My Spouse’s Reason For Leaving Me Is That I Always Threw The Affair In His Face

By: Katie Lersch: Many spouses initially attempt to stay together after one of them has an affair. I find that this always shocks people. There is an assumption that the discovery of an affair has an immediate and dramatic effect (and it often does.) But ending your marriage on the spot is something that few are willing to do – especially if their are children or other joint responsibilities involved.

Why The “Throwing It In His Face” Thing Happens: Many couples take a sort of “wait and see” approach. They sort of stumble along and they hope that things get better. But what they typically find is that, without help, it’s very hard not to hyperfocus on the shock, resentment, and anger. And so the faithful spouse might always lash out with reminders about the affair. This behavior is known by the very unscientific term of “throwing the affair back in his face.”

The vast majority of husbands who I hear from accuse their wives of this. And I think most of us can understand why the wife does it: She’s still reeling. And she never wants him to forget what he has done. Plus, she is often trying to get a reaction out of him so that she can better understand why he has done this. She doesn’t wake up in the morning and say “gee, let me see how many times I can remind my husband of his mistake. Let me see how effective I can be at throwing it in his face.” No, it’s just kind of something that happens. The words come spilling out of her mouth before she can stop them and her husband’s reaction perpetuates the problem.

The Impact: When this goes on for too long, it can become every bit as detrimental to the marriage as the affair because the husband can begin to think that he is going to have to deal with this for the rest of his life. He begins to think that he can’t go for many more days of being constantly reminded of his mistake. And that might be when he leaves. Of course, the wife can think that this is horribly unfair. She might say: “After all of my cheating husband’s begging me not to leave him, I agreed to work on our marriage. This was somewhat against my better judgement, but I did this for my kids. Now after I made this big sacrifice in good faith, my husband has informed me that he is leaving me because I ‘throw the affair in his face all of the time.’ I plead guilty to this. You bet I do. I admit that I probably bring up the affair a little more than I should. Sometimes, I don’t mean to but it just sort of comes out. But what does he really expect from me? It’s very unrealistic for him to think that I’m just not going to talk about it or not to mention it. I feel that I have that right. And if this is something that he did not want to discuss, then he should have thought about that before he decided to have an affair. So now he is willing to throw our marriage away even though four weeks ago, he begged me not to do the same. I just don’t get it. So now I guess I am going to end up divorced anyway.”

Ask Yourself What Your Husband Really Wants (Because It Might Not Be A Divorce:) I understand your thought process, but I can tell you that many couples struggle with this issue. And certainly not all of them end up divorced. I also suspect that right now, your husband is trying to get your attention. It’s possible that what he really wants is for you to back off on the whole “throwing it in his face” thing rather than wanting to actually be divorced – especially since not more than a month ago, he was begging you to save the marriage.

Many men actually do understand why you bring it up, but they don’t want a life sentence of having to listen to it everyday of their life. And, because they are so close to it, they can’t see a scenario where it will taper off.

Seeing The Light At The End Of The Tunnel: I can tell you that once you get some sort of help or gain some sort of momentum, you often begin to bring it up less – because you begin to feel that you are making progress. I can’t tell you the last time my husband and I discussed the affair. But to be fair, that was over years ago. We have moved on, and it just is no longer part of our lives. But in order to get to this place, we had to do the work first. And during that time, we did have to talk about it quite a bit. Once we started counseling and I started some self work, I didn’t feel the immediate need to talk about it ALL of the time because I knew that it would be addressed regularly. This really helped and I think that it could help you also.

Because really, you just want to feel as if you are being heard. You just want some relief. If you know that say, once a week, you will be able to have your say, then you will be less likely to keep bringing it up. And if your husband knows that he might go from hearing it once a day to once a week, he will be more likely to cooperate to regular (but more limited) discussions. If he still insists on leaving, then at least the counseling can help you to co-parent. That’s beneficial by itself. But many couples find that this type of counseling ends up helping them as a couple also.

For whatever it’s worth, I think that it’s possible that your husband doesn’t actually want a divorce.  He just wants a break in being reminded of his mistake.  He may eventually come to understand that the fastest way to stop making this the primary topic of conversation is to start to heal.  Once you’ve healed your marriage, there’s no longer any need to keep bringing it up or to throw it in anyone’s face.  If it helps, you can read more about my own journey with this on my blog at

Do Men Really Feel Guilty After Having An Affair? Or Do They Just Pretend?

