Not to diminish the powerless, vulnerable feeling of pain and confusion that comes from having the person you gave your love and trust to cheat on you, but there are, however, natural consequences for the person who caused the pain, that leaves them in a powerless position that can follow them far beyond the dastardly act itself. Let’s look at the flip side: the consequences of "being a cheater."
Being the cheater, you just gave someone permission and ammunition to judge you without restraint, as well as opened yourself up to interminable abuse, manipulation and justifiable anger. Being held responsible for every bad feeling someone else has from this day forward. Having someone feel the right to question every decision you make. Being humiliated in the eyes of your family, friends, co-workers and children.
Not only can your spouse now blame you for every bad thing that happens to them and every problem in your relationship, but your children get to blame you too. If they cheat, or their spouse cheats on them, that will also be your fault. When they are sitting on the therapist’s couch unmarried, unloved and childless at 44, you will be the reason they can't trust or make and keep commitments.
You are defined by your actions which are subject to the absolute concepts: "Once a cheater, always a cheater" AND "How you do anything is how you do everything."
You make one bad judgment and it never goes away. People will sooner forgive a drunk driver for killing someone if they say they'll never drive drunk again than they will forgive you for cheating on someone you love, because if you are willing to hurt and betray the one person you are supposed to love more than anything else, no one is going to really believe that you won't hurt or betray them.
All your accomplishments are suddenly overshadowed by one misdeed. You could have successfully saved the free world from destruction, but what you will be remembered for is a misplaced cigar and semen stained dress.
While as a whole and complete multi-faceted person, you may not deserve the notoriety that completely obliterates your trust worthiness and personal relevance, you did earn that notoriety, because you betrayed a sacred trust and violated, not just your marriage vows, but the code of loyalty within a family. If you didn't put them first, who will? If you didn't put them first, who did you put first? If you were only loyal to yourself in the context of your family, how can you be relied upon to have loyalty to anyone else?
You singlehandedly cast doubt within every relationship in your circle of influence. If cheating entered your relationship, couldn't it enter theirs? Who did you drag into this with you? Did you ask friends to cover for your lies?
You won't be able to trust others to be loyal to you. You know you are a good person at your core, with some stellar qualities deep down, and if you did this, anyone can. If you could violate a sacred trust and hurt someone you love in such a deeply damaging way, what's to stop them or anyone from doing it to you?
You won't be able to step outside of the stigma. Fearing that just when you think you're making headway, this is going to rear it's ugly head again and ruin all the progress you have made, and are trying to make, in your life and relationship. Worrying, will they find that old email, or see the other person at a party? Will today be the day that something triggers my spouse to remember that I messed up before? Keep reading...
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