How to Permanently End an Emotional Affair in 6 Steps

by Stephen Waldo

How to End an Emotional Affair
How to End an Emotional Affair

Are you struggling to put an end to your emotional affair?

Do you need help cutting yourself off from something that’s already gone on too long?

As you continue reading, you’re going to learn exactly how to end an emotional affair. I won’t lie – rebuilding trust will be an extremely difficult task. However, with a predetermined plan, specific goals and some good ol’ fashioned elbow grease, your marriage can return to its former glory and beyond.

This article is about the specific actions that a wayward wife must take to completely sever the extramarital relationship she’s entangled in. Ladies – this is how you can show your husband that he’s your top priority.

How to End an Emotional Affair in 6 Steps

None of these steps except the last one are optional. If your unfaithful wife can’t do these things for you, then emotional affair recovery will remain out of the picture. You’ll notice that the 6 steps listed here match up nicely with the 6 steps in how to survive an emotional affair, which is for the betrayed husband.

At the same time, you husbands reading this must be open to forgiveness. If you really want your marriage to move forward then you need a threshold over which you say “Okay, I believe you and I love you, let’s move on”. In other words, your wife needs to prove to you that she’s done with the emotional affair, but you also need to know [how to forgive an emotional affair].

Are we on the same page? Remember, these steps are for your wife, not for you.

Great! Let’s get started:

Step 1.
Accept Responsibility, Even if the Marriage Wasn’t Perfect

“You never pay attention to me,” is probably the most commonly heard excuse for an emotional affair. The most common reason women give for falling in love with another man is, “He paid attention to me and he ‘gets’ me”.

However, an unhealthy marriage is NOT an excuse to cheat. Furthermore, an emotional affair creates distance in your relationship, making a happy marriage impossible.

In other words, it’s no coincidence that your spouse suddenly seems overwhelmingly inattentive when another man is hanging on your every word. It’s literally impossible to have a healthy marriage while one spouse is in love with someone else. It sounds so obvious, but it needs to be said.

If your marriage was so bad that you found yourself constantly feeling unloved and rejected, that’s not a problem to solve through an affair. Instead, as with any marriage problem, you bring it out into the open and address it for what it really is – a natural and expected part of any long-term relationship.

Husbands, your wife must admit that she was having an emotional affair. She must accept responsibility for it, and she should show remorse for what she’s done.

If this describes you, let’s move on.

Step 2.
Sever the Relationship… Period

The next step to end an emotional affair is a complete severance of the extramarital relationship. It needs to be cut out of your life like a piece of moldy cheese.

Ladies, it doesn’t matter whether it’s an old high school friend you’ve had for 20 years, or a coworker that you’ve only known for six months… Now that it’s moved past the boundary of friendship, the relationship is over.


Husbands, if your wife is unwilling to let go of the relationship, if she insists on remaining friends with the other man, that’s an unacceptable problem. If keeping a “friend” is more important than saving your marriage, what’s that supposed to tell you? It means she doesn’t really want to end the emotional affair.

But how do you totally sever the relationship? I know it’s the type of thing easier said than done, so the next 2 steps will show you exactly how to do it.

What Does The Other Relationship Mean For Your Marriage?


13 Questions. 
3 Minutes.
Affair Rating + Advice.

Take The Quiz

Step 3.
The No Contact Letter

A No Contact Letter is exactly what it sounds like… A hand-written statement (important!) from your wife to the other man explaining that the relationship is over.

This letter should not be emotionally charged. It’s meant to be a simple, firm statement that the relationship is over; that it will not begin again; that it was wrong and that your marriage is now the top priority.

Here are three examples that you should feel free to use:

No Contact Letter Examples [PDF]

Husbands, this step is very important both for you and for your wife. Getting through this should give you peace of mind that she’s willing to do it, and it should give your wife the peace of mind and security that she’s doing the right thing. This is her time to let go of the relationship and re-orient on the marriage.

The No Contact Letter is almost always the final nail in the coffin of every emotional affair.

Step 4.
Physically Get Away

Sometimes, your wife may need to physically get away from the other man to permanently end her emotional affair.

This could be as drastic as your whole family moving to the other side of town or as simple as de-friending him on Facebook and deleting his number. It could mean a change of position at her job, or it could mean a new job entirely. You might need to find a different church or a different group of friends.

Whatever happens, the important thing is that she cuts him out of her life completely. Whatever it takes to make that happen is merely the consequence of the emotional affair.

There are two reasons that this is so important:

  • (A) It will be very difficult for her to get over the emotional affair if she continues to be exposed to him.
  • (B) It will be near impossible for you to rebuild trust with your wife when you know she’s still around him.

If you’ve made it this far in the emotional affair recovery of your marriage, you’re doing pretty well. If your wife has been willing and able to fulfill each of these steps, then the next two will be easy.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel… You’re almost there!

