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Do cheats change?

(29 Posts)
sallystar1976 Sat 19-Nov-16 21:18:35

I've been with my husband 9 years, married for 3 although now separated for the past 4 months.
We have children and had a comfortable life, or so I thought.
So a bit of background, in the very beginning he cheated. I found out years later and was obviously devastated but because it was so early on I believed it was a mistake and we got over it. Even after this I trusted him and we brought our own home etc, babies came, married and all the normal stuff.
Okay sometimes things became monotonous and a bit boring but I believe that happens when it's not just about you two anymore but I still deeply loved him, made lots of effort etc.
Hubby has always liked to go out drinking and does stay out all night whilst I stay home with the children, this happened once or twice a fortnight but I allowed it as his time to himself, always believing he would end up round a friends house and always trusting him 100%.
5 months ago I found out he was having an affair, totally shocked and totally out of the blue, if I say I've been left heartbroken it's an understatement. I've really struggled to come to terms with it and adjust to life alone. I've now heard rumours there have been other women over the years although I don't know if this is true so I decided to ask him to leave and have some time alone.
This has been really difficult as I do still love him and am just so devastated we have become this way.
We barely had contact apart from the children for months. I feel very depressed, I carry on but I'm really not happy.
The last couple weeks things have changed, he says he wants to come back, says he's so sorry he ruined everything and hurt me and will never hurt me again. More than anything I want to believe him but do people change and I wonder why now? Has things become bad between him and the ow? Or could he genuinely be remorseful and we go on to have a happy marriage? I'm frightened of getting hurt again so I've not really said anything when he says this. I just want some advice on where to turn and what people think. Is it once a cheat always a cheat?

Underthemoonlight Sat 19-Nov-16 21:21:36

The fact he's done it twice and there are rumours of others suggests to me that he is highly likely to do it again. Maybe life wasn't as green on the other side and now he wants to have his cake and eat it. You've got to ask yourself if you will ever trust him.

Kittenmummy1 Sat 19-Nov-16 21:28:43

He might and he might not. But the trouble is that you'll never know and always think it's possible.

SandyY2K Sat 19-Nov-16 21:39:45

It sounds like he's cheated a fair amount and serial cheats and long yerm affair cheaters are very different to the one time cheater.

The trust is gone.

Chloeneedshelp Sat 19-Nov-16 21:43:26

Every time he leaves the house or answers his phone.. You'll be wondering? Not sure that's fair on yourself! It'll drive you mad. Put yourself first.

doji Sat 19-Nov-16 21:43:57

This isn't a one-off mistake, its a pattern -honestly I think if you've already forgiven him once and he's carried on, a second time will just be carte blanche to keep cheating. Even if he did manage to change, after his repeated affairs, do you think you'd ever actually trust him again? Living with someone you don't trust will never make for a good relationship.

sallystar1976 Sat 19-Nov-16 21:50:28

Deep down I know this. It's just hard when you think your spending the rest of your life with someone to then enter the unknown. I'm just not doing very well emotionally and would just love to believe it won't happen again. He sounds so sincere, but I now know he lies so easily.

HerOtherHalf Sat 19-Nov-16 21:51:13

His moral compass is skewed. He might try and ignore it but it will never change IMHO. Ask yourself honestly, do you think he's sorry because he hurt you or just because he got caught? If the former there might be a very slim sliver of hope, if the latter he'll just try harder not to get caught again.

NarcsBegone Sat 19-Nov-16 21:55:11

You'll be forever checking.
You're halfway there to splitting now but if you bring him back again and 6 months, a year or two years down the line you discover he's cheated again you'll have to start from the beginning again. Your dc will have to go through him leaving again etc etc.
Personally I believe most people deserve a second chance (depending on circumstances) a chance to get it right but he's had that.

Chloeneedshelp Sat 19-Nov-16 21:56:45

It's extremely tough for you, but he's put you in this position. You can move on and be happy.. Will take time but you will get there. Or you can go back to square 1.

sallystar1976 Sat 19-Nov-16 21:57:11

He hasn't acted sorry once till now. My head tells me to stop being so stupid and even though that relationship has probably gone bad and he probably does miss us and his home comforts, doesn't mean he won't do it again at the next opportunity.
My heart says he's the man you love, he's your husband and try again but at what expense to my sanity?
Either way I feel I will be unhappysad

Chloeneedshelp Sat 19-Nov-16 22:01:07

You won't be unhappy. It will feel like it now yes.. But like narcsbegone said, you're halfway there now. Things will improve. Need to give yourself time and get yourself out with friends.

c3pu Sat 19-Nov-16 22:05:53

That leopard is not going to change his spots.

