These tips on how to stop cheating in a relationship will help you move into peace, freedom, and reconnection with yourself and others. Cheating in a relationship is destructive to you, the person you’re having the affair with, and the person you’re committed to. Learning how to stop cheating will bring you peace.
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The first step to stop cheating on your spouse is learning why you cheat. Read When Good People Have Affairs: Inside the Hearts & Minds of People in Two Relationships by Mira Kirshenbaum. Get insight into why relationship cheating happens, and how you can be a healthy, happy person.
Cheating doesn’t make you a “bad” person. You need intimacy and connection, and you’re having an affair because you’re trying to meet those needs. Now that you want to stop cheating, you have to learn how to detach from the person you’re having an affair with, and rebuild your relationship.
“Cheating and lying aren’t struggles, they’re reasons to break up,” said Patti Henry. It doesn’t matter if you think you’re being cheating on or if you’re the one who is cheating in a relationship…you can’t continue. Long-term affairs will drag your soul into the muck. They aren’t good or healthy for anyone.
Tips on How to Stop Relationship Cheating
I offer these tips on how to stop cheating in a relationship because of a reader’s description of why she cheats on her husband. This reader didn’t ask for tips on how to stop cheating, but I needed to write this article. It’s wrong on so many levels to cheat when you’re in a commited relationship, and I encourage you to break it off and wipe the slate clean.
Figure out why you’re having the affair
People have emotional or physical affairs for different reasons, but the bottom line is that they’re getting something out of the adulterous relationship. If you want to stop cheating on your partner, ask yourself what caused you to be unfaithful. Maybe you felt attractive, understood, and passionate with the person outside your marriage. In Why Men Cheat, marriage counselor Gary Neuman discusses several reasons people have affairs.
Find ways to get the same benefits in your marriage
To stop cheating in a relationship, find healthy ways to enjoy the same benefits you were getting from the emotional or physical affair. For instance, if you felt understood in the adulterous relationship, then work on your communication with your partner. Find ways to meet your needs within your marriage.
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Expect stopping the obsession to be difficult
Sometimes it’s easy to end the affair because you know how much it hurts your partner and kids (even if they don’t know about it), and you want to save your marriage. Other times, you don’t want to leave the adulterous relationship – but you know you have to. Preparation is half the battle: expect it to be difficult and even painful to stop cheating on your partner.
Accept that you’re letting go of someone you love
Some affairs are strictly physical, which may be easier in terms of finding ways to stop cheating on your partner. Emotional infidelity or affairs of the heart may be more difficult to end, because there’s a very real connection between two people. If you don’t want to stop cheating because your relationship is based on love (you think), read How to Let Go of Someone You Love.
Put your spouse first – and learn how to express your love
Perhaps this should be the first way to stop cheating on your partner! You made a wrong choice when you embarked on this physical or emotional affair. You deceived your spouse, you disrespected his or her feelings, and you broke your marriage vows. To end the affair, you have to accept that you made a mistake – and you need to be mature, responsible, and loving enough to re-commit yourself to your partner. You may also want to learn about the five love languages, to help save your marriage.
How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair: A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful by Linda J. MacDonald will help you avoid the problems that doom marriages after affairs, give you skills to cope with your partner’s obsessions and “triggers,” and help you find ways to undo the damage from your lies and cheating. If you want to stop cheating in a relationship, you need to learn the difference between helpful and harmful apologies, and focus on rebuilding your broken life, relationships, and integrity.
Get individual or marriage counseling
Rebuilding your relationship may not be as simple as ending the affair and communicating with your spouse. Infidelity is a symptom of other problems in the relationship – and to reconnect with your partner, you need to deal with what the real problem is. This tip on how to stop cheating in a relationship is about getting as emotionally and spiritually healthy as you can.
If you’re not married but you’re involved in an affair, read How to Stop Dating a Married Man.
I welcome your thoughts on how to stop cheating in a relationship. I can’t offer advice or counseling, but it may help you to share your experience. Writing often brings clarity and insight.