When you find out your spouse had an affair, it can feel like you’ve suddenly been thrust off into the depths of despair. You can feel so alone in your suffering and agony. How could he do this? How could my judgement have been so far off in trusting someone like him? Did I somehow deserve this?

These sorts of thoughts are common, but what you may not know is that your spouse is suffering too. Here I want to show you glimpse of what your spouse probably is thinking and what drove him to cheat.

First, understand that most affairs do not happen in a vacuum. That is to say, most guys won’t just cheat because they can. Generally speaking, most men are decent people and will want to do things that they can be proud of in their lives. They won’t just cheat for the sake of a quick thrill.

If he cheated then there is a good chance that there was something unsatisfying about the marriage. Happy couples don’t cheat. Perhaps he knew that he was unhappy with something. Maybe he even knew specifically what it was. But there is also a chance that he was vaguely dissatisfied and didn’t even realize that there was a problem in the marriage himself.

Many women think that men cheat because of sex or because they aren’t attracted to their wives anymore, however, this usually isn’t the case. Only about 8% of men who cheated said that the woman they cheated with was more attractive than their wife. Usually the cause is an emotional need that isn’t being met in the relationship. Maybe he feels taken for granted or he just doesn’t feel connected to you emotionally.

So he has this unmet emotional need of some sort. Then along comes a woman that actually makes him feel desirable, connected, or whatever flavor of emotional need he is lacking. From here, it easy for him to become infatuated with her. It starts off as a harmless crush. He has no intention of cheating, but he just likes being around her because it feels good.

But over time, this emotional affair builds and the tension starts to become unbearable. That’s when someone finally snaps and things become physical.

Now, I said before that most men are decent people. There’s a good chance that he feels incredibly guilty about this and in an effort to justify his own actions he may begin to distance himself from you. Maybe he’s not around much. Maybe he stops trying to connect with you. Maybe he even starts arguing more with you. These could all be subtle unconscious things that he does to try to convince himself that he isn’t a horrible person for cheating.

If he can think that the two of you just don’t have anything in common, or that you just don’t understand him, then he’ll usually feel better about cheating. But don’t doubt for a moment that he is constantly struggling with guilt over what he did.

The best way to start the healing is to have a genuine talk with him. Let him know that you understand his guilt. Tell him exactly how you feel and that you are committed to working things out. Try to work with him to identify what didn’t work in your marriage that drove him to cheat in the first place and develop a realistic plan to meet that need.

Recovering from an affair is by no means easy, but with continued work and commitment, the two of you can save your marriage and restore the trust, intimacy, and love again.

Author's Bio: 

If you want to learn more about affairs, such as shocking infidelity statistics check out my highly recommended marriage therapy books.

Alex Haight is a relationship writer helping women with relationship problems and specializing in affairs and infidelity.