Is An Affair Ever Really Over?

Sometimes, I hear from wives (and occasionally husbands too) who tell me that, no matter what, they don’t feel as if the betrayal from the affair will ever be over.  Both the person who cheated and the person who was cheated on can come to think the affair is never really going to be over because it’s going to follow you around endlessly.

I often hear comments (from cheating husbands) like: “I’m starting to think that the affair is never over – not really.  I have nothing to do with the other woman anymore and I’ve moved on within my own heart and mind.  However, my wife can not seem to move on.  I don’t think she ever will.   In a sense, the affair is never going to be over for her no matter what I do.”

This is one side of the equation, but here’s another side.  Sometimes I hear from the wife on the other side of this and she’ll say something like: “He says the affair is completely over.  He swears he won’t have any contact with the other woman.  I am not sure if I believe him or not.  But what I do know is that even if he doesn’t see the other woman anymore, she has to be in his mind.  He’s scattered.  He’s distracted.  He’s just not the same as he was.  Sometimes I look at him and I think that he’s thinking about her at that very moment.  So, he can say whatever he wants about it being over, but I just don’t think I buy it.  How can I stop thinking this way?”

In this case, both husband and wife had valid points and both deeply believed what they were saying.   And both had view points that were completely understandable.  Even so, reading these comments saddened me.  And the reason is that both of them could potentially be very wrong in their assumptions.

In my view and experience, the affair is over if you both decide if it is and conduct your life in the same way.   I will discuss this more in the following article.

If Your Spouse Is Telling You That The Affair Is Really Over And You See No Indications To The Contrary, Then Continuing To Question This Is Counter Productive:  Please don’t get angry at me when I make this observation.  I am making this because I really want to help and I can tell you that I did the same thing and made the same assumptions.

I was constantly watching my husband like a hawk and examining each and every thing that he said.  Anytime I was puzzled or worried about what I was seeing, I would start to think that he really wasn’t over this and didn’t really want to be with me.

And you know what happened, this just kept the cycle going.  Because when he saw me have these doubts, then he started to think that no matter what he did, I was always going to hold onto this.  So in this way we were both assuming things that didn’t need to be true.  But because we believed them to be true we kept the negative cycle going for much longer than it had to be.

Sometimes, our worries, our fears, our “what ifs,” and our speculations keep us from really moving forward.  We sometimes worry about things that never need to happen and never would if we didn’t push our spouse away because we are full of doubt.

I can’t guarantee you that the affair is really over.  But I can tell you that if your husband is saying it is and he’s not giving you any reason to doubt him, your continuing to insist that it isn’t over is potentially going to do so much more harm than good.

Why I Believe That Affairs CAN Really Be Completely And Totally Over For Good:   I have seen countless marriages recover from affairs.  Mine included.  I have seen countless men never repeat the infidelity more than the first mistake.  That’s not to say there aren’t serial cheaters out there, because there are.  But there are also remorseful men who learn from their mistakes and who never repeat it.

So sometimes it really can be a mistake to assume that the affair is never really over when it truly is.  With that said, you can certainly place some safeguards in place.

Making Sure The Affair Is Really And Truly Over And Then Moving On:  It’s normal to not be sure if you can trust your spouse when he tells you the affair is over.  You’re going to doubt him because he has betrayed you about this before.  There’s nothing wrong with watching him closely.

There’s nothing wrong with telling him that you expect him to be accountable.  There’s nothing wrong with asking him to be very open honest and free with whatever information or reassurance that you ask for.  But once he’s given you this, you have to make a decision as to whether you really do want to move on or not.

Sometimes you have to make a decision to do your best to trust until he gives you another reason not to.  Because those doubts and fears really do impede your process if they are constant.  My stance on this has always been that I chose to trust him until he makes that a stupid decision.

And that did work for me.  Time has shown me that the affair is really over.  Had I assumed that it wasn’t and acted accordingly, I might have a much different outcome than I have right now.

I know that these worries are very difficult, but try to stay the course.  This was just one issue I had to deal with when my own husband had an affair. Like all of the other issues, we worked through 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 http://surviving-the-affair.com

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 http://surviving-the-affair.com

When The Mistress or Other Man Wants To Talk To The Wife / Husband

By: Katie Lersch: I sometimes hear from people who have been cheating on their spouse and who are in a bit of a panic.  And there can be a couple of reasons for this.  First, they are beginning to realize the full brunt of their mistake.  They are realizing that their fantasy or hope of “no one getting hurt” just wasn’t realistic after all.

