11 Heartbreaking Signs Your Husband Misses His Affair Partner

The affair may be over but its shadow still looms large on your marriage

Infidelity | | , Editor-in-Chief
Updated On: July 9, 2024
signs your husband misses his affair partner
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The realization that your husband has been cheating on you comes as a massive blow that makes you feel like the life you’ve built so painstakingly is crumbling before your eyes. You’re left grappling with a whirlwind of emotions — hurt, anger, shame, and pain — and may struggle to find a way forward. The aftermath of infidelity is a hellish experience for both the cheater and the betrayed spouse. It becomes even more unbearable if you begin to see signs your husband misses his affair partner.

That’s because if he is still pining for her, there is a good chance your husband still has feelings for affair partner. Talk about adding insult to injury. Now, given the fragile emotional state you’d likely be in ever since you started seeing the signs your husband is having an affair only to have your worst fears come true, it’s important to make sure that you’re reading the situation right.

Does he miss the other woman or is it merely remorse or cheating guilt manifesting in different ways? It’s imperative to know the difference to deal with the situation effectively. To help you make the distinction, I shine the light on some of the most common signs a married man has feelings for his mistress and misses her, with insights from relationship experts and couples counselors.

11 Signs Your Husband Misses His Affair Partner — Heartbreaking But True

A friend of mind — let’s call her Jane — found herself faced with the dreadful reality that her husband of 13 years had fallen in love with his affair partner and pined for her almost a year after he supposedly ended the affair when she heard him mumbling her name in his sleep. It was, then, that she started paying closer attention to his behavior, and it became clear to her that while her husband had chosen to stay married to her, he was merely going through the motions since.

She confided in me one day, “I can’t remember the last time he genuinely laughed or felt excited by something. It’s like I’m living with the shell of the man he used to be. The signs my husband wants another woman are clear as day. It breaks my heart to see him, to see us, live this way. Why does he miss the other woman so much? Why aren’t I good enough for him?”

Jane, ultimately, decided that there was no point dragging on a dead marriage and they parted ways. Coming to terms with the fact that her husband missed his affair partner even after ending things with her was harder for her to come to terms with than the incident of infidelity itself. She is still working through post-infidelity stress disorder and trying to rebuild her life.

does he miss the other woman
When your husband misses his affair partner, there will be an inevitable emotional distance between you

Weighing in on why this happens, psychotherapist Dr. Aman Bhonsle says, “The signs your husband misses his affair partner emerge only if that relationship was rooted in intense feelings. If he felt supported and better understood in that connection, there was trust and good sexual chemistry, he may long for his affair partner even if chose to end that relationship for whatever reasons.”

Now, the question is, how do you find out if something similar has been happening in your marriage? Here are some heartbreaking but accurate signs your husband misses his affair partner you ought to pay attention to: 

1. He seems emotionally withdrawn

Does he miss the other woman? This question is bound to cross your mind, particularly if you’re trying to reconcile and rebuild your relationship after infidelity. One of the most telling indicators that your husband still has feelings for affair partner and misses her is that he becomes emotionally withdrawn.

  • He may not want to communicate with you
  • He may shy away from spending time with you
  • He may seem preoccupied
  • He may exhibit signs of emotional numbness

A man may struggle to figure out how to get over an affair partner if that relationship was rooted in a deep emotional connection. If he and his affair partner stuck by each other through thick and thin, helped each other in times of crisis and became a source of support and comfort, a man may miss that genuine give-and-take of care and compassion.

Relationship and intimacy coach Shivanya Yogmaya

2. He is irritable and moody

Another one of the clear signs your husband misses his affair partner is that the decision to end that relationship has taken a toll on his emotional well-being. As a result, he may become more irritable and moodier. Counseling psychologist Anugrah Edmonds says, “Unresolved feelings for an affair partner can lead to a relationship dynamic of stonewalling. It can cause extreme mood swings and make men lose control over their emotions, leading to irritability and angry outbursts.” 

Related Reading: Falling Out Of Love In A Long-Term Relationship – Signs And What Should You Do

3. He compares you to his affair partner

To heal from the blow of infidelity, both partners need to put the incident behind them and not drudge it up over and over again once they’ve processed their emotions and decided to give their relationship another chance. However, if your partner invariably brings up his affair partner, often as a way of comparing you to her (and she always comes out looking good in that comparison), it’s one of the undeniable signs he misses his affair partner. It also indicates that he was deeply invested in that relationship — perhaps, to the point that he was considering leaving marriage for affair partner — and is struggling to get over her.

