He swears the affair is over, but how do you know if he’ll cheat on you again? Here’s how to see beyond what your boyfriend or husband is really saying – and how to trust that still small voice inside you.
“It’s been six months since I found out my husband was cheating with his assistant,” says Miriam on 5 Signs Your Boyfriend Will Cheat on You Again…and Again. “We decided to stay together and try to work things so, but I can’t stop myself from going through his jacket pockets, desk drawers, glove compartment and his car, you name it. How do I know if he will cheat on me again? I am trying to trust him but I’m still always looking for signs that he’s having an affair. How do I get over this, how do we move on and rebuild our marriage?”
Do you really want to know the truth? It’s possible – if you have the courage and strength it takes to see beneath your boyfriend or husband’s words. Listen, for the truth wants to come out. And it will set you free (but it’ll hurt like a son-of-a-gun first).
How to Know if He’ll Cheat on You Again
“If you’ve been betrayed, you’re likely to worry that you can’t ever trust your husband or boyfriend or feel secure in your relationship again,” writes Dr Janis Abrhams Spring in After the Affair: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner Has Been Unfaithful. “Are these worries justified? Obviously, there’s no foolproof formula for evaluating your risk, but there are five indicators that offer clues.”
In this article, I share Dr. Springs’ five tips on how to know if he’ll cheat on you again. After the Affair is an excellent book for couples dealing with the aftermath of cheating, and I highly recommend it.
These tips are just a glimpse of the iceberg in your relationship; Dr Spring’s book will help you figure out if you can save your relationship and move forward in healthy ways, or if you should say good-bye and let go of the man you love.
1. His underlying attitudes about cheating in relationships
Just because your husband or boyfriend says he believes in a monogamous relationship that doesn’t involve him cheating on you, it doesn’t mean you can trust him. Most men say they wouldn’t have an affair. Almost every man would agree that cheating is wrong. Even if your boyfriend or husband swears he wouldn’t cheat – or cheat on you again – it doesn’t mean he really won’t have an affair.
To this, Dr. Springs adds that if your husband or boyfriend can’t give you the verbal reassurance you need, then you might want to be wary of trusting him again. What are his underlying attitudes about cheating? If he doesn’t think cheating is wrong, immoral, or unethical, then he’s likely to cheat on you again. If your boyfriend or husband has a casual, dismissive underlying attitude about cheating, then he may not be trustworthy.
Here’s a list of statements that reveal a man’s attitude on cheating:
- What my wife or girlfriend doesn’t know won’t hurt her.
- I only have one life to lead, and I deserve to be as happy as possible.
- The affair lets me satisfy my needs without breaking up the family. I’m doing it for the kids.
- People aren’t meant to be monogamous.
- Cheating is okay if the wife or girlfriend doesn’t find out.
- I have no impulse control.
- I never promised my wife that I would be the perfect husband. She knew I was a cheater when I married her.
- Since my girlfriend probably knows I’m cheating on her but isn’t confronting me, it must be okay as long as I don’t rub it in her face.
- Men aren’t biologically programmed to be in monogamous relationships.
If your husband or boyfriend says or even jokes about any of the above statements, his underlying attitude on cheating is casual and dismissive. This means he doesn’t think cheating is a big deal in a relationship, thus, he may be more likely to cheat on you again.
2. His past history (deception and lies? red flags?)
You’ve probably heard it before: if a man cheats on his wife or girlfriend to be with you, then he will cheat on you with another woman. In other words, a cheater is a cheater is a cheater. If he found you sexy and attractive enough to cheat on his ex-girlfriend or ex-wife with you, then he likely will find another woman sexy and attractive again.
And the beat goes on.
That said, however, being attracted to a woman is not the number one reason men cheat. Men have affairs primarily because they are lacking emotional and physical connection in their relationship. To learn more about why men cheat, read 9 Ways to Know if Your Husband is Lying About Cheating.
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“A man with a history of duplicity is more likely to lie and deceive again then someone who has strayed only once,” writes Dr Springs in After the Affair: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner Has Been Unfaithful.
“For example, when my client Marilyn looked back over her 12 years with Marshall, she saw that he had been double-faced from day one. Marshall’s pattern of lying extended beyond his sexual behavior and social relationships.… I’m not suggesting that a single affair is more forgivable then 17, or that having only one means cheating won’t happen again.
However, a man with a long record of lies and deceptions is more likely to have difficulties breaking this pattern than a man who only cheated or strayed once.”
3. An inability to communicate openly – both you and him
“Partners who are aware of their needs and can negotiate them in a spirit of reciprocity and compromise are more likely to stay at home and work through their relationship issues,” writes Dr Spring. “Partners who are unaware of their need but expect you to intuit them, or who keep them bottled up inside for fear of creating conflicts, are likely to vent their unhappiness fester and grow. Holding you responsible for their own feelings of alienation, they go and search satisfaction in another person’s bed.”
