15 Ways to Stop Overthinking After Being Cheated On
- Find Out Why You’re Overthinking. Thinking seriously about why you’re overthinking is important.
- Lean On Social Support.
- Work on Trust Issues.
- Practice Mindfulness.
- Try a New Environment.
- Work on Yourself.
- Positive Self-Talk.
- 1 Does the anxiety of being cheated on ever go away?
- 2 What being cheated on does to you mentally?
- 3 Can you get PTSD from being cheated on?
- 3.1 How do I let go of cheating anxiety?
- 3.2 7 Ways To Heal After Being Cheated On
- 3.3 How long does infidelity trauma last?
- 3.4 Why do I feel bad after being cheated on?
- 4 What are the 5 stages of grief after being cheated on?
- 5 What kind of trauma does cheating cause?
- 6 What does cheating say about a person?
- 7 Why do I have anxiety about getting cheated on?
Does the anxiety of being cheated on ever go away?
What happens mentally, after an affair – Dr. Dennis Ortman describes those who’ve discovered a partner’s affair as traumatized. Ortman names this trauma response Post-Infidelity Stress Disorder (PISD), in his 2009 book. You might experience symptoms consistent with post-traumatic stress,
Instead of a shock to your system, as with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), discovering cheating can be a mental shock to the system you’ve built as a couple. Ortman adds that phases of recovery from infidelity are not unlike the 5 stages of grief, Research shows that infidelity can also cause increased anxiety and depression, in addition to stress.
If you’ve been cheated on, it may take a long time to heal. It can cause you chronic anxiety, post-traumatic stress, depression, and mistrust of others for a long time after the event.
Is it normal to obsess after being cheated on?
Posted by Collaborative Counseling – If your partner has betrayed you through cheating or an affair, you may be experiencing flashbacks, excessive worry and memories. Here we will discuss what flashbacks and intrusive memories are and some ideas around how to overcome them.
- Following the discovery that your spouse has been cheating, it can be a difficult feat to begin to overcome the thoughts, anger, hurt and feelings associated with this type of betrayal.
- Some betrayed spouses report flashbacks and memories related to an affair.
- Things that can trigger flashbacks include spending time with your partner who cheated, romantic sounds, love stories, not hearing from your partner and sometimes they can just come out of the blue when you least expect it.
Being betrayed by a loved one can often be traumatic. Traumatic experiences can be followed by intrusive thoughts about the event such as images, thoughts and memories. Sometimes even images from the imagination can become intrusive. If you are struggling to overcome the discovery of an affair, here are some ways you can work to overcome thoughts and memories that are interfering with your daily life:
What being cheated on does to you mentally?
Mental health issues such as depression and anxiety have been linked to infidelity. A person may also experience relationship anxiety, which often results in a person feeling more insecure about themselves. It can also induce doubt towards one’s partner, and excessive worry that one will be cheated on again.
Can you get PTSD from being cheated on?
It’s OK to Feel Crazy – If you’ve been cheated on and now you feel like you’re going crazy, you’re not alone. In fact, the rage, tears, fear, pleading, vindictiveness, and emotional instability you’re feeling are an inevitable and expected response to being cheated on.
And this is not your fault, Research shows that betrayed partners, after learning that their significant other has strayed, typically experience stress, anxiety, and depressive symptoms characteristic of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). And yes, PTSD is the same debilitating disorder we see in battle-scarred soldiers.
Is it any wonder that you’re experiencing flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, hypervigilance, depression, mood swings, and an inability to focus on and manage basic tasks of day-to-day life? Stay Current with Seeking Integrity Subscribe to Our Newsletter We are committed to ensuring your confidentiality throughout any and all telephone, electronic (text/email) or written interactions.
How do I let go of cheating anxiety?
How to Not Worry or Overthink About Being Cheated On? Our intimate relationships can offer a great deal of fulfillment; however, when the worry of infidelity becomes circular and persistent, it slowly chips away at trust. It is exhausting to find yourself in this cycle despite knowing it’s unlikely your partner is cheating.
- One part of you wants to know for sure, while the other part is tired of this pursuit and wants to trust.
- Along with worry, racing thoughts, and anxiety, it’s common to experience anger, guilt, shame, and confusion.
- If you’re caught in this cycle, you’re not going “crazy” or “losing your mind,” even though it may feel like it.
You’re experiencing infidelity anxiety, and it’s very common. Luckily, science and the field of psychology have uncovered valuable insights into anxiety, and there’s a lot you can do to overcome it. In this article, I’ll explore why you may be experiencing these persistent worries and provide practical strategies to help you respond to anxiety in new ways that help decrease it long term.
Before jumping into strategies, it’s important to understand some key concepts. Thoughts, Feelings, and Behaviors Our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors all influence one another. For example, if you think, “What if my partner is cheating?” you may feel anxious and have an urge (behavior) to ask your partner for reassurance.
Think of it like the triangle below. When you’re emotionally triggered, it’s common for feelings, thoughts, and actions to blend into one. When this happens, you enter into autopilot mode, and emotions take complete control. Without realizing it, in an instant, you can jump from thinking, “What if she’s cheating?” to impulsively acting in a way that isn’t in line with your values: Blaming your partner, prying into social media accounts, or excessively asking for reassurance.
It is difficult to separate feelings from emotions from urges when you’re emotionally triggered. They become one, and you lose control. Many of the strategies I’ll introduce aim to increase your awareness of all three parts of the triangle. When you can identify and label each part, you turn off autopilot and gain more control.Let’s focus on thoughts and feelings more by exploring anxiety and worry.
Defining anxiety and worry Anxiety and worry often get used interchangeably. But they’re different. Worry is a cognitive process. It’s a process of mentally engaging with thoughts about future undesirable events. You can think of worry as a two-step process:
- For example, imagine watching a movie that involves infidelity in the storyline, and an automatic thought appears: “What if my partner did that?”
- This isn’t necessarily a worry just yet.
- Worry occurs when we engage and put energy into this automatic thought, for example:
Worrying is a choice, but often you don’t realize it because the automatic thought is so good at convincing you there is a real danger when there isn’t any danger. As a result, it feels reckless, even dangerous, to refrain from engaging with the automatic thought.
I’ll talk more about what you can do about worry but let’s first explore the feeling that often accompanies worry: anxiety. Anxiety is a feeling in our bodies. It’s what we feel when we get stuck in circular worry. We feel anxiety in all sorts of different ways. Here are just a few examples: Anxiety can hit at any time.
It can indicate a real threat, but most often, it’s a false alarm. That is to say, anxiety, more times than not, misleads us. The challenge with anxiety is that a false alarm and a truly dangerous situation feel the same. It’s impossible to distinguish the two from one another.
