Ptsd from cheating

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from Cheating

Let us start with what the concept of PTSD Cheating is all about. Although stress disorder is not associated with emotional trauma, people believe it develops from cheating or infidelity.

Many believe that traumatic stress and cheating are directly related to each other.

Can Being Cheated On Cause PTSD

The question of the hour is, can cheating cause PTSD? Or is it possible for a person to develop such a condition after cheating or being cheated on? Let’s dive deeper into the relationship between PTSD and cheating.

Clinically speaking, no, you don’t get this disorder from cheating. Traumatic stress disorder is a specific diagnosis that happens due to a person experiencing violent, abusive or traumatizing experiences. 

Cheated On Cause PTSD

However, it is a different story regarding emotional damage since cheating causes trauma in the emotional sense.

Understanding PTSD Cheating

When a person is unfaithful in a relationship, the person being cheated on usually gets badly affected. However, questions are rising regarding both parties showing signs of PTSD from cheating. A person may experience cheating trauma, even though they’re the one doing the dirty deed. Does this happen out of guilt? Let’s find out.

The condition caused by infidelity or unfaithfulness is usually termed Post Infidelity Stress Disorder or PISD. PISD is the traumatic stress disorder of the emotional realm.

ptsd diagnostic infographic

Before we move on with the topic, let’s better understand how to spot this condition in a person. If you know these signs or symptoms, you might be able to help someone!

Physical Symptoms

The relationship between PTSD and cheating goes a long way. Although emotional trauma is mainly associated with psychological after effects, there are physical symptoms. You can tell if a person is under emotional trauma from their appearance, for starters. Finding out that their partner has been unfaithful may be the reason why they’re looking upset recently.

A person going through infidelity stress may be calmer than usual or more hyperactive than usual. It depends from person to person. You might find that your friend is under a lot of stress. Don’t be surprised if they’re not behaving like their usual self. In this case, your friend is most likely facing an eating disorder, causing deterioration in their health.

Cognitive Symptoms

In our opinion, cognitive symptoms are perhaps the most alarming. Infidelity stress disorder results from emotional trauma, and the worst affected is the mind. A person who has been cheated on has a hard time building trust. Once they’ve been cheated on, it’s less likely for people to trust others easily in relationships. Nine times out of ten, they can’t trust anyone, which brings problems in future relationships. 

The most concerning parts about poor mental health are hard to spot. Your friend might be under cheating PTSD and need emotional support, and you might not even know it.

Unstable Emotions

Once they’ve been cheated on, people go through a roller-coaster of emotions. They might be having fun at the party but might also be crying on someone’s shoulder five minutes later. 

At this juncture, a person who has been cheated on is emotionally unstable. Don’t be surprised if they’re looking for comfort in random strangers. They might even fall for new people very quickly. Either that or they won’t fall for anyone further at all. Both these extremes are possible. 

Sleep Disturbances

Sleep disturbance is another example of PTSD after cheating. Breakups are tough, and it keeps people up at night. You must have seen dark circles under people’s eyes after a breakup because the heartbreak messes up their sleep.

Post-breakup is complicated, filled with struggle, but being cheated on is worse. People can’t sleep well because of poor mental health. If it were you, the negative images in your head of your partner’s infidelity wouldn’t allow you to sleep too.

Common Symptoms Following Infidelity

When a person cheats on their partner, the person being cheated on is at the receiving end. But recently, many people have been raising the question, can cheating cause PTSD?

As discussed earlier, the unfaithful person to their partner also goes through their share of unfortunate experiences. 

the girl with the horns up to her head

Cheating in a relationship is, in most cases, caused by infidelity. If you don’t know what infidelity is, allow us to explain.

In simple words, infidelity is when a person already has a partner, engages in sexual acts with another person. 

Infidelity might feel like fun and games, but it takes its toll on the person being cheated on. The following symptoms that we will discuss are what people experience after finding out they’ve been cheated on. Some of these are also shared by the unfaithful person.

Angry Outbursts

Finding out that your partner has indulged in infidelity is a harsh revelation and might trigger various reactions. The most common response, however, is an outburst full of anger. 

