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7 Ways Being Unfaithful Changes You & Your Relationship For Good

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7 Ways Being The Cheating Spouse Changes You & Your Marriage Forever
Love, Heartbreak

It affects you more deeply than you might think.

Experiencing the thrill of infidelity changes everything. On one hand, the world seems more vibrant and you feel more alive than you’ve felt in years. On the other, the relationship you’ve spent so long building is suddenly in peril of being destroyed because of the choice you made to stray.

These wildly divergent realities of your life put tension and strain on every single part of your existence. And the pressure will change you in myriad ways.

RELATED: 5 Men Reveal How They Felt After Cheating On Their Wives

Here is how cheating changes you and your relationship's future.

1. You will be humiliated

At some point, most, if not all of the people in your life catch on to what is happening.

You have failed to protect and defend the very values you swore to honor, and everyone knows. Even people who don’t know you seem to know. And God forbid the news hits social media.

2. Your spouse has permanent ammunition against you

No matter your reasons for straying or your efforts toward penance, you will always be "the one who cheated".

Your spouse may use that sin as a dumping ground for everything involving blame, anger, judgment, and abuse.

3. Your children may blame you

Children will not know how to properly process their fears and sense of loss without professional help, especially if they know something damning about one or both parents.

Even as adults, they may reach back and blame you for their own choices or unfulfilled lives.

4. You can’t trust others to be loyal to you

As you try to balance your ability to cheat on your spouse against what you know to be a personal core of goodness, you have to face the irony.

If you are capable of doing something so unthinkable, what’s to keep someone else from doing the same to you?

RELATED: 5 Things That Make Cheating SO Common In Marriage (Says Science)

5. Everything you do is questioned

You know you can’t blame your spouse for not trusting you, but you also can’t live forever under a microscope. Short of having a spouse-appointed chaperone, you will always have the company of "who, what, where, when, and why."

If you and your spouse decide to work on your marriage, you will have to be painfully, humbly transparent while your spouse inches toward a new kind of trust. And that means answering a lot of questions.

6. You lose credibility

You may do a lot of soul-searching to answer for your infidelity and take responsibility for it but there will always be those who resort to the "once a cheater always a cheater" conclusion.

7. Your confidence may get a boost

During the affair, that is. After all, neuroscience reminds us that people who are addicted are seeking a dopamine rush. And settling into a long marriage isn’t known for those feel-good jolts.

An affair, on the other hand, can reawaken the confidence that comes from a dopamine rush. However, as with an addiction, that confidence can easily come crashing down in a pile of guilt. And that guilt can play a huge role in your attitudes and behaviors going forward.

RELATED: 8 Fundamental Ways Being Cheated On Changes You

Dr. Karen Finn is a divorce and life coach who helps people decide for themselves how they will survive infidelity. You can learn more about Karen and her work by visiting her website.

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Expert