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 thyroid 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, a period of self doubt or a period of feeling helpless. During such times, the cheating is in response to the stress and is an attempt to man 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 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 (for which he is likely very sorry) 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

Having An Affair Made Me Realize That I’m Not In Love With My Spouse

By: Katie Lersch: It’s not uncommon for people to experience very strong and overwhelming feelings when they are carrying out an affair. Many insist that they “have never felt this way before.” Or they claim romantic feelings that are brand new and they’ll say that they “never felt this way about their spouse.” So they assume that these feelings mean that they absolutely are in love with the other person or that they absolutely are not in love with their spouse and potentially never were.

You might hear one of them say: “I’m sorry to say that my affair is over. I know that this sounds horrible and that it shows what a bad person I am. But the affair changed something inside of me. It showed me how I want to live my life. It showed me that I was sort of just sleep walking through my life. I never want to live that way again. I want to embrace life. Experiencing the feelings that I felt for the other man made me realize just how much I absolutely no longer love my husband. I know that it would make the most sense for me to try to save my marriage since the other man went back to his wife and has cut off all contact with me. But I just don’t think that I can do this. I realize that I don’t love my husband anymore and I suspect that I never really did. I married him because he’s a good, solid person but not because I was desperately in love with him. I have recently felt what that type of love feels like, and I now realize that this is not what I had with my husband. And this is sad because we started a family based on the pretense that we loved one another.”

When people say these sorts of things, many of them honestly believe that they are saying something ground breaking and earth shattering. They don’t realize how common their feelings are. Countless people have come before them and said exactly the same thing. And countless people have changed their minds with time. Some have even returned to their families and have been quite happy.  If you talk to many of these people who were so madly in love with the other person a year later, many of them have changed their tunes quite dramatically.

I know that you’re probably not even ready to hear what I have to say. You are still in the glow of the affair. But it is very common for this to fade. People get caught up in the excitement and the emotions of an affair. At the time, it often DOES feel intense and satisfying. If it didn’t, you wouldn’t risk so much for it.

But when it cools, as it almost always does, that is when people realize that they were reacting to the situation and not to any real and new feelings.

I am not going to try and convince you that you still love your spouse. Perhaps you don’t. But I would caution you to reconsider breaking up a family over feelings that might change. That is especially true if the other person in the affair has made it clear that it is over and that his priority is his own marriage.

I am not going to tell you that one day you will realize that what you have with your husband is solid and lasting and what you had with the other man was a fantasy. But I am going to suggest that, with time, this is the conclusion that many people end up with post-affair.

That is why it doesn’t make a lot of sense to immediately act on this and to say or do something that you can not easily take back. I hear from a lot of folks who went and announced their new revelation to their spouse, devastating everyone and ending their marriage. And then six months later, they are filled with regret because they now see very clearly what they have lost.

They no longer have the affair. They no longer have their spouse. All they have is the realization that they were wrong and, as a result, they now have created quite a mess.

You can’t really evaluate your love for your spouse when the affair is so fresh. I am not saying that in six months from now, you won’t feel exactly the same way that you do right now. But I am saying that it makes sense to give yourself the time to get a new perspective without doing something that essentially removes your future options, especially if your children are involved and affected.

Even the faithful spouse’s feelings change after the affair.  I was sure I could never trust my husband again.  I was sure that things would never be the same between us.  But in many ways, things are better. If it helps, you can read more about my own experiences on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

Our Relationship Is So Different After My Husband’s Affair. Will It Ever Be The Same Again?

By: Katie Lersch: Wives can feel as if they have lost many things after their husband’s affair.  Often you feel as if you’ve lost a little bit of your self esteem, your confidence in your marriage and your husband, and your belief that you are perceptive enough to know what’s going on.  Another loss that many wives describe is predictability in their relationship.  Many describe a marriage that “is just different” than the one that existed before the affair.

I often hear comments on my “surviving the affair” blog like: “we used to have such an easy rapport and relationship but now things are so strained and awkward.”  Or “our marriage used to be filled with laughter and endless conversation but now you could hear a pin drop when we’re together.  The laughter has died and in it’s place is pain and silence.”  One more example is “we used to be very affectionate to one another.  We were always touching or holding hands.  Now, we rarely touch one another anymore.  It seems like we’re both afraid of doing the wrong thing or of facing rejection.   Our marriage right now after his affair is so foreign to me.  It’s so different than the one we had before.  Will things ever be the same again?  Because I want my old life back.  I don’t like this new one at all.”  I’ll try to address these concerns in the following article.

