womanizer-toys-1e3-lYkJsfs-unsplash (2)

Your Relationship After Cheating

Written by Chelle, Lovehoney Editorial Team

Your Relationship After Cheating

So, you cheated on your partner. Or maybe they cheated on you, and now things don’t feel quite the same way they did. Although rom coms will have you believing an act of infidelity can only end one way – with a dramatic showdown and a grizzly end – we’re here to tell you that relationships can and do,heal from heartbreak.

When Someone Cheats

For as long as human bonding has been a thing (and that’s around 200 million years ago, dating right back to before the Jurassic periods for those interested!), so has cheating – it’s just that until much more recently, we spoke about it a whole lot less.

I mean, did we even call them relationships in the pre-historic dinosaur era?

This can’t-spill-the-beans avoidance to admit that not all relationships are faultless and perfect has, over the decades, created a touch of stigma around moving on from infidelity – and we get it. No really, we do.

When choosing to forgive (but maybe not forget) a partner’s act of betrayal, we’re confronted with fears of social acceptance. We worry we might be seen as weak, lonely or even desperate, and that friends and family will judge us for choosing to save our relationship rather than sabotage our potential happiness.

Ultimately, it’s our decision only when it comes to choosing to stay and heal, or whether to walk away from those heart-breaking feels. Either way, recovering from relationship infidelity isn’t easy.

How Cheating Can Make You Feel


Lack of Self-Confidence

Infidelity could leave you wondering about your self-worth and how much you’re valued within your relationship. If you were the one to betray your partner by cheating on them, it’s natural for them to feel shaken while they try to recover their own self-confidence.

There will be questions, and they will likely sound similar to “Was I good enough for them?” or “Why did they choose someone else over me?” It’s important to remember that infidelity is rarely as black and white as self-blame would have you believe, and in most cases, isn't personal or down to anything you've done.

Increased Insecurity

Infidelity breeds insecurity. Moving on from cheating in a relationship can be tough going. You may be left questioning whether your spouse is likely to cheat or betray you again. If you were the person to be unfaithful, your partner may feel more protective over your relationship, and keep their guard up for some time.

Feeling insecurity following infidelity can be a natural part of the healing process, but it’s essential to ensure those strings of uncertainty don’t turn into obsessive jealousy. Communicate regularly and be conscious of one another’s feelings.


If the act of infidelity came as a shock to you, then the unexpected event may cause some confusion. “Why?” “How?” “When?” – from the practicalities through to the more intimate details of your partner’s affair or fling, being confused about how it happened and why is completely rational.

Even those who cheat feel confusion at times, particularly if there’s not always a logical reason for hurting their partner or committing the betrayal.


When you hurt someone you love, you might end up feeling hurt too. Guilt isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it shows that you understand doing wrong, and more importantly, that you feel remorse for it too. However, guilt can become suffocating if you allow it to.

Instead, channel your guilty conscience to do better, and into being a better, more faithful partner. Talk about your feelings, guilt included, if you choose to try and mend the broken bridges within your relationship.


Sometimes relationships work. Sometimes they don’t. When they don’t last, one or both partners can end up experiencing some level of grief. After all, you’re left to ponder the numerous ‘what if’ scenarios as you navigate moving on from your partnership.

Even when you choose to stay together after infidelity, there may still be a grieving process – grieving for your relationship and how it used to be before the cheating happened.

Rebuilding Your Relationship After Cheating

It takes time. Effort and time. It won’t happen overnight, and it may be a longer road than you anticipate when it comes to getting back on track. How that journey looks for each couple can vary. It may be working through it together, just the two of you, or enlisting the help of a professional such as a relationships counsellor or therapist.

What it should never become or involve, is keeping tabs on your other half, spying on your spouse or being paranoid over your partner’s movements and intentions. When this happens, a relationship can quickly turn toxic, leaving you to deal with more than just the initial infidelity. You can read more on toxic relationships here.

If you choose to stay together, reconnecting will be key to recovering your relationship, and there are lots of ways you can do this.


Reintroduce Romance

Not always, but sometimes, infidelity stems from losing the initial spark in your primary relationship. After so long, certain pieces of our relationship and lives can become almost habitual. We may forget that nurturing our relationship is important and can sometimes fail to give the people we love the attention they deserve.

After cheating, there can be an awkwardness around being romantic with one another, but if you’ve decided to give things another go then it’s important to let down your guard and enjoy each other.

Schedule a date night and put time in the diary just for you. Remember what it was like to just have fun together. Try playing games that prompt you to find out more about each other intimately.

If sex isn’t on the agenda immediately (and understandably), start slow and steady with a body massage or some flirtatious foreplay until you both feel more comfortable to take things further.

Experiment together

Sometimes, a bump in the road of your relationship can reignite the flame of desire and passion. It can make you re-evaluate what you have between you and the thought of losing each other can bring you closer together.

If this is the case, take the opportunity to experiment and explore together. Use your rekindled passion to try new things, it could be bondage, role play or introducing toys you’ve never used before into your intimate relationship.

It could be as simple as switching up how you’re intimate together, exploring new sex positions and challenging yourselves to stretch beyond your regular ‘coupled comfort zone’.


Being able to talk to each other is really important as you attempt to recover your relationship. To protect your partner, and yourself, while cheating, it’s possible you had to lie to keep your secret hidden.

The ‘moving on’ phase will require complete transparency and lots of discussion regarding feelings, intentions and desires.

If you cheated, or were cheated on, because there was something missing from your relationship or your relationship wasn’t meeting your needs, then this is the time to open the floor for discussions around what can be changed and made better.

Remember, there may be lots of raw emotion to work through, so be prepared to listen, not just talk.

Seek Support

For many couples, moving on from infidelity starts and even stays between just the two parties involved, but for others, inviting in a professional or seeking support from a counsellor or therapist can have lots of benefit.

If you, or your partner, feels that the best way to recover your relationship is by talking it through with someone who isn’t intimately involved, there is lots of help available.

Look online for your local Relate service, or to find a trained, qualified therapist who will be able to support you.

Outside of this, speaking to friends and family members you trust is a great way to vent, let off steam and share your worries.