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How do you get over cheating? Is it easier to break up a family than forgive?
True remorse and a lot of hard work, honesty and transparency are required from/by the cheater for the betrayed to have even a tiny sliver of a chance to reconcile successfully. Sadly its not a common occurrence. If the cheater is trying to blame their spouse and sweep the whole thing under the rug like it never happened, there will be no recovery.
 

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Circumstances and details matter, but @3Xnocharm is correct. IMO, it is usually easier to break up than try to forgive and repair (the latter can take years, and still fail).
 

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Really it's only worth trying to recover from cheating if there are significant reasons to stay together. For example, if you've been married a long time, have kids, etc. There needs to be some external glue to hold you together and act as a reason to work through it. It's not really worth it just because "she's special". If this is just a GF, then you are likely much better off breaking up and moving on. Cheating is rarely an isolated event. Even if she never cheats again, she likely would have other issues that would come up in the future. And if you stay with her, it doesn't teach her anything. Why should she change if she can have her fun and her home life goes on as normal?

You only get one life. Don't stay with a broken person hoping they won't mess up again. You'll look back years later and lament all that lost time hoping for a miracle.
 

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How do you get over cheating? Is it easier to break up a family than forgive?
Like @marriedButHappy said - circumstances DO matter. You say "girlfriend" in the thread title. Had you two committed to each other when she did this? Had you just started dating? Do you sense she wishes she was with someone else now? Or that she is not the type to be satisfied with one man in a long term relationship?

Given she's a girlfriend and not a wife, and assuming you have no children, why would you want to "get over it?" If you have a good reason -- like she makes you happier than any other woman has and you two seem exceptionally well suited for each other, and she's truly remorseful and whatever she was thinking/feeling about your relationship at the time is not the case anymore, or it was when you were first seeing each other and while hurtful to you she had NOT committed to you, but now she is, then it might be smart to try to get over it.

But otherwise, you are not married. Why stay with someone who cheated on you? If she just casually cheated on you odds are she will do it again and at the very least it shows complete lack of respect for you that probably won't change with time.
 

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We have 2 children. That is what is making me to contemplate.
Yep, that's a great reason to try. A successful recovery would generally need to come from:

1. The cheater has an epiphany and a true change of heart about what they did. They would have to come to terms with their moral failing about cheating and do the hard work to make it up to you and ensure it never happens again. But if instead she has 1001 reasons why she was justified and it was your fault she cheated and you have to make her happy and her life perfect so she won't cheat, then it's not going to work.

2. Assuming she truly does change and does the hard work, you would need to truly forgive her. You would need to be able to put all this hate and pain aside and love her again. That can be difficult for many people. The hateful feelings will continue to burn inside them and they will often hold the cheating over the head of their spouse.

Can you share more details of what happened? There are many ways to cheat, and some will be easier to work through than others.
 

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We have 2 children. That is what is making me to contemplate.
Oh...

Then I would take a long hard look at the quality of your relationship outside this ...event. If it's not great you'll probably end up separated someday anyhow, there might be a benefit to doing it now. But each situation is unique and personal.

By the way, if you have two kids, WHY aren't you married? What held you two back from making that commitment? I'm just wondering if that had anything to do with her cheating.

You might check out the book "Surviving an Affair" by Dr. Harley. It's for married people but supposed to be really good and maybe you consider yourselves married even though technically you're not.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
My GF 3 weeks ago went out with friends. She was drunk and had sex with a friend of hers. She said it is the first time she has cheated but I struggle now to believe her. I don't trust her. She said she wished she didn't do it but that doesn't help me. She had a lot of guilt but not until after the sex was done. She came home after sex with her friend and crying woke me up and said she slept with the friend of hers. It has been 3 weeks since she telling me. I don't know how or if we move past this. If we don't have our 2 kids I think I would leave.
 

