My Husband Cheated With A Much Younger Woman. Will He Ever Be Attracted To Me Again?

By: Katie Lersch:  I sometimes hear from women who are struggling not only to deal with their husband’s infidelity, but who are also trying to process the fact that he cheated with a much younger woman.  This will often cause even more pain and insecurity because the wife fears that she is fighting a battle that can never be won.

I heard from a wife who said: “it’s bad enough that my husband cheated on me and had an affair.   But the fact that he cheated on me with a young woman almost half of our age is almost more than I can bear.   I feel like I will never be able to compete with her or even the memory of her.  He has broken it off and says he wants for us to start over and begin again.  He says that he still loves me and is still attracted to me.  He says that the affair had nothing to do with the other’s woman’s age and that it was only him trying to feel young again.  I want to believe him because we have children and I want to save my family.  But I wonder how he can even be attracted to me since he knows that he can attract and be with a younger woman.  The other woman isn’t a beauty queen by any means, but she is much younger than I am.  And I just don’t think that any man would chose an older woman over a younger one.  I’m not ugly by any means.  People tell me all the time that I am very pretty, but I still don’t think I stand a chance.”  I will tell you my take on this in the following article.

I understood why this wife felt the way that she did.  I’ve been in this situation also and I know that the the insecurity from this can make you feel old, tired, and worthless.  But what I didn’t understand at the time (and what this wife likely didn’t understand right now) was that the husband had already given the younger woman up.  There was no competition.

What you are truly dealing with is understandable insecurity that you don’t deserve to live with for the rest in your life.  So, in the following article, I will outline some ways to move past the insecurity so that you can restore the confidence that you deserve.

Understand That Attraction Is Not Only Based On Looks And Age:  While it can be true that looks provide the initial spark of attraction, it is not someone’s looks (or even their age) that contributes to the long term success of any relationship.  What really counts is compatibility, shared experiences, deep understandings, and commitment.   This is something that you have that the other woman can not touch.

I absolutely understand feeling insecure right now.  I felt the same way.  But please understand that who you are and the attributes that you possess have not changed one bit.  You are the exact same person today as you were before the affair.  However, your perceptions of yourself have understandably been shaken.  So now, we have to focus on changing your perceptions to rebuild your confidence.

When You Know That You Are Worthwhile And Desirable, Then You Don’t Cling To What Someone Else Thinks:  If you remember anything from this article, I want for you to remember this.  You are the same worthwhile and valuable person that you were twenty years ago.  This wife knew that she was attractive.  She knew it in her heart and this was confirmed by several others who had no interest in her marriage or her life.  So now, she just had to embrace this, claim it, and vow that she was not going to allow someone else’s actions to shake her faith in herself.  She had earned the right to her self confidence by grit and by experience.   She didn’t need to allow for someone else to take this from her.

I can not stress enough how important it is that you claim and embrace your own beauty.  You are not competing against any one else.  Your only responsibility is to yourself.  If there is something about your looks that you don’t like, then by all means change it.  But if you know in your heart that you are perfectly fine, then don’t let anyone make you feel otherwise.

Because here is the truth.  Your husband isn’t going to be as attracted to you if you don’t own your own worth.  If you walk around as though you have something to apologize for, then you will continue to struggle with insecurity.  But if you love yourself and decide that he can either get with the program or not, you will often find that he finds this sort of confidence very attractive.

You have nothing to over compensate for.  Both you and your husband have the life experiences that mean you are a little older.  This has been hard fought and you don’t need to compete with anyone.  I suspect you will find that if you embrace what is special about you and make no apologies for it, you will find that your husband is still attracted to you.  But interestingly enough, once you embrace and love yourself, you will often find that you are no longer holding your breath over what he thinks.

As I alluded to, I was shaken by the fact that the other woman was younger.  But eventually, I decided that worrying about something that I couldn’t control wasn’t serving or strengthening me in any way.  So I decided to strengthen myself.  This made a huge difference.  I no longer worried about how my husband felt as long as I liked what I saw.  And I believe that this made all of the difference. If it helps, you can read the whole story on my blog

How Do You Truly Get Closure After An Affair? Is It Even Possible?

By: Katie Lersch: One very common topic in the correspondence that I sometimes get is the topic of closure. Everyone who has been through the aftermath of an affair seems to be seeking it. And this includes both the spouse who cheated and the spouse who was cheated on. Closure can be very elusive. Sometimes, it seems as if the more you chase it, the harder it is to obtain. People often seek it in a variety of places. They think that they will get it if they confront the other woman or make their spouse fear for their marriage. They think they will get it when they lose the weight, get the upper hand in the marriage, or go through months of counseling.  Some even divorce and find that they still don’t have it.  Because of course, none of these things guarantees it. People tend to keep track of how long it takes. Most every one who I hear from seems to think that they should have found it by now.

I might hear from a wife who says: “during this whole process of getting over the affair, my number one goal has been closure. I don’t have a lot of demands and expectations, really. I don’t wish to turn back time. I am not stupid enough to think that I could convince myself that the affair never happened or that it’s possible to never feel the pain again. But what I want more than anything is closure. Because I feel that closure will lessen the pain significantly and allow for me to move on with my life. I want to wake up in the morning and feel relatively normal. I don’t want the affair to be on the forefront of my mind all of the time. I don’t want to feel so wounded most of every day. The weird thing about all of this is that I have done everything that I know to do to move on. I’ve gotten counseling. I had a nasty confrontation with the other woman and I wrote her out of my life. I have tried very hard to rebuild my marriage. And I have even told my husband that I have forgiven him. And yet, I still feel trapped. I don’t feel closure. My friend says that this is all a fallacy and that there is never truly closure. My friend lost someone she loved to illness and she says that she will never feel at peace with this loss no matter how much time goes by. She says that an affair is similar in that it can never be OK again, which is what you truly need for closure. Is she right?”

