When it comes to dealing with heartbreak or breaking up in a romantic relationship, it doesn’t matter whether you’re the one who’s been dumped or you initiated the breakup. It hurts either way.
But let’s focus on infidelity in romantic relationships. This is where the concept of hysterical bonding comes into the picture. When it comes to the phenomenon of hysterical bonding, although it is a relatively less explored topic, it’s very important to learn about hysterical bonding after cheating.
If you’ve found out that your beloved has cheated on you, this realization can take a major toll on you. Infidelity in romance can open a person up to a plethora of overwhelming emotions.
The common reaction to infidelity in romantic relationships is to experience overwhelming grief, physical pain, confusion, sadness, rage, etc. However, sometimes, people who have been cheated on by their romantic partners may experience an entirely different range of emotions.
This is where the phenomenon of hysterical bonding becomes significant. So, if you’ve recently been cheated on by your beloved and you’re not experiencing the normal range of emotions and reactions that you should be, read on. You may even wonder: how long does the hysterical bonding phase last?
It’s definitely worth your while to learn about what is hysterical bonding, some pertinent causes of hysterical bonding after the affair, overcoming it, and more.
When it comes to hysterical bonding, although it hasn’t been extensively researched, it is a phenomenon that is quite easy to relate to.
Simply put, when you are in a romantic relationship and your partner betrays you by cheating on you, you may have this strong desire to win them back. This is because you may feel a strong attraction towards your beloved after they have cheated on you.
The deep desire to win back one’s partner’s affections post infidelity is called hysterical bonding. This is most commonly with respect to the infidelity of a sexual nature.
So, the one who has been betrayed sexually by their beloved indulges in sexual experimentation with their partner. Increased frequency of sex and the feeling that the quality of sexual intimacy is better are often associated with hysterical bonding.
Let’s look into the various signs of the phenomenon of hysterical bonding after an emotional affair and/or sexual affairs. Here are the signs:
You may find yourself ruminating about the specifics of the sexual infidelity encounter(s).
Strong feelings of self-doubt may be experienced by the one who has been cheated on.
You may feel this deep urge to forgive your partner no matter what they do, just so that they’ll stick around.
You strongly wish to do whatever it takes to win your beloved back.
You resort to sexual experimentation to win back your partner.
You feel that your sex life has improved significantly.
You find yourself initiating sex more often. Greater assertiveness in the bedroom.
You keep thinking about the infidelity incident(s) constantly, no matter what.
How do you get over hysterical bonding?
A significant question that is raised with regard to hysterical bonding is- Is hysterical bonding good or bad? You may find yourself plagued with this question, especially if you’re thinking about overcoming this phenomenon.
Common sense dictates that if a tendency is good, there’s no point in overcoming it. Embracing it makes sense. However, if a tendency is maladaptive to your being, the right thing to do would be to try and overcome it.
Let’s understand how hysterical bonding happens. The desire to win back your beloved after they’ve cheated on you may come from a place of feeling like you weren’t good enough for your beloved affections.
So, low self-esteem facilitates this tendency. You may feel like your partner cheated on you because of something you did.
But the fact is that when it comes to being cheated on, it is something that your partner has done that doesn’t have anything to do with you or anything that you did.
So, the main way to process infidelity adaptively is to understand and accept that you had nothing to do with what has happened.
Let’s get into the key causes of hysterical bonding:
1. Processing the infidelity (in terms of forgiving your partner)
Although it is a great idea to take enough time to slowly process the infidelity that you’ve been subjected to, your end goal is essential here. If your end goal is about forgiving your partner for the betrayal as soon as possible, then you’ll likely engage in hysterical bonding.
Although the end goal of being cheated on is definitely forgiveness, remember that forgiveness should be for you. You need to remember that your partner took a decision that could result in them losing you.
2. Belief that impressive sex life is key to commitment
Yes, satisfactory sex life is very important in a romantic relationship. For sure. But sex isn’t the only important aspect of a long-term committed relationship. You may also be under the impression that your significant other was not satisfied with the sexual intimacy in the relationship.
You may attribute the infidelity to unsatisfactory sex life. That’s why people engage in hysterical bonding and try to compensate for their perceived lack of sexual satisfaction through sexual experimentation.
3. You find your partner to be very desirable
A lot of people often believe that their partner cheating on them means that their partner must be a very desirable and attractive person to others.
These people believe that if their partner wasn’t considered to be sexy and sexually desirable by others, infidelity wouldn’t have been possible. This, in turn, makes the partner who has been cheated on engage in hysterical bonding tendencies.
4. You may attribute the infidelity to something you’ve done
Low self-esteem (from one or both individuals in a romantic relationship) can lead to a lot of issues in the relationship. If the partner who has been a victim of relationship betrayal in the form of sexual/emotional infidelity has low self-esteem, they may believe that they weren’t good enough for their partner.
Such people may try to compensate for this by engaging in hysterical bonding with their partner because they think that they were the cause of the infidelity.
5. “Claim back” your beloved
People who tend to resort to hysterical bonding often believe that there are certain ways to mark one’s territory in matters of romance. In the face of infidelity, such people may think that a great way to claim back their beloved is by having sex with them. Hence, hysterical bonding.
Many people are under the impression that the term intimacy is synonymous with sex. Although sex is a crucial part of intimacy, there are other distinct forms of intimacy.
Sex alone isn’t an adequate replacement for connection and/or intimacy. Have a look at this video for an insightful take on sex and intimacy:
Hysterical bonding is something that isn’t gender-specific. Your sex and gender don’t matter. All the aforementioned causes may explain why you engage in hysterical bonding. So, the answer to “do men experience hysterical bonding after an affair?” is yes.
5 ways to deal with hysterical bonding
Now that you’re well aware of the potential causes of hysterical bonding, you’re ready to learn about some proven remedies to overcome this tendency. Here are 5 proven ways to successfully cope with and overcome hysterical bonding:
1. Process your feelings
The thing about hysterical bonding is that along with the weird feelings, you also experience the common feelings associated with a breakup.
Not rushing through the processing part of the infidelity is essential. Even if your beloved is begging you for forgiveness, don’t rush through it. This is about you.
2. Focus on yourself
When you’ve been cheated on and you experience the tendency to engage in sexual experimentation, a great way to not do that would be time adequate time to focus on yourself. Engaging in mindfulness-based self-care habits is a great option.
As mentioned earlier, focus on forgiving yourself first. Your priority doesn’t need to be about forgiving your partner first. It’s about you.Think about other options that are available for you in terms of other potential partners.
4. Take time apart
Behaving as if nothing has changed and everything is A-okay with your partner immediately after the infidelity is really not the way to go. It sets the perfect situation for hysterical bonding to occur.
One of the best things that you can do for yourself to adaptively cope with hysterical bonding is by opting for psychotherapy. The experience of working with an unbiased, trained, mental health expert is unparalleled.
Remember these aforementioned tactics for overcoming hysterical bonding. It will help you get better in your romantic relationships.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.