How to end an affair with a married man

There may be several reasons for infidelity in a marriage but rarely can any of them be justified or rationalized. If you’re stuck in an affair with a married man, and wish to end it, there are several ways to go about it. The more clarity you have about not wanting to be with the man, the easier it will be to end this dysfunctional relationship.

TIP: Read the guide to prevent a break up or get back with your ex.

A solid marriage takes as much work as a job does. When two people say their vows, they promise to be together in sickness and health. Seeking thrills in an extramarital affair is a distraction—merely escapism. Not wanting to work on it highlights the person’s lack of willingness to keep the marriage together. If this is his level of commitment to his marriage, not much can be said about your affair, which he probably doesn’t take seriously anyway. You deserve much better and being the other woman shouldn’t be good enough for anyone.

1. List all the reasons

If you’re still iffy about why you should end it, it’s time to sit down in isolation, with a pen and paper. Make two columns - good feelings and bad feelings. Write down reasons that make you want to stay in a relationship and why you wish to break it off. First write “He’s married” in the “Bad feelings” column. Remind yourself of the terrible things he’s done to you. Make a note of the times he stood you up, cancelled at the last minute, gifted you a voucher for your birthday, etc. If the sex is good, remind yourself how you felt when he had to suddenly leave, right after you did it, for his wife’s doctor’s appointment. If he gifted you expensive earrings, remember the sting you felt when he bought his wife a necklace. Note down feelings of guilt, about being the other woman, about distracting him away from his real family, etc. Just in case the good things about the relationship are more than the bad ones, remember that the first thing you wrote—he’s married—outweighs all the good ones.

2. Stop the excuses

If you’re justifying the affair by saying “His marriage was doomed from the start”, don’t fool yourself. If his marriage was doomed, he would have ended it long ago. By staying in the marriage and in the extramarital affair, he wants the best of both worlds. Don’t rationalize by saying “We’re soulmates”. Contrary to popular belief, all good men are not married or gay. The world is full of available and eligible bachelors. You need to respect yourself and be in a relationship in which you’re truly valued. Don’t think your responsibility is over by saying “I’ve tried to end it but he always finds a way back”. If you really tried to end it, it would have been over yesterday.

3. Get your friends over

Call your good friends over for coffee and speak your heart out. And I mean really good friends, who care for you, and not the ones who you meet only at parties. Chances are that your real friends already know and disapprove of your relationship with a married man. Confide in them about your plan of calling it off. Seek their support. Telling your friends that you are planning to break up, will help you when you’re weak. When you know you’re accountable to someone, you will be stronger.

4. The big question

It's always - how to break up with a married man. Depending on your level of comfort, do it in person or over the phone. If you’re scared of getting lost in the conversation, send an e-mail. Never position the breakup as a discussion. Don’t state things like “Don’t you think this isn’t working?” or “Maybe it’s better if we end this”. This will give him the opportunity to tell you how things will change and that this is temporary. He could tell you that he was planning to tell his wife that day, or he will insult you with a lame weekend break with him. If these so called enhancements were to happen, they would already have. Your breaking it off shouldn’t be the trigger. Don’t provide any opportunity to him for rationalization. Tell him this is the end and that’s that. Be strong and deal with tears if any. Do not comfort or offer any advice. Say what you have to about ending it, and leave.

5. Patterns of behaviour

If you have tried to break up in the past, you must have noticed a pattern of behaviour. You break up with him. He stays away for three days and calls you on the fourth. Your heart melts, because the three days have been hard on you. And now you’re back where you started. Have a support group of great friends, start a new project at work or take a small vacation. Identify the pattern and nip it in the bud.

6. Get him out of your life

When you do end it, break contact completely. Rule out any possibility of future contact. Delete his e-mails and e-mail ids. Erase phone numbers. Delete him from your Facebook page and other networking sites. Burn pictures, letters and throw away all gifts…even those expensive earrings. Erase him from your life completely.  

7. Make changes to your lifestyle

Make big changes in your life and maybe a few small ones. Change your hairdo, get a new hobby, enroll in belly dancing classes, join a gym, etc. Go shopping with girlfriends. Indulge yourself in a new dress every fortnight and a candy bar every Thursday. Get the new microwave you want and need. Clean up your house completely. Throw crazy costume parties at home. Rearranging our lives for the better can help us find peace.

8. Be receptive to new possibilities

There will always be new ways of finding excitement. Meet new people. Go to a pub with girl friends. Go on a blind date. Put yourself out there. There are scores of eligible young men waiting to take you out for a fancy dinner.

Finally, remember that you have as much right as any other woman, to be with someone who respects you. You should always feel special in a relationship and not like a second fiddle. A great relationship is where you can be yourself and where you experience bliss. So take control of your life, kick out that married man and grab your slice of heaven.