Cheating on your partner may seem like something that delivers immediate satisfaction and may think you have justifications for doing it. After all, no situation is ever black and white. However, there are some very good reasons why you should reconsider having an affair because the consequences may surprise you. It’s not just a matter of getting caught, either — here are some things that people don’t tell you about cheating on your partner that may give you cause to think twice.
It can mess with your self-image.
Even if you believe that you were justified in being unfaithful, you may start seeing yourself in a different light. Suddenly, you aren’t the good person you thought you were. You’re a cheater. If you betray your partner in this way, remember that you can’t go back and erase it. You can’t fix it. Once it’s done, it’s done and your view of yourself (not to mention your partner’s view of you) will be forever changed.
The trust in your relationship will be forever altered.
You’re the one who cheated, yes, but it makes you realize that if you could have an affair with someone else without your partner realizing, so could they. You’ll start to watch the things they do and say, overanalyzing everything. Questions about what they’re really doing when they say they’re out with the guys/girls will enter your mind. You know that you’ve broken the trust in your relationship and it makes you suspicious of them doing the same, even if they’ve given you zero reason to think this.
You’ll be torn about whether to tell them or not.
Once the affair ends (and it likely will because people who have affairs with people in relationships usually aren’t looking for a commitment), you’ll have to decide whether to tell your partner or not. You know you’re in the wrong. Part of you feels you should confess and get it over with and maybe they’ll forgive you. The other part of you knows it will hurt them and will probably end your relationship. What do you do? Only you can answer that.
You could end up with an unwanted pregnancy or an STD.
And you could give an STD to your partner. Hopefully, you were being smart and using condoms. Unfortunately, condoms aren’t 100% effective and they don’t protect against all STDs. The stress of worry about that could be what gives you away. Even after you go to the doctor and confirm that you’re not pregnant and have no STDs (at least for now – some can’t be detected until there are symptoms, such as herpes), the worry can carry on for a long time.
You could gain a stalker.
Affairs are emotional situations and in many of them, one partner or the other develops feelings. This is also why most affairs end. If you’re the partner who kept things casual and emotionless and the person you had an affair with didn’t, they may have a hard time dealing with all those feelings. Sometimes this gets out of hand and leads to a stalking situation.
You may suffer from anxiety.
Even if you’ve never been an anxious person, cheating on your partner can bring on a lot of stress. You have to lie to keep the affair hidden, then you have to keep all the lies straight. Your partner may not be the only one you’re lying to. Friends and family members might get involved. The more people you lie to, the harder it will be to remember who you told what. The constant stress may bring on anxiety that will affect your relationship with your partner, other personal relationships, and even your work.
You may lose friends.
It’s hard to keep an affair a secret for very long. At some point, you will mess up on a lie or the guilt you feel will make you confess to a friend. Not everyone is going to understand, no matter what your reasons were. Friends may decide that you’re not the kind of person they can be friends with. If you and your partner break up, some friends may choose sides and there’s a good chance that some of them will choose theirs.
You’ll lose your partner.
Of course, the ultimate consequence is that your partner will find out or you will feel so guilty that you have to tell them about the affair. In some cases, the relationship with your partner might be fixable. Give them a little time. They may decide to put in the work in your relationship and decide to stay with you after the affair. However, chances are that they’ll break up with you because the trust is gone.
Cheating on your partner is a risky move. No matter what your reasons are, try to fix what the problem is in your relationship rather than looking outside of it. If you decide to cheat on your partner, the consequence can be many. Are you willing to put everything at risk?
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