When Women Cheat Do They Usually Come Back To Their Spouse?

By: Katie Lersch:  There is a stereotype today about men who have affairs.  Most of us picture a middle-aged man in a midlife crisis who is bored at home and simply wants to have sex with someone else – at least for a little while.  But the idea is that once he gets that out of his system, he will come home, full of apologies and with the knowledge that he did something really stupid that he hopes doesn’t ruin his marriage.

Of course, this is a stereotype.  It is certainly not true of all men or of all marriages.  But it is often the picture that society has.  Society is less clear about women who cheat.  It’s true that women are somewhat less likely to cheat than men, although the amount of wives who cheat is on the rise.  But for women who do cheat, the reaction tends to be more harsh.  There’s a lot of shaming that happens when a wife cheats as opposed to when the husband does.  I’m not defending ANY cheating, but the reactions, and the level of understanding can be quite different.

People don’t often understand why a woman would cheat and therefore it’s very hard to gauge if her cheating will lead to the end of the marriage. I sometimes hear from husbands who are dealing with infidelity and are looking for some insights on their wife’s thought process and intentions.  The concerns might be something like: “I never said or thought my marriage was perfect but I never, and I mean ever, thought that my wife would cheat on me.  She’s very ethical and faithful.  She has always been a good wife and mother.  Not only did she cheat, but she has left our home.  She says that she is not with the other man, but since she won’t tell me where she is, I honestly don’t know that for sure.  Our child is with her mother for the time being.  She says she doesn’t know if she’s coming back.  When I ask her what I did wrong, she says that I didn’t do anything overtly wrong, but that I didn’t make her feel special and the other man did.  She said she felt that she desperately needed that in her life.  Are the odds good that she will come home?  I don’t want to lose her.”

Statistics Of Marriages Surviving Affairs May Provide A Clue: I can’t predict what your wife will do.  I can tell you that statistics show us that 50 percent or more of marriages survive infidelity.  Those statistics don’t break down by the unfaithful party.  So we don’t know how many of those 50 percent included wives who cheat.

Men And Women May Cheat For Different Reasons: My observations are COMPLETELY non scientific and are based only on what I observe.  So take this for what it is worth as it’s just an opinion.  But men tend to be able to end the affair more easily.  Men are more likely to see the affair as a temporary thing that they do not want to affect their marriage.  They are less likely to be deeply emotionally involved.

Women are just the opposite.  They can and do get sex at home.  But what they don’t always get at home is the feeling of being cherished and deeply understood.  Both of these things are VERY important to women.  I’ve had a friend who cheated on her husband tell me that she literally felt like she was going to suffocate without feeling appreciated. Frankly, I thought that this was silly, at least at the time, but I hear variations on this over and over again.

If the other man makes a woman feel deeply connected, she sometimes has a hard time walking away from this – even if she feels deeply guilty and conflicted about cheating.  But like men who cheat, women who are unfaithful often eventually come to their senses.  One thing that can be very tricky about this is that she’s looking for that intimacy, connection, and appreciation at home.  But it can be hard for her husband to give that to her because he is so angry about the affair (and understandably so.)  Sometimes, both people agree to just buckle down and rebuild the marriage.  Sometimes, the other man slips up and the wife sees that he’s not so perfect after all. Other times, the novelty wears off.

Understanding The Very Discouraging Statistics About An Affair Relationship Ever Succeeding: The statistics of an affair relationship actually working out over the long term are absolutely awful.  It’s extremely rare for an affair relationship to be successful for any reasonable length of time.  The problem can be that before the affair can inevitably end, the marriage is destroyed and the couple can get divorced or separated.  People often end up regretting this once the affair ends.

Moving Forward In A Constructive Way While Waiting For Her To Make A Decision: It can help to push for counseling in order to buy time for your marriage.  If your wife agrees to counseling (if only for the sake of your child) this can be very encouraging and can greatly increase the odds that you will be able to save your marriage.

If she refuses or resists, revisit it again in a little while.  Her saying no today does not mean that she is always going to say no.  And there are some good self help resources available until then.  She may soon realize that she’s made a mistake.  The other man can say all kinds of wonderful and sweet things and make her feel valued.  But at the end of the day, she is married and this is infidelity.  That tends to put a damper on things.  An affair will often eventually crumble under the weight of this.

If you’re clear that this marriage is still important to you, it often pays to wait a while and to place the attention onto yourself and your own healing.  You have likely been through a lot and need to heal as well.

I know how you feel because I was once where you are today.  I was unsure that my husband would want our marriage after his affair.  It took work and patience, but our marriage survived. You can read more at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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