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If she just casually cheated on you odds are she will do it again and at the very least it shows complete lack of respect for you that probably won't change with time.
These are the two most germane reasons why you may want to move on. I agree that kids are a good reason to try to reconcile, but only you know the entire array of circumstances and conditions.

unsure now said:
I don't trust her.
You are entirely right to not trust her. I advise you to not restore your former trust until she has proven herself worthy of it. She must become totally open about all her activities.
It can take years.

unsure now said:
I don't know how or if we move past this.
You don't have to make a decision immediately. You have only heard the beginning. Through more time, you will be able to establish whether she "owns" her actions, and understands that only she is responsible for this..... "gaslighting" (trying to make you feel "crazy" or unreasonable), "blame-shifting" (the devil made me do it. or YOU made me do it) - like "She was drunk", and "trickle truth".... like "had sex with a friend".....are the things you are likely to hear and recognize in the coming months and years.
 

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My GF 3 weeks ago went out with friends. She was drunk and had sex with a friend of hers. She said it is the first time she has cheated but I struggle now to believe her. I don't trust her. She said she wished she didn't do it but that doesn't help me. She had a lot of guilt but not until after the sex was done. She came home after sex with her friend and crying woke me up and said she slept with the friend of hers. It has been 3 weeks since she telling me. I don't know how or if we move past this. If we don't have our 2 kids I think I would leave.
Do not use your kids as an excuse to stay.
If her cheating is a deal breaker then so be it.She has shown she can’t be trusted.
Whatever you do don’t marry her.
See a lawyer and discuss custody.
 

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1. The cheater has an epiphany and a true change of heart about what they did. They would have to come to terms with their moral failing about cheating and do the hard work to make it up to you and ensure it never happens again.
Most people have a better chance of shaking hands with Jesus than this TRULY happening.

Cheaters can put on a good enough show of 'remorse,' but most aren't really remorseful. They're just sorry they got caught and will do anything they have to do in order to keep their families. They never wanted to hurt their spouse - that wasn't their intention, so of course they feel badly for hurting their spouse, but that's not true remorse. Go read the infidelity boards around the internet - there are SO many posts from supposed 'reconciled' members coming back a year or two or three later and posting that they thought they'd successfully reconciled (because their cheater 'cried' and 'went to therapy' and 'figured out why they did it' and all that sturff) but guess what? They just caught their cheater up to no good yet AGAIN. You see these posts all the time. Making your cheater go to therapy is not the magic cure they all want so badly to believe it is.

Don't stay for the kids. SO many betrayed spouses do that and it's a slow sleigh-ride to Hell. It's the worst reason to stay together and one of the biggest excuses a betrayed spouse uses to stay right where they are because they're too afraid to make a life change for the better..
 

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She, in a committed relationship, had sex with a person who knew she was committed? He was not a 'friend' to do this and was likely closer than she has admitted. A person of character does not get so drunk that she commits infidelity. Trust is broken. Only you can decide if this is a deal-breaker.
 

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the only glimmer of hope you have is that your GF fessed up immediately. that does show a level of remorse and the possibility of her having some redeeming qualities.

the problem is.....it will take you years of your life getting over it......and only if SHE does the heavy lifting putting you concerns first.

sadly, its rare that this happens.
 

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Most likely she had been thinking sexual thoughts about this guy for a long time. The alcohol just lowered her inhibitions enough that she went through with what she wanted to do for a long time. She may have even drank enough to get to that state on purpose so she could justify it to herself. Or maybe she didn't really drink that much and is just using it as an excuse. In any case, you shouldn't think this was a random, one-time, spontaneous occurrence.

What is typically recommended is to start digging into her phone, texts, social media, email, etc. to see what kind of history they have. Typically, you'd find flirty messages between them and the sex is the culmination of all that.
 

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She'sStillGotIt, I couldn’t have said it any better.! OP What she just wrote is gospel take it to heart. It’s simply the truth, just be advised. Do you not let kids be your deciding factor to stay in a relationship that you know it’s not good for you. She broke the trust that is the foundation of a relationship. think more of yourself and move on.
 

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Staying together for the kids is one of the absolute worst excuses anyone has ever used. OP, you will never trust this woman again. Also in regards to your daughter - guess what? She won't be dependent on you forever. As she ages, she will spend more time with her friends (as she should) and have her own life (as she should) than she will ever spend with you or your now GF. IOW, seeing your daughter every day is only temporary, eventually she will grow up and have her own life. In the meantime, you can choose to spend years looking over your shoulder wondering what your GF is or has been up to, or you can go out and find someone who won't use getting drunk as an excuse to cheat. Ultimately it is up to you.
 
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