Why Would My Cheating Husband Want To Stay With Me?

By: Katie Lersch: I sometimes hear from wives who doubt the sincerity of what their husband is saying after he cheated or had an affair. This can especially be true when the husband is insisting that he wants to stay in or save the marriage when his previous actions have completely contradicted his claims. The wife can wonder if he is really sincere or has an ulterior motive.

I recently heard from a wife who said: “my husband accidentally left his email open a couple of weeks ago and I read some emails that made it obvious that he had been cheating on me. When I confronted him, he immediately admitted it and then said that he was going to break it off on his own. But, a couple of weeks later, I logged on again and there were more emails showing that he had lied and was continuing on with his cheating. Of course, I confronted him again and he was overcome with emotion and begged me to go to counseling with him because he said he could not stand to lose me. At this point I do not know how to respond. What is the point? Why would my cheating husband even want to stay with me and stay married? I mean, if he’s so unhappy that he is going behind my back and cheating, then what kind of marriage do we have anyway? He obviously doesn’t love me or he would not have cheated. He clearly doesn’t value our marriage or have the personality to be truthful and faithful, so why even bother with all of this pretense. Part of me wants to try the counseling but the other part of me wonders why a man would even want to stay with a wife that he needs to cheat on anyway.”

I can certainly understand this wife’s reservations. She had caught him cheating twice now so his actions and his words were definitely contradictory. But this wife was operating under the assumptions that many wives embrace. They think that a husband who loves his wife and values his marriage does not cheat. And along these same lines, they think that a man who cheats no longer wants his wife or his marriage. I can tell you from all of the emails that I get on my blog from married men who regret cheating that this is not always the case. I will explain this more below.

Many Husbands Who Cheat Can Still Love Their Wives And Want To Stay Married: I understand why many people think that cheating husbands have already drawn a line in the sand and have chosen to leave their marriage. The men that I hear from contradict this assumption on almost every level though.  Many of them still love their wives very much. In fact, many will put all of the blame on themselves and will tell you that the problem lies with them and not with their marriage or with their wife.  And because of this, they reason, there is no need to abandon the marriage because of their poor judgment.

Countless marriage survive cheating and affairs. And frankly if those same couples were not completely committed to their marriage, they probably would not make it. The process of healing after an affair is often not at all pleasant. In fact it can be downright painful. People who don’t truly love their spouses are not as likely to stick it out. The fact that your husband is willing to stick it out may well say something about him and about his feelings for you.

Some Reasons That Cheating Husbands Want To Stay With Their Wives And Remain In Their Marriages: The biggest reason is that they realize that they have made a mistake and they are hoping that they can find a way to ensure that the mistake is not a permanent one. Once they are faced with the risk of loosing their wife and their family, they realize how awful this would be. They become more protective of and appreciative toward their marriage and their wife. I completely understand the wife having doubts. You would worry about her if she didn’t.

And, I always advocate that wives watch their husbands very carefully while he is trying to prove his love for and his commitment to them and the marriage after he cheated. But to just assume that the cheating means he doesn’t love or want his wife can be the wrong call too.

Many Wives Think Their Cheating Husband Wants To Stay With Them For These Reasons: Many wives who doubt that their husband really wants to stay married will tell you that he’s probably staying out of loyalty or because he doesn’t want to lose money or financial possessions thorough a divorce. And many wives will tell you that he is afraid of losing his children or of what society will think of him. These are all valid concerns. But I have to tell you that I rarely hear men admit to these reasons. That might be because my articles are focused on rehabilitation and saving your marriage, but I rarely have a cheating husband tell me “I don’t really want to stay married and I’m only staying out of a sense of obligation.”

The bottom line to me is that your husband may well give you every reason under the sun as to why he wants to save your marriage. You may be very tempted to discount each and every one of them as lies. But before you do, consider watching his actions for a while before you make a decision. He can say whatever he wants and make all types of claims. But it is his actions that will tell you the truth. In this case, the wife should look for follow through and transparency. The husband should offer open access to his email and he should follow through on counseling and show with his behaviors that his wife is his top priority. If he did these things for long enough, then perhaps the wife would be justified in believing that he was sincere in wanting to stay with her and in the marriage after his cheating.

It took me a long time to believe that my husband really wanted to stay with me after his cheating.  But not only did our marriage survive, it eventually thrived.  But it took a lot of work.  If it helps, you can read that very personal story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

What Should A Husband Do To Prove That The Affair Is Over?

