Are you wondering whether or not a cheating woman can change her ways?
If so, then read on.
There are many reasons why people cheat, and many couples face infidelity at some point. It doesn’t have to spell the end.
But whether you can move past it and come out stronger will depend on several factors.
For a cheating woman to change, she needs to show you these ten things…
1) She says she wants to be with you and only you
It might sound like an obvious point to make, but for starters, she has to want to change.
Intention is powerful.
If deep down she doesn’t really want to be in a committed and monogamous relationship, then it’s more likely the same pattern will keep repeating itself.
Sometimes we fall into relationships, but our heart isn’t fully in them. If that is the case, she may subconsciously be looking for an exit.
We like to think that for the “right person” anyone can change, but real life is more complicated than that.
When it comes to commitment, timing really can be everything.
You may love each other, you may even be a good fit for one another, but if she doesn’t want to commit then that is enough for everything else to fall apart.
This is where most of us get confused.
We believe that if someone loves us they won’t do something as stupid as cheat. But the stats prove this is not always true.
If she has been unfaithful, to move on you need to believe that deep down she does want to be with you, and only you.
2) She shows sincere remorse
This next point goes hand in hand with the one before.
If she has made a mistake and wants to correct it, she will show sincere remorse.
- She says sorry
- She listens to how it has impacted you and expresses regret for that
- She wants to do things that will reduce your pain
There is a subtle difference between remorse and guilt, but it’s an important difference.
Simply feeling bad about what you’ve done won’t necessarily do much to fix it. Remorse means a willingness to change.
Guilt on the other hand is more about her and how she feels.
There is more depth to the emotion of remorse. And it’s going to be needed if you are able to put the effort in to move forward.
As Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Margalis Fjelstad puts it:
“Remorse comes from true empathy for the pain the other person is feeling because of your actions”.
If she is sincerely remorseful she isn’t going to try to minimize or dodge the implications of her actions.
She won’t try to sweep it under the carpet or think you are making too big of a deal out of it. She won’t ask if you can just drop it and move on to instantly make a fresh start.
3) She takes responsibility
Admitting to cheating is one thing, taking responsibility for it is something else.
It doesn’t quite cut it for her to hold her hands up and admit to her actions — regardless of whether you found out by yourself or if she came clean to you first.
It’s important after infidelity to take full responsibility in order to move on.
Speaking in Psychology Today, Guy Winch PhD highlights the significant difference:
“Admitting wrongdoing is an important first step but it is just that—a first step. Unless the person having the affair is willing to take honest actions, deal with consequences, and put in the hard work of rebuilding and repairing their damaged relationships, they are by definition, not taking responsibility.”
If she takes responsibility then she won’t be playing the blame game. She won’t be looking for ways to justify or excuse what happened.
She won’t say things like:
“Well, I only did it because you give me no attention” or “I was just drunk, it didn’t mean anything”.
Giving explanations that provide some level of understanding of her motives are one thing, but watch out for when they sound more like excuses.
As it could signal that she isn’t owning up to the choice she had, and hence that the responsibility ultimately lies with her whether to cheat or not cheat.
If she is taking full responsibility for her actions it won’t feel like you are having to hold her accountable, she will hold herself accountable.
4) She is prepared to work on the relationship issues that caused her to cheat
After infidelity, a lot of guys want to know:
When a woman cheats what does it mean?
The fact is that it depends on the woman, and it depends on the relationship.
Research has suggested that some common reasons for women cheating are:
- Feeling a lack of intimacy in their relationship
- Feeling ignored by their partner
- The opportunity simply arising
- Unmet sexual needs
The reasons for cheating are wide and varied. But the reality is that nobody cheats for no reason at all.
Even when someone cheats because they were drinking, got carried away and in the moment and it “just happened”, it still reflects underlying issues within your relationship.
She decided to put your connection at risk, and that means there are things that need strengthening and working on.
She may have been the one to cheat, but both of you will need to work on any underlying relationship problems.
Because at the end of the day, regardless of who did what, there are two people in your relationship. And only two of you can solve things by working together.
If you want to make sure that she remains faithful to you in the future, you’re going to want to hear that she is prepared to address whatever problems caused her to cheat in the first place.
5) She makes changes to her behavior
She’s truly sorry. She says it won’t happen again. She wants to work on things.
These are all great signs, but words need to be backed up by action.
You want to see her acting differently than before. If she is making changes to how she behaves, this is an even better sign.
It shows that she is committed to changing her behavior.
She should be willing and open to certain reassurances that you may need (as long as they are reasonable).
For example, agreeing not to see or speak to the person who she cheated on you with again.
If certain factors contributed to her cheating, then she will need to do things differently from here on.
Maybe she went out every weekend partying with friends. Is she prepared to go out less and be with you more?
Maybe the affair happened after you drifted apart because of other priorities, like work. Is she in a position to focus less on her career and give more energy to the relationship?
Maybe her insecurities led her to search for attention and validation from other guys. Is she addressing these deeper problems?
The bottom line is that she needs to show you that she is genuinely trying to change.
Good intentions are important, but it is only when combined with practical changes and sustained effort that it will make a difference.
