My Husband Says Cheating And Having An Affair Wasn’t All About Sex. How Can He Say This?

By: Katie Lersch:  Many people assume that an affair is all about sex.  I would even venture to say that most people think that cheating men must not have a great sex life at home so they are having to go elsewhere.   Sadly, many wives whose husbands are unfaithful believe this also.  I heard from a wife who said in part: “I caught my husband having an affair.  One of the first things I expressed was that I didn’t understand why he would cheat on me when our sex life was actually pretty good.  My husband responded that the affair actually didn’t have much to do with sex.  He said it was much more than sex.  This doesn’t make sense to me.  If he wasn’t cheating on me because of sex, then why would he cheat?  I think we had a good marriage.  We’re always been very close.  It’s true that my job has been stressful lately, but I didn’t see this coming.  I thought our marriage was pretty solid so my assumption was that he cheated for the sex.  But he denies this?  How can he be telling me the truth?”

Husbands Aren’t Always Lying When They Tell You The Infidelity Wasn’t Solely About The Sex:  As I said, the assumption if often that an affair is all about the passionate sex that the cheating spouse was not getting at home.  But if you research this topic or listen to many experts, you’ll find that this assumption just isn’t universally true.  Many people are looking for validation, appreciation, or a just someone to listen or understand them when they are most vulnerable to cheating.  This is why many affairs start in the workplace when people are working closely together.   This situation often sets the stage for your spouse feeling that someone else “gets” or “understands” them in a way that you don’t.  That other person might become their sounding board at work and then before you know it, your spouse is sharing their problems or the intimate details of their wife with someone other than you.   Yes, that relationship may eventually become sexual.  But it wasn’t the sex that was the attraction in the first place.  It was the feeling of comradery and that feeling that they are in things together that develops over time.  It is sometimes due to the fact that she has the time to listen to him and show him appreciation because she is with him all day and doesn’t have to be burdened with the responsibility of running a household.

Although An Affair Isn’t Always Solely About Sex, Know That Sex Does Play A Role:  With all of the above said, some husbands will tell you that the relationship wasn’t centered on sex because they know that once you get those mental images in your head, they will be very difficult to remove.  So, they want to turn your attention away from that aspect of it.   They don’t want you dwelling on this part of it.   Sure, the relationship may not have started as a sexual one and they may not have been it’s focus.  But if sex was not a part of it, then that aspect of the relationship would not have continued.   So as much as it might not have been the primary attraction, it was part of the relationship.

How To Respond When Your Husband Assures You His Infidelity Wasn’t All About Sex:  To be quite honest, many women would rather think that betrayal was a sexual one.  The thinking behind this goes something like this: if the only thing between them was sex, then once that part is over, he should be able to move on.   And if this were the case, the wife could tell herself that even though he cheated, his heart was still with her.  But if the relationship was centered on emotions or a closeness not fueled by sex, then this complicates matters.  Many wives aren’t sure how to respond when their husband makes such claims.  A suggested script might be something like: “to be honest, whether it was all about sex or not, you still had sex.  It is still a betrayal.  No matter how the relationship started or what was it’s main focus, it is still a huge betrayal and a difficult blow for your marriage.  In order for us to heal, I will need your firm commitment that you are going to completely cut off all contact and focus on doing whatever is necessary to save our marriage.”

In this way, you are not allowing him to use this as an excuse or to divert your attention away from the physical aspect of their relationship.  So to answer the question that was asked of me, men often say that the infidelity wasn’t just about sex because that is their truth.  An affair is often much more complex than that and as such, recovery can be as complex.

In the beginning stages of my recovery from the affair, the sexual aspect of it was pretty important to me.  But over time I came to realize that I was dealing mostly with semantics rather than betrayal itself and this realization changed the way I went about my recovery.  If it helps you can read the whole story of my recovery at

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