If He Cheated On Me When We Were Engaged Will He Cheat On Me When Married?

By: Katie Lersch: I sometimes hear from women who are engaged and who have found out that their fiancé has cheated on them. Sometimes, this happens at the bachelor party and other times, it happens randomly, but while the engagement is active.

Understandably, many of these women consider breaking off the engagement and not going through with the marriage. After all, if he will cheat on you while you are engaged, won’t he cheat once you are married? Isn’t “once a cheater always a cheater” almost always true? Shouldn’t you get out while the getting is good? Why would you go through with a marriage to a man who cheats before there is really any marital stressor?

Someone might say: “I was all set to get married and then I got an instant message on Facebook from my fiancé’s ex girlfriend saying that her conscience mandated that she admit to me that my future husband has been coming over to her place and sleeping with her for the last two months. She said that it started when he basically contacted her to tell her that he was engaged and to, in a sense, get closure and tell her goodbye. They met for dinner and one thing lead to another. She does admit that he broke it off a few weeks ago. She admits that he told her that he was so guilty about what they had done and that he was committed to me and could never see her again. So I am not sure what her motivation was in coming forward now. But I am sort of glad that she has because that is something that I needed to know. Of course, I confronted my fiancé about this. And he admitted it, but has been following me around crying about how he can not lose me. Well, perhaps he should have considered this before he ever called his ex. My first inclination was the end the engagement and to never see him again. And this is what I told him that I was going to do. I wasn’t trying to scare him. I was totally being sincere. That was my plan. But then I spent a few weeks without him and he was calling me and enlisting all of our mutual friends to help him. So that’s when I started to change my mind ever so slightly and opened my mind to the idea of only postponing the engagement. But many of my friends tell me that I am crazy. They say if a man will cheat on you during your engagement then he is most definitely going to cheat on you during your marriage. Are they right?”

I don’t know of any one who can successfully predict the future. However, infidelity before you are ever actually married is not the best sign. That said, I would suspect that healing from this infidelity is going to be the same as it would be if you were actually married. After all, when you are engaged, the commitment is still there. Sure, it’s not as big of a commitment as actually being married, but it’s about serious as it gets.

In order to have confidence that this won’t happen again, you are going to do have to extensive work to find out why this happened, to figure out a way to keep it from happening again, and to restore the trust and goodwill. Your fiancé has to be willing to take an honest look at his motivations and behaviors. What made him reach out to the other woman in the first place? Once they’d crossed the line once, why did he go back again? Was he going to confess or would you have never found out if the other woman hadn’t told you?

All of these questions need to be answered and then the work truly begins. I would highly recommend getting counseling. That may seem overwhelming or like not a lot of fun. But it’s much better to go ahead and do it then to live with a troubled marriage. At the very least, some good self help is needed. Very few people have the skills to see the issues necessary to heal the relationship on their own. Most people just can not be objective enough or see their relationship in the way that it needs to be seen.

But to answer the original question. Cheating once does not always mean repeat cheating. However, it is a warning sign. And you have enough notice of this warning sign that it may be prudent to make sure you do all of the necessary work until you are COMPLETELY comfortable going forward with the wedding. It doesn’t make sense to walk into something that you know may be a future problem when you have the time and foresight to avoid this, and to work until you are COMPLETELY comfortable going forward with the wedding.

I know that it may not seem this way right now – but you do have an advantage.  You are not married and do not have kids with this man.  That means if you are not happy where rehabilitation leads, there is nothing concrete holding you to the relationship.  You have flexibility that people who are already married do not have.  And this means that you can set a very high standard for your fiancé with the knowledge that you have a pretty easy recourse should he not meet it.  That said, I know for a fact that rehabilitation is possible after an affair because I’ve been through it myself.  You can read more about my healing process on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

My Husband Says He Does Not Think About His Affair Anymore. How Is This Possible?

by: katie lersch: Many women who contact me confess that they often wonder just how much their husband thinks about the other woman once the affair is over.  Many husbands will downplay this or deny that he ever thinks about her.  And many of the wives have a very hard time believing this.

I recently heard from a wife who said, in part: “the other day my husband had a far away look on his face.  He was distant and a million miles away.  I suspected that he was thinking about the woman with whom he recently had an affair.  But when I confronted him about this, he said that not only was he not thinking about her at that time, but that he never thinks about her anymore at all.  This just hit me the wrong way because I felt like he had to be lying.  And if he wasn’t lying, what does it say about him that he can have a physical relationship with someone and just walk away without a backward glance?  Is it even possible for a husband not to think about the other woman?  Because I have to admit that I still think about her quite a lot.  I can’t help it.  The thoughts and images just pop into my head, even when I don’t welcome them.  How is the same not true for him?”  I will address these concerns in the following article.

Is A Husband Lying When He Claims He Never Thinks About The Other Woman Or The Affair?  Is This Even Possible? These are difficult questions because it’s impossible for anyone to get inside the mind of the heart of another person.  I can tell you that some (but certainly not all) men will try to downplay the affair or the other person because they are trying to spare you pain and they truly do want to save their marriage.

So, they aren’t going to share any thoughts that they fear might make this less likely.  And, they know that if they admit to still thinking about the other woman or the relationship from time to time (even if it’s not even in a wistful or positive way,) this is going to hurt you or bring about more issues for you.  So, they figure it’s best to keep their thoughts to themselves, especially if those thoughts don’t really matter to them and aren’t going to help their cause.

