Cheating is one of the worst things you can do in a relationship, but we’re not here to judge. We’re actually here to help you figure out what to say when you get caught cheating.
Understand that cheating will create a rift in the relationship, and break your partner’s heart. So, it’s less about what you say and more about how you say it. You must be sincere in your approach when you get caught cheating and minimize the hurt as best as possible without blaming your partner.
This is a guide on what to say, how to say it and what you need to do moving forward:
What’s the plan to minimize the damage?
You need a game plan. The purpose of this isn’t to dismiss your partner’s feelings or manipulate the situation.
You need to know what your goals are before you open your mouth, or else you could make the situation more difficult than it needs to be. Here are some things you can do to ensure you manage the situation properly:
You are in the wrong no matter how you want to look at it. So, the first thing you should do is apologize.
Remember, even if you are not married, you made an unspoken vow to be loyal and faithful to your partner. No matter the situation, whether on a break or during an argument, you are supposed to uphold your promise until you officially break up.
The point of this whole thing is to let your partner know how sorry you are for the betrayal.
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02Be sincere and remorseful
Your approach must be sincere. Put your pride to the side and show genuine remorse.
This is about talking a good game and getting into good graces. It’s about humbling yourself before your partner and being vulnerable.
Don’t think about your ego in this. You won’t get anywhere that way.
03Take responsibility and don’t play the blame game
This is your fault, no one else’s. It doesn’t matter if the other person came onto you or seduced you.
It doesn’t matter if your partner wasn’t giving you enough attention. It doesn’t matter if your partner was MIA and you felt lonely.
None of the excuses matter, so you’re better off saving it, unless it is an important part of moving forward, or if your partner asks about it.
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04Be honest about what happened
Lying only make the situation worse. When it’s time to fess up to what happened, let it all out.
This does not mean you’re making excuses. The purpose of what to say when you get caught cheating is to lay it out on the table so there can be a better understanding.
05If you want to stay in the relationship…
If you want to stay in the relationship, you must convince your partner it will never happen again. This will be difficult since the trust between you is compromised, but if it matters to you, you will dedicate yourself to finding a way to gain forgiveness.
Note that you are not entitled to forgiveness, and if your partner wants to walk away, there’s nothing you can do to stop it. Persistence, however, is a good tool you can use to show you are serious about a fresh start.
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06If you’re over the relationship…
If you think the relationship is broken beyond repair, or you know you cheated because you wanted someone else, be honest about that as well. Do not string your partner along because you’ll only end up cheating again or being unhappy in the relationship.
You should put yourself in their shoes when doing this. Cheating was one blow, and deciding to walk away can be another.
Try as best as possible to end things on a cordial note. You have no control over your ex’s feelings, but lashing out and being bitter about their response isn’t the way to go.
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What to say when you get caught cheating: 5 examples of sincere and remorseful things to say for apologizing to your partner
It might not seem like it now, but your partner will come to appreciate your ability to humble yourself and offer a sincere and remorseful apology. When taking this approach, you may or may not be specific about what led to this moment.
Here’s what to say when you get caught cheating and you wish to apologize:
01“You are the most wonderful thing to happen to my life and I took it for granted. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to see what was in front of me, but if you give me another chance, I plan to make it up to you a hundred times over.”
Use this when you didn’t realize how good you had it until this incident. It says you’ve learned your lesson, and feel very sorry about it.
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02“I’m so sorry I’ve been so stupid. That literally meant nothing to me and I have no real reason for the mistakes I made.”
This is good to use when you don’t want to make excuses because there’s nothing to excuse your behavior. It also says that you don’t have any genuine emotions for the person you cheated with.
03“I know you’re angry at me now, and I don’t expect you to forgive me right away. I just hope one day the hurt will go away.”
It is good to use this when your partner is too upset to speak to you, and you want to let him/her know you feel sorry regardless.
04“You did not deserve this. From the bottom of my heart, I’m sorry.”
It is good to say this when you know your partner does everything right, and this whole thing was unnecessary.
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05“I have no words for what I did, but I hope my actions can prove how sorry I am over time.”
It is good to use this when you’re struggling to find the right words to apologize, so you want to show how sorry you are through your actions.
