We Had A Good Marriage. So Why Did He Need To Cheat And Have An Affair?

I sometimes hear from wives who are particularly floored to find out about their husband’s cheating or affair because they felt they had a good or happy marriage.  Many people are under the impression or assume that affairs or cheating just don’t happen in happy marriages.  They assume that if a husband is unfaithful, that must mean that there’s something wrong with the marriage or the wife. 

Frankly, I think this is absolutely false.  Affairs do happen to very good and very happy marriages.  I will discuss this more in the following article.

Why Affairs And Cheating Can Happen In Good And Happy Marriages:  The first question that might come to your mind on this topic is: “If he was happy in his marriage, why would he need to cheat?  It just doesn’t make any sense.” 

I would certainly agree with that.  But affairs and cheating DO happen in happy and good marriages.  Often, this is not intentional.   The spouses in this situation rarely wake up in the morning with the intention of cheating.  It’s often something that happens during a time of crisis or personal struggle.

Because honestly, it only take a split second to make a mistake.  And once it’s made, there is no going back.  It doesn’t mean that a person is unhappy in their marriage when they made such a mistake.  It often means that they just weren’t thinking and acted on impulse.  I don’t say this to excuse their behavior.  I’m offering you an explanation because I know that you want answers. 

And sometimes, your husband can’t give you those answers because he’ll tell you that he isn’t sure why he cheated or had an affair.  He’s usually sorry.  He knows he was wrong.  But looking back, he can’t quite put his finger on or explain why he did what he did.

What Men Tell Me About Cheating Or Having An Affair When They Were In A Happy Marriage: Sometimes, men have an easier time talking to stranger than they do their own wife.  Many contact me through my infidelity blog and email me asking for advice on how to make their wives understand that the affair didn’t have anything to do with their love for her or their level of happiness.

I often hear comments like: “I was just so stupid.  I don’t know what I was thinking.  I had the best wife in the world.  I was in a good marriage.  We were happy.  And then I have to go and ruin it.  It’s almost as if I have to sabotage or ruin my happiness because I don’t feel that I deserve it.  I clearly don’t deserve my wife now.  I don’t think she’ll ever forgive me and I can’t say that I blame her.  But if she would give me one more chance, I would show her that we could be happy again.   I know I could make her happy and I would never take her granted like this again. But she just doesn’t believe that right now.”

What’s interesting to me is that often I will ask these husbands if they’ve told this to their wives.  Many haven’t.  Or, many have tried to but then an argument started so they just gave up. So I’m going to tell you what they often can not. 

Again, I most certainly am not defending them.  I was cheated on also so I would never defend this.  But I hear from enough men in this situation that I’ve developed my own theories about why happy men cheat.

The Reasons That I Believe Happily Married Men Sometimes Cheat Or Have Affairs:  The passage above about the man saying he sabotaged his own happiness because he didn’t feel deserving is a theme that I hear a lot.  This is especially common from men who grew up in volatile homes, witnessed infidelity as a child, or whose parents had a rocky relationship. 

These men don’t have role models for a happy marriage so when they are living within one, they feel vulnerable and undeserving.  Therefore, they sometimes will subconsciously do something to mess it up because they either feel this is what they deserve or they feel they’re returning to the common denominator that is comfortable or familiar to then.

Family or cultural norms can also come into play here.  A man with friends or family members who cheat is much more likely to cheat himself. 

And sometimes, a man is facing personal struggles either at work or in his personal life.  Something has been chipping away at his self esteem or he’s struggling in some way.  Of course, what he should do is reach out to his wife, ask for help, and share his struggles with her.

But instead, many men are ashamed of this.  They try to push it in or handle it themselves and this is when they become vulnerable to cheating or an affair.  This is their attempt at some sort of relief even if they aren’t consciously thinking this way. 

However, even they would tell you that at no point were they acting because they weren’t happy with you or the marriage.  It’s more likely that they weren’t happy with something else in their life at the time, their past, or their own self doubt.

I tell you this because I don’t want you to blame yourself or your marriage.  MANY causes of infidelity, cheating, and affairs happen when people are perfectly happy with their spouse at the time.  Of course, the cheating can turn a happy marriage on it’s head and make it one that is suddenly bitterly unhappy. 

But I believe that it is absolutely possible to return your marriage a happy place after infidelity.  I won’t tell you it’s easy, but I do  believe it can be done. I can honestly say that because of all the work my husband and I did on our marriage, our marriage is actually happier in many respects.  It wasn’t always easy, but we managed.  If you like, you can read a very personal story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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