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.

My Husband’s Affair Gave Him Unrealistic Expectations About Relationships

It’s normal to look at your spouse differently after you find out that they have cheated and had an affair. You may even come to believe that they have changed dramatically (both in their personality and in their outlook.) What you may not expect is that your spouse may actually acknowledge and celebrate this change.

One example of this is someone’s outlook on romantic love and infatuation. Often, the cheating spouse will almost put the other person – and the relationship – on a pedestal, especially at first. They do this for a few reasons, but the main one is that building up the relationship makes it easier to justify and carry out. The cheating relationship must be awful “special” or “rare” in order to justify taking so huge of a risk for it.

So yes, cheating spouses can almost have an unrealistic infatuation about the relationship and about the other person. Unfortunately, this does not always completely end once the affair does. You might find yourself with a spouse who has a new outlook on relationships and love in general. For example, a wife might say: “honestly, even when we were dating, I would never have called my husband a romantic. Certainly, he could be sweet when he wanted to. But my husband is a very practical person. He will buy gifts and show appreciation on special occasions, but he pretty much figures love is implied between married people. Well, ever since he had an affair, he has totally changed in this regard. From all of my snooping, I know that he constantly bought the other woman thoughtful gifts and did nice things for her. And that really hurts and angers me. I also know that he was considerate in ways that he hasn’t been for me in a very long time. However, I am 100% sure that the affair is over. I am confident that I don’t have to worry about her anymore. Still, when I turn my attention to my marriage, I notice that my husband still has his romantic idealism going. He has starting buying me gifts and attempting to show his ‘appreciation’ for me. I know that I should be grateful, but it kind of annoys me. Where was all of this consideration before? It takes another woman and an affair to show my husband that I am worthy of his affection? He’s like a man who suddenly learned how to be infatuated from another woman and it really annoys me. I’m not saying that I want my grumpy husband back – the one who never showed any appreciation. But he’s acting like a silly old fool with stars in his eyes. Middle aged people don’t need to place all of their focus on being in love like they did when they were 18. Don’t get me wrong. I want a happy marriage. But my husband is just acting foolish. How do I get him to stop this without insulting him?”

I understand your frustration. It might have been nice if he had shown a little more affection on his own, but now that this is coming after the affair, it is as if she has “awakened” something in him. And of course, quite understandably, you find that distasteful and a little insulting.

But the situation is a tricky one. If you want to save your marriage, you will eventually need to be the recipient of his affection. So it’s not like shutting him completely down is what you want. I think that what you truly want is both the affection (eventually) and the belief in its sincerity.

Right now, understandably, it’s hard to believe that this newfound affection is completely sincere. You might suspect that since he can’t have her anymore, he is projecting his feelings toward her onto you. And that makes you feel defensive. And like you might want to push him away. It’s a catch 22 because once you push him away, then you worry that he’ll cheat again.

I would suggest not coming right out and blatantly or harshly asking him to stop. But if you need to, you might insinuate that he may want to tone it down in the short term. The next time he goes over the top with the infatuation behaviors, you might try something like: “although I’m flattered that you are making such an effort, I have to be honest with you right now. Because I believe that we need honesty like never before. Sometimes, this is a little overwhelming. It’s very different than how you were before and it’s happening right after the affair, so sometimes it makes me question things, partly because it’s so dramatic. For the time being, can we tone it down just a little? Don’t misunderstand me. I am receptive to the affection, but I don’t want us to feel that we have to try so hard.”

Hopefully, he will take this in the right way and will tone it down. I’d like to point out that many people have affairs as a way to face the idea of their own mortality. They are aging and they realize that “you only live once.” The whole idea of infatuation and romantic love can be an extension of that. They can decide that this type of love is very important to them and they want to make sure to invite it into their life and enjoy it. Frankly, there is nothing wrong with that, as long as they do it inside the confines of your marriage and you are both comfortable with it.

