When the Wife Has the Affair

(Please note: The wife is mentioned in this article as having the affair, but yes, we do realize that there are many times when the husband is the unfaithful one. If this is true for you, please change the pronouns.)

Photo by David Castillo Dominici, courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Photo by David Castillo Dominici, of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A husband and wife sit in our office beside each other on the sofa. She is pregnant with the other man’s child. “I don’t love my husband,” she tells us and part of me cringes.

How much does this betrayed husband have to endure? I wonder. He loves his wife, but is devastated because she’s been unfaithful. Not only that, but she’s pregnant with another man’s child, and now he must hear the words, “I don’t love you.” Yet, there he sits, man of honor, willing to take responsibility for ways he may have failed her in the marriage, willing to work on himself, willing to work towards reconciliation.

I understand the wife FEELS she doesn’t love her husband, and I know pushing her to stay in her marriage is not the answer. She cannot be forced to love. Love must always be a choice.

In another situation, I am working with a betrayed husband. It has taken him months to reach out for help and support. He’s a 6’6” handsome bodybuilder with a successful career. He tells me he’s not normally one to talk much, nor to show emotion, and really not too aware of his emotions.

Yet he explains to me how the pain of his wife’s affair has overwhelmed him and caused him to feel emotions so intense he didn’t know he was capable of feeling these things. At times he tells me he’s found himself huddled on the floor in the fetal position, feeling nearly unable to bear the emotional pain.

It’s hard. Normally high-functioning, moral, good people finding themselves feeling, doing, and considering things they once never thought they would or could.

When the wife has had the affair it is often more difficult to get her to give up her affair and to be willing to put effort into the marriage. She has already checked out.

A husband may have the ability to have feelings for more than one woman, whereas a woman tends to give her devotion to only one man, so when she has come to the point of engaging in an affair, she has generally withdrawn her affection from her husband and given it to the other man. When a husband cheats, generally his love has remained steadfast for his wife, even while he’s given part of himself to another. When the wife cheats she is more likely to have entertained thoughts of leaving her marriage for her affair partner.

The cheating wife has often gone to her husband, pre-affair, time and again wanting to “talk” about their relationship, to tell him how she’s hurting, to ask for what she needs, but for whatever reasons she has not been able to get through to him, so she has given up trying and shut down.

She feels she’s given him chance after chance and now “that’s it!” After the affair, she’s more reluctant to give him a chance to win her heart back. Wives in general tend to be more “relationally tuned in,” and aware of a disconnect within the marriage, so more likely to make effort to read books, go to counseling or marriage retreats, or even engage their spouse in a “let’s fix our marriage” conversation prior to the time she’s gotten sucked into an affair.

If a man has been unhappy in the relationship, he is less likely to be direct in asking for help. He is not likely to say, “Honey, we need to talk about our relationship.” He is fearful of being vulnerable in this way.

Some of the factors we find common when the wife has been unfaithful include:

•   She didn’t feel heard in the marriage.

•   She didn’t feel understood.

•   She felt the heart connection was missing.

•   She lost herself in the marriage giving too much, and losing a sense of her own identity.

•   Her husband was an absentee father.

•   She felt a disparity in fairness in roles in the relationship.

And if she’s a woman of faith, she may have felt frustrated that her husband wasn’t taking on the role of spiritual leader in the home. She’s tired of trying to be the “good” person in the relationship, and she’s been carrying the responsibility for too many things for too long.

Today’s wives are under more stress than ever, because they generally work full-time outside the home and still carry the responsibility for most of the work in maintaining home and children. Plus women do not carry stress in the same way men do. Studies have shown that they feel twice as much stress at work given the same job/stressors as a man.

When a man comes home he generally has the ability to relax. This is how he de-stresses from the day. A woman on the other hand comes home to a second job and her stress now multiplies four times. Her Cortisol level (the stress hormone) shoots through the roof. Even if her husband says “here relax, I’ll take care of the kids, make dinner and do those extra loads of laundry,” she’ll only relax for a couple of minutes, then think of more things that need to get done and get up and start doing. The wife cannot relax until the work is done. Today’s women are generally experiencing far too much stress.

Wives are more likely to struggle with “greener grass syndrome.” “If only my husband would learn 
how to ___________ like so and so’s husband.”

The unfaithful wife often is not honest because she wants to hide the fact that she doesn’t want to get rid of the other relationship.

When a spouse cheats our society tends to assume there were problems in the marriage, which led to the affair. While marriages with problems are certainly more susceptible to affairs, problems in marriages are not the only reasons for affairs. AFFAIRS HAPPEN IN GOOD, STRONG MARRIAGES TOO.

When a wife cheats it is more likely that the husband has failed her in the marriage in some way, than when the husband cheats. When the husband cheats it is more likely nothing to do with his wife, or satisfaction in his marriage.

When a man is the betrayed spouse he is more likely to be concerned with counting the number of times the wife had sex in the affair. He wonders, “How good was the other man in bed?”

When the woman is the betrayed spouse she is likely to be more concerned with thoughts of “you must have loved her if …”

When the wife cheats she is more likely to have had a strong emotional connection to the other man. It’s less likely that her affair was only for sex.

When a husband cheats, while many times there is a strong emotional connection, there are also many times when the unfaithfulness was only about sex.

When a wife cheats she often gives sex to gain the emotional connection that is satisfying her.

When a husband cheats he is more likely to give the emotional connection to gain the sex he wants with this person.

When the wife cheats she suffers a greater social stigma and rejection. Her girlfriends are not likely to admire or support her in anyway (unless they’re desperate housewives protégés.)

When the husband cheats some of the men in his circle of influence may look up to him and envy him a bit, even if it’s never said, and he knows this. In some circles the man’s unfaithfulness is basically accepted. This is not likely for the woman, so she suffers with a greater sense of quiet desperation.

There is tremendous hope for couples where the wife has been unfaithful, because the betrayed husband is serious about becoming the man he needs to be for his wife, and the changes he makes stick, so now more than ever the wife can have the husband she always wanted with the man she married. The illusion that things will be better with the affair partner is exactly that, an illusion. In real life the other man comes with his own set of character flaws, and the loving courtship behaviors that are present in the secret relationship, don’t continue if the affair becomes a marriage.

