Brace yourself for anything, when approaching how to apologize for cheating. You may get the silent treatment, screams accented by the swelled forehead vein, insults sandwiched in sobs, slammed doors, broken glass, your belongings tossed out the window, or a stoic stare followed by a walk out the door. If you have decided to apologize for cheating, the relationship is obviously worth it.
Think of it this way. You have wounded your lady and the relationship—a knife to the gut. Get ready to sit vigilantly at her bedside, holding her hand until the bleeding has stopped, the pain has passed, and the wound has closed.
- Stay calm, but remain engaged and compassionate. You will keep the discussion from being productive if you become reactive or heated. Whether your lady is hot-headed with a bludgeoning tongue or icily scathing, you will undoubtedly hear some choice words designed to level you.
- Bite your tongue. Try not to rationalize your behavior or deflect blame. Defensiveness will create an unnecessary obstacle in reaching solutions and infuriate your lady. Remember, the point is to apologize for cheating, not tell her why she nagged or unsexed you into the arms of another.
- Only answer the questions she asks. You are walking through a minefield during this discussion. Let her lead you through. She knows where the mines are.
- Answer questions honestly. Imagination can create scenarios worse than the truth. Truth will sting for a while. Getting caught in a lie will burn you forever. Don’t kid yourself into thinking you’ll get away with it. Truth is more insidious than deceit. It will find its way out. Lying will sabotage the apology you’re making for cheating. Knowing that she can at least rely on your being truthful will be a saving grace. She will ask questions later, as they occur to her. Be ready to answer those honestly, as well. Permissible exclusions from this rule are immaterial questions that will torture her. She doesn’t need to know if you went down on the other woman, how she tasted, or if she swallowed. This sort of detail will only add to horrific visualizations while she is trying to recover. Tell her that the answers will not be productive and plead the fifth. She does have the right to know if you used a condom.
- Be ready to answer the "Why?" You’ve cheated. You’ve apologized. Address the deeper issues that led to infidelity when she is ready. Show that you want to take the necessary steps to restore the health of your relationship. This point is tricky and vulnerable to rhetoric. Walk the walk if you’re going to talk the talk. Discuss how this idea breaks down into real actions-as in, couple’s therapy, your lady playing video games with you, or sex in a public place once a month.
- Expect paranoia. Expect having to account for everything. Be ready for occasional flare ups. She will have moments when her pain, vulnerability, and distrust are kindled and moments when quelled. Her mind may randomly and mercilessly produce an image of you with the other woman and she will endure the pain again. Odds are, so will you.
- Show strength and conviction in your position. You have chosen to apologize for cheating. You are remorseful. You are doing the best thing you can under the circumstances. Holding your position will help your lady reposition herself around you while adjusting to this new reality.
- Pulling the plug is a choice you may face if you’ve genuinely done all you can to revive the relationship. Despite valiant efforts, wounds still become infected and fatal. Meaning, take your lumps but set an end point. If it becomes clear that an eternity of punishment is in store, or she has become an emotional hemophiliac, it will be time to reevaluate. Even Dr. Phil says that, “There comes a point in time where you may have to draw a line and say, ‘That's it, I'm done. I'm not mad at you. I withdraw my feelings, I withdraw my emotions. You just go do whatever you're going to do because I'm not going to live like this anymore.’” This applies to you, both.