While some applauded Huma for standing by her man, most reacted with exasperation. The general consensus: forgiving once is (sometimes) understandable, doing it twice shrieks victim.
But is the ‘once a cheat, always a cheat’ belief true? If your partner’s cheated once, are you wrong to trust them again?
The answer isn’t as clear cut as it first appears because people cheat for different reasons.
Is the 'once a cheat, always a cheat' belief true? If your partner's cheated once, are you wrong to trust them again? Tracey says you need to ask yourself WHY they did it
Some people cheat to get their partner’s attention. If their partner’s a workaholic or unavailable to them, being caught with someone else is a way of saying ‘Hey, if you love me, pay attention to me!'.
‘Payback cheating’ is also common. If you’ve cheated in the past or done something else to hurt your partner, they might retaliate to get even.
EnlargeIf your partner's been desperately trying to tell you they're unhappy but not feeling heard, cheating might well be a cry for help (albeit not an advisable way to flag up relationship problems).
Has it happened before? A true serial cheater will often see nothing wrong with being unfaithful
Even if you don’t decide to forgive, cheating for these reasons is entirely different than ‘opportunistic’ cheating: not turning down a low-risk opportunity simply because monogamy doesn’t supply the erotic charge that new flesh delivers.
Trying to predict whether your partner will cheat again?
Ask yourself these questions: What’s their cheating history? If they’ve cheated on every person they’ve ever been out with and been forgiven for doing so, why should they stop?
It might cause you problems, but it’s working for them. A true serial cheater will often see nothing wrong with being unfaithful.
When caught, they’ll either get angry and tell you it’s none of your business - making it easier to leave - or turn on the tears and blame their past, making (false) promises they’ll reform. They won’t.
If your partner has a history of being unfaithful and forgiven or they’ve done it to you repeatedly, they will almost certainly continue to cheat.
What was the state of the relationship? If your relationship’s in tatters - you’re not communicating well and arguing bitterly - it’s easier to understand and forgive than if someone cheats when you’ve just come back from a blissfully, loved-up holiday in the Caribbean.
What sort of person is your partner? Is this out of character for them? Are they otherwise kind and loving?
Do you have children together? If you do, there’s clearly more incentive to try to work it out.
Is your relationship worth fighting for? Have you been limping along for a while now, with no real joy left? Or is this a horrible but genuine mistake in an otherwise solid relationship?
If your partner's been desperately trying to tell you they're unhappy but not feeling heard, cheating might well be a cry for help, argues TraceyHow sorry are they for betraying you? Do they accept how much they’ve hurt you and genuinely want to make it up to you?
If you decide your partner is worth taking the risk on again, take a long, hard look at that last sentence and make sure the answer is yes.
The problem with giving second chances is this: once you forgive bad behaviour, you effectively condone it.
It needs to be absolutely clear that if you find out they’ve cheated again, you’ll walk with no questions asked.
If you’ve already done this and it’s a repeat offence, walk now