Many people have either cheated on their partner or have been cheated on. Let’s have a quick chat about where you are and how you might feel.
For the “Considering It”
You may feel your partner isn’t giving you what you need or deserve. You may find yourself obsessing about all of the bad things your partner does. All of the things that bug you about this person are at the tip of your mind. Maybe you think it’s all their fault that you are not getting what you want. Maybe you are trolling those sites that promise “easy hookups” or someone at work caught your eye. You feel depressed or angry with yourself or your mate. You want to feel important and valued. You feel that your spouse doesn’t appreciate you. Note to those in the Considering It category: If you and your partner have made a commitment to one another through commitment ceremony, marriage, or verbally and you both agreed not to see other people please consider reading some of these resources before you take steps to cheat. Then decide what to do. You have options: Try to talk about any issues, go to counseling, or end the relationship. You can’t undo an affair once you go down that path.
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Chemistry of Love or read a short article here by this author that explains the basics: Article
After the Affair – This is good to read if you are considering an affair because you get a view from both sides and it takes you through some feelings you could be having now.
For the “cheater”
Maybe you feel great about having a new mate if you are in the beginning/beginning middle of an affair. You might feel alive, strong, and happier than ever like life is the best you have experienced before. You might also feel angry and justified because your mate isn’t meeting your needs. You could even feel some guilt here and there because you understand that you are potentially doing a lot of damage to someone you love/loved. Maybe you decide to end up with the person you had an affair with. It’s still good to understand the phases of love so you realize that you an the new person may go through something similar in the future. A note to you: Please be honest once it all comes out, because it’s probably going to all come out. You might be afraid, but do it anyway. Yes you probably told some very stupid lies, admit them anyway. Good people do things they regret and the choices you have now are all in your hands. If you regret it, live a life moving forward with different choices. Yes you made a bad choice, yes it could ruin a long term relationship. You can use it to beat yourself up or you can choose to learn from it and grow to be a better person. Don’t let this be a pattern, learn how your brain changes when “in love”.
Article – Read about brain chemistry during the “falling in love” phase.
For the “cheated”:
You might feel like you are going crazy. Everything you thought you knew is no longer valid and it makes you question your life, what is real? What can you believe anymore? You might feel like it is the end of the world as if you are on a small float in the middle of the ocean and it keeps getting smaller while sharks circle. You may feel hurt way more than you thought possible. Anger, the desire for revenge, and the desire to punish the person might pop up for you. You may want to die, or to hurt someone. A special note to you: You are not alone. If you feel anger to the point of taking action against yourself or someone else, please get help. Talk to a counselor. Know that there are people out there who understand the blinding pain you are experiencing and who have lived through it. You. Are. Not. Alone. Life can get better if you let yourself experience the pain and grief and know life loves you through it. As Wadsworth alluded to the sun remember even though your life seems to be covered in dark evil clouds right now the sun is still shining behind the clouds. Breathe. Know you are loved.
No matter where you are on this list, many of the books linked are good to read to fully understand the topic and/or to help yourself work through an affair.