Fantasy, pleasures, secrecy, and passion are all promised in an affair. The excitement and the thrill make one feel at the top of the world. And then it all comes crashing down, when you have to look for and understand the signs your affair is over.

The reality is in your face, and the relationship that seemed perfect, laced with love and passion, has come to an end. Even though affairs rarely have permanence, it still is a huge traumatic and stressful event.

Whether you are married or unmarried in a relationship, a study quotes that 70% of all Americans engage in some extramarital affair sometime during their marital life. Yes, this basically indicates that affairs are more common than you think.

When one gets swayed into having an affair, they know what they are doing and whether they should do it, but the attraction and the pull is so strong that you start to imagine a life with your affair partner. 

When the flames of passion start to fade and you begin to question yourself, recognizing the signs your affair is over may help you deal with your emotions better. Since you already have a primary partner, you will also be worried about them finding out about it and their reaction to your betrayal.

All in all, such a situation demands some thorough introspection and careful planning to avoid the negative consequences, as much as possible.

What Causes An Affair To End? 

As complex as it may seem, 65% of affairs end in the first six months and only 10% turn into long-term affairs. Eventually, just as unlikely affairs seem to start, they tend to come to an end eventually. Let’s learn more about affairs and their abrupt endings in this article. 

Affairs end for many reasons, some of the most common ones being:

  • You do not get what you want: Affairs happen because something is lacking in your existing relationship. However, if with time, you feel you are still not getting what you wanted from the affair, you will not feel like continuing it
  • Familiarity sets in: The thrill of an extramarital affair lies in the newness and the uncertainty. You do not know what’s next, and that is what excites you. But with time, you have gotten a sense of how, where, when, and what will happen, and that is plain boring. It was the monotony that you wanted to escape from in the first place
  • Feelings of guilt and remorse: Affairs are not easy, one has to lie, deceive, and do a million other things to make it work. As a committed partner to someone, at some point a feeling or guilt or remorse sets in and one looks to draw curtains on this new relationship
  • You do not have time: Perhaps your affair started when you were at home all day, and everything was managed easily. And now that you have taken up work, you cannot plan to meet every now and then. As our priorities change, we shift our focus and feel pressed for time. This can make your affair partner feel neglected and they may want to end it
  • Dissatisfaction and altercations: When an affair starts, both partners put their best foot forward. As they usually connect over shared misery or dissatisfaction from their current relationships, gradually the same issues start to crop up in the affair. This makes affair partners get into frequent fights and arguments and they feel they are getting nothing out of it
  • Obsession or jealousy: Affair partners usually share a lot-their pains, emotions, and beds. At times, one affair partner may seem obsessed with the other, causing the other partner to cut ties. Sometimes, affair partners start to feel jealous from the other person’s spouse, children and family, and this again becomes a reason to end an affair

Affairs can happen to the best of people, without so much as a warning sign. There are many people who indulge in extramarital affairs despite being in a healthy relationship or a happy marriage. Now, whether this happens to compensate for a lack of passion in the existing relationship, or to boost ego by being desirable can be discussed another time. 

Let us now look at the signs when passion and care begin to fade in an affair, and you can correlate those to the causes listed above. These will give you a better idea of how to handle your loss and emotions in the best possible way.

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12 Clear Signs Your Affair is Over 

An Ashley Madison research claimed that 78.6 percent of men and 91.6 percent of women confessed to cheating emotionally. In fact, most affairs start with the usual, innocent conversations about having relationship problems. Gradually, you start sharing intimate details and feel the other person completely understands you. Perhaps you tell a colleague that no matter how hard you try, your husband is never attracted to you. This creates a sense of vulnerability.

And then there is constant texting and continual venting which ultimately translates into an emotional affair.

Kathy Nickerson, PhD, a licensed clinical psychologist has summed up this whole episode in as many words in her video here. She advises not to engage in such conversations with someone who could be attracted to you, placing you in a high-risk affair zone. 

However, eventually, the temporary feelings of support wane. Sometimes, people start to look at their spouses in a new light. At other times, shame and guilt take over. Whatever the reasons, affairs usually die, and the ones that do not have to be nurtured very, very intricately. 

Physical Signs Passion In Your Affair Is Fading

1. A decrease in physical intimacy

Most affairs are fueled by physical affection, passionate encounters, and romantic, intimate activities. When physical interactions seem to dwindle in an affair, it is often a sign of waning interest. Unlike before, when you would meticulously plan weekend getaways, now it’s all about either work or family.

You will find your partner not interested in spending time with you, or not responding to sexual advances. If you two are colleagues, you may not be stealing a kiss in the secluded corners anymore. There are no more weekend rendezvous being planned, sexting is not happening anymore as it used to. You might as well notice your affair partner trying to avoid conversations on the topic. Take it as one of the most crucial signs your affair has ended, already..

2. Or it is always about sex

This is also one of the common signs of losing interest in the affair. Affairs usually start off with one partner giving emotional support to the other. You share your problems and you find comfort and support in your affair partner. That’s how the bonding begins, which then graduates to holding hands and a hug now or a peck then. And before you know it, the sex with your affair partner is the best you’ve ever gotten.

