When someone cheats on you, it breaks you in every way possible; not to forget how it makes you question just about any and everything—from your beliefs to their feelings. You feel like your world just crashed and burned and you died in it, too. It's just a terrible place to be. Sounds familiar, no?
Often when a partner cheats on you, you feel like you're physically incapable of any human function. And up until now, our friends and well wishers would always put it down to the effects being completely psychological. But, how could it hurt so much? It had to be more. It had to be real.
And, as it would turn out, it is real. Being cheated on does, in fact, affect your health and wellbeing. And while we really shouldn't need any scientific proof to justify the statement, for the naysayers and non-believers, there is now a study that proves it.
According to a recent study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, and conducted by the scholars at the University of Nevada in Reno, infidelity is one of the most distressing and damaging events couples face. “"The person who was cheated on experiences strong emotional and psychological distress following infidelity. We wanted to know if this emotional and psychological distress leads them to engage in risky health behaviors, such as unprotected ***, drug use, alcohol use, binge eating, or not eating at all,” says M. Rosie Shrout, the study's lead author and a graduate student.
The researchers involved recruited a total of 232 university students who had been cheated on in the past three months; out of whom, almost all participants reported having been in an infidel relationship for an average of 1.76 years. The participants were questioned on the reasons they believed infidelity seeped into the relationship—themselves, their partner, or their situation—as well as how their mental health had been during the time. The results of the study revealed that noninvolved partners (the ones who were cheated on) were more likely to blame the partner than themselves, and reported more symptoms of depression, anxiety, and distress following the infidelity. These same partners are said to have recorded more health-compromising behaviors. The most frequent were eating less, or not at all (45 percent), have used alcohol (44 percent), over-exercising (29 percent), having *** while high or drunk (27 percent) and marijuana used (19 percent).
“"The mediated effect of mental health was stronger for women compared to men,” the authors testified to PsyPost. “That is, women who reported high levels of self-blame or partner blame also experienced high levels of mental health consequences, which in turn resulted in even greater health-compromising behavior engagement following a partner's infidelity.” Shrout further stated, “We think this is because women typically place higher importance on the relationship as a source of self and identity. As a result, women who have been cheated on might be more likely to have poorer mental health and engage in unhealthy, risky behavior because their self-perceptions have been damaged.”
Being cheated on affects you; it affects the way you perceive people, relationships, your own self, as well as any hope for happiness and trust in the future. Yes, it is mental and emotional to a level that does affect one's physical state of being.