I Broke Up With My Affair Partner—Why Does He Keep Coming Back?

Your relationship with your affair partner has ended—so why does he keep coming back? Just as you’ve started to grieve the relationship, and the addiction you feel towards him is starting to wear off, he tries to get back into your life again. 

You’ve told him it’s got to end… so why won’t he listen? What is your affair partner thinking when he reaches out to you after the relationship ends?

If you’ve ever been curious about what’s going on in his head, that’s what we’re exploring in this post. Understanding his thoughts and motivations can help you decide whether it’s worth picking up where you left off with him—or if you should continue your journey of healing and moving on.

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Why Does He Keep Coming Back If He Doesn’t Want to Commit?

It’s not easy to end your relationship with a married man—and it can be even more difficult when he keeps coming back, saying all the right things to get back in your good graces. And let’s be honest: After going no contact you’re feeling love-starved, so when he finally reaches out it feels like you’re getting a taste of water in a desert. 

One moment he says he can’t commit to you, but the next he’s begging for you to come back. This hot-and-cold behaviour can really wear you down, and in the end it might feel easier to just “give in”. 

The women in our private community have felt this deeply too.

“He sends me meaningless things like reels but he doesn’t know how it sets me back.”

“It’s confusing and addicting, I don’t really understand why he comes back, but I don’t want him to stop.”

“It feels impossible to move on. I feel tied to him, even while trying to build a new relationship.”

On top of the exhaustion, there are a lot of emotions that come up when he contacts you. You may feel a whole range of emotions, sometimes all at once, including:

  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Relief
  • Excitement
  • Disappointment
  • Shame

It’s no wonder you feel like you’re spinning—just when you were starting to find your footing again. So what’s going on inside his mind? Here are some likely scenarios that could be playing out with your affair partner.

He got jealous.

When the married man you were seeing feels you moving on with your life or even pulling away, he may be so overcome with jealousy that he can’t help but reach out.

a graphic that reads "why does this secret relationship never end" paired with information to answer the question why does he keep coming back when he's married

Even if he knows that continuing to contact you is psychologically harmful to you, he won’t let you go. He may be even more eager to reach out if he sees you moving on from your affair with another man.

He won’t fully commit to you, but he also won’t completely let you go. Of course, this is a selfish notion on his part. Seeing you truly happy without him isn’t something he’s ready to accept—despite the fact that he won’t make you his number one priority either. 

You fulfil your AP’s narcissistic supply.

Did your affair partner come to you to meet his needs—without giving anything back? Men with narcissism or narcissistic tendencies may use you for their “narcissistic supply”, which refers to the attention, admiration, and validation that individuals with narcissistic traits or narcissistic personality disorder seek to maintain their self-esteem and sense of self-worth. 

If your affair partner has these tendencies, your relationship will feel very one-sided. It’s all about how you fulfil what he wants when he wants it. Him reaching out to you after the affair is over is no different: he wants something from you. In this case, it’s unlikely he’s changed or plans to finally follow through on any of the promises he made to you… and you deserve better.

Your affair partner wants physical satisfaction.

Is your affair partner using you? One of the signs he might be is if he breaks the silence between you with the goal of having sex. You have proven chemistry, and he knows just what to say to get you into bed.

The pull of physical attraction to your affair partner might make it difficult for you to say no.

When you’re together, the stars feel like they’re aligned, but once the sex is over he leaves you with just enough breadcrumbs to hang on. 

And after you’re intimate, you may be hard on yourself for giving in, feel even more guilt and shame, eroding your sense of self-worth and leaving you feeling trapped in this cycle with him.

A married man stands in a suit in the background and words overtop read "why he comes back when he's already married"

Having sexual chemistry is great, but don’t settle for that alone in your relationship.

In a healthy relationship, your partner meets your physical and emotional needs. Feeling mentally safe and emotionally close is what creates true intimacy. 

The married man you dated is controlling.

Does your affair partner feel a sense of ownership over you? If he does, he may reach out in an attempt to regain a sense of control over you. Signs of this may have been apparent during your affair relationship—for instance if he had strong opinions about who you hang out with, what you do in your free time, or even what you wear. 

This mindset reduces you to nothing more than property, and you should never be made to feel or even be perceived that way. Control is not love.

Does he already have authority over you? Many women find themselves in an affair with their boss, which means there is already an unbalanced power dynamic at play. He may use this dynamic in an attempt to control you, at the very least professionally. This adds a layer of complexity to an already charged situation.

Does Your Affair Partner Cross Your Boundaries? 

If you’ve asked your affair partner to leave you alone or consciously cut contact and he still tries to reach out, he isn’t respecting your boundaries. 

On one hand, you may feel good about this because you feel like you’re wanted, and this reinforces the ties you have with him—it feels like an addiction.

But when it comes to his actions, if we look at this for what it truly is, not letting you go when he knows he can’t give you what you need reflects a lack of respect. By ignoring your boundaries, he’s making it clear he doesn’t really care what you want—in his mind, his needs supercede yours. 

Being in an affair with a married man is emotionally taxing, and so is leaving one. Remember that he may try various tactics, like gaslighting, coercion, or even love bombing to try and get you back. 

This can be alot to wrap your head around when it’s someone you deeply love. They are not a bad person; they are simply resorting to unhealthy coping strategies when bumping up against the loss of you. As you continue to love and honour them, it’s important you do the same for you with setting healthy loving boundaries.

It’s not easy, but if you’ve decided to move on with your life, do your best to stick to your decision… and not be swayed by any of his attempts at manipulation.

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It’s Time to See Your Affair Partner for Who He Truly Is

So, why does he keep coming back? Whether it’s jealousy, sex, control, or fulfilling his narcissistic supply, your AP’s intentions are self-serving.

It’s hard to draw the line and ignore him, but if that’s what’s best for you it matters. You can’t change his behaviour, but you can decide how you are going to respond—and stay strong in your resolve to close that chapter for good.

If you’re struggling to cut off your affair partner, or you have cut him off and it’s been tough, you’re not alone. The women inside our private community know exactly what you’re going through. 

If you’re interested in connecting with our group for support or you want to discuss 1:1 Affair Recovery Coaching with me, the best place to start is a FREE discovery call.

Let’s make moving on the most positive experience it can be for you so you can build something new.

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