Discovering that your husband has had an affair is a devastating betrayal. In the aftermath, it’s natural to wonder if he still has feelings for the other woman and whether your marriage can survive. While every situation is unique, there are some common signs that may indicate your husband is missing his affair partner. Understanding these signs can help you approach this delicate situation with greater insight as you work to repair your relationship.

You’ve discovered an affair. Or maybe (and this is much better…) he’s told you that he’s involved with someone else. You want to know if your marriage can survive and is he still thinking about her. Are you a fool for having hope?

Wives come to us with these questions:

  • Does my husband love his affair partner?
  • Has he fallen in love with her?
  • Does my husband still have feelings for his affair partner?

Every individual and relationship is unique so this post can’t give you definitive answers. Just know that affairs are a time of emotional turmoil. You might suspect that your husband may be missing his affair partner, and you might be right.

But you need more than to be right.

If you want your marriage to continue, you will want to have a greater understanding about how to approach this delicate situation effectively.

Mrs. Patrick Campbell has been quoted as saying:

“Wedlock is the deep, deep peace of the double-bed after the hurly-burly of the chaise-longue.”

The opposite is also true. Affairs offer their own biochemical cocktail that makes that deeply calm marital bed look boring. It also makes people do troubling things that are outside of their normal character. But the good news is that most people come back to their senses and most marriages survive affairs.

Falling in love or developing strong feelings for another woman as a married man is complicated and confusing.

  • Even when the sex doesn’t match the quality of what you have together, it is filled with anxiety and newness. This can be mistaken in the brain for “hot” or “steamy.”
  • There is a thrill in meeting clandestinely. The “dutiful” man becomes the “naughty boy.”
  • He both flatters and is flattered. He doesn’t see a rounded picture. He’s blinded.
  • He now has validation that he’s wanted outside of his marriage.
  • He gets focused attention. It’s brief. It’s time-limited. And it’s forbidden.
  • He spends time in new (sometimes more upscale) locations and breaks his normal routines. Experiencing novelty increases dopamine. Dopamine, itself, reinforces pleasure-seeking behavior.
  • He desires and feels desirable. He is chasing, being chased, or both. That feeling is intoxicating. Do you remember it? It might be painful to remember when he pursued you or you him and how good that felt. But take a moment to remember it.
  • He may now discover some needs being met he didn’t realize he had.

Now let’s look at the contrast with you, the hurt partner and what you are left with:

He’s emotionally withdrawn

Maybe he’s ashamed or embarrassed. This causes him to become emotionally distant or detached from you. He consciously or unconsciously compares his relationship with you to that of his mistress. It is an utterly unfair comparison for all of the reasons I stated above.

If he is emotionally or physically “holding another woman’s hand” he may display less interest or investment in you. He seems preoccupied or lost in thought.

He’s secretive

He may have a lot to hide or believe he does. His phone, computer, or other personal belongings now have telltale mysteries he doesn’t want revealed.

For him, it could be a feeling he wants to last. He is trying to protect the affair from the harshness of scrutiny: your scrutiny and his own logical brain.

Affairs offer their own biochemical cocktail that makes that deeply calm marital bed look boring. It also makes people do troubling things that are outside of their normal character.”

He’s defensive

He may become defensive or evasive when you question his activities or whereabouts. Ask questions, and you get partial or minimal answers.

He sees himself as wanting to be free and you as the voice of reason, authority, and practicality. He doesn’t want to be reasonable. He wants passion, excitement, and thrills. At least for now, he does.

But that is often half the story.

The other half is that he might dimly or clearly realize that his actions are a self-absorbed indulgence. A cruelty to a woman who doesn’t deserve it.

He may blame you

He might begin to devise excuses why he has done this to you. He tries to focus on your faults.

Your attentiveness becomes “clingy.” Your understandable need for reassurance becomes “needy.” If you are conscientious, you are “demanding.” If you are more casual, you are “sloppy.”

He considers his penis a “metal detector” of his true desire

You may find that your husband can’t stay hard in bed (keep his erection) when sexual. He may believe that his penis is a “metal detector” of his true desire. However, consider his internal chaos and ambivalence.

Sex is now one more sphere that he needs to assess, evaluate, and judge. He stops thinking about sex as a way to show you his sincerest feelings for you.

It is now a performance. Yours, his, or maybe both. His sexual actions become a demonstration of his worthiness, your adventurousness, or how “real” this marriage is.