People cheat for many reasons, but it seems your husband is cheating because that's who he is. Sounds like it's a part of his lifestyle and personality.

sallystar1976 Sat 19-Nov-16 22:06:05

Surely after 5 months it should be getting easier? The initial shock stage has gone. Now I just feel deeply unhappy, even though I have the dc's I feel lonely and like I'm missing a part of me. When the dc's go to bed I hate that time of day but it's not getting much better.

HerOtherHalf Sat 19-Nov-16 22:08:48

"Acted sorry" - Freudian slip or do you believe he is genuinely remorseful? It doesn't sound like it to be honest. So sorry for you, it must suck all the joy out of life to be betrayed like this. You have a long life ahead of you though and you can choose whether to take a punt on a lame horse or go and find yourself a more reliable one.

sallystar1976 Sat 19-Nov-16 22:09:35

C3pu your right, he's very flirtatious because he is good looking and knows it too. He likes to go out alot, I had hoped that would change as he got older but it didn't.

Chloeneedshelp Sat 19-Nov-16 22:10:53

But when he's still in touch and doing this to you... Begging for you back, getting in your head etc... This isn't you letting go. Enough is enough. You won't always feel lonely. 5 months isn't long after 9 years. Give yourself a break. You don't deserve to feel this way.

gillybeanz Sat 19-Nov-16 22:11:58

He didn't change after the first time, why should he change after the second.
Sounds like he'll always be a cheat, sorry.
You deserve somebody you know you can trust who doesn't go to the pub and stay out all night.
He should have been with you raising the dc not living the single life.
It sounds like he justified the affair because he found family life not for him.
Anyone can sound remorseful it's actions that matter.
Has he been calling you in tears begging you to take him back, every single day.
Has he made effort to put things right, showered you with apologies and suggestions for moving forward.
You'd be under no doubt if he was really sorry.

sallystar1976 Sat 19-Nov-16 22:14:28

Thank you chloeneedshelp, I just needed the reassurance that I'm doing the right thing, my friends think so but they are my friends so emotionally attached to me. It seems I need to follow my head, not my heart and carry on how I am.

sallystar1976 Sat 19-Nov-16 22:18:59

Only the past few weeks gillybeanz and I wouldn't exactly say begging, just saying that he misses us, misses being at home and still loves me and he can't believe how stupid he's been when he had so much. The fact I think it's only because it has gone bad with the ow says it all really.

I think they can change but not for the person they originally cheated on.

if you are in a position where you love two people then always chose the second person. If you really loved the first person you wouldn't have fallen for the second person
This is something I completely agree with

SandyY2K Sat 19-Nov-16 22:27:06

Before he had a wife and a girlfriend, now he has a wife in name and a girlfriend with whom things arent hunky dory.

Because a real relationship is very different, than the excitement of sneaking around that happens in an affair.

If you'd had a string of men, would he be wanting you back?

Serial cheats love the thrill of it and really don't want to get divorced. They rather have 2 or more women at a time. Monogamy is boring for them and now that he and OW could spend all the time they wanted together, it's not all unicorns and rainbows. It's the real world.

No need for animosity as you need to coparent together for a while. Just don't risk your sanity and self worth by being a doormat.

gillybeanz Sat 19-Nov-16 22:29:35

Oh my love, you deserve better than the way you have been treated.
I'm so sorry this has happened but you know you can't trust him and this will end up exactly the same if you take it back.
I can't say I know it gets better as haven't been in your situation, but there are so many on here who going through similar and eventually finding they are much happier.
I do know you need to give it time, because it does take time.
Lots of un mnsnetty hugs to you thanks

ninenicknames Sat 19-Nov-16 22:29:44


FlowerOfTheValley Sat 19-Nov-16 22:42:14

Some cheats can change. But it's with a different person, at a different life stage or after a fundamental life changing event that they change.

But he's already cheated on you before and has again and he will repeat this pattern of behaviour if you take him back.

Everyone I know who has cheated more than once has continued to cheat.

So sorry. flowers

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