Do cheaters suffer the consequences of their actions? Whether they know it or not, their secret actions take a toll on their life beyond just their marriage.
Being cheated on is one of the hardest things a person can experience.
A study published by the Stress Health Journal found that up to 42.5% of couples studied experienced infidelity-related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after being cheated on.
Infidelity is heartbreaking and can put the innocent party at risk for poor psychological health, but how do cheaters feel after breakups? How do the consequences of cheating on your spouse affect life post-infidelity?
The common thought is that cheaters didn’t really love their partners – how could they if they were willing to blow up their lives for their selfish pleasure?
But the truth is, cheaters often feel terrible about the choices they’ve made. What are the effects of cheating in relationships, and do cheaters suffer from what they’ve done? In this article we will explore the dynamic of cheating when the man is the one committing infidelity. Keep reading to find out more.
Do cheaters suffer? 12 possible consequences of cheating in a relationship
If you’re looking for insight into why your spouse cheated on you, it may bring you a shred of comfort knowing that your unfaithful partner is suffering right along with you.
Here are some ways cheaters hurt themselves when they hurt the ones they love.
1. They can experience crushing guilt
How does cheating affect the person being unfaithful? How does it affect a man who cheats?
He may feel sick to his stomach when he thinks about what he is doing to his family. The thought of someone finding out what he has done can make it hard for him to focus on his work and distract him from time with his family.
Deep regret might stay with him all the time, and he may even stop (or try to stop many times) the affair due to his feelings of remorse.
How does cheating affect a man who has stopped being unfaithful?
Even if he hasn’t cheated for years, that guilt may still be with him. He may feel like the secret he is keeping is making it difficult to connect in his marriage.
The emotional consequences of cheating on your spouse may last a lifetime, whether or not your partner knows what you’ve done.
The consequences of cheating in a relationship often expand beyond the marriage itself.
Close friends and family aren’t shy about expressing disappointment in the cheater’s actions. Friends may not want to spend time with that person, and family feels hurt at what their relative has done.
How do cheaters feel about themselves once everybody knows what they’ve done? Not only is it embarrassing to have those closest in your life see your mistakes, but they also feel pain over the hurt they have caused their extended family.
3. They might be plagued by a terrible pattern
How does cheating affect a man or woman? Not only does he feel shame about what he’s done to his partner, but he may wonder if he will ever be able to gain control over his desire to be unfaithful.
One study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that infidelity in a previous relationship increased the risk of cheating again in a later relationship.
This cycle of unfaithful behavior doesn’t go unnoticed by the person who is cheating. They may wonder if they are capable of a healthy, loving relationship.
4. Their relationship with their children might suffer
How bad is cheating on someone when you have children together? It can be very bad.
Children of divorce are more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression, have poor academic achievements, have difficulty with social relationships, have chronic stress, are more likely to be abused and re more likely to lose their virginity young and become a teen parent.
Children of divorce may have trust or communication issues with their parents.
These are just some of the studies documented about parents who break up the family unit.
Do cheaters suffer when they have children? Incredibly so.
If you are considering cheating in your marriage, do everything in your power to go the other way. Seek counseling instead, and may you never know the answer to the question: “How does it feel to cheat on someone you love?”
5. They might realize that they are selfish
Is cheating bad in a relationship? It is, and everybody knows it.
An unfaithful partner may try and excuse their behavior for a while (“We’re only talking. Nothing physical has happened. It’s fine” or “I am attracted to this person, but I can control myself.”) but ultimately, they know that what they’re doing is wrong.
Everyone who cheats knows that they are giving in to a baser instinct. They are acting on selfish desires that they may know full well will hurt the people they love the most.
How do cheaters feel about themselves, knowing they are choosing their interests over their families? Awful – and this awful feeling will likely grow the longer the affair goes on.
Survey shows that only about 31% of couples who are facing infidelity will stay together.
Being cheated on is a hard pill to swallow. Not only does the innocent spouse have to imagine their partner being intimate with someone else, but they are left feeling betrayed, self-conscious, and without any self-esteem.
It is not an easy road for the 31% of couples who try and work things out. Even with counseling and communication, the cheating partner may never feel like they are fully forgiven by their spouse.
7. They may fear the cheating backlash
When it comes to how cheating affects the cheater, consider this. Many people believe that if they do something bad to someone, something bad will happen to them in return.
For example, if they cheat on their partner, they may fear that they will be cheated on in their next relationship. These are the so-called “karmic effects” of adultery.
Whether or not you believe in the karmic effects of adultery, life certainly has a way of balancing out bad behavior and breaking someone’s heart takes top billing for bad behavior.
8. They may think about the one that got away
How do cheaters feel after a break up? Even if they claim to feel lighter and happier after leaving their marriage, many cheaters may soon feel a sting of misery at their cheating ways.
Once the cheater gains perspective, he realizes that he threw away a loving and kind partnership, all for a few moments of passion.
Do cheaters suffer from regret? Yes. They may forever be thinking about the one that got away.
9. They may suffer from certain health risks
When infidelity involves unprotected sexual encounters with multiple partners, it increases the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
For example, if a person in a committed relationship cheats and engages in unprotected sex with someone outside the relationship who has an STI, they may unknowingly bring the infection back into their primary relationship, putting their partner at risk of infection and compromising their health.
