The Best Way to End an Affair and Save Your Relationship

So, you’re having an affair. Okay, I’m not here to judge. That’s not the whole story though is it?

Are you wanting to end it and save your relationship with your significant other? Okay great, I’m here to help you.

Let’s save your legacy, shall we?

Step 1: Firmly Decide

Before you do anything, you’ve got to know that you are ending it. Yep, it seems silly but otherwise, that temptation cycle is going to come back around and bite you on the bum. Trust.

People find it easier to be firm about this after they’ve written a pros and cons list. Maybe you could try that? Ask yourself things like:

  • If it carries on, how will it affect my kids?
  • Where will my marriage end up if I don’t end it? (To be blunt, it’ll end up in the bin pal)
  • Will I have a bad reputation?
  • Am I living my best life?

Even just reading that probably got you thinking (which is a good thing, by the way)!

Step 2: Tell Your Lover. Do It NOW

I promise you don’t want to wait around for “the right time” to tell them it’s over. You’ve got to do it now. The question is: how? Don’t worry, I got you.

It does not have to be face to face. If anything, it’s better that it isn’t because you’ll end up giving in to that temptation cycle I mentioned earlier. Not good.

The best way to tell your sidepiece is via email.

While I’d love to say there isn’t a right or wrong way to compose this message, there kinda is. Sorry!

The Dos:

  • Get straight to the point
  • Dispell any hope that you and your lover will have a future together
  • Make a solid allegiance to your significant other in your final message to your lover
  • Discourage any further communication
  • State that further communication attempts will be ignored

The Don’ts:

  • Use terms like “right now” (it makes your lover hopeful that you’ll have a future together)
  • Blame your significant other for finding out
  • Ally with your lover
  • Use phrases like “I will always love you” and “wait for me” (you’re just making the attachment deeper which really won’t help I promise)
  • Ask to talk in person (honestly, you’re likely to act out since that good ol’ temptation door has been opened)

Step 3: Tell Your Partner Afterwards

Alright, I’ll level with you. This isn’t always necessary. Mostly though, it is (yup, it’s going to be tough). But if you’re unsure as to whether you should spill your affair-having beans, take a look at my handy pointers:

  • If you’ve outright lied to your partners’ “are you having an affair” question, you have to tell them about it
  • If your partner is likely to find out from someone else, be the one to tell them
  • If you’re feeling things (like guilt, shame, fear, anger, you know, all that good stuff) that stop you being close to your significant other, you need to tell them why this is

Step 4: Never Contact Your Former Lover

It seems obvious, doesn’t it? But you’d be surprised how many people fall right back into their former lover’s arms, just weeks after they’ve “firmly ended” the affair. Whether it’s a comfort or excitement thing, it doesn’t matter, you’ve got to stop it.

Even if you’re “just texting”, it’s likely that you’ll get involved again. That’s the unfortunate nature of the temptation cycle. Sucky but true.

So, you need to delete their number, block them on Facebook, switch jobs (especially if it was a workplace deal, that stuff is hard to end), and make a new email address. Move house if you have to.

Whatever you need to do to stop chatting with Mr Lover Boy (or Miss Lover Girl), just do it. You’ll thank me for it eventually.

Step 5: Nurture Your Partner And Yourself Now, Instead of Your Lover

Yeah, it seems like a weird step but let’s just get over that mini hurdle because you need to do this to make all your affair-ending efforts worth it.

Think back to the time your affair was in full swing. It’ll be painful but embrace it for the moment. No matter what you were doing, you’d always make time for them, right? Try putting even half that amount of effort into your relationship with your husband, wife, boyfriend, or girlfriend and you will be closer than ever before. Trust me, this stuff works.

You don’t have to go all out with crazy adventures, expensive holidays, and 5-star hotel rooms but you should spend some more quality time with just them. Whether that’s grabbing coffee before they leave for work, writing cute love notes in their laptop bag to read on their commute or something else you both enjoy. It doesn’t matter, as long as it’s you and them together.

Step 6: Get Help

Okay, some of you guys aren’t going to like this but I’ll say it anyway (apologies).

If your relationship with your man (or lady), was all hunky-dory, the affair probably wouldn’t have happened. Am I right? Thought so.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that there should be any blame shots fired. Okay? I’m just saying that there is a weak spot in your relationship that shouldn’t be there.

So, you gotta fix it. How? A counsellor will do you good, but if you don’t want to pay for that or it just feels a bit “much”, you can try speaking to a “mentor couple” or attending a workshop. Whatever you do, make sure it suits the two of you.

Step 7: Know That You Will Get There

Ending your affair is only half the job. Saving your relationship is the last (and the longest) part.

No matter how long it takes for your partner to come around, rebuild that trust, and grow stronger as a couple, you’ve got to know that you will get there. Eventually.

Some are more forgiving than others but being cheated on hurts and the sooner you can empathise with your SO about this, the better.

In a phrase: you got this.