Often, they are dealing with pressure from both their spouse and from the other person in the affair.  Ideally, it would be great if the other person would be willing to bow out gracefully.  The ideal is that the other person accepts that the affair is over and moves on without causing any additional damage.  This is not always what happens, though.  Many times, the other person in the affair wants to “talk” to all parties involved.  They want to explain.  They want a face-to-face meeting where everyone (including the faithful spouse) is present.  And when you are hoping that you might salvage your marriage, this can be difficult.  Sometimes people in this situation ask me if there can be any upside to this.

The comment might go something like this: “the other woman wants to sit down and talk to my wife.  I have told both of them that the affair is over.  But the other woman feels the need to ‘say her peace.’  I will admit that my wife has been bad-mouthing the other lady all over town.  And so the other woman believes that if they can both sit down as human beings, she can explain that she didn’t think that I was married initially and that now that she understands that, she is willing to walk away.  She wants to stress that she’s not a bad person and never intended to hurt anymore.  Frankly, I never hid my marriage from her and I’m not sure that I believe what she is saying.  But she says that this is for my wife’s benefit, not for mine.  And she seems to strongly feel the need for this meeting.  I do not think that my wife would be opposed to such a meeting, if for no other reason than she would relish the opportunity to ‘tell off’ the other woman.  Is this ever a good idea?  Because no one seems to be willing to drop it?”

This article will be discussing a face-to-face meeting between two women.  But, this dynamic can also happen with men who feel the need to “hash it out – man to man” after an affair.  Either way, it almost never goes well.  People only need to “hash things out” or “have a meeting of the minds” when they are going to work together in the future.  If the affair is truly over, there is really no reason for this to need to happen.  Once it’s over, by definition, the other person is officially out of your lives.  This does not include meetings with third parties.  Having meetings is not moving forward.  It is not letting go.  There is no good reason for it other than to heighten the drama or to hang on.

I know that the other woman can talk a good game about needing closure or about getting things off of her chest.  But guess what?  When you are an adult, not all conflict concludes wrapped in a neat and tiny bow.  Sometimes things get left unresolved and so you have to make a conscious choice to let go of the guilt on your own.  This may not be ideal.  But this is real life for well-adjusted adults.

If you truly want to save your marriage, your first priority is your family.  It is not getting the other woman or the other man closure.  It is not allowing the other woman or the other man to have the last word.  It is not forcing your spouse to listen to what they have to say.  Very little good ever comes out of these meetings.  All these face-to-face meetings do is enflame and hurt.

So no, I would not encourage you to pursue this.  I would instead tell the other woman that moving on means just that.  Insist that your wife can make up her own mind about what happened and  that she doesn’t need to hear it hashed out over and over again by a stranger.   Tell her that from now on, your focus is on the future and not on the past.  It’s your job to protect your spouse from future injury from the affair.  And if you subject your spouse to this “meeting,” then you wouldn’t be doing that job very well.

After an affair, every one has to take responsibility for their own healing.  The other woman can go to counseling or find other ways to ease her guilt.  She doesn’t need to talk to your wife in order to do that.

As the faithful spouse in my own marriage, I am admittedly biased.  But I would not have appreciated it if my husband had encouraged ANY type of meeting. I would have not only refused, but I would have questioned his motivations.  If your marriage is at all important to you, then you must prioritize your spouse.  Healing is possible.  But you have to have your priorities in the right order.  You can read more about my own healing on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

When Is It Too Soon To Have Sex After An Affair?

by: katie lersch: Sex after an affair is a recurrent theme in some of the correspondence that I get. Many people are looking for guidance as to what is a healthy or advisable time frame. I recently heard from a wife who was grappling with this very issue. It had only been three weeks since her husband had confessed to an affair and had assured her that it was over and that he wanted to save his marriage.   Within the last week, she had started having sex with her husband again.  Her friends were telling her that this time frame was “too soon” and that having sex now was the same as telling her husband that she already forgave him.

She said, in part: “I know that I might be having sex a little too soon after my husband’s affair.  But I’m very committed to the marriage and I just want to feel connected to him again. My friends are telling me that I’m making a huge mistake because having sex with him implies that I have forgiven him and that he’s back in my good graces or that he deserves to be intimate with me again.  I haven’t completely forgiven my husband and we still have a lot of work to do.  So does having sex when things still aren’t perfect and we’re still healing send mixed signals to him?  Is this a mistake on my part?  Should I stop having sex with him and follow some sort of time frame to make sure that he’s truly sorry and won’t cheat again?”  I will try to address these concerns in the following article.

