How To Get Your Husband Back When He Thinks He’s In Love With His Mistress?

Sometimes, I hear from wives who very much want to save their marriage and get their husband back after his affair – but there’s a problem.  Their husband thinks or believes that he’s “in love” with the other woman or mistress so, at least at this time, he’s not receptive to saving the marriage or coming back to the wife.

I get a lot of heartbreaking emails about this.  I often read comments like “My husband thinks the other woman walks on water.  He thinks she does no wrong.  He thinks she makes him feel “alive” and “whole” again.  He doesn’t care that she’s a low class person or is probably only after him for his money.  He just thinks she’s the most wonderful person in the world and that she’s his soul mate.  How in the world can I compete with that?  How in the world can I save my marriage and get my husband home to his kids when he thinks he’s found what he’s always been looking for in this woman?”

This is a very difficult situation.  Because when the husband is walking around in this fog of infatuation, there’s very little that you can do until he starts to come down to reality – but that can and does usually happen. And, there are things that you can do to move it along so that it happens more quickly.  I will discuss this more in the following article.

As Tempting As It Is, If You Point Out The Other Woman’s Flaws, You’ll Likely Only Make Him Defensive And Have Him Defending Her:  I know that it’s very tempting to point out how stupid your husband is being and what a deplorable tramp he’s carrying on with.  But if you do that now, you’re only alienating him from you and only making him take up for her – which brings them closer together.

I know it’s so hard to bite your tongue and to keep from pointing out how stupid he’s acting and what a huge mistake he is making.   But if you do this, you are likely make your situation worse.  And since it’s a safe bet you want him back, this isn’t what you want to do.

I’ve seen this situation play out time and time again.  And most of the time, if you wait, lurk in the shadows, and bide your time, you will be in the best position in the end.  Which leads me to my next point.

Know That Once The Affair Runs It’s Course, He Will Realize That Doesn’t Even Know This Women – Much Less Love Her:  I’ve never had an affair (although my husband did,) and I dialog with many men who have on my blog.   And here’s what they tell me about affairs.  In the beginning, they get so caught up in the excitement and the “newness” of it, that they aren’t really thinking.  They aren’t looking at it objectively or intellectually.

Eventually though, this “new” phase passes.  It’s inevitable.  And when it does, this is often when your husband takes a long, hard look at this other woman and realizes that he doesn’t really know her at all.  If this is true, how can he really love her?

Here’s another important point.  A relationship that is build on deception, lies, and dishonestly doesn’t really have much of a chance in the end.   She will eventually show her true colors and he will realize what a fool her has been.  When this happens, you want to have positioned yourself in the best way possible, which is why it’s important that you take the high road, even when it’s very difficult.

Putting Yourself In The Best Position Possible To Get Your Husband Back From The Mistress:  I know it’s very difficult to wait for all of her allure to wear off.  But it almost always does.  And if you are patient and build yourself up while you are waiting, you will be in the best position possible once their relationship starts to crumble.

So how do you handle yourself until then?  This is a delicate dance.  It really does depend on your husband’s attitude at the time, but I think it’s always a good idea to handle yourself with dignity and respect.  It should be clear that you aren’t going to compete with her or be involved in any love triangle.  When he decides who or what he wants, you will be willing to reconsider then -but not until then.

Women often ask me if they should attempt to have sex with their husband while he’s still with the mistress.  In other words, they want to know if they should try to lure him back or to get the husband to actually cheat on the mistress with the wife.  This can be a tough call too.

And I understand both lines of thinking on this.  You can feel that if you can get him intimate with you again, you will have a chance to get him back.  But if you allow him to have a relationship with both of you, then he really has no incentive to end the relationship with the mistress.

Now, if he’s beginning to come around and it’s clear he’s considering ending the relationship with the other woman, then you might have an argument.  But it’s ideally best to wait until it’s clear that he’s again committed to you and completely cutting off contact with her – although I know that this is easier said than done.

Throughout this process, I recommend doing everything in your power to restore your self esteem.  You never want to be in a position where you believe that’s she’s better than you in any way or has something that you do not.  Do whatever you need to do to feel confident, beautiful, and good about yourself because this really does matter.

The image that you project becomes the image that every one else believes.  If you feel badly about yourself, this will likely affect the way every one around you feels and views you.  If you are worried about your sexual confidence, there’s an ebook on the side of this blog that is quite good for that.

If it helps, you are welcome to read about how I got over my own husband’s affair.  It was a long hard journey, but frankly our marriage is better than ever now – and I don’t worry he will cheat again.  You can read that story on my blog at

My Husband Keeps Repeatedly Apologizing For His Affair. But I Don’t Want His Apologies. I Want This Never To Have Happened

By: Katie Lersch:  When you first find out that your spouse has been cheating on you, an apology is expected – to say the least.  But after a while, you can begin to grow tired of all of these apologies.  It can start to feel like the same old thing over and over again.  And you can start to realize that it is only words. And anyone can mutter words.  You can start to believe that your husband thinks that all he has to do is say that he is sorry and then you will just let him off the hook.  It’s an understatement to say that most wives feel that sorry just isn’t good enough.  In fact, sometimes apologies just become downright irritating.

