Sometimes, things just don’t work out the way to expected or wanted them to – and that’s okay! But knowing how to end an affair without causing any more heartache can be tricky.
It’s never easy drawing a line under any kind of relationship – you don’t want to hurt anyone, but you also don’t want to be hurt yourself.
It can be particularly tricky ending affairs when you are in love because there are a lot of additional factors to consider. You need to look for the signs that your affair is over and think about what’s best for you.
Let’s have a closer look at how you can bring things to a close in the right way.
1. Take Your Time to Consider Your Options
The first thing that you must think about is whether this is what you actually want. There can be external factors that threaten to sway your decision, and any relationship is always going to be a two-way street.
But you need to think about what’s best for you in this situation, and often the best place to start is thinking about the options available to you. Don’t rush into anything, especially if you care about the other person.
Think about what ending the affair would mean for you. Are you doing it because you’re unhappy, or because you feel like you ought to?
2. Make a Decision That’s Best for You
There are a lot of different ways that you can end an affair, and it’s not always easy to feel like there’s a right one.
What it comes down to really is what is going to be best for you. You can’t make these kinds of decisions for other people; it needs to be something that makes you feel OK. Do you want to cut it off completely?
Or do you want to talk about starting to see other people? Or start seeing other people regardless? You can always talk about taking a break if you’re not ready to end it completely.
3. Let Your Affair Partner Know How You Feel
It’s so important to be clear and honest about your feelings so the other person knows where you stand. It’s not just that it wouldn’t be fair to them. It’s about being able to work through this together and finding the best solution.
If you are thinking about ending things, then you need to tell them! You might be surprised to learn that they have been thinking the same thing, or they might tell you that they don’t want to.
The important thing is that nothing is hidden. Letting them know will allow you to deal with this situation like adults.
4. Respect the Other Person’s Feelings if They’re Hurt
Although it’s important to do what’s best for you, you’ll also need to understand your affair partner’s feelings. Remember that they may have taken just as much of a risk jumping into this as you did.
And just because you want to end the affair, that doesn’t mean that you don’t still care about the person you’ve been with. Think about how you would want the situation to be handled if the positions were reversed.
Ending a relationship is always going to be hard, and if you want the other person to consider your feelings, you need to give them the same courtesy!
5. Have an Honest Conversation About Why the Relationship is Ending
It can be tempting to shut down when you tell someone you’re ending the relationship, to brush off all questions and discussion with a simple “it’s over.”
But the fact is, there’s no benefit in keeping things in the dark. You’re not going to give them any closure if you don’t tell them why you’ve decided to make this choice.
Have an honest conversation about any issues or problems that you have had in this relationship that have been making it difficult for you to stay together. Having this chat can also clarify the reasons for you and make you more confident that you’re doing the right thing.
6. Be Prepared to Take Responsibility for Your Actions
It’s not always easy to feel like you can take responsibility when you’re ending an affair, particularly if you’re taking this step because of the other partner’s actions.
However, thinking about things you could have done differently is important. If there’s anything, then you need to take responsibility for them. It’s not just about helping your partner to feel better and less at fault.
Identifying any mistakes you’ve made here can help you think about the way you’ve acted and so you can try to avoid them in future. It’ll give you a better shot at happiness next time around.
7. Give Yourself Time to Process Your Emotions
One of the most common reasons people break off affairs is that they start feeling too emotionally involved. If you’re not ready to leave your spouse, it can be incredibly difficult to realise that you’ve formed such a strong bond with someone else.
If this is the case, then you’re undoubtedly going to experience a wide variety of emotions after you end the affair. You need to make sure that you give yourself time to process them.
You might want to brush these feelings off as quickly as possible, but emotions will always find a way to come out. Giving yourself enough time and space is absolutely crucial.
8. Find a Support System to Help You Get Through It
This point is particularly important because the chances are you didn’t talk about your affair to many people. Most extramarital encounters are kept secret from friends and family members.
However, it’s so easy to become isolated in the period following a breakup, and it’s going to be really difficult to feel like you have people to lean on if you’ve kept this affair to yourself.
