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How many here think once a cheater always a cheater?

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Siouxsie posted 1/4/2014 17:43 PM

Same with
The best indicator of future behavior is past behavior?

Only being here a day and reading a lot of stories it seems like the significant others' cheated multiple times. I believe cheating is pathological and will always continue.


41andthankful posted 1/4/2014 17:51 PM

I think we all are human and all very flawed and we all can change. On my dday and weeks after I changed into someone I didn't like very much. I have worked very hard since to not be that person and change for the better.

RippedSoul posted 1/4/2014 17:51 PM

I've never believed that, and, now that I've been on this site for 6 months, I believe that even less. Some people seem to be serial cheaters; some people seem to make horrible choices when feeling depressed and empty; some people have no boundaries and slip into a dangerous situation they never expected.

My SAWH cheated on me--after 21 years of marriage. Is he more vulnerable now? I think so. I think that until he deals with all the issues that led him into the first A, our marriage is on shaky ground. Still, if he steps up his efforts and repairs his brokenness, he'll be back to the man he was for the first 45 years of his life. I don't trust him right now, but I trust in the power of repentance and change and improvement and transformation.

I hope that helps some. Hugs!

Neithan posted 1/4/2014 17:51 PM

Many cheaters continue to cheat. But not all of them.

Though it usually does take a paradigm shift on their part to change that behavior. So it is only wise to be wary of past cheaters.

The past is prologue, not destiny.

jstbreathe posted 1/4/2014 17:52 PM

Well, I know I am constantly waiting for the other proverbial shoe to drop. Not a very comforting thought. While I hope he never does it again, I know I will not give him a second chance. But, they're good at lying and covering their tracks(at least my WH is), so it may be possible I wouldn't find out. This is why R is so very difficult. Remorseful or not, you just never really know how they will react when the opportunity arises again. And trust me, it will arise again. I just pray he chooses more wisely when it does.

Griefstricken25 posted 1/4/2014 17:57 PM

For some people, yes, they are cheaters and liars and people with no integrity in all areas of life. They will never change.

This website is proof that it's not true of all cheaters, but I honestly think a wayward who is willing to dig deep and truly change is very, very rare.

nowiknow23 posted 1/4/2014 18:02 PM

I know it can seem like that, Siouxsie, especially in the early days.

Are there waywards who will always be wayward? You bet. But as sure as I know that, I also know that there are people who are driven to work on themselves and address the issues that led to their infidelity. There's ample evidence of it here on SI. You need look no farther than the founders of the site, but if you need more evidence, check out the many veterans in the Wayward forum who have done the work and are living authentically.

Siouxsie posted 1/4/2014 18:15 PM

Thank you for the replies. My father had an affair that lasted for 5 years--it ended when his mistress died. I know of the affair because I stumbled upon it as a child, but my mother still does not know. My father says it (although it was a long affair) was his only time cheating. My parents got married as teenagers and had been married for 40 years before the affair. In his case, I believe him and although don't agree with what he did, can kind of understand.

My WH though, I think he may be a serial. How many times does it take to categorize one as that? He had a few one night stands while with me and two affairs, and he has cheated in his past before me.

I'm just really struggling with the notion (and I know, I know, it is probably silly) that it was all my fault; that I demanded too much or contributed to little or was a drain nor a nag, etc etc.
I can't sleep because of this feeling.

RealityStinks posted 1/4/2014 18:17 PM

Sadly, in my case, I think it may be true. My WW had a summer fling with a guy after our freshman year in college. My best friend told me to move on then, that she'd do it again one day, and I didn't listen. He's still my best friend, knows all about the events of the past year, and he has never one time said "I told you so". But, he was right.

That said, I don't think you can lump everyone into the same boat based on others' actions. I could see a ONS happening, the WS being repentant, and then moving on with life. That's more in line with a "mistake", but still not O.K. But, I'm having a hard time thinking anyone could purposefully lie to, deceive, and hurt their SO intentionally over an extended period of time and not do it again later. Unless, and it's a big unless, they are truly repentant and back it up with for the rest of their life.

My views are probably skewed based on my experience with my WW. I do believe people can change, but it takes more than words. It takes actions over a prolonged period of time.

3Xthefool posted 1/4/2014 18:22 PM

I think that the more one cheats, the easier it is to cheat again. This is coming straight from my WW's mouth. She said she "resisted" the advances of her first AP for months and months before finally giving in. Once that initial encounter with AP#1 was done, she slid big time down the "slippery slope". That first step is a dooozy.

