Trying To Get Your Husband To End His Affair Or Choose You Over The Other Woman? These Tips Might Help

In a perfect world, as soon as you found out about your husband’s affair, he would fall over himself apologizing and outlining how he was going to banish the other woman from his life. He would make promises to make this up to you, regain your trust, and ultimately to save your marriage.

This isn’t the reality for some women though. Sometimes, the husband isn’t sure if he wants to end the affair. For whatever reason, he sometimes isn’t sure if wants to let the other person go. Sometimes he is honest and forthcoming about this and sometimes he isn’t. Some men will tell you that they are ending the affair when they really aren’t. It won’t be until later that you find out that they’ve continued to carry on with the other woman as though nothing has changed.

Many wives, quite understandably, become very frustrated with this situation because they feel a huge lack of control. Many want to save their marriages (despite their husband’s behavior) but they aren’t sure how this is going to be possible when he refuses to end the affair. Many ask me how they can force his hand so to speak and get him to let her go once and for all.

I often hear comments like “how can I get my husband to end the affair? The other woman works with him and he sees her every day. He just doesn’t seem willing to let her go, even though he says he still loves me and isn’t ready to end our marriage. She seems to have some pull over him that I can not figure out and over come. But I’m not sure how to play this. Part of me wants to give him an ultimatum, but I’m afraid that if I did this, he’d simply walk away. Is there anything that I should be doing or that I shouldn’t do?”

In the following article, I’ll discuss what I consider to be the things that you shouldn’t do (and want to avoid) when you’re trying to get your husband to end the affair, come back to you, and save the marriage.

Why You Don’t Want To Give Your Husband Either / Or Ultimatums: I know that this is usually the first card that the wife will want to play. This is very tempting because if you tell your husband that it’s her or you, then the idea is that he will HAVE to make a decision – and hopefully he will make this decision very quickly. Many wives want to sit him down and tell him that he has a set deadline to decide if he’s going to go with the other woman or stay with the wife. The wife will usually stress that once this decision is made, there is no going back. She’ll tell him that he has to decide and he has to decide right now.

Believe me when I say that I understand the logic behind this strategy. You are trying to force him to come to a decision and you’re hoping that your history with him (and the decency inside of him) will mean that he chooses you. However, this isn’t always what ends up happening. Sometimes, rather than allowing himself to be forced or rushed into making a decision, the husband will just tell the wife that if this is the line she’s drawn in the sand, then he’ll have to bow out. Often, he just isn’t sure what he wants and being forced into making up his mind seems like a worse alternative than indecision.

I often hear from men in this situation who say things like “my wife demanded that I chose between her or the other woman. At the time, my head was messed up, I was confused, and I just didn’t know what I wanted and so I chose the other woman simply because my wife wouldn’t give me any more time. We aren’t together anymore. I wish I had chosen my wife but she wouldn’t give me any leeway. Perhaps if she had been a little more patient, we would still be married today. But the ultimatum actually made things worse.”

Now, by saying this I certainly don’t mean that you should allow your husband to have a relationship with both you and the other woman. This isn’t acceptable either. But the compromise for that would be to tell your husband that you can’t have an intimate relationship with him while he still has a relationship with the other woman. This just isn’t acceptable to you. While he is having a relationship with her, then your relationship will certainly not be an intimate one. However, when he comes to a decision and hopefully decides that he wants to be with you and only you, then those circumstances might change.

Resist Trying To Elicit Negative Feelings In Your Husband (Like Guilt, Shame, Or Embarrassment:) As a wife who was cheated on, I suspect I know what you’re feeling right now. I know that you find your husband’s behavior absolutely deplorable. I know that you think he should be ashamed by and guilty for his actions. And I also know that it’s very tempting to point this out to him, especially when you’re trying to convince him to give her up.

Many women will try phrases like “how could you do this to our family?” Or “look at you carrying on like an insecure old man in the middle of a mid life crisis. When are you going to return to reality and realize that you’re betraying someone who has always been there for you and has loved you for more years than you care to admit? You are jeopardizing everything we have worked for because of some passing phase with some low quality tramp.”

And he may well deserve to hear this. These phrases could and probably are true. But, the thing is, he doesn’t want to hear this when he is so unsure about himself. He likely hears this in his own head coming from his own voice. He may not show the guilt and shame he’s feeling, but deep down, it is very likely there. But if you keep trying to make him feel even more badly about himself, he is likely to associate this negativity with you and it could affect his decision as to whether to end the affair.

