“How to end an affair for good, no going back”.
Part 1- How it pertains to your life.
This ‘right thing’ might not feel great for you right now.
You might not think little steps of “no contact” matters to your marriage or kids, but it does.
We often get confused at this point.
We may have realized the affair partner wasn’t the best thing for our future, but still justify our reasons for staying in the affair.
Maybe you see now that your kids would be adversely affected or the perfect relationship you felt you have
with your affair partner may not actually stand the test of real life.
So now what do you do?
You might still wonder how to end an affair with this person you love, even if, you know in your heart, it’s for the best.
I suggest a pro’s and con’s list.
This is a list that tells the good and bad of
“Staying in the affair”, or “ending it for good” (and working on your marriage, if possible).
List all the good and bad with each.
It may seem silly, but sometimes our brain needs to see it on paper, even though you may know in your head you should end the affair.
Answer questions like:
- how will my kids be affected if I continue?
- what will happen to my marriage if I don’t end this affair?
- What will my reputation be? Do I care?
- Will my relationship with God be affected? (if you’re a person of faith)
- Is this my best? If my life were a movie, Am I being the hero of my own life?
Am I fulfilling the purpose for my life while I’m in this affair?
2. Recognize you will have push back from that ‘other side of you’.
When we want to know how to end an affair, and then decide it’s the best thing for us to do it, it doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy.
If you’re anything like most wayward spouses, you’ll have one foot in and one foot out,
(meaning, half of you will want your marriage to work and half of you will still want the affair to continue).
Most people who’ve been in the middle of an affair know that the struggle is real.
Part of that battle stems from the brain chemicals of dopamine and oxytocin, and how strongly they affect our behavior.
So, if you can prepare for this ahead of time, you’ll be ahead of the struggle.
Have you ever felt there were 2 sides within you?
Like the proverbial cartoon where one side is the angel, telling you to do good things.
But the other side of your shoulder is like the devil, encouraging you to do the wrong thing.
It’s kinda like that, if you’re wondering how to end an affair.
Be aware of both sides, and be ready for that other ‘devil’ side that will argue fiercely for its way.
When you’re aware that “the devil side of you’ will rise up and be vocal about not wanting to end your affair,
you’ll be more prepared to ignore those tantrums you’ll feel inside.
You will likely feel ‘withdrawal’…much just like when an alcoholic stops drinking.
A part of your body will crave that dopamine rush, the feel good emotion, and will compel you to get back in contact with your affair partner. Don’t listen to it.
The longer you go without contacting him, the easier it will be.
Although you might not recognize it’s gotten easier until you’re at least a month out. Keep your eye on your goal and don’t’ contact that man!
Remember this: if the relationship with your affair partner probably wouldn’t survive in the real world with kids, bills, health issue and responsibilities, why continue?
Remind yourself of all the reasons he’s not good for you. You’re better than being in a relationship for sex or temporary emotional gratification.
Does this affair go against some of your own core values?
Then, respect yourself enough to pull the plug now.
The longer you wait, the harder it will be later, and the consequences will only get worse too.
Listen to that angel on your shoulder, not the devil side that doesn’t care if your life gets messed up.
3. Put safeguards in place so you don’t go back.
What are safeguards? Think of them like boundaries, or walls, to keep the affair out for good.
Those safeguards can be different for everyone but it likely involves complete openness and honesty with your spouse. He doesn’t know?
Then tell a close friend, counselor, or me. [email protected]
Yes, I may not know you personally but I would guess our struggles are similar.
If there’s nobody in your life that you trust to help you through the hard days of ending your affair, email me.
Think of me as a friend that gets it. There’s no judgment or condemnation here, because I’ve been there and I remember the struggles to end my affair for good.
But it was the best thing I ever did once I truly ended all contact.
So, what did I do to completely end my affair?
- I let my husband have access to my cell phone, email and social media. No secret passwords or accounts if you’re serious about ending the affair.
- I didn’t have unaccounted for time. No 2 hour grocery shopping days, no more not answering my phone if he called. If I couldn’t do that, I just resolved to have him come shopping with me. making sure my cell phone ringer was on and that I could hear it if I was out alone was important because I knew it was a huge trigger for him if I didn’t answer his phone calls.
- When I started to feel empathy and compassion for HIS pain, we connected deeper. So this empathy is about their pain, not our own.
This one is huge for many betrayed spouses. They often complain about their wayward partners lack of concern or empathy toward them.
Honestly, that’s the old you. The part of you that compartmentalized the affair and didn’t want to feel guilt.
But if you seriously want to know how to end the affair, you’ll allow yourself to feel your husband’s pain and betrayal.
- I’d recommend having a personal counselor during this time. Someone to talk to when letting go of the old pain and changing for the better.
4. Replace the time you would be nurturing the affair, to nurture your husband and yourself, instead.
This one may seem silly, but it’s critical in knowing how to end the affair.
Somehow, no matter how busy we were, we were able to find time with our affair partner. Am I right?
If you put even 1/10th of that effort into your relationship with your spouse, think of how close you’d be.
That might mean spending some quality time with him, even a cup of coffee together in the morning.
Maybe it means a note of love, or at least appreciation, for them.
Whatever effort and time you spent with your affair partner, use that for your spouse and you’ll see a huge transformation.
Your betrayed spouse may not respond the way you want at first. But don’t give up. He’s hurt and feel rejected, understandably.
Keep showing him you’re serious about ending the affair, and working on your marriage, and he’ll most likely come around.
5. Do the best thing for your future, and your legacy,
even if your marriage ends in divorce.
I can hear some of you saying “but my marriage ended in divorce because of my affair, how do I end my affair now?
First, I’m so sorry your marriage ended or looks to be ending. It’s a horribly, difficult blow and one that you’ll need time to heal.
Second, that healing should be done alone, without the distractions of another man, just because ‘he’s there’.
Maybe your marriage may have been bad before the affair. Or your husband couldn’t deal with your infidelity and decided to divorce.
Either way, it is a loss and one that you really need to take time to process,without the distraction of your affair partner.
If you don’t take this time now, it’ll likely come back to you later as pain or issues you didn’t deal with.
Plus, remember, if you were supposed to end up with your affair partner, then he’d understand the time away that you need, and the relationship will make it through this season of no contact.
You owe it to yourself , to process the reasons you had the affair.
Take the time apart from your affair partner so you can think about these reasons, without distractions.
Decide if he is the one you’re really supposed to be with, and if you’d truly be happy together.
We risk repeating behaviors we don’t want to repeat, if we don’t take the time to find out the original reasons for those behaviors.
- Determine to do the right thing for your future and your family, regardless of the feelings.
- Be aware of the push back that will come from that 50% side of you that wants to stay in the affair.
- Put real safeguards in place to keep you from being sucked back into the affair.
- Use that time you would have spent nurturing the affair, to nurture your spouse/marriage now.
- Even if your marriage ends in divorce, doing the right thing now will save you (and your loved ones) from much misery later.