Infidelity: Other Losses
Whether the relationship ends or not, when infidelity occurs some serious losses are felt. Losses can be physical or symbolic and may include:
- Loss of trust
- Loss of security
- Loss of hope/dreams
- Loss of faith
- Loss of intimacy and affection
- Loss of self esteem
The obvious loss is that of trust in the other partner. Trust is crucial to all relationships and is usually earned. Whether one is able to trust his/her partner after the discovery of an affair is dependent on many things including one’s individual values, his/her ability to forgive and whether the person who had the affair is willing to re-earn that trust.
Loss of security for many can be twofold. A sense of security can mean feeling safe and comfortable in the knowledge that all is good around them. It can also mean for some, that the discovery of an affair may result in the relationship breaking down which in turn means division of property and changes in lifestyle.
An affair can damage or destroy one’s hopes and dreams, particularly if trust cannot be restored and the relationship ends. Many people have dreams such as raising their children in an “in-tact” family, owning their home, or travelling together in their twilight years. Losing hopes and dreams can be devastating until such hopes and dreams can be replaced with others.
Many people like to “blame” someone or something for an affair, and quite often people lose their faith either temporarily or permanently. Statements like “why would God do this to me?” or “life just isn’t worth living” are indicative of someone who has lost either their spiritual faith or their faith in life.
The loss of intimacy and affection leads to loneliness which can lead to poor or hasty decisions in subsequent partnerships. Whilst some relationships may have noticed the absence of intimacy and affection many months prior to the discovery of the affair, many relationships manage to retain their closeness, and the affair shocks the discoverer who is placed in turmoil. All of a sudden they are eating, sleeping and talking with no one.
Probably the most common loss suffered after the discovery of an affair, is the loss of self esteem. This sometimes occurs when the blame is self directed with statements such as “maybe if I had looked after myself better” and “if only I had paid more attention to her instead of my work”. Some also take the view that their partner “chose” someone else over and above them because of the way they look, act, work which assists poor self esteem.