When Is It Time to Leave a Cheater

When you discover that the one you love is cheating, it is enough to bring your world to a screeching halt. A thousand little things might give it away, each of them as painful as the next. It might be an unknown number on her phone, a note that falls out of his pocket, the smell of a perfume that isn't yours or even a glance. And, if your significant other is cheating, you will eventually have to deal with it, no matter how much you wish it weren't true. If it's not the first time your loved one has strayed, you probably feel even worse. So, when is it time to walk away from a cheater?

The first question you should ask yourself in this situation is also the most important: Is the relationship worth saving? This is entirely a personal decision and can depend on many different things. Beneath the drama, do you believe the relationship is built on a solid foundation? Successful relationships are built on love and trust. With each successive affair, the trust between two people is shaken further and further until there is nothing left to build on. Before attempting to save a relationship plagued by infidelity, ask yourself if you are willing to go through the painful process of trying to rebuild it.

If you have confronted your significant other about his or her infidelity and decided to try saving the relationship, you will need to answer two important questions that many couples mistakenly ignore. First, why did it happen? And, second, what are the chances that it will happen again? The second question can usually be answered by the first. There are numerous reasons why cheaters cheat. Some can be fixed within the relationship, and some can't.

Relationship or couples counseling is key to answering these questions and repairing a relationship damaged by cheating. Since there are so many underlying reasons why men and women might cheat, it's easy for couples who try to fix their problems alone to miss them. If you break it down, men tend to cheat for the sex, but a closer look reveals more. Beyond a biological urge to "spread his seed," what would make a man go somewhere else for sex?

Unfortunately, the reasons a man wanders can be as painful to his mate as the realization that he is cheating. Some men experience a diminished sexual desire for their wives or girlfriends due to weight gain, a natural change in appearance caused by aging or childbirth. A woman's sex drive may also diminish due to these things, which means that he is getting less sex and is less attracted to his mate, a dangerous combination. Other times, men may feel bored in a relationship. Attention from another woman boosts their egos and provides an excitement that is woefully lacking in their day-to-day lives.

When women cheat, it tends to be for emotional intimacy and not for sex. Many affairs carried on by women are primarily emotional in nature and may never be taken to a physical level. In fact, affairs initiated by women generally last three times longer than those initiated by men, whose primary motivation is sex. If a woman is cheating on her mate, she probably feels an emotional connection and emotional intimacy there that she does not feel at home. If her significant other no longer desires her or is bored with her, this can make the woman more receptive to a man who still finds her attractive.

Some reasons for cheating make it more likely to happen again, such as a man who cheats to prove he can or a woman who cheats for attention, regardless of how much effort her spouse expends. These reasons belong to the cheater alone, and only he or she can make them right. If the infidelity has happened before, then it is even more likely to happen again. When the reason for the infidelity can't be repaired within the relationship, and it has happened before, then it will probably not stop. The foundation of a relationship cannot be repaired if one person continues to violate the other's trust.

No one deserves to be in a relationship in which they are continually cheated on and undervalued. Eventually, when someone is mistreated by the one they love, they begin to believe that is the only type of relationship they can have. Many people who have been cheated on are afraid to leave, afraid they'll be alone and that they won't find anyone else. These fears are almost always unfounded. It is only when someone ends an unhealthy relationship and allows themselves to heal that they can move on to a healthy, supportive commitment with someone else. When a cheater keeps cheating, despite your efforts to repair the relationship, then it's time to move on.

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