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How to make a cheater regret?

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Around this time last year my(29M) ex gf (25F) of four years tested positive for an STD. Turns out she cheated on me at least twice. I’ll probably never know the full extent. 

There was so much gaslighting and lies on her part that I genuinely believed her cheating to be my fault. I was in so much pain that I just ignored the truth and tried to make it work. 

She ended up leaving a few weeks later and I immediately entered NC with the intent that she’d regret and come back. (foolish) 

Over the last 10ish months she has contacted me roughly 15 times or so. We even met up a few times early this year and hooked up. 

She called me last month (drunk FaceTime) for the first time in a while. We talked, and again I played the part of the people pleaser and discussed some areas I fell short as a partner. She told me she missed me, loved me, asked me to come over (I didn’t go), etc. 

We meet up the next day and she basically says she’s about to enter a new relationship and wants to make amends. Says she only called because she felt guilty. 

I blocked her on everything after that. Felt totally manipulated. I now realize how much of a doormat I’ve allowed myself to be. I basically let her wean off of me for a year. I tried to be the “bigger man” and not shame her for her actions. 

I know the best revenge is “indifference” but I really want her to have some regret. Or at least realize how wild her behavior is/was. 

Feels like she got away unscathed and gets to enter a new relationship with “an upgrade” while I’m barely re-building my self confidence.  

Any advice is appreciated. I’ve definitely learned a valuable lesson though…If you get cheated on just go ghost immediately and leave them with their thoughts. 


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14 minutes ago, Starlight925 said:

Leopards and spots and all.

Thank you for your insight! So you don't think they can change? I was given a whole slew of "reasons" for her actions. Including the textbook cheater responses of feeling unwanted, disconnected, etc. 

Part of me thinks that this new partner could just be a better fit. He'll get all the great things about her (which there were a ton) minus the cheating aspects. 

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Sure, people can change.  After years of therapy, or after someone does to them what they did to you, and they are so hurt they finally change.  But likely?  No sir.

Do I think this guy is a "better fit" for her?  Sweetie, he's only Mr. Right Now.

All of her "reasons" are exactly what you said in your first post:  GASLIGHTING.

Look at it this way:

Someone cheats on an exam.  Gets caught.  Professor threatens to expel.  Cheater has all these "reasons":  The material was too hard.  I was stressed by a personal situation.  The class is too far across campus for me to make it in time.  You put stuff on the exam that we didn't cover in class!    BLAH BLAH BLAH....everyone is to blame except the cheater.

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You can't "make" anyone do or feel anything. Besides, that wouldn't help you move on anyway.  And people only "change" if they're motivated to do so on their own.  You can't "make" her be motivated.  

I don't know what "textbooks" you're reading but cheating happens because the person is selfish and doesn't care about anything other than what they want.  Period.

And yes, this new person might be "a better fit" but not because he's "better" than you.  Some people just gel better with one person than they might with another.  And whether or not she cheats on him too is completely irrelevant.  That has no bearing on your life, so please stop comparing yourself to this new guy.

Just completely cut her out of your life in ALL ways including blocking her on every and all means of contact including social media accounts.  Then delete everything.  No texting her "to say 'hi'" or to "see how she's doing", no talking about her to friends or her family.  No "accidentally" running into her.  No drunk texting.  No looking at her "stories" or posts on Insta or Facebook.  Just full stop.  That way she can't message you and sucker you back in with lies and manipulation.

You can't get past something if you keep reintroducing it (or in this case, her) into your life.

You have been the better person.  Just keep doing that.   But being the better person doesn't mean appeasing someone who treated you poorly.  That's just being a doormat, and no one loves or respects a doormat. 

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Cheaters dont trully feel sorry. Otherwise they wouldnt cheat. They just find convinient excuse for it and move on. "You were not exclusive", "You were on a break", "They were tired of eating burgers and that day wanted pizza", "They felt unwanted" etc. Moral code of those individuals is pretty low standard. And they have to justify it with those kind of statements. Otherwise they would be "the bad guy". And they cant be that. For example she felt guilty because she was the bad guy there. She is entering a new relationship while she gave you hope to get together and that would mean you would hate her. This is all about her and how she feels, not you.

That being said, there is no regrets for those kind of individuals. Because they only care about how they feel, not how you feel. You are not important there. Therefore, nothing you do will make them feel regret. All you can do is to move on with your life, dont care about somebody who gave you an STD and find somebody way better then her in the future.

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2 hours ago, LarryFlanders said:

Feels like she got away unscathed and gets to enter a new relationship with “an upgrade” while I’m barely re-building my self confidence. 

 Great you blocked her. Just say to yourself "she's his headache now" and don't look back.

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You can't make a cheater regret their actions/choices, yet any form of deceit usually comes back to haunt a person in one way, shape or form.   

At any rate, you can choose to evict them from that space they're renting in your head, and set them free to go on to live with and experience the consequences of their choices.

The best revenge is for you to go on to live a good life.



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9 hours ago, boltnrun said:

 But being the better person doesn't mean appeasing someone who treated you poorly.  That's just being a doormat, and no one loves or respects a doormat. 

Thank you for your response. I appreciate the advice. 

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5 hours ago, HeartGoesOn said:

The best revenge is for you to go on to live a good life.



Agreed. Trying to take it day-by-day. Still having some trouble dealing w/ the feelings of being discarded and left behind. Appreciate your response! 

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She may regret it.  I'm old and have come to regret some things.  I've even gone to make amends, or at least to show accountability, to some on the receiving ends of those things.

