The saying “Once a cheater, always a cheater” is familiar to most of us. Most people believe it to be correct, but this age-old saying is not always accurate.
Is It True or Not That Once a Cheater Always a Cheater?
Not every cheater will cheat again in the future. Some will finally come to terms with their behavior and commit themselves to faithfulness for the rest of their life. But the statistic for change is low compared to the huge number of habitual cheaters who never change.
Relationship counselors have witnessed a significant number of cheating partners remain faithful to their partners after experiencing infidelity. On the other hand, the contrary is true an equal amount of the time.
Some studies have found that someone who has cheated in the past has a threefold increased risk of cheating in their next romantic partnership.
Do they appreciate the result of cheating, or do they regard it as a method to get out of a situation?
Serial cheaters are people who have a long history of cheating and don’t successfully manage to make the necessary changes to avoid cheating in the future.
Once a cheater, always a cheater seems to be a theory that has some basis in reality, regardless of the reasons why cheaters cheat again after being caught. However, this is not the case for all people.
Not all cheaters engage in dishonest behavior again. Some of them are wracked with feelings of guilt, while others cheated because they felt it was necessary for certain circumstances.
Some people break up with their partners to be with the person with whom they cheated.
There is no denying that cheating is hurtful and carries a feeling of betrayal; nevertheless, because so many people engage in cheating, some couples dispute the legitimacy of expectations within a relationship.
The number of people who reform and change for the better is quite low. According to the statistics, it is more likely for a person to cheat again when they have been caught cheating in the past.
Experts advise us that if a person has cheated in the past, they are more likely to cheat in the future, even though this does not apply to every individual who cheats.
According to the research conducted by experts, there is a rational explanation for this. When we cheat and lie, our brains start to accept those behaviors as viable options after we’ve practiced them a few times.
The more falsehoods that are said, the more lying appears to them to be acceptable behavior. The same may be said about dishonesty (and lying to cover it up).
Some experts believe that once lying to and betraying people you care about becomes a regular part of a person’s life and relationship, it may be very difficult to realize that it is wrong to continue doing so.
Even if this may not provide unquestionable evidence that the adage “once a cheater, always a cheater” is correct, it does indicate that being vigilant and keeping an eye out for warning signs is still a good idea.
People that cheat regularly are frequently narcissists or individuals who find that dishonesty excites them.
Cheating is never going to seem like that big a concern to people with these difficulties, regardless of how much emotional damage they do to their relationships, and as a result, they are not going to quit their conduct any time soon.
Even though many of us would believe our exes to be narcissistic, narcissism is a personality disorder that can be diagnosed, and it is not particularly prevalent in the broad scheme of things…
On the other hand, serial cheaters often struggle with attachment difficulties, which drives them to look for loopholes in the laws that govern their relationships.
Attachment problems are generally suffered from by people because of traumatic experiences they had as children. They may try to form secure connections, but subsequently “rebel” against those ties in the same way that a teenager may rebel against their parents.
In this situation, disobedience might take the form of cheating on a significant other.
However, although attachment problems might be the reason why a spouse has strayed in the past, this is not the case in most relationships.
Most individuals who cheat, are not automatically repeat cheaters. This means that they are capable of reforming through a good deal of effort and self-reflection.
There are a lot of different things that can lead someone to cheat in a relationship, including the circumstances of the relationship itself. External factors include stress, a temporary (or permanent) disbelief in monogamy, personal self-esteem issues, and other similar issues.
A couple can overcome the difficulties of infidelity by working through their prior relationships, and also through their current relationship.
As you move on in your life, there are a few things you should think about if you are dealing with someone who has cheated in the past, or if you have a spouse who has cheated on you at any point throughout the course of your relationship.
What Causes Someone to Cheat on Their Partners?
There is always a reason why a person cheats, and it usually has to do with a core feeling. This is true regardless of the specific circumstances surrounding infidelity.
Both persons with noble intentions and those who will always hurt others are capable of cheating – and reforming if they try hard enough.
Again, adultery comes from a point of dissatisfaction inside the relationship, regardless of whether that unhappiness originates from the partnership itself or the individual cheating.
