Confronting the other Woman: Revenge affair

Another case study: Confronting the other woman when facing a Revenge affair.

1. What was your purpose for confronting the OP and what did you say/do?

The OP had no idea my husband was married. He had told her he was divorced. He travels and she was living in the state he was working in during those months. My motivation was to verify if he had told me the truth about her and their relationship…he hadn’t, he had left out alot and tried to smooth over the details so I wouldn’t know just how involved they were and how much he had betrayed me. His was a revenge affair against me.

2. What happened? What was the outcome?

She was apologetic because she didn’t know, and felt horrible for hurting me unknowingly. And had alot of anger towards him as well. She assured me that if he contacted her in any way she would let me know. She also brought to light some of his lies he kept telling me for the next year AFTER the affair. She contacts me every once and awhile to see how I’m doing and vice versa. We formed an awkward friendship of sorts, trying to repair ourselves. Neither one of us hates the other in any way, and have leaned on each other for emotional support occasionally. She supported me when I decided to stay with my husband and work things out. It’s been a long road.

3. If you were to do it again, would you do it differently? What did you learn?

No I would not do it differently. Especially since he was lying to both of us, I felt responsible to clear the air as to my status with him (yes we were married, i was 9 months pregnant when i found out.) I learned that when the cheating spouse is found out, they want the discovery anger to be brief and the recovery to be quick. And they will deny details to ensure that happens (i.e. i only saw her once a week , when really, he saw her every night, etc.) I learned that I can be the bigger person, and even through the hurt I could forgive the OP in this situation and see the situation for what it was.

Coach’s Comments:

Let’s assume that her assessment is correct; that it is a revenge affair. (Affair type #5 in my E-book, Break Free From the Affair.)

If facing this type of affair, one is confronted with slippery slopes. By that I mean, it’s often very difficult to nail down exactly what is happening. It’s difficult to get a straight answer. One often wonders what the spouse is thinking. And, one picks up on this undercurrent of hostility that says, “leave me alone.”

Some refer to this as “passive aggressive” behavior. The husband was exhibiting the same behavior with the other person – withholding, passively controlling and in essence, limiting intimacy.

Confronting the other person brought clarity and the truth. When the husband was confronted with the truth the gig was up.

Please know that this revenge affair did not slide into a rage affair. Perhaps, over time, if the wife continues confronting the underlying resentment more intimacy might emerge in the marriage.


  1. When i read your thanksgiving email i thought you must have been reading my thoughts. I am living with my husband trying to charge neutral like you have suggested, its very hard. he still wants to see the other person and i am trying to just be his friend. he doesnt want to leave the marriage or move in with her, he says he just needs to see her(no sex) just friendship. she wants more and I dont know how I am coping but i am. I really look forward to you emails, perhaps as you say one day i will come out of this but how long will it take.

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