Once a cheater always a cheater?

This question often comes up in counseling. When fidelity has been breached, well-meaning friends often say this to the one who has been cheated on, along with the statement that they would never and could never stay with someone who did this to them.

All of this seems so right-until it happens to you. Now it’s your marriage, your family and your life on the bubble.

Amazingly, most women (I work primarily with the men) stay and work things out with their spouses. After having done this for 34 years, I can attest to the fact that the vast majority of men who participate in a program of recovery specific to this problem do become safe husbands and fathers!

This is because they needed help and, now receiving it, are much more likely to be able to be that integrous man they have desperately wanted to be.

The intensive individual therapy clears the forest of material that fuels the fire in the mans life, so that the group therapy can successfully suppress and control the embers of addiction- which are the habits wired into the brain (see Biology of Desire, Marc Lewis, PhD).

While I agree with the science of addiction, I can state with confidence that when a man or woman stops trying to recover alone, amazing things can and do happen because, you see, we are not defined only by our bad habits, but by the many good things God has built into us. The desire to be a man of integrity is one of those things and it can be supported and achieved if the choice is made to get help.