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Once a cheater always a cheater?

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nofool4u posted 5/9/2013 17:09 PM

This thread isn't to debate whether the saying is true or not. Just how I view the statement.

I hold this statement to be true. Not saying that there are not people out there that have cheated and never did so again. I'm quite aware that is accurate.

But I hold this view for myself for the very reason of playing it safe rather than sorry.

As long as I hold this view I can hopefully avoid problems, while not guaranteeing that I don't. What I mean is if I know someone has cheated in the past, or cheated on me, I will prefer not to be with them. I'm sure they can hold true to never cheating again, I just am not going to take the chance.

Its like jumping into a lion's pit. There is a chance the lion just got fed and I may not get eaten, but I'm still not going to jump in there with it.

So technically I don't believe the saying is true. But even to many of those that say they will never cheat again, I don't believe the desire isn't completely gone, or that they don't look back on the fun times they had with an affair partner with great fondness.

So I'm sure alot of you have made your amends and are honestly declaring you'll never cheat again. I believe you!

Just for me I wouldn't take a chance on someone I know has before.


Neithan posted 5/9/2013 17:17 PM


Behavioral therapists agree: The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.

So if you want to reduce your risk of being cheated on, one thing you can do is avoid relationships with people who have cheated.

You may still get run over by the betrayal bus, of course. A cheater who got burned badly for it in the past may thus have the impetus to make real, meaningful changes to reduce further risk. While someone who was never subjected to any real temptation before might cheat just because "the feelings were so intense that it had to represent everlasting truth!"

All life is 5 to 4 against, so keep in mind that the deck is stacked.

LoveActually posted 5/9/2013 17:39 PM

That's why reconciling with the cheater is a choice--a VERY personal choice if you want to stay with someone that cheated on you and no to mention it's friggin hard work--not everyone can or wants to do it. In my case our history and love for each was the deciding factor. The affair was a very small part of a really amazing full life together. Do I think once a cheater always a cheater--for some people yes, for some people no. For me his cheating wasn't a deal breaker--for others it is a deal breaker for their marriage. Marriage is hard work with cheating or without. There are tons of other martial issues that can break a marriage--so there are no guarantees that a spouse won't hurt you in some other way. I don't believe there is anyway to 100% safeguard me or anyone else from the potential pitfalls/pain of a relationship. I guess the only way to be 100% certain would be to remain totally alone---then no one could hurt or betray me ever--but that sounds way worse and even more painful than healing from infidelity in my opinion.

AFrayedKnot posted 5/9/2013 18:18 PM

Statistics have floated around here every so often. I don't remember exact numbers but it went something like this:
60% of people cheat
15% of remorseful WS reoffend

So if I have a remorseful spouse and I stay my chances of being cheated on again are significantly lower than being cheated on by some one new.

If some one has the statistics again I would love to see them.

cosmicjoke posted 5/9/2013 18:37 PM

This is often true but it has to be weighed out with the other truth- that people can change if they really want to. Sometimes the cheating/lying crap is some old twisted coping mechanism that eventually implodes and the person sees that it doesn't work anymore.. it isn't worth it, they don't want to be that way anymore. Sometimes this actually happens.. it's what we all hope for anyway.

whensenough posted 5/9/2013 19:00 PM

The only way to surely avoid the risk is to not be in a relationship...

I think its just as risky with someone new.

If someone new you meet has cheated in the past how do you even know because cheaters are likely liars.

I cant say that i feel more comfortable with someone new who supposedly has never cheated then with someone who i know has.

Love and relationships are always a risk imo.

mj052 posted 5/9/2013 19:31 PM

In my situation- I believe it's true! My wayward loved the fun and excitement that he got from his ap! And he was treated like a sex God and the most important person on the planet! Sorry- I was home caring for our kids while he acted like a teenager having his secret rendezvous! It makes me want to

And who doesn't get tired of hearing "love you baby'" from his ap! Personally- I think for some it's simply an addiction! My husband has progressed to lorn and dating sites. I'm sure it'll only be a matter of time! Meanwhile getting my ducks in a row!!!!!!!

gonnabe2016 posted 5/9/2013 22:24 PM

As a general statement, I don't believe it to be true. It's too simplistic.

ButterflyGirl posted 5/9/2013 23:06 PM

Just for me I wouldn't take a chance on someone I know has before.

I think this is for me too..

If I'm a manager of a store, and an applicant has a past history of stealing from their places or work, chances are I don't hire that person and choose one who doesn't have that in their past, no matter how sorry they are for what they did..

Of course my new partner could lie about their past and have cheated before, but that would be lying, and I'm hoping I will be able to pick up on that character flaw before I let things get too serious with someone again.. I think just surviving this whole experience has helped my bullshit radar become much more fine-tuned..

stillhere09 posted 5/10/2013 06:10 AM

I think that if a cheater is or was a serial cheater, it's just too much of a risk. There's a big difference between someone who made a terrible choice to have an A and then truly regretted it and someone who has a cavalier attitude about their cheating.

nofool4u posted 5/10/2013 15:52 PM

Like I said, I don't fully believe or buy into the phrase, I just think its rare that they change. Rare, but not impossible.

Regardless, knowing that its not true for all people that have cheated, its simply a good guideline for me.

[This message edited by nofool4u at 3:53 PM, May 10th (Friday)]

StrongerOne posted 5/10/2013 18:22 PM

Once a non-cheater, always a non-cheater?

