Do Most Wives Take Cheating Husbands Back?

I often hear from wives who are struggling with the decision about how to react to their spouse’s adultery.  Many are tempted to declare that the marriage is over, but when they actually ask their spouse to pack his belongings or they consider leaving their home, the gravity of this decision can feel quite heavy.  People assume that the decisions made after an affair are black and white or cut and dry until this actually happens.  And then it’s not so easy.  Often, you’ve built a life and perhaps have children.  So just walking away is not something to be taken lightly.

To weigh this decision, many wives ask themselves what other women have done in a similar situation.  Most wives have friends or family members who have dealt with infidelity.   And some notice that few of these women have actually gotten a divorce, which can leave the wife wondering if most people just give in and take him back.

She might ask, “do most wives just take their cheating husbands back?  I kicked my husband out after I caught him cheating.  He has been calling me several times per day trying to get me to take him back.  He tells me that many of our friends maintained their marriage after an affair, so I started asking around.  I probably know five people who went through this and four ended up remaining married. Do I just have loyal friends?  Do most women take back their cheating husbands or does it just seem this way?”

There are definitely some statistics which seem to indicate that infidelity does not always mean a divorce.  I saw a recent statistic which indicated that a 2007 study from the office of national statistics indicated that just 17 percent of people who got divorced that year cited infidelity as the reason – which means that there are far greater reasons that people separate or get divorced than cheating.  Statistics also show us that women are more likely to forgive an affair than men, since women are more threatened by emotional infidelity than sexual infidelity – while the reverse is true for men.  Frankly, men are slightly less likely to take back a wife who cheated (at least this is what statistics say) because men care more about the sexual betrayal.  If a women perceives that the relationship was more sexual than emotional, statistics say that she is more likely to forgive her husband than if the affair was a deeply emotional one where the husband was claiming to be in love or emotionally attached.

Despite what the statistics tell us, don’t assume that women automatically choose to stay or to take a cheating husband back immediately.  Many don’t officially make any decision at all.  They just agree to wait and see what happens. So they don’t divorce him right away.  But they don’t make him any promises, either.  They wait to see what he’s going to do in order to restore the trust and to rebuild the marriage.

If he is sincere and does what is necessary to make things right again, then the wife inches closer and closer to staying or to taking him back.  But if he continues to exhibit troubling behaviors or doesn’t follow through on his promises, then this makes the wife inch closer and closer toward ending the marriage.

The ultimate decision usually comes down to several factors.  She usually considers things like her feelings for her husband, whether children are involved, the level of remorse, the willingness to go to counseling, and the willingness to take responsibility for his actions and then to make any adjustments or changes that are necessary.

Most women don’t just decide to give their husband a pass immediately. Instead, they watch and wait.  They weigh all considerations and they tell themselves that they could change their minds at any time.  Also in play is whether or not this is the first time that the husband cheated.  Obviously, a wife is going to be less likely to forgive or to give him another chance if he is a repeat offender.

So to answer the original question, statistics show us that an affair is actually the cause of divorce in less than 20 percent of cases, which would seem to indicate that many wives do give their husband another chance. But statistics don’t tell us everything.  There are plenty of wives who  walk away.  And their are plenty of wives who stay. Many consider a huge variety of factors before making this decision and most of us do not make the decision right away.  We wait and see how our husband is going to act and what efforts he will make to rehabilitate himself and the marriage.

I did stay with my husband, but I made him no promises and it took a very long time for me to commit.  I watched and waited for quite a while.  I gave him no guarantees.  Ultimately, I stayed because I still loved him and I believed that he was remorseful and would not reoffend (since we worked very hard on our marriage. ) I also did not want for my children to grow up in a single parent home.  I wanted to keep my marriage because I believed that, so long as we could revive it, this was going to be the best thing for everyone.  I have never regretted that decision.  But I don’t judge people who made a completely different decision.  Everyone has to decide what is right for them, considering their own circumstances and the past and present behavior of their husband. There’s more at

Why Is My Husband So Defensive After His Affair? What Can I Do About It?

By: Katie Lersch: I often hear from wives who are having trouble figuring out their husband’s odd or troublesome behavior after his affair. One common example of this is defensiveness. Many wives notice their husband acting particularly defensive to any question, comment, or remark.

I recently heard from a wife who said “no matter what I say to my husband, I get a very defensive remark back. I’m not always accusing him or even talking about the affair half of the time, but I still get the same response. It’s as if he’s constantly expecting me to attack or criticize him. I won’t deny that I am angry at and disappointed in him. But what does he expect? He cheated on me and he had an affair. Of course I’m going to have questions and some angry words. I feel that I deserve that. But it’s not as if I’m constantly harping on him about it. This doesn’t matter though. No matter what I say, how I say it, or what we are talking about, I’m going to get a defensive response. Why is this? And what can I do it about it?”

I will try to discuss these questions and concerns in the following article.

Reasons That Husbands Are Defensive After An Affair: As you might imagine, there are many reasons that men might feel or act defensive after an affair. He likely knows very well that you are disappointed and angry at him, so the defensive attitude and stance that you are seeing right now is almost a preemptive strike against that. He sometimes will feel that if he can strike first with the wall he’s built around himself, he won’t feel your disappointment, hurt and anger quite so deeply.

Another reason you might feel or see him being defensive is that he feels as if he needs to justify his behavior, even to himself. So he’s always waiting and ready to tell himself (or you) that he had his reasons for acting as he did. Sometimes, this is a reaction to his feeling guilty and ashamed for what he has done so he tries to counter this with his defensiveness.