Your Marriage May Not Be Exactly The Same After An Affair.  But, If You Rebuild, Your Marriage Can Still Be Happy, Fulfilling And Sometimes, Even Better: In my experience in dealing with my own husband’s affair, it can be unrealistic to think that you can carry on as if nothing happened or that you can turn back time to reveal the exact same marriage as before.  Despite your best efforts of your intentions, you often can’t ignore what happened.  And, this knowledge will understandably make you a bit cautious and doubtful because you’ve been hurt before.

But many marriages use these doubts and fears as motivation to make positive changes rather than to give in to the negativity that has settled in.  Yes, it’s absolutely normal to be angry or even furious that the marriage you thought you knew (or were even happy in) was not exactly what you thought it to be.  But one mistake does not mean that your entire marriage was a farce.  It doesn’t mean that you and your husband never loved one another, didn’t have a good marriage, or weren’t happy.  It simply means that, for whatever reason, you were momentarily vulnerable and unfortunately, one of the spouses acted due to that vulnerability.

Often, the real key to getting your marriage to place where it feels “normal” or similar to what you’ve experienced before is to identify that vulnerability and then to remove it.  Because if you can do this, then you can usually also begin to remove some of those doubts.  The reason for this is that you’ll then know that the reason for the affair is removed so that you don’t have to constantly worry anymore.  And, not only can this be very freeing and such a relief, but often the work that you do to remove those vulnerabilities will actually improve your marriage.

Couples often find that they are forced to be truly honest, open, and forthcoming.  They are no longer reluctant to discuss any worrisome issues with or to reach out to their spouse because they now know the danger of doing so.  Also, often an affair will show both people just how close they have come to losing their marriage or their spouse.  This is often a wake up call that isn’t other wise possible.  By no means am I saying that an affair can be a positive thing.  But, I do believe that it can bring about positive changes for your marriage if you use it to motivate you rather than allowing it to weaken your marriage to the point of no return.

Identify What You Most Miss About Your Spouse Or Your Marriage And Be Very Proactive About Getting It Back: If you’re in a situation where you’re mourning what you have lost, you don’t have to just accept that the life that you knew is gone forever or that you will never get it back.  For example, the wife in the above scenario missed the easy rapport and the continuous physical affection that she and her husband shared. Being able to identify and then to focus on these things are the first steps toward getting them back.

But rather than merely mourning this loss, be very proactive about rebuilding these aspects of your relationship.  This is hard for many people because reaching out again to someone who has betrayed or disappointed you can make you feel very vulnerable and even a little foolish.  But, unless you want to continue to live in a marriage that is missing something, you will sometimes have to step outside of your comfort zone and take a chance.  I know that sometimes when you do this, you have the sinking feeling that you’re going to be hurt again.  But if you don’t take that chance, you will never know what your marriage could have been.

Countless couples are able to create an even stronger and more open marriage after an affair because they come to learn the vulnerabilities and lacking that were present.  Addressing your issues is sometimes uncomfortable but it is often worth it because it makes you not only stronger, but more aware of your spouse’s wants and needs and just how badly it feels when you face the threat of loosing them.

I sometimes hear women say that their husband’s affair was the best thing that ever happened to them or their marriage.  I wouldn’t take it that fair.  If I had the choice, I wish my husband’s affair had never happened to us. But, at the same time, I can look back at it now and see where the work we did really did improve our marriage and make it even better in some ways than it was before.  So while our marriage isn’t technically the same, it’s actually improved in some areas and we’re pretty darn happy. My answer to the posed question would be that, although it’s unlikely that your marriage will be exactly the same, you can return it to a happy and fulfilling place.

If you would’ve told me two years ago that I would have a happy marriage again today, I would have never believed you.  My marriage went through some very dark days and there were times when I thought we would never get through it, but we did and we’re actually better off in some ways for it.  If it helps, you can read more of  my story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com/

I Want To Write An Apology Letter To The Woman Whose Husband I Had An Affair With

By: Katie Lersch: Occasionally, I hear from remorseful women who have slept with someone else’s husband.  They typically find me because they are searching the internet for information about the aftermath of an affair.  They are feeling guilty and they would like to attempt to make things right.  To that end, many want to write a letter to the wife offering an apology of sorts.