- This is why it’s so difficult to avoid acting on the urges when you’re anxious about your partner cheating, even though you logically know the probability of your partner cheating is low.
- Why would our brains mislead us? Our brain’s threat detection system keeps us alive and is highly effective at doing just that.
The only thing is, it’s terrible with accuracy and is constantly overreacting to situations. It works off the premise, “I don’t care about being right. I want to keep you alive. We’ll figure out the details later.” For example, you’re walking down the hall in your house, and a family member unexpectedly jumps out of a room.
- Before you’re consciously aware of what’s happening, your threat detection system kicks in, takes complete control, and forces you to jump back, increases your heart rate, and you scream.
- It all happens outside of your control.
- This is your threat detection system; even though it’s overreacting, it works properly.
It’s made to overreact. Another name for this is the “fight or flight” response. The tricky part about the threat detection system is that it doesn’t understand logic or language. So, even though you know that you’re perfectly safe, and no matter how much you try to convince your “fight or flight” response that it doesn’t need to react in certain situations, it won’t understand.
This is why it’s common for people who experience anxiety to feel like “I’m going crazy” or “I think my brain is broken.” They know there is nothing threatening, yet their brain is screaming, “Danger!” Now that you understand your brain’s threat detection system, let’s turn our attention to the overall goal of dealing with infidelity anxiety.
Anxiety and worry are incredibly uncomfortable, so it’s tempting to have the goal of getting rid of them entirely. Though it’s a nice fantasy to imagine a life free of worry and anxiety, they serve an essential function: Protection. Worry and anxiety about cheating are not always bad.
If there is clear evidence of infidelity, these processes serve as signals to take protective action. When we are in harm’s way, we want our brain’s threat detection system to activate and urge us to act in a manner that keeps us physically and emotionally safe. Because worry and anxiety protect us, it’s not wise to eliminate them.
We would be left extremely vulnerable to being harmed. Instead, our goal should be to acknowledge and allow these emotions to be present. At the same time, we assess and determine whether they are guiding us in a helpful or unhelpful direction. Anxiety is like a small child; it gets our attention when something important happens.
At the same time, it constantly overreacts, screaming and yelling when there is no danger. Even though a child constantly overreacts, we never want to put ourselves in a situation where we can’t hear his cries. If we do, eventually, he will get hurt or even worse. Instead, your job is to be the parent of the child.
You want to respond to his cries but don’t want to rush him to the hospital every time he screams. This approach allows you to benefit from the cries’ protective function while guarding against overreactions. One way to help find this balance is to understand what triggers your anxiety about cheating.
- And to understand the anxiety cycle.
- Triggers and the anxiety cycle By understanding what triggers our anxiety, we can better prepare for the overreactions.
- We all have things that trigger worry and anxiety.
- Some originate outside of us, while others come from within.
- An external event happens to us and originates outside of us.
It could be the action (or inaction) of a person, or it could be something that happens in our environment: You can think of anxiety, and its maintenance, as a step-by-step process: Why does decreasing anxiety in the short-term reinforce it long-term? Let’s go back to the threat detection system.
Remember, it doesn’t understand language; instead, it speaks the language of experience. It watches how you react when it sends you danger signals. Suppose you respond in ways consistent with danger (e.g., checking your partner’s text messages, asking for reassurance, blaming your partner for your feelings).
In that case, you teach the threat detection system that it’s accurate in the particular situation, unintentionally telling it, “Great job! You’re right about this being a danger. Continue sending me the same signals in the future.” You can think of a triggering event, external or internal, as a spark.
- Anxiety triggers – We might be able to reduce triggers in certain situations. However, ultimately, we don’t choose whether or not something triggers our threat detection system.
- Automatic thoughts – Automatic thoughts are just that, automatic and outside of our control.
- Partner’s behaviors – Even though anxiety may urge you to focus on your partner’s behaviors, ultimately, you can’t change your partner.
- Feelings – None of us choose how we feel. If you did, you wouldn’t need to read this article; you’d simply choose to feel a different way.
Things we DO have control over
Our reaction to anxiety – Considering everything, all we have control over is anxiety’s fuel: Choosing whether or not to engage in avoidant/protective behaviors or with worry thoughts when anxiety hits.
Focusing on what you have control over So often, when anxiety strikes, it’s a false alarm, and our focus is on trying to change or control the things we don’t have any control over. One of the best things you can do when feeling anxious about infidelity is to remind yourself what you have control over and focus your energy there.
- Let’s look a little closer at the thing you have control over: Your reaction to anxiety.
- Your reaction to anxiety
- Avoidant and protective behaviors are effective in the face of actual danger, but if it’s a false alarm, engaging in these behaviors only reinforces and intensifies the anxiety, perpetuating the cycle of anxiety.
- Let’s explore some common behaviors that anxiety often urges someone to engage in when dealing with infidelity anxiety:
- Withdrawing emotionally and avoiding your partner
- Seeking excessive reassurance from your partner
- Avoiding discussing your fear of infidelity with your partner or others
- Overanalyzing your partner’s behaviors.
- Constantly monitoring your partner’s activities.
- Attempting to control or restrict your partner’s actions.
- Constantly comparing yourself to others.
- Turning to alcohol or drugs to numb the anxiety.
- Excessively researching articles on the Internet reading about signs of cheating.
If it’s a false alarm, this is a list of protective behaviors you should probably avoid if you want to step out of the cycle of anxiety. It’s a paradox: When faced with a false alarm, seeking “safety” only serves to maintain the cycle, while accepting, embracing, and even welcoming the “danger” can help break free from it.
- Let’s go back to the brain to understand how it learns.
- Teaching your brain a new lesson
- Remember, your brain’s threat detection system:
- Reacts instantaneous, but at the cost of accuracy.
- It values your life over accuracy. It’s built to overreact.
- It doesn’t learn through language or logic.
- A false alarm feels the same as an actual danger.
Ultimately, you can’t control if or how your threat detection system reacts in any given situation. However, there are things you can do to teach it new lessons and increase the chances that it will respond differently in the future. Imagine going to a haunted house at a Halloween carnival.
- Before entering, a carnival worker pulls you aside and gives you an hour PowerPoint presentation on how safe the haunted house is: “We’ve been in business for 30 years, and not one person has ever been injured.
- Not even a stubbed toe!” The carnival worker intends to comfort you, hoping your “fight or flight” response won’t be triggered.
However, no matter how convincing the presentation is, your “fight or flight” response will get triggered at some point inside the haunted house. Why? The threat detection system doesn’t understand language. Instead, it speaks the language of experience.
- If you say to yourself, “I’m not going back in there.
- That was too scary,” and avoid the haunted house, you reinforce the anxiety long-term.
