My Husband Says He Wants Our Marriage, But I Am Starting To Think That He Wants The Other Woman Instead

By: Katie Lersch: I sometimes hear from wives who are dealing with a husband who is swearing that he is still committed to her and to his marriage – despite the fact that he has had an affair. And he is often promising to end the affair (although the wife might have a feeling that he hasn’t truly done this, even if she can’t always find concrete evidence of the same.) Plus, there are times when the husband’s actions are in direct conflict with his words. In other words, his claims might be promising that he is going to fix the marriage and stand by it, while his behaviors are telling you the exact opposite.

So, I might hear from a wife on my blog who says: “my husband cheated on me with a woman who I honestly believe that he has always lusted after. She went to school with us when we were children. Both my husband and I have known her for decades and he has always wanted to be with her. But she was always way out of his league. I have no idea why she suddenly became interested in him. Maybe it’s because he has some money now. Anyway, this woman actually pursued my husband. And of course he gave in. Once I found out about the affair, my husband said he needed time to decide what he wanted to do. This hurt me very badly. I had hoped and assumed that he would choose me. But he didn’t. Not right away. Then, I got unexpectedly ill. And my husband was concerned about me and never left my side. After that period of time, he announced that he was ending the affair because he wanted me and he wanted our marriage. I so badly wanted to believe him, but I did have concerns because I know how much he’s always wanted the other woman. Well, the other day, I saw her at the grocery store and she gave me a little smirk that said she knew something that I didn’t. That’s when I started to watch my husband more closely. And I found that he’s still been texting and emailing her. I even found that he sent her flowers and the card said ‘even though things aren’t the way they were, I’m still thinking about you.’ I asked my husband about this. And he reassured me that he wants our marriage, but he says that I need to give him time to let it go. I think that he still wants her. And I think he will eventually find a way to have her. Is there anything that I can do about this?”

I can certainly tell you my opinion on this. But I want to stress beyond any doubt that this is only one person’s opinion. And frankly, it is a biased one. As a wife who has been cheated on, I am always going to see things from the side of the faithful spouse. Also, my opinion really doesn’t matter all that much. What matters is how you feel and what you want. But here is my take on it.

As much as we might wish that our spouses could control their feelings and thoughts about the other person, they do not have control over what pops into their mind and into their heart. And, it’s very common for them to still think about the other person when the affair ended very recently. But, they absolutely can control how they respond to these feelings and thoughts. They have a choice as to how they carry out these responses. They don’t need to act on their emotions. When they have these feelings and struggling, the thing that they need to do is to place their focus on their marriage. Because, the more they do that, the faster the feelings are going to fade.

You can’t really be sure that your husband still wants the other woman. You can’t read his mind. He may be trying to get closure. But what you do know is that he is still reaching out to her and that is inappropriate. It’s going to make it very difficult to save your marriage when you’re always having to worry about whether he is pursuing her. So, it can help to just put this on the table so he is aware of what you know and of what you will and will not accept.

You may try something like: “I saw some texts and emails that you sent to her. I also know that you brought her flowers. I know that you’ve said that you want our marriage, but your actions right now are going to make that awfully difficult. I need to be very clear about this. I can’t accept you still having contact with her. It hurts me. It makes me worry. It makes me question your commitment to me. If you truly do want to save our marriage, then you need to make a choice. You have to cut off all contact with her. That means not calling or texting or sending gifts. And that means not seeing, talking to her, or communicating with her in any way. You keep telling me that you want this marriage. But now I need to see you say this with your actions as well as with your words.”

Then, you may have to just wait and watch. Hopefully, he will make good on his claims. If not, counseling may be a good idea. Sometimes, he will listen to a third party more effectively than he will listen to you. No matter how you chose to approach this, I believe that you deserve to ask that you come first.  If he is married to you and says his commitment is with you, then his actions should follow along with these claims.  Sometimes, you will have to be very clear about your expectations.  If it helps, you can read more about how I did this on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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