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Has anyone experienced being cheated on and having some sort of ptsd

(23 Posts)
alwaysthinking111 Wed 15-Jul-20 15:20:21

Hi all
I was married for 6 years, together for 15 years. Met very young, thought he was my forever etc etc. He cheated on me in the last 3 years of our relationship, I stayed with him for a bit but couldn't forgive him. We ended it and a year and a half later I met someone and we've been together for 3 years. I've had my issues with him, I've often seen him looking at women, he's looked at porn a bit but no reason why I think he would be cheating. All of which I've told him I don't like. But just lately my mind is constantly wondering if he is cheating on me (for no real reason) I've always got a plan in my head of what I will do if he does (leave the house, cut him off etc). But I honestly feel like I've got ptsd from when things happened to me before. I feel like it's going to happen again and I've got to be ready. How do I get over this?

OP’s posts: |
Notnastypasty Thu 16-Jul-20 22:48:33

I was also cheated on by exH and definitely felt as if I had some form of PTSD afterwards. I’m still single 6 years on - when I have feelings for someone those feelings get activated again and I feel anxious. It’s a shame but I find it easier to stay single.

PicsInRed Thu 16-Jul-20 22:59:37

I believe that breaking trust is a literal breaking of the ability to trust in that type of relationship - and the damaging of the ability to trust overall. I do believe this is a form of PTSD. It's a trauma response.

This is exactly why our society originally sought to forbid cheating - because it breaks innocent people, destroys families, and damages society.

TooManyDogsandChildren Thu 16-Jul-20 22:59:39

Yes I have often thought I have a form of PTSD too after finding out exH had cheated on me throughout our marriage.

Six years on I can't bring myself to even think of being vulnerable to anyone else and I feel very anxious if I even think about another relationship. I just get a stream of thoughts linked to all the times exH was horrible to me.

Far easier to stay single.

RLEOM Thu 16-Jul-20 23:28:08

After our baby was born, my now-ex would flirt with his female friend in front of me, in our home, week after week. They were having an affair. He'd look me in the eye when he was flirting with her, like he was getting a buzz out of seeing me hurt.

I left when our DD was 3 months old. Two years later, I still have random daily flashbacks of them flirting and I'll be reduced to tears. I'm sure this is PTSD as the rest of my life is fine. I'm over him but my brain is not over what he done.

stoptheride Thu 16-Jul-20 23:36:17

I've had nightmares on and off ever since, I've kind of been blocking it out with wine.. it's been awful. I'll never trust another human ever.

KatDubs261 Fri 17-Jul-20 00:50:57

You are not alone. I have felt similar emotions since my ex cheated 2 years ago.

This is why infidelity makes me so angry - the person gives no thought to the person who will deal with the agony and the ramifications for years afterwards. Now my ex is off living with another woman and while I have I dated I am still very reluctant to be truly vulnerable. I hate that he did that to me. It's tough.

SoulofanAggron Fri 17-Jul-20 01:00:34

So sorry you went through this. flowers You could try having EMDR therapy, it can be really helpful for lessening the impact of painful memories. xx

FoookinHell Fri 17-Jul-20 01:02:43

I’ve been diagnosed with complex PTSD after being cheated on, DV and also childhood sexual abuse. Explained to DP at the beginning what I need from him so we could grow together, which was transparency, honesty and stability, he’s made some poor decisions along the way, which has sent me back to counselling and him as well, so he had more of an understanding of things that trigger my PTSD. We are still together and I still suffer with it but it’s more of an everyday trigger that can send me back to that emotion, or feeling that happened at the time of the event as complex PTSD is not about flashbacks of nightmares it’s about feelings and emotions. Google it, you might find it fits what you’re feeling.

TossACoinToYerWitcher Fri 17-Jul-20 01:11:13

A psychologist I visited literally told me I had a form of PTSD - not in a melodramatic way, but in a clinical fashion, like a doctor diagnosing an infection.

The first year after my ex-wife's infidelity was a wierd one in retrospect. I'd imagined what it must have been like to be cheated on, but the reality was much more complex and surreal. It was like the neurons in my brain were an ants' nest that had been kicked over. Or my head had been a glass vase that had been dropped from a great height. It makes sense, I suppose. My subconcious map of the world had just been blown to smithereens. I kept getting thoughts and memories like phantom limbs.

backseatcookers Fri 17-Jul-20 01:38:43

EMDR therapy helped me, but then so did meeting someone who didn't do stuff that triggered my PTSD. Being with someone who does some stuff that triggers you may IME mean that you won't have a healthy relationship with them. It may be neither persons fault but a question of compatibility with each other's needs.

famousforwrongreason Fri 17-Jul-20 02:18:12

Yes definitely ptsd, it's a proven fact but not bandied around a lot, presumably because 'broken hearts' are so common people don't take it seriously enough.
Basically, your world and everything you believe in is turned upside down, and exposed as a lie, who can carry on 'normally' after that?

