Affair Severity Ratings Guide

Keep in mind, the questions on the quiz are intended to measure the severity of the affair as it stands today.

So, it might be that some of you reading this currently rate your wife’s affair as being Low Severity (or even Very Low Severity)… And yet, if you would have taken this quiz 3 months ago, you might have gotten a very different rating.

That just goes to show that ultimately, the choice to continue persevering in your marriage should be made independently of the severity of your wife’s affair

  • Yes, the severity of her affair does affect the options on the table today. But an affair doesn’t take away your ability to control the things YOU can control.
  • Yes, the severity of her affair can be a factor in your decision to continue pursuing reconciliation or not. But, it shouldn’t be the only factor.

For those of you who rate your wife’s affair as High Severity or Very High Severity, you can take some heart from this as well… It may be that 3 months from now, YOU will be that guy that I am talking to above. You just never know what your future holds.

But… Enough of that, let’s get into some detail about what each rating means and what it might look like for you to save your marriage depending on the severity you rate your wife’s affair at today.

What if you don’t know much about her affair?

If you are unsure of your wife’s affair status, or have not confirmed your suspicions, then you will likely score around the Average Severity rating on this quiz. 

You may have felt like you weren’t able to answer very many of the questions beyond the bare minimum. That is intentional to ensure that you end up at the average rating.


Because if this describes you, then the usefulness of this particular ratings system is somewhat limited. However, the advice I give at the average rating is probably the most appropriate for where you’re at right now.

My advice? Read through the guide, especially the Average Severity section. You will still learn a lot about what it takes to save your marriage from an affair.  Then, most of you will move forward with one of two options:

  1. Accept that you just don’t know what’s happening and don’t want to dig into it. Instead, you’re just going to do your best to stay in your lane and focus on the things you can control. 
  2. Try to prove whether your suspicions are true or false. If this is you, my suggestion would be to start with these snoop-free signs of infidelity that I’ve commonly seen come up in other men’s stories.

The first option can be the more peaceful, and the simpler option.  The second option accelerates the conflict, but you get to the truth faster and get to feel like you’re doing something.  I can get on board with either, it really comes down your individual choice and which better suits where you’re at today.

Her Affair is Rated: Very High Severity

The scoring system for the quiz is such that it’s only possible to achieve the Very High Severity rating if your wife is having an ongoing affair or physical affair – or both. 

But beyond these already incredibly difficult factors, you indicated that your wife takes little to no responsibility, the affair itself is a very developed relationship, and your wife is likely leaning heavily towards divorce.

In other words, almost every possible factor is against you.

What It Looks Like to Save the Marriage

Believe it or not, yes, you can still save your marriage. I have seen marriages recover from affairs like this.

However, I won’t lie to you; it’s going to be an uphill battle.

Additionally, we have to face reality here. You are not a robot, and there is a very real mental, emotional, and even physical cost to continuing to fight for your marriage when your wife is unrepentantly continuing to cheat in the way described above.

You cannot save your marriage while your wife continues to have an affair.

That is the plain and simple truth in 99% of cases I’ve seen. In 10+ years, I’ve seen MAYBE two exceptions to this rule that I know of.

In fact, any progress at all back towards the marriage while an affair is ongoing is nearly impossible.

So, what do you do?

  • You have to figure out where your limits are. 
  • You have to figure out how to keep yourself safe from emotional harm.
  • And you have to decide what it looks like to keep your commitment as a husband to love your wife for better or for worse. 

It’s a tough situation with a lot of blurry lines, so go easy on yourself. For now, it’s okay to just take it one day at a time. You don’t have to have all the answers yet.

Her Affair is Rated: High Severity

If men whose wives are having an affair rated at Very High Severity can still save their marriage, then you can bet that you can too. In fact, there are quite a few similarities between the approach I described above and the advice that I would give to any man who is dealing with a High Severity affair.

The main difference here is that at least a few factors are in your favor, or they at least are not as bad as they could be. Or, maybe you just answered very charitably to your wife.

An example that would fit into this category would be… Maybe your wife had a full-blown physical affair that lasted many months, but as far as you know, it’s over now, or your wife is at least working to end it. Or, maybe your wife is having an ongoing affair and is dead set on divorce, but as far as you know, the affair is not physical and they only talk via text or phone.

To be clear, this is still a very difficult, very painful situation. The men in this category and the Very High Severity category have lots of similarities across both their experiences and their options.

What It Looks Like To Save The Marriage

Again, just like the Very High Severity rating, you have to recognize that ending the affair is ultimately your wife’s responsibility and you can’t do the work for her.

Additionally, just like the Very High Severity folks, you may find yourself in the unfortunate balancing act between keeping yourself mentally and emotionally safe, and doing literally everything in your power to preserve your marriage.

The main difference between High Severity and Very High Severity really comes down to how easy it is to find reasons to keep going in the marriage. It’s just common sense – the more things you can look at and say, “Well, it could be worse,” the easier it is to stay optimistic. And quite literally that is what the High Severity category is when compared to the Very High Severity category. 

Additionally, you may not be facing the sort of excruciating daily pain that can come when you know your wife is continuing to entertain her affair partner. Again, because you don’t have quite as much need to protect yourself, you have the option to extend yourself further and be a little more patient and, in doing so, take on a little more risk.

