Would you take back your two-timing boyfriend or boot him out of your life forever? Here are things to think about if you're planning to stay or to call it quits.
Quel Valencia, 26, dated someone who had a cheating history. She says:
There is hope for a cheating boyfriend. However, change doesn’t happen overnight. Also, it takes two open-minded adults to pave the way for change. I once dated a guy with a complex dating history. I’m not just talking about love triangles. His past consisted more of polygons! At first, I couldn’t express to him how I was feeling, so I made him watch a slew of films about betrayal: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Closer, Chasing Amy. He eventually got my point and reassured me that cheating was already beyond him.
In the span of our three-year relationship, never did he go back to his old ways. What sealed the deal? Communication. He opened up about his previous affairs, and this enabled me to express everything I felt about his past. I didn’t bitch on him, though. Not once did I compare my relationship stats with his.
In the end, I only motivated him by providing reasons why change would do him good. He had to want change. I’m glad he did. Even if our relationship didn’t work out (for a totally different reason), I’m glad I partly helped him become more mature about dealing with relationships by having them one at a time.
But Angela Sy, 28, wouldn't even consider dating a cheater, and here's why:
I know men who see cheating as a way of life. It’s not a question of when they’ll stop, but of the extent they’ll go to avoid getting caught. The cheater cares about you; the problem is he also cares more about himself and satisfying his own selfish needs. A friend once told me that men can’t be expected to stay faithful. This same guy, a self-confessed player, once cheated on his wife and his mistress with another woman. “At the end of the day, I will still go home to my wife,” he likes to say.
The scary thing about adept cheaters is they’re also adept liars. They can lie to your face and not show a trace of guilt or doubt. Imagine a boyfriend who is so sweet and attentive, but also nonchalantly sleeps with his officemate. He knows you’re never going to find out, and carries on as if nothing happened.
I doubt a cheater will change for anyone other than himself. He has to make a decision to change, and no amount of crying, begging, civilized talks or ultimatums will make him do that. A cheater will stop his infidelities when it’s convenient for him, never for you. Whatever his reasons for being dishonest, let him sort them out for himself. It’s not something you can ever “cure.”
Would you get back together with someone who betrayed your trust? What would make you accept or reject a cheater? If you got back with one, did you regret it? Let us know.
This story originally appeared in Cosmopolitan magazine, January 2012.
* Minor edits have been made by Cosmo.ph editors