What Makes A Husband Want To Come Home After Having An Affair?

By: Katie Lersch: Much of the correspondence that I get comes from wives who are dealing with the aftermath of their husband’s affair. Some of them are dealing with husbands who are begging to be forgiven and so the wife has to decide what she wants. Others are dealing with a husband who continues to act in very undesirable ways, whether that means he continues to cheat or whether he moves out of the home and stays away from the family.

Wives in the latter situation can feel a bit helpless. Many wives are dealing with a husband who has left home. So these wives aren’t seeing any remorse. They aren’t able to witness their husband’s thought process and they are not privy to his wishes. And so even if they are not yet sure about their marriage or their path, they may begin to wonder what it might take to make their husband want to come home or to want to reach out – even if they aren’t yet sure where his return ultimately may lead.

A wife might say: “my husband no longer lives with the family. He cheated and I found out. I did not kick my husband out. But I was very angry and we could not communicate without having very nasty arguments, so he left. We talk occasionally. He swears that the affair has ended, but obviously I have no way of knowing if this is true. He doesn’t talk about why he’s away, but I would guess that it’s because things are so volatile with us and ended up being so nasty. Now that I have had time to calm down, I would like for him to come back so that we can see where we are and what we want. I feel that him being away is just making our problems worse. How can we possibly work things out if we don’t see each other? I was talking about this with a friend and she said that I need to consider that perhaps he does not want to come back. If this is true, what can I do to make him come back? What makes a man want to come home after an affair?”

Before I answer that, I want to stress that I think that, without any doubt at all, your best best is to worry more about what YOU want and what will make YOU want him back. Because your feelings and your wishes are every bit as important as his, if not more so, simply because he is the one who took the action that caused this whole chain of events. Moving forward, there are generally things that happen that cause both spouses to rethink things. I will outline some of them below, but only with the caveat that the focus shouldn’t be on making things OK for him only. They should be on making things OK for you and then, if you ultimately choose, for both of you together.

He Understands That His Problems Didn’t Go Away By Leaving: Many men will have an affair at a time of deep reflection in their lives – perhaps after a crisis. Whether they realize it or not, many have an affair as a means to make things better or to relieve some pain. They follow this path like the pied piper, sure that it is going to improve their lives. And it may appear that this is working, at least for the short term. But an affair is often not sustainable. It doesn’t fix the crisis for the man because it is internal – inside of himself. Once he realizes this, there is no longer any reason to carry out the affair or to stay away, unless he chooses to continue on with this self – delusional thinking.

They Sense Something In Their Spouse Or With Their Situation That Makes Them Hope That They Won’t Be Rejected: Many husbands stay away because they know that life is going to be hard on them once they get back home. They know that they will have to look at their wife and face up to the pain that they have caused. They know that the running away is over. And they may fear that they will try to come home, only to have their spouse reject them. So when they have conversations or thought processes that provide some reassurance, this can nudge them toward coming home because they feel a little more safe in doing so.

No one wants to move toward a situation where they are going to be continuously rejected or where they are going to fail. Sure, there is no guarantee for anyone that a reconciliation is going to happen or that they are going to be welcomed with open arms. But sometimes a man is willing to come home when he feels that there is even the slightest chance that this might happen.

Many men get to a point where they realize their mistake and they know that the path forward is not going to be easy. But, at the same time, they know that they deserve their path because they themselves chose it. And so they gather their integrity and they try to face their wife in the hopes that something can be salvaged. They know that they may have to swallow their pride and withstand some anger and resistance. But ultimately, they decide that all of this is worth it because they realize the gravity of their mistake and they want to make things right again.

There isn’t always one event that brings this about. Often, it is time combined with him looking around and having the realization that the whole thing turned out very poorly and that it is all his fault. Since only he can control his thoughts and realizations, you can’t really control the time line or progression of this process. It has to come within him. But you can create the environment that is conducive to it by being cordial while still being authentic to yourself.

I came to realize that taking care of ME and focusing on what I wanted actually did have a positive impact on my husband.  I was demonstrating how I expected to be treated by the way that I was treating myself.  Once this shift happened, the healing began.  You can read more on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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