Cheating Husbands Who Want To Stay Married, But Won’t Stop Cheating

By: Katie Lersch: It’s often assumed that a husband who cheats on his wife ultimately does not want to be married anymore.  This is especially true if the husband cheats more than once.  People assume that a man who can be classified as a multiple or serial cheater is a man who, is his own passive – aggressive way, is trying very hard to get rid of his wife or of his marriage.

And yet, I think that people would be quite surprised if they knew how many of these men indicate that they love their wives more than anything.  Many of them are desperate to keep their marriages.  I hear from some of them.  And they are looking for tips on how to convince their wives not to leave them.  Most have promised themselves that they won’t cheat again. And yet sometimes, they do.

There are several questions here.  Why do they even want to stay with their wives when they have shown that they can not be faithful? And why do they keep cheating if they are so in love with their wives?

One of these wives might ask these questions in this way: “this is the third time that I have caught my husband cheating on me.  I will admit that in this instance, more time had gone between the cheating.  This time, he actually made it six years before he cheated again. In those six years, I was stupid enough to trust him again.  I thought that we had finally gotten past it. Because quite frankly, we almost divorced after the first two times.  But my husband was so pitiful, begging me not to leave him.  Honestly, I think that we were happy in those six years.  And as soon as I found out this time, he dropped the other woman like a hot potato, which is why I don’t understand why he would even cheat. I told him that honestly, we should just get divorced because I can not continue to be with a man who will not be faithful to me.  But now he’s lost 15 pounds.  He won’t eat.  And he claims he is not sleeping.  I just don’t get it.  He doesn’t love me enough to be faithful apparently, but he acts as if it would be the worst thing in the world to let me go.  I love him. I truly do.  But I can’t keep dealing with the cheating. Do men like this ever change?”

A Man Has To Be Very Motivated To Change: I believe that they do.  But from my observation, it takes ALOT of work and determination to break the trend. The man has to be willing to take an honest look at any and all contributing factors and vulnerabilities. And this can be painful.  Because very often, repeat cheaters are running from their feelings and from their issues.  They use cheating as a way to “numb” what they are dealing with.

In order to be rehabilitated, a man has to be willing to change his lifestyle, put safeguards in place, and perhaps change his belief system (because repeat – cheating can sometimes stem from cultural, family, or employment beliefs or cultures.)  He has to be willing to constantly be held accountable and to endure a good bit of scrutiny for quite a long time before he is able to rebuild the trust.  Of course, in this case, your husband already knows this, as it sounds like he worked hard to rebuild the trust for six years and then somehow, he managed to slip back into old habits.

What Contributes To Repeat Cheating: Often, contributing factors to this are a lack of impulse control and the lack of foresight / discipline to not allow yourself to get into a familiar situation.  It isn’t that these men don’t love their wives.  It’s that they get themselves in a situation where they act before they think it through.  As a result, they are stuck again.  Men can learn to change this dynamic.  But they have to be willing to do so.  And they have to be willing to endure some scrutiny and analysis in order to uncover why they keep ending up at the same place.

Trying Something More Effective When The Old Methods Aren’t Working: It wasn’t mentioned if there had been counseling.  If not, I would highly suggest it or some very targeted self help.  Running into the same problem three times is indicative of something that is very hard to overcome without help.  Getting very targeted help could provide insights and safeguards that have not been established before.

Because if nothing else is clear, let it now be clear that the old method, whatever it was, hadn’t completely worked.  It should also be clear that your husband isn’t looking to get out of your marriage.  So if you want to stay and he also wants to stay, doesn’t it make sense to do whatever is necessary this time around?  The men who I’ve heard from say they don’t want a divorce.  And they insist that they do want to change and don’t completely understand why they keep cheating.  But perhaps if they had some help to decode this and to establish some safeguards, the suffering would not have to continue.  But he has to be willing to accept the help and do whatever is asked of him to forge a new path.  (If he’s not willing, he is just prolonging everyone’s pain and that’s not fair.)   Often, the wife can also benefit from this help because she can learn how to  support herself through this process.

I am not going to tell you that rehabilitation is always fun.  People think it is hard on the cheating husband and it is.  But it is not always a picnic for the wife, either.  However, without it, you risk ending up at the same place. I came to realize that serious rehabilitation was the cost of saving my marriage.  And I have never regretted that.   There’s more about our rehabilitation on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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