My husband still talks to the woman he cheated on me with

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My husband still talks to the woman he cheated on me with
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My marriage was going through a rough patch and my husband had an affair with a woman that works in his office. I was incredibly hurt and the pain of infidelity was very hard to move past. But since we have already been married 12 years and have shared so much together, I decided to forgive him. But I feel like his affair wasn’t just physical and he actually had strong feelings for his affair partner. I can sense some detachment after infidelity from his side. His affair partner keeps reaching out and he is still in touch with her. My husband wants to stay friends with the other woman because they were first good friends before it turned into something more. He says that it will be hard to avoid her since they work together. It was already painful to know he had an affair and now to think he is still talking to her, even if nothing physical is happening, is just heartbreaking. What should I do?

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Answer

Rebuilding trust in a relationship is extremely difficult, and it often alters the relationship forever. Meaning, that the past might always remain a sore spot. The fact that you were able to move past this is a big deal in itself, so I understand how distressing it must be for you to know that your husband continues maintaining contact with his ex-affair partner.
As you already know, this doesn’t bode well for your marriage. Here’s what you can do about it:

  • Try to have an honest conversation with your husband about what he wants to do. Them continuing their friendship is not an option if you want to keep this marriage together. I would highly recommend trying out marital therapy so you can communicate as effectively as possible. Convey your feelings on the matter, especially how you feel distant from him.
  • Know that keeping this marriage together is not your sole responsibility, but a shared responsibility. Address the underlying issues in your marriage but remember that it will take shared effort from both you and your husband.
  • Establish and maintain strong boundaries. Boundaries are necessary to maintain any relationship in a healthy manner, and are there to protect you. Always remember that a boundary without a consequence is a request which can be ignored. So, ensure that you set up and convey the action you will take when your boundary is violated.
  • Be realistic about the state of your marriage. You could do everything right, and it might not make a difference because your marriage isn’t yours alone. If your husband is unable or unwilling to do the things required to keep this marriage safe, you have your answer. It is not your job to convince him to stay loyal.
  • Be kind to yourself and ensure that you are doing everything to take good care of yourself. This includes self care, reaching out to your support system and getting the help you need, when you need it.

Related Reading: My husband had an affair with my sister

I would not recommend coming in contact with the other woman, as it can be a very unpleasant experience for you. This is more about your husband’s actions and should ideally be sorted out between the two of you. One thing is for sure, the possibility of your marriage being okay while your husband maintains contact with her is none.

FAQs

1. How to stop the other woman from contacting my husband?

It is not your responsibility to control another person’s actions. This issue is between you and your husband, and is more concerned with your husband’s response and actions. I would recommend that you focus on communicating your boundaries clearly with him, and have consequences in place for if those boundaries get violated.  I would not recommend contacting that woman, as that can put you in a very uncomfortable and triggering position.

2. How to make him forget the other woman?

You cannot “make” another person do anything. Even if, for a while you can get your husband to stop contacting her, if he is unwilling to move on from that affair, there’s not much you can do. At the end of the day, what you can control is your response to his behavior.  You can try to reaffirm your commitment to each other, reminding each other of why you’re together and why you love each other. Do consider seeking support from a mental health professional, not just for your marriage, but also to help you through these trying times.

3. What to do when your husband won’t stop talking to another woman?

If your husband continues to communicate with another woman despite your discomfort, have an open and honest conversation about your feelings and concerns. Clearly express your boundaries and expectations for the relationship. Seek couples therapy if necessary to address underlying issues and improve communication. Ultimately, prioritize your emotional well-being and consider whether the relationship is healthy for you.

4. How common is it for husbands to maintain contact with their affair partners?

The frequency with which husbands maintain contact with their affair partners varies greatly depending on individual circumstances and the dynamics of the relationship. While some may cease contact immediately after the affair is discovered or ended, others may continue communication due to emotional attachment, unresolved feelings, or other factors. It’s essential to address such situations through open communication and, if needed, professional support.

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