Why Would A Husband Not Pursue His Wife After Ending His Affair?

By: Katie Lersch: I sometimes hear from people who are confused about their husband’s actions and behaviors after an affair. Many believe that as soon as they can finally get their husband to end the affair, then the only thing left is for their husband to show genuine remorse, to pursue his wife and his marriage, and for both of them to begin to pick up the pieces. But when this doesn’t happen, the wife can begin to wonder why (and if perhaps there are more factors at play than him just putting an end to the affair.)

I might hear from a wife who expresses this concern: “as soon as I found out about my husband’s affair, I demanded that he end it. He didn’t agree to do this right away. He said he needed time to think about what was the right decision for him. Eventually though, he came home and told me that he had ended things for good. I went on the other woman’s facebook wall and I saw that she changed her status from in a relationship to single. So I am confident that he really did break it off. But the problem now is that he isn’t really pursuing me. And he needs to do this if I am going to want to save my marriage. He comes home from work and keeps to himself. He watches TV and stays in our bedroom. We rarely talk. The other day, I saw him looking at the classified section of the newspaper. It made me wonder if he was looking at apartments and was considering moving out. This is not what I expected. I was thinking that he was going to show tons of remorse and pursue me. I am shocked that this isn’t the reality of it. Why would a man not pursue him wife when he’s not longer free to purse the affair?” I will offer some possibilities in the following article.

He May Still Not Be Sure About What He Wants: I’m not going to debate whether or not the affair has ended. The wife believed that it had, which is good enough for me. But it’s quite possible that the husband still wasn’t sure what course of action he was going to take. Many people end the affair because they know that it is the right thing to do. But that doesn’t mean that they are decided on what they are going to do about their marriage or about their living situation. Many feel that they need some time to let the dust settle and then make decisions once they have a clear head.

He May Not Feel That He Deserves To Pursue You Just Yet: Many husbands will hang back for a while even when they do want to save their marriage. They can do this because they don’t know if they feel worthy.  And they don’t want to appear as if they are attempting to pick up where they left off. They know that this wouldn’t be fair to you and that it might just be too much to expect. He may want to give you a little time to process this and to heal before he even puts your marriage back on the table.

He May Be Waiting For You To Give Him Some Guidance: Believe it or not, many men in this situation hesitate because they are afraid of your rejection and your reaction. They know that you are furious with them. They know that they have to tread lightly. So they may worry that as soon as they reach out to you, then you might reprimand or outright reject them. So they hesitate because they are afraid of the outcome. They may be waiting for you to give them some clues as to how you’re feeling and if you are going to be receptive once you reach out.

So how do you handle this? Well, as I see it, you have a couple of choices. You can wait patiently to see how he is going to act or what he’s going to do. Or, you can decide that you don’t want to wait and you can try to put this issue out there. You might try something like: “I can’t help but notice that even though the affair is over, you haven’t yet approached the topic of our marriage. Nor have you reached out to me in any way. In fact, I suspect that you might have been looking at apartments the other day. I’m not trying to be accusatory or to argue. I’m just trying to see what you’re thinking. I am trying to determine where we are going from here. Do you have any idea as to what you are thinking going forward? Obviously, we have a lot of work to do and a long road ahead of us. But it’s going to be easier if we are on the same page and I am trying to determine where we both are.”

Hopefully, he will share at least some of what he is thinking. If not, know that it can be normal for men to not immediately pursue their wife. They may feel unsure, undeserving, or afraid of rejection. Or, like you, they might need some time to heal and to evaluate how they want to move forward. But you won’t know unless you ask.

It took a while for my husband (and myself) to begin to really open up to one another after his affair.  Frankly, he was a little afraid of me.  And he wasn’t off base with that. I was furious. I would have rejected and raged at him, probably.  So it was likely for the best that he hung back.  As time passed though, we both gave a little more.  But it took time.  If it helps, you can read more on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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