A wife might explain: “some of my friends actually tell me that I am lucky that my husband is basically falling over himself to apologize to me again and again for cheating.  The first words out of his mouth when I caught him was ‘oh my God, I am so very sorry.  You will never know how sorry I am.’  Well, apparently he WANTS me to know how sorry he is because he tells me every single day. Multiple times.  Don’t get me wrong.  I am glad that he is sorry. And I am glad that he doesn’t hesitate to let me know.  I am even glad that he is thinking about this so often.  I don’t want him to get complacent.  I don’t want him to relax and think that he doesn’t have to be conscious of this.  But I get so sick of his whiny voice telling me that he’s sorry.  Because every time he repeats this over and over, I have to be reminded of this horrible thing that he did.  Why does he keep repeating himself? Frankly, I don’t want his sorrow.  I want for this never to have happened in the first place.  And I can thank him that this isn’t possible.”

I can tell you my theory on this.  And it’s only a theory.  Because I’m not a man who has cheated.  But I believe that they repeat this because they want to make absolutely sure that you believe that they are sincere in their remorse.  Also, they know that they can not change things.  They know that they can not erase the affair.  They can’t give you a reality in which this never happened.  So they think that they will give you what they can – their genuine sorrow.

Getting Real Action Instead Of Repetitive Words: I know that it can feel as if sorry just doesn’t cut it anymore.  And there is a level beyond sorry.  And that is action.  Yes, it’s good that your husband is sorry.  But words are only that.  And they mean nothing unless they lead to action.

I understand that you’re getting tired of the same, boring words.  And there is nothing wrong with trying to redirect your husband.  The next time he tries to apologize yet again, you might try something like: “I hear you.  I am glad that you are sorry and I appreciate that you want to tell me how you feel.  But I’m worried that we are going to get stuck on the ‘I’m sorry’ tract.  I want to move forward and we need more than words to do that.  Because words are a great start, but it is not words that are going to heal us.  I’d like for us to go to counseling or get some help that is going to guide us toward what we need to do in order to move past this.  Because what I really want is for it to eventually feel like this is in the past.  I know that we can’t turn back time so that this never happened.  But moving past it is the next best thing.  I don’t want to relive this every day.  But I don’t want to just forget about it either.  I want to heal it.”

Moving Apologies Toward The Bottom Line: With these words, you have taken the ‘I’m sorry”s a little bit further and you are closer to getting what you actually want.  I think that one of the major reasons that we get so frustrated with the apologies is that they do not really give us anything.  They’re nice, of course.  But they do nothing for our bottom line.  That is why it’s advisable to use them only as a stepping stone or a springboard toward the next step. As an added bonus, if he has way to channel his sorrow, he may not feel as compelled to keep repeating himself.

Right now, he’s likely desperately trying to express how he feels, but he’s not being very successful.  Because of this, he continues to try.  And as a result, the whole thing is repetitive.  Moving forward will take away some of this helplessness so that repeating himself won’t be as necessary.

I too got pretty tired of my husband’s apologies pretty quickly.  And looking back, if that was all I had, I am not sure we would still be married today.  We needed help and guidance about what to do with all of that sorrow. There’s more about the process on my blog at

My Husband Is Hot And Cold After He Cheated And Had An Affair. Why Is He Acting This Way?

By: Katie Lersch:  I often hear from wives who are very upset with their husband’s changing behaviors after his affair.  Often, he will be affectionate and sweet one day, only to be cold and distant the next.   I heard from a wife who said: “after my husband admitted to an affair, he started sobbing and told me that his biggest fear was losing me and the kids.  He begged me to give him a chance to make this up to me.  I was hesitant but I don’t want to lose my family either.  So I told him we would see what happened.  He agreed to go to counseling and we have been going weekly.  It helps a little but our biggest problem is that he is hot and then he’s cold.  One day he can’t show me enough  affection and attention and the next day, he is distant.  And when he is distant, this makes me wonder if he is thinking about the other woman or having doubts about me and our marriage.  When I ask him why he acts this way, he tells me that he is doing the best he can and that sometimes he gets down about his actions and what he has done to us but this doesn’t mean he doesn’t love me.  After I bring this to his attention, he will be attentive and loving again for a couple of days and then he’ll start creating distance and isolating himself again.  I’m just so discouraged by this because I don’t want to live the rest of my life with a husband who isn’t sure how he feels about me or our marriage.  Is this going to last forever?”

It often does not last forever.  And the reason for it doesn’t always mean that your husband lacks feelings for you.  I’ll discuss this more below.

Why Husbands Can Be Hot And Cold After The Infidelity:  Just for a second, I want for you to stop and take inventory of your feelings for the last couple of weeks.  Having been through this myself, I can tell you that I suspect there have been days when you’ve felt a little better and then there have likely been days where you have felt just horrible about your situation.  The same can be true for your husband.  He likely feels a good bit of guilt and shame for his actions.  This can cause him to isolate himself and brood.

And then perhaps something or someone (likely you) will lift his spirits a little bit and his negative feelings abate for a while.  And this is when you will see him being affectionate or “hot” toward you.   And then a little bit of self doubt will begin to creep in and thus you will see him begin to back off and go through his “cold” phase.  As frustrating as this can be, it can be normal.  But that doesn’t mean that it’s conducive to your recovery, which is why communication is so important, which leads me to my next point.

