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How to Know if You Can Trust Him After an Affair

Can you trust your boyfriend after he cheated on you? It depends. Here are five signs your boyfriend probably won’t cheat again, plus help forgiving an affair.

These tips are inspired by a reader’s question about her cheating boyfriend, and they apply to all girlfriends who have boyfriends who cheated on them. “My boyfriend and I have been together for three years,” says Liz on my article on how to know if your husband is lying about cheating. “I just found out he has been talking to three other girls on the internet. He says he won’t do it again but I am still not sure. I don’t know what to do anymore. What do I do?”

Deciding if you can trust your boyfriend after he betrayed you is one of the most difficult – and perhaps one of the most important – decisions you’ll ever make. Nobody can tell you if he’ll never cheat on you again. Even your boyfriend doesn’t know, especially if he isn’t willing to learn why he had an affair in the first place.

You need to listen to the still small voice inside you, and take a leap of faith. Maybe that leap of faith is trusting your boyfriend after he cheated…or maybe it’s letting him go. Only you can make that decision. One of the most important questions you can ask yourself is this: would you encourage your sister or best friend to stay with him? If the answer is yes, then maybe you should give your boyfriend another chance to prove he loves you.

Here are a few things to think about when you’re trying to read the signs you can trust your boyfriend after he cheated on you…

How to Know if You Can Trust Him After an Affair

Here are five tips for trusting your boyfriend after an affair – or even “just” online chatting with other women. After all, cheating often begins with the five stages of flirting.

1. He can talk about why he cheated on you

If he cheated because he wasn’t getting something from you or your relationship, then it may be easier to rebuild trust because you can change your relationship. It isn’t easy, but you can work together to rebuild trust after cheating. But, if he cheated because he was bored or it’s in his nature to roam, then you might not want to trust him again.

The reason he cheated may help you decide if you can trust him again. In Emotional Disconnection in Marriage, I share reason men cheat: their wives make more money than they do. That may not be the reason your boyfriend cheated – but knowing his reasons may help you decide if you can trust him again.

2. Your boyfriend is willing to work to win back your trust

You can’t do all the work in figuring out why he had the affair, how he can overcome his tendency to cheat, and how to get your relationship back on track. Your boyfriend has to take responsibility for the affair. What does this mean? Admitting he cheated and working to make your relationship better.

5 Signs You Can Trust Your Boyfriend After He CheatedBooks like The Truth About Cheating: Why Men Stray and What You Can Do to Prevent It are helpful because they give an objective perspective (which you and your boyfriend don’t necessarily have).

It’s not your fault that your boyfriend cheated – it was either a really bad choice on his part, or a lack of moral character. If it was a bad choice, then you might be able to trust him again after he cheated. If he’s just a bad guy, then you shouldn’t trust him. He’ll cheat again. The best and most important sign that will tell you if your boyfriend will cheat again is your own gut feeling. I know what you WANT to believe…but you have to trust your gut.

In After the Affair: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner Has Been Unfaithful, Janis Spring offers proven strategies for surviving the crisis of an affair and rebuilding love relationship. Read this book, and you’ll learn if you should trust your boyfriend after he cheated. Ask him if he’s willing to read the book, too. That’s a huge sign of how trustworthy he is! (If he’s not willing to read about how to rebuild your relationship, then he’s not worth trusting again. In my opinion.).

3. You know what you need from him and your relationship

If your boyfriend travels for work or spends a lot of time with his friends, you may need him to put you first more often. If your boyfriend isn’t willing to talk about his feelings, reasons for cheating, or your relationship, then you may need him to open up more.

Before you can decide if you can trust your boyfriend after he cheated on you, you need to figure out what you need from him. if you feel like you’ll never be able to trust him, maybe there’s nothing you need from your relationship. Maybe there’s nothing he can do to win your heart back. What do you need him to do and say? If you can get clear on that, you have a better chance of communicating it to him.

