QUESTION:  I would like your wise opinion about how to deal with my husband who is involved with another woman.

He’s coming today & I told him I want to talk but I don’t want to argue or get into a discussion how he doesn’t want to reconcile.

What I planned was:
I was going to ask him to think & reflect before responding.
I want to tell him how great last week was & how it felt fun, amazing & hopeful.
I want to tell him I want love, affection, intimacy, sex, passion, fun, excitement, adventure, respect, trust & to be married & I want all those things with him.
I want to tell him I don’t want to be 2nd choice or a safety net.
I want to ask him to take time to reflect & think & then tell me how he thinks we can rectify all of this.

ANSWER: Regardless of your spouse’s gender, here’s what you can do. I would give the same advice to a woman whose husband is cheating as I would to a man whose wife is cheating.

Affairs do not discriminate.

You can tell him what you want, such as the list you made above.

Or you can listen to him.

If he cares about what you want, by all means gently and calmly tell him.

If he’s still wrapped up in himself or his LO, it might be better to ask him gentle, non-threatening questions and not react negatively to any answer that you get. Think of your objective as understanding him, not pushing him into a decision.

For example, a straightforward “What do you want?” can be threatening in that he may “hear” you trying to trap him or even to lure him into saying something he doesn’t want to say. Starting with easier questions, “How are you?” and then feeding back more non-probing questions to things he says can go much further toward having a genuine conversation rather than an argument or a guarded / defensive interaction. Frame it like this: Pretend the conversation is the one you have on a first date. You want to hear him but not to scare him away.

Here’s what you can do:

1. Go Back to the Basics

Think back to when you and your husband started dating. On the first date, you probably didn’t ask him, “Do you want to get married?”

Why? Because that’s threatening. He would have immediately thrown up walls, felt trapped, and wanted out.

That same concept applies now, even after years of marriage. Too often people lose sight of the foundation of friendship that should be always present in a marriage.

Especially when your marriage is in crisis, start by going back to the basics. There is no magic pill to get your spouse to suddenly want to salvage the marriage…just like there is no magic pill for losing 20 pounds (although many people will try to sell you that…)

Go back to the basics.

2. Prepare to Listen

There’s probably a million things you want to say right now. You feel like if you could simply say the right thing, it would set off a spark in your husband’s mind that would enlighten him to stop the affair and save the marriage.

There is nothing that you can say that will make your husband stop the affair.

Let me repeat that: There is nothing that you can say that will make your husband stop the affair.

While that might sound depressing, it’s actually not, because there is something that you can do that, if anything works, can lead your husband closer to ending his affair.

I bet right now you would do anything to know what it is that you can do.

Listen.

It’s that simple. Ask non-threatening questions, and listen. Listen when he expresses anger. Listen when he expresses hurt. Listen, as hard as it is, when he talks about how much he loves the other woman.

Does listening express that you approve of his actions? No. Does listening mean that you should not stand up for yourself, and in essence be a doormat? Not at all.

They say that successful people listen much more than they talk. The same principle applies in your marriage.

Listen to your husband. Affirm how he feels. Respect that he feels that way, even if you don’t understand. Stand up for yourself, but only after listening.

And when you listen…

3. Look for Common Pain Points

It’s very likely that you will start to hear patterns in things your spouse says. Perhaps he consistently talks about feeling disrespected at work. Maybe he worries daily about finances.

There is probably a pattern of pain that is occurring in your husband. If you can listen and get him to open up about his pain points, then you can begin to start affirming your spouse in ways to help him through the pain.

Will doing this get him to end his affair? If anything works, this will.

Everyone wants to feel heard. Everyone wants to feel loved.

One of the aspects that makes relationship affairs so strong and addicting is that deep bond. Many people in limerent affairs will say, “My lover understands me in a way my spouse doesn’t.” What they typically mean is, “This person is listening to me and affirming me in ways that others haven’t in a while.”

If you can start doing this for your spouse, you will be leaps and bounds closer to saving your marriage.

Again, you must do what seems best to you.

The situations with which I am familiar where a spouse gently led a straying mate back have nearly all been by the method I mentioned above. When he feels accepted as he is – not as you wish him to be – then he likely will begin to open up (slowly) and start sharing is innermost thoughts and feelings. If you can create an environment that safe for him, you actually can gradually become his best friend. When that happens, everything changes.

 

If your spouse is involved in an affair, then the Affair Toolkit can help you navigate

  1. Exactly what happened that led to the affair
  2. How to act to your spouse to get your spouse to come back
  3. How to react to your spouse during conflict about affair
  4. and How to Rescue Your Marriage from the Affair

Marriage Recovery

10 thoughts on “Husband Cheating? Here’s How To Talk to Him.

  • March 5, 2016 at 6:26 pm
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    Interesting article… my husband and I met and we were discussing marriage four days later. We didn’t actually get married for 6 months, but 4 months ago, when he told me he wanted out of the marriage, he said to me, “4 days in and you were talking marriage!”

    So can that be overcome at all?

    And ‘listening’ isn’t useful advice if he’s not talking to me at all. And when he was, he was lying about having someone else. In fact, for all I know, even though he’s admitted to being in a new relationship now, it still feels like she’s lying. Lying about who it is, and the only thing he says he sees in her is that she’s not me.