How To Handle It When Your Husband Has Swinging Emotions After An Affair:  There’s no reason to suffer in silence.  You can address this without being critical and without making things worse.  Don’t be surprised, however, if your husband responds that you too change your emotions quite often.  The next time you notice him cooling off, you might say something like: “I can’t help but notice that your behavior today is different than yesterday when you were very affectionate.  It makes me feel reassured when you show me affection because it tells me that you are still attracted and committed to me.  It makes me feel as if our marriage is worth fighting for.  But then you cool off and you seem as if you don’t want anything to do with me.  This makes me wonder if you are having second thoughts about us and that really hurts.  It would help if you could communicate how you feel when you isolate yourself.  I understand that we both have bad days when we’re trying to get through this.  But there are bad days, I still need your reassurance because if I begin to think that you aren’t really attracted or committed to me, then we’re going to struggle. Can I ask you to just stay connected when you feel the need to go inward?”

Hopefully, you can see that this script encourages you to ask for what you want and need, but it’s careful not be judgmental or accusatory.  You’re trying to find some common ground and you’re admitting that you’re having your own struggles so you understand that there are going to be some difficult days.  However, communicating and continuing to check in and attempt to connect with one another even when those doubts set in can make all of the difference.  Simply saying “honey, I’m having a hard time today.  Can we maybe go for a walk to just wind down before dinner?” can make a huge difference with how you perceive things.  Because if you can just touch base during the difficult days, misunderstandings are much less likely to happen and you will then be able to pick up when you’re both feeling a little better.  Over time, as you begin to heal, there should be many more “hot” days and many less “cold” days.

My husband and I both went through our emotional ups and downs when we were trying to recover from his affair.  Sometimes, when one of us would retreat the other would make assumptions that just weren’t true.  That’s why it’s so important to keep communicating.  Over time, as healing became more complete, the ups and downs diminished.  Today, there are many ups and very few downs.  If it helps you can read the story of our recovery on my blog at

Things Were Initially Relatively Great After The Affair, But Now We Are Fighting

By: Katie Lersch:  Although there is a perception that a marriage can completely fall apart immediately after an affair is discovered, this is not always the case.  Sometimes, the cheating spouse is so overcome with guilt, emotion and remorse, that the faithful spouse just can not help but feel a little empathy.  It can be overwhelming to see your spouse on their knees, crying, and begging for your forgiveness. And so sometimes, you don’t become as angry as you might have otherwise assumed.

Sometimes, couples take on an “us versus them” mentality and they actually band together quite quickly.  This can be surprising and it can feel like a relief.  But unfortunately, it does not always last.  Sometimes, these early days of cooperation can give the couple a bit of a false sense of security.  They can think that everything is humming along nicely when all of a sudden they begin fighting and they aren’t quite sure why.

A wife might say: “I know that this is going to sound weird.  But when my husband began crying and confessed that he had been cheating, I kind of understood it.  I was very disappointed and I was sad.  But I could also tell how sorry he was. He cheated with his home-health nurse.  He’s been very ill and under a lot of stress.  I like this woman.  She was there for him every day. And she is very compassionate.  I honestly see how it could have happened.  When my husband confessed, everything that he had been holding back about his illness came spilling out.  He told me how hard his illness was and how hard it was for him to appear vulnerable and weak around me.  He told me that he honestly doesn’t know what he will do if I abandon him and he cried and cried about how much he loved me.  He had already arranged a new nurse – even though the old one was really quite competent.  I don’t want to say that I just let my husband get away with this.  I was angry at him.  But I could not help but feel some compassion. I understand why he’s hurting so badly and how things would progress between them as caregiver and patient.  So honestly, we did pretty well in the months after the affair.  I took on more of a caregiving role and we talked like we hadn’t in years.  My husband shared more with me – which we needed.  But for the last several weeks, we have been fighting.  Everything he does annoys me.  And when I begin to get frustrated, he gets sarcastic.  Honestly, he is doing better physically.  So things should be improving.  This is what we’ve been waiting for.  But now we’re fighting and I feel like we are regressing.  Why?”

Unexpressed Feelings Generally Have A Way Of Coming Out: I am not a therapist, but I think that I can suggest some possibilities.  I think that it’s possible that you held back on your anger in the beginning because you were touched by your husband’s vulnerability and did not want to add to his burden when he was ill.  Plus, you likely knew that he was genuinely remorseful and may not have ever cheated had he not had the stressor of being sick.  This is understandable.

But none of this means that, although you may understand WHY it happened, that you are not angry or disappointed that it DID happen.  Regardless of your understanding or intention, it is just human nature to experience feelings of anger and disappointment as you begin to process the fact that your husband truly did have an intimate relationship with someone else.  No matter how understanding or progressive you are, this hurts.  And it can make you angry.  And that anger is going to eventually manifest itself somewhere.

Plus, even though your husband allowed himself to be vulnerable and is feeling better, it still weighs on you to deal with a chronic illness.  It takes some time before you are yourself again.  And the issues that may have lead to the affair may still remain – at least somewhat.

Getting Help For The Last Bit Of Healing: I applaud you for hanging in there and for standing by him.  But I think that you probably deserve some help to fully heal.  No one can be expected to just carry on as if nothing happened.  Getting professional (or even self help) is always a good idea.  It’s very difficult to heal without at least some direction and guidance simply because you are too close to this.  You can not be objective.  And very few of us are marital or infidelity experts. Most of us would never try to fix our own car.  Most of us don’t know how and too much is at stake. But we think nothing of trying to fix our marriage (even though we still don’t know how and there is still so much at stake.)

Getting help doesn’t mean that you don’t love your husband or that you are failing. It just means that you realize that you deserve the best marriage that you can put together.  Even if you don’t like the idea of counseling, self help is readily available.