By: Katie Lersch:  I sometimes hear from couples who are dealing with remaining suspicions about an affair.  Sometimes I hear from husbands who are having a hard time convincing their wives that the affair is over.  From them, I often hear comments like: “I swear the affair is over.  But no matter what I do or say, my wife thinks I’m lying to her. She seems to think that I’m only claiming the affair is over so that she’ll trust me again and let down her guard so I can continue cheating.  This isn’t at all true.  I ended the affair and I haven’t called, texted, or interacted with the other woman.  This doesn’t seem to be enough.  How can I convince her that the affair is over?”

Of course, there are two sides to every story.  If you were to hear from the wife in this scenario, you might hear something like: “my husband swears that the affair is over, but he also swore that he wasn’t cheating in the first place and obviously he was.  So he has already proven himself to be a liar and I can’t trust him.  He is distant and isn’t always home when he says he’s going to be.  So he can talk and make all the claims he wants, but I don’t believe him when he says the affair is over.”

Both people in the above scenario likely really believed in their own point of view.  And frankly, there was no way to know if the husband had truly ended the affair without knowing more about the situation.  However, there were some things that he could try to do in order to show his sincerity and truthfulness.  I will discuss these things below.

Everything That Comes Out Of A Husband’s Mouth After An Affair Must Be Truthful: You must know that wives are hyper alert after their husband has an affair.  They are scrutinizing every claim, every demonstration of behavior, and even your body language.  It’s absolutely normal for them to question or doubt the things you say because you have been caught in a huge and hurtful lie.

That’s why it’s vital that everything you say, everything you claim, and every comment you make is truthful.  And this is not limited to topics that have to do with the other woman or the affair.  This includes everything that comes out of your mouth during every conversation.  I sometimes have husbands complain that their wife is always looking to catch them in a lie.  One husband said he accidentally mentioned having lunch with a coworker at one restaurant when he had actually gone somewhere else.  The wife immediately zeroed in on this and wanted to know why he offered up the wrong restaurant.  The husband said he simply misspoke, but the wife was uneasy about this little white lie.

This is not uncommon.  Because when a wife catches you in little white lies, she then wonders if you’re not telling little white lies to cover up a much bigger lie – like an affair.  That’s why you must be completely honest about everything from the weather, to lunch, to any interactions with the other person.   You don’t want to give your wife any reason whatsoever to doubt you.  If you need to think before you speak, do so because even little white lies erode the trust even further.

Make Sure That You Are Being An Affectionate, Accommodating, Attentive Husband: When your wife notices you acting cold, off, or weird, her suspicions can be raised.  She’ll wonder why you are distancing yourself from her.  And she might begin to theorize that your coldness or lack of interest is because you are still interested in someone else or are juggling two relationships.   Being affectionate, attentive, and accommodating to your wife will go a long way toward restoring the trust.  If you are showing your wife that she is your priority, she will have less reasons to question you.

Also, it’s important that you try to accommodate any request that she might have to help her heal.  If she wants to seek counseling, you should willingly go.  You should make every effort to provide her with what she needs.  If she sees that you’re spending a lot of time making an effort to make this right, she will have less incentive to wonder where you are spending your time.  Be willing to offer up proof in the form of emails and phone records if this will make your wife feel better.

Do Not Allow For Any Contact With The Other Woman: Many men in this situation admit to me that the other woman is trying to call or see them.  Of course, they don’t tell their wives about this and then they wonder why their wife is getting suspicious of their behavior.  You need to make absolutely sure the other woman doesn’t have inappropriate access to you.  Change your cell phone number if you need to or make it clear that you will not answer or return calls and texts.  Make sure that the other woman knows that it is really and truly over.  Because needless to say if your wife finds out about any sort of contact, this is only going to reinforce her suspicions.

Give Her Time: Sometimes, you can do everything that I have described above and your wife still will suspect that the affair isn’t over.  In this case, keep being reassuring, accountable, and affectionate and give her some time.  Often, once she sees that you aren’t going anywhere and are willing to hang in there and be patient with her, she will begin to believe more of what you say.  After several months, may wives will look around and still see a husband who is present, attentive, and trying very hard to save the marriage.  I can speak from experience when I say it’s usually at this point that you tell yourself that this man must really want to be married to you in order to still be standing in front of you after all of the turmoil and pain.    And often, wives need to literally see that as time goes by, you’re still there with her and, exactly as you promised, you didn’t have anything else to do with the other woman.

