An affair is perhaps the most dreaded thing in a long-term relationship. It's a relationship between two people who are already committed to somebody else. These people have no trouble being unfaithful to their significant others. Not all affairs are the same, though. Believe it or not, there are different types of affairs, and all these types have to be handled differently - especially if you want to save your relationship with your significant other.
Affairs are delicate to handle. You need to be sure that no party is hurt more than necessary. Handle the whole thing with the delicacy it deserves, and you will hopefully come out better and stronger.
The 7 Types Of Affairs
1. The classic affair
This is the ‘It’s just sex,’ kind of affair. In this scenario, neither of the two individuals involved have genuine feelings for each other. Here, you’re not actually out to hurt your partner, but it is a way for you to fulfill your sexual fantasies. This type of affair is also known as the Casanova or Playboy affair. It's a no-strings-attached arrangement.
2. The emotional intimacy affair
In this type of affair, you usually develop a very close friendship with another individual. The affair usually starts as a friendship and then gradually increases into something intimate but never crosses to being physically intimate. This affair is not the typical kind of cheating, but it has a greater potential for harming your marriage than any other type of affair.
3. The revenge affair
This type of affair occurs when you know that your spouse is going behind your back as well, and you don’t want to be the one left behind. So, vengeful feelings lead to unfaithfulness. Once the desire for revenge dies down, there is only emptiness that remains behind.
4. The one night stand
This is an ‘in a moment of weakness’ affair. It usually happens if you’re high on adrenaline or even drunk and out of your senses. More often than not, it's purely a mistake. One night stands are never meant to happen, and if they do, then they are promptly forgotten about because they don't have any value in the hearts of either party.
5. The distraction affair
This is one of the saddest types of affairs. You could say it's an extension of the emotional intimacy type. This is when you start a relationship with someone else because your spouse is not giving you the attention you deserve. Usually, the spouse is absent emotionally and often physically too. In this case, you start trying to distract yourself from a perceived failure in marriage with other people.
6. The double life affair
Now this affair is true cheating, no questions asked. This kind of affair occurs when you are bored with your significant other and your current life. You want an escape from your reality, so you create a new reality. A double life. People who are a part of this affair are master manipulators and liars.
7. The digital affair
Last but not least, is the digital affair. Now, this type sounds harmless but is the one that can cause the most harm. Social media is so prevalent now. So, it's no surprise that unfaithfulness built on naughty text messages, pictures, and feelings shared on the internet is now becoming quite common.
Ending An Affair At Work
Now that we understand the different kinds of affairs, let's talk about how to end that affair so that you can save your marriage. One of the most common places for an affair is your workplace. Many people in this position find it difficult to cut ties with their lover, but ultimately, it is necessary. So why not do it in the most painless way possible, right? Here are a few pointers which could help you break away from your affair at work subtly and gently - no matter what kind of affair it is.
1. Decrease your time together
At the end of every relationship, you do not have time to remain invested. We know it’s difficult decreasing the amount of time spent together if you are coworkers, but it's not impossible. Stop putting yourself in situations that would force you to be with that person during work hours and immerse yourself in your own work. This will help distract you from your soon to be ex-paramour.
2. Be direct
The best thing you could do to end an affair is to be direct. Gently talk to them and be clear. Make sure that there are no hard feelings. This will help both you and the other person achieve closure. Reaching closure is important for an end to any relationship, even if it is an affair.
3. Spend time at home
During the extent of your affair, you were probably spending long hours at the office. Stop doing that, close your work files, and go home. Spend time with your wife/husband and family. Re-establish the lost relationship.
4. Communicate with your spouse
Remember to work on your marriage. Be honest with your spouse and work on communication. Talk about what happened to bring your marriage to a position where you felt the need to cheat. What went wrong? Is the fault just on your side? Or on both? Talk to each other and work out the problems.
5. Go to a counselor
In relationships which have been marred by affairs, a therapists’ presence is important because they are the only ones whose emotions are not in high gear. Coming back from an affair is hard work, especially if it is a work affair because your spouse will always be worried when you're at work. You need to let the therapist help you so that you re-establish your marital bond and build trust again. The therapist will help you, but ultimately it's up to you, your dedication towards the relationship and your spouses' readiness to forgive you and move on.
Ending An Affair With A Friend
In comparison to ending an affair at work, ending an affair with a friend is a bit more complicated. A friend is someone close to you and not an unknown individual. Having an affair with a friend will already have cost you your marriage. Ending the unfaithful relationship will cost you your friendship as well. Here are a few tips and tricks which will help your affair end more gently, such that you can save the friendship as well as your marriage.
1. Communicate with your spouse
Communication is key. You need to make sure that your spouse knows everything. Honesty should be your best policy. Work on the failing relationship. Go to a counselor and work out all the problems that have led you to this point.
2. Communicate with your friend
The only easy thing about an affair with a friend is the ease with which you can communicate with each other. If the friendship is strong who better to understand your motives? But this friendship can also make things very difficult. You don’t want to hurt your friend after all. You are afraid to lose that friendship and bond, but you also know that it is necessary to end the affair. Maybe you can salvage the friendship? After you have spoken to your spouse and everything is okay again. Even though most of the time it is better to stop being friends again, afterall, the pull factor may arise again.
3. Decrease time spent together
As we have talked about before, time is an investment every relationship needs, and if even one side doesn't make that investment, then that relationship is sure to die. Take a step back from your friend, re-evaluate your priorities, spend that time with your spouse, and make sure that you invest your time in the marriage that you almost lost.
4. Emotional stability and counseling
One of the main reasons you would have an affair with a friend is a lack of emotional intimacy and stability within your own marriage. You look for that intimacy in other places, and who better to provide that stability than your friend? This is a natural yet horrible mistake because not only do you jeopardize a friendship you are also forsaking all the vows you made to your spouse on your wedding day and every day after. It's easy to say that you should talk to your spouse and achieve emotional stability once again, but it is easier said than done. This is where a counselor comes in. Go to a therapist, lay down every fact, every problem, every feeling and work on it. First work on yourself because self-care is important and then work with your spouse on your relationship because if you won’t work for it, no one will.
We understand that having an affair puts you in a very difficult position, regardless of whether or not you were emotionally invested. However, you have to know that ending your affair is your only chance at redemption. It's the only way to save your marriage. For the sake of your family, trying to fix your marriage has its advantages - given that your spouse is a healthy, mature, adult and you were at fault.
No matter how hard it is to end an affair, know that there are a variety of options available to you such as the ones we have talked about. Choose the one that puts you most at ease, take a deep breath, and just do it.