What exactly is a soulmate and why do unfaithful people feel their affair partner is their soulmate?
By Linda & Doug
Infidelity is one of the most painful experiences that anyone can go through. One of the most common beliefs that can make an already terrible situation even worse is the idea that your spouse’s affair partner is their soulmate.
This myth can be so damaging when it comes to infidelity and can make it extremely challenging to overcome the hurt and betrayal caused by the affair. That’s why it’s essential to debunk this myth and understand the truth behind it.
What the Heck is a Soulmate?
First, let’s define what we mean by the term “soulmate.” Well, the idea of a soulmate varies from person to person, and it can be quite subjective. Generally, people think of a soulmate as someone with whom they share a deep and profound connection. It’s as if their souls are intertwined.
It’s often seen as a relationship where two people are perfectly matched, understanding each other on a profound level. At the same time, experiencing an extraordinary sense of compatibility.
Here’s the reality: just because someone has an affair with someone else does not mean that they are their soulmate. In most cases, affairs happen because one or both partners believe they are unhappy in their marriage or relationship.
They are searching for something that they think is missing. That missing piece could be anything from attention, passion, or emotional connection. The affair partner is merely filling that void at the time, but that does not make them the ideal match for the unfaithful person.
Moreover, the chemical reactions in our brains can lead us to believe that someone we are attracted to is our soulmate. When we meet someone new and experience the initial stages of infatuation or “falling in love,” our brains release dopamine, which is responsible for our feelings of pleasure, reward, and motivation. Our brains become addicted to this feeling, which can make us believe that our affair partner is our soulmate.
Why Does the Unfaithful Person Describe Their Affair Partner as Their Soulmate?
When a person who has cheated describes the individual they cheated with as their “soulmate,” it can often be indicative of deeper psychological needs and desires that they may feel are not being met within their current relationship.
- Seeking Validation: One of the primary reasons why cheaters might describe their affair partners as soulmates is that they may be seeking validation. This can especially be the case if they feel neglected, underappreciated, or emotionally distant in their current relationship. The new person provides them with a sense of importance and worthiness that they may not feel they are receiving from their current partner.
- It’s Exciting and New: Humans crave novelty and excitement. An extramarital affair can bring a rush of adrenaline due to its secretive nature and the thrill of the unknown. In this context, the other person is seen as a ‘soulmate’ because they provide an avenue for experiencing something new and different.
- Emotional Connection: Often the cheating partner may form an emotional bond with the other person, leading them to perceive this person as their soulmate. This could happen if they feel emotionally disconnected from their current partner but find emotional intimacy with the new person.
- Idealization & Fantasy: Often, when a person cheats, they may idealize the person they are having an affair with. This person seems to fulfill all their fantasies and desires, which may be unrealistic in the real world. The term ‘soulmate’ is often used in these circumstances because it represents an idealized version of what they want in a partner.
Is It Just an Excuse?
Now, it’s important to also understand that this whole “soulmate” thing is often a rationalization or an excuse.
Here are a few reasons why unfaithful people might use this excuse:
Emotional Justification: Some cheaters genuinely believe they have a unique connection with the person they cheated with, even if it’s based on infatuation or a temporary emotional high. They might use the term “soulmate” to validate their feelings and make their actions seem more acceptable in their own minds.
Guilt and Rationalization: Labeling the person they cheated with as a “soulmate” can be a way for cheaters to cope with the guilt and rationalize their behavior. It shifts the blame from their own actions to the idea that they couldn’t resist this extraordinary connection.
Manipulation: In some cases, cheaters may use the term “soulmate” to manipulate their partner’s emotions. By making their infidelity seem like an extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime connection, they hope to elicit sympathy or understanding from their partner.
Remember that genuine soulmate connections are based on trust, mutual respect, and a commitment to building a healthy, lasting relationship. Cheating, on the other hand, betrays these principles and causes significant harm. In reality, no one is perfect, and there is no such thing as a perfect match. Our partners will always have flaws and shortcomings, and so will we.
If you’re someone who has experienced infidelity, it’s essential to challenge the myth that your spouse’s affair partner is their soulmate. Instead, focus on understanding why the affair happened in the first place and try to address any underlying issues. Seek the help of a therapist/mentor/coach who can help guide you through the healing process. They can provide you with the tools you need to deal with the pain and betrayal.
To demonstrate the “soulmate” mindset, our friend, counselor Tim Tedder, LMHC shares the following:
Stacey Chenevert, a former unfaithful person and infidelity recovery coach, shares her views on why unfaithful people feel their affair partner is their soulmate – based on her own experiences.
Infidelity is a devastating experience that can be challenging to overcome. However, believing the myth that your spouse’s affair partner is their soulmate can make it even harder to work through the pain and betrayal of the affair. The reality is that affairs do not typically happen because someone has found their perfect match.
Please share your thoughts and comments below. Also, feel free to share on whatever social media you use.