Can Cheating Cause PTSD? How Can You Get Over PTSD After Infidelity

ptsd from cheating

Finding out someone cheated on you can really shake up your world. You feel like you’re going crazy sometimes, and you can’t seem to make sense of what happened. Everything feels like it’s falling apart, and you don’t know how to put the pieces back together again. If this is your reality right now, please know that you are not alone. Many people go through tough times like this and feel really stressed, kind of like when someone has PTSD. But here’s some good news: it’s possible to feel okay again. In this blog, we’re going to talk about why cheating can make you feel so upset and can eventually lead to PTSD, and share some ideas on how you can get over it. So, let’s get started and we hope that this information will help you on your road to recovery!

What Is PTSD & Can I Get It After Being Cheated On?

What Is PTSD & Can I Get It After Being Cheated OnPTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is a mental health condition that some people develop after experiencing a really scary or shocking event. It’s often talked about in relation to soldiers returning from war, but it can happen to anyone who’s gone through something really tough, which also includes Relationships. This can include everything from combat and natural disasters to sexual assault, but what we will be discussing today is infidelity PTSD. 

So, can being cheated on lead to PTSD? While being cheated on doesn’t always lead to PTSD in the clinical sense, it can definitely cause symptoms that are very similar.

The shock and hurt of finding out your partner has been unfaithful can feel like a big betrayal. This can shake your sense of safety and trust, leaving you feeling stressed, sad, and anxious.

PTSD from cheating is often called “betrayal trauma.” This is because the betrayal of trust can be so damaging to the relationship that it feels like a traumatic event. And, just like with other forms of PTSD, the symptoms of betrayal trauma can be debilitating.

If you’re feeling this way after being cheated on, it’s important to know that your feelings are valid and there’s help out there. Talking to a counselor or therapist can be a good step towards healing.

Recognizing PTSD Symptoms After Infidelity

Facing infidelity can trigger a range of intense emotions and reactions that closely resemble PTSD symptoms. In addition to flashbacks, anxiety, and trouble sleeping, here are more signs to be aware of:

  • Irritability or Anger: Feeling more irritable than usual or having sudden bursts of anger over seemingly small things.
  • Feeling Numb: Struggling to connect with emotions or feeling detached from people and activities you used to enjoy.
  • Increased Startle Response: Jumping at loud noises or being easily startled by unexpected events.
  • Concentration Difficulties: Finding it hard to focus on tasks at work or daily activities.
  • Sense of Doom: Feeling like something bad is going to happen, even when there’s no apparent reason for concern.
  • Social Withdrawal: Pulling back from friends, family, and social activities you once found enjoyable.

These responses happen because your trust has been broken in a big way, and it can shake your sense of security. It’s your mind’s way of trying to protect you from more hurt, but it can also make you feel stuck and overwhelmed.

If you’re experiencing these or any other symptoms that make you think of PTSD, recognizing them is a critical first step towards healing. To better understand your experiences, consider taking this Self Assessment Test. 

PTSD Self-Assessment Test

What Are the Psychological Effects of Being Cheated On?

What Are the Psychological Effects of Being Cheated OnDiscovering infidelity in a relationship can lead to profound psychological impacts, shaking the foundation of trust and security that bonds partners together. The ripple effects of being cheated on extend beyond immediate shock, touching every aspect of emotional well-being. Here are some common psychological effects experienced by those who have been betrayed:

  • Trust Issues: One of the most significant impacts is the loss of trust, not only in the partner who cheated but often in future relationships as well.
  • Low Self-Esteem: Many people internalize the betrayal, leading to feelings of inadequacy and diminished self-esteem.
  • Depression: The emotional turmoil following infidelity can trigger depression, characterized by persistent sadness, loss of interest in enjoyable activities, and a sense of hopelessness.
  • Anxiety: Uncertainty about the future of the relationship and the fear of being hurt again can lead to heightened anxiety levels
  • Anger and Resentment: The one who has been cheated on may feel angry which can sometimes evolve into long-term resentment.
  • Isolation and Social Withdrawal: This could be due to embarrassment, guilt, or the desire to hide what’s happened from others.
  • Intrusive Thoughts: Repeated, unwanted thoughts about the affair, vivid imaginations of the betrayal, and constant rumination over details of the infidelity are common, often leading to emotional distress.
  • Impact on Physical Health: The stress and emotional strain of dealing with infidelity can also manifest physically, leading to sleep disturbances, changes in appetite, or other health issues.

Remember, understanding that these reactions are normal can be the first step toward healing and eventually finding a path forward.

Effects on Daily Life

Effects On Daily LifeThe fallout from being cheated on doesn’t just linger in the corners of your mind; it spills over into your daily life, affecting routines, interactions, and your overall approach to life. It can affect various domains of life, including:

  • work and productivity
  • social relationships
  • you might have less patience, feel more easily frustrated, or struggle to be present with your children
  • skipping meals, forgoing exercise, or ignoring medical needs
  • increased alcohol consumption or other substance use
  • making decisions, big or small, can become more challenging
  • finding joy in the things you once loved can feel difficult
  • many people experience changes in their sleep patterns, whether it’s trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or experiencing nightmares related to the betrayal
  • you might find yourself reevaluating who you are, what you want, and where you’re headed

It’s important to remember that healing is a process, and finding a new normal takes time. Seeking support from friends, family, or a professional can provide the tools and perspective needed to reclaim your daily life and move forward.

How PTSD Infidelity Hits Differently To Men & Women 

Difference In Men And WomenThere is some evidence to suggest that men and women may experience PTSD differently after cheating.

In one study, it was found that women were more likely to experience symptoms of avoidance, while men were more likely to experience symptoms of intrusion and hyperarousal.

Additionally, women were more likely to blame themselves for the betrayal, while men were more likely to blame their partners.

It’s important to remember that everyone experiences PTSD differently, and there is no wrong or right way to feel. If you’re struggling with any of the above symptoms, please reach out for help!

Dealing With PTSD From Cheating

Healing from the trauma of being cheated on is a journey that requires time, patience, and intentional self-care. It’s about finding ways to mend your heart, regain your strength, and rediscover joy in your life. Here are some steps to help you get over trauma, and move on your path to recovery:

Practicing Self-Care

self careTaking care of yourself is crucial during this time. Here are a few self-care practices that can help ease stress and emotional pain:

  • Exercise: Physical activity can be a great way to release tension and improve your mood. Whether it’s a brisk walk, a yoga session, or a dance class, find an activity that makes you feel good.
  • Meditation and Mindfulness: These practices can help you stay grounded and cope with overwhelming emotions. Even just a few minutes a day can make a significant difference.
  • Journaling: Writing down your thoughts and feelings can be a therapeutic way to process your emotions. It can also help you track your healing progress over time.
  • Pursuing Hobbies: Reconnect with activities that bring you joy. Whether it’s painting, playing an instrument, gardening, or reading, hobbies can provide a welcome escape and a sense of accomplishment.

Seeking Support

Dealing With PTSD From CheatingReaching out for support is a crucial step in the healing process:

  • Talk to Friends and Family: Open up to trusted individuals about your feelings.
  • Join a Support Group: Find solace and shared experiences in groups with similar stories.
  • Find a Therapist: Professional guidance can be invaluable in navigating your emotions and recovery. For those seeking therapy, resources like MantraCare, TherapyMantra, and CoupleMantra offer a wide range of therapists specializing in mental health and relationship issues. These platforms can connect you with well-equipped professionals to help you move past your condition and start healing. Therapy provides a safe space to explore your feelings and begin the healing process, offering personalized strategies and support tailored to your needs.

Healing from cheating trauma is a process that takes time, patience, and often, professional help. By practicing self-care and seeking support, you can navigate through this challenging time. Remember, it’s okay to seek help, and doing so is a step toward reclaiming your well-being and moving forward.


Infidelity can shake the foundation of your world, but healing and recovery are possible. Remember, it’s essential to take care of yourself and seek support when you need it. Whether it’s through self-care practices, connecting with others, or finding a professional therapist, every step you take is a step toward reclaiming your peace and well-being.

For more information and to explore the options for online PTSD counseling, please contact MantraCare. PTSD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a significant mental health condition that can arise after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event, such as infidelity. If you have any queries or need support, the experienced therapists at MantraCare are here to help. Don’t hesitate to Book a trial PTSD therapy session today and start your journey towards healing.

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