What can a betrayed husband do who wants to win his wife’s heart?

1. Really love your wife. Read The Heart of the 5 Love Languages written by Dr Gary Chapman. Speak all of these languages for your wife, and find out what her primary languages are and do more of those. A woman longs to be pursued and cherished.

2. Refrain from being vindictive. Don’t throw stones. She’ll just continue to see you as a “jerk,” something she’s likely been struggling with while caught up in the affair (and possibly before.)

3. Be consistent. Learn how to fight fair.

But it’s not fair you say. Yes, I know. There is nothing fair in affair.

Suggestions for the wife who has had an affair:

1. Recognize that generally your affair partner is not better than the one you’re with.

2. Create reassurance for your husband, and give him lots of encouragement.

3. Reach out for support for yourself from sound, safe sources. This journey is way too hard. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can do it alone.

Conclusion: What became of the couples referred to in the opening?

The wife in the first scenario committed to putting her whole heart into the work we would guide her through for a 3-month period of time. If she felt like leaving after this we agreed she could, but she was not to entertain the thought of divorce during that time. By 3 months they had moved significantly forward, her feelings of love for her husband were returning, and they decided to continue the work. They purchased a coaching package for one year, and attended 3 of our seminars. By the time her baby was born, they had fallen in love again, and were well on their way to healing. The husband adopted the child as his own and they have a wonderful family and life together today.

The husband in the second scenario moved forward quickly once he reached out for help. His wife had already ended her affair and was fully committed to doing whatever it took to heal the marriage. They attended a Healing From Affairs Intensive after 4 months of coaching.

When they came to the Healing Intensive seminar it was a last ditch effort for them. The husband just didn’t see how he could continue to live with the pain he’d been feeling. The weekend became their turn around point. They set aside weekly time after that to work through all the materials we provided them with. Then they took their marriage to a whole new level at the Love & Passion weekend five months later. Today, they are stronger than ever, and helping others in their marriages.

These are just two brief examples of many, many couples we’ve helped. If they can do it so can you. Don’t delay reaching out for help. Don’t go through this pain any longer than you absolutely have to. Nothing can do more for your wealth, health, children, career success and overall happiness than not only healing your marriage, but also making it a passionate one. We know the way. We’ll show you how. We guarantee it. What is getting from miserable to happy worth to you?

Anne and Brian Bercht, who are both affair recovery specialists, wrote this article. Together they have appeared on television programs throughout North America. They are authors of the book, “My Husband’s Affair Became the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me,” a Canadian Bestseller. Anne is the Director of the International Beyond Affairs Network. They have both a Canadian and a U.S. office. You can visit their web site at www.beyondaffairs.comFor information about confidential coaching with Brian or Anne click here.


Filed under: Surviving Infidelity

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121 responses to “When the Wife Has the Affair

  1. Interesting findings, however the notion that women that have the affair get to blame the husbands failures is very disturbing. If a man cheats. He has himself to blame. If the woman cheats, he is to blame also???? No I don’t agree with this at all. Both man and woman need to take responsibility for ones own action. If you are on the verge of cheating, get a divorce first. Show some respect to the other and yourself. Don’t start blaming the other for YOUR actions.

    1. But it’s not just the cheating spouse, it’s a societal and even “church” view. Look at the writings of Ken Nair. In “Discovering the Mind of a Woman” he claims that if a wife leaves, it’s because of something her husband did to drive her away.

      I cite Chapter 6 of Ken Nair’s book where he claims wives are merely responders to what the husband does. He cites numerous anecdotes about how various wives respond to their husbands. He makes the claim that people respond to Christ and if we were only Christlike, people would respond.

      Except that isn’t the complete truth. Some will respond, I would agree with that. What Ken Nair and others leave out is not everyone will respond to Christ. Even when he walked the Earth, many rejected him. Few followed him with any real conviction.

      So, if folks were unable to respond in a lasting and consistent fashion when Christ walked the Earth, how realistic is it for any Christian leader, teacher or pastor to expect that all you need to do to address an unfaithful wife is to be more Christlike?

      It sounds nice. It’s a simple solution. The problem is, it’s not Biblical. Not saying one should not be Christlike, they should. But that’s not just husbands, that’s wives too. Where are these leaders, teachers and pastors when it comes to the wives not being Christlike? After all, how Christlike is it to leave and or betray your husband?

      I finally cite the example of my former pastor. When I went to him about my now ex-wife’s affair, his first question was right out of the Ken Nair playbook, “What did you do to force her to have an affair?”

      These are real examples of teachings that blame the husband when his wife leaves and/or has an affair. I would suggest that instead of cheating or divorcing, if you’re on the verge of having an affair, you need to find out why you are unable to honor your vows. What spiritual or character defect makes it “ok” for you to hurt another in order to satisfy your personal desires.

      1. I agree with this that cheating of any kind of either gender is not Christ Jesus like, that there should be brutal honesty between the two. This is not date rape, or Bill Cosby style relationship. Christ Jesus does not recommend that Adultery be a time for reconciliation. After all we vowed to forsake all others, before God and a company of witnesses. So not only is this betrayal against God, but also against all the people that eyewitness the matrimony (Holy) matrimony.

        It’s like Judas kissing Jesus, and then selling out on Him after a superficial kiss. You leave a person emotionally scared, temporarily or for a longer period of time. All because one or the other is playing, and was never possibly fully committed. Producing an illegitimate child, either partner is ruthless, wrong, dirty, and criminally insane, compared to Godly character needed in a marriage.

      2. I agree it’s hard to let your wife cheat on you and then say “you weren’t there for me; He was.” And then turn around and say give me half of what you worked to build for our retirement because I endured you working hard to build us a nice nest egg to retire with. I think if they want to cheat and leave, they should just leave. They were never committed to the relationship to start with. They were the bad communicators.

  2. This appears to be yet another vehicle to simply say, women are better then men and they never would have cheated if men weren’t x/y/z. I agree with Hardino. Cheating is an act of cruelty and abuse. Period. To classify it as a symptom or as somehow blaming a victim just cheapens the healing and makes it harder for the betrayed spouse to work through the issue. No one accepts domestic abuse as the victims fault. No one accepts rape or pedophelia as the victims fault. Why should this attack on a faithful spouse be accepted?

