Five Long-Term Effects of Cheating

November 2, 2021

Cheating is an unfortunate, but inevitable, part of life. All relationships experience their fair share of challenges, and sometimes dealing with the aftermath of an affair can be one of them. Some people stray from their relationships when they feel as though their needs are not being met, some people stray when they have fallen out of love, and some people even stray out of pure boredom. While there is no fail-proof way to determine if or when someone will cheat on their partner, there are several common consequences of being the individual who is cheated on.

Someone who has been cheated on may experience several or all of these long-term effects after their partner’s infidelity:

  1. Internalizing the betrayal. Many people, particularly women, are likely to internalize the blame for their partner cheating. This could mean blaming themselves or their own personal shortcomings for their partner deciding to cheat, or taking responsibility for things they should have or should not have done to prevent it from happening. This can have serious long-term consequences in self esteem, self worth and self assurance in future relationships.
  2. Keeping a guard up in future relationships. When someone is cheated on, the pain from the fallout can be unbearable. If someone associates this pain with relationships or a romantic partner going forward, instead of seeing it as an isolated incident and associating it with the one particular partner, they are less likely to attempt to be in or to be happy in a future relationship. It can prevent them from wanting to be close to someone again and risking experiencing the same pain.
  3. Questioning intentions. Long after someone has been cheated on, they may continue to question the intentions of not only their romantic partners, but of everyone close to them in their life. Because cheating is such a betrayal, it can lead to thoughts of, “did they ever love me in the first place? Was it all a lie? Did I make it more than it was?” These thoughts can leave a lasting impact on future relationships, fueled by distrust, lack of self confidence, anger, and hurt.
  4. Losing faith in personal abilities and goals. When someone is cheated on, they may lose faith in themselves. Because of self blame that follows cheating, they may start to doubt their capabilities, their goals, and even their good qualities. Since they may believe that their partner cheated on them regardless of, or even because of, these features of themselves, they may internalize and take this very personally, resulting in serious long-term effects.
  5. Increased likelihood of anxiety and depression. Long after someone has cheated on, they are more likely to experience anxiety and depression, among other mental health concerns. The emotional, psychological and mental trauma of being cheated on can extend into someone’s life long after the infidelity has taken place and can manifest in clinical illnesses.

Cheating can have serious, long-term effects on those who are on the receiving side of infidelity. Although it is unfortunate, there are steps one can take to combat the effects and support their mental health. One such step can be contacting a private investigator to get the details you need on your cheating partner. Finding proof on your own is never easy. Leave the investigation to the professionals and focus your energy on yourself and your recovery.

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