What to say when you get caught cheating: 5 examples for when you want to take responsibility for your actions
Talk is cheap. You could use the sweetest words in the book, but if you don’t plan to change your ways, they won’t mean anything.
Here are 5 ideas of what to say when you get caught cheating and you plan to take responsibility for your actions:
06“I screwed up so badly and threw away the only person who would go the extra mile for me. It was not worth it.”
This is good to say when cheating had no real benefit, and it did more harm than good. It says that you know it was wrong and that you messed up.
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07“I never saw us getting to this point, but it’s on nobody else but me. I will do whatever it takes to make up for it.”
Use this when you want to say “It’s not you, it’s me” regarding why you cheated. It says you plan to make up for it by changing your behavior.
08“I took some time to think about all that has happened, and I finally see that it doesn’t matter if we were on a break, it was still cheating. I hope to learn how to be a better partner from this if you’ll allow me, and how to finally appreciate what I have.”
Use this when you did not see the error in your ways right away, but after deeper analysis, you see it was so wrong. It also says you want a second chance to make things right.
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09“There’s no way to erase what has happened, but I can change my ways moving forward.”
It says that you know it was wrong, and it will take a lot of work to make things right.
10“I am so sorry for hurting you, my love. I do stupid things sometimes without thinking about the consequences. Now that we’re here, I wish I had restrained myself and done right by you.”
It is good to say this when you’re reflecting on the bad thing you did. You are admitting you were wrong, and that you regret the whole thing.
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What to say when you get caught cheating: 8 examples for when you want to explain why you cheated
Sometimes, your partner will ask you to be honest about why you cheated. This is not an opportunity to play the blame game, or to manipulate him/her into feeling like it’s his/her fault.
This is an opportunity to lay it all out on the table for the sake of understanding. With understanding, you can both figure out the next move, whether it’s to stay or leave the relationship.
Use these examples of what to say when you get caught cheating for inspiration:
11“I was being a child about things because you were busy working on your career and my life was falling apart. I didn’t know how to handle you being more successful and I lashed out in this way.”
Use this when you wish to admit immaturity was the reason you made the decision to cheat. It says that your ego got in the way, and you were only thinking about yourself.
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12“There’s no excuse for what I did, so I won’t try to make one. You gave me all you had, and I threw it away for a one-night stand.”
Use this when there was nothing wrong in the relationship, and the cheating was a spur-of-the-moment thing. It says you disregarded all he/she had done and made a dumb decision.
13“Truthfully, I felt like you were growing out of me, and things were out of my control. I thought getting with someone else would fill that void, but the truth is, it’s something I’ve needed to work on for a long time.”
This admits you had issues with the relationship or yourself that you did not admit to, or realize until you had the opportunity to cheat. It also shows how frail your ego was to mistreat your relationship, versus being open and honest.
14“I felt like we weren’t spending as much time together, and he/she was here. I just did it because I was lonely.”
It is good to use this when you cheated because you felt like you were not getting enough attention. This happens more often than you think and many couples learn to work through it.
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15“The truth is, I feel like we haven’t been connecting like we used to, and I don’t think we will anymore. I found a new adventure in him/her, and I couldn’t help but explore it. I’m sorry I wasn’t man/woman enough to talk to you about it.”
Use this when you cheated because you were not dedicated to the relationship. It says that you were just looking for an out, and you grew out of the relationship or felt bored.
16“I stupidly got too drunk and my mind was telling me to do dumb stuff. I wish I never went to that party.”
Use this when the cheating was the result of a drunken night. This is good because it says you were not in your right mind.
17“This long-distance thing hasn’t been working out for me for a long time. I really should’ve said something before it got to this point, but I was afraid of ending all the history between us.”
It is good to use this when distance has broken down your bond, and you just don’t feel as connected anymore. This presents a decision to your partner, whether you work on rekindling the spark, or let the distance separate you.
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18“We both know we work better as friends, and that spark just isn’t there. If I was a better person, I would have initiated the conversation, but I was too much of a coward, to be honest with you.”
It is good to use this when you don’t love the person and you think a romantic relationship isn’t working out between you. It also admits you were wrong for not being more forthcoming with your feelings.