    In the article you state affairs happen in good strong marriages. As the unfortunate recipient of the sour dish of infidelity myself, I have to ask what is the actual basis for the opinion that I failed her, and thus, she was left with cheating as her only option. This assumes the person I married was, A) All in on the marriage, B) loved me completely to begin with, C) Honest, D) incapable of such an act, but forced into the act by my actions or lack thereof, and E) unable to put their hand up and deny temptation.

    A woman is not an innocent doe wandering the forest helplessly getting taken by any animal that puts out pheromones. She does have a choice. And that choice is clearly to act in a responsible way or not. I’m baffled at how a man who is home every night, doesn’t party, is attentive to his kids, serves his community, was with his wife in every way every chance he had, and communicated constantly, didn’t hold grudges, and made his home life and family his priority is somehow at fault for his wife going off and sleeping around. That makes NO sense.

    And frankly, I’m more than offended that you somehow think I or any other man just sat around watching his marriage die and didn’t care, didn’t do enough, didn’t do the hard work, didn’t try, didn’t communicate. I didn’t cheat. She did. When will people in this country finally decide that the person who commits the violent act is actually responsible for that violent act. There’s nothing biblical that says, after you go off and cheat you get to blame your faithful husband. That’s just ludicrous.

  3. Hello, I am in the 8th month of suffering having discovered my wife had a very brief affair. They only had sex once and she said she didn’t enjoy it but probably wanted to try it to see how it felt… had she asked me how it felt, I could have told her how unpleasant it can be… A form of self hatred perhaps.

    I am not dealing with it very well, but I have a feeling that a majority of my darkness is caused by the fact that I didn’t cause “him” any bodily harm and defend my honour when I had the chance… Have tried like crazy to forgive her but the sadness returns almost every evening.

    I continue to rake her over the coals and have the feeling that perhaps I never really loved her anyway… but my pride has been hurt and the girl I thought was perfect, broke my heart. I am a very successful 51 old who sadly ignored his wife and kids to the point of breaking. So now, all I want to do is hurt her back for causing such pain in my life, which was pretty awesome, until this happened. Help.

  4. I had several affairs over a 3 year period -after having been faithful to my husband for 20 years before that. I repented and did everything within my power to reconcile with my husband. He refused and eventually (8 years later) remarried. I stood for our marriage and remained celibate (and still am today) during those 8 years while praying for reconciliation, but it didn’t happen.

    According to God’s word, am I now free to remarry since he refused to reconcile (even though I was unfaithful)?

    1. Dear C, Here is a posting we have on this web site, quoting many scriptures on divorce and remarrying: http://host.agencysrvr.com/~marriage/scriptures-on-divorce/. It’s just straight scripture, without additional commentary. I can’t (and no one else should) tell you what to do on this matter. Please read the scriptures and really concertedly pray, asking God for wisdom on what you should do.

      Asking others for their opinion on your being able to remarry is involving human beings in a matter, which should just involve you and the Lord. People’s opinions shouldn’t matter on something as spiritually important as this… this is between you and God. Other people will just muddy up the waters on matters, such as this, giving their “feelings” on the matter, which could be skewed. Ask God, trying to keep your partiality out of it, to show you what you should do. Trust Him to let you know, as you seek Him.

    2. You broke what was never meant to be broke. You failed and need to think about what you did until you pass. Your reward is thinking about how you destroyed people that loved you. You really didn’t expect things to end well did you?

      You chose willingly to break the largest commitment a human can make for cheap sexual encounters. You won’t be remembered for good you’ve done, you’ll be remembered as the wife who likes to sleep with men while married (branded). It’s so sad people do this. They know how it’s going to end but do it anyways. One can’t help but feel sorry for you and I do.

    3. You are free to re-marry but ask yourself, have you addressed and resolved the issues that caused you to have many affairs during your first marriage? I ask because if you haven’t or aren’t sure that you have then you won’t be able to inspire any trust in any man when the issue of your infidelities comes up.

  5. I need help. My wife and I have been together for 5 years. We’ve been married for the past 1.5 years. I caught her lying to me and she had an affair. She didn’t know that I figured out her plans, and I was drastically hurt. I thought by me leaving it would get her attention, but what it did instead was causing her to believe I wasn’t truly committed anyway, and it justified her actions.

    Now she says she wants a divorce because she didn’t want to be married anyway. She has cut off all communication with me (even though I try). I DO NOT want a divorce, and I have told her that. I told her that I forgive her and now have dropped the blame game from being an issue.

    How do I get her to want to communicate with me, and then get her to want to reconcile our marriage? We have no children together, and no commonalities to keep us together other then a marriage certificate. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Tom, so sorry to hear about your situation. I know how you feel – it hurts. How have things been progressing over the past six months?

    2. Tom there are no magic words that can make her change her mind by negotiating with her. She has deep resentment towards you and is in the infatuation stage with her lover. But if you are willing to follow some counterintuitive steps, you may have a better chance of her be willing to listen to you and may cause her to have second thoughts about divorce.

      Step 1 GAL (Get A Life) Nothing kills attraction like a man who makes a woman the end all be all of his universe. Do positive things to make your life better such as hobbies like joining a sports team, or a club, exercise, eat healthy, and make new friends. Show her that despite your love for her that you can not only make it once the divorce becomes finalized but that you can even thrive if she chooses not to continue being a part of your life.

      Step 2 Grow a pair and file for divorce. Many women who say to their husbands that they want a divorce may or may not be serious about truly wanting one. But they do know that saying so gives them some power over the marriage. When a husband agrees and is the first to file, it can be a shocking experience to many wives since the vast majority of divorces are initiated by women (70%). The power then shifts to the husband because he is showing the wife that he doesn’t fear going through with it.

      3. Give yourself value as a husband. Let her do the hard work of reconciliation. If she begs you to give her another chance don’t jump at the opportunity and say yes. Simply explain that her words alone are not enough to convince you that she is worthy of another chance. If she is not willing to do the hard work of ending her affair, writing a no contact letter to her lover, going to counseling and being willing to become an open book 24/7.

