Getting cheated on is one of the worst things to have to go through as it can affect our relationship and mind in ways out of our control. However, knowing the effects that cheating has can become a helpful tool to rebuild or reevaluate your relationship and avoid getting hurt by said effects.
What Counts As Cheating?
First, before we can get a clear picture of what the effects of cheating in a relationship entail, it is necessary to define what cheating is.
At first sight, it may seem pointless, but actually, due to different people’s upbringings, values and beliefs their perception of what counts as cheating and what doesn’t differ dramatically. In order to understand what cheating is and, in turn, understand what kind of consequences it might bring, you should ask yourself:
- “What kind of connection do I value more: a physical or an emotional one?”
- “Would I not find it bothersome if my partner spent the same amount of if not more time talking to one of their/your friends?”
- “Would I be able to forgive my partner if he or she committed infidelity while under the influence of, say, alcohol while away on a business trip or a party?”
The definition of cheating differs tremendously from person to person and it’s hard to grasp the full meaning of the word, so it’s best to ask yourself a few questions to make out your stance on the matter. For some people, sex or physical connection is the only expression of unfaithfulness, while others consider emotional closeness to be the be-all and end-all.
How Cheating Affects The Cheater
Being cheated on actually has a huge impact on our well-being, as the wreckage of familiar emotional and physical attachments leave us to question whether we’ve done something wrong, induce unpleasant thoughts of feeling as though you aren’t good enough or that no one can truly offer your desired affection and support.
Well, no matter what kind of cheating your partner committed, the first thing that suffers is always trust. It’s one thing that can be lost within a second and can take many years to rebuild. When a person cheats, they betray their partner; destroy the previous bond, and break all mutual agreements. Whether they do this willingly or not is another question.
Cheating, on the other hand, affects our guilt and paranoia levels significantly more than getting cheated on. Before even thinking about cheating, you should analyze how infidelity changes you and the people around you
Lowered self-confidence And Self-Esteem
All these doubts and insecurities build up over time, and if not addressed can negatively impact our day-to-day lives and cause great psychological distress
When you cheat, you constantly monitor your partner to make sure you haven’t been found out yet. The roles seem to have switched the other way around: you’re even more suspicious of your partner than they are of you.
It is easy to dwell on your pain and focus it all on yourself as if it were your fault instead of taking into account all the factors that played a role and led to the result of losing the relationship.
How To Combat the Consequences Of Cheating
The best way to combat these unpleasant consequences isto rethink what you value in a relationship and take time to cool off from the situation; understand that what happened isn’t your fault and to address the unfavorable tendencies of the relationship and where it’s headed with your partner. The best way is, of course,
Visit Some Nice Places
Visit someplace nice, where you would have an opportunity to calm down & stay alone. Clear your mind, take as much time as you need until you reach more or less definite state of mind. Don’t be afraid if you have doubts: it’s not about making a concrete decision here and now. It’s about cooling off and understanding which road to take.
Take Care Of Yourself
You can always decrease the severity of cheating effects by taking time to take care of yourself and really recognize what meaning the whole situation holds for you, then communicating with your partner about nurturing the relationship back to its previous state. The measures you should take and how you should fix the negative effects of cheating depend on what kind of cheating has taken place.
Love cures when it’s not too late
Now, you don’t have to alter your habits, behavior, or the way that you display affection to particularly fit anyone else. But, isn’t everyone familiar with the bitter feeling of waiting for your partner to come back from work or from a night out, and, instead of the usual welcoming smile and warm greeting, getting a cold ‘hi’ or even the silent treatment? Everyone can get so engulfed in what’s going on with them at the moment, and that’s completely normal and a very human trait to have, but when you focus so deeply on what’s troubling you currently and become desensitized to what’s going on around you, you risk losing an important connection with the people that surround you.
You may become emotionally or physically unavailable for prolonged periods of time, and it doesn’t mean that your relationship is over, but it does have the potential to damage it. In times when you become closed off in yourself, your other half might lose that precious proximity and closeness that they previously shared with you, which impacts the relationship in a negative way. Engaging with your partner as much as you can and being as open as possible will surely strengthen your bond, bring your soulmate closer to you and lessen the risks of dissatisfaction and affairs.
But then there’s another side of the coin – try not to be overly clingy. Everything is good and moderation and that applies to the frequency and ‘liveliness’ of our interactions, as well.
