Even if you know that your affair was wrong, leaving isn’t always easy, nor is there a one-size-fits-all guide for ending things.
Many people want to quit an affair cold turkey, while others need closure for moving forward after an affair. Closure is the act of terminating something in a way that leavesyou feeling satisfied, even if that satisfaction tastes bittersweet.
Learning how to get closure after an affair is not easy. It can be emotionally and physically taxing, especially if you’re trying to decide whether to tell your spouse about your infidelity. That is why we’re looking at 15 effective tips for moving forward after an affair.
Why should you get closure after an affair?
There are plenty of reasons for finding closure after an affair has ended. Perhaps you need to find a way to live with the guilt you nowfeel for cheating, or maybe your affair partner ended things before you were ready to say goodbye.
Whatever your circumstances, getting closure after an affair can help you deal with the myriad of feelings you are no doubt dealing with post-infidelity.
15 tips for getting closure after an affair
Wondering how to get closure from a toxic relationship? Check out some essential tips on how to get closure after an affair:
1. End it
The biggest step in getting closure after an affair is to end it and make sure it’s really over. Don’t backslide or continue to search this person out on social media. End it once and for all so that you can truly move on with your life.
If you want to learn how to get closure after an affair, start by mending the relationship you have with yourself.
People can get lost in affairs, and when the affair ends, they feel like a stranger to themselves.
For getting past an affair, reconnect with yourself, your loves, and your passions, and figure outwhat you want from your life. Only when you learn to accept andlove yourself can you have true emotional closure after an affair.
3. Forgive yourself
It isn’t easy moving forward after an affair, especiallywhen you feel guilty about what happened. Instead of looking back on your extramarital fling as romantic, the memories turn your stomach.
Guilt is good (hear us out) because it shows that you have a conscience. You feel BAD about what happened, and that’s GOOD.
But it’s over now, and beating yourself up over what happened isn’t going to change anything – it’s only going to hold you back from building a better marriage and moving on.
If you find it hard to forgive yourself, check out this video for some tips on how to get over the guilt:
4. Journal it out
How to end an affair with a married man or woman? One tip for how to get closure after an affair is to write out your feelings.
Sometimes it’s hard to process what we feel, but putting pen to paper can bring clarity to your life and help you see things from a new perspective.
Journaling is especially helpful if you have not confided in your friends or your spouse about what happened and need an outlet.
Do you feel consuming guilt after ending affairs when you’re in love with your extramarital partner? This is natural. You’re coming down off of the high of new love (or lust, more likely) and settling back into your life with your partner.
You’ve betrayed your partner’s trust, and now every time you look at them, you feel:
Sick to your stomach
Nervous that they’re going to find out
Regretful for all you’ve done
When an affair ends, moving on can only happen if you come clean with your spouse, do it.
You can do this one-on-one, through a heartfelt letter, orin couples counseling. Whatever way you choose, remember that you’re revealing your secret so you can repair your marriage, not so you can crush your spouse with details about your cheating.
Whether you are set on finding closure after an affair you’ve been a part of or you want to learn how to get closure after being cheated on, therapy can be extremely healing.
Your therapist can help you identify the underlying reasons why you strayed from your marriage. A counselor can also be invaluable in learning how to get closure after an affair as a couple if you have told your spouseabout your extramarital activities.
You can find a therapist easily on marriage.com by using theFind a Therapist directory and connect with your perfect one-on-one therapist.
8. Make a list
If you want emotional closure after an affair, you need to remind yourself why ending your affair (whether you were the dumper or dumpee) was the right thing to do.
Confiding in a trusted confidant can be helpful in finding closure after an affair. This is a wonderful outlet for your feelings, and statistics show that leaning on close friends during stressful times can greatly reduce psychological distress.
Getting closure after an affair is about more thanletting go of your ex. It’s about accepting that the deceitful part of your life is over. Now it’s time to rebuild with your married partner – and you can start with a date night.
Research conducted by The National Marriage Project found that having a regular date night once a month was shown to have positive effects on couples.
Partners who regularly went out andspent quality time together experienced an increase in sexual satisfaction, communication skills and injected passion back into their relationship.
14. Have one last look at your mementos
If your affair partner refuses to talk to you now that therelationship is over, finding closure after an affair can be extremely difficult.
One way you canbegin the healing process is to do a cleanse. Find any text messages, e-mails, gifts, or photographs you may have of that person and have one last look. Then destroy them.
Keeping these things around is harmful and hurtful.
Harmful to you as you carry reminders of your affair and the heartbreak that followed, and
Hurtful to your spouse if they were ever to find such mementos.
There is no quick fix for how to get closure after an affair. Sometimes you get to wrap things up in a neat little bow, while other times, you’re left with nothing but a big mess to clean up.
The best thing to do for getting closure after an affair is to accept that what’s done is done. You can’t change the past, but you can make a better future for yourself and your marriage.
Is emotional closure after an affair important?
The term “need for closure” was coined by psychologist Arie Kruglanski and referred to getting an answer that would lessen ambiguity or confusion about a certain situation. In this case, a breakup.
Questions you might have after an affair has ended might be:
Why did the relationship end?
Did your spouse find out?
Why did you choose them over me?
Did you ever really love me/Was our relationship real?
Did I do something to make you lose interest?
Was I used for emotional/sexual gratification?
So, if you wonder what to do after an affair ends, know that getting emotional closure after an affair can help you bring the situation to an end in a way that feels satisfying and allows you to move on.
Having answers to the questions above can help you heal,support your mental health, and make it easier for you to begin your life as a single person or recommit to your marriage.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.