4. Your boyfriend is willing to do anything to save your relationship

After you figure out what you need from him, ask him clearly if he’s willing to give you what you need.

can you trust your boyfriend after cheating

How to Know if You Can Trust Him After an Affair

Will he spend more time with you? Go to couples therapy with you — or get help from a marriage or relationship coach? Start individual counseling for himself, if he needs to work through his emotional issues? Read books about rebuilding trust after an affair (even if that affair was “just” talking to other girls online)?

If your boyfriend isn’t willing to work towards saving your relationship, then you should think twice about trusting him again.

5. He isn’t playing on your fears or insecurities

Is your boyfriend trying to reassure you? Is he helping you trust and rely on him? Both men and women stay in bad relationships because they’re scared they’ll never be loved again. If your self-esteem or self-confidence is low, find ways to boost it without relying on your boyfriend or a love relationship.

Getting as emotionally, physically, and spiritually healthy as possible is more important that deciding if you should trust your boyfriend after he cheated on you! The healthier you are, the easier all your decisions in life will be — including your most important decisions about love and relationships.

And remember – trusting your boyfriend after he cheated doesn’t happen overnight. Rebuilding trust is a process that involves good and bad days – and good and bad discussions with your boyfriend! But, if you’re both willing to work on your relationship, you can rebuild trust and strengthen your love and commitment to one another.

Help surviving an affair

trusting boyfriend after cheating chump ladyThe Chump Lady Survival Guide to Infidelity: How to Regain Your Sanity After You’ve Been Cheated On by Tracy Schorn is a fantastic way to come back to yourself. When your boyfriend cheats on you, you start to doubt yourself.

When you’re trying to read the signs you can trust your boyfriend after he cheated on you, you question your self-worth and lovability. Of course you’re scared he’ll cheat again! The Survival Guide to Infidelity will help you move forward and regain trust in yourself.

Gary Neuman is the author of Emotional Infidelity: How to Affair-Proof Your Marriage and 10 Other Secrets to a Great Relationship. Neiman is a marriage counsellor who I first “met” on the Dr Oz show. He and Janine Driver of the Body Language Institute discussed several ways to discern if someone is lying about cheating; they strongly encouraged women to focus on nonverbal behavior. A man can talk and talk and talk, but you need to pay attention to his body language to see the real truth about what he’s saying. Emotional Infidelity is worth a read, whether or not you decide to stay with your boyfriend.

I welcome your thoughts on how to trust your boyfriend after he cheated. I can’t give you advice or predict whether he’ll cheat again, but if you write your thoughts out, you may feel better.

May you follow what your heart is telling you to do. May you listen to the still small voice despite the fear you feel, and second that you be true to yourself. And, may you have the courage, strength, and energy to do what you need to do, and don’t be manipulated by your boyfriend or your own insecurities and fears.


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159 thoughts on “How to Know if You Can Trust Him After an Affair”

  1. It has been 4 months since my hubby admitted his emotional affairs with another woman from
    China. I had given him a chance to trust him
    again. But on the other hand knew that he still contact and shower concern for her. I must say he is trying very hard to love me much more than before. Spending more time with me. In fact he has been doting on me and never stop loving me.

    I love him just as much. One hand trying to trust him but the other always suspicious of his action
    behind my back. I feel insecure 😟

    1. Liyun, it’s okay to feel insecure. Your husband cheated on you. Emotional affairs are cheating. Four months is not that long ago and it takes time to heal from cheating. It is good that your husband is showing you a lot of attention and trying very hard. That is very important in healing a relationship after someone reveals cheating. But it is also understandable that you are not suddenly feeling okay with everything. You can take your time to heal and forgive (if you choose to forgive). I think it is smart to be suspicious still. It is smart to take time to let your husband earn back your trust. Do not feel you have to rush to feel trust. You will know when you feel trust again.

