#351 - Is the phrase "Once a Cheater, Always a Cheater" really true?

The phrase "Once a cheater, always a cheater" has become a widely accepted belief in our society. It suggests that individuals who have cheated in the past are destined to repeat their actions, with no hope for change or redemption.

While infidelity is undoubtedly a betrayal of trust, it's important to recognize that human behavior is complex, and people can and do change. In this blog post, we will explore why the notion of "Once a cheater, always a cheater" isn't necessarily true, and how individuals can grow, learn from their mistakes, and rebuild trust.

People Can Learn from Their Mistakes
One of the key reasons why the belief that cheaters cannot change is flawed is that it disregards the capacity for personal growth and learning. People make mistakes in life, some of which are significant, like infidelity. However, the crucial aspect of personal growth is the ability to reflect on those mistakes, understand the reasons behind them, and commit to never repeating them.

Cheaters, like anyone else, can engage in self-reflection, therapy, or counseling to understand the root causes of their actions. This self-awareness can lead to genuine remorse and a commitment to change. By working on themselves and addressing the underlying issues that contributed to their infidelity, individuals can break free from the pattern of cheating.

Changing Circumstances
Life is dynamic, and circumstances can change dramatically over time. While someone may have cheated in a past relationship, their behavior may not be indicative of how they will act in future relationships. Changes in personal values, maturity, and life experiences can influence someone's commitment to being faithful in a new relationship.

Moreover, the dynamics of each relationship are unique. What might have led to infidelity in one relationship may not be present in the next. People can adapt and evolve based on their current circumstances, making it unfair to judge them solely based on their past actions.

Commitment to Rebuilding Trust
Rebuilding trust after infidelity is a challenging process, but it's not impossible. Some individuals who have cheated are deeply committed to making amends and regaining the trust of their partner. This commitment can lead to significant changes in behavior, communication, and transparency within the relationship.

Couples therapy and counseling can be instrumental in facilitating this process. By addressing the issues that contributed to the infidelity and developing strategies to rebuild trust, couples can emerge from this experience stronger and more connected than before.

Recognizing the Complexity of Relationships
Relationships are multifaceted and influenced by numerous factors, including communication, compatibility, and personal growth. The "Once a cheater, always a cheater" belief oversimplifies the complexity of human relationships. It fails to acknowledge that people can change and evolve within the context of different relationships and life stages.

I want to close by saying that I am in no way endorsing or encouraging infidelity in any way, shape, or form. The pain of infidelity is undeniable and should not be minimized or disregarded.

It is also essential to recognize that people have the capacity for change and personal growth. The belief that "Once a cheater, always a cheater" oversimplifies the complexities of human behavior and relationships. People can learn from their mistakes, address the underlying issues that contributed to their actions, and commit to being better partners in the future.

Ultimately, whether a person who has cheated in the past can change depends on their willingness to confront their actions, seek personal growth, and commit to rebuilding trust in their relationships. It is important to approach each individual and relationship with an open mind and a willingness to consider the potential for change, rather than relying on a blanket statement that may not hold true in all cases.

Finally, there are the spouses or partners that have been cheated on. Their trust was betrayed. Once that happens, it is extremely difficult if not impossible to regain. It would take a much bigger person than me to accept the offender back.

My last question is how long do you hang on to that pain and how long do you continue to believe that every member of the opposite sex is also a cheater? There is a large portion of the single population that makes that very assumption.

There comes a point in time where you have to choose to heal and move forward or remain stuck in your emotions, continually reliving your pain from the past. Remaining in emotional turmoil will cause two things to happen.

1.    Because you continue to focus on the fact you’ve been cheated on, you’ll continue to find more people that will cheat on you.

2.    You will sabotage your own future happiness because you haven’t let go of the past.

Grief and recovery can take time without a doubt. At some point though, it becomes a choice to remain locked in your past. This can be a very unhealthy and unhappy place to live.

That’s this week’s food for thought.

If you're a mid-life single struggling with finding a healthy relationship, there are several simple steps to help you get on track. I can help you determine which ones will help you create better dating opportunities for yourself. That frees you to focus on finding relationships that are best suited for you. To request a free 30 minute consultation, email me at [email protected]. Let's see if you're someone I can help too.

Have a great and blessed weekend.