It took a while for me to trust my husband and to believe that the affair was really over.  But over time, I saw that he meant every word he said and that he had the determination and integrity to hang around even when I didn’t make it very easy for him to do so.  Today, I trust him completely and our marriage is very solid.  If it helps you can read that very emotional story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com


I Feel Like My Husband’s Infidelity And Affair Ruined My Life

By: Katie Lersch:  I sometimes hear from wives who are struggling greatly after a husband’s cheating, infidelity, or affair.  I understand how devastating this can feel.  You can feel as if  your entire married life was a lie.  You can feel like the love and commitment was all one sided.  And you wonder how you could have been so blind and so vulnerable.

I recently heard from a wife who said, in part: “My husband’s affair has literally ruined my life.  Before I found out about his cheating, I was a happy, trusting, and extroverted person.  I had a job I loved and many friends.  I had a good marriage that made me very happy.  I had a full life.  But now, all that has changed.  My marriage is in shambles.  I no longer trust people and am very guarded.  I am no longer happy go lucky.  I’ve lost some friends that were mutual to both of us.  I also lost my job and although I was told it was due to downsizing, I suspect my depression and the changes in me had something to do with it.  I feel such rage for my husband for doing this to us.  I feel as if my whole life has been stolen, ruined, and taken away.  Will I ever stop feeling this way? When will it get better?”

Letters like these bring back a lot of memories for me.  I remember how it felt to wonder if your whole life was just pulled out from under you like prank chair or a magician’s rug.  It’s not a good feeling and it hurts to the core.  But, I want you to know that it can and often does get better.  In the following article, my goal is to offer you a little perspective and support in the hopes that it makes you feel a little bit better and provides you with some relief.

I Know That You May Feel As If Your Life Is Ruined, But Take Stock Of What You Still Have: By no means am I trying to minimize what you feel.  I have been there and I know that your feelings are absolutely valid and understandable.  I know that it feels as if you’re waking up to a life that is both strange and undesirable and this is so unfair because you did nothing wrong and you are at the mercy of someone else’s actions and decisions.

At the same time though, as powerful and as devastating as this all can be, you have to throw yourself a life raft sometimes.  Because it’s not fair for you to have to feel this way for one second longer than is necessary.  Yes, your life has no doubt changed.  And yes, some of these changes might be negative ones.  But by classifying your life as ruined, you may well be selling yourself short and missing out on the opportunities and gifts that you still possess.

Please don’t misunderstand and think that I’m trying to minimize or gloss over what you feel.  I’m truly not.  But at the same time, I know from experience that it often does get better and I don’t want for you to continue to feel hopeless if you do not have to.  Yes, you may have lost your perception of your marriage before the affair.  But you haven’t lost yourself, your gifts, your extended family, your ability to love again one day, and your ability to recover.

I know this hurts, but sometimes, in order to feel better, some perspective can help.  Take inventory of what you do still have.  Some examples which may be applicable are: your home; your family; your health; your remaining friends (who are likely better and more genuine friends than the ones who left at the first sign of trouble;) your skills and talents (which likely mean that you can get a new and perhaps better job;) and the wonderful and capable woman that you still are.

It’s so important to understand that one person’s actions and decisions should not and do not affect who you are.  They don’t change the gifts that you have and the uniqueness of you.  Yes, they may well have affected you in a negative way.  And this is no doubt painful.  But no one can rob you of yourself.

I remember telling a very good friend that I felt like life as I knew it was over after my husband’s affair.  At the time, what she said annoyed me, but looking back, I can see now that it was exactly what I needed.  She said something like: “yes, your life has changed and that’s not fair.  But your life is not over.  You still have your life which is more than our friend with breast cancer might be able to say.  One day you will smile and love and laugh again because you are a wonderful person who deserves nothing less than that.  This will happen because your spirit and essence can not and will not be crushed.  You are a fighter, although you may not know or feel it right now. I have no doubt that you will one day love the life that you have rebuilt although the process may not be all that pleasant right now.”

I didn’t want to hear her words that day, but everything that she said turned out to be true.  I know that when infidelity happens to you, it can feel like your life is being altered forever.  But recovery is not only possible, it happens each and every day.  Some people are actually able to learn from this process so that some good comes out of the bad.  Some rebuild their marriage and even more rebuild themselves.  I don’t mean to minimize what you are feeling, but I do want you to know that it can and often does get better over time and I don’t want for you to allow your present thinking and discouraging feelings to cloud your future, which will often turn out to be a whole lot brighter than what feels possible today.

