Infidelity disrupts personal commitment – which is why infidelity is so painful.
By Sarah P.
For any betrayed spouse, there is no doubt in their minds that infidelity hurts.
The number one question that betrayed spouses often ponder is this: how can the person who loved them so much hurt them so badly. But, further, why can’t the wayward spouse understand the pain of betrayal?
Many people seek closure because it is human nature. I have noticed that if one can explain a thought process to another, that individual can put the puzzle pieces together, and it can provide them with a sense of understanding.
If someone can have understanding, and know the WHY, they sometimes can emotionally distance themselves from what their spouse is doing and realize it’s not about them.
What’s worse is when a person believes he or she directly caused an affair, it is one of the single most devastating events of a person’s life and developing PTSD is not uncommon.
For some reason, wayward spouses cannot understand how their betrayal causes complex PTSD in their spouses. And, rightfully, betrayed spouses cannot understand how their spouses who promised to cherish them, to forsake all others, and to be faithful forever can completely abandon them.
Betrayed spouses experience infidelity as absolute and devastating abandonment. It is not uncommon for betrayed spouses to experience a complete loss of feeling safe in life. Sometimes a person’s entire mind, body, and soul is affected when their spouse commits adultery.
Betrayed spouses can sometimes become physically ill when their spouse commits adultery. Sometimes the experience of being betrayed takes over a person’s entire identity and the repercussions of betrayal can affect every aspect of their being.
At some point, betrayed spouses can often become stuck on the why of infidelity – and rightfully so.
Are affairs caused by…
Childhood feelings of abandonment?
Watching a parent or other role model commit adultery?
Why is Infidelity So Painful?
In the past, my blogs have done deep dives into the why’s of infidelity, but a recent research study caused me to realize that there is more to the story.
The topic that might give betrayed spouses a better understanding of comprehending their personal pain, has to do with the factors that make relationships successful.
Here is where research studies are tremendously helpful. The reason infidelity is so painful is because it renders null and void the very thing that couples need to feel safe and satisfied in a relationship: a sense of commitment.
I found this in a Psychology Today article that sheds light on why infidelity is so painful, written by Rob Pascale and Lou Primavera Ph.D. These two psychologists found that relationship success comes down to a specific form of commitment; however, it is only one type of commitment that truly makes the largest impact:
While the why of infidelity matters, in the end a successful marriage comes down to two partners being equally committed to one another.
Infidelity hurts so much because infidelity disrupts the most important form of commitment: the knowledge, knowing, living, and understanding that each person in a couple is a team and has the back of the other.
In the end, it’s not structural commitment or moral commitment that keeps a marriage in tact. The most important part of a marriage is two people being genuinely and personally committed to one another.
Infidelity disrupts personal commitment. It is the disruption of personal commitment, that causes the stinging and unforgettable pain, which betrayed spouses suffer.
If you are the betrayed spouse, I invite you to share this article with your wayward spouse. I hope they (you) can understand the different types of commitment and how they (you) disrupted the one type of commitment that matters most – personal commitment – when they (you) had an affair.
Please share your thoughts on why infidelity is so painful in the comment section below.