      Some wives are worthy of another chance because through their own free will, they are willing to endure the hard work that will show their husbands that they are worthy of being loved and trusted once more. If your wife is not among them, then you are probably better off to give the marriage a proper burial because it is already dead on arrival.

  6. My wife was chatting with a guy online from a game website. She liked him and flew to his country from the USA for a 10 day vacation in his house. Its been over 10 years and I think of it daily still. She is no victim, she is very self centered and strangers or people she casually knows are very important to her. She will not talk about her affair much and changes her story even to this day. This article takes the view that men are usually responsible, I’d disagree 100% with that statement. The successful reconciliations are from men who accept that their wife likes to sleep with other men and get excited by it. This is the only way to reconcile without animosity.

    One could make a movie from my experience it’s so filled with ignorant things my wife did and says to this day regarding why etc. She seems out of her mind the way she rationalizes things, I think one day she might “get it”. I know it will never happen but I wait year after year. This person I live with is not the person I remember prior to her fantasy vacation, but obviously I was wrong as time defines.

    She lied to him as well and pretended she was single so he must think she’s a bit Looney as well. If you can forgive and accept that’s great; but don’t fool yourself “your wife enjoys other men’s company” and that’s not likely to change anymore than a pedophile will stop being attracted to children because he takes some classes or a heterosexual male taking classes about homosexuality and start to like men. This goes for men who are not faithful as well. We are not supposed to judge others, but infidelity is as physical as it is destructive and eternal.

  7. My husband and I have only been married one year. We have a child together but I also have a child from a previous relationship. When we started dating I wasn’t out of the first relationship with my first child’s father, which was already falling apart by the way, and the same goes for him. He also was in a failing relationship (bad idea). Anyway, after a few weeks we both decide to stop seeing the other partners and have a relationship of our own, things were going well then we started to face the bumps in the road. I decided I wanted to separate but he apologized remorsfully and we decide to continue the relationship.

    A few years have passed and we were still going on together. Finally I got saved (he didn’t) but we decided on getting married because I didn’t want to commit fornication anymore. We got married last year June and have been separated a couple weeks after our first anniversary because he came up with this crazy idea of using reverse psychology on me. He would make up stories about me and my child’s father saying he heard stuff and that we are still together which was a total lie at fist because my child’s father and I didn’t even communicate at all (not even hi or bye) but when I decide to give my life to the Lord I asked him to forgive me for leaving and hurting him and that I also forgave him for cheating and the fact that he tried to hurt me when I broke up with him and we started communicating since.

    But my husband didn’t know we were communicating bcuz it was only on occasions involving our child, and because of the way I know he would react if I even told him, (he was becoming physically abusive by the way) and the stories continued “his reverse psychology” eventually I told my child’s father about it and from there our friendship got closer and closer. Eventually we ended up having sex (once). Now it’s like all the stories my husband was making up became true and I feel so guilty about it. Even though we were separated before the affair I’m confused about whether I should confess to him about the affair in order to get complete forgiveness from God.

    1. So, it’s your husbands fault? Because of “reverse psychology” and he’s becoming abusive? Do you listen to yourself? You’re looking for excuses, and justifications. Hiding behind all these BS excuses. It’s simple, it’s easy, TELL THE TRUTH. Quit justifying, there is no reason to have an affair. None, ever, never ok.

  8. It’s not easy. We have and are going through a similar situation and right now we are just coasting through life. My wife has buried herself in her work and studies and I’m not sure if she has broken off the other relationship but she’s very secretive about her phone and laptop. I used to try and spy at any chance I got but have given up and am just hoping for something. I am very ready to just move on and I feel she has moved on but I’m staying for the children and the 13 years we have been together. I’ve really tried to lead prayers, to romance, to set up dates to which she has refused or found some excuse. I will text, write send love songs, speak kindly, and write poems but all I get is silence. Sex is like chore, which needs to be done and no wonder it’s very rare, once in a blue moon. It’s torture.

    We’ve done very well to hide this from our very innocent, young children. I wonder how it’s going to explode and break! I would almost wish she would just say I’m leaving or I don’t love you anymore. If I try and talk about it she becomes so angry and brash. To those who have moved on, well done enjoy it.

    1. I don’t know how you can love someone after they’ve shown you that they cannot love you back the same way. How can you hurt someone that you say you love, by hiding your sex life time and time again? I understand one or two times, but over a course of months, in which they cannot even tell you how many times… It sounds impossible to me. I love her, and I cannot stop loving her, yet I don’t think I can ever love her the same or more.

    2. I’m in a similar situation. My wife is cheating and I have found texts of her telling her she is in love. It feels hopless. My biggest worry is my daughter, who is only 9 years old.
      My question is where are you with your situation a few months later?
      How are the kids?

  9. I was raised with the mindset that the husband is the man of the house. You court a young lady, you get married, you get a job, you become the breadwinner, you have kids, and you enjoy your plunder. It’s “mom’s” responsibility to maintain the schedule, do the majority of the child rearing, maintaining the house, etc. Yes, you contribute however, you’re there to make the hard decisions and “manage” the home.

    After fifteen years of marriage, two wonderful kids, successful professional careers for the two of us I got the “I’m not happy and want a divorce” conversation. From left field and in a matter of minutes my “happy” world came to a grinding halt. I’d provided a safe, loving house; food is always on the table; nice clothes are in the closet; nice cars are in the garage; once a year family vacations …what was I missing? Through the process she withdrew significantly telling me that she hasn’t been happy for years. I was absent and only did things I wanted – things that only made me happy.

    After a month of begging and pleading, we separated and she moved in with a family member. We “swapped” the kids every-other week, rarely saw each other and only talked about the kids and finances. I was crushed. The night before she left I admitted I had an affair shortly after our first anniversary that carried on for about a year in 2001. She admitted to 4 – one during mine, and three during a 1 year period after our son was born in 2007-2008. Talk about a gut punch. Nothing rips a man’s heart out more than hearing his wife, the mother of his children, his “innocent” bride has slept with other men.

