Cheating (Who Gets Hurt?)
Cheating is a very destructive element in any marriage, assuming that it becomes known, and the negative affects can be felt for years, causing overwhelming bouts with emotional stress, anxiety, mistrust, hurt, and anger.
Cheating is an act of dishonesty and deception. Even if the unfaithful spouse never gets caught, his or her actions take on a life of lies, stealth, secrecy, and frustration.
Who gets hurt by an unfaithful spouse? Everyone involved gets hurt in one form or another, changing lifestyles and relationships, from the cheater's spouse, the children, if any, friends and the family members on both sides of the family, and the individual the unfaithful spouse is cheating with.
- The Spouse: It is the spouse who takes the brunt of the hurt and pain in a marriage troubled by allegation of cheating and adultery, especially if that spouse took their wedding vows in heart felt sincerity as a promise of everlasting love, truthfulness, honesty, and most of all, the promise of fidelity.
- The Children: Children are especially vulnerable when they learn that one of their parents has been unfaithful to the other. Many children lash out in fits of anger and develop long term emotional problems that last well into adulthood. They may develop the attitude that cheating is acceptable in all marriages or just the opposite, whereby they cannot make a commitment of trust or get romantically involved with others.
- Inlaws: When inlaws find out that a husband or wife who has married into their family is cheating on someone they love, a son or daughter, a sibling, a mother or father, aunt or uncle, or another close relative, they get angry and their reactions vary widely. Some inlaws may respectfully ignore the unfaithful spouse, or show their displeasure in quiet, subtle ways. And then there are those who resort to loud verbal tirades, and other's who initiate physical confrontations, which is especially true when alcohol is involved.
- Friends: People take friendship very seriously. If they have a friend who is being cheated on, they feel hurt and betrayed, too. They feel all the emotions that their friend is going through, such as hurt, shock, sadness, and frustration, and if they know the adulterous spouse personally, they may feel anger and animosity towards that individual.
- Co-Workers: Since co-workers often spend more time together than they spend with their spouses, it is easy to foster friendships that escalate into sexual relationships. Cheating in the workplace is often frowned upon by employers, but in reality, it goes on all the time, both secretly and publicly. Cheating in the workplace can cause truly ugly situations which might result in warnings, firings, demotions, transfers, and in worst case scenarios, spousal confrontations in which one spouse goes to the job of his or her mate to confront the mister or mistress who is involved. This has the potential to cause injury and/or embarrassment to the participants, and may cause lawsuits against the company.
- The Mister or Mistress: When either a man or a woman becomes involved with someone who is married, they risk being typecast as a home wrecker. In the eyes of those who take marriage as a sacred act, the mister or mistress is more of the culprit than the adulterous spouse, although the spouse is equally responsible. This is because it is believed that knowing that the person is married is all the reason needed to make you want to keep your distance and not get involved. Men and women, in most cases, will not leave their spouses for the person that they are cheating with, unless the spouse finds out about the affair and ends the marriage.
Although marriages can survive infidelity, the pain and humiliation caused by the disclosure of an affair makes it unlikely that trust will be regained in the marriage, and no amounts of apologies or promises will likely undo the damage for a long time to come.