Health and Fitness,  Mental Health

How To Survive Infidelity With Your Mental Health Intact

The post is developed in partnership with BetterHelp.

When one romantic partner breaches the trust of the other, it sends shockwaves through the relationship, causing instability and emotional turmoil. Infidelity is a betrayal that cuts deep, leaving wounds that can be slow to heal. And, unfortunately, it occurs all too often – by some estimates, between 20 and 25 percent of marriages and up to 75 percent of dating relationships are touched by infidelity.

The emotional fallout from discovering a partner’s cheating can be overwhelming, leaving the betrayed individual wrestling with a wide range of psychological effects.

But – despite the devastation infidelity causes, there is much reason to hope, and much you can do to support your own mental health if you’re involved in a cheating situation. 

Let’s take a look at some of the key mental health effects associated with infidelity, along with steps to protect mental health when facing this kind of betrayal.

Betrayal Trauma: Mental Health Effects
The concept of betrayal trauma describes a specific kind of traumaexperienced within key social relationships – like the relationship between a parent and child or a romantic relationship.

Betrayal trauma shatters trust, often leaving the betrayed partner questioning everything they thought they knew about their relationship and themselves. The mental health effects of betrayal have been compared to those associated with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: intrusive thoughts, emotional volatility, dissociation, feeling hyper-alert and a profound sense of powerlessness. 

Other effects may include confusion/disorientation and even trouble with memory and cognition. The process of recovering from this breach of trust has also been compared to moving through the five stages of grief.

Furthermore, the trauma of betrayal can trigger memories of past emotional wounds, which complicates the healing process. When prior traumas resurface, they intensify the current pain and make recovery even more challenging.

Anxiety and depression often accompany the aftermath of infidelity. The constant replaying of the betrayal in one’s mind, coupled with the uncertainty over the future of the relationship, can fuel persistent worry and sadness.

Plus – those who have experienced infidelity often find it extremely difficult to trust others in the future. In fact, trust issues can linger long after the affair has ended, making it difficult to form meaningful connections with others.

How to Move Forward: Strategies for Healing
Many couples have emerged from the wreckage of this betrayal stronger and more resilient than before. 

In most cases, therapy plays a pivotal role in helping couples overcome the devastating impact of infidelity, helping them forge a path toward rebuilding trust. Learn more about counseling for infidelity:

Here are a few ways to protect your own mental health and well-being if you’re experiencing betrayal trauma:

Seek Professional Support– Therapy can provide a safe space to process your emotions, gain insight into your feelings of betrayal, and develop coping strategies.

Lean on Social Networks – Confiding in friends and family members can provide valuable emotional support during this difficult time. In fact, social connections with caring individuals can help a betrayed partner regain emotional stability.

Practice Self-Care – Engage in activities that promote mental and emotional well-being, such as exercise, meditation, journaling and hobbies.

Set Boundaries – Setting clear boundaries is essential if you decide to work on the relationship. Both partners should agree on what constitutes acceptable behavior and work on gradually rebuilding trust. It will take time.

And it isn’t easy. Both partners must understand the gravity of the situation and commit to the healing process. The betraying partner must set aside justifications and actively support the betrayed partner’s healing journey, while the traumatized partner must work through their emotions and differentiate present pain from past trauma.

Communication is Key – Open and honest communication is essential to healing. Express your feelings and concerns while listening empathetically to your partner.

Remember – rebuilding a future relationship means letting go of the past and committing to creating something new. Both partners must communicate honestly, show empathy, and be willing to forgive. It’s a process that requires time, patience and a genuine desire to rebuild trust.

Healing takes time, and with patience and commitment, it is possible to move forward after infidelity. Whether you choose to rebuild your relationship or part ways, therapy can provide guidance on how to navigate the path ahead. Infidelity may have shaken your world, but with effort and support, you can emerge from the darkness into a brighter and more fulfilling future.

One Comment

  • Apart Cy

    Isa din ako sa na involve ganitong
    Cheating issue (siya ang ngcheat)
    Masakit sa aking part Yun
    Pero I’ve tried to move forward and self love is a must talaga
    I takes time to heal the pain
    Atleast everyday may improvement talaga
    Especially we have a family and true friends na laging nakasuporta

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