Is It A Good Idea To Insist That A Husband Break Off All Contact With The Other Woman After Cheating Or Having An Affair?

By: Katie Lersch: I often hear from wives who aren’t sure what to demand of their husband after he has been caught cheating or having an affair.  Many immediately want to demand that their husband cut off all contact with the other woman.  But sometimes, the husband balks at this request or well meaning friends and family offer advice that makes the wife second guess her inclinations.  I heard from a wife who said: “my husband admitted to cheating with a woman at his gym.  I want him to switch gyms and to immediately cut off any and all contact with her.  He’s telling me how much he loves the gym and his trainer and that he doesn’t want to leave.  Also, my girlfriend is telling me that if I demand he abruptly cut off all contact, he will resent me and the other woman is more likely to not accept it since it was so abrupt.  So who is right?  Should I make him cut off all contact or should I let him decide this for himself?”  I’ll tell you my take on this in the following article.

Why I Believe You Should Make It Clear That You Need For Him To Break Off All Contact Before You Rebuild Your Marriage:  I believe that the ideal situation is that the husband breaks off any and all contact as this wife had outlined.  In the time following the affair, wives are very often filled with fear and doubt.  This is hard enough when you know that the other woman is out of the picture.  But, if you suspect that she might still be around, this fear and doubt is almost unbearable because you are always having to worry about her.

I do understand that there are husbands who will feel resentment for this demand.  I also know that some husbands will lie about this and will assure you that they have cut off all contact when in reality, they have not.   If you suspect that this might be the case with your own husband, you might consider wording this in a way that doesn’t sound like an ultimatum.  Instead of saying “you will cut the other woman out of your life immediately or else.” you might instead say something like: “how you handle this is ultimately up to you, but I can not stress enough that I can not and will not attempt to save our marriage if she is still in the picture.  I will only feel secure when I know that I do not have to worry about or deal with her anymore.  The choice is yours.  And if you are still not sure, then you let me know once you have made the decision.  And, at that time, we can discuss how to move forward.  But I can’t move forward until I know that she is no longer in our lives.”

Is It Advisable To Make Your Husband Prove That He’s Cut Her Out Of His Life?: Many wives don’t believe their husband’s promises that she is no longer an issue.  Wives often ask whether they should make their husband prove that he’s told her that the affair is completely over.  This can be a tough decision.  My inclination is always to try your best to trust, but if you are having difficulty with that, there is nothing wrong with asking for reassurance or accountability.

On the other hand, if your husband is being attentive, is coming home on time every night, is giving you access to all of his technology that he would use to contact the other woman, and is more or less doing what you have asked of him, be careful that you are not falsely accusing him without cause.  Because at some point, you will need to reestablish the trust and part of this is your giving him the benefit of the doubt when he is showing himself to be trustworthy.

So to answer the question posed, I do think that it’s in the best interest of the marriage for the husband to cut the other woman out of his life.  However, I think it’s important not to make this sound like an ultimatum coming from a drill sergeant.  Because obviously, it is better for every one involved if your husband comes to this decision on his own.  If this is his decision alone, then he is more likely to follow through and to be sincere.

I will admit that for a long time after the affair was over, I had my doubts that the other woman was truly and completely gone from our lives.  Luckily, my husband had a lot of patience in this regard and we eventually moved past this issue.  If it helps, you can read about this aspect of our cheating recovery on my blog at


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