Stop beating yourself up because you can’t stop cheating on your partner. Instead, start moving into the freedom that not cheating will bring.
These tips will help you detach from the person you’re having an affair with, stop cheating on your spouse, and rebuild your marriage.
Before the tips, a quip:
“When he’s late for dinner, I know he’s either having an affair or lying dead in the street. I always hope it’s the street.” ~ Jessica Tandy.
You know it’s not just husbands who cheat; in fact, I’m writing this article in response to a wife who described why she cheated on her husband, in the comments section of my emotional affairs article. She didn’t ask about how to stop cheating on her husband, but I needed to write this article.
How to Stop Cheating on Your Spouse
If you’re ready to heal, read Transcending Post-Infidelity Stress Disorder (PISD): The Six Stages of Healing.
Below are several ways to quit the affair and rebuild your marriage.
Figure out why you’re cheating
People have emotional or physical affairs for different reasons, but the bottom line is that they’re getting something out of the adulterous relationship. If you want to stop cheating on your partner, ask yourself what caused you to be unfaithful. Maybe you felt attractive, understood, and passionate with the person outside your marriage. In Why Men Cheat on Their Wives, marriage counselor Gary Neuman discusses several reasons people have affairs.
Find ways to get the same benefits in your marriage
To stop cheating on your spouse, find healthy ways to enjoy the same benefits you were getting from the emotional or physical affair. For instance, if you felt understood in the adulterous relationship, then work on your communication with your partner. Find ways to meet your needs within your marriage.
Expect stopping the obsession to be difficult
Sometimes it’s easy to end the affair because you know how much it hurts your partner and kids (even if they don’t know about it), and you want to save your marriage. Other times, you don’t want to leave the adulterous relationship – but you know you have to. Preparation is half the battle: expect it to be difficult and even painful to stop cheating on your partner.
Accept that you’re letting go of someone you love
Some affairs are strictly physical, which may be easier in terms of finding ways to stop cheating on your partner. Emotional infidelity or affairs of the heart may be more difficult to end, because there’s a very real connection between two people. For help letting go, read How to Let Go of Someone You Love.
Put your spouse first – and learn how to express your love
Perhaps this should be the first way to stop cheating on your partner! You made a wrong choice when you embarked on this physical or emotional affair. You deceived your spouse, you disrespected his or her feelings, and you broke your marriage vows. To end the affair, you have to accept that you made a mistake – and you need to be mature, responsible, and loving enough to re-commit yourself to your partner. You may also want to learn about the five love languages, to help save your marriage.
Get individual or marriage counseling
Rebuilding your relationship may not be as simple as ending the affair and communicating with your spouse. Infidelity is a symptom of other problems in the relationship – and to reconnect with your partner, you need to deal with what the real problem is.
If you’re on the other side – your spouse can’t stop cheating on you – read How Do You Forgive Your Husband After an Affair?