A large number of studies have dealt with the psychological effects of infidelity and include the following negative emotional consequences: violence in a partnership, depression, acute anxiety and thoughts of suicide.

Other effects included loss of trust, damaged self-esteem, disturbed relationships with other people, such as children, parents or friends, and financial problems. The cheated partners are also exposed to a changing emotional pool. Studies report anger, dejection, fear to distrust and jealousy.

A study examined what cheated people suffer from after an infidelity. In this study, 3334 cheated men and women took part. The percentage of yes answers to selected questions is shown below. These relate to the condition in the first six months after the infidelity became known:

  • "I am angry with my partner": 49% of men and 72% of women.
  • "I am angry with the third person" (the lover): 70% of men and 70% of women.
  • "I feel guilty that this affair has occurred": 50% of men and 38% of women
  • "I wonder how my partner cheated on me like this": 83% of men and 94% of women
  • "I'm afraid of the future": 68% of men and 69% of women
  • "I feel sad": 90% of men and 93% of women
  • "I feel worthless": 48% of men and 53% of women
  • “Thoughts and / or images come to mind in which I imagine how my partner is cheating on me”: 75% of men and 74% of women

After finding out about the infidelity, most of the cheated partners reported complaints similar to post-traumatic stress disorder and destabilizing, unsettling and disoriented.

A blown up or confessed affair can therefore be seen as a critical and stress-causing life event, which strongly challenges the coping potential of both partners and can also overuse it. The majority of couples in which one of the partners was unfaithful face considerable psychological challenges.

Sexual and sexual medical effects of infidelity

In addition to the psychological effects mentioned, infidelity can also have consequences on a sexual level: The sexual experience with a third person was rated positively by the majority of the unfaithful people and was seen as enriching, whereas the betrayed partner suffered extremely.

An affair can also be a possible way of spreading sexually transmitted diseases. Condoms are not or only inconsistently used in non-partner sexual contacts. In this way, these diseases can be brought into existing partnerships.

Are there any positive consequences for affairs and one-night stands?

Despite the many negative effects of an affair, some researchers report that motivated and committed couples can overcome the trauma of infidelity and that personal growth is possible as a result. However, few couples can improve their partnership through cheating and an affair, the majority suffers from the negative effects and take a lot of time to process this experience.