Once A Cheater Always A Cheater. This statement isn’t always true. Some women whose husbands have cheated on them tend to think so. As a Marriage Counselor working with couples for over 25 years I believe some infidelities are isolated incidents. Men cheat for a variety of reasons. Some are labeled as Philanderers. These men chronically cheat on their wives and tend to have little guilt about their actions. These types of cheaters fall under the category also know as recreational (fun sport to win and not get caught), seasonal (summer is typically the time as the wife and kids tend to be away on vacation), and opportunistic (when an opportunity presents itself where he is assured he won’t get caught) cheaters. If and when caught they show fake remorse and do what they have to do to make things better at home just so they can continue to cheat.
There’s the cheater who gets caught and claims he’ll never cheat again. But doesn’t think he needs counseling for Affair Recovery where he gains insight about his poor choices and learns new ways of behaving so he never repeats this betrayal to hurt his family again.
And then there’s the guy who cheated due to whatever his issue was at the time and is remorseful and wants to do whatever it takes to repair the marriage. The “whatever it takes” means more than just saying the words it means acquiring the tools to effectively communicate and implementing the process of Affair Recovery. Easier said than done, right? As a Marriage Counselor helping couples repair their marriages from the heartbreak of infidelity I hear statements like, “I will never cheat again,” “I know I will never cheat again,” and “I have learned my lesson and will never cheat again.” Words are meaningless unless you observe true remorse through changed behavior. If the Affair Partner (the cheater) has the capability to articulate insight about why he did what he did and why there will be no likelihood of it happening again prognosis is good. In addition, acquiring the necessary tools to demonstrate newfound insight through appropriate behavior will ensure trust is regained.
An unfaithful spouse does not blame their partner for driving them to cheat.
A cheater who feels little remorse for their actions isn’t likely to change.
A cheater who continues to defend his point of view/perspective is unlikely to move forward.
A cheater who continues to be defensive in general is protecting his feelings and not the feelings of the Hurt Partner (cheated on).
A cheater who gives little or no empathy cannot change.
A cheater who cannot articulate insight about why he believes he cheated and why it will never happen again is at high risk to cheat again.
A Hurt Partner who cannot successfully go through the process of Affair Recovery puts the relationship at high risk for similar circumstances. The Hurt Partner has to be open-minded about the process.
Before a cheater can change they must work through their personal issues that drove them to stray.
As a Marriage Counselor working with Affair Recovery we can underestimate people’s ability to change. I have counseled many husbands who have cheated on their wives who are filled with guilt and shame who have realized they have made a grave mistake whether through a one night stand or a short or long term affair. They are consumed with regrets wishing there was anything they could do to take back the hurt they’ve inflicted on their wives. They have come to understand they are not so self-entitled in their judgment and come in looking for help in saving their marriages.
If you need help understanding why you have had an affair and need help repairing your relationship please call me at (858) 735-1139.