I often have women whose husbands are having (or have recently had) an affair email me. They are hurt, confused, and frightened. They often want information and statistics about why, how, when, and if men come back after cheating. Often, a woman who has been cheated on will doubt a husband’s sincerity when he wants to come back. They are afraid that they are just the consolation prize when things have gone wrong with the affair.
But, here he comes with his tail between his legs muttering apologies and every thing’s just supposed to be OK again. But, that’s not really the case, at least in your head. There are trust issues. There are honesty issues. There are self esteem issues. You can’t look at him or your marriage in the same way. You doubt if things will ever be the same again. I don’t know your husband, or you, or your marriage, but I can share with you what men tell me (and what my research shows) about why husbands or boyfriends almost overwhelmingly eventually come back to the women who love them.
Why Your Husband Or Boyfriend Will Likely Want To Come Back After He’s Cheated: Let’s get this out of the way. Most people assume that affairs and cheating have to do with sex, or more specifically the fact that the man is not getting what he needs at home. Let me dispel that myth right now. Men will use this as an excuse for their actions. They say this because they are expected to say it. It’s an easy cop out, but it’s rarely true.
More often than not, the affair and the cheating is the result of his own inadequacies and his emotional neediness. He just doesn’t feel “right” within himself. The doubts about his own desirability and immortality begin to creep into his psyche. He’s bored with his own company. He’s often honestly not looking for an affair, but it finds him, and in the blink of an eye, he’s crossed a line that he will never be able to jump back over.
But here’s the rub. When he takes this action, he’s almost never thinking about tomorrow or the consequences. You, your marriage, or your relationship almost never factors into the equation. He doesn’t stop to ponder how he’s going to be able to exit this situation and when the regret comes, it’s already too late to do anything about this.
That’s when the panic sets in. How can he fix this? By making sure that you never find out. By vowing to be a good husband / boyfriend and to make this up to you. By vowing that this is never going to happen again. This all sounds good, huh? But, it’s not the reality. You do find out and you are devastated. He had counted on your offering him a safe haven and open arms, but this isn’t his reality. And now, he realizes that this strange woman isn’t what he wanted at all. He just wanted a quick fix for his insecurities, but now he realizes that there is no such thing.
The truth is, the statistics are very clear. Very few affairs turn into a long term relationship. much less marriage. It’s a fleeting thing because it was born out of fleeting doubts. The problem is that the fall out can be permanent. Because often when he realizes his huge mistake and he decides that he very much wants what he just rejected, he has to depend upon you to decide that you’ll take him back.
Deciding Whether Or Not To Take Your Cheating Husband Back: I did not tell you the above to plead your husband’s case. I’ve been cheated on in the past and I know that it is devastating. I would never defend it. But, the fact remains that it’s up to you how you’re going to proceed. You can’t pretend that this didn’t happen. Life won’t just miraculously get back to normal. You will have to address this, whether you chose to save the relationship or not.
You’ll need to look at the relationship and determine if it is worth fighting for. You’ll need to determine if you can separate this man’s actions from the man himself. You do have an opportunity to allow this to be the push you need to work on loving and taking care of yourself. This is one of those rare occasions where the decision that you make here defines your life. There is no correct or incorrect answer. It’s certainly not one size fits all. Some women will see the affair as a deal breaker. Others will chose to do the hard work on the marriage because they don’t want to let one mistake ruin everything. This is going to be up to you, but I’d be willing to bet that you will get the chance to make the decision as most husbands and boyfriends eventually make their way back after cheating.