Romantic relationships are beautiful indeed! They let one experience a very different kind of love which one can’t expect to receive from other people in life. But what happens if you find out that the one you love is cheating on you? How will their infidelity affect you?
What is infidelity?
Infidelity is the deal breaker in every romantic relationship. In simpler terms, it is being unfaithful in a relationship. It is the violation of a couple’s assumed relationship rules and norms in terms of sexual and/ or emotional exclusivity. This is commonly known as “cheating” in a relationship.
Discovering that the person you love is cheating on you is heart-shattering . The beautiful bubble in which your relationship thrived bursts because of it!
Cheating,or indulging in infidelity, in a relationship involves:-
- Sexual infidelity is cheating by having sexual relation with anyone apart from your partner in the relationship- especially when one hides it from their partner.
- Emotional infidelity is cheating by having feelings for someone else out of the relationship, especially when it is kept hidden from your partner.
What do researches prove?
People often generalize that men cheat more often than women. But, a recent study by Fincham and May which they conducted in 2017 itself showed that the rate of cheating is equal in both males and females. Another study by Frederick and Fales in 2014 revealed that heterosexual men are more upset over sexual infidelity in comparison to emotional cheating. On the other hand, emotional infidelity is more upsetting for heterosexual women as compared to sexual one. However, it hardly makes much of a difference for bisexual as well as homosexual men and women.
Why do people indulge in infidelity?
The reason of cheating differs in both genders. According to a study by Indiana University’s Center for Sexual Health Promotion, The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction, and the University of Guelph, women are more likely to cheat if there is a lack of emotional happiness in their current relationship. And men tend to cheat if they face failure in sexual performance and loneliness in their current relationship.
How does being a victim of infidelity affect your mental health?
A partner who cheats on you will have various effects on your mental health, including the following:-
- Firstly, your self-esteem falls low
- Self- blame for the failure of the relationship
- Those who blame themselves for the infidelity are in high risk of substance abuse
- It is common for the victims of infidelity to indulge in risky behaviors like that of having sex under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
- Feeling of loneliness is common
- Emotional and psychological distress
Moreover, women tend to feel these strongly in comparison to men. It is because women generally associate their identity and self with relationship, making a relationship highly important. But that does not mean men find it is easier to cope with a partner who cheats on them. It is painful irrespective of who is going through it.
We may thus conclude that if you have experienced infidelity in a relationship, it will impact you on many levels. If you are finding it difficult to cope with infidelity in a relationship, or know someone who is having a hard time, it is time to seek help. You can connect with a counselor from Mind Solace who will help you deal with the experience and find peace.