What to say when you get caught cheating: 5 examples for when you want to ask for forgiveness and promise to make things better to save your relationship
If you want your partner back, you have to be prepared to put in the work. It means changing your ways and convincing your partner things will be better.
We must warn you that this will not be easy, but if you have the right idea, your chances will be significantly better. Here are 5 ideas of what to say when you get caught cheating and you want to work to make things better:
19“This means too much to me to just throw it away over someone who I don’t even know. If you give me a second chance, I promise to be more attentive to your needs and I will work on communicating my feelings more.”
Use this when you cheated with a stranger. It’s good to use because you’re admitting you’ve seen the dating pool, and nothing compares to what you have, so you’ll work on making things better.
Photo by Antonio Guillem on shutterstock
20“I hate that it took going out there and doing something so horrible to find out just how much you mean to me. You’re a million times better and I want to work on proving that to you.”
This is good to use when you didn’t realize how good you had it until you were broken up. It says that you regret everything that happened and now know what you need to do to be a good partner.
21“Please forgive me for being so stupid. I shouldn’t have listened to my friends. They don’t know what we have and how much this means to me. I want to make this work.”
It is good to use this when you cheated because of peer pressure. It says that you learned your lesson, and will do better. One way to do this is by cutting off the toxic friendship that led to this decision.
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22“I don’t know what I’d do without you in my life. Please give me another chance to show you what I mean.”
It is good to use this when your partner is irreplaceable, and has become an integral part of your life and your development. You are begging your partner to come back so you can make things right.
23“I broke my own heart by hurting you, but I know it doesn’t compare to the pain of betrayal. Let me mend what I broke, and make this relationship something you never have to shed tears over again.”
This is good to use when you want to show how heartbroken you are about the whole situation. Many people cheat and don’t care, but you know you have hurt your partner, and you regret doing so.
What to say when you get caught cheating: 5 examples for when you want to ask forgiveness and break up with them
Life happens, and that can mean breaking your ex’s heart to discover you shouldn’t be in a relationship. Unfortunately, you came to this conclusion at the expense of his/her heart, but it’s already happened.
The best thing you can do is apologize and hope for forgiveness. You should also be prepared for your ex to hate you.
You’ll have to live with that, so do your best when breaking up to minimize the damage. Here’s what to say when you get caught cheating and you want to break up:
24“This is all on me. You gave me 150% and I squandered it. You deserve better, and that’s not me.”
Use this as a moment of honesty to acknowledge that he/she was a good partner. It says that you’re not able to be the type of guy/girl he/she needs, so it’s better to end things.
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25“I learned so much from this experience. I learned that I need to be honest with myself, and with you. I learned that I am not ready for a committed relationship. I am truly sorry my lessons were at your expense, and I hope we can be friends moving forward.”
It is good to use this when you want to show what this whole debacle has meant to you. It says that you reached a moment of enlightenment and wish to do the best thing for both of you.
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26“I know you want to break up with me, and I’m fine with that. We are like oil and water. I’m sorry about everything, but this just doesn’t work.”
Use this when your partner has already expressed a desire to end things. It says that you are not a good fit and you agree it’s time to end things.
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27“I hope you can forgive me for cheating, and for giving up on this relationship. I think it’s best for both of us, and that two wonderful people are waiting in line for the love of their lives.”
It is good to use this when you want to express you’re not a great fit, but you’re hopeful that one day you will both find the right person who will make you both happy and won’t cheat.
28“This relationship has been a rollercoaster, and unfortunately, it’s time for both of us to get off before it gets uglier. Thank you for loving me and for being someone I can count on. And thank you for your forgiveness, whenever it comes.”
Sometimes, nothing you say will change how he/she feels, and all you can do is be the bigger person. This says that things are not working, and it’s in both your interests to end things. It also shows appreciation for the time you spent together, and your sincere regret for what you did.
You’re the ‘bad guy’ for cheating, but it doesn’t mean you can’t redeem yourself, or make a mature decision. These examples of what to say when you get caught cheating will help you get over this hurdle and give your partner the respect he/she deserves in light of what happened.