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How to get out of an extramarital relationship?

  • Posted by Moderator: Biju Mathew, News Editor
  • Published 8:30 October 22, 2012

'This guy and I am very close and we share everything under the sun'

A female reader who wishes to remain anonymous asks: I am a regular reader of Gulf News, especially In Mind.  Here goes my problem. I am happily married since the last three years.

I happened to meet a married guy. We know each other for the last nine months. I started this so called extramarital relationship just because of the excitement of it all, not because I don't get enough attention and love from my husband. We both like each other a lot, but our family is our priority.

This guy and I am very close and we share everything under the sun. He has some issues with his wife.

On the other hand, I am very much happy with my husband. Neither of our families know about our fondness for each other. Now, from the last few days after he has come back from India after his dad's funeral, he doesn't call me much.

Earlier, I used to feel bad, but now I am preventing myself from getting too much involved with him.

I started this relationship when my husband was away from home (offshore work) and now thank God my husband got shifted to a company near my house. So, I guess its the right time to put an end to this relationship.

Please advise me on how to get out of this relationship with the other guy.

Melanie C. Schlatter (PhD, Consultant Health Psychologist, HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY UAE) replies:  Thank you for describing your current situation. It sounds like you are already firm in your commitment not to continue this extramarital relationship, and you clearly perceive yourself to be out of it, which is of great significance to your emotional recovery. As such, I will address the key strategies that you need to think about in order to move forward for yourself, and in order to end contact with this person.

You spent nine months of your short married life in an extramarital relationship, so at this point you need to concentrate on those factors that gave you the strength to re-focus on your marriage—because essentially, aside from your husband initially working offshore, there were no problems within your marriage directly, except a feeling for the need for excitement.

You also need to think about what deeper underlying thoughts or emotions ignited this need for excitement—were you actually lonely or isolated? Bored? Overwhelmed? Craving physical affection or emotional attention?

These could be warning signs for you in the future. Furthermore, be aware of that need for excitement within yourself, and think of alternative ways to obtain that, should the feeling arise again. You are human for wanting excitement, but you have to be extremely cautious when it may lead to the unnecessary sabotage of your marriage.

This is the track you could have been on, and indeed, both of you could have lost your families if this progressed.

Luckily, however, you do not appear to be pining for your friend, nor for the experiences you shared with him, which is a great strength. As such, ensure that your relationship with your husband remains strong in all areas, where possible, and communicate clearly with him when you do not feel it is. Get in the habit of sharing your close feelings with your husband now that he is back, and keep your family a priority.

The death of your friend’s father may necessitate a time of mourning for him, and time away to address thoughts and feelings about his own life, and place in life. It may have also invoked a sense of guilt within him regarding your relationship, hence the lack of contact.

He has his own family after all. As such, do not try to make contact, and do not feel bad about his reaction. If you are not in regular contact with him (i.e., through work or proximity for instance), then the previous feelings may just come to a natural conclusion—like an unspoken mutual understanding.

However, it is possible that once your friend has had sufficient healing time, he may try to resume contact with you, in order to re-establish that companionship and sense of excitement for life that you have provided him previously.

Indeed, he may still have hope for the relationship, especially if he is unaware of how you feel at this time. This could make things very difficult for you if you see him around, so be aware of your own vulnerability (and rekindling of emotion) if he does this.

You need to politely stand your ground and affirm your commitment to your husband and family now—indeed, the passing of your friend’s father, and the return of your husband, have been some of the key factors in enabling you to end this relationship sooner rather than later, so utilize these as key reasons for maintaining your distance now.

I believe that you are very lucky to feel so secure in your perception of this temporary relationship, and you are right to look for ways of securing yourself within your marriage again. You are already very strong in your sense of conviction.

Write with your concerns to inmind@gulfnews.com and selected questions will be answered by a panel of qualified psychiatrists and psychologists. Your contributions will be modified for length and appropriateness, and will be open to other Gulf News readers to comment and suggest solutions. Let us know if you would like GulfNews.com to withhold your name from your letter should it be published.

