After My Husband Had An Affair, He Doesn’t Make Time For Me

By: Katie Lersch:  Husbands who are caught in an affair will often make many promises in order to entice their wives not to leave them or to end the marriage.  To that end, many husbands will promise that if the wife gives him a chance, she will not be sorry.  Many wives think about this promise for a while before they make any important decisions. After all, an affair is so painful.  And recovery is no picnic, either.  So, staying the course and fighting for your marriage is a decision not to be taken lightly.  Still, many wives decide to try to make it work because it’s hard to just walk away from a marriage.  They make the decision with the hope that the husband will fulfill all of his promises.

Many husbands make every attempt to follow up, but some do a better job than others.  I hear from quite a few wives who feel that their husband is falling well short of what he promised.  In fact, many need to look no further than the lack of time he’s putting toward recovery.  If this isn’t bad enough, the wife feels that she shouldn’t have to beg for more of his time, but that’s exactly the position in which she finds herself in.  She might say: “after I caught my husband cheating, he cried that very night. He told me that he’d never been more sorry about anything and that he had no idea what he would do if he lost me.  He told me that if I gave him a chance, I would see a different man.  I wanted to believe this.  But I’ve also seen a huge change in my husband since he got a promotion. He’s at work much more.  He’s more ambitious.  I truly think that these changes lead to his affair.  However, he seemed so remorseful and sweet when he promised to change, so I wanted to believe him. Unfortunately, not much has changed. He still works just as much.  He never seems to have additional time for me.  I’m not claiming that he has less time for me.  It’s just about the same.  And I expected for him to try to clear his schedule some so that we could do special things to recover.  My friends say that I should say something about this, but I don’t feel as if I should have to.  I’m very depressed.  I feel like he sold me a big fat lie.  I am not sure why he made such a big stink for me not to leave him if he wasn’t going to try to make things better.  Now I’m having regrets and I’m not sure what to do.”

Being Very Specific About Your Expectations: If there’s one thing that I learned in my own recovery from my spouse’s affair, it’s that sometimes, in order to get what you want, you have to ask for, and in some cases, demand it.  Sometimes, you have to ask more than once.  Often, our spouse thinks that they are doing okay while we know that they aren’t.  But we can’t always expect for them to change unless we speak up.

Believe me, I completely get your frustration.  But I think that before you just give up and walk away from your marriage, you should really define for you husband EXACTLY what you expect from him in terms of time.  After that, it’s going to be up to him to rise to the occasion or not.  If he doesn’t, then you’d have to decide how you want to proceed.  But if he does, you’ve gotten what you want and you didn’t need to end your marriage.  It’s certainly worth a try to spell it out for him.

You might try: “we need to talk about something that’s weighing heavily on me.  After your affair, you promised that you would make this right.  In my mind, that meant making more time for me and for our marriage.  So far, I haven’t seen that. I know that your job requires that you put in the time.  However, what we are going through makes this time in our marriage a special circumstance.  I am not sure that we are going to make it if we don’t put in the time.  Can we sit down and talk about your schedule and figure out exactly where and when we can schedule some time for us?”  It also helps if you can tell him exactly what kind of time you are talking about.  Do you want him home by 6:30 as often as possible?  Do you want him to clear his calendar on Friday nights for dinners out?  Do you want him to accompany you to church on Sundays?  Ask yourself what is most important to you and then speak up.  You can’t get your needs met if you don’t make them crystal clear to him.  Listen to his response.  There is always room for negotiation, but he should certainly come to the table with some accommodations.

And when he does show you more time, acknowledge it so that he will want to keep repeating it. You have every right to ask of his time right now.  I agree that recovery is going to be difficult if additional time isn’t allocated to your marriage. We had our own struggles and we did put in the physical time.  But we still made it. You can read more on my blog at

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