What Can You Do if You Have Cheated on Your Boyfriend but Want to Stay With Him?

To preserve your relationship after you cheated, you will need to examine your behavior and recommit to your boyfriend.
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There is no single reason why women cheat on their boyfriends. While some straying is a sign that something is not fulfilling you in your relationship, in other instances, you may find that you were simply lonely, bored and drawn in by the possibility of a more exciting encounter, explains licensed clinical social worker Robert Weiss on "Psychology Today" online. Regardless of your reasons for cheating, staying with your boyfriend will require self-control, soul searching and a willingness to explore and change your behavior.

1 End the Affair

If you are still seeing the man you cheated on your boyfriend with, ending the affair as quickly as possible is a crucial first step, psychologist Lynn Margolies writes on PsychCentral. This does not simply mean end intimate contact and dates. It also means severing all ties with the other man, including phone calls, text messages and online conversations. In short, if you are serious about recommitting to your boyfriend, you will need to cut the other man out of your life entirely.

2 Look at Your Motives

Although cheating once does not mean you will cheat again, your affair probably did not come out of nowhere. Take a careful look at how the cheating started. Did it begin by developing an emotional attachment to a male friend or co-worker? Did you seek out another man’s attention because you felt shunned or hurt by your boyfriend? Did you simply not have the willpower to turn down the advances of a handsome stranger? By looking at your reason for cheating, you can figure out how to avoid future temptations.

3 Fix the Underlying Issues

Even if your cheating amounted to a one-time fling, it is important to address whatever issue caused you to cheat in the first place. For instance, if you had an affair with a close friend, you may have cheated because you felt emotionally disconnected from your boyfriend. If this is the case, talk to your partner about your feelings and share your needs -- for example, more time to talk about what is going on in your life. If your affair was spontaneous and felt out of your control, it may be that you are not ready for a committed relationship at this point in your life or might need greater excitement than what your current boyfriend is giving you. Fixing the issues underlying an affair can be complex, especially if you cheated more than once or had a long-term fling. In such cases, talking to a professional counselor can be helpful.

4 Regain Your Boyfriend’s Trust

If your boyfriend knows that you cheated on him, regaining his trust may be one of the most challenging aspects of maintaining your relationship. In the aftermath of an affair, he may be feeling angry, betrayed, hurt or isolated from you, explains WebMD. Most likely, it will take time for your boyfriend to learn to trust you again, so be patient and do not try to rush things or push yourself into his life too quickly, especially if he tells you he needs space. Instead, let your boyfriend heal at his own pace and use your affair as a learning tool to strengthen both your relationship and your coping resources.

Anna Green has been published in the "Journal of Counselor Education and Supervision" and has been featured regularly in "Counseling News and Notes," Keys Weekly newspapers, "Travel Host Magazine" and "Travel South." After earning degrees in political science and English, she attended law school, then earned her master's of science in mental health counseling. She is the founder of a nonprofit mental health group and personal coaching service.