The potential for health risks underscores the importance of safe sex practices and open communication about sexual health in relationships.
10. They may have to face legal consequences
Cheating can lead to legal complications when it affects marital assets or child custody. For example, in a divorce proceeding, a cheating spouse might be required to pay more in alimony or lose a share of marital property due to infidelity.
Additionally, if there are children involved, a history of cheating can influence child custody arrangements, with the court considering whether the cheating parent’s behavior has negatively impacted the well-being of the children, potentially affecting visitation rights and custody decisions.
11. They may have to face financial consequences
Financial consequences after cheating refer to the potential financial hardships that can result from cheating in a relationship.
For example, in a marriage where one spouse cheats and the couple decides to divorce, the cheated-on partner may be required to pay alimony or spousal support, divide assets, and possibly even share a portion of their income with the cheating partner.
So, cheating can lead to financial instability and complications for both individuals, affecting their financial security and future prospects.
12. They might have to face social stigma
One of the possible consequences of cheating is the social stigma and judgment that individuals who cheat in a relationship may face from their social circles and the broader community.
For example, if someone in a close-knit community cheats on their partner, word may spread quickly, leading to gossip, criticism, and potentially even social isolation.
Friends and acquaintances may distance themselves from the cheater, viewing their actions as morally unacceptable, and this social backlash can compound the emotional consequences of infidelity, making it a more challenging experience for the individual involved.
It’s worth noting that not all relationships end in catastrophe after cheating, and some couples do manage to rebuild trust and move forward. However, addressing the consequences of cheating typically requires open and honest communication, therapy, and a willingness from both parties to work through the issues.
Additionally, prevention through strong communication and addressing relationship problems early on is often the best approach to avoiding these painful consequences.
When do cheaters realize they made a mistake?
It should be noted that many people cheat in sports. They love racking up high numbers of sexual partners and gaslighting their partners to stay off their cheating radar. Others are brazen about their extracurricular marital activities.
For these people, they may never realize they made a mistake.
But, when speaking of someone who was in a committed marriage and strayed, it does not take long until they feel the effect of cheating in relationships.
How does it feel to cheat on someone you love? Heart-wrenching.
Many cheaters feel shame and wish the event never happened. They may feel trapped by their emotional connection to someone new.
Others become addicted to the rush that comes with being desired by someone else – particularly if they are in a sexless marriage or feel unappreciated by their married partner.
The consequences of cheating on your spouse often lead to divorce, otherwise an unhappy marriage that takes years and years of work to repair.
Do cheaters suffer with remorse after a breakup? Definitely, once they’ve taken a step back from the mess they created, they will realize the error of their ways.
How does cheating affect a man after he is caught or confesses?
It depends on why he was cheating. If he was unhappy before he was unfaithful, he may feel both guilty and relieved that the marriage is over.
If he was simply having his cake and eating it, too, he may feel a range of emotions, such as:
Embarrassment over what he’s done
Hurt for losing his marriage/family
Guilt for hurting his spouse
Guilt for hurting/involving his lover
Torn feelings about how/if he wants to repair his marriage
Shame and remorse, hoping his partner will forgive him
The consequences of cheating on your spouse can be crushing.
Someone who allowed themselves to be swept up in fantasy now faces the grim reality of a broken marriage, devastated children, disappointed parents and in-laws, and friends put in the awkward position of choosing sides.
Infidelity can also lead to temporary or irreparable sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies, which can further complicate the cheater’s life.
Watch this video to learn more about the effects of cheating on the cheater that they might be unaware of:
Cheating in relationships raises questions about the psychology and consequences of infidelity. Let’s explore some common questions regarding cheaters and their mental state, emotions, and potential consequences.
Are cheaters mentally ill?
While cheating is not a mental illness, it can be influenced by various psychological factors such as insecurity, impulsivity, or a lack of empathy. It’s essential to differentiate between infidelity and mental illness, as not all cheaters exhibit mental health disorders.
Do cheaters ever feel bad for cheating?
Many cheaters do feel remorse and guilt for their actions, especially when they recognize the pain they’ve caused their partner. However, the degree of remorse varies among individuals, and some may not feel guilty until they confront the consequences.
Are cheaters living in pain?
Cheaters can experience emotional pain stemming from the guilt, fear of discovery, and the strain of maintaining a deceitful double life. This internal turmoil can affect their overall well-being and mental health, making it a challenging way to live.
Do cheaters suffer from karma?
The concept of karma suggests that actions have consequences. While not everyone believes in this metaphysical principle, cheaters often face repercussions in their relationships, reputation, or personal growth. The impact of karma, if it exists, can manifest in various ways as a result of their actions.
Do cheaters suffer? Most definitely.
While some cheaters take pride in how many people they’ve been without outside of their marriage, most unfaithful partners feel guilt and stress over breaking their marriage vows.
How do cheaters feel about themselves during and after cheating? They experience overwhelming guilt, their extended relationships suffer, and they often fear the potential karmic effects of adultery.
Cheaters often realize the effect of cheating in relationships once the damage is done. Which is sad as the relationships then can be difficult to recover and repair.
Counseling can be helpful for people who have a pattern of being unfaithful to their partners.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships Read more and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.
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