Infidelity is on the rise in our culture. Women and men are having affairs in equal numbers, and it is destroying the American concept of marriage. The emotional turmoil of being the person cheated on creates lifelong damage in the areas of trust, self-love, and being emotionally and mentally healthy. It is extremely difficult to keep a marriage together after an affair. Many couples cannot make it while others stay together but not without many permanent wounds to the idea of the relationship and the way the cheated-on person views him or herself and their partner. There are many residual wounds that linger long after the affair for all couples but if the cheated-on person was given an STD this has many deeper layers of anger, hurt and betrayal, which further exacerbate the experience of infidelity.
7 Stages of Victim to Victor:
1. Filth: Infidelity is dirty. No one ever wants to picture their partner sharing bodily fluids, emotions or sensations with another person. With or without an STD, the cheated-on person may view their partner who cheated as contaminated and dirty and the person that was the object of their partner's affection, the cheated-on person, imagines to be disgusting. When an STD is passed as a result of the affair, the cheated-on person now carries the filth of decisions never made by him or her and the filth of the person their partner chose to cheat with.
2. Dis-ease: Any time there is infidelity it creates a lack of ease or dis-ease in the relationship. It impacts, not just the cheated-on partner, but the family and friend group at large. When an STD is passed to the cheated-on partner, now there is not only the lack of balance from the affair itself, but an actual disease the already damaged relationship has to deal with creating a tremendous amount of worry, fear and anger in both people. The affair transcended from being emotionally destructive to physically destructive.
3. Victimized: Being victimized is a defining aspect of an affair for the cheated-on partner. Assaults are being inflicted upon his or her relationship, security and trust without their knowledge. This places the cheated-on person in a position of being powerless to the decisions being made in his or her life without their consent or knowledge. When an STD becomes an issue there is a much deeper level of not being protected, cared for, thought about or considered. The cheated on person moves into being physically assaulted in tandem with being emotionally assaulted.
4. Permanent Reminder: When the STD passed is a more permanent STD such as Herpes or HPV, or worst case scenario HIV this disease will be with the cheated-on person for the rest of their life. With each outbreak or physical symptom there is an emotional wound reaching deeply into the recesses of his or her psyche that he or she got this disease due to an unfaithful partner and the anger and resentment are triggered each time. This makes it very difficult for the person who was cheated on to stay in the marriage and even more difficult for him or her to leave for the fear of having to face being single with an STD.
5. Empowerment: To find the blessing in the bummer a way to look at this STD is as the great consequence to their partner. He or she did something dirty, which would make good sense that the unfaithful partner would end up with an STD. Now that the person who was cheated on has the STD as well, it will remind the unfaithful partner, continually, of the dire impacts of what they did much more powerfully than any emotional punishment the cheated-on person could serve up on their own. This disease will forever be reminding their partner of the pain and damage he or she caused and to the seriousness of unfaithful partner's selfishness.
6. Health: If the cheated on person contracted an STD from their cheating partner, believe it or not, there are benefits. For one, the cheated-on person must improve their overall immune system if he or she wants to prevent outbreaks. So, the victimized partner can research all diet implications and make the necessary changes, as many foods trigger STDS's like HPV and Herpes. It is a good time to use this information to get back to feeling whole, healthy and sexy once again by exercising, eating clean, and getting lots of rest. Stress is the number one trigger to compromise the immune system and trigger STD symptoms and so this is the perfect excuse for the cheated-on person to put themselves first, get out of their anger and depression and focus on themselves being emotionally, mentally and physically more disciplined.
7. Acceptance: If the STD was passed to the person who was cheated on there is no amount of anger, stress, suffering resentment or tears that is going to change their circumstance. It is natural and ok to feel all these feelings but the victimized partner should refrain from sitting and suffering in what he or she cannot change. This is a new challenge in his or her life and their only job is to live effectively within that challenge. The cheated-on person must take their power back, accept their circumstances and make the decisions he or she needs to make to live the life they desire to live. This is not the end or the defining moment of who he or she is. It is possible for the victimized person to turn this challenge into a motivating force in his or her life and to hold their head high. That is his or her best revenge.
Sherapy Advice: Never, ever let any two people who needed to cheat, cheat you out of your health and happiness.