Adultery is perhaps one of the worst ways a partner can betray their significant other, and unfortunately, it is quite common nowadays. An estimated 16% of people have admitted to cheating and having sex with someone who wasn’t their spouse.
The same studies have shown that men are more likely to cheat. Around 20% of men have admitted to adultery, while only 16% of women have admitted to having sex outside the marriage.
Unfortunately, there are many reasons why adultery is committed, and most of them have nothing to do with the person who is betrayed. Yet, this betrayal can make a woman feel as if she is at fault. This can have devastating effects on a woman’s self-esteem.
Below are some of the ways that cheating can affect a woman’s self-worth and self-esteem. If you find yourself feeling any of these ways, know you are not alone and that you can get help through therapy or marriage counseling.
First and foremost, many women who have been cheated on might begin to question their own bodies. Perhaps the other woman had a “better body,” or simply a body that was more “attractive” to their spouse. When women question their bodies, it can lead to greater issues with self-esteem and possibly even eating disorders or body dysmorphia. It’s important for women to understand that their body is beautiful and no amount of weight loss, new hairstyles, or makeup would prevent an abusive spouse from cheating.
Often times men cheat to feel external validation, which has nothing to do with their partner’s body.
Finding out you’ve been cheated on can make a woman feel emotionally small and powerless. Finding out that your husband or significant other has been consistently betraying you, under your very nose and possibly under your very own roof, can create feelings of helplessness. Women might think to themselves, Why wasn’t I able to stop him? Why wasn’t I able to control his actions? Why didn’t I have enough power to prevent this from happening?
Although these are some very real feelings, women must understand that they are still the same confident, energetic women they were before the betrayal. They are still powerful and can use that power to move on and increase their self-esteem again.
It’s common for feelings of deep resentment and anger to surface after a woman has been cheated on. This can have a huge negative impact on a woman’s self-esteem. Women aren’t able to enjoy their partner or even their own presence, causing their self-esteem to diminish and be replaced with hostility and hurt.
It’s important for women to develop an avenue for this anger, perhaps through sports, exercise, yoga, meditation, or therapy. Without having an outlet for their anger and frustration, women can quickly let rage and even self-loathing replace their previously loving relationship with themselves.
Regardless of whether the “other woman” was a stunning model or not, women might take a blow to their self-esteem and begin to question some of their facial features. They might question everything from the shape of their nose to the thickness of their eyebrows, acne, skin color, and everything in between. For women, it’s not just about what the other woman looked like, but what is so wrong about them and their facial features.
This might even lead to women opting for plastic surgery in an effort to increase their self-esteem. Women should know that, just like their body, their physical qualities are just that – physical – and have nothing to do with a spouse who chose to step out of a relationship.
Surprisingly, the highest percentage of spouses who cheated were over the age of 65! Women who are older and have been betrayed by their spouse can begin to feel negatively towards their own age. Having a spouse who stepped out on the marriage with a younger woman can be devastating and leave women thinking that they’re “too old” to be attractive or beautiful. This is simply not true – you are worthy of and can find love at any age!
We hear it all the time on social media: the “wifey material” or “marriage material” label given to some women. If a woman has been in a relationship or even married and then is cheated on, this can have vastly negative consequences and impact their self-esteem. Women might wonder why they ever got married and if they can ever be married again. That answer is, of course, a solid yes.
Women who are cheated on due to their religious beliefs or because they choose to stay abstinent before marriage can begin to question their faith and morals. They might think, Perhaps I should’ve disregarded my faith and beliefs, then he wouldn’t have cheated. This thought process can lead to deep shame and feelings of low self-esteem. In reality, a woman can practice her faith and deserves a partner that is willing to stick by her and her beliefs.
After being cheated on, a busy mom or busy wife might feel they weren’t good enough in their role as a wife or mother. This is just one of the many side-effects of adultery, and one of the most devastating to a woman’s self-esteem. Of course, women who are spending their time caring for their household or children might not be able to devote their time fully to their husbands. This is no reason to excuse the adultery and shouldn’t make a woman question their self-worth.
Everyone wants to wow their partner and feel like they’re good in bed. But after a woman is cheated on, they can stress and wonder if they were doing enough to satisfy their partner. This can lead to low libido, anxiety in the bedroom, and not wanting to have sex at all. It’s important for women who are feeling this way to seek the help of a counselor to get their sexual self-esteem back on track.
Women might find it difficult to open up to future partners, causing tension that can be difficult to overcome. Due to not opening up, women might become reserved and have low self-esteem coming into a new relationship. It’s important for women to address issues such as low self-esteem and distrust, and learn to be vulnerable again with a new partner. Not all partners will cheat, and an understanding partner can give women the space and time they need to work on their self-esteem.
