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Can my marriage work after my husband had a 4 month long affair

Community Member

We have been married for around 10 years now and just last week I accidentally discovered that my husband had a girlfriend on the side. When i confronted him, he confessed straightaway and said it was a fling, he had zero attachment to that woman and that its over. He says he was dissatisfied with our marriage physically and needed that sexual release, hence had a fling. It is true that we were not having much sex in the past few years. Offlate he had started to hang out more with single guys and used to stay in his mates bachelor pad overnight on weekends as well.

I found out that he was lying to the woman he was sleeping with. He did not tell her he was married or that he lived in the suburbs either. She thought he is a single guy living in a city pad(his mates apartment).

He says he wants to work on our marriage but is it worth it? We do not have children and i am not financially dependant on him either so a separation will not be messy. But i am conflicted…. should i move on. Should i swallow the bitter pill and give him another chance?

Do marriages come back after these episodes?

14 Replies 14

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion


The questions you ask is really for you to answer but you are after opinions.

I have questions- if he was dissatisfied with lack of sexual activity, why didn't he discuss it or seek couples counselling? If you forgive him, does that mean in the next many decades if you go off sex for a while (Pregnancy, illness, etc) he could want an affair? Do you feel valued? Or replacable? Is trust something you hold high?

So my opinion is clear- I'd run. Repost anytime


He says he tried to communicate but i was not receptive ... his communication style is indirect, hints which i cannot really respond to cos i just do not catch the drift. He says he has sought help from psychologists and mates... everyone apparently advised him to move on as marriage with no sex is a deal breaker.

So do i feel valued? Not really

Is trust important to me? Yes it is

Do i feel replacable? Absolutely ... i can be replaced

At the same time, why am i still in love with him? Why do i want the marriage to work? Whats wrong with me?

Community Member


I agree with Tony's comments. How is your husband going to remain faithful with the pressures of pregnancy, a baby or illness etc.? I've been in a relationship for 20 years. The hardest time for intimacy in our marriage started during pregnancy and continued post-pardum. I know of others who have had difficulties due to illness.

In answer to your question, I do believe it is possible to make a marriage work after an affair but I have not had personal experience. However, it depends on circumstance, personal tolerance, whether you will be able to not hold a grudge, what the chances of it happening again are and if they are willing to work to fix trust. It's also very important to look at if he has cheated in other relationships.

I also agree with Tony, that the easiest and best solution to fix a sexual lack would be to talk about it with you. If that failed for whatever reason, there are still better options than cheating. So I don't see his excuse as a good one.

In my opinion, since you are able to make a clean break, I would be getting out. However, only you can know what is best for you emotionally.

Dear Viki8420

We are grateful you have joined our community, and found it within yourself to share the struggle with this hurt with us. It is not an easy thing to navigate sometimes, when so much emotion, questioning, doubt and frustration is dragged into the light. 

It is completely normal to feel conflicted when love remains and trust may not; it is easy to feel at fault or to lay blame when needs are difficult to meet, and the manner in which that diffciulty was overcome was not especially wise or considerate. Even as we come to grips with that awareness, it is of great importance to remember your needs are important too; regardless of whether that is in the realm of intimacy, communication, trust, awareness; all are vital to have you both meet each other in that space or nothing moves forward - assuming (and it is an assumption) that forward is the best outcome.

One service that is well known and highly regarded in this space is Relationships Australia - you can seek their advice by phone 1300 364 277 or online at https://relationships.org.au/contact/

You can also speak to Better Relationships which is a government service - some of their ideas and information can be found here: https://www.betterrelationships.org.au/relationships/intimacy/

Of course, if we can support you with the frustration and hurt of this, please know you can reach out 24/7 to us on the main line: 1300 22 4636 or start a webchat with us here

In the meantime, please hang in there, keep an open mind by all means, but also remember your worth, boundaries and needs.


Sophie M.

It feels like he is trying to blame this on you. You need to know that you didn't do anything wrong.

Life gets in the way sometimes and not everyone has the same sex drive. If he felt a lack, it was up to him to talk about it with you until you understood, then as a couple you would go from there.

He needs to take responsibility for what he did because I doubt you can both move forward otherwise.

I'm amazed he contacted a psychologist and was able to talk in detail with his friends but couldn't talk about it with you in a sufficient manner. Perhaps the reason behind that is something you need to think about.

I would also feel very undervalued if sex was the only important thing in my relationship. It's also completely normal to still be in love with your husband. It's not going to turn off like a tap when you have been together for 10 years. There is nothing wrong with you.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Vicki, I also agree with Tony and you can't forget that marriages do change after a while, it's not like the honeymoon period you once had, we become more involved with whatever it may be, work, shopping, decorating, being in lockdown, cleaning and cooking so the relationship changes to another level and may cause your intimacy to be affected, that's part of being in a long term marriage.

You can never be sure he will remain faithful to you now, even though he may promise he will, his eyes will be wandering around every time he goes out and this may make you feel uncomfortable, even though he could deny it.

The question is, how do you know this affair is over and can you believe him.

If this was me, I'd move on, as you're not 'financially dependant on him' and find someone who loves you for what you are.

Best wishes.


Re- "what's wrong with me"?

You actually only ask that question because he's turned the tables on the situation in that his excuses include blaming you.

I fronted my last defacto wife about her heavy drinking- "your mental illness drove me to it".

Commonly it's now called gaslighting, to put so much doubt in your mind, combined with lack of self confidence, you ask- "what's wrong with me"?

The only thing yhats wrong with you us- you deserve better.


Community Member

There is nothing wrong with you. Only you can decide if your marriage is worth coming back from this. I personally wouldn’t be able to go back if I found out my husband was cheating. I’m a pretty trusting person but once that trust is broken it’s almost impossible to get back.

I couldn’t live in a marriage like that where I’m constantly paranoid about what the other person is up to. It’s no way to live. I’d rather be on my own.

There’s obviously a lack of communication between the two of you, which is very common in marriages. I’m not an expert by any means, but if he was unhappy with your sex life he should have spoken to you about it at the time. The marriage could have been salvaged. It’s to little to late now once the damage has been done. I heard a saying on Dr Phil once and he said “you need to fix what you already have. You don’t go searching for what you’re missing”. It’s so true.

Giving subtle hints to you isn’t really good enough. You’re not a mind reader. If he wanted to move on he should have been honest with you. You don’t go find someone on the side.

Of course you still love him. You have been married for 10 years. It’s a long time to share a life with someone. It’s normal.

Community Member

I had been suffering from some health conditions which impacted my sexual health too... my sex drive just wasnt there but i took care of the home, i looked after him. The entire episode lasted around 6 years in our 10 year long relationship. He says lack of good sex for 6 years in the prime of his life was cruel to him and he did what he had to as he was dying inside.

I get what he is saying and I would like the marriage to work but how on earth do i trust him again?