Finally, I do sometimes have men contact me on my surviving the affair blog and tell me that they constantly feel attacked by their wives about the affair. Whether this is true or not, sometimes when men feel attacked, they strike back themselves in their own way, and this is often with those defenses that they have been rehearsing in their own head. In short, this is a way for them to feel better about themselves when they know that they truly have hurt you and have made a grave mistake.

What You Can Do When Your Husband Is Being Too Defensive After He Cheats Or Has An Affair: First, you have to understand that it’s human nature to want to defend yourself when you think you’re being made out to be the sole bad guy in a situation. With that said, I certainly don’t want to imply that you are anyway at fault because you are not. Your husband is the one who made the decision to cheat. However, if his attitude is hurting or frustrating you even more, then perhaps it’s time to have an open or honest discussion about this.

Here’s just one example. The next time you notice that your husband’s defensive behavior is driving more of a wedge between you or is making the situation worse, you may want to consider saying something like: “l can’t help but notice that your responses and reaction to me are very defensive lately. I understand that you may be feeling like you want to defend or explain yourself. But, your continuing to constantly be defensive and refusing to open up isn’t really doing us any good or making our marriage better. I can’t help having questions and being disappointed or angry, but I will try to make my comments sound less like personal attacks and more like legitimate concerns. If you do end up feeling attacked, please bring it to my attention so that I can be aware of it and stop. In the same way, I will bring it to your attention when you’re being too defensive so that we can both back up and start over. Because we’re both going to have to work together and bring down our defenses, accusations, and hurtful interactions if we can save our marriage and move on. And, whether you believe it or not, that truly is what I want to do. I want for us to heal and move on, but in order to do that, I need to be able to understand what lead up to this, how you feel right now, and what can do to keep this from happening in the future. Along those lines, I need you to be open and honest with me instead of being defensive. So can we agree to both approach this differently from now on?”

Do you see that I tried to keep things positive and direct? It’s important to stress what you really and truly want. Because if you can both keep your focus on saving the marriage and moving forward, you can hopefully take the focus away from the negative things that are going on like the defensiveness and accusations.

My own husband’s defensiveness after his affair was probably at least somewhat due to my constantly attacking and questioning him. However, at the time, I wanted and needed those answers. Eventually, once we changed our focus, this cycle drastically improved and we were able to save our marriage. If it helps, you can read the whole story on my blog at

Married Men And Affairs: Who’s To Blame?

By: Katie Lersch: Blame after a husband’s affair is a very common topic on my surviving infidelity blog.  Sometimes, the faithful wife will blame the other woman more than she blames her husband.  (An example is something like: “We were happy, but that woman sees a happily married man as a challenge. She was determined to have him and she wouldn’t stop until she got him.  She didn’t care if my family was destroyed in the process.  I loathe her for what she did to us.”

With that said, there’s no shortage of wives who place a good deal of blame onto their husband’s.  It’s not unusual for me to hear comments like: “my husband should be so embarrassed by his idiotic behavior.  Here’s a middle aged man chasing after someone who isn’t his wife.  Doesn’t he see that none of it is real? I’m the one who has always stood by him but I guess that doesn’t matter to him. What a jerk.”

The other woman who is cheating with a married man will often blame the wife for not giving the husband what he needed to stay faithful. (An example is something like: “it wasn’t my intention to become involved with a married man.  I didn’t purse him and I tried to avoid it.  But, he was so unhappy in his marriage.  His wife didn’t appreciate him and we just just connected and formed a bond.  I didn’t mean to hurt anyone and I’m sorry if I did, but if she had appreciated what was right in front of her, he wouldn’t have sought me out.”

Who the cheating husband blames often more varied.  Sometimes, he will blame himself, especially if he has the time or personal insight to reflect on his actions.  It’s not unusual for me to hear comments like: “I was so stupid.  I had the most wonderful life and family and I jeopardized it over someone that I really didn’t know and still don’t.  I don’t know how I couldn’t been so dumb.”

Some husbands don’t have this insight though.  There are some who will place the blame on the women involved.  Cheating husbands will sometimes paint themselves as the innocent party.  An example is something like “the other woman literally threw herself at me on countless occasions.  I always stressed that I was married and not interested.    And then one night, I got drunk and gave in.  I will regret that for the rest of my life but I want my wife to understand that I did not pursue her.  She pursued me and I resisted for a very long time before anything happened.”

When a husband blames his wife for an affair, you’ll often hear things like: “I didn’t wake up that morning intending to have an affair.  Over time, it just happened.  Things weren’t all that great at home.  We hardly ever had sex anymore.   She never made the time to really listen to me and when I would approach her for sex, she would make me feel like it was a chore or that I was something to be scheduled or squeezed into her busy schedule.  I’m not trying to defend my cheating, but I want to make it clear that if our marriage had been better, I wouldn’t have had a need to go outside of it.”

What’s interesting is that all of the people in the above examples usually absolutely believe that they are speaking the truth at the time.  They don’t see their statements as ones that are meant to shift or assign the blame.  They just see their assertions as their truth. So, who is really to blame when a married man has an affair?  Here’s my take.

Which Person Is Most To Blame When A Married Man Has An Affair?: I have to admit that now that I’ve had years to reflect what lead up to my own husband’s affair, there was a varied amount of blame to go around in my situation.   But, even after all of my research and the help that I received, it’s still my opinion (and yours may of course be different) that the real blame belongs with the people who took the action to cheat or to have an affair.