As I alluded to, I did not believe a couple of years ago that I would be where I am today.  My marriage did recover, but more importantly, I learned a lot about myself and just how strong and capable I truly was and I don’t think I’d trade that for anything.  If it helps, you can read more of my 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/

How Can A Man Who Loves His Wife Have An Affair?

By: Katie Lersch: I often hear from wives who are really struggling with the reality that their husband has had an affair. Often, the hardest part for them is not the betrayal itself, but the circumstances that preceded the betrayal. Many of these wives are so confused because they had good marriages and loving husbands. In fact, many believed beyond a shadow of a doubt that these same loving husbands would never cheat. And, many of these wives will admit that they suspect that their husband still loves them, even after his cheating. That’s why his cheating can be so horribly confusing.

I heard from a wife who said: “there is no doubt in my mind that my husband loved me during his affair and I fully believe that he loves me now. That’s why I simply can’t wrap my brain around why he would cheat on me. I admit that our lives were stressful when I was undergoing treatment for severe medical issues. But my husband was so loving and supportive during that time that I never would have suspected that he was caring for me in the evenings and then having an affair with his coworker during the day. How could he know that I was home sick and still carry out what he did? How could he love and worry about me and then sleep with someone else? How can a man who truly loves his wife cheat on her?”  I will try to answer these questions in the following article.

Often, A Husband’s Affair Doesn’t Have Anything Whatsoever To Do With His Love For His Wife: There are many types of affairs. We all know of or have even heard from the husband who will claim he cheated or had an affair because his wife just didn’t understand or appreciate him. Or, he’ll say that his wife had let herself go or had changed, so as a result, he fell out of love with her and had an affair with someone else.  In fact, that is so common an excuse that many people will just assume that a cheating husband no longer loves his wife. This is most certainly not true in every case. A good number of cheating men actually love, adore, and lust after their wives. Men who have good and active sex lives cheat. Men who could not ever imagine their lives without their wives still cheat. Men who look their wives right in the face and truthfully declare their undying love cheat on those same wives. Why? Because sometimes the cheating and the love have nothing to do with one another.

If Men Don’t Cheat Because They No Longer Love Their Wives, Then Why Do They Cheat?: There isn’t one answer to this question. But, if I had to simplify it, my answer would be to provide a diversion or relief from some problem or issue that is usually completely separate from their marriage. Sometimes, they cheat in times of stress during which they feel powerless. In the above scenario, the wife’s health issues had been very stressful on both she and her husband. By no means am I using this to defend her husband’s actions. But, for whatever reason, it is very common for men to cheat during times when they under a high amount of stress like an illness, a job loss, or a period of feeling helpless. During such times, the cheating is in response to the stress and is an attempt to make the man feel less helpless or worthless. It doesn’t have anything to do with his love for his wife, which is still very much in tact. In fact, sometimes part of the frustration comes with loving your wife and with feeling powerless to help her like with the above situation.

Another thing you’ll often hear is the husband say is that he didn’t feel that he was “good enough” or “worthy” of someone like his wife so he sabotaged his relationship because, again he was struggling with those feelings of being worthless.

If Your Loving Husband Cheated Or Had An Affair, Where Does That Leave You?: Most likely, you will have a choice to make. There are times when wives in this situation will begin to doubt their husband’s love for them, even when there is that little voice in the back of their head that says things like: “but remember that time when he stayed up with you all night when you couldn’t sleep?” Or “remember how he looks at you? How can he fake that?”

It’s very difficult to juggle the knowledge that he has done very loving things and acted in loving ways and yet he has committed an act that betrays that love. And yet, among all the confusion, there’s still a choice to make. You’ll ultimately need to decide if that same love is enough. You’ll need to ask yourself if the remaining love is enough for you to try to rehabilitate your marriage and work through whatever personal issues may have lead up to his cheating.

That is not a decision that anyone can make but you. Some women will look at both the man and the marriage over the course of many years and decide that the good things that he has done outweigh that one bad decision. And others will decide that no matter how much they love their husband or he loves them, cheating is just not something that they will ever overcome.

I know it is a difficult decision, but I hope this article has shed a little light on how it’s possible for a man who loves his wife to make a very huge mistake and to cheat.

