Of all the things that can be difficult to move past in a relationship, cheating can be one of the hardest. Cheating — and the dishonesty that often surrounds it — can erode trust, stop communication, and damage a relationship in a way that it may not come back from. In fact, cheating can be so powerful that it doesn't even have to happen to you for it to affect your trust. Sometimes, just knowing that your partner has been unfaithful to someone else in the past is enough to make you question your their ability to stay loyal.
But not every person who cheats is going to cheat again. Sometimes, it really is just a mistake that happened when they were younger — or when they were a different person. But it's natural to be worried that they might stray again, whether they're actually being physical with someone else or it's just an emotional fling.
Emotional cheating can be completely devastating. And it's often more frustrating, because you're not always sure if it's happening or it's just in your imagination. "Fidelity in a relationship does not get to be dissected into bits and pieces," Joshua Klapow, PhD, clinical psychologist and host of The Kurre and Klapow Show, tells Bustle. "Emotional fidelity, physical fidelity, psychological fidelity — they are all required. If you partner has cheated in the past the reality is that they can cheat again. Being emotionally loyal to you is part of a total package of loyalty."
So how can you tell if your partner will remain faithful emotionally, even if they've cheated before? Here's what experts recommend.