8 reasons people fall out of love after infidelity (and what to do)

Infidelity shakes any relationship down to its core. 

Perhaps you recently found out your partner cheated, and your feelings are changing.

Or maybe it was you who was unfaithful, and you’d like to save the relationship. 

Either way, this is a very difficult time for both people involved. You likely feel a lot of uncertainty, as well as many questions that don’t let you rest. I know how you feel, as I’ve been there myself.

So today, I’m here to help provide some peace of mind and help you find answers. Together, I’m certain we’ll figure out what you can do next to get your love life back on the right track.

8 reasons people fall out of love after infidelity

Infidelity can make both the one cheated on, and the cheater as well, fall out of love.

Here are the top 8 reasons this can happen. 

1) Betrayal

The one cheated on

Infidelity is a breath of trust. 

If you find out you’ve been cheated on, you start to see your partner in a different light. You used to think you were the only one in their lives, and that they wouldn’t do anything to hurt you.

And now suddenly you found out that this was a lie. Naturally, this leads to anger, hurt, and disappointment. 

You don’t want to let them get close to you anymore, as they might hurt you again. You may even want to “get back at them,” pushing them away emotionally and wishing they would feel the same pain as you do.

Of course, this pushes out feelings of affection, so as the cheated on partner you can easily find yourself falling out of love

The cheater

Even the person who did the cheating can find their feelings changing. 

Even though it was your decision, you know that they have betrayed the trust of the person you gave a promise of loyalty to. 

It’s difficult to fit together feelings of love along with this very unloving behavior. They don’t belong together, and yet you have them both in you now.

To solve this contradiction, you may push your feelings of love away or find them fading away. 

2) Loss of emotional connection

The one cheated on

Infidelity leads to a loss of emotional connection for both of the people in a relationship.

You used to share a close bond that belonged to only the two of you. But now, there is a third person in the equation. 

If you were the one cheated on, you may close yourself off as a way to protect yourself. You may feel unsure if your secrets are being told to the “other woman/man”.

Or, you may also feel jealous or insecure, wondering if your partner’s emotional connection with this third person is stronger than the one they share with you.

The cheater

The person who cheated may not struggle with insecurity in the same way, but they will also have diminished emotional connection.

What you used to give to only one person, you are now secretly giving to two.

You cannot fully open up and be honest with your partner. 

Maybe you even started cheating because the emotional connection was already lost beforehand.

Of course, the more distant you grow emotionally, the weaker feelings of love can become. 

3) Lack of communication

The one cheated on

Of course, infidelity by definition includes a lack of communication.

Your partner went behind your back. Instead of coming to you and talking about the issues that drove them to cheat, they started keeping secrets.

And now, you too feel as though you can’t open up fully with your partner anymore. 

You feel that they have grown distant from you, and it is painful to try to get closer because of how they hurt you.

I went through all these feelings (and MUCH more) when I found out I had been cheated on. My partner wanted to find a way to work through things, and I wasn’t sure what I wanted but I knew that I had to do something to overcome how awful I felt. 

The problem was that it was extremely painful to talk about infidelity and the pain I felt.

I was completely stuck, miserable where I was but unable to take a single step to move forward.

It wasn’t until my partner decided to get help from a relationship coach at Relationship Hero that I finally got myself out of this deep hole.

I wasn’t expecting much, but I was truly blown away by how kind and understanding, and professional they were. 

They gave us unique insight into the dynamics of our relationship, and helped us find a way to open up and work through the difficult issues we were facing.

Even though it was my partner who begged me to try them at first, now it’s me who goes to them for help whenever I have issues in my relationship — and they have never once failed me.

If you’d like to get tailor-made advice for your particular situation too, just click here to get started.

The cheater

It’s quite possible that poor communication is at the core of your infidelity as the cheater.

Maybe you feel there are issues in your relationship, but you hate confrontation, so you never deal with them. Instead, you seek comfort and pleasure with someone else.

Or on the other hand, perhaps it was intense misunderstandings and conflicts that led you to this course of action.

