Will My Husband Think Of (And Long For) The Other Woman For The Rest Of Our Lives?

By: Katie Lersch: I often hear from wives who spend a lot of time worrying about how their husband is feeling about the other woman with whom he cheated or had an affair. Very often, the affair is supposedly over and the couple are trying very hard to pick up the pieces of their marriage and their lives. But the one thing standing in their way is the husband’s perceived feelings for the other woman. Sometimes, he is very forthcoming about his feelings. And sometimes he isn’t. And frankly, there are times when his true feelings don’t even matter because the wife has her own theories, fears, and beliefs. Often, these beliefs come from watching her husband in the time after the affair’s discovery.

I often hear from wives who say things like: “my husband had a 7 week affair with a woman from his school. He actually has known her for years because she is in the same academic program as he is. They began their relationship as good friends. I never worried about her because she was married also. My husband broke off the affair as soon as I found out. We have been in counseling and he is doing what is asked of him. But I know he still longs for her and thinks about her. He switched to another program so he would not have to see her. He didn’t argue about doing this but I know it was a huge setback for him. Because now, instead of being with his regular support system of students, he is with strangers. He doesn’t complain, really. But sometimes I see him staring into space and I know he is missing his old school life and her. One day I confronted him about this and his response was ‘to be honest with you, I do think about her sometimes. I probably always will. She was my friend first and I miss her. There is a void there and it might always exist. I wish I could turn off my feelings but I can’t. But I am committed to our marriage and she is committed to her marriage. It is over. You have my word. But I can’t help still thinking about her.’ I hated hearing these words from my husband. I can’t really get mad at him because he was being honest with me like I asked. However, after hearing this, I find myself wondering if am I going to have to compete with this ghost for ever. Is my husband going to think about this woman, and long for her, for the rest of our lives? Because I don’t know if I can accept that. If this is going to be the case, I almost want to bow out now.”

These are very common concerns. And it’s not at all uncommon for husbands to believe that they still have or even will always have feelings for the other woman. Because something has been taken away from them, they don’t have the closure that comes with making your own decisions about things coming to a natural end. This can make their feelings seem more forceful or appear to be more strong than they actually are. I am not saying that the husband in this situation did not or could not have real feelings. He very likely did. But those feelings were likely not going to last forever. They can’t if  he and the other woman don’t spend time together in order to keep those feelings going.

Understand That His Feeling For Her Will Likely Fade. And Your Feelings Will Change Also: I can all but promise you that you will feel differently about your situation in three, six, or eight months from now. The healing process takes time. You will learn things about yourself and your capacity to change and grow in that time. Your perceptions will likely shift also.

All of these things are true for your husband too. He will likely feel differently about his actions, the other woman, and even you. Often, these are all good things. The healing process can encourage growth and a strengthening that may not have happened otherwise.

With that said, although some wives truly want and embrace this healing, this growth, and this change. But they constantly question it and bring their husband’s attention back to the other woman. They are constantly asking him if he is still thinking about her and what he feels about her right now. This can thwart all that growth and healing that we have been talking about.

You can’t change the fact that she momentarily passed through your life. But her stay is now over. It’s time for her (and you) to move on. Don’t allow her any more in your life by asking about her, questioning your husband about her, or feeling insecure about her.

The Best Way To Get Your Husband To Move On: Quite frankly, sometimes the best way to get your husband to move past her is to stop placing the focus on their relationship and start placing that same focus on your own. As you rebuild your marriage and learn to bond and appreciate one another again, those feelings are going to come back to you because the time, attention, and focus is on your relationship. You are feeding it what it needs to grow and the result is going to be those romantic feelings that come when you are spending time with and bonding with someone. Since he is no longer spending that kind of time with her, his feelings are going to fade. And as he starts to invest and you and your marriage, his feelings for you are doing to grow. Don’t delay the process by placing the focus that should be on you back onto her.

I worried about the other woman for too long.  I kept thinking about her even after she was long gone.  It wasn’t until I placed the focus back on my husband and myself that I was able to save my marriage.  If it helps, you can read the whole personal story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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