An apology needs to be an unequivocal statement that communicates to the injured partner a real understanding of the pain the cheater has caused and a legitimate and heartfelt promise never to engage in the same behavior again.
The apology might also include, as an optional bonus, an explanation of what or how things have changed and are changing in the cheater’s personal world, perceptions, understandings, and experiences that contribute to the cheater’s re- commitment to faithfulness.
In this apology, the cheater should explain that they understand they are solely responsible for the affair, and explain in detail, setting the scene into context, how they have caused their partner pain. They should apologize for the pain they have caused and assure the partner that they intend to do everything in their power, giving details whenever possible, to make this relationship strong and stable again.
Above all, this apology must be genuine. If you try and apologize in order to move the healing process forward more quickly, your partner will sense this and you will simply do further damage to the relationship. This means that you need to wait to apologize until you really feel the apology in your heart.
You will know when it is time.
If you have already apologized for your actions, you need to do it again. And again; and again; until your partner can hear it.
Even when you do it “perfectly,” it almost always takes a few repetitions because the injured person wants to hear the authenticity again or wants to make sure of some specific point you might have made earlier.
This doesn’t mean you should rain down apologies every time you see them. It means you should take every available opportunity to let your partner know how badly you feel for what you did.
I’m here to help you on your path to recovery,
DBA, MBA, BBSc, MPsych (Clin)
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