My Husband Doesn’t Want To Come Home After His Affair

By: Katie Lersch: I sometimes hear from wives who are dealing with some very difficult truths.  First of all, they are dealing with the fact that their husband has been unfaithful and having an affair.  And second, they are dealing with a husband who now doesn’t want to return home and who doesn’t know if he is ever going to return to the marriage.

I heard from a wife who said: “about six months ago, my husband told me that he was moving out.  He said that he wanted to take a break from our marriage.  I didn’t feel that I had any choice about this.  Then once he’d been gone for about three weeks, I found out that he was living with someone else. This devastated me.  He swore that he had just met her, but I’ve recently found out that they knew one another while he was still living at home with me.  I know in my heart that he was having an affair and he left me to be with her.  He swears that it wasn’t an affair, but I don’t believe him.  Even so, I still want to save my marriage.  I have asked him to break it off and move back home so that we can work it out.  But he refuses.  He says he still needs time to sort himself out.   How can I get him to come home, end the affair, and leave her?”

Know That Forcing His Hand Often Isn’t The Best Choice: I know that this was difficult.  It was a double blow.  But I also know that if you attempt to force a husband to come home when that hasn’t been his own decision, it will rarely work out in a positive way.  Even if he does come home, he will do so begrudgingly and he will often mope around and refuse to willingly participate in your marriage or in your recovery.  I know that this isn’t easy.  What you likely really want is to for him to come to his senses, call you up and tell you that the affair is completely over, and beg you to come home.  This does sometimes happen but it is much better if you allow it to happen on its own.  And in it’s own time.  I will discuss this more below.

If He Doesn’t Want To Come Home, Stop Asking Him To Do So: Believe me when I say that I understand your struggles.  I have been in this place and I know how much is breaks your heart and makes you doubt your own worth.  You figure that you only need for him to agree with you once, so you’ll just keep asking him until you get the answer that you want.  But, what you often don’t realize is that this will usually only make him more distant from you and, as a result, the affair relationship might actually strengthen.  The other woman knows she has competition and this makes her just that much more interested in maintaining the relationship.  And because you’re pushing your husband so much to come home, this will often make him want to stay away that much more.

But, when you stop what hasn’t been working and stop asking him to come home, you might find that eventually the unexpected happens.  When you leave their relationship to run it’s course, you will sometimes find that it fizzles out much more quickly.  They no longer have an audience and they no longer have the conflict on which an affair will often feed.  So without all of the secrecy and the drama of the affair, it often isn’t quite so exciting for either of them and it will naturally end.  However, know that if and when this happens, you then have a choice as to how (or even if) you will welcome him back home.  You always have the evaluate what is right for you at the time.

Right Now, Your Focus Should Be On Yourself:  It was clear that this husband couldn’t see much beyond himself.  So, in my experience and opinion, when you are dealing with a situation like this,  the best thing that you can do is to make yourself a priority while you are waiting to see what is going to happen.  That way, you aren’t wasting your time or energy waiting on something that may not happen quickly.  And you know that strengthening yourself and prioritizing your own healing can only improve your situation, regardless of what happens down the road with your marriage.

Sure, the optimal situation is having a willing husband who has quickly and completely ended the affair and  has rushed home.  But if that is not your reality, you can still work with what you still have.  You can take inventory of your own life, figure out what is working and what isn’t, and give yourself what you need to heal and to reclaim your best self.  If and when he decides to come home, then great, he will have a stronger and more self loving wife to come home to who will have made herself a priority and has already done a good deal of healing.

Once I decided that I was going to become my best self regardless of what happened with my marriage, things really improved for me.  This shift ended up improving my marriage also, but that wasn’t my intention at the time.  If it helps, you can read the whole story on my blog at

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