I Want My Husband To Hate The Other Woman, But He Won’t

By: Katie Lersch:  I sometimes hear from wives who feel absolute hatred for the woman with whom their husband cheated. The wives often think that most of their marital problems are all this woman’s fault.  And it can be hard to argue with this when the marriage was moving along just fine until she came along.  Many wives are not at all shy about expressing their anger toward her.  And many want their husbands to feel the same way.  But often, he’s just not willing to go there.

I heard from a wife who said: “I absolutely hate the woman my husband had an affair with.  She is a neighbor who targeted my husband from the start.  She lied to him about her own marital status.  She said not too flattering things about me and our marriage to try to entice my husband to cheat.  And once the affair was found out, she then tried to blame everything on my husband without taking any responsibility for her own actions.  She is a deplorable person. The other day, my husband and I were talking about the affair and I said ‘I absolutely hate her.  Don’t you?’  My husband responded that he didn’t hate her.  He said that he regretted the affair, but that he didn’t hate anyone and that there was plenty of blame to go around.  This makes me angry at my husband.  He knows I want him to feel negatively about her, but he can’t seem to do it. Should I worry about this?  Does this mean he still has feelings for her or that he knows that the affair is all his fault?”  I will try to address these concerns in the following article.

His Not Being Able To Hate The Other Woman Doesn’t Necessarily Mean That He Still Wants To Be With Her: I know that this can be a very frustrating situation.  But sometimes, a man refuses to throw the other woman under the bus because he knows that he had an equal part in the affair.  As frustrating as this can be to you, it can say a lot about his character if he’s not willing to place all of the blame onto her.  It shows that he is taking responsibility for his actions.

Sometimes too, not enough time has passed for the husband to see the relationship objectively or truthfully.  So he might be somewhat defensive when you make assumptions that he might, at least at first, see as untrue.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s still emotionally invested in this other woman.   I’m not saying that this is impossible, but it’s not the only possibility.  To be quite honest, you are often better off turning his attention back to you and your marriage than to her and the affair, which leads me to my next point.

As Tempting As It Can Be To Try To Get Him To Blame The Other Woman, Turning His Attention Back To Her In Any Capacity Is Often A Mistake: I understand that you probably want him hear him say negative things about her because it gives you reassurances and peace of mind.  But, if you do not get the reaction that you want, it’s my opinion that you should drop that topic, at least for now.

Because every time you turn his attention back the affair and the other woman, you are, in a sense, giving him permission to think about her.  If you truly want to save your marriage, there is no room for continuing to live in the past.  Instead, you want to focus on your future and on your recovery.  When you feel yourself turning his attention back to her or the affair, stop and instead ask yourself if your marriage is recovering as you had hoped and what you can do to ensure this.  Because honestly looking forward is going to yield much more success than looking back.

At the end of the day, he doesn’t need to hate the other woman.  He just needs to love you and be committed to your marriage.  And it is easier for him to do this when you leave her fully behind and focus your attention on him, yourself, your marriage, and your recovery.  His feelings about the other woman should no longer be on your radar once you are truly moving forward with intent and purpose.  I absolutely understand why you want to see him feel angry or resentful toward her.  And that might come with more time.  But right now, the worst thing that you can do is to continue to dwell on her.

I tried to start a lot of awkward conversations about the other woman at the beginning stages of our recovery.  But eventually, I realized that continuing to bring the focus back to her was not doing me any good. In fact, when I changed my focus to myself and my marriage, things changed quite drastically.  If it helps, you can read the whole story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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