There are few things in life that damage your self-esteem as much as betrayal does. You begin to question everything. From your partner’s love to their grand gestures to every word they uttered. You can’t help but wonder if it was all one big lie. At some point, you may even find yourself wondering, “Do cheaters miss their ex?” The answer to this question becomes important when dealing with the aftereffects of infidelity.
Cheating is soul-shattering, irrespective of gender and sexual preference. According to Divorce Magazine, 60-75% of couples who experience infidelity remained together. But there’s a catch here. Not all those couples chose to stay together out of love. For some, the reasons varied from fear of being alone to not having anywhere else to go, financial issues, fear of traumatizing their children, and so on.
It’s plain to see how complicated a couple’s dynamics can become in the aftermath of cheating. Whether you choose to stay together or part ways, an understanding of a cheater’s mindset can help make the journey somewhat easier. Figuring out how a cheater feels about an ex is an important part of it.
When Do Cheaters Realize They Made A Mistake?
Do cheaters miss their ex? How do cheaters feel after a breakup? When do they realize the magnitude of their actions? The answers to these questions depend on the personality of the person who has cheated.
Serial cheaters don’t ever realize they made a mistake. They go on about their life as if nothing happened. They love the thrill of meeting new people and making them fall in love. It boosts their self-esteem. It validates their being. On the other hand, people who cheat while being in a long-term relationship, do have a tinge of regret for their actions. There are some shocking things cheaters say when you confront them and often describe their romantic liaison as:
- Nothing. It meant nothing
- It was just a one-off thing
- I was too drunk to think straight
- It won’t happen again
But don’t worry, cheaters get their karma. If not immediately, then one day down the road, they will reflect upon the hurt they caused you and it will make them miserable.
A Reddit user describes cheating aptly. They shared, “It’s like you separate the consequence of hurting the person you love from the thrill of doing the horrible thing. They are totally different things. You expect to not get caught and don’t realize how much it would hurt until it DOES and you see it first hand. Only then do you feel bad and sorry. It’s selfish. Truly unforgivable. “Once a cheater, always a cheater” because there is this disconnect between the action and the consequences.”
However, this is not to say that anyone and everyone who cheats is an unthinking, unfeeling monster who isn’t affected by the consequences of their actions. Some people are truly remorseful, and you can spot in them the following signs they regret cheating:
- They take accountability for their actions
- They go out of their way to rectify their mistakes
- They are willing to seek professional help
- Their actions will speak louder than words
- They cut ties off with the person they cheated on you with
- They are more caring, loving, and affectionate toward you
- You can sense they are changing
When Do Cheaters Miss Their Ex?
When I was betrayed by my former partner, he cheated and chose her. He went on about his life as if nothing happened and he didn’t destroy my confidence. I won’t sugarcoat it. It was heartbreaking and I was furious. It made me question the very nature of love. There were so many questions to ask my ex.
- Did he even love me?
- Was everything a lie?
- Did I and the relationship mean nothing?
- Where are the karmic consequences of cheating?
- Do cheaters get their karma?
- How could he move on without a tinge of remorse or guilt?
I even thought of getting back together and becoming a cheater after being cheated on because I wanted him to go through the same pain he caused me. But such damaging questions and thoughts only gave rise to a lot of insecurities and self-doubt. There was another question that contradicted all the tumultuous things I was feeling at that time: Will my cheating ex ever miss me? When do guys start to miss after a breakup? In my question for an answer, I have discovered some instances when cheaters begin to miss their ex:
1. When they regret cheating
When does an ex start to miss you? When they regret cheating on you. At some point, they are bound to look back. When they do, they might regret hurting you and that’s when they will miss you. You reap what you sow. Cheaters will eventually get their karma. You don’t have to make a plan on how to get revenge on an ex. The universe will do it for you.
Nathan, a software engineer from New York, says, “If it was just a one-time thing, then he might miss you because there is no contact after being cheated on. He will wonder if you are doing okay. But if he is a narcissist, he won’t regret hurting you. If anything, he’d be angry that he got caught, that he has lost control of you and the narrative.”
2. When they are alone
When do cheaters miss their ex? When they are feeling lonely. Even if she/he cheated and chose her/him, they might miss you when they are alone. They might even think of ways to reach out to you, talk to you, and find out if you are still waiting for them.
3. When they get cheated on
This is one of the things narcissistic cheaters can’t tolerate. Cheaters do miss their ex when their current partner cheats on them. It’s nothing short of hypocrisy. In my case, when he cheated and chose her, he would call me once a week to apologize. When his new girlfriend cheated on him with someone else, he completely lost it.
