Julie Benz as Rita in Dexter

‘Dexter’: Does Rita Cheat on Dexter? Answered

Dear Rita, you got any skeletons in the closet? Your BF sure does. Yours might be more romantic in nature, but your husband’s are very, very real. But did you truly jump the bones of one while fooling with another? We’ll find out.

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First off: Who is Rita?

Rita is what we call a Nice Lady. Totally sweet, girl-next-door type. At least … at the beginning of the series. Rita Morgan (nee Brandon) was born in Ashley, Michigan in 1973 to a young mother and an absent father. She’s been married a few times in her life. She was sixteen the first time, marrying a 21-year-old mechanic in 1989. They divorced a year later. After that, she moved to Miami where she later let a dude named Paul.

And Paul was bad news.

Rita had two children with Paul, Astor and Cody. Soon after their marriage, the abuse started. Paul would frequently physically and sexually abuse Rita, and one night the abuse got so bad that Rita’s daughter called the police and Paul was taken away. During the six months Paul was in jail (he eventually got out on parole) she started a new romance with Dexter … a literal serial killer. This poor girl.

Paul attempted to manhandle his way back into Rita’s life, which eventually led to Dexter disposing of him. He didn’t kill him, but he did knock him out with a frying pan and stick a heroin needle in his arm and an unregistered gun by his side. Paul was taken back to jail for a parole violation, and later beaten to death in a prison brawl with a length of pipe. Hooray! Dex might have not pulled the proverbial trigger, but was in part responsible for the literal pipe.

After a rocky second season, Rita and Dexter’s relationship flourished in season three. The pair got married, and eventually Rita got pregnant with their son Harrison. Rita and Dexter moved into a house in the suburbs, and everything seemed totally normal—on the surface. Rita had always been suspicious that Dexter was keeping some sort of secret from her (he was), and Dexter in turn believed that Rita was keeping secrets from him (she also was). She lied to Dexter about her marriage at sixteen, but Dexter decided to let her have her secrets. Fair is fair, after all.

Trouble in paradise …

Rita and Dexter’s relationship began to sour due to the many lies Dexter had to tell in order to cover up his … doings. They tried a marriage counselor to no avail. The real trouble started when Elliot showed up, a hot neighbor dude that had a thing for Rita. Elliot eventually confronted Rita on Thanksgiving Day about her husband, chastising him for his many absences and confessing his feelings for her.

He kissed her, and she kissed back. But that’s as far as it went. She went to Dexter and came clean about it, and Dexter didn’t seem to care, which ended up hurting her way worse. Her hurt feelings were assuaged when she witnessed Dexter punch Elliot in the face in anger. “He does care about me,” she thought. Girl, no. Please. Leave him. He’s nuts.

So that’s the tea?

That’s only HALF the cup. Dexter actually cheated on Rita FIRST. Like the rest of their relationship, the circumstances were complicated and based in many an untruth. In order to convince Rita that he was a heroin addict (and not actually a serial killer) and that Paul went missing for drug reasons, Dexter agreed to go into Narcotics Anonymous at Rita’s request. While he was at the program, Rita incorrectly assumed that Dexter was cheating on her with his hot sponsor, Lila.

Rita ended breaking up with Dexter who, distraught, fell straight into Lila’s arms. So technically he didn’t cheat on her while they were together, but there’s more tea here than a Silk Road caravan. After Dexter came clean about the hookup, Rita called it quits for good. Things got even MORE dramatic when Lila, convinced that Dexter had actually rekindled his relationship with Rita, broke into her house to make sure. Rita and Dexter got back together eventually, and the pair waltzed off into the sunset.

And the arms of Trinity …

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Jack Doyle
Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels crammed into one pair of $10 overalls. They have been writing articles for nerds on the internet for less than a year now. They really like anime. Like... REALLY like it. Like you know those annoying little kids that will only eat hotdogs and chicken fingers? They're like that... but with anime. It's starting to get sad.