How do most emotional affairs end? Have you ever wondered about it? Do they ever end in a good way or are those always some bad endings? Do those endings always result in someone getting hurt?
I know, there are tons of questions about emotional affairs and I think we’ll cover them all in this article. Emotional infidelity is a very complicated term and it should be handled with care.
There is so much pain, unrequited love, unhappiness and broken hearts behind it. And honestly, everyone should think twice before they indulge in an emotional affair or any other kind of extramarital affair.
How Do Most Emotional Affairs End: 15 Ways
Deep down, all cheaters are aware that there is no right or a good way to end an emotional affair. That’s why most emotional affairs end in these ways below:
1. Loss of the primary relationships
The ending of most emotional affairs also means the end of the primary relationships. Especially, if the affair gets exposed in the end.
It may be a committed, long-term relationship or even a marriage. However, some people simply aren’t able to forgive their partners for cheating on them and they decide to put an end to their relationship/marriage after they find out about the affair.
2. Losing a close friendship
If your emotional affair partner was your co-worker or a good friend, you most surely lose them as friends once you lose them as a lover, too.
It’s simply difficult to stay friends with someone you had an affair with, especially if one of you still has feelings for the other one. Even if there are no feelings, there is still the emotional bond you two shared and all the things you were keeping secret all this time.
Maybe you weren’t friends before you indulged in the affair but you built a friendship throughout the affair. Well, you shouldn’t expect that friendship to continue once you end your affair and to be honest, it would be a bit awkward if you stay friends after everything.
3. Too many broken hearts
There are four sides to every story about extramarital affairs and at least two of those sides will be left with broken hearts. It will probably be the primary relationship partners, once they find out about their partner’s betrayal.
Also, the cheating spouses/partners may get their hearts broken because, after all, they’ll lose two people they sincerely cared for and still care for.
4. Guilty conscience
How do most emotional affairs end? Well, the most common aftermath is the guilty conscience of the cheating spouses.
They feel bad about their betrayal and they’ll feel even worse once they figure out their partners really didn’t deserve it. Actually, their guilty conscience is probably the main reason why they decided to end their affair.
Those struggles with their conscience will eat them up inside. Sooner or later, they’ll probably realize that it’s best to admit everything to their partners and let them choose whether they want to stay with them or not.
5. Staying in an unhappy relationship
Most married men and married women decide to stay married after the betrayal happens. There are several reasons for it but the only right reason to stay with someone is love. Everything else is madness.
The truth is, if you were happy in your marriage/relationship, you wouldn’t cheat on your partner in the first place.
Staying in that unhappy marriage just because you feel sorry for your partner or because your guilty conscience is making you do so is the worst thing you can do to yourself and your partner.
6. Dealing with an emotional rollercoaster
An emotional affair doesn’t only include two people, it includes four people because the primary relationship partners can count there, too. And when the affair ends and gets exposed, all of those people deal with different emotions.
Unfortunately, all of those emotions are very bad ones and for most of them, it’s very difficult to cope with those feelings.
All the way from sadness and grief, to disappointment and hate. The aftermath of that rollercoaster of emotions harms emotional well-being and a broken heart.
7. Drained emotional energy
Riding on that emotional rollercoaster drains their emotional energy completely. They’re left numb and they aren’t able to start a new relationship for a long time.
They need time to reload that energy. Those feelings of being emotionally worn-out also affect other relationships in their lives and it all changes them and the way they make emotional bonds with new people that come into their lives.
8. Lack of emotional support
When you break up with your emotional affair partner, you’ll be left without their emotional support. They won’t be there for you anymore and you won’t be able to go to them every time you have an emotional crisis.
Also, you’ve probably kept your affair secret and that means there is nobody else you can talk to and you definitely can’t talk with your partner about it. That leads us to the next conclusion… You’ll lack emotional support completely and as days go by, you’ll feel like you’re all alone in this world.
9. Unfulfilled emotional needs
Your emotional affair partner was probably fulfilling your emotional needs just as you were fulfilling theirs. Well, consider it all gone once you end the affair.
Your partner will probably still try to fulfill your needs but because of the distance between you two, they simply won’t know what your emotional needs are anymore. You two will seem like two strangers and both of you will be deeply unhappy in that relationship.
10. Trying to control sexual tension
You can end the emotional affair, but you can’t shut the sexual tension down just like that. It’ll be there and every time you see that person, you’ll feel that fire burning between you two.
Even running into their profile on social media may awaken that tension and you won’t be able to stop thinking about them. You’ll be picturing them all the time and all the amazing moments you two spent together.
11. Harmed self-esteem and mental health
When an emotional affair gets revealed, so many sides get hurt. Being cheated on by a person you sincerely love changes you and deep down you know you’ll never be the same.
