Why is infidelity so painful?

“You have broken my heart.”

Your partner’s betrayal hits the very core of who you are.

Perhaps the infidelity was a one-off event that happened on a drunken evening, or it was entirely deliberate – months or years of texts, phone calls, romantic dinners, and of course, sex. Maybe it was a deeply emotional connection with another person, or it was a one-night stand with different partners.

Not only do you have pain, but also stressful questions: “How could you?” And “When did it start?” and the deeper question: “Why?”

I can’t tell you why your partner did this – this question is examined beyond the scope of this article – but I can tell you why it hurts so much.

We are so connected.

That means we’re hardwired for the connection.

As children we tried to bond with our caregivers and it has already been said that in romantic relationships we try to regain some of that unconditional love that we hopefully experienced as children. When we had caring parents, they would respond to our cries for comfort and be told how sweet and sweet and lovable we were. To relive this care, romantic partners often call each other “baby”, “darling” and other adoring names.

When I say we are attached to others, I mean that we have an internal attachment system (or attachments) that works to approach those we love.

In his book Social: Why our brain is wired to connect Matthew Liberman writes: “When people experience threats or damage to their social bonds, the brain reacts in a similar way to physical pain.”

The pain we experience in betrayal often feels like an attack on our bodies. It hurts like hell It’s almost surprising how much it can hurt. And like a physical attack that causes deep wounds, betrayal makes us feel insecure.

This wasn’t the arrangement we made.

It is true that partners sometimes agree to an open marriage (whether you agree with this concept or not), but that’s not what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about a situation where two people have agreed to be monogamous. They agreed not to have sex with anyone outside of their marriage or relationship.

Sometimes the betraying spouse says to me, “I do would have to do it. My wife wouldn’t have sex with me. “Or,” I felt justified in the matter because I hold so much grudge against my husband. ” Neither of these defenses takes into account the fact that this was not your original agreement. You broke your partner’s trust. You weren’t honest You lied. You were wrong When you were unhappy, you had other options – to go, to get a divorce, to apply for couples therapy.

If you’ve hurt your partner, my goal is not to beat you up with guilt, but rather to show you why it was betrayal – and that you are unable to express the real empathy and remorse that you convey to yours have to be wounded partner until you declare the broken trust. Not only is your partner hurt, but they may also be deeply traumatized by your actions.

I feel like I don’t know this person anymore.

The betrayed partner says, “I thought I knew this person I made a commitment with, but now I wonder – really? What else am I going to find out? “

Perhaps you were set on fire by whoever had the affair. When you started to suspect infidelity and asked about it, you might say, “You are crazy! What’s wrong with you? You imagine things! ”

And now you are wondering if you really know this person. What else do you not know?

It will hurt.

I would like to say there is a quick fix, but usually you have to process the pain before it can heal.

Your betrayed partner may be in a hurry to get past it, but you will need time. You may have said, “I’m sorry,” many times, but if you can’t pass it, you are likely to experience symptoms of trauma.

Some betrayed partners experience nightmares, anxiety, irritability, flashbacks, brain fog, depression, and / or other symptoms. In this case, you will need a therapist who has specialized training to manage the trauma. One method I offer my clients is EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), which can work wonders to reprocess memories and sensations that have got stuck in the body.

Yes, the pain of infidelity is real. You are not crazy. No, it’s not fair that you need to see a therapist. You have done nothing wrong. But it is up to you to decide what to do about the pain you are dealing with. You will benefit greatly from having the help of a confidential, competent, and compassionate professional to help you heal.

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