When a father leaves his wife for another woman, it is often deemed unforgivable and selfish.
Let’s find out what truly lies at the core of this behavior!
Why would a father leave his wife for someone else?
This is a question many women, unfortunately, have to ask themselves.
What would bring a man to do such a thing? Is it simply in the nature of a man to seek out someone new?
A few things immediately come to mind when thinking about why he would leave his wife for someone else:
- Being an a**hole
- Craving other women
- Being immature
- A desire for more sex
- Being selfish
The list could go on, but you get the idea.
Are these the true reasons that cause men to act in that way?
First off, if you’re in the position of your husband leaving, I’m sorry, that’s an incredibly hard situation to go through.
We will talk about all the things you can do in order to heal from this in a minute, but first, let’s take a closer look as to why he would have even done that, to begin with.
Coming to terms with the core reasons for his betrayal will be incredibly helpful with letting go and moving on.
Oftentimes, the worst part about betrayal like that is not knowing what caused it, and therefore being scared of it happening again with someone else in the future.
Once you become aware of the underlying causes of this behavior, you will learn what lies in your power and what doesn’t, so that you can move on with a mind at ease.
Now: Why did he leave for someone else?
Usually, there are two main motives that cause a man to leave his wife and kids for another woman:
- He has fallen in love with said other woman or
- He has fallen out of love with you
I know, neither of these options is any less painful than the other one.
When he has fallen in love with another woman, it can be a complicated situation for him.
I’m not condoning his behavior in any way, but love is an extremely powerful emotion, causing people to do things they sometimes don’t even understand themselves.
Think back to how you felt when you first fell in love with your husband. The emotions were intoxicating!
Him falling in love with another woman doesn’t necessarily mean he stopped loving you.
Imagine it like fire. Your love has over the years become like a steady candle, always burning, but not as bright as it used to.
In comparison, this new love now feels like a wildfire, full of heat and passion (because there has been too little time for the mundanity of life to tame it).
For your husband, this might feel more substantial and real than the steady flame he has with you, which is why, when presented with a choice, he chose her.
Again, this is no excuse for his behavior, just a way for you to get some closure.
The other reason he might have left you for someone else is that he fell out of love with you.
This can be especially painful when you still love him, but unfortunately, love is not guaranteed to last forever.
Sometimes, the spark just fades over time and nothing you could have done would change that!
That’s why when someone new appeared in his life, there was less inclination to stay loyal to you, which might explain his choice.
Oftentimes it’s a fear of communication more than anything else
When a man leaves his wife and family to be with someone else, it’s a difficult situation.
There is no doubt about it that some of these men are simply irresponsible and selfish, thinking only about their own needs.
He shouldn’t have gone and slept with another woman, right?
Yes, on the one hand, you are absolutely correct. It is an incredibly unfair situation being left behind with the children just so he can have the time of his life with another woman.
To view the other perspective, though, it’s considered taboo for a husband to desire anyone other than his wife.
Monogamy works for a lot of people, but because of it, some people end up feeling forced to decide between their family and sex.
The alternative sometimes means staying with a wife who has stopped wanting to have sex with them, which leaves them with unfulfilled needs.
This can lead the husband to choose sex over family.
Now, before you jump at my throat let me get something very clear: Not wanting sex is completely valid. But so is wanting sex.
What often happens in relationships is that a lack of open communication leads to the couple drifting further and further apart.
For example, the man is too scared to talk openly about his desire for more sex, which makes him more and more frustrated as the months go by, until one day he caves in and cheats.
Of course, nothing about that is right and he shouldn’t have done it, but it might have been avoided with a trusting conversation.
As the wife, you are not to blame, but it is worth a shot asking yourself if you provided your husband with the feeling that he can openly talk to you, even if that means telling you he wants to sleep with someone else.
Realizing that you can take all that power in your own hands in the future by having a trusting relationship with someone can feel incredibly empowering.
Will his new relationship last?
I’m sure you might be asking yourself if his new relationship will be better than the one you shared, and if it will last.
There might be a part of you still hanging on to the thread of hope that he will come back, or you’re just curious.
Either way, there is, unfortunately, no way to tell the future.
There are tons of speculations you could make here:
- She is younger and not interested in anything long-term
- He is going through a midlife crisis and will come to his senses
- He will realize his mistake and regret his choices
- She will get bored of him and leave
The options are endless, but it doesn’t change the fact that you will never know how this will turn out.
Sure, any of these speculations are viable options, but for all you know, they might live happily ever after.
You don’t know how he feels, and you don’t know how their relationship is.
In order for you to be happy, though, you will have to let go of the thoughts of “what if…” and move on.
You can’t fully heal when a part of you is still secretly waiting for him to change his mind.
Nobody knows what will happen in the future, not even your husband, so for now take him by his word and accept that he is leaving.
If something ends up changing, you will have the opportunity to think about it when and if the time comes.
Will he come back?
In case you might still be asking yourself whether or not he would come back if his new relationship did fail, it depends on the reason he cheated in the first place.
Did he fall out of love with you? In that case, for him to come back there needs to be a reason for him to believe he can fall back in love.
Unfortunately, love is not always the reason he might want to be with you again:
- You look after him
- You cook for him
- You clean the house
- Proceeding with the divorce is expensive
- He doesn’t want to be alone
If he really does come back, make sure to respect yourself enough to not settle for anything just to not be alone, okay?
Even when kids are involved, you have the right to be happy and loved, and therefore you have the freedom to choose whether you want to take him back or not.
Will he regret it?
Sure, it was his choice to leave you for another woman, but that doesn’t mean he won’t regret it (even if he decides to stay with that woman).
It’s a complicated situation. Life is not always black and white. In fact, there are more grey areas than we can imagine.
This situation can be particularly grey. Your husband might regret leaving you even though he is happy with his decision.
Yes, he can feel both.
While enjoying his new life and relationship, he might:
- Regret how the separation went down
- Regret the pain he caused
- Regret leaving his children
- Regret having to leave someone he loves
This doesn’t mean he will come back, though.
Even if his relationship turns out to not be what he had hoped for, he might think it’s too late to come back to you, or, quite frankly, just not want to come back.
Can I win him back?
The short answer? No, and you shouldn’t try to.
Let me elaborate:
You don’t own your husband, you never did, and even though you are/were married, you never had the right to all his love, as hard as that is to accept.
He chose to leave, and although this can be morally questionable, it’s still his right.
Trying to win him back will do nothing but leave you feeling powerless.
If he wants to come back eventually, he will, and you will have plenty of time to think about it then.
Until that happens, any effort to win him back is only time wasted, and will probably just push him further away!
Try to focus on yourself now, and all the steps you can take to heal.
On that note:
What can you do when he leaves?
Finding out your husband has cheated is one thing (and bad enough as it is), but hearing that he will leave you and the kids to be with that woman can make your world come crashing down.
Before anything else, I want you to know that you are incredibly strong and even though it might not feel like it, you will get through it and heal.
His choice has nothing to do with you or how much you’re worth. How you choose to handle the situation from now on is what will define who you are as a person.
Will you let it crush you, shutting down emotionally, or will you heal and become stronger and more loving because of it?
I’m sure the second option sounds more appealing, doesn’t it?
In that case, there are a few things you can actively do!
1) Respect his decision
The first step to healing from a betrayal like this is to respect his decision to leave you and be with another woman.
Denying reality and making his life hard will not only push him further away, but it will also make it harder and more painful for you, as well.
There is nothing you can do to change his mind, that’s a decision he has to make himself.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with telling him you love him, or expressing your disappointment/hurt, but let him know that you will not fight his decision, he is a free man after all.
When you get to that point, it will be a lot easier moving forward, as you will be on good terms with him.
Guilt-tripping is never a good option in situations like this, so don’t try to use your pain, or the children, as leverage.
If you do that, no matter what he chooses to do after that, it won’t feel genuine.
2) Stay true to yourself
There is nothing wrong with looking for ways you might have had an influence on your husband leaving in order to improve, but make sure you never completely blame yourself.
Sure, nobody is perfect and there are probably things you could have handled better in your marriage.
You can work on these faults to avoid them in the future, but make sure they are really things you want to change and not just personality traits your husband didn’t like.
Changing yourself in order to win him back won’t do anything other than make you look desperate.
On top of that, you will soon come to realize that nobody can live up to all the expectations of someone else.
All that will do is make you lose yourself in the process.
By taking all the blame on you and trying to change to his desires, you are also confirming that he was right in what he did and that you somehow were in the wrong (which isn’t true).
Take some time to ask yourself what you could healthily change about yourself to make YOU happier in the future, not him.
3) Get some distance
In order to heal, it’s important to have a bit of space.
This will not only help you move on faster, but it will also give your husband the space he quite obviously wants.
Don’t try to confront him, and instead just avoid contact unless it’s really urgent, and when you do talk to him, try to stay friendly, or at least neutral.
We already talked about respecting his choice to leave without fighting him on it.
The distance can also help him realize what he has lost with you, especially when the honeymoon phase of his new relationship comes to an end.
4) Ask yourself what you truly want
When getting left by your husband, the mere pain of rejection can make you believe that you want nothing else in this world other than to have them back.
In reality, it’s crucial to think about whether you actually want him back.
If so, why?
Did the new relationship start while you were still together? In that case, he lied and cheated on you, is that something you will be able to get over?
Would you be able to trust him again and forgive him?
Do you want him to return so that your life can go back to how it was?
Be honest with yourself, would things be the same as they once were, even if he came back?
Is your main issue fear of being alone, divorced, and lonely? Is the only reason you want him back to have some company?
Considering all these questions will help you gain perspective on your situation.
Try to see it from a different point of view:
You finally got out of a marriage where your partner was cheating on you, now you’re free to meet someone who will love you and treat you with respect like you deserve!
5) Don’t feel guilty
Of course, there will be times when you will blame yourself for what happened, but don’t feel guilty for your husband leaving.
He chose to be with another woman based on his own desires, that’s his fault, not yours.
There is always another way, and he could have told you earlier if he was unhappy so that you could have had a chance to work on your relationship.
No matter how hard you tried to be a good wife, he still fell in love with someone else, and that’s on him, not you.
6) Don’t compare yourself
The most self-destructible thing you could do right now is to compare yourself to this other woman.
Don’t think that she is better than you in any way just because your husband left.
Everybody has their perks and flaws. It’s what makes us who we are.
It won’t do you any good to try and find out why your husband prefers her right now.
Instead, focus on building up your own self-esteem and confidence.
One thing that helps immensely is taking a look at your self-talk and improving it.
Don’t keep telling yourself negative things about yourself, and instead, tell yourself that you are worthy of love and happiness.
Positive affirmations can help with that.
A few examples are:
- I am a being of love
- I am loved and loveable
- I forgive my ex
- I forgive myself
- I am deserving of love
- I am whole on my own
- I am releasing the past
- I choose to let go
- I am enough
- Everything is unfolding as it’s supposed to
Repeat one or more of these phrases whenever you feel negative thoughts take over your mind.
You can even write your own affirmations!
Your husband leaving you for another woman can feel like your entire life is drifting out of control.
This is the perfect time to embrace the control you do have over your life!
In reality, life is uncertain and we can never control anything other than how we react to it.
Now, you have the freedom to do anything you’ve ever wanted to do. It’s also a great time to turn your life around, if that’s what you want to do.
Choose to make this situation the best thing that has ever happened to you in hindsight, 1, 3, or 5 years from now.
Make yourself proud and happy!
A few ways to change your life for the better are:
- Finding a new hobby or passion
- Starting a sport
- Starting a journaling practice
- Focusing on fueling your body with nutritious food
- Taking good care of yourself, externally and internally
- Making more time for friends
7) Forgive him (for yourself)
Forgiveness is a huge factor in healing from betrayal.
Some people are under the wrong impression that forgiving someone means you agree with what happened, or that you’re okay with it.
In reality, that’s not the case at all.
In fact, forgiveness is rarely for the other person, and way more about yourself.
That doesn’t mean you have to belittle the pain he caused you, or even talk to him at all!
Forgiving simply means letting go of the emotions that are still holding you trapped in the past.
A phrase that can help a lot is “I choose to let it go.”
Closing the chapter and moving on, dealing with the pain and triggers when they arise, but not letting yourself get caught up all day every day in thoughts about the betrayal.
You will find that forgiving him is the only thing that will truly set you free from that situation.
8) Accept the situation
Going hand in hand with forgiveness, you will also need to accept that your relationship is over for good.
When there is still a grain of hope that you can rekindle the flame, it is extremely difficult to move on.
Try not to compare your new life to the one you had with him, you will come up with too many “lacks”.
Instead, focus on all the good things you are experiencing every single day.
A gratitude journal can really help with that.
Try to write down at least 3 things every single day that you are grateful for.
This can be something as big as your lovely children, or as small as the coffee brewing in the kitchen.
This will instantly lift your mood and help you see the beauty in your new reality.
Also make sure you are giving yourself space to forget and move on by either moving to an entirely new house, or if you have to stay at least changing it up a bit. You could:
- Remove all his belongings
- Repaint some rooms
- Rearrange furniture
- Get new decor that you like
Make your home feel like a new space, so that it doesn’t feel like the same house just without him.
Now it’s YOUR house.
9) Seek out a therapist
Betrayal like this is actually a really heavy trauma that can have an impact on the rest of an individual’s life unless they heal from it properly.
Healing can be a hard process, especially when you aren’t sure where to begin.
If that’s the case for you, don’t be shy to reach out for support from a therapist.
Sure, you might have family or friends that are there for you during this difficult time, but having a professional who knows exactly how to help you heal efficiently will be super beneficial, trust me.
It’s also helpful to get a neutral perspective. Although they mean well, your loved ones are probably not liking your husband all too much right now.
That’s why the neutral advice of a therapist or counselor can really help.
What will happen next?
After your husband is gone, things are definitely going to change.
How these changes unfold is ultimately up to you and your family.
If you have children, definitely talk to them openly and make space for their needs, as well.
Some children might miss their dad and want to see him frequently, while others might resent him and not talk to him anymore.
A lot of children feel very confused by their dad leaving. Feelings of abandonment are not uncommon.
It’s important that you listen to your kids’ wishes concerning the situation and stay transparent with them.
Depending on how all of you feel about it, you can decide on arrangements of how often they will see or be with their father.
This is not something you need to figure out right this second, though.
In most cases, it will take weeks, months, or even more to settle into this new reality and get some kind of routine back.
Give yourself time to figure it out and don’t be afraid to change your mind!
You are allowed to set boundaries now and review them a year from now to make changes.
Open communication with both your kids and your (ex) husband will be very beneficial here.
Can a relationship coach help you too?
If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.
I know this from personal experience…
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