Her past behavior may be a deciding factor on whether you believe that she can change her ways.
If this is a first-time thing, you may be more prepared to believe her when she says it won’t happen again.
That’s not to say a woman with a history of cheating can’t become faithful. But as they say, “The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior”.
If she has promised to change in the past but has failed to do so, you may feel more doubtful.
6) She wants to work on her own love, relationship, and intimacy issues
None of us are perfect.
In an ideal world, we would never hurt, betray or disappoint the people we love. But we don’t live in an ideal world, we live in the real world.
We’re only human and humans make mistakes.
Often we have unrealistic expectations of love and relationships, that they cannot live up to. We carry with us baggage and issues that we then bring to our relationship.
In order to have happy, healthy, and successful relationships with others and ourselves, we need to do the inner work too.
Have you ever asked yourself why love is so hard?
Why can’t it be how you imagined growing up? Or at least make some sense…
When you’re dealing with infidelity it’s easy to become frustrated and even feel helpless.
I want to suggest doing something different.
It’s something I learned from the world-renowned shaman Rudá Iandê. He taught me that the way to find love and intimacy is not what we have been culturally conditioned to believe.
In fact, many of us self-sabotage and trick ourselves for years, getting in the way of meeting a partner who can truly fulfill us.
As Rudá explains in this mind blowing free video, many of us chase love in a toxic way that ends up stabbing us in the back.
We fall in love with an ideal version of someone instead of the real person.
We try to “fix” our partners and end up destroying relationships.
We try to find someone who “completes” us, only to fall apart with them next to us and feel twice as bad.
Rudá’s teachings showed me a whole new perspective.
While watching, I felt like someone understood my struggles to find and nurture love for the first time – and finally offered an actual, practical solution to making a relationship work long-term.
If you’re done with frustrating relationships and having your hopes dashed over and over, then this is a message you need to hear.
I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
7) She makes effort to rebuild trust
Can a relationship go back to normal after cheating?
Not necessarily “normal”. The relationship may change, and you both need to accept that. But you can rebuild the relationship, and a part of that will be rebuilding trust.
Trust is really significant in creating a loving and fulfilling relationship. Sadly it’s also one of the hardest things to repair after infidelity.
In order to start to regain your trust, you need to understand where it went wrong. As a couple, full transparency will be needed going forwards.
- She will need to tell you everything about what happened and be prepared to answer your questions honestly.
- She doesn’t hold back certain information to try to avoid conflict or to dodge getting into trouble with you.
- She commits to being honest with you in the future.
- That you can both be truthful with one another without pointing fingers.
- She keeps her promises to you moving forward.
Both you and her will probably have to accept that rebuilding a relationship, and particularly trust, will not happen overnight.
You both need to be open to the process and be prepared to give the situation time.
8) She communicates with you openly
Communication is key when trying to build a relationship again.
The more she talks to you, the easier it will be to get through the tough times together. This includes talking about the past, but also looking toward the future.
Talking about the past will help you understand why she cheated on you. And if there was anything you could both do differently, so that it doesn’t happen again.
She needs to be willing to open up and be honest — that means no more secrets.
If she communicates well with you, she shouldn’t avoid tough conversations.
She should be willing to show her vulnerable side. She will want to talk it out and leave no stone unturned in order to save your relationship.
Communication is obviously a two-way street. It’s important to talk about how you’re feeling now as well.
How you’re dealing with the betrayal, and how you want to move forward. And how you want to handle any issues that arise from the affair.
These are all important conversations to have. Talking is only one part of communication, listening is the other side to it.
Both of you will need to truly hear what the other is saying. That means active listening, where you not only listen but also reflect and what the other has said.
9) She accepts it may take some time for you to move on from this
When cheating takes place in a relationship and you decide to stay together, a period of healing begins.
You saying that you will give her another chance or that you want to work on things doesn’t mean it’s all over for you.
If you do feel like it is, then great. But for most people who are cheated on it’s not that simple.
She can’t expect you to forgive and forget in an instant.
She will need to appreciate that it will take time, and potentially some space. She may need to make concessions in order to give you this.
But the bottom line is that she cannot rush your own healing timeline.
If she shows consideration for that, it suggests she appreciates that the road ahead may be long to get your relationship fully back on track.
10) What would an expert say?
While this article explores the main things a woman will need to do if she is to change and become faithful, it can be helpful to speak to a relationship coach about your situation.
Whether you can make things work with an unfaithful woman is going to be heavily dependent upon some very particular and often subtle factors.
With a professional relationship coach, you can get advice specific to your life and your experiences…
Relationship Hero is a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations, like infidelity.
They’re a very popular resource for people facing this sort of challenge.
How do I know?
Well, I reached out to them a few months ago when I was going through a tough patch in my own relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.
I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
To conclude: Will a woman who cheats cheat again?
The answer to that question depends on many different factors. It’s impossible to tell whether someone will cheat again, sadly only time will do that.
But there are a number of things we can look at to try and predict whether a person will cheat again, and I hope this article has given you a better idea of exactly what to look for.
Only you can ultimately decide whether you want to put your trust in her.
The good news is that relationships do survive cheating and people who have cheated in the past do become faithful in the future.
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