Shouldn’t My Husband Force The Other Woman To Apologize To Me?

By: Katie Lersch: There’s no question that the faithful spouse in the affair is the one who has been wronged. When you think about all parties involved – the cheating spouse, the other person, and the faithful spouse – it’s clear that the faithful spouse is the innocent party. She (or he) is the one who deserves any apology that is due. And most of us fully expect or want an apology from our spouse. Most of us want this and much more. But what about the other woman or man? Does this person owe you anything?

Many faithful spouses would answer yes. But getting this apology isn’t always automatic. A wife might ask: “shouldn’t my husband force the other woman to apologize to me? She is not a stranger to me. I know her. We are not friends, but our children go to the same school. We were on a PTA committee together once. She came to my house to work on the project. So she is fully aware I am married. She knows my children. She cheated with my husband for six weeks. I found out about it and demanded that my husband end things. He did. But I also want him to make her apologize to me. He says he can’t force her to do anything. He says that this is a silly request that isn’t going to make one bit of difference. He has apologized to me repeatedly. And I believe that he genuinely means it. But this is not enough for me. I want her to tell me that she is sorry. My husband wants me to drop this. He says that she may not be willing to apologize  and we just need to move on. Is he right? I want that apology, even if he has to convince her.”

I can only tell you my opinion. I think that your husband is right. And by saying that, I am not letting him off the hook. But, it is my opinion and experience that part of trying to heal and move on is to leave any communication with the other woman behind. It’s best for the cheating spouse to completely cut off contact. Do you really want to give him free reign to communicate with her – for who knows how long and in what circumstances – to get you your apology?

And let’s say he goes back and forth with her for some time and is finally able to somehow convince her to apologize to you. How is this going to benefit you? How does it matter? It doesn’t take back the affair. And I suspect that you don’t want to have any sort of long term relationship or friendship with this woman. So really, her apology is just empty words. It just allows her to have more access to you and your husband. She may be sorry. She may not. It shouldn’t matter. It doesn’t take back what happened.

I think it may help to think about what you really want. You want something to take away some of the hurt. You want something that is going to give you a sense of peace. You want to retain some of your dignity.  Looking her in the eye isn’t going to give you that. It actually might cause more hurt. She may say something cruel or something meant to take more of your dignity. It might make you feel more doubt. I honestly think that asking something of her seems to give her more power.

I would want to take my power back by realizing that I do not want or need anything from her.  Except for wanting her out of my life. Because the affair has ended, that is likely to happen. I wouldn’t want to reverse that by giving her a way back into your life.

And I think you can get the release from the hurt and that peace by focusing on what is right in front of you – your family, yourself, and your husband if you choose to allow him to remain in your life, at least until you decide if a reconciliation is possible after healing. Really, the other woman should not matter in terms of your bottom line. It’s sometimes rare that I agree with cheating husbands but in this case, I do.

I suspect that nothing good would come out of forcing that apology. It just opens a door that should be closed. It allows her to have a bit of power if she wants to refuse or to drag it out. And it’s asking her for something that you really don’t need from her.

There were many things about my husband’s affair that were hard to let go of and were easy to dwell on.  I had enough of these without adding the other woman to the mix.   I wanted to focus on what was important.  And I decided that what was truly important to me was my family and crafting the life that I wanted. If it helps, you can read on my blog at

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