Ending your affair with integrity. Just because you made a really bad mistake in choosing to engage in an affair doesn’t mean you have to make another bad mistake and end it in a bad way. If you are in a sexual or emotional relationship (or both) and realize you need to end it you may owe that person more than just a “sorry, I made a mistake.” If you promised your affair partner a life outside your marriage, lead them to believe you had feelings for them, told them you loved them, shared negative stories about your marriage or your spouse with them, or even hinted that you would leave your marriage then an appropriate way of ending the affair would be with some integrity.
Don’t underestimate the impact you’ve made on someone else’s life. Your affair partner deserves to be treated with some respect. You were involved in their life and got them involved in yours. The first step is to end matters in a mature and healthy way. It’s beneficial to both parties to cut off the affair in a way that clearly defines that you are ending the relationship.
Ending your affair with Integrity makes it so the affair cannot come back later and jeopardize the new monogamy you will be working towards in your relationship. It also helps the affair partner bring closure to the relationship where if they felt used or disrespected they will unlikely seek revenge by contacting your spouse, employer, other family members or friends, in order to create the same chaos in your life that they feel you have created in theirs.
When you break it off be clear about what you will and will not continue to do. That you will continue to care about them but that you can no longer speak on the phone or answer their emails. Set boundaries, especially if the affair was with someone at work keeping contact professional and polite. Make amends and show empathy. Admit ambivalence as you have regrets but make it clear you need to end the relationship. Thank them for anything you feel is appropriate and share that working on your marriage and your relationship with your spouse is your priority.
Like any loss you will undergo a process of grief. You will feel guilt and remorse about hurting your spouse. The best way to move forward is to bring yourself back into your marriage. Marriage Counseling with a Counselor who specializes in working with Affair Recovery can help you sit down and talk about what you each want for your New Monogamy together and what it will take to make it work.
Call me at (858) 735-1139 if you would like help in creating a new and sustainable marriage.