I’ve heard people compare affairs to tragedy like death before. I can see why the comparisons are made. But, with death, there are no second chances. It is final. And that is tragic and so painful. With an affair, you do sometimes get a second chance. And if you save your marriage, it doesn’t need to be final. However, I do see the friend’s point somewhat – in that it can never be erased.

However, I don’t think erasure is what you need for closure. And, I think that the way that people define it is often why they think they can never achieve it. Let me explain what (at least in my opinion) closure isn’t.

What Closure Is Not: I find that people tend to think that when they obtain this closure, their life (and their marriage) will automatically be fine again. Or they think that the pain will just be mostly gone (or at least significantly lessoned.) They think that the slate will be wiped clean. They hope that they will suddenly get their confidence back and feel good about themselves once again.

People tend to think of closure as almost a threshold that they must step over and then see a huge transformation. It’s as if once they take that step, all of the things that I mentioned above will happen at all once. They envision that on the day that this happens, all the weight is lifted.

Why I Think Closure Is A Gradual (And Sometimes An Ongoing) Process: In my experience, it did not happen all at once. Instead, it was small improvements in little increments during separate periods of time. It was a gradual improvement. And some days I didn’t even notice it. But people did start to comment that I looked better and seemed to be more at peace. And over time, I realized that they were right. I started to have strings and strings of good days. I started building upon my confidence to transform my life in areas outside of my marriage. But I wasn’t always consciously thinking about it. I just moved forward as I felt better.

But never did I think that one day my life was going to be without conflict or pain once I reached that threshold. I believe I do have closure. But there are still struggles in my life. There are still occasional issues in my marriage, although I am now well-educated on how to address those immediately so that they do not grow. I still feel pain sometimes from all areas in my life.

The difference is that I now realize that I am better-served by addressing these things for myself. My husband doesn’t always notice when I’m not at my happiest or at my best. And, even if he did, he wouldn’t know how to best help me. But I know how to do that. And because of all the work that I have done, I am very proactive when something isn’t right in my life. And I know that I have the power to change the things that I can and handle the things I can’t. And I believe that this is what closure is, at least for me.

My Definition: I am by no means an expert. But I hear from an awful lot of people who feel that there is something wrong with them because they don’t have closure yet. I think that this partly because their definition of it is different than mine. You can’t undo what has been done. You can’t forget the past or erase the hurt.

But here is what you can do. You can come to the very hard-won (but very precious) realization that you can only control yourself. But if you learn to do that well, you will have all that you need. Your well being, your sense of self, your confidence, and your knowledge that you are going to be OK – all of these things all come from you.

And as soon as you realize that and accept that power, then to me, you have closure. Because the truth is, once you understand that you are still going to have your best self no matter what happens in your marriage or with your husband, then you really can close this chapter. Because you don’t need for someone else to act in a certain way in order to fulfill your needs. You can do that for yourself. I know that this sounds simplistic, but it is the best, most honest answer that I have.

Closure is really about making a very conscious decision that you are going to give this peace of mind to yourself. You don’t need it from him and you most certainly don’t want to spend another moment in the other woman’s presence. No one else can give it to or take it from you. It’s the knowledge that you have closed this chapter regardless of what happens next. Because you are going to be OK no matter what.

I hope that this made some sense to you.  It is sort of like Dorothy in The Wizard Of Oz.  One day, you wake up and you realize that you had the power to give this closure to yourself all along.  You’re welcome to read more about my own quest to find closure on my blog at

Will My Husband See His Mistress Again After The Affair Ends? How Can I Keep This From Happening?

by: katie lersch:  I often hear from women who are very reluctant to trust their husband again after his affair.  One major issue that frequently crops up is the husband seeing, thinking about, or being with the other woman again after the affair has supposedly ended.  Usually, the husband will deny that this is going to happen, but the wife doubts it since the infidelity has shown that he isn’t exactly trustworthy.  This can leave the wife in a situation where she really does want to believe and have faith in him, but she’s afraid to do so.

I recently heard from a wife who asked, in part: “how do I know if he’s going to see the mistress or the other woman again after the affair?  I made it a condition of my trying to save the marriage that he have nothing whatsoever to do with this woman.  And he hesitated.  He said he needed time to decide what he wanted to do.  He clearly felt reluctant to let her go.  In the end, he decided to stay with me and save the marriage.  And he says he will agree not to see her again.  But how do I know that I can trust him with this?  My biggest worry is that I’ll decide to be very vulnerable and place my trust in him only to have him sneaking around again behind my back.  Is there any way to tell if he’ll see her again? Or to make sure that he won’t?”

Although this is a common issue, it feels very real and very troublesome to the woman living within it.  Dealing with your husband’s infidelity is very difficult on so many levels.  But having to worry that he’s going to see the mistress or other woman again is an issue that you just shouldn’t have to deal with.  I will discuss this more in the following article.

