Is It Normal To Feel Absolute Hatred For The Person Who Cheated With Your Spouse?

By: Katie Lersch: I sometimes hear from folks who are absolutely shocked at the intense emotions that they are feeling toward the person with whom their spouse has been cheating. In this instance, there really isn’t too harsh a word to describe what they are feeling. “Hatred” is a word that you will often hear. Many people are frightened or ashamed of feeling this way and they are looking for reassurance that their feelings are normal.

Common comments are things like: “I consider myself a very loving person. I am very tolerant and I refrain from making judgements about people whenever it is possible. I consider myself to be a very open and liberal person. I certainly don’t dislike anyone. I try to see the good in every one. And I most certainly didn’t hate any one at all until a couple of weeks ago. I found out that my husband has been cheating with one of his staff. I have had this other woman in my home. I took her out to lunch once because she was new in town. And this is how she repays me? Honestly, I loathe her. I hate her. I’m ashamed that I feel this way, but I do. I told my best friend about this and she says that she doesn’t blame me for being angry at the other woman, but she says that there are two sides to every story and my husband should have known better than to get involved with this staff. She also said that men sometimes lie and say that they are having marital problems and that I shouldn’t make assumptions. I see her point, but I also know that when this woman was in my home, she couldn’t stop commenting how nice our home was. She commented on my car and clothing at lunch. There is no question in my mind that she thinks that my husband has a lot of money and that is why she targeted him. I hate her for this. Are my feelings normal?”

I certainly have a strong opinion on this, but I have to be completely forthcoming and tell you that it is a very biased opinion. I have experienced this myself and I hear from a lot of women who experience it on my blog. I am not a mental health counselor, or pastor, or anyone who would really be qualified to talk about this in a professional or objective way. However, my very biased and unprofessional opinion is that yes, it is absolutely normal.

Here is why. You can’t help but see her as someone who very knowingly took up with a man while she was well aware that this man was married. Sure, he may have told her some untruths about his life or his situation (although we have no way of knowing this for sure,) but she still was in your home where it was obvious that your husband lived there and interacted there. What did she think that meant about your marriage? At the very least, it should have been obvious that you are living together as husband and wife. For many decent people, this means that the husband should be off limits.

She knew this and yet she acted anyway. This is not admirable behavior and the results of her actions have caused you a great deal of pain. Of course you are going to feel intensely angry, protective, and defensive. This is just human nature. It is a response over which you can have very little control. Yes, you can most certainly control how you react to these feelings, but you don’t have complete control over whether or not they come up for you.

Another consideration that you might want to consider is that if your marriage is still important to you, it’s not in your best interest to direct every ounce of your anger and your hatred toward your husband. You know him very well. He has done loving and kind things to and for you over the course of the marriage. So of course this past and this history is going to come into play when it’s time to direct your hatred. She is the most logical target.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that your husband gets a free pass or that you let him off the hook. But I think that this process is absolutely normal. Do you always feel such intense hatred toward her? I think that the feelings fade over time. I eventually realized that I was devoting way too much time to thinking about the other woman. This was taking my own power away and it was only making me more angry. It was just exhausting. I eventually decided that I wanted to devote my energy and time on my marriage and on myself. Once I did that, the intense feelings for her faded and I rarely even consider her anymore, except for when I write articles like this.

But I think having an initial feeling of hatred toward her is very normal. I wouldn’t recommend acting on it, however. Because you have more important things to worry about it. And it rarely does any good anyway.

Believe me when I say that it’s in your best interest to try to limit your thinking about her and to focus your thinking on yourself.  I know first hand that this isn’t always easy, but it does help.  If you’d like to read more about recovery, please check out my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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