I recently heard from a wife whose husband had just come back to her after his affair. However, she wasn’t sure if this was a victory after all. Even though she had been hoping the husband would come back for quite some time, she firmly believed that she only got him back by default.
She explained, in part: “I’m completely sure that he only came back to me because the women he was cheating on me with decided to go back to her husband. If this hadn’t happened, there is no doubt in my mind that my husband would still be with her. I know that he’d rather be with her than with me.”
I spent a little bit of time trying to clarify what happened because many wives in this situation feel second best. This is very common. And sometimes, if you talk to the husband on the other side of the story, he will tell you that he does want to be with his wife and made the choice to come home on his own.
Still, the wife in this situation said that when she pressed her husband as to why he was choosing to come back now, the husband finally said that the other woman had decided to return to her husband while he had decided to return home also.
Of course, the wife inferred this to mean that the husband only chose to come home after the affair because he did not have any other choice. And, I can certainly understand why the wife felt this way, but her focus seemed to be solely on this issue. She wasn’t thinking about what she was going to do in the future or how she could begin to move forward. She was only focused on how she was second best. What she didn’t see was that the husband could have gone to a hotel. He could’ve stayed with other family members. He could have chosen not to come home or contact her at all. But he didn’t.
And the wife wasn’t even asking herself what she really wanted or how she wanted to respond to this new turn of events. In the following article, I will discuss this topic in more detail.
When You Think Your Husband Came Back To You After His Affair Only Be Default: This is such a common topic. I can’t tell you how many women tell me that they’re worried that their husband only came back because the other woman broke things off and that they only won because the other woman is no longer available.The thing is, worries such as these often don’t have any real resolution and just keep you stuck and in pain. Because it’s virtuously impossible to know exactly what your husband is thinking (and you often aren’t going to believe his reassurances or what he says anyway,) you’ll often have to make a decision as how you’re going to let these perceptions affect you.
It often comes down to believing your assumptions and deciding that the situation is hopeless, or committing to trying to have an open mind and see what happens in the future. And sometimes, it really does help to understand that much of the time, you’re projecting your own personal doubts onto the situation. It’s painful to admit this and no one wants to. But often we think worse of ourselves and our situation than anyone else because of our own self esteem issues (that the affair often makes worse) or of our own ability to believe in ourselves.
A friend of mine used to tell me that I had to believe that if my husband didn’t see how lucky he was to have me, it was him who had the problem, not me. I did not believe this for an instant at the time, but I do believe it today. And it does help.
Deciding On The Future Of Your Marriage After His Cheating: (Her Going Back To Her Husband Should Not Affect Your Outcome:) I asked the wife in this situation what she truly wanted. I think it was safe to say that, at this point, she still didn’t know. So, I asked her why the other woman’s decision to go back to her husband had to also decide her marital outcome. In other words, just because this other woman made a decision about her own marriage, this didn’t mean the wife had to make a similar decision before she was ready to do so.
If she wasn’t comfortable with how her husband felt about her, then she didn’t need to make any commitments or promises until she was ready to do so. And, if her own self doubts and insecurities were running counter to what her husband was telling her, then there was nothing wrong with doing things to strengthen her rather than weaken her. Because she did not deserve to feel like she was second best when none of this was her fault.
Boosting Your Own Self Esteem Until You Realize He’s Lucky To Have You: As I’ve alluded to, sometimes rebuilding your self confidence can help with this issue very much. If you can get to place where you are confident in yourself and realize that you don’t need any validation from him (or even her,) he will often take notice and this will make you appear more attractive to both of you as the result.
And sometimes, you just have to realize that you’re going to have to build yourself up and wait it out. Because in this case, it was impossible for the wife to predict what was going to happen in her marriage. She didn’t know what the outcome was going to be. But, I felt strongly that she should worry much less about the other woman and her husband and start focusing on her own marriage as she was able to do so.
At this point the affair was over and both people were moving on. So continuing to dwell on the other woman was stepping backward. And whether she determined that she wanted to save the marriage or not, it was important to look forward rather than backward.
I know this issue is extremely difficult, but he sometimes healing is possible. Although I never would’ve believed this two years ago, today my marriage is actually stronger than it ever was before. I also did a lot of work on myself and am happier as the result. Our bond and intimacy is much stronger and my self esteem is at an all time high. I no longer worry my husband will cheat again. You can read a very personal story on my 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/