    I lost 40 pounds over a four month period. It physically sickened me. But nothing has motivated me to be a better father, husband or man of Christ than those months…than admittance. The hardest part was realizing I wasn’t the “man” I thought I was. I didn’t continue to court my wife, pay significant enough attention to my children, help enough around the house, or…revelation…listen to and hear what she’s saying.

    During those four months of separation, being a “single” father, awoke a beast inside of me that I didn’t know existed. I put the past in the past -nothing you can to change it -and focused on the future …me and my kids. I renewed an amazing relationship with Christ, regained lost time with my kids and found confidence within myself that I never knew existed, all while, she crumbled regretting everyday that she left.

    After four months of separation she called me out of the blue and wanted to reconcile. She wasn’t seeing anyone, so for you pessimistic people out there, don’t think that she got “dumped” and came crawling back. She had an awakening -God came to her and told her she was not living how He wanted her to. Today, we’re 3 month back into the rebuilding phase. We’re more in love and have more respect and admiration for each other than ever before. We didn’t do it alone – Christ is the responsible one. I’m not going to sugar coat it, it’s hard…really hard. Trust is not completely there for either of us..we have bad days. I call her for reassurance and she does the same to me. We’re accountable to each other, fully and openly. We were days away from filing for a divorce but Christ intervened and has saved us, and our marriage. We will succeed and we will live happily ever after, in Christ.

    Now, for the hard part. What did I do to contribute to it? It’s not like she tripped and landed in bed with another man on accident…it was a choice, one that she takes full responsibility for. However, I made mistakes too. I stopped courting her; I wasn’t as present a parent as I need to be; I didn’t lead the house with her by my side; I made snide comments about her working harder around the house. I thought I was doing what I was supposed to do -I was working, paying the bills, buying nice stuff. Why wasn’t she happy?

    I crushed her spirit and after many years of doing so, I put her at risk and she sought comfort in a men that paid attention to her. Well duh! Of course that’s going to happen. I wasn’t there emotionally they way she needed me to be. I’m going to honest with all of you scorned men out there…take a deep, hard look at what you’re doing. Drop your pride, your ego, your misconceptions about what you “think” you’re doing right and I’ll almost guarantee you, you’re not holding up your end of the marriage either. Did she choose to go to bed with “him”? You bet she did. But, what did we, as their husbands to do contribute to that? What did we do, or not do, that put them at risk? Take an honest look at yourself…I think you’ll be surprised.

    How do you get passed it? You have to look at it as something that happened, just like any other sin. To a woman, sex isn’t about the physical part, it’s emotional. It’s an emotional tie that she’s seeking, not a roll in the hay and an orgasm. She gives herself to someone that sparks her interest…pays attention to her, loves her for who she is, and listens to her. I didn’t do that…so, she found someone that did. Looking back at her mistakes and picturing her in bed with another man isn’t going to help you. Instead, focus on the “why”…what lead to it. Why did she do it, versus, what did she do? Separate the “act” from the what lead up to the act. It’s hard but when you do…light bulbs will be going on in your head.

    I don’t have resentment towards her, I don’t make snide remarks, I accept responsibility for my actions as she does hers. An affair is only a marriage death sentence if you let it become one. You have the choice in your recovery. If you choose to move on, I don’t blame you one bit. But, you won’t get very far if you don’t forgive her. Forgiveness isn’t for her…it’s for you. Don’t hold resentment; it’ll weigh you down like a 90 pound ruck sack.

    Bottom line – retake control of your life. Get into a fitness program; buy a new wardrobe; get a new hobby; smile even when you don’t feel like it. The only person that controls you, is you. Don’t let her actions determine the remainder of your life.

    Some of you may think we’re fools. I’m ok with that. You aren’t living our life -this is a pretty good 15 year marriage wrapped into 4 or 5 bad paragraphs. You have a snapshot, so don’t judge me or my wife on the 10 minutes it took you to read this.

    1. Thank you Jimmy, for sharing this. I hope it wakes up some spouses that need to wake up and that they will show love to their spouses as they promised they would on their wedding days. I hope things continue to grow in loving ways in your renewed marriage. I pray for both of you that you don’t fall asleep again in making your marriage lively and loving all the days of your lives.

  10. Just a word encouragement if not a word of hope. I’m currently three months out from discovering my wife’s affair. There have been horrible extremely volitile moments of over powering anger, hate, resentment, loathing, and outright discust toward my wife. Resulting in overly loud, rude, hurtfull, demeaning, demoralizing and downright degrading words and statements all of which are laced with colorful medaphores to add emphasis and pain to the already deeply wounding words said from me to my wife. However horrible and for the most part useless the outbursts above are they’re still easier to deal with than the moments of extreme dispare, emptiness, loneliness, loss, betrayal, as well as the feeling of complete and utter worthlessness mentally, physically, and sexually.

    Both of the above are far more direct and less complicated and easier to compartmentalize than than the third portion of time in which you finally start to feel somewhat stable of not normal in evryday family activities. You begin to almost function for standard run of the mill daily activities. That’s when randomly and often for what can only be described as no apparent reason something will set you off into one of the above mentioned states. The trigger may have been a song, a place, a movie, a memory or worse something you can’t even specifically point your finger at. All of which steels the last bit of type of normalcy you had left.
    First let me say that my wife and I are still together. No it is not fun. No it is not easy. No it is not fair. Yes, as the wounded and wronged spouse you will choose to pay the price for your cheating, worthless, no good, vow breaking, and outright selfish spouse if you want to hold your family and or marriage together.

    You will have nightmares, daymares and even waking nightmares of your spouse with their lover. Especially if your spouse had a emotional and sexual affair as mine did. This will be especially true of you knew the affair partner also or saw the evidence ad I did in videos and/or pictures. This will be made even worse by he fact that your spouse most likely did sexual acts with their lover they have never done or would not do with you. They probably and most likely aced more excited and turned on with their lover and therfore said enduring words of both affection and sexual lust that you have never heard or thought were reserved for only you.

    All these things will torment your days and destroy your nights. You’ll do anything and everything just to not have to think about it. When you see your spouse you will feel the joy you always have followed immediately by all the above. Your best times will become your worse times. You’ll have a duel split personality that’s always with you.

