Useful Tips

Why does cheating make us feel guilty?


There is an opinion that all men change. Of course, this is not so, and there are examples of families where the husband and wife have lived in loyalty and love for many years. However, quite often due to disagreements and misunderstandings, one of the partners finds a hobby on the side. It can be a fleeting romance, or it can be a long-term relationship that puts marriage at risk ...

Recently, a forty-year-old man, Mikhail, turned to me for a consultation. He lived in marriage for 15 years, a child grew up, but lately the relationship with his wife did not go well. And just in this difficult period for him, a new employee appeared at work, she was younger than Mikhail exactly for the duration of his marriage, sexy, energetic and attractive. Michael led the department in which she began to work, so he was responsible for Angela’s training and internship. Soon a stormy office romance ensued, Mikhail began to linger more and more often at work, to leave on unforeseen “business trips”. Six months later, his wife nevertheless convicted him of treason, having read the correspondence on the phone, and made a scandal. The man packed up his things and moved to live with his mistress. But in a life together with Angela, there was nothing to talk about except for work. It was empty and lonely. A month later, Mikhail finally realized that he had made a mistake, and decided to return to his wife.

He arrived home with a huge bouquet of flowers and a golden ring. The wife accepted the gifts, admitted that she was very ill without him, and decided to forgive Mikhail. At first everything was fine, the wife tried to be an ideal woman, but only until the first quarrel, which was connected with the organizational moments of her son at school. Immediately, the wife recalled the betrayal, began to argue that Michael did not give a damn about her or the child. I had to make amends again with gifts and apologies. A little later, the situation repeated itself, and Mikhail began to realize that he was simply being manipulated. On the one hand, he really felt guilty, but, on the other hand, he could not understand his wife: if she was really happy about his return, then what else did she want from him? Why find fault on every occasion? Why remember?

So, we decided to talk with Mikhail about his guilt. Why did it arise? Because it is generally accepted that cheating is bad, wrong. This has always been condemned in society. But why did you want to change? Relations with his wife ceased to please for a long time, and Angela was just an excuse. We agreed that both should be responsible for what happened, because both felt something was wrong, but we did not want to be distracted by it, wasting our time and emotions.

Michael decided to talk with his wife on this subject, which he did. At the same time, Mikhail planned to make “unplanned” surprises to his wife without any reason, in order to give her what she lacked - attention, care, love.

This approach gave surprisingly fast results! My wife was very grateful to the actions and stopped using sabotage methods in relationships.

It is very important to understand that cheating is not a critical mistake. Sometimes it is even necessary to rethink your view of relationships and correctly prioritize. If you once stumbled, this does not give your loved one the right to manipulate and hurt you in response, because if you cheated on him, then this is his fault. It’s best to calmly discuss and analyze the situation, explain that you are sorry, but no longer want to return to this issue. Either the person really accepts and forgives you, or it makes no sense to continue such a relationship.

Of course, as described in this story is not always the case. Sometimes a serious breakdown in a relationship is found precisely in such situations and there is nothing left to do but admit that everything is over. This is also good, because then there is a chance to draw conclusions and build something new, in return for the destroyed.

History is given with the consent of the client, names are changed

What drives us to treason

Psychologists seek to investigate the underlying causes of infidelity. “The behavior is influenced by many hidden impulses,” says psychologist Mariz Vayan, “and sometimes the true essence is far from being on the surface. Maybe the lover of women seduces them because they are driven by a desperate desire to regain motherly love, and not just because of the sexual dissatisfaction that, according to him, he feels in a relationship with his wife. "

According to Marina Baskakova, infidelity is sometimes the way ... to keep a couple! “Family therapy uses the concept of 'invited third,” she says. - This secret partner in family life helps to defuse the tension that accumulates in the couple, and thereby supports the existence of the union. Moreover, this tension is far from always sexual in nature. The “traitor” can make up for the lack of interest in his affairs, care, recognition.

