How does a man recover from being cheated on

Long-Term Psychological Effects of Infidelity: What the Research Says

Infidelity can cause problems in any relationship. The affects of such a betrayal can be long-term and devastating.

Infidelity can have long-term effects on the quality of your relationship.

Infidelity can involve sexual or emotional affairs with someone outside the relationship agreement you have with your partner. You may have cheated on your partner and find yourself surprised by the consequences of that decision, or you may have been cheated on and have difficulty moving past it.

You might wonder if you can move forward after an affair or how that might affect you, your relationship, and your mental health.

Pain with infidelity is usually inevitable and can have emotionally devastating consequences. If you feel like you’re grieving, you might very well be, and that’s OK. There are different forms to human loss and no one has a right to dismiss your grief.

But take heart, you can heal. If you two so choose, you can work through the affair. But there must be a willingness by both parties to do the work necessary to recover.

For the one who cheated, you might feel like you’re on your way to healing but keep in mind, your partner can grieve and be triggered for longer than you might be comfortable with. It’s helpful to sit with their pain, communicate openly, and check in now and then on their emotional well-being.

What happens mentally, after an affair

Dr. Dennis Ortman describes those who’ve discovered a partner’s affair as traumatized. Ortman names this trauma response Post-Infidelity Stress Disorder (PISD), in his 2009 book.

You might experience symptoms consistent with post-traumatic stress. Instead of a shock to your system, as with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), discovering cheating can be a mental shock to the system you’ve built as a couple.

Ortman adds that phases of recovery from infidelity are not unlike the 5 stages of grief.

Research shows that infidelity can also cause increased anxiety and depression, in addition to stress.

If you’ve been cheated on, it may take a long time to heal. It can cause you chronic anxiety, post-traumatic stress, depression, and mistrust of others for a long time after the event.

How does being cheated on effect the brain?

Love, insofar as being a factory for releasing dopamine and triggering feelings of euphoria, can feel addictive to your brain. So the rejection caused by infidelity can cause several changes in the brain pathways similar to withdrawal in substance use disorder. Rejection can cause short- and long-term consequences to your brain chemistry.

Being in love produces more oxytocin and dopamine in our brains, and infidelity can disrupt the pathways that cause the release of these chemicals in our brain.

When your child finds out you cheated

If your child finds out you cheated, it can cause many ripple effects:

  • Your child may side with and trust your partner more than you.
  • They may experience feelings of confusion, anxiety, abandonment, and isolation not unlike the partner who was cheated on.
  • One study also suggests that children with a parent who has had an affair may have trust issues with future romantic partners.
  • Your child may form negative perceptions of fidelity.
  • A 2017 study looked at how children imitate infidelity modeled to them in childhood in adult relationships.

Can infidelity cause mental illness?

Infidelity can cause symptoms similar to post-traumatic stress from the relationship breach that were not previously present before an affair. Some common symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares, and obsessions about the event.

You may also experience hyperarousal and become reactive at any perceived threat to yourself or your relationship. As a result, you can have disruptive sleeping and eating patterns.

What does research say about how cheating affects a man?

No matter who you are, you can still be impacted by infidelity.

One study that looked at gender differences in response to infidelity found that women tend to be more distressed by emotional affairs, and men tend to become more distressed over physical affairs.

This difference in response to emotional versus sexual infidelity is reinforced by an extensive study on infidelity with approximately 64,000 participants, which had similar findings.

This study also examined the impact that cheating has on gay, lesbian, and bisexual people. There was no significant gender difference in degrees of upset over infidelity among LGB+ folks.

Infidelity can have lasting impacts on partners and children the couple may have. Grief, brain changes, behaviors down the road, and mental health conditions such as anxiety, chronic stress, and depression can result.

Some families have been able to move past infidelity with time and therapy. To move on, this takes active work on both partners to work on the root cause of the infidelity. Working through it is not suitable for every couple, but those willing can heal.

How to cope with being cheated on

Being cheated on sucks. It’s as simple as that – but the feelings that come with it are hardly ever simple. You feel betrayed, angry, embarrassed and completely heartbroken. It can make you question everything about yourself, your relationship and your life. But we’re here to tell you that it’s going to be okay – not immediately, but definitely soon. If you’ve found yourself in this situation, our handy tips will help you cope.

