Relationship therapy after catching someone cheating…can therapy work after infidelity destroys your trust?

Once a cheater, always a cheater? as the saying goes?  Is that really true? My clients, like a lot of people in long term relationships, find themselves needing to cope and heal from their husband’s or wife’s affair at some point in their marriage, if they really don’t want to divorce and instead they want to ‘get back to love.’  So they ask me those key questions: If my wife or girlfriend cheated, will she cheat again? If my husband or boyfriend cheated, will he cheat again? Once a cheater, are they always a cheater — or do cheaters really change?
  • While I can’t answer that question definitively for every couple, the good news is that people CAN change, and often do.
  • Not all cheaters will cheat again, although there is a personality or partner type that is prone to cheating and deception, in order to try to alleviate their own low self-esteem doubts or general life unhappiness.
But for the most part, affairs happen for a variety of reasons; and can — with the right type of couples coaching — lead to an improved, durable bond once the couple heals and gets ‘back to love’ , security, and trust.
It takes time and effort, of course, and both people in the ‘couple’ need to be genuinely committed to getting back to love.
Now the surprise here is that for most couples that’s possible more quickly than they think. Plus, the rewards are well beyond avoiding a tumultuous, expensive and disruptive divorce, with its financial pressures and detrimental health effects, not to mention the impact of prolonged divorce stress and settlement anger.
So there are a lot of factors to think about when you’re considering ending a relationship because you think all cheaters will cheat again. That’s not the truth; and there are many different types of people, and many factors that can influence insight and personal change.

Once a cheater, always a cheater? Will my lover cheat again?


No. We cannot state that everyone who cheats will inevitably cheat again.

Otherwise, if we assume, “once a cheater, always a cheater,” we are assuming that out of seven billion people on this planet, not one has the capacity to change.


For example…If you commit a crime, does that mean you’re bound to commit a crime again, no matter how much remorse you feel?

If you were an alcoholic or addicted to food, does that mean you’re bound to relapse and become an alcoholic again, or obese again, and again, and again?  People can, and do, make significant lifestyle changes when they have the motivation, and incentive, to do so. Cheating is no exception.

You see my point.

However, in saying this, I don’t want to give you unrealistic expectations. Some cheaters will never change, and it helps to understand them, and what your options are if you’re with someone with a long-term history of cheating in nearly every one of their relationships…or multiple times in your relationship, or with multiple other partners.

The past and future of life with a cheating spouse: What to expect

I do believe serial cheaters who have repetitively cheated who do change are few and far between. That’s because quite often the best indicator of future behavior is, indeed, past behavior.

However, there are many exceptions to that scenario when it comes to relationship affairs. Many can be resolved and healed, and people CAN change, and do.

What’s the difference, and how do you know?

When some cheaters find out they’re about to lose the very essence of what they love and depend upon for joy — the comforts and benefits of family, the stability of having a harmonious household, spending daily time with their children versus seeing them only once every so many days or weeks — or worse yet, not at all — seeing beloved pets every night, and other household/home security comforts, and more — some cheaters see these events as a major wakeup call.  And they’re then willing to work to keep the relationship, and heal their marriage from infidelity and cheating. And they’ll do whatever it takes, and they use the scenario to change.

Relationships can heal after an affair, if the relationship recovery process is handled with sensitivity, taking responsibility, and compassionate understanding for self, partner and the emotional harm that has to heal.

Wake up calls? Caught having an affair – how it can be used to heal and strengthen your marriage.

And for those individuals, the cheating is a wakeup call. Whether the affair arose from a d disconnected neglectful home life, or a circumstantial situation (long-term distance due to business obligations or family care needs) or whether it arose from a close friendship that crossed a dangerous border, relationships impacted by infidelity can be healed.

After a wake-up call, the partner(s) must both be willing to put in the time, effort and changes it’ll take to heal the relationship that was damaged by the affair.

So yes, healing from a relationship is possible, and no, not all people who cheated will cheat again.