If your boyfriend or husband is the “strong silent type” who never talks about how he feels or what he needs from you and your relationship – and he has cheated on you – then it is possible that he will be unable to talk about what led him to cheating in the past. This lack of communication and insight doesn’t guarantee that he will cheat on you again, but it does make it more difficult to have a close, trusting relationship with him.
4. His inability to hear you and empathize with your pain
Men who cannot get beyond their own needs and appreciate yours are more likely to cheat again. If your husband or boyfriend is dismissive or cavalier about how hurt and betrayed you feel – and if he doesn’t care how sad it makes you feel to be wondering how to know if he’ll cheat on you again – then he may not care enough to stop himself from a future affair.
Can your husband or boyfriend:
- Appreciate what you’ve been through, and understand the emotional damage his cheating caused?
- Feel compassion and remorse for your pain?
- Listen to your point of view, even if it differs from his own?
- See you as a separate person with thoughts and feelings, someone other than just an extension of himself?
If your answer to most of these questions is no, then you need to ask yourself not, “Would my husband stray again?” but rather “Why wouldn’t my husband cheat on me again?” If he doesn’t see you as a woman with feelings and her own identity, then he doesn’t respect you. And if he doesn’t respect you, then he’s more likely to cheat again.
5. His unwillingness to take responsibility for cheating on you
“Unless your partner is willing to explore why the affair happened and accepted fair share of responsibility for it, your hopes for a committed relationship are likely to be built on sand,” writes Dr Spring in After the Affair: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner Has Been Unfaithful.
She shares this story:
“Kevin had an affair six years ago, but to this day he refuses to talk about it with me,” a 47-year-old decorator complained to me. “I knew almost none of the details, but it sits between us. I feel its presence. I don’t believe he’s cheating on me anymore, but I have no security about tomorrow because I have no understanding of where I went wrong, or how, or whether, he’s changed. And I doubt he does, either.”
When nothing is learned from the affair and nothing changes in your relationship, the problem remains. And so does the temptation to cheat again. Here’s how to know if he’ll cheat on you again: you and he don’t talk about the affair or your relationship, and you pretend it never happened. Or, he refuses to say anything more about it.
Do you feel like your husband or boyfriend isn’t telling you the truth, but you aren’t sure? Trust your intuition, your gut instincts. Your subconscious picks up on signs that your conscious mind isn’t aware of. Your gut never lies. Trust it.
If you want to save your relationship, read Rebuilding Trust in a Relationship After a Secret Love Affair.
How are you feeling, after reading these tips on how to know if he’ll cheat on you again? I can only imagine how hurt, confused, and scared you feel. I don’t know exactly what you’re going through, but you are welcome to share your story in the comments section below.
I can’t give relationship advice and I don’t know if you can trust your husband or boyfriend not to have another affair. But, you may find that writing about your experience will help you listen to the best possible source of wisdom: that still small voice inside of you.
Will he cheat on you again? Relationship help
In How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair: A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful, Linda J. MacDonald offers practical advice for partners who strayed and want a second chance at rebuilding their relationships. She encourages men who cheat not to minimize the impact of their actions.
“Face the ways you have hurt your wife and family members,” she says. “Accept responsibility for inviting negative or angry responses from your wife or girlfriend. Retrace your steps to better understand your choices. Recognize the selfishness of your thinking and actions. Know you broke your marriage vows [or your commitment to a monogamous relationship], and freely admit this to your partner.”
In Not “Just Friends”- Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity Shirley P. Glass shares “a new, fact-based, scientifically and therapeutically responsible approach” to cheating – which is a topic she says is fraught with public and professional misconceptions.
Drawing on research studies (her own and others’) and clinical cases from her 25 years as a psychotherapist, Dr Glass explores “the new crisis of infidelity” resulting from platonic relationships that become progressively intense.
“Few experiences in life are more traumatic than learning of a beloved partner’s intimate betrayal,” she says. “The private calamity of discovering that your partner has become someone you don’t recognize and has lied to you as if you were an enemy blows your secure world to pieces. In just a few seconds, the safest haven in the world is turned into the source of the greatest treachery.”
Dear reader, may you find guidance and wisdom, hope and healing. May your relationship be covered with forgiveness and love – whether or not you decide to stay with this man. May you move forward into a new season of your life with courage, confidence, and strength. And, may the peace that surpasses all understanding fill your hearts, minds, and soul.
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If you need relationship help, get Mort Fertel's 7 Steps to Fixing Your Marriage - and FREE advice, no strings attached.