A few months ago I found out that my significant other cheated on me. After a whole lot of tears and soul searching, I decided to take him back. But am I just setting myself up for heartache again?
There is no question, getting cheated on sucks. And only you can decide if you can truly move on from a betrayal. But is the old adage ‘once a cheater always a cheater’ really true?
The good news is the answer is no. However, this all depends on the type of person you’re with and what led them to cheat.
Let’s start with this: Any one of us has the capacity to cheat. We are complicated little animals and although monogamy may be our commonly preferred relationship status, it doesn’t mean that fidelity is always going to be easy. We are born to breed, so part of our primal desires is connecting with different people.
And let’s face it, even if monogamy is easy for the first five, 10, even 15 years of a relationship – I think it’s safe to say that for a relationship that lasts 50 plus years it’s going to be challenging at times.
The reasons people cheat are as varied as we are. Some people cheat because they are sexually bored, insecure, depressed with life, have fallen in love (or lust) with someone else, are avoiding some other hardship in their life and so on. And some people are simply narcissists who will most likely cheat for the rest of their lives.
So how do you know which category your partner falls into? Here are some things to consider:
Did he/she confess or get caught?
If your partner confessed it’s a good sign that he or she is truly someone who feels remorseful for his or her actions. If they got caught and admitted the truth – that also indicates remorse. However, if you caught them and they continue to deny it, consider that a huge red flag.
Did he/she cheat in previous relationships?
If so, it may be that your partner is not really interested in monogamy so it’s probably time to stop trying to change him or her and start thinking about either moving on or establishing some kind of open relationship so that things are up front and equal.
Is he/she willing to work on themselves?
If your partner understands what life events led to the cheating (poor boundaries, low self esteem, feeling distance within the relationship, etc.) and wants to work on those issues (not only for the relationship but also for themselves), you definitely have a good chance of success.
If you are going to stay and work on the relationship, the most important thing to think about is how are you going to move past it. Because if you’ve decided to work on the relationship, constantly reliving the crime or remaining bitter will only serve to erode the relationship further. If that’s the case, you might as well end it. So if want to stay and work on rebuilding but need some help to get trust back on track, make sure to actually work on it and if you need help, seek the counsel of a therapist or life coach.
MORE LOVE ADVICE FROM CYNTHIA LOYST