8 Ways an Affair Can Affect Your Mental and Physical Health

8 Ways an Affair Can Affect Your Mental and Physical Health : Finding out that your spouse has been having an affair is just awful, and it comes with plenty of complications, affecting both your mental and sexual health. In this article, we’re going to talk about all the implications that an affair can impose on a person.

If your partner has had an affair, you’ll probably know that it can be heart-breaking. When you love and care for someone, you don’t expect them to hurt you this way. It can not only be emotionally and physically draining, but also practically draining too.

Often adultery leads to divorce, and when selecting a reason for divorce, it could be adultery if you are separated. However, adultery can be hard to prove and make the process considerably longer than needs be. So, you could also apply for divorce under another reason, such as ‘unreasonable behaviour’.

Despite this, that doesn’t mean that the adultery won’t be hurtful. So, if you’re suffering from your spouse having an affair, read on to find out all the ways you can expect it to affect both your mental and physical health, and some tips to help you cope. Let’s find out more…

How Can an Affair Affect Your Mental Health?

Mental health is usually the first thing to be affected once you are aware of your spouse’s infidelity. It can hurt a lot, and leave you wondering why and how someone who supposedly loves you can do such a hurtful thing. Because of this, it can have a mental impact in multiple ways, including:

  1. Confidence
    No matter how confident of a person you might be, an affair can completely shatter your confidence. It leaves you wondering if it was something that you have caused, thinking you aren’t attractive enough, slim enough, curvy, muscular, and more.
  2. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
    Many health professionals believe that there is a link between those who suffer from PTSD and have had their spouse or ex-spouse have an affair. PTSD can stick with a person for a long time and affect other aspects of their life, such as family relationships, work, and general day to day life.
  3. Anxiety
    Anxiety is a common experience that arises after you’re aware that you have been cheated on. It not only affects how you mentally feel, but it also has physical side effects too, such as headaches, stomach aches, nausea, loss of appetite, and/or overeating.
  4. Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms
    Sometimes, infidelity can lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as eating disorders and substance abuse, all because of the impact it has had on our mental health. A study of 232 college students found that women who blamed themselves were more likely to turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms.
  5. Depression
    There’s no doubt that depression is a commonly occurring factor of an affair. With feelings of sadness, hurt, heartbreak, and more, it can eat away at you and really affect how you mentally feel.
depression is a commonly occurring factor of an affair
depression is a commonly occurring factor of an affair

How Can an Affair Affect Your Sexual Health?

Depending on whether you choose to stay with your spouse or not, your sexual health could be affected. It can be hard to want to have sex with your spouse again after their affair, resulting in it affecting your sex life together.

For those who choose to go their separate ways, one-night stands are often the result of a spouse’s affair. Being hurt can lead us to do all sorts of things, including non-meaningful sex, which imposes consequences in itself, such as STIs and pregnancy. Let’s take a closer look at these potential consequences…

  1. STIs
    Lots of unprotected sex can lead to catching STIs, which can be serious on your general health, but also on your sexual health, especially if left untreated or if it’s an irreversible STI. This may also happen if you are unaware of the affair, and your partner brings home an STI that you then catch.
  2. Pregnancy
    Sexual intercourse when a person is not emotionally stable is often done without thinking of the repercussions, especially when not using protection. It can lead to unwanted pregnancies with a person you might not even know the name of.
  3. Depression Decreases Sexual Interests
    For some people, they might not be interested in having meaningless sex with other people. Instead, they could be feeling unhappy and might be suffering from depression. Depression often decreases libido and interest in sex, meaning that the potential to lose your sex drive completely is high.

Adultery Can Also Affect the Mental and Physical Health of the Adulterer

An affair doesn’t only affect the person who has been cheated on. It can also affect the mental and physical health of the person who committed the affair, especially if their partner isn’t aware of it. For example, some of the effects it can have on your mental health can include:

  • Constant Guilt
  • Fear of getting caught
  • Mental exhaustion
  • Damaged self-esteem

How Can You Overcome Your Spouse’s Affair?

Some people may find it easy enough to forgive and forget, and yes, by that, we mean some will choose to stick with their spouse. This is, of course, okay if you can make it work and come back stronger together.

Of course, it won’t be the same for every single person. Some might not be able to forgive as easily or at all, and that’s perfectly okay too, but that doesn’t mean your problems are automatically solved.

It will take time to heal, and you will need to put the effort in to overcome them, especially if you don’t want it to impact your mental and physical health in the long-run. It may also affect how you view your next relationship, or men or woman in general. An affair can seriously take a toll on you, your self-esteem and trust (which really can impact future relationships). So, what can you do?

Ask them why

Affairs commonly happen because people are unhappy in their marriage. In a survey of 5,000 UK people, the top reasons stated by women were:

  • Lack of emotional intimacy (84%)
  • Lack of communication (75%)
  • Tiredness (32%)
  • Bad history with sex/abuse (26%)
  • Lack of sexual interest with their partner (23%)

Similarly, men’s top reasons were:

  • Lack of communication (68%)
  • Stress (63%)
  • Sexual dysfunction with their partner (44%)
  • Lack of emotional intimacy (38%)
  • Fatigue (31%)

When people are unhappy in their marriage, it often leads to an affair because they are afraid to leave, perhaps for security, or scared they won’t find love again. Talking about it will help; it might hurt, of course, but at least there is some sort of communication that can help you put it behind you, or help you to move on from the situation and the person.

Remove yourself from the situation

Truthfully, although it might be hard, removing yourself from the situation can be the best thing to do. An affair breaks trust, and relationships need trust to work. If not, it will only leave you concerned and constantly overthinking about your spouse’s whereabout. It isn’t healthy to be worried all the time, but unfortunately, that is likely to be what happens.

An affair breaks trust
An affair breaks trust

Ready to Face Up to Your Affair?

So, to conclude, it is evident that an affair really can tear people’s lives and families apart, mentally, sexually, and physically.

What are your thoughts on how an affair affects people? Be sure to comment your thoughts below.


Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained medical professional. Be sure to consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if you’re seeking medical or mental health advice, diagnoses, or treatment. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.







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8 Ways an Affair Can Affect Your Mental and Physical Health

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