It is one thing for a man to have a sexual affair with another woman. It is another entirely to initiate a divorce or leave his wife for another woman.
So what makes a man leave his wife for another woman?
Let’s put this into context. Studies consistently show that wives are far more likely to initiate and file for divorce than husbands are.
This fact has shown to be true over 25 data sets and throughout the span of 125 years!
Women initiate nearly 70% of all divorces. However, in non-marital relationships, men and women are equally as likely to initiate a breakup. (this fact isn’t relevant for this current discussion, however).
So, assuming that a man is leaving his wife at the same time as filing for divorce, we must realize the seriousness of his decision to actually leave his wife.
It is no small matter.
Most men don’t just ‘up and leave’ their wives for another woman. If they do, it is likely that there was a serious issue or issues.
What could these serious issues be?
Well, first of all it’s important to realize that there could be many right answers to this question.
The answer(s) to what makes a man leave his wife for another woman, depends on which framework you choose to look at this problem through.
- Here are some possible frameworks to answer why he left?…
- What if he truly was a narcissist?
- What does healthy responsibility taking look like?
- What is the right answer to what makes a man leave his wife for another woman?
- What to do if your husband has left you for another woman
Here are some possible frameworks to answer why he left?…
When you look at these different frameworks, some intense emotions may come up. That’s ok.
You may not be entirely ready to process the reason why he left.
And if you actually are feeling ready to see why he left, then try as best you can to look at these frameworks and reasons objectively.
Zoom out and consider which of these might have been the biggest issues inside of your marriage.
That way, you can move on knowing that you are equipped with more awareness for your next relationship (should you decide you want one).
The framework of value
This refers to him not getting the value he needed for a long period of time in the marriage. If another woman came along with the promise to give him that value, (and he trusted it), he may leave his wife.
Here are 3 things that make a woman high value to men.
The framework of ‘one & only’ versus ‘one of many’
If you’re not a man’s one and only woman, then you’re the one of many woman.
This is not necessarily related to a man marrying you, either!
Since I started teaching this framework many years ago, I’ve had to remind many women that marriage (as in, a man marrying a woman and making her his wife), is not the defining factor of what makes a woman his one and only.
Men get married for all kinds of different reasons.
Some of them are bad reasons. Some of them are truly heartfelt, good reasons. (Ie: he fell madly in love with her and cherishes her beyond measure. Making him want to take care of her for life. This is of course, what we call the one and only woman).
If you’re wanting to understand how to be the one and only rather than the one of many woman, Here’s what you can do…
Check out my program ‘Becoming His One and Only’ where I will teach you the 5 secrets to have your chosen man fall madly in love with you and beg you to be his one and only woman.
The framework of attachment styles
This refers to a man’s attachment style, and how that interacted with your own attachment style inside of the marriage.
Perhaps he has an avoidant attachment style, but still deeply desires a connection inside.
However, people who have an avoidant attachment style do not have the awareness or the skills to connect deeply.
Due to a myriad of emotional abandonment issues, he may abandon not only himself, but his wife in the hopes of fulfilling his dream of childhood love and approval (from his parents).
He may want to fulfil these childhood voids through a new woman who seems to promise him admiration, approval, crazy sex, connection, acceptance and love.
Want to know the 17 Attraction triggers that get a man’s blood boiling uncontrollably? Find out these attraction triggers here.
The framework of narcissistic personality disorder
A true narcissist only cares for themselves and has no room to budge.
So of course, when he was done with you, he was ready to move onto the next shiny object.
A new woman who could be more exciting (just by being new), and more reliable for his manipulative ways.
To a true narcissist, your needs and your emotions will basically have no relevance in their life.
A narcissist has no room for you or your needs. Unless your emotions can serve their own manipulative ends.
Now, I hope you’ve heard that the percentage of people who truly have narcissistic personality disorder is small.
It’s just that some people are quick to label a spouse they’ve fallen out with as “narcissists.”
Just because a man did something for himself, doesn’t mean that he’s a narcissist. Sometimes we can’t be too trigger happy with this term.
What if he truly was a narcissist?
With that said, let’s just say that he truly is a narcissist. Well, I think this says something important about your choices.
It says something about your choice to be with an actual narcissist.
This could mean that you have past trauma that you need to heal. Women and men who have issues with trauma bonding can make poor relationship decisions.
Not due to them being inadequate, but moreso due to them not noticing the signs that their partner was a narcissist earlier.
When you have a history of entering abusive relationships or seeking out abusive partners, it makes it easy for you to unconsciously ignore the signs your ex husband was a narcissist.
