Why Doesn’t My Husband Just Leave Since He’s Having An Affair

By: Katie Lersch:  I sometimes hear from wives who have full knowledge of their husband’s affair and they do not understand why he is still living with them as a married man. Often, they fully expect for him to leave and they are extremely confused when he doesn’t.  I heard from a wife who said: “I know for a fact that my husband is having an affair.  I found out from his phone but I have also driven by the other woman’s house and have seen his car.  Once, I followed them and saw them kissing at stop lights.  So there is no doubt in my mind that he is cheating on me. But what I truly don’t understand is why he doesn’t just leave me.  He’s obviously totally infatuated with this other woman.  He goes out of his way to constantly spend time with her.  Why doesn’t he go live with her and leave me?”  I’ll try to answer this question in the following article.

Many people assume that men who cheat on their wives no longer love that same wife.  They often assume that he is no longer interested in the marriage or in living with her.  Believe it or not, this isn’t usually the case.  Regardless of what men promise to the other woman, many of them don’t have any intention of their wife every finding out.  More than that, they often don’t ever intend to leave their wife or end their marriage.  People often ask me how this is possible.  I’ll try to explain this in more detail below.

He May Be Trying To Work Out An Issue That Has Nothing To Do With You Or Your Marriage:  I know that the previous statement might sound crazy to you, but please hear me out.  When I dialog with men about this topic on my blog, it becomes very clear that most of them are not cheating because of a lack of love for or commitment to their wife.  Most of them are cheating as a means of escape.  Most of them are going through some sort of personal crisis.  Many go through this during mid life or after some sort of loss.  They are looking to improve their self esteem or to find their place.  They aren’t only thinking of the present time, not about the future or about what their actions might cause.  So, many of them aren’t thinking about leaving their wives.  They aren’t even thinking about next week.  They are just living in the moment and trying to address their identity crisis in order to feel momentarily better.

Should You Force Him To Get Out?:  Many wives are annoyed that he doesn’t just move out.  Some ask me if they should kick him out.  I felt that this question was a bit premature with this wife because she hadn’t even confronted him about having the affair.  It can be helpful to see his reaction and his level of remorse.  And sometimes, you need time to evaluate what you want to happen.  Some wives are very clear that they want nothing further to do with him.  And sometimes, because of an extensive shared history or because of children, some wives don’t want to make rushed or snap decisions.

It is quite possible that he has no intention of ending your marriage unless you force him to do so.  And, you probably aren’t going to know what his intentions are unless you confront him about the affair and ask him.   It’s not at all uncommon for a man to suddenly change his feelings about the other woman once his marriage is on the line.  Sometimes, once he realizes that he has placed his marriage in jeopardy, suddenly the fantasy is over and reality comes crashing down.  When this happens, then it is up to you how you want to respond.  It really depends on how you view him and the marriage and how likely you think rehabilitation is going to be.

So to answer the question posed, man often doesn’t leave his wife when he’s having an affair because he is only living for the moment.  Most men don’t have any intention of leaving their wives in the short or even in the long term.  Frankly, he is often so confused at this point that he has no idea what he wants.  But he isn’t likely to be making long term plans at a time when his life is in flux or when he is grappling with his own identity.  Many women feel that he’s not leaving because he wants a relationship with both women or because it’s too expensive or painful to get a divorce.  These aren’t the only possibilities.  Others are that he is still invested in his marriage or he’s confused and unsure about what he wants for the future to hold for him.

My husband didn’t leave me while he was having an affair.  I’m sure in his own mind, he thought I wouldn’t find out.  But of course, I did find out.  In the end, although we did spend some time apart, we didn’t separate or divorce.  My children and my family were just too important to me.  And he was willing to do what I needed for him to do in order to help me heal.  If it helps, you can read the whole story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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