Have you ever thought about this question: Why do cheating husbands stay married? I know I have. He has everything, but he decides to risk it for temporary pleasure. What’s the reason?
Every relationship requires hard work from both sides, and commitment. After saying those vows your life changes, that’s inevitable. From that moment on, you have to think about another person’s wants and needs. There’s no place for selfishness.
You dedicate your life to making that person happy and you’ll try to provide for the best life possible. It’s simply not expected that one of you wakes up one morning and decides to cheat. That’s not how it works. So, something led to that particular moment.
However, in this article, we’re not going to talk about the reasons why men cheat, but rather why cheating husbands stay married. You’ve probably been through this, or you’re simply curious as I was. So, let’s figure out together why he said I do and betrayed the person who loves him unconditionally.
Why is he willing to patch the marriage? Can you repair something that’s already broken? Is it going to be as beautiful as kintsugi (“golden joinery” or “golden repair”)? There is some art in embracing the damage, but can marriage be repaired? It ultimately depends on the couple.
Why do cheating husbands stay married?
I’ve decided to ask around (mostly people from my surrounding), checked some testimonials online, and here’s what I’ve found out. There are many “excuses” why men cheat, but when it comes to the question of why do cheating husbands stay married, all the answers came back to these eleven reasons.
1. He feels guilty
He’s well aware that what he did is not something worth the throne and he definitely won’t brag about it – unless he’s a complete douche. Anyways, he’s probably feeling guilty and is going out of his way to make it up to you for the mistake he did.
Guilt-tripping may actually keep him by your side, especially if he knows what he’s about to lose if he decides to leave. The whole thing may seem like something completely innocent and he never expected it to lead to this, so now he’s ashamed of his act.
Some cultures don’t think of divorce as something that is ethical and that it shouldn’t happen, so some men stay in the marriage because of the shame they could bring to their families. In both cases, cheating husbands will stay married, because they know how complicated and messy things could get.
Choosing to stay, somehow in his head, sounds like a good idea and reasonable to some extent, so yes, even though he cheated, guilt may make him say married to you.
2. He doesn’t want to be alone
One other thing plays a major role in this decision – they simply don’t want to be alone. Cheating husbands stay married because they can’t handle doing chores on their own, taking care of the house and kids without their woman to help around.
They are afraid of being lonely and they’ll do anything, even accept to be in a dysfunctional marriage, for the sake of not losing their families. Fear of abandonment completely paralyzes them and they choose to stay. He’s not going to be left alone and he, sure as hell, won’t be the one leaving you.
Especially if a man has low self-esteem and marriage actually was an ego boost. It may also be possible that the woman he cheated with said that, even though they were together, she doesn’t want to be in a relationship with him. He surely won’t compromise his self-image for the mistake he’s made once.
3. He doesn’t want to leave his comfort zone
You know how we easily get used to a good environment and it’s difficult for us to leave it? With time it becomes our comfort zone, a place where we can simply be ourselves without fear of judging. If that is what marriage is to him, the cheating husband will definitely come back and he won’t leave.
He’s simply not ready to ruin that peace he has right now and he won’t do it even if his lover asks him to do so. He knows that keeping the situation this way is actually the best solution for him. It wouldn’t be easy to walk a similar path again (you know, dating and things), especially after the divorce.
He’s not ready to compromise his current comfort zone, of course, he dared to go out of it, but for a short period of time. He’s not ready to completely give up the life he built with you. The house you live in, your social circle, family, and good memories – all of that required hard work.
I mean, do you really think that he wants to trade the comfort of your home, for a fling? Apparently not, but then the question is why he cheated? Unfortunately, you may never get that answer. Sometimes it’s the best that way, but if you really want to figure it out, be persistent.
Don’t let him get away with it, but also, don’t ask for many details. This may cause you horrible pain that you maybe won’t be able to recover from. Rather, ask enough to know what (and where) went wrong and, if you’re willing to fight for that marriage, try to fix it.
4. He’s sure it won’t happen again
What if he cheated simply because he wanted to check if he can do it again? He’s sure it was just a one-time thing and he loves you more than anything. But, something is missing in your marriage, and he decided to look for it on the side.
Maybe it all started as an innocent flirting game or maybe he was intoxicated, and one thing led to another… He’s labeled a cheater now. Is it possible that he won’t do it again? Maybe. It honestly completely depends on what kind of relationship you two share.
It could happen that you two just had a heated fight and he needed someone to listen to him. A simple moment of weakness can cause so much trouble. Communication between the two of you is of utter importance in this case.
Nobody can guarantee you that he’ll stay loyal for the rest of your life together after this “mishap”. He may be lying to himself first that he’ll change, then, what’s even worse, he may continue hurting you. I don’t think you deserve that. Rather, find someone who’ll appreciate you completely.
5. He doesn’t want to bother with the divorce
Why do cheating husbands stay married? Well, there are a couple of reasons why he doesn’t want to bother with the divorce even though that’s the only logical solution right now.
Paperwork is the first one that crossed my mind. Are you even aware of how much time that takes to finish up?
He probably is and that is one of the most common reasons why cheating husbands stay married. Why would they even try to explain what happened when they can simply create the illusion of a happy marriage? If you accept to play by his rules, he wins a jackpot. So, think before you react.
Maybe one of you financially depends on the other person or you simply cannot afford to get a divorce. It can also happen that he doesn’t want to share what you built together and he’d rather maintain a flawed marriage than give you half of the property.
Custody over kids can be one of the reasons why he doesn’t want to bother with the divorce. Assuming that kids always go to their mother (unless something’s really off), he may start thinking that he’ll lose them. This way, even though he lost his wife, kids are close to him and he gets to see them every day.
6. He simply loves the excitement that the affair brings
His adrenaline kicks in and he absolutely loves the excitement that the affair brings. Yes, this is also one of the reasons why cheating husbands stay married. The thrill he gets when he’s about to meet his lover, the challenge of not being caught – it’s an adventure he eagerly goes on.
The rush has an effect on him, almost like he took some kind of an opiate, and he simply becomes addicted to it. He may convince himself that he’ll be able to go away with it, even if he gets caught. In his mind, what you don’t know can’t hurt you.
He may start manipulating you if he notices that you may be curious about why he’s always late for dinner on Thursdays, or if you start checking his phone. He definitely has it all covered and you won’t be able to easily find the proof.
However, if you do dig something up and he promises that he’ll change, I wouldn’t get hopes up. He may break up with the woman he cheated on when you caught him, but what stops him to find another? Once you stop doubting, and the situation calms down a bit, he may do it all over again.
7. “Because of the kids”
Why do cheating husbands stay married? I can bet my life on kids being one of the top three reasons. And you know what? It sends shivers up my spine every single time. Please, never stay in a dysfunctional marriage because of the kids.
I know that at a certain moment you may think that your kids can’t handle it, and yes, the divorce is a trauma of some sort, but they will heal. I’m telling you this as a kid of divorced parents – that was the best decision they could do.
If you choose to stay married to someone you don’t love anymore, or you even hate that person for all the trouble he caused you, you’ll only hurt your kids. Yes, you’ve read that right.
Choosing to stay in a marriage with a cheater for kids’ sake is, and will always be, a horrifying choice. This way you’ll only create a toxic environment for them. They’ll have to listen to your constant fights, loud door slammings, and their image of love will be completely distorted.
You may even transfer the anger to them and raise your voice against them for no reason. Trust me when I say this, your kids will heal after the divorce, but they will struggle with the emotional damage you may cause them by staying married.
8. He hasn’t been caught
As simple as that, he chooses to stay married solely because he hasn’t been caught cheating yet. He’s enjoying the situation completely, and he has it all – a woman who genuinely cares about him keeps his family together, and is a perfect wife and mother, and another one he has fun with.
Every person likes to feel desired, and attractive, and loves to hear compliments from others, right? This may be required more at a particular moment and therefore, men (and women) choose to cheat. They are obviously trying to fill in that void that marriage currently can’t.
Married life sometimes becomes dull and husbands start cheating on their spouses. Of course, women aren’t saints either, so don’t get me wrong here. But, if he decided to cheat on a woman who loves him, who knows how far he can go.
He’ll definitely play his game until something bad happens. Even then, he may change the level, but the game will still be the same. I’m not trying to say that a cheater will always remain one, but I only want you to pay attention to his behavior and make sure he really changed before you get back to him.
9. He didn’t think of a backup plan
Usually, when husbands cheat on their wives, they do it without having a backup plan. Let’s be real, why would they need one if they’re hoping they won’t be caught? Once they do, however, they won’t know what to do, and staying married will be the best solution.
Cheating husbands will stay married if they believe that marriage is the only option they have. Maybe the woman they cheated with is committed to someone else and doesn’t want to compromise that. It can also happen that neither of them has any idea of what to do next.
This way, they are actually giving themselves some time to decide on their next step. He probably didn’t have enough time to think about the way out. Should he rent a place to live on his own, or should he invite his mistress as well?
Perhaps, he should file for divorce and then move out, or vice versa is a better choice? Too many questions he still doesn’t have an answer to and that’s one of the important reasons why cheating husbands stay married – it’s more convenient.
10. He doesn’t have to make a choice
This may sound harsh, but the reason he cheated and is still married to you is that you didn’t give him the ultimatum – he doesn’t have to choose between you and his mistress. Maybe you do suspect that he’s cheating on you, but you never found the courage to confront him about that.
He’s practically getting the best of both worlds. And he’s enjoying it, trust me. He can have whichever woman he wants, explore all the possibilities and push your boundaries simply to test how far can he go before you decide it’s enough.
He has a good wife in a house who’s making sure his kids are taken care of, a warm dinner waits for him every night on a dining table, and he has the privilege to call someplace home. Perfect, isn’t it? Every man’s dream!
On the other hand, he has this other woman who’s making things interesting, challenging, and more adventurous. He’s risking everything to be with her and there is the reason why it’s said that the forbidden fruit is always the sweetest.
He can get back to his younger days when he was flirting all around, and he can still have the security and comfort of home with you. If you don’t push the panic button and don’t force him to make a choice, he surely won’t do it because this is an ideal combination for him – particularly if he used to be a player.
11. He still loves you and truly wants to fix things
The reason why cheating husbands stay married is that they may also be attached to you, have you ever thought about that? They don’t want to lose their spouse, and they are well aware that their wife is better than the other woman.
So, he’s going to fight for that marriage because he truly wants to fix things. He knows he made a mistake and he’s ready to work it through. Simply the thought of losing you and his family scares him and he’ll do anything to protect that. It’s up to you, in this case, to decide what to do.
In my opinion, if he cheated, there is something going on with your relationship. Maybe you should take a break and figure out what to do if you think that going through a divorce may be a terrifying experience. A couple’s therapy may help in this case but think thoroughly before making a decision.
Just my two cents but I don’t think that cheating husbands stay married for the right reasons. If he considered cheating as an option and risked what you two share, he’s not someone who deserves you. Even though he promises that he’ll change, he may keep hurting you and your little family.
Being physically or emotionally betrayed, hurts like hell, so why would you endure that pain? When you accepted to be his wife for good and for bad, I assume that you didn’t think of this scenario. He literally chose to hurt you, the person you entrusted your heart to.
Put yourself first, think about what feels the best for you and make a final decision. Good luck!