“Once a Cheater, Always a Cheater?” and Take the Trust Quiz

Alex Myles asks the question in this Elephant Journal article while making the case for, more for justification than for advice, trusting a cheater–upon certain conditions. Would you trust someone with a cheating past if the explanation was satisfactory and the relationship felt right, meaning the person seemed trustworthy now? Take the trust quiz to measure the trust in your relationship(s) now.

8 Replies to ““Once a Cheater, Always a Cheater?” and Take the Trust Quiz”

  1. I have never been faithful going back over 40 years. Does my partner trust me? I believe she does.

    Should she? I hope so.

    Do I trust myself? … I don’t know.

  2. I am vehemently against that cliche expression. I have cheated. I would have undoubtedly cheated again if I wasn’t in my current marriage. Cheating is completely, “case by case”. You should always assume that cheating is a possibility in your relationship, and consistently try your best to meet your partner’s needs. I can also say that I had an affair almost 9 years ago. I ended that affair against every fiber in my body to follow socialistic standards, and it was the worst decision I ever made. 7 years later we reconnected. We subsequently left our spouses for each other. The relationship gets better and more fulfilling every day, and I fully trust my partner. But, I also assume that if a drop the ball – I have no reason to complain if he begins to seek attention elsewhere.

    1. I also object to the term “cheat” or “cheating” as it is a form of typecasting that is lazy and unfair. Why people make choices they do in love and marriage is far too complicated to be relegated to a term that is supposed to make someone feel better. I agree that each case is different, depending on the parties and circumstances. People are not monogamous or leave relationships for good reason, bad reason or no reason at all. Stereotypes take one specific behavior and apply a trait to the overall character of a person based on an action or choice. It is inhumane.

      1. So beautifully said. People require separation to distinguish themselves from the things they fear, the people that could hurt them. Forming generalizations enables people have a false sense of security, pointing their fingers and chastising others for their behavior. This is the reason I subscribe to your blog; you are open minded and come from an educated place (your writing style, vocabulary, etc.). Always a pleasure!

  3. I had by chance found this blog when looking for articles on a topic I was doing a paper on. I find many of the articles interesting but also painful at times. Perhaps that was why I picked this topic, in some way to understand the workings behind the reasons for cheating. I was the person cheated on in my past relationship and it was one of the most painful things I ever went thru. Oddly, my long time boyfriend came from a childhood that was very turbulent which made it hard for him to trust and in turn he had issues with fidelity not from whom he met that he might be attracted to, but from what he feared the most, that he would somehow allow himself to love and be loved and then would get left behind as part of his childhood pattern with his parents. It was a vicious circle he repeated in all his relationships and the undoing of all of them. Oddly, he really wanted that one love but could never allow himself the vulnerability to feel it completely, and he felt safer in his self protect mode of cheating to create space between himself and me and my predecessors. I am now married and recently ran into him and he is still chasing his tail (no pun intended). I still have feelings for him that I will never lose but they have turned to more of a sadness for him. However, the pain will always be seared in my mind of being betrayed, and it was the lying that probably was the greatest hurt of all. I have had many that I have met that I had chemistry with, but never acted on because I knew what I would be putting the wife or girlfriend through. There are three people and sometimes four who are involved in the deception and I know for me it would be hard to get past that. I realize this is not always the case and there are many reasons why it works and doesn’t for people. Sometimes it is the only way one can feel alive who is trapped in a lonely marriage they cannot get out of. Others may like the safety of the unavailable partner and the eventual ending they know is certain to come as opposed to fearing it might happen in a committed relationship. I am studying psychology and this is certainly a topic that goes deep into the crevices of the mind.

    1. Sandy, thank you for this wonderfully clear and circumspect comment that echoes so much of not only my own experiences but the motivation for my blog topic–exploring the full depth and breadth of an amazingly vast topic that slices deeply into the meaning of what is to be human. We measure our humanity in the mysteries of our motivations and choices in relationships. What those relationships tell us about ourselves is everything and nothing in so far as we can ever understand completely what it is to be an other. Your contribution to this conversation is much appreciated.

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