My Husband Only Agrees To “Take A Break” From The Other Woman

By: Katie Lersch: Just about every women I’ve known who has dealt with a husband’s affair has wanted the affair to be over as soon as possible. In fact, most wives demand the same. I’ve never known a woman who said: “oh, take your time with the other woman. There’s no hurry. You can have both of us. It’s really OK.” No typical wife is going to say this. She’s going to want the other woman out of her life and out of her marriage yesterday, if not sooner.

But what if your husband stops just short of giving you this? What happens then? What if he only agrees to “wait and see what happens?” Or what if he’ll only agree to a short amount of time away from her.

A wife might say: “as soon as I found out about my husband’s affair, I insisted that it end. He told me that he could not give me an answer right away, which floored me. I told him that he had three days to decide and that if he didn’t, then I was going to leave him. Well, I will admit that I was really sweating during those three days. Because I started to think about how I would actually feel if I had to leave my husband. And I would not like that at all. But I also knew that I wasn’t going to back down. I can’t carry on with a man who won’t be faithful to me. So after the three days, he came back and he said that he is willing to ‘take a break’ from the other woman. I asked him what ‘take a break’ meant and he said that he will not see her while we try to evaluate what we want to do with our marriage. But, he says if things don’t work out between us, then he may pick the relationship up again. He’s not promising to give her up forever. He’s just saying he will give her up long enough to give our marriage a chance. I am not sure that this should be good enough. I am worried that this means that he doesn’t want to give her up and that he doesn’t accept that the relationship is wrong and should be over. He’s only treading water and then he will say that it didn’t work out between us so that he can pick right up with her. At the same time, I’m not sure that I have any options here. If I refuse to accept his offer, I feel like I might have to give up on my marriage. And this isn’t what I want. I’d like to try to make it work.”

This is tough spot to be in. You’re afraid that if you try to make him completely give her up, he will only see her behind your back or resent you for it. But if you draw a hard line and refuse to engage with him until he can guarantee you that it is really and completely over, then you may have to give him up if he refuses.

I understand the dilemma here. And I’m not sure what I would have done had my husband taken this stance. Luckily, he gave no resistance about ending the affair relationship. If he had, it would have been very hard for me to try to engage with him and pick up the pieces unless I absolutely knew that I was his choice and that I was his commitment.

I don’t think that it would hurt to try to make your husband understand this. You might try something like: “I am not sure if this is going to work for me. In order for our marriage to even stand a chance, I need to know that I am the priority and that I am the one you want. But, if I know that she is waiting in the wings, it makes me question how hard you are going to try to make it work between us. You always have a back up plan, so how committed are you really going to be to see this through? Obviously, I can’t force you to do something that you aren’t truly willing to do. But I am telling you what I need in order to move forward. And I need for you to end this relationship. No taking a break. No wait and see. I need for it to be done. Until I know that it is, then I don’t think I can give this my all because I know that you are not giving it your all.”

Then wait to see what type of response he has. He may tell you that you are right. And he may ask for more time. I do have to mention that when you take this type of stance, you need to watch very carefully to make sure that he is being truthful. His reluctance to let her go completely could potentially be telling. But if he is committed to the marriage, then making that commitment is what he needs to do.

Restoring the trust can be very difficult after an affair. But it’s nearly impossible when the wife knows that she may not be his first choice. Him ending the affair relationship is showing you that you are his first choice. Until he can do that, then you really can’t be sure. And he needs to understand this.

When you have doubts about him or your marriage, know that it is never a bad idea to place the focus on yourself and on your own needs.  I had to do this several times during my own recovery. If it helps, you can read more on my blog at

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