Once a cheater, always a cheater?

New research adds support to the ‘once a cheat, always a cheat’ theory

New research adds support to the 'once a cheat, always a cheat' theory

(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro)

So your partner’s cheated, you’ve forgiven them, and you’re trying to move forward.

Or you’re dating someone new, who cheated on their previous partner with you, and you’re trying to see the good in them, telling yourself that they cheated with you because you’re meant to be,

Can’t budge that niggling doubt though, can you?

Turns out there may be some justification for worrying that a cheater may cheat again – you know, beyond the whole evidence of broken trust thing.

New research adds some more weight to that ‘once a cheat, always a cheat’ theory, discovering that those who had cheated in their previous relationship were three times more likely to cheat in their next relationship.


New research adds support to the 'once a cheat, always a cheat' theory

(Picture: Erin Aniker for Metro.co.uk)

Oh, and in even more miserable findings, those who get cheated on are more likely to get cheated on in their next relationship, too. Fun.

The study, published in Archives of Sexual Behaviour, asked 484 people in relationships about their behaviour, asking them to report any sex they’d had outside of the relationship – or, as the researchers catchily call it, ‘extra-dyadic sexual involvement’.

The participants had been tracked through two romantic relationships, reporting their cheating habits throughout.

And, lo and behold, the researchers found that if a participant had cheated in one relationship, they were three times more likely to cheat in another one than people who didn’t report any cheating.

metro illustrations

(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

So if your partner cheated on their last partner, that’s a cause for concern.

Meanwhile, participants who reported being cheated on in their last relationship were twice as likely to get cheated on in their next relationship.

We really do like to repeat our toxic relationship patterns, huh?

Finally, those who suspected that their previous partners had cheated were four times more likely to be suspicious of their next partner, hammering home the idea that a dent in trust lasts longer than the relationships that cause them.

metro illustrations

(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

The study concluded: ‘Prior infidelity emerged as an important risk factor for infidelity in next relationships.’

Which, in non-science speak, means ‘if someone cheats once, they’re more likely to cheat again’.

Now, to be clear, this is a small study that only looks at the facts of ‘did cheat’ and ‘didn’t cheat’. It doesn’t make allowances for any reasoning behind cheating, it doesn’t look into emotional cheating versus physical, and we don’t know whether the cheaters considered themselves serial cheaters, or were filled with regret for what they’d done.

So don’t read the study, run home, and dump your partner because they cheated on someone when they were 15.

Instead, just be aware that prior cheating is a risk factor.

It means something about a person’s relationship patterns, and if they can’t explain why they cheated or reassure you that they won’t do it again, alarm bills should be ringing.

Read more: http://metro.co.uk/2017/08/16/new-research-adds-support-to-the-once-a-cheat-always-a-cheat-theory-6856032/#ixzz4q1GviKbS