Cheating - Why Not Just End the Relationship?

No Easy Answers

Sometimes from the outside looking in we can't understand why someone doesn't just end the relationship after cheating occurs or end it before they decide to cheat in the first place. However, there aren't always easy answers to these questions. And sometimes the relationship is worth saving, but how and why?

So, let's take a look at these questions.

Why not end the relationship before you decide to cheat?

A lot of people (guys and girls) commented that guys don't end relationships before moving on because either they don't know how to tell their girlfriend it's over, or they simply wimp out and avoid all uncomfortable conversations. Some even cheat as a means of breaking up.

Melzer wrote: I think guys cheat because they want to end their current relationship...

Dustin wrote: He (looks for) a way to make her leave him, so He finds someone else who fits those needs and finds a way to let her find out.

Dante wrote: There are guys who cheat because they know it's over but they're not willing to end it...In the meantime, he goes out and cheats until he gets caught.

Melzer wrote: I think I just realized why men cheat, well one reason at least, its because it's so hard walking away, and letting go, hurting someone...When I read it, I knew that I had to take that step with the guy I'm dating, let him know it's not personal, but I'm ready to move on. I'm not a cheater, but I've never been so unhappy with someone before and it's hard to walk away, so I've been miserable lately, and now I know how to leave, thank you.


Nobody changes the oil in a car they have already decided to trade-in. Get the point?

If someone has already decided to move on, preserving and maintaining the current relationship is not a high priority. So rather than having a conversation to end the relationship, which may be uncomfortable, they just move on and break hearts in the process.

Sometimes they may have been sending signals for a while that they are not committed to the relationship any longer, but the person they are dating is not recognizing the signs or is choosing to ignore them. If you are seeing signs they are not committed, don't hang on until they cheat.

So why not leave the minute you've been cheated on?

Scared to be Alone

Unfortunately, I get lots of comments from people who were clearly in toxic relationships. They know it, and probably everyone around them knows it too. They have been used and hurt and almost certainly will be used and hurt some more. But they cannot bring themselves to leave. The people who hang on despite it all likely have a love addiction.

Love addiction is a lot like other addictions in that a person obsessively and compulsively tries to relieve or medicate the deep pain in their life with feeling lovedIf someone is a love addict, they think they cannot live without the other person no matter how toxic, and you will do just about anything to keep the relationship alive.

Cristy wroteI'm 15. I was recently cheated on and don't know what to do...he begs for me back and I was about to when I saw him again... he knew this. Yet he got back with his other ex, slept with her then they broke up and he still wanted me back. I just don't know what to do and I feel so lost. I think I am done but I love him...

Gina wrote: (The) question would be why people stay with someone who cheats over and over again?


The more you love someone, the more power you give them to hurt you. So, no love, then no hurt. But that's not the best solution. A good guideline is to measure out your emotions according to your age, how much you really know about a person, and your true prospects for a lifetime together. Guys or girls who get into relationships and quickly put the gas pedal to the floor emotionally are going to have so many wrecks, their love life might be permanently damaged because trust is hard to come by.

So, when and how should you save the relationship?

The Cheater Needs to be Genuinely Sorry

Derek wrote: I cheated on my girlfriend but want to move past it with her. She doesn’t think she can. What can I do?

Unfortunately, Derek has dug a deep hole for his relationship, and it’s going to take a lot of work to dig out of it. He has shown his girlfriend (and himself) that he is an untrustworthy person. And now he's wondering if it’s possible to ever rebuild trust with her. I believe it is if he truly loves her and is truly sorry for what he did.

Most guys just say to themselves, I did it. I told her I was sorry. So, let’s move on. But it doesn’t work that way. The person who's been cheated on needs a much longer time to heal. If you really want to work it out, don't lose patience and walk away from their relationship just about the time they are starting to heal.

So, in Derek's situation what might his girlfriend be feeling? She might be feeling he is not really sorry for what he did. She also might want to make sure he pays the price for his actions and punishes him breaking up with him.


The brokenness in any relationship can only be healed by the cheater seeking forgiveness for what they've done. So, how do you do this?

  • First of all, you need to admit to yourself that you have hurt another person. This means taking full responsibility for your actions, and not just thinking your BF/GF is blowing things out of proportion.
  • Talk to God about this, and ask Him to forgive you for what you’ve done, and ask for courage to say what you need to say to and do for your BF/GF.
  • Ask for your BF/GF's forgiveness. You need to clearly explain what you’re sorry for, without making any excuses.
  • Let you BF/GF respond to you without getting defensive about what they say. Again, remember they will need time to sort out their feelings.

After this, the best thing you can do is to show yourself as completely trustworthy, avoiding opportunities to slip back into your wrongful, untrustworthy behavior. But, you did the right thing by seeking forgiveness, and your new attitude and actions will be the best way to prove you are truly sorry for what happened. Just remember, this is going to take a while.

How to Love Well

If you want to really love someone well, the Bible has one of the best definitions of love ever. "Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance." This kind of love may never be fully achieved by people on earth who make mistakes, but it is a good standard to work toward.  And the really beautiful thing is that this definition describes God's incredible love for us...even when we mess up.

Are you the cheater? Whether the relationship survives or not, move forward. To have meaningful relationships in the future try these 5 Life-changing Steps.

Dawson McAllister
Dawson McAllister, also known as America's youth pastor, was an author, radio host, speaker, and founder of TheHopeLine. McAllister attended Bethel College in Minnesota for undergraduate work where he graduated in 1968, began graduate studies at Talbot School of Theology in California, and received an honorary doctorate from Biola University.
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One comment on “Cheating - Why Not Just End the Relationship?”

  1. Wow. Interesting. I love this "HARD TRUTH: No relationship is going to succeed or survive without a strong foundation of trust."
    This is a serious issue. It would have been better if there use a better understanding with both. Well I'm glad I'm learning everyday. I sometimes saw a post that helped me with this issue.

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