Cheating? End your Office Affair

Cheating? End your Office Affair

Infidelity: If You’re the Cheater, 4 Tips to End your Office Affair and Save your Marriage

You’re married, but you’ve been sleeping with a co-worker. You know it’s time to end what has become a very intense and very difficult situation. You don’t want to quit work, you don’t want to be fired, and you just don’t know what to do.

“Breaking off an affair can be just as difficult as breaking up a marriage depending on if there are emotions involved and how long it has gone on,” said Stephany Alexander, CEO of, a website devoted to research on men and relationships with an extensive polling database. “However, having an affair is never fair to the partner left in the dark. If you have any doubts on breaking off your affair, simply remember the golden rule, ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.'”

So how do you end it? Here are a few tips from relationship experts.

1. Keep it short and simple.

“Don’t go into in-depth details about why the affair can’t continue. The simpler and cleaner the break-up is, the better,” Alexander said. Tina B. Tessina, 64, a Long Beach, California-based psychotherapist and author of The Commuter Marriage: Keep Your Relationship Close While You’re Far Apart (Adams Media, April 2008), agreed. To end a workplace affair, be direct.” She suggested these words: “‘I’m sorry, I never should have done this. It’s my fault, but I’m ending it because I want to keep my marriage,’ or the boss is suspicious, or whatever. Take responsibility for having been irresponsible, allow the other person a chance to be angry with you.”


“Whatever you do, don’t get into a prolonged conversation, evaluating who did what and why. Just end it. Resist the urge to explain why you are concluding the relationship,” said Paul F. Davis, author of Adultery 101 and Breakthrough For A Broken Heart.

2. Do it on your own time, not office time.

“Tell them in person and in public area where a scene is less likely to take place. Do not break off the affair at the office,” Alexander said. “Having it done privately without the peering eyes of the grapevine is the only way to end an affair. And if possible, relocate your desk and work space out of sight from the person with whom you fell into the affair with. Perhaps relocate to another department,” added Davis.

3. Make it final. 

“What’s done is done and giving the other person any hope is cruel. Don’t allow your co-worker affair to think there will be a chance of getting back together,” Alexander said. Tessina added, “Do not waver, or you’ll give your co-worker the idea that pleading, flirting, cajoling or, worse, hysterics will win you back. Cut off all contact outside work. No matter how well you do this, there may be repercussions, but being clear that it’s over and there’s no chance for re-starting will at least remove the idea that you can be coerced. In fact, it’s not just the affair that you are ending, but the relationship in total.” According to Mona Barbera, author of Bring Yourself to Love: How Couples Can Turn Disconnection into Intimacy, “When you end an affair, make it clear to your affair partner that you are ending it completely, with no more friendship, e-mails, or lunches. Be consistent. If you waver, look inside yourself and find out why.”

4. Be kind.

“Remember that you had something with this person, right or wrong, good or bad, and both of you carry the same level of responsibility. The breakup might come as a shock or a relief to your coworker, so give them time to be deal with it. But remember not to back pedal. Office affairs and romantic relationships at work must be handled delicately and on a case by case basis. Ask the person to respect your privacy and interact only for work-related purposes,” added Davis. “You want to move past this so you can keep your job and focus on your future career,” said Alexander.