When it comes to dealing with the realities of a cheating partner finding a way to forgive them and trusting they won’t do it again isn’t easy.
For some people it is entirely impossible, but for those who do try to repair their relationship there is the lingering question: is once a cheater always a cheater true?
According to Matt Garrett from Relationships Australia the answer is probably yes.
“The best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour. If somebody is able to cheat in the first place, and has done it in previous relationships, then I would say that is a warning sign,” Mr Garrett told the Huffington Post.
“If someone has cheated on their last partner, the likelihood of them doing it again is high. Of course that’s not always the case, but often.
“The fact they have cheated before shows they have a predisposition of operating in that way in intimate relationships.
“Without wanting to stereotype or typecast, some people simply want to experience the first flush of love all over again. As soon as the day-to-day realities of a relationship kicks in, they might feel they need to go out and recapture that feeling from someone else.”
While Mr Garret believes that the old adage about cheating is most likely true, not everyone agrees.
Psychologist Jay Kent-Ferraro says if a cheater really want to redeem themselves, they will.
Many people who cheat are riddled with guilt after the act and having to face up to the reality and consequences of their actions is enough to stop them from ever considering it again.
“The problem is it’s too simple and fails to appreciate the complexity of why people cheat in the first place, let alone predicting whether or not they are capable of betraying you again – an important question to ask if you are a victim of infidelity.,” says Dr Kent-Ferraro.
“All behavior is purposeful and people don’t do anything without a reason for doing it.
“Your task is to become your own “personal psychologist” and ask the right questions about the right issues to arrive at your own truth about keeping yourself safe in a relationship with someone who has betrayed you.”
What it seems to come down to is a personal choice.
There are a few key questions you need to ask yourself when thinking about moving past infidelity to find out what is best for you:
- Can I trust them again?
- I can’t forget, but can I forgive them?
- Why did this happen?
- Are they remorseful?
- Is this a case of history repeating?
- Will I be happy if we stay together?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you can decide what is best for you and what your next move should be.