Many wives would love to know what the other woman is thinking once the affair is over. Many assume that the other woman was smug about taking a man from his family and felt indifferent to the idea that she was potentially breaking up a family. Many wives envision women who set out to tempt married men away from their homes.
These wives might say something like, “I’ve never seen the woman my husband cheated with. I know that she is somewhat younger. I picture her as smug and conniving. My husband said that he didn’t hide the fact that he was married, but apparently, this didn’t bother her at all. In fact, my husband finally confessed that she almost saw it as a challenge – to get a resistant man to cheat. When I started to suspect the affair, he tried to break it off, but she tried very hard not to allow this to happen. I don’t really want to talk to her or seek her out, but I have to admit that I wonder what she thinks about all of this. I am wondering if she feels all triumphant because she finally wore down a married man and has potentially destroyed a family. There is nothing that I can do about this. It’s not as if I have the ability to make her sorry or anything. But for my own curiosity, I just wonder how smug she is feeling right now. Is smugness common of all women who cheat with men who are already spoken for?”
Honestly, it varies. Just as the personality and the motivations of all of us are different, the same is true of women in this situation. I sometimes hear from them and some are actually pretty remorseful. Some didn’t intend to begin the relationship. On the flip side of the coin, some just didn’t take the relationship all that seriously. They were just looking for a meaningless diversion and so they don’t have any strong feelings one way or another. And yes, there are those women who see it as a challenge or a game to tempt or cheat with married men. And these are the woman who can feel like they’ve won a prize when they get him to cheat and who feel like they have lost something when the affair ends.
I understand why you want this information. I used to have the same types of questions after my own husband’s infidelity. But I will tell you an unfortunate secret. What the other woman thought or felt is truly irrelevant to your bottom line. Thinking about her or dwelling on her is not in your best interest. Neither is fantasizing about revenge. Frankly, the best revenge possible is moving on with your life and reestablishing your own happiness – however that may come and whatever that might look like.
I know that it might seem very easy for me to suggest that you try to put her out of your life and move on. But I say this because it’s a lesson that I learned. The more you prolong thoughts about her, the more you prolong the pain and your own healing. It’s pretty easy to wallow in misery and depressing thoughts post-affair, but all this does is hurt you more and for a greater period of time. The sooner you can distract yourself with working on yourself and with moving forward, the sooner you can put her out of your mind. When you do this, it makes it easier and quicker to heal, which should truly be your goal.
I know that it’s very painful to suspect that the other woman felt like she “won” or that she beat you by turning your husband’s head. But think about it for a second. What did she win, really? She had a fast and meaningless relationship with a man who already belonged to someone else. She had zero chance at a lasting relationship because he tried to end it when there was a danger of you finding out. That had to sting instead of feeling triumphant. The truth is, most of the time, the affair ends eventually. Yes, it may feel great for all involved for a short period of time. But it almost never ends well. And when it does end, both parties have to face the reality of what they have done and accept responsibility for it. In reality, they are looking at a failed, doomed, and shameful relationship. And honestly, that can’t feel too great. In fact, it can feel like regret, fear, and guilt. None of these emotions feel particularly triumphant.