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Do You Believe the Saying "Once a Cheater Always a Cheater?

Updated on March 15, 2017

Once a Cheater Always a Cheater?

Is the saying, "Once a cheater, always a cheater?" really true? It really depends on why the cheating occurred. Some types of cheating are much easier to resolve than others. Cheaters excuse themselves by saying that they do not get what they need at home or in their relationships, or that they only find what they want in other people. Although in monogamous relationships commitment means no playing around, sometimes the inevitable happens — cheating.

There are two types of cheaters. Some people cheat once, feel absolutely awful and remorseful about it and would never consider it again once they realize the mental anguish wasn’t worth few minutes of pleasure. The second type is “the serial cheaters.” Infidelity can occur at any time in a relationship, with problems in the relationship being the main reason people cheat. However, it’s not always a sign that something is wrong in a relationship. Cheating is a decision that can have an extremely negative impact on the lives of many.

What Makes Someone Cheat?

Regardless of the unique circumstances, there is always a reason why a person cheats, and it always has to do with a primary feeling. Cheating is done by both good people and people who will always hurt others. Again, cheating always comes from a place of unhappiness within the relationship, whether that unhappiness stems from within the relationship, or within oneself.

This unhappiness isn’t picky and can manifest in both good and ill-intentioned people without them realizing how bad it has become till they’ve cheated. The main causes of cheating include anger and resentment. In a relationships with a history of stored up resentment and hostilities which lie dormant and underground, the purpose of the affair coalesces into a grand finale in the form of a pay-back affair where the intent is to injure and hurt the self-esteem of the betrayed partner.

People begin relationships with the best of intentions, but it’s often not until deep into the relationship that people realize they have major emotional needs which are not getting met. For many women it may be emotional neglect. For many men it may be sexual neglect. With that need is not being addressed they become vulnerable and it becomes very easy for someone else to come along and steal his/her heart. This is not validation or an excuse, but this is an explanation.

There are unfaithful partners who are not willing to take responsibility for their dissatisfaction in the marriage by doing something proactive about it. Instead, they live on a precarious edge where they feel both emboldened and justified to engage in the affair ‘in hopes' that the infidelity will be found out and usher in the separation or divorce they want to happen. Some have no time for their spouse. The problem is that they live in a state of perpetual disconnect. They become individuals living under the same roof, not passionate lovers, and the thought of existing this way the rest of their lives especially if they're over 40 scares the hell out of the one who feel abandoned, making him/her a prime candidate for an affair.

Causes of Cheating Have to Be Discussed

Once they cheat on you, they’ll cheat on you again, if what caused the cheating in the first place is not addressed. The best choice is to address the issue or to accept that maybe the relationship needs to end. When it comes to infidelity, what factors can cause your spouse to cheat?

Cheating is caused by a host of factors. It’s important to identify the underlying cause. Was it due to problems in your relationship, the need for excitement and novelty, a moment of weakness? In other words, the cheater ought to know with specificity what motivated him to step out of his relationship and into the metaphoric bed of someone else.

Why a person cheats, after all, may tell you something about whether he or she will cheat again. In some situations the cheater doesn’t actually want the relationship to end but they are looking to fill a void. In the minds of some it is just passing phase but many get caught up and the cheating just continues.

After you identify why the cheating occurred, couples need to make changes so that it doesn’t happen again. If your partner cheats because of problems in your relationship, then it helps to work on strengthening your relationship. Some people cheat once, learn their lesson and never cheat again. Others will continue to cheat long into their old age.

How Did You Contribute to Being Cheated On?

It’s also important to understand why the cheater cheated. A partner should look at how they may have contributed to being cheated. Also I know many don’t want to hear this but when you are the one that has been cheated on just be mindful that you might have contributed one way or the other.

Did you ignore the fact that you knew this person wasn’t best for you? Did you ask yourself this question: What’s their cheating history? Did you ignore the fact that you neglected them emotionally or sexually? To only focus on their offense will likely encourage the negative cycle to continue. It does not excuse the cheater in any way but we should all be mindful of our own actions.

Some people always find themselves being cheated on and one of those reasons is because they refuse to evaluate themselves when these situations occur. The choice is still on the cheater but there are lessons to be learned for both parties involved.

A wife cheated. Why did she cheat? It turned out that her marriage was a deeply unhappy one, and she was emotionally and physically abused. Her husband would emotionally abandon her, choke her, call her names and lied to her. Was she right to cheat? No. But can you blame her for wanting something better with someone else, and feeling like she mattered when another man was able to shower her with affection? No.

Try to Analyze Reasons for Cheating

All behavior is purposeful and people don't do anything without a reason for doing it. Your task is to ask the right questions about the situation to arrive at your own truth about keeping yourself safe in a relationship with someone who has betrayed you. If someone feels remorseful for cheating, can figure out the exact cause of that unhappiness and grow from that, they will not cheat again.

However, if someone has no remorse, cannot or does not want to figure out the exact cause of dissatisfaction in the relationship, and is unwilling to do the uncomfortable work to truly question why they are so, they will cheat again. Change is possible, but difficult. It requires a lot of insight and effort. Without a strong commitment to change, people often make the same mistake again. I just want people to understand that not all cheating is the same.

So How Do You Know Whether a Former Cheater Is Trustworthy?

Talk to your partner about the infidelity and see how he or she reacts. If your partner brushes it off and acts like you have no right to be concerned about it, you may have reason to worry. That’s a sign that your partner doesn’t really value faithfulness. But if your partner comes clean about what happened, acknowledges that it was a terrible mistake, and seems genuinely remorseful, and then you know that he or she takes cheating as seriously as you do. Then you have good reason to trust again.

