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By now, we all know what cheating is, and perhaps some of us have been cheated on or have even cheated. While from the outside looking in, cheating is one thing, when you are tied into a situation that involves cheating, the reality goes much deeper than most imagine.

When you choose to cheat on your partner, it changes everything. It is not a ‘mistake’ that you can easily bounce back from. The thing is, once you’ve done the deed, it is done. No amount of covering it up, lying, or pretending it didn’t happen can change the reality of it all. I do not say that in an attempt to judge, I am merely stating facts. Unfortunately, when most people cheat, they are not thinking about the consequences of their actions entirely. Below, I am going to explain 8 things no one tells you about cheating.

1. Your partner will likely leave you.

Not all people leave their partners because they cheat, but eventually, most do. Even the best-hearted individuals who think they can accept and forgive have a hard time doing so. In many cases, the partner of a cheater will end up having to leave.

2. If they don’t leave you, the trust is destroyed.

For those who don’t leave, it will take time for them to trust you again. Even if they believe they can ‘get over it,’ I assure you, this isn’t something you can just ‘get over.’ In some cases, it can take years to fully recover.

3. Even if your partner forgives you, you will struggle to forgive yourself.

In the case in which your partner can forgive you, you will struggle to forgive yourself. Especially if cheating is not something that is typical behavior for you.

4. You will likely do it again.

Most people who cheat once end up cheating multiple times. I won’t say that is the case in all circumstances, but usually, cheating is brought on by a part of yourself or your relationship that needs to be worked on. Until it is, the behavior will likely resurface.

5. You will feel misaligned with your core values.

Unless you have no soul, you are going to feel out of line with your core values. What I mean, is that if you are inherently against cheating, but end up cheating, you are going to feel misaligned with your true self and this can cause problems.

6. It messes with your head.

Cheating changes the way your brain works. The thing is, you are going to want to bring yourself back to equilibrium, either by stopping the behavior or rationalizing it. If you choose to rationalize it, you are repaving your brain to accept cheating behaviors.

7. You may get more than you bargained for.

Oftentimes, even if your intent was for ‘casual’ sex, one or both parties who are involved in the affair end up falling in love. You may end up with someone who refuses to let go, or you may have a hard time letting go.

8. Consequences.

There are consequences of casual sex, which involve pregnancy and STDs. Be wary of having sex with someone outside your relationship, because if someone ends up pregnant or with an STI, the consequences could end up lasting a lifetime.