Post # 31
This was covered on the radio months ago, and I remember one of the callers saying that she had a lot of insecurities and she hurt a lot of men with her actions. She knew it was wrong but could not stop doing it until she hurt someone really important to her. She really loved this guy and he was the best person she had ever met. They moved in together and were getting serious, and then it happened again; she cheated. She absolutely tore him apart and it was after she hurt him when she truly realized what a complete ass she was. After that, she said she met and married another guy and never thought about cheating again, because she could not imagine hurting her husband the way she did that guy years ago.
Anyway, we don’t know the “and after…” story of whether or not she finds some hot, attractive guy on some Caribbean vacation with her husband ten years later, but who knows? She might be true to her word.
I suggest you get therapy and try to work out what’s leading you to these actions. For me personally, I tend to want to cheat if there is something I am unhappy about in the relationship. I never gave into my impulses because they’re always insignificant things that I blow out of proportion in my head. I think you need a sense of control or some inhibitor, and that inhibitor isn’t wired in your brain because you haven’t truly yet understood the weight of your actions (maybe because you haven’t met “the one” yet).
Post # 32
This isn’t really helpful for the overall flow of the thread, so I apologise, but what mental health issue would that be? I’m just curious.
Post # 33
Hi! I wanted to say I would echo the idea of counseling and therapy. There can be some negative stigmas about seeking help or trying to understand and take care of your mental and emotional health…but it’s really a good idea.
For what it’s worth, I started going to counseling before getting married. My fiance was really nervous about it, too- he wasn’t sure if it was me having doubts about him, or if things would be “drudged up” and I would change my mind about getting married or him just in general, and he also just had kind of a negative perception and frankly, fear, about how it would affect our relationship if I “changed”. I think it also was a bit difficult for him that I didn’t quite feel like he was the right person to talk to about some things. I promised him over and over that it was about me and about me being the best person I could and dealing with some issues before getting married to him, so that I could go in as healthy mentally and emotionally as I could.
The counseling was really good for me. (It is tough and that season was pretty hard on me, so just know that it can be a hard time as you think about things you don’t always want to and you have to try to reconcile perceptions about yourself that weren’t always right but that you’ve held onto a long time.) But it’s very worth it.
So, I would reassure your boyfriend that it is because you want to be the best person for both of your sakes and that it isn’t about leaving him, but more about you and your relationship.
However, now for a bit of tough love…I don’t know you and I don’t know him, so please take this with a grain of salt. I promise I’m not trying to be judgmental or rude. But, you do recognize the pattern you have. You also are in a relationship with someone who was willing to have a long term affair with someone who was cheating.
I don’t have a clue as to the “health”of your relationship. But I do not think once a cheater always a cheater. I do believe however, that to make real changes in your life and yourself, you must at times make very difficult choices to separate yourself from influences and situations and people that did or do not encourage the good choices you want to make especially when it comes to your own character. So be careful, and do take a few minutes to consider if some time to “figure yourself out and work on you” might be something to consider doing on your own.
Even if there are hesitations, your boyfriend should be supportive of you doing something you feel will help you – not discourage or try to prevent you from pursuing that.
Best of luck to you!
Post # 34
Realistically, it is a lot easier to cheat than it is to breakup when you are extremely unhappy. That being said cheating is not a reflex, you have choice.
Post # 35
Thank you so much for this, it was all really good to hear – especially the bit about handling your boyfriend’s hurt feelings and explaining it’s about being as healthy emotionally as you can be.
I do also appreciate that it takes two to tango, and that even though he wasn’t happy with the situation, my OH still continued to see me when he knew I was in a long-term relationship. It’s certainly not on the same level of deceit, and I (perhaps naively) believe I was a genuine one-off for him, but I will certainly bring this up in therapy. I absolutely won’t leave him, because he’s the man I want to marry, but I won’t ignore our past.
Post # 36
- Wedding: January 2021 - City, State
Okay, so I was this person, I was a serial cheater because I wasn’t getting what I wanted from the relationships, I continually cheated on most partners for most of my adult life.
until I met my current boyfriend, I don’t know why he’s different but he is, im just not interested in anyone else that way anymore.
i don’t know what changed but something did, recongnising your issue and talking about it was for me the first step.
Post # 37
I am a believer of once and cheater always a cheater.
However, with that being said. I do see that you are aware of you’re actions and are trying to make a positive change in you’re life. So in that case, I think counselling is a great step.
Post # 38
I definitely don’t believe in “once an anything, always an anything”. People change.