Yet, the focal point will remain the emotional bonding and the dependency. When you are in a closed setting with your affair partner, one thing leads to another and boundaries get messed up. However, when your affair partner is using you only for your body, they will cut down the chase and get to business quickly. The last desperate meet-up was actually a booty call. 

It is safe to say that your affair partner is not interested in your problems anymore and does not want to play the role of your confidant anymore. They just want what they want.

Your affair is all about sex
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3. There is confusion and irritability

“Am I doing the right thing?”

“I hate it when he texts me after 11 p.m.”

“Could he not book a better hotel room?”

“Why does she have to act so clingy and needy all the time?”

“God knows what is so funny about his jokes!”

When an affair begins, everything seems just so attractive and pleasing. The late-night text makes you feel your affair partner is missing you. Imagine the importance they have given you by texting something sweet while their partner is with them on the same bed! You do not care where you meet, all you want is some place to unwind with them and have some great times together.

But when an affair is nearing its end, you will be irked at all the familiar things your affair partner does for you. You will find faults with everything and wonder what made you break your vows for such a man/woman. They too have flaws, and too many of them!

Just like that, familiarity and boredom will set in, something that you wanted a break from! The thrill and excitement will fade, and you will find yourself in the same loop again. Suddenly, your committed partner will seem wiser and understanding and confusion will loom over your head.

This will make you question your affair, and not in a good way. Yes, the constant bickering and irritability is a huge sign your affair has ended.

Emotional Signs Your Affair Partner Is Looking For An Out

4. You do not feel connected emotionally anymore

No one really wants to cheat intentionally. Physical cheating is often fueled by attraction and sexual chemistry, and people who engage in one-night stands usually have their intentions clear. However, affairs that develop over a period of time over an emotional connection usually fill the gaps that a committed relationship does not.

When you connect with someone, they seem to be perfect for you. You share more than you should and are then caught in a whirlwind of emotions, setting the stage for a physical relationship as well. Gradually, one of you starts to feel emotionally detached from the other, and the emotional connection goes missing. There is less sharing, less talking, a lack of inclination to share or seek support, and perhaps you are even dreading the text notifications on your phone.

Even when you are spending time together, you find it hard to connect. There is a perpetuated feeling of disengagement, of “not belonging”. Your conversations are more about the weather and the traffic. Take the hint, this is one of the major tell tale signs of an affair ending.

5. Not feeling motivated to resolve conflicts

When an affair starts, it’s all very rosy and great. Gradually, disagreements and conflicts start to arise, over matters of secrecy, the future, time demands, and the like. But as long as you and your affair partner are interested in keeping the affair going, you both will make conscious efforts to resolve the issues. 

However, when an affair has reached its end, there will be absolutely no motivation to resolve the issues. You will not want to waste your energy or time explaining your point of view or being interested in theirs. Communication will take a backseat, and you will feel an unconscious desire to simply end it. The tension hanging in the air eventually weakens your bond, and you find yourself moving away from the affair you thought is your ticket to unlimited happiness.

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6. One or both affair partners feel guilty

According to the Health Testing Centre report published here, 47% of people admit to cheating on their partners out of guilt. There is the constant battle to balance things, loads of deception and lies and too much pressure to maintain secrecy. You might be betraying your family and children as well and that can make you feel bad for yourself and what you are doing.

Affairs are greatly satisfying and fulfilling, until your morals wake up and you start to judge yourself. This especially happens if your committed partner or spouse showers you with love and affection. A life-changing incident, such as having a child, can also make you question your affair. Your primary relationship may just start to look good after all.

Even if the affair was good for you, there is that tingling feeling of cheating on your partner. At times, you may not even feel that guilty but feel drawn toward your committed partner due to the fact that you are happy. Affairs can sometimes do wonders for a stagnant, failing marriage. 

Either way, if you start to feel guilt or the fear of being judged sets in, be assured that your affair will not last long.

7. Avoiding spending time together

Are you home this weekend? Have you not made plans or turned down the coffee-date/hot-sex-in-the-car date tonight? Do you find yourself making excuses to meet your affair partner and avoiding spending time together?

“Have my son’s baseball practice today. Can’t make it.”

“Have some guests over, let’s do this some other time?”

“We just met two days ago. You know I do not have that kind of time.”

“You know, I never enjoyed shopping. Why don’t you go on your own?”

If any of the above ideas seem to have taken place in reality, it is time to read between the lines.

8. You feel lonely even when together

Perhaps one of the biggest red flags in an affair is the feeling of loneliness that lingers on when you are together. It is this vicious quality that drove you to have an affair in the first place, and having to experience it again can be a deal breaker for many. If you feel unseen, unheard and used by your affair partner, it is a clear sign that the affair is nearing its end.

You are unhappy, your emotional needs are not met, you do not feel safe and valued and there is a decline in shared activities and interests. Romance is fading, quality time is marred by arguments and conflicts. There is no motivation to continue the affair anymore.

