If you’ve cheated on your partner, you’re likely dealing with a number of after-effects from the incident. Whether you came clean or are holding in the secret, you might notice some weird things happening to your body from cheating. Stepping outside of your relationship usually leads to a lot of stress, and this can wreak havoc on not only your mental health, but on your body as well.
“Generally, the kinds of symptoms and behaviors you will see are all stress -related,” says psychologist Deborah E. Dyer, Ph.D. over email. “If someone is not feeling guilty or doesn’t think that what they are doing is wrong, its possible that none of the symptoms would be present — it’s all in the perception of the behavior. If someone believes they are justified in their behavior they likely will not feel guilty or stressed about it. ”
However, even if you might not see yourself as the ultimate bad guy, you may subconsciously feel worse than your mind would lead you to believe, which could explain why your body suddenly feels off. Talking this out with your partner, a friend, or a therapist might help alleviate these issues.
Here are seven weird things that can happen to your body if you cheat.
1. Sleep Problems
Having trouble sleeping at night? Your recent rendezvous may be to blame. “Nothing makes for a more uncomfortable pillow than deceit,” says psychologist Dr. Ramani Durvasula over email. “On top of that, cheating can also be ‘exciting,’ adding to the sleep problems.”
2. Brain Fog
“Many people report brain fog during simple tasks due to the secrets they keep and the effort needed to keep them,” says infidelity recovery coach and therapist Renelle E. Nelson, LMFT over email. “This can affect work and life at home. Keeping the secret takes over all your thoughts and actions.”
3. Stomach Aches
If you find yourself going to the bathroom more than usual, it’s no coincidence. “Stomach issues have also been reported, due to the stress causing sour stomach, ulcers or even loose stools,” says Nelson.
Hives or severe breakouts also can occur. “Everybody reacts differently to stress,” says Nelson. “Some people break out in hives or acne due to the large amount of stress in the body from guilt or even excitement.”
5. Performance Anxiety
Sex can change drastically after a cheating incidence. “Anxiety can cause performance anxiety in the bedroom, as it causes you to stay in your head,” says Nelson. “It might stop you from achieving orgasms.”
6. Flu-Like Symptoms
Stress might even go as far as to make you sick. “The stress of keeping up with the lies and betrayal can cause flu-like symptoms due to everything that may be happening in your body,” says Nelson. “Stress sometimes throws your immune system off-balance, causing you to feel pretty awful.”
7. Loss Of Appetite
Because stress can cause stomach upset, it may make you lose your appetite or cause you to avoid food. “The adrenaline and stress hormones that course through your body can also impair your appetite,” says Ramani.