With All These Don’ts, What Can I Safely Do To Get Him To End The Affair?: Admittedly, you can not control his feelings and his actions right now, but you can control your own. You can take the high road and work on your own well being and recovery right now. And you can take a look at the statistics about affairs lasting (the odds aren’t very good) and know that if you bide your time and paint yourself in the most flattering and dignified light, you will often win this battle.

But sometimes, you have to give it a little time and you have to allow him to come to these realizations himself. Many men do come to realize that they acted in stupid and embarrassing ways and they are sorry. But if you try to force these realizations on him before he comes to these conclusions himself, he may resent or even distance himself from you when this isn’t what you want.

I know that getting your husband to end the affair is probably just one difficult issue you are dealing with. But hang in there. Healing is eventually possible and it’s worth it. 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 pretty high. I no longer worry my husband will cheat again. You can read a very personal story on my blog at

I Live In Fear Of Him Cheating Again Or Having Another Affair.

By: katie lersch: I often hear from wives who live in constant fear that they will have to deal with another round of cheating or yet another affair.  Many times, their husband has repeatedly assured them that they have nothing to worry about and that he’ll never cheat again.  But of course, that’s a hard sell to someone who has already been betrayed once.

In the back of their minds many wives are thinking “yes, and I thought I didn’t have anything to worry about before and yet you cheated on me then.  What’s to stop you from doing it again?  How am I supposed to trust you when you’ve already betrayed me once and I never saw it coming?”

There’s no doubt that restoring the trust can certainly be a challenge.  But living in fear is really no way to live at all.  In the following article, I’ll offer some tips to help you if you’re having constant fear of him cheating again.

Do You Really Believe That He’s Sorry, That’s He’s Rehabilitated And That Your Marriage Can Recover?:  These really are the questions that you must answer.  Because if you can’t very confidently answer yes to these questions, then there’s still work to do because you still have doubts. And the doubts really are the root of all fear.

Now, I realize it’s very difficult (if not impossible not to have doubts.)  But if they are constant and if you don’t know how to respond to them, then they will take over everything else.

And if you have done the work with your husband that necessary for recovery and have strengthened both yourself and your marriage, then frankly, the doubts do not have nearly as much power over you anymore.

Yes, they still come.  But they are much easier to brush off and to quiet because you have laid a new foundation.  If you’ve not yet there, this doesn’t mean that you can’t get there.  It just may mean that you still need some time, need some more assistance, or you need more from him.

If you do not have what you need, sometimes you have to take responsibility for getting it.  Yes, recovery lies mostly on your husband’s shoulders  because he is the one who cheated.  However, he can’t always read your mind or know what you need.  Men aren’t as intuitive as we might like them to be.

And, to be fair, many men tell me that they will ask their wives what they can do to help her and she will rebuke him or tell him that she’s fine when very obviously she is not.

So, it can really help to take a very honest look at where you are in the recovery process and make sure that you have everything you need.  If you have your doubts about his rehabilitation or remorse, then by all means address this.  If you still don’t believe your marriage will survive, then act rather than allowing the doubts to win.

How Confident Are YOU In YOURSELF?:  Please don’t think I’m putting all of the responsibility on you because I’m not.  But, in addition to your beliefs about your husband and your marriage, your belief in yourself can truly make or break your recovery and your confidence after his affair.

I often ask women in this situation what they are so very afraid of that they are living in fear.  They will often say something like “I am desperately afraid that he’ll cheat again.”  To which I’ll often reply “but why?”

And they will hesitate.  Of course they don’t want to go through this again.  No one does.  But at the end of the day, you have to know that you will be just fine no matter what.  You have to have confidence in yourself that, should he betray you again despite your best efforts, you are strong enough to handle it.

I know this may not seem like a good or fair deal – but neither is living in fear.  Because when you are filled with fear and doubt, you can’t really live completely fully.

When you’re so fearful or obsessed about the next affair or the next bout of cheating, you can’t be fully invested in your marriage and your husband will know the difference.  In essence, you could well be bringing about exactly what you don’t want to happen – the failure of your marriage – all because of your fears.

I know that this is difficult, but you don’t deserve to live in fear.  Please do whatever you need to do to make a decision about rebuilding your marriage and yourself.  Because regaining your confidence in your marriage and your own abilities really can help to quiet those doubts.

