Why Do Husbands Risk Having An Affair And Then Beg Their Wives Not To Leave Them?

I often hear from wives who do not understand the division between the man who is begging them not to not to leave him because of his affair and the man who risked literally everything in order to have that same affair. The wife often wracks her brain in order to figure out what his thought process might have been. Because he seems completely sincere in being desperate not to lose his family now. But what about before? Why was he willing to risk them in order to carry out the affair?

A wife might say, “honestly, my head is spinning. I truly do not understand. I have always told my husband that I would never, ever tolerate cheating. He seemed to understand this and emphatically said that he would never do that. I believed him. My husband is a man of high integrity. He doesn’t make a habit of lying and being deceitful. He has been a good husband. But he cheated on me with a coworker that I actually know. I am in a club with her and at times we would chat about our families. My husband had to know this. And still, he had an affair. He knew full well that if I found out, I would probably take our children and move. The other woman also has children and a husband. Worse than this, at my husband’s company, they are not supposed to date coworkers. So both of them were breaking the rules and there would probably be consequences for their careers if they were caught. Plus, my husband was very careless as if he wanted to get caught. But when I do confront him about it, he freaks out. He chases me around the house sobbing and saying that he can not handle it if leave him and take the kids. When I tell him that he should have thought of this before, he says that this is the problem, that he wasn’t thinking. But the thing is, my husband is a thinker. He is not the type of person who doesn’t know what it is doing. He had to be aware of the risks. I am sick that he did this. Why would an otherwise reasonable person risk everything to have an affair? He actually claims that he didn’t even care all that much about her. He insists she means about next to nothing to him. If this is actually true, why would he risk all of this to cheat with her? I simply don’t understand.”

I truly do get what you are saying. I had the same questions. I asked these questions of my own husband and of men that I’ve interviewed for articles. Although each man, each affair, and each set of details are different, you tend to see the same themes come up over and over again. I will share those now in the hopes that something will be helpful.

They Minimize The Risk In Their Own Mind In Any Way That They Can: If you straight out ask an honest man why he risked everything for an affair, you might get a blank look. Why? Because when they think about it after the fact, the risk is staggering, but at the time, they didn’t internalize the risk. In fact, they did everything that they could to minimize it in their own mind. That’s why this is all so perplexing to wives. If most of our husbands sat down and thought about exactly what might happen if they were caught, most would never go through with it. Because it’s just not worth that risk. But they don’t sit down and really think about it. They tell themselves that it will be a one-time thing. Or that they can and will end it very quickly. They tell themselves that their marriage and the affair are two different parts of their lives and they can keep the two away from one another.

People who have had affairs describe it like juggling a bunch of balls in the air – constantly keeping both things going. Some even try to break off the affair, but the other person makes every attempt to keep it going. Many of them are in the process of ending things when they are caught. At that point, they’d started to acknowledge the risk that they were taking, and they began to try to untangle themselves from it. But of course by then it is too late and they are caught.

I can’t claim that there aren’t some husbands who are invested in the affair and who may want to continue on with it even when they are caught. But in my experience, this is not the case with many. Most of them will tell you that if they had sat down and thought it out, they never would have done it. Most claim that they would give anything to take it back because they don’t want to lose their family. Statistics bear this out, since more marriages survive an affair than not. In short, most men do their very best not to think about the risk.

A Day -To-Day Perspective: When I was trying to come to terms about this in my own life, I realized that, if we are all being honest, there are some mind games that we all play with risk, but on a much smaller scale. For example, I have a family history of skin cancer. When I drive carpool, I am in the car (and therefore in the sun) for a long period of time. I know that I should wear sunscreen and most of the time, I do. But if I get in a hurry and am rushing out the door, there will be times when I will think “stop what you are doing and put on sunscreen. You know you can’t leave your skin unprotected.” But because I am running late and I don’t want to be at the back of the line, I just go without it. This puts myself and my family at risk (if I were to get cancer.) I fully know this. And yet, I push those worries in the back of my mind and I carry on. I know that this isn’t an apples to apples comparison. Sunscreen and an affair are two very different things. But I wanted to point out that we all tend to minimize risks in our own minds. It’s just human nature. This doesn’t excuse your husband by a long shot. But I did want to show the process that goes into the mind games that we all play with ourselves. On a larger scale, that is how people risk everything for an affair. They simply push thoughts of risk to the very back of their minds – until they are caught or are trying to end it.