- Why? Remember, your brain is watching how you react.
- The threat detection system sends danger signals and observes how you respond.
- Suppose you respond in a way consistent with danger (like avoiding the situation).
In that case, you’re teaching your brain through your actions, “The signals you sent me were accurate. I was in danger. Keep sending me the same signals in these types of situations.” If you want to teach your brain not to react, you do the opposite: you go back inside the haunted house.
- When you go back in again, your threat detection system will likely send you the same signals (and maybe even more intense signals), but it’s watching how you react.
- As you walk back inside the haunted house, while your brain screams, “Don’t!” you’re teaching it a new lesson.
- You’re saying, through your actions: “You’re wrong about this.
This is a perfectly safe situation, so I’m returning, regardless of what you tell me.”
- Let’s go back to the example of anxiety being like a child.
- The Child Brain, The Parent Brain, & The Grandparent Brain
- In many ways, we have three brains:
The Child Brain – This is the threat detection system I’ve mentioned before: Highly reactive, automatic, not conscious, not logical, doesn’t learn through language. Only learns through experience. It’s perfect for keeping us safe and alive. However, it constantly overreacts.
- It’s wrong most of the time.
- At the same time, we’re lucky to have the Child Brain because it’s better to have a system that overreacts to possible threats than one that underreacts or doesn’t react.
- The Parent Brain – intelligent, logical, aware, conscious, not automatic, learns through language.
- It’s the analytical system.
Just like all parents, though, it’s not perfect. Often it wants to shelter the Child Brain by helping it avoid or escape “dangers.” It’s hard not to. Seeing the Child Brain crying and screaming pains and scares the Parent’s Brain. But, when it does give into the child’s false alarms, the Child Brain becomes even more sensitive to stressors and slowly starts to internalize unhelpful lessons: “If my parent is reacting like we’re in danger, this situation must be dangerous.” The Grandparent Brain – wise, logical, and highly aware.
It’s the highest system. This brain coaches the Parent Brain to understand that just because the Child Brain is screaming and crying doesn’t mean anyone is in danger. It’s uncomfortable but not dangerous. The Grandparent Brain teaches the Parent Brain to react in a way that teaches the Child Brain to cope with uncomfortable situations without needing to be sheltered.
We don’t do this through language; the Child Brain is too young. The Child Brain only learns through experience. Only by repeatedly staying in “dangerous” situations, over and over, does the Child Brain learn that it can cope and that the situation isn’t dangerous.
How can you make it easier to access the Grandparent Brain? One of the best ways is to understand how the Parent Brain gets pulled into the drama of the Child Brain. Confronting thoughts to gain courage Again, the Parent Brain is smart but vulnerable to the Child Brain’s overreactions. Its biggest vulnerability is through automatic thoughts.
The Child Brain screams, and more times than not, the Parent Brain experiences an automatic worry, anxious thought: “We’re in danger.” These types of thoughts don’t reflect reality. They distort reality. In psychology, we call these Cognitive Distortions.
- Black & White Thinking: You may notice your brain tending to categorize your partner as completely trustworthy or entirely untrustworthy, disregarding the complexity and nuances involved. In reality, trustworthiness exists on a spectrum full of gray areas.
- Catastrophizing: Anxious thoughts can lead you to imagine worst-case scenarios regarding infidelity: “My partner is cheating, and it will destroy our relationship, leaving me alone and broken forever.” Catastrophic thoughts fuel anxiety.
- Personalization: Our minds can blame ourselves for our partner’s potential infidelity, even when the reasons lie outside our control. We might think, “If my partner is distant, it must be because I did something wrong,” ignoring other possible factors that could be influencing their behavior.
- Negative Filtering: You may notice your attention only focusing on the negative aspects of your relationship, disregarding positive or neutral experiences. You may fixate on a suspicious incident or mistake while dismissing all the relationship’s strengths.
- Mind Reading: In relationships, it’s common to convince yourself that you know what your partner is thinking, feeling, and their intentions based on their behavior or subtle cues. However, the reality is, none of us are mind readers.
- Emotional Reasoning: Emotions can deceive us into believing they reflect the truth. However, it’s important to remember that just because you fear your partner cheating doesn’t automatically make it true.
- Should Statements: Thoughts can impose unrealistic standards on ourselves. You might think, “I should never feel jealous or insecure,” without acknowledging that occasional doubts and anxious emotions are normal in relationships. Or thoughts may place unrealistic expectations on your partner, “She should know why I’m upset!”
- Overgeneralizing: Our brain tends to draw sweeping conclusions based on limited evidence. A simple, innocent situation can trigger us to believe, “If my partner doesn’t answer their phone immediately, it must be because they’re engaged in an affair.”
It is important to remember that we have no control over automatic distorted thoughts popping into our Parent Brain. Equally important is the understanding that distorted thoughts are completely normal and experienced by everyone. Since we have no control over these thoughts, it’s clear we can’t prevent them, yet often we try to.
- Reflecting on the past or envisioning the future) discovered that when individuals actively try to stop thoughts, those thoughts tend to resurface with greater frequency.
- So, what do we do? Most of the time, cognitive distortions are present, and we believe them to be true.
- As a result, they take us for a wild ride.
This is an example of being caught up in the Parent and Child Brain. The best thing we can do with distorted thoughts is identify and label them. Don’t try to stop them. Don’t try to control them. Just label them: “Oh, that’s a ‘Catastrophizing’ thought.” Labeling these thoughts means you’ve moved into the Grandparent Brain, the highest part of your brain.
Rumination and thoughts We may not control our automatic worry thoughts or cognitive distortions, but do we have control once these thoughts appear? Yes, but not in the sense of trying to control or suppress our thoughts forcefully. When I use the term “worry,” remember, as I mentioned earlier, this goes beyond simply having an automatic thought.
7 Ways To Heal After Being Cheated On
It refers explicitly to active engagement with automatic thoughts. This process is also known as rumination. Dr. Michael Greenberg, an expert in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, defines rumination as follows: It involves actively engaging in mental problem-solving, which includes activities like analyzing, mentally reviewing, checking, visualizing, monitoring, and focusing on the problem.
- However, there is a crucial distinction between rumination and actual problem-solving.
- Genuine problem-solving leads to a resolution, after which the thought process stops.
- In contrast, rumination creates the illusion of problem-solving; it’s circular, where you repeatedly replay the issue in your mind without reaching any meaningful resolution.
When you worry about your partner cheating without any evidence or reasonable suspicion, you’re likely engaging in what appears to be productive and something that is keeping you safe, but it is essentially unproductive busy work. One primary reason this worry is unproductive is that your brain fixates on a question that is impossible to answer.