I did live in fear for a while after my husband’s affair.  But then I decided I was really just sentencing myself to more pain – which I certainly didn’t deserve – so I choose to let that go.  Today, my marriage is stronger than it ever was.  My husband proved himself worthy and I no longer live in that fear.  If it helps, you can read about how I got past the affair on my blog at

I’m Not Sure If I Still Love Him After His Affair

By: Katie Lersch: I sometimes hear from wives who are not only unsure about how they feel about their marriage after their husband’s affair, they are unsure about how they feel about their husband himself.  I heard from a wife who said: “my husband cheated on me with our accountant.  I have known this woman for many years and I trusted her.  At the same time, I have been married to my husband for half of my adult life.  No one knows me better.  No one else has been through life’s up and downs with me in the way that he has.  He’s begging me to give him another chance and has promised intense counseling of my choosing.  My problem is that I’m not sure if I love him anymore.  I understand that I am angry with him.  But it’s more than that.  I need to respect someone to love them.  I do not respect what he did.  I am not attracted to someone with a lack of character and I feel that he doesn’t have the character that I thought that he did.  He says he will prove to me that the good parts of his character are still there.  And there have been moments that I will look at him and still feel some simmering of love, but then I think back to how he betrayed me and whatever I’m feeling is extinguished almost instantly. How do I know if I still love him? And what should I do in the meantime?”  I’ll try to answer these questions in the following article.

Why I Think It’s Best Not To Try To Sort Out Love Until You’ve Had Enough Time To Reflect:  The wife was probably right in her assumption that her anger and shock was clouding her feelings.  Because right now, all that she was able to see was how his character was lacking.  This is completely understandable and no one can blame her for this.  However, when all you can see are the bad parts of his character, you aren’t likely to see any of the good parts.  Which means that you aren’t looking at this even remotely objectively.  Any decision about your marriage is an important decision.  Give yourself the time to make the right one for you.  I know first hand that in the initial time period after the affair, your anger clouds almost every feeling that you have.  It’s nearly impossible to truly determine deep emotions like love or even hate in that emotional state.

Try This Exercise: Some women tell me that they know for sure that they hate their husband and no longer feel a shred of love for him.  They won’t even consider that their anger is clouding their feelings.  They are completely sure that every ounce of love that they ever felt for him is long gone.  So here’s an exercise to test that.  I’m not bringing this up to be cruel or to try to hurt you more.  I’m not even trying to prove you wrong. I’m just trying to give you some perspective.

Imagine that it’s five years from now and you’ve saved your marriage.  Imagine that you took your husband up on that offer for counseling and this actually improved your marriage to the point where you renewed your wedding vows. Imagine the dress and the look on your face when you say your vows all over again.  Can you imagine this scene without any strong emotions? (Positive or negative emotions count.)

Now imagine that it’s those same five years later but you went the other way.  Let’s say you determined that you didn’t love your husband because of his cheating and you divorced him.  So let’s say that he and the other woman picked up where they left off and that, because he couldn’t have you, they eventually married.  What if you ran into them one day and made small talk?  What is your reaction to this scene?  Anger? Sadness?  Something else?  Are you have a strong reaction at all? My point is, if you have strong reactions to either scene that I’ve just described, you’re still responding very strongly to your raw emotions.  Determining the outcome of your marriage (or even your feelings for your husband) when emotions are running this high can be the wrong call.

Why You Can Hate What He Did And Still Love The Person:  I think there’s an important distinction that many people miss here.  You can loathe with everything you have what your husband did.  You can be so angry that you feel as if you will explode.  But you can still deep down love the person even if this frustrates you.  It is totally possible to hate the act and still love the person.

And the reason for this is that one act, or one character flaw does not negate all of the kind, loving things this person has done or all of the positive character that they still have.  Nor does it negate your history. So to address some of the questions that this wife posed, I don’t think it’s possible to totally define any feelings of love or hate after the affair until you have given yourself plenty of time to process this.  And trying to rush the process could lead you to decisions that you might regret.

