Recovering From an Affair: Mental Health Considerations About Infidelity

According to the Marriage and Divorce journal, 70% of all Americans were found to indulge in an affair throughout some point of their marital living.

The general Infidelity statistics goes further to expose that 40% of unmarried relationships experience the case of infidelity at least once.

Infidelity in a married and unmarried relationship is never welcomed. There is absolutely nothing that can prepare you for the phrase – “we need to talk,” which is then followed by “I’ve cheated” or “I’ve been unfaithful to you.”

Scientists say that individuals in both happy and unhappy marriages or relationships cheat.

The reasons can vary from rebellion to vows for fear of having one partner, fantasies, the thrill of pleasure and not being caught, the need for adventure, lack of sex, feelings of loneliness, insecurity, conflict avoidance, self-discovery, repeated disagreements, inability to explore personal interests that in accommodated and validated in the extra-marital affair.

The reason for infidelity never allows dealing with it more manageable as both parties, victim, and perpetrator, undergo mental ill-health as a result.

Mental Impact of Infidelity on the Betrayed Partner

Infidelity is never easy on the victim. The victim undergoes feelings of intense depression, anxiety, post-traumatic disorder, and even developing harmful coping mechanisms that can affect both physical and mental health.

There is no way to brace for how infidelity will directly impact you, but numerous research proves that it causes severe emotional distress.

Often, the victim tends to convince themselves that they will be ok and cannot admit to themselves that they are mentally devastated. Many who are in denial, which is normal, experience a thick cloud of grief that can hit them harder and negatively impact their mental health even more extensively.

After infidelity, victims tend to also struggle with emotional insecurity, guilt, and anger.

With therapy, offering forgiveness, and giving self-enough time to heal, minimum being 18 months, the victim can overcome the effects of infidelity and remedy their marriage or relationship or decide to move on to another relationship.

Mental Impact of Infidelity on the Perpetrator

It is the belief that there is no way that the perpetrator can be experiencing mental unrest from infidelity being the one that has caused it. This, however, is not the truth, as extra-marital affairs also mentally exhaust the perpetrator to always be on the edge of if he/she will get caught, living in secrecy, emotional exhaustion of being in two relationships at the same time, and the guilt of what will happen if they decide to be honest or keep it a secret.

These conflicting mental games actually can cause the perpetrator to be left in limbo and ironically stay within the affair.

Perpetrators also go through reduced self-esteem as overthinking their actions causes extreme mental strain and focus on being a terrible person for allowing themselves to cause such hurt to the victim and jeopardizing the quality of the relationship. This often leads to a treacherous road of self-blame, which can burden their mental health.

Perpetrators can also benefit from therapy and being honest about what happened to their spouse which will aid in freeing them from the burden of guilt and helping them to remedy their marriage or relationship or move on to a different relationship.


An affair comes with many physical and emotional strain that negatively impacts the health of both the victim and perpetrator. Both males and females can be culprits of extra-marital affairs and become vulnerable to its moment-filled pleasures and days of guilt and secrecy.

Seeking professional help may be extremely beneficial for both individuals and also to the relationship. Not all relationships end after an affair, but there is a long way to rebuild trust and face the underneath causes that led to it.

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