When you discover you've been cheated on you feel a range of emotions -- shock, anger, hurt, just to name a few -- and often at their extremes. At some point everyone shifts from feeling to thinking and wants to know how do cheaters feel. Is he or she feeling any pain like I am?
If you're a partner who's been cheated on you're going to have a lot of questions. One type of question is going to be 'how' -- How do cheaters do it? How do cheaters feel? How do cheaters live with themselves?
As a counselor who specializes in working with men, I've counseled a lot of men who've cheated. It's important to note that it's not always men who cheat, and so I've also helped many men who've been cheated on, too. Regardless of who cheated, my work gives me insight into learning what many cheaters feel.
Before I explain if cheaters have any regrets, let's look at something that has a big impact on how they feel. Below is a Google+ post I wrote about keeping promises. Click the Read More button after the first 2 lines so you can read the full post and then I'll share how it's connected to cheaters and their feelings.
So, how do cheaters feel? Some feel really bad, others not so much. But no matter how much guilt or remorse a cheating person expresses outwardly, everyone feels it inwardly to some extent.
A common ability of cheaters is to separate themselves from their feelings and consciousness. In order to continue to act in a way they know is wrong, cheaters tell themselves lies – she deserves it, he doesn’t love me anymore anyway, I deserve to he happy (true, but not in this way).
All of us have ways our minds can justify wrong behavior. In order to cheat you need to get pretty good at doing this. These are the cognitive tricks cheaters use, but we all do too.
A developing trend in our society today that's making it easier to cheat is the acceptance of broken promises. Making promises just doesn't have the shame and consequences associated with it that it used to have. As our society makes it more and more acceptable to break a promise, it makes it easier and easier for anyone to cheat with very little guilt or remorse.
I've found that most cheaters really do have a conscience. Many people who cheat didn't set out to do so. A lot of time cheating just develops out of one bad decision followed by another bad decision. Before the person knows it, they're cheating. Once they've crossed that line, it's easier to justify it in your mind, keep on cheating, and enjoy the ride while it lasts, more than it is to admit the mistake and face the consequences.
If you've been cheated on, it's important to recognize that your feelings may be different than your cheating partner's. However, that doesn't mean your partner doesn't have negative feelings about cheating -- they'll probably just not show them. Burying feelings is how cheaters live with themselves.
The majority of men, and women, who cheat aren't bad people. They've just made a series of bad decisions. If you've been cheated on you might think I'm being too kind here. But the truth is the majority of cheaters do feel bad about cheating. Now about one of the toughest questions, do you leave a marriage after an affair?
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