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‘Infidelity: The Pitfall of Relationships’ (Pt:2)

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Consequences of Infidelity

Counselling literature reveals many psychological and emotional problems that infidelity leaves in its wake. In many cases, these struggles can continue for years. In some cases, the residual effects of the experience may persist indefinitely. Among the most commonly reported consequences of infidelity are:{{more}}

1. Injury to self-image

2. Injury to self-confidence

3. Injury to sexual confidence

4. Loss of trust and belonging

5. Loss of respect

6. Feelings of helplessness and abandonment

7. Feelings of depression

8. Feelings of anxiety

9. Feelings of humiliation

10. Feelings of rage

11. Feelings of shame, guilt and blameworthiness

12. Feelings of undesirability and insecurity

13. Feelings of hostility and vengeance

Characteristics of a cheater

SEXUAL-SOPHISTICATION: People with active sex lives prior to a committed relationship have a hard time settling down. They’re far more likely to stray outside a relationship than someone who’s had little sexual experience.

RISK-ATTRACTION: Some people find cheating a thrill. The excitement, deception and intrigue drives them. When presented with an opportunity to cheat, they just can’t seem to resist. They need constant watching because it’s always easy for them to cheat.

PARENTAL CHEATING: This is not to say cheating is genetic. But it tends to run in families. A child raised in a household where cheating took place often grows up and considers it normal for partners to be unfaithful to one another.

OCCASIONAL CHEATERS HAVE… BAD MANNERS: When a person is discourteous regarding say, a simple ‘’thank you’’ or appropriate ‘’excuse me,’’ it’s because they simply are not considerate of others. Some cheaters simply don’t have regard for anyone’s feelings but their own. Someone who always puts himself/herself first is unlikely to consider how cheating is going to make their partner feel. They’re just downright rude.

OPPOSITE-SEX “PALS” A cheater often has lots of close friendships with members of the opposite sex, including ex-lovers. It only takes one of those best-friend situations to blossom into an affair and destroy an existing relationship. This person feels if you’re ‘’just friends,’’ it’s safe to cheat and you probably won’t get caught.

CHEATING PEERS “Birds of a feather flock together.” A person who hangs around with people who cheat is soon to be cheating as well. There’s an ‘unwritten code’ among cheaters; they support each other’s exploits and often share secrets about their sexual encounters.

SERIAL CHEATERS HAVE… “CHEATING-IT IS”: This person cheats at everything in most areas of their life. They lie not only to their lovers, but to their parents and friends as well. When they were students, they probably cheated on tests and stole books from the library. A toxic flaw in this person is the constant white lie. Someone who tells lots of lies about little things usually lies about big things too.

PAST CHEATING: “History tends to repeat itself, and tigers don’t change their stripes.” Sure, there’s such a thing as a reformed cheater, but it’s rare, and only after extensive psychotherapy or a life-changing cataclysm.

Dr Miller is Health Psychologist at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital