The person who was deceived (sexually or emotionally) may meet the criteria for PTSD and experience trauma-related symptoms, such as anger, humiliation, intrusive images and flashbacks, worry, emotional numbness, increased anxiety about triggers, erratic behavior and sudden mood swings, and difficulty sleeping. Love, insofar as it is a source of dopamine release and causes feelings of euphoria, can be addictive to the brain. Therefore, rejection caused by infidelity can cause several changes in brain pathways, similar to withdrawal in substance use disorder. Rejection can have short- and long-term consequences on brain chemistry.
Infidelity can have a lasting impact on partners and any children a couple may have. This can lead to pain, brain changes, future behaviors, and mental health conditions such as anxiety, chronic stress, and depression. Love addiction is a controversial term. Still, what you're feeling is real.
These are the signs of abstinence from love addiction and how to deal with it. Being cheated on by your partner can be an extremely difficult and traumatic experience. You may feel angry, hurt, betrayed, alone, unsure of yourself, and scared about the future. Spouses of unfaithful partners are often relieved to know that their strong emotions surrounding infidelity are perfectly valid.
Patrick Carnes, who founded IITAP, the leading organization treating sex addiction, discovered that his spouse's infidelity can be as traumatic as sexual assault. In fact, this infidelity-related post-traumatic stress disorder can cause cortisol levels to rise so drastically that it reduces the immune system's response and can even result in significant weight gain over time. Carnes writes that in many cases of post-traumatic stress disorder, infidelity causes new and distorted bonds to form between spouses. He calls them “bonds of trauma” or “bonds of betrayal.” Some of the most common symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder are due to being on high alert, making people unusually sensitive and reactive.
You may have cheated on your partner and you may be surprised by the consequences of that decision, or you may have been cheated on and have a hard time getting through it.