I actually never doubted my husband’s love for me after his affair.  I knew he loved me before, during and after it.  The question really was if that love was enough to pull us through.  In the end, it took more than love.  It took a lot of work, determination and skill.  But we made it.  If it helps, you can read all about it on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

How Does A Man Feel When His Wife Finds Out About The Affair?

Most of the people who ask me questions about affairs are women.  They are typically the faithful wife who is trying to determine what their husband might be thinking or what his motivations might be. They often have questions about whether their husband will pick up the affair again or what his feelings are at some point from detection of the affair to recovery from it. Understandably, they often feel that they can’t necessarily trust their husband’s reactions or claims, since he’s been lying while having the affair.  Many are not sure that he is being genuine when confronted or caught.

Someone might say, “I caught my husband cheating.  Actually his sister told me about it.  Otherwise, I would not have known.  My sister-in-law and myself are practically best friends and she could not stand for me to be in the dark about something so important. I actually tried to confront my husband and he denied it.  But then my sister-in-law knew the restaurant where my husband was meeting the other woman and we actually were sitting at the booth behind them.  I stood up so that I could look my husband in the eye and he became flustered and left the restaurant in a hurry.  He actually just left the other woman sitting there.  I could not bring myself to say anything to her, but my sister-in-law basically told her that I was the wife of the man she was just with. Then she ran out of the restaurant too.  This was only yesterday and last night my husband stayed with his mother.  He left my sister-in-law an angry voice mail saying that he was going to break off the affair that night and that she had made things worse by having me at the restaurant.  He sounded more angry than afraid.  He texted me and said that we will talk in a few days when things calm down.  I am actually not in any hurry to talk to him. But I am wondering how he is actually feeling.  I saw shock and a bit of panic in his face, but his voice mail to his sister was angry. How do most men feel when their wife finds out about the affair?”

It really does depend on the man and the situation.  Most husbands ARE a bit panicked. Especially if the reveal of the affair comes at a time when they couldn’t control it.  They are often juggling several balls in the air and very much hoping that they don’t drop one. When they are caught, suddenly all of this ends in disaster.  I have had a couple of men tell me that getting caught was a relief because it was very stressful to be carrying on with the facade.  But this relief can be  short lived when he sees how much his actions have hurt and angered his wife and his family.  While the affair is going on and his wife is unaware, he isn’t having to deal with her pain and anger.  Suddenly, when she finds out, now there is a new stressor into the mix.  This is often a very painful time for everyone.

Add that to the fact that his reaction and panic is often a shock to the other woman, who then becomes very angry at him also.  He sometimes finds himself in a situation where no one is happy with him and he realizes that he has hurt many people and has put his family in jeopardy. Many wives assume that their husbands are faking the guilt and the hatred toward himself.  But for many husbands, these feelings are real.  Imagine how you would feel if you had a guilty, shameful secret that you knew would shatter your husband and devastate your family. Imagine that the secret is horrifically embarrassing.  Then imagine your husband finding out and having to face him.  Most people would be angry with themselves when their their own actions brought about this turn of events.

Sure, some husbands will try to posture and will come up with all sorts of reasons why they were justified in their cheating.  Some will blame their wife or their marriage.  Some will ty to make the affair relationship seem special.  But deep down, they likely know that no one forced them to have an affair.  Deep down, they likely know that they could have sought counseling or had a frank conversation with their wife before they betrayed her in this way.

Again, it really does depend on the personality of the husband and any words that were exchanged when he was caught. Some husbands will appear to be angry at their wives when they’re really embarrassed or angry at themselves.  I’ve never heard anyone truly say that they were proud of their behavior when having an affair. Almost everyone is ashamed, whether they admit to it or not.  It’s like being caught doing an embarrassing act that you know is wrong and you know will hurt others. Your face feels warm with shame and you want to go hide in a corner, blink your eyes, and have this never to have happened.  But you can’t take it back and you have no choice but to face it.  For many people, it is one of the lowest points in their life.  It feels so shameful, not just because of the betrayal, but because they’ve hurt someone with whom they were building a home and family with and now they have to work with and face that wounded person if they want to make it right again and have peace when they look in the mirror.

My husband’s reaction after being caught was complete and utter panic.  It was as if a car accident or earth quake had just happened at his feet.   This is pretty comical, really, when you consider that HE was the one who caused the earthquake.  His behavior is common, but there can be many variations on this.  Everyone is different.  Often, you will get different and varying behavior throughout the fall out and recovery.  How he acts at discovery may be different than how he acts two weeks down the road and vice verse.  It is the total of his behaviors over time that matters.  You can read more about my own discovery and subsequent recovery on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com.