With that said, many men will tell you that the affair was an impulsive act that truly didn’t have many emotional ramifications for them.  Even though literature and statistics will suggest that men cheat for at least partly emotional reasons (and I agree with this,) many of those same men will deny that this was the case for them.  They’ll tell you that this was just a short term thing that happened while they weren’t thinking clearly, that they now deeply regret it, and that they are perfectly willing and able to move on without a lot of emotional baggage or thought.

And although I am not and would never defend a man who cheats, I do believe that many men who make these declarations do believe what they say.  Because if you dig a little deeper and speak at length about this, it can become clear that, were it not for their wife constantly bringing the affair and the other woman up, they could merely walk away quite easily. They’ll tell you this is because they don’t forge the emotional attachments that wives fear the most.

I often hear comments like: “my wife is always asking me if I still think about the affair.  Honestly, if she wouldn’t constantly bring it up, I don’t think I’d ponder it much at all.  It’s in the past and I see no reason at all to keep dwelling on it all of the time.  But my wife can’t seem to let it go.  She’s constantly asking me about what I’m thinking and how I feel. She can’t or won’t just drop it.  How can we move on when she’s constantly picking at the scab that is trying to heal? She thinks I’m lying when I tell her I don’t think about it.  I guess that is not entirely untrue, but, if I think about it at all, it’s because she constantly brings it up.  It’s like she wants to think that this other person and I shared this great love affair that will never end when nothing is further from the truth.  I could go my entire life without needing to contact or think or this person again but my wife won’t let it rest.”

Now, whether comments like this are entirely true or not, these are the type of things that I often hear. The husband will insist that he rarely longs for (and much less thinks about) the other woman, but his wife just won’t let it rest and is constantly bringing the topic back to the affair so that it’s impossible not to think about it.

How To Handle It When You Wonder Whether Your Husband Continues To Think About The Affair: It’s totally natural and understandable to wonder where your husband’s thoughts and loyalties lie.  It’s challenging to save your marriage or to move on when you’re worried that he would rather be with someone else or that someone else has taken up residence in his mind. But, when you truly can’t know what he’s thinking or feeling, does it make sense to keep bringing his attention back to that person who you want him to completely distance himself and his thoughts from?

Often, without even realizing that we are doing it, we allow the fear inside us to drive our actions and our decisions.  The thing that we most fear is for our husbands to still think about (or long for) this other woman.  Yet, by continuing to bring her up, ask about her, or demand that our husband define exactly how much he is thinking about or feeling for her, we keep allowing her presence into our lives.  I know that you really want and need to know the truth about whether he continues to think about the affair, but sometimes if you back off of this topic and focus on your marriage and your healing instead, you will make it more likely that you will get the answer that you really want.

I know that dealing with these doubts can be very challenging and painful, but plowing through can truly be worth it. Although I never would’ve believed this two years ago, I did eventually truly get over the affair. My marriage is stronger than ever. It took a lot of work, and I had to play the game to win, but it was worth it. Because of all the work I did on myself, my self esteem is in tact. I no longer worry my husband will cheat again. If it helps, you can read more of that story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com/

My Wife Is Very Combative Toward Me After My Affair. Her Abrasive Personality Was Why I Cheated In The First Place. She’s Just Mean

By: Katie Lersch:  It’s very normal to be critical of your spouse after you’ve had an affair.  It’s human nature to want to justify your actions.  But what happens if your criticisms are really and truly justified?  What happens if these flaws are things that everyone notices?  How do you deal with them after the affair has been found out?”

Here’s an example.  A husband might say: “my wife has always been very sour and condescending.  When we were first dating, I actually thought that this was cute.  I called her my little grouch because rarely did her grumpiness and pessimistic outlook affect me.  Of course, after we had kids and have been married for a long time, it most definitely started to affect me – in a very negative way.  My wife is never happy.  She can be extremely critical and abrasive.  When I am around her, I feel as if I can’t do anything right.  This really started to weigh on me and I know it is a factor in why I had an affair.  Because the other woman was so attractive to me because she is so sweet and positive.  She is one of the most optimistic, naturally happy people that I have ever met.  And after being around my wife for so long, this was so unbelievably refreshing. It felt like such a relief.  That said, I am not proud of what I have done.  I know that the best thing for my family would be to save my marriage.  So I have committed to doing that.  But now that I have a taste of being around a positive person, it is hard for me to be accepting of my wife’s abrasive personality.  Needless to say, it is even worse now because she is furious with me for cheating.  She was extremely critical of me before, but now she is out and out mean to me.  Granted, this is understandable.  I cheated on her.  But knowing my wife as I do, I know that years from now, she is still going to be abrasive and hard to live with – because that is just who she is.  Do I have any recourse with this? Or do I just have to accept that it is my lot in life to live with a pessimistic, sour spouse?”

An Unconventional Approach That Helps You To Get To The Root Of The Problem: It does sound like you are living in a tough situation.  But I am going to ask you to do something that you probably haven’t considered and which may to be somewhat difficult and unconventional.  I want you to try to put yourself in your wife’s shoes.  Why?  Because I know from experience that it truly helps if you can understand why your wife is acting in the way that she is (and has in the past.)