Don’t Get Too Carried Away
You should keep things exciting though. Make each day a new ‘adventure’, if you can — go to exhibitions, visit museums and amusement parks with your spouse. Nobody would be able to sit in one place with the same person for very long. Making things exciting also encourages your partner to spend time with you, as it’s fun and pleasurable for the both of you. Oh, and don’t just talk to your partner — have your own group of friends, hobbies and interests outside of your home, too.
That way, your presence and company become more appealing. By creating this ‘socially active’ aura, you’ll also attract more people that will strive to be around you and become more desirable, both as an interlocutor and a partner.
Having looked through some effects that cheating has both on the cheater and the one who’s been cheated on, dissected the topic of the psychological signs of cheating and factors that play a role in it, we can come to the conclusion that cheating can have a plethora of negative effects on our mental health, well-being and place in society. Due to the causes of cheating being so varied, it’s hard to identify a potential cheater right away, however, we can pinpoint a certain pattern that fits specifically one person, as well as one generally applicable to everyone. The first signals of there being something wrong are always changes in behavior, more specifically emotional and physical availability and closeness. Knowing the signs and effects of cheating, communicating your concerns to your partner as well as having the ability to put together the whole picture to figure out a root cause for an affair is key to having a long-lasting relationship.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do cheaters suffer?
Contrary to popular belief, the cheaters themselves actually suffer pretty badly when it comes to the effects that cheating has on them. Most cheaters are plagued by enormous amounts of guilt and shame for their actions, and regret that they cheated.
Getting betrayed by your partner is one of the worst feelings out there, but seeing said partner hurt by something you didn’t even intend to do hurts just as much. Feeling of guilt can sometimes even lead to depression, but even if things don’t go to this extreme it doesn’t mean that your cheating partner has no remorse or doesn’t regret their actions.It is always best to converse with your partner about both sides of the story and understand how this will affect your relationship in the long term.
Both cheaters and the people getting cheated on suffer from the act of cheating, yes, but they’re affected in different ways.
Getting cheated on means that the bond you thought you could trust the most suddenly rips apart. This turn of events causes us to obsess over what could have led to that point and, without reaching a decisive conclusion, to shift the blame fully over to the cheater.
Cheating can lead to us shifting the blame onto ourselves, making us develop insecurities and lower self-esteem.
How do I avoid getting cheated on?
At the end of the day, nobody wants to go through the unpleasant effects that cheating has and get caught up in the emotionally draining aftermath of it.
However, there are a few tips you should keep in mind to avoid getting hurt in the future.
The foundation of any relationship is mutual understanding and trust, so it’s best to establish it right away and determine whether it will last in the long term or not.
Another crucial point is communication. Get your point across, letting your partner have no doubts about your desires and needs, what is dear to you, and on what common ground you should both come to an agreement.
This will minimize misunderstandings, confusions, and arguments and help better recognize what direction the relationship is going in. Confrontation and all that ‘serious talk’ may sound intimidating, but in reality, the consequences of not communicating with your S.O. are far more detrimental than having to sit through a few serious or emotional conversations here and there.
In the long run, that is what’s really going to make a difference. Make sure that your other half’s needs are being met, as well as yours.
Look through your behavior, reevaluate what each of you brings to the relationship, that will help you come to a clear conclusion about the state of the relationship and what kind of changes should be made, on your or your partner’s behalf.
Dо happily married couples cheat?
Generally speaking, when we think of cheating, we think of a ‘dysfunctional’ relationship based on tending to the superficial needs of one or both parties, and one that could hardly be called ‘a healthy relationship’ in the first place. But that isn’t always the case — even happily married couples cheat! And they do so quite often, actually.
According to statistics, cases of cheating occur in around 20 to 25 percent of married couples in the US. The whole depth of the relationship is never visible from the surface, so it’s easy to mistake a damaging one for one that’s thriving, however, due to the complexity of emotions as a whole and the uncertainty of the place of their origin and what really causes us to cheat, no stereotypically ‘happy’ relationship is particularly safe from affairs, either.
Hormonal changes, differences in views, misunderstandings and loss of emotional or physical closeness occur all the time to some extent, but a certain combination of the bunch is what really causes the ship to sink. A lot of those factors are out of our control, too, so it would be best not to worry about it too much and just do what we can to make ourselves and our partner feel good in our company and enjoy each precious moment.
Understand that your partner, like any other person, needs space sometimes, and often wouldn’t have the time to devote the entire day to you.