For How Long Should I Remain Separated From My Husband After He Cheated And Had An Affair Before I Take Him Back?

By: Katie Lersch:  I often hear from wives who are trying to formulate a plan to make sure that their husband is so remorseful and so desperate to get back into their good graces and save the marriage after an affair, that he will never cheat again.  To that end, many feel like they should prolong a separation in order to allow him to see how it feels to be alone as well as to create some doubt and fear as to when (or if) he can return home.

I recently heard from a wife who asked, in part: ” for how long should we remain separated after my husband’s cheating and affair?  I found out he cheated about three months ago and I immediately kicked him out.  I could not stand to look at him or live with him after I found out that he betrayed me.  About a month ago, he started begging my forgiveness and asking when I was going to let him move back home and end the separation.  I’m not sure if I want to do that just yet.  Honestly, I’m becoming more receptive to him and to saving our marriage.  I do miss him.  But I want to make sure that he’s good and sorry for cheating.  I figure if I make him wait to come home a little while longer, he will appreciate me that much more.  How long do wives normally wait before they take their husband’s back, allow him to move back home, and end the separation?”

There really isn’t one definitive answer to this question.  Some wives use their own feelings and wishes as a guide, some wives are influenced by their husband’s wishes and feelings, and others want to hold out for as long as they can to make a dramatic and definite point.  However, I’ll offer some considerations and tips for making this decision in the following article.

It’s Usually Not The Best Idea To Allow Yourself To Be Pressured Into Something About Which You Have Doubts (Or Are Not Ready For) After A Husband’s Cheating Or Affair: Many wives in this situation are under a great deal of pressure from their husbands.  He will tell you that he misses you and possibly the kids.  He’ll say that he wants to come home and he will often tell you that he has more than learned his lesson.  He might tell you that the separation is killing him and he’s not sure if he can’t stand it for one more day.

And all of these things begin to whittle away at your resolve and make you feel guilty because your decisions are affecting and possibly hurting someone else.  But here’s what you have to remember.  You likely initiated this separation so you could have time to sort out your feelings in your own way.  You likely wanted to set things up so that, should you decide later that you want to save your marriage, you’d put yourself in the best position to do so.

What, if anything, has changed?  I am not asking you this to discourage you from allowing your husband to come back home.  I’m asking you this to give you perspective.  If you want him to come home and to end the separation every bit as badly as he does and you’re both willing to work very hard to begin the healing process, then I see no need in prolonging things just to prove a point.  But, if you are having to make this decision because you’re feeling relentless pressure despite your doubts, then you may want to give yourself permission to take your time.  If your husband is sincere, he will wait.

Make Sure That You Aren’t Making Decisions That Run Counter To Your Own Wishes Or Feelings Just To Test Your Husband Or Make A Point: With the above said, sometimes it’s relatively clear that the wife in question misses her husband, doesn’t want the separation any longer, and would like for her husband to come home, but she feels that she needs to hold out just a little longer to test her husband or to prove a point.

She figures the longer that she can make him sweat it out and the more desperate she can make him to come home, the better her position and the more he will be invested in saving the marriage.  While this is completely understandable, sometimes it backfires.  The husband can either lose patience or becomes resentful.  And honestly, do you really want to start over in your marriage with game playing and being dishonest?

So When Is The Right Time To End The Separation And Allow Your Husband To Come Back Home After An Affair Or Cheating?: There really is no right or wrong answer to this question.  Most people have a feeling in their gut or in their heart that tells them that the time may have come. I suggest listening to that voice as long as you know that: the other person is out of the picture; the cheating has stopped; you are both committed to repairing and saving the marriage; and not only are you are both willing to do the work necessary to make these things happen, but you have a plan in place to accomplish this.

If all of these things aren’t present, then it’s generally beneficial for you to wait until they are.  But if you believe in your heart that your husband is remorseful and ready to be rehabilitated and you want him home, then there’s probably no reason to play games.  But if any of these things are in question or you are reluctant or unsure, then remember that this decision is yours alone.

My husband didn’t move out of our house, but we were very separated emotionally.  It took a while before I was ready to trust again to move forward to end this separation.  I can’t tell you exactly what it was that told me the time was right, but I noticed that I had begun to feel differently and I decided to act on this.  I can say today that I never have regretted this decision.  Our marriage did recover and we’re pretty happy today.  If it helps, you can read more about this process on my blog at

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