I will freely admit that I doubted my love for my husband after his affair. But, after I had time to reflect, I realized that I hated the act, but still loved the person and we eventually saved (and improved) our marriage. If it helps, you can read my story on my blog at

Why Won’t My Husband Just Be Honest About His Affair? Here’s Some Potential Reasons

By Katie Lersch: I often hear from wives who can’t get their husbands to be honest about his affair.   Sometimes, the husband has admitted to cheating but he’s trying to diminish or downplay the severity of it.  Other times, the husband is flat out denying he had an affair even though the wife knows that he did or has evidence to prove it.  This can be beyond frustrating for the wives who know part of the truth but who are demanding the whole story.  Because they need for their husbands to just be honest, to have some integrity, and to just tell the complete truth.

I recently heard from a wife who said, in part: “my husband admitted to cheating with a coworker, but I have recently learned that it was much more than cheating.  It was an affair.  The other woman and I have spoken at length about this and they were cheating for about four months.  And, according to her, my husband seemed to be pretty serious about her and about their relationship.  Not only that, but I’ve found hotel receipts and cell phone records which indicate that this was an ongoing thing. And yet, when I try to talk to my husband about the affair, he insists that it was only a short term fling, that it didn’t mean anything, and that I just need to let it go and move on.  Frankly, I can’t and won’t do any of these things until he starts being honest with me.  Why can’t he just be honest?  Is there anything that I can do to make him tell me the whole truth?”  I will try to address these concerns in the following article.

There Are Many Reasons That Husbands Aren’t Honest About The Affair.  Here’s A Few: As maddening as this situation is, it really isn’t all that uncommon.   Men are often either dishonest or elusive about their affair because they know that if they tell you the whole truth, then you are going to be more angry, will have more questions, and will experience more pain.

I would say that the biggest reasons that men who visit my blog give me for being elusive or dishonest about the affair is that they know if you have all of the facts, you are going to have even more questions to which you are going to demand more answers.   They know that what they have to tell you is only going to make you angry and, frankly, is going to make things worse and delay you’re getting over this and moving on.

What they don’t realize though is that most women aren’t just going to give up on their need for the truth.  The husband’s refusing to be honest only makes you want to know that much more.   Often, their refusal to just show some truthfulness and integrity is what actually makes their situation worse – not their silence.  Because many wives will assume the worst anyway.

Another reasons that men are often dishonest is because they are simply ashamed.  Now that they are caught, they often play back the series of events in their minds and they’re often are quite embarrassed and ashamed at how they have acted.  So, they want to move past this embarrassment and push it down as much as they possibly can.  But, if they share this information with you, they suspect that you are going to keep bringing it up, are going to keep demanding answers, and these two things mean that they’ll have to deal with their embarrassment and shame for much longer.

Finally, sometimes they think that their dishonesty is actually protecting you.  Sometimes, they worry about what will happen if you know about or try to confront the other woman.  Or they know that your digging deeper is going to cause you more pain. So they figure if they can force you into just stopping with all of the questions, your healing and your escape from pain will happen more quickly.

Is There Any Way To Make Your Husband Be Honest About His Affair?: Well, as I see it, there are a few options here.   You can either try to collect and confront him with proof (which obviously can cause more conflict.) Or, you can try to convince him that it’s in his own best interest to tell you the truth (and is also the right thing to do.) Another option is to insist that you can and will obtain information on your own whether he likes it or not .

So which strategy do I think is better?  Well, that depends on how you want to proceed with your marriage.  If you think there’s a possibility of saving your marriage, then you are much better off trying to get his cooperation.  If you are going to end your marriage anyway, then there’s really no need to continue to dialog with him when you likely don’t trust his response anyway.

But if you think that somewhere down the line your marriage might just stand a sliver of a chance, then it’s best to try to convince him that he really does want and need to show some honestly and he wants to demonstrate his integrity.

How To Convince Your Husband That He Should Tell You The Truth About His Affair: Although I know that it’s very tempting to have a very strong reaction and to demand answers in a very forceful or threatening way, doing so often won’t get you the answers that you want.  So, as challenging as it may be, it’s often to your benefit to convince him that he really does want to work with you.  So, I suggested that the next time this husband began making his denials that that the wife knew just aren’t true, she might consider saying something like: “listen, we both know that you’re not being completely honest right now.  It’s obvious that you’re either reluctant, scared, or unwilling to tell me the truth.  The thing is, I’m very determined to find out the entire truth.  I am going to get answers, but I would much rather get them from you.  I would much rather hear difficult things from you than from a stranger or from digging on my own.  I know that what you tell me might be difficult for me to hear or might even temporarily make things worse.  But I can not stress enough that I need to hear it anyway.  And I need to hear it from you. In order for me to start to heal, I need to know that you cared enough to be completely honest with me.  Are you willing to do that?”