Catching their partner cheating can detonate the bomb inside people they didn’t even know they had. Most women that we know would probably attack their spouses physically. It might sound surprising to you but trust us. The anger gets uncontrollable. It’s not easy dealing with PTSD and a cheating spouse.

It doesn’t end in a day, though. The anger outburst is a recurring event with most people and can be triggered by the slightest inconvenience. It will probably take some time for the person’s fuming rage to calm down. After that, you can expect some post-traumatic symptoms in your friend, like cheating anxiety attacks.


Here’s one that the unfaithful person most likely feels. Cheaters’ guilt is real, and most of them think it even if they aren’t caught. A person may develop PTSD from cheating on someone because of the guilt of being unfaithful.

Stress after infidelity may happen if the person feels overwhelming guilt. While you’re analyzing this, you might as well add some cheating trauma to the list too. 

There are different types of cheaters. Some have been this way for a long time, and some weren’t like this at all. Being married or in a relationship and suddenly acting out of character might be difficult to handle. 

Intrusive, Negative Thoughts

Life is hard for people who have been cheated on. Their partner’s emotional trauma and abuse get to a person’s head. 

It takes a toll on the person’s mind, and their thoughts are the most badly affected. The effect ultimately changes their belief system.

A person known for being an optimistic and outgoing person may become the complete opposite. Don’t be surprised if a person you know has a negative attitude towards everything all of a sudden. If they get irritated suddenly, know that it’s probably because of all those negative and intrusive thoughts.

A Feeling of Hopelessness

Ever felt bad because you didn’t perform well in an exam? Or because you didn’t get the job you worked so hard for? While rejection may hurt, it doesn’t leave you wholly hopeless and de-motivated.

However, a traumatizing episode such as finding out about your partner’s affair is on a whole other level. If breakups can mess with people’s confidence, think of what their partner’s infidelity does to them. It leaves their hopes and beliefs shattered, and the PTSD from being cheated on symptoms don’t even end there.

Emotional Numbness

PTSD after an affair leaves a person emotionally scarred, and most of those scars may never heal completely. A common trait that people show is emotional numbness. 

To cope with betrayal trauma, most people develop emotional numbness as a coping mechanism. Some of them probably think they can’t get hurt if they can’t feel any emotions.

Such depression caused by a partner’s infidelity can lead to further issues. A person may develop Post Traumatic Infidelity Disorder or even Post Traumatic Infidelity Syndrome if it gets worse.


Whether a person feels shame after cheating on their partner depends on the individual. In serious relationships or marriages, the partners usually feel ashamed of themselves. 

However, there are always some people out there that have an underlying motive for doing so. On the other hand, others might do it simply because they’re addicted to it.

Studies have shown that many people who have a partner find it difficult to stay loyal. Surprising? Maybe, maybe not.

Anxiety Attacks

Of course, finding out your partner has been cheating is a bad experience. Although, the damage received may also vary. Some individuals may move on after a while, but some don’t. Some people manage to maintain their composure, while others can’t. 

However, a big question that people want to know the answer to is, does cheating cause anxiety? In some people, PTSD after infidelity triggers anxiety attacks as well. You may have seen some real-life examples. People can burst into tears out of nowhere and then find it hard to breathe. Sometimes, they get nauseous, sometimes they even puke. 

Surviving Infidelity PTSD

After knowing about an affair or trauma from betrayal, stress can make life a living hell for the person affected. Infidelity PTSD triggers a hurricane of emotions, instabilities and insecurities.

A girl's experience after infidelity

They face it all, from intrusive and negative thoughts to not trusting people to fear of starting a new relationship. The healing process after such damage is slow. Poor mental health can also change what a person believes in. People indeed change after going through all of this. 

In times like these, people need to remember that the world isn’t coming to an end. If you’re in this situation, you might feel like your life is over. But trust us, it gets better. You have to look on the bright side and try to be as optimistic as you can.

Life After An Affair

When a person gets cheated on, it can get from bad to worse fast. Some people even experience cheating anxiety attacks or other forms of cheating trauma.

We understand that emotional abuse takes its toll on everyone, and most people face PTSD or anxiety after infidelity. Some would agree that being cheated on is as bad as emotional abuse, if not worse. 