There’s Really No Time Table For Sex After An Affair.  But It’s Advisable To Have Sex For The Right Reasons And Within Clear Boundaries: I don’t think it would fair or advantageous to place any set deadline or time frame on when you should have sex after an affair.  Every one is different.  Some women are not comfortable physically expressing themselves until they are comfortable emotionally.  Some couples wait for quite a long time for this very reason.  They don’t want to use sex as the glue that binds them until they know that the relationship has healed enough to make this authentic and comfortable.

But some people are able to separate their sexual relationship from their martial issues.  And many people just want to feel connected to and desired by their spouse even if they are well aware that they still have work to do in their marriage.  This is completely understandable.  And it’s not my place to tell someone that they are wrong for doing this.  Many couples report that this actually helps the process because they feel closer to one another and it’s therefore it’s a bit easier to work through the infidelity issues.

So while I can’t tell anyone if they’re having sex too soon after an affair, I can offer some suggestions to help you handle this.  Because I see several issues that come up in this situation.   Sometimes, wives feel a lot of pressure to have sex because they worry that if they don’t, the other woman will.  They can almost feel as if they in competition because they want to make sure that their husband stays at home.   So they will tell themselves that this is necessary even if their heart isn’t in it because they are coming from a place of fear.

Another issue that I see is that there’s a lot of misunderstandings about what sex really means.  Sometimes the wife just wants to connect physically but in her mind, nothing has really changed.  She’s still angry at and disappointed with her husband and she still needs to see a lot of remorse and rehabilitation before she trusts him again.  But when she brings these issues up after being intimate, the husband will feel that she is sending him mixed signals.  He might ask why she’s having sex with him if she hasn’t forgiven him yet.  But to many, forgiveness and sex can be two separate issues.

And this is why it’s so important to be very open and honest about this issue.  If you feel any reservations or need to clarify things, then by all means speak up.  It’s better to muddle through an awkward situation for a few minutes than to go through weeks or possibly months of misunderstandings or the resentments that might follow.  So I couldn’t really tell the wife if it was “too soon” to be having sex with her husband.  For some couples, a few weeks might not be too soon as long as they continue to work through the infidelity.  And for other couples, six months later is too soon because the healing just hasn’t even begun or one of them just isn’t comfortable.

The time frame needs to be up to the couple themselves.  To me, the real concerns are whether the couple are having sex for the right reasons and whether the wife is feeling pressure or whether the husband feels he is getting mixed feelings.  Being intimate for the wrong reasons can cause additional problems.  Still, I believe that it’s possible and even sometimes healthy to be intimate after an affair was long as both people are comfortable about the choices that are being made and completely understand them.  Sex most certainly can’t fix all of the problems that the affair causes (and it sometimes creates additional problems) but it can be a way to connect and feel desired again which can be reassuring when you know that there’s a lot of healing ahead of you.

Restoring my own sex life after my husband’s affair was a big hurtle to overcome.  But our sex life now is actually better than it was before.  So much so that I no longer worry that he will cheat again.  If it helps, you can read about how I recovered on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

My Spouse Says That Our Marriage Is Probably Over Because He Doesn’t Deserve Me After He Cheated

By: Katie Lersch: Many people understand that the time period after learning of your spouse’s affair is a volatile one. Often, it’s impossible to think clearly and objectively. And for these reasons, many people understand that, most of the time, it’s not in your best interest to make any important and lasting decisions until you are able to calm down and think rationally. But not every one has this luxury because sometimes, your spouse is the one who will make rash decisions.

A wife might say: “much to my great shock, I did not immediately leave or kick my husband out after his affair. I was kind of numb and I knew that I wasn’t thinking clearly. So while I asked for some time before we really talked this through, I did not do anything drastic. I truly don’t have any clue if we can save our marriage. But I would like the opportunity to explore that. However, I might not get that opportunity. Because my husband announced last night that he thinks our marriage might be over because he feels that he doesn’t deserve me and he thinks that he will never be able to get over these feelings of inadequacy. Frankly, this makes me angry. He is the one who cheated and now he gets to call the shots? What if I don’t care if he doesn’t deserve me?”

This isn’t that all uncommon. Sometimes, the cheating spouse is being absolutely truthful when they make this claim. They fully believe that their actions have made them unlovable and unredeemable. And they feel that you might ultimately be better off without someone as flawed as them.