After your infidelity, you may struggle to express your feelings and explain why you did what you did.

You may fall into being defensive, or shut down and avoid talking about what happened. 

And without communication, there is no way for love to stay strong in a relationship. 

4) Insecurity

The one cheated on

Finding out your partner was unfaithful to you can spark many feelings of insecurity. 

You may wonder what’s wrong with you, or why you aren’t good enough for your partner.

If you know who the third person is, you may begin comparing yourself with them, and finding flaws in yourself in areas where you believe they do better.

This builds up a feeling of insecurity not just about your relationship, but about you as a person.

Of course this affects the quality of your relationship, as you are no longer certain in it and in your role inside it. You’ll likely start to wonder if your partner truly loves you.

But the bigger problem is that it can shake your relationship with yourself.

You may even start falling out of love with yourself, if you let these thoughts color your perception of your own self-worth.

The cheater

Sometimes the very reason someone decides to cheat is that they feel insecure.

If this is you, maybe you feel your partner doesn’t give you what you want or need from a relationship. Maybe you were driven to do this due to relationship issues you can’t seem to solve.  

Yet, you feel you cannot, or don’t want to leave them, so you cheat instead.

The act of infidelity can also lead to feelings of insecurity for the cheater.

For one thing, you will find yourself worrying about being caught, or losing your partner, or being shunned by others. 

Feelings of guilt and shame and also cause anxiety and low self-worth, as you question your own morals and values.

And if your partner finds out about your infidelity, knowing that they no longer trust you can make you stop trusting yourself too. 

5) Loss of respect

The one cheated on

When you find out you’ve been cheated on, it can be hard to keep the same level of respect towards your partner.

After all, they clearly haven’t respected you and your relationship with them. So how can you respect them when they don’t give it to you?

You’ll also realize that their values and priorities are not what you thought they were. This might have been a big reason for your affection for them — believing that they are loyal, honest, and trustworthy.

So finding out reality is completely different from what you thought can upend your respect for them as well.

And when respect is lost, love quickly follows suit.

The cheater

Loyalty and respect go hand in hand in relationships. If one of them is lost, it won’t be long until the other one will go as well. 

If you’ve been feeling dissatisfied in your relationship for a while, chances are you’ve lost some respect for them and that’s why you felt driven to cheat in the first place.

On the other hand, if you respected your partner fully and the infidelity happened spontaneously, you’ll find your respect diminishing afterwards. 

Your actions have shown you that you don’t respect the role your partner is supposed to play in your life, and your responsibility towards them. 

So the feelings don’t stick around for much longer after that.

6) Guilt and shame

what is a spiritual calling 8 reasons people fall out of love after infidelity (and what to do)

The one cheated on

This is one thing that really surprised me when I found out I had been cheated on by an ex-partner. 

They were the one who did something wrong — yet I was the one who felt overwhelmed by guilt and shame.

Why did I have to feel this way? It felt completely unfair, and made me extremely angry.

Eventually I understood my feelings. Part of the problem was that I felt like I was somehow responsible for driving my partner to cheat. I felt like I had someone failed them, and that “if only I had been a better partner,” it never would have happened. 

I felt ashamed that this had happened to me, and like it somehow reflected on my self-worth.

But the real underlying problem was actually the relationship I had with myself.

It took me a long time to realize this, and how it was affecting not just my romantic relationship, but EVERY relationship in my life.

It was renowned shaman Rudá Iandê who opened my eyes to this. He taught me to see through the lies we tell ourselves about love, and become truly empowered.

As Rudá explains in this mind blowing free video, love is not what many of us think it is. In fact, many of us are actually self-sabotaging our love lives without realizing it!

We need to face the facts about what infidelity brings out in us. 

If you’re battling feelings like guilt, shame, or others like resentment, know that you’re definitely not alone. And while these feelings are perfectly normal, you don’t need to keep feeling this way. 

I found a way to get past my ex-partner’s infidelity and regain absolute confidence in myself, and so can you. Click here to watch Rudá Iandê’s free video.

