Ask the MH girls the questions you can’t ask anyone else. They’re three women who speak their mind, so don’t expect sugar-coated answers. Today we’re asked: My ex and I broke up because she cheated on me but we’re talking about getting back together. Is this a good idea or does ‘once a cheater, always a cheater’ apply here? – RH
Jess: I don’t see any truth in the ‘once a cheater, always a cheater’ argument. Very unfair.
Nik: It wouldn’t apply to everyone, but I’d approach getting back together with caution. You’ll need to have the painful talk about why she cheated and know that if you do get back together there’s a chance it’ll happen again.
Jess: Discuss the motivations around her cheating. Really unpack what happened. Park your ego and approach it honestly. Was she unhappy? Did she feel things had grown stale and wanted to spice things up? Was it a case of her wanting an emotional connection with someone else or was it purely sexual? Sometimes this talk can make for a stronger relationship. Also, there’s no weakness in forgiveness, as Tami Taylor said in Friday Night Lights.
Nik: Totally. Understanding the cause of this can help you grow.
Jess: Having said that, make sure you truly want to get back together and that you’re over the cheating. Because it’s also unfair to keep holding them to that past mistake forever more.
Becky: Approaching this with strong opinions about cheating as someone who’s been cheated on. Sure, explore the circumstances around the cheating, but I don’t think there’s any circumstance that could justify it. Can you really move past it, RH? Won’t you always be wondering if it could happen again? The damage is done, I reckon.
Jess: If you’re in a relationship with someone for four months and they cheat on you – bad sign. But a 15-year relationship where they cheat on you once or twice in that whole time, I don’t see that as so terrible. And I think if there’s remorse, that’s significant.
Becky: How you found out is important. Did she come forward and ’fess up, or did you catch her out? I think the relationship is more salvageable if there’s a confession
Jess: Yep. Suggests they can take responsibility for their actions.
Becky: Only you know whether this is something you can move past. The pain of betrayal tends to linger for a very long time. But second chances can be worth it for the right person.