I often have wives contact me and ask about the best course of action while they are evaluating what they want to happen after their husband's affair. This can be a tricky situation, especially when or if you're being pressured by your husband. I recently heard from a wife on my surviving the affair blog whose husband was pressuring her to let him move back home while she was evaluating what she wanted to do about their marriage after his affair.
She said, in part: "the night that I found out about his affair, I immediately kicked him out of the house. That has been four weeks ago. A few days later, after I calmed down, we discussed a regular schedule for him to see the children. I would never keep him from his kids and I want them to see their father regularly. Also, I've been spending a lot of time thinking about what I want to happen to our marriage. At first, I was sure that a divorce was going to be necessary because I was certain that I could never forgive. But I'm not so sure about that anymore. The more he is gone, the more I realize that I miss him and the more I understand that my kids need their father. When he was here over this weekend, he pulled me aside and begged me to let him move back in. He stressed that he wouldn't assume his moving back in meant that I was going to forgive him or take him back, but he said being away from me and the kids is so hard for him. I am reluctant to let him come back because I haven't yet decided what I want to happen to our marriage. But my kids obviously want him to move back in. What should I do? I feel like if I let him come back, I've pretty much made the decision because I'd feel so awful to kick him out again." I'll discuss this situation more in the following article.
Some Considerations For Allowing A Husband To Move Back In After He Cheated Or Had An Affair: Before I discuss the pros and cons in this situation, I have to tell you that I can't make this decision for anymore.
The wife was right in her assumption that allowing the husband to come back home was going to make it that much more difficult to ask him to leave again should she later decide that she just couldn't forgive him and wanted a divorce. Allowing him to come back home was likely to give him hope or encourage an assumption that she was close to forgiving him or deciding that she wanted to save the marriage.
To be fair, the wife herself admitted that she was leaning toward keeping her family together, but it was also clear that she still had her doubts. Although it is completely understandable to want to do what was best for her kids (and she felt that living with both parents was the best thing for them,) it can't be ignored that having them go through their father moving out not once but twice was also going to be very difficult if she later changed her mind.
Sometimes, I am hearing about a situation where the husband has had doubts about returning to the marriage all along, so once he asks to come back home, the wife wants to immediately agree since neither were sure if his returning home was ever going to happen. But, this wasn't the case in this situation. It was clear that the husband was intent on coming home and reconciling with his wife, and this didn't seem likely to change. Therefore, the wife had the luxury of taking her time to ensure that she made the right decision.
Because, at the end of the day, it was truly the wife who would have to live with that same decision. Yes, her children's home life would be affected by this decision as would her marriage. But she was the one who was living within that same marriage. So her opinion and feelings should matter every bit as much as every one else's.
Consider Exploring Whether A Compromise Is Possible So That Both Spouses Get More Of What They Really Want: It was clear to me that, in some sense, the wife wanted to give her marriage a chance, but she was afraid of making a decision too quickly and then to feeling pressured to live up to a decision made in haste. I felt that a compromise could be reached fairly easily. The husband's main wish was having more access to his children and getting his marriage back on track, while the wife's main wish was to ensure that they saved the marriage in the right way at a healthy pace.
They could probably both get what they wanted with a little compromise. One suggestion would be to allow the husband to stay over a couple of nights per week (or whatever they were most comfortable with.) This would allow them to ease into the transition while evaluating how things were going between them before anyone was rushed into a final decision. And, to ease the wife's doubts about making a good decision, she could require that they went to counseling (or at least attempted to talk about the issues in order to reconnect and heal) during the days when the husband stayed over.
In this way, the husband was getting the reassurance that he wanted (and access to his family,) while the wife was able to slowing move back toward her marriage in her own time while assuring that she had the husband's cooperation in rebuilding. In this way, she wouldn't feel pressured into making a decision about which she wasn't sure and she was setting it up so that she would have enough information to make the right decision when the time was right.
I know that this is a very difficult decision and you are right to take it slowly. But healing is totally possible if you approach this in a gradual and methodical way. Although I never would've believed this two years ago, my marriage is stronger than ever after my husband's affair. It took a lot of work, but it was worth it. If it helps, you can read more about the healing process after the affair on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com/