It is very common for me to hear from women who are still very concerned about the woman their husband cheated on. Often they are fully aware that they shouldn’t think or worry about her, but that’s easier said than done. Sometimes the thoughts just pop into her head before she can help herself and this can be true even if her husband has ended the relationship.
I heard a wife say, “My husband became very emotionally involved with his assistant. They got so serious that he moved out of our house to move in with her. I think he thought I was in love with her. And I guess she was serious with him. Well, after living with her for about three months, my husband called me and asked if I could come home. He said he realized the relationship had no future and he was so sorry for jeopardizing his marriage to me. For my kids and because I missed him like crazy, I picked him up. He told me the other woman abruptly quit her job. Said she didn’t give him any details and he has no idea where he is Now or what is she doing. She said she doesn’t know how she feels about the situation and keeps emphasizing that this is no longer any of her business. I know she’s still at her house because I saw her car there the other night with the lights on. The thing is, I keep wondering what is pe nsando. There are times when I don’t care about her feelings because obviously she knew that my husband was married. And there are other times when I almost feel sorry for her because I read her letters to my husband and I know that she was very involved and thought they were going to have a future together. My husband doesn’t want me to talk to him. But I can’t turn off my curiosity. Should I try talking to her to see how she feels? “
It may seem insensitive when I say this, but my answer to this question is a resounding no. I don’t think you have any obligation to know their feelings. And I don’t think it is beneficial for you to do so. I can’t think of any scenario where having this dialogue is a good idea. Although I understand the curiosity. But I think you should be distracted until the urge passes. I will summarize why I believe this below.
The other woman’s feelings vary depending on many different factors: Many wives ask me how the other woman feels in general when the affair is over. I wish I could give you a concrete answer, but I can’t. Feelings and reactions vary greatly depending on the woman’s personality and circumstances. I heard from some women who are very sorry for the affair and almost relieved when it ended because they felt so guilty, had marriages or families of their own, or never intended to hurt anyone. And then there are other women who get mad when the relationship ends and have a lot of trouble accepting that it’s over. There are others who are sad and who grieve when it ends because they really had some hope or some belief that the husband was going to leave his wife forever.
Your specific reaction often depends on a combination of your personality, the intensity of the relationship, and your perception of the future of the relationship. Some women go into an affair knowing that nothing will ever come of it. They are just looking for fun or a way out and they really don’t want the husband to leave his wife. Others imagine themselves finally married to the husband. And these will be the women who will have the strongest reactions.
He had no way of knowing what category this other woman fell into. The wife seemed to think that she was seriously committed to the relationship. And if this is true, then you were probably more likely to feel sad or angry. And this is unfortunate. But she knew that the husband was a married man when she began a romantic relationship with him. Therefore, he had to know that there was a risk that things would not end well.
Follow the instincts that tell you that your focus should be on your own family: Almost without fail, wives who ask me questions about the other woman instinctively know that it is best to spend their time worrying about things or people other than this woman. They know this in their minds, but it is very difficult to get their hearts to follow. I probably don’t need to tell you that your instincts are correct. Now you know. The more you focus on the other woman, the less time you will have for yourself and the more power you will give her.
I suspect that many of us worry about her out of fear. We think that if we know how you feel, this will give us an indication of whether or not you are still a threat. But this is the question. The best way to neutralize her as a threat is to strengthen your marriage so you don’t have to worry. This is a much better plan to try to assess how she is doing when the best strategy is to let her go and hope she moves on.