The Other Woman Hates Me Because My Husband Chose To Stay

By: Katie Lersch:  I’m always a little amazed at the correspondence that I get from wives who are concerned with how the other woman feels.  I admit that after my own husband’s affair, I was curious about how the other woman felt when it ended abruptly on my account.  But honestly, if she had been sad or dejected, I would not have cared one bit.  I know that this perhaps sounds awful, but her peace of mind was just not my concern.

I was worried about my own feelings and the feelings of the people in my family.  So while I admit that I was curious, I moved on from that curiosity relatively quickly. However, to be fair, she was an absolute stranger to me.  And we lived far away from one another.  I knew that I was not going to have to interact with her in my day-to-day life.  And I’m sure that she was as grateful for that as I was.

Not every one has this luxury, though.  Some people actually know the other woman quite well.  Some consider her a friend, neighbor, or acquaintance.   Some care about her feelings and perceptions.  It might be described this way: “Honestly, moving past the affair is doubly hard for me because I have loved both people involved.  I would not say that the other woman is my very best friend.  My number one friend lives across the country.  Unfortunately though, I don’t see her very often.  When I moved, the other woman was the first person who befriended me and we became very close.  She has been a good friend to me, caring for me when I’ve been sick and always making herself available to watch my kids or do whatever else I needed from her.  Our cross-country move was hard on us.  So having someone who lived close by that I could interact with was a blessing.  I don’t know many people, so she’s serves as a big support system for me.  Well, do I need to tell you that she is the one who my husband cheated with?  I understand the attraction because she is a beautiful person inside and out.  To be honest, in the weeks after the affair, we didn’t speak.  But slowly, we did start to interact again, although it was awkward.  My husband was frustrating both of us, basically just retreating and not being honest about what direction he wanted to take.  At that point, I thought it might have been possible to save our friendship.  But a few days after that, my husband announced that he wanted to save our marriage.  He didn’t tell her this, so I decided that I would.  She was very angry.  She said that she didn’t want to maintain the friendship because it would be too awkward.  She said it with a lot of malice, like I was the one who did something wrong.  Her attitude makes me think that perhaps she perceives that I manipulated the situation to influence my husband so that she would lose him.  I did not.  I left it up to him.  But what if I did influence him?  I am his wife.  It hurts me that I feel like, in a sense, I’ve lost both of them.  And I hate that now I don’t have that close support system anymore.  Why does she hate me so much?”

Her Hatred Is Likely Directed At Something (Or Someone) Else: Deep down, I honestly doubt that she hates you. She probably hates the choices that she has made and the reality that she faces right now.  She probably also is feeling a little bit guilty. And she may also feel like the odd – man out.  I know that you feel alone.  And you’ve said that you feel that you have lost them both.   But think about it.  She is in this position also. She truly has lost both people.  Because your husband has chosen to go back to you, she is lost to both of you and that probably feels quite bad for her.  So her reaction may be more related to her situation than to you.

Resist Scattering Your Energy And Your Priorities: Please don’t take this the wrong way.  I envy your emotional capacity because I do not think that I would even be able to approach this type of compassion. But, as someone who has worked really hard to recover from infidelity and to restore her marriage, I can tell you that it’s really hard – even when your focus is totally on yourself.  It’s very hard when you also have to worry about your children and your husband.  There often isn’t a lot of room or time to worry about additional people.  So be careful about spreading your concern too thin.

And if you want the best result with your husband, you probably want to place your focus on your marriage, your family, and yourself. It’s unfortunate that you and the other woman are both hurting when you care about her.  And your affection for her means that you don’t want to be the cause of her pain and you don’t want for her to hate you, but I’m not sure how much control you have over either one.

At the end of the day, your relationship with your family should take precedence.  For now, I would suggest worrying about your immediate family, while allowing her to choose where to place her focus.

This might be a good time to explore new friendships.  It always helps to have a wide and varied support system.  We get different things from each personality and each friendship.  So the wider we can toss our friendship net, the better off we are.  She may claim to hate you, but those are her feelings to deal with, not yours.  Don’t allow her to put more on your plate than you already have.

Honestly, recovery is hard enough – even when you are only worrying about your immediate family.  Don’t take on any more.  Let her worry about her own well being and feelings.  And you can worry about your own.  Moving forward, recovery will likely take enough time that you don’t have any spare time to worry about her.  If you’d like to read more about my own recovery, you can do so on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

 

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