The one who chronically changes for the sake of new impressions, I would first of all ask how creatively he is implemented: in this way the lack of creativity in life is often compensated. And for women who have sacrificed, for example, a career or personal development for the sake of the family, treason can be a way to relieve oneself of the role of guardian of the hearth, return to their own essence.

Secret and Explicit

Until we want to change our relationship in a couple and avoid hurting our partner, we are able to hide our adventures on the side. “If“ evidence ”appears: traces of lipstick on the collar, erased SMS on the phone, this is not an accidental mistake,” Marina Baskakova is sure. - This is a kind of message for a partner: “Something went wrong! Pay attention to me! ”

Often betrayal becomes an occasion to discuss relationships, overestimate their importance for each other. “Guilt is a difficult experience,” the gestalt therapist says. - If we analyze it, we will find that there is a lot of excitement, revival, even joy. To better understand this, you can imagine a child who ate candy without a demand or went for a walk without seniors. And the reaction of the one who is deceived is also a strong feeling. The strength of these emotions gives the couple a new burst of energy that can move a frozen relationship from a dead point. ”

An open discussion can lead to different results. Perhaps the partners will recognize that their union no longer brings satisfaction, and will come to the idea of ​​parting. But it happens the other way around: feelings for each other come to life. “If a couple manages to resolve the conflict, the relationship between partners becomes stronger,” says Marina Baskakova.

I know you know

47-year-old Ilona tells how she discovered the disappearance of her love diary. “All of it was written in the form of appeals to a man, an affair with which lasted about a year. Even when we broke up, I continued to lead him for some time. Also, very eloquent photographs were pasted there - we looked at each other with love eyes. The notebook was hidden under my linen in a chest of drawers.

One day I wanted to re-read the diary, and it turned out that he was not in place! I had no doubt that my husband found him. There was simply no one else. I can’t convey how I felt then. Anger and guilt, shame and fear ... I was preparing for a decisive explanation, frank confession and that it could lead to a break. However, time passed, nothing happened, the husband was silent.

After about a month, I guessed to look in his desk - and for sure, the diary was found in one of the drawers. I took it and drove it to my parents. My husband and I never said a word about this incident. But I realized how much he values ​​me. It was very important for me to make sure that our relationship means so much to him that he is ready to give up his pride in order to preserve them. ”

The guilt of one partner can turn him into an object of manipulation of another

Treason is not something that one of the partners does without any connection with the other, it’s what happens to the couple. “Not with him or her, but with us,” emphasizes Marina Baskakova. - Therefore, accusations and self-incriminations are meaningless. The guilt of one partner can turn him into an object of manipulation of another: changed - give a gift, fulfill the request.

But only asking ourselves: why did this betrayal happen, that I am trying to find what I want to satisfy, do we get a chance to understand the meaning of what is happening to us as a couple. ”

A new definition of love

Like all primates, we are naturally polygamous, but in moral and social terms we function as monogamous creatures. It turns out that we live in a state of constant conflict: our biological nature conflicts with the value system. And we need explanations to calm our conscience.

“When desire comes into conflict with our social and moral“ I, ”we find ourselves under the threat of a mental breakdown to rationalize everything, look for an explanation for everything,” says Marise Vayan. “We blame our partners for imperfection, on the basis of a false premise that if they satisfied us, it would never have occurred to us to seek sexual joys on the side.”

There is a process of consuming love and turning it into a tool to serve our needs. It is suggested that we should receive complete satisfaction from love. And if this is not so, then we are trying to make up for this shortcoming, sometimes with the help of betrayals. However, the path to a real relationship opens only through the contact of the unconscious two people. That's what we should strive for, that's what, if it does not protect us from betrayal, it will help us to feel our relationship with another person in all their depth and complexity. "

And maybe this will lead us to a more “human” form of love: faithful, but at the same time aware of our internal structure, not deceiving us about that person whom we should first of all take care of. about myself.