Browse my other blogs for more information or arrange a free contact call to see how I can help you with master couples coaching/marriage therapy, discreetly arranged in Brighton for high profile couples on the verge of divorce.

Insights into affair recovery

It ultimately depends on many factors, including:

  • The person’s values
  • The person being cheated on (remember, not everyone has the same character traits, and not everyone gets treated the same by every partner)
  • The level of guilt the person who cheated experiences during and/or after the affair; whether he or she is willing to take responsibility for cheating; etc.

Also, not all affairs are equal.

There’s a huge difference between a one-night fling and a long-term affair, an affair that drags on for months or years and involves an emotional investment with another person. And there are so many factors that lead to being vulnerable TO an affair in a marriage or relationship, it pays to learn what they are, so that you can understand the dynamics of infidelity and why affairs become a common problem in so many marriages that have gone awry.

High-profile couple on the verge of divorce?  Call Dee Tozer, Couples Coach for discreet Marriage Counselling for high profile, prestige couples on the verge of a breakup or trying to recover from an affair. Book Your Call With Me

What leads to an affair?

For more information on why people cheat, read my blogs:  Reasons women cheat (wives and infidelity)Reasons men cheat (husbands and infidelity).
There are many factors that contribute to cheating in a marriage or primary relationship.
Some stem from dissatisfaction within the primary relationship; feeling invisible, unloved or under appreciated… others come from an immaturity about what a marriage is, and requires, over the longer term (or both). Some affairs happen simply because a person feels noticed and appreciated when they don’t at home.

The Infidelity Scale

More information on cheating boyfriends or girlfriends, wives or husbands.

The word “cheater” is used interchangeably with infidelity, unfaithfulness, betrayal.

There are extremes at each end of the infidelity scale.

At the less intense end of people who have an affair:

  • Those who form a strong friendship with someone of the opposite sex, and it turns to flirting but stops there
  • Those who feel emotionally connected with someone, and send some texts or emails, then some phone calls over a few weeks – then discontinue as they feel guilty or they realise it’s a nowhere street to family heartbreak

In the mid range of the infidelity scale:

  • Similar to the mild range above, but the friendship and/or flirting is allowed to continue for months
  • Closeness is fueled by frequent lunches or dinners, usually ending with hugs and eventually (or sometimes) kisses
  • Men who go to a brothel or get a massage especially with the ‘happy ending’ option in mind
  • Those who have a sexual fling once, typically somewhat opportunistic, or they fall into it and they feel guilty, have a wake-up call without being caught cheating, and they end it (or it ends as the partner ends it because the lover is committed to their marital partner, and the person didn’t want to be a third party or ‘second best’)

High end cheaters and multiple relationship people:

  • Those who have an ongoing sexual relationship on multiple occasions or keep several multiple sexual relationships going at once
  • This could be over a few weeks, many months or even several years

Find out more about psychological couples coaching to heal and repair your relationship after one or both of you have had an affair (or affairs)

  • A high number of the couples I help after an affair have reported a positive outcome.
  • They tend to be successful because they come for help to repair their marriages after infidelity, as they know emotions run high and hurts and betrayals are very delicate situations to heal from (and help your partner heal from, if you’re the one who had the affair they now regret).
  • It doesn’t matter if they are low, mid or high end. They repair and recover from the pain.

Not always, but most commonly amongst those who come for help, the offending partner has felt unimportant, belittled, not good enough, badgered, criticized for a long time.

Whether you are a husband or wife, the feeling of experiencing from zero levels of affection through to icy rejection on a daily basis, is a common thread in marriages where there’s been an affair.

This makes we humans vulnerable, when someone else pays attention and shows we matter. …….

But even the best of marriages can suffer from infidelity for various reasons as I describe in my courses and blogs, and help couples better understand through marriage coaching and relationship counselling.

Most “infidelity” couples that I see fit the profile above.  If this sounds like your marriage, or you’re wanting to heal a primary relationship from the pain of an affair and your partner is wanting to help you heal (or vice versa), connect with me today.

Book Your Call With Me

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