I understand wanting to keep things private, trying to fix this alone, or just hoping that time will heal the wounds. I tried that initially also.  But ultimately, I wasn’t happy with the progress that we were making.  And making healing my biggest priority was one of the best decisions I ever made.  Because now I have a marriage that is closer to the one I wanted. There’s more about this on my blog at

My Husband Chose Me Over The Other Woman. So Why Don’t I Feel Like I’ve Won?

by: katie lersch:  I often hear from wives whose main goal for the short term is getting their husband away from the woman that he is cheating or having an affair with. Many give their husband’s ultimatums and flat out tell him that he has to make a choice between his wife and the other woman because he can’t have them both.  Some husbands make this decision very quickly and others can’t seem to decide.  Some tell their wives that he has chosen her only to be caught with the other woman once again.

Many wives hope that once their husband decides to choose them over the other woman, the path to healing and saving the marriage will be immediate. But unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.  I recently heard from a wife who was confused as to why this felt like a hollow victory.  She said, in part: “when I found out about my husband’s affair, I suspected that he would immediately break it off with the other woman, but that didn’t happen.  Instead, he said that although he loved me and didn’t want to end our marriage, he wasn’t sure who or what he wanted.  I told him he had to choose.  Well, this decision seemed to take a very long time. He went back and forth and even moved out for a while.  Just recently, he called and told me that he chose me and our marriage and asked if he could return home.  I allowed him to do this because I was initially ecstatic that he chose me and assumed that this would be over and we could move on.  However, now that he’s home, it’s clear that this is almost a hollow victory.  It’s pretty obvious that he’s not happy and neither am I.  He’s always just sulking around the house and I feel a lot of pent up resentment.  I thought his making a choice would make things better.  And, although I’m confident that the other woman is out of our lives and that he’ll make good on his promise not to see or contact her, it feels like she’s still here in the middle of us and our marriage.  She may not be with him anymore, but it seems that she’s still on his mind or in his heart because he’s clearly not fully present here.  This just isn’t what I expected.  I thought I would be thrilled that I finally won and got him back, but it almost feels like I’ve still lost him anyway.  What can I do to make this right so that we can get on track with our marriage?”

The wife’s sentiments are so common.  It’s not unusual to become so fixated on getting our husbands away from the other woman.  We begin to think that once we get him to chose us, our work is going to be done.  Once he chooses us, we’ll have her out of our lives once and for all and this nightmare will be over.  But, what we often don’t realize is that even once she’s physically gone, her presence can be felt for a long time afterward until we deliberately place the healing into motion.

In My Opinion, True Victory Doesn’t Take Place Until You Feel Whole And Complete Again: Many women echo this wife’s concerns.  It’s so common to hope that once this other woman is out of the picture, our struggles will be over.  But frankly, sometimes the struggles truly are just beginning.  Yes, healing your marriage (and yourself) is often  very difficult or next to impossible with her still in the picture.  But, once she’s gone, that’s when you have to begin to truly pick up the pieces.  And even if she’s no longer there physically, her presence can often be felt mentally and psychologically for a long while after the affair is over.

However, this doesn’t mean that you should be discouraged or allow your frustration to halt your progress.  Understand that true healing and feeling whole once again isn’t going to happen overnight.  Eliminating her from the picture is necessary and it’s a huge step toward recovery.  But, understand that getting her out of the picture only means that you won’t have to contend with her anymore. It doesn’t mean that you’ve done anything to improve yourself, your marriage, or the after math of what’s happened.

I know from experience, that you often won’t feel like you’ve really won or recovered until you are at peace and happy again.  Because if you get your husband to chose you over her but then do nothing to ensure the healing and recovery or yourself and your marriage, then you are still likely to walk around wounded, hurt, and unsure.  This can leave you feeling as if she’s still a ghost in your marriage and your life.

In order to really rid her from your life and your mind, you have to make sure that recovery is so complete that there’s no longer any room for her.  If you can rebuild to the point where you are once again happy, confident and fulfilled, it’s only then that you will have the confidence to realize that not only is she no longer a problem or source of pain for you, but that she was never solely the problem to begin with.

Understand That The Other Woman Is Often Just A Symptom Or What’s Wrong. So Eliminating Her Without Also Addressing The Other Issues Can Still Leave You Feeling Empty And Unsure: When the other woman is a huge presence in our lives, we often convince ourselves that if we can just convince our husbands to chose us over her (so that we can get her out of the picture) then everything is going to be all right once again.

But we often don’t realize is that she’s not the entire problem.  She’s often a symptom of what was wrong either with our husband (a lack of self esteem, a time of personal crisis, etc.) or with our marriage.  So just removing her from the picture doesn’t change those things that brought about the symptom in the first place.  In order to truly heal and to feel confident that she (and her aftermath) are gone from our lives and are no longer a threat to us, we’ll often need to remove those things that contributed to her coming into our lives in the first place.

There often isn’t a quick fix for this.  Recovery after infidelity is often a detailed process that requires a lot of work both individually and as a couple.  But the good news is that couples who are really committed to truly rebuilding their marriages are often rewarded with a relationship that is better than ever and the confidence to know that the other woman (and others like her) are something that they aren’t going to have to worry about in the future.

Surviving The Affair is a blog I put together to share my story. I know that this is a very difficult time, and that recovery can be elusive, but working through it can truly be worth the effort. 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. If it helps, you can check it out at

My Husband’s Mother And Children Say They Don’t Blame Him At All For Cheating On Me

By: Katie Lersch:  When you find out that your husband has been cheating on you, frankly, you can use all of the support that you can get.  I don’t always think it’s a great idea to tell a bunch of people about the affair, but it’s natural to want people to be outraged and angry on your behalf.

