Can You Respect A Man You’ve Cheated On?

ask the collectiveThis is for women who have cheated on their husband, or their ex-husband or their boyfriend, ex-boyfriend, etc.  If you don’t want to answer under your usual screen name, please feel free to use a fake one.

Never mind why you cheated.  Let’s say you cheated and now you want to repair and/or restore your relationship. Do you respect the man?  Is it possible to respect a man and cheat on him?

If you did not respect the man when you cheated on him, is there some way you could come to respect him? Would the fact he is willing to be with you after you’ve betrayed him make it hard for you to respect him?  People want to know things like this so I’m asking.

Is there a correlation between respect and cheating?  Where is your Venus and Mars?

25 thoughts on “Can You Respect A Man You’ve Cheated On?”

  1. Yes it is possible to respect the man you’ve cheated on! The think that comes to mind is why l would NOT feel the need to cheat in some relationships and did it in my previous (wich ended the whole thing, but ok l wnated it too in a way).
    But then you have cheating and cheating…flirting, a kiss but sex when shared with another makes it difficult for me to restore the old relationship.

    But to stay on the subject l do respect the man l’ve cheated on and he respects me. We understand each other and why things happend and are willing to maintain a good friendship/working relationship ( wich we had beside our love realtionship anyhow). l would remain loyal as a friend and be there for the person no matter what. l feel bound to him anyhow. l am glad we didn’t blow it all like some people said we ought to do… l think he deserves respect by the fact that we are still doing the stuff we did before and l find him progressive in his thinking(he is) and well l respect and love him for that!!

    Venus/Mars Aries 8th
    He has Venus in Scorpio in the 8th
    Mars Virgo 7th

  2. …and l realize wath venus/mars in aries in the 8th house means to me and what l need in order to be satisfied in a relationship…the man has to keep the relationship exiting, adventurous (aries) and we definitly should be involved in fun working projects together..shared resources indeed 8th house.

  3. CArRiE – that is how I feel too. I have never cheated on anyone in my life. To cheat, I’d have to disrespect you and if I disrespect you, I’m leavin’, most likely that day if not that hour or that minute.

    I’ve got that leavin’ gene, big time.

  4. Forget respect for the man, I couldn’t respect myself!

    If I’m unhappy enough to cheat, I’ve got no business being in the relationship in the first place.

    If I want to look elsewhere to get my needs met, then it’s time to cut the cord!

  5. When I was young, I was…let’s call it “flighty”. I rarely stayed faithful in a relationship for longer than about six month from the time I was 17 until I met and married my ex.

    Those youthful cheats were because I had no respect for myself. The one while I was married was because I had no respect for my ex and his love of everything more than his family.

    I was faithful to my ex for a very long time. I had a very very brief fling-about five years prior to leaving-with a very hot younger man I worked with. Didn’t change anything. I had a little guilt, but not enough to come clean. And he was already in his own world…never even noticed.

  6. *ears wide open*

    Never cheated on anyone, so I can’t speculate. Super interested in the conversation, though. *passes around almonds*

  7. @Elsa & Shannon- It was a huge lesson! I had never cheated on anyone in my life, even as a silly teenager. I wish I could tell you why this was different – but, it’s way too long and complicated. All I know is, I’ll never ever do that again!

  8. I’ve got the leaving gene too. Cheating would be a waste of energy and you’d be tarnishing a new potential relationship with bad karma to boot. I’ve never cheated but have come across people who have and the fall-out is simply never worth it.

  9. I was foolish enough to marry only the second man I had ever been sexual with. We were friends, and should have stayed that way, but we were both inexperienced, and insecure. He became extremely emotionally abusive, especially once he got into medical school. I went into a deep depression. One of the things he became abusive about was my sexuality. He told me I wasn’t a turn on to him, that he was comfortable with my body, but nothing more. I did finally cheat on him, once. It was the greatest gift I ever gave to myself, because it showed me that the problem wasn’t me. I now understand that he has issues, insecurities about his own sexuality, and in order to keep me from leaving him, he had to make me feel inadequate. The relationship lasted about a month and a half after that. Once I finally told him about the “affair”, it was over. I knew it would be.
    Funny thing–I’ve heard through the grapevine that he had the same problem in his second marriage, also ending in divorce.

  10. good point (@ruth). sometimes a little perspective can be life changing. From what I’m reading, it can be a matter of those who are in “real” relationships (either way) and who are not.

    One of my best friends is a Vietnam vet/helicopter jock whose wife is also former military. They are remarried after she cheated on him, left, etc. (she is younger). He loves her, but doesn’t respect her. He doesn’t respect the lady minister who remarried them, for that matter. She cheated on him, however. Does she respect him? I don’t think so. Though he is highly respected, and respectable, for a wild child.

