Entertainment Love and Romance Can You Ever Trust a Cheater? Why Do People Cheat? Share PINTEREST Email Print Biddiboo-Taxi/Getty Love and Romance Teens Relationships Sexuality Divorce LGBTQ Friendship By Mike Hardcastle Updated March 26, 2018 Infidelity is one of the most devastating things that can happen in a relationship. When one partner cheats on another it leaves lifelong scars. Sometimes those scars may not be evident until later in life but nobody escapes infidelity unscathed. Cheating Can Happen to Anyone Being young doesn’t make it easier to deal with cheating. In fact, the innocence of youth and first love can make the wounds of infidelity cut even deeper. Do people cheat because of something wrong in the relationship or is it something deep inside the cheater’s personality that leads them to stray? If a cheater cheats on one partner, will they also cheat on the next? Can you ever really trust a cheater? Should you even try? When it comes to cheating there are no easy answers. Being Cheated On Hurts Being cheated on by a person you love and trust is incredibly hurtful. When you are cheated on it impacts the core of how you interact with people. Infidelity makes raw nerves of things like trust, self-respect, self-worth and ego identity. People who have been cheated on often have difficulty trusting again. They either avoid relationships altogether or become detached serial-daters. People who have been cheated on are afraid of being hurt again. In a strange twist many people who have been cheated on cling to the person who has betrayed them. It is a devil-you-know mentality. People who have been cheated on feel that they could never trust a new person so they are better off staying with somebody they know and hoping that person will change. The change they hope for rarely comes. What Makes a Cheater? People who cheat fall into many different categories. Some simply don’t care about their partners, some lack empathy in general, others are narcissistic or selfish by nature, and some are drama seekers. However, all cheaters are driven by one common urge, the urge toward self-satisfaction above all else. Cheaters are motivated by their own needs. They ignore right and wrong in order to satisfy those needs. They act selfishly and think only of what they want with little concern for those they hurt. Cheaters may genuinely care for the person they cheat on but they will always put their own needs and desires ahead of those of their partners. Cheaters are selfish. They don’t want to end one relationship in order to pursue another. They want it all and don’t care about the cost. Why Do People Cheat? If you ask a cheater why they cheated they will most likely try to blame their infidelity on the relationship, the circumstances surrounding the affair, the person they cheated with or even the person they cheated on. They rarely blame themselves. Most cheaters know that what they did was wrong and feel the need to justify their bad behavior. They will have a variety of excuses ranging from impairment to something lacking in their partner, but in the end, they cheated because they wanted to. Try as they might to give a good reason for their behavior they rarely have one. People who cheat do so because of something inside of them. Nothing another person does can make a cheater cheat. No matter how unhappy a relationship may be a cheater makes a choice to deal with that unhappiness by cheating. They have nobody to blame but themselves. If a cheater is unhappy in a relationship they don’t have to cheat, they can leave. They choose to betray the trust of another person by cheating rather than ending the relationship. There is never a good reason to cheat, there are only good reasons to break off a relationship. Cheating is not only selfish it is cruel. Can Cheaters Change? People can always change. Cheaters are no different. Whether or not a cheater can change is completely up to the individual. The reasons the cheater gives for their past infidelity can help determine if they really want to change or if they might do it again. Some people cope with down times in their relationships by seeking outside excitement. If cheating is a coping mechanism it will require therapy to address and overcome. If this type of cheater doesn’t get help chances are good they will do it again. It is just the way they cope with bad times in a relationship. Some cheaters are just immature and grow out of the cheating urge. This is common in teens and young adults because peer pressure can make them get into a relationship before they are really ready. These types of cheaters are less likely to do it again. Other cheaters cheat because they can. If they have repeatedly cheated and been forgiven chances are good that the cheating won’t stop. It has become a part of the relationship dynamic. The only way to beat this cycle is with individual and couples therapy. Moving on From Cheating If somebody cheats on one partner it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will cheat on the next but they must want to change. If they don't address the reasons why they cheated in the past there is a good chance it will happen again in a new relationship. No matter what reasons a cheater gives a new partner for their past infidelity the reality is that this is a person who is comfortable betraying the trust of an intimate partner. Don’t let lust lead you to overlook this character flaw. A cheater who wants to change must do some real soul searching and take responsibility for the harm they have done. They must stop trying to rationalize their behavior and admit that it was wrong. If they can't do this there is a good chance they will cheat again. Can Cheaters Change? People can always change if they really want to, cheaters included. Whether or not a cheater can change is completely up to the individual. Some people cope with down times in their relationships by seeking outside excitement. If cheating is a coping mechanism it will require therapy to address and overcome. Some cheaters are just immature and grow out of the cheating urge. This is very common in teens and young adults since the peer pressure to be in a relationship can make them enter into a commitment before they are truly ready. Other cheaters cheat because they can, and will not cheat if they are with a different partner. If they have repeatedly cheated and been forgiven chances are good that the cheating won’t stop because it has become a part of conflict resolution in the relationship. The cheater is in some way dissatisfied with their partner so they cheat, the partner forgives them and they enter a honeymoon phase, when they hit another bump the cheater returns to their successful attention seeking strategy and cheats again. The only way to beat this cycle is individual and/or couples therapy. If somebody cheats on one partner it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will cheat on the next but unless they address the reasons why they cheated in the past there is a good chance it will happen again in a new relationship. No matter what reason a cheater gives a new partner for their past infidelity the reality is that this is a person who is comfortable betraying the trust of an intimate partner, don’t let lust lead you to overlook this character flaw. Unless a cheater has done some real soul searching, taken responsibility for the harm they have done, and stopped trying to rationalize their behavior and admitted it was wrong, you run the risk of being the next victim of their infidelity. Cheating doesn’t happen because a relationship is bad, it happens because that is how the cheater chooses to deal with a bad relationship. In fact, many cheaters cheat when they are in good relationships. If you want to take a risk on a former cheater sit down and really talk about what happened in the past and look at the situation with unbiased eyes, and if you decide to go ahead with the relationship leave the cheating issue in the past. People do change but when their past bad behavior is used against them it is never good, you must give your relationship a clean slate if it is going to succeed. When it comes to entering into a relationship with an admitted cheater all you can do is examine the facts and trust your instincts.