What Does A Man In An Affair Mean When He Says He Wants To Take A Break From All Relationships?

Much of the time, the people that I dialog with are one part of a married couple who are dealing with infidelity. Occasionally, though, someone who is actively having an affair (or trying to keep one from ending) will reach out because they need help figuring out someone’s motivations or thought process. For example, perhaps a husband is trying to break off an affair and the other woman doesn’t buy or understand his reasoning for this.

She might explain a situation like: “I had an affair with a man who I adored for over seven months. I know that this is a cliche, but I really did believe that he was going to leave his wife for me. I truly did believe that he loved me. He seemed very into our relationship and was full speed ahead until his wife unexpectedly found out about us. After that, everything crumbled. I guess his wife didn’t take it very well and somehow his older child found out and became very upset. For a while, he tried to reconcile with his wife and told me to stay away. I don’t know how it went between them because he wouldn’t take my calls. But I can only assume that it didn’t go as expected because last week, he called me again. I got all excited. We went out to dinner and I thought that it was going well. I thought that we would end up going back to my place and that one thing would lead to another. But when I suggested that, he told me that he’s decided that he needs to take a break from relationships for a while. I literally laughed at that because he never turned down anything physical from me. He said that he was going to take sex out of the equation with all women for a while. This just isn’t like him, so I figured he must be doing well with his wife and is sexually happy in the marriage. But if that is the case, why have dinner with me? Since then, he stopped taking my calls again and one of my friends said that she saw him with his family. I almost wish that he had never called me. I don’t get the purpose of it. Why would a man even want to be celibate? Is he lying to me?”

I have no idea if he is lying. It seems quite clear that he may be struggling somewhat with how move on with his life. But, in light of the fact that he didn’t have any physical relationship with you once he ended the affair, it DOES seem as if he is indeed trying to move forward regardless. This may or may not include trying to save his marriage. And frankly, that is his business. Every one can understand a parent wanting to maintain their family after their child becomes understandably upset. We have no way of knowing what the wife wants, but again, that is no one’s business but hers or the family’s.

The truth is, married men will say or claim all sorts of things in order to end an affair in the cleanest, least painful way as is possible. I have no idea if he is celibate or not, but he seemed to use it partly as justification for breaking things off and insinuating himself from a physical or sexual relationship, which tells you that he’s being truthful about the relationship being over and about him turning his attention to his family. I know that it’s painful, but I don’t think that you can fault him for wanting this.

Don’t you deserve a relationship where the other person can have a complete relationship with you, that doesn’t need to be hidden or based on guilt? Don’t you want a relationship where the man is free and happy to have a physical relationship and isn’t claiming to be celibate?

This man may well feel the need to take a break from romantic relationships or even from sex, but that is just one more sign that everyone might consider moving on. There seems to be very little pay off here and all kinds of pain. I am admittedly biased, but it seems to me that the obvious and best thing to do would be to wish him well, but let him go. Do whatever healing that needs to be done for yourself and for your own life. Give yourself time to focus on your own healing and what you want, need and deserve. And the next time, find a man who is free to be completely yours – emotionally, legally, and physically. Everyone deserves a complete relationship – not one that must be hidden or based on deceit, doublespeak, and pain.

What Is The Likelihood Of A Second Affair After A Man Has Cheated Once?

I often hear from women who are dealing with infidelity and who admit that, in a perfect world, they would like to one day be able to save their marriage. But of course, almost all of them have reservations and doubts. One of the biggest concerns that I hear is the fear of repeat cheating. It is absolutely normal to worry that the very second that you allow yourself to trust him again, he’s going to repeat cheat and absolutely shatter you. The fear is so large and so real that some people consider not attempting to save the marriage for the fear of the second affair.

Someone might say, “I need to know the likelihood that my husband is going to cheat again. He swears that he won’t. He is saying and doing the right things. And yet, I can not bring myself to trust him completely. I am always on guard. Trying to get through this process has taken everything that I have. It has shattered what I thought I knew about my husband and my marriage. I am suspicious of everyone and everything. I see the world as a hostile place now and this was never true before. It has placed a dark cloud over everything. I am slowly trying to recover, but it has been crippling. I can’t do this again. My husband swears that he would never put himself in this position again. I want to believe him. But he found a way to cheat once, so who is to say that he will not cheat again? What do statistics say about the likelihood of a second affair?”