    Let’s put it this way. They are still together, but I would hate to have to count on the relationship if I were either one of them, and really in the clinch. Don’t know if it’s always this way in cases like this, but in this case, I think disappointment is a part of the deal ongoing, and I know for damn sure that he has a memory like an elephant.

  11. I don’t have any experience myself.
    But my bestfriend cheated on her boyfriend.
    She unfortunatly still has loads of respect for him. I hoped the other guy would change her flavor. Her guy is not a very respectable person. Allthough he fools most to think he is.

  12. I understand what you’re asking but I’d never try to repair a relationship once I cheated on somebody — out of respect. If you’re in someone else’s bed when you make that decision you have to accept that your original relationship is over – that absolutely has to be true. It’s disrespectful to lie but it is not disrepectful to leave.

    The problem is that once you do this no matter how bad your relationship was you’ve abandoned that person and your relationship dynamic whether they know it or not. You can’t go back. You have to commit to that decision — or it’s disrespectful to your original partner. You can’t make somebody — especially someone who you once loved — face the consequences of your action.

  13. Avatar
    Stellium in Taurus

    Great question, never thought of it in these terms. I’d say Yes, there is definitely a correlation between respect and cheating. In my case, I didn’t respect my ex BEFORE cheating, and it was probably the main reason I cheated.

    Can I respect him now? No, but if he got his act together and started living his own life, I could see that changing.

  14. I think it’s possible. I have a horrible track record for staying faithful in relationships. I’ve cheated on every person I’ve been with, most multiple times with multiple partners. Not going to try to justify or apologize; it’s just the truth.

    Because the pattern of cheating obviously has more to do with me than any man I’m with (or else it wouldn’t continue with every relationship), I can absolutely respect them. In my situation, it’s really not about respect at all.

    I’ve also found that when I feel real humility and contrition, I often respect my partners more for being willing to stay with me. It shows what strong, loving, forgiving people they are and I admire that.

  15. Yes when I was way younger I cheated on a husband or two, and CArRiE is right, it was because the respect for him was gone. Now I have learned and figured out that once the respect is gone, so is he, I have developed too much pride in myself to sink so low. I had a self esteem problem and fixed myself so I no longer engage in activities like that. Only once in my life did I ask the man I cheated on to forgive me, and he did. I won’t make that mistake ever again either.

  16. I have never cheated. Nothing to do with respect about my husband, but respect for myself. I would have liked to, had the opportunity many times, I just didnt.

    All the men in my life have cheated on me – so I know they have no respect for me. Saying that, I do understand why people do cheate, there are many reasons.

    But to me – true love wont even take you there.

  17. Never cheated, but was cheated on many times by my ex, and found out about it as the marriage was ending. Was told it was all my fault, of course.

    At first I took it personally, as though he had done something personally to me. Took me a while to understand he had only disrespected and devalued himself by sneaking around and breaking his promises, and the choices and decisions he made for himself had nothing to do with me or what I was worth. I chose not to own something that ain’t mine to own.

  18. Never found that many people attractive, plus I’m not wired that way… much easier to have friends and keep it in the platonic realm… when you play music, you find most of your collaborators are male so you have to work that out… people use cheating as an escape… it gives them a sense of relief, and then the fall-out happens, big time! People are more restless when they are younger, and sometimes commit to relationships without knowing the other person very well… also relationships tend to bring out the shadowy elements so the pressure of it all can make people behave poorly. The only fellow I wouldn’t respect is one with a severe lack of character; if you have compassion you don’t disrespect anyone.

  19. venus-neptune and leo stellium.

    i have a history of falling hard, getting disillusioned, and cheating because i’d fallen for someone new and didn’t have the balls to end the dysfunctional relationship.

    respect is a tricky thing for my venus-neptune. i tend to merge with my partner and resent him for not intuiting my needs. and so i’ve ended up cheating, AFTER i lost respect for him. and having cheated on him, i get a newfound twisted ‘respect’ for him because he has now become a victim in my eyes (and i, the savior). in other words, it’s the feeling of seeing him as an individual for the first time in a long time (like you did when you first fell for him, he was separate from you, and the merging is the ecstasy).

    i sensed the same thing happening in my last relationship. so i spoke up, tried to make clear why i was unhappy. it still dissolved, but this time around i made very clear that i was gone (emotionally, psychologically). it was still hard to separate physically (like trying to separate water from water using only your hands). but i put all my cards on the table and made clear i was a hazard, in that sense.

  20. Venus late Sag conjunct Mars early Cap in the 8th House. I’ve never actually cheated and I think that those of us with Mars/Venus conjunctions have a tendency to stay faithful and in relationships longer than perhaps we should, until we nearly drown.

    Can I respect a man after I cheated? No. I would think that the fact that I cheated means I have no respect for him.

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