This approach doesn’t always get the exact result that you want immediately or at first.  But if you keep at it with a calm attitude and focused determination, many men will realize that there just isn’t another way – especially if they too want to save the marriage.

It took a while before my husband decided that he needed to tell me the complete truth. Eventually, I was able to convince him that this was something that had to happen in order for me to heal.  And I did eventually heal so well that our marriage survived and is in fact better than it ever was.  If it helps, you can read more of that story on my blog at

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Husband Is Telling People About His Affair. It’s Embarrassing And Disrespectful

By: Katie Lersch: There is an inclination when you are dealing with infidelity in your marriage to play things close to the chest. What I mean by that is that even if your spouse cheated and you did nothing wrong, you still feel as if you don’t want other people knowing your unfortunate personal business. Having everyone know that your spouse cheated on you is not something that you will typically want. And so you limit this information to only your very closest family and friends (and sometimes, to no one.) That’s why it can be very frustrating and maddening when your spouse goes and blurts out details of the affair to anyone who will listen.

Here is what you might hear from someone explaining this. A wife might say: “honestly, in the three weeks since I found out about my husband’s affair, I have barely left the house. I have been so upset. It is like my world stopped. But, life has to go on. My kids still have to go to school and be fed. And we were completely out of food. So yesterday, I ventured to the grocery store. I admit I looked awful. I was praying that I would not see anyone who I knew. And of course, this meant that I would. I actually ran into the wife of one of my husband’s coworkers. I actually pretending to be texting on my phone in the hopes that she would not approach me. But no such luck. She came right up to me and told me that she was so sorry to hear about myself and my husband. I was going to ask her what she was talking about before she blurted out that she would never peg my husband has someone who cheats. I could not help myself and I asked her how in the world she knew about all of this. She told me that my husband confided the whole sad story to her husband while both men were at work. I was honestly tempted to just leave my groceries and flee and I would have if there had been any groceries in our home. As it was, I excused myself, bought only the bare necessities, and got out of there as soon as possible. As soon as my husband got home, I confronted him. Not only did he admit that he’d told his coworker about the affair, he announced that he’d told his family and some friends. He says that this is part of his life and he shares his life with people who are important to him. He says that he was just looking for advice and support. I told him that he is NOT to go talking about the affair anymore. He said that he is the one who had the affair, so his discussing it is no reflection on me. He said that I can choose not to tell my friends, but I can’t control his talking about it. I feel that his making these types of announcements are insulting and disrespectful. I don’t want everyone knowing my martial business. And I feel like everyone is now going to know that I couldn’t keep my husband happy. These are judgements on me. How can I make him stop running his mouth?”

I am not sure that you can “make” him do anything, but you can certainly appeal to his sense of commitment, decency, and common sense. I don’t blame you for not wanting the whole world to know about the affair. It is no one’s business.  None of us wants to be the source for someone else’s gossip. With that said, none of this is your fault. If your husband chooses to blab to everyone, that is really on him because this is his mistake, not yours. The people who he is confiding in may not be making negative judgements about you at all. They might be feeling empathy. But, regardless, you can’t take this back or turn back time. This is done. What you can do is control who YOU do or do not confide in. And you can ask your husband once again to use discretion.

I think it may help to appeal to his sense of protectiveness. Perhaps you could try something like: “I know that in your own mind, you were just looking for a sounding board and for support. I know that you didn’t anticipate for your coworker to go and tell his wife. But think about how that encounter made me feel.  And think for a second about how many people his wife potentially told. And then those people could turn around and tell their friends. Dealing with this is hard enough without worrying about everyone knowing my struggles and making judgments about our family. I am requesting that you ask your confidants not to repeat this information. And I am asking you not to share details of our marriage with anyone else. If you need support or advice, please let’s both get it from a counselor. I have not told other people so that you don’t have to be confronted in the way that I was at the grocery store. I know that you can’t take back what has already happened. But please, don’t continue on in this way. Because if you do, then I will be confronted with this again and it makes me uncomfortable at a time that is already very painful for me.  I don’t want for the kids having to deal with this, either. Can you keep this between us and within our own home?”

