Cheaters come up with all sorts of excuses to justify their actions of being unfaithful.
But, if your partner cheated in the past, is he or she more inclined to cheat again?
There is some truth to the saying “once a cheater, always a cheater” if the cheating is part of the person’s value system, says sex therapist and author Dr. Sari Locker.
“Some people believe they are entitled to cheat. If committing to a serious relationship or marriage still does not change that belief, then the person’s value system will lead him or her to be unfaithful again.”
When a relationship gets rocky, cheating can also be a default mechanism for some, like drinking or shopping.
Knowing what led to past cheating can minimize the insecurities that cheating often brings. In addition, if the “why” behind the cheating hasn’t been resolved in a conscious and subconscious way, it can cause cheaters to stray again, especially if they feel their partners aren’t meeting their needs, says dating coach Marni Battista.
“Infidelity of any kind typically happens because there is an unmet need inside the relationship, so that need gets ‘outsourced’ somewhere else,” says couples counselor Jeremi McManus.
If a cheater is regretful and is actively looking at the root cause of the infidelity, a couple can have a strong relationship, says Battista.
“However, if he cheated and his actions do not match, like if he continues to stay on Facebook or communicate with someone else, he’s not honoring his commitment to the relationship.”
Communicating about each other needs and feelings, minimizes the chances of infidelity.
Says McManus: Couples who work through and acknowledge the cheating often find that there is more trust and intimacy in the relationship. If it isn’t addressed, it is likely to linger and create distance.