Repercussions Of Cheating Nobody Thinks Of Until It’s Too Late

March 9, 2018  |  
1 of 15 young ethnic couple having relationship problems

When people cheat, they can believe—while they’re in the thick of it—that that cheating will happen in a vacuum. They can believe that this chunk of their life will not touch the others, meaning both the other people in their life (from family to friends to coworkers) to future periods of time. But cheating follows you almost forever. Perhaps a decade after the fact it follows you more slowly, a little less, and a little quieter, but it’s always there like a shadow you can’t kick. Maybe cheaters understand that they may hurt their partner, but that’s usually the only thing they worry about. They don’t realize how their act will actually impact their other relationships—including their relationship with themselves. Cheating and the urge to cheat is so intoxicating, it creates tunnel vision. Here are the repercussions of cheating nobody thinks of until it’s too late.

couple arguing, breakup


You get no sympathy after the breakup

Your friends and family don’t come to your rescue after your relationship implodes the way you’d expect. They feel that this is your fault. In fact, they believe you’re not even in pain and that you wanted the relationship to end.

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Potential partners can write you off

When dates ask how your last relationship ended, you can either tell them, and risk them shunning you entirely, or you can say, “I’d rather not say” and let their imagination run wild with worse scenarios.


Your friends don’t trust you

Your friends believe that, since you cheated, that you’re a good liar and that you don’t care much about other people’s feelings. So they begin to doubt your honesty and trustworthiness.


It’s forever on your record

You will always be a cheater. It’s kind of like being a divorcee or an ex-felon. Once those things are on your record, they cannot be removed. They’re blemishes on your reputation.


You have to forgive yourself

You’ve thought about your partner (or now ex) forgiving you, your friends forgiving you, and your family forgiving you. But you didn’t realize there was one more person who needs to forgive you: you. And that one can take the longest.

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That’s one person who may hate you forever

If it drives you nuts to know there is someone out there in the world who hates you, you may just have to get over it. The person you cheated on may just hate you forever.

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People can think you have no empathy

People can believe that you’re a cold, heartless person because you cheated. They can think that you won’t care about things like world hunger and homeless animals.

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You become paranoid

You wake up and realize that if you cheated—you, who you never thought would cheat—then anybody could cheat. Anybody you date. You become terrified of being cheated on.


You feel bad being happy

You feel like you’re not allowed to be happy. You feel guilty enjoying something so much as a sunset or cute puppy. You feel like you have to punish yourself with misery.

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You have to explain it over and over again

The story may be over for you, but it’s new to everyone else. If you do get into a relationship with someone new, he’ll want to know all about the cheating—why it happened and how it happened. He’ll feel that he needs this information if he can trust you.

Woman in therapy. Photo: Shutterstock

You may realize you have issues

Cheating might be the thing you had to do to put you over the edge and teach you that you have some issues. Why did you turn to cheating? What drove you? You’ll have to explore that (probably with a therapist) before getting into a new relationship. If you don’t, you’ll risk cheating again.

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You can’t be with the person you cheated with

If you were having an affair and you’d like to leave your partner for the person you were cheating with, get ready for some judgment. Maybe you could’ve been with him if you had had a clean break with your partner and then slept with the new person. But now you’ve stained him with the affair.

“People depend on me”


Or you can, and ostracize yourself

Well, you can date that person, but your friends and family won’t accept him for a long time. And maybe they never will.

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You don’t feel worthy of a good partner

You might feel unworthy of a good, loving, honest partner for a long time. You might think you deserve someone like you—a cheater.

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New partners will be paranoid

You’ll have to earn the trust of new partners as if you cheated on them. And you can’t really blame them for being paranoid.

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