However, when the very people who you’d normally turn to for support turn against you, it hurts. And it can leave you wondering if this whole thing is your fault after all. A wife might admit: “I am stunned that my husband’s family are not only not angry with him for cheating on me, they act as if I almost deserved it.  Now, I admit that I am the one who brought it up at a family dinner.  And that was bad timing and inappropriate of me.  I knew that I was too upset to get through the dinner as though nothing happened, so I really should have canceled.  But I didn’t.  And I just blurted everything out.  My husband’s daughter responded by saying: ‘well, cheating is never a great thing to do to someone, but I can understand why he did it.  You aren’t good to him, you’re downright mean to him sometimes.  And a person can only take so much.’  Then his mother piped in with: ‘you really do not bring much to the table and you bring him down.   You can’t blame him for turning elsewhere.’  I honestly did not know what to say, so I left the table before I said something that I would regret.  I admit that I am not always a joy to be around lately.  I have been struggling emotionally and sometimes, I do lash out at my husband. I know that I do this out of insecurity, because I am afraid to lose him.  But I never thought that he would cheat on me.  He’s saying that we can work it out and that he hopes I can get help for my abrasive attitude.  I told him that I was willing to do this, but the comments by his family have given me pause.  I find myself wondering if everyone feels this way about me.  (And whether my husband shares their feelings.) Then I think that if we do manage to fix our marriage, will I always have to deal with his family members’ smug looks and comments?  It seems that I am in a no win situation. And it hurts.  I feel doubly wounded.”

I’m sorry that this has happened to you.  I know that this is hurtful and this sort of situation is a major reason that I don’t advocate inviting other people to give their opinions.  Sometimes, people don’t think before they speak.  Although the comments were very hurtful, you have to keep things in perspective.  And you have to ask yourself how much this all really matters.

Because what makes up the bottom line in regards to your own marriage really is the opinions of two people – yourself and your husband.  The rest of the world does not matter in the end.  And this is not the rest of the world’s business.

If you and your husband both want to save your marriage, then what is most important is taking an honest look at yourself and your marriage and fixing what are legitimate complaints.  You can ask yourself if what they are saying has any truth and then you can make the choice to move on.

Because if you indeed need to change some things about how you treat your husband, well then that’s a vital thing to know.  Nothing says you can’t use this to your advantage and make those changes, but beyond that, your husband’s family do not get a say regarding his marriage.

I know that it’s tempting to look at their opinions and to think that because of people’s perceptions about you, then your marriage doesn’t stand a chance.  Never forget that people have their own agendas and sometimes, when they say hurtful things, this has as much to do with them than it does to do with you.  Perhaps your husband’s daughter still wants her parents together. Perhaps his mother prefers his first wife.  There could be reasons (other than you or your marriage) for these mean comments.

And in the end, so long as your husband becomes happy with his marriage to you, it doesn’t make a hill of beans what other people think.  So as hard as it may be, you truly have to edit out the opinions of others.  What they say or think does not matter.  Take whatever validity their words may have and leave the rest behind.

Going forward, you may have to lay out new boundaries.  If you want to do this you could try: “well I hear and appreciate your opinions, but my marriage is really my own concern and no one else’s.  I’m happy to discuss other things with you, but moving forward, my marriage is not going to be a topic of conversation and it’s going to be off limits.  We’re all too close to it to be objective and we will have to find other things to discuss that are not so hurtful and personal.”

If you think it would be more effective for your husband to have this conversation with them, then ask him to do it.  But don’t spend too much time dwelling on them.  It’s not worth it.  And your attention should be turned toward your husband and your marriage, if your goal is to save it moving forward.

I made the mistake of confiding in a few people who just could not keep their opinions to themselves after my husband’s affair.  It hurt and it slowed my progress because it made me doubt myself.  For a while, I had to limit my contact with these hurtful people until I gained a little more confidence.  I decided not to give them anymore power over me and I’ve never regretted that. You can read more about how I handled things like this on my blog at

What Are The Long Term Effects Of An Affair?

By: Katie Lersch: Sometimes, when your spouse is having an affair, it’s very difficult to think beyond tomorrow – much less well into the future. But once the shock wears off and the dust settles, many faithful spouses realize that this is exactly what they have to do. Because, in order to make a sound decision about the course of your marriage, it makes sense to consider what your marriage might look (and feel like) into the future. But this is often difficult to gage and it’s a topic that you know is so important that you don’t want to just guess at it.

I might hear from a wife who says: “my husband is begging me not to leave him because of his affair. I have agreed to wait a couple of months before I make a decision. But sometimes, I regret making this promise. I truly would like to save my marriage, but I’m not going to be naive about it either. My husband likes to pretend that we can just pick up our marriage like the affair never happened. I know that this is very short sighted. I know that this isn’t reality. I have had friends who have dealt with the reality of an affair and it seems to me that almost all of them continue to struggle, long after the affair is over. I’m just wanting to understand what are the long term effects of an affair on a marriage? What does our long term future look like?”

This is a very difficult question to answer. Because honestly, the answers depend upon several variables like the depth of the deception, the length of the affair, the state of the couple’s marriage after the affair, and the amount of work done during recovery.