If you have looked, I’m sure you have seen that the statistics vary. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be an agreement. I have seen three sets of statistics. One indicated that only 22 percent of people cheated more than once. Another contradicted that and said that as many as 55 percent of people repeat cheat. Plus there was an online survey of people who’d had affairs and 60 percent of them said that they had been unfaithful more than once. (I would take this one with a grain of salt, as the folks who are online and willing to talk about their infidelity might be a different subset than the people who just want to move on with their lives.) However, as you can see, the statistics vary widely, but you can get as high as about half of the unfaithful people will cheat again. And you can get as low as only 1/4.

I understand why you want to know about statistics. I can spout off a lot of statistics about affairs and their recovery because I did a lot of research due to my own experience. But I can tell you something else. You can read statistics all day long, but truly, they don’t have any impact on your life. Just because a certain number of other couples have one experience, that does not mean that you will.

The better indicator of whether you will deal with another affair is not what happens with other couples – it is what happens with your husband, with yourself, and with your recovery. I can tell you something else that I learned. You can only do as much as is humanly possible and there are still no guarantees, but it does get better. Time is a wonderful tool with this. Early in our recovery, I always worried over the slightest little perception of deception. Most of the time, it was just my suspicions working overtime But with time, you begin to see that your first fears aren’t coming true and you allow yourself to relax just a tiny bit more. And one day, you realize that if you do the counseling, if you insist that your husband take responsibility and become rehabilitated, and if you work on yourself and you become as strong as you possibly can, then at some point, you have to just take a breath and know that you can’t fully control this. You can and should make your marriage and your recovery as strong as possible. And you should always be aware. If my husband started acting weird tomorrow or showing troubling behaviors, of course I would be concerned and I would investigate that. But I no longer want to live my life always on my guard. My husband and I worked long enough and hard enough that I feel safe in releasing just a bit. If my husband’s behaviors made it necessary for me to change, then I would, but I got tired of living my life for fear of tomorrow.

You are early on in this process, so you haven’t had the advantage of time yet. But if you are still invested in your marriage, then you can only see to it that you get all the help that you need and do everything that you and your husband possibly can to get back on track. You can be clear about your expectations and you can have each of them met. And at some point, you just have to exhale and know that if the worst should come, then you will handle it then, but you aren’t going to compromise the rest of your life always living with suspicion and walking on eggshells. Only you will know when you’ve reached this point. Usually, quite a bit of healing needs to happen first.

A Man of Affairs by John D MacDonald

MacDonald was once a well-known writer of hard-boiled crime novels. He was probably the best known of such writers in the 1950s and 1960s, and had a string of bestsellers with his series hero Travis McGee.

In the 1950s he was making his reputation. Such books didn’t often make the bestseller lists. The stories were published in the pulps and the novels as Fawcett Gold Crest paperbacks.

Many of those novels were not really crime novels, just brutal slice of life pieces. He had a jaundiced view of postwar America.

A Man of Affairs is interesting because it’s the story of a corporate raider, Mike Dean, who’s like Gordon Gecko’s father, but in a time when buying up corporations to either break them up or re-mold them was supposedly virtually unknown. Yet MacDonald was writing about such a fictional company and raider nearly sixty years ago.

The hero is Sam Glidden, one of the corporate executives, having been the protege of the man who pushed it into the modern era, from being an old-fashioned family business. He was born on the rougher side of town, but the patriarch liked him and promoted him. But when the patriarch died, those left behind discovered that the old man had let the business slide. It couldn’t afford the general dividends it’d been paying. It needed to modernize to meet the demands of the current marketplace.

So Sam Glidden is running hard to put the company back on a solid footing. But he gets little support from a girl he was once attracted to in high school – the patriarch’s daughter, and her alcoholic cheating husband and her war hero brother who’s stopped trying to live productively.

They’re the company’s major stockholders, and are easy targets for Mike Dean’s manipulative offers. But Glidden gets himself invited to a house party on an island in the Caribbean so he can try to botch the settlement.

Here MacDonald writes well of the people and events, transmitting a solid sense of the violent potential below the sunshine and bright blue water surface. Glidden is unusual for a MacDonald character in that he does bed the pretty writer for Dean’s public relations agency, though it’s not surprising when they later decide they’re in love. MacDonald is nothing if not sexually moralistic.

Death does come, as we knew it was going to, although it’s something of a surprise. The perpetrators are symbolic rather than actual people. The worthless alcoholic husband is killed by an actual barracuda before the business barracuda can impoverish the couple. Mike Dean himself dies of a heart attack – not surprising given he has no heart.

So all ends well, thanks to the hand of God, which MacDonald knows is not normally a satisfying way to end a novel, so he must have been making a point. Perhaps it’s that the schemes of such manipulators will always backfire, eventually.