Forgiving Infidelity: Persuasion Tactics for Getting a Second Chance

Menelaos Apostolou, Nikolaos Pediaditakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Infidelity does not always go undetected, and the current research aimed to study the tactics that culprits use to persuade their partners to forgive them. More specifically, by using a combination of qualitative research methods, we identified 41 acts of persuasion. Using quantitative research methods in a sample of 657 Greek-speaking participants, we classified these acts in six different persuasion tactics. Culprits would attempt to persuade their partners that their infidelity would not happen again, their relationship was important, it was their partners’ behavior that led them to be unfaithful, their relationship needs to be repaired, and their extrapair relationships were not important. They would also ask their children, and their partners’ family and friends to help them elicit their partners’ forgiveness. We also found that men and women, and people belonging to different age groups, differed in the tactics they were willing to use. Moreover, based on a sample of 416 Greek-speaking participants, we found that these tactics were to some degree effective, with more than 40% of the participants indicating that at least one tactic would motivate them to forgive their partners. Furthermore, we found significant sex, age, and personality effects for several tactics.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEvolutionary Behavioral Sciences
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Infidelity
  • Persuasion
  • Persuasion effectiveness
  • Persuasion tactics
  • Psychological manipulation


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