Yes, the marriage may have been faltering or even toxic. Your needs may not have been met.  You may have been going through extremely difficult personal struggles. But none of this is justification for cheating.  There are plenty of people who have a multitude of problems who deal with them in ways other than cheating.  There is always a different path.  Counseling, reaching out to your spouse, working through your problems, a separation, or even a divorce are, in my view, options that are preferable to cheating.

As for the other woman, yes, I believe there’s some blame for her as well.  And, while she often doesn’t have accurate information available to her (as husbands will and do tell her things that just aren’t true) knowing that a man is married should be enough information.  Whether a man is happy or understood in his marriage or not, the very fact that he is married should be enough.

Finally, I do believe that there is always lessons to be learned for the faithful wife.  There is usually places where, in hindsight, you can see where your marriage was vulnerable and what you part you played in the same.  With that said though, I don’t believe that any of these vulnerabilities justify cheating.  But, I do believe that it’s important to take a long, hard look at them just the same and remove them so that they don’t continue to cause you issues and pain (and they can come into play in the future whether you save your marriage or not.)

So my own answer to the posed question is that I think there’s plenty of blame to go around when a married man cheats.  But, I think that, of the three people involved, the man himself is the most culpable because he himself intimately knows the circumstances in the marriage, he is the one who is married, and he chooses to act anyway. That’s not to say that the other woman is innocent.  She certainly is not.  But she isn’t as legally or morally bound the faithful wife in the way that the husband is.   And she is not the one who has to face the faithful wife and begin to heal the marriage. This is only my opinion that was formed through my own experience and through interactions on my blog.  Your experiences and opinions certainly might differ.

And, frankly, who is to blame doesn’t matter nearly as much as who is going to take responsibility for the healing.  The fact that a husband shares some of the blame doesn’t mean that he can never be rehabilitated or that he’ll never be a good and faithful husband in the future.  It can mean that he should be an active participant in healing as his actions set this whole thing into motion.

I know that deciding who is to blame for the affair might be very important to you right now.  But, in truth, the blame is often not as important as the healing.  And focusing on the blame for so long that you delay your healing can cause continued pain that could be avoided.  It took me way too long to realize this, but once I did, it made quite a lot of difference.  If it helps, you can read more of that story on my blog at

Will Karma Catch Up With A Cheating Spouse?

I often hear from faithful spouses who really want for their cheating spouse and the other person involved to have to “pay” for being unfaithful.  They are understandably resentful that they are dealing with all of this anger and pain while it seems that the people who did the actual cheating remain unscathed.

They might say something like, “normally, I am honestly not a vengeful person.  I try to allow things to just roll off of me.  I don’t see any benefit in carrying around a lot of anger.  However, since I found out that my husband was cheating on me, I’m having a MUCH more difficult time with that. I find myself wanting revenge sometimes, actually.  And I really hate that because it just isn’t me.  At first, I really wanted for my husband to hurt in the way that I was hurting. So I would literally go out of my way to say and do mean things to him.  But then I realized that I was hurting myself just as much as I was hurting him, so I decided that I would let the universe take care of this.  I totally believe in karma, at least most of the time.  But as I watch my husband and I keep track of the other woman, neither seem to have suffered any.  My husband and I are trying to save our marriage, mostly because of our children. Right before he cheated, he got a huge promotion at work and it was like he was walking on air and everything that he touched turned to gold.  I know that this is going to sound petty, but part of me wants something bad to happen at work to bring him down a peg or two.  I know that this is kind of silly because his success means more money for our family. But I feel as if his increased social status contributed to his cheating.  Meanwhile, I sort of stalk the other woman on facebook, and her charmed life seems to have gone on flawlessly.   Her husband appears to still adore her and she just went on a wonderful trip where it appears that she had the time of her life.  When does karma kick in?  I want to trust that it is going to.  But it seems that both people who cheated continue to lead charmed lives.”

I believe in karma.  But here is something that I learned about it after my own husband’s affair.  To truly have relief from the belief in karma, you have to believe in it and then truly let it go.  When you are sitting there laying in wait and watching for the karma to take hold, this is not all that different from you trying to hurt your husband yourself.  Why? Because you’re still actively involved.  You are watching and waiting because you haven’t just placed your trust in the universe and then moved on. You’re not living your life or trying to make things better, since you’re so focused on retribution.

Also, we don’t get a say in how this whole process works.  We don’t know when or how it might happen, and we can’t always trust the things that we see.  Facebook is not a reliable barometer of how someone’s life is going.  People are always going to photoshop the pictures and edit the posts to make it look like they are living wonderful lives when this isn’t always the case.  You can’t possibly know if this woman and her husband fought during her recent trip or went into debt to fund it.  You are only seeing what she wants you to see.  You don’t know if she is in emotional distress within herself or her marriage.

Likewise, you can’t possibly know your husband’s thoughts.  Sure, he may appear to be have it all together and it may look as if he’s killing it at work.  But do you know what he thinks about when he’s alone in the shower?  Or if he has bad dreams?  Or if he is deeply ashamed?  These things could be happening without your knowing it.

