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When two people tie the knot, they promise to be there for each other, through thick and thin, for better or worse. 

The words “till death do us part” echo in their ears, signifying a lifelong commitment and trust. 

However, not all marriages follow this ideal path. In some relationships, one partner, and sometimes even both, stray from their commitment, leading a secret life full of infidelity. 

This act of unfaithfulness can cause deep emotional scars, breaking the trust and bond that marriage is supposed to symbolize.

So why does someone who has cheated not just once but multiple times, still choose to stay in the marriage? 

1. Security and Stability

Marriage offers a solid, reliable structure. It provides an environment that’s familiar and comfortable. 

Serial cheaters, despite their infidelity, often find this stability appealing. They know their spouse’s habits, quirks, and routines. This familiarity provides a secure base from which they operate.

You could even say that cheaters exploit this stability. They depend on their partners for emotional support, companionship, or financial security while they cheat. 

However, this perspective may oversimplify the cheater’s motivations and experiences. People are complex, and their decisions often stem from multiple, overlapping factors. This leads us to the next reason. 

2. Love for Their Spouse

Why cheaters want to stay married

It might seem contradictory, but many serial cheaters genuinely love their spouses. They can separate their infidelity from their feelings for their partner. Weird right? Let me explain.  

Cheating may fulfill a need or desire that they feel is lacking in their marriage, but it doesn’t extinguish their love for their partner.

This emotional dichotomy may be hard to understand for those who see love and fidelity as inseparable. Yet, it’s a reality for many serial cheaters. 

Somehow, some cheaters can compartmentalize their feelings, maintaining deep affection for their spouse despite their ongoing infidelity.

3. Fear of Change

Humans are creatures of habit. We find comfort in routine and predictability. 

The thought of disrupting their lives can be terrifying for serial cheaters. They might worry about losing their home, their routine, or their reputation.

In addition, the prospect of starting over can be daunting. They might fear being alone, dating again, or creating a new life. 

Despite their unfaithful behavior, staying married offers a safe haven against these uncertainties.

4. Children and Family Ties

Serial cheaters want marriage

The desire for a cheater to maintain a stable home for their children is a powerful motivation for staying married. 

Serial cheaters also worry about the impact of divorce on their kids. They might fear causing their children emotional distress, disrupting their routines, or damaging their relationships with them.

Plus, marriage often involves an extended network of in-laws, cousins, and other relatives. The thought of severing or complicating these relationships can deter serial cheaters from divorce.

5. The Thrill of the Double Life

The life of a serial cheater involves secrecy, risks, and a constant balancing act. 

One reason some people continue this lifestyle while remaining in their marriages is the thrill of the double life. Staying married allows them to continue this risky, yet intriguing game.

The excitement isn’t just about the clandestine relationships they are nurturing. It’s also about the game itself, the secret codes, the hidden emails, and the lies. 

This creates an adrenaline rush that can become almost as addictive as the extramarital affairs themselves. 

For these people, their marriage becomes the backdrop for this high-stakes drama, a stable home base from which they embark on their adventures.

However, this is not to imply that all serial cheaters enjoy the deceit. Many grapple with guilt and stress from their actions. 

Yet, the allure of the secret and forbidden can sometimes outweigh the potential harm they are causing to their marriage.

6. Overwhelmed by Guilt and Shame

Serial cheater

Serial cheaters also wrestle with guilt and shame, and these feelings sometimes bind them to their marriages. 

They may believe that they deserve to endure suffering as a form of self-punishment for their actions. 

By staying married, they feel they can atone for their infidelity, trying to make things right by maintaining the facade of a happy marriage.

Guilt can also be tied to the fear of judgment from others. Serial cheaters may worry about how others would perceive them if their actions were brought to light. 

The idea of being branded a “cheater” or “home-wrecker” can be a powerful deterrent against seeking a divorce.

Shame, as an intense feeling of humiliation or distress, can also be a compelling reason for serial cheaters to stay married. 

They may view their infidelity as a failing on their part and worry about disappointing their loved ones. Staying married allows them to hide this perceived flaw from the world, protecting their image and self-esteem.

7. The Mirage of a Perfect Life

Society often glorifies marriage as the ultimate sign of success and stability. For serial cheaters, maintaining their marriage helps preserve this image. 

They can present themselves as committed, stable individuals despite their actions behind closed doors.

Maintaining this image is especially important in societies or communities where divorce is stigmatized. 

Staying married allows serial cheaters to uphold their social standing and avoid the social fallout that could result from a divorce.

