My Husband Says That He Feels Pressured About The Affair. He says That Me And The Other Woman Are Pulling Him In Opposite Directions

By: Katie Lersch:  When people are actively involved in an affair, very few of them ever stop to consider what is going to happen when the affair is found out.  Most of them like to think that discovery is never going to happen.  Because they fantasize that this is all going to work itself out without anyone being hurt.

However, that often is not the case. Much of the time, the infidelity is found out.  And when it is, both women involved want the man to make a decision. The wife usually wants for him to end the affair at once, despite any promises that he has made to the other woman.  And the other woman will often expect that he will continue on with the relationship, and perhaps begin the process of separating from his wife.

This puts the husband in a situation where he is expected to make a quick and drastic decision between two women who he probably believes he cares about and does not want to hurt. He might explain it this way: “I know that this is going to sound very stupid, but when I started having an affair, I truly believed that it would only last for a few weeks at the most.  I did not intend to become involved with anyone. And I never intended to end my marriage.  However, over time, the other woman came to rely on me more and more.  She is going through a rough time and I have helped her both emotionally and financially.  She depends on me, and so the relationship has lasted much longer than I anticipated.  Meanwhile, my wife found out about the affair because the other woman told her.  I believe the other woman figured that my wife would kick me out.  She hasn’t.  She wants me to end things so we can work on our marriage.  So now I have two women who are pushing me to reject the other one.  And I am pulled in two opposite directions.”

The wife may feel differently about this.  She may say something like: “I can not believe that my husband has any hesitation whatsoever about how to proceed.  He is worried about the other woman.  But this woman knew that he was married.  She had to know that this was not going to end well for her.  She probably thought that by telling me, she would be able to take my husband away, but she thought wrong. I honestly don’t care that my husband is being pulled in two directions.  He just needs to stand up to her and end it. We’ve been going to counseling, but now he wants to pause this because the counselor is pushing him to end it and he says no one appreciates the pressure that is being put on him. How can I make him see that he can stop the pressure by just ending it?”

He most likely already knows this, at least deep down.  And right now, he is facing a harsh reality because he knows that he is going to have to hurt someone.  And he knows that this is all his fault.  So, he might be trying to stall.  And he might be frantically searching his consciousness for the plan that is going to hurt the least amount of people.

The thing is, there is no way to spare all of the hurt.  Three people with feelings are involved here.  But, of course, despite this, we often care about our own feelings above the person who knew she was getting involved with a married man.  Quite honestly, sometimes the pressure hurts the other woman’s cause more than yours.  Because quite frankly, often what draws a man into an affair is the ease of it.  He will often see it as a short term fix, with no strings attached.  And this is part of the attraction.  But when the other woman starts to apply pressure and to make demands, suddenly the whole thing is not nearly as alluring.

I know that it might be tempting to keep on with the pressure because you feel it is your right.  But sometimes, it is more effective to do the opposite and let her be the one who makes that mistake. People often react negatively to the person applying the pressure.  So why not allow that to be her?  It’s just a suggestion.  You know your husband and I do not. So you would have a better sense of which strategy he would most favorably react to.

If you decide to let her proceed with the pressure in the hopes that he responds negatively to her, you might try a conversation like: “well, I am disappointed that you don’t want to go to counseling anymore, but I am going to continue to go. I think that it is helping me. You have an open invitation to join me any time that you feel ready, but I have to make myself the priority. I trust that in time you will figure out what you want and let me know.  In the meantime, I am making myself my priority.”

You didn’t spell out that you weren’t going to pressure him anymore, but you made it obvious that you were still going to pursue the counseling.  Now, the other woman might continue on with her pressure and he may read this very negatively.  As a result, he may decide that he wants to put an end to all of the stress associated with her and join you in counseling.

I can not promise you that this is what will happen.  But I do know that people will often pull away from situations that make them feel stress.  And continuing to pressure him may mean that he might momentarily “give in” but he may resent it greatly.  And you may know that the only reason he chose you was because you forced him to do so.

But if you back away a little bit and he chooses you anyway, this will give you much  more confidence and peace of mind and he will feel much better about his choice.

I know that it it can feel as if backing off means that you are allowing the other woman to take the lead.  But, really, you are allowing her to do something that you already know is causing him stress.  And you know that he hasn’t reacted positively to this.  You can’t control what either of them do.  But you can control yourself.  And continuing on with the counseling is only going to strengthen you.  You can read more about how I handled similar situations during my recovery from infidelity at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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