Do you still worry about your affair partner, or feel responsible for his pain?
6 Important things to remember on how to get over worrying about your affair partner.
A common thing I hear (and felt myself when I was ending my affair)
is something along the lines of:
“I’m worried about my affair partner.
I feel responsible for hurting him and he seems so sad…. what do I do?”
When you’ve finally come to the place of knowing you need to end the affair,
cut all contact and have begun to move forward;
subtle thoughts, and lies, will often come- pulling you back into the affair.
There’s many reasons for this, but one is frankly,
a lie from the evil one to
make you feel more guilt and worry about your affair partner….keeping you tied to him.
This may happen to the exclusion of deep empathy or worry about your husband.
You might have trouble even thinking of how to help your husband heal;
because you’re too consumed with thoughts about your affair partner and
worried about his well-being.
I call this ‘misplaced responsibility.’
So what should you do with those worrying thoughts and feelings about
your affair partner, now that the affair is over?
This is especially written for the Christian woman
who feels an extra burden of guilt for his spiritual well-being as well.
But anyone who was unfaithful would benefit from this post.
Here are 6 tips of how to get over worrying about your affair partner.
1. Being his rescuer is actually a co-dependent type of relationship.
Being someone’s rescuer may sound like a noble thing to do, but it’s actually hurting him.
Co-dependency is when we take on another person’s problems as our own.
This often keeps them from feeling the consequences of their decisions;
ultimately keeping them stuck in their same unhealthy patterns.
We often have to face our consequences, in order to seek the help we need to make lasting changes in our lives.
This is why addicts often need to ‘hit bottom’ to see how their current choices aren’t serving them well.
He is NOT your responsibility, and God does not want you to try to fix him.
Only God can fill this man’s heart with His spirit and heal him, just as only God can fill yours.
Jesus is the answer to all of this pain.
And as long as you’re in this man’s life in any way and having ANY contact with him, you’re being used by the enemy;
and interfering with the work of God’s Holy Spirit to restore him… and yourself and your family.
The most ‘loving’ thing you can do is to let him go.
As long as you make him your responsibility,
he will be satisfied with crumbs and not turn to the one that is offering him the true bread of life.
This seems especially true if it started out as a ‘rescuing him’ type of relationship;
if he’s going through a hard time in his own life, or will be healing alone.
But trust God with him. He knows him better than you do and knows how to help him best.
2. Believing he was your ‘true love’ is only keeping you tied to him.
Although I won’t get into all the details here of True Love vs. Limerence ;
I will say that this a common tactic of the enemy, to make you really believe that what
you’re experiencing is something so special and unique that you’ve never had before,
and never will with your spouse or anyone else, again.
True, self-less love grows and matures from the early, lustful immature love into a lasting agape love over time.
Adultery is never that kind of love-
no matter how much it masquerades as love, or your feelings try to convince you otherwise.
It’s all smoke and mirrors from the intensity of forbidden lust and sharing only the best versions of yourself to someone.
You both have not had to live day in and day out with each other in the stressful day to day life like a marriage does.
This is also the reason researchers found that 95-98% of affairs will end within a few years.
If affair partners do marry, only 3-5% of those last more than 5 years…
and often one (or both) will have had an affair with someone else too.
This is key to understanding what this depth of soul connection you’re feeling really is.
All emotionally charged affairs start out like this,
and grow in intensity because of the secrecy- which makes you feel even more bonded.
But it’s based on lies and sin… that kind of relationship can never be blessed by God.
If God put adultery as one of His top 10 commandments,
why would we believe He’d make an exception in our case?
We we step out from his covering when we willingly walk in sin; making our heart and conscience dangerously hard and calloused,
this makes it harder for us to hear the truth from the Holy Spirit (“…whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron”. 1 Timothy 4:2)
That’s never a good place to be- but it’s right where the devil wants us to be.
He wants us to fall further into sin by believing more lies; which will ultimately destroy our lives, and the lives of those we love.
Read what 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 in the bible says:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
Note how God says Love does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking.
LOVE does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth–
love will not want you to lie to your spouse or sin against God.
But adultery disguises itself as love, to make us continue to do things that we’d never do- all in the name of “this is really love”.
Meanwhile, you begin to betray not only God, your husband and marriage vows- but also yourself.
Everything you stood for and all the values and beliefs of what was right and true you now have to alter to match your behavior.
OR, you have to change your behavior to match your beliefs.
THAT is where the confusion, feeling torn and ambivalence comes in, and it’s heart wrenching I know.
Remember, God is not the author of confusion.
3. Your affair partner is a grown man, who made his own choices.
It’s common to feel guilty or responsible for someone when you know they’re hurting… and you had some role in their pain.
But you have to realize, and settle within yourself, that YOU DID NOT pull this man off track in his walk with God- he did.
If he knew you were a married woman, then he chose the consequences of that choice too right?
Just as you’re suffering the consequences of yours.
If he’s telling you about his depression and anxiety with not having you in his life anymore,
then he’s manipulating you with his emotional struggles.
Even if he doesn’t know he’s doing that.
This is why having no contact is so important.