I put it this way because I've thought a lot about what I could have done to have not married a man who cheated on me. I picked him because I was sure he would always treat me well. And for a really long time that was true. And then it wasn't.

Which is to say, keeping your distance from known cheaters might protect you from being cheated on again. But it's no guarantee.

metamorphisis posted 5/10/2013 18:51 PM

Ok but to throw a wrench in the works.. before ANY WS cheated for the first time, they were a non-cheater. So really it proves just about nothing.

authenticnow posted 5/10/2013 19:33 PM

I just think its rare that they change. Rare, but not impossible.
Well, we've got a whole bunch of rare and wonderful gems over in the wayward forum. Myself included.

Hopefulguy posted 5/10/2013 19:46 PM

For every example there is another counter example. I am still very new to this and maybe my bullshit meter just sucks time and only time will tell for me but I do think there is a certain negative view of the possibility here. This was phrased terribly and from some of the stories of people's experiences I've read they gave far more leeway and time for mistakes than I could tolerate. Someone in another thread also stated rather correctly that being new here isn't like drinking knowledge from a water fountain, but more like putting your mouth over a firehouse. So forgive me if I offend anyone by saying that a lot of the negativity is focused on individuals who I am sure have earned it and far more to boot.

But I imagine the simple fact that this site features a large and robust reconciliation forum, and the top pinned post is success stories, that it can happen.

There is also great lines about it taking a traumatic even to make core character changes in people. Well I think maybe coming home to see all the damage you have caused is traumatic for the WS as well. Sounds like a fertile field to plant the seeds of change. Doesn't mean everyone who can will, or everyone who seem to does.

thenon-goddess posted 5/10/2013 20:02 PM

The only problem with that is, most cheaters are also liars, so there's a good chance you'll never even know if the person you're with is a cheater.

But yeah, I'd never choose to knowingly enter in to a relationship with a past cheater. I'm all set with that, TYVM!

nofool4u posted 5/12/2013 09:31 AM

Which is to say, keeping your distance from known cheaters might protect you from being cheated on again. But it's no guarantee.

I completely understand this. But I'd say the chances are better NOT being cheated on if you find someone that hasn't and has conviction. Like you said, its no guarantee, but the chances are simply better.

StillGoing posted 5/12/2013 09:56 AM

Like I said, I don't fully believe or buy into the phrase, I just think its rare that they change. Rare, but not impossible.

It's less rare than people who quit smoking cold turkey IMO.

This kind of thing is pretty insulting, though you may not intend for it to be. I hear the phrase "we're just arguing semantics" often but semantics is a fundamental component to communication, and if people are unable to properly communicate then disagreements based on misunderstanding arise.

Like calling R a "unicorn" - a unicorn is a non-existent myth. It's not rare, it's not real. Same as hens teeth. If it's a word or phrase that did not properly convey the intended message then defending it only makes it worse. Retract and correct.

Playing it safe and being unwilling to date anyone who openly admits to cheating in the past is a reasonable personal choice. Though logically it's one that is less safe, considering the person openly owning that is demonstrating a level of honesty that anyone claiming to not have cheated takes a bit longer to verify. Regardless, moving from that statement into one which does criticize or judge the choices of others no longer maintains the aegis of personal preferences and perspective - you are making a direct criticism of another individuals choices.

That's fine too, but you should be prepared for the dissenting and in many cases offended responses.

I do not think it is rare for people to redeem themselves of their choices. We've all made failures to some degree. An affair is a huge failure and one we are all here together to deal with in our own ways. The idea that true redemption is rare implies that someone has to live out the rest of their life making no mistakes of any kind and then be judged.

nordicbabe posted 5/12/2013 10:23 AM

Every person I know to have cheated has cheated more than once. That's just my unofficial observation but have yet to see anyone cheat only once.

DixieD posted 5/12/2013 11:31 AM

My wayward loved the fun and excitement that he got from his ap!

So did mine. Although I'd change the 'his AP' part to 'his Affair'. It was the affair itself that was exciting to him, not his AP.

And he was treated like a sex God and the most important person on the planet!

So was mine.

he acted like a teenager having his secret rendezvous!

So did mine.

And who doesn't get tired of hearing "love you baby'" from his ap!

Apparently mine did. After a while, it just wasn't worth it.

Personally- I think for some it's simply an addiction!

Yep, it was for mine too.

HOWEVER, he decided on his own that his life was going down the toilet because of it, and that I understand. Many, many, many, many years ago I had a problem with alcohol. An event happened and it was my wake up call. I realized if I stayed on the path I was on, my life is going to be go in places I didn't really want it to. I wanted better for myself. I had to change.

For a while after that, I would struggle from time to time when I was frustrated, depressed or unable to cope because that's when I wanted to drink (a sure sign there was a problem), but I wouldn't. For many years now, I can go through rough times -- hell I went through dday etc -- and drinking is the absolute furthest thing from my mind. It holds no interest for me whatsoever. BTDT. I lived through the destruction of it and I know myself a lot better because of it. I don't look back at being too drunk to function and vomiting all over the place with fondness and think 'wow that was a great party'.

Much like a remorseful WS doesn't look back at the worst most destructive time in their life and miss it. Sometimes it's the people who have gone through their own personal hell, inflicted it on themselves and been burned by it, who become self aware. IMO that makes them more trustworthy not less.

But I can see where you are coming from nofool4u.

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