- It’s impossible to achieve 100% certainty about whether your partner is cheating.
- Let’s talk about uncertainty.
- Reassurance seeking and uncertainty “But, I could ask my partner.
- I could ask to see their cell phone and email messages.
- These are ways I could be 100% certain.” Logically, seeking outside reassurance makes perfect sense.
In reality, though, reassurance is like a drug. We get it and find short-term relief, but then the worry and anxiety come back, often stronger. Then we need more and more reassurance to get the same level of relief as before. If you focus on seeking reassurance from your partner, you’ll likely be spinning your wheels.
- The solution isn’t outside of you; it’s within you.
- It’s how you respond to those automatic worries that matter.
- Another helpful way to understand reassurance seeking is by acknowledging what it’s after: Absolute certainty.
- Achieving 100% certainty is tempting, as it promises anxiety relief.
- However, achieving 100% certainty is impossible.
Consider this: How can you be sure your partner is NOT cheating or will NEVER cheat? While there are ways to establish 100% certainty if your partner IS cheating, the reverse is impossible. This lingering uncertainty, no matter how small, is where anxiety finds an opening.
- And if your focus remains on obtaining 100% certainty, you open the door for anxiety.
- Once again, here is the paradox of anxiety: The more we try to obtain certainty, which feels safe and appealing, the more fearful and anxious we become.
- As we start to embrace and welcome the uncertainty, we experience less anxiety.
One way to view anxiety is to consider it an intolerance for uncertainty. It’s like having an allergy to uncertainty. Instead of trying to obtain the impossible (certainty), one goal you might consider experimenting with is to increase your tolerance for uncertainty.
- Just like building muscles, this process takes time, consistency, and deliberate practice.
- One effective strategy for increasing your tolerance is to become aware of your urge to seek reassurance and consciously resist giving in to it.
- Instead, label the urge and recognize where it will lead: “I’m experiencing an urge to seek reassurance.
I’m trying to achieve the impossible: certainty. I know where this will lead, though: More anxiety and more reassurance seeking.” By labeling your self-talk and urges, you shift away from the Child and Parent Brains, where anxious impulses take control, to the Grandparent Brain, where you can exercise control over impulses.
- We’ve also established that seeking external reassurance will also make it worse.
- The only other choice is to accept the junk that pops into your mind and consciously choose not to engage with it.
- And engaging with your thoughts looks like this:
- Trying to answer the question of whether your partner is cheating or not.
- Trying to stop the thoughts.
- Judging the thoughts, “I shouldn’t be worrying about this.”
- Trying to inject other thoughts into your head, but it keeps popping back.
Instead of these things, simply watch your thoughts like a passing weather system. When it’s mostly sunny, this is easy. When there’s a hurricane, avoiding engaging with the thoughts will be more challenging as there will be more urgency to relieve the discomfort.
- The more we notice, without engaging with our thoughts, the easier it becomes.
- We teach ourselves to be passive observers rather than an active participants in our worry thoughts.
- Go to the worst place on purpose Another exercise to do is to follow your worry to the worst-case scenario.
- It is a little uncomfortable or scary for some people.
So, take your time.
- What if my partner is cheating? Then what?
- Well, then, it’s going to hurt bad. And if that happens, then what?
- Well, I don’t know if I can stay with this person. And if that happens, then what?
Keep asking yourself the “Then what?” question until you reach the bottom. What we usually find is that, sure, it’s something we want to avoid. But it’s also something we can survive. Identify your core belief After getting used to just watching our thoughts, it’s helpful to identify their source.
All of us hold certain beliefs about ourselves. In psychology, we call these “Core Beliefs.” Core beliefs are narratives we tell ourselves about ourselves. Core beliefs are important because they drive our automatic thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Take this example situation of two different people going through the same event: Event: John texts his girlfriend on a Friday night.
He usually gets a response back instantly. It’s been over an hour, and he still hasn’t gotten a reply back:
|Thought: “She’s probably with another guy” Feeling: Anxiety, panic Behavior: Text more, call several times
|Thought: “I hope John’s ok” Feeling: Slightly disappointed Behavior: Makes plans with another friend
And most of the time, this occurs outside our conscious awareness. In a sense, we lack control and are subject to the invisible forces of our core beliefs. Nevertheless, we can bring them into the light and regain control. One technique you can apply to yourself is called the downward arrow technique.
- Next, ask yourself, “What does that mean to me if it’s true?”
- “Well, it means that he doesn’t like me.”
- So, you continue probing, “What does that mean if it’s true?”
- “Well, it means that I’m not good enough.”
This way, you uncover a core belief: “I’m not good enough.” Attachment theory Again, it’s important to address our reaction to the worry first instead of trying to analyze our past and figure out the root cause. That’s the same as arriving at the scene of a car wreck.
Instead of jumping to care for the victims, you investigate to figure out what happened and whose fault it is. At the same time, looking at our past can be very helpful, and attachment theory is a great tool that gives us some context to our relational patterns. Attachment theory, in psychology, says that our early relationships with our caregivers mold how we relate to others throughout the rest of our adult lives.
We develop internal working models or templates of how relationships work. There are four attachment styles, but I will cover three:
- Secure attachment
- Anxious attachment
- Avoidant attachment
A person with a secure attachment style generally believes people will be there for them. Their relationships are generally consistent and balanced. Individuals with an anxious attachment style experience constant worry about being abandoned by others.
They often seek reassurance that others love and will be there for them. A person with avoidant attachment believes others will not be there in times of need. There is distrust, high motivation to be independent, and a general avoidance of placing themselves in situations where they rely on others. How is this relevant? It can be helpful to consider which attachment style you might fit into.
For instance, if you relate to the anxious attachment style, this information is valuable to carry with you. It can serve as a reminder that your brain tends to default to worrying or expecting that others will leave you, leading you to seek reassurance.
Understanding this can empower you to challenge automatic worry thoughts and experiment with resisting the urge to seek reassurance. By recognizing that attachment styles can evolve and change over time, we open ourselves up to the possibility of growth and transformation in our relationships. The good news is, just like core beliefs, attachment styles aren’t set in stone.
Conclusion Addressing your fear of infidelity is brave work. It takes an incredible amount of courage to lean into the uncertainties of being in a relationship and avoid engaging in what the emotions urge us to do so strongly. With practice, repetition, self-compassion, and communication with your partner, it’s possible to teach the brain new lessons.
Bretherton, I. (1992). The origins of attachment theory: John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth. Developmental Psychology, 28(5), 759-775. Clark, G.I., Rock, A.J., Clark, L.H., & Murray‐lyon, K. (2020). Adult attachment, worry and reassurance seeking: Investigating the role of intolerance of uncertainty.
