How to End an Affair – What to Do and Expect When You Want Out
EXPERTS INDICATE THAT MANY people who have an adulterous affair do not see it coming. They are blindsided, and before they know it, they are emotionally or physically, involved with another person.
In most cases, no one intentionally seeks after an affair that could potentially destroy their marriage. Forming that forbidden connection with someone else may seem unlikely, but it is easier than we realize. All it takes is a single conversation, one innocent flirtation or one look. We are all vulnerable and susceptible.
The making of an affair
Experts indicate that people stray because of two ingredients: temptation and opportunity, especially when they are coupled with difficult or lonely times in a marriage. They further say that opportunity is the primary risk factor. Opportunity poses a danger when you:
- Fail to consciously register the intentions of a woman to tempt you into having an affair
- You fail to accurately assess your vulnerability to acting on the temptation
- You do not make a firm decision to protect yourself from acting out on your temptation.
Staying from affairs takes more than loving your wife, good intentions, and discipline.
Did you know: Experts indicate that affairs happen in up to 45 percent of marriages.
You are having an affair: now what?
The beginning of an affair is exhilarating. You feel good, and you have a renewed burst of love for life. However, with time, the spell of the affair wears thin, and you start to feel guilty. You realize that you love your wife, and your family, and you are betraying them in the worst way possible.
You want to end the affair, but then you realize it is not that easy: you have become attached to your lover and you also probably worry about her reaction once you tell her that you will no longer be seeing her. However, it is evident in your mind that you must end the affair in order to save your marriage before it is too late.
The decision backlash
The moment you truly decide to unplug from the affair, you will go through fear and anxiety. You will question your decision and wonder whether you are not making a mistake. You might even find yourself vacillating between anger, doubt, fear, and resentment.
This is referred to as ‘decision backlash,’ and you must be prepared to deal with it. The ‘decision backlash’ is the clearest indication that you are making the right decision. Beware of the temptation to escape from the decision backlash by jumping back into the affair.
Until the decision is made, the battle never begins
Having made your decision, you must communicate it to your lover as clearly as possible. Do not leave room for interpretation. You do not want your lover to keep calling or come looking for you thinking that there might be room for reconciliation. How does, ‘I think we should end this,’ compare with, ‘I cannot be in a relationship with you anymore?’ One of the cruelest and unwise things you can do is give her false hopes.
Do not encourage prolonged communication about ending of the affair. Endless phone calls or numerous emails discussing ending the affair will only further delay you from moving on.
How should you end the affair?
Some people recommend impersonal methods of ending the affair in order to avoid the temptation of being lured back into the affair by your lover.
However, experts recommend meeting your lover and telling her in person. Firstly, she will feel respected, and she is more likely to respect your wishes. It also makes the message clear and eliminates the need for further communication.
Tips for ‘the conversation'
It is advisable that you meet in a public place. Your rejection will be a hard blow to your lover and even the quietest person can become overwhelmed and angry.
Breaking up with her in a public place may not entirely prevent a scene, but it should help. Also, meet in a place where they do not serve alcohol and one where there will be no need to order food, like a coffee shop, to avoid any further awkwardness.
Do you know: Experts say that the reason why people find it difficult to end an affair is that, during the time of the affair, you have rewritten history. You have mentally magnified the bad times in your marriage and blocked out the good ones. You have misplaced all the memories you have had with your wife and enthroned the nastiness.
Cut off all contact
This is the most definitive step in ending an affair. Protect yourself from all her texts, phone calls, Facebook popups, emails, face time prompts and tweets. Remember, the less you communicate with her, the easier it will be to put everything behind.
Change your habits
Think of the affair like an addiction. How successful can you be on a diet when you have chocolate cookies in your desk drawer? Like an addiction, anything that triggers your feelings is an enabler. So:
- Delete all emails, messages, voicemails, and pictures sent or received. Also, block her from your phone, email and social media accounts.
- Discard any gifts that she might have given you
- Dismantle any fantasies, musings, what – ifs and secret wishes.
If you used to meet your lover someplace for lunch or dinner, avoid these places for now. You not only want to avoid bumping into her, but also relieving nostalgic memories that could tempt you to reignite the affair.
Prepare for the consequences
It is essential to prepare for the devastation your affair may cause if it comes out in the open. Affairs lead to all sorts of undesirable consequences, which might be a possibility if your lover decides to tell your wife. It is always good to prepare for the worst.
Prepare for a period of grief
Ending the affair will be painful, and you must be ready for the pain. Experts say that it is hard to stop even the unhealthiest of relationships. They recommend dealing with the affair by thinking about the most difficult thing you ever experienced and overcame and remember how you broke free from the damage it caused, and you healed.
Focus on your marriage
Having ended the affair, it is time to turn your attention back to your marital relationship. Start with an honest evaluation of your marriage.
Why did you have the affair?
It is good to explore the reasons why you had the affair: Do you really love your wife? Are you satisfied with your marriage? If you are happy in your relationship, then why did cheat on your wife? Was it just about sex or did you just feel attractive because another woman was wooing you? These questions will help you to examine your marriage to see what you need to do to increase your fulfillment
Bring the excitement back into your marriage
What did the affair give you that your marriage does not? Is it the communication, the intimacy or the mind-blowing sex? Whatever it is, your marriage has the power to have it. Try to involve your wife more and be gently vocal about your thoughts. Eliminate all excuses for failure in your marriage and do all you can to bring back the excitement in your relationship with your wife.
Experts indicate that most affairs last less than three years. This means cheating is not a long-term solution to marriage problems including boredom. Infidelity will often cause more problems in your marriage.
Your marriage, even though tainted with your affair, can be repaired and come out stronger. However, you only have a chance if you let go of the attachment to your lover. Hanging on to your affair is setting the stage for an uneventful crash:
- The anguish on your wife and children
- Financial difficulties from a possible divorce.
- The shame from family members and friends
- Lose of many years of your life
The final thought
The real kicker is that if you stay with the other woman, you may eventually find that she is just as imperfect as your wife, if not worse.
So, go on, rip that band aid and take the first step towards repairing your marriage. After today, it will only get easier.