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Like 'Waiting to Exhale", most of Ciara's relationships, and various YouTube breakup videos have shown us, cheating is a dealbreaker for a lot of people.
Depending on who you ask, cheating can be physical or emotional, from sharing deep feelings with another all the way to one or more sexual encounters with other people. Cheating is often considered one of the worst romantic crimes one can commit, because it hurts on many different levels. The loss of trust, sexual health risks, feelings of inadequacy, and disrespect can weaken the foundation of a once-good relationship, often to the point that it crumbles completely.
However, while many adopt a "once a cheater, always a cheater" mentality and cancel their partner like an Amazon Prime subscription, other folks aren't so quick to quit. For some, the love, value, and bae’s apology game are so strong that they feel compelled to give their exes *Faith Evans voice* "one more chaaaance". The problem with this is that it’s not as simple as starting over. Once a person is cheated on, questions arise: Why wasn’t I good enough? What made them cheat? If I take my partner back, will it happen again? What other secrets are there? The insecurity and destabilization stemming from a cheat creates this internal conflict, making a reconciliation that much harder.
So how do you do it? How do you take back your partner after they’ve cheated without losing your mind?
Take Your Time: Taking back your partner right after a cheat is like touching a pan right after cooking—you’ll inevitably hurt yourself, because you're moving too fast. The healthiest approach is to slow down, process what happened, sort out your feelings, and understand what you want going forward. Healing from the pain won’t happen in five minutes, no matter how fast you want your partner back.
Watch For Changes: Taking your time reuniting also allows your ex to show you improved behavior on a prolonged basis. After all, how can you two get back to a good place without seeing them treat you better than they did before? Established patterns of healthy, committed actions from your partner will help you believe it when they say “I won’t ever do that again”, and build back trust that the cheat took away. If you don’t see any changes over a long period of time, DO NOT GO BACK. Not all sequels are good ones.
Forgive Them . . . Like, For Real: Forgiveness is when resentment and anger leave your heart and mind. It's when you can finally look at someone and not see the pain they caused you. If you're not there yet, you're not ready to take that person back. The anger and betrayal you feel will consume your relationship if you don't fully accept your partner’s remorse and make peace with their actions.
Have Some Act Right: True forgiveness means you don't morph into Petty Betty once you're back on. Don't bring up the cheat constantly, weaponize it in arguments, and repeatedly threaten to leave if they do it again. It also means you shouldn't Sherlock Holmes the relationship--checking DMs and texts, tracking your partner's every move and doing pop-ups when they're out. Taking your partner back means they get a clean slate—you don't forget what they did, but you don't hold it over their head. The slate can't be clean if you use their errors against them.
Look, taking back your partner after cheating isn’t for the faint of heart--not everybody is trying to be Cardi B or Beyonce out here, let’s be real. If it's too much, you should absolutely let go and move forward. But should you decide to risk it and reunite with your person, focus on rebuilding what was lost. Reestablish trust slowly, communicate about needs and wants often, and reconnect on an intimate level. Let the love you have for your partner drive your actions, not anger. More than anything, prioritize your peace and know that you deserve to be treated right. If it happens again, love yourself enough to leave.
Written By: Eden Carswell (@locs_on_the_rocks, IG)