In past articles, we’ve talked in detail about the steps to overcoming an affair and rebuilding trust, finding forgiveness, and moving forward to build the happy marriage you know you deserve.
Unfortunately though, infidelity involves more than just you and your spouse – there’s got to be a third party in the mix, and that person will have their own opinions, emotions, and behaviors that can affect your ability to rebuild your marriage.
Human beings can be competitive, stubborn, and selfish, and even after an affair has ended, that “third wheel” may still have some personal investment in a relationship with the married person. Even if the married couple has reconciled and agreed to work on the problems in the marriage, that third person can still be emotionally invested and physically attracted, regardless of “ending the affair.”
So what can you possibly do about it?
For this instance, we’ll look at a hypothetical scenario. Your husband had an affair, it has been addressed, and the two of you have agreed to move forward together. He’s stopped contacting the other woman, but she remains persistent. What can you do?
First, sit down with your spouse to make sure that this attempt to continue the affair is coming entirely from the other person, that your spouse has ended things completely (especially in their own minds), and that you have their full support to try to improve the situation.
While your spouse may want to deal with it personally, this may not have very much impact – since the “third wheel” is still trying to win them over. If they haven’t taken the message from your spouse before, they likely won’t now.
So, that means that if someone is going to say something – it has to be you (or at least you and your spouse together).
It’s absolutely critical to be non-confrontational in these delicate situations. You and this “other woman” already have a reason to be at odds, and letting your emotions get the best of you can make this uncomfortable scenario much worse.
Whether by phone, in person, or whatever your preferred method of communication, ask for a chance to talk to the “other woman” on neutral ground, as mature adults, to sort out the problems at hand. Let her know that your husband and you have made a choice to work on your marriage and recover from the affair, and request that they respect your decision by backing off and letting go.
In a perfect world, this is all it will take, but it’s possible that she will resist, offer reasons to counter yours, or even become angry. Again, staying in control of your emotions makes all the difference here. Stand by your decisions, calmly explain how things have to be, and ask for their consideration for your – and your spouse’s – wish to build a strong, happy marriage.
You’ll never be able to control other people’s decisions, but hopefully a rational and calm discussion will help persuade the “other woman” to cease her efforts to rekindle the affair.
If things escalate, become hostile, or if you feel threatened, do not participate. Do not be afraid to call authorities or save the discussion for a time when all parties can behave reasonably. Getting into an altercation will only make things worse for everyone involved. This is a conversation that needs to happen with a level head.
It may take more than one attempt, but if you and your spouse are resilient – and committed to the affair not happening again – the time and effort put forth is definitely worth it.
This is another angle of infidelity that causes complications, but as with all of the other components of overcoming an affair, being honest and open with your spouse, and simply being willing to put in the hard work will put you on the path to building the successful marriage you’ve always wanted.
For more advice on how to strengthen your marriage, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!
My wife just started a new job. Apparently her boss had the hots for her since day 1, but didn't tell her until 3 months ago. She was able to allow herself to fall in love with him because she no longer loved or respected me as a husband.
Turns out my wife and the co-worker spent a weekend together a few months ago. She used the excuse that she was going with her friends for a girls weekend (typical right)? Make a long story short I have a hotel receipt with his name on it, and the phone records showing her calling me and others from the same town on the same weekend. I confronted her about it and of course at first she tried to deny it. When she realized she couldn't deny it, she started crying and saying she new she messed up and that it was a stupid mistake she regrets, blah blah blah. Though she appeared remorseful, it's hard to know if she really is sorry about it or sorry she got caught.
Well if she doesn't sound remorseful you may as well move on . You deserve better.
Hi Sean - I know this is devastating, but we do think the trust can be regained. https://www.strongmarriagenow.com/save-marriage-regain-trust-its-destroyed/
Hi, Connor - If you still want to try to save your marriage, we believe it's possible! https://www.strongmarriagenow.com/how-to-save-your-marriage/get-husband-wife-checked-back-marriage/
Sorry to hear that Sean I can relate with the pain it causes emotionally for sure.how long have you all been married?
Is this an experience you've been through yourself, Tink?
I find this article a little niave, and, having been betrayed myself...a bit insulting. First you are assuming that a cheating spouse and the Other Woman/Man are sane individuals. That you can trust them to be "honest" with you about whether or not the affair is ongoing or who is keeping the contact going. The cheaters lies and schemes for months or years and now we are suppose to think they are honest with us the betrayed? We can trust the affair person to listen to reason from us, after all the lies the cheater has told them about us and the marriage? The best thing would be for the cheater to quit their job if the OP is at work and write or hire an attorney to wirte a no contact letter in front of you and let you mail it , or make a NC phone call with you at their side to end it, allowing the betrayed to speak their mind as well. Then, if that doesn't work a nice ex-parte or restraining order is in order, and the cheating spouse needs to be the one to take it out. THen if its violated have the affair person pay the consequences. Cheaters are so addicted to their affair partners they'll do anything to keep that drug coming - lie, cheat, hide, get burner phones, etc. You cannot "nice" a cheater back to you. They have to realize they have caused pain and destroyed their spouses heart.
Cheaters are no reasonable people.
Hi, Betrayed - I'm sorry to hear you've been through that experience and I agree letting go of the affair can be difficult. These are options for a husband and wife who have recommitted to their marriage, which does no work in every situation. However, we will offer as much support as we can to those who try to save their marriage.
I feel like you are living my life and I share your sentiments completely. My husband's OP actually assaulted me when I told her to stop contacting him and leave him alone. She screamed right in my face that she would be in his life forever. And he defended her actions saying I should not have approached her. You are 100% correct in calling it an addiction.
Hi, Also - That's terrible. I hope you are both in a better place now, whether you chose to stay together or separate.
I don’t know what to do, my husband had an affair and we have decided to stay together and work on our marriage. Honestly our marriage hasn’t been better. It’s been 5 month since he stopped all communication with the OW but she won’t give up. We have blocked her number but she calls with a no caller ID which goes directly to vm. She never leaves a message but calls multiple times in a row. She and my husband met at a rec sports league. During the summer he has a league in a location she has never been in. I have been going to his games and cheering him on now for 6 months. She recently put a team together here and surprised us. Last week we found out because they played against each other. We ignored her and went on about our night. She never tried to speak to him or me. I don’t want to give up the league because she showed up. I feel we should be able to be there and won’t let her run us out. I am not sure what her motives are? We have 8 weeks left of this league and I feel we should go and be there as a united front and ignore her. I think if she has something to say she will do it and he can shut her down and hopefully we will be done with this. Is this right or should we confront her together? She believes our marriage isn’t fixable and that he will run back to her. Which is not true. Help!