They figure that this can only benefit every one involved – the wife may get some insights and know that there is remorse.  And the other woman be able to “get this off her chest” and hopefully let some of the guilt go and move on.  You might hear: “I would like some tips on writing a letter to the wife of the man with whom I had an affair. I want to tell her how sorry I am.  I want to tell her that it is over.  I want to tell her why it happened and why it will not happen again.  I want to try to share what made me take this action (even though I knew in my heart that it was wrong.)  I want her to know a little bit about me so that maybe she won’t hate the thought of me quite so much.  I want to help her feel a little bit better.  I know where she lives and I was going to just stick the letter in her mailbox so that she can read it at her convenience.  What words or phrases so I make sure to use in order to make sure that I make her feel better?”

Take A Hard Look At Your Motivations: I hope that this doesn’t come off in the wrong way, but I would discourage you from writing the letter (or at least from actually giving the wife the letter.)  And here is why.  I think that often, we want to write the letter more for ourselves than for the recipient.  We want the release.  We want the freedom from guilt.  We want to purge ourselves from what we have done.  This is all understandable.  And if you want to write that letter, fine.  But frankly, there is no reason to pull the other woman into what is essentially your own pursuit.

Understand What She Doesn’t Want From You: From the wife’s perspective, I can tell you that nothing that the other woman could have said or explained would have made me feel any better.  I wondered about her, but honestly, receiving more information about her would have only made me dwell on her more.  It was in my best interest to move on from that as quickly as possibly.  And her inserting herself into my life by writing a letter would have only delayed and complicated that process.

You are assuming that the wife is going to be receptive to your letter and find comfort in it.  However, I can tell you that this is a very ambitious perception.  Put yourself in the wife’s shoes.  How would you feel if you came out to your mailbox only to discover that someone has been on your property without your knowledge and tried to insert themselves into your life without your permission?

Frankly, there is very little that you can say that is going to make the wife feel better.  If she needs information, she will get it from her husband – the person who is legitimately in her life.  Your intentions may well be good, but I have never seen any good come out of such letters.  They are almost always misunderstood and they cause more harm than healing.

Free Yourself, But Let Her Go As Well: There is nothing wrong with wanting to put an apology on paper.  Many people find it to be very freeing and to be quite a relief.  There’s nothing wrong with trying it.  But I would suggest that you then burn the letter or keep it to yourself.  Giving it to the wife is only rubbing salt in the wound and it isn’t likely to benefit her.  If you truly want for both of you to heal, go ahead and release the words for your own healing, but then leave her alone.  Allow her to pick up the pieces of her life without additional interference.  She has already had this intrusion once and without invitation.  She does not need it again.  The kindest thing that you can do for her (and for yourself) is to bow out gracefully, move on, and to heal that so that you do not repeat the process again.

I applaud your wanting to start the healing process.  But forcing a letter on her is not the best way to go about it in my opinion.  Yes, I am biased, having to deal with my own husband’s affair.  But I am speaking honestly and from my heart.  And I am telling you what I think is most likely to benefit you both.  There’s more on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

What Is The Expected Outcome When You Leave Your Marriage To Pursue The Person You Had An Affair With?

By: Katie Lersch:  Most of the correspondence that I get comes from people who are in a marriage where an affair just ended and they are wanting to save their marriage eventually.  Occasionally though, I hear from someone who is considering ending their marriage to pursue an affair.  I sometimes wonder why they’ve chosen to reach out to me, when I make it pretty clear that I would never advocate for an affair.  But I think that perhaps they are looking for an honest answer – even if it is brutally honest one.  And maybe, just maybe, they are looking for someone to speak the truth.

They might explain something like: “I don’t want it to sound like ending my marriage is something that I take lightly.  It isn’t.  This is heart-wrenching for me and I know that whatever route I choose, it is going to hurt in some capacity and it is going to feel wrong. I honestly did try to end the affair and go back to my marriage.  I did make an honest attempt at that.  But it was a disaster.  Because I was always thinking of the other man.  I wasn’t really present when I was with my husband.  And he knew it.  My heart was somewhere else.  I just could not help it.  So I have made the very hard decision to leave my marriage to pursue this other man.  And the affair relationship is not even a sure thing. Because the other man is trying to save his marriage with his wife.  However, I suspect that as soon as he knows that I am available, he will choose me. And, I just can’t see any other way – even with the risk.  I can not be happy without him.  And I’m willing to risk everything for the chance of being with him.  So, now I am wondering what are realistic expectations with this?  What am I looking at moving forward?”

