There are no two ways about it. If your marriage has been impacted by infidelity, you’re going through one of the most excruciatingly painful experiences anyone can have.
Dr. Barry Bass states that the after-effects of infidelity “resemble the psychic disorientation and confusion” victims of natural disasters suffer and that PTSD is also common for the betrayed spouse.
Yet, why is infidelity so painful? Surviving infidelity is not easy either.
There is a multitude of reasons for the agony you’re experiencing and why being cheated on hurts so much:
- Your expectations for what it means to be married have been violated.
Everyone enters marriage with a set of expectations about what being married means. For most, it includes a sexual, romantic, and emotional faithfulness to each other.
When your spouse cheated, they violated the rules you thought you were both living by. The person who vowed to love you forever committed a crime against your belief in them. And a violation like this fundamentally quakes (and potentially breaks) the foundation upon which you have built not only your marriage but your entire life.
- You feel resistance about dealing with the change that has been thrust at you.
Because your spouse has violated their vows to you, your life has changed. It’s an unexpected and extremely unwanted alteration of the life you were living.
You blame your spouse and want them to fix things, so you don’t have to deal with any of it. After all, they are the one who caused all of this. They should be the one who fixes it.
Unfortunately, taking this stance cements you in the role of being a victim and held hostage by the actions of your spouse. And that will just prolong your pain.