How does one stop an affair, this is a question I've been wondering about. Many people would just say simply-you just stop. But it doesn't seem to be that simple. The affair and whatever you get from it is intoxicating and addictive and like many addictions, it is very hard to give up a habit on your own.
In my opinion, it seems like the only way to really truly end the affair is to be discovered. Sure, you might stop at some point on your own or because it was stopped by your "Other", but if it is not discovered and just ended by you, I think the baggage sticks with you. You still have everything still locked away inside you, this thing you did, this thing you had. Perhaps you are truly sorry and repentant, but its difficult to find forgiveness for something that is still kept secret.
And on the topic of secrets, secrets are poison. They change you and who you are a lot of times. How many people stop an affair and then spend their days trying to make it up to their unknowing spouse. Racked with guilt. That person becomes "the Spouse who had an affair" and I argue it changes the real you and it turns you into a ghost in your relationship.
A friend of mine recently found out her husband cheated on her many years ago and never told her. I was able to have a long conversation with him and he was telling me even though the affair stopped, the thought processes, the secrets and all that junk that goes with it was still in the head.
My response to him was to say that neither he nor his wife really knew who he was in their relationship. That the husband he was, was a husband that was keeping secrets and coping with baggage, not a free human be to live and grow and love.
This comes to a question I have. Do you tell someone about an affair, even if its over. Before I had committed my own adultery I would have said telling your spouse was selfish and only a tool to try to rid you of your guilt. Better to suffer in silence and not cause pain to your spouse.
I completely reversed my opinion on that after my own incident. I see now that keeping secrets and living in a marriage based on a huge lie is no way to live. Your marriage is a shadow of what it could be. I know if I had never told my husband and worked hard with him on coming to terms with why it happened and trying to forgive myself, I would have lived in our marriage as a ghost. And a marriage based on a lie has a sinkhole as its foundation. (Oddly, I always said if my spouse committed adultery, I wouldn't want to know. I didn't think I could forgive him. I sort of suck that way. lol!)
Of course I'm open to opposing opinions, but I'd like to hear mainly from people who are no longer in the affair. I think, for the most part, if you are still in the midst of your affair, that your judgement on these matters is off. But that is just based on my own experience. So if you had an affair in the past, did you tell the truth and if it was discovered, did you come clean with total transparency? (and when I say transparency, I don't mean all the nasty details, I mean disclosing all lies to your spouse).