Many who’ve felt the burn of being cheated upon would tell you to never trust a cheater. However sincere the person might be about his or her guilt, they’d tell you to tread cautiously because “once a cheater, always a cheater”.
Now, this might seem like a colored judgment to you when you are head over heels in love with this plausible cheater. This stereotype is not far from the truth. Even Science has confirmed that those who have cheated once or more, are much more likely to repeat it again.
In a recent study, nearly 500 married couples were questioned on the matter of fidelity and cheating. It was found that out of those who accepted to having cheated or cheated upon in their relationship, more than half agreed that it was not an isolated affair. If they had a partner who cheated, then the chances of them being a repeat offender were quite high. Those who’d like to believe in the goodness of the human heart and would refute these claims; the research is backed by scientific data which explains this particular trend.
The reason that one time cheaters are prone to cheat again and again has to do with the principle of adaptation. The more you lie and deceive the more you become accustomed to lying and cheating. And thus begins an endless cycle of deception. Repetitive lying has a direct effect on the amygdala, which is the part of the brain which is most affected when we commit an act of deceit. The more we are dishonest, the blunter it becomes. In due time it starts getting less and less responsive towards lies and cheating.
If this wasn’t enough, the psychological impact of lying is also in line with the overall findings of the study. More than loyalty or love, the biggest factor behind not cheating is found to be guilty. People are driven more by the fear of guilt than great love which makes them stick to one partner.
The first time a person cheats, the guilt they feel is too overwhelming. They might return to what is expected to be the righteous path. But, if they cheat again, the guilt is comparatively less because they have already done it once before. And with every successive act of betrayal, they become more used to the act and are able to do so without much emotional backlash.
However, this is just a finding among many others and is not supposed to be taken verbatim. But you are advised to tread cautiously when dealing with a known cheater.