Should I Go Back To Her After She Cheated On Me? Reconsidering Second Chances

Medically reviewed by April Brewer
Updated February 21, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

A reconciliation with an ex may feel challenging, especially if your girlfriend cheated. If you're thinking of getting back together after this type of conflict, you may want to evaluate the situation carefully before deciding what to do. It could be valuable to consider whether your relationship can be repaired, and if continuing a relationship is in the best interest of both you and your ex-girlfriend.

Rawpixel
Take the next step in deciding whether to reconnect with your ex

Figuring out if you should reach out to an ex

Deciding to reach out to an ex could be a nerve-wracking experience, especially if many unresolved emotions are involved. First, it might help to consider why you want to reach out and think critically about this decision. If your motivation behind it is positive, such as trying to move on in a healthy and meaningful way, then going through with it might bring some closure.

On the other hand, if wanting to reconnect is driven by anger, loneliness, resentment, or jealousy, it might be best to take some time to reflect before acting—or to not act at all. Reaching out to an ex might help you come to terms with specific issues, but it’s generally best to try and ensure that this step is taken for productive reasons and with clarity.

Evaluating the circumstances around the cheating

If you’re thinking of getting back together with someone you had previously labeled a “cheating girlfriend” or “cheating wife,” it may be beneficial to reflect on why she cheated and how you felt. Consider asking yourself the following questions: 

  • Was the cheating over a long time period, or was it an impulsive decision? 
  • Did your ex express remorse for their actions? 
  • Were there any underlying issues in your relationship, aside from the cheating? 
  • How did you feel after she cheated on you?
  • How did you find out your girlfriend is cheating—did your ex reveal the information, or did you find out yourself? 
  • Would you hold resentment against her if you rekindled your relationship? 
  • Do you believe there is a significant chance of your ex cheating again? 
  • Why do you want to get back together with your ex? 
  • Are you feeling lonely or unsure of whether you will find a healthy, new relationship in the future? 

Reflecting on these questions may help clarify your emotions and what feels best for a healthy relationship—or not—with this person going forward. Journaling could be a particularly useful way to do this; the American Psychological Association (APA) suggests that journaling and expressive writing can be highly beneficial after a breakup. 

iStock/laflor

What to do if you decide to reconnect

If you decide to reconnect with an ex, the quality of the communication will likely be paramount. It could help to be honest but not confrontational and to focus on finding common ground. If your ex-girlfriend does not take responsibility for her actions, you might decide that the conversation is not worth continuing. Often, those who are truly remorseful for their actions will take accountability and attempt to repair the relationship honestly and gradually—not through love bombing techniques or acts of panic, such as buying lots of presents or begging for an apology. 

After deciding that you're ready to reach out, consider how the conversation might go and what topics should be addressed. An explicit goal for what kind of outcome you'd like from this conversation may help guide the discussion in a productive direction. It can also be useful to stay honest about your feelings and intentions throughout the process. Setting boundaries with your ex may help you protect yourself along the way, and having a best friend or confidante to speak to about your feelings after the fact could be beneficial too.

Deciding if you should get back together after reconnecting

If you and your ex want to get back together after you reconnect and chat, you’ll have to decide whether you believe this is the healthiest choice for you. If your ex is dedicated to repairing the relationship and making up for her actions and you believe there’s still love there, you might decide that you want to give her a chance. 

However, if your ex is unwilling to apologize, make amends, or respect your boundaries, it may signify that they could act the same way in a new relationship dynamic. You might be willing to forgive your ex, but you do not have to date them again if you don’t feel comfortable or right about doing so. 

iStock/FatCamera
Take the next step in deciding whether to reconnect with your ex

Seeking counseling after a breakup

Therapy can be a helpful method of navigating the complexities of relationships, including those with former partners who have cheated. Individual therapy can offer you a supportive, nonjudgmental space in which you can express and examine your emotions about the situation and uncover what you really want going forward—even beyond what helpful friends and family members can provide. Couples therapy could also be an option, as a couples counselor can offer a neutral space that facilitates honest communication and encourages reflection. 

If you and/or your ex have busy schedules or you're simply looking for a more convenient option, you might consider online therapy. With a platform like BetterHelp, you can get matched with a licensed therapist who you can meet with via phone, video call, and/or in-app messaging from the comfort of home. Online therapy is an increasingly popular and effective way to address relationship-related challenges. Recent studies suggest that internet-based intervention methods can be even more effective than traditional in-person counseling methods, and that they have the potential to benefit mental health overall.

Counselor reviews

"A year ago, I was experiencing difficulties in my relationship, which highly affected my psychological state and interfered with my work. At one point, I decided to try BetterHelp.com. My counselor, Dr. Brewer, helped me see some things I couldn't get on my own and encouraged me to prioritize myself. It was a huge help for me at that point, which led to the decisions I am happy about."

Takeaway

Consider varying viewpoints when evaluating whether to get back together with your ex. Try to prioritize self-care during this time and understand that there may not be a single solution that works for everyone in every situation. With reflection and honest communication, you may be able to decide whether getting back together is the healthiest decision for you.

Build healthy relationship habits with a professional

The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.
Get the support you need from one of our therapistsGet Started