I’m going to say this as gently as I can.  I believe that you probably already know the answer to this question.  I’m not psychic.  But I know this because, from your own words, you repeatedly used the word ‘risk.’  The point is, you already know that this is an enormous risk for so many reasons.

First of all, I probably don’t need to tell you that the odds are so heavily stacked against you.  Second marriages don’t have the best odds of survival.  Even worse, second marriages to people who were affairs have absolutely dreadful odds.  I’ve seen some statistics that put the chance of success in the low single figures – meaning far less than ten percent or not even one out of ten.

Add that to the fact that you’re dealing with a man who is actively trying to save his marriage and I’d bet that the odds are even lower than that.  You’re assuming that he will choose you, but you don’t know that.  And assuming that he does, he may well resent you for breaking up the family that he was trying to get back.  If he has children, they may most certainly resent you, which will put additional strain on the relationship.  Not to mention that it’s very hard to have an affair-type relationship once you’re married.  Once the secrecy and scandal are gone, the excitement is usually also gone.

Marriage is hard.  This is true even when you start out in the most honest and righteous way imaginable.  It is true even when you’ve done everything right.  But when you start out in secret and shame and you shatter people along the way, then that relationship is already dealing a great deal of baggage that it’s going to drag along behind it throughout its existence.

That isn’t even considering the lack of trust that many couples in your situation deal with.  You already know that your husband-to-be has the ability to stray in his marriage when things get tough.  Who is to say he won’t do this to you?  These fears may always be in your mind (competing with that baggage that I discussed above,) for your attention.

Now I know what you might be thinking: “I know it’s going to be hard, but it’s also going to worth it.”  That’s truly for you to decide.  It sounds as if you already realize that it’s going to be a struggle.  I hear from many folks who did pursue the affair and who ended up deeply regretting it.  I have no idea if your marriage could survive if you turned your attention toward it.  But it seems to me that at least you might want to give the other man a chance to save his family before you pursue him.  Otherwise, you are trying to take someone else’s husband and someone else’s family member.  If he eventually divorces his wife (without outside influence from you,) then you would be in a different scenario.

But as it stands, the expectation for someone who leaves the marriage to pursue an affair is bleak.  You don’t need to take my word for this.  The statistics and odds for this are extremely daunting.  And all you have to do is look around at well-known couples who have tried this to know that it is often a disaster for all involved.

I know that at times it seems as though your marriage doesn’t stand a chance post-affair.  I thought this also.  And yet, I’m still married today.  I was not sold on saving my marriage at first.  But I’m glad that I did.  You can read more on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

My Spouse Cheated And I Don’t Know If I Would Even Want To Try To Get Over It

By: Katie Lersch:  I hear from a good deal of women who have recently found out about their husband’s affair.  A large number of them are at least open to the idea of one day repairing their marriage, but they have doubts as to whether or not this will be possible.  The main factor in these doubts is often the wife wondering if she will ever be able to “get over” the affair.

And there is another subset of wives that tend to get less discussion.  These are the wives who suspect that, in time and with a lot of assistance, they may in fact be able to get over the affair.  But they don’t necessarily know if they want to.  They wonder if it would even be worth it to try.

Here are is an example of the type of comment that you might hear from someone in this subset: “honestly, my husband seems so desperate to win me back after his affair, that I have no doubt in my mind that he will do whatever I ask of him.  So it is not outside of the realm of possibility that we could save our marriage.  I could envision a scenario where my husband would make a super-human effort to be the kind of husband that I deserve and then afterward, I might be open to ‘getting over’ the affair and moving on with my life.  I do believe that I COULD do that.  The problem is that I am not sure that I WANT to do that.  Because I feel that doing so would say as much about my own character as cheating did for my husband’s character.  I’ve never had much respect for women who blindly ‘stand by their man.’   It seems a little pathetic.  And so to keep my own self respect intact, I feel that I have to almost cut my husband loose and just accept that this might be the end for us.  And I’m really sorry about that.  But I’m not the one who cheated.  Is it valid to just not want to get over it?”

I think that any choice you make is valid.  You didn’t choose for him to have an affair, but you most certainly have a choice as to how you want to move forward.  No one can make this choice for you.  Only you know how you feel and what your wishes truly are.  I can’t really address that for you.

