Cheating in a relationship is destructive to you, the person you’re having the affair with, and the person you’re committed to. Here are a few tips on how to stop cheating in a relationship, and start moving into the freedom that not cheating will bring.
First, you have to learn how to detach from the person you’re having an affair with, and rebuild your relationship.
Second, you need to remember that “cheating and lying aren’t struggles, they’re reasons to break up.” (Patti C Henry). It doesn’t matter if you think you’re being cheating on or if you’re the one who is cheating in a relationship…you can’t continue. Long-term affairs will drag your soul into the muck. They aren’t good or healthy for anyone.
Third, I hope you know that cheating doesn’t make you a “bad” person. You need intimacy and connection, and you’re having an affair because you’re trying to meet those needs. Read When Good People Have Affairs: Inside the Hearts & Minds of People in Two Relationships by Mira Kirshenbaum. Get insight into why relationship cheating happens, and how you can be a healthy, happy person.
I offer these tips on how to stop cheating in a relationship because of a reader’s description of why she cheats on her husband. This reader didn’t ask for tips on how to stop cheating, but I needed to write this article. It’s wrong on so many levels to cheat when you’re in a commited relationship, and I encourage you to break it off and wipe the slate clean.
Tips on How to Stop Relationship Cheating
Figure out why you’re having the affair. 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, marriage counselor Gary Neuman discusses several reasons people have affairs.
Find ways to get the same benefits in your marriage. To stop cheating in a relationship, 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.
Relationship cheating isn’t easy to just “quit” cold turkey. Read How to Stop Thinking About Your Ex.
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. If you don’t want to stop cheating because your relationship is based on love (you think), 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. This tip on how to stop cheating in a relationship is about getting as emotionally and spiritually healthy as you can.
If you’re not married but you’re involved in an affair, read How to Stop Dating a Married Man.
I'm glad you're here! My name is Laurie Kienlen; my husband Bruce and I live in Vancouver, BC with our critters. We can't have kids, and are learning to accept whatever life brings - both good and bad. I have an MSW (Master of Social Work) from UBC, and degrees in Education and Psychology. I hope you say hello below - I can't give relationship advice, but writing can bring you clarity and insight.