My husband wants me back! What should I do? My first thought about getting back together when my own husband wanted to come back after months and months of lying and betrayal was, “How can I possibly take him back after all of the pain he has put our whole family through? Could I ever feel safe with him again?”
But the truth was, I desperately wanted him back! I wanted with all my heart to have our relationship back! Even with all of the pain his extended affair caused, I wanted to fix our marriage and make it stronger than ever. I had prayed that God would change his heart, and he would come back home. And now here he was, telling me he wanted to come back.
Every divorce situation is different. When our husband leaves our marriage for whatever reason, and we go through all of the agony of adjusting to that reality, it is very confusing when he says, “I want you back … or I want to come back home.”
In my own case, that first happened when we had been married 10 years with children and a young, growing family. My ex had a short affair with a waitress when he was out of town. I was heartbroken and furious. He said it meant nothing to him, but it was a deep wound to me. He asked me if I wanted him to leave. I said “No, but that better not happen again! Ever!” We healed, and as far as I know, it didn’t happen again until we had been married 30 years.
Beginning in our 30th year of marriage, he had a three-year relationship with a woman at his work. Three different times, my ex-husband convinced me that he was finished with her (like she was a new car he was testing out!), and that he wanted to reconcile. Each time that I let him come back, within a few weeks, he had broken my heart all over again!
Why Does He Want You Back?
During and after a separation or a divorce, most of us are physically and emotionally drained. The end of a marriage, especially a long-term marriage, is damaging to us personally in so many ways. We doubt our worth. We lose our self-confidence. We wonder “What’s wrong with me?” Our life is turned completely upside-down. Slowly, we figure out how to keep breathing in that new universe.
Then suddenly, our husband or ex-husband says he want to come back home. He somehow thinks, I guess, that what he wants is the only important thing. He thinks that we should immediately take him back with open arms. But that is usually not how it works.
You have to ask yourself, “Why does he want me back? Why does my estranged husband want to come back home?” There are several reasons he might want to come back that don’t speak well of him. Below are some of the main motivations when our ex wants to come back home.
New Interest Flamed Out
Often, the new woman gets tired of staying “in the closet.” She gets tired of waiting for him to divorce us like he has promised and sets an ultimatum. He might suddenly see a side of her that she had kept hidden.
He also might discover that not everyone thinks it’s cool having a girlfriend closer to his children’s ages than to hisl Maybe your grown kids let him know she is not welcome at their homes. If it’s a workplace affair, things get complicated.
Sometimes, after the adrenaline rush of the secret affair fades, he’s loses interest. Most of these guys don’t care how many lives they ruin in the process of getting what they think they want. They leave destruction in their wake for our family, friends, extended family and for the girlfriend’s family. For him, all that matters is what he wants. For us, it’s a huge question: Should I take my ex-husband back?
He Wants What He Can’t Have
Sometimes men are turned on by having two women (or more) vying for his love and affection. The other woman is doing everything she can to make him choose her. I am desperately hoping he chooses me and our family. Both of those scenarios are embarrassing and sick, especially for us.
A wise woman in one of my RADiCAL Divorce Recovery classes said, “Just remember this: If he is dumb enough to leave, we have to be smart enough to let him go!” That really stuck with me. I didn’t want to have to beg and plead for him to love me. It made me feel worthless and ashamed.
He Misses You
When the separation is over and the divorce is near or has already happened, often these guys think, “Hey wait a second! This isn’t as wonderful as I thought it would be.” Maybe the new woman starts making demands and doing things that make him wonder if he has made a mistake. He may suddenly realize that he is going to take more of a financial hit than he thought.
He may miss the good things you did to make things good for him. He misses your great cooking and how you remembered birthdays and made the special dinners and made sure your parents were well cared for when they came to visit. He may miss your financial help. He misses being with the kids.
He’s Never Satisfied
Because some guys are never satisfied, they try to have the best of both worlds … a good, solid, fun, loving primary family with a good wife and great kids … and then they want some little honey on the side They want something more, but they are not willing to make that excitement and adventure happen in their own marriage. They see divorced friends with sexy, adoring new women, and they think they need one too.
What To Do: Should I Go Back?
But, as I said, I desperately wanted not to be divorced! I wanted our family back. I wanted our life back. I wanted the traditions and the financial security and the fun and love back. So three different times I was willing to try again to make our marriage to work.
The third, and last, time I took him back, I found out he was still seeing her. That’s when I said, “That’s it! I can’t be the woman I was created to be and stay in a toxic, abusive relationship like this!”
We sometimes try reconciling for our children. But often, when they see us being hurt over and over again, the children want us to move on.
One RADiCAL woman’s daughter said, “Mom, what more do you need to see?! Stop this! It’s embarrassing!”
A RADiCAL son asked his mother, “Don’t you ever think that God might have something better planned for you?”
Another woman’s son asked the counselor when the whole family was trying to figure out how to do Christmas when trying to reconcile, “How are you going to advise my Mom when he betrays her again?”
Things to Think About When Trying to Decide Whether to Reconcile after Separation or Divorce
Remember Why You Divorced
Sometimes we take him back to keep that Loneliness Lion from devouring us completely. We think, “Anything would be better than this devastating loneliness!”
Being lonely in your marriage is worse than being lonely after your divorce. The loneliness after divorce will eventually end. The loneliness in your marriage never will, if you can’t fix the things that caused the divorce in the first place.
Whether it’s porn, addiction, adultery, abuse, lack of intimacy, lack of tender loving care, or whatever, remember the reason your marriage ended or separation happened. Those things will not magically change because he has had a change of heart. They take time and effort.
Has He Changed? Is He Trustworthy?
My wasband (my term for ex-husband) was not trustworthy. Every single time he promised that he was done with the other woman, he was not. Within a short time, he was back to contacting her … giving her gifts … and lying to me. I was sick at heart to know he still could not be trusted. I finally decided that I could think of nothing worse than wondering if the man beside me in bed really wanted to be in someone else’s bed!
Will It Last? Will You Be Happy?
One of my counselors said that once someone crosses that line of infidelity, they are likely to cross it again. Rebuilding a broken relationship is a long process and many men (or women) aren’t willing to do what is necessary to make that happen.
If you reconcile, you will not be happy if the problems that caused the divorce are not faced and fixed!
(You can set up a confidential, complimentary conversation with me about the three things that MUST happen for a reconciliation to work.)
Get Strong Yourself
It takes courage to finally stand up and say “Enough is enough!” It also takes courage to give your marriage another chance. I wanted to be able to look myself in the mirror and know that I had given my ex-husband every chance to change. He didn’t. Even though it broke my heart, I filed for divorce myself.
It takes time to grieve and heal, especially from a divorce you didn’t want. But, speaking from experience, my life after divorce is rich and fun and full of all kinds of good things! Yours can be, too.
We can help. We have a practical road map of recovery with tools, resources and services to help you do the grieving and healing you must do after divorce. But we also make sure you rediscover who you are and what you want as you move forward after divorce.
We only have this one wild and crazy, but very precious life! WE are in charge of our own future. Midlife Divorce Recovery can help you create a life that is better than you ever imagined it could be!
Start today by signing up for our free Divorce Recovery Crash Course that sends encouraging emails to your inbox and tells you a little more about who we are and what we do. Don’t try to struggle through this alone. It’s just too hard.
I love my husband dearly he is my everything I don’t know why we can’t be together and why he don’t love me anymore
I got divorced because my former husband then committed adultery was using drugs and he had two children from very disgusting women. One of the women got pregnant to destroy my marriage she was on drugs and having sex with all kinds of men and he knew she was this kind of woman he claims he got cloudy from drugs and Voodoo.
Second woman he met in job flirting with her and i left him and he has a kid she wanted to destroy my marriage with her and it did not last they had many domestics.
I got sick he took me in his house I became ill during the virus and then wanted me to conform to have a relationship with the children he had one he never raised but in contact with now he never wanted any part of and the other he barely raised. He did so much harm I went back to him because I became ill. He raised my daughter until 5 years old and my son almost twos and a half.
I was the love of his life until he started using on and off drugs and ruined my marriage. I loved him so much we were child sweet hearts now I want out of this relationship. I am married but just friends with my current husband we are best friends he can not help me he is from another country and seeing me suffer and he is also ill.
I was in domestic violence then and he hit now these 7 months three times for these kids that were made out of deceit and lies.
My biggest fear is that my husband who left me a month ago, after a 19 year marriage, will one day want to come back. I am scared that I will want him back because I strongly believed in our marriage and sticking it out through good and bad. I did that for 20 years with him and after all the promises, it never got better. I continued to stick by him while he continued to kick me around and verbally abuse me. There were a some good times which probably helped me hang on. But there were so many bad times that I started to think “This is normal in a marriage. It’s not always easy and takes a lot of work and understanding”. Trouble was, I was doing all the work and understanding. I realize that now. With the help of a therapist, I’m learning it’s okay to walk away from something you were once committed to if it’s not good for you. It’s okay to say no to someone and say yes to yourself.
After being married 7 years, my husband walked in the house and proclaimed in front of not just myself, but our 6 year old son, “I want a divorce. I just don’t love you anymore. I’m done with this family life. I’ve already raised my other two kids.” We split. I was a stay at home mom, He left me with a mortgage I couldn’t pay and no finances whatsoever. He never filed for divorce so I did, two years later. Got my divorce finalized within 5 months. Here we are, 3 years later and he is pining over me, sending me gifts, begging me to give him another chance. Ah. Grass wasn’t so green over there, huh?? I will never take him back. I prayed on it and felt God tell me, “He couldn’t provide as a husband, he wants the benefits of dating, sex, etc. without the commitment of a marriage. Don’t do it.” And I’m not doing it.
Thank you for this post. This section really resonates with me: “A wise woman in one of my RADiCAL Divorce Recovery classes said, “Just remember this: If he is dumb enough to leave, we have to be smart enough to let him go!” That really stuck with me. I didn’t want to have to beg and plead for him to love me. It made me feel worthless and ashamed”. I’ve asked myself several times, how bad does it make me look that it’s almost like I’m begging this man to love me, to choose me. It’s embarrassing. Why can’t I get it into my head, that by choosing someone else, he made a choice to not choose me. I had a lot of insecurities as a child, always wanting to belong – I was the product of an affair – my mom was the mistress. I’m told that when she found out that she was the mistress that she broke it off. My mom died when I was 6 years old so by the time I was old enough to understand I never had the chance to tell her that I was proud of her for taking that stance. As a result, I vowed that I would never be with someone who was married. Unfortunately, I broke that promise; because I was with my ex-husband several times while he was married to the woman whom he cheated on me with. I became the mistress. Go figure! Life has not been the same for me. I know that I’m not alone when I say that post-divorce is like picking up a one-thousand-piece puzzle and trying to put it together; all of the pieces are all over the place, and it’s a long and hard process. I also relate very well to… Read more »
Excellent article! I am a mail, but it was easy to switch the pronouns.
During the ruminating phase and 3 months of crying, I finally accepted that she no longer wanted me in her life. I fooled myself thinking “I love her unconditionally, she must love me!”
Through these very helpful articles, meet up and a lot of positive books (re: Real Love by Dr. Baer, Radical Love by Zachery Levi), I realized I was not the problem, and I do really like (moving closer to love) myself.
I believe we all have the capacity to compartmentalization of those things that bring us pain, and in my case, this divorce was the worst I have ever experienced, this from a Viet Nam vet.
I feel I will always have a place in my heart for my ex; however, whilst I can forgive, I will never forget. The ‘happy ending’ thought of reconciliation is not realistic, both statistics and individual loving of oneself bare that out.
At some point after getting back together I would vividly remember my ex rolling a overnight suitcase to our garage, to get into our car to drive to the hotel 3 miles down the road to be in a bed with her new love.
I am worthy of a better life, I am a decent, honest, loving and grounded man who loved this woman for 25 years. This disappointment occurred at 72 years of age. I know that I am in the senior stage of life, more importantly, I have love for me AND you dear reader. We make our happiness!!