You’ll need to find a support system you can rely on so you don’t become cut off. Find people you can talk to and who will be there to help you through this process.
9. Avoid Contact with the Person After the Breakup
There’s an old saying which is “a clean break-up is best.” There’s a lot of wisdom in that, but it’s not always easy.
If you have decided that you’re going to break things off with your affair partner, then it’s best to avoid any contact with them after the breakup – at least for a while. This will allow you to have the space to process how you’re feeling and to start to look forward.
You may find in time that you would like to rekindle things and reconnect, but seeing them in the period immediately after the breakup will only confuse things and make your life more difficult.
10. Focus on Moving Forward
After the breakup, it’s time to think about what’s next for you. It’s always going to feel like there’s a big weight lifted when you finally break things off, but you need to keep looking forward to staying positive.
Whether you’ve decided to pursue another affair with someone different, or if the affair has made you realise you’re ready to focus more on your existing relationship, you need to think about the future.
Your happiness is what all of this comes down to. Think about what made you happy in the affair, and what you would like to have more of in future!
What are the Signs Your Affair is Over?
It’s tough if you feel like you might be nearing the end of the affair, but you don’t know for sure that it’s over.
There are some classic tell-tale signs when to walk away after infidelity that you should look out for, which will tell you that it’s time to end it.
1) You’re No Longer Making an Effort
If you don’t feel like you’re making an effort in the affair anymore, then you’ve probably started checking out already. A successful rewarding affair needs both parties to put work in if they want to see each other and to be with each other. It’s probably over if you don’t really care.
2) You’re Not Enjoying the Time Together
This sounds obvious, but it’s worth thinking carefully about. Are you continuing to see your affair partner because you like spending time with them? Or has it only become about spending time away from your spouse? If you’re not having fun, then you don’t need it.
3) Communication Has Shifted
Communication is key to every successful relationship, and it’s particularly important in an affair. You need to know that you’re both on the same page and that both of you are really hearing what the other is saying. Feeling like the communication has shifted is a classic sign that it’s time to end things.
4) You Feel Relief When You’re Apart
This should be a warning sign in any relationship, but it’s particularly important for affairs. An affair should be a relief from the rest of your daily life. If you feel relieved when you’re away from your affair partner, then you need to ask yourself what you’re still doing this for.
5) You’re Thinking of Your Primary Partner More Often
It’s a big red flag for the affair if you find yourself thinking of your primary partner more and more often. That means that you’re not engaging with the affair anymore and are starting to ask yourself if you would be happier spending this time with your primary partner.
Rounding Up: How to End an Affair and Move Forward With Your Life
It’s never easy to end an affair, but it’s so important to recognise when it’s run its course. It’s also worth remembering that you need to think about what is best for you and take good care of yourself after you’ve broken up.
If you have found that you are no longer enjoying your time together or are thinking of your primary partner more, then you need to think about what will be best for you in the future. You need to find a way to end the affair that works for you and think positively about your life after this.
How do affairs usually end?
Affairs are hard work to maintain, and it’s important to end them if the reward is no longer worth it. Affairs usually end with one partner telling the other that it’s no longer working for them. There are lots of reasons why this may happen, and it’s often because the time together has stopped being enjoyable or they have realised that they want something different.
Why is it so hard to end an affair?
It can be so hard to end an affair because it can take a lot of work to build up to one in the first place. It can also feel like you can’t talk to anyone about it because you have kept it secret for so long. And you can build up serious feelings and a connection with someone whom you have an affair with, and it’s always hard to end that.
What do you say to end an affair?
The important thing is to know how you want to end it, whether you want to cut all ties or try a break. Once you know, you must be completely open with your affair partner. Tell them that you’re ending it and explain the reasons why.
How do you know when an affair is ending?
Some of the signs that an affair is ending include noticing that you are not putting any effort in anymore. One of the most common signs is that you may find yourself thinking about your primary partner more often. You may notice that your communication has changed or that you are starting to dread spending time with them.