Should Employers Hire Cheaters? “If Your Wife Can’t Trust You, Why Should I?”

If you were interviewing someone for a job and found out that the applicant had cheated on his wife, would you still hire him?

By Ella Carroll-Smith3 min read
Pexels/Anna Shvets

Someone’s past behavior can often be indicative of their future actions, but not always. If a man cheats on his wife, it might make it more likely that he will “cheat” on his business partner, but are the lines between our personal and professional lives really that blurred? 

Content creators and users on TikTok certainly seem to think so! A marketing, branding, and business growth content creator called Zaneos posted a video where he was adamant that he’d never go into business with a cheater.

In the video, he states, “If someone is willing to cheat on their wife, or the mother of their children, or their partner, do you not think they’re going to stab you in the back over money at some point? In life and in business, you need loyal people around you that you can trust, and you cannot trust a cheater.”

Most users in his comments section seemed to agree, chiming in with comments such as: “Integrity is the most important trait in business. Unfaithful people lack integrity.”

“If someone cheated they should be fired, because it speaks volumes about their character.”

“If they treat their family/significant other that way, you CAN NOT convince me that my betrayal isn’t next. GOOD BYE.”

It’s certainly understandable why people feel so strongly about this topic. Infidelity is one of the deepest forms of betrayal out there, and sadly, it happens to a lot of us. Even if you’ve never personally been cheated on, you probably (unfortunately) know someone who has. Or you worry that it might one day happen to you. 

Finding out that someone you know cheated on their significant other forces you to immediately see them in a different light and wonder if you can trust anything they say. So why wouldn’t a potential employer or business partner feel the same way?

If someone has a history of being unfaithful in their personal relationships, then it is certainly possible that those dishonest tendencies might bleed over into their professional relationships as well. With this in mind, the answer to the question of whether or not employers should hire cheaters might seem simple. 

After all, if someone's wife doesn’t trust them, why should an employer? But life isn’t quite that black and white, and while cheating is never acceptable, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the person who cheated should be stigmatized for the rest of their life – especially when it comes to their career. 

People Can Change

We all make mistakes in life. Yes, those mistakes fall on a spectrum, and yes, cheating on your significant other is a dire misstep. But forgiveness is a virtue, and we need to be able to recognize that people can change and grow into better versions of themselves. This is especially true if the person cheated a long time ago, learned from their mistake, and changed their ways.

I think when it comes to the subject of infidelity, it’s important to determine whether it’s a one-off blunder or a pattern of behavior. If a man cheats on his wife but immediately recognizes the error of his ways and is then able to heal the relationship and never cheat again, that’s a one-off mistake. 

However, a man who cheats on his wife multiple times in a row (whether he comes clean about it or not) is displaying a pattern of behavior, and there is a big difference between the two. Cheating is unacceptable in both situations, but if I were an employer, I would much rather hire someone who makes one mistake over someone who displays a dishonest pattern of behavior.

Obviously, every relationship is different, and in the end, the people in the relationship are the ones who determine where their limits are and what behaviors they’re willing to forgive. Maybe a wife or husband would be unable to forgive even a single instance of cheating, and if that’s the case, they are well within their rights to do so. 

Cheating on your spouse is one of the worst things you can do to them, and no act of infidelity should be taken lightly. Even just one mistake is a big deal, and that applies to both emotional and physical affairs. But sometimes, forgiveness is possible, and people can change. Additionally, how people act in their personal life is not always indicative of how they’ll act in their professional life, and vice versa. 

Business Betrayal Is Not a Foregone Conclusion

While I agree it’s fair to be wary of going into business with someone who cheated on their partner (especially if it’s a pattern of behavior), it’s not a foregone conclusion that this person will go on to betray their business partners. 

Whatever happened to the idea of keeping our work lives separate from our personal lives? You don’t know what’s going on in someone’s personal life that contributed to their infidelity. Again, I’m not excusing the behavior, but cheating does not happen in a vacuum. There are always deeper contributing factors, and those reasons typically go far beyond the fact that the person simply found someone else attractive. It’s almost certain there are deep emotional issues going on in the relationship that both parties are responsible for. 

How someone acts in their personal life is not always indicative of how they’ll act professionally. Consider the situation in reverse: If a man has never cheated on his wife, then that means he’d never betray his business partner. Obviously, that’s not always true. If it were, then it would be much easier for business partners to trust each other. 

Men who make great husbands and women who make great wives are still capable of deceit in their places of work. Of course, it’s more likely that people who are honest in one area of their life will be honest in other areas, but it’s important to be discerning regardless. 

Closing Thoughts

So, should employers hire cheaters? Like most things in life, the answer is “it depends.” People are always capable of surprising us, for better or for worse. They’re also capable of change. Should you be more wary of going into business or hiring someone who has cheated on his wife (if there were even an ethical way you could determine that during the hiring process)? Yes, but it’s still not a foregone conclusion that they will go on to be a bad employee. So proceed with caution, but evaluate everyone on an individual basis. 

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