Ending the Affair

Dr. Frank Gunzburg
Baltimore MarylandIn a way, you have been behaving like a person addicted to a drug. When a person is addicted to drugs, the drug gives, or gave, the person wonderful feelings. (That’s why someone gets addicted in the first place.) Similarly, the affair gave you wonderful feelings at some point; that’s why you got involved with it in the first place.

Likewise, the prospects of giving up the affair are similar to those of giving up a drug. You’re going to feel all the feelings you were trying to avoid by engaging in the affair. When you are feeling down and out or when you are in emotional pain, the way of escape you became accustomed to won’t be there.

You must have faith that when you end the affair (just like when you stop using a drug) and you start working on yourself and your issues, at some future time you will be in better shape and feel better than you ever have. You might not be having that experience at this moment, but keep the faith, and you can get there. In drug programs, they call this long-term process “recovery,” and it has to be a life-long plan.

If you haven’t ended the affair, now is the time to do so. There simply is no way that you can repair your relationship, your honesty, your integrity, and your life if you are still engaged in an affair.

That is sometimes easier said than done. If you have been having an affair for some time, you could be quite attached to the person you have been seeing. If this is the case, you might not “want” to the end the affair for some “potentially” good relationship with someone you currently doubt can create a good relationship. This is similar to the way an addict doesn’t “want” to give up their drug of choice for some “potentially” better life that wasn’t there for them in the past. But if you truly want to rebuild your relationship, there is no other way but to completely and unwaveringly end all communication with your paramour.

To complicate the personal difficulties you face with ending the affair, you may be concerned about the way your lover is going to react. Or, perhaps, you have already told them and they are overwrought, so you have maintained a connection with them to help them overcome their distress.

Whatever the case may be, you must now forgo all contact with your former lover. You must cross that bridge and burn it behind you. The relationship must cease in all its forms. If this doesn’t happen, your partner will not trust you again any time soon, and may never trust you again.

If you have not yet informed your lover that you are going to end the affair, then you might have to contact them one last time and tell them so. There are four possible ways you can approach this.

1. Simply do not contact them again at all.

2. Talk with them on the phone.

3. Send them a letter.

4. Send them an e-mail.

Do not meet with your lover in person to end the relationship. This never turns out well. Often the lover will try to convince you to continue the relationship or at least have one last sexual encounter. (After all, if the affair wasn’t fulfilling them on some level, they wouldn’t have been involved in it.) In addition, there is no practical way to be honest about this kind of meeting with your partner without arousing suspicion. Because ending suspicion is such an important part of the healing process, a meeting like this can serve no good.

Regardless of the way you choose to contact your lover, you should make this final contact in the presence of your partner. If you are going to have a telephone conversation, invite your partner to listen to it. If you choose to send an e-mail or write a letter, allow your partner to read this final correspondence and offer suggestions prior to sending it. The purpose of the final correspondence is primarily to begin to re-establish your trust with your partner. Therefore, you want it to meet your partner’s needs even though it will be hurtful to the paramour.

Whichever way you approach it, the tone of this final contact should be business-like, not friendly. For example, you should close your letter just with your name, not “love” or “fondly” or any other friendly or loving reference.

The message you are trying to get across should be permanent, not temporary. For example, you shouldn’t say, “I’m going to try to make our relationship work for now.” Instead, you should say, “I am recommitting to my partner. Do not contact me again for any reason.” Doing these things will show your partner in a tangible way that you are ending the relationship.



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Dr. Frank Gunzburg is a licensed counselor in Maryland and has been specializing is helping couples restore their marriage for over 30 years. He is also the author of How to Survive an Affair, a step-by-step healing system that can help a couple repair their relationship after it has been shattered from an affair.

If your relationship has been damaged by an affair and you would like a step-by-step system for repairing your relationship, then please visit Dr. Gunzburg’s site for more information: http://www.surviveanaffair.com

This article was used by permission from How to Survive An Affair


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