Why Would My Cheating Husband Want To Stay With Me?

By: Katie Lersch: I sometimes hear from wives who doubt the sincerity of what their husband is saying after he cheated or had an affair. This can especially be true when the husband is insisting that he wants to stay in or save the marriage when his previous actions have completely contradicted his claims. The wife can wonder if he is really sincere or has an ulterior motive.

I recently heard from a wife who said: “my husband accidentally left his email open a couple of weeks ago and I read some emails that made it obvious that he had been cheating on me. When I confronted him, he immediately admitted it and then said that he was going to break it off on his own. But, a couple of weeks later, I logged on again and there were more emails showing that he had lied and was continuing on with his cheating. Of course, I confronted him again and he was overcome with emotion and begged me to go to counseling with him because he said he could not stand to lose me. At this point I do not know how to respond. What is the point? Why would my cheating husband even want to stay with me and stay married? I mean, if he’s so unhappy that he is going behind my back and cheating, then what kind of marriage do we have anyway? He obviously doesn’t love me or he would not have cheated. He clearly doesn’t value our marriage or have the personality to be truthful and faithful, so why even bother with all of this pretense. Part of me wants to try the counseling but the other part of me wonders why a man would even want to stay with a wife that he needs to cheat on anyway.”

I can certainly understand this wife’s reservations. She had caught him cheating twice now so his actions and his words were definitely contradictory. But this wife was operating under the assumptions that many wives embrace. They think that a husband who loves his wife and values his marriage does not cheat. And along these same lines, they think that a man who cheats no longer wants his wife or his marriage. I can tell you from all of the emails that I get on my blog from married men who regret cheating that this is not always the case. I will explain this more below.

Many Husbands Who Cheat Can Still Love Their Wives And Want To Stay Married: I understand why many people think that cheating husbands have already drawn a line in the sand and have chosen to leave their marriage. The men that I hear from contradict this assumption on almost every level though.  Many of them still love their wives very much. In fact, many will put all of the blame on themselves and will tell you that the problem lies with them and not with their marriage or with their wife.  And because of this, they reason, there is no need to abandon the marriage because of their poor judgment.

Countless marriage survive cheating and affairs. And frankly if those same couples were not completely committed to their marriage, they probably would not make it. The process of healing after an affair is often not at all pleasant. In fact it can be downright painful. People who don’t truly love their spouses are not as likely to stick it out. The fact that your husband is willing to stick it out may well say something about him and about his feelings for you.

Some Reasons That Cheating Husbands Want To Stay With Their Wives And Remain In Their Marriages: The biggest reason is that they realize that they have made a mistake and they are hoping that they can find a way to ensure that the mistake is not a permanent one. Once they are faced with the risk of loosing their wife and their family, they realize how awful this would be. They become more protective of and appreciative toward their marriage and their wife. I completely understand the wife having doubts. You would worry about her if she didn’t.

And, I always advocate that wives watch their husbands very carefully while he is trying to prove his love for and his commitment to them and the marriage after he cheated. But to just assume that the cheating means he doesn’t love or want his wife can be the wrong call too.

Many Wives Think Their Cheating Husband Wants To Stay With Them For These Reasons: Many wives who doubt that their husband really wants to stay married will tell you that he’s probably staying out of loyalty or because he doesn’t want to lose money or financial possessions thorough a divorce. And many wives will tell you that he is afraid of losing his children or of what society will think of him. These are all valid concerns. But I have to tell you that I rarely hear men admit to these reasons. That might be because my articles are focused on rehabilitation and saving your marriage, but I rarely have a cheating husband tell me “I don’t really want to stay married and I’m only staying out of a sense of obligation.”

The bottom line to me is that your husband may well give you every reason under the sun as to why he wants to save your marriage. You may be very tempted to discount each and every one of them as lies. But before you do, consider watching his actions for a while before you make a decision. He can say whatever he wants and make all types of claims. But it is his actions that will tell you the truth. In this case, the wife should look for follow through and transparency. The husband should offer open access to his email and he should follow through on counseling and show with his behaviors that his wife is his top priority. If he did these things for long enough, then perhaps the wife would be justified in believing that he was sincere in wanting to stay with her and in the marriage after his cheating.

It took me a long time to believe that my husband really wanted to stay with me after his cheating.  But not only did our marriage survive, it eventually thrived.  But it took a lot of work.  If it helps, you can read that very personal story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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