Interfacial stability is one of the crucial factors for long-term cyclability of lithium (Li) metal batteries (LMBs). While cross-contamination phenomena have been well-studied in Li-ion batteries (LIBs), similar phenomena have rarely been reported in LMBs. Here, we investigated cathode failure triggered by chemical crossover from the anode in LMBs. In contrast to LIBs, the cathode in LMBs suffers more significant capacity fading, and its capacity cannot be fully recovered by replacing the Li anode. In-depth surface characterization reveals severe deterioration related to the accumulation of highly resistive polymeric components in the cathode–electrolyte interphase. The soluble byproducts generated by extensive electrolyte decomposition at the Li metal surface can diffuse toward the cathode side, resulting in severe deterioration of the cathode and separator surfaces. A selective Li-ion permeable separator with a polydopamine coating has been developed to mitigate the detrimental chemical crossover and enhance the cathode stability.