I often hear from wives who are struggling to decide whether to take back the husband who cheated or had an affair. I recently heard from a woman who felt that her husband had done both. According to the husband, he had intended to have a short relationship which eventually turned into a longer term affair. Frankly, the wife had a harder time dealing with the affair. Because to her, the fact that he kept the relationship going for approximately 3 months meant that he was obviously somewhat invested in it.
When the wife found out about the cheating, the husband at first characterized it as a fling. But as more and more details began to come out, the wife learned that it was actually an affair. And, at that point, she kicked her husband out of the house because she had always felt that's precisely what she would do if infidelity ever happened in her marriage.
However, as she looked around her quiet and lonely house and as her children continued to miss their father and were obviously struggling to adjust, she began to rethink her stance. At around this same time, her husband started contacting her and swearing that the relationship with the other woman was completely over and that he desperately wanted his family and his marriage back. He promised to make some real changes.
The wife was torn. She was still absolutely furious at her husband but even she had to admit that she missed him and was mourning her marriage. And she was concerned about her children because she could see that they were really being affected by this. So she asked me in part "should I take back my cheating husband who I feel really had an affair? Should I give him another chance or should I still to my guns since I always told myself and him that I would not tolerate cheating in my marriage?"
Obviously, I can't answer this question for another woman or another couple. But what I can tell you is to tell you some considerations or things you might want to think about when making this decision. I can also tell you what came into play in my own decision when I had to decide whether to take my husband back.
Is This The First Time You Are Dealing With His Cheating?: It's kind of common sense and statistics confirm that the more instances of cheating that you are dealing with, the harder it is going to be to repair the marriage. Each time you chose to take him back and trust him again, and each time he betrays this trust, your marriage takes yet another hit that is harder to recover from. That's not to say that marriages with repeat cheating can not be saved. They can, but it is more difficult and less wives decide to take back husbands in this situation.
In the case that I'm talking about, this was the first time the husband had cheated. Before this, he had actually been a good husband and partner. And I think this was actually making things harder on the wife. She felt extremely betrayed because she had always been able to count on her husband. He had always been loyal. And he had always conducted himself with integrity. After finding out he cheated, she began to wonder if she even knew her husband at all.
How Willing Is He To Prove To You That You Can Trust Him Because He Has Learned His Lesson And Will Not Cheat Again?: Sometimes in this situation, the men will kind of mutter apologies for cheating in the beginning, but then they sort of expect their wife to just drop this and carry on like before. This often doesn't work out of that well. The wife will usually feel a lot of resentment and think he's not willing to bring anything to the table and isn't even trying to make things right.
Frankly, when men contact me on my blog and ask me the best way to get their wife to take them back after cheating or an affair, I usually tell them that, from here on out, they have to make themselves above any reproach. This means they have to do exactly what they say they are going to do. They have to make their wife (and helping her heal) their highest priority. They must take responsibility and help her trust again and heal. They must realize that her healing is not only her responsibility - it is also theirs.
They don't and can't just expect her to trust them, they go out of their way to prove to her that she can trust them again. There really is a big difference. And, the thing is that men usually do not intuitively know that they need to do this or else they do not keep it up if they meet some resistance. Sometimes, he really is trying but his wife is still quite angry. So, he will back off thinking that's what she wants him to do.
This is usually the wrong call. Often, the wife is just testing him to see if he cares enough to hang in there. Sometimes, you have to spell this out for your husband. It's not the he doesn't care or doesn't want to make this right. It's that he just doesn't know how.
Are You Willing To Withstand A Bit Of Discomfort And Hard Work To REALLY Rebuild Your Marriage?: Here's the thing that many people understand. Saving your marriage or taking him back after an affair if you're not really going to fix that marriage can be a mistake. The reason I say this is I that dialogue with and know so many couples who commit to sticking it out but who ultimately end up being miserable in their marriage.
They really do have good intentions but they don't really do anything to heal the wounds or to really work through this so the resentment remains. The wife continues to feel betrayed, suspicious and angry while the husband feels like he will never be able to make this up to her or to win. And so every one really is disappointed and unhappy.
This is no way to live and it doesn't make a lot of sense to take him back after cheating only to not really fix what is broken. However, if you are willing to do this, the rewards can be great. It's not wishful thinking to believe that your marriage really can not only recover and even be better if you take him back after cheating. But there is often some work to be done between that day and this one.
My marriage ultimately is better after we did this work. I had my doubts in the beginning but eventually I came to believe that we could make it through this and we did. I'm glad I took him back after the affair. It was the right call for me and my family, but it really is an individual call. You can read more about the steps that helped me heal after his affair at http://surviving-the-affair.com
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