Hopefully, when you put it this way, he will be able to empathize with your point of view. To be fair, he was likely looking for support for (and input about) his mistake, which is normal. He likely didn’t count on your being confronted at the grocery store. He likely didn’t consider how this might affect you and his children. Now that he sees that it has affected you greatly, he will hopefully stop.

Dealing with third parties is just one of many things that you have to deal with in the aftermath of infidelity.  Take it one day at a time and be very kind to yourself.  None of this is your fault.  Try to focus on healing and not on what other people might think.  In the grand scheme of things, you have bigger issues to deal with right now than the opinions of others.   If it helps, you can read more about how I handled the aftermath of the affair on my blog at

If He Won’t Admit The Affair, Should He Be Forgiven?

By: Katie Lersch: It’s very confusing when the man that you love repeatedly denies the affair that you strongly suspect and yet asks to “move on” or requests “forgiveness.”  This can leave you wondering what, exactly, there is to forgive or to move on from?

Someone might say: “I am almost one hundred percent sure that my husband has been cheating on me.  Three different sets of friends have seen him out with the same woman.  When the first friend came forward, my husband denied it totally and said my friend must have been mistaken.  However, when the other two people came forward on two separate occasions, my husband admitted to being out with someone, but insisted that she was a co-worker and that they were discussing business with nothing inappropriate happening.  So I asked him if it was all so innocent, why did he not mention it to me?  His response was that he didn’t know that he needed to make an announcement to see a coworker.  He also said that he didn’t think that he needed permission like a child.   His tone made it sound like I’m the one in the wrong.  After we had this conversation, we had a few weeks where things were very chilly between us.  Frankly, I just don’t buy his explanation.  I honestly do think he’s having an affair.  Even if ‘the sightings’ with the other woman had never happened, he’s been acting weird and distant outside of that.  So I fully expected for my marriage to start to crumble.  But about three weeks after I confronted my husband, he told me that he wanted to move on and that he wanted to be forgiven.  I sarcastically asked him what he wanted to be forgiven for, if there was nothing inappropriate and he felt that he didn’t need to ask my permission. He then admitted that things would be easier if he had told me about the coworker, so he’d like to be forgiven for that.  Part of me would just like to do exactly what my husband asked and move on.  I want things to go back to how they were.  But another part of me thinks that he’s getting away with something and that if I ignore this, I am ignoring all common sense.  By the same token, if he is innocent, then I don’t want to wreck my marriage.  Should he be forgiven if he refuses to admit the affair?”

Well, let’s take things one thing at a time.  He has admitted to dinner with the other woman at least twice.  He most likely did it three times, but didn’t exactly tell the truth the first time that this came up.  You can and should address the dinners with the other person.  Even if you assume that it was all innocent, he should have told you about it.  He would certainly want you to tell him if the roles were reversed.  It is up to you whether or not you think that he has done enough to earn forgiveness for either an omission or  lie (depending on how you are looking at it.)

As far as the affair, I don’t think that you can forgive something that he hasn’t yet owned up to.  Affairs have a way of being discovered, though. So I think if an affair took place, the odds are in your favor of finding out eventually.  The question, then, is what do you want to do in the meantime?  Only you can decide if you want to participate in your marriage as before or if you want to explore the mistruths and omissions a little more.

My suggestion would be this:  He’s admitted to behavior that isn’t quite honorable and this has hurt you and probably changed your marriage somewhat.  These set of circumstances would make counseling wise.  Ask him if he’s willing to go to counseling to strengthen your marriage.  I’d suspect that any good counselor would ask follow up questions, which is even more reason that the affair would eventually come out (assuming that it happened.)

If there was no affair, well, any marriage can benefit from counseling.  You will be relieved, your marriage will be strengthened, and you will have the reassurance that your husband cared enough to go to counseling for the sake of your marriage – even if there was technically no affair to admit to.  Either way, his agreeing to counseling is a good sign – because it indicates that he wants to save or strengthen your marriage regardless, or that he has nothing to hide.  If you are both against counseling, then ask him to participate in some self help resources.  You want to at least see that he’s willing to work on this with you in some capacity.

My husband did finally admit to everything in the affair.  And we found both counseling and self help resources helpful.  There were times when he did drag his feet about coming clean when I asked for specifics, but I made it very clear that I couldn’t move on until he did.  You can read more about our recovery 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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