An extramarital affair is like a ‘time-bomb’ for a marriage. Once it starts ticking, the relationship with the spouse has very little time to be saved. Many marriages succumb to this toxic influence and leave the ‘honest’ partner in jeopardy. At times, they may feel vulnerable and blame themselves for their partner’s adultery.
How does an extramarital affair affect a partner?
If you just found out that your partner has been cheating on you, then your entire world must have come crashing down. We don’t blame you, as the revelation must be draining you emotionally and psychologically you must be feeling weak. All the negatives of infidelity must be hounding you, making you feel wilted, betrayed and traumatised. The effects of this extramarital affair of your partner must be devastating for you.
Not all cases of infidelity run into a divorce, but a majority do. Trust is sacred in a marriage, and once broken, it can give rise to many conflicts within the holy institution. Here we take a look at a few possible repercussions and upheavals in your marriage after his/her infidelity has been discovered.
Well, in the end, you may choose to end your marriage or stay in it forgiving the cheating spouse, the scars will always remain and your marriage will never be the same.
1. Sense of injustice must be occupying your thoughts
From encouraging your spouse in their accomplishments to supporting them relentlessly in tough times, you have invested a lot in your marriage. After encountering spousal infidelity, you must be feeling cheated for no fault of yours. Of course, your ‘happy love nest’ is not happy any more, due to the toxic adultery or emotional affair. With his treacherous act, you must be feeling that this breach of trust is ‘unjust’ to you. Your spouse didn’t honour the wedding vows and gave in to temptation. This must have clouded your perspectives, making you wonder who is at fault in this situation.
You may blame the Gods, or your fate, and sometimes, you may feel as if it was you who’d been the reason for your spouse to cheat on you. That can be devastating for a person. Remember, all marriages run through trouble, and it is not by cheating that issues are resolved. Stop blaiming yourself.
2. Betrayal has eroded ‘faith’ in your marriage
Your unconditional love for your husband/wife receives a big jolt after you get to know of their infidelity. Negative feelings infest your marriage and the love you shared with him/her once has dissipated due to this toxic influence. Things don’t feel the same as before. It is quite evident that adultery changes your equation with the cheating partner and hampers the bond of eternal love in your marriage.
It feels it can never be the same ever again.
3. Trauma of cheating must be eating you from within
The emotional breakdown is primarily caused by the breach of trust by the spouse. As a result, you may slip into a traumatised state. The emotional torture and humiliation doesn’t end here. You may feel victimised and start thinking about the reasons and causes of cheating. Disoriented and confused thoughts must have eclipsed your thinking capabilities. This is very likely to lead you to the self-blame game. The grieving caused due to an extramarital affair takes the partner on a roller coaster ride of emotions and creates an environment of negativity.
Related reading: 10 Sureshot signs your husband is having an affair
4. Future of your marital relationship is uncertain in your mind
The emotional upheaval is of grave concern if you are dependent on your spouse financially or have kids to look after. The next thought you must be having in your mind is to keep quiet and let it go. But how can you tolerate another lady in your husband’s life is the question in your mind. We don’t blame you, dear! With such a breach of marriage, you must be feeling unsettled and confused. At this point in time, our experts suggest the ladies should regain their confidence from a practical perspective. Don’t follow your impulses and take a rushed step. Talk to some friends or elders for sane advice and let the matter settle before you take a call on ‘what’s next?’
Related Reading: 15 most common reasons of divorce
5. Scared of the negative effect on your familial ties
A cheating partner may have a huge impact on your family. If for the sake of family and kids, you decide to stick together, still it might be difficult for you to rebuild the relationship. After knowing his breach of relationship, how can you trust him or be intimate with him again? All these factors can thus create a distance between both the partners and drive you apart emotionally.
If you decide to separate from each other, the divorce proceedings might be emotionally draining. The separation between parents can have a negative effect on kids also. Even if you are not opting for a divorce, accept that things will not be same as before. You may distance yourself from the marriage and live as mere strangers or partners fulfilling family responsibilities. So, it can be said that an episode of cheating can wither or break the family relationships in a marriage.
6. Disorientation may disturb your ‘peace of mind’
Discovering that your partner is cheating on you may completely mess up your world. It may lead to large-scale emotional disorientation. It is possible to feel a huge gap in your life due to the lack of support which your partner provided you. The immediate feeling of being ‘alone’ can often be extremely unnerving and lead to a mental breakdown.
7. Carry the relationship baggage all ‘alone’
Spousal adultery may make you may feel weak and exposed to a lot of uncertainties, especially when your husband leaves you in the ‘middle’ and ignores his household responsibilities. He may even choose to stay with the ‘other’ woman and not return to the house for days. Such times test your patience and make you emotionally distant from the spouse. With family responsibilities in hand or other circumstances, you may feel like a withered soul carrying relationship baggage all alone. You may become dry and dull, and withdraw emotionally from a relationship.
8. Jealousy against the ‘other’ person in their life
An extramarital affair is like a tug of war between a spouse and the ‘other’ partner. Once you get to know about your spouse’s cheating, you may start feeling jealous of the other lady. You may not be able to accept the truth that your husband is now enjoying somebody else’s company. You start harbouring ill feelings about the other woman. You may even feel like expressing your angst through a heated confrontation with the lady. You may even want to ask her some bitter questions like:
- ‘How dare you to snatch away my husband like this?’
- ‘Do you know he has a family, and you are a home-breaker?
- ‘Is that what your parents taught you about relationships?’
- ‘You will always be the other woman in his life… Understand that…’
- ‘I am not going to divorce my husband for you.’
Such bitter words expose your insecurities in the marriage and your jealousy against the other lady.
Related reading: How to react to your partner’s extramarital affair?
9. Self-esteem receives a big jolt
An extramarital affair by your partner may strike a heavy blow to your self-esteem. You may start seeing it as your mistake and start questioning your actions. It’s likely that you will question your own ability to keep your partner happy. The emotional and mental stress often results in self-accusation, leading to an inferiority complex in most cases.
10. Experience loss of trust in the marriage
Trust is the foundation of every relationship. When your partner cheats on you, it destroys the trust bond in your marriage. There is every chance that the effect of infidelity will sustain itself over a long time. Getting over it may prove to be an extremely difficult task. If you decide to reconcile with your partner, it may be quite a while before you can bring the trust back. You may start to question your judgement of people and feel doubtful all the time.
If you decide to move on, the lack of trust may cause emotional trauma and affect your subsequent relationships. It is important to resolve your trust issues, even if that means taking professional help.
It is quite evident that an extramarital affair brings out the insecurities of your personality, which may never leave you at all. Even if the partner comes back to you, still you will not be able to trust him completely. There will always be suspicion, accusations, and resentments in your mind. In a way, we can say that your marriage will not remain the same as before.
To avoid succumbing to such emotional insecurities and weaknesses, our Bonobology relationship experts suggest such spouses undergo a relationship consultation. Such relationship experts listen to your tormented tale and guide you on how to come out of this negative cycle. Based on your personal case history, they may even help you decide whether to get out of the marriage or continue living in it.
You can participate in this relationship consultation all alone if you want a separation; or with your spouse, if reconciliation is on the cards. If you want more information on it, do contact our panel of relationship experts for detailed guidance.