I Took My Husband Back After An Affair. How Likely Is He To Cheat Again?

By: Katie Lersch:  I often hear from wives who are desperately trying to regain their sense of self confidence and trust after their husband has had an affair.  Often, they desperately want to believe that their husband is remorseful, rehabilitated, and that he will not cheat again.  But somewhere, deep down, these wives live with the fear and the dread that he will be unfaithful again one day in the future.  And, because this is so painful, they want to prepare themselves for any possibility.  So, they start to consider the odds that he will one day repeat this behavior.

Common comments are things like: “after I found about my husband’s affair, I kicked him out of the house.  I didn’t want to have anything whatsoever to do with him.  He stayed away for about six weeks but then he started calling and texting me constantly.  He said that he was devastated by his actions and that he can’t stand the thought of losing me.  He started pursuing me relentlessly.  I did allow him to start seeing me again, although I was very clear about the fact that I had no idea what I was going to ultimately decide in regards to my marriage.  Over time, my husband and I started to laugh and reconnect again.  I eventually decided to take him back.  And for the most part we are happy.  We’ve done a lot of work on ourselves and on our marriage.   But I still worry that he will cheat again.  He’s not acting weird or anything like that.  He’s not doing anything to make me suspicious.  But, he didn’t do anything to make me feel suspicious the first time that he cheated.  So, what are the chances that he will cheat again?”  I will try to address these concerns below.

The Statistics On Repeat Cheaters:  You know the old phrase “once a cheater always a cheater?”  Well, this leads you to believe that once a person cheats, then he is almost certain to do it again, as if cheaters have some sort of personality flaw that dictates that they can never remain faithful to just one person.  The reality isn’t quite as dire as this old saying.  Statistics can vary widely but the recent ones that I have found indicate that anywhere from 22 to 55 percent of people who cheat once cheat again.  So obviously, it’s not an absolute certainty that he is going to cheat on you again.  Depending on which statistics you believe, you have anywhere from about a one in four chance to a one in two chance that he will cheat again.

But honestly, I don’t put a lot of my faith in statistics because they don’t take into account the personality of the couple and the rehabilitation work that the couple may have done.   I do believe that there are many things that you can do to ensure that the chances of him cheating on you are very low.  I will discuss those things now.

Things That You Can Do To Decrease The Chances That He Will Cheat Again:  Probably the most important thing that you can do in this regard is to make your marriage as strong and as stable as it can possible be.   When I say this, many people will assume that I mean that you must make your sex life very exciting so he won’t need to get more exciting sex from someone else.  But frankly, infidelity is not all about sex.  Many experts believe that sex is more about seeking an emotional connection or about seeking an escape.

So the intimacy and emotional bond that you have with your spouse is every bit as important as the physical connection that you have with your spouse.  You will also want to make sure that any personal issues or struggles that may have motivated your spouse to partake in risky behavior have been addressed and fixed.  I know that all of this might sound like a tall order.  But if you can accomplish these things, you can significantly reduce the chance that your spouse will cheat again.

Finally, you want to make it very clear that you are going to be very observant.  Your spouse must know that it will be very challenging for him to get away with cheating again.  They should believe that if they even try to be dishonest or unfaithful, then you are going to catch them.

Know That You Can’t Control What Your Spouse Does, But You Can Control Your Reaction To It:  I have learned that it’s very important that you don’t allow yourself to live in constant fear.  If you spend most of your time and energy living in fear that he is going to cheat again, then you have very little time and energy left to enjoy your life and your marriage.  And frankly, this type of fear can harm your marriage and can make it more likely that he is going to cheat again.

I know that it probably feels like you are being asked to take a leap of faith and to allow yourself to be vulnerable.  I know that this is scary.  But I also know that it can really help to build yourself up so that you know that, should the worst one day happen, you are strong enough to handle it.  Honestly, if you can get to this point then it takes away much of the fear.  You can place your focus on other things because you have vowed that you deal with it only if it’s necessary to do so, but you have the freedom to not deal with it until then (if you even have to deal with it at all.)

My strategy on this has always been that I’m going to build up my marriage, and myself, so that both are as strong as possible.  This will give me the best chance that I won’t have to deal with this again.  Once I’ve done that, I let go of the worries and I will tell myself that should the worst case scenario happen, I will deal with it at that time.  Until then, I will live my life without fear.  This has worked well for me so far.  If it helps, you can read more about my recovery on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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