I Want To Write An Apology Letter To The Woman Whose Husband I Had An Affair With

By: Katie Lersch: Occasionally, I hear from remorseful women who have slept with someone else’s husband.  They typically find me because they are searching the internet for information about the aftermath of an affair.  They are feeling guilty and they would like to attempt to make things right.  To that end, many want to write a letter to the wife offering an apology of sorts.

They figure that this can only benefit every one involved – the wife may get some insights and know that there is remorse.  And the other woman be able to “get this off her chest” and hopefully let some of the guilt go and move on.  You might hear: “I would like some tips on writing a letter to the wife of the man with whom I had an affair. I want to tell her how sorry I am.  I want to tell her that it is over.  I want to tell her why it happened and why it will not happen again.  I want to try to share what made me take this action (even though I knew in my heart that it was wrong.)  I want her to know a little bit about me so that maybe she won’t hate the thought of me quite so much.  I want to help her feel a little bit better.  I know where she lives and I was going to just stick the letter in her mailbox so that she can read it at her convenience.  What words or phrases so I make sure to use in order to make sure that I make her feel better?”

Take A Hard Look At Your Motivations: I hope that this doesn’t come off in the wrong way, but I would discourage you from writing the letter (or at least from actually giving the wife the letter.)  And here is why.  I think that often, we want to write the letter more for ourselves than for the recipient.  We want the release.  We want the freedom from guilt.  We want to purge ourselves from what we have done.  This is all understandable.  And if you want to write that letter, fine.  But frankly, there is no reason to pull the other woman into what is essentially your own pursuit.

Understand What She Doesn’t Want From You: From the wife’s perspective, I can tell you that nothing that the other woman could have said or explained would have made me feel any better.  I wondered about her, but honestly, receiving more information about her would have only made me dwell on her more.  It was in my best interest to move on from that as quickly as possibly.  And her inserting herself into my life by writing a letter would have only delayed and complicated that process.

You are assuming that the wife is going to be receptive to your letter and find comfort in it.  However, I can tell you that this is a very ambitious perception.  Put yourself in the wife’s shoes.  How would you feel if you came out to your mailbox only to discover that someone has been on your property without your knowledge and tried to insert themselves into your life without your permission?

Frankly, there is very little that you can say that is going to make the wife feel better.  If she needs information, she will get it from her husband – the person who is legitimately in her life.  Your intentions may well be good, but I have never seen any good come out of such letters.  They are almost always misunderstood and they cause more harm than healing.

Free Yourself, But Let Her Go As Well: There is nothing wrong with wanting to put an apology on paper.  Many people find it to be very freeing and to be quite a relief.  There’s nothing wrong with trying it.  But I would suggest that you then burn the letter or keep it to yourself.  Giving it to the wife is only rubbing salt in the wound and it isn’t likely to benefit her.  If you truly want for both of you to heal, go ahead and release the words for your own healing, but then leave her alone.  Allow her to pick up the pieces of her life without additional interference.  She has already had this intrusion once and without invitation.  She does not need it again.  The kindest thing that you can do for her (and for yourself) is to bow out gracefully, move on, and to heal that so that you do not repeat the process again.

I applaud your wanting to start the healing process.  But forcing a letter on her is not the best way to go about it in my opinion.  Yes, I am biased, having to deal with my own husband’s affair.  But I am speaking honestly and from my heart.  And I am telling you what I think is most likely to benefit you both.  There’s more on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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