Although I've known that when habits continue for long enough they become a lifestyle, there are still some unknowns. One unknown is when does something go from habit to 'lifestyle?'
In referring to 'lifestyle', I'm not talking fashion or social identification. The overuse of the word lifestyle has confused the matter.
My use of lifestyle refers to 'long standing habits'. Any bad habit, when allowed to continue becomes a negative lifestyle.
When your spouse has cheated to the point that it's a way of life for them, you have questions.
The question about lifestyle is important when discussing affairs. It's one thing when a cheater stumbles, it's another matter when cheating turns into their way of life.
The cheater lifestyle includes the infidelity, lies, risk taking, and keeping secrets. One bad habit keeps the others going. When all together, they combine in producing a formidable challenge.
Can the cheater lifestyle be changed? My answer is "yes".
Changing the cheater lifestyle isn't easy. It's not something that you can passively sit back and wait for it to happen.
Instead, making the change means you seek it out. You start it by reaching out for help and taking action.
Changing a lifestyle requires conscious effort. This conscious effort requires mindfully sticking with a relapse prevention plan and working it until fidelity and honesty become a new lifestyle.
Along the way, the cheater needs encouragement, support and motivation. They also need a clear sense of direction. When they don't know what they are after, they often settle for solutions that reduce the pain rather than lasting solutions that remove the problem.
Lasting solutions meet their needs, rather than leaving them half undone. Being in a negative lifestyle doesn't mean there's no hope. It does mean you need to get to work on affair relapse prevention.
I invite you to check out the video, "Preventing Affair Relapse", where you can learn about what I consider a workable relapse prevention plan.