Her Affair is Rated: Average Severity

?Things are bad, but you are still in it in a very big way.

Maybe the affair is over, maybe your wife still has some desire to stay in the marriage, maybe the other relationship has stayed in the realm of texts and phone calls with no physical connection.

Please understand – I’m not trying to be dismissive at all. I know that any affair is literally one of the most difficult, painful, torturous things that any man will ever endure. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an emotional affair that’s long since been ended, or a physical affair that is still highly active… We’re basically debating how many “very”s to put into the sentence “Her affair hurts very bad.”

Still, the fact is that if you rated your wife’s affair as Average Severity, be patient and stay focused on what you can control. Unlike your worse-rated counterparts, I am going to almost always encourage you to try to find it in yourself to keep going.

What It Looks Like To Save The Marriage

If your wife’s affair is ongoing, then you still may not have very many options to actually move the relationship back into a healthier spot just yet. But, you have some very good reasons to keep being patient and extending grace to your wife.

If you somehow ended up in this category even though your wife has both ended the affair and claims to be interested in saving the marriage, I would advise you to read the guidance in the Low and Very Low Severity categories.

For everyone else, you might feel like you are at a fork in the road with two legitimate options before you…

  • A big part of you probably wants to be done…
  • And a big part of you can’t help but see reasons to stay.

Which should you choose?

My advice? Stick it out. Push through to see if it’s possible to save your marriage and rekindle both your and your wife’s feelings for each other.

I know this is difficult in a way you couldn’t previously imagine.

I know you doubt whether it’s possible for your wife to get all the way back to the marriage. 

Just know this — for guys who rate in the Average Severity category, reconciliation is still very possible.

You still can’t save the marriage without your wife’s buy-in, so the Let Her Go Mindset still applies heavily to you just as it did the other two categories of men we’ve discussed so far.

However, most of you reading this will still have some sort of avenue of connection with your wife. She’s not totally closed off from you. If possible, work on rebuilding your friendship with her even as you try to compartmentalize the ongoing difficulties that come from her affair.

Her Affair is Rated: Low Severity

Although it’s theoretically possible to reach a low severity rating if your wife is still having an ongoing affair, it would mean that just about every other factor is in your favor. The extramarital relationship is probably intermittent, emotional-only, and she may be trying to quit the affair altogether. Perhaps she’s struggling because it’s with a coworker or someone she sees frequently.

For most of you, if you’re in this category, there are quite a few factors in your favor. Hopefully, one of them is that she still has some interest in the marriage. But, even if she doesn’t, for you to rate her low enough to fall in this category means that there are several different places you can find encouragement to keep going.

What It Looks Like To Save The Marriage

The biggest reassurance I can give you is that it is very, very normal for affairs to take a substantial amount of time to reach their complete conclusion. It is normal for even “minor” affairs to have a months-long or even years-long impact on your relationship.

  • Your wife would not be the first who needed multiple attempts to end the affair. 
  • Your wife would not be the first to be slow to take responsibility for the affair, or slow to apologize for the pain that she caused you, the marriage, and the family.
  • Your wife would not be the first to give mixed messages from one day to the next.

If you are still in the early recovery phase after your wife’s affair, try to be as gracious as you can while still gently holding your wife accountable to the expectations you’ve both agreed to surrounding communication, transparency, and other boundaries.

A setback here and there is expected. The road of affair recovery is months long, at least. But, have faith that the end result will be worth it.

The way things are today isn’t the way that things will stay. Be patient, and keep going.

Her Affair is Rated: Very Low Severity

It is very difficult to reach a rating of Very Low Severity rating. It means that your wife is no longer active in the affair, probably has at least some interest in the marriage, has demonstrated some amount of repentance, and is probably willing to go to counseling.

Basically, the marriages in this category are either in the process of stabilizing, or they have already stabilized and you are now in recovery.

What It Looks Like To Save The Marriage

If all of the above are true for you and yet somehow you feel like your marriage isn’t healing properly, my best advice is to settle in a little bit and enjoy the process of rebuilding your relationship.

Be patient!

You can probably tell that patience is a big part of my philosophy here on Husband Help Haven, but in your case, the patience isn’t because you lack opportunity and need to bide your time for more, but just the opposite. The opportunities are flowing in abundance, even if you can’t see them or think there should be more.

If you are in this category and dissatisfied with how fast your relationship is healing, my humble guess would be that the best help I could give you is to simply reassure you that more good stuff is happening than you think.

Finally, I would draw your attention up to what I said in the Low Severity category above: 

An affair has a negative impact on your wife’s ability to connect to the marriage before, during, and after the relationship itself.  

This means that slow progress is not proof that you or your wife are doing anything wrong.

  • Does your wife want to save the marriage? 
  • Do you want to save the marriage?
  • Are you spending good, positive time together on a regular basis? 

If you answered no to any of the above, keep working to get to that point. But if you answered yes to every single one, then just trust me that the full scope of your job right now is rinse, repeat and enjoy the process. You are already doing everything you’re supposed to be doing.

What Is Your Affair Resilience Score?

Now you know how severe her affair is… That’s part 1, and it’s all about your wife.

Part 2 is to figure out your side of this.

Do YOU have what it takes to endure your wife’s affair? How resilient are you?

Take the Affair Resilience Quiz quiz to learn where your ability is at today. Just enter your email below to get started.