I know that it might seem like this is easy for me to say, but based on my own experiences after my own husband’s affair, (which you can read more about here:,) I came to believe that wishing bad karma on someone else potentially reflects bad karma right back to you.  My grandmother used to say that when you wished harm on someone else, you might as well brace yourself because that harm was coming your way as well.  I know that your husband and the other woman potentially deserve the bad karma because of their infidelity.  And I believe that the universe is just.  But I also believe that by focusing on these negative thoughts, you aren’t doing yourself any favors.  When I did this, it just made me feel worse about my life and about my situation.  After many starts and stops, I found that the best revenge on the other woman was to simply maintain my family life and to be happy.  I decided that she would not destroy or take what I had.  I also have come to believe that my husband did suffer, even if he did not always share this or appear to do so.  He had to work very hard to rebuild the trust.  He had to be the bad guy in our marriage for quite some time and he never complained. He made a mistake and he was willing to pay for it, so I decided that I would allow the universe to deal with the rest.  Besides, any misfortune heaped on my husband would ultimately be my own misfortune as well, since our lives are so closely related.  Now that I’ve healed, I honestly don’t want my husband harmed or hurt.  I just want us both to be happy and to move on.  As for the other woman, I have no idea if karma caught up to her.  I decided long ago that the most healthy thing that I could do was to stop obsessing over her.  So yes, I believe that karma does come around, but I also believe that it does so without my needing to think about it.  I worry about my own healing and my own life and I leave the rest alone.


Why Won’t My Husband Touch Me After His Affair?

By: Katie Lersch: I often hear from wives who are quite confused. Often, after much soul searching and a good deal of effort, they have decided not to automatically turn their back on their cheating husband. Many figure that he will be extremely relieved about this and therefore extremely willing to show his affection and to rebuild their marriage. Instead, the wives are often shocked and disappointed that the husband is not showing any physical affection. Instead, he seems to be avoiding touch. This can leave the wife feeling not only confused but also quite rejected.

I heard from a wife who said: “my husband cheated on me with one of his coworkers. I found out about it because one of my friends works at the same company and she could not help but notice that they were acting inappropriately and were together far too much. Once I confronted my husband with my friend’s concerns, he eventually confessed. He agreed to stop working with her and to cut off all contact. And I agreed to try my best to move past this. I thought that we were off to a decent start but now I’m not so sure. It’s been four weeks since I found out and my husband has made no attempts to touch me. The other day, I even wore a revealing night gown to bed which I know that he likes. Even then, he looked away and made no attempt to reach out to me at all. Why won’t he touch me? Is he no longer attracted to me? Is he thinking of her?” I’ll try to address these questions below.

Try Not To Make Assumptions That May Not Be True: As a wife who has been cheated on, I know first hand that it’s easy and normal to assume that his not reaching out to you means that he doesn’t want to be intimate with you. And when you assume that he doesn’t want to be intimate with you, then you start to worry if there is something wrong with you or with his attraction to you. Try not to jump to these conclusions. His not seeking your touch often has more to do with his doubts about himself than his doubts about you. This leads me to my next point.

He May Feel That He Doesn’t Deserve To Touch You: Many times, if you were to ask the husband why he wasn’t physically reaching out to the wife, he will tell you that he doesn’t want to assume that she wants him to touch her because he knows that he doesn’t deserve to be intimate with her until the marriage has healed and until this has been made right.

So sometimes the wife thinks that he isn’t touching her because he doesn’t want to save the marriage. But sometimes, the opposite is true. He doesn’t touch her because he doesn’t want to jeopardize his ability to save his marriage in the future once a new foundation has been made.

He May Be Afraid That You Will Reject Him: Many men in this situation have a sinking feeling that the second he tries to touch you, then you are going to respond by wincing or by pushing him away. Often, he thinks that his touch is going to repulse you. So he would rather hold off and wait than to risk rejection.

He May Think That Touching You Will Bring Up Undesirable Questions: Often men are reluctant to initiate sex because they know it will bring up obvious questions. He might be worried that you will ask if he did the same thing with the other woman. He might be worried that you will think that he’s over sexed and willing to sleep with whatever woman will allow him to do so. That might be why he would just rather wait and avoid these potential misunderstandings.

How To Handle This: Your need to still feel desired is completely understandable. I felt the same way. And I certainly didn’t think it was fair that I was in the position that I had to make the moves on the same husband who cheated on me. I would suggest giving subtle clues that it’s safe to reach out. Perhaps when things are going well and you are sharing a laugh, you might want to reach out and lightly touch his hand. This will give him clues that you are receptive to him. If this doesn’t work, then you can always just put this issue on the table and talk about it. A suggested script might be something like: “I’ve noticed that you haven’t touched me in four weeks. This makes me feel rejected and unattractive. I don’t expect for us to pick up our physical relationship as if nothing happened. But I do need to feel wanted and desired.”

Again, this lets him know that he doesn’t have to hold off because of a fear of being rejected or misunderstood. With this said, I do recommend moving slowly. You will often want to begin to heal emotionally before you try to resume your physical relationship.

I find that it doesn’t help to pretend that things are OK physically when they really aren’t.   But I do understand the desire to feel wanted.  And there can be physical touch without sex also.  Reaching out to one another can confirm that the spark and the attraction is still there and at a time like this, that can be very reassuring.  I held off on resuming sex until I knew that I was on the path to healing.  If it helps, you can read more on my blog at

My Spouse Can’t Look Me In The Eye When Crying About Having An Affair

I sometimes hear from wives who are not as touched by their cheating husband’s tears as he might hope.  On the one hand, it can be extremely jarring to see your grown husband cry.  On the other hand, most wives worry that he is just putting on a show because he has been caught. Some wives say that it’s a pretty pitiful show, with the husband overcome with emotion, but unable to look at or talk to his wife while sobbing.

A wife might explain, “I don’t get my husband’s tears.  He’s like a little boy who has been caught with his hand in the cookie jar and has been spanked.  I am extremely furious at him so I know that he feels my wrath.  I try to put myself in his position and I know that I’d be sweating bullets right now if the roles were reversed. So I don’t envy him at this point.  But every time we try to have a conversation about the affair, he starts sobbing.  He can’t even get out the words.  He just cries and shakes.  I will ask him what is wrong and he will just shake his head.  I will ask him if he has anything that he wants to say and he’ll just shake his head and not even meet my eyes.  Is he embarrassed to be crying? Is he putting on an act?  Is he angry at me so that he doesn’t want to look at me?  What is his motivations for turning on the faucets?  Why is he crying, but not talking or looking at me?”