If You’re Concerned That Your Husband Will Continue To See The Mistress, Try To Put Some Safeguards In Place: I often suggest that wives don’t leave a lot to chance when they are working on saving their marriage after their husband’s affair.  Yes, you will need to trust him to the best of your ability.  But this is a lot easier if you both agree to some safeguards that increases your comfort level.   It’s not too much to ask of him to request that  when he’s not at work, he’s at home or with you.  It’s not an unreasonable request to ask him to check in with you often. It’s usually best if you are together as much as possible when you are rebuilding, because, when this is the case, you’re not having to worry about where he is or who he’s with.

If you know that he’s with you or regularly (or checking in with, texting, communicating with, or reaching out to you,) then these reassurances usually mean that you aren’t worrying about her nearly as much.  Some wives agree that these safeguards sound promising, but they are reluctant to ask these things of their husband.  Sometimes, they suspect that their husband will resist this or feel some resentment as the result of it.

I had a wife tell me that she worried that her husband would ask if she intended to spy on him or to keep him on a “short leash” forever.  While I suppose that these kinds of comments or responses happen, you can try to avoid this by the way that you approach this conversation.  You want to make it very clear that this is necessary for you to have confidence that he is being faithful.  You may want to offer some reassurance that this may not always be necessary, especially once you’re able to rebuild the marriage. And a man who is serious about saving his marriage will want to make concessions.  Of course, you know better than I the kinds of words and phrases that will work best for your husband, but a suggestion would be something like this.

“Part of rebuilding our marriage is our being completely honest with each other. So I need to be honest with you right now.  As much as I want to save our marriage, I’m very concerned that you will continue to see her. I know that you don’t intend to, but for my own benefit, can we discuss some safeguards that might make this easier for me?  As we make progress, I hope that I won’t need these reassurances forever.  But for now, will you show me your commitment to our marriage by agreeing to some things that will make things easier for me?”

Be prepared to negotiate and to talk again if your needs or feelings change.  The whole idea is that you are both open and up front about what you need to be comfortable and fully committed.  It’s better to speak up and request what you need than to not say a word and struggle with your doubts.

What If The Mistress Insists On Continuing To See Your Husband Or She Won’t Take No For An Answer?: Occasionally, I hear from wives who trust their husband and know that the husband has made it very clear to the other woman that it’s over.  However, sometimes, the mistress just doesn’t want to accept this.  She is the one who reaches out to the husband or who tries to continue to have contact with him.  In this case, while it’s not fair to blame the husband, you can’t let the behavior continue either.

Your husband may need to reassert that the relationship is over and then cut off all contact.  If necessary, he may need to change his phone number, email, or other accounts.  Sometimes, he may even need to take legal action.   The chances of saving your marriage when your husband continues to see or even has to deal with the other woman are less than if you both were confident that she was out of your lives.

Focusing On Your Own Marriage Is Actually The Best Way To Keep Him From Continuing To See The Mistress: I very much understand your fears right now.  This was one of the biggest fears that I had in my own recovery after my husband’s cheating.   But I can tell you from experience that sometimes when you continue to dwell on and worry about the other woman, you give you more power and you weaken your own marriage and chances for recovery.

I know it’s difficult to put your fears aside, but honestly, making your own marriage as strong as it can possibly be and placing your focus on your husband and your marriage is one of the best ways to make sure that you no longer have to worry about the other woman.  Because when you rebuild to the point where you know that your husband prefers you to anyone else, then she’s no longer a threat.

I know that worrying about this woman is no fun.  But don’t place all of your focus on her so that she continues to damage your marriage.  Sometimes, if you return your focus to you and your husband, you get her out of your life that much faster. Although I never would’ve believed this two years ago, after some struggles, 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 in tact. I no longer worry my husband will cheat again. If it helps, you can read more of that personal story on my blog at

My Spouse Regrets His Emotional Affair. Does This Mean That It Won’t Turn Into A Physical Affair?

By: Katie Lersch: Many people believe that an emotional affair is not as damaging as a physical one. But, wives who have dealt with husbands who have cheated emotionally might stage a good argument that this is not the case. In fact, a very common excuse that a man who has been physically cheating on his wife will give you is: “it was only the sex. It didn’t mean anything to me.” Men say this because they know that an emotional connection with someone else can hurt a wife more than a physical connection. That is why many wives whose husbands are cheating emotionally don’t take this lightly. They know that they are dealing with a serious problem. But they can also worry that this will eventually lead to a physical affair.

A wife might say: “I knew that something was wrong with my husband. We used to put our children to bed and then talk for hours about our future, about current events, and then we would just spend some quiet time together. This was the favorite part of my day. Well, this stopped about two months ago. And that was about the same time that my husband started staying late for work and taking work-related phone calls. So I assumed that he was likely cheating. And I was right, but not in the way that I thought. He finally admitted that he had ‘become close’ with a woman at work. He admits that they have been talking on the phone and texting. He admits that she has had problems at work – about which she has confided in him. He admits that they have inside jokes and nicknames for one another. I told him that this sounds like an emotional affair and he didn’t deny it.  Later, he eventually said that I was right. However, he stressed that he deeply regrets what he has done. Because he knows that their relationship is inappropriate and can not go any further. And now he says that it is going to be very awkward at work. He keeps saying that he doesn’t want to lose our marriage. But every time that he is home late for even a very valid reason, I panic. Because I think that the affair is still going on and now is physical instead of just emotional. One of our mutual friends says that I am reading too much into it. She says that he didn’t technically cheat and because he has regret, he won’t cross the line. Is she right? Do men who regret an emotional affair stop with that so that the affair doesn’t turn physical?”

