Question: Yangki, it’s been almost 3 months since my ex and I got back together. I found out my dismissive avoidant ex cheated and but after going to counselling together, I gave her another chance. But she has not forgiven herself. She’s scared she’ll hurt me again. After reading many of your articles, it would have been wise to have taken it slow and not get back together so soon. We have discussed being friends and see what happens but I wanted to get your perspective.
My question is, should I be worried my dismissive avoidant ex will cheat again? I read it somewhere that dismissive avoidants have multiple sexual encounters and more likely to cheat again. I want us to work but maybe I’m a fool for loving her so much. One of your articles talks about men who love too much; and maybe I am one of those men.
Yangki’s Answer: I have much respect for you for being able to forgive. Unfortunately, forgiveness doesn’t come easy to all of us. Forgiving oneself when you feel that you let yourself down can be even harder than forgiving someone else.
The problem with your dismissive avoidant ex is that it’s not just that she’s unable to forgive herself; it’s that she thinks she will cheat again. If this is a genuine concern for her, then you should be concerned too.
There is definitely a correlation between cheating and avoidant attachment style
“Infidelity could be a regulatory emotional strategy used by people with an avoidant attachment style. The act of cheating helps them avoid commitment phobia, distances them from their partner, and helps them keep their space and freedom.” says Geneviève Beaulieu-Pelletier, author of Infidelity Dissected: New Research On Why People Cheat
I think it’s important not to lump all avoidants together in one basket and call them serial cheaters.
Why does your dismissive avoidant ex think she’ll cheat again? Has she cheated on others she’s been with? Did they take her back; and did she cheat again?
Some people are too polite to tell you that there is something they are not getting from the relationship and feel the need to get it from somewhere else. And there are people who can not be monogamous; it’s who they are. You need to find out if your dismissive avoidant ex is capable of being happy with one man.
Talking about it openly will help both of you get to the bottom of why she thinks she’ll cheat again. You may find that her fear of cheating again is just that “fear”; or guilt that she needs to let go.
But if after talking about it openly and honestly and taking things slow; she’s still fears she’ll cheat again, then you need to decide if you can live with someone who thinks she’ll cheat. It’s hard enough to trust someone after they’ve cheated, but even harder if they think they might cheat again.
Remember, cheaters cheat because of THEM, not because you did something to deserve it.