I learned this trick in counseling, and I most commonly use it when dealing with my mother – who is also sometimes mean and abrasive.  Our relationship suffered because of this until I was asked to do this exercise.  That is when I realized that my mother is almost always acting out of fear and anxiety.  She grew up the child of an alcoholic and she never had a sense of safety.  As a result, she lashes out at her loved ones as sort of a preemptive strike – if she can hurt you first, then you can’t hurt her.

Knowing this, I am able to more effectively deal with my mother by trying to make her feel safe. I try to make her feel as if there is nothing that she could do to run me off – and that I am here for the long haul.  I also no longer take her personality personally.  Has this magically transformed her into a loving person?  Not exactly, but our relationship is now completely different and much, much better.

My point is that if you can understand WHY your wife is so abrasive, you would be in a better position to make improvements.  I would highly recommend getting a counselor’s help for a lasting and dramatic transformation, but putting yourself in her shoes is a great way to start.  People who are pessimistic are quite often people who are hurting and who are scared.  Once you understand this, everything can change.

I am not making excuses for your wife or telling you that you should just accept her harshness. You shouldn’t.  Honestly, the change would probably be a relief for her.  My mother isn’t happy when she’s acting abrasive and your wife likely isn’t either.  That said, it’s better to let the counselor approach her because she’s likely to see any feedback as critical coming from you.

And, she may see it as an attempt to take the focus off of your affair, which is completely understandable.  Her approach and her personality can certainly be ONE of the things that you address in counseling.  But there is likely plenty of blame to go around.  The bottom line is that you never have to “just accept” anything that is destructive to your marriage.  And if there is anything good that comes out of an affair, it is that it can be a good time to define what you want your new marriage to look like.

There were many things that my husband and I revamped in our marriage after his affair.  We hashed out many behaviors and tendencies in counseling, which is where I learned that it is tricky to not sound critical when you are negotiating these things.  It does take a bit of patience and finesse.  But it is so worth it in the end because you truly can end up with a happier marriage than you started with.  You can read more about my healing process on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

How Do Men Remember Their Affair When They Look Back On It?

By: Katie Lersch:  If you are a wife whose husband has had an affair, it’s a fair bet that you want him to look back on it with negative feelings.  You don’t want him to think that there was anything redeeming or good about the affair.  You want him to see it for the colossal, destructive mistake that it was.  You want him to cringe when he thinks about it so that he never, ever, thinks about repeating it.

Unfortunately, not all wives have full confidence that this is what their husband is feeling.  Many of them worry that their husband is going to look back on the affair with longing or that he even might wish that it had never ended.  Some worry that he will miss the experience so much that he might start up another affair to replace it.

A wife might say: “immediately after I caught my husband having an affair, he defended it.  He made it sound like a special, once-in-a-lifetime relationship.  He conceded that he knew that he needed to end it, but he very obviously did not want to.  Then, while in counseling, he proceeded to tell the counselor that although he knew that he was wrong, he was grateful for some of the self-realizations that he gained through the experience.  He said that it had left him changed.  Now that a couple of months have passed, I decided to ask him how he felt about it today.  I was hoping that he’d say that it was his biggest regret.  Instead, his response was ‘well obviously, it was a mistake.  But everybody makes mistakes and I just want to move on.’   This is not the response that I had hoped for. And it makes me worry that he does not regret it enough and that he will cheat again. How do most men feel when they look back on the affair?”

I believe that it really does depend on far out they are post-affair.  What I mean by that is that when the affair is still fresh and the emotions are still high, many men feel a need to justify their actions.  As a result, they will try to make the affair more than it was.  Their feelings are magnified.  The pixie dust hasn’t worn off yet.  In order to not feel totally awful about themselves and what they have done, they go into self preservation mode and they get defensive and they try to justify.  And this is when you are most likely to see them thinking about the affair in nostalgic terms.

However, when time passes and they suddenly have the ability to feel more objective, this is when you will see the reality of their mistake hit them.  The need to be defensive has passed.  They have literally seen and felt the pain that they have caused.  (And assuming that they have been away from the other woman for a while, the relationship is not as fresh and they are no longer under the spell.)  It is at this time that they can often see the relationship for what it was – not something special, but a crutch, a distraction, and an awful mistake.

When this realization happens, men can be quite ashamed or embarrassed.  They often do not want you to know this or to see it, and this might be when you see them retreating into themselves or acting distant.  But just because they don’t make a huge declaration about this, that doesn’t mean that they don’t realize how much they have messed up.

I can’t say that every man feels the same way.  I can’t promise you that every man doesn’t miss the other woman or pine for her, or wish that the affair had never ended.  Some do, but I feel that the majority realize that the relationship was wrong and truly never stood a chance.  All you have to do is to look at the statistics about the longevity of affairs to know that many are doomed before they even get started.  Most husbands are smart enough to realize this.  But they may not share these realizations with you.