    Some of you reading this are probably thinking this sounds just like you or some variation there of. Some of you are probably wondering what I b the world I’m saying sense I said this was a word of encouragement. So here it is. I can tell you that my wife and I have gone to the couples retreats. We’ve gone to the seminars. We’ve gone to marriage counseling both Christian as well as non-faith based. I can tell you that you will be able to share both of you and your spouses sides of the life changing event and although none of the therapist or counselors, or clergy are suppose to some will take sides. I can tell you that they’ll try to fill your days with positive building and relationship developing activities. They’ll atempt to have you see the future and work toward that. They’ll want to take a neutral approach to what they call a joint problem or short fall in the marriage that led to if not causedyour spouses affair and work on improving it.

    I’ll tell you that all the above does help you and your spouse have something to work towards. They do give you time consuming activities to help numb the pain. What they will not do is fix, repair or replace one single part of the pain and scar causing affair that has wedged itself into your marriage. Thankfully my wife is completely remorseful for her actions and has proven verbally, physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually of her truly remorseful, apologetic, and sorrowful spirit to the pain, damage and suffering her selfishness and affair has caused not only to me but our children as well. She openly and freely admits that cheating on any level is a choice not a mistake. One that is not justified no matter how bad or difficult or troublesome our marriage was.

    In case any of you have doubts as to how easy it is for the cheater to justify their affair by my wife’s own statement the only wrong in did was travel for busines. I was not their when she was lonely and needed sexual and physical attention. So your marriage doesn’t have to be in shambles for an affair to happen. Also before any of you get any ideas of how this comes about. Yes my wife had more than one long term emotional and sexual love affair. No she did not voluntarily come to me and admit her actions and ask my forgivness. I had to catch her and gather all the evidence before she would admit anything and then only what in had proof to. Thus each time new evidence came out she swore it was all there was and that there was nothing else to know till the next time something new was discovered.

    I can also tell you that eventually all the details will come out and you’ll finally be at the end of that painful road of discovery and doubt. I can tell you that my wife has endured all my moments caused by her actions no matter how painful it was for her. If your spouse is willing to do this be thankful for they really do love you and are truly sorry for what they have done and not for getting caught. I can tell you that my wife’s pain and despair have been tremendous. That her suffering mentally has led her into bouts of great depression. I can tell you that while she believed God forgave her she could never forgive herself. In case you get the wrong idea, no, I didn’t care about any of that and not sure I do even now. The human side of me is far too damaged at this point. In fact any time she brought it up I would get even more distant and irate. After all it’s her own doing.

    Now the encouragement. The holidays were ruined this year by her affair. Both by her mood and my response. I pray God forgives us both for only thinking of ourselves in those early days of her affair coming to light. However this last weekend was good weather. My son’s and I played football and later video games while grilling. My daughter and I read books and road bikes while in the evening my wife and her did their nails and hair. We went to church together as a family and then lunch afterwards to have wings and watch the game. For a few albeit far between and very brief my family, the children, and even my wife and I shared some good times and made some great memories. This is because of what a biker Chaplin told us or I should say he told me the Wednesday before. He said I wasn’t going to get even. I wasn’t going to get justice. I wasn’t going to get peace or make the event disappear or erase the images. He told me that no amount of marriage building or couples therapy was going to erase the events. I was never again going to be special or feel as if I was unique or irreplaceable. I was never again going to have complete or utter trust. I would never again feel safe or protected at home. That I would never again know love as I once had. He told me that no matter what I did to improve our marriage my wife will have had the fun of another man. The companionship of another lover and the thrill of strange sexual relations.

    Then he told me that it was time for me to be selfish. It was time for me to forgive my wife so that I could have good times with my children. He told me to quit worry about what she wanted and take what I wanted. He told me to let her be at peace so I could enjoy her company and companionship and get the joy out if watching her with our daughter. He told me to embrace her new dedication to our marriage regardless of her thoughts or intentions so that I could feel physical, emotional and sexual satisfaction within the confines of out marriage. He said for me to be selfish and show her love so that I could feel better even if she didn’t want the affection, sweet sayings or terms if endearment from me yet. He said that this is a lot like God with us. He knows our hearts. He knows our actions and even if we will repeat bad behavior. He knows we are weak and sinners yet He was selfish enough for His love for us that He sent His Son to buy our forgivness with His life. He was selfish enough to fogive our sins that we might all share eternity with Him. He could have just cast away and started over. Just like I could have cast my wife away and started over. Then again I would not have had this weekend or what I hope to be many more.

    Forgiving your spouse will not be an emotion (other than negative ones associated with sadness and loss.) Moving forward will not erase the pain or damage. Staying married will not give you back the love and or lust lost for your spouse due to their infidelity. Keeping your family together will not give you the same extramarital sexual gratification that they recieved. Being the bigger person will not bring satisfaction nor provide the revenge you are seeking. Hover it will let you say grace at dinner. It will let you play football with your son’s after working around the house on a Saturday afternoon. It will let you travel to church together on a Sunday morning. Followed by lunch and screaming for your favorite team while watching the game. It will allow you to see the joy on your daughters face as she and her mom do their nails alike and fix each other’s hair before cuddling between the two of you before bed. It will allow you to hold your spouse through the night and sleep better. It will allow you to satisfy your needs poor physical attention and sexual closness. It will give you back control of your job, of your family, and your daily activities. Forgivness is a choice not n emotion. I forgave my wife for me and my reasons because I wanted my family, my children, my memories of my children’s events and growing up, and I wanted my wife’s companionship more than I wanted the other options.

    If your spouse is truly remorseful and repentant and you truly want your family for your selfish reasons then you only have one option! (FOGIVENESS) I promise it will be the most difficult and daily depressing hard thing you have ever done and will require continued sacrifice to get what you want. So to those of you choosing this route here is to many good weekends, nights, school parties, Christmas programs, easter dinners, and even graduations. Your spouse will feel better and they may never even know your selfish reasons for forgiving them and loving them in spite of all they have done. In the end we the betrayed still won. We got to keep evrything we wanted in spite of what the offendING spouse had planned. God Bless and stay strong and vigilant.

