Published: 08/28/2010 - Updated: 09/24/2018
Author: K. Laura Garcés G2 Comments
One of the strongest emotional pains for many people is when they discover their partner is unfaithful or cheating with someone else. Infidelity can be a source of pain, despair, jealousy, anguish and a deep anger and often unregulated and even violent. Whatever the intensity of how we react to infidelity, usually everybody feels "something" when someone cheats or betrays. As much as we want to be understanding, sometimes it seems that the pain is there and will not go, and is a reason to feel angry or depressed during the day.
When we feel acute emotional pain and we cannot control it, usually we do a number of things to avoid it or disguise it with parties, alcohol, distractions, another couple, drugs, wild sex, etc. Perhaps we can diminish some of the pain with this. However, this just wears off or is a pleasant distraction that returns to be the same or worse.
Evading or disguising, we know, is not the solution, is to cover the finger with the sun. The emotional pain is curable; the focus is on understanding why we feel the despair and distress at not being able to control or have someone we value or is not faithful. For something to happen, we must first let it pass by us, and give insight and understanding.
Why do we feel this pain?
Feeling empty, misunderstood, angry, undervalued or "pushed aside" by the couple may be due to many causes. It is necessary to analyze and notice where it comes to heal the heart.
The emotional pain of infidelity is mainly due to:
- A person with a lot of insecurity, which is often emotionally dependent on others. The more insecure we are, we become more dependent on others, and although we try not to isolate or have relationships with anyone that hurt us, no doubt we are very vulnerable to their conduct and expressions of love.
- A person with low self esteem which often feels very abused when someone cheats, because somehow this scam will uncover the low self-worth. Self-esteem and security are closely related concepts, an insecure person usually has low self esteem.
- People who often get too involved in the idea that the other is "theirs" and that their happiness depends on the couple.
Insecurity and low self-esteem
These are two aspects of human beings that lead to more serious emotional dependency and, consequently, of emotional pain in relationships. Insecurity and low self-esteem are patterns that come from childhood, from the way in which people spoke to us as kids, how we tried, we perceive the love of parents and their attitudes. All this has to do with the emotional pain that treason or infidelity causes to us.
Frustration in infancy
The emotional demands can vary from child to child. However, all small children seek an ideal love with their parents. From small, they understand that anything that steals the love and attention from their parents is a sort of rival. In some way, every child is seeking to win his/her father and mother. If they fail, then a frustration comes, a feeling of helplessness, which begins to generate insecurity and a feeling that "something is wrong with me". Feeling that there is something "wrong with me" often also be interpreted as: "I have don’t enough "(beauty, intelligence, charisma, etc.). To receive the love I need”. These messages will grow later reaffirmed by the family members, teachers and friends.
This insecurity or lack of appreciation is also encouraged when the child was neglected, overprotected or lived in dysfunctional families, where they were taught bad values or principles.
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As we grow, we often find the frustrated love we didn’t get as children. The couple is the ideal way to reconcile the hurt child. When someone betrays us or deceives, our emotion is just the tip of the iceberg of the frustration we experienced as children. Therefore, we often look for difficult relationships, is our way to convince us that we can be good enough for someone to love and accept us and will not ever cheat.
Affective dependence is somewhat understandable when we are children. However, as we grow we need to mature and forget these demands emotional we had as kids, i.e., learning to become even more full and less dependent, more free and safe for us to begin to share more fully, and demand less affection. The problem is that many times we believe that happiness and fulfillment lies with the other, and we depend on how others treat us and what they do to feel either full or unhappy.
When someone deceives us and we feel offended or attacked, we're just repeating an emotional pattern of childhood. The cure is to understand that the other is as free as we can, no one really belongs to us, that love is a sharing, but if it’s emotional demand, then it becomes a prison.
Everyone is free to decide where and with whom to be, blackmailing and manipulation to someone that is on our side can be used, but we will only feel more insecure every time. If someone is cheating and it hurts, let him/her go. And make an effort to focus your attention on the things that you like, grow and learn to love, do not step aside and let you turn your face. Love yourself and make your life what you want it to be, it is difficult at first, but if you insist, you'll see that your pain may soon become your best weapon to enlarge your life.
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About the author
Beautiful words, well, my girlfriend cheated on me time ago and I was just destroyed, I didn?t want to go out or talk with anyone, I even had the feeling of killing myself, and then I got really scared and with the help of some friends I could forget about her and move on, now I?m married with a nice girl and we are going to have a baby, I couldn?t be happier.
Really, really great article you guys. I’m glad you’re addressing this issue. I’m getting married this July, and we are going through pre-marital counseling (which I think every couple needs), and I think it ironic that we go through at least 20 years of academic education, but so few of us are taught how to love and live WISELY.