But other spouses pull the pity card to try to get you to say something like: “you’re wrong. You do deserve me. You are a good person who made a mistake. Let’s start over.” What cheating spouse would not want this easy, fast way out? It helps to be aware that, if you allow them to take this quick out, then you may be cheating yourself out of rehabilitation and healing.

That doesn’t mean that you just have to accept what he is saying without having a conversation about this. You can certainly tell him your opinion by offering something like: “all of the research that I’m doing says that you shouldn’t just make drastic decisions about ending or saving your marriage until you’ve taken the time to evaluate things calmly. It is too soon for us to do that. So I think that it is too soon for us to declare that our marriage is over. We might need to explore counseling or having meaningful conversations before we are at a place where we can make a decision about our marriage. But I think it’s very premature to make a marriage-ending decision before we even attempt to sort this out. We may be able to heal and there may be a time in the future when we both feel deserving of the other. We won’t know that unless we take the first steps toward exploring how we feel and seeing what we can salvage. But to just declare that our marriage is probably over because of any initial feelings, that’s just rushing. Can we just wait to see what happens in the days to come before we make any huge, life-changing decisions?”

His answer may give you some clues as to whether he really believes in the whole “I don’t deserve you” claim or if he’s posturing just a little bit. Because you’re not telling him that he DOES deserve you right this second. You are just saying that you are willing to wait and see what tomorrow brings.

He may frankly believe what he’s telling you. But the most effective way for him to eventually believe that he is deserving in the future is to become rehabilitated, to do the work, and to eventually become the best husband that he can be.

He obviously can not do that if he bails at the first sign at trouble. And part of taking responsibility is hanging in there regardless of whether or not there are any guarantees. Sometimes, he is looking for reassurance from you. But no one can give him reassurance before the work has been done.

So I think that the best strategy is to try to convince him that this type of decision is premature. Then, you do the work. Honestly, if he is willing to do all of this, then it only makes sense that the both of you are much more likely to think that he is deserving in the future.

My husband made this claim also.  But because we have done the work, I don’t really think that’s a concern for him anymore.  He has certainly done everything asked of him.  And over the years, he has proven to be a good, loving, and loyal spouse.  He most definitely has proven himself worthy, although there’s no question that at one point, he made a horrible mistake.  There’s more to read on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

How To Get Your Husband Back When He Thinks He’s In Love With His Mistress?

Sometimes, I hear from wives who very much want to save their marriage and get their husband back after his affair – but there’s a problem.  Their husband thinks or believes that he’s “in love” with the other woman or mistress so, at least at this time, he’s not receptive to saving the marriage or coming back to the wife.

I get a lot of heartbreaking emails about this.  I often read comments like “My husband thinks the other woman walks on water.  He thinks she does no wrong.  He thinks she makes him feel “alive” and “whole” again.  He doesn’t care that she’s a low class person or is probably only after him for his money.  He just thinks she’s the most wonderful person in the world and that she’s his soul mate.  How in the world can I compete with that?  How in the world can I save my marriage and get my husband home to his kids when he thinks he’s found what he’s always been looking for in this woman?”

This is a very difficult situation.  Because when the husband is walking around in this fog of infatuation, there’s very little that you can do until he starts to come down to reality – but that can and does usually happen. And, there are things that you can do to move it along so that it happens more quickly.  I will discuss this more in the following article.

As Tempting As It Is, If You Point Out The Other Woman’s Flaws, You’ll Likely Only Make Him Defensive And Have Him Defending Her:  I know that it’s very tempting to point out how stupid your husband is being and what a deplorable tramp he’s carrying on with.  But if you do that now, you’re only alienating him from you and only making him take up for her – which brings them closer together.

I know it’s so hard to bite your tongue and to keep from pointing out how stupid he’s acting and what a huge mistake he is making.   But if you do this, you are likely make your situation worse.  And since it’s a safe bet you want him back, this isn’t what you want to do.

I’ve seen this situation play out time and time again.  And most of the time, if you wait, lurk in the shadows, and bide your time, you will be in the best position in the end.  Which leads me to my next point.

Know That Once The Affair Runs It’s Course, He Will Realize That Doesn’t Even Know This Women – Much Less Love Her:  I’ve never had an affair (although my husband did,) and I dialog with many men who have on my blog.   And here’s what they tell me about affairs.  In the beginning, they get so caught up in the excitement and the “newness” of it, that they aren’t really thinking.  They aren’t looking at it objectively or intellectually.

Eventually though, this “new” phase passes.  It’s inevitable.  And when it does, this is often when your husband takes a long, hard look at this other woman and realizes that he doesn’t really know her at all.  If this is true, how can he really love her?