From being the cause of a divorce, to seriously damaging a relationship, cheating can create heightened levels of stress for women. The added stress can make women feel like they can’t handle their day-to-day life, which lowers their confidence and self-esteem. Getting professional assistance can help women lower their stress levels after adultery.
Just like increased stress, increased anxiety levels are common after a woman is cheated on. Anxiety is a warning signal that says something is wrong and can create debilitating physical and emotional symptoms. Trauma and abuse can cause anxiety, which makes it difficult for women to focus on their self-esteem afterwards.
Self-worth is a woman’s overall perception of herself. From what she deserves, to what she wants in life, self-worth might go downhill along with self-esteem when a woman is cheated on. It’s important for women to know they are still valuable and worthy of being loved and to keep this in mind even after their relationship has ended due to adultery.
Women might feel that they were to blame for being cheated on. They might think, Perhaps if I wasn’t so strict and overly cautious, or questioned him too much, he wouldn’t have cheated. This is, of course, flawed thinking. If a woman has her suspicions about their partner cheating, it may be that they’re justified. However, gaslighting is a common tactic used by manipulators in which their partner feels like they’re going crazy or are too cautious. In future relationships, women might continue to have lowered boundaries and open themselves up to being betrayed or hurt again.
Due to the betrayal, it can be difficult for women to feel confident in themselves and even in their friends. Women might suspect their friends are also capable of helping their spouse cheat, especially if their spouse cheated on them with their own friend. This increasing paranoia can lead to a lack of friendships, lowered self-esteem, and difficulty maintaining existing friendships.
If a woman is constantly put down due to her suspicions or is constantly ignored when she tells her partner about her feelings after the adultery, women might begin to ignore and devalue their own emotions. This is a dangerous consequence of adultery and can easily happen if a woman decides to stay with her partner after an affair.
This is more common than one might think. An estimated 70 percent of couples actually stay together after an affair. However, if a woman decides to stay in a relationship, it’s important to get help from a professional therapist or get help from a marriage counselor who is trained in helping restore confidence and self-esteem in women.
You might think that people cheat early on in a marriage. However, it’s estimated that women begin to cheat around seven years into a marriage, while men cheat an average of 11 years into marriage.
Because of the length of time in a relationship before an affair, it can be difficult for women to feel like their relationship was valuable. They might feel their marriage was a lie and like their relationship meant nothing, as if all their efforts in the relationship weren’t worth anything.
This can cause a woman to question her value in a relationship and greatly impact her self-esteem. For women to heal from this, they must understand that their relationship was real and that their role in it was real also.
In addition to feeling like their relationship wasn’t real, women might feel under-appreciated, especially if they helped their significant others with bills, chores, and other common relationship responsibilities.
Adultery – even after a woman put in her best efforts to help her partner – might lower a woman’s self-esteem and lead them to feel as though their efforts to help their partner were in vain. Of course, getting professional help and therapy can help women start to value themselves again and to see that there are other partners deserving of their efforts in a relationship.
If a woman decides to stay with their partner after an affair, it can be difficult to balance the new emotions, care for the relationship, and tend to work and school all at the same time. Women might even put their school or career on hold if their partner blames these for him cheating.
Women who end up quitting school or their careers to save their marriage can not only end up lowering their confidence and self-esteem but end up resenting their partner. This in turn leads to more feelings of hostility and anger.
If your partner cannot help you find balance in your work and career life, or simply refuses to let you live your own life and blames this for their infidelity, it’s a sign your partner is abusive and this relationship will, ultimately, not work.
In the end, cheating can be devastating for many reasons, from making a woman feel devalued, to questioning their own looks, to lowering their confidence and self-esteem. These things can all lead to symptoms and feelings of depression.
One of the biggest symptoms of depression is flawed thinking, including women feeling as if they are no longer able to appreciate all the good in life they’ve accomplished. Women must realize that they are still able to accomplish good things in life and can continue to be in a healthy relationship or even single while rebuilding their self-esteem and healing from adultery.
There is no right or wrong answer to this question. However, if you feel like you’re not ready to be in a new relationship and aren’t ready to be vulnerable with another person, it’s best to get therapy or counseling before beginning a new relationship.
Once you do begin a new relationship, it’s important to know if you’re compatible with your new partner and how to make this relationship better than your last!
This is also another common question for women who find out that their partner has had an affair. This, once again, doesn’t have a direct answer, but an affair isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker for marriages. If you do find yourself in an unhappy marriage and still want to make things work, it’s crucial to get help from a marriage counselor.
The best source of help will be either a marriage counselor or trained psychologist or therapist. Luckily, most insurance plans have mental health as part of their coverage, allowing you to find a qualified therapist near you.
If you don’t want the help of a therapist, but still need to talk, you can get the help of a variety of support groups either online or in person. Better yet, you can reach out to close friends and family who can offer advice.