There is a significant difference between the “Serial Cheater,” the person who had a “one night stand,” and the person who may not have been actively seeking an “outside” emotional or sexual partner but finds themselves “caught up” in one. A serial cheater, who we’ll call the SC, is a repeat offender. We have seen many serial cheaters in our marriage counseling experience.
They may have multiple partners, usually sexual, and they may have had multiple affairs. In the past, they may have been discovered, promised to change, to remain faithful, and in time, either continue by finding another cheating partner or go back to the person they have been cheating with. Each time, of course, when this pattern is repeated, the betrayed spouse is heart broken all over again. As a result, their trust and faith is continuously diminished with each new discovered episode.
If you are partnered with a SC, we think it is important that you be aware of some important things that we have listed below:
Chances are that your SC will not change.
This means that you’ll either have to live with the reality of this situation, protect yourself emotionally, physically, and sexually from the possibility of any sexually transmitted diseases, or leave the marriage.
DO NOT think that there is something flawed about you that is the reason why your partner cheats.
It’s not because you are not pretty enough, smart enough, the size of your body, your breasts, penis, your skin color, your hairstyle, or whatever. Do not allow your self-esteem to be diminished because they attempt to blame you for having some “flaw” as being the reason why they cheat. If your partner has decided to cheat, any excuse will do. If there are things you want to change about yourself, do it for you—to build your own self-esteem and not because you think that you’ll stop your partner from cheating.
Be aware that some serial cheaters have “personality disorders.”
This means that they focus almost exclusively on self-satisfaction and self-gratification without regard to how much pain they are causing their partner. They are incapable of feeling any meaningful remorse for their actions. Persons with such disorders must be treated by a trained and competent mental health professional. The problem is that they often don’t believe that they need help.
Many SC’s enjoy the thrill of seduction and conquest.
This can be done alone for one’s own pleasure or can be a part of a contest among bar hood friends. They may single out a target individual and compete with each other in determining who will seduce them first. Unfortunately, the targeted person is unaware that they are simply a pawn in a very disrespectful game of “who can get them in bed first.”
SC’s, to repeat, may also be those whose parents modeled that it was okay to cheat as well as those who will attempt to justify their infidelity because of some complaint and/or unjustifiable flaw(s) in their spouse that they give as the reason for their cheating.
Please stay tuned, this article is one-part of a long series–Marital Affairs: The Harsh Reality and Going Beyond. Sign up for our newsletter below to stay updated on the latest additions!