Why Do People Cheat?
Affairs. There is nothing okay with this troubling concept, but somehow, it ends up shattering the strongest of marriages.
Falling in love with the wrong person is a tale as old as time. As cheesy as it may sound, you cannot choose who you fall in love with.
You cannot decide who your soulmate is. That is the work of a higher power.
After all, nobody expects to fall in love with a married man (or a woman), and yet, it happens so frequently, catches you off guard, and completely messes up not one, but three lives.
And if there are additional family members involved (such as kids), trying to find a way out only gets harder.
The main thing is to realize that nobody in this situation wants to leave a hurt spouse.
Nobody wants to affect anyone’s self-esteem so profoundly that they lose faith in love and people in general.
It all comes from a place of misplaced love that ends up hurting the last person you ever wanted to hurt.
As I’m sure your affair partner would agree, neither of you decided to join in this illicit union for malicious reasons.
You didn’t expect to form a committed relationship with a close friend you never knew could become someone you love.
You never planned to take years of marriage for granted and put your relationship through a roller coaster of emotions.
But as it often turns out, life has other plans and ends up intertwining your lives and somehow making you into an unfaithful spouse.
You often wonder how you let it happen in the first place and how you could do this to your long-term relationship.
Was it that phone call from them a while back that made you realize you were catching feelings?
Was it your constant texting back and forth that helped you in your times of need?
When did your friendship turn into an emotional affair, and how did it all become so messed up SO fast?
Extramarital affairs are a tricky thing to delve into, but despite you having a hard time with it, let’s try to figure out exactly how and why people become cheaters by forming an emotional connection (that often becomes physical) with someone outside of their relationship.
This Is How It All Starts…
This is a very serious and complicated matter that I’m sure everyone can agree differs from one person to another.
Nobody decides to cheat. Nobody makes a conscious decision to hurt their partner and turn their life upside down.
It takes a lot of little moments, emotional connections, and ultimately, a wrong decision made in the heat of the moment that feels like the right decision at the time.
There are cheaters who choose to be this way for their own selfish reasons, but as I like to believe, there is also a different side to a cheater. Sometimes it all happens gradually, unexpectedly, and takes them by surprise.
It takes a seemingly insignificant shared moment with a complete stranger, or perhaps even a best friend, that makes them see this person in a different light.
But still, they don’t do anything about it.
As time passes, they cannot shake off the feeling of that spark they felt, and they are overwhelmed with the need to be in their presence, completely aware that it’s not right to feel this way.
But how do you fight your feelings?
They deny it. They try to hide this ugly side they don’t want to face and continue being a committed partner to their loved one.
They desperately try to let go of this feeling for good, and focus on real life and continue on the right path.
Once again, they run into this person. It’s electrifying. There is a divine connection between them, and at this point, it’s impossible to deny it.
How is this person under their skin already? Why is this happening?
But this time, they make the wrong choice of pulling out their cell phone and exchanging numbers.
They know it’s wrong, and every bone in their body is shivering as they are emotionally crossing a line that they promised would never be crossed.
Further contact is established. Right now, it’s all about texting and the thought of a physical affair baffles them.
They are still fighting with every fiber of their being to remain faithful and preserve the sanctity of their union.
They still have that last shred of self-respect, until unexpectedly, it withers away like a snowflake on the palm of their hand.
They did it. They crossed that blurry line and made the mistake they never hoped would happen.
It has become physical. It was intense, it was magical, it was exciting and new… and it was wrong.
Form being a faithful partner, they suddenly crossed to the dark side, and now, they see the gravity of their actions, and there is no going back. You cannot magically make your affair partner go away; it doesn’t work that way.
And just like that, three worlds are shaken. Three lives are completely changed due to a decision that happened in one tiny second. There are feelings of shame, regret, despair, and guilt. Oftentimes, it feels like a dream.
People don’t believe that they actually just did that until they look to their side and see their affair partner peacefully sleeping next to them, completely unaware of the emotional despair they’re feeling.
And it’s at this very moment that they realize they have two choices.
They can choose to continue with this love affair that is wrong on so many levels or they can realize they have a partner at home who’s waiting for them, and for the sake of their relationship, end this affair once and for all.
And this is for all those who have made this grave mistake, realized how severely messed up it is, and decided to make it better.
For the sake of their partnership and the commitment they promised their partner, it’s time to make amends.
How To End An Affair: 7 Simple Steps
1. Make an irreversible decision and stick to it
There is a huge difference between wanting to end this extramarital affair and actually being willing to do it.
Make sure this is what you really want, and once you are, find the will inside you to go through with this and never look back.
What you need in this situation is motivation that will push you forward when you’re feeling weak and are about to give up.
You need that wind in your back that will be enough to put your mind to it and not let it waver. It’s not easy, but that shouldn’t stop you from persevering.
You must be able to take irreversible actions to put an end to this and not change your mind in the middle of it.
You have to be mentally at your strongest and emotionally distance yourself from your affair partner completely.
When the going gets tough, remind yourself of how many people are going to end up hurt if this goes on.
Remind yourself of how much suffering a completely innocent spouse is about to go through if you keep making a fool of them.
Let this guide you to the right decision, and start your affair recovery at once.
It’s a long process, and you’re going to feel weakened and tempted to go back to this person, but when you put your mind to it, everything can be achieved.
2. Get rid of all reminders of your affair partner
If there’s one thing you must do in order to truly let go of this, it’s deleting this person from your mind, body, and soul.
Anything that can trigger you should be out of your life and whatever memory you wish to keep of them—let it go. It’s only going to prolong this already miserable process.
The first step is deleting them from all of your social media profiles. You mustn’t keep them in your proximity, even the online kind.
It can easily cause your will to deteriorate, causing you to falter in your decision.