Here’s another important point.  A relationship that is build on deception, lies, and dishonestly doesn’t really have much of a chance in the end.   She will eventually show her true colors and he will realize what a fool her has been.  When this happens, you want to have positioned yourself in the best way possible, which is why it’s important that you take the high road, even when it’s very difficult.

Putting Yourself In The Best Position Possible To Get Your Husband Back From The Mistress:  I know it’s very difficult to wait for all of her allure to wear off.  But it almost always does.  And if you are patient and build yourself up while you are waiting, you will be in the best position possible once their relationship starts to crumble.

So how do you handle yourself until then?  This is a delicate dance.  It really does depend on your husband’s attitude at the time, but I think it’s always a good idea to handle yourself with dignity and respect.  It should be clear that you aren’t going to compete with her or be involved in any love triangle.  When he decides who or what he wants, you will be willing to reconsider then -but not until then.

Women often ask me if they should attempt to have sex with their husband while he’s still with the mistress.  In other words, they want to know if they should try to lure him back or to get the husband to actually cheat on the mistress with the wife.  This can be a tough call too.

And I understand both lines of thinking on this.  You can feel that if you can get him intimate with you again, you will have a chance to get him back.  But if you allow him to have a relationship with both of you, then he really has no incentive to end the relationship with the mistress.

Now, if he’s beginning to come around and it’s clear he’s considering ending the relationship with the other woman, then you might have an argument.  But it’s ideally best to wait until it’s clear that he’s again committed to you and completely cutting off contact with her – although I know that this is easier said than done.

Throughout this process, I recommend doing everything in your power to restore your self esteem.  You never want to be in a position where you believe that’s she’s better than you in any way or has something that you do not.  Do whatever you need to do to feel confident, beautiful, and good about yourself because this really does matter.

The image that you project becomes the image that every one else believes.  If you feel badly about yourself, this will likely affect the way every one around you feels and views you.  If you are worried about your sexual confidence, there’s an ebook on the side of this blog that is quite good for that.

If it helps, you are welcome to read about how I got over my own husband’s affair.  It was a long hard journey, but frankly our marriage is better than ever now – and I don’t worry he will cheat again.  You can read that story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

The Other Woman Claims My Husband Loves Her In A Way He Doesn’t Love Me. She Says I Can Never Have That Kind Of Love With Him

By: Katie Lersch: Many wives who seek out or talk to the other woman know deep in their hearts that no good can come of it. Many later admit that there was a little voice in their head telling them to end the communication at once and to never look back. But, for whatever reason, they ignored that little voice and allowed their curiosity and their need for information to get the better of them. They met with her and then she told them something incredibly hurtful.

An example is the other woman who does her very best to paint the affair as a love story that will never end. She’ll try to paint herself and the husband as soul mates who are destined to be together forever and who share a love to which all others just can not compare. This leaves the wife wondering what this means for her. A wife might say: “I did not reach out to the other woman. She called me. And she said that she needed to tell me something very important that might change everything for me. My first inclination was to hang up and to tell her to never call back. But I knew that if I did that, I was going to go crazy wondering what the information was, so I reluctantly agreed to go. Turns out, her ‘important information’ was the declaration that she and my husband are deeply in love and that they are so close that they share a bond that can never be broken no matter how hard I try. She says my husband has repeatedly told her that he’s never felt anything like what he feels with her and that he never had that feeling with me – even when we were dating. She says that my husband told her that he married me only out of a sense of obligation. She informed me that she felt like she just had to be honest with me and tell me that I am wasting my time trying to save a marriage that was never right in the first place. I am so upset by this. I try to put it out of my head, but I can’t. My brain keeps echoing with her claims. Tonight, my husband tried to be sweet to me, but I was cold to him because in my mind he was just faking it because he can’t possibly feel for me what he felt for her.”

Ask Yourself About Her Motives: I know that this must be painful. But I think it might be a mistake to just assume that what she told you is the truth. Think about it for a minute. Does she have any motive to paint the affair as different than it really was? Of course she does. If she can make you think that your marriage doesn’t stand a chance, then perhaps you will back off, reluctantly end your marriage, and leave your husband to her. Or, if she can make you think that your marriage can not compete with their relationship, then again, you might just give up and feel that you can’t and shouldn’t compete – which will completely clear the way for her.

And here’s something else that you may not have considered. People who have affairs have a vested interest in trying to magnify the relationship. This makes it easier to justify their behavior. It’s easier to think to yourself something like: “I’m not normally the type of person who would cheat. But this relationship was so special and so right that I just had to make an exception. How can I be expected to pass up my soul mate?”