Clinical Psychologist, 24 (3), 294-305. doi:10.1111/cp.12218 Del Palacio-Gonzalez, A., & Berntsen, D. (2018). The tendency for experiencing involuntary future and past mental time travel is robustly related to thought suppression: An exploratory study. Psychological Research, 83 (4), 788-804. doi:10.1007/s00426-018-1132-2 Greenberg, M.
(2020, October 20). Defining rumination. Retrieved March 27, 2021, from Riaz, A., & Jamil, K. (2020, July). Love Can Only Make Things Work Out: CBT And Interpersonal Therapy Case Study. In Technium Conference (Vol.5, pp.18-07). Sally Planalp, James M. Honeycutt, Events that Increase Uncertainty in Personal Relationships, Human Communication Research, Volume 11, Issue 4, June 1985, Pages 593–604, : How to Not Worry or Overthink About Being Cheated On?
What are the symptoms of PTSD from being cheated on?
Symptoms of Post Infidelity Stress Disorder – These are some of the symptoms of post infidelity stress disorder, according to Dr. Romanoff:
Rumination: You may perseverate over your partner’s infidelity and have recurring thoughts about it. Trauma recall: You may have painful memories, flashbacks, or nightmares that cause you to relive the traumatic experience. Numbness: While some people are filled with anger and hurt upon discovering their partner’s betrayal, other people go numb and feel emotionless. Avoidance: You might try to pretend the whole thing never happened and avoid any reminders of your partner or the relationship. Anxiety: You might experience symptoms of anxiety such as chronic and persistent worry. Depression: You might experience symptoms of depression such as a persistent feeling of sadness or emptiness and frequent bouts of crying. Isolation and withdrawal: You might find yourself withdrawing from friends and family and preferring to be by yourself. You may no longer find enjoyment in activities that once brought you pleasure. Insomnia: You may develop insomnia and have inconsistent sleep patterns. As a result, you may struggle to focus, and your work performance, social and family relationships, and overall functioning may be affected. Trust issues: You may have trouble trusting any future partners you are with. For example, you might get distressed upon noticing that your partner has received a text message, because it may bring up traumatic memories for you. Hypervigilance: You may start to look for danger or threat in benign events in subsequent relationships, as a way to protect yourself from future trauma. You may perceive all communication or contact your partner has outside the relationship as potentially fraudulent. This can cause you to have a negative view of your partner and the people they interact with. Relationship difficulties: Lack of trust can make it difficult for you to sustain future relationships, as it can cause you to mistrust your partners and pick unnecessary fights with them.
How long does infidelity trauma last?
A Rough Timeline – People need to understand that it takes at least two years for the shock waves of the infidelity to subside. That doesn’t mean it’s all bad for two years. In fact, couples may find they’re doing better than ever during that period, but, at any given moment, reminders and triggers can still occur.
- When that happens, couples can then find themselves experiencing the same distress they felt at the time of discovery.
- In the best of situations, during the initial six weeks of recovery, couples are on a never-ending roller coaster.
- It only takes 1/200 of a second for the betrayed spouse to be triggered and move into a state of emotional overwhelm,
Learning how to maintain safety during this time is essential for both partners. This is the season of discovery and reaction. Going slowly, being honest, and finding a good support group are paramount to effective healing in this phase of recovery. Ideally, after the first six weeks following disclosure or discovery:
The revelation stage should be complete. Reminders and triggers are known by both spouses, and both spouses are learning to deal with them, not necessarily avoid them. Empathy is communicated often and consistently. Anxiety usually decreases, but it is common for anger to increase in the betrayed spouse. Anger might increase because the betrayed spouse isn’t quite as anxious about whether or not the marriage is going to make it, and they can begin to really feel their own pain as they feel more secure in the marriage. If the unfaithful spouse can continue to be patient and communicate empathy, support, and honesty, that phase of anger will not last long.
For the next 90 days, the focus is on anger management and relapse prevention ; forgiveness is defined; and a shared marital vision begins to emerge. Typically, the second six months is more manageable. Each person can hopefully see their mate’s efforts at recovery, and they begin to understand what went wrong.
- Maybe they are each working at healing previous wounds from childhood, adolescence, and other relationships.
- Intimacy should be improving as they process all of this.
- It’s a lot to do, but this work often results in a decrease in the marital tension and increase in hope.
- Frequently, couples report they’re doing better than ever.
But at twelve months, the wheels can come off the bus again. The reminders created by the one-year anniversary can send a couple all the way back to square one and leave them feeling totally discouraged, thinking no progress has been made over the past year.
While that’s not the case, re-experiencing the same arguments and difficulties they had at the beginning of their journey is disheartening. Psychic wounds last. Anniversary reactions are a normal occurrence for most couples dealing with infidelity. Fortunately, the climb over the obstacles created by anniversary reactions is not nearly as difficult as the initial stages of recovery.
Couples who hold on to hope and maintain some acknowledgement of the work they’ve done will find new levels of intimacy in their recovery journey. Empathy, compassion, and understanding are necessary components to overcoming these anniversary setbacks.
Months thirteen to twenty-four represent a time of reconstruction. This is a time, if both parties are working their own personal recovery, they discover what made their relationship vulnerable. It’s a time of possibilities as they find new ways of relating. It’s a time of recommitment when each party decides, if they are willing, to be all in and give the relationship a second chance.
While there may still be rough patches, if the couple is on a good trajectory, they can see the possibility of a new and better life. Of course, the above-mentioned timeline isn’t true for all couples, but it can serve as a guideline. I hope everyone will understand that it takes time.
There’s no way to shortcut the process. I wish there was, but there’s not. Please be patient; it takes time. What you can to do to expedite the process is learn to talk calmly about how you feel about what happened. In fact, you need to do this a lot; it is the one thing that seems to help couples work through the process.
And guys, this is hard to do. In addition to the infidelity that you are working through, all marriages, happy or miserable seem to have to deal with the same tasks of being married: work, kids, aging parents, finances–you name it. And every couple sometimes messes up communication.
Every marriage has some challenges. The thing that matters most to a successful relationship is the ability to repair when things go wrong, no matter how big or small. To help with the repair from the impact of infidelity I suggest that you join us at our intensive seminar, EMS Weekend, You will cover a lot of ground quickly, and it has to potential to put most couples four months down the road in the recovery journey—or at least gives you the tools to do so.
Please check it out as well as other programs and courses, Finally, remember to be patient. Recovery takes time and intentional work, but speaking from personal experience and our data from couples who have done the work, it is well worth the time and effort.
- Thanks for being with me this week.
- Stay healthy, and I will see you again soon.
- Tickets Are Now Available for Our 2021 Hope Rising Conference! There is hope after infidelity and betrayal.