How Do You Use Positive Thinking After An Affair? How Do You Avoid Negative Thinking?

It’s very easy to be discouraged after your marriage has been crippled by an affair.  This can be true regardless of whether you are the faithful spouse or the cheating spouse.  No matter what side you are on, it can feel as if your life has dramatically changed.  It can feel as if it will never get any better.  And always looking at the negative side of life can become depressing.  But it can also be challenging to see any other side.

For example, from the cheating spouse, you might hear something like, “I am very depressed, but I know that I deserve whatever happens.  I cheated on my wife, only once, and I could not be more sorry.  I have repeatedly begged for her mercy, but she is furious with me.  We have been trying counseling, but she is still so angry.  I can’t blame her, either.  I would be mad at her if she cheated on me.  I’m angry at myself.  But I can’t make it better and our home life is suffering.  Our kids know that something is wrong.  Last night, I was randomly scrolling through my phone and I was looking at pictures from six months ago.  My family was happy.  That was before anyone knew how much I was going to ruin things. I don’t feel like we will ever be happy like that again.  The counselor tells me to find little ways to lighten the load in my home, but it feels pointless.  There is now a black cloud over everything.  I want to be more positive because I hate feeling this way, but I’m not sure how I could so when this is all my fault.”

You might hear a similar theme from the faithful spouse, who says something like, “My spouse says he is sorry for cheating and he does go to counseling every week.  But it is as if he feels like someone should be able to wave a magic wand and put our marriage and home back together.  I wish it worked that way, but it doesn’t.  My husband is always complaining that he hates that the kids have to live this way – because now there is anger in our home.  Things aren’t the same.  I hate it, too.  I wish that I could smile and laugh again.  But I’m very angry. I can’t help it.  I trusted my husband and he betrayed me in the worst way possible.  He lied through his teeth.  And now that he has been caught, he wants to pretend that everything is fine.  Our counselor and our pastor are suggesting that we try very hard to have a more positive outlook moving forward.  No one believes that I would actually love to do this, but I would.  Does everyone think that I like being angry and hurt all of the time?  I don’t.  But I don’t know how to make the feelings stop.  How are you supposed to be more positive after an affair?”

I agree that this is very challenging.  I will share some things that helped me a little. And to be clear, I was trying to be positive for myself and my children initially.  I did not feel that my husband deserved my positivity at the time, although he earned it back.  It helped me to write in a gratitude journal with five things to be grateful for each night. I started out with five things, but found that if I really tried and concentrated, I could usually come up with a lot more.  I still remember common themes that I had almost every night.  They were things like:

I am alive;

my children are alive;

my children and myself are healthy;

I am able-bodied and intelligent and can start over if I have to;

my spouse and I both love our children and will do whatever is needed for their well-being;

my dogs love me;

my extended family supports me;

both my spouse and myself are still present, so we might eventually have a chance even if we are struggling right now;

we have a roof over our heads;

we have enough food to eat;

I have loving friends who will hold me up.

I could go on and on.  But at the end of the day, tracking things to be grateful for helped me see that the affair was one tiny slice of my life.  Yes, it made everything else feel tainted, so I had to train myself to be protective of other areas of my life, which I did not want to taint.  I told my friends that affair talk was off limits.  And I eventually agreed with my husband that we’d try to talk about the affair at counseling and a couple of scheduled times per week, but other than that, I was going to try very hard not to ruminate on it.  Because I felt that if I didn’t make this conscious decision, I was going to spend every waking moment thinking about the affair and I didn’t need or want that.  It just made me miserable to spend so much time on it.

The truth is, whether you ruminate on the affair or not, things are going to change with time.  Your perspective is going to shift in time.  Your marriage will survive or it will not, but ruminating on it and allowing it to pollute what is good in your life is not going to change the outcome – but it might make you feel a whole lot worse about everything else, even the good.  Being positive in the midst of an affair is very hard work.  It takes your being conscious of your thoughts and decisions multiple times per day and then redirecting yourself.  But it can be worth the effort because swimming in negativity 24/7 is painful and debilitating.  You deserve better. And with effort, it can become a habit to redirect yourself to positive thinking.