A true serial cheater will often see nothing wrong with being unfaithful. The problem with giving second chances to this type of person: Once you forgive bad behavior, you effectively condone it.

Once a Cheater, Always a Cheater

Some people believe that a leopard does not change its spot, which literally means that once a cheater, always a cheater. Yes there are plenty of serial cheaters –individuals who never take any relationship serious. They simply want somebody at their convenience and will always look to add more partners that are willing to provide the benefits they desire.

In many cases, a woman sniffs out the unrepentant cheater but she will ignore the instinct. She will neglect her intuition and still act surprised when the truth is revealed. A man on the other hand doesn’t detect a serial cheater easily. Yet some will see the signs or may even have their friends screaming the truth in their ear, but the man chooses to ignore it. With the serial cheater there is nothing anyone can do about their willingness to cheat.

A Cheater Isn't Always a Cheater

Cheaters who experienced a serious consequence can learn from their mistakes. If a cheater cheats but ultimately gets away with it without any long-term consequence, why wouldn’t he cheat again? If they’ve cheated on every person they’ve ever been out with and been forgiven for doing so, why should they stop?

For the vast majority of men and women, sexual monogamy is the expectation and highest priority. When someone is unfaithful, the cheater will usually only change if their partner either breaks up with them or takes at least a month-long break from the relationship, thereby creating some very regretful results. Following a breakup or relationship hiatus, the cheater is forced to sit with all of his feelings: guilt, self-admonishment, embarrassment, and sadness.

It is precisely the experience of having to sit with those feelings – as opposed to going back to normal – that forces the cheater to take a hard, honest look at his behavior and to realize its cost. From there some realize the mistake and don’t try to cross it again.

If you want to change any behavior, you must first determine why that behavior occurred. If a cheater is not forced to deal with his cheating, he will never deal with the underlying reasons that made him cheat in the first place. Some people cheat, and feel a lot of remorse.

Until someone finds true love, he might not be able to quit cheating. When he/she does, he/she will stop being a liar and cheater. Cheating is not fun; it’s an anxiety inducing and stupid activity. When he/she is truly in love he’ll just have no desire to be with anyone else.

A mature person doesn’t cheat. Often people cheat when they are younger and immature, either not understanding how devastating that feels to be the betrayed person, or not having yet experienced a relationship that makes them see how hurtful and irreversible those terrible feelings can be.

As they grow older, a lot of those people find the risk outweighs the benefits, particularly if they are caught and come to see that there are more important things in life than their selfish desires in a given moment, and learn to make better choices. Many, if not most involved in affairs also find out that their outside lover is also just a person with shortcomings and limitations like their spouse, which really takes the bloom off the rose.

Conclusion

If you’ve been cheated on once, it’s very hard to regain the depth of trust you once had and stop suspecting, no matter how sincerely repentant the cheater is. But that doesn’t mean that cheaters can’t change their ways. There are countless stories of people who have completely and genuinely changed their life. The serial cheater can mature and eventually cherish your relationship.

The casual cheater can accept a mistake was made and if the issue is properly address never cross that line again. So a cheater isn’t always a cheater. So, "Once a cheater always a cheater" is usually a defense mechanism used by those who have been cheated and it too has a purpose: To protect the person betrayed from getting hurt by never trusting anyone again. Don't adopt that conclusion, instead, get smart by understanding what drives someone to betray and work on your relationship.

Have you ever promised not to cheat and stay true to it?

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    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 3 months ago

      ""Once a cheater always a cheater" is usually a defense mechanism used by those who have been cheated and it too has a purpose:" - Very true!

      Truth be told if it is possible to be a (former) drug user, alcohol drinker, or smoker then it's a little crazy to believe that some 15 year old who cheated on his/her mate is (forever doomed) to be cheater!

      Both cheating and monogamy are choices individuals make.

      The goal of most cheaters is to hold onto all that is "good" in their primary relationship while addressing their other "need" on the side.

      Most cheaters have no desire to (replace) one relationship with another.

      They're looking to "compliment" what they already have.

      It's important to review the circumstances before making a decision.

      Personally I believe there are 3 basic types of cheaters

      1. The Incessant Cheater

      This person has never been faithful in any long-term relationship. Monogamy for them is like going on a very strict diet. It's not a matter of (if) they will cheat but rather (when). They get bored easily and are always looking for the thrill that comes with being with someone (new).

      Their motto: Variety is the spice of life!

      2. The Unbelievable Opportunity Cheater

      This person was not proactively looking to cheat. They may have had a "crush" on someone or felt someone was extremely attractive and one day that person hits on them or flirts in such a way to let them know they could turn a fantasy into reality. Essentially they cave in to temptation.

      Sometimes this type of cheater will confess weeks, months, or years later to stop carrying around guilt.

      3. The Discontented Cheater

      This person blames you!

      If you hadn't started or stopped doing whatever they never would have stepped outside of the relationship. Ultimately their gripe was you stopped making them (feel) "special".

      Since breakups and divorce are always an option it's clear that in the cheater's mind whatever they're unhappy with doesn't rise to the level of them ending the relationship, filing for divorce, moving out or lowering their living standards, possibly paying child support/alimony, becoming a weekend dad/mom... and dividing up assets, family & friends who choose sides.

      Since most cheaters don't expect to get caught cheating seems like a great option for them to get everything they want without making sacrifices.

    • Chuksm profile image
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      Anthony Modungwo 3 months ago from Benin

      dashscorpio, this is another fine contribution I have no reason not to agree with. Cheater obviously are in different categories; some remediable some not.

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