  11. Are you kidding me? The wife has an affair and based on what this article says it is the man’s fault. Christian Feminism is taking over the church. Yes a man should love his wife but the problem of her affair was lust plain and simple. The women who do this should admit it, beg for forgiveness and pray their husbands will be willing to work it out. Affairs are not the other spouses fault. Affairs are sin committed by the offending party.

  12. I’m really struggling with my partner of 22 years; we have four kids. She had an affair while we were separated. Now I have somewhat forced my way back home. She has said at times she wants to work things out but cannot give me any affection, which is what I’m craving right now. She is at the point where she is saying she needs space again. I’m to scared to go for fear of her returning to him. She tells me it’s over but still has feelings for him. I’ve made a lot of changed in myself but nothing seems to be working. The more I reach out the more she pulls away from me. I love this women so much and don’t know what to do.

  13. I am going on two weeks now after finding out about my wife’s affair when she was deployed. She said she stopped roughly two weeks before she came home only because they almost got caught. She also said she had every intention of leaving the affair behind her when she left the country, but then I find that she was still chatting with him during her 24 hour layover in Baltimore before flying home the next day. She changed her story to “I planned on it ending when I got home”. A few other details changed after talking about the whole ordeal, but I was still inclined to believe her.

    I have my moments when I feel she is holding back to avoid hurting me even more. My issue is I stayed home for the 6 months she was deployed and watched our 2 young children. I managed to completely remodel our new house, along with making sure our first home was maintained from several states away. I payed all the bills, took the kids to appointments, made sure her family along with mine got to talk and skype with our kids regularly. I know that her deployment was full of long hours and on several occasions without a day off for a few weeks. I myself have been deployed when I was active, but I never strayed. Not only do I find out that she was having an affair for the last two weeks of her deployment, during thanksgiving and Christmas while her family was visiting, but she also said that she does not love me and that the affair just further confirmed her feelings.

    I was under the impression that we were doing well, by no means perfect, but well. I know I was not the greatest person to be around at times and it has been a continual process of change for me. This all said, I am finding it hard to look past this affair to the point were I can truly be the man I should have been and have her fall back in love with me. For the most part, I am past the details part of someone else seeing, touching, and sharing all the intimate parts of my wife. It still hurts, but I am currently dealing with anger and frustration towards her. I ask myself how dare she do this to me, our marriage, and our kids? How could she disrespect me so much and have no sense of honor for our marriage and me. Yes I know that I am responsible for her loss of love to a point, but I can’t understand how she could have done this.

    She said it was like an alternate reality which to a point I understand, being deployed myself. There is a feeling of removal from responsibilities and obligations that are so typical of non-deployed life. We both want to work it out and move forward and some days are easier than others. We visited a counselor the other day and are trying her suggestions. Mine was to not mention anything affair related to her, but write it down or find another outlet. Hers was to be more affectionate towards me. This is supposed to be for a week until we see the counselor again. I have done well but it doe put me in a mood around her when she seems to be go about business as usual. I want to move past this and help her fall in love with me again, but it feels like if I never bring it up again or talk about it with her that I am letting her get away with it, while I am on the hook for causing her to fall out of love with me.

    I know I have to do this, but I need help or suggestions on how to move beyond this. I know it is still rather new and I don’t truly expect to forgive her in the near future. I need to know how I can get over this frustration of feeling like I got the short end of the stick, when she is the one who cheated. I would like to know what else she could be doing to make me feel more like she is truly remorseful and that she does want it to work. I do apologize for any confusing parts, I just have so much to say and I can’t type as fast as my mind is racing. Any help would be appreciated.

  14. I am so ashamed of the emotional affair that recently was discovered. I hate that I relied on this friend for advice and I could vent to. I have hurt two families. My husband is divorcing me despite our 21 years of marriage and the two affairs he had and I forgave him and stayed with him. I have cut off this texting relationship and we live 15 hours apart. He has also done so and would like to repair his marriage. My husband said we are a lost cause and I’ve begged him. To no avail. :(

  15. I have been married for 13 years. We were married too young and more interested in planning a wedding instead of a marriage. My husband is a wonderful person but I’ve never felt romantic love for him. Even so, being that he was a good person, we married. We now have three children and from an outside perspective, a perfect life. Great jobs, Christian home, the dream life. Eight months ago I rekindled a friendship with an old high school crush. The very first day I spoke to him, my heart did flips. I felt things I hadn’t felt in so many years. Looking back, what I wouldn’t give to have run in the opposite direction. But I didn’t; it felt too good to stop. Within a few weeks it became a sexual and emotional relationship.

    I’ve fallen in love with this man. I do not want to ruin my children’s home life. If anyone is considering an affair, let me tell you, IT’S NOT WORTH THE PAIN. The wages of sin is death and I truly feel like I’m dying. My heart is in 24/7 turmoil. I’ve lost weight, can’t eat, can’t sleep…completely devastated in my life. If I split up my home, I ruin my children’s and husband’s lives. If I stay, I’ve ruined mine. I’m in a true no-win situation. Please, please, if you’re a woman considering an affair, get on your knees now and beg that Christ get you out of the situation now! 3I would do anything to start over and make a better decision.

  16. I know something is wrong. I just want her to admit to it so I can move forward in repairing our relationship. This is causing so much pain for both of us. I told her I’m willing to change and make her the center of my life aside for my undying devotion to my beautiful kids. My worry is that she is doing everything she can to control me and break me down until I’m destroyed. I will love her unconditionally at this point, doing my upmost to treat her like my cherished wife. However the pain and truth of the affair is evident but she is unwilling to admit to be blamed for her affair.

    My doctors said the only way to keep us together is to ignore the obviousness that she has been unfaithful. I fear her guilt has already pushed her away no matter what I do. She will not come out and say it instead, continues to relentlessly give me cruel hints in an effort to break my will. Help us. Help me be happy for the kids and to ignore her huge mistake against my heart. Again, I will move forward not bringing this horrible truth to light. She is the only one that can do what she wants to in this relationship. I can only do what I feel is right.