Relationships: Can Someone’s Split-Off Parts Cause Them To Have Affairs?

There are a number of things that can cause a relationship to come to an end, and some of these things receive more exposure in the public eye than others. For example, it is not uncommon to hear about someone who had an abusive partner and how this caused their relationship to come to an end.


Along with being in an abusive relationship, there are those who were in a relationship with someone who continually cheated on them. Now, while this is what some people out there have been through, there are undoubtedly people who are going through these kinds of things right now.


If one is in a relationship with someone who is abusive, they are likely to know about it (that is unless being treated in this way is normal and, therefore, doesn’t stand out). However, if one is in a relationship with someone who is having an affair or who routinely cheats, they might not be aware of it.

One can then believe that they are in a relationship that is going well, only to have a partner who is sharing their body with other people. Their lack of knowledge of what is taking place is going to save them a fair amount of pain, at least in the short-term.

A Matter of Time

But, sooner or later, they are bound to get an idea about what is taking place. They might see something that makes it clear that their partner is straying, or they could just sense that something is not right.

What they do at this point can depend on a number of different factors. If one is a fairly strong and confident person, they could end up talking to their partner directly about what is on their mind.

Another Approach

Alternatively, they could be so caught up in their idealised version of their partner that they are unable to fully accept what is taking place in front of their eyes. Putting up with what is taking place is then going to be painful, but it will be even more painful for them to come to terms with what is actually going on.

Perhaps one doesn’t feel very strong on the inside, which has caused them to see their partner as the centre of the world. Their eggs are then all going to be in one basket, so to speak, setting them up to be emotionally dependent on their partner.

A Complex Dynamic

What this illustrates is why some people just put up with their partner cheating and don’t do anything about it. In this case, they won’t even try to resolve what is taking place; simply putting up with their behaviour.

On the other side of this, of course, is the big question about why someone would continually stray. There are a whole host of reasons as to why someone would behave in this way.

One Reason

There are hundreds of listicles out there that go into the different reasons as to why this takes place. If these common cited reasons are put to one side, it will create the space to become aware of another reason that is often overlooked.

What needs to be brought to the table here is that even though human beings look like one person from the outside, it doesn’t mean that they are one person on the inside. On the inside, they can have many different selves within them, with a different self taking over at different moments of their life.

A Closer Look

So, let’s say that there is the self that shows up when one’s relationship is going well and another self that shows up when it isn’t going well. The first part could be able to experience self-control, while the other part might have no self-control whatsoever.

When this second part shows up, their impulses could end up taking over, making it more or less impossible for them to resist what is taking place. Yet, if this part of them has taken over, they might not want to resist.

Inner Disharmony

Once this part is no longer in control of them and they are able to think clearly, they might end up being overwhelmed with guilt. It might seem as though they were possessed by something, vowing never to behave in this way again.

The days or weeks could pass, though, and they could end up doing the same thing all over again. It is then going to be clear that trying to fight this part of them is not going to work; another approach will be needed.

A Divided Self

In addition to the different selves that are within them, there is going to be the part of them that is aware, the part that simply observes. The self that takes over and causes them to lose control, for instance, can be the result of early childhood trauma.

One may have had an experience that was too painful for them to handle, and how they felt would then have been pushed out of their awareness. Their experience would then have been split-off in order for them to handle the amount of pain that they experienced.

A Lack of Integration

But, even though this part of them was split-off all those years ago, it is still exerting its influence over their life. There will then be times when this split-off part is like a piece of paper that is blowing in the wind and is nowhere near them, whilst there will be other times when it will be on their face, preventing them from seeing clearly.

All the time that this part, along with all the other parts, is within them, it is going to be a challenge for them to act like a conscious human being. It will be normal for them to act in ways that are destructive to themselves and others.


If someone can relate to this, and they want to become a more integrated human being, they may need to reach out for external support. This can be provided by the assistance of a therapist or a healer, for instance.