Moreover, the perceived perfect life isn’t just about societal views. It also ties into personal self-image. People like to think of themselves as good, moral individuals. For serial cheaters, staying married can help maintain this self-image. 

They can tell themselves that they are still committed to their spouse, that they are good parents, and that they are contributing members of society, regardless of their secret lives.

8. Inability to Face the Consequences

How to deal with a serial cheater

Another major reason why serial cheaters choose to stay in their marriages is their inability to face the consequences of their actions. 

Divorce is not a simple process. It involves a lot of emotional pain, legal struggles, and often financial losses. 

The sheer magnitude of these potential hardships can often seem too much to handle for the cheating partner.

Legal issues are not the only concerns here. The fear of confronting the emotional pain they have caused their partner also plays a big role. 

The prospect of seeing their spouse’s hurt and betrayal can be overwhelming. Hence, they prefer staying married, as it allows them to avoid facing these painful confrontations.

Plus, acknowledging their infidelity may force them to confront their own personal failings. This is a difficult task for anyone, and serial cheaters are no different. 

They may choose to stay in the marriage to avoid this deep and often painful introspection, effectively shielding themselves from the stark reality of their actions.

9. The Comfort of Routine

People often underestimate the power of familiarity and its ability to influence our decisions. 

For serial cheaters, the comfort of routine can be another compelling reason to stay married. 

A shared life creates shared routines – meals together, common friends, shared responsibilities, and joint decision-making. Over time, these routines can create a level of comfort that’s hard to let go of.

Serial cheaters, despite their actions, still partake in these routines and can find comfort in them. The routine can provide a sense of normalcy amidst their secretive lifestyle. 

For some, it can even serve as a calming counterbalance to the chaotic nature of their extramarital affairs.

Staying married allows them to maintain these routines. The thought of building a new life with different routines and different people can seem daunting. 

10. Not Wanting to Lose Their Spouse

This reason might seem counterintuitive, but some serial cheaters stay in their marriages because they genuinely do not want to lose their spouse. 

Even while maintaining multiple relationships, they might still value their spouse’s companionship, support, and love. They might still appreciate their spouse’s qualities and the shared history between them. 

The thing is, humans are capable of experiencing a variety of feelings simultaneously. 

Serial cheaters can feel love for their spouse while engaging in extramarital affairs. They might recognize the value of their spouse and fear losing them.

Divorce would mean giving up their spouse’s companionship permanently. This loss is not always something that a serial cheater is willing to face. 

So, they opt to stay in the marriage, going through with their multiple relationships while striving to keep their spouse in their life.


Why do some serial cheaters never confess?

Many serial cheaters choose not to confess for various reasons. One primary reason is the fear of consequences. 

The thought of inflicting pain on their spouse, breaking up the family, or facing divorce’s legal and financial battles can be terrifying. They may believe that by not confessing, they are protecting their partner from unnecessary hurt.

Another reason is the desire to maintain their image. Serial cheaters often strive to uphold a certain image of themselves, both for the world and in their eyes. 

Confessing their infidelity would shatter this image, making them confront their failings openly. Therefore, to avoid this self-confrontation and public shame, many serial cheaters choose not to confess.

How can a marriage survive serial infidelity?

Surviving serial infidelity is a challenge, but not impossible. It requires a lot of work, dedication, and professional help. 

The first step is for the cheating partner to stop the infidelity, followed by sincere confession and apology. Without honesty, rebuilding trust can be extremely difficult.

Then comes the process of healing, which can be facilitated by couples therapy. Therapists provide a safe space for both partners to express their feelings and offer strategies for rebuilding trust and improving communication. 

Remember, healing takes time. It’s a journey that requires patience, forgiveness, and a commitment to work through difficult emotions.

Is it possible for serial cheaters to change?

Change is possible for everyone, including serial cheaters. However, the willingness to change must come from within. 

The cheater needs to recognize their actions’ impact, express genuine remorse, and take steps to alter their behavior. This might involve seeking professional help, like counseling or therapy.

However, it’s also essential to understand that change is a process that requires time, effort, and patience. 

There’s no guarantee of success, and setbacks can occur. Trust, once broken, takes a long time to rebuild. But with sincere effort and commitment, it’s possible for serial cheaters to change their ways and work towards restoring their relationships.

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Destiny Femi

Destiny Femi is a dating coach whose work has helped transform the love lives of countless people. With a writing style that is both insightful and relatable, Destiny has amassed a following of hundreds of thousands of readers who turn to him for advice on everything from finding the perfect partner to maintaining a healthy relationship. Through his articles he has inspired people around the world to become more confident, authentic, and successful in their dating life.

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