Do Some Men Break Off The Affair Once Caught?

By: Katie Lersch: Finding out that your spouse has been having an affair is a painful experience. But wondering if he is going to continue to affair or break it off as he’s promised is equally as painful. Many women really want to believe that he is going to end it and never look back. But many of us just do not have all of the information. We don’t know how serious the feelings were. And we can only speculate as to whether he is only telling us what we want to hear so that he can continue on with the affair behind our backs.

A wife might say: “I literally walked in on my husband having an affair. It was horrifying. My husband immediately told the other woman that she had to leave. I was too angry to speak with him then. But later, he begged me to listen to him and he told me that he will completely break things off and that he won’t ever see or talk to this woman again. Of course, I wanted to know the exact nature of the relationship. I had many questions. My husband patiently answered them. But I wasn’t happy to learn that the affair had been going on for two months. For me, that is a troubling amount of time. That is long enough to realize that you are making a mistake and to keep doing it anyway. That is long enough to develop real feelings. And that is why I have my doubts that my husband is actually going to end it. But when I told my friend about this, she said that many men do in fact end an affair when they are caught. She says the lack of secrecy makes the affair not so exciting anyone so that there is no point in continuing it. Is she right?”

It’s my belief that she is right some of the time. I can’t tell you that every man who is caught in an affair will break it off. Some refuse to break it off because they have become invested in the relationship. It makes them feel desirable, young, and vibrant once again – at least for as long as the novelty remains.

Others will insist that they will break it off and they will have every intention of doing so. But when they go to the other woman and try to end things, she will make it difficult. Or he will find that it is much harder than he thought. So he will allow the relationship to continue, angry at himself the entire time, and knowing that he’s playing a very dangerous game but not knowing how to make it stop once and for all.

But, the good news is that on the other end of the spectrum are those husbands who have reality slap them in the face when the see their wife’s hurt, devastated face when the truth comes out. See, many men aren’t living in reality when they are having an affair. They assume that no one is really getting hurt and they aren’t thinking about the future. But when they see you getting hurt and they have to face the reality that their actions might cost them their marriage, then reality comes crashing down very quickly.

And they realize that they must take a stand. They realize that things can not continue like this. And so yes, these men are motivated to break it off. Because they don’t want to lose the life they had over something that really doesn’t have anything to do with their wife. And they can now look at the affair and realize that it didn’t erase their problems, it didn’t make them any younger, and it didn’t make the pain go away for good.

Of course, I am not going to tell you that you just need to take your husband’s word for it. Because I think it’s silly not to watch him closely at a time when he’s just recently deceived you in such a disappointing and catastrophic way. I watched my husband very closely even though he showed all signs of breaking it off and even though he spent every free moment with me.

I also got to work on counseling and self help that was meant to strengthen our marriage and place safeguards in place so that this wouldn’t happen again. So no, I didn’t just blindly trust that my husband had broken it off. But, years after the fact, I can look back and see that he had.

So to answer the question, many men absolutely end the affair when it is found out. They realize that they have to make a choice and they chose the wives with whom they have a long history and have made a life. Others decide to continue to deceive for various reasons. But that doesn’t mean that all of them do or that you should assume that your husband falls into this category.

You can read more about my own recovery on my blog at

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