Forum Archives

Return to Forum List

Has anyone stopped an affair before they ďhadĒ to?

You are not logged in. Login here or register.

lonestar posted 7/30/2013 14:51 PM

I hope this is okay to post here. I am currently involved in an affair and seeking to end it. If this is inappropriate because I have not yet ended things, I sincerely apologize. I am looking for help.

My husband has been out of the country for work reasons for a while, and I have taken the opportunity of his absence to have an affair. Iím trying to use clear words because I know youíll see through any smoke I blow. Please donít take my bluntness to mean that Iím not conflicted, riven and tormented by the situation Iíve put myself, my husband and the other man in. I started seeing a therapist as soon as I sensed that I was in danger of launching myself into an affair, but that counsel has not been enough to help me avoid or terminate the situation.

I had an intense crush on my OM (who is single) for over a year, and in the past few months a mutual attraction was signaled, flirtation commenced, and we drew closer to each other. All the while, I told myself that I was NOT going to have an affair, no really I was NOT Ė I could stop this train at any time and get off. But couldnít I just ride it a little longer? And the train hurtled forward, to an affair.

Same old story that has been lived millions of times.

The affair has been an intensely passionate one. Weíve gone everywhere we can together, spent as much time as possible together, tried to cram a lifetime of romance into a brief window of time. Weíve laughed so much. Iíve written some things about the physical stuff, which has deeply affected me, but I keep deleting them, because itís probably not the place to dwell on such things.

I know about the affair bubble and the artificial intensity of it. I also know, without a doubt, that I really like the OM. I just LIKE him. Almost like when you were very young, and you had a precious friend who meant so much to you that you would squeeze him or her with childish, unselfconscious enthusiasm? Like that. This is not a feeling Iíve had as an adult, and I had it for OM well before we crossed any boundaries.

Iím not a fool. I know that if he and I were a long-term official couple, the intensity of our relationship would cool as the dopamine subsided, the bills came due, and every day more dishes needed to be washed. Iíve made a life with my husband, a good life, and I pledged to be there for him always. Iím slipping terribly right now, maybe fatally, but I still believe in my promise to him. Iím not going to say more about my husband because how can you fit over a decade of knowing and loving someone (at his best and worst, at your best and worst) into a paragraph? I know what he means to me, and I want to be good to him. He does not know about the affair, and I donít think he has reason to suspect it. I believe (but of course cannot know) that if he learned of the affair he would want to save the marriage. I do not want him to find out; I want to spare him the pain and recommit on my own. I cannot bear the thought of hurting him. Yes I realize the wild hypocrisy of that statement.

Iím leaving soon for this other country, far away, to be with my husband for a while. Then we will return home together. I want this trip to the other side of the earth to be a reset button; I want to rededicate myself to my marriage. But when we come back, OM will still be here. We are not obligated to see each other through work or otherwise. But he will still want me. And Iím terrified that I will still want him, and that I wonít be strong enough.

How do I do this?

PS: I didn't really mean to put a stop sign icon on this message, but now I can't get rid of it. I am naturally especially interested to hear from those who have been where I am, but all insights are welcome.

[This message edited by lonestar at 2:58 PM, July 30th (Tuesday)]

Deeply Scared posted 7/30/2013 15:03 PM


We will leave the stop sign in place as this thread is closed off to BS replies, which is necessary right now until you start to figure out how you're going to handle ending your affair.

authenticnow posted 7/30/2013 15:06 PM

Hi lonestar,

Welcome to SI.

Telling your BH about your A is a good way to burst the fantasy bubble and hold yourself accountable for your actions. Also, if your H knows, you can handle OM as a team if he persists in contacting you after you go NC. You should send a NC letter if you truly plan to end it.

IMO, it isn't possible to heal in a healthy, full way without telling him. Plus, it's not fair. You are not giving him all the information about his own marriage on which to make his decisions. That is disrespectful and he deserves respect, at least, after you committed the utmost act of disrespect by having an A.

Why did you cheat? You state that you took the opportunity when he was out of the country to have an A. What allowed you to give yourself permission to do that? (you don't have to answer here, just things to think about). What will happen next time you have an intense crush on somebody? How do you plan to do the work to get to your core issues?


Deeply Scared posted 7/30/2013 15:07 PM

*as a member*

After re-reading your post it seems as if you're not going to confess this to your H?

I want to rededicate myself to my marriage

That sounds wonderful, but it's highly unlikely that it will happen as long as you're holding onto a very deep, dark and destructive secret.