Bottom line though is "regret" or feeling responsible for wrongdoing doesn't have anything to do with actions of the victim of the wrongs.    You can't "make" someone feel any way.  It's all part of their own life's journey whether they do or not.

For you:  Move on and leave her behind you.

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I would be willing to bet all people who have felt the sting of being in love with a cheater could relate to your post.

As painful as all this has been, I think it's a sign of healing that your are now angry for how you handled it.

 I am like you.  I try to be the bigger person. I don't throw things in people's faces or shame them, especially people I love. 

Maybe some would say that is being a doormat. But I say, I'm kind, fair & respectful to people because that's who I am.  not because of who they are. 

She's a garbage partner, because that's who she is.  

She didn't upgrade.  She didn't change.  She's still as needy and pathetic as ever.  She moved on to someone else who has no idea what she is really about.  That's all she can do.  She can't fix herself, heal herself so that she loves herself to become a better person. 

She's incapable. 

She did you a favor.  Make a promise to yourself to stay away from this person and to not let them hurt you again. 

Heal through practicing forgiving yourself through self compassion for being a human. Remember people know what they do.  Hold a higher standard and be thankful She isn't your problem any more! 

this too shall pass. keep going! 

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23 minutes ago, LarryFlanders said:

I appreciate your advice. Trying my best to put the pain behind me. Thank you.

Have you followed through with blocking her from any and all means of contact, removing her from all social media and then deleting her contact info?

Before you say that blocking is "unnecessary", "harsh", "immature", "shows 'weakness'" or that you "don't block", ask yourself if you are still holding out "hope" she will see the error of her ways and contact you begging for forgiveness and another chance. Because if that's the case, moving forward will be VERY difficult. 

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1 minute ago, boltnrun said:

ask yourself if you are still holding out "hope" she will see the error of her ways and contact you begging for forgiveness and another chance. 

^ That is how I've operated for the better part of a year. I think the "hope" was the only aid to the pain at the time. I've got her blocked everywhere now. 

However, even with blocking her, I still have this weird hope that she tries to contact me so that at least I know I wasn't so easily replaceable. If she ever found some way to contact me I would ignore. I know that feeling is still holding me back. Just my ego I guess. 


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My ex contacted me after he dumped me for someone else. It wasn't because I "wasn't so easily replaceable". It was because he really liked having a "fan" and he wanted to make sure I was still pining over him and would be available if he wanted some free sex and an ego boost. It had nothing to do with him regretting what he'd done or realizing he truly did love me and not her. 

My brother's ex contacted him and initiated a reconciliation not because she loved him and realized she'd made a mistake but because she'd gotten into legal trouble and wanted to get him to pay for an attorney for her. Unfortunately he fell for it and is now out several thousand dollars. And then she dumped him yet again.

If she contacts you it will likely be because she wants to make sure she can still use you if she wants to. These people think others exist for their own use. Not for them to love and cherish. 

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15 hours ago, LarryFlanders said:

… Trying to take it day-by-day. Still having some trouble dealing w/ the feelings of being discarded and left behind. Appreciate your response! 

I believe that the fastest and most effective way to heal is to control the narratives we feed to ourselves every day. We don’t often realize the importance of our own voice and the power of our own self hypnosis until we consciously reframe the ways in which we choose to use that voice.

If you buy into the idea that you’ve been discarded and left behind, you are drilling yourself into a deeper hole to climb out of. Try instead that you’ve confirmed for yourself your ability to love, and you are now on a path to find a partner who is worthy of that gift.

Use your intelligence in your own favor rather than working against yourself. Embrace the learnable life skill of resilience as your goal and celebrate each baby step you take in that direction.

Don’t fork over your power to anyone, especially one who doesn’t deserve it. Stop wasting your focus on someone else and make yourself proud of your ability to turn that focus back onto yourself and the wonderful future you can build.

It’s a decision.

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Here are some facts you need to always remember:

Cheaters are selfish

Cheaters are lairs

There is nothing you can do to MAKE someone cheat

 The reason you wanted to believe it was your fault is because you can control what you do so if you could only change this or that she wouldn't cheat in you and you could be together again.  In the end you were searching for anything so you could still be with her, even if that meant taking the blame for HER cheating.

  I know you think the next guy is going to get the non cheater you wished she was but he is just ignorant of who he is dating.  She is still an unrepentant cheater, still a liar and still selfish.  How do you think it will turn out for him eventually?  She didn't have the common courtesy to have her lover wear a condom to at least protect you from an STD.  This woman is bad news wrapped up in a pretty face.

 Don't blame yourself for wanting it to work out and be wonderful again like before you found out she is a lying cheater with an STD.  In the future you will meet someone new and when you do please do not punish her for your ex's transgressions but remember the lessons you learned the hard way.

 Cheaters only regret one thing, getting caught and losing their security net.  Stop being her net...


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first off, so sorry you had to go through something like that. No one deserves to be cheated on. Someone already said this, but she'll never truly feel sorry, only sorry that she was caught. With time everything you've been through will hurt less. I was cheated on once, funny enough I didn't find out till after the break up, but still I was very upset and it definitely hurt my ego. I wanted answers so bad, but he actually ended up blocking me and ended up dating the girl he cheated on me with. I ended up just letting it go and looking back on it, I don't even care anymore.

If she does try to contact you again, definitely ignore her. You'll feel tempted to want to say something but for your own mental peace, don't give in! You got this. Best of luck to you.

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