Believe me, I swam in a pool of negativity early on.  But it was very uncomfortable.  It was very hard to hold that weight up all day, everyday.  So I did decide to drop it.  At first, it felt silly to keep the gratitude journal and to try to find the good in every day.  But you know what?  It eventually became a habit and as I tried to see the good in my husband’s efforts, life felt so much better for both of us.  We couldn’t change the affair, but it was obvious that he was trying and that we both adored our kids.  That was enough to make me want to try to save our marriage.  And it worked.  There’s more on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com.

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 http://surviving-the-affair.com

Having Sex For The First Time With Your Husband After He Cheated

I get a lot of emails from wives who are concerned about what sex is going to be like after their husband cheated or had an affair.  Many are trying very hard to save their marriages.  They are doing everything they can to move on in a positive way.

But sex can be a whole different story in this equation because it’s just so raw.  There’s really no where to hide.  If it’s awkward or awful this can negatively affect your attempts to save your marriage and get things back to normal.  And, some women fear that they (or their husband) are going to think about the other woman during sex.

They other worry that either they or their husband won’t get aroused or turned on and that the whole encounter might be a disaster.   And if it’s a disaster, what does this say about his attraction for and desire for you and about the marriage?

This is a shame because sometimes sexual issues after cheating or an affair don’t have everything to do with sexual desire or the lack of it.  A lot of emotions, doubt, fear, and resentment can be tied to sex after cheating.

In the following article, I’ll offer some tips to help make sure the first time you have sex with your husband after cheating is a good experience rather than a bad one.

Although It’s Very Tempting:  Don’t Rush Sex After His Cheating Or Affair:  I admit that I was very tempting to rush into sex after my husband’s affair –  not because I particularly wanted to have it with him, but because I wanted confirmation that he would still find me attractive or be turned on by me.

And I think part of me wanted for him to want me so I could turn around and turn him down.  I know this was silly thinking on my part and a potential power play but that’s the way I felt.  However, after hearing from people I respect, I decided I would be better off waiting and I’m so glad I did because the experience was actually quite good rather than awkward, in genuine, or forced.

If you have any doubt or reservation, I think it is better to wait.  Honestly, if you can wait until the moment is absolutely right and you both want to be together more than anything else and can’t wait another moment, this is how you know that you have waited long enough.

I know it’s very tempting to want the reassurance of sex.  You want to connect again.  You want affirmation.  But isn’t it better to know that you can freely participate without doubt or pain?   I know that husbands have a tendency to pressure you for sex because they want to know that you are forgiven them.

But part of your healing process is putting yourself and your needs first.  You can gently and lovingly tell him that, when you do have sex, you want it to be special and you aren’t sure you’re at that point yet, but that he will be the first to know.  You can phrase it in a playful way that isn’t a rejection.

Regaining Your Sexual Confidence After Your Husband Cheated Or Had An Affair:  To me, the one thing that is going to make sex after an affair good is your own confidence.  If you go into this worried that he doesn’t find you desirable or that the experience isn’t going to be good, this is going to affect the outcome and both of your levels of enjoyment.  I know you might hope that your doubts or reluctance won’t be obvious, but it generally is.

So, I actually think it’s a very good idea to work on rebuilding your self esteem before you have sex with your husband again.  Tweak your appearance if it bothers you, get something amazing to wear so that you can feel your best.

A resource that I’m affiliated with and can recommend is an ebook called “Her Secrets.”   I will give you fair warning that it’s a bit racy.   It teaches you how to tweak your sexual skills and, shall we say and incorporate things that men REALLY like in bed so that at least you can have the confidence that the experience is going to be good for him.

And quite frankly, isn’t that what we all want? To know that sex with us is so good that he doesn’t want or need to go and get it anywhere else?  With that said though, I don’t ever want for you to feel as though you have to put on a performance or do everything right to earn his love or desire.

Because this is as much about an emotional connection as it about a physical one. If your mind isn’t into it, your body can’t be either.  That’s why I recommend making sure you have done everything that you need to heal before you resume your sex life.

I know it’s a lot to ask to wait, but I suspect you will be glad you did.  I’m very glad I did.  The experience was a very good one and our marriage is back on firmer ground.  In fact, we’re never been more solid. If you’d like, you’re welcome to read my story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com.  I hope something here has helped!

Why Would My Husband Cheat But Then Want To Stay In The Marriage?

by: katie lersch:  I’ve had people tell me that there are two camps of cheaters, as follows:

1. those who want out of their relationship (or are not fully invested in it) and therefore don’t care if they get caught; and

2. those who hope and pray that they never get caught because they are still very much invested in their relationship or marriage and in love with their spouse or partner.

