Your spouse may not have broken off his or her relationship with the paramour, or has in some way left the door open to the relationship.

As the affair victim, you may feel powerless in this situation. Already knocked off your feet by the affair revelation, you don’t know how you’ll find the strength to move forward, much less end your spouse’s affair.

In this blog, here’s what I want to do: show you that you do possess the strength, and the best way to get your spouse to quit his or her cheating ways. Read on…

Your Cheating Spouse Does Not Hold All the Power

How do you get your spouse’s affair 100% ended?

Understand that it is your spouse’s responsibility to end what he or she has started. You could try to call the paramour yourself and say “It’s over,” but this probably won’t get you too far—especially if your spouse is caught up in some sort of “star-crossed lovers” fantasy.

No, you have to get through to your spouse, who needs to do the work to show that he or she is vested in the marriage. If the paramour were to keel over tomorrow, the most important thing in terms of saving your marriage isn’t that this person is no longer in the picture, but that your spouse’s behaviors leading to the affair have changed.

You, meanwhile, are in shock that this has happened. It may feel as if your spouse has all the power right now: they get to decide whether to end the affair or not, stay in the marriage or go, have their needs met before yours.

This is not the case. Don’t let the blow to your self-esteem allow you to sell yourself short! In fact, if one of your first reactions was anger about the affair, that’s probably for the good: you have a healthy sense of what’s right and what’s wrong, especially when it comes to how your spouse treats you.

After the lid was blown off of the affair, your spouse may be very confused. After all—getting caught wasn’t part of the fantasy, or at least not in a way that makes them have to make a choice between the affair fantasy of some ‘perfect’ relationship with the paramour or to save the reality: their marriage to you.

If your spouse is waffling between trying to keep the affair at least partially alive and trying to resuscitate the marriage, it’s up to you to be the one person with the crystal clear vision. I’ll show you how.

Getting Crystal Clear, Then Standing Tall

You do have the strength—you may have just forgotten. Sure, you’ve been caught off-guard. But you are still capable of making decisions about what you want and what you don’t want. You may not know whether or not, at the moment, you wish to save your marriage. However, until your spouse’s affair is truly over, you aren’t in a position to decide.

Here are three tips to help end your spouse’s affair and bring you closer to what you want:

Tip #1: Make a Choice

Can you reasonably continue a relationship with your spouse while he or she simultaneously carries on an affair?

Some people are capable of doing this, allowing their spouse a little time to extricate themselves from the affair. This is a minority of people, by far. Most people simply can’t stomach the idea of their spouse with someone else, even when they are so angry with their spouse there’s a part of them that wishes they’d never met them.

Make a choice: if you can’t live with the affair continuing, state it to yourself clearly.

Tip #2: Draw a Line in the Sand

Once you are very clear in your mind that you cannot stay with your spouse while the affair continues on, decide where your line in the sand is. Or, maybe you have decided you will suffer it out until your spouse makes the decision. Either way, what do you want?

  • Should your spouse end the affair immediately?
  • Will there be some other timeline you’ll allow for his or her making a decision to stay or go?

Get clear on what your non-negotiable point is.

Tip #3: Stand Firm

Once you have clarity on what it is you want, state what you want very firmly to your spouse. Be very clear on your timeline. Calmly, coolly, state what it is you want, and then stand firm behind what you’ve said.

It is best to state it without judgment or condescension, and here’s why: what happens is your way of stating what you want and standing firm influences your spouse to respect where you’re coming from. Also, they know they can’t pull one over on you, or otherwise drag their feet. You cannot change your spouse, but you can influence them to behave better toward you by respecting your wishes.

My best to you as you stand firm and get your spouse to end the affair.

If you’re an affair victim, do you feel your spouse has all the power and strength?

Do you feel capable of influencing your spouse to end the affair? Why or why not?

Is your cheating spouse indecisive about what to do?

Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

Wishing you hope and healing for your marriage,

Stephanie Anderson

Editor-in-Chief

Marriage Sherpa

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