My Husband Cheated And He’s Not Trying To Make It Up To Me. Why?

By: Katie Lersch:  I hear from a lot of women who are very unsatisfied with the way that their husband is handling his rehabilitation after his cheating or affair. In fact, many wives are very clear on the fact that he has a whole lot of making up to do. And as a result, she is very disappointed when he falls short.

I heard from a wife who said: “I find out two months ago about my husband had an affair. I almost walked out on him because I was that angry. He promised he would make it up to me, but he hasn’t even started that process. I am so disappointed. When my sister’s husband cheated on her, he bought her tons of gifts, took her to Europe, and generally followed her around like a naughty puppy for years. But my husband just mopes around, tells me that he’s sorry, but doesn’t take any action beyond this. Why hasn’t he done anything to make this up to me? And how can I get him to do more because this just isn’t cutting it?”  I’ll try to answer these questions very openly and honestly in the following article.

Some Men Don’t Know What You Expect In Terms Of Making It Up To You: If you were to ask any random 10 men what are some of the best ways to make up infidelity to their wives, you would get wildly different answers depending on the personality of the men. Some will think that this means buying gifts. Others will think that is catering to your wife’s every whim. Others will say it’s showing her how sorry you are and how much you love her. And some men are kind of clueless about the whole process because it just feels so awkward and foreign to them. They know that they are in the wrong. They know that you deserve for them to make this right. But they worry that if they go overboard, you will think that they are being fake or manipulative. They worry that you will think they are trying to buy your love with gifts. And they worry that, if they go overboard, you will think that this is their guilt talking even if they are very sincere. The truth is, a man can want to make it up to you, but he doesn’t know what is the right way to go about this. And since he is already in a very bad situation, he doesn’t want to make things worse.

Do I Have To Spell It Out For Him?: Many wives GREATLY resent their husband dragging his feet in this situation. The wives very much want for their husband to take the initiative and to work tirelessly to make this right. I completely understand this. As a wife who was cheated on myself, I understand that you probably feel that he should know what you need and he should fall all over himself trying to provide it. But here’s the thing. Sometimes he wants to do that, but he can’t read your mind and he’s afraid of doing things wrong when he’s already damaged your marriage so badly.

So when people ask me if they need to spell it out for him, my answer is that if you want to have your needs met, it’s sometimes more efficient to just spell it out. Yes, it’s not entirely fair that you need to do this. But doing so ensures that you get what you want or need.  So what does this look like in real life? Well, the next time he disappoints you or fails to act, you might say something like: “we need to talk for a second. Remember when you said that you were going to make this up to me? Well, I know that you are trying, but I feel like we have different ideas about what this means. Because I need for you to make the continuous effort to show me that you love, appreciate, and value me. I need your reassurance and affection. I need to know that you are remorseful and that you are taking action to show me that the infidelity isn’t going to happen again. This means being home for dinner, calling to check in on me, taking me out to enjoy time with me, showing me affection and physical reassurances, and generally just showing me how much I mean to you so that I’m not suspicious that you will cheat on me again. I’m still not seeing all of these things and I’m going to need to in order to feel confident and at peace. Can you help me by making more of an effort? If you’re still not clear about what I need, I’d be happy to break it down even further. Because I want for us to both feel as if we are recovering. And right now, I doubt that sometimes.”

Hopefully, you noticed that I tried very hard not to be accusatory. The tone was more like: “let me help you help me.” You don’t want to insinuate that he is too stupid or incentive to give you what you need. You don’t want to hint that he’s not sincere about making this up to you. Instead, you want to give off the impression that you know he is trying and you know that he would do what you needed if only he understood what that was. When you do begin to get results and you see him making a real effort, make sure that you praise him and let him know that he’s doing a much better job. This will ensure that he continues to give you what you need and that you can truly begin to heal.

Also, know that “making this up to you” doesn’t mean that he has to be the second class citizen in your relationship for the best of his life. You never want for him to feel belittled. Instead, you want to make it clear that his actions are meant to rebuild your confidence and trust, but not to punish him.

I sometimes had to spell things out for my husband during our recovery.  This wasn’t always my favorite thing to do, but it eventually ensured that I got the results I wanted.  If it helps, you can read about my recovery on my blog at

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