It’s better for most people to think about themselves in that way than to admit that they willingly cheated with someone they knew was married and threw all of their integrity out of the window.

Look At What Is Real And Not At Someone Else’s Reality: If their relationship was so special and enduring, you will learn that soon enough. But if that were true, why is your husband making an effort to be sweet to you in an attempt to save the marriage? I just think it’s important to realize that she has her reasons to tell you what is less than the truth.  And if, because of her, you distance yourself from your husband who was truly making an effort, she will get exactly what she wants.  She will have accomplished exactly what she set out to do.

Nothing says that you have to believe her and nothing says you have to meet with her or listen to her again. Many wives want to meet with her again to show her that she hasn’t won. But frankly, the most effective way to show her your victory is to move on with your life and to secure your marriage so that she is no longer in the middle of it – even if she wants to be.

Reality Changes: And, even if she believes that what she is saying is true, plenty of couples save their marriage under these circumstances. People sometimes do believe that they are in love with their affair. But the longer that it is over and the longer that they are no longer participating it in, the more likely it is that they come to realize that they were wrong.

Honestly, I firmly believe that you are better off getting information from your husband. There’s no guarantee that he will tell you the complete truth either.  But at least he’s someone who you still want in your life.  And he is invested in not hurting you, when that may be her goal.  Determining where to place your focus is so very important. There’s more to read about my own recovery after the affair on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

What Prompts An Affair To End Suddenly?

By: Katie Lersch: I sometimes hear from wives who have tried to prepare themselves for a long and painful wait. Their husband has made it clear that he is not sure if he is ready to end his affair. And so the wife very begrudgingly tells herself that she is just going to have to stand by and see what happens. After all, what else can she do? Sometimes, she figures if she has any chance of saving her marriage, it is better to wait for him to decide and still have the possibility of fixing things than to demand a quick decision and then be heartbroken when he chooses the other woman.

That’s why it can be so surprising when, out of the blue and right away, the husband announces that he has ended the affair with no warning at all. The wife is usually quite happy and relieved by this. But then the doubt sets in. She wonders if he is lying about the whole thing or if perhaps he and other woman had a fight or misunderstanding.

A wife might ask: “what would make a husband end his affair suddenly? When I first confronted my husband about his affair, he told me that he was going to need time. He admitted that he had come to need the other woman. He admitted very deep feelings for her. And although he reassured me that he did not want to lose me, he was clear that he did not want to lose her, either. My first inclination was to tell him that I was not going to wait around. In fact, I started thinking hard about looking for another place to live. But as I did that, it made me realize that I did not want to leave my home. And I did not want to just leave him for the other woman to win. So I decided that I would wait, but I would try to distance myself from the whole process and keep busy. That’s why I was so surprised when he came home on the third day and announced that the affair was over. He refused to give any explanation. He just said that he had decided it was best for every one to end it. I am relieved. I’m not stupid. It’s better for me if she’s not in the picture. But I don’t understand. All of a sudden he’s willing to end it when he was very clear that he wasn’t willing to do just that? Did she dump him? Is he lying? Why do affairs end suddenly?”

There are many possibilities here. And I would only be guessing. Hopefully, in the near future, he will be honest and give you more information. But until then, here are some reasons that affairs typically end quickly.

One Of The Parties Decides It’s Not Right Or Is Affected By Too Much Guilt: Frankly, many people who are willing to be honest about the affair will admit that they have been struggling the whole time. They have known that it was wrong and they have often thought about ending it but, for whatever reason, they haven’t yet. However, when they see – for the first time – how their actions have hurt others, these feelings of guilt are magnified. And even if they try to continue on with the affair, it feels altered somehow, since it’s no longer a secret. The people cheating know that they are now consciously continuing to carry on as their spouse is struggling with the pain. This is too much for many people to bear. Even if they initially try to carry on with the affair, many find that they just can’t do it. So they will end it.

The Other Person Ends It When They See The Indecision: Sometimes, the husband will come back to the other woman and it’s obvious that something has changed. He will confess that his wife knows about the affair and that he is upset about it. The other woman might be upset and confused about this. Because obviously, if he is affected by his wife’s knowledge and reaction, then he still cares about her. This may anger the other woman and she might break it off in the hopes that the husband will beg her to reconsider and promise that he will leave his wife. But if your husband came home to you and announced that it was over, then it’s likely that she did not get what she wanted.

