a couple of people sitting on a bench in the snow

What Being Cheated On Does to Your Mental Health

a man in a suit and tie

Discovering that your significant other has been cheating on you can be devastating. Whether you were unaware of the affair and happened to catch your partner with someone else or you were suspicious of your partner and learned how to catch a cheater, being in this situation can be detrimental to your mental health. But exactly what kind of damage can infidelity do to your mental health? If you have found yourself in the scenario above, let’s learn more about what the emotional consequences are and what you can do to heal from the trauma. 

You May Experience Lower Self-Esteem and Confidence Levels

Finding out that your partner has been intimate with another person can make us question ourselves, even when we know that the responsibility for their actions lies solely with them. Some of the common questions that will arise during this period include: 

  • Was I not attractive enough for them to want to stay with me?
  • Did I do something wrong in the relationship that caused them to seek out the support of another person?
  • If they can’t love me or want to remain in our relationship, there must be something wrong with me. Will anyone love me again? 

This time can often be the most sensitive for people in this situation as they will believe that they are the main cause behind the infidelity, which makes them feel less confident about their looks and personality. Although this may be difficult to heal from, you can recover from these situations and find the amazing person you were before the cheating took place. 

You Are More Likely To Experience Depression and Anxiety

Cheating takes an emotional toll on the victim. If the person experiences enough emotional distress that their grief drags on rather than gradually losing its hold over time, mental health disorders like depression and anxiety may begin to appear. For example, symptoms of depression, such as a regularly depressed mood, changes in sleeping and eating patterns, and fatigue, may show up in your life if the loss of the relationship and the infidelity have robbed you of joy and the desire to live. Anxiety and reckless behaviors may appear as well as you may feel anxious about entering new relationships or are seeking out ways to cope with your pain. With the right help, you can overcome these mental health disorders and move into a healthy, happy place. 

Symptoms of PTSD Can Develop

For some individuals, being cheated on can be so traumatic that they develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result. Characterized by symptoms such as an inability to regulate your emotions, intrusive thoughts, recurring, vivid nightmares, and confusion and disorientation, having PTSD can make it difficult to function in day-to-day life, and it can make it harder for you to move on from your experience as well. Much like the above, PTSD is a serious mental health disorder that requires immediate treatment in order for you to move back to a healthy place as soon as possible. If you feel as though you can relate to the above symptoms or your experience has left you unable to function as you used to, reach out to a mental health professional as soon as possible. 

If you have been the victim of cheating, you are not alone, and there are plenty of resources out there that can help you overcome the damaging effects on your mental health. Dedicated platforms like withtherapy can help you find therapists who are the right fit for your needs. If you are ready to move past your trauma and reclaim your life, take the first step in your healing journey by asking for help today!