I was emailed recently by a reader who wanted to know if she should confront The Other Woman after discovering that her husband had been cheating.

“NML, I feel like my entire life has been shattered. I want to speak to this woman. I want to know why she thinks it’s OK to screw someone else’s husband! Does she have no respect for marriage? I want her to explain herself!”

If you have discovered that your partner or husband is cheating on you, it is devastating, even if you had your suspicions. As you reel from the discovery and no doubt the ensuing revelations, it can be difficult to know whether you should be mad at him, The Other Woman, or both.

If you’ve been cheated on, he has willfully done it. He is not a child lacking control of himself and I doubt that anybody held a gun to his head and told him to take his penis out. The easy option when a man is caught out cheating is for him to blame the other woman, avoid responsibility, and seem like he has been led by a temptress. I don’t doubt that things about her were very tempting but to believe that it’s all down to her charms absolves him of any responsibility and if he has none, what is to stop him from doing it again? He is making himself sound like a spineless, gormless, idiotic, irresponsible twit with no control over himself. The longer he has systematically lied to you and kept up his cheating facade is the more he has deceived you, the more comfortable he was with it, and the bigger a chance he took. He has been having his cake and eating it.

It’s him you’re married/committed to, hence he is the person that owes you the biggest explanation and the only person that can commit to resolving the situation should you decide to keep his cheating ass.

The Other Woman thinks that it’s OK to screw someone elses husband because she believes in the promise of whatever he has offered. It’s not even that she thinks that what she’s doing is ‘OK’ per se, it’s just that time has allowed her to rationalize the situation, his actions, and her actions. Whilst there are women out there that make it their life’s pursuit to be with attached men, I think most of the women allow themselves to believe the hype as it suits their own esteem values.

However, while I can appreciate that people get sucked into situations, the reality is that if a woman is sleeping with someone else’s husband, at that time, she is not respecting marriage. It may not be that she has no respect for marriage itself, as she may want a wedding herself, but she doesn’t have any respect for YOUR marriage.

But is there ever a time to confront The Other Woman?

If the other woman is someone you know, or heaven forbid, related to you, then of course you should confront them. It’s not because he is any less responsible but because she has broken and abused your trust. Whilst the temptation is to get medieval on her ass, try to avoid doing anything illegal or anything that diminishes your dignity. She really just isn’t worth it.

And if you don’t know her? I don’t think that there is much to be achieved by confronting her as you are 1) going on hearsay from him, 2) she has her own version of events that she wants to believe in and 3) you are likely to look like the woman that doesn’t want to acknowledge the wrong that her partner/husband has done so you’re blaming her instead.

The Other Woman has failed to regard you as a human being with flaws and feelings, just like her, and she does this because this is her coping mechanism that distances herself from the reality of his situation.

The only reason why you should confront The Other Woman (other than in the situation where you know her personally) is if you actually give a damn what she thinks, and, confronting her gives her far more power than she deserves or needs. She hasn’t abused your trust – she’s just been screwing your man.

At this point you either need to focus on deciding if your relationship is worth saving or how best to turf his arse out. There is no benefit to having a ‘showdown’ because you will only feel good and righteous temporarily, and ultimately, are either one of them worth it?

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