4. You can sense that he feels trapped in the marriage

Statistics suggest that only 5-7% of people leave their spouses for a long-term relationship/marriage with their affair partners. In the majority of cases, when push comes to shove, people choose marriage over extramarital affairs. Dr. Bhonsle says, “This could be due to a variety of reasons such as societal disapproval, family pressure, not wanting to put the children through the agony of a divorce, or not disrupting the logistical support offered by the spouse.”

However, just because he chose to end the affair doesn’t mean that all the feelings he had for that person will go away instantly. If your husband was emotionally invested, he may struggle to figure out how to get over an affair partner. Or if he was planning on leaving marriage for affair partner, all those dashed hopes and dreams may make him miserable. As a result, you may begin to see clear signs he feels trapped in the marriage, these include:

  • Avoiding spending time at home
  • Being cold toward you
  • Making jokes about how terrible marriage is
  • Not talking about the future
  • A brow-beaten, resigned demeanor

Related Reading: 12 Signs An Affair Is Turning Into Love

5. He hasn’t made an effort to repair his relationship with you

While possible, repairing a relationship after cheating is no joke. Understandably, the lion’s share of the responsibility falls on the cheating partner. As counseling psychologist Jui Pimple says, “If you have broken your partner’s trust, you have to work hard to earn it back.”

However, if your partner has taken no initiative to make amends or work toward rebuilding trust and repairing his relationship with you ever since you’ve navigated the turmoil of spotting the signs your husband is having an affair to actually uncovering his transgressions, it could be because his heart’s not in it. This is one of the clearest signs a married man has feelings for his mistress and misses her.

6. He is still secretive about his phone

As you begin to notice the signs your husband is having an affair and then go on to discover his infidelity, trust gets completely shattered. To be able to heal from this setback, you need to work on rebuilding the trust. Counseling psychologist Ridhi Golecha says, “Both partners need to commit to total transparency and honesty if they want to rebuild the lost trust.” However, if your husband is still grappling with the question of how to get over an affair partner and yearns for her, he may not make good on this promise.

infographic on Signs Your Husband Misses His Affair Partner
11 Signs Your Husband Misses His Affair Partner

7. He gets defensive

When recovering from the setback of infidelity, a couple has to have several difficult conversations. As the betrayed partner, you may have several questions to ask your unfaithful spouse, and if he committed to rebuilding the relationship, he will answer these questions and try to assuage your concerns.

However, if your husband gets defensive and irritable whenever you bring up his transgressions and doesn’t want to hear a word against his affair partner, it’s a worrying sign. You may wonder, “Why does my husband defend his affair partner?” Well, because he likely still has feelings for her and missed having her in his life. The signs of his emotional investment in the other woman cannot get more glaring than that.  

8. He stalks his affair partner on social media

My college roommate and best friend, Shirley, found out that her husband was having an affair with his. To give the marriage another chance and start afresh, the couple moved to Canada. Five years and two kids later, she chanced upon the woman’s name in her husband’s Facebook search history. She became vigilant and started tracking his social media activity on the sly.

To her dismay, she found that her husband would stalk his ex and former affair partner for hours every day. “Why does he miss the other woman so much even after all this time? What does this mean for my marriage? I upended my entire life to give this relationship another chance, and now I don’t know what to do,” she said.

If you notice something similar in the post-infidelity phase of your marriage, it should put you on the alert. Social media stalking is a clear indicator of residual feelings and the fact that your husband hasn’t been able to figure out how to get over an affair partner.

Related Reading: Lack Of Affection And Intimacy In A Relationship — 9 Ways It Affects You

9. The intimacy in your relationship has taken a hit

Rebuilding intimacy after the storm of infidelity has shaken up the very foundation of your relationship is not easy. Counseling psychologist Nandita Rambhia says, “Most couples experience awkwardness when trying to be intimate after one partner’s unfaithfulness has come to light because there are a lot of mental blocks that can impede emotional connection and sexual intimacy.”

However, in cases where the cheating partner has truly moved on from the affair, there is an intent as well as a sincere effort to bridge this gap and make amends. On the other hand, if your husband is still emotionally hung up on his affair partner, he may show no interest in reviving emotional and physical intimacy in the relationship. If you’ve been asking, “What are the signs my husband wants another woman?”, this is the one you need to look out for.

10.  He reminisces about his affair partner with close friends or a confidant

signs a married man has feelings for his mistress
Ending an affair doesn’t mean that all the feelings he had for that person will go away instantly

It’s unlikely that your husband will be so audacious as you reminisce about the other woman in front of you or talk about her in a way that leaves you wondering, “Why does my husband defend his affair partner?” However, if he does still have feelings for her and misses her, he might let all the longing and heartache slip in front of close friends or a confidant he trusts with his life.

If you’re looking for signs your husband misses his affair partner, it can help to test how the people in his inner circle react to the mention of that woman. Of course, only if you trust them and know that they know about your spouse’s transgression. Anything short of a resounding reiteration of the fact that he regrets his actions and has put the affair behind him is a red flag that your husband hasn’t yet figured out how to get over an affair partner.