The cheater

It’s pretty obvious that the person who cheats can experience a great deal of guilt and shame afterwards.

You may consider yourself to be a very loyal, ethical, and trustworthy person. So the fact that you did this may feel completely out of character for you.

If others find out, many may quickly jump to judging you without hearing the full story. 

And while you know that there are reasons for what you did, deep down you are also aware that no matter what the reason, infidelity is still infidelity. 

These feelings can be so uncomfortable that you may want to let go of this relationship rather than work through them. 

7) Resentment

The one cheated on

Infidelity quickly and easily sparks resentment in couples.

As the betrayed partner, it’s understandable that you’d build anger towards your partner.  “How could they? I was always so loyal to them, and they treat me like dirt.” 

I know I definitely felt like this when I found out I was cheated on in the past. This resentment made me lash out in pain at my partner, and unconsciously look for ways to start conflict rather than make peace and put things to rest.

If you get stuck in resentment like this, it becomes very difficult to move forward, and there is no room left for feelings of love to grow.

The cheater

The cheater can also build resentment towards their partner.

In fact, this might be a big reason for the infidelity in the first place.

Perhaps you feel angry at your partner because you feel they don’t treat you right. In a way, your infidelity is like you getting back at them — just like Gabrielle Solis in Desperate Housewives.

After you cheat, you may resent your partner for how the relationship changes. They no longer trust you, they are angry at you, and maybe they even expect you to go to extreme lengths to regain their forgiveness.  

While these feelings are understandable, you may feel like they don’t know even half of the full story, and that it is unfair to be on the receiving end as if you are the only one who has contributed to your relationship issues.

8) Different values

The one cheated on

When I found out my ex-partner had cheated on me, in the same moment I also realized that we had different values.

I had thought that we both valued loyalty, honesty, monogamy, and solving problems rather than running away from them.

But apparently, this wasn’t the case.

Now, I’ve forgiven my ex for their infidelity. I was even able to understand what they did, and though their actions and mistakes are their own, I admit that I also had a significant role to play in our relationship issues.

And the fact is that different values are not really “anybody’s fault”. There isn’t necessarily a right or wrong here, at least not all the time.

You may simply value different things. That’s totally cool.

But unfortunately it’s hard to sustain a relationship in this way. Shared values are at the core of any happy and healthy relationship.

So if infidelity makes you realize your values are different, that’s often when people often start to fall out of love. 

The cheater

The same that I wrote above goes for the cheater too.

If you’re able to cheat on your partner, whether it was planned or spontaneous, it can be a strong sign that something isn’t working in your relationship.

It could be a number of things, but a big one that you should carefully consider is different values.

Maybe deep down you realized that you are incompatible, but you’re unwilling, unable, or scared to break things off. 

What to do if you fall out of love after infidelity

Now that you’ve read through the options above, you can probably identify which feelings you feel you can relate to the most. This will help you understand the reason why you or your partner are falling out of love after infidelity. 

In my case, and as I explained above, it was mostly problems with communication, and battling internal feelings of guilt and shame. 

Now, what are you supposed to do next?

There are many directions you could go in from here.

  1. You might feel the relationship is worth saving, and want to repair the damage.
  2. Or you might want to fully let go of the love you feel in order to call it quits and move on for good.
  3. Or, perhaps like me, you might be not really sure what to do, as you feel torn between both the options above. 

Here are tips that will help you move forward for whichever path you are on. 

Choice 1: How to repair the damage and fall back in love after infidelity

Rebuilding trust after and love after infidelity can be a challenging and complex process. But it is definitely possible with effort and commitment from both partners. 

Here are 7 simple steps to follow if this is the path you choose. 

1) Acknowledge the infidelity 

You cannot get over any issue, no matter what it is, without first acknowledging it.

You and your partner must both be honest with each other about what happened and how it has affected you both.

The partner who cheated should take responsibility for their actions and acknowledge the pain they caused. They should apologize sincerely and express their remorse.