I agree with everyone else that individual therapy is a must. You are going through a destructive pattern in life that is causing you distress. You should definitely seek help so you can pull yourself out of it and live the way you’d rather live. If your partner is uncomfortable with it, maybe tell him it’s about being the best you that you can be; I always see therapy as a way to better myself, and to become the person I know I can be.
Post # 39
My sister and I are extremely guilty of this, however, I definitely do not believe the whole “once a cheater, always a cheater” thing. I have been in serious relationship after serious relationship since I was 13 years old. I cheated on my first real boyfriend (dated for five years) with an older guy who pursued me. I immediately started dating this new guy after breaking it off with my current BF. He was emotionally and verbally abusive for most of our relationship. I dated him for a year before I cheated with my now Fiance. I have been with my Fiance for four years (lived together for almost three) and have never even considered cheating on him. He is everything to me and I could never imagine hurting him.
My older sister has yet to find a guy that she hasn’t cheated on. She dates a guy, gets serious, they eventually show their true colors, she becomes depressed and cheats with the next guy that treats her well and the vicious cycle continues on a loop. I have all the faith in the world that she will eventually find someone she loves as much as I love my Fiance and change her ways.
If you think that therapy or counseling will help you understand your behavior, by all means pursue it. Cheating is a choice that unfortunately some of us make several times before realizing we don’t want that lifestyle any more but you absolutely can change.
Post # 40
This is tough.
People cheat for different reasons I believe.
I have been the cheater twice, in my late teens/early twenties.
I think my issue was at the time I shouldn’t have been in relationships. I should have been single as I wasn’t fully committed. But felt pressures to be in relationships and not being out and parting. Now I’m a little older I have a different view on this of course.
I have been with my SO for 6 years now and the thought of cheating hasn’t crossed my mind at all, I haven’t ever been tempted.
So my thoughts are that no, it’s not once a cheater, always a cheater.
Get some counselling if you think that would help and have faith in yourself 🙂
Post # 41
This isn’t really an update – more a sort of sad vent. I booked two consultations with two different therapists, and they both cancelled my appointments when I said I couldn’t afford weekly sessions at £50 a time.
This feels really heartbreaking to me. I finally plucked up the courage to look into therapy only to have the door slammed in my face because I can’t afford £200 a month on sessions. A friend of mine is having psychosexual therapy on the NHS but I feel like doing that would just be the self-indulgent nail in this coffin.
I feel despondent tonight bees. I thought the actual therapy would be the hard part but apparently I’m going to have to take out a small loan just to talk to someone!
Post # 42
That’s tough! Do you have any universities nearby that may offer counseling sessions with supervised PhD candidates at a lesser rate? Or a community mental health center that may suggest other resources? Don’t give up, Bee.
Post # 43
What about talking to a religious person? I mean, I don’t know if you lean that way, but they’re much less expensive than regular people. Or you could read a few books. If you feel like you have the rest of your life together, then maybe you could journal about how you got into the situations before and read through self-help books and actually do what they suggest. I’m American, so I don’t know how your healthcare works, but there must be some other option between paying around $70 a session and having nothing. If the NHS option is free, take it. You pay into the system, use it when you need it.
For what it’s worth, unless you consider the cheating to be what ended every relationship beforehand, you might have been cheating with the express intent of ending the relationship. This may be what happened if you tried to fix whatever was wrong with those other relationships and failed, then resorted to cheating. But if you cheated because you were momentarily unhappy and unfulfilled, then you need to go to counselling, 100%.
Post # 44
How about an employee assistance programme? Many places of work offer this, so you might want to check with your employer. It’s always anonymous and you get quite a few sessions for free.
The other alternative I see is not booking 4 sessions per month, but only one or two. More often than not it’s the work done between sessions that truly helps, so focus on that. You’ve already taken the most important step, the rest will come in time (said as someone who’s had all kinds of therapy, but for different stuff) x
Post # 45
Your other half is quite sure of himself and it seems like you cheating with him stroked his ego… He believes he is the one to “change you” yet doesn’t realise you can’t change down one else other than yourself. He is quite foolish in ignoring your fears and your desire to go to counselling- you SHOULD! My husband and I went to premarital counselling and it helps with even the little silly things you both may take for fabled but build up and annoy your partner. You need counselling alone and with him especially as you feel scared and that this is a pattern Stemming from something.
You need to practice control and should you feel you want to you end it and have a really good think and have time alone…having never really enjoyed being single and just living life for you and freinds could also play a part. I think you are being really wise in wanting to speak to someone and wether your other half wants to or not you should for YOU.