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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am alive;

my children are alive;

my children and myself are healthy;

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

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

my dogs love me;

my extended family supports me;

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

we have a roof over our heads;

we have enough food to eat;

I have loving friends who will hold me up.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

My Husband Doesn’t Want To Have Sex With Me After He Has Ended His Affair. Why?

By: Katie Lersch: Sex after an affair is one of the most common topics that is brought up by people who read my blog.   There can be a lot of awkwardness, confusion, and questions about resuming your sex life after one spouse has been unfaithful.  And, there’s a lot at stake here because when sex goes wrong after infidelity, often one or both people read a lot into this and become very discouraged.

I heard from a wife who said: “my husband had a 3 month affair a couple of months ago.  When I found out, I gave him a choice.  End it immediately and do whatever I needed to save our marriage or keep it up and lose me.  He said that he didn’t want to lose our family so he broke it off.  However, although I can tell that he’s trying to work on our marriage, he doesn’t want to have sex with me.  He doesn’t come right out and say this but he’s made no sexual advances toward me since I found out about the affair.  And when I make advances toward him, he rebuffs me or tells me that it’s ‘too soon.’  This hurts me deeply because I worry that he doesn’t find me desirable or that I no longer turn him on.  I also worry that he doesn’t want me because he’s still thinking about her.  Why would a husband not want to have sex with his wife after an affair?”  There are actually many possible reasons for this, which I will discuss below.

He May Not Want To Have Sex Because He’s Worried That It Will Be Awkward:  Sometimes, men back off of having sex because they worry that when you are in the act, you are going to be thinking about or worrying about the other woman.  They worry that you will get upset during this and will be emotionally hurt.  Also, they often intuitively know that if sex doesn’t go well, this might make one or both of you worry that the spark is gone or that the affair has damaged your marriage and your chemistry so much, that it might not ever recover.

He Might Worry That You Will Be Turned Off Or Upset During The Act:  Some men worry that once sex actually takes place, you will become upset or overwhelmed.  It’s one thing to kiss and cuddle, it’s quite another when you are actually having intercourse after infidelity.  Sometimes, it is quite emotional and your husband might be trying to avoid this until you have healed or recovered more.

His Guilt May Be Telling Him That He Doesn’t Deserve It: Another possibility is that your husband feels very guilty and feels as if he doesn’t deserve your willingness to have sex with him.  He may feel as if he needs to earn back your trust before he even thinks about deserving to be intimate with you again.

His Emotions May Be All Over The Place:  There’s an assumption that men are willing to have sex anywhere and anytime no matter what the circumstances.  There is also a perception that while a woman needs an emotional connection or to feel emotionally healthy before she can have sex, a man doesn’t need any emotional connection whatsoever.  This isn’t the case for all men.  Some have issues being intimate when they are struggling emotionally.  And, believe it or not, men can be emotionally torn after an affair.  They can have some confusion and a large sense of regret. And this can bring about emotions that just make sex at that time feel wrong.

He May Be Posturing:  I’ll mention one final possibility, although this one is less common.  Sometimes, his holding off on having sex is part of a strategy.  Sometimes, he knows that you have the power in the marriage right now because of his affair.  And sometimes, he will try to regain some of this power by holding off sexually.  He figures if he can make you pursue him, he won’t have as much making up to do. And you have to decide if you’re going to want to allow him to do this.

How To Respond When He Doesn’t Want To Have Sex After Infidelity:  I know that this is probably not what you want to hear.  But honestly, I feel that it is best not to push if you are encountering resistance. There is plenty of time to resume your sex life and you are so much better off waiting until things are right between you.  I believe that it’s important for the sex to be good after the affair.  And it probably won’t be very good if one or both of you aren’t sure or feel uncomfortable.

So the next time that he resists, you may want to say something like: “I can see that you’re not completely comfortable.  I think that it’s better for us to wait and make sure that we are both ready rather than to push it.  I am confident that we will both know when the time is right.  And I’m also confident it will be worth the wait.”  Then, just get on with your healing.  Many men will see you backing up and then they will start pursuing you, at which point you’ll need to make another decision about how best to proceed.

I know that this is difficult.  But I strongly advocate waiting until you know, without any doubt whatsoever, that the time is right.  You don’t want to have sexual issues in addition to the infidelity issues.  A good sex life can help with the healing.  And an awkward one can delay your progress.  I have to admit that I held off for a while after my husband’s affair.  It just felt necessary and, since we did save our marriage and are happy today, I feel that it was the right call.  If it helps, you can read about my recovery on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

How Can I Get Over My Husband’s Affair Once And For All?