Kirill, 58 years old, TV presenter

“I remained faithful to my wife for twenty years, although after we had a daughter, Marina began to devote less time to me. It's hard for a man to come to terms with this. Once I met a younger woman, and we began a stormy romance. I told Marina about this. I was hoping to awaken something in her this way. But this led to a terrifying crisis.

We parted, then converged again. Relations also developed with my mistress. Attacks of jealousy, breaks, return ... For a year I rushed between two women, then I turned to a psychotherapist. Little by little, I realized what was really happening to me.

When I was four years old, my mother, who was too busy with her work, instructed my aunt to educate me. The apparent lack of love on the part of my wife revived in me a memory of the same deficit of love on the part of my mother. In addition, I felt that time was running out, I was afraid to get old. The new novel is a revival, albeit an illusory one. You feel young and beautiful.

I broke up with my girlfriend. I realized that Marina loves me. She could leave me, but she didn’t. In addition, I could not leave her and her daughter. This story, among other things, taught me how to age. This, however, does not prevent me from constantly looking at the girls. But just watch! ”

Vera, 40, restaurant owner

“I come from Belarus. I met my future husband when I was 23 years old. We got married, our eldest daughter was born, then we moved to Moscow. That was not easy. I did not work, my husband often left. He was very attentive, always brought gifts, called me. I got pregnant again.

One evening they called me and told me that my husband had been deceiving me for three years. It was a shock. All the trust I had in him instantly evaporated. The second daughter was born, our life returned to its former rut, but everything went awry, we no longer had a sexual relationship. Every evening I went out to have fun. A year later, I started my first affair. This was not revenge, since I no longer worried what my husband would feel.

Then I had a real romance that lasted three years. I wanted to love and be loved, but not be bound by obligations. When my lover left his wife and suggested that I live together, I stopped everything. Since then, I have no one. I still live with my husband. I am not interested in his life; he is not interested in mine. We are not getting divorced: we have a calm relationship, the children have both parents.

But I can’t even think about creating something new. I no longer want to take risks. I cannot call myself either happy or unhappy. I defend what I have. ”

Zhanna, 37 years old, university teacher

“I’ve been married for fifteen years. With all my heart I love my husband, and he reciprocates with me. He is the man of my life. We have two kids. Our sex life is rich, full of love, we often have sex, and I am always surprised to hear how my friends talk about their relationship with their husbands. Sex often does not bring them joy. Rather, they do not care about him; this is a routine, an ordinary matter.

There is only one “but”. In order to live a normal life, I need meetings with other men. I meet them online or at work. I need to constantly feel that I am desirable, seductive, I need new physical sensations. You see, even if you adore chocolate cakes and you can eat them at any time, you still want sometimes candied fruit, or meringue, or cotton candy.

In what I do, there is nothing derogatory for my husband, rather the opposite. Not one of my novels has weakened the desire that I have for him. It seems to me that this cannot be called treason - after all, nothing changes in our life, and I do not do this in order to get rid of it. He doesn’t know anything. And I can’t imagine that I will ever tell him about this. I really value my family. ”

How to explain guilt

Guilt is an uncomfortable and often painful sensation that comes from the belief or impression that you have disturbed someone else’s feelings through certain thoughts or behaviors. In this case, we are talking about cheating on her husband, and cheating, as you know, is considered an antisocial act. Treason is a sin in religion, it is a serious offense in the law, because third-party intimate relationships are a serious reason for divorce in court.

Most anthropologists agree that early humans would not have survived without strong emotional connections that would force them to collaborate on food collection and territorial defense. It is not surprising that modern relationships between people are endowed with prohibitions and reactions to behavior that threaten emotional connections. First of all, it's the fault. Behavior that threatens the emotional connection stimulates feelings of guilt, while behavior that enhances the connection removes guilt. Simply put, a person will become closer to you, and guilt will disappear.

This evolutionary function of guilt, naturally selected because of its advantage in maintaining the emotional bonds that were once necessary for survival, has nothing to do with moral judgments about right or wrong. Therefore, we cannot simply define this phenomenon.

