Should You Trust A Cheater?

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Our relationship expert, Dr Pam Spurr (on Twitter and Instagram @drpamspurr) gives us the questions we should ask ourselves before trusting a partner who cheated in the past.

Here’s the scenario: a man or woman meets someone new, starts dating them and then hears that this new person cheated in a past relationship. They panic and wonder if they should trust this new person because of their past.

They ask me: Once a cheat always a cheat? My answer is not necessarily and it really depends on the circumstances of when they cheated.

You may be torn in two, you really want to date them but worry they’ll cheat on you. If you don’t want to be gripped by paranoia about this new person, leading to sleepless nights, consider the following points and how they relate to them.

Here are the points to consider about trusting a ‘former’ love cheat:

*Do think about the circumstances of when they confessed what they did in the past. Did they confess this to you because you had heard it from somewhere and you asked them about it? Or did they confess because they simply wanted to be honest about what happened in that past relationship?

*Do ask them for total honesty about the details of what happened. Then note how they respond. Are they more than happy to go into details? Or do you feel they’re holding back and it worries you why they might? 

*Do they give a reasonable answer to why they cheated? Not that I ever condone cheating but was the relationship coming to a natural end, and they also felt extremely neglected due to growing apart? Not a good excuse, they should have ended it before they cheated but is it a sign that only in extraordinary circumstances, that they cheat?

*Is this new person an attention seeker? Do they demand lots of attention? This might spell trouble for a cheat who feels neglected – in the future – with you. Be honest with yourself and with them if this played a part in their cheating in the past.

*Do they seem to be a natural born flirt? Lots of people flirt but it’s very harmless and would never cross a line. However, if they are flirting with anyone from the waiter to a person behind a shop-counter, this might spell trouble. A natural born flirt - who does it constantly – might respond to someone in the future who enjoys their flirting.

*Don’t ignore if insecurity’s a problem for them. Some cheats are repeat offenders because they feel deeply insecure about their worth. If a third party makes them feel fantastic and valued, they find that irresistible.

*Beware if they are a risk taker. Do they like to, for example, gamble or take other risks? Some love cheats love the buzz of risks. And they’ll take risks with their relationships - like seeing if they can sneak around behind your back.

*Be cautious if certain things seem off limits with them. Do they have a regular evening with ‘mates’? And no way you’re allowed? When they go out, do they turn their phone off and you never hear from them? This reveals a secretive streak and such evenings give them perfect cover if they meet someone else.

*Do take note if they have a general problem with honesty. Do they find it easy, for instance, lying to their boss about meeting deadlines? Do they happily lie to friends/family about various things? In that case, you can bet they might be happy to lie to you. 

If these points flag-up warnings, keep a watchful eye on how your dating progresses. Make sure you set boundaries, expect them to ‘walk the walk’ and not just talk a good talk! And don’t take any nonsense. 

Hopefully that will lead to happy dating, Pam x

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