Why Regret Isn’t Always Enough: I wish that I could give you an enthusiastic yes here. I wish I could tell you that a man who regrets an emotional affair will never have a physical one. I really wish that I could tell you all of these things. But I can’t. Some men do end things and don’t ever cross the line. And some men just can’t help themselves. Even if they didn’t mean for the physical affair to happen, it does.

I often have men tell me things like: “I had no intention of crossing that line and cheating. But in the moment, I just wasn’t thinking. Time almost stood still and before I knew it, I was cheating on my wife. I honestly don’t know what came over me.”

What Is Necessary On Top Of Regret: Although regret is encouraging, it isn’t always enough. What you need in addition to regret is commitment and safeguards. Because the thing is, a man can have remorse. He can regret his actions thus far. But, when he gets in the vicinity of the other woman, circumstances might present themselves that make it very difficult for him to resist and so he doesn’t. And then he’s in a situation where he never intended to cheat but he has.

I know that this is a tough situation because people can’t always leave their jobs. But I think it’s important that he avoids her to the extent that he can. And in the instances that he can not avoid her, he must approach her in a very different way. Instead of being friendly, his demeanor should be respectful but off limits.

Regret helps with this. But commitment is needed also. And people often overestimate themselves. They will tell themselves that they can withstand the temptation, but it only takes an instant when they can’t to lead to physical cheating. That’s why it’s vital that he understands that he must do everything in his power to be in her presence as little as possible. If he does have to be in her presence for work, then he should make sure that other people are around.

And it goes without saying that he should no longer see her, talk to her, or interact in anyway outside of work or on a professional basis. Because this is what will keep the affair from turning physical. If the opportunity never presents itself, then neither one of them can act on it.

So yes, you do want to see regret.  But in my experience and opinion, it isn’t always enough.  You have to change the level of commitment and the level of opportunity.  You can read more about my own recovery on my blog at

Do Married Men Have Sex With Their Wives While Having An Affair. If So, How Do They Pull This Off?

By: Katie Lersch:  From the correspondence that I get, I find that there is a perception that a man who is cheating on his wife will stop having sex with her.  I sometimes get letters from “the other woman” asking me if she should believe a husband who claims that he isn’t being intimate with his wife anymore.  I’m not sure why, but this is often very important to her.  She might say: “the guy that I have been seeing has told me that he didn’t sleep with his wife for six months before he met me and that he hasn’t been sleeping with her since we got together.  They have kids, which is the only reason he stays.  However, I have a friend who is also friends with his wife.  And she says that she would not be surprised if they are still having sex because they both act normally and somewhat affectionally when they are together.  She said she just saw them holding hands walking around the neighborhood. Could he by lying to me?”

Along that same line of thinking, a wife might suspect her husband of cheating but ultimately may decide that he probably is not because their sex life is still active and still pretty good.  She might assume that because the husband is getting good and frequent sex at home, then she has nothing to worry about in the infidelity department.  She might say: “my husband has been away from home much more than usual lately.  He works late.  He goes out.  He takes more phone calls than usual and takes them where I can’t hear what he is saying. I would suspect him of cheating except for the fact that we are still having some pretty good sex.”

From my observation and experience, these assumptions are not always correct.  Many men who have affairs do continue to have sex with their wives without anything changing or seeming to be amiss.  In fact, sometimes the sex is more frequent or even better while he is having the affair.  He can do this as to not arouse suspicion or he can do it because he is still invested in his marriage and still very attracted to his wife.

In fact, it’s my opinion that most men never did have any intention of leaving their wife and still do not while the affair is active.  So for them, nothing is going to change. And because of this, there’s no reason to stop having sex.  Sure, they very convincingly tell the other woman that they want to or are going to leave.  They will tell her that they are married in name only and that they haven’t been intimate in years.  They tell her these things even when they are not true because they want to make it easier for her to cheat.  They don’t want for her to identify with the wife or to realize that she’s in a relationship with no real future.

Frankly, it is not fair to the other woman.  It is lies that are being told to her.  But this scenario is very common and many “other women” eventually put two and two together and realize that they are being lied to.  And many wives eventually find evidence of the cheating and have to face reality even when their sex life still appears to be active and wonderful.

So the answer to the question is that yes, man very often continue having meaningful and good sex with their spouses while they are actively having an affair.  It is wrong.  And it confuses matters.  And often, the wife and the other woman do not understand this because women are less likely to be able to comprehend how you can be having sex with two people.

I really don’t have a definitive answer about this because I could not carry this out either.  When I love someone, I could never be unfaithful.  But obviously, as a woman, I do not think and act like a man.  From the correspondence that I get, it seems pretty clear, at least to me, that men are much better at being about to separate the two relationships and compartmentalize their feelings and their thoughts.  If I were the one having an affair, I would be so crippled by conflict and guilt, but some men are able to juggle it pretty convincingly.

Again, this is only my opinion, but if I were dating a married man and he told me he wasn’t having sex with his wife, I would have serious doubts about this.  From my observation, most of the time, this just is not true.  Two people under one roof and in one bed with a shared commitment are most likely having sex.  Many men tell the other woman they sleep on the couch or spare bedroom.  This often isn’t true, either.

And many wives want to believe that as long as she’s having sex with him, then he doesn’t need to seek it elsewhere.  The truth is, he is getting a different pay off from this than just sex.  He is often using the affair as a way to feel better about himself.  Sex often has much less to do with it than people think.

