Dear My Cheating Husband,
I do not like to pass judgment on individuals without knowing their personal stories. Behind all behavior, there is a psychological reason. Besides being a cheater, your husband has some other character flaws. I have no idea as to why he has spent the majority of his adult life in jail, but his history is not good. It is difficult to answer your question because I do not know what motivates your husband. Some people cheat for the thrill. Some people cheat because they are selfish and self-centered. Some people cheat because they have low self-esteem. Some people cheat because they believe that they can get away with. Some people cheat because they were exposed to and/or raised by unfaithful role models. Some people cheat to get revenge.
You stated that you cheated earlier in your relationship, so your husband might feel justified in his behavior. Nevertheless, in order to predict behavior, one must understand the psyche that influences the behavior.
Cheaters are typically dishonest and their past behavior in a strong indicator of their future behavior. However, I do believe that people can change if they desire to. Change is an internal process and cannot be forced. If your husband perceives the reward for cheating to be greater than the consequence, he will not change.
What does this mean? As human beings we learn behavior primarily through behavioral conditioning. If we do something and get praised, we are more likely to continue the behavior. If we do something and get reprimanded, we are more likely to discontinue the behavior. Cheaters typically struggle with understanding how to put others needs before their own, because the consequences are typically not sufficient. The need to engage in self-gratification behavior blocks their ability to demonstrate compassion.
If you choose to move forward with your marriage, you have to decide if you can forgive and trust your husband. Be mindful that there is a high possibility that your husband’s cheating behavior will not change without some professional counseling. A professional like myself can assess your husband’s underlying psychological issues and help you understand the severity of his cheating behavior and motivation for change. Also, counseling can help you work through your emotional distress. Unfortunately, you and your husband built a relationship based on infidelity and mistrust. Cheating is a psychological vice that warrants thorough understanding and professional counseling.
If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please send an email to [email protected]
Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.