The Long Terms Effects Of An Affair Can Be Both Positive And Negative.  But The Marriage Is Rarely Completely Unchanged: While the truth is that it’s very likely that you are not going to have the same marriage after the affair, what is often up in the air is whether this will weaken or strengthen your marriage. To be fair, I’m going to list common negative and positive long term effects after an affair because I feel like both are completely possible. Honestly, the course that you end up on is, at least in some ways, up to you and your spouse and how much work and effort you’re willing to undertake.

Some people don’t believe their spouse deserves their efforts and this is a fair argument. I understand it. I’m not trying to tell you what you should do. I’d just like to give you a glimpse into possible outcomes, keeping in mind that all couples are different.

Negative Long Term Effects Of An Affair: I would say that most every couple knows those neighbors or mutual friends who have a marriage that is rocked by an affair but who never truly recovers. Although this couple stays together, it’s often clear that they are doing so reluctantly and that there is still a good deal of anger present. There can also be resentment by both parties. The faithful spouse has resentment for obvious reasons. She has been wronged. But the cheating spouse can feel resentful too. Because he can feel as if he’s going to have to pay for this mistake forever. And he can feel as if his spouse wants to make him grovel for the rest of his life, no matter how remorseful he is and no matter how much he tries to make amends.

In short, this couple is beaten down. Both of the are well aware that this isn’t a great marriage and that neither one is happy or at peace. But, they just accept this as their lot in life. Often, they really do not want to live this way. They would like for things to be better. But they just do not know how to cross over toward healing. And so they feel stuck, frustrated, and a little bit angry most of the time. At the same time, they don’t want to let their spouse off of the hook by just walking away.

Positive Long Term Effects Of An Affair: I hope that the above couple of paragraphs weren’t too depressing. There is some good news. First, couples like the ones described above don’t have to live this way forever. You can always chose a new way. You can always begin to heal even when you think it has been way too long.

And, some couples actually find themselves in better marriages than before the affair. I know that this is hard to believe. When a therapist told me this, I thought she was only trying to sell her services to us, at one of the most awful times in our marriage. But, with time, I can tell you that this is true. I’ve seen it in my own life and in the life of others. It is not easy. It is not automatic. And it’s also not constant. There are ups and downs. I’m not going to tell you that every day in my marriage is rosy and that I never think about the affair because that wouldn’t be true.

But I can tell you that bad days are mostly rare. In fact, our communication today is actually stronger than it ever was. We speak up if there is something wrong because we know what can happen when we become complacent. I have also made big changes in myself and in the way that I look at marriage and all relationships.  My relationship with my husband is something I chose. It is not something that I depend on to define myself. Never again will I depend on someone else for my own happiness and self esteem. I trust my husband. I do not believe that he will cheat again. But if he does, it’s not going to make me think less of myself. I spent a lot of time building myself up and becoming the type of person that I want to be. In part because of the affair, I have learned that all I can really control is myself and the way that I live my life. This has changed my outlook on control. I used to want to control my husband, keep him on a short leash, and make him feel guilty if he disappointed me. Now, I realize that this is manipulation based on fear. And it’s not the way that I want to live my life. I can be responsible for my own happiness. And in turn, this has opened up our relationship so that we feel much less pressure. We know that we are both here because we want to be. And this really has transformed our relationship.

I hope this article has shown you that there are almost always long term consequences of an affair. Your marriage is rarely unchanged. But those changes can be positive and negative.If it helps, you can read more on my blog at

He Ended The Affair Once I Filed For Divorce. Now I Feel Like It’s Not Only Ironic, But It Might Be Too Late

By: Katie Lersch: When you find out that your husband has been cheating, your first agenda is usually to make sure that it is over. Most wives realize that before they can even give their marriage (or what is to become of it) any real thought, they have to know that the other woman is completely out of their husband’s life.

If this isn’t the case or if the husband isn’t willing to end the affair, this greatly complicates matters. It can be quite a challenge to save your marriage when the affair is very obviously over and both people are working very hard to save it.  But when the opposite is true, it is even more difficult.

So when your husband won’t end the affair at once, it’s natural to think that your marriage might be over. And some wives act on this and file for divorce. Of course, a great irony is when the wife files and then all of a sudden her husband ends the affair. Some wives will think that this is too little too late. And others will wonder where to go from here.

Here’s a classic example. A wife might say: “when I found out about my husband’s affair, his first words to me were ‘please don’t break up our family over this.’ And my first words were: ‘you need to end it right now.’ Because he seemed to want to keep our family in tact, I assumed that he would have no problems breaking it off. But he kept telling me that he needed just a little more time. Weeks went by and he was still in contact with her, although he swore that he wasn’t physically seeing her. I kept asking him when it was going to be over for good and he kept up his old ‘I need more time’ plea. I got sick of this and I filed for divorce. The day after I filed, I was astounded to get a call for the other woman. She was very angry. She sarcastically said she wanted to thank me for taking away the one man she has ever loved. I told her that I didn’t take anything away from her, that I was divorcing my husband, and that she was welcome to him. She told me that he wouldn’t have anything to do with her now because after my husband saw that I’d filed, he realized that he needed to do whatever he could to get me back. I am torn about this. I wanted him to end it so badly weeks ago and he would not. Now I worry that it is just too late. I have too much anger. I didn’t necessarily want to file for divorce. But I feel like he gave me no choice. And I’m not sure that I could ever be open to him or my marriage after this. His not breaking it off right away was very telling. It makes me think that he didn’t prioritize me enough. Some of my friends say that I might regret it if I don’t see if we can’t work it out before I move forward with the divorce. I don’t know about this. I would have wanted it to work a couple of weeks ago, but now I do not know if I can put aside my anger. What should I do?”