My husband and I were separated by distance when he had has affair because of work obligations. However, our relationship at that time was good and active.  He cheated for different reasons. I outline some of those reasons on my blog at

I Don’t Understand My Husbands Attitude After His Cheating And Affair (And I Don’t Like It Either)

By: Katie Lersch:  I recently heard from a wife who wasn’t sure what made her more mad at her husband – the fact that he’d had an affair or his attitude following the wife finding out about the same.  As she described it, her husband was acting defensive and cold and only apologized once initially.  Basically he was insinuating that the wife would either get over it or not, but he wasn’t going to lose sleep either way.

The wife said, in part: “when my best friend’s husband had an affair, he couldn’t apologize enough.  He went to counseling with her and did everything in his power to make it up to her.  Their marriage survived because of this.  But my husband is acting in the opposite way.  He said he was sorry, but told me he’d only say that once and said he had his reasons for cheating.  When I press him and tell him that I need to understand why he did this, he will make sarcastic comments but not answer the question I’ve asked.  It’s almost as if he feels justified for cheating on me and it’s almost like he’s mad that I found out and made him stop.  Frankly, he acts as if he doesn’t care if I forgive him or not.  Honestly, I thought we might have had a chance if he would have actually shown some remorse and a willingness to work with me.  But he’s made it clear that he’s not going to do either.  So where does that leave me?  How do I handle his awful attitude? Because I’m just about ready to walk away in disgust.”

This is a very common theme with the wives that I hear from.  Many were hoping for a completely different attitude from their husbands.  When they don’t see what they expected or hoped for, they have no idea how to respond.  Of course, they are understandably angry.  But when they express their anger, their husband withdraws even more and becomes even more cold and distant.

In the following article, I’ll explain why you might be seeing a negative attitude from your husband after his affair and offer some suggestions on how to deal with this.

Sometimes, A Husband’s Negative Attitude After His Affair Is A Combination Of Some Perceived Justification For His Actions, Posturing, And Embarrassment:  I’d like to make a suggestion to you which I hope will help you to understand this better.  Your husband has likely been thinking about his motivations for having an affair (and the moral implications of this) long before you caught him cheating.

In other words, before a man cheats, he has a decision to make.  He must decide if he’s going to listen to that voice in the back of his head telling him that cheating is wrong or if he’s going to ignore that voice either because he feels justified in cheating or because he feels that the pay off from it outweighs any doubts or moral issues that he might have, at least at the time he made the decision.  (That’s not to say that he won’t come to regret this decision later or look back and realize what a stupid decision it was.)

The point is, once he decides to cheat, he has likely already thought about the decision at least briefly.  But when you catch him and bring up all of those issues that he’s already thought about and put out of his mind, then suddenly he has to face those doubts and insecurities that he has already stuffed down.  That’s one reason that he might react with frustration and even anger.  He doesn’t necessarily want to look in the mirror and acknowledge his flawed thought process or put it on display for all to see.

Another reason that men will act defensive or combative after their affair is posturing.  They figure if they can make you understand that every time you try to make them feel guilty or ashamed (or want them to talk about their feelings or motivations,) they will respond negatively as the result, you just might make this topic off limits or bring it up less.

And, many men do feel justified in cheating (at least temporarily,) and they know that if they listen to reason, they are going to realize just how horrible their actions really were.  They usually just don’t want to face this and add one more issue to their struggles. So, they’re trying to make you reluctant to push them anymore than you already have.  Finally, many men are just embarrassed to be caught and exposed in this way and these frustrations come out and appear to be directed at you.

How To Handle It When Your Husband Has A Negative, Bad Or Nasty Attitude After His Affair:  Many women in this situation will think that they can handle this in one of two ways.  They can confront him and respond with their own anger.  Or, they can do exactly what their husband hoped for – which is to back off or give in.

I think that there’s a place in between both responses that might work better.  I think it’s important to let your husband know that his attitude is making things worse while at the same time refusing to engage in his negativity.

My suggestion would be that the next time you are on the receiving end of his negative attitude you might say something like:  “I’m really confused about why you’re acting angry at me or as if I did something wrong.  I know our marriage wasn’t perfect and I wasn’t the perfect spouse but no one is.  And that’s never justification for cheating.  Your attitude isn’t helping us at all.  I understand that you might be frustrated with this situation also, but I’m not going to allow for you to interact with me in the way that you have been.  In order to move on, I need to know that you are truly sorry and I need to understand why you cheated on me.  You may not be willing to provide this right now, but I will have to have these things eventually.  In the meantime, I hope you understand that the two of us being nasty to each other isn’t making this situation better.  I don’t expect for you to apologize endlessly or to say things that you don’t mean, but I do need for you to stop acting as if I’m to blame or that I’m the enemy.  Until you do, I’m afraid that things aren’t going to get any better for either of us.”

When said calmly, this lets him know that you aren’t going to play into his defensive attitude and you aren’t going to give up on needing to see some remorse or on gaining some understanding for his actions.  I find that many wives in this situation eventually give in and back off, which of course is exactly what he wants.  While backing off or giving in to his attitude may keep the peace, these wives never get the remorse or the explanation that they are after and their marriages sometimes continue to suffer as the result of the resentment and frustration that they continue to  feel.

I understand your frustation and confusion and I hope this helped.  I’ve been there as I’ve dealt with infidelity myself.  If it helps, you can read more about how I healed on my surviving the affair blog.  There are also some free resources (newsletters) on the side of this blog

A Letter To The Husband Who Cheated And Had An Affair: What Should It Say?

by: katie lersch: I often hear from women who are struggling to work through their husband’s cheating or affair.  Many ask me about writing a letter to put their struggles into words.  Some have even asked me for a sample letter or requested for me to write one for them.  I honestly think it’s advisable to be careful and deliberate about any letter that you are going to give your husband.   Because this can often set the tone for recovery. And often, such a letter leads to a lot of hurt feelings or misunderstandings.  Plus, it’s also important to remember that your feelings are likely to change a great deal in the coming days, months, or even years.