How can I get rid of guilty feelings for a perfect deed

Of course, bringing your conscience to a comfortable state will not work quickly. This is influenced by many factors:

  • relationship with her husband - if he is a good person, your guilt will only worsen,
  • Does your husband or other family members suffer from this?
  • were there any casual connections with her husband
  • whether this betrayal brought you the feelings that you aspired to.

To get rid of guilt after a betrayal, listen to some recommendations

Guilt is intensified if you build walls around yourself and isolate yourself from others. Opening up to people who can understand your situation, you can overcome guilt.

  1. Get advice from someone you trust. Refer to a third party to find out how you should move forward. Choose a person you can trust to keep your secret. Anyone older and / or wiser will be able to give practical advice. For example, if you have a colleague or friend who was able to heal their relationship after a similar situation, then he will be able to help you. Avoid trusting someone who can reveal your secret or judge you for your actions.
  2. If you have not found a person to whom you can open up, contact online groups where people with the same problems communicate.
  3. See a therapist. If you have repeatedly cheated and cheated, you may have to work with a professional to solve the root cause of your behavior and then work on the problem.
  4. Seek spiritual advice. If you are a believer, contact a religious mentor. The spiritual leader will be able to listen to you without judging and offering practical solutions to overcome the guilt you feel.

Sometimes a person feels guilty because they have not forgiven him. Perhaps he did not apologize, did not admit his act.

  1. Примите, что вы только человек. Преобразуйте чувство вины во что-то, способное быть сострадательным к себе. Вы не первая женщина, которая изменила мужу. Признайте эту общую нить человечества, и вы не почувствуете себя настолько виновной в совершении ошибки. Скажите себе: «Я всего лишь человек. Я не идеальна. Я делаю ошибки». This statement does not justify your misconduct - it simply helps alleviate your suffering.
  2. Another way to get rid of at least part of the load is to put the problem on paper. This can help ease the blame and give you some objectivity regarding the situation. You can even find a solution while writing. Describe in vivid detail exactly what happened. Express all your thoughts and feelings that you live. You could say: “I was sleeping with my ex, I regret it. But I don’t want my partner to know, I don’t know how to move forward. ” If you are afraid that someone else is reading what you wrote, burn the paper. This act of destruction can symbolize that deception and its consequences should not continue to affect you.
  3. If you are a believing woman, pray. Use your faith in a higher power to overcome guilt. You can do this by reading the scriptures, praying, meditating, or fasting. Your faith can provide guidance on how you can move forward after cheating. Subsequent spiritual practices can give you peace and acceptance, which ultimately minimize guilt.
  4. Focus on the future, not the past. Practice thought, stopping when you feel guilty. And try to constantly take positive actions that propel you forward.

The best solution is change

Guilt, like all emotions, changes shape with the passage of time. Instead of thinking that you should do something to lighten your soul, have patience and know that this feeling will eventually disappear.

If you are looking for a negative solution, it can lead to depression, alcoholism, drug addiction, or other emotional problems. Avoid this, better try to change something in your life for the better, work more on relationships with your loved one.

  1. The only way to move forward without fault is to stop cheating. Being in two respects is unfair for both the person you are cheating and the person with whom you are cheating. Decide who you want to be with and move away from secondary relationships. For example, if you have fallen in love with the person with whom you are cheating, and no longer love your husband, it is better to honestly admit and start a new life without lies.
  2. If you stay close to your husband, continue to be faithful. Do not undermine his confidence again. Become more gentle, caring, prove to him your love and devotion.
  3. Learn a lesson from the situation. How can you use this experience? It can help you break down the behavioral and mental patterns that made you cheat.

It is very important to understand that from a perfect act you have not become worse. You have not become a bad wife or mother. You are just a living person who can succumb to the temptation, who can be guided by emotions. But in time, repentance should give you a chance for forgiveness and life from scratch.