By: Katie Lersch:  I sometimes hear from women who are having a hard time believing that a man feels guilty for cheating or having an affair. Often, it is the wife who had her doubts. But other times, it is the other woman who eventually can’t help but notice that the husband seems to think he’s entitled to his behavior.

Common comments from wives are things like: “my husband claims that he is sorry and guilty about having an affair, but I have my doubts. He cheated on me with a much younger woman from his job. He made her all sorts of promises and gave her money in order to cover her living expenses. And he lied to both of us. He told her that our marriage was in name only. And he told me that she had left the job to go back to school while that most certainly was not true. When we both caught him in his lies, he supposedly broke off the affair. He promised me that he would go to counseling and that he would prove to me that he could be a good husband. He hasn’t done any of this. He says he’s sorry, but his life hasn’t changed any, really. I asked him if he feels guilty and he says that he does. But his actions don’t really indicate that he is telling me the truth.”

In contrast the other woman might say something like: “the guy that I ended up having an affair with told me that he wasn’t married. He told me that he had just gone through a nasty divorce. Imagine my shock and horror when his wife saw my information on his phone and called me. She had no idea and she seems like a really sweet woman. I broke it off with this man and I told him that he should be completely ashamed of his behavior. He apologized and said he does feel guilty, but part of me wonders if he will just do this to someone else. Do men really feel guilty when they behave this way?”

Well, I have to disclose that I’m not a man who has cheated. But I have spoken with many men who meet this description and some of them leave comments on my blog. Granted, my focus is on saving your marriage after infidelity so it’s probably fair to say that only a certain type of man is going to be willing to dialog with me about this. With that said, I can tell you that many men do feel guilty but they keep this to be almost a closely guarded secret. I’ll tell you why below.

Many Men Don’t Want You To Know How Guilty They Feel Because They’re Afraid You Will Use This Against Them: Men who are caught in an affair will often feel a bit defensive. They know that they are in the wrong and they know that they are deserving of whatever reaction you might have. But at the same time, they are embarassed and ashamed. And they don’t want to continue to have to keep talking about this. They don’t want you to keep picking at the scab. So they will appear to be distant or cold, all in the hopes of keeping you at arm’s length.

Because they are concerned that if they show you any weakness like guilt, you are going to pounce on it and then dig to determine what exactly they have to feel guilty about.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that they get a pass. You need to see their guilt and feel confident that they actually feel it. Because feeling guilt shows you that they know that what they did was wrong, which is one thing that might ensure that this doesn’t happen again. It also typically means that they still care enough about you to feel remorse that they have hurt you.

With all of this said, I will say that repeat cheaters are often less guilty. Because they have cheated more than once, they have found various ways to justify their cheating, which means that they are less likely to feel remorse. But men who have never cheated before are, at least in my opinion and experience, likely to feel some guilt.

How To Get Him To Open Up About His Guilt: It’s very understandable that you want to believe that he feels genuine guilt. But at the same time, it’s also understandable that he might not want to bear his soul on a daily basis. So you might just want to have an open conversation about this by saying something like: “I just need to believe that you truly feel remorse and guilt. And I don’t want this because I want to hurt or shame you. I want to see this because it helps me to know that you still care enough to feel these things and it helps me to feel confident that you know what you did was wrong. Because if both of these things are present, I know that you are less likely to cheat again. I don’t expect for you to fall to your knees and declare your guilt, but I’d just like to see your remorse in the way that you treat me and in the way that you approach our marriage.”

Hopefully, this will clear the way for him to be more transparent about his feelings. But to answer the question posed, yes, many first time cheaters do feel a great deal of guilt about their actions.

My husband didn’t show his guilt at first.  But once it became obvious that I wasn’t interested in using his guilt against him, he became more willing to let it show and this truly helped in our recovery.  If it helps, you can read more on my blog

How Do Husbands Feel After They Tell Their Wife About Their Affair? Can You Trust Their Reaction?

