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Surviving Infidelity

Why Infidelity Is So Painful To The Betrayed Spouse

Why infidelity is so painful to the betrayed spouse

Being betrayed hurts mentally, emotionally and physically.

There are no two ways about it. If your marriage has been impacted by infidelity, you’re going through one of the most excruciatingly painful experiences anyone can have. Dr. Barry Bass states that the after-effects of infidelity “resemble the psychic disorientation and confusion” victims of natural disasters suffer and that PTSD is also common for the betrayed spouse.

Yet, why is infidelity so painful?

There is a multitude of reasons for the agony you’re experiencing and why infidelity hurts so much.

  1. Your expectations for what it means to be married have been violated.

    Everyone enters marriage with a set of expectations about what being married means. For most it includes a sexual, romantic and emotional faithfulness to each other.

    When your spouse cheated, they violated the rules you thought you were both living by. The person who vowed to love you forever committed a crime against your belief in them. And a violation like this fundamentally quakes (and potentially breaks) the foundation upon which you have built not only your marriage but your entire life.

  2. You feel resistance about dealing with the change that has been thrust at you.

    Because your spouse has violated their vows to you, your life has…

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So You Cheated … Now What?

So you cheated, now what are you going to do about it?

 The way forward isn’t easy, but it’s the best direction to go.

You can’t change what’s happened, no matter how much you may want to. The fact is you cheated.

Now, what you do about it, no matter what it is, will completely change your marriage.

Obviously, your actions broke your spouse’s trust. What may not be so obvious right now is that you also damaged your self-respect. It’s the impact your behavior has on you and your mate that has you wishing you could change the past.

The first step out of this mess is to figure out why you cheated and why you cheated now.

People have affairs for all kinds of reasons. According to Esther Perel, some people cheat in search of “an expansive experience that involves growth, exploration, and transformation.” And sometimes people betray their spouse because there are significant problems in their marriage.

Don’t be surprised if you have a hard time figuring this out. It’s actually a good thing if this is difficult for you because it means that you’re being completely honest with yourself. It’s also an indication that you might do well to work with a helping professional to get to the bottom of why you…

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Why Infidelity Leads To Divorce For Some Couples, But Not All

Why infidelity leads to divorce for some couples, but not others

Each couple dealing with infidelity has 3 options for how they will move forward.

Discovering that your spouse has been unfaithful is horrifying and confusing. You search for explanations for how your partner could have made the choice to betray you.

You wonder if there’s something wrong with you. Or maybe there’s something wrong with them. Or maybe there’s something wrong with both of you. Or maybe there’s something evil about the person your spouse had the affair with. Or …

As your thoughts roll around and around ceaselessly, so do your emotions as you try again and again to make sense of things now that trust has been broken.

Why infidelity leads to divorce for some couples and not others is a necessary question to answer when you’re dealing with infidelity in your own relationship.

For some couples, infidelity means their relationship is over. For others, they continue on as if nothing happened. And still others emerge from the trauma of infidelity stronger and happier together than ever before.

What are the differences between these groups?

There are three different reasons why couples divorce after the discovery of an affair:

  1. One of the spouses had already decided to divorce before the infidelity was brought to light.…

Read more: Why Infidelity Leads To Divorce For Some Couples, But Not All

How Cheating Affects The Cheater

How Cheating Affects The Cheater

The one who was betrayed isn’t the only victim of cheating.

The betrayal of infidelity hurts. The cheater’s actions hurt the spouse who was betrayed, their children, their families, close friends, and even their community.

But these aren’t the only people infidelity hurts. Cheating hurts the cheater too.

You’re probably wondering how cheating could possibly hurt the one doing the betraying because they’re the one who is apparently doing what they want without caring how it impacts anyone else.

How cheating affects the cheater is profound. Her/his actions hurt them, their marriages, and all their other important relationships.

Despite the initial thrill of an affair, cheating can negatively affect the cheater emotionally. It’s common for them to feel anxiety, guilt, shame, worry, regret, confusion, embarrassment, and self-loathing when they contemplate how their actions impact those they love and why they cheated in the first place.

When he/she thinks about and experiences how their actions impact them they feel the sting and anguish of their poor judgment.

All of these thoughts swirling through their heads and the rollercoaster of their emotions can lead cheaters to live two completely different lives while the affair continues. One where they feel the addictive ecstasy of love and one where they…

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What Causes Infidelity In Marriage?

Man looking out window and wondering what causes infidelity in marriage.

There’s healing help in knowing these four reasons why married people cheat.

Most people don’t become curious about the causes of infidelity until it’s impacted them personally.

Maybe they’ve cheated, are cheating, or are considering cheating and don’t understand how they wound up in this situation. Maybe they’ve discovered their spouse has been or is being unfaithful. Maybe they’ve found out someone close to them has had or is having an affair.

Regardless of your reason for wanting to understand what causes infidelity in marriage, gaining some clarity about the possible reasons can help you begin to heal from the repercussions of the betrayal.

In general, what causes infidelity in marriage falls into one of four categories.

  1. The straying spouse has unmet emotional needs.


    Image credit: Unsplash

    Among the many different feelings reported as being at the root for infidelity are loneliness, neglect, unappreciated, emotionally irrelevant, fear of growing older, sadness, anger, resentment, boredom, disconnection from their spouse, trapped, isolated, disrespected, insecurity and bitterness.

    Of course experiencing feelings like these don’t mean it’s OK to have an affair. They simply indicate that the person experiencing them is in pain.

    And when someone is in pain, they try to make it stop. Although there are many ways to alleviate…

Read more: What Causes Infidelity In Marriage?