But what I can address is how you may look at things a little differently as this process goes along.  I can only speak from my own heart – having gone through this.  I had very similar concerns as yours.  I worried about my self esteem and self respect if I stayed with my husband.  Because of these concerns, I did not make a commitment to stay.  And I did not make a decision to leave.  ( Since I was just as worried about my anger causing me to make decisions as I was about my own self respect.)

I will admit that my kids were a big influence on my decision.  People may feel that this isn’t right or valid or that I was putting someone need’s instead of my own.  I’m not here to debate this.  I’m admitting that, in the beginning, it influenced my decision.  That said, if my husband had not been willing to step up to the plate and make things right, then no outside influences would have mattered.

I would not have been willing to save a marriage unless there had been remorse and rehabilitation. And there was both.  Because I was concerned about my self esteem and self respect, I set very high hurdles for my husband, none of which discouraged him.  He did everything that I was asked and even a little more.

I was very aware of rebuilding my self esteem and building myself up.  I did not want to always think that I had settled because I was afraid not to.  Because of this self-work, I never feel as though I was forced to stay or as though I didn’t have other options.  It was a choice.

I hope that this has helped some.  You don’t need anyone’s permission for any choices that you make after a spouse’s affair.  Not wanting to get over it is valid. You know yourself better than anyone else.  You know what you are willing to recover from and what you are not.  For me, my feelings did change over time. But perhaps because of my kids, I was willing for that process to happen.  I eventually became open to it.  And I realize that this will not always be true for everyone. You can read more about that process on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

My Affair Partner Won’t Let Go: Tips That Might Help

By: Katie Lersch:  Believe it or not, many people express a sense of relief when the affair ends.  Sometimes, the intensity of the affair is very exciting at first, but it becomes troublesome as time goes on, especially if the affair partner clings too tightly or almost becomes obsessive.  So it can be a huge relief to finally realize that the relationship was unhealthy and to go ahead and end it.

However, sometimes this relief is short-lived because, no matter how careful you are about how you end it, your affair partner can refuse to believe or accept it.  This can cause serious problems with your reconciliation (if that is the route you are pursuing,) and can make you wonder how to get your point across.

Someone might explain: “if I’m being honest, I have to admit that the other man came along in my life at a time when I truly needed someone.  My husband had cheated on me the year before and my self esteem was at an all time low. So when a very good-looking and younger man paid attention to me, I ate it up.  I was very receptive.  I needed it.  My husband had been trying to tell me that I was still attractive, etc., but I didn’t believe it coming from him. I was very willing to hear it from another man, though.  And not too long after that, we started having an affair.  Five years ago, I would have never believed that I would have cheated.  But frankly, I no longer had any qualms about it since my husband had cheated on me.  At first, I was actually quite happy.  The other man could not compliment me enough.  He was extremely attentive and sweet.  But over time, he began to get somewhat possessive.  If I had to do things with my family (like holidays or special occasions,) he became quite jealous and would actually text me repeatedly when he knew that I was with my family.  He started becoming a bit of a pain.  I tried to slow things down, but he wasn’t having it.  Finally, I decided that this was no longer worth it.  I told my husband everything and I broke off the affair.  My husband was understanding.  How could he not be, since he himself cheated?  However, the other man was not understanding. He keeps texting.  He has even called.  He has told me that maybe he just needs to have a face-to-face talk with my husband.  Obviously, I want to avoid this.  But he is not taking no for an answer.  He’s saying he loves me and that he knows that I will eventually regret giving him up.  I’ve made my decision. And the way that he is acting only reinforces that it was the right decision.  But how do I make him see that?”

Be Careful Not To Fall Into The Trap Of Giving The Affair Partner What They Want: This is tricky.  It’s tempting to just keep repeating your message in the hopes that at some point he will hear the message and be forced to accept it.  But when you do this, you are actually giving him exactly what he wants – more of your time and attention.  So long as you’ve been clear that it is definitely over and you are not going to change your mind, there is really no reason to keep hashing it out over and over again.

It’s my observation that people keep going back to the well only when there is a pay off.  If all they get is silence and are basically being ignored, there is no longer any pay off so there is no longer any reason to engage.  Now, sometimes you may have to change your phone numbers and emails in order to be able to not provide any pay off.  (And if you think that there is a really a chance that he will come by and see your husband, then you probably need to warn your husband about this and to put safeguards in place.)