And the partner who was cheated on must open up about their feelings and be honest about the boundaries and expectations they have from the relationship. 

2) Be transparent 

The partner who cheated should be open and transparent about their actions and whereabouts. They should answer any questions their partner may have and be willing to provide reassurance.

It may take some time, but the partner who was cheated on should try not to abuse this and demand the world from their partner as compensation for the cheating.

Yes, your partner made a mistake, but though you have not made the same one, we are all human and have all made mistakes in some form. 

You cannot start treating your partner’s infidelity as ammunition to manipulate them.

3) Seek professional help

Working through infidelity is an incredible difficult and challenging process — I know, as I’ve been through it.

And I honestly don’t know if I would have made it out to regain full confidence in myself and foster healthy loving relationships if I didn’t seek help.

As I mentioned earlier, I turned to a relationship coach with Relationship Hero. It was actually my partner’s idea — but I wish I could take credit for it.

They took the time to get to know me and my partner’s unique situation and issues, rather than giving us cookie-cutter mistakes. Their compassion, professionalism, and knowledge were absolutely priceless and forever changed how I approach relationships.

Even today I keep going back to them for advice whenever I have something to work out in my relationship.

If you too would like to connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice to overcome infidelity, just click here to get started.

4) Make a commitment

can you feel your soulmate before you meet them 8 reasons people fall out of love after infidelity (and what to do)

Both partners should make a commitment to rebuild the relationship. 

This is a complex commitment which involves many things:

  • Setting healthy boundaries
  • Making changes to the relationship
  • Putting in active effort to rebuild trust
  • Attending agreed upon therapy sessions
  • Practicing healthy listening and communication
  • Prioritizing the relationship

What you decide to do depends ultimately on you, your partner, and your needs. The most important thing is to stay consistent with the actions you take to regain and rebuild your love.

5) Be patient

Throughout the process of falling back in love after infidelity, you need to remember to be patient: with yourself, and also with your partner.

No matter who did the cheating, it will take time for both of you to redefine what normality means for you, and regain stable footing.

Building trust is a process that cannot be sped up — at least not if it should be real.

It may take months, or even years to fully regain trust, respect, and love. But with effort, it is possible, and definitely worth it for the right person.

6) Stay accountable

Both people in the relationship need to stay accountable for their actions and mistakes.

Some may have the misconception that it is only the cheater who has something to acknowledge, admit, and repair.

But people who start thinking like this end up feeling like they can get away with doing anything “because my partner was unfaithful.” 

We should always stay humble and remember that we are all human, we have all made mistakes and hurt others, and that if you made the commitment to repair your relationship, then you both have to own up to your mistakes — as you will both surely continue to make some. 

7) Practice forgiveness

As  someone who was cheated on, I put in a lot of effort in order to forgive my partner.

But later I realized that my partner was working equally as hard to forgive themselves as well.

Both forgiving someone else and forgiving yourself can be very challenging. But it is truthfully one of the most healing and transformational things you can do for your own health and happiness.

You need to let go of the anger and resentment towards the partner who cheated.

This doesn’t mean justifying their actions or saying that they didn’t do anything wrong. It means honoring your own feelings of pain while also being able to step outside of your own mindset and into their shoes to understand their side with compassion as well. 

Choice 2: How to let go of someone after infidelity

Often, infidelity can be the catalyst for ending your relationship. You may realize that you’re not right for each other, or that the love is gone for good.

But sometimes lingering feelings can make letting go of someone difficult, even if they cheated on you.

Personally, I went for choice 1 above of repairing the relationship, but later realized that regardless of the infidelity, we just weren’t right for each other. It was time for me to move on.

Here are 5 steps to help you let go of your relationship after infidelity.

1) Allow yourself to feel your emotions

Give yourself permission to feel the full range of emotions that come with being cheated on, including anger, sadness, and betrayal. 

It’s important to process your emotions and not push them aside.

What I found helped me most here is a combination of meditation and professional help from a therapist.