But I do understand the allure of a letter.  It’s often very challenging to put the difficult things that we feel into verbal words. And so often, we choke up, get emotional, or break down when we try.  So we feel like written communication or a letter is going to be easier and more effective.  Although I certainly can’t write such a letter for you, I can give you some guidelines on what it might say which I’ll do below.

A Letter Can Be Used To Release Your Feelings About The Affair. (In Fact, Sometimes A Letter That You Never Give Your Husband Can Be Beneficial:)  Many women are looking to write such a letter because they feel that doing so is going to allow them to release some very painful and closed off feelings.  I highly encourage writing such a letter.  In fact, even if you do want to craft a letter for your husband, I suggest writing one just for yourself that no one else will see.

Because this is where you can really let your feelings out without having to edit yourself or worry how your words are going to be perceived.  Many women chose to burn the letter (or at least hide it) once it’s written because these words are for no one else but you.  Since you are the only one who is going to read this letter, there’s no need to  hold back.  Just let it all out and then either dispose of it or put it somewhere where only you can find it.  Because it’s just meant to release your feelings, there really is no need to keep it around or to share it.  Now, let’s move on to the letter that you might be considering writing for your husband’s benefit or view.

Carefully Consider What You Want Your Husband To Take Away From The Letter Before You Write It Or Give It To Him: I strongly suggest that before you write any letter, you examine what you hope to accomplish with it.  I have to be honest. Many women admit to me that they write the letter because they want their husband to feel guilty or remorseful about the affair.  They want to show him how badly he’s hurt them.  They want to give him a glimpse into their battered soul so he can see just how deep the damage that he caused goes.

I completely understand this as I had the same intentions.  And that’s why it’s advisable to examine why you’re really writing the letter.  Although many don’t admit this even to themselves, many of us want to write the letter because we want to improve our situations.  We’re hoping that if our husband sees how we really feel and how deeply he’s really hurt us, he’ll be so remorseful that he will not cheat again and will move heaven and earth to make this up to us.

And yet, often the letter has the reverse affect.  Yes, it makes the husband feel very bad and guilty.  But many husbands tell me that they just see the letter as just more of the same.  I’ve actually had men tell me things like “she’s not saying anything in the letter that I don’t already know or she hasn’t already said.  I already get that I’m a bad husband who did a very bad thing so why do we need to keep repeating the same thing over and over?  I’ve already told her that I was sorry and want to save the marriage.  So how is this going to change because the words are written rather than spoken?  To me, this is just one more way for her to express how disappointed she is in me and how much I’ve let her down.  But, I already know this.  I don’t need for her to keep repeating it.”

This is why it’s so important to clearly define your objections for the letter before and while you’re writing it and to ask yourself how your husband might receive or interpret it before you give it to him.

What I Think A Letter To A Husband Who Cheated Or Had An Affair Should Include: I actually think that a well crafted letter can help a marriage after an affair.  But, you have to be very careful. Because some letters actually harm the marriage or set it back for months.  The real power that I think the right letter holds is that it can clear up any misconceptions or understandings and it can underscore your intentions and your plans moving forward.  It truly can set the tone for the days and months ahead.

For example, rather than just continuing to stress how much the affair has hurt you, you might also mention what you’d like to happen moving forward, what you need for these things to happen, and what your intentions truly are.  In my mind, such a letter could include three parts – current feelings, current needs, and future intentions.  I realize that it’s not realistic to think that you aren’t going to include how the affair or cheating has hurt you or made you feel, but I’d suggest not making this the sole content of the letter because your husband likely already knows this and if you go on and on, he’s likely not going to take away what you were hoping for.

After you briefly touch on your feelings, you then may consider focusing or explaining what you need from him in the days and weeks ahead.  If you want him to give you more reassurance, affection, and accountability, then use the letter to your advantage and ask for it.  Many of us find it easier to put these difficult requests into writing.  And the additional advantage is, for future reference, you’ve spelled out what you need to move forward.

Finally, it’s helpful to include your intentions moving forward.  I can’t tell you how many couples aren’t sure what their spouse really wants in the aftermath of the affair.  If you truly want to save your marriage even though this affair shook you to your core, now is the time to write that and to tell your husband what you need and how you intend to get there.

My initial attempt at writing a letter after my husband’s affair turned out quite badly because I gave him a letter that should have been meant only for my own eyes.  Later, I changed course with my tone and intention and this made a huge difference.  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 beyond the letter, but it was worth it.  If it helps, you can read more of that very personal story on my blog at

My Spouse Won’t Completely Commit To Our Marriage After His Affair. He Just Wants To Observe What Happens

By: Katie Lersch: Once you begin to open yourself up to saving your marriage after an affair, you want reassurance that you are not going to leave yourself vulnerable for no good reason.  You want to know that there is a good chance that this risk to your heart is all going to be worth it in the end because your spouse is going to work hard to ensure that you’re not going to be hurt again.  You want some assurance that your marriage will emerge even better so that your risk and hard work was justified.

In order to have these beliefs, it helps when you have a spouse who is firmly on board and who is every bit as committed to your marriage as you are. When this doesn’t appear to happen, it can leave you wondering if the risk is worth it.

