It was Dr. Phil McGraw who said, "The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior." In other words, if you want to know how someone will react to certain situations take a look at how they have reacted to similar situations in the past.
For example, if you are dating someone who is divorced due to their infidelity the fact that they cheated once is a good indicator that they will cheat again. In order to predict whether a future spouse will cheat it is important that you have knowledge of their behaviors in past relationships.
I had a friend who became involved with a married man. He eventually left his wife and married my friend. This sweet, naive friend of mine was quite secure in her relationship and marriage. She was 100% sure he would never cheat on her.
They eventually divorced due to his infidelity. In other words, “once a cheater, always a cheater.” My friend learned a valuable lesson, never make excuses for someone’s bad behavior and never assume that they won’t do to you what they have done to someone else.
I encourage clients to find out all they can about the past marriages of those they are involved with. During the course of a relationship you can learn a great deal about the character of the person you are involved with and the caliber of his/her past relationships.
Some say we shouldn’t disclose private aspects of past relationships with a new love interest. I say, if you don’t explore private aspects of past relationships you are setting yourself up for trouble.
Why Past Behavior, Predicts Future Behavior:
We all have unique personalities and well developed ways of dealing with relationship problems. If our family, friends and co-workers woke up every morning with a new personality and little evidence of how they would react to different situations that day, it would be impossible to form any real relationship with anyone because you couldn’t get to know them on a deeper level.
The only reason we are able to get to know people well enough to form true relationships is due to innate characteristics and personality traits we all have. I tell those who argue with my position that past behavior can predict future behavior that, that is where the smart money bets.
If a race horse finishes first place in the majority of his races, more than likely that horse is going to continue to place well during a race. The same goes for how someone will behave in a relationship.
Evaluating Their Relationship Potential:
Below are a few indicators of whether or not a new love is trustworthy. Remember, whether or not you are marrying the right person will depend greatly on that person’s past relationships.
- A history of cheating,
- An inability to own his role in the demise of the previous marriage or relationship,
- Complaints of being controlled by his/her ex,
- How he/she dealt with relationship problems,
- A refusal to take responsibility for his/her past cheating behavior.
If you are in a relationship with someone with a history of cheating and he/she tells you the ex drove them to cheat, this is a huge red flag. A person of character does not cheat when the relationship goes bad, they choose to divorce rather than deceive and betray.