“I Forgave My Cheating Mate”

Would you walk out if your sweetie strayed? Are you sure? Listen to why these folks decided to stay and then see what you think.

By Chelsea Kaplan

f your mate has cheated, forgiving and forgetting might be nearly impossible, right? Well, some people are able to give their straying sweeties another chance. Here, they tell their stories— and give the rest of us plenty of food for thought!

I forgave my mate…

…because she seemed genuinely remorseful
“After my girlfriend came to me and admitted she had hooked up with
“But when I thought about losing her, I just couldn’t imagine that.”
another guy, I was crushed. When she told me, though, she seemed so genuinely sad and sorry. Because of this, I decided to forgive her and not break up with her. I could tell she really realized she had messed up and would have done anything to turn back the clock and do things differently. Her being that sincere made me willing to give her another shot.”
— David, 28, New York, NY

…because there were kids involved
“I forgave my husband after he cheated on me because we had kids together. For their sake and the sake of our family as a unit, I felt like I had to at least try to make things work instead of just immediately kicking him out, which is what I really felt like doing. We’ve worked on things a lot, and now we’re on the road to getting back on track. It was hard to forget, but I can honestly say I forgave him.”
— Dawn, 32, Raleigh, NC

…because everyone deserves a second chance
“After my boyfriend cheated on me, I was so hurt. I still loved him, though, so deciding what to do wasn’t really black and white for me. After a lot of back and forth, I decided to forgive him. My friends thought I was crazy, but for me, letting go of someone I cared about so much because of one mistake wasn’t something I could do. I figure that everyone deserves a second chance, but not a third. If he does it again, he’s out, but for now, I’m willing to forgive him.”
— Talinda, 26, Glen Oaks, NY

…because there was alcohol involved
“My girlfriend kissed another guy right in front of my face at a New Year’s Eve party. We had both been drinking a lot. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, and I nearly lost it. However, the next morning after we had sobered up, we talked about it and I chalked up the experience to the alcohol. To be honest, if some girl had approached me that night, I was so wasted, I may have done the same thing. It was just one of those stupid, drunken screw-ups, so I got over it. And we learned a lesson about how much to drink, too.”
— Alan, 23, Fresno, CA

…because he agreed to go into couples counseling
“When my boyfriend admitted to cheating on me, I was conflicted about what to do. I still loved him, but I couldn’t see staying with him and still trusting him. I proposed we go to
“His commitment to counseling and working through our issues did it for me.”
couples counseling to work on our relationship, and he was in complete agreement. He was very honest and open in the counseling, and seemed committed to working on our issues and making sure we moved forward in a way that involved better communication. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done — much harder than I expected! — but we noticed a real improvement in our relationship as a result of the counseling, and it helped me find a way to forgive him and move on.”
— Jane, 31, Alexandria, VA

…because I loved her—and her family
“I didn’t grow up in a very large or particularly close family, so when I began dating Catherine, who was one of a tight-knit clan of six brothers and sisters, it was like instant family. They were all so warm and fun to be around; it was a total relationship bonus. Things were going really well until I found out that she had cheated on me. I was very upset, so when she begged me to try to work things out, it was tough to say yes. When I thought about losing her, though, I couldn’t imagine that—both because of my feelings for her and for her family. I decided to give it another go-around, and so far, we’re doing a good job of working on moving past it.”
— Trey, 29, Lansing, MI

…because I’d almost strayed before, too
“In the very early stages of my relationship with my boyfriend, I sort of cheated on him with my ex. Technically, maybe I didn’t cheat, but I definitely crossed a line... I never told him because I realized it was a huge mistake that I’d never make again. A few months later, he admitted he had cheated on me with one of his business school classmates. I was hurt, but I felt like I didn’t really have much of a right to be upset with him, considering what I had done. I chose to forgive him and give him another chance, because I know that people all make mistakes. We’re both going forward with a new sense of commitment, and I’m feeling very hopeful about our future together.”
— Nicole, 25, Jersey City, NJ

Chelsea Kaplan is deputy editor at Her blog, “I’m Somebody’s Mother?” can be found at
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