My Husband Admits He Wants To Come Back After The Affair, But Says He Won’t Beg. Why?

By: Katie Lersch:  Many wives not only have to deal with the fact that their husband is having (or has had) an affair, but they also have to deal with the fact that he leaves the home for a while.  The wife may have wanted him to go, or he may have left all on his own.  This leaves her with the challenge of explaining to friends and family where he is, while she is also struggling to process what has happened and attempting to determine her feelings about the same.

The wife may start out never wanting to see him again because of her understandable anger, but then something changes or perceptions shift and both parties may eventually become open to communicating or to keeping in touch again.  In time, the topic of coming back home might come up, but both people might feel some reluctance.  The husband might express this reluctance by acting as if he isn’t sure if he wants to come home or by declaring that he’s not going to beg for the same.

Someone might explain: “my husband has not lived with me for about six weeks because I caught him cheating.  I can’t say that I threw him out because this is not exactly accurate.  I of course was furious with him and then he got all defensive and we were just at each other’s throats, so we both felt it best that he leave.  He claims that he didn’t see or stay with the other woman during this time, but I have no way to know if this is true or not.  Over the last two weeks, we have gone out a couple of times.  He has acted sweet and I’ve started to wonder if it might one day be possible to save our marriage.  I was shocked last night when he admitted that he really, really wanted to come home.  I told him that this was something that I would need to think on for a while. And then, to my surprise, he muttered ‘well, I’m certainly not going to beg, if this is what you are waiting for.’  I was kind of shocked. And frankly, a little confused.  I wasn’t wanting him to beg .  But honestly, if I did want that, why should he get defensive?  He cheated on me, so what if he has to beg?  Wouldn’t that be justified?  Why does he have to harp on the fact that he isn’t going to beg?”

I suspect that he is trying to set the tone before he comes back.  A good deal of men worry about how they are going to be treated when they return home.  They worry that you are going to always hold the affair over their head or make them grovel for your affection and approval.

So, as much as they might want to come home, they also don’t want to come home and be belittled, shamed, and made to feel like a lowlife.  (This is their perceptions, not mine.  I’m certainly not defending cheating husbands.) This fear of being treated badly is why they will try to set the stage ahead of time.  When he said that he wasn’t going to beg, he was likely hoping that you would respond with something like: “I’m not asking you to beg because I want you to come home just as much as you want to come home.”

In short, they want to feel like there’s a possibility that they might eventually be forgiven instead of repeatedly punished.  We’ve all known situations where the wife always holds the affair over her husband’s head for the rest of their lives.  Even years later, he is constantly being reminded about his mistake no matter what he has done to make amends.

I think this might be your husband’s fear and what he is trying to avoid with his words and with his posturing.  You could always try to have a discussion about it if you think that it might help.  Here is a suggestion. (But of course, you know your husband better than I do:) “I don’t recall asking you to beg.  We are both adults.  We can both decide if we want to live together once again without either of us needing to stoop to unfortunate levels.  Your coming home should be a joint decision that we both undertake willingly.  We are just starting this process and there is a lot of work to be done. It’s very early to start having misunderstandings about this.  If we both decide that it’s best for you to come home, then we can negotiate that.  But no one mentioned begging.  And no decisions have been made.”

You’ll need to decide if you truly think this is the right time for him to come home or if you want to get a little healing under your belt first.  Some people decide that it’s easier to live under one roof when healing their marriage and others feel that it’s better to wait until the marriage is healed before you live together again.  I chose to live with my husband because of our kids and because I knew that if we lived apart, I would worry about wrongdoing and have issues with trust.  Frankly, I wanted to keep an eye on things. Plus I knew that it would be easier to get counseling this way.  But you have to evaluate if you are truly ready for that. You can read more about my recovery on my blog at

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