It’s interesting that a lot of the women who write to me are more worried about their husband’s emotional feelings about the woman with whom he’s cheating (we’ll call her “the mistress” in this article) than they are about how he feels about her physically. Many tell me things like “I can deal with him being unfaithful, but I can not deal with him actually loving her.” I understand this. Society is often more accepting of men straying because of physical reasons, but most feel that the emotional bond and closeness should be reserved for his wife.
The problem is that often when a man cheats he isn’t at all thinking logically and he’s often searching for something that he had all along. However, often he can often only see this much later, once the dust has settled and once it’s obvious that he was incredibly wrong about countless things. Until that time comes though, he’ll often mistake the excitement, the pay off, and the “newness” for love. But, he almost always turns out to be wrong and he almost always realizes this eventually. I’ll talk about this more in the following article.
His Cheating Is Often Not Because He Doesn’t Love You Or Because He Loves The Mistress. It’s Because He Doesn’t Love Himself: Remember when I said an affair is often searching for something that a man had all along? Well, that’s often because something in his life happens that significantly affects his self esteem and how he is able to navigate the world. Some will call this a mid life crises – and it does commonly happen to older men. But, even young man can have an identity crises, be under stress, or begin to become bored with themselves and their lives. They are trying to make themselves feel better about their attractiveness, their sexual prowess, and their ability to present themselves in a powerful way. I’m not saying that this isn’t ridiculous, I’m just sharing their thought process with you.
So, often the mistress has very little to do with how he feels about you and even sometimes with how he feels about her. It’s all about how he feels about himself and what is lacking within him. Mistresses can often sniff this out from a mile away. And, she’ll present herself as a diversion that comes with no strings attached. She’ll want him to think that she’s just all about fun, that she won’t nag him or worry about picking up his dirty underwear. She doesn’t know or doesn’t care that he clips his disgusting nose and ear hairs. She hasn’t seem him at his worst. So, it’s all good – at least for a while. She’s basically all the fun without any of the work or the commitment. She makes the time for him without worrying about household chores, children, or aging parents.
In his mind, she gives him the time and attention that you used to before you had to be a responsible adult. No, this is not at all fair, but it’s the reality as it is. And, knowing it will help you to realize that this must eventually come to an end. Because no one can keep playing this unrealistic game. Very few mistresses are never going to want nothing more. Most are biding their time and waiting to swoop in and make demands eventually. They’ll painting the pretty picture in the beginning waiting until the time is right to start to gradually make more demands for time and for commitments. Eventually, she too will begin to be exposed to the flaws and some responsibilities and she’ll begin to lose her appeal. And, she can’t even begin to touch you in terms of history and shared experiences.
But, until this happens, she appears to be the answer to many of his problems. Men will often tell me that it’s not so much about sex with her as many people think. It’s because she listens, because she’s fun, because she appreciates him, and because she gives him the time and attention that you’re too distracted to offer. (Again, I know this isn’t fair, but I’m passing the message along because you deserve to hear it.)
Where Does All Of This Leave You?: Many women will tell me, “I know that what you’re saying is true, but where does that leave me? Am I just suppose to wait around until he gets tired of this woman?” No, you should not. It’s absolutely not acceptable that he’s allowed to have both of you. I believe that you should make very clear to your husband that you will not play second fiddle to anyone and it’s extremely demeaning and insulting to even be asked to.
If you’re even going to entertain saving your marriage, then it must be a marriage of two, not three. He may well think that he loves this woman and doesn’t want to give her up. There’s not a lot that you can do about this but bide your time, present yourself as the classy, self respecting person you are, and focus on your own happiness. Tell him that perhaps you’ll talk when he’s completely banished her from his life, but until then, you must focus on yourself. When and if he comes to his senses, then and only then will you talk.
The truth is, statistically speaking, they are doomed. Most mistresses never make it down the aisle with the man she cheated with. And of those that do, they are almost 75% likely to end this with a divorce. It’s just not a good set up, and eventually he will likely realize this. And, you’ll be smelling like a rose because you handled this in way that respected yourself. You checked out until he came to his senses and knew that you would then reevaluate what is right for YOU and your marriage, not for him or for her.