She Cheated On Me, Should I Help Her?

She Cheated On Me, Should I Help Her?

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This is like the story of Jean Valjean and Javier from Les Miserables. Javier, the villainous character, returns the kindness of Jean Valjean with only more treachery. Here we have the cheating woman and the nice guy who finishes last. He wants to know if he should let his cheating ex move back in with him because she is currently homeless.

This situation can be looked at in terms of short-term gain or long-term pain.


Short-Term Gain

Short-term gain is probably some type of sexual relationship- maybe- with the possibility of rekindling the flame, forgiving each other for past offenses, and becoming a couple again. This is very hard to do though once that ultimate bond of trust has been broken by the ultimate betrayal, which is infidelity. The guy’s simple (naive) expectation here is quid pro quo- if I let you move back in, then you owe me something… and if that something isn’t “half the rent,” then its most likely, “sexual healing.”

Somewhere in the comments section of this guy’s post, another guy asked, “is she hot?” To which the original author replied, “Yeah, she’s really good looking.”

Unfortunately, this is the male species’s one weakness. If we find a female attractive and we lust after her even just a little, we are oblivious to just about any other quality she has.

Here’s an example of two guy friends having a conversation about a dangerously attractive woman:

Guy1: “But she snooped through your phone!”

Guy 2: “But she’s hot.”

Guy 1: “But she’s 29, unemployed, and $50,000 dollars in debt!”

Guy 2: “Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know that, but she’s fine as hell.”

Guy 1: “But she wrecked your car while you were in it and now you’re in a full body cast!”

Guy 2: “She’s still beautiful though.”

Guy 1: “But she does crystal meth and got her kids taken away by the court!”

Guy 2: “The only thing prettier than her face is her smoking bod.”

Guy 1: “But she cheated on you, got evicted from her apartment, and now she’s living in her car.”

Guy 2: “In my eyes, she is perfect.”

The old saying, “Men fall in love with their eyes, women fall in love with their ears,” is very true. If a man sees a beautiful woman mopping the floor at The Dollar Tree, he may very well ask for her digits. If a woman hears that a man makes over $100,000 a year, she may very well introduce herself to him.

But to get back to the issue here- this guy wants to know if he should let his cheating, homeless ex move in with him. Despite how attracted he is to her, the answer is NO. Why?

Long-Term Pain

Long-term pain means things will never quite be the same. Those good old days way back in the honeymoon period are long gone and the memory of the past will always be better than the reality of the present. I’m not saying you can’t move past an incident of cheating- I’ve seen it happen (counseling required) – but for many people, it’s just too difficult. It’s like trying to glue a broken vase back together- yes it can be done, but it won’t be the same, and if it breaks a second time, you’ll most likely just throw it away.

Being used by a desperate person is another aspect of this guy’s situation. No one wants to be used, or more precisely 99% of people don’t want to be used (there is that weird 1% who want to be used because it’s their fetish). But generally speaking, being taken advantage of repeatedly will only lower your self esteem, possibly lead to depression, anxiety, and confusion. If you discover someone is manipulating you, cut them off. Don’t invite them to be your roommate.

If this guy expects his good looking cheating ex to give him sex any time he wants it, he’s also in for a nasty surprise there. He might get angry or possibly violent if she refuses, which means he’ll threaten to kick her out; and then he has become the nasty villain and maybe even guilty of sexual assault. Don’t let someone live with you for free because you expect her to give you sex. Free rent for sex is wrong. That’s Craigslist creepy. Just don’t go there.

The Reasonable Thing To Do

1. Offer to let her use your phone so she can call someone who will let her live with them.

2. Fill up her gas tank and give her food money.

3. Help her locate a homeless shelter.

4. Find a neutral public location (park bench) to listen to each other and hash out every issue- if you both want this.

5. Leave the door open to future romance once she gets her life back together and the cheating issue has somehow been resolved.


There you have it.



I’m sure that there are quite a few people reading this story that would view her as a bad person and start shouting the phrase:

“Once A Cheater, Always A Cheater”

Once a cheater always a cheater is not always true. That is a generalization. It does not account for the fact that people can go through personal growth and maturity or that there may be people who are not able to admit or are strong enough to end a failing relationship with the one person they grew to love before they moved on. Just because someone has cheated in the past does not warrant them to be single for the rest of their lives. People can learn, change, and grow.

So is she a bad person for cheating on him? Yes and no. It probably really hurt him which would make it seem like she is a bad person, but in the end she is still a human being.


Not All Human Beings Are Equal

Everyone has varying degrees of good and bad in them, given different stressors and scenarios. There are people who feed on the good, the helping, the generous, the caring, and the giving. They will take what they can get and leave you dry, lonely, hopeless, shocked, and broken. Yes, as much as we would like it to be otherwise, this happens. These same people can also be loving caring active citizens and then turn around to use and abuse other people in their life that they say they care about. It’s really strange and messed up, but it’s true.

So we can acknowledge the fact that even though she cheated on him she is still a human being, but also factor in that people who say they care about someone can still use and abuse them.

Should He Help Her?

