My Husband Won’t Agree To Having No Contact With The Other Woman

By: Katie Lersch: I often hear from wives who are beyond frustrated that their husbands will not agree to break off all contact with the woman with whom he cheated or had an affair.

I heard from a wife who said: “my husband had an affair with the mother of one of my son’s best friends. He has reluctantly agreed to break off the affair and to try to save our marriage. I am demanding that he have no contact with her whatsoever. And by that I mean no phone calls, no texts, no emails, no social media, and no face to face contact of any kind. In fact, if the two of them should run into one another, I would expect my husband to turn and walk the other way or to remove himself from the situation. I do not think that this is too much to ask. But my husband disagrees. He says that I will have to trust that the relationship is over because it is unrealistic to think that we can just erase this woman from our lives. Her son is like a second son to us. We see their family often when our children play sports or have school activities. My stance on this is that although we might see their family, my husband does not need to interact with her. He says it will be awkward to do this, but I do not care if it is awkward. If he truly wants to save our marriage, then he needs to agree to this. How can I make him understand how important this is to me?”

I could not have agreed with this wife more. Restoring your marriage after a spouse has an affair is very tricky and difficult. But having the other person still in the picture makes a tricky situation almost impossible. And I believe this is unnecessary because it is preventable. If there is no need for the husband and the other woman to be in contact, then they shouldn’t be, especially if the husband is serious about saving his marriage. I will offer suggestions about how to make your husband understand this in the following article.

Explain Why You Need Him To Keep A Complete Distance: It can help to try to calmly sit him down and explain your reasoning. You can make it clear that the “no contact” idea isn’t meant to punish him or to be unreasonable. But, in the days to come, it is going to be a challenge to restore the trust and to make you feel secure. This is going to be nearly impossible if you have to constantly wonder if they are in contact or, worse, if you have to see them together.

Ask your husband to put himself in your shoes and imagine that you had cheated with this woman’s husband and you insisted that you still be allowed to interact with this man. How would your husband feel about that? And how would he suggest that you handle this? It should be clear to him that if you really wanted to, you could stay away from this other man if your marriage was at stake. The same is true of him and the other woman.

Make It Clear That If He Wants To Be In Contact With Her, You Won’t Be Intimately Working On Your Marriage Until He Does: Sometimes, you just have to draw a line in the sand. You may have to spell it out for him that if he remains in contact with the other woman, then he can’t also enjoy an intimate and physical marriage with you.

A suggested script might be something like: “if you can’t stay away from her, then we can’t work on our marriage and move forward because I can not feel trust or peace. I can only feel suspicion and betrayal. I can only wonder if I am as important to you as you claim. Because if the roles were reversed, I would have no problem never looking at the other man again. If you change your mind and sincerely decide to stay away from her, then let me know and we can move forward. But until then, I can’t make any decisions and commitments about our marriage because obviously you are not willing to do that either.

This will be enough for some husbands. Others will have to test you. Or, they’ll need to see for themselves how this will play out in real life. Until then, I would stick to my convictions. Because no matter how much you may love your husband or want to save your marriage, I don’t see how that’s possible when there might still be another person in the picture.

I was lucky that the other woman immediately left the picture after I found out about my husband’s affair.  I do not think I would have been willing to work with him if she had still been present.  We had many other issues to work through, however.  But eventually we were able to tackle them all.  If it helps, you can read our recovery story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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