What’s important is what you do next. How do you get over this episode that seems unforgettable? It’s been a year, but those memories still haunt you. So how do you get better?

How do I go on living after my partner cheats on me?

Well, the answer to these questions is within you and you alone. We aren’t saying you’ll get better in a day or a month. Moving on can take you longer than expected, but we assure you, you will get there. 

So let’s check out some ways you can cope with your situation. Shall we?


You might have heard it a thousand times; that time heals. When someone can’t get over a breakup, most of your friends will say, “give it time.” Well, the reason behind this is that time plays an important role. With time, wounds heal, and people eventually move on. Betrayal PTSD is tough to deal with. So we suggest you give it time.

However, you can’t only depend on time. Time does half the job, and the other half depends on what you do within that time.


As we’ve already mentioned, you need to understand the essence of time and use it properly. It’s all about your attitude towards the incident and how you deal with the aftermath. If you spend your time on the couch all the time, those flashbacks will never end. Years will pass, and your situation will only get worse.

You need to be aware of what’s happening. You have to understand the toll this lifestyle takes on your mental and physical health. 

Our best advice is, be aware of your situation and your surroundings. Take action and make your life better because no one else will do it for you.


You might be stressed out and confused about what to do because nothing seems to be working out. It’s perfectly understandable if you want to get some treatment. By all means, get professional help. See a psychiatrist if that makes you feel better!

Psychological Effects Of Betrayal

There are several psychological effects of betrayal, anxiety being the first. Betrayal is like an attack on a person’s mind, which can go from bad to worse in no time. Expect a roller-coaster of emotions if this has happened to anyone you know. 

Skepticism in relationships, trust issues and unwillingness to socialize or becoming too social are just a few more examples. 


Can You Get PTSD From Cheating

If you’re the participant, then you most probably won’t. Your partner whom you cheated on will most likely be on the receiving end. 

Some people do get their share of regret and guilt. Cheater’s remorse is why some ask, does cheating cause anxiety? Well, it might. Some people may feel fear after committing infidelity. 

However, it’s not enough to give the cheater PTSD for what they’ve done in most cases. 

How to Heal From Cheating Trauma

The simplest way to heal from cheating trauma is to take care of oneself. Our suggestion is, find out what’s best for you and act accordingly to make your life better. 

Ways Betrayal Trauma Alters the Mind and Body

Betrayal trauma affects a person psychologically as much as it does physically. Once betrayed, people might have difficulty trusting someone new, and it’s because they fear getting betrayed again.

When people are cheated, they spend sleepless nights full of loss of appetite, feelings of hopelessness, and helplessness. Some even start doubting themselves, lowering their confidence and self-worth. All that mental stress takes a toll on their bodies as well. Some lose a lot of weight, while others gain a lot. Puffy eyes and dark circles are primary signs of how trauma affects their bodies.

Is Gender A Factor For PTSD?

While the effects of PTSD due to infidelity are primarily seen in women, you can’t just leave it at that. If it’s seen more in women, they share their emotions more, while men aren’t comfortable sharing theirs. It’s safe to say that post-traumatic stress affects both genders equally but differently. 

What Helps With PTSD?

Working on oneself helps a lot. The more you focus on making your life better, the happier you’ll be. Keeping yourself distracted is a good way of keeping the flashbacks at bay, and it will keep your thoughts clear. 

If you want to try other approaches, you can go for counseling. For getting rid of stress at home, you can even go for some Essential Oils.

Can PTSD Cause A Person To Cheat?

Although it might be shocking to see, cheating may lead to cheating due to PTSD. That’s right, and a cheated person might become the cheater in the future. Post-PTSD relationships and cheating might go hand in hand. The betrayed can indeed become the betrayer. You can say the person has a “Psychological reason for betrayal.”

How Does PTSD After An Affair Affect Mental Health?

If your partner has been unfaithful, they will have broken your trust and shattered your beliefs and hopes. You’ll find it hard to trust someone new. The trauma from the past can even affect your future relationships. You will be stressed all the time, anxious and struggling with heartache.

If you’re in this situation, try to lift yourself from the ground. A little effort can go a long way!