- If you’re the betrayed spouse, we invite you to take the first step in transcending your pain by attending our 2021 Hope Rising Conference on Saturday, October 2, 2021.
Our eight incredible speakers have been through the heart-wrenching, devastating experience of infidelity, and they want to inspire you and empower your healing and rebuilding. “This is the first time I have ever talked to other betrayed women or listened to talks specifically for the betrayed.
Why do I feel bad after being cheated on?
Work Through Your Feelings – You’ll likely experience different emotions as you process what happened. For instance, it’s common to feel disappointed or betrayed after infidelity, so take a moment to recognize these feelings are normal. “In general, getting over infidelity follows the usual stages of grief: shock/denial; anger/defiance; bargaining; depression, remorse; and acceptance,” explains Weiss.
Do people love you if they cheat?
How is it possible to cheat when you love your partner? – First, let’s understand that the human mind is masterful at rationalizing just about anything. ( In How To Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie quotes mobster Al Capone as saying, “I have spent the best years of my life giving people the lighter pleasures, helping them have a good time, and all I get is abuse, the existence of a hunted man.” Even his extensive involvement in organized crime is nothing that could not be justified to himself!) Perhaps you and I have never been part of the mafia.
But certainly we’ve done things we know are wrong and rationalized it along the way. (“That scratch was probably on that car already. I barely touched it with my door”) It is a natural part of the human experience. And when powerful feelings like love or lust are the motivator, it’s not hard to imagine that someone could rationalize away the pain they may at the same time be causing someone else.
(I am not by any means condoning such behavior; I am just laying out that since this is something many normal people do, it is possible for straying partners to do so as well.) Let’s also recognize that temptation is powerful. Even if your relationship is a happy one, nobody is immune to it. It is normal human functioning to be attracted to other humans, to want to connect to others emotionally and sexually. Marriage doesn’t mean that you suddenly stop feeling those things for the rest of your life; it just means that you take it upon yourself not to pursue them for the rest of your life.
- People in committed relationships don’t suddenly find everyone else unattractive.
- It takes work and discipline to continually refocus yourself towards your partner.
- When temptation comes around, the natural reaction is to feel the attraction.
- It is a conscious act that makes us turn away out of commitment to our partner.
One who fails to do that may have transgressed the boundaries of the relationship, but it does not mean that the relationship wasn’t real to begin with. Love is not enough to stop the natural pull towards someone else – it takes forethought, grit, commitment, intellectual honesty – all kinds of qualities that can fail without it saying anything about the love that person feels towards you,
And, just as it is possible to feel sexually attracted to more than one person. Anyone who has more than one child can attest to this! You don’t stop loving your firstborn when #2 comes along; you just add to the love you feel. It’s no different when the other person is an adult – you don’t necessarily stop loving one adult just because another came along.
Human experience has room for adding love without diminishing from what was already there.
How a guy acts after he cheated?
Between one in four to five Americans have an affair in their lifetime. Among men, 68% feel guilty after having an affair, Even if they haven’t confessed the affair, most cheating husbands will feel guilty and express that guilt in their behavior. You may notice subtle changes in their behavior that make you wonder if your spouse is displaying cheating husband guilt,
Men are more likely to feel guilt over sexual affairs than they are over emotional affairs, This may be because men themselves view sexual fidelity as more important than emotional fidelity. There are a number of signs that your husband may be feeling guilt from cheating or after an extramarital affair, including the following.
Secretive Phone or Computer Use With dating and social media apps now a large part of our lives, many husbands are likely to find their affair partners online, If your husband used to leave his unlocked phone lying around unattended but now guards it closely, it could be a sign of a guilty conscience.
- If you used to have your devices synced but he has changed his passwords or deleted his history, that could indicate trouble.
- Changes in Sex Drive If your husband is becoming more attentive to you sexually, it could be because he is cheating.
- While it’s normal to think he would be less interested in you sexually, an increased sex drive could be a sign of guilt.
He may be trying to make up for his affair. If he’s suddenly trying new things in the bedroom after years of a stale sex life, he might be bringing home tricks he’s picked up elsewhere. Defensiveness Cheating husbands may be defensive over the smallest things.
They may seem unusually sensitive or touchy about things that seem harmless to you. If you ask an innocent question about what they had for lunch, they may snap at you and accuse you of being controlling or demanding, If you find yourself walking on eggshells around your husband, it could be a sign that he feels guilty and is taking it out on you.
Excessive Justification In trying to cover their infidelities, men sometimes go too far in trying to be convincing. When you casually mention that they’re a little late coming home, they may launch into a 30-minute explanation of where they’ve been. People with nothing to hide don’t feel the need to justify every action.
None of these signs are definitive proof your husband is cheating on you, but they may be reasons for concern. If you suspect your husband may be cheating on you, you need to talk to someone about it. If you feel uncomfortable talking to your husband, discuss it with a close friend or counselor, Even if your husband is cheating, it’s not necessarily the end of your marriage.
In cases where both partners want to work to repair the marriage, therapy can be helpful. Some steps that can help include: Journaling The emotions that go along with infidelity can be intense. Journaling your feelings can help you define and deal with them.
It can also be an outlet for understanding yourself and your needs. Seek Counseling Individual counseling will help you process and deal with your emotions surrounding the affair, but you may also need couples’ therapy to help you and your husband understand the causes of the affair and how to move forward in your relationship.
While an affair can be devastating, it can be a catalyst to rebuild your marriage stronger than it was before. Understand and Heal the Problems in Your Relationship While the problems in your relationship did not cause the affair, it’s important for both of you to focus on building a better marriage that makes both of you happy.
It’s best if you can keep discussions about your marital issues separate from discussions about the affair. It has to be clear that nothing in the marriage caused the affair. Give Yourself Time Recovering from an affair takes time. You need time to grieve and forgive the betrayal. Learning new communication habits and rebuilding your marriage will take time as well.
Don’t put pressure on yourself to rush the process. Take as long as you need to heal and reconnect with your husband.
What percentage of relationships work after cheating?
How Many Couples Stay Together After an Affair? In one study, researchers found that with instances of secret infidelity, only about 20% of couples were still married after 5 years. However, for couples who revealed infidelity, that percentage jumped to 57%.
What are the 5 stages of grief after being cheated on?
When you discover the sexual betrayal of your spouse, it plunges you into pain, loss, and grief. When you discover the sexual betrayal of your primary attachment, it plunges you into pain, loss, and grief. The losses are extensive from
the loss of trust in your partnerthe loss of the relationship you thought you hadthe loss of the future you envisionedthe loss of trust for othersthe loss of trust for yourselfthe loss of your sense of selfeven the loss of trust in a higher power
Some women express that it shakes the very foundation of trust for everyone and everything. In 1969, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross identified five stages of grief that include denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. I’m going to add two more stages to betrayal: shock and obsession.