In the beginning, you start thinking about how it was all your mistake and you start blaming yourself and putting huge pressure on yourself. That completely destroys your self-esteem and affects your emotional and mental health.
The person spends time recovering from it all and works hard on boosting their self-esteem. And until they get back on their feet, they’re simply unable to forgive their cheating partners or engage in a new relationship.
12. Lack of physical intimacy in the primary relationship
When the cheating spouse breaks up with their emotional affair partner and decides to get back together with their partner, they may start avoiding physical intimacy.
The feelings they caught for their affair partner and the emotional bond they share now simply don’t allow them to make love to their spouse/partner. Maybe they still love their partner, but the love they feel for their affair partner is definitely more intense.
If the lack of intimacy continues, that is, if the couple doesn’t work on fixing it, their relationship will be doomed or they’ll turn back to their affair partner.
13. Going through couples therapy
How do most emotional affairs end? With couples therapy, of course, if the couple decides to continue their relationship after the betrayal.
It would be very difficult for a couple to fight with it all alone. And the chances to move on from that and save their relationship would be minimum indeed.
That’s why most of them choose to visit a relationship therapist and it definitely helps them fix their relationship.
14. Staying just friends with someone who means so much to you
If you were cheating on your spouse with a mutual friend or someone you both know, you’ll probably need to keep seeing each other even after you break up. You might think that it’s a good idea to stay just friends but it’s actually the worst thing you can do.
You’ve developed feelings for each other and you’ve ended your relationship because you understood it’s wrong to be cheating on your partners. And you’re absolutely right, it’s very wrong.
However, it’s also wrong to force yourselves to be just friends when both of you want something more. It may work for some time but sooner or later, you’ll stop resisting your feelings.
15. Coping with deep emotional wounds
As I said, ending an emotional affair isn’t easy. One person will be left with a broken heart and that’s for sure.
That will leave them with deep emotional wounds that won’t be cured that easily. Even after they heal those wounds, the scars will stay there forever, haunting and reminding them of the pain they went through.
Unfortunately, these wounds may be an obstacle for them when it comes to engaging in new romantic relationships. They might fear getting hurt again and that’s why they might start avoiding getting back into that dating pool.
What To Do After You End An Emotional Affair? 9 Tips
I know it’s hard to move on after ending an emotional affair. You’ll be left with a million questions in your head and you simply won’t know how to deal with them all.
I have a few tips for you that will help you leave the affair behind and move forward by yourself.
1. Don’t try to silence your emotions
You’ve betrayed your long-term relationship partner and fell in love with someone you had an affair with. It’s completely normal that you feel a real rollercoaster of emotions.
However, you need to acknowledge and accept them all, the good and the bad ones. If you don’t deal with your emotions properly, if you try to suppress them deep down, it’ll only block your way to moving forward.
If you accept your emotions, on the other hand, you’ll be able to deal with them and, eventually, move on.
2. Take some alone time
Spending time by yourself will help you understand your emotions and rethink everything that happened. You need to self-reflect and think about everything you did for both people you shared feelings with.
You also need to think about what that affair did to you. You’ll probably need plenty of time to recover and completely heal from it and taking some alone time is the first step to it.
Most importantly, you need to figure out a way you’ll move on. You’ve already decided you want to move forward by yourself and it’s completely okay but you need to think about the way you want to lead your life from now on.
3. Grieve the way you want
Grief is also one of the stages of an emotional affair. You’ll probably deal with different kinds of grief and if you don’t go through them the right way, you’ll be stuck with those unpleasant feelings forever.
The first kind of grief you’ll feel is losing two people you deeply cared for. You had a deep connection with both of them, and now you’re left without it all.
The second type of grief is the one you’ll feel for hurting the person you were with for so long and shared so many wonderful memories with. That’s one of the things you’ll never be able to forgive yourself.
If you decide to continue your primary relationship…
1. Admit everything to your partner
Surprisingly, about 70% of married couples actually choose to stay together after an extramarital affair. So, if you choose to stay with your spouse/partner, it’s also a good thing.
However, you’ll need to put effort into making things work between you again. The first thing you need to do is to talk with your partner and tell them everything about your emotional infidelity, of course, leaving the most intimate details out.
This is something almost every marriage and family therapy expert would advise you to do. It’s simply impossible to continue with your relationship pretending that none of it ever happened.
2. Earn their forgiveness
This goes without saying. You can’t just ask your partner to forgive you and expect it’ll solve all of your problems because it won’t and they definitely won’t forgive you just like that.
You’ll need to prove to them you’re truly remorseful and that you don’t plan on repeating your mistake ever again. Only when they get assured that you truly regret your actions, will they forgive you and you’ll be able to work on saving your relationship.
