We can’t love someone halfway. It’s either all or nothing. It doesn’t matter if you had an extramarital affair or got involved with someone who was already taken – the truth is that they mattered to you in ways that you could have never imagined. This is what makes it so hard for all of us to end an affair.
Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License
It is believed that the average lifespan of an affair is somewhere around three years. Even if you think that your affair is going to last forever, it might be a misconception. Since it seldom leads to a long-term commitment, it leaves us heartbroken and devastated. So why is it s hard to end an affair?
The reason is quite simple. There is no greater addiction than love on this planet. People can be addictive. When we fall in love with someone, we don’t think of ending that relationship. In fact, we think of the long run and plan a whole future with them. Sadly, when we end the affair, we have to let go not just of the past memories, but the entire future that we planned with them. It can hurt us just like a breakup or any other loss. Here are some possible reasons to make you understand why are affairs so hard to end.
Suggested read: 12 Alarming Signs Your Spouse Is Having An Extramarital Affair
- We go through an emotional turmoil after the breakup
Ending an affair is exactly like a breakup. Sometimes, it can hurt us even more. The longer we stay with someone, the harder it is for us to part ways. Needless to say, not every affair has the same fate and people often end up hurting each other in the process.
If you had no idea that you were involved with someone who was already taken, then it can hurt you in a terrible way. The heartbreak can change the way you perceive love and even affect your future relationships as well. It makes us believe that we are not a good judge of people and can even trigger trust issues.
Even if the two of you knew that the affair won’t last forever, there was a sense of excitement and familiarity in that relationship. When we make so many memories with someone, they become an integral part of our life. Parting ways from them can be the hardest thing to do. It can drain you emotionally and might affect your other relationships as well.
Too often, people build a wall around them after ending an affair. They feel ashamed to talk about it with their friends and family as well, which makes it even harder. The grief can be overwhelming and too hard to handle. I would recommend taking baby steps. Talk to a friend or even a therapist if you wish to. Give it some time and don’t expect a quick fix.
- The situation can become unexpectedly difficult at times
We simply don’t know how other people are going to react to the affair. Chances are that your ex might end up ruining your existing relationship. They can get back to you in ways that you can’t imagine. This might be the other side of the spectrum, but it can happen nevertheless.
Since we can’t predict how the other person is going to react, it makes it even harder for us to put an end to the affair. We don’t want the news of the affair to be out and would like to go on with our lives as if nothing happened. You need to understand that life is unpredictable. Your past mistakes can tamper with your future relationship. To avoid this, try to end your affair amicably.
- It’s hard to break a personal bond
One of the reasons why affairs are hard to end is because we share a strange bond with the other person. You might call them a partner, a friend-with-benefits, a fling, or anything else – but the truth is, we often end up sharing intimate parts of us with them.
Unlike things, people can’t be replaced. If you had a personal bond with them, then it can be tough for you to move on. You might have a “what if” haunting you for a long time. Chances are that you might want to contact them again. Trust me – it would be a bad idea. Once you have ended the affair, take separate ways, and never reach out to them again. It is the best way to put an end to an affair.
- It makes us guilty (way too many times)
Needless to say, the affair makes us feel bad in numerous ways. For instance, if you had an extramarital affair, then it might make you question your own morality almost every night. Sometimes even after we end the affair, it makes us even more guilty.
“What were you thinking?” You ask this to yourself way too many times, knowing that you should have known better. Unfortunately, there is no quick solution for this. You can’t go back in time and undo your mistakes. Though, you can learn from them and focus on your present.
- There is no way to “escape” from our world anymore
I don’t mean to generalize it, but a lot of people have an affair as it brings a sense of excitement in their life. Too often, they want to escape from their monotonous life as the sense of newness that the other person brings can be too tempting to resist.
When we end the affair, we slip back into the same old life. It can take a while for you to let go of that change. You won’t have a go-to person with whom you can experience a whole new side of you. You might miss that sense of carelessness that an affair can make you feel. Try to understand that the feeling is temporary and that you will feel better in the future.
- There is never a perfect closure
It breaks my heart to say this, but there is no perfect way to end an affair. Things can get messy, people might get hurt, and the unthinkable can happen. There is no easy solution for ending them happily. Nevertheless, you can try your best and avoid any collateral damage.
It will break your heart and might leave you devastated. The only person who can make things better for you is yourself. Hold on to the real you and focus on your family and friends to sail through this process.
How can you end an affair gracefully?
One of the major reasons why are affairs so hard to end is because we make too many mistakes in the process. If you don’t want to feel guilty afterward, then try to end it maturely. I would recommend the following suggestions to end an affair gracefully.
- Take a firm stand
Rule number one – don’t be flicker minded. Before you inform anyone, take a step back and analyze the entire situation. Ask yourself how you want to end the affair and what would be the best way to do it. Also, once you have made up your mind, don’t change your decision. Yes – people might get hurt in the process, but you need to make sure that you have taken a firm stand else you might end up hurting them even more.
- Don’t hate yourself (or them)
Ending an affair can be one of the toughest things to do. It might make you guilty and you can even regret your decision. If you have been a victim of their lies, then it can make you hate them as well. This is where you need to work hard on yourself. Don’t let any negative emotion drive your decisions. Stay calm and don’t think of taking revenge. Learn from your mistakes and try to move on with your life.
- Be honest
Most importantly, be honest with the people around you. If you haven’t told the other person about your existing relationship, then it is high time you tell them the truth. Also, it is highly recommended to tell your partner about the affair as well. If you try to hide it, then it can backfire in the future. Apologize to the people you have hurt and try to make things better for them. Don’t fabricate the story, just to make things easier for you.
- Bid your goodbyes
If you just leave someone without saying a goodbye, then your absence might haunt them forever. This is something you should always avoid. After all, you owe them a proper closure. Answer their questions and let them know it wasn’t their fault. Make sure you have no unfinished business or something that will keep you entangled to your past. Don’t play the blame game and part ways in good terms.
- Focus on other things in life
The next few weeks would be tough. After all, it is a slippery slope and you might be tempted to talk to them again. In order to avoid this, you should focus on what matters the most to you. Once you have prioritized things, focus on your family, your career, and other fruitful things. Don’t look back and work hard on building a better tomorrow.
Now when you know why are affairs so hard to end, you can certainly make the right call. Just like you, thousands of other people also go through this dilemma. Just take one step at a time and there would come a day when all of this will feel like a distant dream. Focus on what’s good in your life and bid goodbye to your past.
Sometimes, people stay in our life for a season. Just because it meant so much to you, it doesn’t mean that it will last forever. Cherish those memories and take the right decision. Ending an affair is a battle half-won. Now, you can just walk the other half with a right mindset. It might not be the easiest thing to do, but it will certainly be worth it in the long run.
Featured image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License