Is a Cheater a Cheater Forever? Here’s What the Experts Have to Say
Let’s say you caught your partner in an affair or they worked up the guts to tell you the truth and let you figure it out from there. (Kudos to them, but still.) Either way, cheating is cheating, and it definitely doesn’t feel good to be in the position where your partner betrays your trust and looks elsewhere.
The question then is: do you take them back? Is forgiveness an option? To decide, it’s worth looking into the idea of a “cheater,” and whether or not a cheater is always a cheater and will repeat the behavior without learning from past mistakes. Here’s what to know before immediately accepting an apology and continuing on in the relationship.
What Makes a Cheater a Cheater?
There’s no definitive answer, as reasons can vary based on the individual and situation. “Research shows that people cheat for a variety of reasons, so it’s difficult to pinpoint certain characteristics of all cheaters,” David Bennett, a relationship counselor and owner of Double Trust Dating and Relationships, told POPSUGAR. “For example, some people cheat for sexual variety, while others do situationally (such as when intoxicated),” he says. Some may even cheat when a spouse is sick while trying to move on with life and be a better partner when they can at home.
Hormones can play a role, too. “Another indicator of likelihood of cheating is higher testosterone,” says Bennett. “So if your partner is more traditionally masculine or has other signs of higher testosterone (such as being in a leadership position), the odds of them being a cheater are increased,” he says.