Becoming emotionally attached to someone is another story. So, now that you love this other person, do emotional affairs ever stop?
When it comes to cheating, I don’t believe those who cheat are bad people. Understand that people cheat for different reasons. Sure, some people just do it because they don’t care. However, many people cheat out of dissatisfaction with their current relationship. Cheating isn’t just physical, but emotional too. You know when physical affairs stop. But, do emotional affairs ever stop?
Just because you’re with someone, it doesn’t mean you’re happy. I know what you’re going to say, they should just leave their partner instead of cheating—which I completely agree. However, sometimes it’s not that easy to just pack your things and go. Basically, what I’m getting at is that you actually don’t know what’s going on in someone else’s life.
Do emotional affairs ever stop? 12 things you need to do
So, if you’re someone who’s cheated on their partner, I’m not judging you. Obviously, since you’re reading this, you got yourself into a bit of a sticky situation. You’re emotionally attached to this new person. Which wouldn’t be bad if you were single, but you’re not. From the sounds of it, you’re not going to leave your partner for this new person, thus you have to end this.
#1 Understand you are cheating. If you didn’t have sex with the person, it doesn’t matter. Actually, I argue that emotional cheating is even worse than physical cheating. Why? Because you’re emotionally attached to someone else.
Your feelings of connection are not towards your partner anymore. This shows the lack of emotional connection to your partner, something you need to explore deeper. [Read: What’s an emotional affair exactly?]
#2 Not sure if it’s an emotional affair? It’s tricky when trying to figure out if it’s actually an emotional affair or not. Listen, if you feel guilty when you’re with the other person or have to be dishonest with your partner about what you’re doing and who you’re seeing, it’s an emotional affair.
Why would you have these feelings if this was just a friend? If it’s a friend, you have nothing to feel guilty or ashamed of.
#3 Don’t try to rationalize what you’re doing. No one wants to see themselves as someone who cheats. But you cannot try to rationalize what you’re doing. Own up to the fact that you’re cheating on your partner. Own up to yourself. You know exactly what you’re doing.
Sure, your partner may not be giving enough attention or working long hours, but express your feelings to your partner instead of going to someone else for attention. [Read: How to forgive yourself for cheating]
#4 Look at why you’re having an emotional affair. Why is this happening in the first place? If everything in your relationship went well, you wouldn’t feel the need to emotionally connect with someone else. The first step in dealing with your emotional affair is understanding why you’re having one. Sit down with yourself and really think about why you started this emotional affair. What are you not getting from your current relationship?
#5 What do you want from this emotional affair? What are you trying to gain from this emotional affair? Are you wanting to leave your current partner for this person? Do you want to feel validated?
You went into this affair because you are unhappy in your current relationship, but what was the end goal? Now that it’s progressed, what do you really want from this affair? Do you want to end this in hopes of keeping your current partner or do you want to end this affair and breakup with your partner? Think about it. [Read: Are you in love with someone else? 15 questions you need to ask yourself]
#6 If you don’t want to continue the affair, cut it. You need to end the affair. Now, this can be tricky depending on your relationship with this person. Is this someone you see all the time, work with, etc.? So, the best way to end it is to tell them. Don’t ghost them.
I mean, you can, but they deserve to know why you’re ending this relationship with them. Let them know that you feel you overstepped your boundaries and you need to remove yourself from this situation. Now, whether you still want to remain friends is your decision.
#7 You’re going to be emotional. Listen, once you break it off, it isn’t going to be a walk in the park for you. You can think of this like a breakup. You emotionally invested in someone and now you’re ending it. Now, it’s a little tricky because unless you told your partner what happened, you kind of grieve in silence.
#8 Though you may want to tell your partner. Now, I’m not forcing you to tell your partner, what you choose to do is your choice. Though if you feel guilty, it may be better to let them know what happened. I mean, they have a right to know what you were doing behind their back, as well as deciding whether or not they want to be with someone who did that.
#9 Your partner isn’t going to be happy. Now, I’m not going to sugarcoat this. Your partner is going to be hurt, really hurt. The worst thing to do is beg forgiveness from them and suffocate them with your tears. Give them space. They need time to process what happened and figure out the next step. They’ll come to talk to you when they’re ready, you just need to respect their space. [Read: You only cheated once – Should you confess or just shut up?]
#10 Look at what you need to change in your relationship. So, you’ve talked to your partner and they’re willing to give the relationship a second chance. Now they probably acknowledge that your relationship wasn’t going down a good path, which is a very good start when it comes to recovering from an emotional affair.
Now what you need to do is sit down with your partner and talk openly about the relationship. What needs are not being fulfilled from both sides because this isn’t a one-way street.
#11 Make a plan of how you two will fulfill each other’s needs. Maybe your partner works too much or maybe you’re not giving your partner the type of love they’re looking for. There are various ways to love someone. Perhaps the way you show love is not compatible with how they view love.
#12 Stick to the plan. Making a plan is one thing, but sticking to it is a whole other thing. If one of you is slacking when it comes to meeting those expectations, remind each other.
If you both are not meeting those expectations, then you should evaluate whether or not you both actually want this relationship to work. If not, sit down and talk about it. Maybe it’s better if you both moved on.