When someone you’re dating tells you they’ve cheated on a former love you get the sinking feeling that you could find yourself a victim of their infidelity as well. Can former cheaters be reformed? In this post, by Janis Boswell, she’ll share her advice for dealing with a past cheater. What To Do When You Discover You’re Dating Someone With An Adulterous Past?
In a relationship, both parties bring their own set of baggage because let’s face it, no one has an immaculate dating past. But when you discover that your partner has a history of cheating, whether it’s just one time or multiple times, it’s definitely a tough pill to swallow.
And the fact that a published study from Denver University supports the saying “once a cheater, always a cheater,” with people who had been previously unfaithful in the past they were 3.5 times more likely to cheat in their next relationship, which makes you wonder whether you should call it quits altogether.
Is the answer to break up?
The truth is that there is no right or wrong answer to this question, as it all depends on you. The worse thing that you could possibly do is make accusations or assume that he or she will inevitably cheat on you when nothing in your current relationship has demonstrated the potential for adultery.
While some of us find comfort in classifying them as horrible human beings that all share the same characteristics, infidelity is complex, and it’s unfair to base the turnout of your relationship without knowing his or her side of the story. eHarmony point out there’s also no guarantee that someone who has always been faithful will remain so in the future, showing that all of us possess that cheating potential; it’s just that some people have it greater than others.
That doesn’t mean you should turn a blind eye to a former cheater. Everything that took place in the past happened for a reason and can have an impact on your trust, something that has to be earned, regardless if you’re dating someone with a sordid history or not.
Although the affair might be a sensitive subject for your partner, it’s important for you to ask questions without overstepping your emotional boundaries, as there is such a thing as knowing too much which can lead to heightened emotions.
Director of the Institute for Sex Therapy Kenneth McGuire reveals that open discussions are a good sign, but if the person simply states that adultery happened and avoids clarification, the relationship might not be worth investing in.
Once both of you are openly talking about the subject, you’ll be able to get a sense of how the previous relationship led to infidelity. “While cheating is often a symptom of some other underlying problem in a relationship, I find it encouraging that so many people stop cheating on their own,” says Adam & Eve resident sexpert Dr. Kat Van Kirk in reference to the 74 percent of survey participants that claimed to have ended their affairs.
If a person can recognize the reason for cheating, the underlying issues in the last relationship, end the affair and tell you about it, the more likely that they both of you can move on and focus on your partnership rather than dwell on the past. Just remember to take things slow and steady to give each other time to build that foundation of trust.
Janis Boswell- Janis comes from a family of matchmakers, and so she’s always had a keen interest in relationship studies and the psychology behind dating. In her spare time, she likes to read fantasy novels and take her dog out to the park.