly and stopped all contact with her. He lied for 2 days before telling me the truth , he says that he cheated because he was in a very bad place at the time, he was unsure about us and he is terribly sorry. then we had our daughter early and he was brilliant. He reasures me he loves me and im good enough for him. Do you think I should forgive him?

  4. says: Alias

    My ex cheated. I unfriended her on Facebook and told her not to contact me. Two weeks ago she sent me a text saying “hello?” While searching how to respond I came across your article. I replied back “hello” and then she started asking how I am. We chatted for 30 mins then I had to go. She texts me every few days mostly asking how I am. Two nights ago, we were texting and she told me she’s going out with friends but made it a point to say it’s only girls and she’s not dating anyone. She’s not used to being the pursuer and I think that she’s really trying to show she’s sorry. Should I give her another chance?

    1. If you had a relatively happy/healthy relationship, you think you can forgive her and put the betrayal past you, and you feel that she’s really trying to be make it up to you, it doesn’t hurt to find out if you can be together again.

      Some people have made it work, and others have been able to create a better relationship after one person cheats.

      Take it very, very slow though. Use both your heart and head.

  5. says: Nimmi

    I’m not sure if my ex wants me back or not. We keep in contact but he’s cold and indifferent. We broke up because he cheated, not the first time he’s cheated. I told him if he promised to not cheat again, I’ll take him back but he says he can’t make that promise. I love him with all my heart. What do I do?

    1. You heard the guy… he has no intention of stopping his cheating ways. So you either take back the cheater and be cheated on again or you give yourself a little self-respect and find someone who actually cares that cheating makes you unhappy.

Leave a comment
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *