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 Cheating Cause Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

The question of the hour is, 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, traumatic stress disorder is a specific diagnosis that occurs 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 cheating occurs in a relationship, the person being cheated on usually suffers the most. However, both parties may have signs of post-traumatic stress afterward. Yes, a person can be traumatized by infidelity, even if they are doing the dirty things themselves. Does it come from 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 notice 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 too. You can tell if a person is under emotional trauma from their appearance. 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, or suffering from an eating disorder, causing deterioration in their health. It depends from person to person, so don’t be surprised if they’re not behaving like their usual self.

Cognitive Symptoms

Somehow, cognitive symptoms are perhaps the most alarming. Infidelity stress disorder results from emotional trauma, and the mind is the worst affected. A person who has been cheated on has a hard time building trust in relationships. Nine times out of ten, they can’t confide in anyone, which brings problems in future relationships. 

The most disturbing thing about mental health problems is that they are difficult to detect. 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 and 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 and full of struggle, and being cheated on is the worst. People can’t sleep well because of the negative images in their heads of their partner’s infidelity, which takes its toll on their mental health.

Common Symptoms Following Infidelity

When a person cheats on their partner, the person being cheated on is at the receiving end. However, the unfaithful person also goes through their share of unfortunate experiences. 

the girl with the horns up to her head

Infidelity might feel like fun and games, but it leaves its mark on the person being cheated on. The following symptoms are what people experience after finding out they’ve been cheated on. Some of these also concern the unfaithful person.

Anger 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 of anger. 

Catching their partner cheating can detonate the inner bomb people didn’t even know existed. Most women would probably attack their spouses physically. It might sound surprising to you now, but 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 anxiety attacks.


This is the feeling that the unfaithful person often has. Cheaters’ guilt is real, and most of them think of it even if they don’t get 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 infidelity 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 symptoms from being cheated on 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 Syndrome if it worsens.


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

However, studies have shown that many people who have a partner find it difficult to stay loyal. There are always some people out there that have an underlying motive for doing so: they might do it simply because they’re addicted to it.

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, the big question is, does cheating cause anxiety? In some people, PTSD after infidelity triggers anxiety attacks as well. Some real-life examples include bursting into tears out of nowhere and then finding it hard to breathe. Sometimes, a person can get nauseous and even puke. 

Surviving Infidelity PTSD

After learning about an affair, 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 and fearing 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 some time.” Well, 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 your actions.


As we’ve already mentioned, you need to understand the importance 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 how this lifestyle affects your mental and physical health. 

The best advice here is to be aware of your situation and your surroundings. Take action and improve your life 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 are just a few more examples. 


Can you get PTSD from cheating?

If you’re the one cheating, 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 to find out what’s best for you and act accordingly to make your life better. 

How does betrayal trauma alter 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 on, they spend sleepless nights crying, lose their appetite, and feel hopeless and helpless. 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. Women 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 improving your life, 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. To get rid of stress at home, you can even use 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 – a betrayed person might become a cheater in the future. Post-PTSD relationships and cheating might go hand in hand. The betrayed can indeed become the betrayer. In this case, 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 break your trust and shatter 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 raise your spirits alone or seek support from friends or a therapist. A little effort goes a long way!

Author Sergius Gardner

Sergius Gardner


The number of people having sex outside of their relationships is increasing. This is a fact, and it is not a question of morality.