    Dear lord, no matter what, I don’t want to be taken from my amazing kids. So I will love her now and forever, and I will let You handle all of the things she may have done in the dark. Give me strength God, to be strong for myself and our kids and to give her only positive, supportive, unconditional love. The next step will be up to me. Hold on tight. This is the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to deal with. Only love will keep us together.

    1. Wow, this man has given me the strength I needed. Your words have jumped off the screen and poured into my prayers. I’m with you on asking the Lord for strength, but I will not stay with a woman who puts herself before our family. I laid out the consequences of such a selfish act to my wife while we were dating. Her choice to act will only provide me to leave her followed by another choice to make. 1. Tell me exactly what happened and only the man will suffer from coming into my home…he will suffer in a way that he will feel like there is truly a hell, and he”s living in it. 2. Protect him and not provide me the answers I deserve, and I will make sure the both of you will feel my fury.

      Either way, I am done with you. The Lord says that an adulteress is nothing more than a prostitute. She gives men gifts while the men ask her for nothing. A prostitute, nothing more, nothing less. Most women would love to have what she has, but her lust and selfish actions were her main priorities. My strength is confidence in myself as a man, and having a mindset of complete and utter disgust of any woman who lacks understanding.

      I will never speak to you again, and I will go after everything you love, and that’s our child. A woman who makes this choice, and betrays her caring husband who loved her completely, is only giving her child a lower probability of living a happier life. I will do as Jesus did, and that’s taking swift action. Forgiveness after this woman was provided a scenario with the consequences of an affair, and yet still made the choice, does not deserve one more second of my love.

  17. Hallo. Have had an affair with a man. My husband did find out. Tried talking to him about it but he has been threatening my life with insults and he also threatened to kill me. At this point I do not know what I really feel…rather than moving away. What should I do?

  18. So my husband has told me at least 3 different times that he not only loves his mistress (who is married w 3 kids) but is truly In love with her. He was only doing individual counseling because he needs to know why he’s so empty inside. He has yet to shed a tear for what he may lose (wife and 2 kids 14 & 15). Once my kids figured it out and they pretty much went radio silent on him. Of course when asked he did tell them he was happy when he was with “her” and he missed “her”. My son told him he had to leave and after 4 days he’s now all into couples therapy. A bit too coincidental for me.

    He still talks to “her” and they have shared how they are and how counseling is going for each of them. Oddly enough my kids are closer and less stressed than I’ve ever seen them. So I worry about trying to make it work when he clearly is still attached. We’ve had a handful of tragic events in our life and he says he’s tired and needs a break. Well life is hard and it won’t get much easier for sure. God never promised us an easy life but he did promise He would always be there. Considering his current feelings, his past record of not facing tough issues, and his lack of any reaction at being caught do I want that type of man? Is that what I want my son and daughter to emulate? Should we consider therapeutic separation, say 6 months or so, to take a breather? Maybe he will grow up, realize what he can lose and maybe we can even date again. I can’t make him love me and I won’t continue to basically audition for a part in his life.

  19. I’m married for 6 years, no kids because of my infertility issues. I write my long story short. My hb is nice to me but likes to gamble that came to him losing all his assets and with debts after our 3 years of marriage. Things got harder later and I became more independent and our sex lives really suck. We drifted apart slowly and I started to have my own social life without him much all the time. As time passes I got into infidelity with my long time casual friend. He has a girlfriend but was flirting with me and got me hooked up to him. I just met him 2 times (Jan and March) and stop seeing him but only texting because I feel it’s not fair to my husband.

    Then, I decided and I started to ask separation with my husband because I really fell out of love. After few months now I found out he started to gamble and borrowed a huge sum of money from outside that make me really angry and disappointed in him. He needs to run away because nobody can help him this time. So I proposed a divorce and he agreed. He is really heart broken, I know. He only says sorry to me for all his problems and leaves.

    The problem is I still feel guilty anyway, instead of his wrongdoing. The other man I’ve had infedility with is asking me to have a real relationship with him now. His gf broke up with him in March and he had grieved for 2 months and he said he wants to be with me since we both are available now. I’m really not sure whether he is really ready for a new relationship or just wants a temporary companion. I’m in the midst of settling my hb leftover stuff and I really feel overwhelmed.

    Initially I was happy to start a new relationship with him and promised to find him next month but after few days now I feel a bit of reluctant and have been thinking a lot in my mind whether we are working and the problem is I still feel guilty anyway. Can somebody please advise me? I know I’m wrong in first hand, whatever my hb did. What should I do that I can make myself feel better?

  20. Reading this blog I’m a bit confused. If my wife stepped out and even had a one night affair it would have completely destroyed the fabric of our marriage and I would not accept her back. Maybe I’m just not forgiving enough but thinking about it I’d always be wondering if she’s either still in an affair or thinking about another. I’d also always be reminded that she gave herself to another. I believe I wouldn’t want her in any way shape or form. Perhaps I’m the minority here but it’s my feeling. Your blog seems to be one of forgiveness where I couldn’t find it in my heart to forgive or overlook.

  21. I am a wife and mother. I’ve been married over 25 years. I am in no way justifying the things I’ve done. I blame myself and my husband for the situation we’re in. I have become bitter and angry at my husband for constantly lying to me and our children. I was a faithful wife and over the years I prayed to be the wife & mother God intended me to be. I prayed for my husband physically and spiritually and prayed for our marriage to grow stronger. I have cried and begged him to be honest; he would claim he was scared to tell me the truth about anything because he didn’t want to disappoint me. Therefore I felt like it was my fault he could not communicate with me.

    Most of the time his family & friends knew more about what he was doing than I did. I became bitter, angry and disconnected after so many years of his lies and deceit about our finances and many other things. He has humiliated me and our children. For years I told him out children would lose respect for him because of his dishonesty.

    I became emotionally involved with a male friend. The relationship started out as casual chit chat but over time it became more than a friendship. I hate that I let myself get involved with another man and I want to break free of this but I’m in fear because the other man threatens to post stuff on social media and has become very possessive. I’ve told him to leave me alone but he tells me he is going to marry me someday. I’m angry at myself for being so stupid and I’m angry at my husband for not being a man of his word.