Plus, if you think that there is any chance that he will be a threat in any way, then you need to take action to keep yourself (and your family) safe.  Only you can evaluate the need for this.

Ending Any Pay Off: It’s not unusual for an affair partner to have problems accepting your decision to end it.  Even if you’ve been clear on the fact that you didn’t intend to end your marriage because of the affair, the affair partner can still feel as if they are owed something because of their investment in time and emotions.  And they may try to make you feel guilty or ashamed because of this.  It’s best to stand you ground, make sure that you were clear, and then do not give them any pay off that would make them want to continue.  If all they hear is silence for their efforts, then what is the point of continuing?

We’ve all been in relationships that have ended and then had a hard time accepting it because we were hurt.  But most of us eventually move on because we would be wasting our time otherwise.  The key is the realization that continuing to put in time and effort is a waste of time.  And that is where not providing any pay off is key.

Thankfully, the other woman in my case high-tailed it out of my life.  But we had other issues that needed to be dealt with. You can read more on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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/

 

What Makes A Husband Want To Come Home After Having An Affair?

By: Katie Lersch: Much of the correspondence that I get comes from wives who are dealing with the aftermath of their husband’s affair. Some of them are dealing with husbands who are begging to be forgiven and so the wife has to decide what she wants. Others are dealing with a husband who continues to act in very undesirable ways, whether that means he continues to cheat or whether he moves out of the home and stays away from the family.

Wives in the latter situation can feel a bit helpless. Many wives are dealing with a husband who has left home. So these wives aren’t seeing any remorse. They aren’t able to witness their husband’s thought process and they are not privy to his wishes. And so even if they are not yet sure about their marriage or their path, they may begin to wonder what it might take to make their husband want to come home or to want to reach out – even if they aren’t yet sure where his return ultimately may lead.

A wife might say: “my husband no longer lives with the family. He cheated and I found out. I did not kick my husband out. But I was very angry and we could not communicate without having very nasty arguments, so he left. We talk occasionally. He swears that the affair has ended, but obviously I have no way of knowing if this is true. He doesn’t talk about why he’s away, but I would guess that it’s because things are so volatile with us and ended up being so nasty. Now that I have had time to calm down, I would like for him to come back so that we can see where we are and what we want. I feel that him being away is just making our problems worse. How can we possibly work things out if we don’t see each other? I was talking about this with a friend and she said that I need to consider that perhaps he does not want to come back. If this is true, what can I do to make him come back? What makes a man want to come home after an affair?”

Before I answer that, I want to stress that I think that, without any doubt at all, your best best it worry more about what YOU want and what will make YOU want him back. Because your feelings and your wishes are every bit as important as his, if not more so, simply because he is the one who took the action that caused this whole chain of events. Moving forward, there are generally things that happen that cause both spouses to rethink things. I will outline some of them below, but only with the caveat that the focus shouldn’t be on making things OK for him only. They should be on making things OK for you and then, if you ultimately choose, for both of you together.

He Understands That His Problems Didn’t Go Away By Leaving: Many men will have an affair at a time of deep reflection in their lives – perhaps after a crisis. Whether they realize it or not, many have an affair as a means to make things better or to relieve some pain. They follow this path like the pied piper, sure that it is going to improve their lives. And it may appear that this is working, at least for the short term. But an affair is often not sustainable. It doesn’t fix the crisis for the man because it is internal – inside of himself. Once he realizes this, there is no longer any reason to carry out the affair or to stay away, unless he chooses to continue on with this self – delusional thinking.

They Sense Something In Their Spouse Or With Their Situation That Makes Them Hope That They Won’t Be Rejected: Many husbands stay away because they know that life is going to be hard on them once they get back home. They know that they will have to look at their wife and face up to the pain that they have caused. They know that the running away is over. And they may fear that they will try to come home, only to have their spouse reject them. So when they have conversations or thought processes that provide some reassurance, this can nudge them toward coming home because they feel a little more safe in doing so.

No one wants to move toward a situation where they are going to be continuously rejected or where they are going to fail. Sure, there is no guarantee for anyone that a reconciliation is going to happen or that they are going to be welcomed with open arms. But sometimes a man is willing to come home when he feels that there is even the slightest chance that this might happen.

