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You Asked: How Can I End My Affair?

Dear Sugar,

I have been having an on again/off again relationship with a married man for the past eight years. I've been married for 16 years and we have four older children together. My husband found out about the affair two years ago and I ended it for a while, worked on my marriage, but now I am picking things back up with my lover again and I don't know what to do. Do you have any advice?
— Having an Affair Heidi

To see Dear Sugar's answer


Dear Having an Affair Heidi,

This sounds like a lose-lose situation Heidi. I think you know where I stand on affairs, but it sounds like there's something much deeper going on here. First of all, I have to ask you why you're going through the motions with your husband when it's pretty clear that you're no longer interested in making your marriage work? Not only are you jeopardizing your relationship with your husband, but you're clearly not thinking of your children either, let alone this other man's family. Since he forgave you the first time around, he must love you a great deal but if you want to continue having this affair, my advice to you is to leave your husband first.

If you're simply turning to this other man because you've hit a rough patch in your marriage again, try talking to your husband. I also highly recommend seeing a marriage counselor who could help guide you both on how to look deeper into this situation. Affairs are incredibly selfish, and while I can only speculate, they can't make you feel very good about yourself either. If at the end of the day, you can't let go of this other man, I think you should do the selfless thing and go your own way so he can go his own way, too. Yes, it will be hard and very painful for your family, but in the end, it will be the best thing for all involved. Good luck.