This is only speculation on my part, but I believe that a good deal of it is tied up in guilt and shame.  I think it probably hurts a man’s pride quite a bit to cry and to carry on repeatedly.  Many wives think that their husbands are faking, but I think that being overcome with emotion for every conversation would require a man to be a very good actor AND to be willing to humble himself repeatedly.  Not every man is going to meet this criteria.  Perhaps I am naive, but I believe that many people (men and women included) who are caught in an affair are genuine when they cry.  I’ve heard from many cheating spouses in this scenario and none of them have admitted to fake crying.  Instead, they admit to legitimately crying all of the time.  They are overcome with emotion.  Plus they are usually very ashamed.

I have never cheated, but I could only compare it to the time when I was in a hurry and I accidentally locked my dog in the car with the keys inside.  I noticed what had happened right away and I immediately called for assistance.  A locksmith had to come and use tools to get the dog out. But before the locksmith arrived, he was frantically scratching at the door and looking at me confused as to why I wasn’t helping him.  He started to pant, pace, and panic.  By the time the dog got out, he was hyperventilating and I feared that this was going to hurt him.  Even though and he was ultimately safe and fine, I cried about this incident for days afterward, even though my tears meant nothing.  I was so angry at myself because I got distracted and put my dog (who at the time was like my child) in danger.  I kept thinking about the worst case scenario and it was weeks before I wasn’t thinking about it constantly.  And yes, every time I looked at my dog, I felt guilt, shame, and pain that brought me to tears.  This went on for some time.  Luckily, the dog had many more happy years with me and I spoiled him rotten.  So, as time went on and I didn’t repeat my carelessness, I thought about it less and less.

I can only speculate, but I’d think that being the guilty party in a betrayal as serious as an affair is an extremely heavy burden to bear. To see someone that you love hurt so deeply has to almost rip your heart out.  After the car locking incident, every time I saw my dog, I got a mental image of him panting in that hot car.  And even the sight of him would start me balling again.  I’d think about how I’d have felt if my carelessness had truly harmed him.  I’m sure your husband is feeling something similar.  He sees you and the very sight of you makes him face the seriousness of what he did and what he has put at risk.  It is painful to face up to this.  In my case, I didn’t mean to hurt my dog.  I was hurried and this made me careless.  That’s why your husband’s pain has got to be much worse than mine – he knows that he made a decision that could have went either way and he chose the decision that hurts the people that he loves.  And now he has to attempt to look those people in the eye and he can’t.  He’s ashamed.  And embarrassed.  And probably horrified at what he has done.   I can’t claim that there are no men who don’t put on an act when they cry.  But try to imagine if the roles were reversed and you had to face your hurting husband.  Would you cry? I know that I would. I’d cry repeatedly and uncontrollably – if my dog story is any indication.  And I might initially have a hard time looking at my husband because doing so would mean that I’d have to see his pain, which would in turn be incredibly painful for me.  It’s almost like it’s so bad that you have to look away, but that is because you are sorry and not because you are not sincere.

You spouse might be crying, at least in part, because he fears that he’s ruined your chance at a happy, and lasting, marriage.  This is common at first.  It can feel as if things will never be the same again.  But in time, they can be.  It just takes a lot of work. You can read more about the work we did and about our recovery on my blog at

Why Would My Cheating Husband Want To Stay With Me?

By: Katie Lersch: I sometimes hear from wives who doubt the sincerity of what their husband is saying after he cheated or had an affair. This can especially be true when the husband is insisting that he wants to stay in or save the marriage when his previous actions have completely contradicted his claims. The wife can wonder if he is really sincere or has an ulterior motive.

I recently heard from a wife who said: “my husband accidentally left his email open a couple of weeks ago and I read some emails that made it obvious that he had been cheating on me. When I confronted him, he immediately admitted it and then said that he was going to break it off on his own. But, a couple of weeks later, I logged on again and there were more emails showing that he had lied and was continuing on with his cheating. Of course, I confronted him again and he was overcome with emotion and begged me to go to counseling with him because he said he could not stand to lose me. At this point I do not know how to respond. What is the point? Why would my cheating husband even want to stay with me and stay married? I mean, if he’s so unhappy that he is going behind my back and cheating, then what kind of marriage do we have anyway? He obviously doesn’t love me or he would not have cheated. He clearly doesn’t value our marriage or have the personality to be truthful and faithful, so why even bother with all of this pretense. Part of me wants to try the counseling but the other part of me wonders why a man would even want to stay with a wife that he needs to cheat on anyway.”

I can certainly understand this wife’s reservations. She had caught him cheating twice now so his actions and his words were definitely contradictory. But this wife was operating under the assumptions that many wives embrace. They think that a husband who loves his wife and values his marriage does not cheat. And along these same lines, they think that a man who cheats no longer wants his wife or his marriage. I can tell you from all of the emails that I get on my blog from married men who regret cheating that this is not always the case. I will explain this more below.

Many Husbands Who Cheat Can Still Love Their Wives And Want To Stay Married: I understand why many people think that cheating husbands have already drawn a line in the sand and have chosen to leave their marriage. The men that I hear from contradict this assumption on almost every level though.  Many of them still love their wives very much. In fact, many will put all of the blame on themselves and will tell you that the problem lies with them and not with their marriage or with their wife.  And because of this, they reason, there is no need to abandon the marriage because of their poor judgment.

