If you have gone through something similar before and are trying to work on your relationship, it does not hurt to keep an eye out. While you are at it, you might as well watch out for these signs he will cheat again to save yourself some trouble this time around.
- Has he cheated before?
Before placing your trust in him completely, find out if he has had a history of cheating in relationships, is he trustworthy? How often has he slipped up in his previous affairs? Some men indulge in serial cheating and it doesn’t really matter to them if their current girlfriend is amazing and perfect in every way.
While you feel you can set him right with your love, please know that rehabilitating him is not your responsibility or your job. On the other hand, if he has strayed only once and promises never to cross the line again, there is hope and it is up to you, to take those odds.
Perhaps it was a genuine mistake but before getting back together, be sure of his dating history and take a call.
- He doesn’t communicate well
Maybe he is truly sorry for what he did but are you convinced that it’s over? It is easier to trust men who communicate their needs and deeds openly. Some men prefer to keep their feelings bottled up, perhaps for the fear of hurting you or because they have something to hide. Sorry, that’s not a good excuse! If he wants to make a new beginning, he should be honest and be able to convince you that he regrets cheating on you.
Otherwise, the issues will continue to fester. Both, you and him should spell out each other’s expectations during the reconciliation process. Not communicating well doesn’t mean he will cheat but it makes ‘moving on’ much more difficult.
- He is secretive and doesn’t reveal much
When a committed man has an affair, secrecy is his weapon and that itself is one of the biggest signs he will cheat in the future. Regina Solomon (name changed), suffered from her husband’s secret affair for years. A showdown later, they somehow reconciled but things have not been the same again. “What irks me most is his tendency to keep things from me. I just find it difficult to trust him when he is evasive,” she says.
If he is still lying about small things it’s a sign of cheating. He doesn’t keep you in the loop and tends to make excuses, then it is difficult to believe him again. The fact that he can get away with lies is one of the reasons why cheaters cheat again and again.
Honestly, it doesn’t say much about the element of respect in your relationship. So demand 100% honesty and nothing else if you want to stop asking yourself the question, ‘Will he cheat again?’
- The effort that they put in
When a man is embarrassed about his indiscretion, he should do everything he can to win your trust and show you that he is capable of loving you. He should do whatever it takes to convince you it won’t happen again and that he is ready to be faithful to you. Think about it. Is your man putting in that effort? Is he making you feel valued and respected?
Almost consider this a type of will he cheat again to test. The only way he can prove his love to you is by doing better in the future. The onus is on the man to prove he is worthy of that trust.
You should not have to spend the rest of your life thinking ‘Will he cheat again? ‘Is he cheating or am I being paranoid? ‘He has cheated on me several times, how can I trust him?’ so on and so forth. Seriously, is a relationship where you are constantly on tenterhooks even worth it?
- What’s your threshold?
Maansi Harish, a Mumbai-based counsellor has simple advice. “Harsh though it may sound you need to look at the circumstances in which he cheated. I had a client whose husband cheated upon her with someone she knew closely. She was devastated.”
Harish says the extent of the crime and the guilt should give you an indication of will cheat again. “It depends entirely on how important your relationship is. Is the incident of cheating forgivable? Are you sure it was a slip-up and he is genuinely embarrassed and sorry for it? At times, a passing affair or a one-night stand with a stranger after a drunken night might be easier to forgive than a passionate emotional affair.”
- He does not change his behaviour
Unless he brings some fundamental changes to his behaviour, you cannot be sure he won’t stray. Some men are compulsive flirts and don’t think twice about making a pass at a woman or lapping up female attention, regardless of how uncomfortable you feel about it. There’s no secret there about why cheaters cheat again and again. They just thrive off of the attention, the flirting and the chase.
“I hate it when my husband tries to act fresh with a woman. It’s embarrassing but he calls it harmless flirting. Can that be considered cheating?” asks Bela Biel, a housewife. Once again, as Harish says, the boundaries come into the picture. “If he is indulging in behaviour that you don’t approve of, again and again, it’s a sign he won’t stop,” she adds.
- The ‘Other Woman’ is still a part of the equation
Even if an affair is over, the shadow of it looms large for a period. Only time can heal the pain but how can it ever stop if your husband continues to meet the other woman on the sly? He may insist it’s all over and that they are not having a relationship but can feelings die out so soon?
If he continues to keep in touch with her for any reason (maybe they are colleagues or have some ties that can’t be broken), it shows a certain insensitivity on his part. That itself is a pretty big fail when it comes to the will he cheat again test.
It most certainly won’t assuage your doubt regarding the all-important questions – will he cheat again? “If you forgive your partner for his infidelity, his cutting off ties with the other woman is non-negotiable,” says Harish. “Never compromise on your self-respect.”
- Is he willing to take responsibility?
Despite your fragile state of mind, observe his attitude and words when you confront him about his cheating. Is he willing to take responsibility for his actions? When someone is caught doing the wrong thing, it is but natural to defend or justify the action so cut him some slack but figure out if he is willing to acknowledge his part in the problem.
Every relationship has its ups and downs but it is rarely one person’s fault. Some men tend to directly and indirectly blame their partner for whatever happened as if it was the woman’s fault. When Joe was caught romancing a colleague at the office by Summer, he went home and turned the tables on her. He said that he was looking for love elsewhere because Summer had been too busy and occupied with her work.
Similarly, as Bela says bitterly, “When I confronted my husband his first tendency was to make me feel bad. It was allegedly my inadequacy that made him go into another woman’s arms.”
- His cheating guilt surfaces
A lot of our actions are guided by our core beliefs. Have you found out what your man’s inherent beliefs are on infidelity? Does he suffer from what is commonly called cheating guilt – the behaviour he indulges in because he feels bad about straying? Understanding this can be really helpful in determining if there are any signs he will cheat again in the future.
A person suffering from cheating guilt tries to overcompensate for his infidelity but his real test comes when temptation presents itself again. People who invariably indulge in serial cheating are those for whom loyalty and trust do not mean much and they may be guilty and promise to straighten up but they can’t help themselves from cheating again.
- Insights from family and friends
Ideally, you would not want to wash dirty linen in public but if they are close friends of his or his family members who you trust, maybe you can confide in them. This is especially useful for new relationships that have been hit by a cheating episode and you are terrified and scared he will cheat again.
Infidelity can come as a rude shock exposing you to unpleasant truths about your partner and who better to talk about them than those who know him for a longer period than you? A heart-to-heart with someone from his inner circle can help shed light on if he will cheat again.
- He doesn’t stick to boundaries
If you have reconciled after an affair, it is natural to be wary of each other. However, there are some boundaries that need to be set if both of you agree to give each other a chance. Most importantly, you need to stick to it.
Ensure you both play by the rules. For him: he should not hurt you again. If there are problems, he should communicate. For you: You should listen to his side of the story. There should be no loud fights. Try and reach an agreement on what the limits in your relationship are. He cannot continue to overstep those limits for it shows that he is reluctant to change.
The period immediately after the cheating truth hits home is very difficult for a couple. It can determine the future course of the relationship hence a couple needs to traverse with care. But as always both should have a common aim – to rebuild trust even though we understand that you are scared he will cheat again. But it is time to move forward and ensure that what happened before, will not occur again.