I have previously covered what a wife who has cheated on her husband should do to save her marriage. Here, I do a role reversal and try to advise husbands whose cheating wife doesn’t want a divorce. Cheating is always a complicated topic, and it will take you and your wife a considerable amount of time and anguish before you are over it.
If your wife cheated on you, your first reaction may be to get a divorce. However, you should calm down and think about the whole situation. Divorce is definitely a viable choice. But before you go down that road, you need to see if forgiveness on your end may be possible. Over half of the marriages manage to survive a cheating wife, and yours may be one of them.
Here, we explore the reasons why a wife cheats on her husband. We take a look at why she may not want a divorce afterward. Lastly, we will get into whether or not it is possible for you to recover from this debacle. And if it is possible, how to go about it.
Why Did my Wife Cheat on me?
Note: We’re going to get into general details and statistics here. If you haven’t already, make sure you take the marriage assessment quiz so we can focus on your marriage and how to get things back on track quickly.
The reaction of a husband after his wife cheats on him is usually one of the two:
- It is her fault entirely. She is to blame for breaking our marriage vows and my trust. As such, she must be punished.
- It is somehow my fault. I must have done something wrong which caused her to behave this way.
The end result for both of these actions is usually the same. The husband usually gets angry, either at himself or at his wife. No matter what, he does usually end up taking it out on his wife. This anger and frustration usually lead to a divorce.
The truth is almost always a mix of the two. You may want to think that your wife is a terrible person and is not who you thought she was.
Remember how sure you were of her being the right woman for you back then? People do change, but their values don’t. Chances are that she is still the same person.
At the same time, you must understand that she has to take the vast majority of the blame. It was her decision to cheat on you with someone else. Even if things weren’t going well for the two of you, you resisted the temptation to be with someone else while she didn’t.
If a cheating wife doesn’t want a divorce, there could be many reasons for this. Some of them are good while others are downright nefarious. You must first understand her reasons before you decide if divorce is the right decision.
Why Doesn’t She Want a Divorce? A Few Good Reasons
Not all of these reasons may apply to you. Take some time to think through each one and see if your wife may feel the same way. We explore these reasons in-depth in the next section.
- Your wife cheated on you by mistake. It is possible that she just lost herself in the moment and couldn’t resist. This applies to one-off sexual affairs, but not to full-blown relationships.
- Her affair has made her realize that you are right for her. She may have had doubts about your marriage before, but being with someone else was not as enjoyable for her as she may have initially thought.
- Her initial plan was to only make you jealous (maybe because she felt neglected), but things spiraled out of control leading to her infidelity.
- You are a good parent, and she does not want her children to grow up without their actual father.
A Couple of Bad Ones
- The pain, humiliation, and the inconvenience of divorce (such as dividing assets) have turned her off to the idea.
- She needs your money. She has become accustomed to a certain lifestyle that she does not feel she can let go of.
In the first case, your wife has probably checked out of the marriage and will likely cheat on you again.
The second case is more common than you think. If you are wealthier than her, it could be that the life that she has lived with you is much more luxurious and extravagant than she could afford on her own. This is especially true if you have an airtight prenuptial agreement that would mean an immediate downsizing of her expenditures.
If your wife cheated on you and doesn’t want a divorce and you believe it is due to these reasons, you must get a divorce as fast as possible. You deserve a better life than being someone’s bank account.
However, consider the alternatives and make sure that a divorce is the only correct option before you go ahead with it. In more than half of the cases, cheating on a spouse (regardless of who cheats on whom) is something that a couple can move past.
Can We Recover From This?
So your wife cheated on you, but you can see that she is devastated by how much she hurt you. You know deep down that you still love her and want to be with her, and that she is a good mother to your children. While the thought of divorce initially crossed your mind, you are leaning away from it.
In this case, you may be wondering whether it is possible for the two of you to recover. You may be wondering if there is a way for things to return to the way they once were. If you have, then I have some good news for you!
In my experience, the vast majority of couples who are willing to work together are able to recover completely from an incident like this.
If your wife cheated on you but doesn’t want a divorce, and you really are willing to try and save your marriage, chances are that you will be laughing at the thought of divorcing her just a few years from now.
Figure Out What You Can Change About You
Some of the blame for her actions will rest with you (in most cases). It is important that you take a look at yourself before you talk to her. See if you have been abandoning your duties as a husband and as a father.
Remember that men and women are hardwired differently. They deal with emotions in a completely opposite manner. Many of the actions that you had thought were okay may have been perceived by your wife in a completely different manner.
A perfect example of this would be spending time with a female coworker. While you may have no interest in her and may just consider her a good friend, your wife will probably not like the idea of you spending time with another woman. In fact, even harmlessly texting another woman could have consequences.
A single incident like this is obviously not a reason for your wife to cheat. But small incidents like this can accumulate over time. Once there is enough resentment, it might only take another man to be interested in her to push her over the edge and cheat on you.
Have a Long, Well-Thought-Out Discussion With Your Wife
You and your wife will need to have countless discussions if you want to avoid a divorce. However, the first one is the most important.
You must let your wife know that you are committed to avoiding divorce. At the same time, you must be firm and let her know that another act like this would never be tolerated again.
Ask her why she cheated on you. Also ask her how much of it was your fault, and what you can do to be a better husband in the future.
Lastly, make sure that she understands how she hurt you. Men always have trouble talking about their feelings, but you must communicate them in an effective manner here. Despite her apologetic manner, it is important that you let it be known that the blame largely rests on her side, and she must make up for her actions. It is the only way to get closure.
Avoid Resentment And Passive Aggressive Behavior
During the next few weeks, your wife will probably be willing to take a few metaphorical punches from you. However, it is important that you do not behave in a way that would only further harm your marriage.
If you really can’t get over the fact that she cheated on you, divorce is your best option. If you have decided to stay and try to save the marriage, then let bygones be bygones.
Rebuilding a marriage after it has suffered through such a huge tragedy is a slow and painstaking process. Make sure that you are there to support your wife so that she can support you in return.
Look For Guidance
If you find that you are unable to get over your wife’s infidelity, or things just don’t seem to be getting back to the way they were, it may be time to seek help.
A professional can often help you better understand the root of your anger. He or she can also guide you through the process of rehabilitation for your marriage and make you and your wife fall in love once again.
Wanting a divorce after being cheated on is a perfectly reasonable reaction. In fact, it is the correct decision for many husbands (almost always if their partner is a serial cheater). But before you do that, you must weigh up the negatives of the divorce against the possibility of reigniting your love for your wife. Despite everything, there could be a happy ending for your marriage.