By: katie lersch: If you’re Googling and researching phrases like “how to survive an affair,” “how to forgive my husband’s affair,” “how to get past an affair,” etc., then I can certainly identify and empathize with you and hope that I can help. My husband had an affair several years ago and at that time, I thought my world was ending and could not see past it for a long time.  But, although I never would have believed it at the time, not only did I survive it, it actually made our marriage stronger. No, it wasn’t easy and it took a lot of patience and work, but in the end, the affair brought certain issues into the light that were hiding in the dark, issues that I never knew existed, but which were laying in wait, ready to sabotage my marriage. The affair also gave rise to self esteem issues that I had been battling for a long time, but finally overcame. However, first things first. This article will give you some tools to help you survive or get over your husband’s affair.
Don’t Obsess Over The Issues That Won’t Help Your Healing, Like Details About The Other Woman Or Who Knew About The Affair: I know that this may sound impossible to you now, but trust me when I tell you that obsessing over the other woman or what she has that you don’t, (who she is, how they met, what she looks like, etc.) will not help you heal. All it is going to do is contribute to a destructive cycle that feeds upon itself and only makes the situation and your mental state worse. It’s perfectly normal to wonder about this, but it just isn’t worth it. It will only put destructive images in your head that will be hard to banish.
There’s a well known infidelity study which polled married men who had cheated. Only 12% of them said “the other woman” was prettier than their wife.  So put that worry to rest. There’s nothing special about her. Another common place where we get tripped up is that we want to know ALL the ways that we were betrayed. We want to know who else knew and how this whole charade was pulled off. So, if one of our neighbors or friends knew, then we will then turn our rage towards them too. The problem is that now we will begin to feel that the whole world has conspired against us, when really, this isn’t true. Feeling like a black cloud is hanging over you is only going to delay in your healing. No good is going to come of it.  For me, people I trusted (my husband) deceived me, but others (neighbors) were trying to protect me. Understand that there are really only two people to place direct blame upon here – your husband and her. Of those two, your husband is the only one that you want to have contact with – this should be the only relationship with which you concern yourself.
When You Are Ready, Understand Why The Affair Happened: It may be a while before you are ready to hear and understand the full details of the affair, (you may never want to hear it all) and you may need help understanding what your husband is really saying. Men are sometimes horrible at effectively communicating their feelings. They will give you vague, silly explanations like “it was just a mistake,” “it didn’t mean anything,” or “it’s not me, it’s you.” These things can sometimes sound like lies your husband is either telling himself or telling you.
However, you may be surprised to know that according to much research and counseling I have participated in, these phrases are often rooted in the truth.  Many men cheat simply because they’ve lost important feeling about themselves. I’ll explain. When a man is young and in love, he feels virile, alive, attractive, worthy, and competent. This is often because the woman he loves is lavishing a lot of attention, appreciation, and affection his way (often when you are first dating). Eventually though, married couples have to focus on other obligations like your job, your kids, your aging parents, etc. Many wives assume that their husband sees their struggle to juggle it all, knows that you love him, and would give him more time and attention if you could.
This assumption is partly wrong. Men feel guilty to want and need so much of your attention. So, instead of saying “hey honey, you know all those good feelings we were generating? Well, I want to get them back. Can I have more of your time?,” they will go and try to generate these feelings somewhere else. (Of course, this is messed up logic, but they don’t see it at the time.) Often, they don’t mean to hurt you, it really doesn’t mean a whole to them, and they never think you will find out. So, they assume they will just take care of this problem themselves and then everything will carry on. (This is unbelievably wrong, but they don’t understand this.)
In the infidelity study I mentioned earlier, over 77% of the men surveyed said they were “deeply sorry,” about the affair. And the vast majority said they cheated for EMOTIONAL not  PHYSICAL reasons. Many people assume that affairs are all about sex. They aren’t and it’s a huge mistake to think so. Knowing this then, should at least give you a foot hold on how to proceed. You absolutely need for your husband to understand the devastation of his actions. He is certainly not blameless. But likewise, you need to understand the factors that contributed to the affair so that you can address them if you want to save your marriage, if you want to.
Turn The Focus Away From Him (At Least Initially) And Turn It Towards Healing Yourself And Boosting Your Self Esteem:  Obviously, especially at first, the affair is going to encompass a huge chunk of your life. However, don’t let yourself get lost in the mix. Don’t put yourself on the back burner. So often, a woman whose husband has cheated will have a huge blow dealt to her self esteem. She will feel old, ugly, and not sexually alluring. Please understand that although these feelings are natural and understandable, they will eat you alive.  And, this self doubt is a marriage killer.  Your husband may be very sincere when he tells you that he still finds you extremely attractive, but self doubt or low self esteem will ensure that you don’t believe him.
It’s a vicious cycle. Take great pains to focus on your own self care and your own self worth. Get a complete make over. Take up a new hobby. Get out and see friends. Do whatever you need to do to put a genuine smile on your face. This will send a distinct message to your husband and to your own self conscience. In order to really “get over an affair,” you need to fully understand that it wasn’t your fault and that there is nothing at all wrong with you or something that some other woman had that you don’t or didn’t. This was a horrible, unfortunate decision your husband made that has less to do with you then you might think. But, you can heal from it – and so can your marriage, if that is what you want. Yes, it may take a bit of work, but in the end, I know from experience that you, and your marriage, can emerge stronger as a result.
Although I never would’ve believed this two years ago, my marriage is stronger than ever after my husband’s affair. 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 at an all time high. I no longer worry that my husband will cheat again. You can read my story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

Why Doesn’t My Husband See The Other Woman For Who She Really Is?