Some people would argue that when someone you once loved reaches out for help because they lost their home and are now living out of their car you shouldn’t ignore them, that they are still human and in need of help.

In the grand scheme of things, in an ideal world, we would all say for him to help her. Also, in an ideal world, she wouldn’t have cheated on him and they would still be together living happily ever after. But, that’s not the case.

So the fact that she cheated on him does not necessarily make her a bad person, but it does not change the fact that it did happen and it was him, the person she is asking help from, who she cheated on. In this case you really do have to factor that in.

Let’s look at a few questions to help us decide if he should help her:

1. What happened to the guy that she cheated on him with? And why isn’t he helping her?

You can probably say that it’s not working out or hasn’t worked out with the guy she cheated on him with. Then she could just be going back for help from this guy because she knows that he’s probably the type of guy that is willing to help. He IS considering it by asking “What would you do?”, otherwise he would have made his decision already.

2. What about other people in her life? Are there not family and friends that could help her?

I would say it could be one of three things going on here. Either she is too ashamed of asking for help from those closest to her, she has asked for help and they said “no”, or she knows that they won’t help her because she has asked for help from them in the past and never appreciated it/returned the favor/gave back money that was borrowed to her. I’m going to guess that it’s the last one. Basically this guy is her last resort.

3. Why did she get evicted?

This question tells us that she very well not be responsible enough to keep her place of living. If you know that you are about to be evicted then you will take measures to fix that or make arrangements. You will also initially choose your place of living knowing how much that you can afford based on your income. If this changes then you, again, make arrangements. To get evicted, be living in your car, and then ask for help is saying that you are not being very responsible, and are in desperate need of money.

4. Why is he considering helping her? Is he still in love with her? Does he think that by helping her he’ll win her back?

This last set of questions tells us that because he is considering helping her he still loves her or has some sort of desire to be back with her. Usually when you have been cheated on by someone the hurt you feel from it keeps you from wanting to help them in the future. It wouldn’t really even be a question. So he may feel like by helping her he’ll win her back.

All in all, after answering these questions, I would say that he should NOT help her. The desire to be back with her is the reason he wants to, but she is clearly only asking him for help because she can’t get help from those closest to her and is in desperate need of money. By helping her he’s setting himself up for disappointment and hurt again because she’s just using him for money.

If he can put his thinking that it would work out between the two of them to the side then I’d say that at the most he should give her the number to a shelter, but that’s it.

Sure, she could feel bad that she cheated on him, but my intuition is telling me that even if she is feeling bad she is still using him solely because she needs the help, otherwise she would have contacted him at a time when she wasn’t in this type of scenario.

Yes, she is a human being, but she is a grown adult, she signed a lease for the place she was evicted from, and is responsible for taking care of herself. She is not his responsibility.

He can still feel bad for her and not help her. The fact that he feels bad just shows that he is a caring human being. But, that doesn’t make him responsibile for her. Like I mentioned above, she can still be a good person and at the same time use this guy for her own personal selfish gain. 

In the end, he needs to protect himself. In order to fully achieve this he has to ignore her, otherwise he won’t be able to heal and move on.


  • Maggie

    What an interesting hypothetical. I’d probably say you have to be careful not to turn into the ex’s money spigot if you help them out just a little.

  • Melissa Buker Parcel

    Some interesting points from both of you! I think I’d be inclined to meet whatever immediate need (food, gas) and then help her find shelter with family.

  • Kara Patterson

    Agree with the “no” answer. No longer his problem!

  • Wonderful article! We need to learn to forgive and help each other heal through the pain. 🙂

  • Jen Cheski

    You bring up very good points. What a difficult situation.

  • A Learning Parent

    I like the reasonable things to do list! I think everyone needs to have an arsenal of options for how to handle tricky situations before they happen!

  • Laura Belle

    I honestly don’t think my cheating ex would come to me for help. He owes me $120,000 in child support and I haven’t seen or heard from him since 2004. To answer the question though, no I probably would n’t help him out.

  • deanna

    I think she should be asking someone else for help and he needs to completely cut her off. Ouch.

  • Monica Lam

    What a great and interesting discussion. I agree that he could do a little to help her and be a gentleman but ultimately move on and not get sucked in again.

  • Stacey Billingsley

    Wow, that’s a tough situation. I think if a person is really toxic, it may be best to just cut him or her out. It really depends on the situation, though.

  • Kim

    Um. I like your suggestions that help her on her way. No need to turn your back on her, but also don’t get caught in a toxic situtation

  • Lisa

    I totally agree with both of you. She shouldn’t move in with him again, but definitely like the ideas of other ways to help her that would not obligate him to have to take care of her long term.

  • Shanna S Mathews-Mendez

    This is such an interesting post. I have never seen anything like it. I love the way you put it together.

  • Elizabeth Sliwa

    Tough question. Depends on so many variables. I like the “reasonable” suggestions you made. It helps her out while protecting him as well.

  • Marie

    Regardless on if you let them stay with you or not, you should NEVER ignore someone asking for help. Especially someone you know! People fall on hard times and cutting them out is cold hearted. Always communicate, show compassion and be clear about expectations.

  • Melissa

    “Craigslist creepy” lol