      Also, if your husband is still in contact with her, that is not a good sign. To heal from affairs, the cheating partner has to cut off all contact with the other person (assuming it is possible to cut off contact and it’s not someone he works with or is obligated to see for some other reason). This is essential to heal. If your husband is still in contact with this other woman, how can you trust him? Ending that relationship is one of the most important things your husband can do to show you he is committed to you.

  2. My partner and I came into a relationship at 2010 and then a year later, 2011 was a big turnover as he became obsessed with our relation. He was so insecure that in between my final college exams he forcefully took me to his hometown to show me to his family as his future partner ( after many many months I came to know that it was out of anger that he had done that as his family was preparing Baarish arrange marriage). I had to suffer alot as my exam was terminated for my absence, and got scolding by my parents and families, I made it even worse when I fought with my teacher becoz although I applied for re-examination, they rejected my plea and thus my 2012 was a complete waste. I think I became depressed and lonely during those time he was still there with me but mostly he came to me in his weekends. Then on 2013 I got pregnant with our first child and that was when I went back to my home and…when I asked him of it, he said to abort it I felt devastated by hearing that but then i still had to defend myself from being toyed as I already had lost my carrier. So we got married when I informed it to my in-laws. He never took that as a serious matter, his priority was his goal and for two years I raise the child by doing part jobs etc.. even my in laws were not happy for me as I was their son’s choice and not theirs. It was very hard to live with them; my medical, my sickness or my food or clothes nothing mattered to them I only had their surname and a shelter to live in, my mom was always by my side I had to go ask for money to her in emergency this became so frustrating at times that I cried and became more depressed I started hating my husband from than and we hardly talked and he hardly came back home (he was preparing for civil service exams). We started having fights and it became fierce sometimes and than in 2016 he came back to stay with us we were less happy and in 2017 he got job in a private bank and he had to transfer during his probation that’s when he started cheating on me. He had intimate affair from Nov 2017 to March 2018 before I started living with him again. Sadly I found it at very late when I asked him he said he had broken up and wants to start with me. That was a total shock for me I wanted truth I checked his fb account and every social sites and then I found out in 2012 even when I was with him he was chatting with 3 girls on fb, I knew the two girls and I got a big blow. How did I waste my whole time with such a dick who said he loves my everytime and there he was always cheating on my back. This time for the first time he did it without a trace but I caught him in few of his mistakes, it totally broke my heart he told the truth that he was more into it and he made the move of sexual relationship and then he even paid that girl. I felt very ashamed of his deeds I felt like I had to be blamed for this. He said he wanted to continue our relationship and want rebuild our relationship but I Don’t feel like trusting him anymore. Through I said ok but I still get frustrated and depressed and disappointed, last night I was so angry that I started throwing things in anger and he barged in and slapped me, punched me and kicked me, he said when u said everything is ok why are making such nuisance..
    Is it ok, should I continue with him??? I asked him for your doing can’t I get frustrated even over petty things, I never fought with you but you came and started fighting with me. Is this normal! what should I do??
    I really am depressed and pretty messed up right now.

    1. Please get out of this relationship if you haven’t already. You deserve so much better. No one deserves that kind of treatment. He seems like a controlling and angry man who abuses you physically and emotionally.

  3. me and my partner have been together for 10 years two girls i thought we wer fine uptil lastyear we went to thailand in january and when we came back my partner who had always been in the house with started going out which was fine as he was going to a friends so i thought but then i new something was diffrent to before so i started questioning him and was told he didnt know what he wanted so i had my ideas sumthing wasnt right so i said i want u to go and he cudnt have went quick enough which was strange i cryed all night the next day he came to our home but couldnt look at me or even come in and i was broken knowing sumthing had gone on the night he left he sed he stayed at his mothers but she confirmed my fears when i asked her and i still begged him back later on that week he said he was going out to his friends knowing i was hysterical he still went so i had my ideas and got my dad to go check and his car was found on a street known to me for a whore who lived there he was caught red handed she didnt want nothing to do with him and i think he was gutted but i felt sorry for him mad i know he was willing to throw our relationship away and i stupidly begged him back again but i cant help thinking he will do it again i am so depresses and hurt and he says im mental i dont know wat to do anymore