Countless marriage survive cheating and affairs. And frankly if those same couples were not completely committed to their marriage, they probably would not make it. The process of healing after an affair is often not at all pleasant. In fact it can be downright painful. People who don’t truly love their spouses are not as likely to stick it out. The fact that your husband is willing to stick it out may well say something about him and about his feelings for you.

Some Reasons That Cheating Husbands Want To Stay With Their Wives And Remain In Their Marriages: The biggest reason is that they realize that they have made a mistake and they are hoping that they can find a way to ensure that the mistake is not a permanent one. Once they are faced with the risk of loosing their wife and their family, they realize how awful this would be. They become more protective of and appreciative toward their marriage and their wife. I completely understand the wife having doubts. You would worry about her if she didn’t.

And, I always advocate that wives watch their husbands very carefully while he is trying to prove his love for and his commitment to them and the marriage after he cheated. But to just assume that the cheating means he doesn’t love or want his wife can be the wrong call too.

Many Wives Think Their Cheating Husband Wants To Stay With Them For These Reasons: Many wives who doubt that their husband really wants to stay married will tell you that he’s probably staying out of loyalty or because he doesn’t want to lose money or financial possessions thorough a divorce. And many wives will tell you that he is afraid of losing his children or of what society will think of him. These are all valid concerns. But I have to tell you that I rarely hear men admit to these reasons. That might be because my articles are focused on rehabilitation and saving your marriage, but I rarely have a cheating husband tell me “I don’t really want to stay married and I’m only staying out of a sense of obligation.”

The bottom line to me is that your husband may well give you every reason under the sun as to why he wants to save your marriage. You may be very tempted to discount each and every one of them as lies. But before you do, consider watching his actions for a while before you make a decision. He can say whatever he wants and make all types of claims. But it is his actions that will tell you the truth. In this case, the wife should look for follow through and transparency. The husband should offer open access to his email and he should follow through on counseling and show with his behaviors that his wife is his top priority. If he did these things for long enough, then perhaps the wife would be justified in believing that he was sincere in wanting to stay with her and in the marriage after his cheating.

It took me a long time to believe that my husband really wanted to stay with me after his cheating.  But not only did our marriage survive, it eventually thrived.  But it took a lot of work.  If it helps, you can read that very personal story on my blog at

What Should A Husband Do To Prove That The Affair Is Over?

By: Katie Lersch:  I sometimes hear from couples who are dealing with remaining suspicions about an affair.  Sometimes I hear from husbands who are having a hard time convincing their wives that the affair is over.  From them, I often hear comments like: “I swear the affair is over.  But no matter what I do or say, my wife thinks I’m lying to her. She seems to think that I’m only claiming the affair is over so that she’ll trust me again and let down her guard so I can continue cheating.  This isn’t at all true.  I ended the affair and I haven’t called, texted, or interacted with the other woman.  This doesn’t seem to be enough.  How can I convince her that the affair is over?”

Of course, there are two sides to every story.  If you were to hear from the wife in this scenario, you might hear something like: “my husband swears that the affair is over, but he also swore that he wasn’t cheating in the first place and obviously he was.  So he has already proven himself to be a liar and I can’t trust him.  He is distant and isn’t always home when he says he’s going to be.  So he can talk and make all the claims he wants, but I don’t believe him when he says the affair is over.”

Both people in the above scenario likely really believed in their own point of view.  And frankly, there was no way to know if the husband had truly ended the affair without knowing more about the situation.  However, there were some things that he could try to do in order to show his sincerity and truthfulness.  I will discuss these things below.

Everything That Comes Out Of A Husband’s Mouth After An Affair Must Be Truthful: You must know that wives are hyper alert after their husband has an affair.  They are scrutinizing every claim, every demonstration of behavior, and even your body language.  It’s absolutely normal for them to question or doubt the things you say because you have been caught in a huge and hurtful lie.

That’s why it’s vital that everything you say, everything you claim, and every comment you make is truthful.  And this is not limited to topics that have to do with the other woman or the affair.  This includes everything that comes out of your mouth during every conversation.  I sometimes have husbands complain that their wife is always looking to catch them in a lie.  One husband said he accidentally mentioned having lunch with a coworker at one restaurant when he had actually gone somewhere else.  The wife immediately zeroed in on this and wanted to know why he offered up the wrong restaurant.  The husband said he simply misspoke, but the wife was uneasy about this little white lie.

This is not uncommon.  Because when a wife catches you in little white lies, she then wonders if you’re not telling little white lies to cover up a much bigger lie – like an affair.  That’s why you must be completely honest about everything from the weather, to lunch, to any interactions with the other person.   You don’t want to give your wife any reason whatsoever to doubt you.  If you need to think before you speak, do so because even little white lies erode the trust even further.

Make Sure That You Are Being An Affectionate, Accommodating, Attentive Husband: When your wife notices you acting cold, off, or weird, her suspicions can be raised.  She’ll wonder why you are distancing yourself from her.  And she might begin to theorize that your coldness or lack of interest is because you are still interested in someone else or are juggling two relationships.   Being affectionate, attentive, and accommodating to your wife will go a long way toward restoring the trust.  If you are showing your wife that she is your priority, she will have less reasons to question you.

Also, it’s important that you try to accommodate any request that she might have to help her heal.  If she wants to seek counseling, you should willingly go.  You should make every effort to provide her with what she needs.  If she sees that you’re spending a lot of time making an effort to make this right, she will have less incentive to wonder where you are spending your time.  Be willing to offer up proof in the form of emails and phone records if this will make your wife feel better.

