It’s very common to think that the average man has a very tough exterior, while on the inside they’re soft and fragile. One reason for this line of thinking is that in many societies men are taught to be tough, to not show emotional weakness, and to ‘man up’ or ‘take it like a man’. In other words, men are taught to never show what’s on the inside in order to make people believe that they’re in control of their emotions and are fully capable of taking care of themselves. Men are taught that it isn’t acceptable to cry from the time they’re young boys, and while this stereotypical male has been changing over the years in leaps and bounds, the truth is that many people still feed into the idea that men can take anything on an emotional, physical, and psychological level because they’re expected to.
However, expecting a man to remain stoic in the face of being cheated on by his SO(significant other) has become less than desirable in recent years. Men that do this are often thought to be repressing their emotions to a detrimental level until those unspent feelings finally become toxic and force a change that can manifest in physical, emotional, and psychological ways. Men want to be seen as strong and capable, but the truth is that when wounded in an emotional manner, many men feel it acutely, even if they don’t show it.
So, the question posed here is how being cheated on changes you as a man, and the answers are not quite as simple as one might think. There are a number of different ways that this will affect a man, and the fallout from being cheated on, depending on a large number of variables there are to be had, could affect a man for a matter of weeks, months, or even years.
A couple of things to take into consideration are:
1. Was the cheating deliberate? Did their SO do this with full intent to harm them?
2. How serious was the commitment between the man and his SO?
3. How confident was the man to begin with?
4. Are children involved?
Deliberately cheating on a man with another person is an extremely is a seriously harmful act that carries a great deal of emotional weight. In effect, cheating on a man with intent to harm is bound to do more damage the longer it goes on since over-filling a water balloon. It’s an odd analogy, but it works, since like the balloon, a man’s heart will break if it is pushed past its emotional limits. But also like the balloon, the hurt can be rescinded if the emotions are released and something is worked out between the man and his SO.
The level of commitment is important since if the relationship wasn’t as strong as it could be, meaning if neither party had really committed, it’s fair to say that the fallout won’t be quite as severe. But, if the man’s confidence was based in part upon the relationship working with his SO, then cheating on him is bound to deflate that confidence a bit. Those that have a healthy level of self-esteem will usually be okay after a certain period of adjustment, assuming that the break-up is not too severe and that there are no children involved.
A break-up in which kids are involved is a truly sticky situation since it becomes far more serious than just the man or his SO. Keeping to the psychological damage to the man, this puts him in a tight spot since it means he not only has to be strong for himself, but also for his children. He also has to consider what it will do if he decides to lash out at his SO for this indiscretion since it will involve the children as well. Barring the idea that the man and his SO have kids, it will still be devastating, but not nearly as damaging as it could be. When a man knows how to process the hurt and push through it, then looking at each new day with hope for something better becomes easier, especially if he has a support group such as friends and family that can be there when he needs someone to talk to.
On the upside, if a man is confident enough in himself and knows his own worth, then any cheating done by his SO won’t be nearly as damaging. But keep in mind, that’s the positive side. Men that have little self-esteem and almost no confidence are bound to be devastated and might consider harming themselves if they’re truly lacking any type of self-confidence. That’s one of many worst-case scenarios, but it’s still a truth that some men will have to face and hopefully find help if such a horrible situation presents itself. But now that we’ve briefly talked about things from a psychological perspective, let’s get into what can happen from a physical outlook in such a situation.
Confidence is actually quite important to everyone, and in this case, a man that’s confident will be fine, but a man that has real confidence and esteem issues will likely endure one of the worst times of his life. Here are just a few things that can happen to a man physically if he’s not able to process the hurt emotionally and/or psychologically:
• Nausea: this will come out of nowhere at times and will be hard to understand and even difficult to endure. Imagine feeling that you’re going to vomit but without needed release.
• Dizziness: Mental anguish is no joke, and a break-up in this manner, or even the act of being cheated on, is enough to disrupt one’s equilibrium.
• Diarrhea: the less you know about this the better, but when human beings are emotionally unbalanced it can easily translate to every part of their body through various chemical reactions.
• Headaches: There are a number of reasons why one would suffer headaches due to heartache, and one of them is that a man will start to overthink everything. Without being used to this type of mental stress, headaches will occur.
• Pain and fatigue: It’s not really meant to be funny, but your body feels your mental and spiritual anguish, and it complies by being sympathetic to it. That’s a nice way of explaining things since the truth is that emotions carry a lot more pull in the body than we like to believe.
Once the initial shock of being betrayed in this manner is over, the man will still feel the
deep-seated emotional pain that can last for months to even years and can go a long way toward ruining his relationships with any other women in the future to come. Depending on the age that the man is forced to endure this type of situation, it might be that they could learn to trust someone again, or it might happen that they won’t give a second thought to becoming cold and aloof towards any other future partner.
There are a few other big drawbacks that come from going through such a process:
• Increased anxiety: If the man was anxious before then they’ll be even worse now, as they have no idea who they can trust, or even if they can trust anyone. Sadly, this can extend to other relationships that are not romantically based, such as friendships and familial. The individual might come to believe that everyone is out to get them and that there’s no one they can bring into their inner circle. They might befriend others that have been cheated on, if only because they know the feeling and can sympathize.
• Severe depression: One can’t expect a man’s heart to be crushed and not suffer through at least mild depression, but without confidence or self-esteem, many men will undergo a dark period in their life that could last for weeks and even years. Depression is an odd thing though, some might appear to function just fine in public, but in private they retreat to their own darkness and sulk in it.
• Lack of will, energy, ambition: Much like depression, this is something to watch for since it can lead to very serious situations in which counseling and even an intervention might be necessary to remind the man that he does have people in his life who care about him.
Being betrayed in love is never a fun prospect, especially if one gives everything to someone
and is, in turn, tossed away or tricked and lied to by their SO. Men are expected to be hard-shelled protectors and guardians of their loved ones. They’re not always expected to be so delicate on the inside. But there are plenty of men who are destroyed when their SO cheats, as it means that the love and respect they put into the relationship was akin to tossing their feelings and emotions over a cliff while expecting someone to catch them. That kind of devastation is hard to come back from. But it is possible.