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Can Being Cheated On Cause Trauma?

Trauma can be caused by a number of life-changing incidents, such as the sudden loss of a close friend or loved one, witnessing an accident, and abuse in any form, for example. However, you can also experience trauma in your personal relationships: for instance, some of us will have been cheated on by a partner, or know someone who has experienced this.

There are numerous emotions that you will experience if you realize that your partner has cheated on you, and they’re all valid. The following are only some of the feelings that you may experience during this difficult time, and, if you do, then you shouldn’t hesitate to seek support so that you don’t have to struggle.

You can experience physical pain

Any type of heartbreak can induce pain. Being betrayed, as well as going through a relationship break-up, can be emotionally and physically painful because these events activate the part of the brain that can react to physical discomfort.

A University of Michigan study showed that, in its volunteers, the secondary somatosensory cortex and the dorsal posterior insula areas of the brain were activated during both mild physical pain and when seeing pictures of recent former partners. These parts of the brain are connected to processing pain sensations, and appear to be part of a person’s discomfort at rejection or social exclusion.

You may develop ruminations and obsessions

Rumination is a tendency to overthink upon certain situations, and in turn causes the individual to replay the emotional experience repetitively in their head. This can be extremely unhealthy and unhelpful at such a stressful and fraught time.

Part of the reason why someone may do this is due to the addictive nature of love and physical attraction, and how humans respond to its removal. Obsession is easy to slip into after a break up, which is why it’s a good idea to remove and unfollow your ex across your social media accounts.

You feel anxious

Experiencing anxiousness or being on edge are likely to take hold if you’ve found out your partner has cheated on you. This is because you’re unsettled and your life as you know it is hanging in the balance. Deceit can make you second guess yourself and lose self-confidence in your abilities rapidly, which is why it’s a good idea to remember that this is not your fault, but your partner’s.

Feeling anxious is entirely justified, and remind yourself that what you’re feeling is all part of the healing process. Yet, if this continues for some time even after you have become more settled, then you should consider seeking help. You may also wish to look into ways to lessen the symptoms of anxiety in the meantime by learning how to self-soothe in the way of breathing techniques, exercise, distraction methods, and taking care of yourself.

You blame yourself

Self-blame is a common after-effect of cheating, and you may have questions about why it happened. You shouldn’t ever blame yourself for your partner’s mistake, they are the one who ultimately took the decision to deceive you.

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