At first it was a friendship, then you became closer than you imagined possible, until that person has become as important to you as your spouse, and you were deep into emotional cheating! Most people in this situation know that the lies and the reluctance to let their spouse know anything about this other person, all add up to an affair, it has just not reached a physical level. It is important to learn how to end emotional cheating but first the full extent of the betrayal must be understood. There are two people to make amends with, the spouse and the friend for whom this became more than a friendship.
Choices ending an emotional affair or ending the marriage?
In order to succeed, you must take responsibility for your actions and be very, very clear about what you want to do next. There are three possibilities; you end the affair and repair your marriage; you want to repair your marriage, but your spouse will not forgive you and wants a divorce; you want to end your marriage and the affair moves to the next level. This article is only going to look at ending an emotional affair as an option, and repairing your marriage being the objective. Even if your spouse, at this stage, is so devastated by the emotional cheating they want the marriage to be over, if you do not, then you will have to fight to save your marriage.
Steps to take
The first step is to understand the challenges; ending emotional affairs is not simply a case of goodbye and it is over! There is an emotional connection with a person you will probably see every day and they deserve an honest explanation, plus a clear statement that you are committed to repairing your marriage and that this relationship threatens that. This may be the first time you realize how the other person truly feels, they too have been in a sort of denial. It is going to be painful and messy, and unless they are an outstandingly tolerant person, they will be angry. The next step is to establish what the level of contact is from now on; this means, no coffees, chats, lunches, absolutely no small, intimate moments! The only relationship available is a one that is a businesslike and professional relationship from now on, and the emotional cheating is over.
Convincing your spouse that the emotional cheating has ended
Initially, your spouse may or may not be willing to work on saving the marriage. If you want to repair your marriage then you need to work out why you had an emotional affair in the first place. Identify he reasons that you shut your spouse out of your emotional confidences and deny them that intimacy. Your spouse will need to be very sure that the affair is over, will need that reassurance often, and even then it may not be possible that they believe you. It may require that you change jobs, or at the least change routines, go in earlier and come home earlier. There is no quick fix for betrayal, and there will be times when the initial pain returns without warning and your spouse will not trust you for some time. You are responsible for causing your spouse immense pain with your emotional cheating and you must work hard and it will take time to save your marriage.