Do Not Allow For Any Contact With The Other Woman: Many men in this situation admit to me that the other woman is trying to call or see them.  Of course, they don’t tell their wives about this and then they wonder why their wife is getting suspicious of their behavior.  You need to make absolutely sure the other woman doesn’t have inappropriate access to you.  Change your cell phone number if you need to or make it clear that you will not answer or return calls and texts.  Make sure that the other woman knows that it is really and truly over.  Because needless to say if your wife finds out about any sort of contact, this is only going to reinforce her suspicions.

Give Her Time: Sometimes, you can do everything that I have described above and your wife still will suspect that the affair isn’t over.  In this case, keep being reassuring, accountable, and affectionate and give her some time.  Often, once she sees that you aren’t going anywhere and are willing to hang in there and be patient with her, she will begin to believe more of what you say.  After several months, may wives will look around and still see a husband who is present, attentive, and trying very hard to save the marriage.  I can speak from experience when I say it’s usually at this point that you tell yourself that this man must really want to be married to you in order to still be standing in front of you after all of the turmoil and pain.    And often, wives need to literally see that as time goes by, you’re still there with her and, exactly as you promised, you didn’t have anything else to do with the other woman.

It took a while for me to trust my husband and to believe that the affair was really over.  But over time, I saw that he meant every word he said and that he had the determination and integrity to hang around even when I didn’t make it very easy for him to do so.  Today, I trust him completely and our marriage is very solid.  If it helps you can read that very emotional story on my blog at


I Feel Like My Husband’s Infidelity And Affair Ruined My Life

By: Katie Lersch:  I sometimes hear from wives who are struggling greatly after a husband’s cheating, infidelity, or affair.  I understand how devastating this can feel.  You can feel as if  your entire married life was a lie.  You can feel like the love and commitment was all one sided.  And you wonder how you could have been so blind and so vulnerable.

I recently heard from a wife who said, in part: “My husband’s affair has literally ruined my life.  Before I found out about his cheating, I was a happy, trusting, and extroverted person.  I had a job I loved and many friends.  I had a good marriage that made me very happy.  I had a full life.  But now, all that has changed.  My marriage is in shambles.  I no longer trust people and am very guarded.  I am no longer happy go lucky.  I’ve lost some friends that were mutual to both of us.  I also lost my job and although I was told it was due to downsizing, I suspect my depression and the changes in me had something to do with it.  I feel such rage for my husband for doing this to us.  I feel as if my whole life has been stolen, ruined, and taken away.  Will I ever stop feeling this way? When will it get better?”

Letters like these bring back a lot of memories for me.  I remember how it felt to wonder if your whole life was just pulled out from under you like prank chair or a magician’s rug.  It’s not a good feeling and it hurts to the core.  But, I want you to know that it can and often does get better.  In the following article, my goal is to offer you a little perspective and support in the hopes that it makes you feel a little bit better and provides you with some relief.

I Know That You May Feel As If Your Life Is Ruined, But Take Stock Of What You Still Have: By no means am I trying to minimize what you feel.  I have been there and I know that your feelings are absolutely valid and understandable.  I know that it feels as if you’re waking up to a life that is both strange and undesirable and this is so unfair because you did nothing wrong and you are at the mercy of someone else’s actions and decisions.

At the same time though, as powerful and as devastating as this all can be, you have to throw yourself a life raft sometimes.  Because it’s not fair for you to have to feel this way for one second longer than is necessary.  Yes, your life has no doubt changed.  And yes, some of these changes might be negative ones.  But by classifying your life as ruined, you may well be selling yourself short and missing out on the opportunities and gifts that you still possess.

Please don’t misunderstand and think that I’m trying to minimize or gloss over what you feel.  I’m truly not.  But at the same time, I know from experience that it often does get better and I don’t want for you to continue to feel hopeless if you do not have to.  Yes, you may have lost your perception of your marriage before the affair.  But you haven’t lost yourself, your gifts, your extended family, your ability to love again one day, and your ability to recover.

I know this hurts, but sometimes, in order to feel better, some perspective can help.  Take inventory of what you do still have.  Some examples which may be applicable are: your home; your family; your health; your remaining friends (who are likely better and more genuine friends than the ones who left at the first sign of trouble;) your skills and talents (which likely mean that you can get a new and perhaps better job;) and the wonderful and capable woman that you still are.

It’s so important to understand that one person’s actions and decisions should not and do not affect who you are.  They don’t change the gifts that you have and the uniqueness of you.  Yes, they may well have affected you in a negative way.  And this is no doubt painful.  But no one can rob you of yourself.

I remember telling a very good friend that I felt like life as I knew it was over after my husband’s affair.  At the time, what she said annoyed me, but looking back, I can see now that it was exactly what I needed.  She said something like: “yes, your life has changed and that’s not fair.  But your life is not over.  You still have your life which is more than our friend with breast cancer might be able to say.  One day you will smile and love and laugh again because you are a wonderful person who deserves nothing less than that.  This will happen because your spirit and essence can not and will not be crushed.  You are a fighter, although you may not know or feel it right now. I have no doubt that you will one day love the life that you have rebuilt although the process may not be all that pleasant right now.”

I didn’t want to hear her words that day, but everything that she said turned out to be true.  I know that when infidelity happens to you, it can feel like your life is being altered forever.  But recovery is not only possible, it happens each and every day.  Some people are actually able to learn from this process so that some good comes out of the bad.  Some rebuild their marriage and even more rebuild themselves.  I don’t mean to minimize what you are feeling, but I do want you to know that it can and often does get better over time and I don’t want for you to allow your present thinking and discouraging feelings to cloud your future, which will often turn out to be a whole lot brighter than what feels possible today.