I can not answer that question for you. Only you can do that. I can tell you that I do regret some of the decisions that I made in anger after my husband’s affair. Many of them were harsh, cruel, and very different from the way that I normally like to handle things.

That said, no one could blame you for divorcing a spouse who has cheated on you. In fact, I feel that you have every right to make this decision based on how YOU feel without worrying about every one else’s opinions. But I would want to be sure that you’ve given yourself enough time to evaluate your true feelings. And it is possible that your true feelings were clouded by the rejection you felt with him not breaking it off. It’s possible that your decision might have been different if you did not feel rejected.

Should this matter? Only you can decide. I’m certainly not an attorney and I can’t give you legal advice. But a suggestion might be asking your attorney if you can pause the divorce while not retracting all of your paperwork. You don’t even need to tell your husband that you are doing this if you don’t want to. But this would buy some more time to evaluate your feelings so that you don’t feel like you’re rushing what is a very important decision.

I’d also suggest counseling. You could go alone if you’re not ready to go with your husband. But the counselor could probably give you insight and support you in making this decision. If you ultimately do decide to divorce, the counselor could help you to make sure that it’s a healthy one.

This way, you will know that you didn’t make a rash decision based on anger or feeling rejected. You will know that you sought a professional opinion when so much was at stake. And, if you ultimately do pursue a divorce, you can do so with a clear conscience. Likewise if you do end up saving your marriage, you will feel relief that you didn’t rush. Either way, you might feel more peace by giving this very careful consideration and time.

Divorce did cross my mind after my husband’s affair.  Ultimately, my kids meant that I needed to make a very careful decision.  Because our marriage recovered and we are happy today, I’m very glad that I didn’t divorce.  But that decision is not going to be right for every wife.  You have to decide what is best for you.  It is no one else’s decision.  You can read more about my own journey at at

My Husband Can’t Even Look at Me After He Cheated And Had An Affair: Tips And Advice That Might Help

By: Katie Lersch: I often hear from wives who indicate that their husband is having a lot of trouble facing them after he has been caught cheating or having an affair. Often, he’s either ashamed, embarrassed, nervous, awkward, humiliated or a combination of all of these things. So, it can be quite difficult to deal with him in the aftermath of the affair, much less to improve your issues or to save your marriage.

I recently heard from a wife who said: “my husband did not admit his affair to me. I actually told him of my suspicions very frankly and he denied them with everything he had. In fact, he acted injured, as if he were appalled that I would suspect or accuse him of such a thing. Still, something was telling me that things weren’t right. I still suspected that he was cheated on me. So I hired a private investigator to follow him. And sure enough, the investigator quickly caught him cheating. Once I was told where he was, I waited for him and confronted him as soon as he emerged with the other woman. Needless to say, I made quite a scene. I know that my husband was very embarrassed but he completely deserved it. Since that time, I have told him what a liar I think he is. Still, there’s a small part of me deep down inside that doesn’t want to let go of my marriage. I expected my husband to immediately apologize and beg for my forgiveness but he has not done that. Instead, he can’t even look at me in the eyes now. He avoids me. He cuts me off when I try to talk. He basically makes it clear he’s not going to talk about the affair. How can we even begin to heal when he acts like this? And why is he acting this way in the first place?” I will try to answer these questions in the following article.

Sometimes, Your Husband Can’t Look At You After The Affair Because He Is Embarrassed, Ashamed, Or Is Unsure Of What To Do Or Say: I didn’t have the opportunity to talk to the husband in this scenario. But I’ve corresponded with many men in this situation on my blog. Many will tell you that they are embarrassed and ashamed. They will also tell you that they do not know what is the right thing to do or say and they are scared of their wife’s reaction. In this particular scenario, the husband was probably even more humiliated by his own behavior because he so adamantly denied the affair in the first place.

This alone can make it quite difficult to look someone in the eye. It’s important for the wives in this situation to remember that they have not done anything wrong. He is the one who is wrong and frankly, his reluctance to face you and make full eye contact is a good indication that he is fully aware of this.

His Inability To Look You In The Eye Can Be An Indication Of Guilt Or Remorse, Which Can Be A Positive Sign: Frankly, the fact that your husband can’t look at your face or make full eye contact can sometimes be a good sign. Men who are indignant and deny any wrong doing or who blame their wives for their actions are more likely to repeat those actions because they almost feel justified in their cheating.

Conversely, a man who is so ashamed or uncomfortable that he can’t look you in the eye may well be having the difficulties that he is because he knows how gravely he has messed things up. He is having the strong reaction that he is because he is very well aware of how huge of a mistake he has made. And, this makes him more likely to not want to repeat the same actions because he does not want to feel this way ever again.

How To Handle It When Your Husband Won’t Look You In The Eye After His Affair: Although there can be valid reasons why your husband is having a hard time facing you, it can be very frustrating and it can delay your healing if in fact you have some interest in saving your marriage. So you might want to address this the next time that it happens. A suggested script might be something like “could you please look at me when we’re talking? We’re not going to make any progress if you won’t even meet my gaze. I know that is uncomfortable for both of us, but in order for us to move forward we are going to need to be able to communicate and this includes making eye contact with each other. I know this is awkward, but if you care about me and our marriage, I need for you to do better. And you can start by looking at me when I am talking to you.”

