Why Does My Spouse Stay With Me If He Is Cheating?

By: Katie Lersch: I sometimes hear from wives who know that their husband is cheating, but who have not confronted him yet. And one reason for this is that they are quite confused. Sometimes, they are just waiting for him to leave them because they just can not understand why he would stay with them (as if nothing is happening) while still cheating.

So, I might hear a comment like: “I know for a fact that my husband is cheating on me. I’ve been reading his texts and his Facebook messages. He’s definitely been meeting another woman and their messages don’t leave anything to the imagination. This appears to have been going on for about four weeks. However, none of their correspondence indicates that they have any plans in the future. He never mentions leaving me for her. He doesn’t say that I’m an awful wife or anything like that. He still acts relatively normal at home. And he still acts loving toward me. This is why I don’t get it. Why would he happily stay with me if he’s cheating?”

I’m going to do the best that I can to answer this. But keep in mind that I’m not a man who has cheated. I am a woman who has been cheated on. But I do hear from a lot of husbands on my blog. And I am reasonably confident that I have a decent handle on some of the reasons that cheating husbands stay with their wives and are often happy to do so.

Many Men Don’t Believe That Cheating Has Anything To Do With Love: I am not going to tell you that cheating husbands don’t know that infidelity is wrong. They do know. But, they are often counting on their belief that you won’t find out. And many legitimately believe that their cheating is not going to end their marriage and it’s not going to hurt their wife because he never plans to tell. I can’t tell you how many cheating men will insist that they still love their wives as much as they always have. They often see the cheating issue as completely separate from their marriage. They will often see it as their personal problem rather than seeing it as a marital problem. In their minds, they will soon move past this and they will pick up their marriage where they left off.

Some Men Think That Their Cheating Actually Improves Their Marriage: I know that this sounds crazy, but I find it to be true on some occasions. Some men will tell you that their cheating or their affair allows for them to blow off steam or to work through some personal issue that helps to keep him from burdening his wife about it. For example, let’s say a man is having an identity or mid life crisis. He doesn’t want to look like an old fool for sharing this with his wife. So, he will have an affair in order to make himself feel young and desirable again. But, he figures, there is no reason to burden his wife with this when he can just take his improved self back to his marriage as if nothing happened. I am not by any means saying that this is right. But, it is sometimes the thinking behind this.

Some Men Believe That They Are Perfectly Happy With Their Married Lives, Even When They Are Cheating: People so often assume that a man who cheats is unhappy at home. This is actually often a mistake. I’ve had numerous men comment on my blog and insist that they were always happily married. They will tell you that their wife has nothing to do with their cheating. They will tell you that their behavior is about them and not about their wife. Perhaps they have individual or cultural reasons to cheat. Often, they have friends who are also cheating on their spouses. Or, they may see the cheating as something which is completely outside of their marriage. But many of them are clear that they absolutely love their spouses and completely intend to continue on with their marriages. Many resent the implication that one thing affects another.

Many men who cheat still see themselves as a man who is still very much committed to his wife and to his family. What this wife was experiencing wasn’t unusual. Men often do cheat and fully intend for nothing to change in their future. The expectation that a man who cheats wants out of (or is going to leave) his marriage just isn’t always true. Some men do intend to leave, of course, but many do not.

This doesn’t mean that you don’t have a say in what happens because you absolutely do. But I hope that this article has shown you that men don’t always intend to leave their wives when they cheat.

Just because he believes these things doesn’t mean that they are true.  This is just one thing that you have to negotiate when trying to move past the affair.  If it helps, you can read about my own healing process on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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