You've probably heard the phrase, “Once a cheater, always a cheater” at some point, right? Many people believe that someone who cheats in a relationship will continue to cheat, either in that relationship or any future ones. Is this really true, though? It turns out, this old saying may not be totally correct…
Sure, there are certain people who are serial cheaters. These people find themselves unable to commit to a relationship physically, mentally, or emotionally. These people are often narcissistic and do not care that they hurt others with their infidelity. This is why their relationships often end very quickly. They always wind up cheating on their partner and then on the next partner…and the next one. The good thing is, serial cheaters are not common.
Isolated incidences of cheating are far more common than serial cheating. Talk to literally anyone you know and odds are, they've either been cheated on or been the person who has cheated at some point in their life. Are all of these people serial cheaters? Definitely not. In most cases, infidelity occurs as a result of poor communication and a faulty relationship. When cheating occurs for these reasons, it's not because one of the partners is a serial cheater. It's because the emotional and physical elements of the relationship had fallen apart, and infidelity suddenly presented itself one way or another.
Now, this is by no means excusing infidelity. Cheating is never okay. Most people have no desire to stay with someone who has cheated, even if it's just once – and they are absolutely right to feel this way! You don't have to stay with anyone who could hurt you in such a deep way and betray your trust like that. However, there are still people who want to give their partner another chance and these are the people who wonder about the validity to “once a cheater, always a cheater.”
If you have experienced infidelity and are choosing to stay with your partner, you need to consider whether they are a serial cheater or not. Is this the first time they have done this? If so, it is likely they have no real desire to do it again. Remember, serial cheaters are rare. Also, what exactly did the cheating entail? Many people consider a quick kiss to be cheating. This kind of cheating is honestly very minor and once you express to your partner that you are not okay with it, it is unlikely they will ever cross that line again.
All in all, “once a cheater, always a cheater” is not true in most cases. It really only applies to a narcissistic person who is a serial cheater. Most normal people in relationships who do commit infidelity are very unlikely to commit it again, which means their relationship can be salvaged if their partner so desires.