Why Do Their Husbands Want Their Family Back After An Affair When They Don’t Deserve It?

By: Katie Lersch: It’s not uncommon for me to hear from wives and from mistresses who just don’t get why a man who was actively involved in an affair (for which he was willing to risk everything) will suddenly dramatically change his behavior and decide that he now wants his family back.

A common comment from the mistress is something like: “this man told me that no woman had ever made him feel like I did. He said eventually, when he could break free, he couldn’t wait to be with me forever. When his wife found out about the affair, I honestly thought this was the beginning of our lives together. But now, he’s suddenly decided that he can’t be with me because he wants his family back. Well, he should have known how committed he was to his family before he got involved with someone else. Why is he doing this?”

A common comment for a wife is something like: “when my husband told me about the affair, he actually said he was in love with the other woman and that, as much as it hurt him to say it, our marriage was over. I really didn’t want to accept this, but it was obvious that I didn’t have much of a choice. Heartbroken, I began divorce proceedings and tried to start over. Now two months later, he has decided that he wants his family back and has supposedly banished this woman from his life. Why would he do this? Why do men suddenly want back the family that they don’t even deserve?”

In truth, both women had the right to ask these questions. It can feel very unfair for a man to suddenly want to change his mind, especially when you feel as if the outcome of your own life is going to be influenced by the decisions that he makes. It can feel like you are not the one calling the shots or making the decisions in your own life and that can feel quite frustrating. Below, I’ll try to explain some common reasons why cheating husbands eventually decide that they want their families back.

When Men Decide To Pursue A Relationship Outside Of Their Family, They Don’t Realize What It’s Going To Feel Like Once They Are Without That Same Family: Often times, men get so caught up in the excitement and the newness of the affair that they believe that this whole relationship has added a new dimension or richness to their life that they don’t want to be without. So, they decide to pursue this other life or this other woman with seemingly unshakable determination. At the time, they think that they understand the sacrifices that are going to be involved. But often, they have no idea how it is truly going to feel once they hurt and then leave their families. The reality and the pain of those actions can take them by surprise.

They don’t anticipate how much they are going to miss being a daily part of their children’s lives or how much pain they are going to be in knowing how they have altered those same lives. Some men find that they even miss the wives that they were sure they had long left behind. In short, they miss being part of a cohesive family, and the excitement of an affair doesn’t begin to compare. It’s often at this point that men realize that the affair wasn’t even a product of reality. Once the husband and other woman have to begin to deal with every day things like laundry, dinner, jobs, etc., then the relationship becomes more of partnership and less of an excitement inducer. It’s often at this time that the husband realizes that he miscalculated his feelings for all involved. So often, when the affair isn’t perfect in every way, a man will start to think things like “I gave up my family for this? What was I thinking? How could I have been so stupid?”

Often, both women in this scenario are pretty clear on the fact that the man’s behavior has put his family in jeopardy and many will tell you that, because of his actions, he doesn’t deserve his family. Believe it or not, the men would often agree with this assessment. Many will tell you that they know they don’t deserve their family, but that doesn’t stop them from wanting their family back just the same. They will also often tell you that they are willing to do just about anything for one more chance. Because once they’ve had a taste of life without their family, they become so afraid of losing them for good.

I often can’t tell the women in this situation whether to allow this man back into their lives. That’s a decision that only they can make. I can tell you though that many men believe that they are being sincere when they decide that they want their families back. And many fear that it’s going to be too late to make this a reality. Yes, it would have been nice if they had come to this realization before they cheated. But unfortunately, often it takes the threat of losing something in order to fully value it. I have known men who vow to never ever put their families in jeopardy again and they have more than made good on that promise.  They have also become faithful and appreciative husbands.  However, every one is different.  And extensive healing is often necessary in order for this to become a reality.

My husband suddenly took renewed interest in our family once he almost threw everything away.  Rehabilitation wasn’t easy by any means, but it was worth it in the end because our family is solid and my children have both of their parents.  If it helps, you can read about our steps toward recovery on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com/

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