I'm not going to preach to you about being truthful, I get the feeling you already know that but are too scared to actually do it.

I'm confident the other WS's in here will help guide you, it's good you came here asking for help

lonestar posted 7/30/2013 15:38 PM

I'm not going to preach to you about being truthful, I get the feeling you already know that but are too scared to actually do it.

You're right; I'm terrified. I don't want to pay for the terrible thing I've done. But, even more so (I believe), I want to spare him the searing pain and the insecurity of having to question the entirety of our relationship. Only I can know why I've acted the way I have. Only I can know what's really in my heart. Only I can know how much I love him. And it kills me to think that he will question every "I love you," every tender moment we've shared because of a terrible mistake that I made. I would want to do great harm to anyone who would hurt him. And here I am, hurting him. It makes no sense.

The reasons have nothing to do with my husband. I was selfish. My head has never turned towards another man when Iíve been in a relationship. As they say, there is no virtue without temptation. And so, I basically failed the first time I was tempted. There was an experience I desperately wanted to have, and I allowed myself to have it. I didn't have the right; I just took it. I was able to compartmentalize - to think of my interactions with my husband and my OM as two bubbles that never touched or overlapped. Why did I do it? For me there is no more powerful feeling than the feeling of truly connecting with another human being. It happens so rarely for me. Add in a physical attraction, and all I can say is that I simply was not strong enough to resist. I also never thought of myself as being capable of having an affair, which ironically contributed to my having an affair, because I didnít take adequate steps to prevent it. Because even while I was having not-strictly-appropriate interactions with OM, I said to myself, ďI would never have an affair.Ē But once you knock over that first domino...

As for preventing it from happening again? I earnestly believe that now that I know what I AM capable of in the "right" (wrong) circumstances, I would stay the hell away from any scenario that even remotely seemed like it could be dangerous. There is no way in hell I ever, ever want to find myself in this situation again.

I suddenly feel keenly the lack of moral guidance in my life. Iím not religious, and sometimes I wish I was, but I simply am not a believer. I have always tried to live by the basic golden rules. But it seems my moral foundations are not strong enough. And by that I donít mean to imply that religious people donít mess up. Iíve just been been made suddenly, violently aware that Iím capable of incredibly hurtful behavior to get something I want. And, if Iím honest, I donít want my husband to know that. :( It doesnít mesh with my view of myself, it doesnít mesh with his view of me, and I would rather "right" myself than taint everything. And youíd say that I already have. And you'd be right.

Your words scare me, and in doing so they put the value of my husband (and not the OM) at the forefront of my thoughts. I can I tell him? The thought is unimaginable.

[This message edited by lonestar at 3:50 PM, July 30th (Tuesday)]

Deeply Scared posted 7/30/2013 15:51 PM

I would want to do great harm to anyone who would hurt him. And here I am, hurting him. It makes no sense

It makes sense to any of us that have been in your shoes. It's like a constant internal battle happening.

Like AN said above...holding this in will only keep it alive in your heart and your head. Shine the light on's not nearly as big and scary when faced headed. on.

I can I tell him? The thought is unimaginable.

There is not right or wrong just have to muster up the courage and be honest with your H. You sound like a very compassionate person...I would imagine you know your husband has a right to know whats going on in his own marriage.

I too felt like every lie that had to be uncovered was going to be the one that sent my husband packing. It didn't( we came very close to it happening) and we worked day and night to heal our marriage. It's not easy and it's definitely exhausting...but each step we made together brought us that much closer to bonding.

Again, I don't want to badger you with being honest...but I'm not sure how healthy of a life and marriage you'll really have if you try to bury this on your own.

The truth always comes out...always. And whether it's tomorrow or in 10 years, you'll still be faced with a very difficult and hurtful situation.