Hopefully, as be begins to see that making eye contact can actually be the start to improving things and that he needs to take responsibility for what he had done and be man enough to handle the fall out of his own actions, you will see some improvements. And some eye contact.

My own husband had difficulty with eye contact after the affair, but once I made it clear that it was absolutely necessary to me, he came around and things began to improve. We actually did save our marriage and it is very strong today. If it helps, you can read the whole story of how I survived the affair on my blog at

Why Men Lie About The Affair When They’re Trying To Repair Their Marriage

by: katie lersch: Many women who are dealing with a husband’s affair will tell you that the lying is one of the biggest issues to overcome. Processing the lies that he told you while the affair was going on can be extremely difficult. But dealing with his continued lies when the affair is out in the open can be even worse. I recently heard from a wife who was struggling with this issue.

She said, in part: “I’ve made it very clear to my husband that I won’t accept one more lie from him.  I have repeatedly told him that he needs to tell me the whole truth about the affair from this moment forward if he’s ever going to have the slightest chance of me ever trusting or believing in him again.   But I have found out that he is continuing to lie to me.  He’s leaving things out and he’s trying to make things sound more innocent than they actually were.  Why is he doing this?  Does he not intend to tell me the truth? Does he think I’m stupid? Does he think I’m not serious about demanding nothing but complete honesty from this day forward?  My sister says he’s just trying to tell me what I want to hear, but this isn’t what I want from him.  I want brutal honesty and I can’t understand why he won’t give this to me.  Why do men lie about the affair when they’re trying to repair their marriage?  Don’t they know that lying is what got them into this mess in the first place?”

Reasons Men Continue To Lie After An Affair: These are all extremely good questions.  I’m not a man who has had an affair so my answers will be based on my own experience with this topic, on research and on the interactions that I have with men on my infidelity blog.   Very often,  these men will tell you that they aren’t lying to be malicious.  In their own minds, they think that they are sparing you some pain and they are trying to set things up so that repairing the marriage becomes more likely.  They worry that you’re just saying that you want to know every thing and that the second they give you what you supposedly want,  you’re going to use this information against them or will become even more angry.  In short, they are reluctant to make things worse.  Many men will tell the truth on the issues that they thing are the least damaging.  And they will stretch the truth or lie on the things that are likely to get you the most upset or hurt you the most.

I’m not defending these men or insinuating that they have legitimate reasons for their lies.  I’m telling you this to give you some perspective on why they might still be unwilling to tell you the whole truth.  Sometimes, you have to understand the context in which the lies are told.  In their minds, when they lied during the affair, they were deceiving you, but when they are lying now, they are trying to protect you.

What Should You Do When Your Husband Continues To Lie About The Affair When You’re Trying To Save Your Marriage?: Many women in this situation don’t really care why their husband continues to lie.  They just want him to tell the truth.  And they want to know how to accomplish this when he’s apparently too scared or too unwilling to start telling the whole truth.  As tempting and as deserved as it may be, sometimes the worst thing that you can do is to become angry, lose control, or make threats.

This is likely to make your husband defensive.  And your anger may well reinforce his fear that no matter what he does, you’re going to remain angry so it’s better to just keep quiet.   So one thing that you must overcome is his belief that he just can’t win.  It can help to ask yourself what you absolutely have to know and to then focus on those things in the beginning.  Sometimes, you will get better results if you allow him to tell you things gradually so that things don’t get too overwhelming for either of you.

And as he begins to see that it’s “safe” to tell you the truth and believes that you are being truthful when you say that things will be better for him when he’s brutally honest, then he will be more likely to do just that.  (When you’re insisting that your husband be totally honest, make sure that you are prepared  to hear this truth.  It’s very common for us wives to say that we want to know everything, only to become enraged or resistant when we do hear the very thing we’ve asked for.)  I’m not saying that he doesn’t deserve your anger.  But I am saying that you have to understand that your anger is the last thing that he wants when he’s trying to repair your marriage. And you’re asking him to do something that he knows is going to further jeopardize his marriage.

So, my suggestion is always to start small and gradually.  Sometimes this means delaying the things that you know are going to cause the biggest problems.  You might start by requesting the truth about the smaller issues.  And once he complies, you then try your best to respond to them as best as you can so that eventually he will feel safe being honest about the bigger things.   Because his knowing that transparency is what you really want and need will go a long way towards his being willing to do what you have asked.

He has to understand that his honesty is one of the components necessary to repair his marriage.  That way, if he truly is serious about saving the marriage, he will eventually begin to lie less and less.  And when you catch him lying, rather than blowing up or making threats, you might reply with something like: “we both know that you are not telling me the truth.  I have to stress to you that I need complete honesty in order to feel safe repairing our marriage.  Trust is a big issue for us right now and honesty is necessary for this trust.  Can you rethink your response?  I understand that you don’t want to make things worse, but I’d rather deal with the difficult issues than continue to wonder if I can believe or trust you.”

He may not immediately come forward with the whole truth.  But hopefully gradually as he begins to believe that it’s safe to begin to tell you things about which he was unsure, you should see some improvements in his level of honesty.

I hope you don’t think I’m defending husband who have affairs.  I’m not.  I have gone through this myself and I know how difficult it is.  But I also know that it’s possible to get through it.  My marriage is actually better today after my husband’s affair.  It took a lot of work and we had to work a lot on honesty.  But it was worth it in the end.  If it helps, you can read more about how was able to move on at my blog at

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