Why Is It Taking Me So Long To End And Get Over The Affair When I Know I Didn’t Love The Other Person?

By: Katie Lersch:  I sometimes get correspondence from unfaithful spouses who truly are trying to do the “right thing,” by ending the affair and by cutting off all contact, but they are having a hard time following everything through.  They may be experiencing feelings or doubts that they never anticipated.

Someone might explain it this way: “honestly, I never fooled myself into thinking that I loved or even cared for the other person in my affair.  I was always very clear on the fact that it was just something to relieve boredom and stress at a difficult time in my life.  I’m having a lot of issues at work that I kept from my spouse because I knew that if I shared this with him, he would freak out about our finances and worry when he did not need to.  I wasn’t as careful as I thought though because my husband found out about the affair and was more devastated and upset than I ever thought possible. So I knew that I had to end the affair and I didn’t anticipate that it would difficult.  I did it the very same day and the other man did not argue or try to change my mind.  He simply accepted it.  I do not think that he was emotionally involved either. I thought that this would be a relatively simple process, but I was wrong.  I find myself missing the other man.  I have called him a couple of times.  I can’t seem to totally stay away.  I do not understand this because I know without any doubt that I was not in love with him.  I want my marriage.  I love my husband.  So why can I not just break totally free?  Why is it so hard when there weren’t even deep feelings involved?”

This is only my opinion, but even when there aren’t deep feelings, there can still be a deep pay off as well as deep habits.  Even if there were not necessarily deep-emotional needs there, there may have been some sort of emotional or physical need that got met.  You may have been getting some emotional outlet there instead of in your marriage.  And that may have become a habit. Now that you no longer have the affair for that and you have gotten out of the habit of turning to your marriage for all of those needs, there is bound to be a void.  And of course you are going to feel that void.

It’s easy to get into habits like this and then to have to create new ones when this habit comes to an end.  Even if the habit wasn’t a good one and you didn’t particularly like the habit – it can be hard to break.

However, the difficulty of it does not mean that you need to abandon what you know is the right thing to do.  You know that you should stay true to your word and eliminate all contact.  You can’t take back the fact that you have slipped and reached out once again, but you have complete control of what you do from today forward.

Make things a little more difficult on yourself.  Stay busy so that you don’t have time to think too much about it.  If you have any spare or down time, spend it with your husband.  Work very hard on restoring your marriage.  If you are getting your needs met through your marriage, then you no longer have any need to seek out or think about the other man.

Any time that you are tempted to reach out again, stop yourself and turn your attention to your marriage and your goals.  I know that this may be quite a challenge now, but as you break that habit, it will get easier and easier.  And you will show yourself (and your husband) that you are a person of integrity that follows through on your promises.  This is necessary in order to restore the trust that has been lost and in order to heal from the affair.

Breaking it off abruptly and completely can be very difficult, but it is the cleanest and most decisive way to do it. Making a clean break avoids confusion and fluctuating feelings.  There is no need to confuse the other person and to get their hopes up by keeping them in your life.  Let them go.  Turn your attention to your marriage and continue doing what you know is right.

Having martial integrity may not always be easy, but it is always right.  And that makes it worth doing.  Healing after an affair is not easy.  It wasn’t easy for me either, but it was worth it. There’s more to the story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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