Is Once a Cheater Always a Cheater True, or Can Cheaters Change?

We’ve all heard the same, tired cliche about infidelity: “Once a cheater, always a cheater.”

Given how many of us are affected by infidelity ― twenty-one percent of married men and around 15 percent of married women have cheated on their spouses, according to the General Social Survey at the University of Chicago― it’s worth exploring our beliefs about cheaters and their capacity for change. Does “once a cheater, always a cheater” always ring true?

Below, psychologists and therapists who work with couples share their thoughts on whether or not an unfaithful spouse can change their ways.

“Once a cheater, always a cheaters” sells people short.

When we assume “once a cheater, always a cheater,” we deeply underestimate people’s ability to change, said Tammy Nelson, a couples therapist and the author of The New Monogamy: Redefining Your Relationship After Infidelity.

“People who say a cheater can’t change have never felt the awful guilt that comes when you realize you’ve made a terrible mistake by having a one-night stand or an affair,” she said. “They’ve never gone to bed at night staring at the ceiling, wishing there was anything you could do to take back the hurt you’ve inflicted on your partner. If they had, they would perhaps not be so self-righteous in their judgment.”

To read the complete article full of expert advice, head over to the Huffington Post article.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *