necessities for ending marriage problems
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How To Reconcile With A Cheating Wife And Restore Love

Many men think that confronting their wives with an affair will automatically lead to reconciling. For most marriages this is not the case.

necessities for ending marriage problems
Reconciling has more to do with your relationship than it does with the other man.

There is only one scenario in which you can use a single step solution to end your wife’s affair and reconcile. That is when your relationship is already very good. Then you can simply tell her to give up the other man or you are divorcing her.

People commit or re-commit in order not to lose someone very valuable to them. No one wants to lose someone or something of great value. In fact, they will do whatever they can to keep it.

People will give up something they value only in order to keep something else they value more.

If you already are very valuable to her, then you just need to put her in the position to lose you. She will first try to find a way to keep both you and her affair partner, but if if becomes clear that you will be done with her, then she will give up the other man.

I recommend you read my article on what to do if your wife wants to divorce and be friends if you are in this situation.

What if she doesn’t value you so much?

The vast majority of affairs by married women do not fit the scenario of a cheating woman in a great marriage. Typically they have been in a marriage that has been pretty bad for at least two years. In addition, they have typically done all they know how to do to improve their marriages, only to meet resistance from their husbands.

For most of the men I help to reconcile, their wife leaving or cheating on them could have been predicted years in advance.

For most women who cheat, their marriage has very little value, if any.

Anything not well maintained will lose value to the point it becomes a liability to keep. Your car, your home, and your marriage are prime examples.

How likely is it that your wife is cheating on you or will?

Many men are relieved to discover their wives are not cheating on them. Once they figure that out, they often continue on as usual, even if their marriage is bad from their wife’s perspective. If you discover your house is not on fire, but ignore fire hazards all around, you are only delaying the inevitable.

The first thing you need to look for are not signs of cheating, but signs that your marriage is good. These are indications that your marriage is valuable to your wife. The more of these you find, the less likely that your wife is cheating and the less likely she will cheat.

10 Contraindications of an Affair (value indicators):

  1. Your wife looks happy to see you each day.
  2. Your wife uses a nice tone of voice to talk to you.
  3. Your wife says nice things about you to others.
  4. Your wife often initiates nonsexual touch.
  5. Your wife thinks you are funny.
  6. Your wife gives you compliments.
  7. You and your wife spend quality time together every day.
  8. You and your wife regularly go on dates in which you have more quality time together.
  9. You and your wife look forward to having sex with each other.
  10. Your wife remarks that the two of you are very similar.

For your wife to be doing those things and be having an affair with another man is uncommon. However, women are increasingly being socialized to believe that cheating is normal and healthy. Faithful married women are often pressured to divorce, stay friends with their husbands, and date others. When their friends or social media is their only source of validation, conformity is just a matter of time.

Due to genetic differences, men have much more of a tendency to cheat in good relationships than women do. The best way for a man to prevent his wife from cheating is to maintain a good relationship with her. Women often have to take extra steps to prevent men from cheating, and I wrote a book to help them with that. Fortunately for men, keeping a woman faithful is less difficult.

The characteristics of men and women complement each other, but they are not the same. When we join in marriage, we become something that neither of us could be on our own.

By the way, of those ten behaviors I listed, how many could your wife say were true about you and your relationship? If she seems contented, but many of those things are missing, her contentment is not coming from your relationship.

*Please notice that religiosity is not a good predictor of who will or will not have affairs or divorce. Most starving people will take food that is widely available, even if it doesn’t belong to them. That is true for those who are starved of love as well. Never think that because your wife is Christian, she won’t have an affair. Even your dog will abandon you if you don’t feed him.

How do you determine if your wife is having an affair?

I told you the ten contraindications of an affair, which can also guide you toward affair prevention. As those disappear, you will be able to see indications if your wife is either having an affair or preparing for one.

10 Indicators that your wife is possibly having an affair (devaluation indicators):

  1. quick deterioration in your relationship for no apparent reason
  2. your wife got a new job or went back to school
  3. she has become more sexually interested in you although your relationship has not otherwise improved (infatuation with another stage)
  4. she has petty complaints and is upset easily (distancing stage)
  5. she has suddenly lost all interest in sex with you (affair stage)
  6. she is no longer bothered when you don’t spend time with her
  7. she is secretive with her cell phone or computer
  8. taking more trips by herself or extending them
  9. a renewed interest in getting into shape
  10. buying more fashionable clothing

The fewer value indicators you have and the more devaluation indicators you have, the more likely it is that your wife is having an affair. If you have OCD, you will probably fixate on individual items. Remember that you are looking for multiple indicators–patterns. Your wife simply getting into shape or getting a job does not indicate a probable affair.

Don’t try to prevent her from doing any of these things or she will feel controlled. Instead, work on increasing value in your relationship.

What is cheating?

Word definitions are important. Beware of people who redefine words because they are attempting to get you to believe or follow something you otherwise wouldn’t. Cheating or affairs are both types of unfaithfulness.

In marriage, unfaithfulness is giving to another what should only be given to one’s spouse, taking from another what should only be taken from one’s spouse, or thinking of another the way that should only be thought toward one’s spouse. The Lord Jesus made it quite clear that we can be unfaithful even in our thinking.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.–Matthew 5:27-28, NIV.

If you are viewing pornography, from a Christian perspective, you are cheating on your wife. To be sure, to be tempted by women is not a sin, but to dwell on your temptations is. A friend of mine in seminary used to say, You can’t stop a bird from landing on your head, but you can stop it from building a nest in your hair!

These definitions should help you to determine if your wife’s actions constitute an affair, regardless of how she defines her own behavior. However, getting her to admit to an affair is not a good goal for reconciling. It doesn’t matter how she characterizes it. And, it does not matter if it is sexual or emotional. Your wife getting emotional needs met by another man that should only be met by you is just as much cheating as her getting her physical desires met by another man.

The purpose of determining unfaithfulness is not so you can judge her. It is so you can know when to take action, and when not to. Some men are too quick to judge a woman as unfaithful when her behavior actually is fine and healthy. Overly controlling and jealous men create the very thing they seek to prevent by driving their wives away from them.

Security and empathy are two requirements for reconciling

In good marriages

As I said at the beginning, in a good relationship you only need to confront and demand that she will stop or else you will divorce her and end contact. Insecure men can’t bring themselves to do that because they are too fearful of losing their wives. Their fears drive them to have weak boundaries and to have conflict without corrective action–both of which end up eventually destroying their relationships.

Please note that separation and divorce are tools used by secure men in good relationships to bring about restoration of the marriage. I believe this is one of the main reasons that God allows for divorce in the case of affairs. Such an option helps to prevent spouses from cheating in marriages they would not want to lose.

What if your marriage is not already good?

If you make your wife choose between keeping an affair partner or staying in a bad marriage, she may initially agree to stay in the bad marriage with you. Typically within a week she will continue her affair, however. That is too valuable for her to lose. And, if your marriage is bad, who can blame her if she doesn’t want to give up a better relationship with someone else?

If my dog started living at my neighbors house, he would be behaving unfaithfully to me. But, if I didn’t feed him and the neighbor did, who could blame him?

I have found that some men, regardless of how bad their marriage has been or how much they have neglected their wives, have no empathy for their wives.

If you have no empathy for your wife’s desire to be with a man who makes her feel loved rather than be with one who didn’t, then it would be foolish of her to go back with you. A man without empathy is not a suitable husband for any woman. Such men are only interested in possessing, manipulating, and controlling. If you are like this, only God has the ability to change your heart to a loving one. It is not something that any coach or counselor can do for you.

For those who are able to empathize with their wife’s desire to be in a better relationship with another man, there is hope for you with coaching. If all you feel is anger and betrayal however, you have no empathy and I can’t help you. In that case do both of you a favor by divorcing.

Overcome Neediness Book
Overcome Neediness and Get the Love You Want

Working to end an affair

Couple’s counseling is not the right answer for reconciling

There is nothing the counselor can do to increase your value for your wife. The counselor may be able to help to clarify why your wife does not value your relationship. This exploration of problems generally leads to greater understanding but maintains emotional distance. The end result is typically amicable divorce.

From a modern counseling perspective amicable divorce is the preferred alternative to trying to get people to rebuild their relationship. Do not expect to find any pro family conservative values in psychology. The therapists that have them do so not because of training, but because of their own faith journey.

I agree that in badly mismatched or abusive marriages amicable divorce is a better alternative than continually trying to get something to work that can’t. There are many marriages however, that are not badly mismatched, but suffer from poor maintenance of the emotional connection. Many couples are able to continue to have very good marriages if the connection can be rebuilt.

Confrontation choices

If her affair is secret

If you know your spouse is having an affair and your marriage is very bad, confronting and forcing a choice is not likely to lead to reconciling. If she is not aware that you know about the affair, I recommend working on helping her to value you more before revealing that you know.

Eventually you will have to force a choice, but if you can improve your relationship first, then you have a better chance of winning the choice.

There is no Christian requirement that we confront a spouse who is cheating. The Christian requirement is the that we love our spouse and seek a loving reconciliation. Sometimes we need to put aside the problem behavior while we strengthen our relationship. This is true for both parenting and for marriage.

If her affair is out in the open

If she is aware that you know about the affair, and your relationship is bad, you need a different approach. Going along with her affair without any boundaries, may be appreciated by her, but will make you less desirable as a spouse. You will be firmly entrenching yourself as a friend. Yet, making her choose between you is not the solution either.

In this situation you need to express empathy with her for her affair (however she labels it). Admit that your relationship was bad and that her desire to be with another man makes sense to you, even if you wish things had not come to that. Express to her that you want the best for her, but can’t continue to live with her because you need to move on and take care of yourself.

Notice that you are not asking her to choose. You are just assuming that she will prefer the other man and you are starting a separation. To do anything else would allow her to have her cake and eat it too, which would not help you to reconcile.

If you have done this well, there should be no animosity between you and your wife. This will create a window of opportunity for you to work to help your wife to be attracted to you and value you, while you also use good boundaries.

The common feature of both of these approaches

Rebuilding your relationship has absolutely nothing to do with convincing her to give you another chance. Nor is there discussion of your relationship or an attempt to work together to rebuild it. Certainly there should be no arguing, convincing, or begging, which will just make you less attractive and create greater distance.

Rebuilding your relationship has to do with your becoming again the kind of man your wife would desire if she were meeting you for the first time. Most men in bad relationships stopped behaving in attractive ways long before the affair happened. In addition, you will need to use good relationship building principles just as you would with any woman you were interested in.

Having good boundaries is part of being an attractive man. They show that you are secure. For a man not to stay with a woman who is having an affair is attractive. For a man to openly continue with a wife who is dating another man is not attractive at all.

If you are arguing or hostile with your wife, you are doing it wrong. These behaviors never promote relationships or faithfulness.

Attracting and connecting with women never involves convincing them of anything. It involves becoming a desirable and enjoyable man. It is what the other man did to interest her. It is what you have to do as well. Be worthy of her love instead of trying to get love welfare.

Don’t simply wait for the affair to end if you want it to end well

If your wife is cheating on you, your choice now is to be hostile, to be needy, or to be secure and attractive. If you are afraid having boundaries will only lead to divorce, then you can choose to be her friend and allow her to have another man if you want. Some men prefer that option than to risk losing her.

If you would rather divorce than have that situation, but want a good chance at reattracting and reconnecting with her, then you are the kind of man that I enjoy working with. Because you have a narrow window of time to get good at connecting and being attractive, I strongly recommend you work with a coach to acquire those skills. I have a coaching package designed to help men in just such a situation. You can see the details on my website at

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