I hear from a good deal of faithful wives who are incredibly frustrated that their husband can’t see the other woman accurately.  To the wife and to many others, it can be painfully obvious who the other woman is and what she is after.  But to the husband, it is apparently almost impossible to see.  The wife can wonder why this happens and what she can do to overcome it

She might say, “It is so obvious to me and to almost everyone who knows my husband that the person with whom he has been having an affair is a complete and total gold digger. He met her at a diner that he goes to with clients.  She is a waitress.  She has nothing and offers no accomplishments to speak of.  I’m not even sure if she finished high school.  However, she is pretty. And she is gullible.  And that’s apparently all that is required right now.  I honestly think that if my husband was not successful and could not advance her financially, then she would not have anything to do with him.  In fact, I’ve heard that she has a history of cheating with married men and then she will dump them as soon as someone with more money or prestige comes along.  I fully believe that she is looking for the richest man that she can find who she can get to leave his wife and marry her.  She definitely wants to get married so that she doesn’t have to work anymore.  I hope that my husband wouldn’t be this stupid.  And he claims to want to save our marriage, but he also admits that he’s having a hard time letting her go.  This is so frustrating to me because the last thing that I want is to have this low class loser as the stepmother to my children.  But my husband honestly does not find fault with her.  He says that it is elite thinking for me to believe that I am better than her just because I have an education and she doesn’t.  He said that not everyone is fortunate enough to have those opportunities and that I should not be so judgmental. Of course, this totally ignores the fact that her lack of education has nothing to do with the fact that she goes from one married man to another.  I have actually considered a couple of plans to show my husband who he is dealing with.  I’ve considered offering her a large amount of money to leave my husband alone.  I know that she would take it because she’s all about the money.  I’ve also considered having a close male friend of mine pose as a wealthy customer to show my husband how quickly she will turn her head when a better offer comes along. How else will I get him to see who she really is?”

I completely understand what you are trying to do.  It’s very frustrating when something seems so obvious, but your husband does not seem to understand it.  However, I’d venture to say that deep down, he does understand, but he does not want to face facts.  He has eyes and ears and he’s probably heard the same things that you have about the other woman having multiple affairs with successful men.  So deep down, he probably already knows her history.  However, he ignores this because it’s just human nature to want to hope for the best.  We all hope that we are in some way special enough so that things will be different or unique for us.

Here’s another important thing to consider.  Men who have affairs are vulnerable men.  We all know the stereotype of the older, successful married men who falls prey to the gold digging, younger woman.  Nearly everyone in society is aware of this stereotype and yet, the successful married men (who are very smart) go forward anyway.  Why?  Because they don’t want to see themselves as the pathetic older man who is trying to hold onto his youth and vitality by having a silly affair.  They want to see themselves as a powerful force to be reckoned with. They are unsure of themselves and are therefore trying to create an image or to feel some relief from their self doubt, which is why they have the affair in the first place.

Seeing themselves as a vulnerable older man would run counter to this image.  It would force them to see themselves in a way that they are already trying so desperately to avoid.

Believe it or not, I don’t know of any situation like the one that you are describing (where you try to “catch” the other woman’s insincerity) as turning out well. Often, even if you catch her red handed, the husband will be mad at YOU, and not at her.  Why? Because your catching her makes him look like a fool and makes him face the image of himself that he does not want to see.  So he may reject you and not her, just to save face.

I know that this is difficult, but you are better off letting him find this out for himself, as painful as it might be when he does.  If the other woman is as shallow as you say, then really, it is only a matter of time.  And when it happens, he has no reason to be angry at you because you did nothing wrong, other than just watched and waited.

To answer the original question, cheating husbands don’t see the other woman for who they are because they do not want to.  They are so desperately trying to feel better about themselves and trying to craft a desirable image.  Facing the fact that the other woman is only interested because she is an opportunist is facing the pain and vulnerability that they are trying to escape from. Eventually, most men will try to avoid being made a fool of.  The other woman will often also make a mistake or will dump the husband for a better option.  And when this happens, you are in a better position because you did nothing wrong.

I know that it’s tempting to try to expose her true colors, but it is better to allow your husband to face the stark, cold facts on his own.  This might mean that you have to wait, but moving now might mean that he resents you anyway.  You are better off biding your time and knowing that the inevitable will come.  You can read about my recovery after my husband’s affair on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com.

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