Has your partner cheated? 6 questions to ask if you're thinking of giving them a second chance | The Sun

AN affair can feel like the ultimate betrayal in a relationship – but if your partner has cheated, does it always have to mean it's over?

For many, an illicit affair would signal the end – but it isn't always that straightforward.

In fact, depending on the factors surrounding the infidelity, a high number of experts believe a relationship can be successfully worked on.

A study by relationship support service Relate showed that whilst only 33 per cent of the general public thought a relationship could survive an affair, 94 per cent of Relate counsellors believed it could not only survive, but even thrive.

How cheating can impact a relationship

Sarah Woodward, the divorce coach for women, says: "When a person cheats on their partner it’s often not because there’s something lacking in their relationship, it’s more to do with issues they’re facing about themselves such as a lack of self-esteem.

"For the partner who’s been betrayed, it can have a serious impact on their emotional wellbeing, and they can suffer from anxiety, stress, and depression.



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"They can feel inadequate with feelings of low self-esteem and self-worth, continually asking themselves why they weren’t enough.

"They may find it difficult to trust again in either their current relationship or future relationships and they will put up barriers to stop themselves getting hurt again.

"It’s likely that everyone around you will have an opinion on what you should do after you discover your partner is having an affair and whether you should give them a second chance.

"However, there is no right or wrong answer, it’s what’s right for you and your future.

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"Consider exploring marriage counselling where an expert can provide a safe space for both of you to explore how you feel, understand what led to the affair, and how you can move forward either together or apart."

If you're willing to engage, Sarah recommends trying to use open questions to start a dialogue instead of closed questions that elicit a 'yes' or 'no' response that won’t get the conversation going.

She also recommends avoiding using the question ‘why’ as this can result in the other person being defensive as they feel attacked which may not be conducive to a productive conversation.

6 questions to ask him if you’re thinking of giving him a second chance

How can I be sure the affair is over? 

Ultimately, you need the reassurance that the affair is over and that there will be no more contact, which isn’t always straight forward if they’re work colleagues, for example.

It’s much more difficult to move on if you know they will still be seeing each other every day so if that's the case, think about what needs to happen for you to feel comfortable.

What feelings did you have for her then and now? 

It may influence your decision if you know it was just a one-off and meant nothing, compared to a full-blown love affair.

That doesn’t mean the betrayal is any less but will give you an indication of how likely it is that you can rebuild your relationship.

If your partner is in love with the other person you may want to think again about giving him a second chance.

Are you sorry? 

It’s crucial that your partner acknowledges their mistake, shows genuine remorse, and apologises.

They need to accept responsibility for their behaviour and not blame it on you. Are they acting as though they are sorry?

Without this there is no hope for your relationship.

How can we get the trust back together? 

It will take work from both of you to rebuild your relationship and that involves being able to communicate openly and having difficult conversations.

Knowing what your partner is prepared to do to rebuild the trust and your relationship will give you an indication of how committed they are to your future together.

It will also allow you to decide whether you can and want to give him what he’s asking for.

What did she offer you that I didn't?

Although this may be difficult to hear, if handled sensitively, this discussion can be a great basis to work out what needs to change in future to make your relationship stronger.

It can also help you to agree on what your individual needs and expectations are for your relationship. 

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What did you tell her about our relationship? 

It can feel like a double blow if your partner has been discussing your relationship, and what he wasn’t happy about with her, rather than communicating it with you and giving you the opportunity to work on it together.

Consider whether you’re able to move past this.


Trust takes time to rebuild after a partner has cheated on you and it’s not easy – but it can be done.

Being able to communicate openly and honestly with each other will improve your chances of being able to rebuild your relationship.

Here are some questions that you may want to ask yourself before you decide whether to give your partner a second chance..

  • How do you feel about your partner? Is your relationship worth saving and are you prepared to fight for it, or is the affair an indication that the relationship has run its course? Are you giving him a second chance because you’re scared of being on your own?
  • What do you actually want? Spend some time reflecting on this instead of being influenced by friends, family, and your partner. They will all have a view on what you ‘should’ be doing but that doesn’t mean it’s the right thing for you.
  • Do you think you’ll be able to forgive? Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you condone the behaviour, but it means you accept that it’s happened, and it enables you to move forward together. Forgiveness is actually for you, rather than your partner, as without it you will stay stuck and be consumed by destructive thoughts which is not good for your emotional wellbeing. Think about seeing support from a professional to help you work through this.
  • What are your expectations of your partner? It’s likely that at least in the short term you’ll require more transparency from your partner about things like where they are and who they’re with at any point. Are they open and amenable to this? Also think about what needs to change for you to make your relationship stronger so that you can grow as a couple. Is your partner prepared to change and grow?
  • Is your partner showing remorse and accepting responsibility for their actions? This is crucial for the relationship to work. If they are blaming you, and saying you need to change then that’s not promising for your future together.
  • Are you being heard and your feelings acknowledged? Do you feel that you can express your feelings without being told you’re being over-sensitive or that you’re over-reacting and it’s no big deal. Your feelings are valid whatever they are.

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