Affairs are much more complicated than they look. From the view of people who are not involved, an extramarital affair is just a simple cause of lust. But the reasons for cheating on a spouse can be very deep and complex.
This is why we need to treat this situation very delicately in order to prevent as much damage as possible and leave some room for both the husband and the wife to fix and restore the marriage.
Now, let us get to the hard part. What are the things that you can do to end the affair with the hope of saving your marriage?
You Have to Tell Yourself That You Are Actually Ending Your Affair.
The first step that you have to take to effectively end your affair is deciding on your own that you want to stop it. When the anger or the thought of your spouse leaving you are the only reasons why you want to end your affair, that is not enough. You will either go back to the person that you are having an affair with or you will find another one to cheat with.
You Need to Come Clean.
After you have decided that you want to end your affair, you have to come clean with everyone who is involved and hurt in the process.
First, you have to talk to the person that you are currently having an extramarital affair with. A relationship will only continue if both of you are investing emotions in it. But if you choose to stop, you are telling the person that you do not want the relationship to go on.
Tell him firmly that you are not enabling the affair anymore. Since you really decided that you want to get out of this relationship, it will be easier to stop it on your end. And once you have told him, you are also informing him about your intention to end the relationship.
Second, you have to tell your spouse. It does not matter how far your relationship went. You need to be honest with your spouse about your infidelity.
Do you know that there three kinds of cheating? According to an article published on LinkedIn, the three types are energetic cheating, emotional cheating, and physical cheating. An energetic affair is something that is very privately done, although it is very evident that you are cheating on your spouse.
Emotional cheating does not involve sex or any physical contact. But this can be very dangerous because emotions are involved. It is more difficult to get out of an emotional affair than a physical affair, in which physical attraction is the only thing that is holding you to each other.
Whether you are in an energetic, emotional, or physical affair, you should come clean with your situation to your spouse. She deserves honesty from you. And she should know about the infidelity because she is directly involved in it.
Delete Everything That Concerns Your Affair.
You have to remove all pictures, text messages, emails, flowers, and other items that will make you remember him. You are making a solid decision to leave him and you do not want anything to remind you of the supposedly good times that you had.
Affairs only offer an illusion of what you wish your relationship was. No marriage is perfect. One way or another, your spouse will disappoint you and will do something that will hurt you. And affairs provide a seemingly perfect condition because it caters to the one or two things that lack in your marriage.
But as soon as you see that your extramarital affair is just as imperfect as your current relationship with your spouse, the reality of your current circumstance will settle in. All that may remain is regret and remorse.
Resist The Urge to Contact Him.
In the first weeks or months, the urge to go back to your affair is imminent. To end your affair, you must stop yourself from contacting him. As much as possible, remove all phone numbers, email addresses, social media accounts, and other sources that may tempt you to send him a message or give him a call.
You can get an accountability partner if you really want to prevent yourself from being close again with the person you had an affair with. This partner must have all access to your social media and phone inbox, messages, and emails. To guarantee that you are not going to repeat your mistake, you can choose your husband or wife to be your accountability partner.
Failure is Not an Option.
You already made a wrong decision in choosing another person to love over your husband or wife. Do not make the same mistake again. Consider this your failure. If you really care for your spouse, you will make sure that you will not fail again.
Exert the best effort that you can to stop your affair. And embrace the role of wooing your spouse again. It may seem like dating all over again, but you know that he is worth it. Prioritize your marriage and give all time and energy to him.
Failure is also not an option with regard to ending your affair. Do not go back to him whenever you are sad. Be contented with your spouse and your marriage.
Let Your Spouse’s Grief and Anger Pass.
Do not give up on your spouse. He is angry because you cheated. He has a hurting heart because his trust in you withered. This is a fact and you should just let it pass.
You must be patient with your husband or wife. Just do your best to reach him. It may sometimes feel like your efforts are not recognized, but that is okay. Focus on winning back the heart of your spouse. Eventually, when he sees that you can be trusted again, the love will return and you will be accepted again by your husband or wife.
Do not Resort to Cheating Ever Again.
Promise your spouse that you will not cheat on him again. A heartfelt sorry can melt any wall that your spouse has built against you. Forgiveness is not given every time you ask for it, so you must treat it as a great gift if your spouse has forgiven you. But you must be true to your word.
Do not allow yourself to be tempted by the opposite sex. Always include other people in your dinner meetings and do not stay late in the office with just you and another person. You don’t usually plan on having an affair. But circumstances may provide a condition for you to get closer with an officemate or friend. If you are not careful enough, you may end up having an affair with him or her.
No individual will ever have all the qualities that you want for a spouse. But that is the beauty of marriage. You accept him for who he is – his strengths, his imperfections, his personality, and his behavior.
Is it really possible to end the affair and not have to deal with divorce?
Definitely yes. In the book “The Secrets of Surviving Infidelity” by psychiatrist Dr. Scott Haltzman, statistics show that 4 out of 10 marriages have been tested by affairs. And with that percentage, more than half survive, most of which became even more mature.
Is it really that difficult to restore the marriage?
For some, it is very difficult. But for a lot of people, it feels impossible. Why is it very hard to bring the marriage back to what it was before?
It is because one of the foundations of marriage is trust. When one of the pillars of your relationship has a crack, you will really feel the weight of the relationship above you. When trust is broken, emotions go into overdrive. And if you are not fast enough, the whole foundation will collapse before you can do anything about it.
Do you have a chance to bring back the trust that was lost?
If your spouse chooses to give you a chance, then it is possible. As long as your partner is open to fixing things up with you, there will always be a chance to have the love and the trust that were lost when you chose to cheat.
Is it your fault?
The answer is a resounding yes. Whatever your spouse did to cause you to want to have extramarital affairs, he or she does not deserve to be cheating on. You made a vow to love each other from everlasting to everlasting. You are now one in union because you are under the marriage covenant. But you have broken your vow and you have chosen to go with somebody else, even for a moment.
You have to accept the fact that you made a mistake. Your spouse was hurt by what you did. And your partner has every right to be angry and to lose trust in you because you cheated on him or her.
Your husband or wife may have said or done a lot of things that caused you pain. But two wrongs do not make a right. Even if you got hurt, you cannot take revenge on your spouse through extramarital affairs.
Do everything you can to end the affair before it is too late.