How Long Should I Expect The Affair To Last?

I sometimes hear from wives whose husbands are still actively having an affair. And they are trying to determine what type of situation they might be facing. For whatever reason, the husband is reluctant to break off the affair or to let the woman go. So, the wife wants to know for how long this might go on.

A common comment in this situation is something like: “I recently found out that my husband is having an affair with a woman who he was engaged to in high school. This was a relationship that was over decades ago, but apparently they have decided to pick up where they left off. One of my friends happens to be friend of the other woman. My friend found out about the affair and told me. When I confronted my husband, he told me that he had never lost feelings for this woman and that he still has those same feelings. He didn’t offer to end it then and he is still not offering to end it. She lives in another state. They mostly communicate by phone and text, although they have spent a handful of weekends together when my husband told me he was traveling for work. Our mutual friend says that if I just give it time, the affair will fizzle out because they just can’t be together and in the same state enough to build a true relationship. I wish that I could believe this, but I’m not sure that I do. My husband has said that he won’t abandon me and that he’s not going to make any decisions immediately. But I can’t help but worry that he will move to be with her or vice versa. And I get so depressed wondering how long this is going to last. For how long do most affairs last?”

I actually tried to research this topic and most of what I found indicated a range of two to four years, as an average. These statistics came from authors who had written books about affairs. I’m sure that these authors did their research and I don’t really feel qualified to disagree with them. I’m not a therapist or expert by any means. But I do have to say that the people who I hear from mention affairs that are generally shorter than this. Sure, I’ll occasionally hear about a long term affair. But most of the time, in these instances, every one knows about every one else and sort of accepts it. This scenario sort of becomes a situation where the wife knows about the mistress and begrudgingly accepts it so it just goes on and on. The wife in above scenario did not want this type of arrangement. So I would suspect that this won’t be the case here. But of course, I can’t say for sure.

Things That Can Influence The Longevity Of An Affair: Sometimes, the length of the affair depends on the type of help that the couple is able to obtain. A very good counselor can often be very persuasive in getting the cheating spouse to see the damage of these actions, but will also make it seem that the spouse himself chose to end it.

Another consideration is the motivation of the other woman. It’s not yet clear if she wants a long term relationship. Because it’s not only the husband who can end the affair. The other woman could decide that the relationship isn’t working for her or that it’s not right and end it at any time also.

Even if you know every variable, and even if you think that you’re clear on the motivations of both the husband and the other woman, it’s very hard to predict the future. There are so many unknowns when you are talking about human behavior and emotions. There are also circumstances that could happen to end the relationship that no one saw coming. One or both of the people could have to relocate. The attraction could fizzle out. Or one of them can decide that it’s just too much work.

Some wives will give their husband’s an ultimatum and will tell him that if he doesn’t break it off at once, he faces a separation or divorce. This isn’t always the best call because I often see men either refuse to break it off or claim that they have broken it off and then continue the relationship behind every one’s back. Or, he could end it but then mope around because he misses her or he feels that he wasn’t allowed to make his own decision.

And although I don’t necessarily agree with the 2 – 4 year statistic, I do concede that some affairs last for a while. With that said, an affair has a lot going against it. This is a relationship born in secrecy and shame. It can’t be healthy by its very nature. Yes, some people will be stubborn and will try very hard to make it work. But statistically, affairs don’t stand a very good chance of succeeding for the long term. The question is how long it will take the participants of the affair to figure that out.

Why Men Cheat – 4 Reasons Why Men Engage In Affairs And Cheat On Their Partners

According to a survey 92 percent of cheating men said that they cheat because of emotional disconnection. People would think that men cheat because of the sex but what they do not realize is that sex, being a medium of emotional transmission into a physical expression, is just as important to men as affection is important to women.

Men are also emotional beings. The problem is that society has painted them in a way that doesn’t make them look like that. Society plays a heavy role in defining men. Think about it, the media places a big misconception on men that they become “macho” when they have more than just one woman. Almost to the point where it connotes that the more women a man can have, the more powerful he becomes- or that men have the biological right to cheat mainly because he has the penis.

