My Spouse Is Not Attempting To Come Home After His Affair

By: Katie Lersch: I often hear from people who are extremely concerned about their spouse’s behavior and what this in turn means for their marriage after an affair. A big concern happens when the cheating spouse makes no attempt to come home. This can leave the faithful spouse wondering what this turn of events means for their marriage.

You might hear a concern like: “one of my husband’s coworkers who is also my friend told me that he was having an affair with one of his women colleagues. I had hoped that my friend was just wrong. But she wasn’t. As soon as I confronted my husband, he admitted it pretty much immediately. I was so angry with him that I said some pretty mean and awful things so we got into a huge fight. My husband grabbed a few clothes and he left. And he has not been back since. We’ve been in contact a couple of times but when we are, my husband never discusses coming home. He swears that he is not with the other woman. But if this is true, why doesn’t he want to come home? Does his not even attempting to come back mean my marriage is over? Because I can’t not think of a reason that he wouldn’t want to come home unless he just doesn’t care about me or our marriage any more.” I will try to address these concerns below.

There are actually many reasons that a cheating spouse may not be immediately attempting to come home. I will go over some of those reasons for this as well as offer some suggestions on how to handle this below.

Some Possible Reasons That A Cheating Spouse Won’t Try To Come Home: It’s very normal to assume the worst case scenario here. Many faithful spouses will assume that the cheating spouse is staying away because he no longer loves them or is no longer invested in the marriage. And I won’t tell you that this can’t possibly be the case. Sometimes, it is. But there are other possibilities as well.

Sometimes, the cheating spouse stays away because he respects you enough to give you some time to process this. He may also assume that you are so angry that you really don’t want to see his face right now. Or, he may want for some time to go by and for emotions to calm a little bit before he attempts to come back home. Or, he may be waiting for you to give him some sign or to take the lead. Often, he has no idea how you are feeling or what you want. So he’s waiting for you to give him some guidance before he attempts to come home and is possibly turned away or rejected. As you can see, not all of these reasons mean that he no longer wants you or the marriage. He could be confused or giving you time or waiting to get more information from you before he over steps any boundaries that may no longer be his right to cross.

How You Might Want To Handle This: Frankly, sometimes having a little time apart or allowing a little distance in order for the anger and panic to wane can actually be beneficial. So there often isn’t a real need to rush things. I would honestly suggest giving yourself enough time to decide what you might want before you even approach this situation. In other words, if you’re not sure if you want to save this marriage, then there may not be any point in trying to get him home right now. But, if you come to the conclusion that you do want to save your marriage, know that this doesn’t always require that he comes home. What I’m trying to say is that you are better off making sure that he comes home at the appropriate time than trying to rush it and then making the situation worse.

I always feel that you should focus on healing the relationship first and worry about the logistics later. In other words, if you can heal your marriage, then saving it is going to be the next logical step anyway. And if you take care of the healing, then things generally fall into place without your needing to fret too much over this. So, I would think that you need to address what is going to happen moving forward before you worry about him coming home. Urging him home before either of you are ready may just set you up for failure.

So I would suggest something like: “I know that we are in the middle of a difficult situation right now but I’m wondering if you have any idea as to how you want to move forward. I can’t ignore the fact that you’ve made no attempt to come home. I am just wondering if this has any implications on how you feel or what you might want. Can you share with me if you have any feelings about moving forward? Or are you just unsure and reluctant to make any decisive move?”

Then you just sit back and listen. Allow him the time to make a complete response. He may tell you that he doesn’t yet know what he wants. He may ask you how you feel right now. But either way, at least you will have had a conversation and are no longer completely in the dark about his motivations.

I think that it’s sometimes best not to look to far ahead until you have made progress on healing.  My husband did eventually come back home and we did eventually reconcile.  But, early on, I was just focusing on my situation day by day because that was really all I was able to handle at one time.  If I had looked too far ahead, I may have become overwhelmed.  If it helps, you can read more on my blog at

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