I know that it’s tempting to push for this admission, but frankly, you are more likely to get the admission that you want if you just place your focus on healing your marriage.  Once your marriage is healthy, once your husband is feeling empathy for you, and once he feels as if he has done the work to facilitate recovery, that is when he is going to be the most likely to unleash his feelings and admit his deep regret.  But when you try to force this out of him or shame him, he’s going to be more likely to hide his feelings because he doesn’t want to give the satisfaction of the admission.  It may help to know that most men do feel regret.  Your husband likely feels it, and he may express it once you’ve made more progress so that he is comfortable doing the same.

Believe me.  There were times when I wanted my own husband to fall at my feet and proclaim what a loser he was to ever put our marriage at risk.  It was a long time before I got this kind of remorse.  But I did eventually get it. You can read more on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

Having Sex Again After Your Husband’s Affair: Tips For Making It Less Awkward And More Enjoyable

Of all the topics that come up after one spouse has cheated or had an affair, one of the most problematic is sex.  After all, it’s sex with someone else that caused the affair in the first place.  And, there may have been sexual issues in your marriage before the infidelity.  So, needless to say, this is a potentially problematic and sensitive issue that both people can hesitate to talk about or address.

The thing is, sex after an affair can either help to bring the married couple back together, or it can be one other thing that rips them further apart.  And unfortunately, there are so many misunderstandings and wrong assumptions surrounding it.  I will discuss this more in the following article.

Try Not To Make False Assumptions About How Your Spouse Feels About Sex Right Now: Here’s one of the biggest issues that I see. The spouse who was cheated on is filled with self doubt and self esteem questions.  They will worry that their spouse cheated because they weren’t satisfied with marital sex or no longer found their spouse sexy or desirable.  So the cheated on spouse can feel ugly, insecure, and clumsy even when none of these things are true.

These assumptions can put a huge damper on what happens in your bedroom when you’re trying to save the marriage and heal.  Because all these doubts and insecurities follow you and bring awkwardness and more issues into an already difficult situation.

Likewise, the spouse who cheated can feel like a huge creep if they even think about initiating sex.  And, they are well aware that once either party even thinks about sex, then suddenly the issue of the sexual content of the affair comes into question.  There’s no way around either spouse thinking or wondering about sex with the other person.  It just can’t be helped.

And even if the cheating spouse is 100% sincere in their love and commitment to their spouse and to saving their marriage, they will also usually worry that they shouldn’t make advances or initiate physical contact because their spouse could well be repulsed by the thought of even a hug or touch right now, much less sex.

But of course, the faithful spouse will take this to mean that he or she is just not interested because he doesn’t find them desirable or a turn on.  So what you have are all these incorrect assumptions and insecurities coming into play which often make the situation worse.

That’s why it’s so important to make every attempt to be open and honest, even if it makes you feel very vulnerable.  It’s really the only way to gauge what’s truly going on.  Because the truth is, you may well  be wrong about what your spouse is thinking and feeling.  And being wrong could just make the situation worse or downright unbearable.

It’s Important Not To Put Too Much Pressure On Your Sex Life After The Affair:  I often advise couples to wait until they are absolutely sure that they are ready and want to have sex again.  It’s so much better to wait and have no doubt in your mind that this is the right time than to rush yourself and just sort of go through the motions or be numb, or worse, to have a bad experience.

Sometimes, when the sex is not that good or great after the affair, both people will make assumptions that the marriage can’t be saved, that there’s too much damage, or that the spark is gone.  And sometimes, this is the first step toward them giving up on their marriage.  This is so unfortunate and such a shame because usually, it’s not that the spark or chemistry was gone, it’s that the couple moved too soon or rushed things a bit before some outstanding issues were worked through.

Getting Your Sexual Confidence Back:  Probably one of the most common concerns that I hear from spouses who have been cheated on is that they don’t feel desirable or sexy.  They’re afraid that the second they disrobe or begin having sexual contact, they are going to see the hesitation, pity, or repulsion in their spouse’s eyes.  And unfortunately, this fear often keeps them from reaching their full potential or comfort level as an individual or as part of a couple.

If you are dealing with this and are scared of having sex again after the affair, there is nothing wrong with focusing on rebuilding your confidence.  You have been dealt a nasty blow.  What you’re feeling is absolutely natural.  Give yourself permission to do whatever makes you feel better about yourself.  You can’t worry about how your spouse feels. You need to focus on how you feel.

But here’s something that almost everyone underestimates.  From the people who write to me or comment on my blog, it’s my opinion that both men and women tend to agree on what is sexy or a turn on.  And one thing that both men and women consider sexy is confidence. Countless people have told me that it’s not how you look, or what you do.  It really is your enthusiasm and your ability to participate and give and take with confidence and adventure. If you do not have this as a result of the affair, then it’s possible that you still have work to do or are selling yourself short.

And if you’ve never had this sort of confidence or enthusiasm, there really is no time like the present.  You deserve to be happy. And sometimes an affair is an opportunity to actually make some areas of your life better than they were before.

I know that worrying about sex and intimacy after a spouse’s affair is difficult. But healing is possible, and it can truly be worth the effort. Although I never would’ve believed this two years ago, my marriage is stronger even after his affair. It took a lot of work, and I had to play the game to win, but I’m glad I did. Because of all the work I did on myself, my self esteem is at an all time high. I no longer worry my husband will cheat again. You can read a very personal story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

How Do I Love My Husband Again After He Cheated And Had An Affair?

by: katie lersch: I often hear from wives who are having a hard time believing that they are ever going to feel the same way about their husband and their marriages again. Even though that many of these wives really do want to save their marriages, some doubt that this is going to be possible for them.  They just can’t foresee ever feeling love for their husband again after he cheated on them.

