She had an affair but years later it still tortures him… WHY!!?

“Why did she do it? I just don’t understand why and not knowing, it’s destroying us.” These are the words from a man broken by his wifes actions. Quietly she agrees they can’t go on this way…

It’s very easy to make instant judgments when you first hear these kinds of stories. Everyone will have different instant opinions, but as this story unfolds opinions can change. You see nothing is as black and white as it first seems.

This couple have it all, great business wonderful home beautiful children. So with so much going for them why did their relationship get to the point where an affair was possible for her?

From the moment they first met he was consumed with two feelings total love and passion for her and a feeling he was never enough for her. [As you read on you'll discover how she made this happen for him].

His focus was on feeling that she wanting to be with other men (she didn’t), he just couldn’t get to the bottom of why she wanted to be with him. She kept saying she did and she loved him, but he wanted to know why? But he never got an answer he could believe, something was wrong, he knew he didn’t feel right. [was he too needy or was something else going on?]

She loved him with a passion too, but was frustrated because he never believed her. To cope with the constant questions and doubt from him she became more and more detached which resulted in her becoming depressed. She was fearful that he would leave her because he doubted her so much.

It was during this depression that she had an affair.

Now his fears had been realised. He knew this was going to happen and now he was right. They decided to stay together but, resentment, arguments all worked to crippled the relationship. Close to breaking up they made contact with me.

As I worked with this couple I helped them to understand exactly what had happened and why the affair became possible. She had to change and detach from her true self to cope with the constant doubt and questions, it’s like a temporary insanity took over her.

Still today she can’t believe she did it.

As they both took responsibility for their actions in the relationship the goal was to build confidence into them so they understood their roles and could be equally successful with her, this is what he wanted.

He had become needy and so this pushed her to become strong to cope with his weakness. Once he knew how to be successful as a man with her his confidence grew. He discovered that the weak him had actually helped her want to have an affair. This shocked him but he understood. [He was needy but why? I knew I needed to understand more about her, she was very emotionless during the sessions, but she was not depressed.]

But I was curious this calm lady who on the surface seemed to have controlled everything until depression took over, what was really going on for her?

We discovered her reality was very different from her calm exterior because she was masking what was inside, she was in a constant battle that only she was aware of.

With a challenging childhood she had learnt that she was safer if she said very little and did all she could to please others. Without knowing she used this model in her relationships as an adult with everyone.

So her critical needs had to be met from others, she had no idea how to give herself what she needed. If she was on her own she just became robotic emotionless, very practical. So what she had to do was give and give to others constantly, only when she got back what she needed did she then feel valued. But this was hard work sometimes she got back and sometimes she didn’t.

Women were far too emotional for her as friends and so men as friends became her source of getting her needs met. Now we can see why he was so needy, he could see her light up with her male friends and so this is why he didn’t feel enough. Also because he was so needy he was not giving to her so she had to keep giving to him but she got nothing back so she stopped.

So she stopped seeing men as friends becuase it was becoming a real problem with her husband and with her husband pulling love away due to his fears none of her needs were met, she became depressed and so the affair happened.

I had to help her see the value in herself undoing what her childhood had taught her and building confidence in her to meet her own needs. As a result she no longer needs others to help her to feel valuable. She has stopped the exhausting pleasing of others.

She has stopped mothering him and he has taken charge of his masculine role in the relationship.

She is now relived she can let go of years of worry, he now feels confident in the relationship and now their future looks wonderful again. He still wishes it hadn’t happened, but so does she…

But now they have a more important focus, planning an amazing future together.

So you see it’s very complicated and so many factors can affect the dynamic in a couple.

All relationship challenges have real reasons behind them, it just not that easy to understand, or get to them to fix them. Some choose learn why, some just give up.

This couple wanted to understand, deep down despite all the pain they truly loved each other and this was the glue that brought them to me.

About Stephen Hedger

International relationship expert Stephen Hedger's philosophy on relationship problems is this: Couples fail to understand their relationships because they are too focused on their problems and so they totally miss what created them. Stephen's approach is a refreshing and enlightening journey that helps couples uncover their truth. His strategies uncover the knowledge that all couples need to create a successful and lasting passionate connection. If you are in crisis and you need help, book an initial consultation today to get your life back on track.


  1. I think I understand how the man felt. I still wonder why my husband prefers me to any other woman and we’ve been married for over 20 years. Fortunately, my husband has stayed loyal to me. As I get more life experience through the ages, I’m slowly learning to accept the devotion my husband gives me. It’s a tough road to be on.

  2. Caroline says:

    I recognise a lot of this. It’s just the affair was the other way round!

    Such a pity when the couple don’t find help soon enough. And in my case we didn’t as we a) didn’t realise we needed to and b) didn’t know where to search for help.

  3. My wife and I have been married for 17 years. She cheated on me 15 years ago with a man she met at a club while I was deployed with the Army. I just really spoke my mind about it yesterday. WIth a few exceptions this story is very similar to ours. When we started talking about it a couple of days ago. The very first thing I said was “Sometimes i feel like i am not the man for you- as if I am not giving you what you need and you would prefer to be with someone else.” From there it was prety painful for us both. I suggested counsleing but I’m not sure if she is willing.. I may just go for individusl sessions.