I get asked this question quite a bit. Women who are considering trying to save their marriage after their husband has cheated are trying to gauge how likely it is that he’s going to repeat this behavior and cheat again. Because dealing with this once is extremely hard, but many people worry that dealing with it more than once is going to be impossible. So, it’s understandable that you want to know the chances of your husband cheating again. I will go into this in more detail in the following article.
Once A Cheater Always A Cheater? Is This True No Matter What?: When infidelity happened to me, I found that many (but not all) of my friends had no faith in my ability to rehabilitate my marriage completely. Many told me that I would probably never be able to fully trust my husband again since most men who cheat turn out to be repeat offenders. We’ve all heard the saying “once a cheater always a cheater.” But how true is this? And are there different factors that determine who is going to be repeat offender? Does getting counseling and doing the right things make it more likely that the husband won’t cheat again? I have different opinions on all of these questions, but I can tell you what studies and statistics indicate. Here’s a look at some of them.
Statistically speaking (and probably to no one’s surprise) men have more opportunities for infidelity than women. And the numbers seem to back this up. There are many studies about husbands and wives who cheat, but most studies indicate that husbands are slightly more likely to cheat than wives. The numbers that I found range anywhere from 22 to 37 percent of husband being unfaithful and anywhere from 14 to 22 percent of wives having affairs or cheating.
So while these numbers show us that there are plenty of cheating spouses out there, they don’t tell us how many of these folks are repeat offenders who have cheated more than once.
The numbers that I could find indicate that only 15 – 20 percent of people who cheat do so again and become repeat offenders. This is better statistics that many of us expect and I find that many people are shocked to know that only approximately 18% of divorces are due to infidelity. I have learned than more people than I would have ever thought are able to save their marriages after one spouse cheats.
Safeguarding Your Marriage From Repeat Cheating: Many couples are able to identify and then address what went wrong so that they do not have to go through this issue again. Many people assume that cheating and affairs are based solely on sex, but this just is not usually true. Often, it has more to do with a lack of self esteem, a lack of impulse control and a feeling of being disconnected, misunderstood and unappreciated on the part of the spouse who cheated.
What’s really interesting is that there are some factors which can contribute to married spouses cheating more than once. The one that surprised me the most was the people with whom the cheating spouse hangs around with. One study indicated that men who cheated were more than 77 percent more likely to have a best friend who had also cheated. Also, men or husbands are more likely to cheat if their father has cheated.
So, it can make a lot of sense to take a look at your husband’s friends and male family members. Because often, it’s a culture of acceptance toward cheating that you will want to address. Many men are surrounded by other men who insinuate that “all men cheat” and that this is just the normal way that the world works.
Also, there are often contributing factors in the marriage that work with cultural aspects (whether at work, in our society, or in the family,) to make your marriage more vulnerable to infidelity. No marriage is perfect. But being aware, proactive, and having open communication combined with a sense of connectedness can go a long way toward making sure that your marriage is not one of the ones who has to deal with cheating more than once.
Because the changes that a marriage can survive cheating goes down with each affair or instance of cheating. So it makes sense to do what you need to do to safeguard your marriage in the future. And studies do show that couples who receive help in dealing with this are more likely to not have to revisit this again than those who just brush the affair under the rug and attempt to move on too quickly.
I know that these things can be difficult to address, but they are important. Although I never would’ve believed this two years ago, I did eventually truly get over the affair. My marriage is stronger than ever. It took a lot of work, and I had to play the game to win, but it was worth it. Our bond and intimacy is much stronger and because of all the work I did on myself, my self esteem is at an all time high. I no longer worry my husband will cheat again. You can read a very personal story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com/
Katie Lersch writes articles about moving past an affair. Her corresponding blog is at http://surviving-the-affair.com/