A wife might be in this type of situation: “the day after I found out my husband was cheating on me, he came to my work and would not leave until I agreed to give him five minutes of my time. I didn’t even want to talk to him, but I was embarrassed that he was at my job, so I just wanted to get him out of there.  So we went the coffee shop down the street and I gave him precisely five minutes.  He went on and on about how he could not live without me and how much he was praying that I would not leave or divorce him.  I took several weeks to make up my mind, but I finally decided that I wasn’t going to let this marriage go without a fight. So I told him that I would commit to trying to make it work. I thought that was what he wanted because he represented the same to me.  Well, things have not gone so smoothly. Although I want it to work, it is difficult.  There are days when I am very angry.  Yesterday was one of those days.  My husband and I got into an argument and I told him that I wasn’t sure why he was acting this way when he was the one begging me not to leave him or to end the marriage.  I told him that commitment to the marriage means not complaining when things get rough. He told me that he’s now not sure about the marriage.  He would rather take a ‘wait and see’ approach now.  He said if things improve, then maybe our marriage was meant to be.  If not, then maybe we should just go our separate ways.  I am appalled by this and I feel like he mislead me.  He acted like he was committed, but then when I committed also and it wasn’t smooth sailing, he started balking. I feel like there is no way to work things out now with him just sitting back and watching.”

I understand your frustration.  You’re worried that he’s not going to put in any effort. And, without this effort, things may never work.  I am certainly no expert, but it looks like you have a couple of things which must be overcome in order to get back on track.  First, it may help if your attempt at recovery has more of a forward direction.  And I don’t mean that you can never get angry or that you have to pretend that you’re healing when you’re not.  I mean that often, when we try to fix our marriage after an affair, we do the best we can, but we aren’t experts and so we just sort of wander and we have good days and bad days. But we don’t really make any progress because there is truly no plan.  We don’t know how to move ourselves forward, so both people get discouraged.

The second obstacle is that your husband is now balking at giving you a firm commitment to a certain period of time.  I have a suggestion which might help you overcome both obstacles.  And that would be to try to get your husband to commit to a set time of counseling.  Please hear me out.  I know that counseling does not seem great to many people, but if you can get your husband to agree to say, a handful of sessions, that will at least buy you some time where you know that you will have his attention and his cooperation.  And by seeking a professional’s guidance, you have a much greater chance of moving forward and being productive in your recovery.

When people see progress, then they are much more likely to be willing to stay and to commit.  This strategy gives you a much higher likelihood of his repeated and enthusiastic cooperation, which gives you a much higher likelihood of success.

I know that a lot of people are reluctant or unable to get counseling, but if this is the case, there are self help resources out there that can at least help you to see some progress in a logical way so that you aren’t just sort of staying stagnant and not moving forward.  I actually had a good results from some carefully chosen self help. There’s more on my blog at

Why Is My Spouse Being So Mean To Me After Cheating?

By: Katie Lersch: I sometimes hear from spouses who are so upset that their cheating spouse is not only not showing remorse and guilt, they are being downright hateful and mean. This can leave the faithful spouse wondering what they have done to deserve this kind of treatment, especially since they weren’t the one who cheated.

I heard from a wife who said: “my husband cheated on me with a coworker. He only admitted it because I caught him. When I confronted him, he acted as if I did something wrong. He acted like I was the most deplorable person imaginable for spying on him, even though all the signs of cheating were there. He hasn’t left me. I think he is scared that if he leaves, I won’t give him access to the kids and it is going to cost him a lot of money. But he is so very rude and mean to me. You would think that a man who cheated would be falling all over himself to be sweet in order to inspire some forgiveness. But he is actually just the opposite. He’s distant. He make nasty comments about me being a snoop under his breath. He insinuates that he cheated on me because my own behavior drove him to it. Sometimes, I feel like replying that if I’m such a horrible person, what is he doing still married to me. But then I become afraid that I don’t want to know the answer to that question. I don’t understand why he’s acting so nasty. I haven’t done anything wrong. I think I’m a good wife. Yes, I spied on him. But he deserved it. Why is he acting this way?”

There can be many reasons that cheating spouses will act less than kind to their spouse after they have been caught cheating. Most of the reasons are the result of some sort of defense mechanism or an attempt to justify the cheating. I will discuss this more in the following article.

If Your Spouse Admitted (Even To Themselves) That You Are In No Way At Fault, They Would Feel That Much More Guilty: Very few cheating spouses want to admit to your innocence (even to themselves.) But very few people can cheat and not be almost overcome with guilt. Even when you know that your spouse isn’t perfect or there is no doubt that your marriage is seriously lacking, deep in your heart, you know that cheating is wrong. People who cheat often hear little voices in the back of their heads that make them feel such shame because the voice asks how they could do this to someone who loves and trusts them.

One way to quiet that voice is to attempt to make your spouse out to be the bad guy. Because if you admit that your spouse is a decent person who is loyal and loving, then you really must be jerk to betray them in this way.  So sometimes when he is mean to you, this is his way of distancing himself. He wants to paint you as less than perfect. He wants to be angry at you. Because this makes it so much easier for him to carry on his cheating.

He Might Be Being Mean Because He Wants To Keep You At A Distance As A Defense Mechanism: As hard as it is to listen to that little voice in your head when you’re cheating, it’s also awful to have to look your spouse in the eye and face them once the ugly truth has come out.