Step 5.
Accept Transparency (and don’t lie about it)

Your wife needs to accept that you will require full transparency for the next few weeks or months.

This means a few things. You need to be able to…

  • Access her email account
  • Access her Facebook account
  • Read through her text messages
  • Listen in on phone conversations
  • Monitor her whereabouts throughout the day

In situations where your wife has lied to you before, you may even require cell phone tracking to monitor her calls, text messages, and whereabouts. Or you might require computer key logging to monitor what she’s doing online and who she’s talking to.

Drastic? Yes.

Necessary? Yes.

Although not everybody needs to go to such drastic measures, you shouldn’t feel bad for asking her to put them in place. It’ll be worth it for the trust it helps your rebuild.

Keep in mind that the other man will probably attempt to contact your wife even after she’s sent him a No Contact Letter. He’ll want to tell her that it’s a mistake, that they weren’t doing anything wrong and that he misses her friendship. If he’s a real scumbag, he might even tell her that you’re being a bad husband by restricting her freedom.

Don’t let it get to you. However, she must tell you if this happens, and she must forcefully shut him down, or ignore him if possible.

If he persists and he’s married, don’t be afraid to contact his wife, although I’d recommend reserving this for extreme cases.

Step 6.
Consider Marriage Counseling (optional)

It’s no secret that I’m not a big fan of marriage counseling. Far too many couples mistakenly rely on it as the default medicine for all marriage problems.

That being said, marriage counseling can be a good idea when these conditions are met…

  • Both spouses truly desire a better marriage, but have a singular problem that is difficult to resolve.
  • There is infidelity involved and you need a safe place to say exactly what’s on your mind and work through your trust issues.
  • There are psychological problems inhibiting your marriage, such as bipolar disorder or anxiety. In this case, independent counseling is usually a better place to start.

So, if you’re really struggling to get over the trust issues you have with your wife, marriage counseling may be a good place to address those. Independent counseling may also be helpful.

If you want a cheaper alternative to marriage counseling, I recommend this e-course on how to rebuild honesty and trust after infidelity.

Next Comes Forgiveness…

Pat yourself on the back if you’ve made it this far. If your wife has been willing to learn how to end an emotional affair with you, the your marriage’s future looks very bright. It means that your wife is genuinely dedicated to renewing your marriage.

And guess what?

There’s a bright side to this whole mess. Every single couple that gets through emotional infidelity will find their marriage better than it’s ever been before. Seriously – every couple I’ve ever heard about or personally interacted with has a better, healthier marriage when all’s said and done, if they can get through the emotional affair recovery.

So, look to the future! There is hope, and you can still find ultimate happiness in your marriage.

I highly recommend you read through the rest of Emotional Affairs 101, especially how to forgive an emotional affair. Forgiveness and severance are the one-two punch that will save your marriage.

I also recommend taking a few minutes to do this:

What Does The Other Relationship Mean For Your Marriage?


13 Questions. 
3 Minutes.
Affair Rating + Advice.

Take The Quiz

I sincerely hope that you’ve found this guide on how to end an emotional affair helpful.

With much manly love,
– Stephen

Stephen Waldo

Hi! My name is Stephen. I’m the guy behind Husband Help Haven. My mission here is to help as many men as possible become the best husbands they can be, and save as many marriages as possible along the way. Even though I’m not a marriage counselor, I want to encourage men everywhere to become better husbands, fathers and leaders. Full author bio


  • your way of dealing with an emotional affair isn’t drastic, it’s emotionally abusive. your rigidity and self-righteousness are scary. i hope people don’t follow this advice: it’s going to make men become abusive to a wife for any little signal of connection with another man. is your ego stroked when you tell people to change their lifes? i mean, moving to a different part of town, seriously? plus, i never understand how such a construct as emotional affair, which is very subjective and blurry, can be taken in such black and white manner. what if your wife is bisexual? should she stop having close friends? what about the other person in this ’emotional affair’, do they not matter at all? aren’t their feelings sth to consider as well? couples therapy exists for a reason, each person and situation are different, and situations like this can be an opportunity for insight for everyone involved. the only reason you are against couples therapy is that you want people to follow you instead, and buy your products. you dont want to help people, you want money. you are not helping men, you are hurting women and justifying emotional abuse. and emotional abusers end up miserable and lonely, so you are also hurting men. you’re just getting money, you’re just a scam that’s hurting people and their relationships. i think you’re the one who should go to therapy and wonder why you’re not feeling bad for manipulating people for a living. and if you have a wife, she should definetely talk to a therapist because it’s frightening to have a husband that justifies stalking and psychological abuse in the internet.

    • A

      Whew, a lot to get through here.

      I just don’t see where you get emotionally abusive from this? This article is written for a woman who wishes to end an emotional affair that SHE wants to end, but can’t make it stick, which is a common struggle in ending any kind of affair.

