Does The Other Woman Still Think Of My Husband?

By: Katie Lersch:  It’s not uncommon for wives to spend a lot of time thinking about the woman with whom their husband cheated or had an affair.  This can be true even after the affair has long been over.  One common concern is if the other woman still thinks about the husband (and vice verse.)

I heard from a wife who said: “my husband’s affair has been over for about three months.  I believe him when he says he hasn’t been in contact with the other woman.  We have been doing intense counseling and, for the most part, we are doing OK.  However, I can’t help thinking about this other woman all of the time.  I read some letters she wrote him where she said she’d never loved anyone in the way that she loved him.  Obviously, she was very invested in him.  I know that it’s silly, but I find myself thinking a lot about her and how she feels now that the affair is over.  I know that I shouldn’t contact her, but does she still think of my  husband?”

Obviously, I didn’t personally know either woman in this scenario so I had no way to say for sure how the other woman was feeling.  The only one who can give a completely truthful answer to that question is the other woman herself.    (And I certainly don’t think that you should reach out to her in order to determine her feelings.) However, I actually have some “other women” visit my blog and ask questions or make comments.   I find that many of them sincerely felt that the relationship was real.  Many of them are in pain because they feel as if they have been left holding the bag.  I know that I’m probably not the most objective person (as my husband cheated on me,) but over time, I have come to believe that the other woman has legitimate feelings too.

Granted, it probably wasn’t the best idea to start a relationship with a married man, and it’s likely easier to characterize her as a heartless, cruel person, but this isn’t always reality.  And, if we’re being honest, it’s not entirely fair. And whether the other woman still thinks of the husband is often dependent upon the type of relationship that they had. If it was just a fling that didn’t mean a thing to either of them, then she may well have left him long behind in her life and in her thoughts.  But if there were real feelings on the part of either of them, then it is certainly possible that she still thinks of him from time to time.  But honestly, how much should that really matter?

Now, believe me, I know that it can matter a great deal to you.  I have been there and I know that it’s absolutely normal to think of and even to fixate on her.  But ask yourself this question.  Where is the best place to put your focus? In the past or in the present?  Because frankly, wondering about her keeps you living in the past.  To heal from this affair, you need to live in the present with an eye toward where you want to be in the future.   Worrying about her is not in line with this.

How To Begin To Move Away From Thoughts Of The Other Woman: I know that I am asking a lot when I suggest that you shift your attention and your thoughts away from her.   But I am asking because it is very important.  You have to almost train yourself to stop and redirect.  As soon as your thoughts tend to wander back to her, stop and ask yourself if these thoughts are doing anything to bring you peace or to move forward.  When you determine that the answer is no, make a very conscious decision to stop the thoughts by redirecting yourself.  You might chose to journal about what you are grateful for, to take a walk, or to go work out.  You want to chose something that gets you out of your own head and forces you to concentrate and to think of something else.  If you continue to do this every time those stray thoughts lead back to her, you can train yourself to have these thoughts less and less.

It’s no coincidence that a lot of fights happen once the wife starts thinking about the other woman.  Because the doubts that these thoughts inspire usually urges the wife to go and start demanding answers or to pick fights.  This doesn’t really benefit anyone and can negate the hard work that you have already done.

So to answer the question posed, depending upon the depth of their relationship during the affair, the other woman may well think about your husband from time to time. But frankly, her thoughts are not your problem as long as she does not act upon them.  It’s so much more beneficial for you to worry about your own thoughts that drive your own actions because this is what is going to facilitate your healing.  And, it’s only fair to leave her be and allow her to do the same.

I admit that early in my recovery, I spent a great deal of time thinking about the other woman, but I eventually determined that this was a path to nowhere.  Once I trained myself to turn my attention, back to myself, things changed dramatically.  If it helps, you can read the whole story of our recovery on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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