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Once a cheater....

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WWMEH13 posted 4/3/2013 20:20 PM

Should this be the end of my M, which I strongly feel it will, for more reasons than this, how do you move on in a new relationship once branded a cheater?

badchoice posted 4/3/2013 20:46 PM

Great question.

I struggle with the thought, and the words of my BW of once a cheater, or lier always one ringing in my head. Mind you, she hasn't said that in a long time, but I can still hear them like it was yesterday.

When I am at my low points I believe it, but at points of clarity, I know I am doing the hard work to prove those words wrong.

I don't have any words of wisdom for you, but I think you know you are doing the work on yourself to make yourself a person you can be proud of.

Unagie posted 4/3/2013 21:01 PM

Because its untrue. The greatest thing about being a human being is our capacity for growth and change. Once a cheater applies only if the person doing the action never does the actions necessary to change their behaviors and thought patterns. The line once a cheater is also defensive. Much easier to never have belief in someone again if you give them a label and treat them only as that one thing.

You need to start having faith that while yes cheating is something you did it is not who you are for the rest of your life. Do what you need to make you a healthy, happy person with strong boundaries. Our mistakes and bad choices mold us into better people but they do not define us for the rest of our lives, only you can do that.

BaxtersBFF posted 4/3/2013 22:09 PM

+1 for Unagie.

WishingForLethe posted 4/3/2013 22:55 PM

Read a book recently (and I am not putting this as well as the book ) that said "for the rest of my life I will value loyalty above all things as I lost everything when I breeched mine. "

In a nutshell, I paid the ultimate price for my actions. I would sooner cut off both my hands than ever walk through that valley again. I would never betray myself like that again.

hardlessons posted 4/4/2013 00:07 AM

WWMEH13, we brand ourselves way before others. If you believe in your change it shouldn't matter what others brand you.

So, why are you concerned about the next relationship when your still in this one? Oh wait...

This process can be brutal and takes time, if you do the work you will be amazed at the changes and you truly will feel strong and UN-branded by you or others. Good luck

WWMEH13 posted 4/4/2013 11:17 AM

I have always said that to friends, so I can see why I would so easily brand myself that way.

I was having this exact conversation with a friend of mine right after my dday. I had mentioned that my AP had cheated on his wife when they were in college before they were married, and she said "well, once a cheater, always a cheater" and I said yes, but now I guess I fit that category too.

I don't know if am as much worried about the next relationship while still in this one, because I am separated, and not looking to date, and we haven't made a decision one way or another to reconcile, but it is just a thing that will always be a part of me, even if it is in this relationship, he'll always see it that way.

I don't think that made any sense. lol

hardlessons posted 4/4/2013 11:28 AM

I don't know if am as much worried about the next relationship while still in this one, because I am separated, and not looking to date, and we haven't made a decision one way or another to reconcile

But you mentioned how this will look in a new relationship which while technically you are not looking to date and R is on the table etc. If I were asking that question 10-12 months ago it would have been because I needed someone, anyone to feed my jacked up coping mechanisms. It would have been me trying to support my warped need for validation. But that is me.

WWMEH13 posted 4/4/2013 11:47 AM

HL, I can see your point, but I wasn't really viewing it like that.

I going to SA anon and working on my codependency issues, but I have generally enjoyed being unattached.

I think it is just the cheater stereo type, the image of lacking a strong moral character etc.

Any yes, eventually someday, if things don't work out with BH, I would hope to have another relationship, not sure I'll ever get married again, but at some point it will come up, and I guess I just take my lumps and realize some will run for the hills, just as my BH might decide to do.

uncertainone posted 4/4/2013 11:55 AM

well, once a cheater, always a cheater

I think that like many clichés there's truth in it. For many I'd say this is true.

We've even seen this on here. How many BS's that have posted here were WS's in prior relationships? It wasn't the pain of their choices that had them seeking out this site but the pain from another's choices.

They hadn't even looked at their choices until this site and seeing how their previous behaviors were toxic and unresolved.

Face facts. People do things because they work. Soft landings are very alluring and when you don't see any down side because you don't care about the person you're dumping and are very much enjoying the person you're now pursuing, as zen master Sheen says, bi winning.

It's when that shit stops working or you feel enough pain for your choices that you start the work. Even another's pain isn't always enough impetus for many.

Some people are very shallow and their morality is quite situational. Funny thing about that..."you" can always find situations that justify "your" actions and if you don't, well just make 'em up.

Thing is if you're not cheating anymore and have done the work than the label doesn't apply anyway so kind of a moot point by then.

