My Husband Says If He Really Wanted To Be With The Other Woman, He Would. I Don’t Know If This Should Make Me Feel Better Or Worse

By: Katie Lersch:  Sometimes, when we are having yet another conversation with our husband about his affair, what we are really looking for is reassurance.  We don’t always come right out and ask for this reassurance though. Instead, we ask more questions about the affair, hoping that our husband’s answers are going to indicate that he really wants to be with us and that he doesn’t think about or want the other woman anymore.

Sometimes, he intends to give reassuring responses, but he ends up doing just the opposite.  Here’s an example.  You might be having the same old conversation about restoring the trust.  You may have noticed your husband was just a little late returning home and so you feel paranoid and worried.  You ask him about this and he tells you that traffic was particularly bad.   He becomes a little annoyed and asks if you are always going to worry about every little thing.  You tell him that you are just always wondering if he’s continuing to talk to the other woman.  He responds that if he wanted to see her, he would.  Understandably, this makes you feel even worse instead of being reassured.

A wife might say: “my husband said I should stop worrying about the other woman.  He says the affair is completely over and that if he wanted to be with her, he would.  He said he wouldn’t go behind my back, he would just tell me that he wanted to be with her.  But since that hasn’t happened, I shouldn’t worry so much.  I do not know how to take this.  Is he putting me on warning that she will take him back, so I had better watch my step?  This statement seems very arrogant to me.”

What He Could Possibly Mean By This: I don’t know your husband, so it is hard for me to speculate.  But I think that perhaps this was his attempt to reassure you and unfortunately, his words came out wrong.  He is probably trying to say that if he wanted to pick back up the affair, he would not need to participate in trickery and an elaborate plan to carry it out.  He’s could be telling you what you’re seeing doesn’t mean that he is cheating again and that you don’t have to examine everything so closely.  Yes, he could have said this more clearly and used a little more tact.  But I’m not sure that his inability to say what he really means was meant to put you on edge or to show his arrogance.

We all know that many times, women are better able to choose their words more carefully than men.  Because in your husband’s place, I would have said something like: “honey, I promise you, it was only bad traffic.  You don’t have to worry.  I told you that the affair was over and it is over.  Next time, I will call you from the car so that you don’t worry.  Would that be OK?”

Of course, it is easy for me to say this because I am a woman who has been through infidelity.  So I know EXACTLY what a wife in this situation would want to hear.  As a woman myself, it is easier for me.

A Suggested Conversation To Clear The Air: Your husband doesn’t have the advantage of knowing how women think. He’s a man and he probably doesn’t have the same thought process as you do. So, he may need help to articulate what you need so that this doesn’t get any worse.  You might try: “I know that you meant for that to be reassuring to me.  But somehow, that isn’t how I am taking it. I worry that your words mean that you know the other woman is still available to you.  I know that you probably meant that I don’t always need to read something into your being late, but unfortunately, that is not what I heard.  Maybe it would help if the next time you’re stuck in traffic, you give me a quick phone call telling me so? That way, I won’t worry and we aren’t as likely to have misunderstandings.  Can you do that?”

This conversation is better than suddenly accusing him of keeping the other woman on the back burner when this may not have been what he meant.  Sure, it makes sense to watch him closely.  But sometimes, we over analyze things after the affair because understandably, we are watching very closely.   It’s normal to do this, but you have to be careful that you aren’t accusing him of something that just isn’t true.  And you don’t want to come off as so paranoid that you are going to ensure that you are both miserable because of it.

If you have issue with (or questions about) what he has said, you have right to address it.   If something worries you, then you have every right to speak up so that your worries don’t fester.  But know that sometimes, the responses won’t be exactly what you are looking for and it’s common to see something that isn’t there.  That’s why it helps to calmly ask for clarification or to set it up so that next time, what you are getting is reassurance instead of confusion.

I used to pick apart everything that my husband said after his affair.  He could have been saying something totally innocent and I would flip it around.  It was a vicious cycle that I had to learn to break.  There’s more about this on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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