I know it's hard...just hang in there and try to formulate a plan

Joanh posted 7/30/2013 16:15 PM

Number 1 stop the affair.
Ok my story. I did stop my first affair 9 years ago, kept it too myself with the belief that he was better not to know. re dedicated my life and was happy, so I believed, but issues and behavoirs never changed, the A was put away, compartmentalized as they say, and the depression and the low self esteem only multiplied as the years went by. This and allways knowing bad things lies and half truths are allways found out. Built and lead me down that path again.
It really is true the truth will set you free. When you live a life of lies you will drowned. especially if you are a compassionate person and can empathize. It is crazy what we do to ourselves and what we are doing to our spouses.
By me not coming clean the first time my husband has paid the price of not only knowing about this one, but that I actually could do it again. Its mind boggling to myself, I understand more now and am in a really strange way, that he knows. It is actually being more true to myself and him. There usually ia very deep underlying issue for us that allows us to stay distant enough to do this horrible thing to our spouses. I understand what you are going through. It really is though an escape a drug of sorts. It IS not real! Please Please save yourself and your spouse. It has been the most painful and devasting thing to happen to my spouse and myself, and to live with the fear of the unknown can destroy the soul. But being truthful and who you really want to be can be beautiful. I can finally see that after 30 years of hiding the truth of 15 years of marriage being afraid he wouldnt love me if he new who I was. I hope this helps some. Good luck, this site has been my help. I hope it can help you

floridaredman posted 7/30/2013 16:20 PM

As for preventing it from happening again? I earnestly believe that now that I know what I AM capable of in the "right" (wrong) circumstances, I would stay the hell away from any scenario that even remotely seemed like it could be dangerous. There is no way in hell I ever, ever want to find myself in this situation again.

How can you prevent it from happening again if the affair is still continuing?
You have to end the affair and go complete NC before you can even think of fixing this.

Thinking that you can carry this for life and not reveal it to you husband will only cause more conflict down the road.
Can a marriage truly survive with guilt being harbored?
Yes it can but at a high expense.

Your husband will never have all of you and you will always have that connective secret between you and OM.

You made no vows of marriage to the OM. You and he only serve to do an injustice to your husband and marriage.

How to fix this?

Come clean to your husband
you are only saving yourself and not him if you continue to lie.

Your husband deserves to know who he is married to
If he didn't deserve the affair, he doesn't deserve the lies that go along with it.

Be transparent
Be open and honest
Get counseling
You seem to know why you did it

Now you need to fix that.

But most of all you need to be truthful
A marriage of deceit can't last.

bookjunkie posted 7/30/2013 16:49 PM


I confessed my A to my H two days after ending it with OM. Was it easy? No. Did I intend to tell him? No. But I knew I couldn't live with the lie the rest of my life and be fully in my M. I knew that without a doubt because I was also a person who said "I will NEVER have an affair." I knew I couldn't live with myself either.
Now, another reason I told was because I could feel the pull of the "high" that the A gave me. I knew no one would be able to get me out of that addiction except my H. I had a couple of friends who knew what I was doing and all of their talking did nothing. But I knew where my H stood on cheating; he had always said he would leave me if it ever happened.
So when I told him, I thought my M would be over. I didn't tell him so I could be with the OM. I knew I didn't really want him but it still took a long time to not feel the pull to contact him. And it wasn't because of him but just the feelings that were associated with the A.
I told my H when the kids were out of the house for the afternoon. I fully expected to be packing my bags (or have them thrown out the door) but that didn't happen. H was understandably in shock and more shocks would come that week when I trickle truthed him with it was one of his friends and then later that it was his best friend (one he'd had since 5th grade).
DDay was 2/10/13 and we are still together and working on it everyday. And at first we cried everyday, talked everyday about it, went behind closed doors after feeding the children and after 4 weeks we were totally exhausted, emotionally, mentally, physically. This is not going to be an easy or short process.
One of the lucky things for us was we already had a week vacation paid for during the month of March. We decided to go regardless and agreed we would not talk about the A at all during that time. And for us, it was a blessing to have time from home and people we knew and to focus on US.
And since then, we have gone to a marriage retreat, I've contintued IC and we've both gone to MC.
Are be better now? Not by a long shot but we are both committed to making this work. We still have our bad days and triggers. I am working on me and my issues that made breaking my marriage vows acceptable. You need to really dig and dig and dig and when you hit a boulder (and you will), get a piece of dyamite, blow it up and continue digging.
I know it's hard and scary. I've lived it but I know you can do it and start living the person you know you really are inside.

uncertainone posted 7/30/2013 17:21 PM

Again, I don't want to badger you with being honest...but I'm not sure how healthy of a life and marriage you'll really have if you try to bury this on your own.

In fact, to me burying it is continuing it. I don't think you need to have an active AP in your life to be unfaithful.

lonestar posted 7/30/2013 19:41 PM

Thank you everyone for your messages. The most compelling thing that you all have pointed out is that my husband may be the only one that can ensure that I stop the affair. A frightening, sad and plausible idea.

I can't believe I'm in this position. I can't believe I put myself here. I suppose many of you can relate.

