Once a cheater, always a cheater. Is it true? Can a man make a mistake or is cheating part of his character?
Every woman deserves to be in a faithful relationship, but what happens when your boyfriend or husband cheats? How do you determine whether to stay or leave? While every relationship is unique, generally speaking, you should never stay with a man who cheats. Not only is the act a violation of trust, but tolerating infidelity can invite more bad behavior.
What Constitutes Cheating?
There are various degrees of cheating. Some people consider something as simple as flirting to be cheating, while others believe that only something as serious as having sex with someone outside of the relationship to be cheating. Everyone's standards and boundaries are different, so you need to clarify where you draw the line.
Everyone's standards and boundaries are different, so you need to clarify where you draw the line.
For example, he flirts with another woman. Would he feel comfortable if you flirted with another man? How far did the flirting go? Was it off the cuff, or did he exchange numbers and he continuously messages her? The former is probably excusable, but the latter could be considered an emotional affair. In my personal opinion, constantly messaging another woman behind your back is overstepping the line. It puts your relationship in danger because you don't know what the other woman's intentions are.
Then there's: "I had sex with another woman." This is not okay, and there are no excuses for this. If you're married, it's a breach of trust, and he has broken the marriage vows. If you ever find yourself in this position, stepping away from the relationship can give you both time and space to reflect on what went wrong.
If you don't step away, you're communicating the following to him:
He may think you have no self-respect or boundaries and may even see you as a doormat who tolerates any treatment. If the bad behavior continues over a prolonged period, it will wreak havoc on your emotional and mental wellbeing.
No matter how hard you try to move on, you may always have some doubt in the back of your mind. Over time you'll drive yourself crazy from continually questioning his every move.
If he realizes he can "get away with it" once, he may be tempted to do it again.
Is It Forgivable?
It depends on your circumstances. For example, if you've only been dating for a few months and discover he's cheated, then no. It's unforgivable. The dating phase is about getting to know each other and seeing if the other person has what it takes to be "the one." If he has demonstrated that he's unfaithful and untrustworthy, he's showing you his true colors. You should accept him for who he is and ask yourself whether this is the kind of person you want to be with for the rest of your life.
What if it's just a one time mistake? You've been married for 20 years, you have beautiful children, and your entire world is at stake. Maybe what you're experiencing is the usual intimacy problems driven by long-term monogamy.
Forgiveness doesn't mean suppressing your feelings and pretending that everything is okay – far from it.
It's worth forgiving him for your peace of mind. Forgiveness doesn't mean suppressing your feelings and pretending that everything is okay – far from it. It means acknowledging that you've been hurt and processing your emotions and letting go of the anger towards him.
Whether or not you choose to stay with your husband, forgiveness doesn't happen overnight. It takes time and effort, but it will give you internal peace, which is better than living with bitterness.
Whether you choose to forgive an indiscretion or not, it needs to be based on several factors such as how much time you have invested in the relationship and your honest judgment about why it happened.
In many cases, the trust becomes too broken, and you will need a strong enough reason to stay with someone you can't trust.