If You’re Thinking About Cheating, Read This First

Flickr / Khánh Hmoong
Flickr / Khánh Hmoong

Cheating and affairs are common — more so than you might think, and it has never been easier for a married man or woman to hook up for sex outside of their marriage. If your partner is displaying these 10 signs, chances are they’re one of them.

This article might seem uncomfortable for some readers, because it will resonate closely with their own personal reality. While there is a lot to talk about when it comes to affairs, I’m only going to focus on one specific area: the emotional impact on the person having the affair.

We ALL make mistakes.
 
It’s especially painful when a person who believes they are honest, trustworthy and have integrity makes a mistake which violates their own beliefs. 

You might say the cheater broke a vow or a promise made to their partner, but this is different.
I often see the consequences of affairs in my private coaching practice. Not only do I help piece struggling marriages back together, I also help to restore self-confidence and self-worth in the process.

If you’re having an affair — or thinking about having an affair — here’s what you need to know:

We all have certain beliefs about ourselves, and these beliefs become our personal identities. They are the foundation and cornerstones of who we think we are as individuals. This makes us different, unique and special.

We all deeply desire to remain consistent with how we see ourselves because, if we aren’t, we begin to shake the core foundation of our identity.

Not surprisingly, the outcomes of a fragile emotional foundation are NOT pleasant.

For example: You see yourself as a good person. You believe that you are honest. You believe that you are trustworthy. You believe that you are a person of character and integrity…

Let’s say you’re cheating, yet still believe you’re trustworthy, honest and have integrity. You superficially cling to this belief, and defend it within — rationalizing anything to yourself in order to keep yourself from this truth:

Part of you knows that you cannot be trustworthy in one area of your life, cheat and lie in another and still call yourself a person of integrity.

This creates an internal conflict.

As you attempt to suppress and avoid thoughts around this fact, you open the door to very personal pain. You can rationalize your cheating all you want, but part of your mind will recognize the internal conflict. And it won’t be fun.

So you live the lie, tell yourself that you are still the same person and that none of this has tarnished or lessened you in any way … to YOURSELF.

When you add more lies to cover up that area of deceit, eventually, it all begins to unravel your self-worth — resulting in anger, guilt, sadness and emptiness.

And this is the aftermath that I see with my clients.

Often you misdirect your anger towards the person that you cheated on, as a way to deflect being so disappointed and upset with yourself. While you might repeat any number of untruths to yourself, sooner or later you will be trying to mask and deal with your own pain.
In my experience and observations, until you reconnect with or re-build who you really are, you will not find much happiness and inner peace.

Until you accept what you have done to yourself and are able to forgive yourself, you will not feel free. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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