Forgive A Cheating Partner

Earlier in July, we conducted a survey on ZULA’s Telegram channel to understand how Singaporeans would react upon discovering that their partner was cheating. TL;DR: 15% of the respondents would forgive their partner’s wrongdoing, while 85% chose the option that said they’d immediately call it quits.   

To delve deeper into the reasonings behind these findings, we reached out to five females in Singapore who have been cheated on, to find out if they forgave their cheating partners.

1. “I wanted to give him a chance and tried my best to fix the relationship”

For illustrative purposes only

“My ex of 4 years emotionally cheated on me multiple times throughout our relationship. I only found out when I chanced upon a text from his friend about another girl ‒ he mentioned that he “missed her”. 

When I tried to confront him about his inappropriate behaviour, he got really defensive. He rebutted by saying that I was overreacting and overthinking, and that the girl was nobody but a new friend that he found intriguing. The audacity. 

I was hurt and angry, but given that we grew up together in our formative teenage years and early 20s, I wanted to give him a chance and tried my best to fix the relationship. However, he didn’t acknowledge his mistake, and said that “emotional cheating is not real”. This, of course, led me to break things off with him. 

He came back to beg for my forgiveness, and I caved. However, given that the trust had been broken, things were no longer the same. We continued to date for 2 more years before parting ways.”

– Jillian, 25

2. “My partner was super apologetic about it and I gave in”

Forgive a cheating partnerImage courtesy of Gwen

“I found out that my ex was cheating on me after my friend showed me a video of him and his friend kissing in a club. I never knew they had feelings for each other ‒ I thought they were only close friends. 

At first, it didn’t hit me that I had been cheated on, but after processing it, I finally realised what had happened. I couldn’t sleep the entire night, and I bawled my eyes out. 

To make things worse, he explained that he had been too drunk and didn’t know what was happening at that moment. Everything sounded like an excuse because I believed that he could have had better boundaries, since he was in a committed relationship with me. 

However, I forgave my ex after seeing how apologetic he was, and we began to date again. Yet, the incident definitely affected the way I trusted people, especially those who later appeared in my life. 

Things never returned to the way they were, and I was constantly reminded of the cheating incident. Eventually, we broke up, and I learned that cheaters don’t deserve a second chance.”

– Gwen, 23

3. “I thought what we had was meant to be forever”

Forgive a cheating partnerImage courtesy of Ash

“My first relationship was when I was 16, and during our 5-month relationship, my ex cheated on me thrice. At that point in time, I didn’t understand what cheating was. It wasn’t much later that I realised I was being cheated on. 

My ex didn’t try to hide the fact that he was seeing someone else, and I found out through his Instagram stories where he posted faceless pictures of different girls every few weeks. Since he was a photographer, I naturally assumed that it was part of his job. However, it turned out that the photos belonged to the different girls he was in contact with.

I was devastated, and I felt as if I wasn’t enough for him. Instead of getting angry at him, I was mad at myself because I believed that the cheating happened because I was “lacking” so much to someone I really loved. It was even to the extent that I felt sorry for him because he was “stuck” with someone like me. 

Furthermore, the idea of breaking up never occurred to me because I thought what we had was meant to be forever. I concluded that I needed to “fix” myself, or else he would leave me first. 

Eventually, I could no longer tolerate his behaviour, and I broke up with him. I guess some people, like my ex, cheat because they want to “explore” other options while still having a safety net, aka me, to fall on in case the other people don’t work out.”

– Ash, 23 

4. “I forgave him and took him back because I didn’t know how to put myself first”

Image courtesy of Priscilla

“When I was in high school, I dated my first boyfriend who had typical “bad boy” traits. I didn’t know that he was cheating on me until a friend decided to take pity on me and told me the truth. Apparently, almost everyone knew about it except for me. 

Since I was only 15 when the incident happened, my innocence was definitely broken. However, I forgave and took him back because I didn’t know how to put myself first. Later, when we eventually broke up for good, I didn’t want to get hurt like that again, so I decided to become the “bad girl” myself instead.

While I was sad that I had been cheated on, I didn’t think anything could’ve been done to prevent the cheating. People are going to do what they want, and I’ve learned it’s better to just let them, rather than stress over how it could have been prevented. This way, you allow people to reveal themselves to you through their choices.

As a word of advice, I always tell people who have been cheated on to let the cheaters go. There is no point in clinging to unhealthy relationships, but with time and healing, we will attract the right kind of love into our lives with no resistance.”

– Priscilla, 40

5. “Once a cheater, always a cheater”

Forgive a cheating partnerImage courtesy of Cindy

“Among the many relationships I’ve had before, I was cheated on a couple of times. By now, I can easily tell when a person is about to cheat or is cheating through their unusual actions. 

For instance, an ex-boyfriend of mine never brought his phone to the toilet when we first started dating. However, he began doing it some months later, and when I pointed it out, he was very defensive and gaslighted me into thinking I was being paranoid. 

As I suspected, he was talking to other girls he met online through Instagram. He thought if he switched his main channel of communication with those girls to Instagram, I wouldn’t have noticed it. What a jerk. 

Of course, I was disappointed and angry, and I broke up with him immediately. I never give them a second chance because I know that once they cheat, they will always be a cheater.

And as the saying goes: “There are plenty of fish in the sea”, I’m sure I will be able to find the right person in the future.”

– Cindy, 30 

These Stories Show That Relationships Are Never Easy & It Takes Time To Move On

No one deserves to be cheated on, and sometimes, these incidents may turn out to be blessings in disguise. Everyone has the right to decide if they wish to continue and end a relationship, and when that moment comes, it is best that we don’t judge others. 

Cover: Images courtesy of Cindy and Gwen

Also read: 

I Left My 10-Year Relationship After My Husband Cheated Twice & Found Love Again On Dating Apps At 32