A Past Cheater Could Be a Red Flag—Know the Signs

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 Getty Images/Petar Chernaev

It was Maya Angelou who once said, "When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time." There is no better predictor of the future than the events of the past, so in your relationship, don't let the red flags slip by you without raising concern. The best way to know if you will marry a cheater is to date someone who has a history of cheating. 

What Is Cheating?

Cheating can be defined as being emotionally or sexually unfaithful to your romantic partner in a monogamous relationship.

A serial cheater knows how to manipulate their lovers into thinking they are the most important—more than their spouse or any other relationship they have ever had. But the fact is that they see love differently, often as a challenge to be won or as a contrived relief to whatever problems they may have in their life. 

The biggest fallacy is thinking that a cheater may have cheated in their other relationships, but "not with me!" Even (perhaps especially) when the cheater leaves his family to pursue their love with their mistress, there is often a relapse into the same behavior.

It is wise to find out all one can about the past marriages of those they are involved with. During the course of a relationship, you can learn a great deal about the character of the person you are involved with and the caliber of his or her past relationships.

Some say we shouldn’t disclose private aspects of past relationships with a new love interest. But if you don’t explore private aspects of past relationships, you are setting yourself to experience the same troubles yourself.

Evaluating a Person's Relationship and Cheating Potential

Below are five indicators of whether or not a new love can be trusted not to cheat. Remember, whether or not you are marrying the right person will depend greatly on that person’s past relationships.

  1. A history of cheating.
  2. An inability to own their role in the demise of the previous marriage or relationship.
  3. Complaints of being controlled by their ex.
  4. How they dealt with relationship problems.
  5. A refusal to take responsibility for his or her past cheating behavior.

Why Past Behavior Predicts Future Behavior, Especially For Cheaters

We all have unique personalities and typically have developed our own ways of dealing with relationship problems. If our family, friends, and co-workers woke up every morning with a new personality and little evidence of how they would react to different situations that day, it would be impossible to form any real relationship with anyone because you couldn’t get to know them on a deeper level.

The only reason we are able to get to know people well enough to form true relationships is due to innate characteristics and personality traits we all have. 

If a racehorse finishes first place in the majority of his races, more than likely that horse is going to continue to place well during a race. The same goes for how someone will behave in a relationship. If someone has spent past relationship cheating on a partner, chances are they will do so in future relationships also.

If you are in a relationship with someone with a history of cheating and he or she tells you the ex drove them to cheat, this is a huge red flag. A person of character does not cheat when the relationship goes bad—they choose to divorce rather than deceive and betray. Tread carefully to be sure that you do not get hurt. 

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