Why Is My Cheating Husband Saying He Still Cares For Me?

By: Katie Lersch: I often hear from folks who are extremely confused as to why a cheating spouse would boldly proclaim that they still care deeply for their faithful spouse. It’s normal to wonder why someone who seemingly cared so little for you that they would cheat would now pretend to care so much. This can leave the faithful spouse wondering if this is just another lie, and if not, then how this type of contradiction is even possible.

Common comments are things like: “I can’t understand why my husband is now saying that he still cares for me. If he cared so much, he wouldn’t have cheated on me. And frankly, even if he does care, what does it matter now? He’s ruined our marriage with his infidelity and saying that he cares now is almost like he is rubbing salt in my wounds. Part of me thinks he is saying this because he thinks that it will make us both feel better. But it doesn’t make me feel better at all. In fact, it makes me feel worse. Because it makes me see what a waste all of this was. It makes me see how much his cheating has cost us. Why would my husband tell me that he still cares? His caring doesn’t matter.” I will try to answer this question below.

He May Be Sincere When He Says He Still Cares: Many wives assume that their husband is lying when he claims to still care. They assume that he is trying to lighten things up or to offer up some sort of consolation. I understand why you might feel this way. But I can tell you that many people who cheat believe that they still love their spouses very much. I know that it sounds like an excuse to say that often cheating doesn’t have anything to do with love for your spouse, but from my own experience and research, I believe this to be true. Please don’t think that I’m making excuses for people who cheat. I truly am not. I was the faithful spouse in my own marriage, so I don’t have a lot of patience for excuses either. But I do believe that people are often motivated to cheat for reasons that don’t have anything to do with a lack of love or caring for their spouse.

He May Be Hoping That His Feelings Still Matter To You: Sometimes, when a cheating spouse alludes to the fact that they still care, they are trying to feel you out to see if there might be a chance for your marriage. They are looking to see what type of reaction you are going to give them. Sometimes, they are trying to lay the ground work for an apology, but they are trying to gauge how receptive you are to them before they risk a painful rejection.

He May Be Wanting For You To Know That His Feelings For You Haven’t Changed Despite His Mistake. He May Be Offering You Reassurance That None Of This Is Your Fault: Most cheaters feel a good deal of remorse for their actions and most feel very guilty that they have caused you pain. This may not be completely evident, especially in the beginning, because people tend to posture until they get a clear picture of how you are going to react. Regardless, most cheating spouses want to reiterate that their actions were theirs alone. They may want for you to know that this mistake is not reflective of their feelings for you and they also want to stress that their mistake has nothing to do with anything that you did or didn’t do. In other words, they want for you to believe that none of this is your fault.

Deciding Where To Go From Here: I know that sorting all of this out can be confusing and painful. But remember that you are in control. You get to decide how you want to react to his claims that he still cares. I can tell you from experience that very often, your receptiveness toward him and feelings about him will change with time. You may think that you don’t want anything to do with him right now, but this may change in the weeks and months ahead. That’s why my suggestion is to tell him that you hear what he is saying, but that you need some time to process this and to determine your course of action. Nothing says you have to make long term decisions about him or your marriage right now. He may still care for you. And you may still care for him, but much healing and rehabilitation should happen in the future. And it makes sense to take things slowly and to travel one step at a time.

So while it can be reassuring or sometimes confusing to hear him say that he still cares, know that often the truth is going to come out over time. If he really cares, you will see him showing constant and sincere remorse and you will see him put your healing and your marriage first. Sure, he can say that he cares. And he may have various reasons for saying so, but it is his long term actions that matter more than his words, especially after infidelity.

I didn’t believe my husband at first when he claimed to still love me after his infidelity.  I required actions and not words.  Luckily, his long term actions were in alignment with his words and we eventually recovered. If it helps, you can read more on my blog http://surviving-the-affair.com

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