KBeguile posted 4/4/2013 12:23 PM

I think I've drawn a conclusion that's poignant here:

When the BS goes through the feelings of trauma, they essentially "grieve" the passing of a loved one - to whit, the WS they thought they knew. They work through all the loss and strife and pain and eventually (with luck and good support) come through on the other side, forever changed by the "death" they survived. Whether or not they choose to re-marry (i.e., R) or become single (i.e., D/S) is entirely their choice, as it would be a widow/widower's choice.

The cheater is dead.

Even if "the cheater" rears its ugly head again, it will be a different "cheater." I mean, think about it: lots of people have pointed out that, should their WSes want to cheat again, the WS has learned/developed better mechanisms for pushing As deeper, covering them up better, and lying more believably. If a WS were to cheat again, it wouldn't be the same kind of cheating. Ergo, a whole new cheater.

Conversely, if the WS really does reform and amend ways, then the "cheater" is still dead. The WS and the BS might be haunted by memories of the "cheater," as you would be any time you lost a loved one or a close friend, but they will still be gone, and the things that were done shall have been taken with them.

Either way, the "cheater" is dead. You may carry memories around, be haunted by them, and so forth. It may be enough to cause you to move on and find different partners. In any case, that person no longer lives ... you just get to creepily inherit the name and identity of the person who died.

Undefinabl3 posted 4/4/2013 12:31 PM

It is easy to think that way for sure.

Unfortunetly once you do something, it is easier to do it again then if you had never done it before.

I however refuse to let that define who I am and how I want to live my life.

Yes, I did cheat on my first husband. If I wasnt married and I was seriously dating, I would tell the person that my past has some not nice parts to it.

But I would also show them how I have worked on myself, how I have grown as a person.

I am not my past, but I carry it with me so that I dont make the same choices I once did.

WWMEH13 posted 4/4/2013 12:39 PM

Kbeguile, I like your view that the "cheater" i.e. the old me, is dead.

We all have baggage, some worse than others from every relationship we've had, and it doesn't have to define who we are forever. We are who we are today, and that is a different person from who we'll be tomorrow. Daily growth.

kannan posted 4/5/2013 06:57 AM

Once a cheater is a cheater for ever, true........

unless the cheater addresses his/her why.

uncertainone posted 4/5/2013 10:25 AM

If a WS were to cheat again, it wouldn't be the same kind of cheating. Ergo, a whole new cheater.

The same kind of cheating? Why? Because they learned how to hide better or lie better? Getting "better" at something doesn't make you a different "kind". Same fucked thought processes. Same flawed patterns. Same bullshit justification. Same horrible choice just now as a "professional".

The cheater didn't die. He/she either learned what didn't work to lead a healthy life or what didn't work to get them caught...or they just don't give a shit anymore and have moved on to new targets.

I don't want any bad choices I made to "die". With out those I wouldn't learn what I know now and it was many traits I still posses that when used in a healthy manner are very possitive.

It's our shadow selves that need to pulled into the light not killed off.

Faithful w/Love posted 4/5/2013 10:26 AM

BS here.
Cheating is a choice. Do you choose to be that type of person forever?

It's all in how you see yourself and what you want to become.

Not all cheaters stay cheaters. They see what they have done and never want to be that person or feel that way again.

I cheated once and I hated the way I felt. It was a ONS. I never will place myself in that sistuation again. In mind or heart again. I hated the feelings I felt about myself.

It is all in the way YOU choose and feel about yourself.

KBeguile posted 4/5/2013 11:53 AM


Do you always take such delight in dissecting metaphors, or is it just mine you enjoy targeting?


Williesmom posted 4/5/2013 12:20 PM

I think it's similar to alcoholism. That person will always be an alcoholic, albeit a recovering one.

How we all handle those urges is what provides the measure of a man/woman.

heartache101 posted 4/5/2013 13:37 PM

I agree with the once a cheater always a cheater.
But a recovering one...
We can't change our past only hopefully learn from it and grow. Be a better person. It use to get on my last nerve that phrase. Once a cheater always a cheater. Well we all have made bad choices and hopefully we haven't let those bad choices define who we are.
I think it is what you do after you make a bad choice!
That is who you are we are none perfect people.
I sure wouldn't want to live with someone that thought I was perfect I know I am not!

Uncertainone you always make me smile

uncertainone posted 4/5/2013 14:15 PM

Do you always take such delight in dissecting metaphors, or is it just mine you enjoy targeting

K, honestly I respond mostly to posts. I'm sorry if I've been hyperfocused on yours. It wasn't intentional

Believe me many of my posts, if readers haven't tl:dr'd them, require bread crumbs. I'll have someone come in "UO, what the fuck are you talking about and what does a guy and that thing with the horse have to do with anything."

Heartache, I'm glad...I think... Better than the alternative, right?

Happy Friday y'all.

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