How Do Most Men Feel When They Run Into The Other Woman They Had An Affair With?

Many wives hope that their husband will never see the other woman in the affair again.  Some go so far as to move to ensure that this happens.  Unfortunately, making a physical move isn’t always feasible.  And inevitably, if you stay in the same town, the husband will be out somewhere and will run into the other woman.  Sometimes, the wife will find out about this from her husband, since he’s trying to be honest.  Other times, she will find out from the other woman or from someone else.  Either way, this can be upsetting to her and she can wonder what sorts of feelings this brought up in her husband.

She might say, “the affair has been over for two years.  But it honestly almost ended our marriage.  I truly believe that the only reason that my husband stayed with me was because of our kids.  I’m grateful for that because I know that he believed that he had real feelings for the other woman.  Honestly, I think there was a time when he was somewhat obsessed with her.  But I forced him to break it off.  At first, he was very resentful of this.  Eventually though, we began to make some progress and once our marriage was back on track, he admitted that he could see how stupid he’d been.  I believe that our marriage is pretty good today, but I was thrown off guard when my husband came home and said there was something that he wanted to tell me.  He said that he felt the need to be honest and to disclose that he’d run into the other woman when he was out for lunch with a male coworker.  He said that he didn’t seek her out and that he hadn’t seen or talked to her since he ended the affair.  He said that she came up to him.  He claims that they exchanged pleasantries and that they parted with no plans to speak again.  I asked him how he felt at seeing her.  I asked if he felt longing or loss.  These questions seemed to annoy my husband and he said that he felt embarrassed because he had to lie to his coworker about who she was.  He told the coworker she was a friend of mine because he didn’t want to admit that he’d cheated. I really want to believe this, but my husband got flustered when telling this story, so I don’t know what to believe.  At the same time, I don’t want to overreact and let this come between us because we’ve made a lot of progress.  How do most men react when they run into the other woman after the affair is over?”

It truly does vary, but I can honestly say that I’ve never heard a man say, “boy, I saw the other woman and I realized that she was the one who got away and I regret going back to my spouse.”  To be fair, I write articles about healing after an affair, so I’m probably going to hear from a subset of people who are moving on from the affair.  But more often than not, I hear about the same type of reaction that your husband had.  The husbands typically feel shame, guilt, and embarrassment.  Many will admit that actually seeing the other woman has them confused because she is not as stunning or as charismatic as they remembered.  Many just feel stupid because running into her is a harsh reminder of their mistake.  And they’d rather avoid that, of course, so most men can’t escape the situation fast enough.  They either avoid her or they excuse themselves at the first opportunity.

After all, what is there to be gained from this situation?  If they’ve gone back to their spouse and are in the process of saving their marriage, the only reason to stay and chat would be if they were interested in picking back up the relationship.  Most men in this situation aren’t.  They’re invested in moving on and nothing more.  As such, a reminder of a time in their life that they are not proud of and would rather forget isn’t really welcome.  They want to avoid it so they’ll exchange a few words and then they’ll leave.

The fact that your husband told you about this says a lot to me.  He didn’t have to tell you, yet he wanted to be honest and forthcoming.  I would only worry about this if his behavior changed or seemed odd moving forward.  If you continue to feel that your marriage remains solid and he is still committed to you, then I wouldn’t damage my marriage by dwelling on this, especially since he chose to tell you himself.  I’m certainly just an outsider looking in, but to me, there appears to be a good chance that he likely was embarrassed about the encounter and felt more regret than anything else.

I know that it’s hard not to worry.  But I would try to focus on what you do know – that he has been present and has been actively working with you on your marriage.  You have made progress.  This meeting was seemingly a random event that your husband didn’t seek out.  He has not changed his stance toward you or the marriage, so why should you halt your progress over something that he says had no impact?  I’d keep moving forward and would certainly keep an eye on his behavior, but I would not let this derail me. You can read about my own path to healing after the affair (in spite of a few challenges) on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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