What can I do to help myself?
By three methods, we may learn wisdom: first, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third, by experience, which is the most bitter.” — Confucius
This is the scariest part for most people — the letting go of someone they still value and love, the fear of loneliness, withdrawals, the pain of saying goodbye.
- Yes, it hurts.
- Yes, you’re going to go through withdrawal.
- Yes, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
- Yes, it will be difficult for a long time.
- Yet, there will be dawn at the end of the dark night.
How to End an Affair with Someone You Still Care About
Admit the problem
- Admit you want what you can’t have.
- Admit you made an unwise decision.
- Admit whatever role you played didn’t serve your best interests.
- Admit you may have been manipulated by fantasies.
- Admit you’re ready to return to a place of freedom and innocence.
- Admit that a mistake only calls for correction, NOT punishment.
- Admit you’re ready to have ALL that’s rightfully yours and put away what isn’t yours.
Growth is a process of trial, error and experimenting. Failed experiments are as important to the process as those that ultimately work. Forgiving yourself is part of the growth process.
Own your power
The answers to life’s questions lie inside you. All you have to do is look, listen and trust. It’s so much healthier to access your own strength and joy than to have a “poor me” attitude. Let your decisions support you as the loving, beautiful person you are.
Be your own advocate
A poor relationship with yourself allows you to be controlled, manipulated, disrespected and emotionally abused. The time to stand up for yourself is now.
Get high on change
The worst part is the decision. Many of us struggle with this. We put so much thought and emotional energy into things because we don’t do anything. Once you allow yourself to make a decision, everything is so much easier. The key is to change your mind and KEEP it changed.
What ELSE Can I Do to Help Myself?
Sever ALL ties. This is a vital part of the healing process.
Discover your hidden motives
This is like opening Pandora’s Box. Why are you doing this? What purpose does this behavior serve for you? Be willing to look at the underlying issues that made you believe you didn’t deserve more for yourself. (For example: people often accept less because they feel guilt about something they did in the past and feel they must be punished.)
Use alternative coping skills
People don’t break bad habits… they replace them with new ones. Now that you have let go, you must find new ways to entertain yourself. You might want to consider joining a gym, taking a trip, starting an exciting new hobby, visiting your friends more, or even making new friends.
Make lifestyle changes
You’ve gotten used to this person being part of your inner world. Now, with them out of the picture, something seems to be missing. To help fill the void, make meaningful lifestyle changes. Be willing to even relocate if that’s what it takes.
Be accountable to someone
Being accountable to someone means that person will not only support you, but will give you the “kick in the rear” you need to get out of the funk or that horrible feeling of “neediness”. When you feel yourself getting weak, admit it and call your support person.
If you have a supportive family, a caring minister or good friends, get them involved. Right now, you need honesty. You need people who are willing to “call you on your stuff” and not indulge you.
Get a good life coach, a gentle therapist or book an appointment to work with me. The secret is to have an effective accountability system that will help you get through the tough times.
Date someone who is truly available
You have proven you’re a person with strong feelings who can become very attached to another human being. Now, redirect that energy to someone who’s legitimately open and available to you.
Be gentle with yourself
Every guilty thought is just another wasted moment. Don’t waste your life. Overcoming infidelity can be very difficult, but people do it all the time. Don’t pressure yourself or rush through the process. Take baby steps at first, and allow yourself to feel more and more motivated to move in the right direction. Give yourself credit. Reward yourself for every step you make.
Create a support system
There’s something so liberating about being honest about something you’re ashamed of. Talk to people who will listen without judging. There are several bulletin boards and forums on the web. I invite you to join one of our many support groups and/or talk to one of our coaches. We’re here for you and want to help you get through this difficult time.
I know that by allowing yourself to use this article as your wake-up call, you’re on the path to healing and recovery. Even if only one thing struck a chord inside you, that one thing can lead you to future “aha!” moments which will become your best opportunities for positive change.
And for more information, read my article on How to Break Free from the Affair