So, if this particular framework relates to you, then I would suggest that you probably have some healing, grieving and processing to do before you enter into a new relationship.
It’s important to understand your own relational patterns.
If you were abused growing up, you will feel safer and more loved with an abusive partner.
So, things like gaslighting, trauma bonding and codependency will feel second nature to you.
The truth is that if your ex husband was a narcissist, it’s a good thing that he left you.
He will only go on to repeat the old patterns with a new shiny object.
Just wish his new woman well, because she’ll have a hell of a lot to contend with.
The framework of shirking responsibilities.
A lot of men and women cheat and abandon spouses due to a lack of ability to take responsibility for themselves and their choices.
But do you want to know the things that they sometimes take the least responsibility for?
Their partner’s feelings and happiness.
As such, a husband who leaves his wife may have left her because he is bad at taking responsibility for his relationship.
In all good relationships with two esteemed people who have high standards for themselves, they take as much responsibility for their partner’s feelings in the relationship as is humanly possible.
Now, you may think this is bordering on codependence or narcissistic abuse.
I don’t blame you.
Often, in abusive relationships, one or both spouses are made to feel blamed for the other’s lack of happiness.
So, taking responsibility for your spouse’s happiness from this place is not what high standards for yourself actually look like.
Essentially, one or both spouses are in a cycle of feeling blamed. So they don’t “take responsibility” for their lover’s happiness through having healthy high standards for themselves.
Rather, their idea of taking responsibility for their lover’s happiness is just a bunch of pathological fear-based steps, taken to avoid losing someone.
These are not actions taken through pride, or having healthy high standards for yourself.
These could be steps motivated by their own patterns of entering abusive or codependent relationships.
That’s not the type of responsibility taking I’m talking about. I’m referring to responsibility taking inside of a healthy relationship between a man and woman!
What does healthy responsibility taking look like?
Within the healthiest relationships, each partner takes responsibility for being there emotionally for the other person.
What does taking responsibility look like in this context?
It could look like holding space for their partner.
It could look like feeling what their partner is feeling.
It could look like adding massive value to your lover. The kind of value that your spouse actually perceives value in!
If you’d like to learn more about the distinction between a healthy relationship and a toxic relationship, see my article on the 10 Ultimate Signs of A Healthy Relationship here.
So, to be clear, if a husband is used to shirking his responsibilities within a relationship, he may blame his wife for everything instead of bearing any integrity or responsibility upon his own shoulders!
The framework of attraction & connection.
What are the only two things that matter inside of your intimate relationship? Attraction and connection.
Without these two things, any relationship would break down.
And that is, emotional connection and emotional attraction.
It may not just be that a husband is not feeling enough of these two things for his wife.
It may also be that his wife isn’t feeling it for him.
Whether it’s just one of them or both of them ‘not feeling it’, it will most definitely cause the breakdown of a marriage over time.
This can lead a man (and a woman of course), to seek that feeling of attraction and connection elsewhere.
Do you want to find out more about the two critical elements inside of every successful marriage? Find out what these two critical elements are and how you can use them to make any relationship successful long term, here.
The framework of romantic love versus attachment & lust.
Romantic love versus attachment and lust? Yes indeed.
There are three types of ‘love’ that every human being seeks or experiences.
There is lust.
There is romantic love (which is the glue that creates a long term pair bond between a man and a woman).
And then there is feelings of attachment, or comfort. This feeling of attachment usually comes after romantic love has blossomed and served its purpose. It allows us humans to raise our children together with our beloved.
Now, what happens when romantic love dies down (after say, an average of 18 months), is that attachment can start to take over.
When attachment takes over, lust and romantic love can die down.
If the quality of the relationship is low enough, then a man can actually fall madly in love with another woman, causing him to leave his wife to be with this other woman and provide for her instead.
I would say that this point is critical.
Why? Because it’s easier to feel lust than it is to feel romantic love.
To fall in love requires an investment that many men and women don’t have available, especially after getting married and having children.
And, lust isn’t enough for a man to leave his wife for another woman.
Romantic love however, totally is.
And this is likely one reason why women have shown over and over again in different studies that they are far more bothered by the thought of their husband falling in love than they are about their husband having sex with another woman..
And by falling in love, I mean committing emotional infidelity with another woman.
See my article on “Can You Really Expect A Man to be Monogamous?”.
The framework of freedom.
Freedom? That’s right.
What is one of the primary needs of a masculine soul? Freedom.