Remember: you are not to blame

No matter what’s gone down, it’s never your fault that someone cheated on you. People do hurtful things for a whole bunch of reasons – and maybe your partner can explain theirs – but those reasons have nothing to do with you. It can be really hard to remember this, but it’s super-important. So, we’ll say it again: you are not to blame.

Accept that things are going to suck for a while

You’ve had a rubbish thing happen to you – it’s going to take time to heal. Breathe, and accept that things are going to suck for a while. This doesn’t mean you have to like it, or that you agree with it. It just means that you’re not going to waste time fighting something you can’t change. Instead, focus on mending your heart.

Put yourself first

The most important person in this situation is YOU, so take care of yourself. Eat your favourite foods, watch your favourite movies or indulge in your favourite activities. Try to keep yourself from getting hurt any more than you already are. Your heart is probably a bit bruised and it doesn’t need to cop any more bad treatment.

Try to keep your cool

It’s tempting to lose your chops a bit and start firing off angry texts, but take a second to chill before you do anything. It’s definitely not worth getting yourself in trouble by messing with anyone. Leave the dramatic public displays of rage for the movies; instead, let off steam at the gym, on a jog or dancing to a killer playlist.

Don’t make decisions out of fear

There’s no right choice when it comes to staying with or leaving someone who’s cheated on you – you’ve got to do what feels right for your heart. But don’t let fear make the decision for you. It’s not a good idea to stay with someone because you’re scared to be single, or to leave someone you love because you’re afraid they’ll hurt you again. Take as much time out as you need to make the choice that feels right for you.

Surround yourself with your squad

You need your best gang around you when you’re trying to deal with a broken heart. Focus on people who’ve always had your back, who’ll listen to the full story and support you in whatever you decide to do next.

Take a mini-break from socials

It can be tempting to put your FBI skills to the test and trawl through social media. But, just don’t do it. Not only that, give social media a break for a little while. You don’t have to prove you’re still living your #bestlife, and all that FOMO isn’t what you need right now.

Ask for (professional) help if you need it

Professional psychologists recommend talking to a doctor as an important part of moving on from cheating. Whether you do it together with your partner or solo, getting an expert opinion from someone outside the situation can be a game-changer for healing.

Don’t jump to conclusions

Maybe you glimpsed a text message on your partner’s phone, or heard from a friend that they were up to something at the club. If you’re getting your information secondhand, it’s probably not the whole truth – no matter how much you trust the source. Gossip has never made any situation better. If you’re concerned about something, ask your partner directly before you jump to any conclusions. Having all the right intel will set you up to handle the situation like a boss.

Cheating: the reaction of men and women


CheatingMan and womanRelationship crisis

“From a psychological point of view, men and women are very similar. But not when it comes to sex and procreation,” said Mons Bendiksen, professor at the Department of Psychology at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

In a team with Leaf Edward Ottison Kenayer and David Bass, he conducted a study involving more than 1,000 people. Although psychologists expected that men and women would respond differently to questions about infidelity, no one thought that the answers would differ so much. nine0003

There are two types of cheating: sexual (only sex and no attachment) and emotional, when attachment and interest in a lover are higher than in one's own partner. Two types of reactions of men and women to infidelity were studied.

Jealousy of a man is an emotional reaction that is associated specifically with sexual infidelity

The cultural-sociological approach says that jealousy is caused by different roles of the sexes in society. But adherents of the evolutionary approach argue that the whole point is that for hundreds of generations, men and women had to cope with a variety of problems related to issues of procreation, sex and adultery. nine0003

A man, for example, had to be sure that a woman gave birth to a child from him, in order to then invest or not in his upbringing. Thus, male jealousy is an emotional reaction that is associated with sexual infidelity. Because of jealousy, he watches his chosen one more closely, which means that the chance that she will change and he will have to support someone else's child decreases.

