The betrayal of a partner who is a cheater can devastate a relationship. However, it is possible for a person to change their cheating behavior. These six signs can tell you if they have changed.
Romantic relationships are built mainly on trust. So cheating and going outside of the relationship bond violates the faith that the two partners had for each other. Rebuilding trust is difficult. But it takes time, effort, and forgiveness of the betrayed partner.
For those not currently in a relationship, deciding whether or not to date a cheater who has a reputation can be tricky. Can a cheater change their roaming ways and become your one-and-only? Or by dating a cheater, are you likely to find out how it feels to be cheated on?
6 Signs A Cheater Has Changed
1. The flirtations are gone
Instead of trying to catch the eye of every available person who might notice them, you see them stop vying for others’ attention. Conversely, they seek your approval. You might notice something as simple as fewer selfies without you and more shots of the two of you. This behavior is one of the slightest nuances that can create the most significant differences.
If a cheating partner has changed, the behavior difference should be clear. You no longer feel threatened by their behavior toward other potential romantic partners.
2. They make you feel secure
You’ve noticed them actively seek physical touch in public. For example, they like holding your hand to show everyone that you (and they) are off the market. If a cheater has changed, they take responsibility for you as their soul mate. Additionally, they show their care by physically, financially, and emotionally taking care of your needs.
3. You are open about the cheating behavior and what triggered it
Talking about the betrayal may be hurtful, but getting out all of the details might be best, especially if you uncover triggers that may cause your cheating partner to be likely to feel the need for attention from another person again.
When one partner feels unappreciated, unheard, or mistreated, they may seek another person who can give them the tenderness they crave. Ask your cheater how they felt before they cheated so you can identify the emotional triggers for cheating.
For example, if your partner says they felt neglected, tell them several specific things you will do to ensure they don’t feel neglected. Also, ask your partner to commit to telling you if they feel that way again or if they have thought about cheating.
4. They make plans for you as a couple
Plans don’t have to mean marriage. But even planning a trip for the both of you for six months from now gives you some sense of hopefulness for your future as a couple who conquered cheating.
When your partner focuses on creating a happy future, you feel more secure in your relationship, knowing that you are being planned for. When you have a close, committed relationship, you and your partner have future-focused items like a living will, life insurance, and other legal and financial aids that protect your domestic partner and yourself.
5. They have asked for forgiveness
The act of asking for forgiveness opens the door to healing in a relationship after cheating. Whether it was an emotional attachment or a sexual one, when the partner who did the affair asks for your forgiveness, they admit that they know their behavior was wrong.
North American Journal of Psychology researchers who studied forgiveness and cheating say, ‘People are more likely to forgive their partners when they are committed to and satisfied with their relationships.’ They also say ‘forgiveness was most likely when cheating was an isolated incident and when the partner offered an apology.’ If you haven’t gotten an apology, ask your partner for one.
6. There is a new level of emotional openness
A cheating partner who can now be vulnerable around you is a cheater who has changed. Emotional cheating happens when a partner leaves the relationship to burden another person they feel will listen. Feel secure about your partner if they have opened themselves up to you and told you intimate things that they couldn’t tell anyone else.
Ask your partner about their opinion of infidelity in a relationship and whether monogamy is something they feel comfortable with now. The reason for the question is that your partner’s attitude toward cheating can predict how likely they are to cheat again. Researchers studying why cheating happens in a Marquette University study say ‘individuals who hold more permissive attitudes toward adultery and uncommitted sexual relationships are more likely to engage in adulterous acts.’