My Husband Cheats And Begs Me Not To Leave Him. And Then He Cheats On Me Again

By: Katie Lersch: I sometimes hear from wives who are beyond fed up with their husband’s reoccurring cheating. In the beginning, they wanted to believe in him and to give him the benefit of the doubt, but that is no longer possible because he’s cheated again and again. The wife usually shamefully admits that she still loves her husband, although she sometimes wishes that she didn’t because it might be easier if she could turn off her feelings. She’s often quite confused as to why he’d passionately beg her to give him one more chance only to make the same mistakes over and over. After all, he seems very sincere when he apologizes and says he loves her. So then, why does he betray her again?

A common comment in this situation is something like: “my husband cheated on me the first time two years into our marriage. At that point, I was young, in love, and very dependent on him. I stayed because he begged me not to leave him and told me that he would never want to live without me. He swore that he would never hurt me in that way again. The second time he cheated, we had two children. And I didn’t leave because of my kids. My husband made me feel guilty and asked how I could force our kids to live in a single parent household. Again, he cried and begged and said he loved me more than anything. Now, he has cheated a third time. And he is carrying on and crying and telling me how truly sorry he is and that he knows that he is an awful person. I still love him, but I don’t think that I want to be married to him anymore. I don’t understand why he keeps doing this. If he’s not happy with me and feels the need to cheat, why does he keep begging me not to leave him?”

I will answer these questions as best as I can. But I can only tell you my opinion which has been formed from my own experience and from listening to comments on my blog. I believe that in a situation like this one, the husband truly doesn’t want the wife to leave. He’s begging her to stay because he truly wants for her to stay. He may even believe what he is telling her. He likely does intend to make good on his promises.

People so often assume that a man who cheats doesn’t love his wife or isn’t fully committed to her. I firmly believe that this isn’t always true. I believe that there are many men who love their wives very much and yet they cheat on her. How can this be possible? Because their cheating on their wife has nothing to do with her but everything to do with him.

Repeat Cheating Isn’t About Marital Problems.  It’s About Personal Problems:  He is not reacting to her problems. He is reacting to his own problems. He is not necessarily unhappy with her. He is unhappy with himself. There are many reasons that men continue to cheat despite their promises and initial efforts. Some have no or poor impulse control. Others were brought up in a culture that condones cheating. Some are looking for a way to temporarily feel better about themselves. Others have addictive behaviors. None of this means that they don’t love their wife or aren’t sincere. But it does mean that this situation needs some help.

If repeat cheating shows you anything, it shows you that will power and good intentions are not enough. Chances are if you don’t do anything to seek treatment or counseling (or at the very least educate yourself about why this is happening and then address it,) then it’s possible that he is going to continue to cheat because the problem or issue continues to be there.

I know that this isn’t what you want to hear. And I am by no means trying to make excuses or paint a bleak picture. But I have seen this enough times to know that a man who repeatedly cheats isn’t necessarily going to quit until there is something that breaks the cycle. He may want to stop more than anything in the world. But obviously, based on his repetitive behaviors, he can’t. At least not without help.

This doesn’t need to mean that you marriage is over if you chose to fight for it (and I don’t think anyone would judge you no matter which choice you made,) but it might mean that you are going to need some help or education in order to make real and lasting change that means that he’s finally able to be faithful. It’s so important to understand that this doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with his intention to be faithful or his love for you. It has to do with the fact that he keeps repeating the same destructive cycle and it’s not good for him, for you, your family, or your marriage.

The best suggestion that I can make here is to get some help or education. It might help save your marriage if that’s what you want it to do. But, if not, it can help him and it can help your family as it navigates this process. But this doesn’t mean that there was anything wrong with the wife or that any of this was her fault. It just means that there is a cycle that needs to be broken.  And only she could decide if it was worth it for her to try to do that.

I know that this is painful.  My husband only cheated once and it almost ended our marriage.  Recovery wasn’t easy, but I’ve never regretted it. Everyone is different, however.  If it helps, you can read about my own healing process on my blog at

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