I get this question almost every day from my cheating spouse. This marriage is over, and I don’t want to be affectionate towards my husband, because then I feel I am leading him on. At the same time, I feel like I am being cold hearted towards my husband (I know he cheated but I still care about him).
I struggle with this issue of how to treat my husband after the affair. I wonder if my “being mean” (by not being affectionate) is just an effort to protect my feelings. After thinking this over for a while, I decided it’s in his best interest to present myself in a consistent manner—in this case, by sticking to not being affectionate. I personally feel the best thing to do is for us to go our separate ways, and by not behaving in a way that is consistent with this decision, I lead him on. For example, we can have a good discussion one night, followed by watching a good movie and being affectionate in bed, and the next morning he says, “Man, I am so glad we are back together.” And then I think, “No, we are not back together. A movie, good conversation, and some affectionate behavior don’t make everything better.” Sex is even worse, have sex with your husband after the affair and he thinks everything is patched up!!
After a while I realized that men and women think differently, and that maybe I was the one who needed to change my behavior. So I went cold turkey on him. I am not affectionate, and I only interact with him when I need to. We don’t do joint activities unless necessary, and when we do I am very cold to him. I tell myself it is better than leading him on. But then he still tries to be affectionate and says, “Do you really want this to end?” And I say absolutely even though honestly I am unsure.
Infidelity is tough.