The Other Woman Ended The Affair. How Does My Husband Feel Now?

By: Katie Lersch:  I often hear from wives who are trying to gauge their husband’s reactions and feelings after infidelity has rocked their marriage.  Often, the husband isn’t very forthcoming about his feelings or wishes because he doesn’t want to anger or hurt his wife.  So unfortunately, the wife is left with taking her best guess or just speculating about what he might be thinking or feeling, especially when it comes to the other woman and the other relationship.

I heard from a wife who said: “my husband had an affair with his ex fiancee.  I worried when she came back into town, but my husband told me that I was just being silly, which is so ironic now.  When I found out about the affair, I told my husband that he had to end it immediately, but he told me that he had no idea what he wanted and that he would understand if I wanted to move out or get a divorce.  I suppose this reverse psychology worked because I agreed to give him some time before I took any action.  I am not real proud to admit that I have been reading my husband’s emails.  Last week, I read an email that indicated that the other women just broke things off with him.  I read an email where she was telling him that she needed to end the relationship because she knew that it was wrong.  She told him that she loved him but that their time had passed and that she didn’t want to take him away from his marriage.  She asked him not to pursue her and said that she felt it best if they had no contact. My husband didn’t tell me anything about this.  If I hadn’t read his email, then I wouldn’t know. He hasn’t really acted any differently toward me.  And he certainly isn’t going to share his feelings.  So I am wondering how he is feeling now?  Are men generally sad when the other woman breaks it off?  Is there anger?  I can’t get a handle on what is going to happen now if my husband won’t tell me what he’s feeling.”  I will try to address this in the following article.

Men Have Varying Feelings After The Other Woman Ends The Affair:  Unfortunately, I had no way to know how this wife’s husband felt.  I didn’t know him personally and a man’s reaction is going to vary depending on the intensity of the relationship and on his personality.  Men typically feel varying emotions.  Sometimes, they feel conflicting emotions. And sometimes, how they feel changes as time passes.  But below, I will outline some common feelings that many men experience when they were not the one to end the affair.

Relief Is Possible:  Believe it or not, some men feel relief because at least now they have a resolution and they can begin to move on. Quite often, they know that ending the affair is the right thing to do.  But sometimes, they don’t want to hurt anyone or they have conflicted feelings so they do nothing and hope that everything sorts itself out.  But when the other woman ends things for them, this sets him free because he didn’t need to make a firm decision and now that she has made the choice for him, he can move on.

Grief Is Also Possible:  People often assume that a man only has an affair because of sex.  This isn’t always the case.  Some men believe that they are feeling real and intense feelings about the other woman or about the other relationship. So, they can and sometimes do feel sorrow when things come to an end, especially since he didn’t set things in motion himself.  This can lead to a sense of loss and a sense of grief.  Many wives will take this to mean that their marriage is over or that their husband doesn’t love them.  They can also assume that their husband won’t get over the other woman.  This isn’t always true.  Sometimes, there is sorrow because the husband took these risks for nothing, since the relationship is over anyway.

He May Feel Frustration Or Confusion:  I am going to share with you a theory that I have with the realization that not everyone will agree.  I think that in some instances men use an affair as a means of escape.  Many will use the affair to feel younger, more attractive, more alluring, or just more in control of their lives.  Often, the affair doesn’t have all that much to do with the other woman or even with the relationship.  But it has everything to do with the man and his wish for escape.

So when the affair comes to an abrupt end, this can be frustrating (and not for the reason that you might think.)  He’s often not sad or frustrated that he lost the other woman.  He’s sad and frustrated that he’s lost his escape.  And now he has to face what he’s been trying to run from all along.  And he can feel very ill equipped to do this so he can struggle not because he was truly invested in the other relationship, but because he wasn’t fully invested in himself and his own ability to cope.

Many wives will watch their husband’s behavior and believe that he’s mourning the loss of the relationship, but sometimes what he is truly mourning is the fact that now he has to face himself with no more diversions and no more escape.  If he had the ability to do this easily, he would not have cheated in the first place.

I know that it’s very easy to focus on what the other woman meant to him.  But it’s my opinion and experience that you are better off focusing on what this marriage means to both of you right now.  Because sometime soon, you are going to have to make decisions in this regard.  And the process is much easier if you can tap into your true feelings. If it helps, you can read about my quest for recovery on my blog http://surviving-the-affair.com

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