Serial cheaters rarely spend time with one person. If they consider another person is a better prospect than you, they give that person more time. If your partner cancels the plans frequently and does not answer your calls or text messages, it may be a red flag.
Certain personality factors often coincide with serial cheating, such as narcissism, sociopathy, and problems with impulse control. These variables tend to be fixed and pervasive across the lifespan. That means they don't usually just show up in relationships.
Constant communication with someone else can be a big red flag, especially if it's not normal for your partner. This can also show up as “hoarding”, where they'll add or change the password to their phone, take it with them everywhere, or make sure you never see what they're doing.
Do serial cheaters have empathy? Possibly, but Divaris Thompson points out that cheating on a partner isn't empathetic behavior at all, and someone who constantly steps outside the agreed upon boundaries of their relationship (if it's monogamous) isn't taking their partner's feelings into consideration.
Signs that your partner might be lying about cheating include changes in their behavior, changes in communication, less time spent at home, avoiding you, acting indifferent toward you, changes in your sex life, and increased technology use.
Anger or Aggression
Anger and aggression are two other common initial reactions to accusations of cheating. Cheaters often use anger as a form of deflection to turn the situation around and make accusations against you instead, like that you don't trust them enough.
Those who cheat for relationship reasons do so because they don't feel satisfied. "Researchers find that partnerships characterized by dissatisfaction, unfulfilling sex, and high conflict are at higher risk for infidelity," she says.
Cheating can be a sign of deep relational issues
A cheater might suffer from extremely low self-esteem and a narcissistic view of seeing things. Some people have a tendency for attention-seeking and once they are satisfied with one person they might go on to another to fulfil their needs and validate themselves.
To serial cheaters, the adulterous act can temporarily boost their ego and self-esteem through instant gratification. Over half of all cheaters cited enhancing their self-esteem as a motivating factor.
Innocent people can react to false accusations of cheating can in a variety of ways. Common reactions include surprise and disbelief, denial of the accusation, anger and frustration, a desire to prove their innocence, and a willingness to cooperate with any efforts to investigate the situation.
Sometimes compulsive behavior stems from mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and OCD. Research shows that antidepressants may help reduce some of the obsessions and compulsions associated with cheating behavior. Keep in mind that medications alone rarely change behavior.
Research in the field of infidelity reveals that there are three distinct personality types correlated with a higher likelihood of cheating: sociopaths, narcissists, and lonely hearts.
Not all people with narcissistic personality traits are unfaithful in their relationships, but narcissism may naturally make cheating more likely. Serial cheating, having multiple partners, and increasing cruelty are all narcissist cheating patterns to be aware of.
Most definitely. While some cheaters take pride in how many people they've been without outside of their marriage, most unfaithful partners feel guilt and stress over breaking their marriage vows.
Someone who is a serial cheater often has unresolved childhood trauma stemming from factors like parental abuse, unhealthy attachments, unrealistic relationship expectations, and/or divorce. These may continue to affect how they view relationships, causing them to continue to cheat.
If you've been cheated on, it may take a long time to heal. It can cause you chronic anxiety, post-traumatic stress, depression, and mistrust of others for a long time after the event.
Often people who cheat tell themselves that their behavior is justified because their partner doesn't really care about them and therefore wouldn't care if they strayed. They might justify their actions by blaming their S.O. for not showing them enough affection or not seeming to care about them anymore.
Some cheaters get angry when confronted.
In fact, people who are being unfaithful to their partners often act unusually irritable or look for excuses to pick fights, even when you're not directly confronting them about what's going on.
A cheating partner can exhibit angry, defensive behavior if they feel guilty about committing an infidelity, which can sometimes cause them to overreact even to seemingly small questions.
Before someone cheats in a relationship, he or she becomes mentally detached from the relationship. This may happen consciously or subconsciously. The person may not be getting something out of the current relationship, so he or she seeks that missing element in someone else.
A study of 495 people revealed eight key reasons: anger, low self-esteem, lack of love, low commitment, need for variety, neglect, sexual desire, and circumstance. 1 It's important to understand that these reasons arise within the cheater and are not the responsibility of the betrayed partner.