They do not have to worry about being pregnant or checking in with their monthly OB-GYN visits. The media portrays them as the alpha dogs and that women are merely dispensable sexual objects. We are mislead into believing that men are these lustful, animalistic gods who have no sense of self control, remorse and conscience to decipher what’s right from wrong when it comes to sex.

This misconception is confusing and can basically mislead us from the truth. Men are just as emotional as women, but they simply displace their emotions in different, socially-acceptable ways.

1. Appreciation– Most men who cheat feel under-appreciated by their partners. With daily worries like bills, children and chores, couples drift away from appreciating one another. The other woman often makes the man feel better- making them feel different, appreciated and admired. Men look strong, powerful and capable. But on the inside, they’re insecure like everybody else. They’re looking for somebody to build them up to make them feel valued.

Men have a winning mentality. Just think about how men watch their favorite sports teams on television. They love to win. As long as they’re in the game, even to the very end, they’ll watch. Once it’s a blowout and they know their team can’t win, the television goes off. Now they might not have been great guys to live with but if you want to preserve your relationship make them feel like they’re winning with the things that they do for you. It doesn’t matter how small it is, appreciation will save your man from looking at an affair.

2. Appearance vs Attention– 88 percent of men surveyed in a study said that the other women were no better looking than their own wives or girlfriends. This only proves that there are other things aside from physical looks that can drive a man to cheat. Attention is one of them. Most men cheat because their wives or girlfriends stop paying attention to them. They put a very strong hold on this and if they can’t find it in your home or apartment, they come looking for it someplace else.

The other woman makes them feel secure. They feel like they can be themselves. They can talk more, express more and the listening ear is always available when they need to share their stories. It surprises them how someone else can be so interested in their work, their childhood, their plans and their dreams. And men put a high price on this!

Anybody, no matter how you look, can be admiring, open and give you that extra little pump and hang on to every one of your words. So instead of spending too much extra time in the office, why not spend some quality time listening to your partner.

3. Power. A common mistake of working power women is when they make the men feel emasculated by rubbing to their faces that they have higher incomes. This can make the guy feel criticized and again, under-appreciated. Making them lose their sense of power in a relationship.

According to Sherry Argov, in the book “Why Men Marry Bitches”, “Power is just as intoxicating to men as romance is intoxicating for women”. Once they feel vulnerable the men will try to regain the lost power by cheating with a woman, who, as you guess it, usually works as a waitress in TGI Fridays!

So be extra careful in how you appear to your partner when you have a high powered career. Although men may look supportive and proud, they do have a certain form of insecurity when it comes to providing food on the table or paying for dinners. It is not to say that the woman should feel sorry for being more successful than he is, or that she should just quit her job or ask to be demoted just to caress his ego.

It’s more on how you handle yourself tactfully and sensitively when you talk about your job, your paycheck, your FICO score, your investments or your purchases. Modesty is the important thing here. Don’t criticize his job or his income either. Make sure that you let him know that you’re rooting for him, not competing against him.

4. Passion. Most couples stop going out on dates when the honeymoon stage is over. 4 years into marriage and it’s all about microwavable TV dinners and talking about bills. The spice has been replaced by monotony. Therefore, once in a while you should go out to your favorite restaurant, go to the movies (not rent a DVD) and watch a flick you both enjoy.

Activities, outside of the routine living at home, are the things that get the juice flowing in a relationship. Many couples stop dating after marriage or after a long period of time, then the woman wonders why the man has ran away with another woman.

This is because men, in general, like fun and outgoing women. They like a woman who laughs more and knows how to have a good time. Men are like children and if you’re not going to be a fun playmate, they will find the next girl in the neighborhood to play with. If you’re such a drag chances are he’ll resent you for it. A man needs to be constantly stimulated to maintain his attention. Otherwise, he will take it out on himself and feel unappreciated and taken for granted. He wants to know that you can still be entertained by his company, that he can still make you laugh and be interested in his character.

Don’t stop the humor because you’re already busy with important priorities. Include recreation in your budget and schedule. Make sex more interesting by buying a new pair of sexy lingerie. Experiment in bed. The key here is that you need to cover all the aspects of your life together keep him hooked and interested in only you.

This is not to say that you should be a doormat and become his own private entertainer, like a court jester juggling tricks for the king all day long. The mere purpose of this is to keep the fire burning, the engines running and the steam flowing. Remember, men are just as passionate as women.