Trust Building: Once a Cheater always a Cheater?

I provide webinars for those who read “Break Free From the Affair,” and sometimes record the session.

I want to share with you a transcript that answers a frequent question; once a cheater, always a cheater? and a closely related concern; can I trust?

Please know I do not take a great deal of time to edit the transcripts. They read pretty much how the conversation took place.

Here’s part 1 of a conversation that centers around trust.

Bob: What’s your question or comment, Nat?

Nat: Well, I don’t know how this relates to everybody else but I actually was not married in my situation. We were in a, what I thought, was a committed relationship. And discovered that my boyfriend had been cheating on me. And went through the process of trying to work it out, we did quite a bit of therapy there through the end. And I discovered your materials, I kind of wish I had discovered it earlier. But it seems the materials were focused on working on the relationship and always trying to stay together. And in my case, my boyfriend claimed he was sorry and he wasn’t going to do it again. And he was exhibiting behaviors to the opposite where he was still flirting with other women. I was always just up in his activities, and he is really high need. I guess he would be a “don’t want to say no,” kind of guy, where he just really needs attention from lots of different women. And that attention spilled over into sex, and things like that. So at what point do you actually decide to end this relationship? Maybe I’m questioning that a little bit or struggling with that. At what point do you say, you know because it’s different, because we weren’t married. Maybe this relationship isn’t worth saving. And/or is it really up to the other person, if you had a person, a “don’t want to say no.” Maybe that type of person just isn’t going to change. And that point, maybe married or not, it’s just not going to work. Does that make sense?

Bob: So when do you draw the line? That’s the question you’re asking.

Nat: Right. I don’t know, is there a personality that… Sorry we’re talking over time. You know, is there a personality that just is not ever going to change? He’s just a cheater. He’s going to keep cheating.

Bob: Here’s a distinction you can make.

I hear you saying two things.

Number one, he doesn’t want to say no. Someone in that category tends to be self indulged and rather narcissistic. They also don’t believe that they are doing anything wrong. Or they may believe they’re entitled. So someone who falls strictly into that category often continues to cheat. And your decision at that point is, what do I do with that?

Is the cheating something that I can live with, and many, many people do live with that kind of cheating? They close their eyes because often the person who cheats is very outgoing, friendly, often successful person with side benefits. So, I know a number of people who’ll decide to stay in that kind of relationship, because the perks are seemingly worth it.

Yeah, you sacrifice other things but that’s a decision you must make if you’re going to live with someone who doesn’t want to say no.

They’re probably not going to stop, unless they bump into extreme failure. At that point, they often exhibit strong remorseful feelings. They may change their behavior (at least temporarily) if there are extreme consequences to their behavior.

We’re talking here about affair #3, “I Don’t Want to Say No.” One strategy is to “consequence them;” to get them to realize that what they’re doing has consequences. Often their thinking does not include the concept of consequences.

You also said he needs a lot of attention, which throws different light on this situation. Here you’re talking about extreme needs. If so, it is important for him to identify his personal need system. Personal neediness frequently underlies affair #4: “I Fell out of Love, and just love being in love.” Unless he examines his personal need system he will continue to recycle his neediness.

It may be obvious to you that he has no desire to change. He’s just going to continue doing what he’s doing, at that point, you ask yourself, Am I in or am I out?

There is More for you…

This is a very brief and cursory discussion of possible ways to identify the type of affair. And, in identifying the type of affair, take specific action which speaks to that type of affair.

Knowing and pinpointing the 7 types of affairs helps you…

  • Feel a sense of personal power. You create a purposeful plan and in so doing move out of the victim role. You now begin to feel your personal power in addressing the painful situation.
  • See the hidden meaning. An affair is more than affair. An affair is the tip of the iceberg, under which lies a lifetime of painful self-defeating patterns. Identifying the patterns places the responsibility where it belongs – on the cheating spouse.
  • Build your knowledge brain cells regarding infidelity.
  • More knowledge = More Power.
  • More Power = More Options.
  • More Options = Feeling Better.
  • Feeling Better = Success.

Do this now…

Grab your copy of the “7 Types of Affairs Cheat Sheet.” It’s FREE!
The cheat sheet will introduce you to the 7 Types of affairs. A new world will open for you.

Click this button…

Don’t wait any longer.

This entry was posted in Emotional Distance, Infidelity and Intimacy, Infidelity Coaching, Infidelity Marriage, Infidelity Reasons, Real Life Infidelity Stories, Rebuilding the Marriage or Relationship, Relationship Communication, Surviving Infidelity, Trust Building, Types of Affairs and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Trust Building: Once a Cheater always a Cheater?

  1. Don Dressel says:

    My opinion is if you put up with a cheater you lose all self-respect!
    I say once a cheater always a cheater!
    I also find that cheaters are narcissistic !

    • Nancy says:

      I tend to agree with Don especially if the cheater is an ‘I don’t want to say no’ type of cheater. I think that these cheaters only stop when their way of life (spouse, kids, good standing with relatives, friends and community) is threatened. Unless they ‘grow up’ they can easily slip back into their old ways because they are actually selfish and childish people.

  2. D L says:

    I believe it’s easy to say “once a cheater, always a cheater”, but when actually faced with it it’s not that easy. My family tried saying that about my wife and I had to look at them and say “what about me? I cheated also”. I had never cheated before and have regretted the slip up since the night it happened. I’ve remained celibate for 9 months now even though I’m told we’re getting a divorce. So is it always that easy to say “once a cheater, always a cheater”?

  3. sukhoi says:

    Wow. How timely. I am in the heat of this same issue right now. I met my wife 20 years ago, and cheated with her on her first husband. She said to me at that time that she worried about being a lifelong cheater, but we married, and she didn’t cheat again until this March. I’m sure of that. That was a long stretch, but she’s back at it with a coworker. I am an ex intelligence agent, so I know WAAAY too much about what’s going on (i.e., everything). She’s very outgoing, narcissistic, selfish, and I get the feeling that she doesn’t think she’s doing anything wrong. I’m in my mid-50s and she’s 9 years younger. I am, however, an intelligent and good-looking guy, so she is now expressing concern about ME cheating on her. It’s a valid concern because, frankly, I’m thinking about it. If she’s going to continue her cheating, I might as well have some fun, too, right…? Now that you’ve reacted to that, I need to say that that’s not really “me.” I’m very holistic and quite monogamous, whereas she is multi-faceted–a severe compartmentalizer. The facets of her life are disconnected, however, and that’s how she’s able to do this with a devoted husband and two children (8 & 12) at home.

    The decision facing me is whether I put up with it and do the same, or draw the line in the sand and stay monogamous.

    • Jonny62 says:

      I have a similar situation to sukhoi. Considering if we should try having an open relationship but not sure if that is the way to go. Anyone have any experience with that?

  4. LW says:

    This is a timely discussion. I think also that if a person has a history of cheating it will eventually happen again. In my situation my spouse as well as his lover both denied that anything was happening. Then when my spouse agreed that he wanted to reconcile and would discontinue all contact with her he was again lying. Upon rock solid proof he asked for a second chance

    I had been through so much pain and had lost all trust. I even wanted to commit suicide. I filed for divorce and then observed his actions. They were not for reconciliation. On the contrary our relationship got worse. So I went to court and he did not even show up.

    With that said I think he is very narsacitic. He does not want to change. He wants his cake and to eat it too. For me, I am a one man woman and expect my spouse to be a one woman man.

    This is sad, and I think stems from childhood issues on both our parts. I am dealing with mine and going on the rest of my life without him.

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