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Infidelity is defined as disloyalty and unfaithfulness in a committed relationship. It is any sexual or emotional connection between two people outside their respective relationship. It is an incident when one person shares the love, affection, or emotional affinity with someone who is not a partner or spouse. To say that infidelity is spreading like wildfire in today's society might not be an exaggeration. It was found that more than 40% of couples are affected by this problem. It is also possible for many people to have had a relationship outside their long-term commitment or marriage. It is one of the most common problems that is harming relationships today.
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Mental Health Care for Coping with a Cheating Partner
When love, connection, and support meant for the partner or spouse is shared with someone outside of the relationship, it could cause a lot of distress to the other person. A common misconception about disloyalty is that it can only be sexual. But, it can be sexual, emotional, or both. Discovering disloyalty can also have repercussions on your mental well-being. It is normal to experience strong or perplexing emotions. However, you have the option of discussing these emotions with a therapist. You may benefit from individual therapy. It might clarify how you reacted to the affair. It can emphasize forgetting, moving on, or forgiving. You and your partner can also mutually opt for couple counseling. Here, you can either work on your relationship or choose to end the relationship civilly. The emotions that result from adultery can be managed in various ways. A professional can assist you in considering your alternatives. Therefore, seeking the proper assistance is essential.
Cheating is not an option in any relationship. Yet, there are some causes behind the problem. It is not that it only happens in a troubled relationship, but a healthy and happy relationship too might face some issues. Below are a few significant reasons for this:
Lack of healthy communication in the relationship: When the communication between partners takes a backseat, misunderstanding may occur which can lead to affairs.
Anger or feeling of vengeance: This may occur if one has done any wrong in the relationship or has been disloyal. The person who is hurt might then turn to take revenge or show anger. But, this is not the right solution to the problem.
Long distance and other available opportunities: Long distance relationships can cause disloyalty. This is because it gives a low-risk opportunity to the offender. If the couple is long-distance or one travels a lot for their work, it is an opportunity not to get caught. Perhaps, loneliness also makes the individuals get into relationships outside of their commitment.
Feeling unappreciated or having commitment issues: A sense of unappreciation is possible among couples because of a lack of together time. That is when a fling could boost the self-worth of individuals. When people feel less appreciated in the relationship, their commitment to each other can decrease.
Need for variety in relationships: The need for variety is the essence of human life. Sometimes that demand for variety overpowers relationships as well. Thus, the probability of cheating can also increase.
Unmet sexual needs: Unmet sexual needs is possibly one of the main reasons. This can cause frustration, and, eventually, individuals may look to fulfill those desires outside of the relationship.
Infidelity can be a traumatic event within a relationship. There are a few signs that can indicate unfaithfulness. These include:
Changes in how they communicate with you: It is a probable indicator if they don't listen to you, avoid specific topics for conversation, or refuse to answer questions.
A change in attitude: They may become more critical toward you or get defensive about random things.
They might avoid going out with you: Your partner may start showing a lack of interest in planning dates and events and come up with excuses to cancel plans with you.
Not interested in sexual intimacy with you or is showing excitement for many sexual activities they didn't like before: This kind of behavioral change can be a sign of disloyalty.
Spending more time on their phones and deliberately being vigilant around you.
Seemingly minor issues in a marital or committed relationship can become a risk factor for betrayal. Here are some of the common risk factors:
Absence of respect towards the other
Economic problems or restrictions
Domestic violence or other family problems
Physical and emotional detachment
Poor self-esteem and individual insecurities
Childhood trauma or exposure to cheating as a child
Mental issue or psychological problem
Different Types of Affairs
The different types include:
Physical or sexual cheating: When one gets involved in physical intimacy with someone else, it is considered physical or sexual disloyalty. There is often no emotional attachment in these relationships, and both individuals are together to satisfy their sexual needs.
Emotional cheating: It happens when one profoundly feels attracted to someone else emotionally. Although there is no physical intimacy between two people in an emotional affair, it still impacts a relationship negatively.
Cyber affair: Often, these never get exposed. This can occur online and continues through an exchange of sexual texts and images, video calls, or emails. It is considered disloyalty towards the respective partner because the two people indulging in it have some emotional bonding and physical attraction that is supposed to be sacred in a committed relationship.
Casual or object disloyalty: This may be nothing but a momentary fling. In this type of infidelity, two individuals get into physical activity without any essence of emotional attachment. They may neglect their respective partners or cheat on them for something casual.
How it Affects the Relationship
Though there is no one element in every relationship that gets affected by this, there are a few common effects that many couples might experience: The offender can build a habit: When a person cheats once, it can become a habit to do that again. This attitude can lead to declining satisfaction and commitment in their current relationship. These may be enough for building a repeated practice. Loss of trust between partners: Trust is the foundation of any relationship, and an affair outside a relationship can shatter that foundation. An effort to rebuild a relationship may fail because of the loss of trust, as the affected person might never trust the cheater completely. Increase doubt and break the self-esteem of the affected partner: If the relationship ends after this, the person who was cheated on may start questioning everything. Sustaining relationships that follow can become challenging. Disloyalty may put the victim at a place where they start doubting their self-worth. The self-blaming circle starts, and it may take long to resolve this. Create a sense of emotional turmoil: The sense of emotional instability might be one of the worst impacts disloyalty has on a victim. With the discovery of disloyalty, the impacted partner can experience post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, rage, self-blaming thoughts, destructive thoughts, or suicidal inclinations.
How to Deal With Your Symptoms
Dealing with this and healing through disloyalty is difficult for both partners. But ending the relationship is not always the solution. Both can work on their relationship and try to rebuild trust. Following are some ways to deal with it:
First and foremost, don't pity or blame yourself. It will not help you in any way to save the relationship.
Go for a couple's counseling session and talk about everything bothering you. Make sure this works for you.
Don't go on the path of revenge, or don't let anger make your decision. Often anger destroys the relationship that can be rebuilt.
Take good care of your mental and physical health. You might feel physically and mentally unpleasant because of the pain of unfaithfulness. However, don't let it obstruct your growth.
Accept your feelings and work on them. Processing the emotions of getting cheated on is a difficult task. But the best way to deal with it is to accept your changed feelings and be kind to yourself.
The emotional turmoil of the pain of the affair might be like a roller coaster for you. You might experience pain, fear, depression, confusion, and many more distressing emotions. You need to accept all of them and give yourself time to heal.
Get Treatment From a Licensed Therapist Who’s Right For You
When you discover that your partner has been disloyal and doesn't know how to react to the situation, getting help from professionals is the best option. The right therapist will build a bond with you and make you comfortable to speak up about your pain and suffering. It may take around 3 to 4 sittings with the therapist to build that bond. You can find a list of various therapists on our website. We have various specialists who are empathetic and good listeners. You can choose the one that fits your needs from our wide range of therapists.
Schedule a Virtual Psychotherapy Appointment with a Counsellor Today
If it is becoming unbearable for you and you are struggling from this feeling of getting cheated on, then you should seek help from a therapist. We at DocVita have various specialists from different fields. They can help you manage and cope with your stress and pain better. All you need to do is hop on to DocVita’s page and book your first session today!