How to Regain Trust After Cheating in Marriage? 5 Steps

One minute of cheating is all it takes to destroy years of trust. When you’re confronted with a cheating husband or a cheating wife, you rightfully feel that the marriage is over. You feel like there’s no hope in fixing this, that it’s so broken that there’s no way you could trust the other person again.

However, there have been instances of couples rebuilding after cheating and thriving marriages afterward. This post will dive into what is considered cheating, how to fix a marriage after cheating, and more.

What Is Considered Cheating in a Marriage?


Cheating actions can be subjective in a marriage. For example, a spouse may be considered looking at pornography cheating, while another spouse may not care. In general, such behavior implies being unfaithful to your spouse by engaging in a relationship with another person, and there are different types of cheating with varying levels of severity.

The most common example is if someone engages in physical intimacy with another person, but cheating can manifest in other ways. For example, a person can cheat through online communication or flirting with another person.

How Common Is Cheating in Marriage?

According to relationship experts, around 20% of men and 13% of women cheat. This is not the majority, but it’s still enough to raise an eyebrow. The primary reason for men to cheat is due to self-esteem issues. For example, a man may cheat during a mid-life crisis to prove he’s still got it. Women tend to cheat due to being unsatisfied with their relationship. For example, they may feel like their man does not do enough. Also, more people engage in cheating before marriage than when they are married.

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No matter the reason or gender, cheating is considered by most wrong, and when it happens, it can end a relationship. However, you would be surprised to know that only 20% of relationships end because of cheating actions. Some couples manage to fix the issues and learn to forgive.

5 Steps How to Fix a Marriage After Cheating


If you are a cheating spouse, is it possible for you to repair your marriage? Yes, it is. While it’s not an easy road, these five steps can help with the recovery process.

1. Acknowledge the Mistake

If someone cheats, the first step is to take full responsibility. A cheater should not give excuses or pass the blame on to the other person. Instead, they need to admit their mistakes and express interest in wanting to fix it.

It can be challenging to admit they were wrong, but try doing this ASAP. If you sound defensive initially but then try to apologize to save face, it can sound disingenuous.

2. Draw Conclusions

While you should never excuse cheating, what you should do is look at what led someone to cheat in the first place. Often, cheating actions can come from a buildup of relationship stress and frustrations. For example, a person may cheat because they feel like their partner is not attracted to them or because their partner was dishonest.

Again, it doesn’t excuse the betrayal, but by tracing back your steps, you can look for ways to fix the problems or decide that the relationship is not worth pursuing.

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3. Ask for Help

Don’t be afraid to speak to a marriage counselor. In cheating acts, emotions are often high, and it can be challenging to work together to fix the marriage. A counselor is a neutral party who can break tensions and remind you why you love each other in the first place. Alternatively, a counselor can help you end things gracefully.

4. Take the Relationship to the Next Level

While we don’t recommend putting a ring on it after betrayal, it can be a good area for you to learn what you can do to improve your relationship. For example, should you spice things up in bed? Go on more dates? Learn to focus more on positive things?

5. Become a Better Version of Yourself

Finally, it’s time for self-improvement. As mentioned, one reason people cheat is self-esteem issues, especially on the part of men. So it may be time for you to hit the gym, try to pump up your skills, or do something else that can improve you.

Can Marriage Survive Cheating?


As mentioned, 20% of marriages end in cheating, meaning many people survive cheating in their relationships. It can take a long time for forgiveness to happen and to build trust. However, if a cheating spouse works to show improvement and forgiveness and is willing to do whatever it takes to rebuild trust, the marriage can continue.

FAQ About Cheating in a Marriage

What is emotional cheating in a marriage?

Emotional cheating involves having a strong emotional relationship with someone outside your marriage. It differs from friendship because it involves two people with a strong attraction. There is nothing wrong with venting to someone you know, but it may be time to back off when you feel like there’s something more.

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Is kissing considered cheating when in a marriage?

For most people, kissing someone is a romantic interaction, thus a sign of cheating. If you are in a culture where you greet each other with a kiss, that is different. However, if you kiss someone you’re attracted to, it can be cheating.

How to make a marriage work after cheating?

Forgive, seek help, and work harder to improve yourself. Show your spouse that you’re willing to make things work.

How to survive a sexless marriage without cheating?

A sexless marriage that previously had sex is not typical. Speaking to a marriage counselor or going to a doctor can help add some sex to your marriage. In addition, you may want to consider spicing things up in the bedroom.


While cheating can be horrific, it is survivable. By working together and seeking help, it is possible to turn a marriage around. With that said, rebuilding trust is a long process, and if you’ve cheated on your significant other, you should not expect immediate forgiveness from your partner.