Fireandflames666 Fri 17-Jul-20 07:08:52

Yes, I was cheated on at the bed of 2016/beginning of 2017. I have ptsd and now have issues with trusting anyone/anything. In fact I don't even go out to meet friends anymore.

alwaysthinking111 Fri 17-Jul-20 21:47:12

I think life changes a lot after you've been through something like that, mine did. I'd 100% do things differently if it happened again I wouldn't hang around, but it's very hard to trust again

OP’s posts: |
justlikejasper Fri 17-Jul-20 21:51:34

Yes definitely feel the same. He cheated on me and got her pregnant so theres a constant reminder. Definitely get flashbacks every so often and it's the unanswered questions that make me angry

mpsw Fri 17-Jul-20 21:56:59

PTSD is a specific diagnosis, not a catch-all term for any disorder following a traumatic experience, it is normally characterised by flashbacks (rarely absent) and if you think you have thus you need a proper psych referral for diagnosis and treatment plan. Quality of services can vary, but getting into the system and properly diagnosed will be worth it (even if you decide to seek therapy privately). Somsee your GP as soon as you can secure an appointment

If it is a different condition, then other interventions might be more appropriate than those specifically for PTSD.

Selfraising Fri 17-Jul-20 21:58:10

I had a similar situation. Was married for 10 years, split a few years ago. I have found out since that he led a double life for our whole marriage, complete with secret children and everything! I am definitely traumatised, even though my life is lovely these days generally. I can't see myself ever fully trusting anyone again. I genuinely had no idea. So how can you ever trust anyone?? It doesn't help that my best friend, who I met after I split up with ex, had a secret 10 month relationship with him. I've been done over twice there! I honestly feel like I can't trust anything anyone ever says - from my family to school mums to strangers.

Thewookiemustgo Sun 19-Jul-20 21:37:21

Brilliant description of what this feels like. Sorry you went through it.

Thewookiemustgo Sun 19-Jul-20 21:38:59


Brilliant description of what this feels like. Sorry you went through it.

This is for @TossACoinToYerWitcher

Jabbercocky Sun 19-Jul-20 23:48:23

Read up on ‘Betrayal Trauma’. It is now commonly accepted that infidelity can cause PTSD in some people and it has nothing to do with that person’s emotional resilience. When the infidelity results in psychological shock PTSD is likely to follow. Of particular risk are instances where aggravating circumstances are present like when the AP is your friend/relative or it has been going on for years and years.

One of the things you need to understand is that psychological trauma actually causes a permanent change in the functioning of the brain - both at a physical and neuro-chemical level. You are not, nor will you ever be, the same person as you were before. Do not make the mistake that time alone will see you return to your old baseline. That is 100% not going to happen. You will improve, for sure, but that thing inside your skull is simply not capable of behaving the easy it once did.

I recommend you seek professional help BUT be very selective. Find someone who is specifically trained in betrayal trauma or all you will get is an expensive cup of tea and a shoulder to cry on. EMDR also has shown positive results in this area.

Best of luck.

stoptheride Mon 20-Jul-20 09:19:18

@Jabbercocky having read up on this and nodded pretty much all the way through I have to agree. It's changed me and my mindset towards trust forever. Time hasn't healed as such, I've learnt to not focus on 'that time' but in dreams it reappears and I've been known to wake up believing I'm back there. I truly wished my H could see the damage he's caused. I feel for you OP it's really not a good place to be.

Dontbeme Mon 20-Jul-20 10:01:18

Like a pp I was also diagnosed with complex PTSD after partner cheated (also a survivor of CSA so I think this doubled down on the trauma) I can hand on heart tell you that I will never fully trust anyone again. It is three years on and I still have flashbacks and nightmares, they are not as intense but still happening. If you are going down the therapy route like Jabbercocky wrote get a trauma therapist. I didn't and it was a waste of time, money and left me in a state as she obviously thought I was malingering and should just get over it.

Maybe try reading up on post infidelity stress disorder too. Dennis Ortman's "post infidelity stress disorder: six stages of healing" may be a good start.

tarasmalatarocks Mon 20-Jul-20 16:13:15

I found My biggest issue was that although I found out years after it happened — (and it wasn’t a one night kind of thing ) I wanted them to feel as devastated and out of sorts as I did — I wanted out and out grovelling, staying awake all night for nights on end— the full works- I wished hell on him and it didn’t quite happen like that — they were upset they had hurt me, apologetic, embarrassed, would do anything to turn the clock back and for me not to know . I have stayed and I do care, but I have never felt quite the same again about us and my trust was shot to bits

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