Women are different. A mother always knows that she has her child in her arms. But she must make sure that the father of the child can provide him with food, protection and other benefits. Therefore, it is worse for a woman not when a man has sex with another woman, but when he spends time with her and wastes his resource. It is because of this that, from the point of view of evolutionary psychology, women are more sensitive not to sexual infidelity, but to emotional. nine0003

Sexual infidelity brings more pain to men, emotional infidelity to women.

Mons Bendiksen says: “The cultural-sociological approach convinces us that humanity has “learned” to be jealous as a result of cultural and social processes. We believe that such a reaction to infidelity is part of a mechanism that has become the result of the evolutionary development of the human brain.

In the latest study, participants were given one of four jealousy questionnaires. Half of the participants had to answer which betrayal - emotional or sexual - causes them more frustration. The second group was asked to rate on a scale from 1 (not at all) to 7 (very) the strength of their jealousy. nine0003

“As in our previous two studies, we noted an obvious difference in response to sexual or emotional infidelity in men and women. Sexual infidelity brings more pain to men, emotional infidelity to women.

Source: PsychCentral.

Text: Nikita Pechenegin Photo Source: Getty Images

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Men experience a breakup more than is commonly believed

02 November 2021 13:16 Olga Muraya

Men discuss "heartbreak" much more often than women.
Photo by Dollar Gill/Unsplash. nine0003

A new study shows that society underestimates men's capacity for strong emotional experiences. An analysis of the information collected on the Internet confirms that men are not so "cold-blooded" in this sensitive issue.

A new study of online support groups for people going through a breakup suggests that men experience a breakup much more emotionally than is commonly expected from the "stronger sex". nine0003

An international team of psychologists led by researchers from Lancaster University has conducted the first big data analysis of relationship problems.

This study began as an attempt to map the most common relationship problems faced by people outside of clinics and counseling centers.

The authors of the new paper note that much of what psychologists now know about relationship problems comes from studies of people undergoing couples therapy (family therapy). nine0003

But this is a rather specific subgroup of people who have suffered in one way or another from relationship problems. They have the time, the funds, the motivation to work on relationship problems, and access to good people. For most of the world's population, who cope with psychological difficulties on their own, all these are inaccessible "benefits of civilization."

The researchers wanted to understand what relationship problems the general public most often encounters, and how these problems differ between men and women. nine0003

Using natural language processing techniques, scientists analyzed the demographic and psychological characteristics of more than 184,000 people who posted about their relationship problems on an anonymous online forum.

The researchers were then able to statistically identify the most common topics discussed in each post, creating a "map" of the most common relationship problems.

It turned out that most often people in a relationship are worried about communication problems. At the same time, almost one in five people noted difficulties in discussing problems, and one in eight mentioned the problem of trust in their relationship. nine0003

The findings also revealed unexpected patterns, including key gender differences, in the discussion of the most pressing topics.

"In doing this study, we realized that this is a good opportunity to test many popular ideas about gender differences in relationships," said study lead author Dr. Ryan Boyd of Lancaster University. "For example, are men less emotionally involved in relationships?" than women, or are men just stigmatized for sharing their feelings?" nine0003

The analysis showed that most often people who talked about relationship problems mentioned the emotional pain caused by the problems, rather than the problems themselves.

The most common topic of discussion was "heartache". People often used words like regret, breakup/separation, crying ("cry"), and heartbreak.

Contrary to scientists' expectations, the results of the study showed that men discuss "heartbreak" much more often than women. These data indicate that the stereotype that men are less emotionally involved in relationships may not be true. nine0003

In addition, the researchers found that men were more likely to seek help from other netizens about relationships than women.

Dr. Boyd noted that "traditionally, women are more likely to find relationship problems, consider therapy, and seek therapy than men." However, if we discard social stereotypes regarding men (unwillingness to ask for help and share their emotions), it turns out that they, just like women, are interested in overcoming difficulties in their relationships. nine0003

The findings of this study have implications for both the general public and psychologists.

Scientists believe that a better understanding of relationship problems helps to better understand when and why things go wrong in people's relationships. This could potentially help couples avoid some of the most common setbacks on the path to success in a romantic relationship.

The authors of the study also suggest that their results will help normalize men's seeking professional help.

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