Your cheating husband hides that he prefers to keep the other woman
Does it appear that your cheating husband prefers the other woman over you? Your cheating spouse might hide that he doesn’t want to let go of his affair, preferring to stay attached to her. So what to do if your partner can’t let go of the affair?
If this sound like you, you’re feeling this gut wrenching pain, your heart aches and you feel utterly betrayed at the wild discovery of your husband cheating with another woman. What is worse, he seems to feel more compassion and grief towards losing his affair and has no remorse or empathy towards you. It feels like your cheating husband is preferring the other woman over you.
You sensed there was something going on and when you questioned him, he defended his relationship with the other woman. But your gut instinct told you that something more was going on.
When you confronted him on the discovery of the affair, he seemed more disturbed at the thought of giving up the affair, wanting to keep her as a friend. He justified their relationship as friends, despite the fact that you saw passionate messages between them, confessing their love for each other.
Why your cheating spouse can’t let go of his affair
You discover that while you had difficulties in your marriage, he confided in this other woman about your marriage and never told you how he felt. He told her about all of his secrets and arguments. As it turned out, she helped him get through his anxiety and build his confidence, when he didn’t turn to you for emotional support. You had no idea how he really felt.
When your cheating partner wants to keep the other woman
You discover that he felt like he could not make you happy, and that you were always upset at him. So, he withdrew and shut-down, not knowing how to please you. He gave up trying to satisfy you. He felt alone and rejected in his marriage. But he put his emotional needs aside to make you happy, while feeling not good enough for you.
He had an affair to escape the empty pit of loneliness, feeling not good enough and longing for a safe connection, with no obligation but to have space to get his needs met.
He never planned to leave you, but he didn’t feel safe to tell you how he was feeling, because there were so many other problems to sort out. He felt that his feelings didn’t matter, everyone else was more important. He felt that he failed to make you happy. He couldn’t cope with the arguments and feelings, and thought he was not meeting your emotional needs. So, he withdrew further and escaped into fantasy by having an affair with another woman, in order to take him away from how he was feeling.
While your husband was having an affair, he created another fantasy world, where he could get his emotional needs met and be selfish. This is because he didn’t want to hurt you and tell you the things that he needed to say. Because he still wanted you, he found another outlet to get his need met, so he didn’t have to leave you and wouldn’t be upset with you. This allowed him to put his own needs aside, because he was getting his needs met somewhere else.
Yes, he lost touch with reality. This is very dangerous. An affair is not real, but an escape from difficulties in a marriage.
Does your husband who cheated lie to hold onto his affair?
If you discover yourself in this situation, then the chances are you are trying to decide if you should rebuild your relationship or let it go. If you decide to stay in this relationship, there is something very important that you need to consider.
Your husband may still have feelings for this other woman and he may begrudgingly give her up for the sake of saving the marriage. If this is the case, you may have problems moving forward if he does not want to let go of the affair. It will just recreate the same problems, where he suppresses his feelings and hides how he really feels to keep the peace.
What to do if your unfaithful husband doesn’t want to let go of his affair
If this other woman became your husband’s emotional lifeline, then you asking him to stop the affair could cause him to feel like he is chopping off his right arm, even though he might not tell you this.
The more he hides how he feels, the more he could be hiding his love affair to protect that relationship because he doesn’t want to give it up. He may even tell you it means nothing, to keep the peace and get you off his back. But, is he simply repeating this pattern? He may even still have feelings for her, even if he cuts off the relationship.
The first thing you should decide is whether your husband genuinely wants to fix the marriage, feels remorse and wants to address the issues. If he can happily end the affair, then the prognosis for working on the marriage is much better. Then couples counselling for recovering from an affair can be useful here.
If your husband seems to be still keeping his feelings inside, not being open to talk about the affair, seems to still have strong feelings for the affair or wants to maintain that relationship with the affair, then you need to be very careful here. You can enable the affair to continue by colluding with this, even if it’s an emotional affair. As long as he is still confiding in her, he will most likely continue the pattern of not talking to you and feel his behaviour is acceptable.
You need to ask yourself what your boundaries are, what you are prepared to put up with and protect yourself here. It is far worse to accept something that ends up hurting you, than drawing a line in the sand and protecting yourself.
If you express your boundaries of having no contact with the other woman, then you can make it safer to address the issues in your marriage, providing that your husband wants to be with you exclusively. Whereas, if you accept your partner back, knowing that he maintains contact with the other woman, then you need to accept the likely outcome that could come from this.
Sometimes it is easier to bury your head in the sand, forgive and forget, rather than work through the issues that underpin the affair. However, it is a big risk to take someone back who has betrayed your trust, without dealing with the issues and protecting yourself from this happening again.
Nancy Carbone has a M.Soc Sc (Couns). If you are struggling to recover from infidelity in your life, or feel as though your partner can’t let go of his relationship with the affair, and prioritises the affair over you, then contact Nancy Carbone who offers relationship counselling to assist you to work through your feelings and concerns. You can contact Counselling Service Melbourne here or sign up on her newsletter for free advice and tips.Back to Blog Home