- As I’ve studied betrayal trauma, I’ve learned that this type of trauma parallels the sudden loss of a loved one.
- While one must go through the stages of grief as part of their healing journey, the stages are not linear.
- In fact, they can overlap, repeat, and you may find yourself bouncing around between stages from minute to minute.
As we dive into each stage, I want to point out that all healing takes considerable time, This will be a process and it will take focused amounts of self compassion. Please be patient and kind with yourself. We will look at each stage, give examples of what that stage might look like, and discuss tips on how to avoid getting stuck in any one stage.
What kind of trauma does cheating cause?
The person who was cheated (sexually or emotionally) on may meet the criteria for PTSD and experience trauma-related symptoms such as rage, humiliation, intrusive images and flashbacks, preoccupation, emotional numbing, heightened anxiety to triggers, erratic behavior and sudden mood swings, and difficulty with sleep
What does cheating say about a person?
4. They’re Impulsive – What Cheating Says About a Person: They’re Impulsive Most people in adult relationships know basic relationship guidelines like no cheating, It’s not complicated. But when you’re dealing with someone impulsive, they might not think about these common relationship guidelines.
What cheating does to a woman’s self-esteem?
Beware of anyone flirting with you online – it could ruin your relationship, study claims – Whether it’s in your Instagram DMs or via the work Slack, many people enjoy flirting online and see it as a bit of harmless fun. But a new study has warned that these seemingly innocent interactions could be disastrous for your relationships.
- Researchers from Reichman University have revealed how online flirtations can make your current partner less appealing in the real world.
- Read more The study, published in the journal Psychological Science, reads: ‘Our analyses detected one group of participants who seem to recover and even thrive after infidelityunfaithful women.
‘Potentially, women’s affairs are more likely to be a result of partner dissatisfaction, and consequently, the affair may be a wake-up call for their partners, leading positive behavioural change. ‘A look at outcomes suggest that male perpetrators were more negatively affected by the event.’ Their results also revealed cheating was preceded by a gradual decrease in personal and relationship satisfaction over several years.
This could be triggered by a number of reasons – for example a lack of honest communication or a significant life event such as having a baby. ‘In perpetrators, this decline might be a reason for starting an affair or even an intentional distress management strategy,’ the researchers wrote. ‘In victims, a decrease in wellbeing might be a result of feeling the partner’s dissatisfaction or represent a causal factor increasing their likelihood of being cheated on.
‘Unhappiness has been associated with poor outcomes in social life in previous research. Analysis revealed on the whole, women who cheated reported an increase in self-esteem and life satisfaction after the affair (stock image) ‘Hence, a decrease in personal wellbeing might make the future victim less attractive, contributing to the infidelity of the partner.’ Separate research has indicated that if your friends are having affairs you’re more likely to cheat too.
- Researchers from Reichman University in Israel discovered that when adultery becomes the norm, feelings of commitment to a current partner are reduced while desire for an alternative mate increases.
- And they warned the phenomenon appeared to affect males more than females.
- According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), infidelity is one of the most commonly cited reasons for divorce in the UK.
A YouGov poll carried out in 2015 revealed that as many as one in five Brits have had an affair.
Why have I convinced myself I cheated?
Searches for ‘cheating OCD’ are soaring, and experts say it’s when people are convinced they’ve cheated on their partner – here’s what you need to know Have the words “Did I cheat?” ever crossed your mind? Perhaps after a blurry night out, or after one too many shared looks between you and your barista.
- Most of the time, you’ll be able to reassure yourself or talk it through with your partner.
- But for some people, these thoughts can take over, in a phenomenon that’s been dubbed ‘cheating OCD’.
- According to, (OCD) affects 1.2% of the population, or approx 750,000 people in the UK.
- It’s defined as a “serious anxiety-related condition where a person experiences frequent intrusive and unwelcome obsessional thoughts, commonly referred to as obsessions.” These obsessions lead to the person engaging in repetitive or ritualistic behaviours to “prevent a perceived harm and/or worry.” These behaviours are commonly referred to as compulsions.
So where does ‘cheating OCD’ fit into all this? Well first off, it’s important to clarify that it’s not a medical term. And there’s debate in the medical community as to whether it’s particularly helpful to categorise OCD into themes at all. According to Psychotherapist and Counselling Directory member : “Cheating OCD is the belief or concern that you may cheat (or have already cheated) on your partner.
There are many levels of this and they come about in many ways.” However, Ashley Fulwood, the Chief Executive Officer at, warned against categorising OCD into themes, explaining: “One reason we don’t like categorising OCD is that sometimes sufferers end up focussing on the theme of the OCD (cheating/relationship) and thinking that’s the problem.
When in fact that’s not the problem, the problem is the OCD, how we think and respond to our intrusive thoughts and respond with anxiety and compulsions.
“The inability to accept doubt and uncertainty which leads to more anxiety and more ‘checking’ rituals or other compulsions.”According to OCD-UK’s website, there are “infinite types of OCD,” which “can impact on any thought, on any subject, on any person, on any fear, and frequently fixates on what’s important in a person’s life.”This could also apply to relationships: “f someone begins a new relationship, OCD can make a person question that relationship, their feelings, their sexuality resulting in almost constant rumination, perhaps with the sufferer worrying that they may be misleading their partner.”So, while a person’s OCD may fixate on certain thoughts, such as worrying that you’ve cheated on your partner, it’s essential to treat the issue from the source, which is the thinking patterns and cognitive processes that constitute the obsessive-compulsive disorder in the first place.
For more information about obsessive-compulsive disorder, you can check out, For more support around OCD, the NHS offers a or you can contact your GP. For more from Glamour UK’s, follow her on Instagram, : Searches for ‘cheating OCD’ are soaring, and experts say it’s when people are convinced they’ve cheated on their partner – here’s what you need to know
Why do I have anxiety about getting cheated on?
Common triggers – People with a fear of cheating may find that their obsessions are triggered by situations involving their partner, previous partners, their partner’s previous relationships, and any settings where they feel out of control. Here are some examples of circumstance that may trigger obsessions about cheating:
Interacting with someone they find attractive Experiences where they cannot remember details or events Having passed out from substances or exhaustion Questions about fidelity and commitment Going to sleep at night Watching or listening to shows/stories about cheating Seeing text messages on their phone or partner’s phone Discussions about cheating/commitment in relationships Someone smiling at them or making eye contact with them who isn’t their partner Seeing something in their partner’s home who looks suspicious Intrusive thoughts about someone else during intimacy with their partner Intrusive thoughts/images/urges/sensations about someone other than their partner
Why do I have a constant fear of being cheated on?
