Fraud is common in relationships
An affair can make the partner mentally ill
It's like a slap in the face, no matter how you find out, the person you are closest to and trust most has abused that trust. The security one felt in the relationship has disappeared. Being cheated on by your partner can have a profound effect on mental health and behavior in subsequent relationships.
Read more: 5 Signs You Are In A Toxic Relationship
Confidence in yourself and in others is shaken
A study looked at over 200 people who were recently betrayed to find out how this stroke of fate affects the psyche. They found the following:
- Getting cheated increases the chances of making "stupid" decisions. One eats less or far too much, is more likely to take drugs, have unprotected sex or engage in other extreme behavior in order to survive the feelings of pain.
- Women in particular tend to blame themselves for the fraud. Great self-doubts arise or are reawakened.
- This can lead to mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety disorders and attachment difficulties.
- 35% of respondents left the relationship after cheating. A seventh remained in the relationship in which they were betrayed. The psychological effects of the fraud hit everyone equally, regardless of whether they stayed or left.
More on this: Beaten children later hit them themselves
Cheating is trauma
The psychologist Randi Gunther argues here that the feelings that the duped have have, act like a post-traumatic stress disorder. Acute symptoms after cheating can include:
- Constant brooding
- sleep disorders
- Keeping emotions in balance is difficult
- You feel strange in your own body
- Alternating between feelings of numbness and aggression
- Feelings of weakness and powerlessness
- Constant attempts to blame someone
More on this: Excessive stress damages the brain
What should you watch out for?
As is common with post-traumatic stress disorder, symptoms and thoughts can stay with you for many years to come. Aside from deciding what to do with the relationship, one should not neglect one's own mental health.
- Take some time for yourself to reflect in peace.
- Discuss it with friends and family.
- Take your time before you move into the next relationship.
- If you stay in the relationship, you should seek couples therapy. You have to find a fresh start.
- Don't try to sweep the problem under the rug and carry on like nothing happened. It will come back to you at a later date.
- Practice self-care.
- When you find yourself stuck with negative thoughts and wonder if they can ever trust someone again, speak to a therapist.
Remember: don't punish your next partner for what the last one did. Only if you survive the betrayal can you have a healthy relationship again.
Read more: 5 tips for a happy relationship
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