Delete all the photos you have with them and don’t tell yourself that keeping just one photo is okay. It’s not, and it’s counterproductive.
If they’ve ever given you a gift, now is the time to re-gift it to somebody who’ll take care of it but never let you see it.
Free your mind of all secret longings for them to be all yours, stop telling yourself that one day it’s going to be you and them against the world, and start telling yourself the harsh truth—that it’s over.
Let this be the last time you let yourself think about them in this way, for everyone’s sake.
Too many people are going to end up hurt. Therefore, do the right thing, and cleanse your entire soul from any wishes and yearnings.
Be it physical or emotional, it all needs to go. Detach yourself, and firmly move on, knowing that better things await.
3. Respect the ”No contact” policy
This is a big step in your affair recovery. If you’ve successfully rid yourself of all triggers that could cause your downfall, now it’s time to throw away the key to their door, once and for all.
Of course, what I’m trying to say here is that you need to go no contact from now on.
Delete their number, and refuse to contact them again. Why? There are a few reasons why this is a crucial step in your recovery.
Here are some of the most important ones:
- It will give you enough space and time to re-establish who you are without your affair partner, and it’ll make it easier for you to heal and move on with zero distractions on their part.
- You are not going to be tempted to ever shoot them a text again, which means you will no longer be part of a lying, manipulative affair that was hurting a third person every second of its existence.
- Your perspective will shift, and you’ll finally come to see the beauty of being away from that environment and back to your old self.
- There won’t be more shame and constant guilt every single time you sneak away with them. From now on, you’re living your truth without leaving anyone hurt, and it’s going to feel so much better and healthier with each passing day.
- You’ll have newfound energy to dedicate your time to things you may have neglected. This may include your marriage (if you’re the married partner) or any hobbies and friendships that make you feel good about yourself.
4. Stop finding excuses for failure
Since you’re here reading this, meaning you’re seeking help and are adamant to make the right decision, I truly believe you are a good person who simply made a wrong decision that ended up hurting too many people.
This means you’re only human, and you might try to find an excuse for not going through with this at some point.
And I’m here to tell you that it’s out of the question.
You’ve come this far and you’re so dedicated to doing the right thing, why would you want to ruin it all due to one moment of weakness?
It already happened once. That’s precisely what brought you here, remember? Don’t let it sneak up on you ever again.
Don’t let your moment of weakness destroy you even further. Stop falling into the same trap—you know you’re better than that.
Only the right actions will make you feel better in the end, and faltering is not an option.
Keep at this. Never let your mind go to that dark place again, convincing you of going back to your affair partner.
You know it’s wrong on so many levels. Don’t let your nostalgia get to you. Don’t let your loneliness make you believe that this is going to last forever.
It’s not. This is all just temporary—remember that.
Once you realize that this whole ordeal is eventually going to be SO worth it, you’ll find the strength in your heart to continue on your path to complete recovery and turn over a new leaf.
5. Allow yourself to grieve this loss
When the word ”grief” comes to mind, usually the first thing our minds go to is death.
But let me tell you something—grief is about a lot more than just feeling sad about our lost loved ones.
Grief can be about any type of loss that has left us feeling lost, helpless, weak, and hopeless.
A person can feel grief after losing a person from their life, even if that person is still alive.
Why? Because now they are left with a gaping hole where that person used to be.
And even though they’re still out there living their life, they’re not in that person’s life anymore, therefore—a deep loss.
Don’t deny this part of the affair recovery. Let your feelings take over. That’s the only way to successfully beat this and recover.
If you feel happy one moment, then completely lost the other, then bitter and after that confused but deeply sad, you’re experiencing grief.
Let it happen, knowing that it’s part of your journey to a better self.
Keep thinking positively and try to focus on your endless possibilities, as opposed to the impossible. Good things will happen again; it just takes time.
6. Ask yourself what you’ve learned through this experience
At this moment, I believe that you’re standing at a crossroads. You are nearing a decision that is going to affect the rest of your life.
Are you going to focus on learning a tough lesson from this or choose to see it through a negative light and take the next opportunity to do it again?
From where I stand, if you choose the first, you win.
See, nobody can erase this mistake and pretend it didn’t happen. Nobody can act as if you were faultless in this whole scenario.
But do you know what CAN happen?
You can choose this to be a turning point in your life, one in which you use your biggest mistake as a learning tool for any future misfortune.
You can take this lesson and make note of it in your head, never to forget it.
For as long as you bear this memory within yourself in a positive way, you rid yourself of any and all temptation to do it again.
Once you are reminded of how hurtful and painful it was for ALL involved, you will never allow yourself to get into this kind of relationship ever again.
Related: 19 Clear Signs An Affair Is Turning Into Love (And What Now?)
7. Support system is KEY
Where would any of us be without our strong support systems?
In life, the most important lesson I’ve learned is to ALWAYS nurture and preserve the friendships and family relationships of those who help you without checking their schedules.
Those who would do anything for you in a heartbeat are the people who are going to help you get through this.
Never underestimate the power of a sister’s hug. Never underestimate the strength behind your best friend‘s wise words.
Those are the people who have had your back through it ALL, and they are going to stick by you during your recovery.
Confide in them, but tell them the honest truth. With them, you know you don’t have to sugarcoat anything.
They know your soul, and they would never judge you.
Let yourself be consoled and hugged without feeling guilty about it.
You are a human being who has made a mistake that you’re going to regret for the rest of your life.
You’re not the first person to make a wrong choice and you’re definitely not the last.
Allow yourself to feel loved among your nearest and dearest, and help them help YOU.
You’ve learned your lesson, went through hell and back, and now you’re ready to focus on a bright future with a clear head and a full heart.
And that is all a person can do. Forgive yourself and move on. You are a good person who deserves a second chance and a clean slate.