General Question

Jude's avatar

What are your thoughts/feelings on the saying "once a cheater always a cheater"?

Asked by Jude (32162points) March 6th, 2009
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

17 Answers

Judi's avatar

I’d say look Here or Here

wundayatta's avatar

Probably should have run this through the search engine. This has already been asked at least twice.

Jude's avatar

Oops. Probably should have, yep.


KrystaElyse's avatar

I think it depends on the person and the situation. But generally, the best predictor of future behavior, is past behavior.

wundayatta's avatar

I am curious as to why this question is so popular, and what motivates people to ask it. It seems to me that people who have been cheated on might have a strong interest in finding out if their partner can be trusted again.

My couples therapist says that the vast majority of the couples he sees end up breaking apart. The guy has stopped cheating, but the woman never really trusts him again. Without trust, you can’t have a relationship. At least, not a very nice one.

It is a rare woman who can forgive and trust again. Really rare. It requires an incredible willingness to give. Give another chance. Give trust. Give love.

It is risky, and it seems that most women, once burned, don’t want to take the risk of being hurt again. Ironically, this creates a distance between the couple that will motivate the cheater to cheat again. He’s tired of being mistrusted and watched nervously, and he’s been good, but if she’s going to treat him like that, he might as well cheat again. And then, of course, the relationship is over.

My advice to people who have been cheated on, is that if you want to recover your marriage, you have to throw yourself back into love and trust. If you can’t do that, there is no point in trying to keep the marriage together.

You know what makes it even harder? Is the sense that you have been treated so unfairly. The cheater must be punished. It just isn’t fair what s/he did. We have such righteousness in this culture; a lot of it spurred on by religion.

I think that if you want to save the relationship, you have to be able to swallow the bitter tea of unfairness, clear the palate with a little sherbet (vacation or something), and start over again. It sticks in your craw, but if you can’t do it, the bitterness will take over your life, making you hate your partner, who will cheat again, and then the divorce might be much worse than it should have been.

I wonder. Can you forgive, and let it go?

KrystaElyse's avatar

I really think in order for a relationship to actually get better and survive this is to find out the reasons or underlying issues as to why your partner cheated in the first place, but I find that some people would rather not hear the truth. I think from there you can come together and try and solve the problem and move on. I think without doing that, you’ll never be able to truly forgive someone.

Judi's avatar

@daloon ; on the contrary, shelters are full of women who forgave and forgave. Then, when a lot of women finally break away from the cheating spouse, they hook up with another guy who treats them the same way. Some people never learn.

KrystaElyse's avatar

@Judi – You’re absolutely right. I work at a DV shelter and see this ALL the time. No matter how badly their partners have treated them, no matter how badly they have hurt them physically, they still choose to go back with them. The sad thing is having to see them leave and know you are unable to stop them. Some women have come to the shelter 5 or 6 times before they finally realize that they deserve to be treated better.

marinelife's avatar

I think there are two types of people who cheat:

Serial cheaters (of which the above is true) and

People who genuinely make a mistake, are horrified about the effect on the relationship and would not cheat again.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

@daloon, it comes up so often because people want to believe with their heart of hearts that they are “the one” that will make the person want to not cheat. It’s the same reason why we buy lottery tickets.

Triiiple's avatar

Thats a real ass saying.

Aethelwine's avatar

I believe what Marina posted. They may be the minority, but I feel that there are some who truly regret what they did and would never do it again.

It is rare, but it is possible to forgive such a thing.

adreamofautumn's avatar

Speaking from experience…it only takes messing up and ruining something that really means a lot to you (even if you didn’t realize how much it meant) for you to learn your lesson. In my experience I made some foolish, drunken choices. I hurt the girl I am pretty sure is the love of my life. She forgave me, but i’ll NEVER put her or anyone else into that situation again.

bigbanana's avatar

Its a character flaw and unless the root of the behavior is dealt with, chances are, history is going to repeat itself.

wundayatta's avatar

A few thoughts. First, I’m not talking about situations where it’s just the woman who forgives. I’m talking about situations where the man is willing to work.

Also, I’m not talking about abusive situations. I don’t believe any woman should forgive abuse, as in being bullied physically or mentally. If the guy is using his cheating as a weapon, then forget it. That guy should not be forgiven.

However, where the man confesses and tells the truth, and where he is willing to work, and fix the things that went wrong, and where the woman is also willing to work, then I think the issue of forgiveness is crucial. It has to be real forgiveness. No holding back.

I am not blaming the supposed victim here, because I think that when a relationship comes apart, motivating one person or the other to cheat (it’s not always the man), then both are at fault. To fix it, they both need to admit to their mistakes, and forgive each other, and then, maybe, it can work again.

I think that women are used to seeing themselves as weaker, and as the victims. I don’t think this is a full version of the story. It does no good to see yourself as a victim, because then you need the knight in shining armour, and, of course, that knight always has the hidden dark side.

Working relationships are made of two strong people. They can work together. If the power is unequal, I don’t know what can be accomplished.

kevinhardy's avatar

im the loyal guy, its true, some people never learn

ShauneP82's avatar

That depends on the person. You need to know their history. Some people just cant comprehend not cheating.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther