Do men who leave their family regret it?
If you’re asking that question right now, then allow me to commiserate with you. There are lots of women out there who anguish over the same question, day in and day out.
The answer, unfortunately, is not so simple. That’s why I wrote this complete guide to cover all the bases. We’ll answer all the most common questions in your mind right now, including:
- Why do men leave the women they claim to love?
- Do they regret ever leaving their wife and family for another?
- Do they ever come back?
- How do you win back a man who cheated on you?
- Will things ever be the same?
- And more.
Hopefully, this guide will help you find the answers you’re looking for. It’s important to completely understand your situation.
It’s even MORE important to know the outcome you REALLY want, as well as how to achieve it.
Let’s start by tackling the first issue:
Why men leave their wives
So why DO men leave their wives?
The reasons vary between countries, cultures, and situations — infidelity is more common in some cultures and ideologies than others, for instance.
However, some REASONS are more common than others. Here’s a quick rundown:
#1: The three most common reasons why men leave their wives are infidelity, violence, and substance abuse.
- Infidelity: Either he cheated on you and ran off with the other woman, or you cheated on him and he felt so hurt that he left.
- Violence: This includes both physical and emotional violence. For instance, he hurt you so badly that you had to take the kids away from him… or he felt so henpecked that he looked elsewhere for his emotional fulfillment.
- Substance Abuse: When addictions to drugs, alcohol, or some other substance make the relationship so unbearable that one (or both) of you had to leave.
#2: If your man left you and your family, then he might have fallen out of love with you.
It may have been caused by a lack of intimacy, a perceived slight, or something else.
It may have bothered him for a while, but he never knew how to tell you. Finally, he couldn’t take it anymore and left.
If you suspect he fell out of love with you, then you’re probably wondering: “Then why didn’t he tell me anything? I could have helped him!”
Likewise, there could be many reasons for his silence. Social pressure might have been a problem – for instance, your culture may discourage men from showing weakness. Or he may simply have been afraid of how you’d react if he told you. It could be anything.
Whatever the reason might be, it’s much more important to know how to fix the problem. And the latter part of this guide will show you how.
#3: Did you get seriously ill before he left?
If you did, it might have also been a reason for his leaving. It’s been observed that in divorces and separations caused by serious illness, it’s almost always the man who leaves.
Why such a heartless decision, though? Scientists think it might be because men are less ready to give up their careers to be full-time caregivers than women are.
In any case, it’s a disturbing but real reason why men leave their wives.
#4: Another leading cause of separations is the typical deadbeat dad.
He couldn’t find a job, or he couldn’t hold one for long. Financial difficulty breaks marriages almost as often as infidelity does.
You might have left him because he hurt the family more than he helped it. Or he might have left because he couldn’t handle the pressure or insecurity he felt.
#5: There are many other common reasons for cheating, including:
- Having emotional affairs, or when he spends time with other women to fulfill his emotional needs
- When he gets addicted to pornography or starts dating random women online
- Unjustly blaming you for all his problems
These are just some of the most common reasons why men leave the women they love. Which of the above apply to your own situation?
Hold that thought as we get into the meat of the matter.
Does he regret it?
Does he regret leaving you and the kids?
If not, WILL HE regret it later on?
Here’s an encouraging answer: most men seem to. It would seem that most men who cheat will eventually realize the huge mistake they made, one way or another.
In many cases of cheating, men realize their second relationship is turning out the same way as their first one. The problems that made him cheat on his wife in the first place start resurfacing with his mistress.
And so he realizes he’s made a huge mistake. He looks back at all the devastation he’s caused. And all he wants is to make things right again.
Sounds farfetched? Think again.
If your man cheated on you, it’s quite likely he’ll feel that pang of regret sooner or later. After all, second marriages suffer from much higher divorce rates than first marriages, and the same is true for non-committed relationships.
And that leads us to the next question. How will you know if your man regrets it?
The only way to tell is when you can still observe his behavior. That means he’s either still living under the same roof as you, or at least still maintain some communication with you.
If you’re able to observe him, then lookout for these signs of cheater’s guilt:
- Self-loathing. It’s like he used to be a joyful person and full of energy, but he changed to a sadder, grimmer shell of himself. He feels guilty, and he’s trying to feel better by self-punishing.
- Gaslighting. This is when he says things like: “Don’t you trust me?” or “Are you being paranoid again?” or “Why is this such a big deal for you?” He’s subconsciously trying to make you feel guilty, too.
- More attentive. If he’s unusually kind and considerate to you, it means he’s got a guilty conscience. He’s instinctively trying to make it up to you.
- Avoiding you. Studies show that guilt makes people avoid the ones they’ve wronged. If he’s avoiding you, it means he knows he hurt you and can’t undo it.
- Hiding things. Take note of his phone. Does he bring it with him wherever he goes? Does he NEVER give you a chance to peek at it? If so, he’s avoiding receiving any calls or texts from the other woman while you’re around.
- Projecting. Is he accusing YOU of cheating on HIM? If so, he’s projecting. Similar to gaslighting, he’s subconsciously making you feel guilty.
- Disappearing. Does he disappear for days or weeks at a time, without even contacting you? That’s escapism — he feels guilty for cheating on you, but he just can’t help himself.
Spot two or more of the signs above, and you can be sure he’s feeling guilty about the whole thing.
Now, is it possible that he DOESN’T regret cheating on you? The answer is yes, and that’s only if his new relationship is better for him than yours was.
That’s a painful thing to think about, but if it’s true, then acceptance becomes the order of the day.
More on that later. For now, let’s answer the next pressing question on the list:
Will he come back?
So if he’s feeling guilty about cheating on you, does that mean he’ll come back to you?
He just might, especially when his relationship with the other woman starts souring. What happens when a man feels like he made a big mistake, and is facing a WORSE life now that he left you?
He just might come back to you, tail between legs, that’s what.
Think about this: How did he behave right before the cheating incident? (Or at least, right before you found out about it?)
He might have been acting strangely. Like he was worrying or hiding something. Maybe he was irritable, or very hot-and-cold with you.
Well, here’s what’s going to happen. Once he realizes his new relationship is worse than his relationship with you, he starts acting strangely again. He’ll be uneasy, irritable, and hot and cold with the other woman, too.
That being said, it’s also entirely possible he WON’T come back. And it’s easy to predict when you know the signs.
The 2 signs he won’t come back
After a man leaves you and your family, he likely will NOT come back if:
- There’s no more communication between you. You can’t reach him no matter what, and that means he’s well and truly gone. There’s no relationship between you, and it’s safe to stop hoping and start moving on.
- He’s already committed to the new woman. By “committed,” I mean he’s married to her, living with her, and even have kids with her. He’s made a big investment, and he’ll see it through.
So if you see any of these two signs, it’s probably time to stop thinking about him and start focusing on yourself. It’s time for recovery, for self-improvement, and for making your life better than it’s ever been.
Now, let’s do a quick thought experiment. Let’s say he DID come crawling back to you, asking for forgiveness.
The next pressing question:
Would you even want him back?
There’s no denying that some relationships DO come out better after a cheating husband returns. The restored relationship requires lots of hard work and sacrifice.
Patience will win out, though, and the ordeal ends up making the relationship stronger than ever.
So if you feel like you want him back, you’re not alone. Many women in your situation do, which is why they don’t give up hope too easily.
Why are women so forgiving of their cheating husbands? See if any of the following reasons apply to you, too:
- You feel raising the family by yourself is too hard
- You want to give him, and your relationship, a second chance
- You can see he regrets leaving you and is trying to make things right
- You both know staying together is better for each other (and for the kids), despite it all
- You realized you, too, were at fault somehow, and want a fresh start with him
If any of that applies to you — and if you still maintain some communication with him – then this guide’s got you covered.
The next part should interest you, as it’s all about:
How to win him back
The key to winning him back is to make it as enticing as possible for him to return.
Now, that doesn’t mean forgiving everything he did and begging him to come back. That’s enticing, sure, but it only opens you up to more abuse. He’ll know you’re wrapped around his finger, and so he’ll feel free to maintain relationships with both you and his mistress.
So don’t do that, okay?
Instead, it’s important to know the two ingredients of winning a cheating man back:
- You must keep building your relationship with him, as hard as that might sound…
- …And at the same time, you must set boundaries for him. These will communicate to him what you want to happen.
Here’s how these ingredients usually play out.
The first way is through an open relationship. In this situation, you freely let him have two relationships — one with you, and one with the other woman.
That way, you can continue building your relationship with him while having minimal to no boundaries. You might even allow him to stay in your home on some days of the week.
As you might guess, this is a “desperate measures” solution.
Open relationships work when your bond is badly damaged, but you still want to salvage things. He’ll happily stay in contact with you. Ideally, once you’ve settled into a routine with him, you “upgrade” your strategy to the next level.
The second step in the ladder is the ultimatum. While you’re rebuilding your relationship with him, you set new boundaries. Tell him that you’ve decided to give him a choice — that eventually, he’ll have to choose either you or the other woman.
You can also start denying him some privileges he enjoyed in the “open relationship” stage. You might stop having sex with him, or kick him out of the house, or even file a restraining order until he does what you ask.
This sends the message that you don’t approve of his infidelity, even though you’re willing to forgive him if he chooses you.
That being said, if he picks the other woman or refuses to choose, then the last option is the divorce. Sometimes it’s really the only way forward, despite being messy, costly, and painful.
The good news is that sometimes, this is precisely what it takes to fix the relationship. He’ll realize you’re serious and come to his senses.
Hopefully, your relationship isn’t so badly damaged at this point. Maybe his affair is already over, or it was a one-night thing. If that’s the case, you can bypass the “open relationship” stage and start with the “ultimatum.”
Most women find open relationships distasteful. Still, they’re better than arguing or fighting with him, which only guarantees he’s never coming back to you.
Will things ever go back to normal?
Let’s say he does come back to you. He apologizes and promises to stay true to his wedding vows from now on. Will the relationship ever be normal again?
It can, but that will depend largely on the decisions you make moving forward. Here are some of the most important tips to keep in mind:
#1: Stop the blame
Sure, this whole mess is all his fault. He’s the one who cheated.
Still, if “normal” is what you want, then you’ll want to stop blaming him for the mess. Blame is one of the biggest roadblocks to normalcy you’ll ever encounter in a post-infidelity relationship.
Here’s why: Whenever something bad happens to you and you blame someone for it, that means one thing. It means you’re waiting for that person to save you.
It’s like blaming the government for your problems. The government won’t save you.
Likewise, blaming your man for cheating on you won’t help things. He can’t save you. He can’t undo his mistake. The most he can do is to work on your relationship moving forward.
Oh, and one more thing: If you’re blaming yourself for your problems, stop. The damage has already been done, so no sense wasting time waiting for someone to undo it. Instead, use that time to take action.
What action? Acceptance, that’s what.
Learn to tell yourself: “This is the situation, and it sucks. Normalcy is the goal, and it’s beautiful. How do we work with what we have, to reach the goal we want, and have fun along the way?”
Ask that question often enough, and you’ll find quite a few creative answers. That’s the first step to the normalcy you’ve been wanting.
#2: Stop the jealousy
He came back. He chose you over the other woman. Let’s not blow it by staying jealous of her and what they had together, right?
All jealousy does is touch raw nerves. It reminds you of the injustices done to you in the past. And the more time you spend in that headspace, the less motivated you are to work toward normalcy.
So instead of stewing in jealousy, invest that time and energy into your relationship. You can start with the “basics” of good relationships:
- Do you know each other’s “love languages”?
- Do you spend at least two hours a day with each other?
- Do you go on two dates each week?
Simple, right? It’s jealousy and all those toxic headspaces that complicate things.
#3: Stop the vengeance
Right now, you may have the insatiable urge to hurt him and the other woman. You want them to experience the pain that YOU experienced, in equal or greater measure.
Hey, that’s normal. That’s the soul’s indelible hunger for justice. It’s also unattainable in this life – that’s the rub.
I’d say vengeance is more toxic than blame. As the saying goes, wishing vengeance is like “drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”
Vengeance is self-destructive and self-sabotaging, and it doesn’t get you what you want in the end. So don’t bother.
What should you do instead? You might hate hearing this, but the name of the game is forgiveness — but probably NOT the kind of forgiveness you’re thinking of.
Here’s the key: Forgive the man and set boundaries for the action.
One of the biggest signs of emotional maturity is the ability to separate the person from the action. When you can tolerate people and their weaknesses, but don’t tolerate their actions or “sins.”
(Yes — Batman was wrong. Our actions DO NOT define us. We’re so much more than that.)
So what does all that mean?
Forgive him. He’s not perfect, and he shouldn’t be. He’s only human, and he got into a situation that exploited his weakness. He made a mistake, as we all do.
And as long as you don’t tolerate him making the same mistake twice, he’s welcome in your home. That’s how it works.
By the way, that’s also true of you. You make mistakes, but you’re not defined by them. The emotionally mature thing to do is to separate yourself from your mistakes. Forgive yourself, but set boundaries for your actions.
Once you’re emotionally mature enough to see this, there’s no limit to what you can achieve for yourself, your family, and your relationship. So go ahead — get started.
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…
A few months ago, I reached out to Relationship Hero when I was going through a tough patch in my relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.
If you haven’t heard of Relationship Hero before, it’s a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.
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