exit affair

The Exit Affair

exit affair

The Exit Affair


Out The Door Affair



Finally it’s my turn



Exiters are Conflict Avoiders at heart, but they take it further. One spouse has already decided to leave the marriage and the affair provides the justification. The other partner usually blames the affair rather than looking at how their marriage got to this point.


  • The relationship had underlying tension and resentment building up for years (perhaps starting before their wedding)
  • They are either unwilling to meet each other’s needs, or unwilling to talk about meeting each others needs.
  • The lack of conflict, is often misinterpreted as a sign “all is fine”
  • Leaving the relationship is often surrounded in guilt, however staying in the relationship would be unbearable.
  • The relationship with the lover would typically only last as long as the pain of leaving the relationship. The cheater will often spend many years by themselves avoiding commitment and “entrapment.”

Why the affair happened

This type of affair is usually the outcome of the 20 year train of thought based on some marker:
– The kids leaving home
– The end of a career
– end of government service

The affair is actually initiated years earlier in the mind of the infidel, and the marriage relationship is maintained and tolerated by the infidel on the basis of the future plan.

By the time the infidel is ready to leave the infidel often say “I’ve toyed with this idea for many years and I finally decided to do it”

Advice for the Betrayed Spouse

It is best to recognize this for what it is, handle the reality of loss, and build a new life.

– Recovery Potential: Unlikely

– Affair Reason: Loss of self


Recovery Tips:

– As the unfaithful spouse has been planning an exit for some time, this partner is less likely to want to work on the relationship. If he/she does enter counseling, the reason is guilt rather than desire.

– Time and space are needed for personal growth. After this time, the unfaithful partner may wish to return to the marriage and work on a recovery. This can take up to two years.

– Work on your communication and conflict resolution skills, to keep the relationship respectful and the friendship in place.

1 Comment

  • Roxi

    My husband left 8 months ago after a 1 year affair. The OW went back to her husband. My husband and I are very amicable, no physical contact, but talk and are trying to work on a friendship. He is in individual counseling, but will not work on the marriage as he says he can’t decide if he wants to stay married or get a divorce. I don’t want a divorce. This article hit the nail on the head. He is 50 and I believe going through a mid-life crisis. Our kids will move to college this fall. I would like to think there is hope for me saving the marriage, but I am beginning to lose my faith. He said he thought when the affair was discovered that I would file, but I didn’t. Any other advice?

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