TimT

 Agree or Disagree: Once a cheater, always a cheater. 28  votes

 Strongly agree 1 vote
3%
 Mostly agree 4 votes
14%
 Sometimes agree 9 votes
32%
 Mostly disagree 10 votes
35%
 Strongly disagree 4 votes
14%
This poll has been closed.
I come across strong opinions about this either way. What do you think?
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Mojotay
No..or at least I hope not!
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Processing4Growth
I think aot of this has to do with if a person really processes An affair and learns about the self as a result. If they do learn and understand I think the repeat potential drops substantially.
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EAM
For me, never again. This has been so devastating to my partner and family, to myself as well- the dishonesty and trauma that surrounded that event. This is the bottom of the barrel, and I'm going to work hard to change my attitudes that allowed that behaviour.
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Ttsd
Yes, in my husband's case. Or maybe it just never stops. He said it did, but it didn't. Or it started again.
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Craig
It really depends on the persons "choice". If one is truly committed to being a better partner/person in a strong relationship (or rebuilding a broken/fragile one) it really boils down to that; at least in my case...
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Sharon
As many have already said, I truly believe it depends on the person. Now, had you asked me 10 years ago, the wounded part of me would have answered. And in that case, I would have strongly agreed. But now, I mostly disagree. The exceptions are the people who never work on their "stuff," that's driving their choices to cheat.
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CrippledLamb
Definitely up to the person. There are a lot of circumstances that they might put in the way of their choice. But the choice to overcome those things is ultimately the decision of the cheater.
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AHmember130
I feel if a betrayer goes deep inside themselves and looks at who they really are and sees who they really want to be and is willing to go to any length to change they can. Another large part of the process is to feel the pain and suffering they have caused their spouse. A pain that no human being should ever experience, then there is hope.
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AHmember129
I truly believe every situation is and this is different. I have seen some remarkable changes in the cheater that needs to happen for them to want to change the life that they had. What I have experienced in my marriage is that it takes a long time with destruction along the way. Why I think this happens is getting very bad advise from people or professionals that are not trained in Infidelity. This happened to us and it made recovery very hard and set us back a long time.

If your not moving forward in recovery, maybe it could be your therapist.
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Courage
I do fear this for sure, because I thought my husband was too smart, too educated to fall into this trap!! How wrong I was. But now, just over 6 months in since discovery date, my husband swears he would never do this again. As we've researched , and lots of insight from this sight, he never thought about the consequences because he never thought he'd get caught. Sometimes he says he just wants to run because he can't handle the pain he's caused me. He equates his affair to an addiction, he knew it was wrong, he knew it was fantasy but he just couldn't break out of it. He says the best thing that ever happened was being discovered. No matter where we end up, he is relieved he isn't leading a double life anymore. He wishes he could go back and tell me how unhappy he was. I so wish we could too. If I really knew the depth of his unhappiness before the affair started it would have been a wake up call for me. I thought my husband would weather any storm I threw his way. I thought he was somewhat superhuman. How wrong I was. He swears he will never be in the position again to cheat. He will never let it get to that. If he is that unhappy again he will speak up. Whether it's with me or someone else. I truly believe he has suffered immensely by the pain he's caused. Not only to me, but to his children ( although they don't know, he feels he's let then down as a role model) and to those who know. Very few do- those closest to me know and he struggles with how he has let them down as well. No matter the outcome, he has to live with the fact that he cheated, that society would view him as a bad person. I know he isn't, but I struggle with his weakness to cross the line. ( this is where I pray for forgiveness and to let it go, to not throw it at him when I'm in pain) The point is, someone who takes full responsibility and truly feels the pain they have caused will never put themselves in this position again!!!
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AHmember76
I believe if you cheated on a spouse you will cheat on that spouse again. But, I don't think you will always cheat again. There are a lot reasons people cheat and the reasons they cheat will determine if they will do it again. I think you can move on to a fresh relationship and never cheat again. But, the innocence of the first relotionship is gone. And you can't get that back.
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Wings
I don't think we can deal in absolutes when it comes to this kind of question - it depends on the person. Despite experiences that would say otherwise, I do think that certain people who genuinely desire to change and commit to their spouse, marriage, and family, to improving themselves, can do so.  But for others, "once a cheater, always a cheater" is probably (unfortunately) fitting.


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TimT
SUMMARY:

I, for one, am glad that "Once a cheater, always a cheater" is not an absolute principle. 

Even though it's been over 20 years since my affair (which was quite public at the time), I can still see the shift in some people's attitudes when they hear my story: a quick backing off in caution and mistrust. In some instances, I suspect I may be tapping into their awareness of their own secret vulnerabilities. 

But my story is one of grace and change. Eventually, I met a woman who had once been married to a man who had several affairs. After her divorce she swore, "I'll never even date a man that was a cheater." But she eventually married me! 

Am I still capable of having an affair? Of course! But I don't; I won't. I've learned enough about the broken parts of me and, more importantly, gained greater clarity in regard to the man I long to be... the story I want to tell. That desire continues to lead me on a path of honesty and faithfulness.

My wife can trust me.
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