      The type of emotional affairs that we’re talking about here are not legitimate friends, but rather relationships that have clearly crossed a line into the realm of inappropriate, generally defined by that spouse likes and loves and cares more about the “friend” than their spouse. I’m not talking about edge cases here, and absolutely, I should hope that if you or your spouse are bisexual, that you have clearly defined boundaries about what is and is not appropriate in a friendship. A close friendship is not an emotional affair, with any gender. I don’t really see how that’s emotionally abusive though.

      Are the other person’s feelings to consider in an emotional affair? Not by the faithful spouse, no. Marriage is top priority. That’s not emotionally abusive.

      I wholly agree that couples therapy is a great resource… Which is why I recommend it in the article? I don’t have to like marriage counseling to recommend it, and the reason I don’t like it is because I know for a fact that marriage counseling greatly failed my parents. But I have been to individual counseling, my wife has been to individual counseling, and we’ve both been to marriage counseling. Still don’t like it though and there IS research that backs up my conclusions about when marriage counseling is proven to be most effective. Nonetheless, yes! If both spouses are willing to do counseling, do it!

      RE: moving to a different part of town, yes, again, I stand behind saying that. I know from experience that emotional affairs don’t stay ended if the emotionally unfaithful spouse continues to frequently see and contact their affair partner. That’s also why the transparency and accountability is so important. Sometimes, that affair partner is a neighbor. So, if an unfaithful spouse wants to end their affair, but can’t do it in their current circumstances or location, and the couple has the resources to do so, yes they can and should be allowed to put their marriage as their top priority and make drastic changes in their living situation. Why not? Ultimately, if you’ve had an affair and now you want to save the marriage, you should be willing to do whatever you need to do to end the affair, and you should expect to need to rebuild trust with your spouse. Again, I don’t see anything emotionally abusive about that.

      I’m not going to respond to the scamming comments.

      Overall, it feels like you’re hearing me in this article tell men, “You should force your wife to end her affair, and if she won’t do it, then you should emotionally abuse her and trap her in the marriage.” But that’s not what I think and that’s not what I wrote… The most common advice I give men is to STOP trying to control their wife and instead focus on controlling themselves. Plus, this article isn’t even written for men, although I would tell a man who’d had an emotional affair and wanted to end it the same 6 steps.

  • My SO seemed distant, refused to kiss passionately. Said she really couldn’t care less about having sex. (Hormones was the problem)..I began to notice changies in her behaviour. This continued for a couple of years. Unfortunately the other man passed away.. I then confronted her on what I had noticed. Disappearing at a social function twice as he did. ( His wife was the hostess). Spending time alone with him while a guest at their holiday home while his wife was out having breakfast with her lady friends. My SO confessed that it was an emotional attraction but assured me nothing physical took place. She said that the attraction was really about music. (he was the director and she the assistant conductor) they would meet over dinner to “discuss” up coming events, and programs. There is much more but I am sure you get the picture. I told her that if he came to me and confessed I would forgive him just as I would her. However I did say that at a meeting with the three of ours I would request either he give up the position of director or she would have to give up her position. My SO said they would not have if that was presented. Although he has passed away, I don’t have to face that proposition. This has just happened the past three weeks . I am still struggling with this and beating myself for not noticing the red flags.

  • Anonymous

    What crap are you actually recommending to men!!!! You arrogant psychopath!! To monitor her and take away her privacy, that is meant to build trust??? I seriously hope men don’t actually take your VERY BAD advice!! And not a fan of marriage counselling?? Who dubbed you the expert!??? You seem to be more an expert on how to end a marriage!!! Let me guess? You’re divorced? What an idiot.

    • A

      Three things:
      1. This article is for the unfaithful spouse who wants to work with his/her loyal spouse to put an end to their own affair. Especially emotional or online affairs are very difficult to end because they are so easy to access. My recommendation is not for the husband to spy on his unknowing wife; my recommendation is that the spouse who’s cheated to be okay with as much transparency as the loyal spouse wants, especially while trust is being rebuilt. Sorry if that didn’t come off very clear.

      2. My opinions on marriage counseling have softened over the years. I still generally don’t think it’s very effective when one spouse wants out and the other wants to make it work… It CAN be very effective though when both spouses want to work together to rebuild the marriage. I still often recommend individual counseling to men, and I wholeheartedly encourage marriage counseling when both spouses are invested in saving the marriage.

      3. Nope, not divorced, but I don’t think I ever called myself an expert either. I’m just a guy who’s talked to a LOT of other men going through separation, infidelity and divorce, and I have a passion for helping men be better men. I hope you find some of the other resources available on the Haven more helpful.

      Much manly love,
      – Stephen

  • Eric M Edelman

    How do I confront my wife about it. She doesn’t know that i know about him

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