Join The Conversation
ninjastarlett ninjastarlett 9 years
If you really want to work things out with your husband -- therapy, therapy: personal and marriage counseling. Otherwise, divorce. =\
Janine22 Janine22 9 years
My dad had an affair on my mom and my oldest sister hates him. I mean hates him, she is full of resentment and disgust for his behaviour and it has damaged their relationship to the point that I don't think it will ever be repaired. I don't respect him anymore either. How do you think you will feel when your children find out what you have done? And they will find out, don't fool yourself, eventually they will find out and they will lose all respect for you. Do you think staying with your husband makes life easier for your kids? Because if anything it will cause many problems when they find out how horribly you have treated their father. It will also cause them MANY problems in their future relationships regarding trust. I know this from personal experience! You are also ruining the family of the man you are involved with. Leave your husband NOW or stop cheating NOW, those are your choices. You sound very selfish to me.
Asia84 Asia84 9 years
at this point, just decide, between you and your hubby, to have an open relationship. he screws who he wants and you screw who you want, and you guys can still file taxes jointly. Everybody's happy!
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 9 years
Truthfully, Heidi, I need to know more information. Why did you remain married to your husband? For the children's sake? Trying to put their needs ahead of yours? Do you want to avoid the stigma of being a divorcee (for appearance sake)? Why did you start the affair again? Are you in love with that man (and fallen out of love with your husband)? How does your husband treat you? There are alot of missing information. Unlike some people, I'm slow at judging your situation. I see this situation as gray, not black and white.
Karma87 Karma87 9 years
You must realize when it's all said and done, that this affair is the legacy you'll leave to your kids. They may very well resent you. You will never know what kind of wonderful relationship you may have had with them and with your possible future grandchildren because in their eyes, you're not trustworthy. Ultimately, I'd bet at least one of your four children will end up in counciling because they are going to have a very hard time with issues such as trust and love and basic core values. It seems to go like this: either husband or wife cheats, carries on in secret sometimes for years, maybe confides in one friend for support or whatever, and then gets caught or fesses up. There are theories that say there are no secrets in families, but it becomes what is tolerated or "just the way it is", and it turns into the norm because the kids have no power over their parents' actions and decisions. To me, this is an unstable, fragile foundation to build on to form your children into responsible adults as only their parents can. You had children why? To raise them to be good, kind, considerate, polite, HONEST people, to contribute to society in a healthy positive way, I can assume. Kids learn by what we DO as parents, as opposed to teaching by telling them (not) to do this or that. I hope none of them end up on drugs. What hell, and you'd have had a hand in that. Live with that. Only you can start to fix this by following through and making the proper choices. You know what you need to do.
Sun_Sun Sun_Sun 9 years
oufffff all these cheating questions make my blood boil :@
blingbling blingbling 9 years
*yawn* How many times and in how many different ways will this question be asked on this site? The responses are always the same, as they should be.
sunshowers83 sunshowers83 9 years
Don't be ridiculous - you know exactly what to do, you just don't want to make the hard choice. I'd say your marriage is as good as dead. I'd put the time of death at roughly 8 years ago. End it so you can stop tormenting your husband, it's the least you can do.
cvandoorn cvandoorn 9 years
You need to find out what is causing you to stray like this...because not only are you hurting your own family, you are hurting his as well. There is nothing we can say on here for you to stop, it has to come from within yourself. Take a good hard look at yourself and at your marriage and ask yourself why you want to start this affair again. Are you unhappy in your marriage? Do you have trouble communicating with your husband? I mean, these are NOT excuses to go out and have an affair, but it certainly is the easy way out.
DCRoamer DCRoamer 9 years
Why are you asking a group of complete strangers this question? Only you know how to end the affair. If you want to, then do it. If not, continue jeopardizing your marriage, kids, health, etc.
kurniakasih kurniakasih 9 years
Either a marriage counselor or get a divorce. I don't see any other option. I'm leaning more toward divorce in this case. When your husband finds out again, there is a possibility he's going to be filing one himself.
Lele777 Lele777 9 years
Liss I agree. People are selfish nowdays and the media and all of the feel good its okay to do what you wanters out there just encourage this type of behavior. Here is some advice: 1) If you can't be faithful don't get married and please don't have kids. The kids end up really messed up in the way they have relationships when a parent is unfaithful. I should know. My dad cheated and relationships for me are a bitch! 2) Stop having the affair, or get divorced. If you didn't want to be with your husband, him finding out was your perfect opportunity out. 3)Let your poor husband move on and find happiness. Have you ever thought about how much happiness he has sacrificed in order to work things out with you? And for what? For you to keep sleeping around behind his back. He deserves to get some new booty himself, but some thing tells me that you wouldn't like that at all if the tables were reversed. 4)Get tested! If you guys will cheat with each other who is to say that you won't cheat with somebody else. I'm not being mean just real. So stop being selfish and take a good look at the situation that YOU have created for your family!!! Was it worth it?
chicaparati17 chicaparati17 9 years
I agree with annebreal....I think it takes a little bit of guts to come on here and spill this. I am not going to bash her but simply want to know...what's lacking in your relationship with your husband? What is it that this other man provides that your husband doesnt? Is it possible that through therapy you can find the same excitement with your husband, whom you exchanged vows with? I am all for trying to work on it...its easy to walk away but harder to stay and fight! Do you love your husband in the least??? If so then fight and yes you must end your affair...its just not fair to your husband or your relationship.
annebreal annebreal 9 years
Kiwi, I wasn't talking about your comment at all - I don't condone her actions, I think cheating is one of the worst things you can do (lying, being selfish, hurting others) and I think there's probably too much damage to repair although she should exhaust her options first - but the people who are being a little more blunt than you. People who think it's wrong to hurt people by cheating but think it's okay to randomly hurl insults at strangers that are probably already hurting enough.
kiwitwist kiwitwist 9 years
well if her husband is horrible and he deserved to be cheated on then she should leave him regardless, right? I have strong feelings on this subject.
robins robins 9 years
annebreal annebreal 9 years
I just want to say that she didn't give any details about her husband or her marriage, so I wouldn't automatically assume he's an innocent and good man and she has to let her poor husband go. She has tried to change in the past, so I think she knows her actions were deplorable - married for 16 years with 4 kids, we can assume she's a grown woman and doesn't need strangers throwing stones. I agree with ErieIndiana...I think she should try being on her own (even if it means a trial separation from her husband, not a divorce) and get some counseling, work on herself, and just abstain for a while.
ErieIndiana ErieIndiana 9 years
Get a divorce. Work on yourself. Stay out of a relationship with ANYONE for a few years and figure out what you want instead of falling into old patterns.
pinkprincess1101 pinkprincess1101 9 years
what about dont fall into temptation to begin with, sorry there are too class of people i despise the most cheaters and liars
schar schar 9 years
Some advice? How about...STOP HAVING AN AFFAIR!
SILVER01 SILVER01 9 years
Do you realize how many people you have hurt? Not to mention the other mans wife. Do your husband a favour & leave him. Obviously things are not going to change you have been doing this for so long. Your husband deserves to be with someone who will be faithful to him. Owning up to your husband that you have restarted this affair again is the ethical thing to do. Leaving your husband would be unselfish. You have already been too selfish all this years. Give your husband a chance to be with someone who will treat him right. That is the least you could do for this man. Stop & think how you would feel if your husband put you in this situation. What would you do then? Probably leave him. Good luck I hope you make the right decision.
Liss1 Liss1 9 years
Get a divorce, let your poor husband move on! There are so many cheaters on this site! I can't believe it, what is wrong with people? Does no one believe in marriage vows anymore? Why get married if you don't plan on being faithful?
kiwitwist kiwitwist 9 years
get a divorce... sorry to be blunt
Marni7 Marni7 9 years
8 years!!???!?? so you have been having this relationship with this man for half of ur marriage? not going to sit here and berate you for your actions, as selfish as they appear,but you have to make a decision about what makes u happy and if its this other guy, end things with ur husband FIRST. no one else needs to be hurt in this process! You cant have both things for another 8 years, that is so wrong and you will continue to hurt other people. Love is complicated but in the end we all know what the right thing to do is and who we really love, u need to take some time out to figure that out.
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