People who have cheated before are more likely to repeat it, says new study
Once a cheater always a cheater
Following the results of a new study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, you have every right to be suspicious of someone who has a record of cheating. How could you ever place your complete trust in a person who has once stooped to the very low of being disloyal? Researchers of the study investigated people in long lasting relationships about their history of unfaithfulness.
Results of the study revealed that 30 per cent of people who had been unfaithful in the past had also cheated on their present partners. This was compared to just 13 per cent who said that while they were cheating on their current partners (lovely) had never been unfaithful before. This outcome is true for both men and women, and is supported by former studies.
The researchers concluded that the results were due to what is known as the “threshold effect.” Study co-author and clinical psychologist Frank Dattilio explains that if you cheat once, being unfaithful again may not seem like a huge crime. However, not all cheaters have this perspective. In the study, a full 70 percent of those who committed adultery in the past were faithful in their current relationships, meaning that it is possible for cheaters to learn from their mistakes.
The big question we know have to ask: how do you know whether a previous cheater is reliable? Communication is key. Dattilio advises that you should talk to your partner about the infidelity (whether it was against you or another) and observe their reactions.
If your partner avoids the subject and acts like there is nothing to worry about, you should be concerned, Dattilio says. This suggests that your partner doesn’t prioritise faithfulness. Nevertheless, if your partner comes clean about the situation and confesses that it was an awful mistake, then you know that they take cheating as seriously as you do. If you can see that your partner is honestly torn up about their slip-up, then you could perhaps trust them once again.