Love

The cheating files

Once a cheater, always a cheater? We uncover the truth.

When Lamar Odom cheating rumours began circulating in 2012, Khloe Kardashain chose to stand by her man. Now, as fresh cheating allegations have emerged surrounding the NBA star, we’ve got to wonder if the age-old relationship adage is true – once a guy’s a cheater, will he always be a cheater?

Cheat, cheater, cheating

Sex and relationship expert Isiah McKimmie says there really is no hard and fast answer: it varies for every personality-type and also from situation to situation. “The whole ‘cheater’ concept is based on the idea of monogamy and monogamy being the only way to have a relationship. For some people that type of relationship doesn’t suit them and so this type of guy will tend to be a serial cheater or will seek out open relationships,” she says.

But it also depends on your relationship. “Couples who don’t communicate well or are seeking attention or something more in the bedroom might stray when they’re not getting what they need inside their relationship,” says Isiah.

Psychologist Annie Crookes explains, "If your man has cheated only once, then it could perhaps have been driven more by his unhappiness in that particular relationship. But if he has cheated multiple times, it's more likely something he's able to justify to himself and therefore repeat across relationships.”

Second chances

Your man has cheated on you and you’re still head-over-heels in love with him – and he says he is in love with you. Although we’re sure all your friends will be encouraging you to leave his ass, we all know it’s way more complicated than that. So, what do you do? “It’s so hard to know exactly what to do but a good indicator of whether to give him another chance is to analyse how he’s feeling about the situation. Is he incredibly remorseful? Is he ridden with guilt and terrified of losing you? Or is he blaming everyone else and not taking responsibility?” says Isiah.

If it’s the latter, you need to think long and hard about getting back with this guy. If you’re going to give it another go, you need to set boundaries “Set up a space for strong communication and don’t brush his cheating under the rug, the main thing is for you to be comfortable,” adds Isiah.

How to tell if he’ll repeat offend

When your boyfriend cheats on you it can totally screw with your trust for him. Every text he gets makes you wonder if it’s from a girl. Every time he goes out with “the boys” you worry about whether he’s going to cheat on you. It’s no way to live, right?

Sadly a chronic cheater isn’t going to walk around with “cheater” tattooed onto his head, but are there any indicators that show you whether he’ll cheat again? You bet: “If he’s done it in the past to girlfriends or you first got together when he was with his girlfriend, it’s a strong indicator he could cheat on you again,” says Isiah. “If he’s overly touchy-feely and flirty with other women that’s another red flag – he should be doing everything in his power to show he’s only interested in you.”

Can someone be a reformed cheater?

So your man has cheated in the past. That sucks. But can someone change? Or does cheating once guarantee he’ll do it again? “New research is showing that ‘sex addiction’ is not a real addiction, it’s a behavioural condition, so in short – if they want to change, they can definitely change,” says Isiah.

Need some examples? Just look to the stars. Self-confessed sex-addict Russell Brand lasted a year with Katy Perry before he couldn’t stand sleeping with just one woman. However, it’s not all doom and gloom – there are some cheaters who seem to have reformed. Famed womaniser John Mayer has now been dating Katy Perry for a long stint. While it’s reported that Angelina Jolie maybe have cheated with Brad Pitt while he was married to Jennifer Aniston, she’s now settled and is bringing up the Pitt-Jolie clan. Want to know if he's a "sex addict" or could be a reformer? Read this.