    The worst part is that he’s using not wanting to see me or be around me as an excuse not to see the kids, and because they’re his ‘step-kids’, his friends and family condone him saying that they’re not his kids and just cutting them out of his life.

    I’m right now caught between intervention, and having no one to do it, and nuclear exposure of the affair as suggested by Dr. Bill Harley…

    It seems my two options are ‘entirely passive’ or ‘entirely combative’, and there is no middle ground.

    Reply
    • March 7, 2016 at 5:29 pm
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      Good afternoon, Vanessa! Thank you for sharing your story with us!

      This is one of my favorite articles! Give it a read and see if it doesn’t give you some insight into what you and your husband are going through!

      http://www.marriagehelper.com/fight-for-marriage

      Reply
    • May 14, 2016 at 7:46 pm
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      I hope GOD heals you and your marriage.. My wife has told me she’s not in love with me anymore!! It’s the worse pain and shock I ever experienced!!! It sucks when your down for someone until death do you part and they don’t feel the same ?

      Reply
      • December 10, 2016 at 3:46 pm
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        Yes it is. I’ve taken my husband back through 3 affairs. This last one was probably as much my fault as his. He asked for a 3some with a girl from his Fb and I did. 3 weeks ago they both decided to tell me that they loved each other. I’m trying to keep my family together and I’m exhausted from listening me not being heard myself.

        Reply
  • June 26, 2016 at 11:24 am
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    How much of what learn from you should I share with my wife I am in the process of separating from?

    Reply
  • February 7, 2017 at 5:28 am
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    I’m going crazy ! My husband of 13 years has been cheating I found out in sept 18 but it started in June 3 but he said he wanted his marriage so I did everything I could to leave it alone but My gut was telling me it was not over ! And well I was right ! He lied ! And now it’s feb and I found out that he is still seeing her 😫! He tells me he loves me and he doesn’t want a Divore and I’m not going anywhere, he just needs some time ok he sleeping in my stepsons room and I’m in our room ! But he wants to act like everything is normal . This is really hard ! He tells me goodnite and kisses me and in morning ! I don’t want to leave bc I love him but I’m not sure how much more I can take ! He said he loves both of us and he don’t want to hurt either one of us but hello u have a wife , , one of us is going to get hurt ! This has really took a toll on me he is the love of my life I went from 136 pounds to 107 now I’m trying to give him his time but , he also thinks that it’s ok to still have sex but I don’t want to share him with her ! He is not one to talk about his feelings so talking to him is like talking to a wall ! When he sees me upset all he can say is give it time ! The Bad part is we were happy did everything together always laughing and joking ! I trusted him so he went and did things with his friends not a problem! He told me tonite that he likes not having to answer to anyone I’m just so confused he had that before ! I know it will be hard but I’m willing to try if he will ! But I feel like a fool too why do I have love him this much?

    Reply
    • February 13, 2017 at 8:14 pm
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      I am so sorry you are going through this.. Is there a way you both can attend out 911 Workshop in TN??

      If you would like more information please give us a call..

      Reply
    • March 15, 2017 at 9:18 pm
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      I too am in the same boat as you, Georgina Yawn.. we have been together over 30 years and most of those years their was other women and even his family and friends see what he is doing and just let it be.. I feel I have no support at all.. recently, He called one of his woman on the phone and told her he was going to go be with her that night.. to make things worse, He said that infront of our son (our son is 24 years old) who was in the house at that time, that made our son very upset He started hollering at his dad and even grabbed him and threw him on the floor saying “What the f***s wrong with you??” I had to tell my son to just leave him alone.. I am feeling so numb right now.. seems like not one person understands me.. argh..

      Reply
  • April 6, 2017 at 2:22 am
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    My wife and I have been married for 17 years and I was told to shape up or ship out. Because I wasn’t paying attention to her or showing her affection. I was a good guy when for the first 7 to 7 years but when my father passed away.. I got angry with everyone and mean and she was put in the back burner..so I thought I could handle the grief but I just ciuldnt..we argue a lot about our relation ship so I got better for a little whIle than back to my old self..I was always working and doing side jobs to make end s meet but that got in the way with us..so now she want a divorce cause she said I am done trying to help you figure out why you are so angry all the time. ..I never hit her or my son..I always walked away and hit something else…she says she lives me but not in love with me..I am now taking anger management classes and found out why I am so angry..so it feel like 500lbs was life off my shoulders but she still won’t give me another chance ..she always says that I gave you enuff…I love her with my hole heart ..she completes me ..and I don’t want to leave I wanna stay ..but she keeps posting saying on Facebook about what a real man shold like…I don’t know what to do or think..she has been hiding her phone a lot any question just ask …or comment..please help I don’t want to lose her

    Reply
    • April 6, 2017 at 6:12 pm
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      I am so sorry to hear you are going through this…

      I would STRONGLY encourage you to begin our Save My Marriage Course. I feel like that is going to help you tremendously.

      It helps create the environment to save your marriage… It’s a 10 week online course with a workbook.. There is also a secret Facebook Group that you would be able to be apart of. It is a very small group of people in very similar situations as yours.

      Please let me know if you have any questions.

      Blessings,

      Reply

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