Infidelity and Sexually Transmitted Diseases

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 relationship. One of the worst things to come out of infidelity is the transmission of a sexually transmitted disease.  

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 as contaminated and dirty. When an STD is passed as a result of the affair, the cheated-on person now carries the terrible weight of living with decisions he or she never made. 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.

Being victimized is a defining aspect of an affair for the cheated-on partner. Assaults are being inflicted upon the relationship, security and trust without their knowledge. This places the cheated-on person in a position of being powerless over the decisions being made in his or her life without their consent. 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.

When the STD that’s been passed on is a more permanent illness 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, another emotional wound is inflicted.  This makes it very difficult for the person who was cheated on to stay in the marriage and in some cases, even more difficult for him or her to leave for the fear of having to face being single with an STD.

To combat this physical wound on a physical level, it’s important to take some self-protective steps. The cheated-on person must look after his or health by, first, trying to improve their immune system. Dietary and lifestyle changes can help; it’s crucial to have a doctor monitor the condition. Exercise, eating well, getting lots of rest and learning stress reduction techniques can all help. In doing this, the cheated-on person can put themselves first, reducing anger and depression while focusing on healing.

Emotional healing is crucial because no amount of anger, stress, suffering resentment or tears will change the situation. 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. He or she 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 anyone who needed to cheat, cheat you out of your health and happiness.

Sherrie Campbell, PhD is a veteran, licensed Psychologist with two decades of clinical training and experience providing counseling and psychotherapy services to residents of Yorba Linda, Irvine, Anaheim, Fullerton and Brea, California.  In her private practice, she currently specializes in psychotherapy with adults and teenagers, including marriage and family therapy, grief counselling, childhood trauma, sexual issues, personality disorders, illness and more. She has helped individuals manage their highest high and survive their lowest low—from winning the lottery to the death of a child.  Her interactive sessions are as unique and impactful as her new book, Loving Yourself : The Mastery of Being Your Own Person.

She earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 2003 and has regularly contributes to numerous publications, including Intent.com, Beliefnet.com, DrLaura.com and Hitched.com.  She is also an inspirational speaker, avid writer and proud mother.  She can be reached at Sherriecampbellphd.com. Loving Yourself: The Mastery of Being Your Own Person is available on Amazon.com and other fine booksellers.