I sometimes hear from faithful wives who are worried about their husband’s feelings after he has ended his affair. Many worry that even though their husband seems to be committed to the marriage, he is going to miss the drama and the excitement that the affair brought about. They worry that by comparison, their marriage is going to seem boring.
A wife might say, “my husband and I have been doing pretty well after his affair. I’m pleasantly surprised because he has been very cooperative with everything that I have asked of him. He comes home after work. He doesn’t go out anymore. And he hasn’t complained about this. But I worry that he is going to see just staying home as boring. I do know that my husband spent a lot of money on the other woman. They went out and did things all of the time. My husband and I have dinner together and care for our children. So I worry that he is going to miss the excitement of the affair. I have always thought that we had a pretty good sex life. But sex after you’ve been married for years probably can’t compete with forbidden affair sex. Am I right in thinking that men tend to miss the excitement when they end the affair?”
I suppose that some men might. But others are actually relieved to let it go because it was stressful to live with that kind of secrecy and lies. I am not a man who has had an affair, but I have spoken with (and have heard from) many of them. Granted, because of my articles, I am probably more likely to hear from those who want to save their marriages. But frankly, many of them are living in a sort of pretend fantasy world during the affair. They keep the affair and their marriage separate in their minds as much as is possible. However, once the affair is discovered, this deception and cover up can’t continue. And that is when the husband must actually see the reality of what he is doing. It is usually only then that the seriousness of his actions can no longer be denied.
Putting This In Perspective: Many men in this situation become extremely afraid of losing their wife and their family. They suddenly see the affair for what is was – nothing more than pretend. And worse, now they have put their family at risk. Once a husband has faced losing his wife and his cozy, comfortable family, he can actually start to put both on a pedestal, which may be why you’re seeing him being so cooperative about staying home.
That is not to say that there aren’t some men who truly want to save their marriage, but who are also almost addicted to the affair and to the other woman. So although they tell their wife that the affair is over and they believe that their words are sincere, this doesn’t stop them from continuing to communicate with the other person because they just can’t seem to let the whole thing go.
But that is not true of every man. Since statistics show us that most couples actually stay together after an affair, it’s my observation that the majority of men want their wife and their marriage. Many are happy to be participating in their family rituals again because they were afraid that they’d no longer be welcome to do so. Because of this, many are actually happy with (and comforted by) your nights eating side by side and spending time with your kids.
Easing Your Mind: Of course, any marriage can benefit from spicing things up if you think that this might help. After my husband’s affair, my husband and I did make a point to step outside of our comfort zones. We traveled more. We spiced up our date nights by agreeing that we would try something new every week. We found joint hobbies that we could pursue together. These things were very beneficial because it felt like we were discovering something new during our recovery and this was fun for both of us.
However, there was no way around the fact that we were parents with children. Our family came first. We couldn’t pretend that we were newlyweds with no responsibilities, although we did make an effort to keep things fresh. Ultimately, neither of us were bored or felt that our lives lacked excitement. After all that we had been through, just spending quiet nights with our family in our home felt like a privilege because there were times when neither of us were sure that our marriage (or our family) was going to remain intact.
So to answer the original question, sure, there are some men who miss the excitement of the affair. But in my observation, most men are relieved to be back in their family’s lives. They realize their mistake and they realize that there is a sweetness and comfort in their family and marital history, which they take solace in. When something that you value is put at risk over your mistake, you often are so happy to still have it, that you don’t see it as boring. You’re just glad that it is yours. However, if excitement is something that you worry about, there is nothing wrong with trying to spice things up so that neither of you are bored or lacking in excitement.