It’s All A Fake Out: This is what many wives fear – that he’s telling you that it’s over just to get you to let your guard down so that he can continue cheating. I can’t tell you that this never happens. It does. But it’s generally pretty obvious. And if this is the case, you can typically tell that his heart isn’t in the marriage and then he’s gone too much to be putting in an effort. A man who has ended the affair and chosen his wife comes home when he’s not working. He gives his wife his attention and his effort and it’s clear that she is where his priority is.

I suspect that in time, you’ll get more information about what ended the affair. But for now, take it one step at a time. See how attentive and sincere he is. And see if he does what he says he’s going to do. This attention to detail will often give you a little more information. You don’t have to blindly believe him, especially so soon. But if there’s a chance that he’s ended the relationship, then that is a legitimate reason for relief.

I did question that the affair was really over.  But after a while, it was obvious that if the affair was continuing, it was doing so without them spending any time together.  My husband was at home when he wasn’t working.  And when he was working, he checked in and asked me to meet him for lunch on most days.  He simply didn’t have time for another relationship. There’s more to read on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

Believing That Your Spouse Is Still Sexually Attracted To Your After His Affair: Tips That Might Help

By: Katie Lersch: It’s no great mystery as to why women whose husbands have cheated can lose sexual confidence. To put it bluntly, your husband has had sex with someone else. So it’s perfectly natural to wonder if this action was at least partly motivated by the fact that he doesn’t find sex with you enjoyable or fulfilling enough. And this is true from women from all walks of life. Even beautiful and confident women have these worries.

A wife might explain: “I don’t want my sex life to wither and die even though my husband had an affair. I worry if I don’t have sex with him, he’s just going to be tempted to go right back out and cheat again even though he swears that the affair was not about sex at all. So, I do it and I do it fairly regularly. But, I am in emotional pain all through out it. Sometimes, I look at my husband and he appears to be into it and he looks like he enjoys himself. And I know that this should make me feel better. But then I start to think well maybe my husband would enjoy it with anyone at all. Maybe he just needs a warm body to be happy and to get a release and that is all. And maybe he is even thinking of someone else while we are having sex. The other woman, perhaps? Or maybe all along he has been fantasizing about other women – beautiful women who look better than me. If I’m being honest, I’m no slouch in the looks department. I mean, I am pretty for my age. People tell me this all of the time. I keep myself fit. I take care of my skin. I have a nice smile. And my husband has never complained about sex with me and has always seemed enthusiastic about it. But I just can’t have sex with him without thinking that he is turned on only because he is tuned out and thinking of someone else or putting himself someplace else with his thoughts. I don’t dare ask him about this because if he were to confirm my suspicions, it would devastate me and I don’t know how I could get over it.”

I feel this deeply. I understand your feelings. They are very common. But they are possibly incorrect. Because you are likely projecting your fears onto the situation. You may be completely wrong about what your husband is feeling. He may be completely into it and enjoying himself immensely, but you don’t see that because you’re afraid and not feeling so good about yourself.

He Is Likely Worried Too: It may make you feel better to know that I hear from a lot of men in this situation and many of them tell me that they are every bit as worried about the sex as you are. They are not worried about themselves  and their enjoyment level – because they are enjoying it. But they are worried about whether you are enjoying it. And they are worried if you are doing it freely because you want to or because you just feel pressured. And they sometimes hold back on their enthusiasm because of this. They are afraid you will see them really getting into it and you will think that – like you said – they could basically have sex with anyone, with any type of woman or any body type and get what they need out of it. This isn’t true, but they are worried that this is what you are thinking.

You May Be Completely Wrong And He Could Be Enjoying Every Precious Second: I tell you this because I want for you to see that your assumptions aren’t always correct and I want for you to see that he could be every bit as worried about this as you are. Because frankly, a lot of the time, a remorseful husband is actually more into sex. And the reason is because now there is the threat of losing you. Now he knows exactly what he has and is he is aware that the risk he’s put on his marriage.

Don’t Drag Your Baggage Into Your Bedroom: Here’s one more thing to consider. You could very well be taking your fears with you into the bedroom. Do you know what men find sexier than anything else? A woman is who isn’t afraid to take what she wants and enjoy herself. A woman who is an active participant in sex. If your fears are keeping you from this, you should know that it’s not your appearance, your body, or your sexiness level that might be holding you back. It is your inability to engage because you are afraid.

That is why I strongly encourage you to give yourself permission to do any and everything to raise your self esteem and to give you to groove back. This means different things to different women. Some of us focus on our appearance. Some focus on our body image. Some really seek out those things that make us feel good about ourselves. And some focus on our marriage knowing that our healthy body image will eventually return once our marriage gets on track. You can do any combination of these things or anything that appeals to you as long as you actively work on restoring your confidence.