All that validation and self-esteem booster shots he snorted from cheating on me were shattered when the karmic consequences of cheating slapped him real hard. A study also confirms this theory. It has been found that people who cheat are more likely to dump their partner if they do the same thing.
4. When they go to places that remind them of you
When does an ex start to miss you? When something reminds them of you. Memories last when people don’t and erasing memories and saying goodbye after a breakup isn’t as easy as turning a page. When you’re dating someone, you make tons of memories with them. Happy memories, memories of pain, and memories where the two of you were madly in love. You went to fancy restaurants for date nights, took long walks on the beach, and went dancing in clubs.
Will my cheating ex ever miss me, you wonder? If an ex ever revisits the places they have shared fond memories with you, they’re bound to miss you. They will also miss you when they come across the things you left behind. Or when they read your chats, look at your pictures, or come across the gifts you gave them.
5. When they see their ex with someone else
Do cheaters miss their ex? Yes, when they find out the ex has moved on and is dating someone new. They don’t know how to get over someone despite cheating on you because you were their safety blanket. You can call this jealousy as well. They can’t digest the fact that a person can get over them. When I finally tried to move on and started dating a guy my friends set me up with, my ex felt a little thrown. It bruised his little ego.
He thought I would still be thinking about him and crying in my room. I had no contact after being cheated on yet he would call and beg me to see him one last time. When I went to meet him, all he did was talk about this new man I am dating. He dug up everything about him and tried to prove he wasn’t good enough for me. I replied, “As if you were.” He never asked me to meet him again.
Related Reading: How To Emotionally Detach Yourself From Someone – 10 Ways
Do Cheaters Usually Come Back?
Cheaters come back, well, usually. They will either offer to be your friend or they will ask you to give them one more chance. Either way, they want to be a part of your life. They will go around hooking up as much as they want, but at the end of the day, they crave security. They crave comfort. Will your ex come back? If they regret cheating, then yes. Below are some of the reasons why an ex comes back after having cheated on you:
- They want both – the real one and the sidekick
- It’s too difficult to move on. You’ve both shared a lot of ups and downs and they are not ready to lose it all because of their infidelity
- Cheaters come back because they have fulfilled their fantasies. They had their fun and it’s time to get back to reality
- They love you but not the person they cheated on you with
- To use you again
- They are honestly repentant and are trying to get their act together
Can A Cheater Love Their Partner?
There are many reasons why you cheat on someone. According to a study titled Motivations for Extradyadic Infidelity Revisited, cheating is motivated by various factors such as:
- Lack of love and feeling neglected by a partner
- Falling out of love with one’s partner
- Low self-esteem
- A desire to be more popular
- Need for sexual variety
- Inability to think rationally due to intoxication
None of the above-mentioned reasons can justify cheating, except maybe the last one. I realized something when I was trying to heal and learn how to survive betrayal. I think a person can love the way someone else makes THEM feel without actually caring about how the other person feels. They don’t love you but they love how you make them feel.
They call that love but they don’t actually know what love is. They are in love with how THEY feel and can cheat to experience that feeling. The feeling of being wanted, of being desired by as many people as they want gets their blood pumping.
When they say that they love you and can’t live without you, they may even mean it, but what they really mean is that they can’t live without how you make them feel. When they get caught cheating, they feel shame and fear at the prospect of losing you because you are their main source of love and validation. So, they may stop with their delinquent shenanigans temporarily. However, most cheaters are fundamentally broken people, so they may end up falling into their old patterns again.
- Cheaters can’t stand being cheated on
- One of the signs they regret cheating is when they make efforts to rebuild the relationship
- A cheater comes back because they want their safety blanket back
- A cheater may miss you, especially when they are alone, get cheated on, revisit places that bring up memories of you, or see you with someone new
While moving on from so much hurt and pain, we often do a lot of things that impact our mental health negatively. We doubt ourselves, we want to take revenge, and we even think of becoming a cheater after being cheated on. But is it even worth it? Trust me, it’s not. The best revenge is to be unlike the one who caused you hurt.
It’s a choice. You can call it a mistake if they were drunk or weren’t in control of their senses. But it’s a conscious choice when they have been cheating on you for a long time. You can’t call that a mistake ever. It’s an act of cowardice and has nothing to do with you. It speaks about their nature and the fact that they need validation from more than one person.
They feel guilty. But the degree of guilt varies from person to person. The guilt could either be so high that they would mend their ways and never cheat on their partner. Or they are way too selfish to care about their partner and ignore the feeling of guilt that is nibbling at their rationality.
When he is sincerely sorry for what he did and wants to take responsibility for causing you pain. His actions will align with his words and he will prove to you that he is a changed man.