What Attracts A Man To The Other Woman In An Affair?

By: Katie Lersch: I sometimes hear from wives who are extremely confused as to what their husband could possibly see in the other woman.  They often have sought out this woman and taken a good long stare at her.  They’ve tried to view her from different angles or perspectives and they are still coming up empty.  Try as they might, they just can’t see the attraction.

I heard from a wife who said: “my husband had an affair with a coworker.  I sort of know this other woman from company picnics and from coming by the office and I just do not understand. She is older.  She is a bit overweight.  She’s not that bright.  I certainly would not call her pretty.  I can not imagine what attracted my husband to her.  Not to brag about myself, but I am young, cute, intelligent, and I earn a good living.  This woman is dumpy, dull, and in a supportive work role.  What could he possibly see in her?  What is the attraction?”

This is an extremely common concern.  I so often hear from wives who describe the other woman as someone who is often the opposite of what their husband supposedly finds attractive.  In other words, she’s often very different from the wife.  But more than that, she sometimes possess the attributes that would not be considered attractive by the husband.  Below, I will tell you where the attraction might lie.

Above Everything Else, He Is Often Attracted To Her Because She Makes Him Feel Better Or Elevated In Some Way: Please forgive me if what I am about to say or imply sounds unkind.  But I am still going to say it because I believe that it is necessary to understand this.

Often, the root of the attraction is not the way that the other woman looks.  It is not even about the sex.  It is because for some reason, she makes him feel better about himself.  People often just do not understand why a man with a beautiful, sexy wife would cheat on that same wife with a woman who few would see as sexy or beautiful.

Here is why.  The husband is somewhat intimidated by his beautiful wife and, deep down, he feels unworthy of her.  Deep down, he worries that at some point, she may figure all of this out.  This process makes him doubt himself.  And it makes him insecure.  He doesn’t like feeling this way because he feels somewhat powerless.

And then along comes this person who clearly admires him and makes him feel a little more powerful.  She’s not as beautiful and that makes him feel a little more handsome in comparison.  He doesn’t have to worry that he’s not worthy of her.  And when she so clearly thinks that he’s wonderful and can do no wrong, he suddenly feels a little bit better about himself, at least for a little while.

Is this fair?  Absolutely not.  Does it make total sense?  No, it doesn’t.  But it is what many men will tell you when they are being really honest.  And it’s why the tabloids are full of tales of men who have the most beautiful women in the world but who are still caught in seedy parts of town with women who might surprise you.

It has nothing to do with his beautiful or accomplished wife.  It has nothing to do with her flaws, but it has everything to do with his, although he may not admit this or even understand or realize it.

He May Believe That She Offers Something That Is Lacking In His Life:  Many men will cling to or be attracted to the other woman not because of what she possesses but because of what she represents.  He may think that his life is boring and predictable and he may suddenly see her as a free spirit.  He may think that he never takes any risks and suddenly he’s attracted to a risk taker.  Maybe he loathes that he’s becoming older and settling down a bit too much and suddenly he will be attracted to a younger woman.

In short, whatever a man feels is lacking within himself or in his life at the time is exactly what leaves him vulnerable to that in someone else.  The man who worries that he always plays it safe is suddenly attracted to a woman who he perceives as a bad girl or has someone who lives on the edge of regular society.

The examples are really endless.  But the point that I hope you understand is that it really doesn’t have anything to do with the other woman.  Instead, it has everything to do with what he perceives that he is lacking and what he perceives that she has.  It’s nothing that you did wrong.  It might not have anything to do with your marriage.  Men in happy marriages have affairs at vulnerable times in their lives.

Vulnerability Is Key: And that is usually where the attraction lies.  She was present and available at a vulnerable time in his life when he displayed his worst judgement and character.  I know that she would love to think that there is something special and unique about her or about their chemistry. And it can seem that way at the time, but often, in retrospect, this is just justification that they will give themselves at the time.

So please understand that it is often not her physical attributes or any real connection between them.  It is usually that she makes him feel some relief at a vulnerable time in his life for a variety of possible reasons. 

It’s perfectly normal to wonder about the other woman.  But be careful that you are not fixating on her or giving her more power than she deserves.   Your real focus should be on yourself first.  I had to learn this lesson in order to heal after my own husband’s affair.  If it helps, you can read more on my blog http://surviving-the-affair.com

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