The Marriage.com Editorial Team is a group of experienced relationship writers, experts, and mental health professionals. We provide practical and research-backed advice on relationships. Our content is thoroughly reviewed by experts to ensure that we offer high-quality and reliable relationship advice.
When it comes to dealing with heartbreakor breaking up in a romantic relationship, it doesn’t matter whether you’re the one who’s been dumped or the one who 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 ina 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 common in cases of 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 thequality 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.
What are the signs of hysterical bonding?
Hysterical bonding is a phenomenon where a person seeks to re-establish intimacy with their partner immediately following a traumatic event, such as an affair. This intense, often sexual, connection can be seen as an attempt to heal or reclaim the relationship.
Understanding the hysterical bonding definition helps in recognizing these behaviors, especially hysterical bonding after an affair, as a coping mechanism rather than a solution to underlying relationship issues. Here are some signs of hysterical bonding:
Increased desire for closeness: An overwhelming need to be close to the partner who strayed, often physically and emotionally.
Heightened sexual activity: A sudden spike in sexual encounters, which can be more about reclaiming connection than genuine desire.
Fear of losing the partner: The fear that not bonding or reconnecting immediately will result in the partner leaving permanently.
Ignoring underlying issues: Temporarily overlooking or dismissing the reasons behind the affair or trauma in favor of immediate reconciliation.
Emotional volatility: Experiencing rapid swings in emotions, from anger and betrayal to love and desperation, often without resolution.
What causes hysterical bonding: 7 factors
Hysterical bonding is a complex emotional phenomenon often triggered by relationship trauma. Understanding its causes is crucial for those seeking how to stop hysterical bonding.
Studies on attachment and trauma provide insight into similar behaviors. For instance, a study in the Journal of Psychology explores how traumatic events can intensify emotional attachments, offering a foundation for understanding the mechanisms behind 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 an 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 ofa 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 weren’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
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 are 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 otherdistinct 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:
7. Being in shock and denial
Shock and denial following a traumatic relationship event, like infidelity, can lead to hysterical bonding as individuals struggle to accept reality. This emotional turmoil propels them towards an intense, often temporary, reconnection to maintain a sense of normalcy.
The duration of hysterical bonding varies, leaving many wondering, “How long does hysterical bonding last?” Typically, it lasts until the initial shock fades and acceptance begins to set in, prompting a more realistic assessment of the relationship’s future.
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.
What happens when hysterical bonding ends varies; for some, it may lead to a deeper understanding and strengthening of the relationship, while for others, it might mean recognizing the need for separation. Let’s understand how do you move past hysterical bonding in your relationship.
Acknowledge the situation: Recognize that hysterical bonding is a response to trauma. Acknowledging the situation allows you to understand the emotions driving your actions.
Seek professional help: A therapist can provide guidance on how to stop hysterical bonding, offering strategies to deal with the emotional aftermath of relationship trauma.
Focus on healing: Prioritize your emotional well-being. Engage in activities that promote healing and self-discovery, away from the relationship’s immediate pressures.
Communicate openly: Honest communication with your partner about your feelings and fears is crucial. It helps to address the root causes of the trauma and begin the healing process together.
Set boundaries: Establishing clear boundaries with your partner can prevent the recurrence of behaviors that led to hysterical bonding, fostering a healthier interaction.
Explore the root causes: Understanding the underlying issues in the relationship or personal insecurities that contributed to hysterical bonding is key to preventing future occurrences.
Give it time: Healing from the emotional intensity of hysterical bonding takes time. Patience with yourself and your partner is crucial as you navigate through the complexities of your emotions and relationship.
How to deal with hysterical bonding: 9 practical ways
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 not to do that would be time adequate time tofocus 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.
6. Rebuild trust gradually
Trust is the foundation of any relationship, and after an affair, rebuilding it is crucial. Start with small, consistent actions that demonstrate commitment and reliability. Rebuilding trust is a slow process but essential for moving beyond hysterical bonding and fostering a healthier relationship dynamic.
7. Establish new relationship goals
Together with your partner, define new goals for your relationship. This can help shift the focus from the past to the future, creating a shared vision that both of you are committed to. Setting goals can also provide a roadmap for the healing journey ahead.
8. Engage in joint activities
Participating in activities or hobbies that both partners enjoy can help rebuild the connection lost through the trauma of infidelity. These shared experiences can foster positive interactions, reduce stress, and create new, happy memories together, counteracting the negative cycle of hysterical bonding.
9. Practice open communication
Open and honest communication is key to overcoming hysterical bonding. Discuss your fears, desires, and expectations without judgment. This transparency can help both partners understand each other better and work through the issues that led to the hysterical bonding, paving the way for a more authentic and supportive relationship.
The complex emotions and reactions following relationship trauma can lead to many questions, especially around the concept of hysterical bonding. Understanding these responses can help individuals cope more effectively. Here are some clear, concise answers to frequently asked questions on the topic.
How long can hysterical bonding last?
Hysterical bonding can last from a few days to several weeks. The duration varies greatly depending on the individuals involved and the underlying issues being addressed. As the initial shock and denial fade, the intense connection typically diminishes, leading to a more stable emotional state.
What is hysterical bonding after he cheated?
Hysterical bonding after he cheated refers to an intense, often sexual, reconnection initiated by the betrayed partner. This reaction aims to reclaim the emotional and physical connection lost due to infidelity, acting as a coping mechanism to deal with the pain and shock of the betrayal.
Can men get hysterical?
Yes, men can experience what might be termed as “hysterical” reactions, including intense emotional responses and behaviors, in situations of extreme stress or trauma. The term is not gender-specific and relates more to a state of emotional turmoil than to any inherent trait.
Is hysteria a female trait?
No, hysteria is not a female trait. Historically, hysteria was a diagnosis disproportionately applied to women, but today, it’s understood that emotional distress and extreme reactions to stress are not confined to any gender. Emotional responses to trauma are human experiences, not gender-specific traits.
Who is a hysterical personality?
A “hysterical personality” is an outdated term that was once used to describe individuals who exhibit overly dramatic and emotional behaviors. Modern psychology has moved away from such labels, recognizing that these behaviors can stem from various psychological conditions and are not indicative of a specific personality type.
Moving beyond hysterical bonding
Embracing the strategies outlined above can significantly aid in navigating through and overcoming hysterical bonding. By applying these methods, you’re taking positive steps towards healing and improving the quality of your romantic relationships, ensuring a healthier and more fulfilling connection with your partner.
The Marriage.com Editorial Team is a group of experienced relationship writers, experts, and mental health professionals. We provide practical and research-backed advice on relationships. Our content is thoroughly reviewed by experts Read more to ensure that we offer high-quality and reliable relationship advice. Read less
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