Cheating is one of the most devastating acts in a relationship. When a partner cheats the other is left with scars that last a lifetime. Though the scars may not appear right away, no one walks away from a cheater without a few.
It Can Happen to Anyone
When you are young, infidelity can cut deep. The innocence of the first experience of love can make cheating feel horrendous. If you have ever been cheater on then you may wonder whether it is the person’s personality or something deeply wrong with the relationship that caused the problem. You may even wonder if the old saying “once a cheater always a cheater’ rings true or if a one-time cheater can be given a chance with someone new. The truth is, there are no easy answers to these concerns.
When someone you love and fully trust cheats, it hurts in ways that you never expected. In fact, it can change how you interact with others on a very deep level. Cheating effects self-respect and self-worth, challenges the ability to trust and even love again. People who were once cheated on may avoid relationships altogether, become serial daters, or simply fail to connect due to lack of trust.
Some may go the opposite direction and cling tighter to the cheater because they are afraid they will never do any better. This is damaging to the one that chooses to stay, but they may hope the person will wise up and change. Unfortunately, change rarely comes.
Those who cheat tend to try to make their infidelity someone else’s issue. They may blame the current relationship not living up to expectations, blame circumstances for causing an affair, or even place blame on the person they cheated with at the time.
Even though most cheaters do have some bad feelings about their actions, they will still try to justify them. No matter what is said, the cheating happened because they chose to do so. There are no good reasons that can be created. A cheater cheats because of something internal, not the relationship they cheater on. This is true regardless of the levels of unhappiness. They are always to blame. If the current relationship is not happy, they should leave, not cheat. Cheating is selfish and cruel.
Is Change Possible?
All people, including cheaters, have the ability to change, but it comes down to whether or not they really want change. Ask about the reasoning behind past cheating to help determine if they want to change.
For those that cheat for the excitement of something new, therapy will be necessary. If cheating is a coping mechanism, therapy is the only way to address the situation. Without it, it is likely to happen again.
Some cheaters cheat out of immaturity and can outgrow these poor decisions. As these individuals mature, they can basically outgrow cheating and become healthy partners.
For those who cheat simply because the opportunity arises, even though second chances have been given, the cheating is unlikely to ever stop. This is part of their current relationship dynamic and build and will be a struggle to change. If you still want a relationship with this person, seek both individual and couples counseling.
Just because a cheater cheats it does not mean they will cheat on the next person. However, the cheater must desire the change. If they are not remorseful and seeking solutions to the problem of cheating, it is likely to happen again.
Regardless of the reasons a former cheater gives for past infidelities, the reality is that person is comfortable lying to an intimate partner. This should be considered when you enter a relationship. Lust should not make you overlook a flaw that could be painful in the near future.
Those cheaters who do wish to change will need soul searching. They must take personal responsibility for what has happened and admit it was wrong. There should be no rationalizing of the cheating behaviors. If this does not happen, infidelity will likely reoccur.