3. Be sure you still love them the same
I get that it was a healthy, committed relationship, that you loved your partner deeply before you made this huge mistake but is this really still the same? Do you still love the same?
If you don’t, if you’re in love with your affair partner, then there is no point in getting back together with your partner. You’ll only hurt them more that way.
If you still love them, and if your feelings for the affair partner aren’t and weren’t so deep, then you have my blessing and I really hope you’ll be able to keep them in your life.
4. Block every contact with your emotional affair partner
Once you end your emotional affair and decide to go back to your primary partner, you need to leave that affair in the past forever. You need to cut off every contact with your affair partner.
Forget about them and everything that happened between you. If they try to make any kind of contact with you, block their attempts and make sure they know you’re serious and that you don’t want to see them ever again.
5. Consider this a lesson and let it strengthen your relationship
It’s hard to move on from an emotional/physical affair. You simply think that your relationship can never be the same, no matter the love you have for each other and really try to leave it all behind.
But, it can. It actually can be even better. Consider this just a temptation from God for your relationship. Perhaps, He was just testing your love. Use this experience as a lesson that will help you build an even better and stronger relationship.
6. Take couples counseling
Whether you’re married or only dating, you need to take relationship/marriage counseling if you truly want to save your relationship. A relationship therapist will help you work through your problems and leave this awful experience behind.
There is so much couples counseling can do for you and your relationship. In the end, if it doesn’t help (and trust me, it will), it won’t hurt your relationship either.
Do Emotional Affairs Ever End Well?
Well, this is a hard one. In most cases, they definitely don’t end well because they can’t end without consequences, that is, without anyone getting hurt.
Even if their partners discover their affair, the cheaters, or at least the ones that caught strong feelings, will hold grudges against the other. Sooner or later, they’ll do something that would expose their affair totally and all 4 parties will end up hurt.
On the other hand, the emotional affair partners might agree to end their affair only to save their partners from getting hurt. However, they’ll keep suffering because they won’t be happy in those relationships and their hearts will ache for each other.
Of course, if the partners from their primary relationships find out about their significant other’s emotional infidelity, it’s clear why it doesn’t end well in that case.
How Long Do Most Emotional Affairs Last?
Most relationship experts agree that emotional affairs last approximately six to eighteen months. It’s mostly because that period is considered enough to find out whether it’s infatuation or true love.
That’s the period of that famous honeymoon phase where the couple doesn’t think about anything else except their love. They’re infatuated with one another.
After some time, one or both of them may get a crisis of conscience and start thinking about their primary relationships and the pain their partners would feel if they find out about their affair.
However, they can last even up to three or more years. Or, just like most extramarital affairs, they simply last until they get exposed, lol ?.
Are Emotional Affairs Hard To End?
.Every relationship or affair that involves emotional intimacy is hard to end. That implies that one or both sides have caught feelings and ending that relationship would hurt them.
If it’s sexual infidelity, that is if that’s only a sexual affair, it’s easier to end it. Both sides engaged in the affair only to please their physical needs and it’s not hard for them to end it because they can always find another person to have fun and please their needs.
Also, in an emotional relationship, the couple has connected emotionally and those kinds of bonds are always hard to end. Those kinds of breakups don’t go without painful consequences.
Both lovers are probably aware that their relationship is wrong, that they’re hurting other people with it, but it’s still hard for them to end it because they know it would break their hearts.
Why Do Emotional Affairs Hurt So Much?
The fact is, emotional affairs hurt and they hurt much more than casual, sexual affairs. It’s simply because there are emotions included and the wounds on the heart are the ones that hurt the most.
When you indulge in a casual relationship/affair with someone, you do it only to get physical pleasure, you don’t include your emotions there.
Emotional cheating, on the other hand, differs because a deep emotional connection is being created between emotional affair partners. You can replace a lover, someone you’re with because of pure sexual pleasure, but it’s way harder to leave or replace someone you caught strong romantic feelings for.
Ending an emotional affair can cause emotional damage and leave you with very awful consequences for your emotional health. That’s why you need to think twice before you indulge in such a relationship with someone.
Making The Long Story Short
To recap, how do most emotional affairs end? Unfortunately, as you can see, they almost always end in a bad way.
Someone always ends up hurt, disappointed and brokenhearted. Emotional affairs are by far one of the most difficult types of relationships.
Whatever starts or is being built on bad foundations can’t and won’t end well. It’s just a law of nature and you simply can’t go against it.
I know that love is blind and unpredictable, it doesn’t care about the right time or place. However, if you ever start catching feelings for another person, you need to end things with your partner and engage in that new relationship the right way.