Catching your partner cheating on you is a life-altering event. It doesn’t matter how you found out. What matters is that you still care about them, even though they have hurt you. That raises the question: “Can a person change after cheating?” The answer is yes, but you have to wonder if they will. Let’s explore what needs to happen in order for a cheater to change.
Why Do People Cheat?
In order to begin answering the question of whether someone can change their ways after cheating begins with the reasons why they would do such a thing in the first place. There are many reasons, some suggested by psychologists and others by sociologists.
Those reasons include:
- Sexual desire
- Emotional neglect
- Lack of love or intimacy
- Lack of commitment
- Boredom or exploration
Often, cheating is the direct result of unresolved conflicts within your relationship. You may not even realize there is something wrong until the bomb labeled “infidelity” drops.
Can A Person Change After Cheating?
Yes, a person can change after cheating. But will they? That is the real question. People can always change, but there has to be a reason for it. If you want your partner to change after they have cheated on you, then there must be something significant attached to that reason for changing. You could call the significant event a major consequence that would rock their world in all the wrong directions. For instance, a divorce.
In order for change to be sustainable, your partner must—at the minimum—express remorse.
This usually requires some level of self-awareness in the person who has cheated. If they came to you after a one-night stand regretful and shocked by their behavior, there is a very high chance that they will change. They would not consider hurting you again. On the other hand, if your partner was hiding their unfaithful actions or failed to evaluate how cheating negatively impacted you, then they are more likely to cheat again.
How Can A Couple Survive Cheating?
Cheaters can change. It is possible that your partner can recover from this blunder and do some work on themselves. The bigger problem is whether you believe in their ability to change.
Change, after all, is a habit. In order to go about correcting what went wrong and provoked the betrayal, you must both sit down and think about your relationship. For you, this may be learning how to set up healthy boundaries. For your spouse, the next few months will be a labor of love, because they have to put some much effort into changing.
Here are some of the things that must happen for a cheater to change (and your marriage to be saved):
- You should both attend couples counseling. A professional can help you both process your emotions and facilitate conversations that lead to more complete healing.
- Your partner is going to have to disclose everything about their actions.
- For a period of time, your partner will need to be 100% transparent. They will have to share everything with you, including their emails, phone calls, text messages, and location. Though this
- will not be a permanent dynamic in your relationship, it is a crucial consequence, as it helps you trust them again.
- You will have to make a decision about whether your partner can be forgiven and how to move on. Speak to a therapist about this, as the situation is unique to everyone.
Can A Therapist Help A Person Change?
Yes, it is possible a person can change their habits, thoughts, attitudes, and even personality traits with therapeutic interventions. However, if you have ever tried to change a part of yourself, you probably realize how difficult the process can be. Change is hard. It takes time and effort. It is also not a linear path.
Therapy can help a cheater become more faithful, but it is not just the therapist who has to put in the work. A cheater is going to have to figure out why they cheat. This often comes down to working through trauma. Perhaps your partner had parents who were unfaithful. Or maybe they went through a traumatic experience that lowered their self-esteem, making them feel unworthy of your love.
Again, this is not something that is going to be healed with a single couples therapy session. It’s a slippery, rocky slope your partner has to climb in order to become a more trustworthy person.
Heal From Infidelity Together At Couples Academy
Can a person change after cheating? The simple answer is yes, but there are many layers to healing. In order for you and your partner to overcome their infidelity, it is important to attend couples therapy. The healing process is arduous, and it may unearth some issues within your relationship, but you will ultimately step away with a partner who is much healthier, happy, and faithful.
Couples Academy can help cheaters overcome the underlying issues and become the person they wish to be for their partner. Our caring team believes in the power of love and communication, and that is the reason why our clients leave smiling together. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our services or to book a consultation.