Men can pull away, or even leave their marriage, no matter how long they’ve been married, in order to experience a greater feeling of freedom with a new woman.
Constant value extraction (taking mindset) by his ex wife could be a reason he left to experience more freedom.
If a wife approaches her marriage as a place to constantly take value from rather than add value to, that will crush a man’s freedom, making him feel constantly on edge and having to ‘be enough’ for his wife.
A controlling, emasculating wife can also obstruct upon a man’s feeling of freedom.
If a man has taken enough abuse from his wife – anything from passive aggressiveness, to constant blaming, to gaslighting, he will try to break free from the relationship.
Because for a masculine soul, there’s hardly anything worse than being trapped in a relationship with the wrong woman.
Now, a man can experience greater freedom than he can on his own, with the right woman!
So it’s not marriage itself that encroaches upon his freedom. It is the type of woman he’s with.
If a man was always at the whim of his resentful, controlling wife (who just had to have things her way and could never let go of control and sink into her beautiful feminine self), that will be enough reason for him to leave her.
Especially if he had to deal with that for long enough.
A man can tolerate a little bit of that, but enough controlling behaviour just ensures that he’s not getting one of the the primary types of value a man needs from a woman/marriage.
Perhaps he trusts that this other woman can and will give him the gift of her vulnerable, unencumbered feminine energy.
Maybe he trusts that through this new woman, he will be able to feel the appreciation that he needs, or the space and happiness he needs.
Here is an article I recommend you read on the 5 Things Every Woman Ought To Know About Men.
The framework of getting married for the wrong reasons
This would simply mean that a husband leaves his wife because they got married for all the wrong reasons in the first place.
Maybe it was an arranged marriage.
Maybe he got married out of pure obligation.
Maybe his ex wife’s friends and relatives were pressuring him to marry his ex, and he did get married to her purely out of social pressure and obligation, rather than true love.
If this is the case, then it’s a very good thing that he left his wife.
Let his ex wife be free to find someone who is more suited to her, and let him be free to go to the woman who is right for him.
The framework of feminine radiance.
What is feminine radiance? You can find out exactly what high value feminine radiance is here.
In general, what this framework is telling you is that men will risk their entire lives with their wife for a woman who has deeper, brighter, and richer radiance than their wife.
No, this doesn’t mean she’s younger.
Men leave their wives for women of all sorts of ages, young and old.
It’s this special ingredient of feminine radiance. We actually have a whole program on this topic, called “Triple Your Radiance”.
You see, when men walk into a room at a party, most of them can pick the most radiant women in the room.
It’s obvious to a masculine soul, because they gravitate towards radiant women and perceive great value in that type of woman.
Just like women’s attention and appreciation tends to go towards the man with the greatest sense of masculine presence and direction.
Obviously, that masculine presence and direction will manifest in a myriad of ways.
But given some time, women usually work out which man is more valuable for sex and marriage. Or short and long term partnership.
My husband David has often stated that…
“He may be attracted to your looks and presentation, but he will stay because of your inner radiance.”
If you would like to understand what makes a woman feminine and radiant, click here to see my article on how to be more feminine: 18 ways of a soft, feminine woman.
What is the right answer to what makes a man leave his wife for another woman?
So, which framework is the best to use for answering the question of what makes a man leave his wife for another woman?
Only you, the woman, could know the most correct answer to that question.
I’m here to point you in the right direction. But only you, with time and perhaps objectivity, could truly answer that question for yourself.
This is because you’ve been in the marriage. So you would be more likely to be attuned to your man and to the issues present in the marriage than I would be.
So, having read all these possible answers to your question, which framework best suits your situation?
Is there one reason he left that stands out to you?
Or are there many reasons that stand out?
If I could put it down to one specific ingredient or answer as to what makes a married man leave his wife for another woman, it would be perceived value.
He perceived greater value for his own life by choosing to leave his wife for the other woman.
In fact, he perceived so much value that he was willing to take the risk of leaving his wife!
That says something.
Think about it, some men leave their wife and a full family of kids behind.
Like I said in the beginning, that’s no small matter.
Yes, many of them do come to feel guilt or regret over such a decision.
However, that doesn’t change the fact that he left, right?
He left for a reason that was relevant to him at the time.
Should we blame this on homewreckers?
By the way, I wouldn’t blame a man leaving his wife on a home wrecker.
Should we just look at the actions of an outside woman and place all the blame on her?
I know other women (and men of course) can be horribly disrespectful of someone else’s marriage.