Feeling guilty and remorseful
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9. Lack of communication and interaction

If you went from texting every few hours to once a day or once in 3 days, it is a huge warning sign your affair is taking a u-turn. Your hot, steamy texts have been replaced with texts about the traffic jam today. Your interactions are far less frequent than before and generally superficial. You are looking for ways to avoid any talk or plan, so you tell them how you are packed for the next week already.

And if it’s your affair partner who wants the affair to end, their responses are delayed, monosyllabic, and just as much. There are no detailed notes on what happened at work or home today, how lucky they are to have found you. There is silence, with a few awkward texts a few days a week. Will your affair survive? We don’t think so.

Behavioral Signs Your Extramarital Affair Is Over

10. Less effort from one or both partners

  • Making plans and making time for each other
  • Doing everything to make your affair partner happy
  • Being 100% attentive to each other
  • Affectionate gestures, gifts and pampering each other
  • Supporting your affair partner, even if that means you have to compromise something for yourself

These are some of the efforts that people make to continue their affair. A diminishing interest in one or all of these indicates that the affair is close to its end. There is a lack of mutual interest to making plans and spending some good time together. 

There are signs of neglect, declining interest, a lack of eagerness to spend quality time together, and conversations about how this may not be a good idea, after all. Did you ever question yourself: Why all the drama when it isn’t even going to last forever? All this should be enough for anyone to understand that the affair has lived its life.

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11. Shift in priorities

Affairs demand a lot of time. And they are expensive. So when affairs start, you tend to put other things on hold to make yourself available for each other. A few weeks later, you find yourself lusting after the promotion due next year and wanting to work hard and give it your best shot. Your emotional turmoil from the existing relationship or physical needs from the affair take a backseat, you want to focus on your career for now. Your future is at stake, and you are not going to jeopardize it for someone who is anyway behind the covers.

A sudden mishap, like the death of a family member or a disease of your spouse, can also make it hard for you to continue the affair. Your priorities change, and so do you. You are juggling between a million things, and then you decide to choose one that you really want at this time. 

If you find yourself cribbing about how hard it is to continue your secret rendezvous, be aware that you will want to put your affair to rest very soon. 

12. No one talks about the future anymore

Even if we all know an affair is not going to last a lifetime, we all tend to imagine a future together, well aware of the consequences. Even if it is in a parallel world, we plan to be together. Sometimes people in the affair make permanent decisions – like moving to a city to be able to meet frequently or rejecting a work offer from another city. The ‘what ifs’ are always on the cards.

But when the affair is drawing to an end, leave talking about being together in the distant future, no one ever talks about how to get together next week. There is no keen interest in being in each other’s lives anymore, no more plans for the weekend getaway at Manilla next year. You avoid talking about the future because you become uncertain and possibly do not even see any progressive development in it. It does hit hard, but be aware that there is very little you can do now.

The start of an affair is usually an organic development, and when it dawns on you that your affair has ended (even though it is best for everyone), it gets painful and heartbreaking. What started as an innocent friendship blossomed into a romantic friendship and then a full-blown physical affair. And now that it has shown cracks and is about to collapse, it can be harder than having to keep the affair going.

But forward we must move. There is of course attachment and care for your affair partner do not vanish overnight. One or both of you might even be in love with the other. However complex it may sound, the fact is that you can be in love with someone else even if you are married or in a committed relationship.

Yet, relationships that are built on deceit and lies do not last long. If you are truly in love with your affair partner, you may try to make it your primary relationship.

How To Cope And Find Closure After An Affair Ends

Affairs outside a committed marriage or a relationship may be wrong, but the feelings are real and right. Whether your affair ended abruptly or went down with time, it will be painful to the least. Add the feeling of guilt, and there’s the perfect recipe for disaster. It is not easy to come to terms with the end of an affair, especially if you were not ready.

Get closure and move on
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Having said that, taking care of yourself after an affair ends is of prime importance. The following tips may come in handy:

  • Allow yourself to grieve, do not rush or brush your emotions under the carpet
  • Get support from your friends and family to help you clear your head and help you get closure
  • Focus on your existing relationship and fill the gaps in it so you are not tempted to see anyone outside of it
  • Evaluate the lessons learned from the experience—the good, the bad and the ugly
  • Have an honest talk with your partner, whether you confess or not. Make sure you both understand the need to work on your relationship
  • Forgive them. Forgive yourself. You owe this to them and you both 
  • Lots and lots of pampering and self-care
  • Seek counseling if the feelings start to interfere with your daily life

Accepting what is done is the way to go. Cut off your affair partner from all channels of communication to enable the healing process. Make a commitment to yourself to address the underlying issues in your relationship and work on them positively. Or if you have decided to quit your relationship, work on yourself to be a better person. 

Key Takeaways

  • 78.6 percent of men and 91.6 percent of women get involved in emotional affairs, according to this research
  • Most of the affairs are short lived and temporary, and very few convert into committed relationships or marriage
  • Once the cracks appear, it is very difficult to save an extramarital affair
  • Affairs can be hard on you as a person as they call for a lot of time, attention, lies and deceit
  • Once an affair ends, focus on your self-growth and work toward a better future

In a nutshell, leaving the past where it belongs and doing things that bring you joy will help you heal your wounds quickly. We hope you can find light soon!