Don’t worsen this swirl of myths by implying that his failing erection is an accusation against you or your marriage.

Decreased intimacy or sexual interest

Is it any wonder that he appears sexually disinterested? Avoids bedtime? One moment he is intensely demanding sex with you. The next, he rejects your advances.

During sex, his emotional vulnerability may be equally inconsistent. You might want to ask, “Where are you?!” He seems detached. You ask yourself, ‘Is he still emotionally attached to his affair partner?’

Increased irritability or agitation

It is an emotional turmoil of guilt, confusion, or longing for the affair partner. It leads to mood swings, irritability, or even anger. If this is out of character, it might be quite noticeable.

If he is more easily dysregulated, his emotionality is more pronounced.

  • He wants to be alone.
  • He doesn’t want to leave your side.
  • He wants to talk.
  • He doesn’t want to talk.
  • He seems depressed and hypomanic

…all within moments of each other.

You want to squeeze information from him but then become enraged when he tells you. You want him to give you both honest and reassuring answers. Often he can’t do both.

Nostalgic or melancholic behavior

If your husband has broken it off with his paramour, it would be unusual for him not to reminisce. He might feel sadness or longing when he recalls certain reminders or situations. It may have nothing to do with the woman he’s involved with. Instead, it has to do with the man he felt himself to be when he was with her.

You become visibly upset driving by the restaurant he took her to. He is feeling nostalgia for how that date made him feel about himself. Perhaps powerful, in charge, sexy or suave. Shame, lust, desire, and guilt are powerful feelings.

Increased focus on appearance and self-improvement

Your husband suddenly begins paying more attention to his physical appearance. He dresses differently. His colors are brighter, sharper; he wants better clothes.

He goes to the gym regularly now. He spends more time in front of the mirror.

He is taking better care of himself. Maybe you’ve been nagging him for years, and now he wants only salads for lunch. He’s cutting back on red meat.

You might suspect that he is still seeing his affair partner, and he might be. Or it might be a new image of himself that the affair brought on.

You want him to feel positive about himself. You want him to be his best self, right? But understandably, you don’t want this to be because of another woman.

It could also be an indication that he is trying to impress someone or recapture the feelings associated with the affair. You may wonder if this “new man” has space in his life left for you. You may also wonder if you want to be a part of his life, even if he does.

Talking becomes challenging

The troubling thing is that while honest communication during this time is paramount, it is usually hard to come by. There are a confusing array of emotions that flood both of you.

You want to squeeze information from him but then become enraged when he tells you. You want him to give you both honest and reassuring answers. Often he can’t do both.

And some answers you might think you want. You might not know it, but they will hurt your healing if you do. Details of his sex with her will haunt your own marital bed.

Signs do not definitively prove anything.

You may want signs that your husband misses his affair partner. You want to know if he has moved on or might still be seeing her. But signs should not be taken as concrete evidence. These signs are not definitive proof of anything. Approach the situation with sensitivity and realize that you can’t be objective and neither can he.

You might not be able to do this alone.

Consider seeking professional help, such as marriage counseling, to navigate this difficult situation together. Find a safe place to help you process all of these intense emotions and come to a better understanding. We do this clinical work over a weekend. You can end up stronger together, as impossible as that might sound to you now.


Affairs are highly emotional and can cause people to act out of character. If your husband is missing his affair partner, he may seem emotionally withdrawn, secretive, defensive, and quick to blame you for his actions. Your intimacy and sex life may suffer, and his moods and behaviors can swing erratically. While these signs don’t definitively prove he’s still attached to the other woman, they point to the turmoil he’s experiencing. Honest communication is critical but challenging right now. Seeking the guidance of a professional marriage counselor can provide a safe space to process these intense emotions and find a path forward together. With commitment and hard work, it is possible to heal from this betrayal and ultimately strengthen your bond.

The intro provides context on the difficult situation and mindset of a wife who has discovered her husband’s affair. It validates her concerns about whether he misses the other woman, while noting that the signs discussed are not definitive proof. The summary recaps the key points about how an affair can impact the husband’s behavior and the marriage. It emphasizes the importance of communication and suggests marriage counseling as a helpful step, ending on a hopeful note about the potential to recover from the affair. The tone aims to be understanding and non-judgmental of both the wife and husband’s experience.