BaeWatch: “My Boyfriend Had Cheated On His Ex-Gf. Should I Trust Him?”
If a person slips and ends up cheating on their partner, that’s a secret they won’t even share with their closest people. It shows them in the worse possible light; some people may react more strongly to a wife cheating than a husband beating her up. So in a culture that isn’t accepting or understanding of infidelity and treats it as reason enough to humiliate a person, it takes courage for a person to own up to it.
And yet, that doesn’t make things any easier. You fear your current partner will never trust you again, even if it was in the past, even if you feel sorry about it. If you’re on the other side of the fence, you may get this sinking feeling that refuses to go away without giving you anxiety! Will he cheat on you as he cheated on his ex? Will he cheat on you as he had cheated earlier? Does he deserve forgiveness? It’s complicated.
So when a woman wrote to us seeking advice on how to deal with this brand new information about her boyfriend having cheated in the past, we decided to help her out.
“I started seeing this guy six months ago and it’s been going really well so far. Recently, he confided in me about his past relationship and told me he had cheated on his ex-girlfriend. This was when the impending breakup was around the corner but he does feel guilty and apologetic about it. However, I feel my trust is a little shaken because I don’t want tomorrow when things get messy, he can end up cheating on me. Once a cheater, always a cheater? Or do people learn and grow?”
Mansi Shah, Managing Editor: “I have a distinct feeling that this ‘once a cheater, always a cheater’ trope is being propagated by a community of people who have been completely jaded about love. They just stand at the corner of the love gully and trip over anyone walking in with rose-tinted glasses. I don’t think cheating is a personality trait. It’s a hiccup, a mess, or a mistake. It’s not defining. In this situation, you’re being extremely judgmental of him and slamming the gavel on his honesty before he’s even had a chance. I would suggest you to talk it out with him. Ask him why he cheated. The events that lead to it and how he feels about it. Had he emotionally and mentally moved on from the relationship? In that case, it’s a super grey area and I think we’ve all been there at some point. Secondly, he did come clean about it and while that doesn’t give him a free pass, it certainly helps because it establishes that he trusts you and wants you to give him a chance. Talk it out and then dismiss it as an incident in the past. People change, circumstances change and the best thing you can do is give him and your relationship a real chance.”
Mitali Shah, Lifestyle Writer: “I’d like to believe that people can learn and grow. But that’s just an optimist in me. The truth is people slip up and make mistakes. If he feels remorse and guilt over his actions then at least he is owning up to his mistake. And just because he cheated on his ex is no reason for you to believe he will cheat on you too. Be alert but trust him and give him a chance. Jumping to conclusions isn’t going to help anyone.”
Anjali Agarwal, Fashion & Beauty Writer: “First of all, he is obviously not taking the responsibility for what he did by making excuses like they were going to break off. That’s not very mature of him which means it’s highly unlikely that he has changed. Messy relationship or not, nothing gives him a pass for cheating on his partner and if he was unfaithful to his ex, you can never be sure what will make him cheat on you. Trust me, you don’t want to spend all your time fretting about if he’s going to cheat on you after every little fight you have. Plus, why did he wait for six months to make that revelation about him? Yes, people change but cheaters and pathological liars don’t!”
ALSO READ: BaeWatch: “I Feel Jealous Of My Bf’s Female Friends Sometimes And I Don’t Know What To Do.”
Akanksha Narang, Features Head: “He cheated on his girlfriend and unlike how the world would like you to see him as an infidelity-enthusiast, he is most probably not. Relationships and life situations are complicated. And our actions largely depend on how we perceive ourselves, our relationships, and our circumstances. Your boyfriend made a mistake and he is taking ownership of his infidelity. How do you know if he will cheat again or not? There are two types of people – those who would continue to cheat because they fail to take responsibility for their actions and those who turn mistakes into growth opportunities. The latter kind has high relational self-awareness, which means the ability to reflect on their relationships and introspect in order to understand how they outlined/can outline their connections today.
You can ask your boyfriend how he feels about it but the fact that he wants to start a new relationship on the foundation of honesty and trust shows he is not an untrustworthy person. Have open communication without judgement and accusatory behaviour. If he is someone with high RSA, he won’t have a problem being faithful this time. But if you’re giving this relationship a chance, then you ought to do it with full trust.”
Baewatch is Hauterfly’s weekly service to womxn everywhere. We are giving no-holds-barred, funny, interesting answers to your relationship problems. We’re not experts so you may end up married or broken up. It could go either way. *shrugs*