Does My Husband Remember The Good Times Of His Affair?

By: Katie Lersch: I sometimes hear from wives who wonder how much time their husband spends thinking about or indulging in memories of the other woman in the affair. Some wives are afraid to even ask about these suspicions. And some get up the courage to ask but are told to stop asking questions that only cause pain. Or they are told that they are seeing conflict where none exists.

Common comments are things like: “my husband’s affair has been over for about four months. I do not think that he is still seeing the other woman. He is home all of the time now and I make it my business to check up on him. However, even though he isn’t literally with her, I sometimes feel as if he is thinking about her all of the time. Often, I will look at my husband when he doesn’t realize that I am even in the room and he will have a wistful look on his face and he will have a small smile or laugh. I know in my heart that he is thinking about good times with her. But when I ask him about this, he tells me that I am being ridiculous and that he has much more to worry about right now than the past. I don’t believe him. He knows that if he discloses he is thinking about her then it will hurt me. So I feel like he’s lying. I happen to know that they did a lot of fun things together. He took her on trips. They went to exotic locations. He spent a lot of money on her that he never spent on me. So is he thinking of the fun past with her? Or I am just being paranoid?”

Unfortunately, I have no way of knowing what this husband was thinking about. However, I do feel that I have a decent amount of insight about this from my own experience and from the people who comment on my blog. I can share with you what cheating spouses often think about in terms of the affair in the hopes that these insights will help you.

People Can Feel Longing Toward The Other Person, Especially At First: I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that your spouse won’t think about the other person ever again. This isn’t always true. They can have memories and they can feel longing. This is especially true if they had to abruptly had to end the affair and didn’t have much closure. They can also feel guilt at hurting or misleading the other person. So while it can be normal for them to have various types of feelings when they think of the other person, it’s important to understand that they truly can not control their thoughts. What really matters is how they react to these feelings. If they are remaining faithful and are working very hard with you to fix your marriage, then this is really what is most important.  Often, they don’t want to admit to these feelings because they worry about how you will take this.

Understand That Any Feelings Of Longing Will Usually Fade Over Time: I often suggest that couples not get too discouraged in the weeks immediately following the discovery of the affair. Emotions can run very high and things are often very different as time passes. Also, if the cheating spouse is experiencing longings or memories in the beginning, this typically fades with time. Since they are no longer seeing the other person, the feelings of connectedness and intimacy have no way to continue as there is nothing to feed or support them. And as time passes, sometimes his feelings turn from longing to regret, sorrow, or guilt. He may see things much more clearly and realize that the relationship and the other person isn’t at all what he had originally thought.  With the passage of time, it is often easier to see past mistakes and to see where assumptions were wrong.

Try To Create Your Own New Memories For Both Of You To Think About: Please believe me when I say that I know how you feel. I know how painful it is to worry if your husband is still thinking of her. But one of the best ways to overcome these worries and insecurities is to create your own new memories. Nothing says that this wife couldn’t ask her husband to take her to new, exotic locations. Obviously, you don’t want to go to the same locations he went with the other woman, but you certainly deserve to take your own trips and to create your own memories. As the two of you begin to rebuild and you begin to feel more secure, you will usually find that you don’t worry as much if he is thinking about her because you know for a fact that he is thinking about you. In other words, if you can make your marriage very strong and you know that you are very intimately connected with your husband again, then you don’t place your attention on other things. Rebuilding your marriage can give you the confidence to know that she should no longer be on your list of worries.  But of course, this all takes time.  Please give yourself the luxury of time and don’t focus so much on these worries that you don’t keep moving forward.

I understand how frustrating it can feel to assume the worst about his feelings or memories. But understand that the quickest way to move away from these worries is to build yourself back up. You are worthy and desirable and you should not be assuming that you are not. I know this is a difficult lesson to embrace, but healing makes it necessary. If it helps, you can read about my recovery process on my blog

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