When seeking ways on how to stop an affair is it a good idea to confront the outside lover? Find out!
In my professional work with couples surviving infidelity, I am often asked by the primary victim — the partner who was cheated on — about ‘confronting’ the outside lover. They are looking for advice on how to stop an affair and wonder if being aggressive with the outside intruder is a good idea or not.
The victim of infidelity believes — and correctly so — that the outside lover’s involvement with their partner threatens the survival of their family or committed relationship. They want to plead, curse, threaten or hurt this enemy so he or she will stay away.
The sentiment to attack the ‘enemy’ who has interfered with the normal functioning and wellbeing of their family is often strengthened by other family members demanding ‘strong actions and quick results.’ Often they offer their advice on how to stop an affair.
A parent or sibling may demand that the spouse who is a primary victim somehow fix the problem by challenging the right of the outside lover to pursue his or her spouse. Motivated by feelings of despair, this seems to be a very reasonable plan on how to deal with the infidelity disease that is tearing the family apart.
Logically, the above feelings and ideas on how to deal with infidelity make sense. If what you love is under attack, you naturally want to defend, and the best defense is often an aggressive offence.
Here is the problem. This outside lover, regardless of who he or she is, has NO legitimacy or right to talk to any member of the family. This outside person has no entitlement to sit at the boardroom table with the executive committee and decide what to do! Rather, the outside lover should be excluded from discussions and belongs in the wastebasket of history.
Infidelity occurred when the offender took definite actions to begin the affair. The cheating husband or cheating wife actively participated in the making of this entire crisis; he or she solicited and exchanged phone numbers, met secretly, lied, fell in love, made love, etc. etc. etc.
Thus, safety can only be established when the offender himself or herself chooses to end the relationship. Stopping the affair is NOT dependent on the paramour — it is dependent on your cheating partner.
When you — the victim — communicate with the outside lover, you are unintentionally making the statement that your cheating husband or wife can’t stop the problem that he or she started. If you were to do this, you will never feel safe or be safe from further victimization since you have established the belief that your partner cannot control these types of situations.
How to stop an affair
Conclusion, don’t contact the outside lover — don’t give him or her a place in your family. Whatever hold he or she has on your husband or wife, it is solely dependent on your partner allowing this to happen. If your partner ‘ends the relationship,’ the paramour is gone!
The only exception to the above might be when your partner has not told this outside lover that he or she is married. Should this be the case, sending an email or asking a third party to inform the outside lover about the facts may be enough to get him or her to run away when he or she knows the truth. This is a bit of a contradiction to the above, but in this circumstance and it may work so it may be worth the deviation.
You are fighting for your family — regardless of your position in this complicated situation — and you have to know that the solution requires the offending partner to end the relationship himself or herself with the outside lover. Then the partner who cheated must take concrete steps to fix all the relationship damage that he or she has caused.
Surviving infidelity is not easy — but it is necessary for the well-being of each family member. Don’t give up! Coping with infidelity is extremely challenging and usually requires that you get professional guidance from a caring relationship specialist. Below are sources where you can find qualified therapists.
- The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
- The Canadian Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
Get the tools you need to survive infidelity:
About the author
Abe Kass, MA, RSW, RMFT, CCHT., is a Registered Social Worker, Registered Couple and Family Therapist, Certified Hypnotherapist, and award-winning Educator. He has a busy clinical practice in Toronto, Canada and throughout the world using the phone or Zoom.
After many years of clinical practice and research, Abe concluded that practical solutions requiring a focused effort of no more than a few minutes a day for very specific relationship problems were critically needed. GoSmartLife Publishing House has been created to fill this need.