Many men get to a point where they realize their mistake and they know that the path forward is not going to be easy. But, at the same time, they know that they deserve their path because they themselves chose it. And so they gather their integrity and they try to face their wife in the hopes that something can be salvaged. They know that they may have to swallow their pride and withstand some anger and resistance. But ultimately, they decide that all of this is worth it because they realize the gravity of their mistake and they want to make things right again.

There isn’t always one event that brings this about. Often, it is time combined with him looking around and having the realization that the whole thing turned out very poorly and that it is all his fault. Since only he can control his thoughts and realizations, you can’t really control the time line or progression of this process. It has to come within him. But you can create the environment that is conducive to it by being cordial while still being authentic to yourself.

I came to realize that taking care of ME and focusing on what I wanted actually did have a positive impact on my husband.  I was demonstrating how I expected to be treated by the way that I was treating myself.  Once this shift happened, the healing began.  You can read more on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

Why Does My Husband Refuse To Say Anything Bad About The Other Woman?

By: Katie Lersch: When your husband has cheated on you, it’s very easy to direct most of your rage and anger toward the other woman. After all, she’s convenient. You probably don’t have to look at and interact with her every day (while the same is not true for your husband.) And, she deserves it. Most people agree that a woman who cheats with a married man is not exactly virtuous or above criticism. That’s why it can be hard for wives to understand why the husband doesn’t agree (or even join in) when there are very harsh words said about the other woman.

You might hear it expressed this way: “I find the woman who my husband cheated with deplorable. She knows me. She knows that I am struggling with my ill mother and she knows that my husband’s job loss has put a lot of stress on our family. She knows that my family is very vulnerable right now and that, with all that is going on, I’m just juggling things as best as I can but I am struggling just the same. Instead of offering me a helping hand, this woman cheated with my husband. What kind of low-life does this? What kind of unfeeling monster can see her friend treading water and not throw a life raft but instead attempt to ride off in the sunset with this friend’s husband? To me, the other woman is a hideous, deplorable, cruel creature who is no better than a common thief. She is uneducated and stupid. She is not attractive and is overweight. But when I say these things, my husband doesn’t automatically agree with me. He basically just stares at me blankly. He seems to understand that he shouldn’t defend the other woman. But he also seems to refuse to say anything negative or bad about her. Why? Does this mean that he thinks that she is an honorable person above reproach, because that is obviously not true? Does he still want to be with her? I don’t get it.”

Pondering His Thought Process: Obviously, any guesses that I make here are going to be just that – guesses. I can’t guess as to this husband’s mind set. But I can base any theories on comments that I usually get from married men in this same situation.

Many of these husbands will say that they don’t think that it is going to do them any good or benefit them in any way to talk about or debate the other woman. They are afraid that you are going to twist their words around or are going to become angry with them no matter what words they use. So, they figure it is more beneficial to them not to say anything at all.

They often don’t completely appreciate how their silence is almost worse than any words that they could say. Because they underestimate how you will sometimes assume the worst even when they don’t say anything. I suppose that it is possible that he might feel defensive of the other woman. I suppose that he may know in his heart that he pursued her somewhat or that she didn’t set out maliciously to hurt anyone. But I don’t think that you should just assume this.

Evaluating His Silence: His silence doesn’t necessarily mean that he still wants to be with her or that he thinks that she is a wonderful person with a good character traits. He may not be sure exactly what he is feeling or what he thinks of her, so he keeps silent. Or, he may actually agree with you, but think that it would be wrong of him to just pile on. He may also not be saying anything because he worries that your words for her may also be the words that you have for him. And he is afraid or reluctant to hear those words.

Whatever the reason, if you need to hear more from him in this regard, then you may want to speak up. You may not have success with demanding that your husband speak poorly of her. But you might want to try something like: “I can’t help but notice that every time I express a negative opinion about her, you stare at your shoes and refuse to say a word. This bothers me. Since you say nothing, I end up assuming that deep down, you are almost defending her. Or, I assume that you think that she is a wonderful person who acted honorably. This is so hard for me.  I don’t understand this. Can you help me out and share with me why you clam up every time I talk about her?”

The hope is that he will speak honestly, or at least try to. This may not happen all at once, but at least you would have encouraged him to communicate verbally because you’ve told him that you need more. It’s common that as the tension begins to lessen and he feels more safe and secure in speaking, you will see him open up more and more.

I do understand why you feel a certain betrayal when he doesn’t agree with you. I get it.  But I’d suggest trying to take the focus away from her and placing it onto yourself.     You can read more my own healing process after my husband’s affair on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com