Have you ever wondered if the phrase, "Once a cheater, always a cheater" is true? Do you want to be with someone who has cheated in the past-on you or in a previous relationship? The phrase could be true, but it isn't necessarily always accurate.
Once a Cheater, Always a Cheater: Correct
Some people are habitual cheaters, players, or sex addicts and they will cheat over and over again, no matter what. Watch how your significant other treats you after a confession. Does your partner seem truly sorry? Are you being treated with respect and love? If your partner is defensive or acts like it's no big deal that he cheated, even if he is talking about how he cheated in a previous relationship and he hasn't cheated on you, take it as a warning. He will probably do it again. If you still can't bring yourself to end the relationship because you want to give the benefit of the doubt, watch out for behaviors that may suggest that he is cheating again. According to Psychology Today, you can watch for behaviors like working late, mysterious charges on the credit card bill, emotional distance, or activities and trips that don't include you.
There are some biological reasons people cheat, plus there are also personality traits (like thrill seeking or risk taking behavior) that could contribute to cheating. A recent scientific discovery uncovered a supposed "cheating gene" or variant of a gene that would lead men to cheat (there is no mention of a similar gene variant for women). While other factors go into whether or not a person will cheat, men with this particular allele may be more likely to cheat time and time again.
When It May Not Be True
Sometimes people have a single cheating experience for which they feel genuine remorse and then it never happens again. While the fact that they cheated is still there, if the remorse is there as well, there is hope for your relationship to continue. Your partner may never cheat again, but you will both have to work to overcome the affair, rebuild trust, and strengthen your relationship. Along with the remorse, your significant other should be willing to cut off contact with the lover, talk openly with you about what went wrong in the relationship that led to the affair, and possibly even attend counseling. You can come out stronger as a couple after an affair as long as you're willing to talk openly about it-and as long as your partner is truly sorry.
Sometimes the husbands or wives who seem the most loyal will stray. In some cases, it's because of boredom or because the couple spends too much time apart, not because "once a cheater, always a cheater." There are a few things you can do in an attempt to protect your relationship from affairs:
- Spend quality time together. This one seems obvious, but with work and social obligations, sometimes it's easy to schedule yourself too thin. Scheduling too many activities without your spouse can offer too many opportunities for flirtations and cheating.
- Keep the lines of communication open. Don't overlook problems, hoping that they'll go away if you ignore them.
- Be intimate! This sounds like another obvious one, but sometimes schedules or emotions get in the way.
Can you completely cheat-proof your relationship? It will be hard to remain 100 percent sure, but you can make attempts to keep it safe. Whether your significant other is a repeat cheater will take some investigation. If your spouse does seem truly remorseful and willing to talk his/her way to a resolution with you (and maybe a therapist), it may be worth a second chance. However, watch for the red flags and bring your concerns to light if you suspect he/she may be at it again. There is no set answer to whether "once a cheater, always a cheater" because sometimes it is accurate while other cheaters have changed their ways.