Also thank you for providing a safe place to talk, where people aren't trying to sleazily justify affairs but where they also don't deny the humanity of those of us who have committed this transgression. You have given me much to think about.

[This message edited by lonestar at 7:41 PM, July 30th (Tuesday)]

authenticnow posted 7/30/2013 19:56 PM


I'm glad you found us. Be brave. We are here to help you.


shinycrow posted 7/30/2013 22:47 PM

I tried to stop my affair but not in time. I was weak about cutting it off, did not know how to do it tactfully so it was delayed. Pressure from my smart , sensitive wife made me blurt it out a fews days ago. Opting for NC with the OW. Worried about the same from my BS . Many thanks for posting. I relate and your sharing gives me courage to face a terrible solitude. I am terrified missing my family life with our 11 yo daughter. It really is about coming clean, re-building our inner core of values and working together. I really wish I had come to SI 3 months ago or simply talked to my wife before going the A took a physical turn. Many thanks again.

longroadhome posted 7/31/2013 06:45 AM

Its been said, but I'm going to say it again...

As long as your H doesn't know the truth about his marriage with you, you are still actively being unfaithful to him. You can go complete NC right now, never see or think of the om again, become the perfect spouse, and cure cancer, but every moment you keep this secret you are betraying your H.

It will suck, it will be hard, it will hurt everyone involved, but remember that confessing tends toward healing more easily than being discovered does.

[This message edited by longroadhome at 6:45 AM, July 31st (Wednesday)]

Spideysense posted 7/31/2013 08:01 AM

WS Only

[This message edited by SI Staff at 8:56 AM, July 31st (Wednesday)]

lonestar posted 7/31/2013 08:44 AM

Spideysense, thank you for that. You brought up some things that I hadn't considered, and I've thought about this situation a lot. I know that before the A started, when things would get a little tense with my husband, the idea of being with OM seemed more...possible. Horrible. But true. You are so right that even if I end the A, OM will still be a "possibility" and one that will seem even more real in the less rosy moments of my marriage. Oh God, how awful.

It's also frightening to think that this first infidelity makes it more likely that I will be unfaithful in the future. But I will take your words to heart. I know that if it could happen to you, it could happen to me. I know now that I'm capable of things that, a few years ago, I would have staunchly denied even being a possibility.

Also I do appreciate the perspective that I'm continuing the infidelity as long as I keep it a secret, even if the A is over. That's a hard one for me to grapple with. I so don't want to hurt him. I know that I already have, but he doesn't know it. I know that if he doesn't know about it, it makes it more likely that I'll continue to hurt him.

How can this be? I was entrusted with his heart, and I tossed it aside. I now find myself in the strange position of feeling like I have to protect my husband...from me. And to protect him, I have to drop a devastating bomb on him.

Thank you, thank you, everyone. This is really hard stuff to hear, and really valuable.

JustDesserts posted 7/31/2013 09:45 AM

I had a chance before mine ever got really off the ground...when I learned something about my now xAP that SHOULD have made me walk.

And I had a chance to come clean about two years into our affair when something inside told me to tell my BS, and her BH. And I didn't.

Either way, I didn't. I was a coward, and more concerned with ME than anyone else. Wish I had had the guts to, in the cess pool of ugly I created and was swimming in, do one little gesture of action of "the right thing". But I didn't. I chose to stay sick, assuring a much higher "exit price" that I now have to pay. As my name says...that's my Just Desserts.

Trying33 posted 7/31/2013 11:27 AM

This is an interesting question.

I believe that in LTA's at least, there comes a point where it can become a strain, but the attachment formed remains strong and it's difficult to end.. or in my experience, neither was committed to ending at the SAME time. So the dance continued.

It took for one of us to get to the point of no return and the realisation of what there is to lose, to end it once and for all.

So, yes, the A stopped before it "had" to but due to D-day on AP's side not mine. I confessed to my H a few weeks later.

I've since reflected and understand I did everything possible to get him to end it, just because I was too much of a coward and weak to end it myself.

He also mentioned that he subconsciously wanted his BW to find out, hence the "reckless" behaviour (his words) as it needed to end and the guilt was too consuming.

LTA's can eventually become a bit of a burden, especially when one AP wants more than the other. The ending can get drawn out even when it's when one or both people involved in the A wants.

Don't know if any of that makes sense..

Return to Forum List

© 2002-2018 ®. All Rights Reserved.     Privacy Policy