What Do Men Tell Their Wives When They Get Caught Having An Affair?

By: Katie Lersch:  I sometimes hear from women who want to know what are typical responses and phrases from a man who has just been caught having an affair.   Some of these women are “the other woman” in the affair.  They want to know if a man will typically be truthful about his supposed “feelings” or if, once caught, is all about saving face.  Some of these women are wives who want to know if their husband’s response is typical or to be expected.

From the other woman I might hear: “I would love to know what the guy I was having a relationship with said to his wife when she caught him.  I guess I might not ever get that information because he has cut off all contact with me.  He never came out and said it, but he let me believe that his marriage was lacking.  And admittedly, he never promised me anything, but I honestly thought that one day we would be together.  Once his wife caught him, he texted me, told me it was over, and insisted that I not contact him again.  It hurts and annoys me to be dismissed in this way and I would love to know what he said to his wife.  I am almost tempted to ask her myself.”

Please do not ask her or contact her.  She is truly the innocent party in this.  As someone who dialogs with many people in this situation, I can tell you a few scenarios that may have happened, especially considering the directive that you’ve gotten to stay out of the husband’s life moving forward.  Simply put, at least in my experience and observation, the majority of the time, men caught in the affair say things meant to try to save the marriage.  Once they are caught, they realize how much they have risked.  And their words moving forward attempt to minimize the risk, which I’ll discuss a little more below.

Excuses, Reassurances, And Panic:  Assuming that the husband has already made the confession or knows that he is caught, many husbands will initially try to minimize the affair.  They will tell the wife that it was very short-lived or even a one-time thing.  They will reassure her that it was a huge mistake that didn’t mean anything and that it is over.

This doesn’t mean that every husband is falling over himself to apologize.  Some husbands are indignant or even angry.  Some will try to posture in the hopes that their wife will back off a little.  But at the end of the day and once the smoke clears, many will say words meant to try to salvage their family.  Most of them have worked too hard and have too much invested in family life to throw it all away.  Despite their risky behavior, many of them will tell you that they never went into this intending to divorce.  They never wanted to lose their family.

I know that much of the time, the other woman really hopes that the husband goes in and insists to the wife that the affair was a “special” relationship that he doesn’t want to end.  Frankly, this doesn’t often happen.  When it does, the husband usually confesses the affair rather than being caught.  When he is caught, he was trying to hide it – which means that he was trying to keep his marriage going at the same time – that same marriage that he doesn’t want to lose now.   Much of the time, a caught husband is a husband who will scramble to figure out what is necessary for his wife to give him a chance to make it right.

What many people do not consider is that he has often spent a significant amount of time building a life and a family with his wife.  He’s not always just going to turn his back on that, allow his kids to grow up without a father, and take a huge hit financially.  I mean, some men might be willing to do this in order to stay with the other woman.  But in my experience, the vast majority do not.

Instead, they are telling their wives that the affair was an anomaly that will never happen again.  He is promising that he will cut off all contact and will place all of his focus on his family while trying to heal every one involved.  That could be why he’s told you that he wants no further contact.  He is trying to do the right thing and he is trying to make good on the promises that he likely gave to his wife.

However, these are just words.  The real test comes in the weeks and months ahead.  Because wives watch very, very closely in order to make sure that his actions match his words.  Of course, saying the right words are reassuring and nice.  But if the words are not followed up with action, they are pointless and empty.  But men who are truly motivated to save their marriages usually try to follow up their words with action.

I know that this may be a bit confusing.  But it is my observation that most husbands don’t intend or want to lose their marriages.  Whether or not the wife agrees to this is up to the wife.  But despite the fact that there is a perception that cheating husbands want to leave their marriage, many do not.  If it helps, you can read about how I dealt with this situation on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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