5 Reasons to Forgive a Cheater

heartheartIt's a question we've all asked ourselves: Could I forgive someone who cheated on me? Many will not hesitate to say they would kick the jerk to the curb, but is that really so easy, even in the face of betrayal? No it's not. Robert Pattinson is a prime example of that.

A lot of fans are wondering how he could go back to Kristen Stewart after her affair. As far as the world was concerned, he should have kicked her to the curb for that fling. But that isn't always the first move when you are talking about a long-term relationship.

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While some people may think Rob is nuts for reconciling with the viciously dubbed "twi-harlett," it's easy to see why he didn't. It's hard to let go when there is still a lot of love there. Ending the relationship may not be the right choice for many reasons. Now some people in your life will criticize that decision, but bottom line is it's not their choice. It's yours. So here are five reasons people give a cheater another chance.

  1. It was a momentary indiscretion. I know this one will get a lot of eye rolls, but it's a valid consideration. We are all human after all and not infallible. Think about married country star Jason Aldean who was caught canoodling with former American Idol contestant Brittany Kerr. He blamed the hook-up on booze. "I had too much to drink, let the party get out of hand, and acted inappropriately at a bar," he said in a statement to fans. "I left alone, caught the bus to our next show, and that's the end of the story." I am sure his wife gave him hell -- as she rightfully should -- but she likely deemed this lapse in judgement not worth throwing away their marriage. Now if a person is a repeated adulturer, that's another story.
  2. You won't forgive yourself if you don't at least try to move past it. Regret is very hard to live with, especially when it comes to missing out on what could have been the love of your life. Now, I know a lot of people think that if someone is really The One, they wouldn't cheat, but I just don't think that's always true. It's okay if you want to try to work through things and see if the relationship can keep growing. If after a few weeks or months you can't move past his mistake and can't trust him, move on for both your sakes.
  3. You were on a break. Remember that whole Ross-Rachel debate on Friends? He slept with someone else while they were on a "relationship hiatus" after a fight. She considered this cheating, he didn't. Well, I am apt to side with Ross on this one. A break is a break. If you are not officially together, then you are both free to see whomever you choose. That said, once you reconcile, monogamy is a must.
  4. The cheater is sincerely sorry and tries to understand how you feel. One of the biggest problems with a lot of cheaters is that they refuse to admit they were wrong. They will try to blame it on everything from you guys not having enough sex to the fact that you two were bickering all the time. But if he is open about where he went wrong, wants to hear how you feel, and wants to earn your trust again, it might be worth a try.
  5. You have a strong, loving foundation. This is actually critical for any relationship to last, but especially when cheating is involved. You will need to remind yourself of the life you have built together as you sort through your feelings and your future together. Love doesn't conquer all, but it can conquer this if you are both committed.

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Could you forgive a cheater? Have you?

Image via CarbonNYC/Flickr

Written by Ericka Souter on CafeMom's blog, The Stir.

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