In the US, almost 50% of married people cheat at least once during their marriage. This may be shocking to hear, but perhaps it’s in our nature to have a wandering eye.
Initially, you might’ve thought that you found the love of your life, and they’re the only person you need. However, once you’ve settled down into a comfortable (yet mundane) routine, the prospect of new love can be thrilling.
However, it’s almost never worth it, as infidelity in a marriage can have serious consequences, so think again about being unfaithful. Read on to find out the true effects of infidelity.
Let’s start with the biggest costs of an affair: you’ll lose your spouse’s trust. They put their faith in you when you exchanged vows, and expected you to remain faithful for the rest of your lives.
It’s entirely possible that you’ve lost their trust forever, and will never rebuild it back to 100%. It’s likely that even if you continue your marriage, you’ll keep wondering where you are and who you’re with whenever you’re out of their sight.
Even if you do everything they ask of you to feel better, it can be tiresome for both of you. As a result, this can chip away at the marriage’s foundation and ultimately ruin your relationship for good.
Naturally, your significant other will feel a wide spectrum of emotions when they find out about your affair. In addition to shock, they may also feel anger and sadness.
Even people with the best self-esteem can come out of an affair feeling rejected and inadequate. After all, they should’ve been enough for you since you married them. The fact that you looked elsewhere for physical and emotional satisfaction can tear their world apart.
Combined with the loss of trust, these scars on their self-esteem can have long-term effects. They may develop anxiety and depression, and the emotional trauma may make it difficult for them to continue with the marriage and/or find a new partner. It’s likely that they’ll have mental health issues that need lots of care, time, and guidance to get through.
If the person you were cheating with had no clue you were married, then they might go through the same emotional trauma and loss of trust as well. Knowing how to end an affair can help soften the blow, so at least do them that favor.
Separation and/or Divorce
Cheating in a marriage may not be enough for someone to end things, but for others, it’s a complete dealbreaker.
At the very least, it can bring about a separation, and this may result in a divorce. These things bring a whole complicated mess with them, including emotional and financial costs.
Ending this chapter in your life can also have a huge impact on both parties. You’ll have to restructure everything, including your residence, daily schedule, etc. Not to mention, you’ll be losing your soulmate.
The more sexual partners you have, the more you’re at risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and other health issues. The people you’re cheating with may not be completely honest either, so even if they say they have a clean bill of health, or think they do, you still might get an STI.
If you’re being secretive and are having sex with your spouse, you can pass on these STIs and health problems to them. While some STIs are simple to clear, others have serious consequences, such as infertility.
Whether you stay with your spouse or part ways, this can have lasting health effects on both of you. If the STIs and health problems aren’t curable, then you’ll have to deal with social stigma too.
Loss of Friends
No matter who’s in the wrong, friend groups will usually take one person’s side and not the other’s. If you share the same social circle, then one of you will probably lose all your friends.
If things get bad enough, your reputation can be ruined. This can make it extremely difficult to build up a new friend group in the local area. Even if you do make new friends, there’s always the risk of running into your old ones, which can create awkward or even aggressive and threatening situations.
The impact of infidelity can lead to separation and divorce, and if there are children involved, it won’t be pretty. The little ones will already be going through a challenging time since their parents are splitting.
It can also be tough to co-parent because the betrayed person may not trust the cheating spouse. There might be residual emotions as well, which can cloud their judgment.
As a result, there can be long and drawn-out custody battles and parenting conflicts. This isn’t healthy for anyone involved, especially the kids.
Infidelity in a Marriage Isn’t Worth It
Infidelity in a marriage may seem appealing when you’re bored with your current life.
However, as the saying goes, the grass isn’t greener on the other side. The cost of an affair simply isn’t worth destroying the solid foundation you have with your spouse. And if they find out on their own before you tell them, the consequences can be heavier.
So treasure what you have with your significant other. Try to rekindle your love instead of looking elsewhere for that spark. And if you truly don’t feel in love anymore, then do the right thing and be respectful; wait until you’ve separated or divorced before starting a new relationship.
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