Is An Affair Ever Really Over?

Sometimes, I hear from wives (and occasionally husbands too) who tell me that, no matter what, they don’t feel as if the betrayal from the affair will ever be over.  Both the person who cheated and the person who was cheated on can come to think the affair is never really going to be over because it’s going to follow you around endlessly.

I often hear comments (from cheating husbands) like: “I’m starting to think that the affair is never over – not really.  I have nothing to do with the other woman anymore and I’ve moved on within my own heart and mind.  However, my wife can not seem to move on.  I don’t think she ever will.   In a sense, the affair is never going to be over for her no matter what I do.”

This is one side of the equation, but here’s another side.  Sometimes I hear from the wife on the other side of this and she’ll say something like: “He says the affair is completely over.  He swears he won’t have any contact with the other woman.  I am not sure if I believe him or not.  But what I do know is that even if he doesn’t see the other woman anymore, she has to be in his mind.  He’s scattered.  He’s distracted.  He’s just not the same as he was.  Sometimes I look at him and I think that he’s thinking about her at that very moment.  So, he can say whatever he wants about it being over, but I just don’t think I buy it.  How can I stop thinking this way?”

In this case, both husband and wife had valid points and both deeply believed what they were saying.   And both had view points that were completely understandable.  Even so, reading these comments saddened me.  And the reason is that both of them could potentially be very wrong in their assumptions.

In my view and experience, the affair is over if you both decide if it is and conduct your life in the same way.   I will discuss this more in the following article.

If Your Spouse Is Telling You That The Affair Is Really Over And You See No Indications To The Contrary, Then Continuing To Question This Is Counter Productive:  Please don’t get angry at me when I make this observation.  I am making this because I really want to help and I can tell you that I did the same thing and made the same assumptions.

I was constantly watching my husband like a hawk and examining each and every thing that he said.  Anytime I was puzzled or worried about what I was seeing, I would start to think that he really wasn’t over this and didn’t really want to be with me.

And you know what happened, this just kept the cycle going.  Because when he saw me have these doubts, then he started to think that no matter what he did, I was always going to hold onto this.  So in this way we were both assuming things that didn’t need to be true.  But because we believed them to be true we kept the negative cycle going for much longer than it had to be.

Sometimes, our worries, our fears, our “what ifs,” and our speculations keep us from really moving forward.  We sometimes worry about things that never need to happen and never would if we didn’t push our spouse away because we are full of doubt.

I can’t guarantee you that the affair is really over.  But I can tell you that if your husband is saying it is and he’s not giving you any reason to doubt him, your continuing to insist that it isn’t over is potentially going to do so much more harm than good.

Why I Believe That Affairs CAN Really Be Completely And Totally Over For Good:   I have seen countless marriages recover from affairs.  Mine included.  I have seen countless men never repeat the infidelity more than the first mistake.  That’s not to say there aren’t serial cheaters out there, because there are.  But there are also remorseful men who learn from their mistakes and who never repeat it.

So sometimes it really can be a mistake to assume that the affair is never really over when it truly is.  With that said, you can certainly place some safeguards in place.

Making Sure The Affair Is Really And Truly Over And Then Moving On:  It’s normal to not be sure if you can trust your spouse when he tells you the affair is over.  You’re going to doubt him because he has betrayed you about this before.  There’s nothing wrong with watching him closely.

There’s nothing wrong with telling him that you expect him to be accountable.  There’s nothing wrong with asking him to be very open honest and free with whatever information or reassurance that you ask for.  But once he’s given you this, you have to make a decision as to whether you really do want to move on or not.

Sometimes you have to make a decision to do your best to trust until he gives you another reason not to.  Because those doubts and fears really do impede your process if they are constant.  My stance on this has always been that I chose to trust him until he makes that a stupid decision.

And that did work for me.  Time has shown me that the affair is really over.  Had I assumed that it wasn’t and acted accordingly, I might have a much different outcome than I have right now.

I know that these worries are very difficult, but try to stay the course.  This was just one issue I had to deal with when my own husband had an affair. Like all of the other issues, we worked through it. Although I never would’ve believed this two years ago, my marriage is stronger than ever after my husband’s affair. It took a lot of work, and I had to play the game to win, but it was worth it. Because of all the work I did on myself, my self esteem is pretty high. I no longer worry my husband will cheat again. You can read a very personal story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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