I recently heard from a wife who was experiencing this first hand.  She said, in part: “How do you love your husband again after he cheats or has an affair?  Because I can’t imagine that this is ever going to be possible for me.  And I can’t be married to a man that I don’t love.  But his infidelity changed my love for him.   Because when I look at him now, I see a completely different man.  He’s no longer the loyal, attentive, and rock solid man I married.  I now see him as dishonest, sneaky, and manipulative.  I don’t want to end my marriage, but I can’t see any way around it when I no longer feel love for this man.  And I feel that love and marriage go hand in hand.  Would it ever be possible for me to love him again?  Or am I just wasting my time?”

These weren’t questions that I could answer for this wife.  But I could tell her that many wives are able to love their husbands again after cheating, an affair, or infidelity.  This often isn’t an immediate or fast process, but it is quite possible.  I will discuss this more in the follow article.

Loving Your Husband Again After Cheating Or An Affair Isn’t Something That You Should Expect To Happen Immediately: I can’t help but notice that many of the wives who ask about loving their husband again after his infidelity are relatively new to this situation.  Of course, when you are newly struggling, you want to know how long you can expect for the struggles to last.  It’s natural to want to feel better and to want to get your life back to normal as soon as you possibly can.

But love is a very deep and complex emotion.  It isn’t something that can be forced or just decided upon.  It takes time for it to grow. And it takes time for it to be rebuilt once it has been tested.  In order to love someone, you must respect, admire, and genuinely like them.  You often will need to believe that they bring something to the table and add something to your life that you can not (and do not want) to get from any one else.  But, when your husband has disappointed you in this way, it can be difficult to feel this these things for him.

However, this doesn’t mean that you won’t ever feel love for him again.  Many wives do, in time.  But usually, a lot of things need to happen between today and the day that you begin to feel loving toward him again.  You will need time to observe him making good on his promises and conducting himself in a way that you can respect, respond to, and admire again.  As I’m sure you might imagine, this is a gradual process.  There may be days when you can’t imagine feeling love again for your husband because you are so angry at him.  And you may not believe that there will be a day when this anger lessens, even a little bit.  But time can be more healing than you can imagine.  And your husband can and sometimes will rise to the occasion in ways that you might not have previously imagined or hoped for.

The Burden Of Loving Your Husband Again Lies At Least Somewhat With Him: Many wives that I dialogue with give me the impression that they think that loving their husband again is an obstacle that they must overcome alone.  It’s almost as if they think they have to make a decision or declaration about loving their husband again no matter what circumstances or struggles are happening around them.  It’s just not that easy. You can’t turn your feelings on and off at will. And you can’t love someone who isn’t proving to deserving of your love.

It’s my opinion that while you have the responsibility to decide if you want to be open to the idea of loving him again, he has the responsibility to show himself to be worthy of your love.  He can’t expect you to feel very loving toward him if he’s not doing everything in his power to prove to you that it’s safe to do so.

I sometimes have men contact me on my infidelity blog and tell me that they are devastated because their wives have decided not to love them anymore.  I often respond by asking them what they have done to earn their wife’s love all over again.  In other words, what have they done to show themselves to be truth worthy, rehabilitated, and remorseful?  I have to tell you that it’s obvious that some men just don’t have a clue that your loving them is completely connected to their actions and behaviors after the affair.

And I do believe that this doesn’t mean that they’re stupid or that they just don’t care.  It just often means that men can be lost about what they should be doing after they cheated.  Many will look to their wife for clues as to how they should behave.  Unfortunately, often their wife is waiting for them to make the first move.  As a result, sometimes no one makes any move and both people wonder why nothing positive is happening to move the marriage and the feelings forward.

If your husband hasn’t done enough to inspire your loving feelings for him again, I would recommend speaking up and requesting what you need.  Because sometimes, men just don’t know what you expect or they don’t understand what would be their best course of action.  Many wives resist having to “spell out” what they need. They think that their husband should know what to do or should immediately begin making things right because he is sincere.  The truth is, many sincere men are just at a loss.  They aren’t sure if you want for them to back off and leave you or alone or if you want them to take action.

Frankly, sometimes asking for the behaviors that you need to see provides the best possible outcome.  Seeing your husband work tirelessly to regain your trust, to show his love, and to make things right can eventually bring about those loving feelings that we’ve been taking about.  So to answer the question posed, yes, it is possible for you to love your husband again after he cheated or had an affair.  But often, it takes time and it takes very measured efforts.  You often don’t get the best results if both of you just sort of sit back with a “wait and see” attitude while waiting on the other to make the first move.

I can tell you that today, years after my husband’s affair, I love him completely.  This is in direct contrast to how I felt about him in the weeks following the affair.  It took time but the love did eventually return and it remains today.  If it helps you can read about what worked for me and more of that story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com/

My Husband Says He’s So Confused After His Affair. What Does This Mean? What Can I Do About It?

By: Katie Lersch: I often hear from wives who are so frustrated by their husband’s “confusion” after he has been caught cheating or having an affair. Often, the wives expect or hope that he is going to apologize profusely and immediately begin to attempt to make amends. But this isn’t always what happens. Sometimes, the husband doesn’t act because he isn’t sure what he wants in terms of his feelings or his wishes.

