Learning that your new love interest cheated in a past relationship can be unnerving, to say the least. But does one romantic mishap define a person's character indefinitely, per the "once a cheater, always a cheater" adage? While the circumstances surrounding the infidelity make a world of difference, Women's Health reached out to seven different relationship experts to get their take on the age-old romantic rule-of-thumb. Read a few of their responses below:
"I absolutely believe that it's possible for people to cheat and to have that come to light and take a look at why they made that decision—what was going on in their relationship and what was going on with them as an individual—and grow around their experience. But it requires some major work. If your partner has cheated on you and they don't do that work, they will cheat on you again. I don't think it's just a risk, I think it will happen again."
"Human beings are capable of making mistakes and [infidelity] can be a major life lesson that gets everyone back on the right track. You do get the outliers who might be people who are sex addicts or who go into relationships thinking there's no such thing as monogamy, but I do think that is not the norm, that is more of the exception. Mostly what I see when people come to therapy is that they do want to work on themselves and their relationship."
"The determining factor for me is whether the person is interested in understanding, learning, growing and healing from their decision to cheat. If we are capable of understanding why we did what we did and have a desire to be a better person, we can make different choices next time."