Disclaimer: This blog is a conversation and is not an alternative for treatment. The recommendations and suggestions offered by our panel of psychiatrists are their own and Gulf News will not take any responsibility for the advice they provide.

Comments (13)

  1. Added 14:26 October 30, 2012

    "I started this so called extramarital relationship just because of the excitement of it all, not because I don't get enough attention and love from my husband." YOU are one girl. The call of the flesh overpowered your SO CALLED LOVE for your husband. You have no values and no decency. I hope you get caught.

    Mark, Abudhabi, Philippines

  2. Added 14:22 October 30, 2012

    extra marital affair - is extreme EXCITEMENT, its hard to control and tends you to do all possible SINFUL things. however, there is no real LOVE, no real purpose but just LUST that leads you to be a LOSER.

    ronald, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 13:51 October 25, 2012

    I do agree with many comments given earlier and one should only love the person to whom you are married. The excitement, the passion, the craving for fun n love should always be asked from the one who's your real life partner. And on the other end, what if someday you come to know that your husband is involved with someone else's wife! Will you be able to bear that! If yes, then go ahead with your extra-marital affair, but if not (and I'm sure about that) then calm yourself and let go of that relationship. Even as far as I've understood, it shouldn't be called as a relationship, it should be called as a very close friendship and I know that people either married or unmarried tend to fall in such relations...but when it comes to saving your own home...you're your own firefighter! I suggest you should let go of him and give your complete dedication and love to your family only! Best wishes!

    Azlan J., Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 23:45 October 24, 2012

    first thing is that if you are not to be sincere to any one, then how can you be sincere with you. if you are doing marriage only for sex then better do not marry. if you are regreting that you don't want to do this again then don't keep contact with that person. forget what happened and start anew, but if you want to still keep in touch with that person then surely understand that you will pay for this because a wrong is a wrong.

    b nothing, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 18:06 October 22, 2012

    We are suffering the same fate but I play as the wifey of your guy. My husband just recently came back from his father's funeral and weeks after he came back, he called it quits for us, he ended our relationship. Been feeling it for months that he's having something but can't just confirm. Its not worth entertaining that 'excitement' as it not only destroys your self worth, you are also shattering the life of your 'guy's wife and child'.

    Mima, Ajman, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 16:50 October 22, 2012

    I am not conservative, but this is not at all exactable for me. I am married and for me if you love someone there will be no ''other one". If after so short period of marriage there is a need of ''excitement I am sorry to say, but your marriage is doomed. There will be more need for something else the more time is passing. What if you have kids?! You should be honest with yourself and your'spouse and get divorced. It will be better for both of you to find happiness somewhere else and not hurt each other.

    Mari, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 16:21 October 22, 2012

    Life is so unpredicatable- However, the first mantra is not to look for someone else in any other person. Each individual is different and cannot take somone else's role. Look for exitement and fun within your husband and your marriage and you will find it growing better ...And you are your coach and mentor- help yourself to fight these emotions. and you will realise that these will make you much stronger personalities.

    Rashma, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 16:05 October 22, 2012

    I might add that she can share the thoughts of the Dr. with the other man she had an affair with...it might help

    Ali, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 15:06 October 22, 2012

    It's a simple formula of 1+1 is equal to 2; on the first place a married individual must not come so close to any other than his or her partner. In case, if one falls under extra-marital affair and realize that they are doing wrong than they don't need to discuss or no need to go to psychologist; indeed it's a self-determination and self-correctness. Bottom-line, we are so grown-up and have quite well understanding between 'GOOD' & 'BAD'...For example can, we intentionally jump from 50 storey building or can we, burn our hands from fire... the answer is NO...we will take precaution. Then, why not we can take care of our relations and in spite knowing the fact that it is one of the WORST SIN

    Ahmed, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 14:42 October 22, 2012

    I really dont know why married woman/man thinks that their husband/wife dont love them and then they land in an island nowhere. What the doctor has said is a marvelous reply, I just pray that you follow your clean heart and God will show you the way.

    Alwin Nadar, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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