I heard from a wife who said: “my husband admitted to me that he has been cheating and having an affair with my daughter’s gymnastics coach. Since I really had no suspicions and he had no reason to tell me, I expected that this  meant that he would immediately break it off and make every attempt to save our marriage. Instead, he is telling me that he doesn’t know if he’s going to end his relationship with her. When I ask him if this means our marriage is over, he says he doesn’t know. He insists that he is “so confused” because he has feelings for both of us. He claims that while he ultimately wants to save our marriage, he is not sure if he is ready to let her go because he has genuine feelings for her too. That’s just wonderful for him, but where does it leave me? Do I have to just sit around and wait for him to decide who or what he wants? Am I just supposed to patiently wait for his confusion to fade?  And what is there to be confused about? He made wedding vows to me, not her.” I will try to address these concerns in the following article.

A Man’s Confusion Is Often At Its Highest Right After The Affair, But It Will Eventually Wane Once He Walks Away For Good. The Longer The Affair Continues, The More Confusion There Is: I can’t tell how often men attempt to play the confusion card. And quite often, they aren’t completely lying to you. They do feel confused. Because the truth is, if they wanted to end their marriage or they wanted you out of their life, they would have divorced you while they were cheating or before they started being unfaithful. They cheat in secret because they want both relationships. They usually don’t have any intention of ending their marriage, especially in the beginning. But usually the other woman begins applying the pressure to make their relationship more official and lasting. And the intensity of the deception can be mistaken for intense and real feelings. So many men are genuinely confused because they have two women to whom they feel responsible and for whom they have feelings.

But here’s something that they usually do not understand. The more they continue to see or contact this other woman, the longer they are going to be confused. As soon as they truly end it and focus their attention on their wife and their marriage, whatever feelings they think they may have had will usually become clear for what they really are – part of an unrealistic fantasy. He has to convince himself that he feels very strong and real feelings for her. Because if he didn’t, how stupid would he be to risk his marriage for someone he didn’t really know or feel anything for? He may not believe that his feelings will change. But they will. If he is not seeing her and giving the relationship any momentum to keep it going, it will die a natural death.

How To Handle It When Your Husband Is Confused After Cheating Or Having An Affair: Many wives are tempted to offer ultimatums and tell the husband that he must decide between her and the other woman immediately. This is a very tempting ultimatum. But the risk with this is that he will either chose her or he will chose you and be resentful because of it. Or he will mope around thinking that he misses her. Some women will become fed up and tell the husband that the other woman can have him. Some of these women later regret acting so hastily.

To me, the best compromise is to tell your husband that you are willing to work with him after he makes a decision as to who or what he wants, but until then you can’t participate in a marriage that includes three people. When you back off from your marriage, this will often give him an incentive to make the right decision. He may wavier a little bit initially, but once he decides, you will both know that he made his own decision alone without any pressure from you.

You should also know that many men will lose their feelings for the other woman as time goes on. Because now they you know about the affair, that exciting level of secrecy because of a forbidden relationship is gone. So a very important component of their relationship has been taken away. This is sometimes the beginning of the end and it helps the true nature of the relationship to become more clear – that he risked everything for someone who was essentially little more than a stranger.

Once this happens, you will likely find his confusion beginning to wane.  I have to admit that it was me who had most of the confusion in my own marriage.  I just didn’t know if I wanted to put in all the work to rehabilitate a man and a marriage that had been so damaged by infidelity.  In the end, I couldn’t walk away and now I am glad for that because our marriage is actually stronger.  If it helps you can read the whole emotional story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

The Other Woman Says My Husband Planned To Leave Me After The Affair / Infidelity

By: Katie Lersch: Unfortunately, many wives are faced with the other woman in the affair. Sometimes, the wife seeks her out and, other times, the other woman seeks out the wife. Ideally, it would be wonderful if the wife could shut her down before having to hear anything that she can’t get out of her head. But this isn’t always the case.

Sometimes, I swear the other woman has the full intention of unleashing every bit of hurtful information that she can – whether it is accurate or not. And once the wife hears this, there is really no way to un – hear it. The other woman will often try to make the affair into this colossal, special relationship that can never be forced to end. In essence, she is trying to sabotage the marriage as best as she can. So she’ll tell you that she and your husband had big plans – or were planning a future together.

Here’s an example. A wife might say: “I was minding my own business in the grocery store the other day and my heart stopped when I saw my husband’s ‘other woman’ out of the corner of my eye. Honestly, I was going to leave the groceries in my cart and just run out of there. But she literally closed the distance between us in seconds and grabbed my arm. Then she hissed: ‘I want you to know that your husband and I had our entire future all planned out. He was planning to leave you as soon as your son turned five. We have been looking at houses. If you don’t believe me, I’ll bet if you look around your house, you will find a brochure or two. That is how serious it was. I don’t know what he has told you. He may be downplaying it as though it was nothing serious. But I want you to know that it was very serious indeed. We were planning to spend the rest of our lives together.’ At first, I blew this off. I assumed that she was sour grapes because my husband ended things. But then, I searched the glove box of his car and what did I find? Two brochures for new custom-built homes. Now I am starting to think that she was telling me the truth. It’s ironic that I’ve been after my husband to upgrade our home before I learned about the affair. My husband and I have been struggling to save our marriage. I’ve been having a hard time forgiving and trusting. And that’s when I thought that the affair was nothing special. But now that I know that he was planning to leave me, I have no idea how I will ever move past this.”

