My Husband Became A Mean, Spiteful Person Since Having An Affair. He’s So Angry All Of The Time

By: Katie Lersch: It’s not uncommon for faithful spouses to complain that their cheating spouse has become a different person. Very common phrases used to describe him are: mean, sullen, distant, and cold. This can be true even if he was a loving, affectionate person before. People often assume that the husband is angry because he has gotten caught (or is about t0 get caught.) But, in my opinion this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, the anger can start well before the affair – or even the detection of it.

A wife might say: “I knew that something was seriously up with my husband by the way that he was acting. I didn’t suspect him of an affair, but I knew that something had gone very wrong in his life. I thought maybe he had made some bad investments or something. Or maybe that his business had taken a downward turn. But about six weeks before I found out about the affair, my normally laughing and sweet husband basically turned into a monster. He was actually mean to our children. He was sarcastic to me. He made cutting little comments. He seemed to enjoy hurting people’s feelings. And even after I found out about the affair, he is still being nasty. So I knew that we had serious problems. I didn’t know at that time that this was tied to the affair. Is that what cheating does to men? Turn nice guys into mean hearted jerks? I just do not understand the transformation that has happened to my husband. Part of me would like to save my marriage. But frankly, I might have learned to deal with the cheating. But I don’t want to be married to a mean person. Is he going to be like this forever? Because if so, then I think I’ll pass.”

I can’t predict the future, but I can tell you that sometimes, the anger came even before the affair. Men who are in crisis often have affairs. So the affair is a symptom of their problem and not the cause.

Why He’s So Angry: Of course, a man who is having an affair and either has been found out or is about to be found out can feel as if his life is about to be forever altered. He knows something bad is about to happen and he’s pretty helpless to stop it because of the decisions that he has already made. Frankly, he is often angry with himself – and he is frustrated with the situation that he himself has created, although he may not realize this.

And it’s very easy for these husbands to take their anger out on the shocked spouse who is demanding answers and telling him what a bad person he is. But often, this anger is misdirected. He should be angry at whatever life challenge lead to him acting this way and his own inability to find another way to deal with it.

Will It End?: So now that we have gone over some of the reasons why he is angry and experiencing a change in personality, I’ll tell you my take on whether or not its permanent. That really does depend on if he addresses it correctly. Sometimes, the discovery of the affair actually gives him motivation and direction to get help. For example, sometimes when a man begins therapy with his wife for infidelity, he ends up working on the issues that contributed to him being vulnerable to an affair in the first place. And because of this, he will often find that his life has actually improved in many ways. If the affair had never happened, he might not have gotten this help or made these realizations.  Without these realizations, he would have continued to struggle.

Ending The Anger Means Ending The Stimulus: I would never tell you that an affair is a positive thing or a blessing, but sometimes, it does help us pinpoint areas in our lives that have reached a crisis situation where we are already feeling somewhat out of control. Often, an affair is a way (albeit a very bad way) to attempt to bring some relief and control to a crisis situation. When it doesn’t work or when it creates more problems than it solves, there can be anger.

A husband can have anger at himself because he knows that he can and should have done better than this. He knows that he is letting his family and himself down. He can be angry that he’s not getting any relief from whatever the problem is. And he can be scared and vulnerable when he is caught. Because now he has a witness to his troubles and now he has hurt someone who he cares about. And now that same person is standing in judgement of his very bad mistake.

There is an awful lot to be angry about here. And often, once the affair is found out, every one in the home is very understandably angry – which just breeds more anger and feeds this awful cycle.

This doesn’t have to last forever, though. Once the truth is out in the open, healing can begin if both people are willing. And, even if the wife doesn’t know if she wants to save the marriage, the husband should still seek or be open to help. Because if he doesn’t address these issues, they will just follow him into his next relationship and continue to cause the anger and the change in his personality.

I did notice changes in my own husband.  In the beginning, he was remorseful and panicked and sad.  But as time passed and he experienced my anger, he was always on the defensive and he was somewhat indignant and abrasive. We both had to learn which behaviors were helping us and which weren’t. You’re welcome to read about my own journey on my blog at

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