What Prompts An Affair To End Suddenly?

By: Katie Lersch: I sometimes hear from wives who have tried to prepare themselves for a long and painful wait. Their husband has made it clear that he is not sure if he is ready to end his affair. And so the wife very begrudgingly tells herself that she is just going to have to stand by and see what happens. After all, what else can she do? Sometimes, she figures if she has any chance of saving her marriage, it is better to wait for him to decide and still have the possibility of fixing things than to demand a quick decision and then be heartbroken when he chooses the other woman.

That’s why it can be so surprising when, out of the blue and right away, the husband announces that he has ended the affair with no warning at all. The wife is usually quite happy and relieved by this. But then the doubt sets in. She wonders if he is lying about the whole thing or if perhaps he and other woman had a fight or misunderstanding.

A wife might ask: “what would make a husband end his affair suddenly? When I first confronted my husband about his affair, he told me that he was going to need time. He admitted that he had come to need the other woman. He admitted very deep feelings for her. And although he reassured me that he did not want to lose me, he was clear that he did not want to lose her, either. My first inclination was to tell him that I was not going to wait around. In fact, I started thinking hard about looking for another place to live. But as I did that, it made me realize that I did not want to leave my home. And I did not want to just leave him for the other woman to win. So I decided that I would wait, but I would try to distance myself from the whole process and keep busy. That’s why I was so surprised when he came home on the third day and announced that the affair was over. He refused to give any explanation. He just said that he had decided it was best for every one to end it. I am relieved. I’m not stupid. It’s better for me if she’s not in the picture. But I don’t understand. All of a sudden he’s willing to end it when he was very clear that he wasn’t willing to do just that? Did she dump him? Is he lying? Why do affairs end suddenly?”

There are many possibilities here. And I would only be guessing. Hopefully, in the near future, he will be honest and give you more information. But until then, here are some reasons that affairs typically end quickly.

One Of The Parties Decides It’s Not Right Or Is Affected By Too Much Guilt: Frankly, many people who are willing to be honest about the affair will admit that they have been struggling the whole time. They have known that it was wrong and they have often thought about ending it but, for whatever reason, they haven’t yet. However, when they see – for the first time – how their actions have hurt others, these feelings of guilt are magnified. And even if they try to continue on with the affair, it feels altered somehow, since it’s no longer a secret. The people cheating know that they are now consciously continuing to carry on as their spouse is struggling with the pain. This is too much for many people to bear. Even if they initially try to carry on with the affair, many find that they just can’t do it. So they will end it.

The Other Person Ends It When They See The Indecision: Sometimes, the husband will come back to the other woman and it’s obvious that something has changed. He will confess that his wife knows about the affair and that he is upset about it. The other woman might be upset and confused about this. Because obviously, if he is affected by his wife’s knowledge and reaction, then he still cares about her. This may anger the other woman and she might break it off in the hopes that the husband will beg her to reconsider and promise that he will leave his wife. But if your husband came home to you and announced that it was over, then it’s likely that she did not get what she wanted.

It’s All A Fake Out: This is what many wives fear – that he’s telling you that it’s over just to get you to let your guard down so that he can continue cheating. I can’t tell you that this never happens. It does. But it’s generally pretty obvious. And if this is the case, you can typically tell that his heart isn’t in the marriage and then he’s gone too much to be putting in an effort. A man who has ended the affair and chosen his wife comes home when he’s not working. He gives his wife his attention and his effort and it’s clear that she is where his priority is.

I suspect that in time, you’ll get more information about what ended the affair. But for now, take it one step at a time. See how attentive and sincere he is. And see if he does what he says he’s going to do. This attention to detail will often give you a little more information. You don’t have to blindly believe him, especially so soon. But if there’s a chance that he’s ended the relationship, then that is a legitimate reason for relief.

I did question that the affair was really over.  But after a while, it was obvious that if the affair was continuing, it was doing so without them spending any time together.  My husband was at home when he wasn’t working.  And when he was working, he checked in and asked me to meet him for lunch on most days.  He simply didn’t have time for another relationship. There’s more to read on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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