Related Reading: 21 Heartbreaking Signs Your Husband Doesn’t Value You And How To Cope

11.  He prioritizes everything except your marriage

Does he miss the other woman? What are the signs my husband wants another woman? Do these questions weigh on your mind? Well, that, in itself, is an indicator that something is amiss. These questions are the outcome of your instincts picking up on his lack of investment in the marriage and desire to be with the other woman.

If that relationship was intense enough that your husband was considering leaving marriage for affair partner and has decided to stay only because of societal or familial obligations and pressures, he will make no real effort to repair his relationship with you. In this case, he may prioritize everything — his work, his friends, his parents, your kids, his hobbies — over your marriage. Being so checked out from the marriage is among the glaring signs your husband misses his affair partner.

There is no easy way to come to terms with the fact that perhaps your husband was considering leaving marriage for affair partner and has stayed back only because he felt compelled to or deal with the signs your husband misses his affair partner.

However, Dr. Bhonsle says, “Remember, you always have a choice. The choice available to you may not be pleasant, comfortable, or what you had hoped for, which is why exploring it can seem daunting. But it’s always there.” With that in mind, let’s explore what you can do if you discover that your husband still has feelings for his affair partner and misses her.

On Extramarital Affairs

What To Do If Your Husband Still Has Feelings For Affair Partner

“I see the signs my husband wants another woman and I just don’t care,” said no woman ever. The realization that your husband is harboring feelings for the other woman and misses having her in his life can be just as traumatic as the discovery of the affair, if not more. So, how do you deal with this and find a way forward?

Allow yourself to experience whatever feelings, emotions, and thoughts this realization brings up, and find a way to express them. Remember, it’s okay to be angry, hurt, or in pain.

Counseling psychologist Dhriti Bhavsar

Only once you’ve worked through the emotional turmoil brought on by your husband’s emotional investment in his affair partner can you begin to look for a way forward. For this, Dhriti offers the following tips:

  • Have a conversation with your husband: This might just be one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do, but there is no alternative to a direct conversation once you see the signs your husband misses his affair partner. Tell them that you’ve noticed that he still pines for her and discuss what it means for the future of your marriage
  • Remember it takes two to make a marriage work: Your husband’s response will tell you all you need to know about the fate of your marriage. You cannot keep a relationship afloat single-handedly, and if your husband shows no interest in making things work, you might just have to accept that it’s the end of the road to your marital journey. On the other hand, if he admits to missing his affair partner and says he needs time to work through his feelings and reconnect with you, there’s still hope
  • Consider couples therapy: Rebuilding a marriage in the aftermath of an affair can be a tall order, and often, people lack the wherewithal to navigate it on their own. If you see hope for reconciliation despite your husband’s lingering feelings for this affair partner, going into couples therapy may be your best bet for turning a corner. If you’re looking for expert help to navigate this turmoil, Bonobology’s counseling services are here for you·
  • Be kind to yourself: Along with hurt and anger, a partner’s infidelity inevitably brings feelings of shame, guilt, and inadequacy in its wake. As you watch your husband pine for his affair partner, you’re bound to go down the rabbit hole of, “Why am I not good enough for him?” In moments like these, you need to be kind to yourself and commit to taking care of yourself, emotionally as well as physically

Key Pointers

  • Your husband may miss his affair partner if that relationship was rooted in intense feelings
  • Signs your husband missed his affair partner include being emotionally withdrawn, irritable, and moody, feeling trapped in the marriage, and not making an effort to repair his relationship with you
  • If you realize that your husband misses his affair partner, have a conversation with him about it. His response will tell you all you need to know about the fate of your marriage
  • If you see a glimmer of hope that he wants to work through his complicated emotional state to reconnect with you, consider couples therapy
  • Through it all, be kind to yourself and commit to taking care of yourself

If you could relate to most or all of the signs your husband misses his affair partner, I’m extremely sorry for what you’re going through right now. This is a difficult time, no doubt, but know that it will pass. As Hal Borland says, “No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.”

FAQs

1. How long will it take my husband to get over his affair partner?

It’s hard to offer a specific timeline for how long it takes a man to get over his affair partner, as the answer to the question depends on a variety of factors such as the emotional connection he shared with his affair partner, the length and nature of the affair, the state of his relationship with his spouse, and his own personality and emotional baggage. However, in the case of long-term affairs, it can take anywhere up to a year to bounce back emotionally.

2. Does a man miss his affair partner?

If a man shared a deep connection with his affair partner, was emotionally attached to her and not just in it for physical needs, and felt supported, understood, and loved by her, he will miss his affair partner.

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