That affair lasted about 3-4 years. during that time she strayed with 4 other men (apparently one affair began out a spite with an acquaintance she randomly chose to go out with when AP#3 told her he wasn't available one evening). AP#3 became her next LTA which lasted 4 1/2 years and possibly is continuing but has gone underground (I have no concrete proof its still going on but have suspicions)

Cheating became a habit to her. And each affair was easier to initiate than the prior one. She says that eventually having secret rendezvous' became just another natural part of her routine like shopping or exercising.

I agree with one of the comments above which states that change in WS requires a major paradigm shift in the way they think about life.

For those WS's that have had either LTA or serial affairs, I think breaking that habit is as difficult as quitting smoking. Is it possible, absolutely. Are they prone to relapses....highly probable; but if they keep trying, I think they eventually can change if they believe they need to change and "want" to change,

nowiknow23 posted 1/4/2014 18:34 PM

Sweetie - his cheating had noting to do with you. NOTHING. Zero. Nada. I know that's hard to believe, but trust me - it's true.


Siouxsie posted 1/4/2014 18:51 PM

Thanks nowiknow23.

Most of the time I realize it wasn't me. But sometimes, I convince myself it was and think he'll change for HER.

womaninflux posted 1/4/2014 19:00 PM

I think if they don't deal with the core issues - attachment disorders, addictions - it's very likely that they will continue to cheat.

I'm *hoping* that my SAWH does beat the odds…he knows my bottom line and am willing to walk away. I already was hours away from making that call to my attorney and filing the papers. My attorney has lots of paperwork in storage already.

Williesmom posted 1/4/2014 19:37 PM

I thinks it's like being a alcoholic. You're an alcoholic for life.

Same thing, you're a cheater. Whether or not you're currently cheating, or will ever cheat again is the real question.

In my case, he was a lifelong cheater that's had no desire to change.

Gemini71 posted 1/4/2014 19:46 PM

I believe that there are underlying reasons why a person cheats. A lack of morals or FOO issues, whatever. If the cheater 'wants' to change, and does a lot of work to change themselves, then yes, they can change. But a cheater who blithely promises "It'll never happen again," and doesn't take any steps to make sure it doesn't happen, is going to cheat.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Albert Einstein

Lola7 posted 1/4/2014 19:50 PM

My WH though, I think he may be a serial. How many times does it take to categorize one as that? He had a few one night stands while with me and two affairs, and he has cheated in his past before me.

IMO, this makes him a serial cheater. This is his past behavior and I don't see how his most recent affair will be his last.

In my case, my STBXH is a serial cheater also. He cheated throughout his first marriage, even when they dated. When I met him, he claimed he was past all that and chalked it up to immaturity but, here I am. Also, I don't think this is his first rodeo doing it to me either.

Howie posted 1/4/2014 19:53 PM

No, its not as simple as some here assert. There were a unique set of circumstances and motivates and "luck" that led my wife to a cheating situation-and I was not culpable.It nearly destroyed me.But she was really sorry for my pain, tried very hard to please, was frank about her "mistake" and has--and I am quite aware NOW, never cheated again. So the thing really varies, once a cheater is not always a cheater

Losttransport posted 1/4/2014 20:28 PM

My WH is going to stay that to me: a WH, not former. He cheated. He didn't formerly cheat. Do I love him, yes. Are we reconciling? Trying very very hard to. Do I forgive him? No. There is still a part of me that believes once a cheater always a cheater and I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Siouxsie posted 1/4/2014 20:41 PM

How about we break it down even further into once a cheater who has an/multiple affairs?

TBH I am fairly liberal when it comes to cheating on a ONS. I've never done it, but can see how it happens and I believe the cheater could indeed be remorseful and repentant on that.

A longstanding affair? To be able to lie over and over and hurt another by choice over and over me that seems like it is behavior that is ingrained and might not go away. But again, I might be biased since my WH didn't give a crap about either his ONS or affairs with two different women (and let's be honest, there could have been more that I'm simply not aware of).

simplydevastated posted 1/4/2014 20:56 PM

I used to think that way until I came here and met some wonderful WS's who have done the hard work and proved to their BS that they changed and were sorry and they never cheated again. I also think the unremorseful WS who thinks that are justified in their actions or that they did nothing wrong can fall into the bin of "once a cheater, always a cheater." Just my opinion.

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