Please remember that nothing about you has changed. You are every bit as beautiful and sexy as you were the day before you were aware of this. What has changed is how you connect your self image to the affair. And that is what you should focus on changing right now.

I struggled with this too – for quite a while in fact.  But then I realized that sex is vital to a pleasurable life and a sound marriage.  And I realized that I deserved this in my life.  So I educated myself on intimacy and I gave myself permission to participate in self care that would restore my confidence.  You can read more on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

Which Spouse Needs To Make The Most Effort After An Affair?

By: Katie Lersch: As you are struggling to navigate the days after you find out about your spouse’s affair, it can become clear that, in order to ever move past this, both you and your spouse are going to have to put forth a great deal of effort. Recovery doesn’t happen on its own, but those couples who don’t recover can continue to struggle in a marriage that makes them both miserable.

It can feel unfair to the faithful spouse that they have to put up a considerable amount of effort. After all, they didn’t cheat. They did nothing wrong. So why are they now faced with this huge obstacle that is going to require all of this work?

Because of the inequality of it all, it can become very tempting to keep score and to insist that your spouse is the one who should be mostly responsible for the recovery. A wife might say: “it took me quite a while to convince my husband to be honest about his affair. I would ask him what made him do this and he would always tell me that he didn’t know why he did what he did. Finally though, after I would not accept that answer, he admitted that I was concerned more with the kids than with him. He said that I’d let our sex life slide and I was no longer that playful woman who he loved to be with more than anyone else. He told me that in order for him to truly be happy in our marriage, I would have to put more emphasis on the physical side of it. I told him that I could do that, but that I do not want to be physical with him when he doesn’t compliment me and treat me nice in the way that he used to. He agreed that he would make an effort in that department. I told him that I also needed for him to be accountable about spending more time at home. Well, weeks have gone by since that conversation and he hasn’t made good on his promises. He told me that I haven’t made the effort either. He says we’ve only had sex a couple of times. He said that it’s up to me to make the effort first. I think that this is ridiculous. The person who cheated has to make the most effort. Isn’t this true?”

I do agree with you that most people assume that the biggestt initiative must come from the spouse who cheated. They are the ones who caused the damage and so they are the ones who are mostly responsible.

However, in reality, it often takes effort by both parties to make things right again. If the cheating spouse is the only one making any changes, then he can feel resentful. If the faithful spouse doesn’t see any changes, they can feel distrust and suspicion. And, if either party continues to be unhappy in the marriage, then you are vulnerable to future cheating or unhappiness.

Overcoming all of this is difficult and it takes work from everyone. I know that it is just human nature to keep score when someone hurts you. But, you have to be practical. You have to decide if it is more important to keep score or if it is more important to you to have a sound, recovered, and healthy marriage which makes you happy.

Because if you want that, then there’s just no way around putting in the work. It doesn’t magically happen. And it’s not going to happen if both people do not feel that they are getting what you need out of your marriage. Expressing what it is going to take to make your marriage fulfilling is a very good first step that you’ve already taken. Not every one is willing to do this.

So you have a good start. Now it is time for you both to show you’re serious about making those efforts and those changes. Sometimes, both spouses are waiting for the other to act first. No one wants to be the one who is trying so hard while the other does nothing. This is understandable. No ones wants to feel like they are the only one who cares. The problem is that while you’re both waiting, no progress is being made. Someone has to be the first to make the good faith effort. Someone has to decide that recovery is more important than waiting and watching.

Think about it for a second. What is it that you want the most? Most of us just want to be happy and to have peace and faith in our lives again. It’s very difficult to have this if no one is trying. And it’s silly when he’s not trying because you’re both keeping score. Sometimes you have to be the bigger person. Because I’d suspect that if you make an effort, you will see him making one too. It basically feeds on itself and forms a cycle. You give a little and then he does. You get a little and then he does. You’re encouraged by his effort and so you put in more of your own effort and he reciprocates.

So while I think in theory that it’s the cheating spouse who should take more initiative, I often know that this isn’t always reality. It often takes effort on the part of both spouses and a willingness to stop keeping score.  Sometimes, I was resentful of all of the counseling and soul searching after my husband’s affair.  But now I can look back and see that it was more than worth it.  Because if we hadn’t made that effort, we might still be very unhappy.  And life is really too short to be unhappy. You can read more on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com