  4. My boyfriend & i have been in a LDR for 1 year & 3 months. But awhile back i caught him cheating on me with this one girl he sent a nude to. She had sent me screenshots of the conversation nonetheless he says that he only did it due to temptation which actually bothers me considering that we were doing so good, or atleast i thought. But now i view him differently, to me he has become this opportunist who will probably take any chance if its handed to him. Most of our arguments are based upon my lack of trust issues and although he may think that my jealousy is irrational i feel like i have every right, especially since i analyze everything and put everything together. I’ve been wanting to leave him recently & start over with someone else but i really do love him. He just does and says things without thinking. I dont know what to do.

  5. Hi.. I am Annie. I have been with a guy for around 2 years. And I was quiet serious about him..the first 6months or the honeymoon phase was over the top. But gradually he lost interest in me and started to spend less and less time. He used to get irritated with me and I always use to doubt him cause of the rumours .I stayed living a false hope until I couldn’t see no more and we parted. It’s been 6months and suddenly he started to contact me. He used to call me hear my voice and say nothing. So I decided to end this and met him. It feels like he has been feeling guilty and says he still loves me and wants me back. He even told me the other 2 flings he had while I was gone. He told that he wasn’t going to contact me cause he knew he hurt me a lot but he just can’t keep away and wants a chance. So my question is are this words? Has he really changed or playing things up? Even if he has changed how can I forget that he betrayed me and my trust? What are the chances that he won’t get bored again and cheat? It’s really painful. I’m just tired to think about those things. Please help

  6. Hello,have been datig this guy for close to a year now.And few months ago i saw him texting another girl her asking of her bra size and all.i got mad and said is over.He had people to talk to me on his behalf.The second time i saw him text the same girl love messages and upon confronting him he said it was all a joke.He had people talk on his behalf again.He asked me what i wanted and i told him i dont want him having anything to do with that girl and that he should delete her number of which he did. This happened again for the third time and now the forth time i saw her number on his phone but according to him a friend needed his help to get something from the girl.Should i break up with him or keep him.

  7. My bf & I have been in a relationship for 1yr 2 months. 2 mnths back I went back to my hometown for good, or atleast that’s what he thought. Almost 1 mnth into the LDR, we had a huge fight which was for a silly reason. This included me saying “I’ll never get back together with u again”. That day he met up with a close friend of his & shared his problem. She was like “U’re so empty and hollow and u need sth in your life” which made my bf hold her hands & say things like he won’t cheat on her. The next day, she called him & asked him what they were & if he’s done with me. He said yes and started dating. The next day he realised that whatever he’s doing is wrong and called me up. We patched up. He went to say it was over between them, but returned back because he could not (My bf is very passive aggressive and he has a very soft qualities like he could not even complain when his roommate of 1 year kept bringing his gf over to his room to the point that he slept at reading room at times). He tried to tell her 6/7 times but couldn’t. So whenever she got mad and said things like “I won’t talk to you again”, he’d feel relieved and ignored her. But she’d call her the next day and it remained for 1 and half months. He was trying to fess up to me since day 1 by saying things like “I have become the worst person imaginable” over the course of this time. 1 week ago, he decided to ignore all her calls and uninstall WhatsApp so he can break up with her without having to confront her. 4 days back I met him and yesterday I went to some office with him for some work, I was going through his phone when I found out the text messages with her. I confronted him to which he got mad and won’t face me. Later, now he’s saying that he’s sorry and he’s been trying to but he couldn’t face me in that situation. He said he wanted confess it himself (he tried to and he couldn’t the last day). Now he’s asking me to take him back and that he’s do whatever it takes to gain my trust. I feel like I won’t trust him again. What should I do?

    PS He’s rather more emotional than practical which I accepted anyways. So he’s always ruled by his heart rather than brain.