Nobody consciously thinks “I’m going to get caught cheating and screw up my family”. In fact most people engaged in extramarital affairs don’t think about getting caught, or the consequences, at all. They live in a world of their own, a duplicitous life in which they are scrambling to balance the world of their marriage and the world of their affair. The truth prevails in one form or another. Infidelity impacts not only your partner but also your relationship and your children.
What If You Do “Get Away With It”?
If getting away with it looks like the marriage goes on and your partner turns a blind eye, a remarkable number of marriages have this going on at one time or another. 80% of all marriages in the US have had an instance of infidelity. That’s eight out of ten. It is highly unlikely that these affairs are going completely unnoticed. The more likely outcome is that their partners are choosing to look the other way. They may be doing it to avoid confrontation, hoping it’s a short-term thing. It may be that they don’t want to risk losing the marriage for a large number of reasons. Whatever the reason, there is always an impact.
Impact to The Partner
Studies show that the impact of infidelity is mental, emotional, and physical.
People married to cheaters experience:
- Higher levels of distress
- Low self esteem
- Self blame
- Lessening of performance on the job
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- High Risk Behaviors (drug use, unprotected sex, overeating, undereating, etc)
Infidelity negatively impacts every member of the fmaily. The person committing the infidelity carries a good deal of stress as well.
Impact To The “Cheater”
The impact of cheating on the instigator is also extreme. The guilt of their act and the stress of leading a duplicitous lifestyle is tremendous. The person in the outside relationship is often depressed. They are suffering from increased anxiety. They can even feel helpless or trapped. Changing the situation can feel impossible and makes the affair go on even longer. The longer the affair, the greater the impact on everyone involved. whether it is in secret or out in the open.
Impact on Children
Infidelity impacts not only your partner but also your relationship and your children. Children are the forgotten victims in infidelity. Children have a gut sense for what is going on even if they cannot articulate it. They know when something is not right in a marriage. Children living in a household with heavy denial and dishonesty will feel less grounded and secure. Their day to day performance in school will be impacted. Their sense of personal security as well. When they grow up, they are far more likely to model the behavior of their parents even if it was never out in the
Healing The Rift
Infidelity occurs when partners are not experiencing fulfillment in their relationship. Infidelity impacts not only your partner but also your relationship and your children. Healing the rift means identifying the areas where each partner is feeling unfulfilled. Once these areas are called out, partners will systematically work at having a more fulfilling relationship. Thus they will close the relationship gap that led to the affair. More often than not this demands professional intervention. When a couple that does not know how to have an honest and fulfilling relationship tries to heal it themselves without an intervention of some kind, the result will be another affair.