I sometimes hear from wives who are confused because they can’t help but notice that their husband seems to very detached and depressed after his affair is over. They often can’t ignore the fact that he is moping around the house, is withdrawn, or is so introverted that he’s not interacting with hardly anyone. This is often in contrast to the way that the husband was acting while the affair was still going on.
I heard from a wife who said: “my husband has been so down after I found out about his affair and made him end it. This is so upsetting to me. I have straight out asked him what his problem is. Usually he would change the subject, insist that nothing was wrong, or just ignore the question, but the other day he admitted that he felt “a sense of loss” on many levels. Frankly, this both surprised and angered me. I’m the one who should be feeling a sense of loss. I’m the one who lost the marriage and the husband I thought I had. I’m the one who is finding out that my life has been a lie. Why would a man feel a sense of loss after an affair? Is he just saying this to make me feel sorry for him?”
Men actually can feel a sense of loss after an affair is over for a various reasons. I will discuss some of these reasons in the following article.
Men Sometimes Feel A Sense Of Loss Because Of A Perceived Lack Of Closure: Many men build up the affair in their own minds. In order to be able to betray their wife, they need to be able to justify these actions in some way. So, they will try to convince themselves that the other woman or the affair is something very special. And as such, they might be very upset when they have to let these things go. (This sense of loss will usually fade with time.)
Another consideration is that often, once the wife finds out about the affair, she will demand that it end immediately. As a result, the husband will often be forced to break things off without a lot of warning or closure. So one day the other woman is in his life, and the next day, she is simply gone. This can bring about a sense of loss because everyone knows that, even though ending the affair is often the only right decision, the relationship didn’t come to a natural end. Again, these feelings fade over time as the high emotions and the immediacy of the situation begin to wane.
He May Also Feel A Sense Of Loss Because The Way That You Used To See Him Might Be Gone Forever: No matter what he says or how he acts, men are often at least somewhat disappointed in themselves when an affair ends. Often, they previously tried to convince themselves that no one will have to know or that no one is going to be hurt. However, when this doesn’t turn out to be true and they must face the fact that their actions did cause a lot of pain, this can be a crushing blow.
They suddenly realize that you are likely to never see them in quite the same way again. They also know that your marriage won’t be the faithful relationship that it once was. In short, they know that their actions are going to have serious consequences over a long period of time and this too can bring about a sense of loss.
Finally, he can feel a sense of loss in terms of himself. Once he has time for reflection and admits to himself how much of a mistake this was, he will also have to admit what this says about his character and about him as a person and as a man. He may have always seen himself as an honest person or someone who has a high amount of integrity and now he may have to admit that, at least for right now, he is lacking in the character he thought or wished he had. He’ll also need to admit that he has a lot of work to do to even begin to regain the ground that has been lost.
Hopefully this article has shown you that there are many reasons that a man might feel a sense of loss after the affair. None of these reasons need to mean that your marriage is over, that your husband is an awful person, or that he doesn’t love you. All of these things can be worked through if both people are determined enough to make it so.
My advice is not to dwell too much on this. Accept that both of you are going to have some unfortunate feelings but are going to have to march forward anyway. Often, with the passage of time, this sense of loss and regret will begin to wane as the two of you make progress and the other woman becomes just a memory rather than a presence in your lives.