You are assuming that she is one hundred percent correct.  I suppose that  it’s somewhat possible that she could be telling you the truth. But make no mistake. She has her own agenda. Like you said, she may desperately want your husband back, so she is going to do everything in her power to undermine your marriage and your attempts at a reconciliation.

It could be that your husband was looking at homes for YOU, since you have been asking him about it. Or maybe he did look at homes with her, but that might only mean that he was trying to make her THINK that he was going to leave you. (Many married men do this. They paint a whole picture for the other woman just to keep her happy in the affair. But they have NO intention whatsoever of leaving their wives.) The other alternative is that she is being truthful. Perhaps she is completely right and he did intend to leave you. And yet, he is still there – in your home and working hard to save your marriage.

So from this, you can deduct that somewhere along the way, he changed his mind. I know that it’s hard to process this. But sometimes, it comes to a point where you decide that you can focus on the past or your can focus on your future.

I would most definitely discuss this with your husband. You were not doing anything wrong. You did not seek her out. You did not ask for the information. But now you have it and it is going to bother you until you ask him for clarification. You might try: “I was totally minding my own business while shopping and the other woman was there and insisted that the two of you were house hunting because you had every intention of leaving me when our son turns five. Is this true? And if it is, why are you here now?”

See what he says. If he denies it outright, then you will have to decide if you want to talk about the brochures that you found. But give him the chance to be honest with you first. He may have a plausible explanation. He may admit that this is what he told her, but that he had no intention of going through with it. Or he may tell you that he DID intend to be with her, but that he changed his mind once the affair was discovered (which is very common.)

Of course, you will have to process what you discover. But try to keep in mind that he made a choice to be with you. Only you can decide if this matters to you. Regardless of whether you choose to save your marriage, healing from something like this takes time. It can be a while before you are in a position to weigh all of the information and then determine where you want to go from here.

Take your time. You didn’t ask for any of this and you deserve all of the information so that you can make an informed decision.

And don’t beat yourself up about the trust issues.  Recovery takes time.  Every time that I would get impatient with myself after my husband’s affair, I would try to remind myself that I didn’t ask for any of it and I was doing the best that I could.  What more can anyone ask? You can read more about my own recovery on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

I Think My Spouse Had An Affair Simply To Get Power Over Me

By: Katie Lersch: I sometimes hear from people who think that their spouse was not motivated by sex, by romance, or by emotions when they had an affair.  Instead, they are pretty sure that their spouse was motivated by the quest for power.  Or, their spouse was trying to level the playing field in their marriage.

For example, someone might say something like this: “for the last three years of our marriage, my husband told me that I treated him badly.  He said that everyone thought that he followed me around like a little puppy dog.  He said that everyone thought that he had ‘lucked into’ marrying me.  This always bothered my husband.  And he said that I did nothing to raise his self esteem or to reassure him that I was happy with him and with our marriage.  Sometimes, he would accuse me of not being sensitive enough to his feelings and he would say that I took him for granted.  He would say that I treated others better than him.  He actually told me ‘one day you are going to regret treating me like a dog.  One day the tide is going to turn. Wait and see.’  At the time, I thought he was just blowing hot air and complaining.  But now, since I’ve learned about the affair, his words are very pointed and memorable.  The other woman is not even that great.  I am much prettier.  I am much more accomplished.  She was just someone who would cheat with him.  And he left clues everywhere – like he was almost desperate for me to find out.  Now it’s as if he expects me to fall all over myself crying.  But I refuse to do that.  He says he wants to save our marriage.  And I am open to that.  But I am not going to redefine my marriage where he has the power and I do not.  I am not going to be the wounded one while he feels as if he is holding all the cards.”

I certainly don’t blame you for not wanting the marriage that you describe.  I don’t think anyone would find that type of marriage ideal.  And regardless of how badly your husband may have felt, there is no valid excuse for cheating.  Still, he may well have been motivated by trying to balance the power in your marriage.  And he may justify it to himself by telling himself that he tried to communicate the inequality to you, but you ignored him.  So he may have told himself that the only way to get your attention was to get “caught” having an affair.

This is faulty reasoning, of course.  But that might be an accurate description of his incorrect thought process.  Neither of you can take this back.  The affair has happened and what you are left with now is the future.  You get to define how that goes.  You get to mandate how your marriage is going to look moving forward.

I’d like to make a suggestion, if I may.  Things didn’t work when your husband felt that he was not an equal partner.  And you are very clear on the fact that you will not play second fiddle. So why not make this a marriage of equals?  If you are both still invested in your marriage, neither of you deserve anything less.

There has to be some way that he can feel respected and as an equal while you feel empowered and triumphant.  There are ways to negotiate this.  I can tell you that in the weeks and months after the affair, there is a real tendency to keep score or to constantly remind your spouse that you are the injured party.  And there is a real tendency on his part to get defensive and to want to still claim his part as the original injured party.

