web analytics
April 21, 2015 / 2 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Once A Cheater, Always A Cheater?

Neuman-Rabbi-M-Gary

Cheating on a spouse is a terrible betrayal. Yes, sadly, it is quite common, but that doesn’t erase the devastation and pain it causes. The discovery of cheating almost always comes on the heels of extreme lying. The big question always is, how can the one cheated on ever trust again? It is logical and practical to think that once a spouse has cheated, there is no reason to assume it would not occur time and again.

It’s worth being concerned about. In my study of cheating men, 46% had cheated with multiple women. Although the rest only cheated with one woman, some did return to the woman after promising not to.

After helping thousands of couples heal after cheating, here are the sure signs of whether or not your spouse will cheat again:

Remorse. If your spouse is cavalier about cheating and is less than profusely apologetic, you’re in trouble. While genuine remorse in and of itself does not protect you from future cheating, it is an absolute prerequisite for the possibility of future fidelity. If phrases like, “everyone cheats” and “how long is this going to bother you” are bandied about, that is a sign that the cheater is not doing the work necessary to protect the marriage.

Daily behavioral changes. The cheater must now show you that he or she has made serious changes which will greatly reduce the odds of it ever happening again. This would include distancing from friends who encouraged or in any way played a part in the cheating. For example, in my research, 77% of cheating men had best friends who cheated as compared to less than half of faithful men. There’s likely a need to be changes in the manner in which the cheater deals with the opposite sex as well.

Transparency. The cheater must allow accessibility in all areas – including passwords to emails, phones and computers. In essence, the cheater has to be okay with living on a short leash for some time. This is never comfortable because it is a constant reminder of tragic mistakes, but it is a necessary component for the victim of the cheating. Everyone knows that if someone wants to cheat, no surveillance will be enough. But it is the cheater’s willingness to be open and responsive to any concerns that helps the hurt spouse begin to move forward. I have gone to such lengths as to send certain cheaters for lie detector tests at the start of, and then a year into, therapy as a way to prove honesty in the future. This is an example of how much the cheater must be willing to help the spouse gain trust again.

Complete honesty about the past. The spouse who was cheated on needs clear answers to questions like: are you still involved in any capacity with any others, what were the circumstances of how the cheating happened, how often and when, etc.

However, I caution you not to ask graphic questions that are only going to help you form an image. Sure, the one who was cheated on deserves any answer but not every answer will lead to a healthy future. It’s a good sign when the cheater is willing to give answers. This shows that he or she recognizes how painful this has been to the spouse. However, if the cheater still seems more sensitive to the other person than to his/her spouse, that’s a recipe for future cheating.

Changes in your marriage. You, the one cheated on, may not like to hear it, but most cheaters (88% in my study of male cheaters) were experiencing great distress in their marriages in advance of the cheating. This doesn’t mean it was in any way your fault; but it does mean that both spouses have to seriously figure out what their marital needs are and how to start to fulfill them.

Counseling. There must be some form of counseling. It cannot be brief and if the cheater is unwilling to attend or continue, bad news. In my study, only 17% of couples went to counseling and only 1% went for more than 10 sessions. Counseling gives the couple an open forum to discuss matters that are difficult to resolve when discussed alone. There also needs to be an agreement that if you ever want to reenter marital therapy in the future, the cheater will go without any struggle. Counseling should include many individual sessions for the cheater in order for him/her to discover deeper issues that have led to such behavior.

About the Author: M. Gary Neuman is a psychotherapist, rabbi, and New York Times best-selling author. He is the creator of NeumanMethod.com video programs for marriages and parenting.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Once A Cheater, Always A Cheater?”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Rav Aharon Lichtenstein
My Encounter with Rav Lichtenstein
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

The teenage years are not about surviving. They are about thriving.

Twenties-041715-Hat

Every moment was a gift. I held each one, savoring.

Teens-Twenties-logo

We arrived in Auschwitz on Thursday, January 30, 2014. My seminary was taking us to see where the prisoners were kept. When we got there, I stepped off the bus in complete and total silence. I was in the back, and when we got to the gate I hesitated and started shaking uncontrollably. I couldn’t […]

From the moment Israel was declared a Jewish state, it has been the subject of controversy and struggle.

Now that Pesach is over, we return you to your regularly-scheduled pressing questions:   Dear Mordechai, Can I use a nose hair trimmer during Sefirah? Harry Lipman   Dear Harry, Yes, as long as your nose hairs are so bad that they’re affecting your job. Like if you have a desk job, and they interfere […]

It is very natural for kids to want attention and to be jealous of each other, especially when there is a new baby.

During the Second World War, a million and a half Jewish soldiers fought in the Allied armies, the Partisan units in Eastern Europe, and the anti-fascist underground movements in Western Europe and North Africa. These Jewish fighters won over 200,000 medals and citations. The Museum of the Jewish Soldier in World War II in Latrun, […]

The 2-day real estate event will take place in Brooklyn on April 26 and 27.

She wasn’t paying attention to what the child did when the mother was not in the room. Rather, her main focus was on what the child did when the mother returned.

The Mets at least have hope for the future with some good young pitchers.

French thinkers of the Enlightenment were generally not pro-Semitic, to say the least.

My Jewish star was battered, indeed it was a wreck
But I picked it up anyway and put it around my neck
To know that hatred mangled it was surely very painful
But just the same to me it is still very beautiful.

A compulsion is a repetitive action. But what underlies the compulsion is an obsession or fear.

More Articles from Rabbi M. Gary Neuman
Neuman-Rabbi-M-Gary

Are we allowed to lie for shalom bayis? It would seem so, but what might be a healthy guideline for when it’s okay and when it’s not?

Neuman-Rabbi-M-Gary

Sacrifice is the backbone of our souls. It indicates self-regulation for a higher purpose.

Spoiler Alert: Going to see the movie “Saving Mr. Banks”, starring Tom Hanks is not like going to Disney World. Well, it is like going to Disney World if you go mid-August with your triplet toddlers, feed them all cotton candy, and lose your car because you forgot you parked in Pluto 7.394. It’s not a happy Disney movie.

Stacy and George walked out of the marriage counselor’s office angrier than when they arrived. It was their third session and this last fight over his ex-wife wasn’t going away. The fifty minutes spent embroiled in a detailed account of their battle only fired up their anger – and the counselor’s request to remember how much they love each other wasn’t helping. It would be a week before the next session and both of them were already talking about not coming back.

The therapeutic alliance has always been about a firm connection between patient and counselor. There has always been one primary standard – physically meeting in an office setting. There might be some phone calls in between sessions or to bridge some vacation gap. But therapy has always been about a feeling of connectivity and there is no better way to do this than face-to-face.

Cindy is 43, successful, attractive, a dedicated mom, extremely caring… and she hates herself. She doesn’t readily admit this, but spend a minute inside her head and you’ll discover the resounding messages revolving around negative rants – everything from “I failed” to “I should’ve done better.” You wouldn’t know it from her behavior. She’s a high functioning, regular member of society.

As adults who were children of divorce know, healing does not occur through time alone. In fact, my research found that only 46% said they had a positive relationship with their fathers as adults.

Stacy and Michael walked out of the marriage counselor’s office angrier than when they arrived. It was their third session and this last fight over his ex wife wasn’t going away. The fifty minutes embroiled in a detailed outline of the battle only fired up their anger and the counselor’s request to remember how much they love each other wasn’t helping. It would be a week before the next session and both of them were already talking about not returning for therapy.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/marriage-relationships/once-a-cheater-always-a-cheater/2012/08/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: