My Husband Cheated On Me Twice. I Left. Now He Wants Me Back

By: Katie Lersch: I sometimes hear from wives who fear that it is too late to save the marriage wracked more than once by infidelity. Often, this is a difficult situation because their husband is begging the wife to take him back and making all sorts of promises.

A wife might explain: “the first time my husband cheated on me, I truly wanted to believe that it was an isolated incident. He had cheated while traveling and he was drinking. I thought that as long as he changed jobs so that he didn’t travel anymore, we would continue on with our marriage which was otherwise happy. I never expected for him to cheat on me again. But he did. With a woman from his new job. That’s when it dawned on me that the first time was not an isolated incident. And I could not be married to someone like that. So I left. Honestly, I’ve missed my husband. I have wished that things were not as they are. But I can’t deny reality. Last week, I was getting coffee and my husband and I ran into each other. We didn’t say much at the time. But later, he called me and told me how much he missed me and he promised that if I would take him back, he would change. He kept saying that he would prove it to me. I’m kind of ashamed, because just for a while, I started to fantasize about taking him back. But I know that this is crazy. Because I don’t think that I could (or would) ever trust him. But I do miss him. And, in a perfect world, I would want my marriage. Can repeat cheaters ever be rehabilitated if they want to make their marriages work?”

The Common Attributes Which Mean He May Be Able To Be Rehabilitated: This is only my opinion and I’m certainly not a professional counselor, but I believe that in some cases, they can. However, I think that what sets one person about from another is their willingness to get help. I believe that with serial cheaters, it is really not about the other person or the cheating at all. It isn’t about the sex. It isn’t about the secrecy. It’s about trying to fill some void or some emptiness within themselves. That’s why it’s so hard for them to change without help. It’s very difficult to see this truth about yourself, much less to change it without a skilled person helping you and helping you to constantly take your emotional temperature and identify your vulnerabilities.

If your husband is not only willing to go to counseling, but also willing to take the counselor’s advice, even if it is going to be very uncomfortable, then there could certainly be change. But I have to be honest and tell you that it does take some time. And that can be OK because quite frankly, it is likely going to take you a while to be comfortable trusting him.

Know That This Is Your Choice: Of course, nothing says that you have to take him back simply because he wants you to.  You have a choice about this.  You don’t have to say yes.  You might decide that your life is preferable as it is right now.  Or, you might decide that you won’t rule out taking him back if you can prove to you that it is safe to do so.

Slow And Steady Just To Make Sure: I would suggest taking this extremely slowly. In fact, I would suggest taking a very leisurely pace in even making a decision about whether you are open to this. Perhaps you might talk to your husband on the phone for a while just to evaluate how you are feeling and what behaviors you see in him. Watch and evaluate. Are his actions those of a man who is serious about making life changes? If this the answer is yes, watch a little more to make sure that you can trust in what you are seeing.

Only when you are comfortable that the answer is yes should you approach your husband with a willingness to go to counseling. And the understanding should always be that you can change your mind at any time if you see something that makes you doubt his claims.

The counselor will likely help you with this and aid you in seeing where he’s made progress and where he still needs work. I can not stress enough how important it is to continue to move slowly during this entire process. Because you are going to need the time to know that you can trust that true change has taken place and that you might be approaching the time where it’s safe to think about having a real marriage again in which fidelity is a given.  Again, this takes time.  And not every one is willing to wait.

Keep in mind that you always get to decide what you want and what works best for your life. You get to decide if you are happier with him or without him. If the trust just isn’t there for you, then you get decide if you want to keep working at it or whether you declare the cheating a deal breaker from which you can not recover.

So my answer is that yes, repeat cheaters can sometimes change. But it takes a vast amount of work and time. So both spouses need to understand that and be willing to put in both the effort and the time. And the cheating spouse should understand that it is his responsibility to initiate this process and be accountable during it while the faithful spouse can always change her mind if she isn’t comfortable at any point.

I made it very clear during our healing and rehabilitation that I could retreat at any time.  It was always clear that I might change my mind.  My husband was well aware of this.  But he was also willing to do the work.  You can read more on my blog at

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