Many people have a very hard time understanding why anyone would cheat or have an affair when they are still invested in their marriage.  It just seems to be a silly and risky thing to do.

I recently heard from a wife who said, in part: “I found out three days ago that my husband has been cheating and having an affair with one of our neighbors.  When he confessed to me, I fully expected him to tell me that he wanted a divorce and was getting ready to pack his bags.  But this isn’t what happened.  Instead, he said that he wanted to be honest with me because he wanted to save our marriage.  This just makes no sense to me.  Why would you cheat on someone to whom you wanted to remain married? My husband knows me pretty well.  He has watched me support many friends whose marriages were destroyed by infidelity and he knows that I have no tolerance for it.  So, when he was cheating, he must have known that once I found out, there was a chance that I would leave him.  And yet, here he is confessing but telling me that he wants to stay in the marriage rather than leave it.  Can you explain the thinking behind this?  Because I just don’t understand why a person who wants to stay in the marriage would risk that same marriage by cheating.”

In the following article, I’m going to try to explain what might motivate a person to cheat even when they fully intend to remain married.

Many People Who Cheat Never Intend To Get Caught And Intend For The Unplanned Cheating To Be A Very Short Lived Affair: Before I get into the reasons for cheating and then wanting to stay married, I have to tell you that you may not fully buy what I’m about to tell you.  I completely understand that because, as a woman who has been cheated on,  I don’t always buy what men tell me either.  It is very hard for to understand a thought process that would never be mine.

With that said, many people who cheat will tell you that they didn’t go into it with any intention of being unfaithful.  You will often first hear about a friendship developing and then you’ll hear phrases like “it just happened.”  Whether this is true or not, most people overwhelmingly make this claim.  And then they will say that once the unintentional cheating happened, they told themselves that it was a one time or short term thing.  They planned to stop it before any one was hurt.  Of course, sometimes it ends up lasting for longer than they originally anticipated.

Still, many people end up realizing that they have made a very huge mistake about which they feel an awful lot of guilt.  They often realize that they have taken a huge risk with the relationship that is most important to them.  This is why many of them confess or at least own up to what they’ve done once they have been caught. They suddenly realize that they don’t want to surrender their marriage and they are hoping that either their confession or their remorse is going to at least give them a chance to maintain or save their marriage.

Suspicions You Might Have About Their Claim That They Want To Stay In The Marriage: Many faithful spouses meet the cheating spouse’s claims with a good deal of suspicion.  People often tell me they fear that their spouse is just claiming that he wants to save the marriage because he knows that a divorce would end up costing him a lot of money or would risk him loosing some access to his children.

I also hear from a lot of doubtful but faithful spouses who suspect that their spouse just doesn’t have the courage or integrity to tell the truth about his feelings.  Or, they worry that he wants to keep the cheating or the affair hidden from his extended friends or family and hopes that by staying in the marriage, his secret won’t get out.  These are absolutely valid concerns.  Dealing with the cheating is very painful.  But dealing with the cheating while trying to save your marriage only to find out later it was all for nothing is nearly unbearable.

However, the problem often is that there is no way to know what is actually true until you see it through.  You can’t read your spouses thoughts.  You can’t possibly know exactly what they are feeling.  So the only way to truly know their real intentions is to wait it out and see if their actions confirm their words.  Because if he’s not being truthful about his commitment to the marriage, then that will become apparent soon enough.   It’s very unlikely that he can keep up the facade for long if his heart isn’t truly in it.

And, his is not the only opinion that matters.  You also will need to decide if you want to stay in the marriage.  The decisions about your marriage are not his alone to make.  You have a say.  And you have your own set of wishes and intentions.  Sometimes, his wanting to stay in the marriage is not going to be enough.  You have to want it too.  And you both have to be willing to do the work to repair the marriage and to restore the trust.   Both of these things truly are possible.  But in order for that to happen both people need to be absolutely sincere about their feelings and intentions.

If you had told me that I would ultimately save my marriage after my husband’s affair, I might have laughed at that notion at the time.  But that is exactly what ended up happening.  I had my doubts about my husband’s sincerity when he claimed he wanted to stay in the marriage, but his actions proved my doubts were unfounded.  And today, I’m glad I gave him the opportunity to prove to me that his claims were true.  If it helps, you can read more about my recovery process on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com/


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