Hurting the girlfriend you love was never your intention. But things got out of hand, and you made decisions you now wish you could take back. The problem with infidelity is that those aren’t choices you can erase. And once the truth is revealed, your girlfriend will inevitably be hurt. If you are willing to fight for your relationship, however, you may be able to show her just how sorry you really are.

Hold Yourself Accountable

Instead of making up excuses for your actions, you need to make sure your girlfriend knows that you accept responsibility for what you have done. Don’t make the mistake of trying to give her all the reasons why you cheated. Instead, acknowledge how short-sighted your choices were. Take ownership of the mistakes you have made, and allow her to communicate the hurt and anger she is feeling in the aftermath.

Embrace Honesty

Now that your cheating is out in the open, one way to move forward is to offer up complete honesty to your girlfriend, explains clinical and forensic psychologist Stephen Diamond in his article "When Partners Cheat: Who Deserves Second Chances?" for "Psychology Today." This is not a time for trying to cover up details or for hiding elements of the truth you don’t think she can handle. That information will likely all come out eventually, and the trust between you will be damaged further if your girlfriend thinks you were trying to be deceitful even while the two of you were attempting to work through this. You don't need to give her a play-by-play, but you shouldn't make the mistake of intentionally hiding relevant details from her either.

Suggest Counseling

The road to rebuilding your relationship may start in a counselor’s office. You can show your girlfriend how committed you are to repairing the damage you have caused by suggesting the two of you attend counseling sessions together. Try contacting the counseling department on campus for a listing of services, or get in touch with your local religious institution or youth center to see if counselors are available there. Even if your girlfriend is not willing to take part, you may want to consider going for yourself as you explore the reasons why you cheated on this person you love.

Rebuild Trust

Prove to your girlfriend that you are truly sorry by working to earn her trust back. This is not something that happens overnight, and it will require a great deal of perseverance and patience on your end. Call your girlfriend when you say you are going to call. Cease contact with the woman you cheated with, and bend over backwards to be there for your girlfriend whenever she needs you. You earn her trust back by staying true to your word, showing her bit by bit that she can count on you in the future.