Breaking off of an affair is difficult, but vital, for healing in a marriage to begin.
Once the pain becomes greater than the pleasure, a woman will finally break off her affair.
Breaking off of an affair will be one of the hardest thing a woman will have to do. Most people do not understand the incredible pull to resume the affair. A woman in an affair will need to be very serious and resolute if she is going to be successful at keeping the contact broken. But it’s the only way for healing in her own heart and for her marriage, to be completely restored later.
1. An affair is a fog-like illusion, and that fog eventually must lift.
The affair is like a fog that comes upon the unfaithful wife and it’s often difficult to for the betrayed husband to understand how his previously faithful wife could stray from the marriage and become almost impossible to reach with any logic. It’s often as though they cannot see clearly and their mind is clouded by a fog from being in the affair.
However, the fog eventually lifts and the unfaithful spouse begins to step back and see the consequences of her behavior. As explained in the previous post of stage 2 of being in the middle of an affair, there will inevitably come a point when the fog lifts and she realizes the best thing for everyone is to stop the affair.
Once she is willing to face the pain of breaking off the affair, she will begin to heal and her marriage will finally have a chance to be restored.
2. An affair can be a very powerful addiction.
Many chemical dependency counselors will agree that in order for addicts to overcome their addiction, they must abstain completely from the object of their addiction (drugs, alcohol, pornography etc…). I believe most addictions may fall under that solution.
An affair has many of the same addictive qualities and pull that a substance will have. Many studies have been done to prove there is a chemical reaction in the brain that increases (serotonin), when one is in love or has the feelings of love.
So, an affair can often be a very powerful addiction, and breaking off an affair can be extremely hard to do once there’s an emotional connection. The desire to be with ones lover can be so strong that all reasoning and negative consequences seem to be disregarded in pursuit of the feeling one has with this other person.
Therefore, the best way to break free of an affair is to have complete abstinence from the affair partner.
Without complete separation of any type of contact with the other person in an affair, the marriage recovery process will not work.
I would also add, that small attempts to end contact with an affair partner, that only later resume again, only serve to damage the marriage further and could serve to put the final nail in the coffin of marriage recovery.
3. After breaking off an affair, it’s common for feelings of withdrawal to follow.
After breaking off contact with an affair partner, the unfaithful spouse will likely go through a period of withdrawal. It is much like addicts go through after removing the object of their addiction.
Drastic measures need to be taken now. Many of the steps suggested here are be hard and some will seem impossible. But if the unfaithful wife is serious about rebuilding her marriage, drastic and difficult steps need to be taken.
4. Steps to breaking off an affair:
- If a woman works with the man she had an affair with, it would be very helpful to change jobs so as not to bump into this man. I realize this can be difficult to do, but she must get serious about breaking off contact with him.
- If the other man has her phone number, she needs to change her number, or at least block his calls.
- If they attended the same church and he has not left the church and doesn’t appear to be leaving, it would be important for her and her family to find a new church where she will not see him.
- Close out all email accounts that he had access to. Blocking any future communication with a lover is important, no matter how strong the unfaithful spouse feels at the beginning. Eventually a lover may try to reach out to the unfaithful spouse and if it happens on a difficult day, the affair could too easily resume.
- She should not drive near his neighborhood or frequent any bars or restaurants she knows he frequents.
- Strongly consider relocating to another city, town or state. Yes, this is drastic and it goes along with the first one of changing jobs. But sometimes a simple job change is not enough. Depending on the size of your town, in order to achieve total separation from affair partner, relocating to a new city or state can be imperative.
- The unfaithful wife needs to be accountable for her time. There is no secret life anymore, and the unfaithful spouse must be willing to account for her time, day or night. (More will be written of this in the stage 4 rebuilding the marriage step).
- Remember that life does get easier and the withdrawal symptoms will subside. The more important thing for the unfaithful spouse to remember is to commit to the no contact, no matter how hard it gets.
5. Getting through the withdrawal phase after you’ve broken off your affair.
Remember that getting through the withdrawal phase of an affair is a lot like getting past the withdrawal phase of an addiction. It can be difficult at times, and it’s takes commitment to your goal of marriage restoration, but you will see that goal fulfilled in time. In addition, you will find personal self forgiveness and healing when you begin to keep your commitment of faithfulness and integrity.
Don’t kid yourself that you can maintain contact and restore your marriage at the same time. It cannot happen. Do whatever is necessary to heal your marriage. After you’ve done the hard work of breaking off the affair, some of the best ways I’ve found to be faithful to your commitment to keep the affair broken off is:
- See a counselor for personal healing.
- get in a support group- either a celebrate or addiction recovery group.
- have an accountability partner or friend you can trust who will be patient, yet firm, with you during your weakest moments.
In conclusion, It is definitely not easy to break free of an affair. The deep emotional attachment in most affairs make them extremely difficult to end. These are some of the drastic steps that need to be taken. Every person’s own history and experience is different and what worked for me may be a bit different than what will work for someone else. But the principles and methods are similar.
These are extreme measures to take, but it is the only way to free oneself from the chains of infidelity.
To read about the various stages of an affair, click here.