Considered by many to be the ultimate betrayal, cheating in a relationship is a complex issue with layers of side effects. Even though infidelity is a deal-breaker for many people, some relationships do last after someone has been unfaithful, but they still cause consequences that can take a lot of work to undo. Don’t be surprised if you experience these nine consequences as a result of your betrayal.
The demise of the relationship
The most obvious consequence of being unfaithful in your relationship is the relationship itself going up in flames. And when you decide to cheat, this is always a possibility. Although some relationships do withstand cheating, because every relationship is different, many people consider infidelity to be the ultimate betrayal and the ultimate deal-breaker. One night could be enough to destroy a relationship that has lasted years.
Loss of trust
Even if the relationship does continue after someone cheats, you’ll most likely have to deal with a loss of trust. It’s very hard to trust someone who’s cheated on you, even if they swear they’ll never do it again. Although trust can be built again after it’s lost, some believe that it can never truly be repaired to the full extent. When you do manage to get back the trust you lost after being unfaithful, it typically takes a lot of time.
Tense relationships with family and friends
If you heard that someone you love was cheated on, how would you feel? How would you react? If you’re like most people, your relationship with the cheater would sour pretty quickly. It’s hard to forgive someone who cheated on you and it’s even harder to forgive someone who cheated on your best friend or family member. Trust me. Cheating can cause tense interactions with concerned family and friends, whether or not the relationship continues.
Infidelity is bound to lead to at least a little resentment. Many do consider it the ultimate betrayal and it’s normal to feel extremely hurt when you’re a victim. In a marriage, cheating involves breaking a vow. It’s going back on a promise so, of course, it feels like a knife in the heart. Sometimes, cheating causes so much resentment that the person who was cheated on even starts craving revenge. Infidelity can be the start of a long and ugly series of attacks on one another.
Loss of physical intimacy
Once you break someone’s heart and their trust, they might find it difficult to be vulnerable with you or to even feel a desire for you. Experts explain that sometimes people jump right back into physical intimacy after an affair as a response to feeling threatened, but this is not always the case. It could be that you lose the physical connection you once had with your partner and, like trust, it takes a long time to get it back.
A feeling of intense guilt
If you’re aware of how much pain infidelity can cause your partner, then it’s natural to feel extremely guilty after. The guilt tends to be even worse when you get away with the affair or one-night stand without being caught. And at the same time, it doesn’t go away just because you confess. Repressed guilt can also lead to a whole bunch of side effects …
Mental and physical health issues
One of the reasons why they say that cheating actually hurts the cheater more than the victim is because of the health issues and personal anguish that can arise later on. Anxiety and depression are both symptoms of repressed guilt, which can also manifest in other ways. Physically, someone struggling with guilt can experience insomnia and a loss of appetite. The shame of cheating can eat you up to the point where your life becomes miserable.
Loss of self-respect and self-love
What follows a sense of guilt and shame can often be a loss of self-love. You might feel like you’re not worth much as a person after causing your significant other so much pain. If they don’t find out about the infidelity, you might feel worthless for betraying their trust. Although it’s not illegal, cheating isn’t something we approve of as a society, so it’s also possible that you’ll find it difficult to respect yourself after being unfaithful.
What other people think of you and your relationship should be the last thing on your mind. But the truth is that many people do care how they’re perceived in public. If you cheat and word gets out, it could have a serious effect on your reputation, to the point where it might even affect other areas of your life. Of course, what happens on the outside of your relationship is the least of your worries, but it’s still an important factor to consider. This is especially true if you live in a smaller town or a close-knit community.
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