How Should you Apologize for Cheating?


How should you apologize for cheating

There has been so much written about cheating in romantic relationships; what is certain is that apologizing is the key to healing the negative feelings caused by the transgression.

According to research apologizing is central to dealing with the disruption that cheating causes in romantic relationships. As a result of the many ways (physical, sexual emotional, texting, cyber, etc) in which people cheat today, cheating can be defined as any intimate act outside a committed relationship.

Why do people cheat?

Men and women usually cheat because of some sort of sexual or emotional dissatisfaction in their relationship. Cheating is normally never about the other person; in many cases it’s more about unmet needs and an undermining dynamic between the couple that creates the cracks that makes cheating possible.

We all have the basic need to feel safe and loved: when this has eroded in our romantic relationships due to poor communication or whatever else, we seek validation outside the relationship. Cheating due to all that built up resentment is one of the most common responses. Despite what enables the perfect storm for cheating in romantic relationships, most people don’t go out looking for an affair; it’s usually poor boundaries that facilitate an affair with a coworker, stranger or friend.

“Where to start if you want to apologize for cheating”

The first place to start is the willingness to be completely honest, forthcoming and available to your partner’s feelings of betrayal, bitterness, and hurt. The ability to be forgiven will be fully contingent on your capacity to convey your honest new commitment to the relationship. Forgiveness won’t be quick, so being patient about your partner’s pain is key for the introduction of healing and empathy.

Your ability also to dig deep and develop self-awareness into your undermining perspectives about love and relationships will also be needed. True insight into one’s childhood distortions when it comes to romantic relationships will need to be revealed.

“The work for the couple”

The couple will need to work together to create a space of safety may be for the first time in the relationship.

Each will need to commit to learning more about the other. Both will also need to, at the same time, allow oneself to be known by the other. This type of commitment is an important next step to healing and in essence giving themselves and their relationship a chance.

Most couples are always unconsciously reenacting unmet needs from childhood with their significant others. The couple developing true insight into their histories provides opportunity for the creation of something different than what they saw growing up as children. Awareness if truly sought by both helps to reveal unworkable perspectives from childhood that bind and contribute to feelings of insecurity in the relationship. Workable perspectives in a romantic relationship are based in reality and allow flexibility and a space in the relationship to talk, share honest feelings and stay connected as a couple.

Delverlon Hall is a licensed social worker (Licensed Master’s in Social Work) offering couples therapy and individual psychotherapy. She has a doctoral degree in Health Education and Behavior Studies from Columbia University. Delverlon also has three years of experience as a teaching adjunct professor at Bronx Community College.