Cheated On? Science Says It's Probably Going To Happen Again

Why do victims of cheating often repeat the cycle?

heartbroken woman Blue Titan / Shutterstock

We've all heard the saying "once a cheater, always a cheater," but what about the victims of cheating? Well, a new study decided to investigate... and it's not that uplifting. It may be time to be saying "been cheated on, always being cheated on."

RELATED: 5 Ways To Survive — And Even Thrive — After Your Boyfriend Cheated

The study was conducted by Kayla Knopp, a graduate student in clinical psychology from the University of Colorado, Denver, and at the American Psychological Association Convention in Washington, D.C.


The study, involving 484 unmarried people between the ages of 18 to 34 years old, found that people who were victims of cheating are more likely to be cheated on again by their next partner.

The same goes for victims of verbal and physical abuse, they are five times more likely to be in another abusive relationship down the road.

This is definitely disheartening news since it could easily turn into victim-blaming.


No one asks to be treated like this by someone who's supposed to love them. 

These people are seeking these terrible partners therefore we shouldn't help them, or feel bad for them! Of course, this type of thinking is wrong and fails to understand a victim of these types of situations.

RELATED: 5 Questions To Ask Yourself After You’ve Been Cheated On

According to PsychCentral, victims of domestic violence have a poor self-image, low self-esteem, belief jealousy is proof of love, the uncertainty of their needs, and more.

Therefore a person who was once a victim of verbal and physical abuse would be more susceptible to a person who is looking to mistreat someone. If you are told endlessly that you are not worthy of love, or love involves punches and curses then you are more likely to accept it from multiple partners. 


Everyone is worthy of love, and don't let anyone convince you otherwise.

Of course, the victims aren't the only ones who come out of these situations repeating a cycle.

Verbal and physical abusers were three times more likely to repeat their abuse. Cheaters are three and half times more likely to be unfaithful in a future relationship.

RELATED: How To Forgive A Cheater (& Whether Or Not You Should)

But what about victims of cheating — why are they also caught in a cycle? Well, once you think about it being a victim of cheating can really knock down a person's self-esteem as well.

"They feel that something is wrong with them, that they're not enough, and that they're now sentenced to a life where suspicion, doubt, and fear will reign," says Knopp.


Cheating happens, but just because it happened to you doesn't mean you're doomed. Everyone deserves love and the important thing to remember is that you can bounce back and break the pattern.

Have you been cheated on more than once? Tell us in the comments below.

RELATED: How To Get Over Being Cheated On In 5 Easy(ish) Steps


Nicole Weaver is a love and entertainment writer for Yourtango. Find her on Twitter for more.