We all move at different speeds when it comes to trusting another person, especially in a romantic relationship. For some, trust comes easily and quickly, but it can also take a long time to trust someone. And yet for another group of people, being able to trust another person romantically may seem like an impossible task.
- Pistanthrophobia is a phobia of getting hurt by someone in a romantic relationship.
- A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder that presents as persistent, irrational, and excessive fear about a person, activity, situation, animal, or object.
- Often, there’s no real threat or danger, but to avoid any anxiety and distress, someone with a phobia will avoid the triggering person, object, or activity at all costs.
Phobias, regardless of the type, can disrupt daily routines, strain relationships, limit the ability to work, and reduce self-esteem. There’s not much research specifically on pistanthrophobia. Rather, it’s considered a specific phobia : a unique phobia related to a specific situation or thing.
- Specific phobias are quite common.
- According to the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 12.5 percent of Americans will experience a specific phobia in their lifetime.
- Pistanthrophobia is the fear trusting others and is often the result of experiencing a serious disappointment or painful ending to a prior relationship,” says Dana McNeil, a licensed marriage and family therapist.
As a result of the trauma, McNeil says the person with this phobia possesses a fear of getting hurt again and avoids being in another relationship as a way to guard against future similar painful experiences. But when you avoid relationships, you also end up keeping yourself from experiencing the positive aspects of one.
When this happens, McNeil says you’re unable to have a future relationship that may help you gain perspective or understanding as to why the prior relationship may not have been a good fit to begin with. The symptoms of pistanthrophobia will resemble those of other phobias, but they’ll be more specific to relationships with people.
In general, the symptoms of a phobia can include:
panic and fear, which is often excessive, persistent, and irrational to the level of threaturge or strong desire to get away from the triggering event, person, or object shortness of breathrapid heartbeattrembling
For someone with this phobia, McNeil says it’s also common to see the following symptoms:
avoidance of conversations or deep interactions with a person who could be a potential love interestbeing guarded or withdrawnunreceptive to attempts by another person to engage them in flirtation, dating, or romantic relationshipsanxiety or an appearance of wanting to get away or out of conversations that are becoming uncomfortable, especially as they relate to intimacy, dating, or a prospective romantic partner
“These behaviors are all considered unsafe to a pisanthrophobe, and they are hypervigilant about letting themselves participate in behaviors that have a potential to lead to vulnerability out of a fear that the connection could lead to a deeper relationship,” McNeil says.
Like other phobias, pistanthrophobia is typically triggered by a person or event. “Many people have had a bad experience with a past relationship where they feel extremely hurt, betrayed, or rejected,” says Dr. Gail Saltz, associate professor of psychiatry at the NY Presbyterian Hospital Weill-Cornell School of Medicine.
As a result, they live in terror of a similar experience, which Saltz says causes them to avoid all relationships. Saltz also says that some people with this phobia may not have experience with a bad relationship. Still, they do have tremendous anxiety, low self-esteem, and a fear that if anyone gets to know them, they’ll be rejected or betrayed.
Ultimately, the feelings that occur because of a bad experience or traumatic relationship result in being plagued with thoughts of rejection, betrayal, hurt, sadness, and anger. Or, as Saltz says, really any and all negative feelings that can arise from getting involved with someone else. Pistanthrophobia, or any phobia, needs to be diagnosed by a mental health professional.
That said, pistanthrophobia isn’t included in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) as an official diagnosis. Therefore, your doctor will likely consider the DSM-5’s diagnostic criteria for specific phobia, which lists five different types of specific phobias:
animal typenatural environment typeblood-injection-injury typesituational typeother types
Your doctor or therapist may ask you several questions related to your current symptoms, including how long you’ve had them and how severe they are. They’ll also inquire about family history, other mental health conditions, and past trauma that may have set off the phobia.
- Anything that is considered a phobia in the psychology world meets the definition of a diagnosable mental health issue when it interferes with a client’s ability to fully participate in one or more aspects of life,” McNeil says.
- When your personal, professional, or academic worlds are affected by an inability to concentrate, function, or produce normally expected outcomes, McNeil says you’re considered impaired by the phobia.
A phobia is diagnosed when it has lasted more than 6 months and affects you in several areas of your life; pistanthrophobia isn’t specific to one relationship, but all your romantic relationships. Therapy, in particular, can help treat all types of phobias.
- Therapies can range from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), like exposure and response prevention, to psychodynamic psychotherapy, according to Saltz.
- Just like we do for clients who have a fear of spiders or heights, we work with a pistanthrophobic client to slowly develop exposure and tolerance to the stimulus they fear,” McNeil says.
When clinicians work with people with phobias, McNeil explains they often focus on behavior modification as a way to rewire the way a person views or thinks about a particular situation or object associated with fear or catastrophe. “The clinician working with a pistanthrophobic client will likely start small by asking them to visualize what it would be like to be in a romantic relationship and encouraging them to talk through the experience with the clinician present,” McNeil explains.
- By doing this, the clinician can help the client develop coping skills or ways to self-soothe when the anxiety or fear kicks in.
- Other methods of treating a phobia may include medications if you have other mental health conditions, such as anxiety or depression.
- If you or someone you love is dealing with pistanthrophobia, support is available.
There are many therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists with expertise in phobias, anxiety disorders, and relationship issues. They can work with you to develop a treatment plan that’s right for you, which may include psychotherapy, medication, or support groups.
Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Anxiety and Depression Association of America Psychology Today
Treatment for this phobia can be successful with time and work. Getting the right treatment and support for a specific phobia like pistanthrophobia not only helps you learn to trust again, but it’s also critical for your overall health. A 2016 study found that people with a specific phobia have an increased probability for certain diseases, such as:
respiratory diseaseheart diseasevascular disease
That said, the outlook for a phobia like pistanthrophobia is positive, as long as you’re willing to commit to regular therapy and work with your healthcare providers to treat any other conditions that may accompany this diagnosis. Phobias like pistanthrophobia can interfere with your ability to romantically connect with other people.
Does the guilt of cheating go away with time?
8. Be willing to commit but don’t make empty promises – “I cheated and feel guilty! Does the guilt of cheating ever go away?” It does. It is possible to get over the pain and guilt and move on. However, learning how to stop feeling guilty about cheating wouldn’t come easy.
How long can post infidelity stress disorder last?
PISD is similar to PTSD in many ways. While its effects only tend to last about a week to a few months, during this period, a person can experience flashbacks similar to those experienced among people with PTSD. You may replay the sequence of events that led up to you finding out about your partner’s infidelity.