How to Deal with the Guilt When You Have an Affair
When it comes to cheating on your spouse, most folks find out that all the lying eventually takes its toll on the cheater. Dealing with your conscience does not make it easy to maintain a romantic and physical relationship outside your marriage, mainly due to the fear of discovery while at the same time the gnawing guilt that never goes away as you continue having an affair.
Anxiety and guilt is a bitch. You know that if you are found out, you will end up hurting your spouse badly. As you cheat, your relationships changes especially versus your spouse. Feelings of guilt are usually sharper when you have just started an affair. As you go forward, you will either get used to it as you become a serial cheater or the guilt will just consume you and becomes tougher to manage.
At some point you will need to confront this guilt and have to decide if you still care and want to maintain your relationship with your spouse. If this is the case, then the simplest thing to do is to terminate the affair you are having and make sure you cut off all ties with your lover. Guilt problem is resolved. Just don't get sucked into the next round of guilt of "should I tell my spouse or not?" The simple answer is you do not. The old concept of letting-sleeping-dogs-lie applies to this situation.
It is simpler if your partner has not found out yet and you have severed your romantic liaisons already. If the opposite is true and your spouse has found out, just brace yourself for the hurt and anger that will come your way. With some luck, reconciliation will follow the stages of anger and disappointment. You have a real chance of making the reconciliation happen if you are sincere in working things out by rebuilding the trust slowly and addressing self-esteem and insecurity issues that may have been destroyed by the affair.
Guilt comes up in different stages of an affair. It starts as you contemplate having an affair and you go through an exercise in your head about repercussions and how being in an affair that can hurt not just your spouse but other people close to you within the family. After evaluating all the risks and repercussions and you still decide to go through with it by taking a lover, the guilt does not really go away. It just stays in the background as you are enjoying your new partner but at some point it will come back and gets you thinking again about the people that will be hurt if you are discovered.
That is why it is important to evaluate comprehensively at the beginning if having an affair is worth it. Try to be as cold blooded as you can when you do the risk-rewards analysis in your head, then factor in your conscience and be honest with yourself if you can manage the guilt that is guaranteed to come your way when you start the affair. If you feel that the guilt is too overwhelming just by thinking about repercussions, then it might be better for you not to even start an affair.
If you are one of those folks that can compartmentalize your emotions separating 'just-sex' relationships versus having a real relationship, then there is a good chance that you will have an easier task of controlling and managing your guilt. If you do choose to go ahead with your extra marital affair, just make sure to re-evaluate constantly the same way so you make the right decisions on whether to continue with the affair or execute your exit strategy from it.