How can I Show My Wife I Regret Cheating?

16 March, 2017
Q Salaam Dear brother / sister. In my marriage of 4 years, I lied to my wife, I cheated on my wife, I also gave her a sexually transmitted disease. It's been 7/8 weeks now we have been separated. She has given me numerous chances and I don't blame her not taking me back. Since being on my own, I've been on numerous sites such as this asking advice from scholars, counsellors, even the general public trying to find a way to gain back which was once mine and I lost it with my own hands. I pray to Allah to show me the right path, but yet again I fail to prove to her I have changed. She won't believe me thinking I am chatting with other women when I am here asking for advice. I don't know what to do anymore. My life has come to a standstill.



Wa ‘Alaikum Salaam wa Rahmatulahi wa Barakatuh,

You are aware that you committed a big sin by committing adultery. Zina is taken very seriously in Islam; however, you do show evidence of remorse as you have been seeking advice from scholars and counsellors on the matter. What you have been experiencing is a natural consequence of your behavior. Unfortunately, there will be consequences as you seek to win your wife back again after your infidelity to her.

The most important thing to begin with is that you seek forgiveness from Allah (swt). Repent to Him sincerely and do all you can to protect yourself from such a sin again. After this, regardless of whether you remain with your wife or go your separate ways, you should seek her own forgiveness too for your wrongdoings and betrayal of her.

You have to understand why she feels she can’t trust you again and why she will be suspicious of you much of the time. When someone is betrayed, it can take a long time to build the trust back up, if at all. You have to prepare to accept her behavior.

You also need to ask yourself if a relationship where there is no trust is really worth pursuing. A relationship without trust can come with many issues as you are experiencing now. If you feel that you can remain faithful during this time, then you will need to be very patient with her in building this trust again. Certainly we know that Allah (swt) rewards those who are patient.

O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.” (Qur’an, 2:153)

But you also need to consider that she may never be able to trust you again in a way a wife should trust her husband. So, you also need to think about at what point you draw the line and how long you are willing to wait for this trust to reach the point where you will both be happy in your marriage. We know that marriage is certainly a very blessed institution in Islam and should be protected.

“…They are clothing for you and you are clothing for them…” (Qur’an, 2:187)

You know yourself whether you will be able to take the risk of waiting for her to potentially take you back and trust you again and remain steadfast during this time not to seek haram relations. You also need to be realistic that she may never reach a level of trust with you that will be conducive to a happy relationship. If you know you cannot control yourself for what might potentially be a long time, then you might also consider moving on from this relationship. These are options you need to carefully consider when deciding what to do at this point.

If it is that she chooses to take you back, you need to understand that you betrayed her, and she will be in a lot of emotional pain as a result. You need to understand that this will leave her feeling very suspicious of you. Therefore, you need to understand that you will need to work extra hard to win her trust back again. This won’t be something that just happens overnight or even in a week. It is something that takes a long time and requires much patience.

As you move on, whether with your wife or without her, you need to repent for your sins and do all you can to avoid falling into such traps again. Avoid being in situations where you might be tempted to do the same again; avoid being in mixed environments, and do not even allow yourself to be alone with another woman for that is what leads to the situation you ended up in and lost the trust of your wife. You have learnt the very wisdom behind the following hadith.

“I order you (to stick to) my Companions, then those who come after them, then those who come after them. Then lying will spread until a man will take an oath when no oath was sought from him, and a witness will testify when his testimony was not sought. Behold! A man is not alone with a woman but the third of them is Ash-Shaitan. Adhere to the Jama’ah, beware of separation, for indeed Ash-Shaitan is with one, and he is further away from two. Whoever wants the best place in Paradise, then let him stick to the Jama’ah. Whoever rejoices with his good deeds and grieves over his evil deeds, then that is the believer among you.'” (Tirmidhi)

Get close to Allah (swt), fear Him, fast regularly, and protect yourself from Shaytan as these will also protect you from falling into such sin again.

“Who can afford to marry should marry, because it will help him refrain from looking at other women, and save his private parts from committing illegal sexual relation; and he who cannot afford to marry is advised to fast, as fasting will diminish his sexual power.” (Bukhari)

May Allah (swt) forgive you and guide you on the straight path. May He (swt) bring both you and your wife happiness and contentment in this life and the next.



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About Hannah Morris
Hannah Morris is a mum of 4 and she currently works as Counsellor and Instructor of BSc. Psychology at the Islamic Online University (IOU). She obtained her MA degree in Psychology and has over 10 years of experience working in health and social care settings in the UK, USA, and Ireland. Check out her personal Facebook page, ActiveMindCare, that promotes psychological well-being in the Ummah. (