How to Stop an Affair

Take responsibility for your role in where the relationship was

A still from Showtime's 'The Affair'

How do you stop an affair? That is a frightening question for anyone in the mid of a marriage threatened by infidelity. Unfortunately, that places you in easily 1/4 of all marriages. Yep, that’s right. The statistics show that 25% of marriages suffer an affair. And to be even more clear, the survey is focused on physical affairs.

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The percentage suffering from an emotional affair is much higher. That would tell us that marriages are threatened by infidelity.

The major reason given by those who have affairs? For physical affairs, the reason given is sex. For emotional affairs, the reason given is attention.

In reality, the basis is the same. We all have a need to feel wanted, even desired. Unfortunately, this is one area that tends to fall to the side in interviews. Daily life take over the feelings of romance and passion that usually mark the beginnings of a relationship.

In fact, marriages that keep some energy on passion and connection have a much lower incident of infidelity. The need is met within the marriage.

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So, what do you do if there is an affair? How do you stop an affair? Those are tough questions, and this article does not allow enough room to fully cover the issue. Let’s look at a few hints and helps.

1) Commit to working on the marriage. Commit to staying together. I say “commit” because the feeling of betrayal can be so strong that you may only want to quit.

2) Focus on forgiving. This is a great topic! But to quickly put this in perspective, forgiveness is NOT giving permission. It is not letting someone “off the hook.” In fact, forgiveness is not even primarily for the other person. It is for you, so that you do not have to carry the pain around with you.

3) Have a look at where your marriage was before the affair. Had you lost contact with each other? Was the passionate part of your relationship gone? This will tell you what needs to change in order to get back on track.

4) Take responsibility for your role in where the relationship was. This is NOT taking responsibility for your spouse’s actions, but for where the marriage was.

To follow up on this, I often hear people say “I thought our marriage was fine. I do not know why it happened.” But pushed a little harder, it is possible to find the disconnect, the lack of passion, the seeds of the affair.

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Since you can not control your spouse’s behavior, you can not force him or her to stop the affair. But you can work to create a relationship you both would protect and treasure. That is the beginning point of how to stop an affair.

Source by Lee H. Baucom, Ph.D.

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