After the discovery of your husband’s affair, your whole world literally crumbles. Everything you ever believed in about love and marriage are shaken to the core and most of the time even stripped from you. It takes a lot of self-reflecting to figure out what you now believe and if you think reconciliation is even fathomable after such a devastating blow.
It is difficult enough when you do decide to work through this with your husband, you now have all of these issues to deal with on top of the issues that led your relationship to the vulnerability of an affair. But what makes it even harder is that you have to deal with his OW/AP. If you’re lucky, she walks away and leaves you two alone to move on to her next lover. Most Betrayed Spouses (BSes) aren’t fortunate enough to have it this easy. So I have decided to write a post on how to handle the OW/AP if she continues to keep herself involved in your life.
1. Do not contact her. It is in your best interest to not invite her into any part of your recovery. If you go to her seeking answers to your questions, it may backfire. She may see this as an opportunity to further destroy your relationship by telling lies about the details of the affair with your husband. Or she may withhold information from you. Either way, this gives her power over what you know. This makes her feel like she can determine the fate of your marriage.
2. If she contacts you, do not engage her. This goes along with #1. If she contacts you, do as I did and just thank her for the information. This does not open the floor for her to divulge details of the affair or to feel as though she has your side. Sometimes the OW/AP may hope that you – the BS – will side with her and trash your husband because of what he did and how he dishonored both of you. She is just adding fuel to the fire and it is unnecessary and destructive to the healing process. Her relationship with your husband was unhealthy to begin with irregardless of what he promised her. She never had a chance at anything solid with him when what he had with her was created out of deception and lies.
3. Remove her from your life in every way possible. If she was a friend, remove her from Facebook and any other social media. In fact, just go ahead and block her so there is no possibility of her seeing your page and contacting you. If she has your husband’s phone number, change his number and all numbers that she may have. Create new email accounts as well. If she was a co-worker, perhaps it is time to consider working for a new company or move to a new office elsewhere in the company that would limit or eliminate contact with her. If you have the means, move to another city. Transplanting yourself really helps to remove you from any geographical triggers that you or your husband may have once you begin your recovery. This is what my husband and I did….we moved 2 states and 630 miles away! I no longer have anxiety over where he may wind up working (this is how he screwed her).
4. Do not look her up to see how she is doing. Her business is none of your concern and does not aid in any way in making you feel better. It may have the opposite: you may see that she has moved on with her life and seems happy while you are stuck with all of these horrible triggers and difficult decisions about your marriage and recovery.
5. If she is persistent and insists on finding ways to contact you and harass you, inform her that you will not tolerate harassment and draw the line for her by telling her that you will pursue a No-Contact or Restraining Order if necessary. As I said, if you make it harder for her to find your contact info, this will help you to avoid having to take this route. But some OWs/APs are a little on the crazy side and may find ways around that.
6. And most importantly, make sure that your husband agrees to all of this and is willing to cut all contact with her himself. If he isn’t ready, then all efforts will be put forth to no avail and you will grow frustrated. Even though he is grieving his loss of her, he MUST understand how vital no contact is in order to move forward in repairing his relationship with you.
The OW/AP was nothing but a distraction – a temporary fix for the problems your husband identified in your marriage. Do not allow her words/thoughts/actions to divert you from your main objective: reconciliation with the person who matters to you. She was insignificant in your husband’s life as she was just a temporary fill-in until you both decided to recognize where things went wrong in your marriage; until you recognized the unmet needs in your relationship that led your marriage vulnerable to the possibility of an affair.
If you have any other questions or ideas you would like to see us discuss on our blog about the OW, please feel free to comment below or contact us directly!
Post was written by Wendy who is a Betrayed Spouse nearing one year after D-day.