I don’t believe humans are wired for monogamy. Nature has made it so we are wired to spread our seed and create more humans. However, if you are in a committed relationship and you have made it clear that you don’t go outside the marriage for sex, read this before you cheat.
As a couple therapist, I have seen the pain of infidelity first-hand. The purpose of this blog is for you to avoid such pain.
When you cheat and your partner finds out about it, it puts them in a tailspin. What your partner assumed was reality is now turned upside down. In committed relationships, trust is the bedrock of the relationship and when this breaks, the essence of the relationship is now in question.
Hurt partners often experience intense anxiety and depression.
If they were prone to anxiety and depression before finding out about the affair, these conditions become more intense. They may also begin to obsess about the affair, and seek answers that only lead to more anxiety and questions.
Thus, hurt partners end up in an agonizing place. Their reality is unsettled, and the place they go to for support – the relationship – is now mired in distrust.
Because of this bind, often hurt partners will reach out to those they can – friends and family members. As the unfaithful partner, you are now pigeonholed as a cheater to those people you will most likely see in the future if you stay together. This will tinge get-togethers and family reunions with uneasiness created by you.
Not to mention your kids.
What are your going to tell your kids if they are old enough to know what’s going on? If they are too young, will you tell them later?
Not to mention your work.
How will the affair affect your reputation and career if it gets out? If you cheat with someone at work and it gets out, you may need to transfer positions or leave your job.
If you are going to stay together after cheating, as the unfaithful partner you will be in the difficult position of being in the doghouse while proving you are different and worthy of trust if you wish to eventually heal the relationship. This could look like: transferring jobs, or handing over access to your email, phone, and computer – whatever your partner needs to begin to put some faith in you.
Remember when you are face-to-face with your partner’s pain, you are going to be in pain. So if you are OK with your partner being in pain, the aftermath of the affair, and working tirelessly to gain back trust, then go for it. In all reality however, if you are OK with those, you should simply end the relationship before you cheat, don’t communicate that you are unhappy by hurting your partner.
So here’s the takeaway question: Is the excitement and pleasure of the affair worth the pain of the consequences?
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