My Husband Still Doesn’t Seem Content With Life After His Affair

Many wives whose husband had an affair will tell you that, even if they didn’t suspect an affair, they might have noticed that their husband seemed ‘restless’ or ‘fidgety’ right before he cheated.  Many people cheat as a way to bring drama into the life which they think has become stale.  The great irony of all of this is that, much of the time, the husband later realizes that in actuality, he had it all with his wife and stable family, but he potentially threw it away for something that wasn’t even real.

As a result, many husbands actually end up settling back in with their wife again.  And things can go okay for many of these couples.  But often, the wife is understandably on the look out for strange or unsettling behaviors from her husband.  One thing that she might notice and that might give her pause is the fact that he can still sometimes seem to be restless.  She might perceive that he still is just unsettled about something which neither can quite put their finger on.

A wife might say, “I did not suspect my husband of cheating on me because I never thought that this type of behavior was within his character, but I did know that something was wrong.  My husband and I used to be homebodies.  We liked spending cozy nights at home.  We enjoyed reading, watching TV, and making dinner together.  We were never people who needed a lot of drama to be content.  But before my husband began cheating, he started to complain about our cozy nights.  He started whining that we never did anything and that we’d never really traveled, or done anything notable or worth talking about.  I really didn’t feel this way at all, but I tried to listen.  So my husband started to be less of a homebody and I went along for the ride some of the time, but other times, he didn’t seem to want my presence.  He also started complaining about his job, saying that his friends get to travel for work, while he never has.  I am sure this sense of unease lead to the affair, at this in part.  It was as if my husband was trying to scratch an itch.  When I caught him, though, he seemed to almost realize what he was doing and he snapped out of it.  He said that he didn’t want to lose me and that he didn’t know what was wrong with him.  His excuse was that he was aging and getting insecure about his accomplishments.  He said that he felt like everyone else is having a better life than him.  I do understand that because, let’s be honest.  Everyone feels this way some of the time. However, when I feel that way, I don’t react by cheating.  But, I was hopeful that we could work things out and go back to our comfortable lives.  And this seemed to happen – at least for a while.  But lately, I’ve been noticing that my husband seems restless again.  It all started when he was recently passed over for a promotion at work and all of a sudden, this life is not good enough for him anymore.  He’s starting to act all fidgety again.  I called him on it because I worry that he’s going to cheat again.  He got angry at this and wondered whether I’m going to accuse him of cheating every time he is disappointed in life.  Am I overreacting with this?”

I don’t think that you are.  Many specialists agree that when a man is struggling with confidence and competency, he is more prone to cheat.  This is why many men cheat after loss, let down, or when they are struggling with something.  So it is not unreasonable of you to equate restlessness with cheating.   However, it may be more productive to try to get to the heart of your husband’s restlessness instead of just pointing it out and worrying about it.  I know that this may be a challenge because hardly anyone wants to allow someone else to analyze their behaviors and insecurities.

That is why I’d suggest getting him (and you) into counseling if you can.  It is much better for all involved if the counselor is the one questioning and directing your husband. That way, if he is angry or defensive with anyone, it can be the counselor.  Plus, often the counselor can be more objective and observant than you ever could, since you are too close to this.  If counseling can help your husband identify and remove the source of his dissatisfaction, you might find his restlessness (and his complaints) waning.  It is very common for a man who is dissatisfied with things outside of his control (like a failing career or a boss who doesn’t appreciate him) to try to regain a sense of control by blaming everything on those closest to him – like his wife and his marriage.  So, while I think it might be helpful to try to incorporate healthy things that your husband wants to do – like travel – into your life, it’s also clear that his career and job satisfaction may be outside of your control, which is why it can be helpful to let a professional direct him on the best way to remove this stressor.  Doing so which may eventually also remove his restlessness and give him a new sense of purpose.

I do agree with your concerns about the restlessness.  I’ve seen too many men make the mistake of trying to shake up their lives by having an affair when what they really needed to do was to address the complacency or the issue that is causing the restlessness to begin with.  The good news is that the restlessness, and the marriage, can be fixed. You can read more about my own journey with this on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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