Infidelity can certainly take a toll on individuals and families involved. While many people are able to stay together after the discovery of an affair, separations and divorces are commonplace. It is not easy to get over the fact that someone cheated on you. Remedying the breaking of trust does not come easy. It requires a lot of work and forgiveness.
Experts say that a betrayed spouse feels reactions that are like post-traumatic stress symptoms that victims of catastrophic events experience. Stress, physiological arousal, and flashbacks are common consequences of infidelity. With the sense of betrayal and all signs of innocence and trust gone, the betrayed individual obsessively thinks about the occurrence and constantly tries to pinpoint signs and reasons for the infidelity. Depression, anxiety, and feelings of tremendous loss are among the consequences. These are not short-term responses, as the betrayed individual might not be able to get over his or her anger and pain for years or even a lifetime. He or she will question his or her sanity and self-worth. They will not understand how it all could happen. Further, the betrayed spouse will question the union and love that ever existed between the two. He or she will doubt the sincerity behind everything, and will wonder why the unfaithful partner ever complained or showed a sign that things were so bad.
Recovering from infidelity is very stressful. The healing phase is very slow. Most people think that they would never be able to trust and love again, but it does happen with time and understanding. They need to remember that it is not their fault. Many people tend to blame themselves and this only creates more pressure and a sense of failure. Dealing with infidelity is very difficult. The people who are impacted most are those who were the most trusting in their relationships. The news of the affair catches them off guard and it is very tough for them to deal with the facts. People who were already suspicious are not traumatized as much; this is not to say, however, that they do not experience their own share of trauma.
While most of the attention and sympathy goes to the betrayed individual, the cheater also has many emotions to deal with. These include anxiety, depression, sadness, fear, guilt, and loss. The sadness is not only due to the thought that they hurt someone through their affair, but also possibly because the end of the affair might be coming soon.
The consequences of infidelity that occurs among couples with kids are very complicated and tremendous. The entire family feels the affects of the affair, whether all members know about it or not. Children of all ages are impacted by infidelity. They can sense that something is wrong. Parents usually do not realize this, so they go on acting as they please. Kids, however, absorb everything. Children who have felt the effects of infidelity are more likely to grow into cheating partners as adults. They have a hard time maintaining and building relationships based on trust and honesty.