However, each person will have a different way to process emotions, so explore what works best for you:

  • Journaling
  • Meditation
  • Breathwork
  • Therapy
  • Talking with friends

2) Seek support

Falling out of love after infidelity is a difficult journey to go through, but it is much easier (and much more pleasant) if you don’t have to do it alone. 

Don’t be afraid to reach out to people who can help and support you during this difficult time. 

Surrounding yourself with positive, supportive people can help you navigate the process of letting go and moving on.

Friends and family are priceless during this time. But even though they may have the best of intentions, they may not always know what will truly help you.

In my case, I reached out to my trusted and certified relationship coach at Relationship Hero. I mentioned them above a few times already, so I don’t want to sound like a broken record.

Let me just say that no matter what issues I’ve faced in regards to my relationship and love life, they have always been there for me in every way I needed them to be.

If you’d like to give them a try as well, click here to get started.

3) Set clear boundaries

When you want to let go of someone, it can feel like you need to just cut them out of your life and stop talking to them.

But the healthiest way to let go is to be honest with them about the boundaries you’re setting with them.

  • Do you expect to have no contact whatsoever with them moving forward?
  • If you have to keep in touch because of work, mutual family, or unfinished business, when and how are you willing to do this?

You should communicate your expectations clearly, and you’ll have a much higher chance that they will be respected. 

4) Focus on self-care

As you heal and fall out of love after infidelity, make sure you take good care of yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally.

Invest in activities that bring you joy:

  • Exercising (cardio in particular brings lots of feel-good hormones!)
  • Spending time with loved ones
  • Spending time on your hobbies
  • Investing in your mental health 
  • Taking time to do nothing and just relax

5) Work on forgiveness

Just because you decide to move on and let your partner go, doesn’t mean all your anger and hurt just magically disappear.

Now is the perfect time to dig deep into yourself and work on releasing any pent up pain, resentment, or anger you have towards your partner, or anyone else for that matter.

Holding onto it will just hold you back in life, and keep you from stepping into the reality you want for yourself. 

Remember that forgiveness doesn’t mean excusing someone’s mistakes, or reconciling with them. It’s something you do for your own health and peace of mind. 

If you’re not sure what to do 

It’s clear from what I’ve shared above that I wavered in regards to what to do.

First I agreed to try to repair the relationship. And I genuinely gave my all in trying to do just that. 

I must say I had success, and both my partner and I were able to overcome our issues and continue building a committed relationship together.

But even though we overcame infidelity, we ultimately realized that we still weren’t right for each other.

I genuinely don’t believe this was because of the infidelity, but because of other unrelated issues.

However, I distinctly remember the feeling of not being sure what to do shortly after I found out about the cheating.

So if you find yourself in this position, the best piece of advice I can give you is to not pressure yourself to make a decision right away.

Even if you decide to go for it like I did, nothing is set in stone. You can always change your mind later. 

But try not to agree to something if you don’t feel at least fairly confident that you want to genuinely give it a shot. That wouldn’t be being fair to either you, or your partner. 

Though the relationship coach I mentioned above has helped me immensely with deciding what to do, I can say that the greatest impact for all my relationships was a different source: a love and intimacy course by the renowned shaman Rudá Iandê.

After I watched it, I realized how my own relationship with myself, and my own sense of identity, was affecting how I approach every single other relationship in my life.

It was holding me back in some cases, and exposing me to very toxic and hurtful behavior in others.

Even if you think you don’t have much to learn in this regard, Rudá Iandê might surprise you, like he did me.

His video is completely free, so you really have nothing to lose. If you’d like to invest in yourself to benefit all the relationships in your life, you can watch his mind blowing free video right here

Closing thoughts

Falling out of love after infidelity is certainly no easy topic to talk about — and even more difficult to go through.

Having gone through most of the struggles I described above myself, I hope I’ve been able to convey the insights and wisdom I’ve learned in a way that can help you heal and move forward. 

No matter what path you may choose, I know that there are amazing things waiting for you in your future.

If there’s any way you feel I can help you out more, please reach out and I’d love to have the opportunity to help. 

 

 

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Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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