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Author Topic: Once a ****, always a ****  (Read 989 times)

Offline ultamentkiller

Once a ****, always a ****
« on: February 02, 2016, 10:01:30 PM »
While eating lunch with friends, we had a heated discussion. It started by one of them saying the phrase, "Once a cheater, always a cheater."
On one side of the discussion, you have the group saying this is true. People don't change. Once a criminal, always a criminal. That type of thing. On the other, you have the group saying that redemption is possible, and that life should be about second chances.
I'm curious where all of you stand on this issue. Most have more life experience than the entire group combined. And we've all lived different lives, and had different experiences. So is it true? Do people change, or remain static in their behavior? Will a thief continue stealing cars after he's been caught? Will a man or woman continue cheating on their future partners after they've lost one good relationship? Is it possible to break the pattern of bad behavior, and to learn from your mistakes? How often is the cycle successfully broken?
I'll give my view of things later on.

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: Once a ****, always a ****
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2016, 10:09:44 PM »
I don't know.
I think that's the short answer.

I believe in the good of people, I trust and believe them until they give me a reason to change that, so I like to think that people who've done bad things can recover and 'step away from the dark side' (I mean, I was ready to try to work things out with my ex after I discovered her cheating, although at the time I wasn't aware of the extent of it)

I've read stories about both cases, recovery and reincidence, so I think some will be able to take advantage of a second chance, while other people will never change.
Until we know for sure, I think we should provide that second chance - I know I'd like one, if something happened that made me stumble...
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Offline Lady Ty

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Re: Once a ****, always a ****
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2016, 11:17:34 PM »
This is an unanswerable question which can lead to endless inconclusive debate and many examples given to try and demonstrate either side of the question. You can only find actual stats on recidivism and that does not touch on all the questions you are asking or circumstances of change. I could offer examples for both sides and give justification or explanation for the results, but each one would be entirely different. It is pointless to try.

Every single person will deal with life and make their own choices for a variety of reasons,many of them circumstances over which they have had no personal control. To name a few of the more obvious their childhood, background of whatever social status, their chances or not of education, support structure, stability and, of course, love.

The main thing to take away from this is the importance of tolerance and the realisation that it is easy to make a quick judgment from ignorance.

ETA Sincere apologies to anyone who read my political comment re Australian decisions, now removed. Not appropriate here.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2016, 11:56:22 PM by Lady_Ty »
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Offline JMack

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Re: Once a ****, always a ****
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2016, 12:12:31 AM »
For me the answer is a clear "Yes". People can change.
That is, in the context of the question, people can put aside negative behaviors and life a changed life.

Sometimes this is a religious revelation, as Paul on the road to Damascus.
Sometimes this is a difficult personal choice, arrived at without such an obvious spiritual aid. I can't quote the specifics, but I seen interviews with former gang members who are now dedicated to helping others get of the life.

I don't see how there can be any disagreement that people can change - at least in the way you mean.

But I don't believe people's basic personalities change in large ways except under extreme stress and disaster. Paul was an aggressive persecutor of Christians before his conversion; he was an aggressive apostle after. I am imagine the gang banger is a tough man, still.

This makes the kind of change we're discussing quite difficult. Not to mention societal conditions and the pressure of your family and social circle.

So, I think the answer is: People can change, but not many do.

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Offline Rostum

Re: Once a ****, always a ****
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2016, 12:19:26 AM »
People change all the time in lots of ways.
Lots do stupid dangerous stuff in their teens before they work out they are mortal and recklessness is replaced by responsibility. Some find they have the charm to be devious and untrustworthy for longer than others and use it to their advantage some behave badly to others and then grow up and settle down. Some don't there is no universal rule.

I cannot tell you the secret of happiness but I can tell you that high expectations, a lack of acceptance and no forgiveness will not make you happy.

I have a long history of failed relationships in which I am the common factor. I have never cheated on anyone and have been cheated on. Does this mean on some moral level I am better than those who cheated on me? No, life is never that simple. I am the common link here a lot of responsibility has to lie with me.

My closest female friend now is someone who slept with a friend of mine twenty odd years ago when we were lovers. Didn't like her much at the time but now if I need her she is there for me and I cannot imagine her not being there. Perhaps the mistake was sleeping together in the first place. How the world turns is strange and mysterious at times.

Avoid patterns and complicated situations. If someone has cheated on everyone they have been with yes they are likely to do so with you because it is acceptable behaviour to them. Someone who is controlling is unlikely to stop being so if it gets them what they want. Someone who is prepared to cheat with you while with someone else is hardly likely to be faithful with you should you get together. See what is there not what you want to see. People do change just often it is not in the way you want them to.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2016, 12:21:47 AM by Rostum »

Offline Nora

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Re: Once a ****, always a ****
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2016, 01:55:11 AM »
Like Lady_Ty, I believe there is no answer set for one or the other.

From experience, I'd say that even the most seemingly dead-set people can change. I've seen it, I've changed someone over the course of three years once, consciously working on him, eating at resistance and showing a way. Now the guy is living a life he'd have laughed at, thinking impossible 5 years ago.

On the other end, I'm pretty sure some people have peculiar mind sets, often with different degrees of mental illness or madness, that completely prevents them from changing.
How can you change when rational criticism glides over you like water on oiled skin?

But then, even in the case of a psychopath who can't change his ways, you can see the history of some people getting worse : start by cutting animals, get a few rapes under your belt, then move on to murder? Extreme example here of course, but, isn't that a form of change in itself?

So I doubt that anyone can be truly static.

Some things would change anyone's character as well, because the mind can do such extreme things : you can develop phobias, or ptsd, ect, in reaction to some dramatic events that give you a brush with death or worse.
Then your subconscious shifts and changes, changing the outer you as well, whether you want it or not.

So it all depends on the person, and on the life they'll live, but change is not easy, and not everyone wants it.
Especially as we get older, we dislike change more and more.


I think when it comes to cheaters the real issue isn't so much "change" as it is morals. Can you get better morals? Yes sure. Give the man time and experience. Maybe he never got any woman to walk all over his feelings and cheat on him. Maybe once it happens to him, he'll understand better what it makes the other party feel?
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Offline xiagan

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Once a ****, always a ****
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2016, 06:30:46 AM »
If someone cheats, there is a reason for that. Not necessarily one they know about, often it's subconscious. This could be that they aren't happy in their current relationship, they have low self-esteem and need to prove something to themselves, they think they are cheated on, they have a warped image of the other sex, ...
If that issue isn't resolved, they will always cheat again, no matter if the person they are with is the love if their life or not. They can't help it and even may hate themselves for it.

But everybody can change. It's just not easy.
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Offline Mr.J

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Re: Once a ****, always a ****
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2016, 11:52:37 AM »
Everyone can change, the problem is a lot of the time it's too hard to adapt.



Offline m3mnoch

Re: Once a ****, always a ****
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2016, 02:27:08 PM »
"rock bottom" -- the agent of change -- for everyone is different.  and it's further different for each situation.  not to mention, humans, being supremely adaptable, are incredibly tolerant of change.  that means, there's a broad spectrum of consequence tolerance and community enablement wrapped into the question.

so, yes, everyone can change.  no, not every wants nor has to put in the effort required to change.