I am asked this question very often. Although most people don’t realize this, statistically speaking, many people aren’t ready to end their marriages when they have an affair or cheat. In fact, many husbands who are caught cheating actually never intended to get a divorce. This is very confusing and frustrating for the wives who are living in this situation. I often hear things like “he swears he never stopped loving me. He insists that his cheating had nothing to do with me or our marriage. He says the problem is within him and has nothing to do with his feelings for me. How am I supposed to believe this? How can you claim to love someone and then betray them and cheat on them?”
I very much understand these questions. You have every right to ask them. And, I have to tell you that you likely won’t understand the answer. It’s hard for wives who were faithful in their marriages even when things were difficult to understand how someone else made a different choice. Being unfaithful would likely never be a road that you would walk down. So, much of the reasoning that he might give you is likely going to sound like nothing more than excuses. Still, in the following article, I’ll go over some of the reasoning that men use when they swear they can still love their wives (or girlfriends) even though they cheated.
Why Men Will Tell You That They Can Still Love You Before, During, And After Their Cheating: It might be obvious by now that I’m a woman. It’s difficult for me to think like a man especially since I’m a woman who has also been cheated on. However, I have spent a lot of time researching this topic. I also have men who contact me through my blog that sometimes offer insights into their thinking. I can share with you what they share with me.
Many tell me that their cheating had very little to do with their wife. They tell me that it was a response to stress, doubt, insecurity, or crisis in their life. Sometimes this is due to aging, losing someone that they love, or feeling vulnerable in their job or in their own mind. Sometimes, they have low self esteem or little impulse control. They want to shield these things from their wife rather then share them with her. So, the cheating is often their attempt to quiet these things while keeping them from their wife. They will and can sincerely tell you that nothing in this process changed their love for their wife.
Granted, I’m sure there are husbands who are insincere about this and who are just trying to make themselves look a little less distasteful. But, most of the men that I dialog with appear to be quite sincere and appear to believe every word that they are saying. I’m not telling you this to make excuses for them. And by no means am I trying to diminish the blame that they deserve. I’m just sharing the things that I have heard to give you a bit more information.
Saying That He Loves You After His Cheating And Showing You That He Loves You Are Two Very Different Things: In my opinion, words are just that. They are only words. And, as they relate to this topic, they can perhaps make you feel slightly better. But, if there are no actions to follow up the words then doubt is going to eventually make it’s way into your mind and into your heart once again.
Sure, he can tell you that he loves you endless times, but if he does not change his behaviors and improve the vulnerabilities in your marriage, you aren’t likely to ever really believe him. It’s my experience that a man’s actions will show you much more than his words ever could, especially in this situation.
A man who never stopped loving his wife even though he cheated will take responsibility for his actions. He might insist that he never stopped loving you but he knows that this doesn’t excuse him from what he did. He knows that he has a lot of work to do and that fixing this mess lies mostly with him. He’s willing to accept this because he knows that he brought this on himself. He’s also willing to have generous amounts of patience and reassurance as you try to process and work through this. He’s not going to rush or pressure you. In short, he’s going to do whatever needs to be done to help you get through this even if none of it is pleasurable for him.
At the end of the day, every one makes mistakes. But those who are really remorseful for these mistakes and committed them while still loving you are willing to hang in there for the long haul. They will show you over time that they are willing to make the changes and adjustments necessary to regain your trust. These aren’t just easily said or empty words to them. They mean them. And they are willing to implement the actions and the behaviors that are meant to prove this to you because you are simply that important to them and they’ve realized from this experience that they don’t want to lose you or to put your relationship in jeopardy.
This is only my opinion and experience, but I do believe that it’s possible for a man to still love his wife or girlfriend even if he has cheated. However, in my mind, this should be a one time thing. A man who continues to cheat even after he knows the pain that this causes will generally have a harder time convincing his wife of his sincerity than a man who makes one mistake, never repeats it, and then does everything in his power to make it right.
Getting past my husband’s affair (and believing what he said) took a lot of time, hard work and effort, but it was worth it because I now understand him, our marriage, and myself much more intimately. This has strengthened our marriage, and I no longer worry that he is going to cheat again. You can read a very personal story on a blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com/
Katie Lersch writes articles about moving past an affair. Her corresponding blog is at http://surviving-the-affair.com/