Hearing about his struggles will not help you as you move on with your life,
and it will only harm him too.
Yes, you were an instrument used in helping him to sin, as he was to you.
But he made the choice.
He’s a grown adult who knew you were married.
He had the option to listen to God’s spirit within him (especially if he is as a Christian man), but he chose his lust instead.
He needs to answer to God for that, and cannot point a finger at you, and you cannot take on his responsibility either.
Just as you can’t blame him for your choices.
If you’re a Christian and feel you pulled him away from God, do you believe he also pulled you away from God too?
How about helping you to sin and dishonor your husband and risk your family life?
When we recognize how our affair can also destroy the lives of our family and kids,
we begin to gain more clarity of where our concern and responsibility really should be.
Because if your marriage fails, who will be there to tell your kids that then?
When they’re sad and having a hard time understanding why their parents marriage fall apart, who will you really be worried about then?
I can promise you- it won’t be your affair partner then.
Part of that affair fog/deception is to not fully see how much we risk losing.
We know it in our heads, but I can tell you I was not fully aware of the pain my kids were in,
and how much more they would have been in, if I hadn’t ended my affair and worked with my husband at restoring our marriage.
4. Shift your thinking to have more empathy for your husband instead.
Remember, your husband had no choice in your affair.
For whatever issues and problems your husband, or your marriage has had,
he is still the one that was betrayed.
He didn’t know this was happening, and he wasn’t faced with the decision to walk away or get involved-
like your affair partner did.
I’m not just putting the blame on your AP.
Of course you had a role too, and it’s important you humbly acknowledge that,
and ask for forgiveness and make the necessary changes.
But when you’re still worrying about your affair partner,
instead of your own recovery, and your marriage.
you can easily get sucked back into the affair again.
The other man will recover- but you’ve got to see him as an intruder into your marriage, not a friend.
The enemy will use anything and anyone (even your affair partner), to get YOU off track and destroy
your marriage, your kids lives, your family life and tear you away from a relationship with God and living in your purpose.
I know this is not how you want to see the situation,
but it’s important you shift your focus and see the truth of what’s really going on.
As you do that, you’ll begin to have more empathy for your husband, which will help him heal.
If you don’t feel that empathy still, I recommend you ask God to give it to you.
Ask him to take the guilt, worry and feelings from your heart for your AP, and to have that love and empathy for your spouse instead.
When we’re serious about this-even if we don’t know how to do it ourselves…He is faithful to help us with this.
5. Remind yourself that this is part of the remnants of ‘affair fog’ still.
You might still be convinced this was your true love; your soul mate.
Maintaining that frame of mind will naturally cause you to still feel tied to him though,
thereby, being overly preoccupied and concerned with his well-being.
Even to the detriment of yourself and your husband.
It’s going to take some time to ‘detox’ from your affair partner and a true recovery plan
of managing your thoughts and feelings, allowing God to renew your mind and heart,
and being in a supportive safe place to get free.
So, in the meantime, know this is part of the affair fog, making you believe
you’re somehow responsible for him and his healing… Keeping your mind worrying about your affair partner.
As you maintain no contact with your affair partner, you’ll likely feel grief and some
affair withdrawal from the loss of that dopamine high you were experiencing.
Let yourself grieve for a time. It will come in waves and will change.
As the fog lifts, you may know it because you’ll start to see him and this relationship the way God does.
There’s some common lies we often believe that sabotage our affair recovery, you can read about that here.
6. Don’t try to stay ‘just friends’ with him.
As we move through grief, we often try to bargain our way out of it.
And when we’re worrying about an affair partner, we often try to find ways to stay in contact.
“If we can stay friends, then it won’t hurt so bad and I’ll actually be helping him.”
No, you won’t.
Most of us unfaithful’s have been there.
Trying to find a way to keep this person in our life,
without really being in an affair….but just as friends this time.
The best of both worlds right?
The problem with this is- it doesn’t work.
Once you’ve crossed that line with someone, no matter how good of friends you were before,
You cannot go back to “just friends”.
It’s frankly another lie and ploy of the evil one to keep us deceived and stuck in the affair.
It’s much like how God told the Israelites not to take the idols or any items from the pagans cities they overtook.
Yet, whenever one in the camp did that, there would be severe consequences. Why?
Because they were holding onto these seemingly small, but evil items and lusting after it in their hearts.
They couldn’t fully devote themselves to God with these ‘little’ things in the camp.
Just like you and I could not fully commit ourselves to our marriages and to God’s restoring power in our lives
while holding onto an inappropriate ‘friendship’ with an affair partner.
I talk more about staying friends with an affair partner in this post here.
I hope this post gave you some peace in knowing that you’re not a terrible person for learning
how to stop worrying about your affair partner, and letting him go.
You’re actually doing him a huge favor and it’s the most loving thing to do for him.
Staying in sin with someone is the most unloving and selfish thing we can do.
Recognize that allowing thoughts of worry, or misplaced responsibility to come in, will put you at risk of relapse eventually.
You can never heal him from the sin of this affair, only God can restore his spiritual life, his own relationships, and his emotions..
Trust God to do that work.
He loves him the most and knows how to help him through this.