Often, they don’t know what to do or say. And the sight of you in such pain and with so much disappointment written all over your face is almost impossible to bear. The look in your eyes reminds them of what they have done all over again. So to spare themselves pain, they want for you to keep your distance. One way to ensure you keep your distance is for them to be mean to you. They are hoping that as a result, you won’t ask for all the details or won’t make demands.

How To Handle It When Your Spouse Is Being Distant Or Mean After They Cheated: Even if you’ve begun to understand why your spouse might be acting the way that they are, none of this makes their behavior right. And I sometimes if you don’t call them on this behavior, they may try to continue it. I believe it’s best to comment on it rather than continuing to allow it to happen.

So the next time he makes one of those snide comments, you might consider stopping him and saying something like: “do you think I don’t hear that? Your comments are hurtful and I can’t pretend otherwise. You act as if I have done something wrong or that I have done something to hurt you when you know that neither is the case. I can’t continue to allow you to treat me this way. You say that you are staying and that you want to save our marriage. But we can’t do that if you continue to treat me this way. If I’ve done something to make you angry or to inspire your comments, then let’s discuss it right now. Otherwise, I don’t want to hear it anymore. Nothing that I have done justifies your cheating on me. That is the issue that we need to work through. So when you are ready to talk about that, I’m willing to listen. Until then, I won’t listen to you belittle or criticize me when I’ve done nothing wrong.”

Sometimes, this will be enough and he will realize you are not going to let him get away with this. It is important that you don’t just pretend as if you don’t care or allow him to continue on. Because if you don’t counter him, then he has no reason to stop. And you really can’t rebuild a healthy marriage if he can’t respect you enough to stop the rude or mean comments.

My husband did try to posture in the days and weeks after my learning about the affair.  But I wasn’t going to allow certain things and I quickly made him aware of this.  He backed down, but not without a lot of resentment in the beginning.   Still, it really helped to set those boundaries because we both knew what to expect.  If it helps, you can read my story of recovery on my blog at

My Spouse Wants More Sex Since I Caught Him Cheating. I Don’t Want To Give Him Any Sex At All

By: Katie Lersch:  One of the most common problems that crops up after a spouse has been caught cheating is that of sex.  There are many issues that surround this.  Often, both people have a hard time resuming their sex life.  The faithful spouse may be so turned off by the thought of it and the cheating spouse may feel guilty.  Or, one spouse may want to have sex as a way to reaffirm their bond and commitment while the other spouse is not anywhere near ready to do this.  Another conflict is one spouse wanting to have sex much more frequently than the other.

A wife might explain: “after I caught my husband cheating, I frankly would have been happy never to have sex with him again.  Now that I have calmed down a little, I concede that I’m going to have sex with him again, but I am certainly not in any hurry to be doing it all of the time. But my husband is.  I don’t know if having sex much more often because of his cheating increased his sexual appetite or if he just wants me more as a way of making himself believe I’m not going to leave him.  Either way, I’m just not interested.  We’ve had sex a couple of times and it has not been that great. I always feel very confused during it.  I want to enjoy it, but it’s nearly impossible because of course I think about the affair.  And I also don’t want for my husband to think that just because I’m having sex with him that everything is OK between us. It most certainly is not.  I can’t even give my husband a hug without worrying that he’s going to take it the wrong way and try to make the moves on me. The more he wants to have sex with me, the more I don’t want to have it with him. But I worry that if I refuse him, he will go and get it from somewhere else.  I do not know if there is a compromise here, but I feel that I have the right to say no if I just don’t want it right now.”

I agree that you absolutely have the right.  This issue is very common.  Admittedly, I am biased.  Because I was in the same situation.  But I believe that the faithful spouse has every right to set the sexual pace.  If you rush sex, then I don’t think it’s a great thing for anyone.  You aren’t being true to yourself and you are pretending to feel something that you don’t. Plus, you will likely be sending mixed signals to your spouse and this can be very confusing to both of you.  He may not want more sex with you as form of manipulation or control.  He may want to use sex as reassurance that you still love and want him.  Or he may see it as reassurance that everything is eventually going to be OK.  Many people who have cheated on their spouse see sex as way to feel accepted by their spouse again.  So, for him the sex may mean a lot more than the physical act of sex.  In that way, you have something in common.  But if you are not ready, then that is your right.  You may want to try to explain this so that he doesn’t take it in the wrong way.

This is just a suggestion.  Use your own words and express your own feelings: “I’m glad that you still want me sexually, but I am just not ready to rush into our regular sex life.  I think we have a lot of healing to do first.  To me, sex is more than just the physical act and I can’t freely give it right now. I am not saying that I never want to have sex with you.  I do.  But I need to be able to set a slower pace. I am not doing this to punish you. I am doing this to be true to myself and because I want our sex life to be meaningful. I believe it can get back to that place with work, but we have a lot to do in order to get there.  And I promise that you won’t have to guess.  I’ll let you know when I’m ready.”

It goes with out saying that most men are not going to be completely excited about getting less sex.  But, he should realize that his affair is the reason for this.  If he had not had the affair, then reevaluating your sex life would not be necessary.  And frankly, it is much better to go at a slower pace that is comfortable for you than to force yourself and then have a bad experience.

Sex after an affair is very fragile and when you have bad sex, it can make both you and your spouse wonder if that means your marriage is doomed.  In my opinion, it is better to wait until you can have sincere and good sex than to move too quickly.  At least that was my experience.  I waited until I was pretty desperate to start having sex with my husband again because I didn’t want it to be forced or insincere.  You can read more about this gradual process on my blog at