Relationships are tough and navigating the waters of romance can seem quite perilous at times. We all make mistakes in relationships, but occasionally we might find ourselves making the same mistakes time and time again. Cheating is one of those habits that can be hard to break, whether you are the one doing the cheater or the one being cheated on.
Some studies have shown that 50-60% of married men will engage in extramarital sex or affairs at one point during their marriage. Women are certainly no more or less likely to cheat than their partners are, but regardless of gender it can be difficult to determine whether your partner is cheating on you or not.
If you are worried about being cheated on, here are a few ways to spot someone who might be cheater or who is already cheating:
- Once a cheater, always a cheater. If your partner has cheated before, they are likely to cheat again. Even if they say they aren’t going to cheat, this prior behaviour is indicative of how they could behave in the future.
- Narcissistic tendencies. Individuals with narcissistic personalities are more likely to cheat, because they feel like they deserve more than other people. The rules don’t always apply to them, which encourages bad behavior like cheating.
- A lack of guilt. People who don’t feel guilty are likely to cheat, because they have fewer feelings of remorse keeping them from those hurtful actions.
- Liars will make all sorts of excuses for bad behavior. If your partner is lying to you about other things, they may be lying to you about cheating.
If you have cheated on your partner and you’ve been caught, there are a few things you can learn from that situation. People cheat for a variety of reasons: they are too scared to end their relationship, they aren’t getting what they need from that relationship, they’re bored and need the adrenaline rush, etc.
Many of the reasons why people cheat boils down to a lack of communication between themselves and their partners. Having these conversations about health, sexual awareness, and loneliness can be intimidating; the rejection factor is easier to handle when you’ve actually done something wrong, like cheat.
How you behave after you’ve cheated can make or break your relationship habits, whether or not your current relationship ends. Having an affair isn’t a deal breaker for some relationships, and it can bring to light some very necessary conversations that ultimately strengthen that relationship. Everyone makes mistakes, but habitual cheating will doom a relationship.
If you have cheated and you want to repair the damage you’ve done, serious changes to your behavior are needed. You have to show your partner that you are going to be different moving forward; this means being transparent, cutting off communication with the people you’ve cheated with, not forming new romantic relationships, and working to build trust with your partner.