This dissatisfaction does not discriminate and can present itself in persons with good intentions as well as people with bad intentions without those people recognizing how awful it has grown until after they have cheated.
Anger and bitterness are often the primary motivating factors for cheating.
An affair in a relationship with a history of pent-up resentment and hostility that lies dormant, and underground, can coalesce into a grand finale in the form of a pay-back affair.
The intention is to injure and hurt the self-esteem of the partner who was betrayed. This type of affair is known as a “payback affair.”
People get into romantic partnerships with the greatest of intentions, but it’s not until they’ve invested a significant amount of time and energy into the partnership that they discover they have significant emotional needs that aren’t being addressed.
Emotional neglect may be an issue for many women. Sexual neglect may be an issue for many males.
When a person’s needs aren’t met, they become vulnerable, and it’s much simpler for another person to win over their affections and win their loyalty. This is not either a justification or an excuse; rather, it is an explanation.
There are spouses in adulterous relationships who are unwilling to accept responsibility for their discontent in the marriage by taking active steps to address the issue.
These partners are unfaithful. They feel both empowered and justified to engage in the affair “in hopes” that the infidelity would be found out and usher in the separation or divorce that they want to occur.
In other words, they are living on the edge of a precipice.
Some people are too busy to devote any attention to their partner. The issue is that they maintain a condition of constant disconnection from one another.
They stop being passionate lovers and become roommates instead.
The prospect of living this way for the rest of their lives, especially if they are over the age of 40, is terrifying to the person who feels abandoned, which makes them a great candidate for having an affair.
Different Degrees of Cheating in a Relationship
When trying to get over infidelity in a relationship, it is essential to keep in mind that there are many different types of adultery to choosing from.
Most emphasis is placed on physical and sexual infidelity, as this is the type of cheating most people envision when they hear the word “cheat.”
However, it is essential to acknowledge the existence of emotional infidelity and the fact that it can often be just as detrimental to a relationship as sexual adultery may be.
Emotional infidelity happens when one spouse devotes a greater part of their emotional resources to a third party (often a close friend) outside of the partnership than they do to their current romantic partner.
This can easily lead to sexual adultery; nevertheless, even if it does not progress to sexual infidelity, it still undermines trust in a relationship in a manner that is comparable to that of physically cheating on someone.
People often report that rebounding from emotional infidelity is more challenging than recovering from physical infidelity. This is likely because the link between the two is deeper and has been maintained for a longer period.
When trying to mend a broken relationship, it is important to take into account not only the severity of the affair but also its duration and how frequently it occurred.
This is true regardless of whether the affair was emotional or physical in nature.
A single act of adultery is far different from cheating on a partner over the course of several months or even years. It is far simpler to get over a single instance of cheating on one’s partner than it is to deal with months or years of lying and cheating on one’s partner.
Again, every relationship is different, and while some partnerships can heal from chronic cheating, others are not. There is no universal rule about whether or not cheating can ever be forgiven.
How Can One Determine If a Person Who Has Cheated in the Past Is Reliable?
Have a conversation with your spouse about the cheating and see how they respond to the news. If your spouse laughs it off and acts as if you do not need to be concerned about it, then you could have good reason to be concerned about the situation.
This is a sign that your spouse does not place a high priority on being faithful.
If, however, your spouse is honest about what occurred, admits that it was a grave error, and shows real regret for having committed the infidelity then you will know that they place the same level of importance on the sanctity of your relationship as you do.
Then you have a sound basis upon which to reestablish your trust.
A real serial cheater would frequently believe that there is nothing wrong with cheating on their partner repeatedly. The danger in giving people like this a second opportunity is that you run the risk of tacitly accepting their unacceptable conduct after you have forgiven them.
Final Thoughts on Once a Cheater Always a Cheater? True or Not?
Although it will be difficult to be sure, you may try to safeguard that everything is secure. It will take some digging to figure out whether or not the person you’re seeing has cheated on previous partners.
However, ask yourself if being forever on the lookout for warning signs is worth your while. Are you content to go forward always wondering if your partner is showing signs of returning to their devious ways?
If your partner appears contrite and is prepared to work with you (and maybe a therapist) to resolve the issues, it may be worth giving the relationship another shot.