By: Katie Lersch:  I often have people ask me how men feel when they are caught cheating.  And this is usually the way that it happens – that they are “caught” because the wife gets suspicious and she begins to snoop a little and finds evidence of infidelity.

Occasionally though, a spouse will show some courage and integrity and they will confess everything and come clean before the wife has any inkling or proof that something is wrong.  Many of these confessions bring about a lot of tears and apologies.  It can be hard for the faithful spouse to process this at the time of the confession. Because you’re so shocked and hurt by what he is saying, that, at the time, you can’t even think about his tears. It usually is not until later that you start to remember his sad reaction and ask yourself if it was real or just an act.

A wife might ask: “how does a man really feel when he tells his wife everything about the cheating?  Because quite frankly, my husband made a fool of himself.  He is a pretty stoic person in general, but when he told me he had been cheating, he could barely get out the words.  He was crying and carrying on and his nose was running uncontrollably.  I was almost embarrassed for him. We’ve gone through hard times before but I’ve never seen him act that way.  He could barely assure me that the affair was over because he kept choking on his words and sobbing. I was telling a friend of mine about this and she said that it was all an act.  She said that men just act sad and guilty so that we will feel sorry for them.  But she said that if there were any real guilt, he would not have cheated in the first place.  Is she right?”

At the risk of sounding like I am defending husbands who cheat (and I promise that I am not,) I don’t think that your friend is right for every situation.  It varies from marriage to marriage or from man to man, at least in my opinion.  Are there some husbands who will put on a fake display in order to gain your sympathy and in the hopes that you won’t be too hard on them?  Of course there are.  Without any doubt.

But I do hear from a good deal of men who ask about the right way to tell their wife about the affair and I can tell you that they seem incredibly sad, sorry, guilty, and filled with anxiety.  And they wouldn’t have any need to put on any sort of display for me because I do not know them or their wives.

Horrific Guilt And Shame:  I find that many men say they want to confess not only because they know that it is the right thing to do and that they want to save their marriage, but because they just can not take the guilt any more.  They would rather own up to their actions and take the consequences than to not be able to look in the mirror or sleep at night because of the guilt.

Also, you might be seeing some shame in those tears.  Many men are deeply ashamed of themselves and fully aware that this is a mistake like no other that is going to inflict a very special type of pain that is extremely hard to erase.

He May Hope That Honesty Might Matter To You:  Knowing the consequences of telling the truth, some cheating husbands go forward and confess anyway.  Why?  Many of them say that they now realize they want their marriage, but they know that this isn’t going to be possible with this big lie just waiting to be discovered. So they want to start out with a clean slate and a clear conscience in the hopes that their being honest will matter to you and will count for something.

With Some Effort, You Might Be Able To Feel A Taste Of What He Is Feeling Right Now: It may help to recall a time when you made a mistake that you knew was going to be a disaster and you had to confess it.   We’ve all done something like this – whether it is betraying a friend, messing up horribly in our jobs and having to confess our costly mistake, or confessing about wrongdoing in some other aspect of our lives.  Many of us will try to find another way because we know the confession is going to hurt.  But we know it is the right thing to do and so we do it, but it is painful.

I can remember several examples of this from telling my mother that I snuck out of the house and wrecked her car from confessing to a boss that I mixed up important documents that were going out to clients and would soon be discovered.

In every instance, I cried.  I blubbered.  I was ashamed and embarrassed and exposed.  We have all had these instances in our lives.  We can all remember something like this.  Now multiply that feeling.  Because the description that I gave above is very similar to what cheating husbands recount.  And he knows that his mistake is like no other.  He knows there is no erasing it and he knows it was made toward the most important relationship in his life.

To be fair, I am not a man who has cheated.  So I have never felt this exact thing myself.  But I do think that I have a good idea.  I think that we all have a good idea.  Because we have all had to confess embarrassing and shameful things we have done that we wish we could take back but now have to take responsibility for.  And this feels awful.  I hope that this has given you some insight into how your husband might have felt.

Frankly, shortly after I found out about my husband’s affair, I didn’t care how badly he felt.  I hoped he felt awful and ashamed.  But in time, I learned that in order for us to move on, we were both going to have to heal and try to move past the bad feelings.  There’s more about that on my blog at

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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