Cheating isn’t cool. It’s kind of the opposite. Studies show, however, that almost 20% of men have admitted to cheating at least once. Here’s what to do if you’re caught cheating and no, it’s not going to be fun.

The very first thing you need to do when you’ve been caught cheating is to take responsibility. If you’ve cheated, and your partner has found out, don’t go trying to get them to believe you didn’t cheat. That’s lying and it’s wrong. Your partner deserves honesty from you. You deserve to be honest.

Do you feel remorseful?

A really important thing to do now is to figure out how you feel about the whole thing. Yes, we all know cheating is wrong. But do you actually feel bad about it? Because that changes what happens next.

Do you feel sorry for cheating or sorry for getting caught? There’s a huge difference between the two. If it’s the latter, then you need to split up with your partner. Clearly, something is wrong enough in your relationship with them that you cheated on them, and continues to be wrong enough that you don’t feel sorry for it. With those feelings, nothing long term can work out.

So really question yourself. Do you feel sorry for cheating on your partner? Can you understand why you were driven to making those decisions and do you have it in you to really ty and fix things? If they can be fixed.

No excuses

Do not try and make excuses. There were probably reasons why you were drawn to infidelity. Maybe you’ve felt neglected. Perhaps you’re not emotionally or physically satisfied by your partner. It doesn’t really matter what the reason is because your partner won’t see it that way.

If you want to make things work for you and your partner you can’t think in terms of excuses. It is important to talk about the situation. Explaining to your partner why you’re unhappy is a good thing. It might help you and them understand any problems your relationship has.

The hard part is being able to explain yourself without it sounding like you’re making excuses. Taking responsibility for your actions goes a long way.

“I have no excuses.” and “I’m sorry” will probably be said a lot. You might spend a lot of time begging for forgiveness. You might even go see a couple’s therapist. But understanding why you cheated and figuring out how you and your partner can build a stronger relationship in the future is important.

Put yourself in their shoes

You might feel like the biggest idiot in the world. You’re eternally sorry. In your head, you’re willing to do anything to make it up to your partner.

But the fact is, you’ve broken their trust and that’s not something you can get back so easily. Put yourself in their shoes. If it had happened the other way, how would you feel? Would you be able to understand or forgive them?

Remember that people can tell when someone isn’t being sincere. If you listen to yourself from an outsider’s perspective, do you sound like you’re sorry? Does it look like you’re making a real, long-term effort? Or does it look like lip-service?

Things will never be the same

Don’t expect things to be the same as they were before. There will be huge trust issues between you and your partner.Furthermore, you might feel a shift in the power dynamic in your relationship.

Moving forward means things need to change. This might be you seeking personal help, or both you and your partner seeking help together. Just because things can’t go back to how they were before, doesn’t mean they won’t be good ever again.

It will take a lot of work and it’ll be emotional. You’ll have to do more to prove yourself to your partner. Understanding if that’s what you want and that you’re willing to fight for it is the first step.