This is understandable, but from experience, it really doesn’t get you anywhere.  You can’t heal because you’re clinging too tightly to your pain.  I know that it takes some time before you can release your grip on this.  And sometimes, you need professional help to remind both of you of this goal.  But score keeping and clinging to pain are two major reasons that marriages fail after an affair.

It can take time and be hard to move past this, but I want you to remember that the main goal in recovery after an affair is to be truly and genuinely happy once again.  It’s nearly impossible to do this when you are in a lopsided marriage where both people don’t feel equal.  Your husband’s feelings are not always your responsibility and under your control.  But yours are.  And controlling yours is at least one thing that you can do to move toward healing.

I am not defending your husband.  As someone who was cheated on also, I would never do that.  But I can tell you how many men think.  If you want to save your marriage moving forward, you will have to carefully look at how each of you evaluate your place within it.  Power struggles have no place in a healthy marriage.  So always be aware of this.  And try to negotiate the stance that will make you both feel respected and on equal footing.  You can read more about my own struggles with recovery on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

My Spouse Says That He Will Break Up With The Other Woman / Mistress If I Take Him Back

By: Katie Lersch: You would think that when your husband is caught cheating, he would realize that he is no position to negotiate. Ideally, he would panic at being caught, apologize profusely, vow to give you whatever you need, and walk the straight and narrow from that day forward.

However, many cheating husbands try to push their luck a little. They may realize that there is something that you want. And they know that there is something that they want. And so they will try to negotiate or strike a deal.

One example is the husband who will try to tell his wife that sure, he will break things off with the other woman, but only if she will agree to take him back first. This leaves the wife in a tough position. Of course she wants him to end the affair, but why does she have to give him this guarantee? She might say: “I finally got my husband to admit that he has been cheating. He has denied it for months, but I knew that he was lying. I kept at him until finally one day he left his phone on the counter. Even after confronted with texts, he continued to deny it. But then I told him that I was going to call the number back and he finally admitted to it. I kicked him out of the house. And I told his parents. And they were so furious with him that they would not let him stay with them. I told mutual friends and he is not welcome to stay there, either. He is staying with his brother. They have a very difficult relationship. So my husband is very unhappy with his new living arrangement. In the three weeks that he has been gone, he has called me every day begging me to take him back. I asked him if it was over with the other woman and his response was: ‘it will be if you take me back.’ I asked him to clarify. He said that although he has not seen her since I caught him, he has not officially told her that he can’t see or talk to her anymore. He says he is willing to do that once I take him back and let him move back in. He hasn’t come right out and said this, but it seems like he’s keeping her on the hook in case I don’t take him back. That way, he won’t be alone. Honestly I don’t know that I am ready to take him back. I feel like he is rushing me and almost blackmailing me to take him back before I am ready. I want to see a lot more remorse first. And I want to know that he’s willing to end things with her regardless, because it is the right thing to do. Is this too much to ask?”

I certainly don’t think that it is too much to ask. The truth is, there is no guarantee for your marriage after an affair. No one knows how it is going to turn out. Some couples who vow to stick together and work things out don’t make it. The resentment and pain is just too much. Or one spouse just can’t let it go. And then couples who seem as if they are one hundred percent destined for divorce pull through and actually revamp their marriage.

The thing is, it is hard to know which category you are going to be in right in the beginning. You haven’t even yet tried to heal. You haven’t yet tried different things that might help you. So you have no point of reference and you certainly can’t make him any promises only three weeks after the affair was discovered. It seems to me that he is asking way too much way to soon. Yes, I am biased, but I think that most women would agree with me.

Of course, he doesn’t want to willingly understand this because he doesn’t think that it is in his best interest to do so. He wants to come home as soon as possible, so he is going to use whatever currency he thinks that he has. And he probably believes that what you want most is to know that it is over. If this arrangement is not acceptable to you, then you must tell him.

You might try: “I’m not comfortable with this. It would be rushing your homecoming by negotiating something that should happen anyway. But this I mean that in order to show good faith and a commitment to our marriage, you should break it off with her anyway. If you love me and are committed to our marriage, then I should not need to convince, shame, or negotiate you into breaking it off. As far as coming home, that should not happen until we are both comfortable with it and we have made significant progress. It has only been three weeks, so it is not even remotely possible that we could have made that much progress so soon. I need to see real progress and real good faith before I even consider your moving back in. Recovery after an affair is not a process that happens in three weeks. And you can’t pretend that it has just because you want to come home. Breaking it off is your decision. But I need you to make the right one regardless of your living status. I can’t even consider saving our marriage if she is still in the picture – no matter where you live.”

This should have to make things very clear to him. Any man who is serious about his marriage should not hesitate to break it off once he sees that you are not willing to negotiate. If he doesn’t, well then, that is a different type of information to tell you where his commitment currently lies.

Assuming that he does the right thing and breaks it off regardless, it is still your decision as to how you want to move forward.  No one should and can set your ideal time frame but YOU.  Don’t allow yourself to rush and be pressured by someone else’s agenda.  You did nothing wrong and you should certainly have the luxury of moving at your own pace without pressure.  Sometimes, after my own husband’s affair, I had to make these demands (quite forcefully sometimes.)  But I was determined to not be influenced by anything but my own wishes.  You can read more on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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