I’ve experienced this myself throughout my many years of being coupled up and married.
In fact, I’ve experienced disrespectful men blatantly trying to pick me up and push the boundaries of my relationship with my husband.
I’ve also experienced disrespectful women trying to trigger my fears, and do everything they can to entice my wonderful husband into paying them all the attention.
That’s just what some humans can be like. They see a valuable mating partner, and want to take some of that value for themselves.
Some of these humans are just humans who have made a mistake.
Some of them are and always will be bottom dwellers.
Some are just trying to take something for themselves.
Some “other women” that a husband cheats with, I’m afraid to say, may actually just be able to provide more value to the ‘taken’ partner.
And in that case, perhaps we should consider that they do indeed have more rights to that mating partner.
Very unfair of me to say. But value is value. And we all gravitate towards it.
There’s so many different contexts in which husbands and wives get poached or stolen.
With that said, I don’t believe you can throw responsibility for all your hurt and anger on to “the other woman”.
Yes, she should’ve had better morals, but perhaps so should have your ex husband.
It can’t be all due to a home-wrecker, no matter how much your feeling of anger tries to convince you it is so.
(No, for all the understandably resentful people out there, I am not saying this because I am – or have been a home-wrecker. I have never been one.)
What to do if your husband has left you for another woman
First of all, know that you’re being asked to process a very painful experience.
No one expects you to just get over it. By no one, I really mean me.
I certainly wouldn’t just get over it quickly if it happened to me.
But at some point, we have to find it within ourselves to emerge from the darkness to become more as a woman.
Here are the steps to take when your husband has left you.
Step 1: Don’t make this about your worth.
Your worth has little to do with why he left. We are all born worthy.
Perhaps his leaving may have something to do with how he is as a person.
Perhaps him leaving you has more to do with you stripping value from the relationship, but perhaps also not! I cannot be sure.
But even if you have regrets over him leaving, let’s say you know you took too much value from the relationship. Or let’s say you regret hurting him.
This was never about your worth.
Rather, it was simply about the quality of your relationship with your now ex husband.
And that could mean many things!
For example, it could mean that you guys met at the wrong time in your lives.
It could mean that neither of you had the tools nor the emotional resourcefulness to make the relationship outstanding.
Be that as it may, your blaming it all on yourself or your “worth” is not going to help.
It will only stop your progress and make you spiral into an unnecessary depression. A hole you will find very difficult to get out of.
Step 2: Grieve.
What you need is more of a focus on processing and grieving what has happened.
Be kind. To you.
Allow all the emotions to come up. Yes you can have anger, hurt, rage, regret, confusion, and even guilt. Guilt is normal.
Guilt is not always bad, as long as it’s authentic to a particular action you took.
Contrast this to the pathological, over-sensitive guilt that is forced upon you by a parent, friend or an ex husband who is an abuser.
A gaslighter can cause you to have an over sensitive, or pathological emotion of guilt.
Guilt can actually be very useful for helping you calibrate in future relationships.
Ie: if you know you did something to really ruin the trust within the relationship, feeling that guilt may allow you to learn something.
You may learn that next time, it’s more important to put connection and trust first before you take any actions that will erode his trust in you.
So yes, guilt is a normal part of the grieving process, but don’t ever forget that if you have plenty to be guilty for, then he probably does too.
It takes two.
How would you know if you’re experiencing pathological guilt?
You’ll know when you always think everything is your own fault and you, not them, should be guilty.
Step 3: Learn more about understanding men & relationships
The truth is that oftentimes, if a husband was going to leave his wife, there were warning signs along the way.
You may have just ignored them or missed them.
This is why it’s so important to be attuned. Attune yourself to a man, to his intent and to how he’s making you feel.
A lot of people think that their spouse leaving them was a sudden event that occurred out of nowhere.
That’s not usually the case.
What’s true is that you missed the signs along the way. Sometimes due to a lack of attunement and awareness of his intentions, or what he was feeling or going through.
To become more attuned will require that you start by understanding men. That’s the first step towards real attunement as a woman.
If you can understand men, that will give you a head start in the skill of attunement.
And when you develop the skill of attunement, you develop your ability to have a healthy, happy and long-lasting relationship.
I wish you the very best in your journey. Know that it is possible to move forward, and many people do move on under the most dire of circumstances.
You may even find that your authentic vulnerability and your story of growth and moving on will connect you to a new high value man!
Remember, you are the most important person here.You, processing and healing. And eventually, you understanding and growing from the experience.
Take good care of yourself.