It’s hard to pull someone out of an active affair. There are some things that you can do to work on yourself while your spouse is cheating, though that’s probably the last thing you want to hear.

More support for you while one spouse is cheating:

“Why does my husband want a divorce?” We answered the following question on a forum-

Two weeks ago my husband of four years, asked me for a divorce out of no where. It hit me like a bomb shell. He stated that he has been unhappy throughout all our marriage and that I am the least affectionate person hes ever been with. That we have nothing in common. Of course I cried to him and pleaded to give us a few more months, to work out any issues we may have. So for the next week I was the most loving and affectionate wife, except he kept shutting me down saying its too late.

This went on for about a week.

Fastforward to this past Sunday, I went through is phone out of mere suspicion and come to find out he’s having an emotional affair with a co-worker.  Of course we fought and I called her as well. Last night we talked and he still wanted a divorce saying he didn’t love me the way I wanted him too and that I had plenty of opportunities to change and show my love for him.

One problem: I am not a cold person, I love him with all my heart and not sure when I wasn’t as affectionate. We also have a 2 year old together that is my full responsibility. So I have nights and weeks where I’m exhausted from being a mom at home and a corporate partner in the business world but I don’t think i neglected him.

Please help me understand what is going on!

In this case, there are signs that your husband is having an affair.

I am really sorry to hear what you are going through. It sounds like it was a huge shock. It sounds like this affair has been going on for a while and that he is completely infatuated with this woman. Even if we “love” our spouse, it’s possible to “fall in love” with someone else if we spend enough private time with them. We develop a bond and become chemically attracted to them, to the extent that we become blinded to reality, much like we do when we first fell in love with our spouse. If he is involved in a physical affair, he is even more bonded to her than in an emotional affairand is most likely incapable of thinking about the consequences of his actions. That’s often the reason women or men cheat.

Men who cheat are not thinking logically and it may be very hard to persuade them otherwise. Whether or not he no longer loves you, he owes it to your child to at least work on the relationship and seek professional marriage help. Even if the divorce is “amicable”, it will have an impact on your child. If he had issues with you for years, it was his responsibility to articulate them. He can’t expect you to be a mind reader.

While you may have been distracted from the relationship, taking care of the baby and working, it is still not license to cheat. What happens in relationships is that we often do not know how to articulate our needs. Instead of asking you for attention, he went elsewhere. It was his way of “acting out”. This, in no way, justifies what he did, but does point to the importance of both spouses being open and connected with each other.

At this point, it may be very difficult to get him to work on the marriage, even for the sake of the child. One thing he should know is that if he does marry this other woman, his relationship is likely to fail as well. Who’s to say she won’t cheat on him? Once he is no longer in the romantic relationship stage, he will find plenty of problems with her as well and he will regret that he left you. The truth is that we “take” ourselves with us, into the next relationship, so he will still be present with all of his baggage in the new relationship. As much as he thinks it’s all about you, he would benefit from becoming more aware of why he is bothered by you and take responsibility for his issues, which may simply be projections.

For the sake of your family, I hope he has a change of heart. In the meantime, it is worth checking with a lawyer to protect yourself. We can also work with you to help you get over the affair. And if he is willing to stop the affair, the best thing for you is to gain clarity about what is going on and what led to the relationship breakdown that you’re experiencing.

Our 2 Day Marriage Restoration Retreat is the absolute best way to fix this. Let us help you. Talk with us today.


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Shlomo & Rivka Slatkin

Rabbi Shlomo Slatkin is an Imago relationship therapist and certified (master level) Imago workshop presenter with over 20 years of experience hosting couples therapy retreats in-person and online. Contact or