As I alluded to, I did not believe a couple of years ago that I would be where I am today.  My marriage did recover, but more importantly, I learned a lot about myself and just how strong and capable I truly was and I don’t think I’d trade that for anything.  If it helps, you can read more of my story on my blog at



How Do I Love My Husband Again After He Cheated And Had An Affair?

by: katie lersch: I often hear from wives who are having a hard time believing that they are ever going to feel the same way about their husband and their marriages again. Even though that many of these wives really do want to save their marriages, some doubt that this is going to be possible for them.  They just can’t foresee ever feeling love for their husband again after he cheated on them.

I recently heard from a wife who was experiencing this first hand.  She said, in part: “How do you love your husband again after he cheats or has an affair?  Because I can’t imagine that this is ever going to be possible for me.  And I can’t be married to a man that I don’t love.  But his infidelity changed my love for him.   Because when I look at him now, I see a completely different man.  He’s no longer the loyal, attentive, and rock solid man I married.  I now see him as dishonest, sneaky, and manipulative.  I don’t want to end my marriage, but I can’t see any way around it when I no longer feel love for this man.  And I feel that love and marriage go hand in hand.  Would it ever be possible for me to love him again?  Or am I just wasting my time?”

These weren’t questions that I could answer for this wife.  But I could tell her that many wives are able to love their husbands again after cheating, an affair, or infidelity.  This often isn’t an immediate or fast process, but it is quite possible.  I will discuss this more in the follow article.

Loving Your Husband Again After Cheating Or An Affair Isn’t Something That You Should Expect To Happen Immediately: I can’t help but notice that many of the wives who ask about loving their husband again after his infidelity are relatively new to this situation.  Of course, when you are newly struggling, you want to know how long you can expect for the struggles to last.  It’s natural to want to feel better and to want to get your life back to normal as soon as you possibly can.

But love is a very deep and complex emotion.  It isn’t something that can be forced or just decided upon.  It takes time for it to grow. And it takes time for it to be rebuilt once it has been tested.  In order to love someone, you must respect, admire, and genuinely like them.  You often will need to believe that they bring something to the table and add something to your life that you can not (and do not want) to get from any one else.  But, when your husband has disappointed you in this way, it can be difficult to feel this these things for him.

However, this doesn’t mean that you won’t ever feel love for him again.  Many wives do, in time.  But usually, a lot of things need to happen between today and the day that you begin to feel loving toward him again.  You will need time to observe him making good on his promises and conducting himself in a way that you can respect, respond to, and admire again.  As I’m sure you might imagine, this is a gradual process.  There may be days when you can’t imagine feeling love again for your husband because you are so angry at him.  And you may not believe that there will be a day when this anger lessens, even a little bit.  But time can be more healing than you can imagine.  And your husband can and sometimes will rise to the occasion in ways that you might not have previously imagined or hoped for.

The Burden Of Loving Your Husband Again Lies At Least Somewhat With Him: Many wives that I dialogue with give me the impression that they think that loving their husband again is an obstacle that they must overcome alone.  It’s almost as if they think they have to make a decision or declaration about loving their husband again no matter what circumstances or struggles are happening around them.  It’s just not that easy. You can’t turn your feelings on and off at will. And you can’t love someone who isn’t proving to deserving of your love.

It’s my opinion that while you have the responsibility to decide if you want to be open to the idea of loving him again, he has the responsibility to show himself to be worthy of your love.  He can’t expect you to feel very loving toward him if he’s not doing everything in his power to prove to you that it’s safe to do so.

I sometimes have men contact me on my infidelity blog and tell me that they are devastated because their wives have decided not to love them anymore.  I often respond by asking them what they have done to earn their wife’s love all over again.  In other words, what have they done to show themselves to be truth worthy, rehabilitated, and remorseful?  I have to tell you that it’s obvious that some men just don’t have a clue that your loving them is completely connected to their actions and behaviors after the affair.

And I do believe that this doesn’t mean that they’re stupid or that they just don’t care.  It just often means that men can be lost about what they should be doing after they cheated.  Many will look to their wife for clues as to how they should behave.  Unfortunately, often their wife is waiting for them to make the first move.  As a result, sometimes no one makes any move and both people wonder why nothing positive is happening to move the marriage and the feelings forward.

If your husband hasn’t done enough to inspire your loving feelings for him again, I would recommend speaking up and requesting what you need.  Because sometimes, men just don’t know what you expect or they don’t understand what would be their best course of action.  Many wives resist having to “spell out” what they need. They think that their husband should know what to do or should immediately begin making things right because he is sincere.  The truth is, many sincere men are just at a loss.  They aren’t sure if you want for them to back off and leave you or alone or if you want them to take action.

Frankly, sometimes asking for the behaviors that you need to see provides the best possible outcome.  Seeing your husband work tirelessly to regain your trust, to show his love, and to make things right can eventually bring about those loving feelings that we’ve been taking about.  So to answer the question posed, yes, it is possible for you to love your husband again after he cheated or had an affair.  But often, it takes time and it takes very measured efforts.  You often don’t get the best results if both of you just sort of sit back with a “wait and see” attitude while waiting on the other to make the first move.

I can tell you that today, years after my husband’s affair, I love him completely.  This is in direct contrast to how I felt about him in the weeks following the affair.  It took time but the love did eventually return and it remains today.  If it helps you can read about what worked for me and more of that story on my blog at

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