I Found Out I Am The Other Woman: Should I End The Affair?
By Sarah Khan
Updated March 25, 2020
When you begin a relationship with a man you like, there's a new pep in your step, a renewed feeling of confidence and desire, as well as feelings that everything is going to work out well. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Some relationships end better than others, while some become a tangled mess of lies and infidelity. We see this in media quite often, the situation where a woman who has been in a committed relationship with a man finds out they have a completely separate life with another woman, sometimes even a whole other family. This type of infidelity does occur in the real world, and finding out you are the other woman is no easy cross to bear.
If you've been in a relationship with someone who has not told you that they are either married or in a committed relationship with another woman, along with the flood of emotions you may feel, you are left with a few options. You have a major decision to make and that's whether you should end the affair or whether you are okay with continuing on as the other woman, leaving nothing to change. What you choose may not only change your life but that of another woman and/or family altogether.
Is it wrong to be selfish and want things to remain as they are, with the man you've fallen for or do you have to end the affair and maybe even tell the wife? Is not having known about his other life your fault? There are probably so many questions racing through your mind right now, all of them preying on your morality.
Why Do Men Cheat?
Before you choose how to proceed, it may be beneficial to understand why your man may have initiated an affair with you in the first place. Is there in fact, any justifiable reasoning for his actions? Some men report that they seek extramarital affairs because their lives have become sexless, while others are yearning for connection. Most men who cheat are looking for both a physical and emotional connection, something that may be missing from their existing marriage or relationship.
Marriage is an interesting concept. For the most part, two individuals are agreeing to spend the rest of their lives committed to one another only, in a monogamous relationship. Forever is a long time and no one can predict how they will feel about themselves, their life, or their partner in the future. Unfortunately, it is quite natural for a relationship to become stagnant over the years and based on evolutionary presets, men yearn to find the best mate in order to carry on their lineage. They are pre-programmed by nature to want to spread their seed as much as possible to have the strongest chances of carrying on their line.
While we've touched on the evolutionary psychology idea of why men cheat, we've evolved as a species to much more than our primitive ancestors. We have developed deeper needs, desires, and fantasies. We have come so far that we are able to yearn for luxuries rather than just necessities. This can also help explain a lot about why men cheat.
According to Karin Jones, when having discussions with men who were partaking in extramarital affairs, they decided to cheat and not tell their wives about the other woman because they thought it was an act of kindness to keep it from her. Jones asked the men why they didn't talk to their wives about their feelings of needing to have sex or needing more attention or affection. She even went as far as asking the men why they didn't try being open about wanting to have a casual fling every so often outside of the marriage. The men, rather than wanting to address the actual root cause of the affair and infidelity, believed it was easier on their spouse to keep them in the dark. They did not want to actively have the difficult conversation that may have either helped their relationship grow and strengthen or at the very least, have all parties be completely honest about their feelings.
What It Means To Be The Other Woman
Being the other woman is not easy, especially if you were unaware of your lover's other relationship/wife. If you were under the impression that you were the only woman, things become so much more complicated, as more complex feelings are bound to develop over the course of the relationship. You may have turned a blind eye to all of the red flags such as his inability to be flexible in his schedule to attend last minute or less planned events or his lack of responses to your text messages or calls. That's all completely normal, as when we are in the 'honeymoon phase', we tend to make excuses for our partners, believing they are acting with the best interests of your relationship at heart.
Once you've found out you're the other woman, your entire world may have been rocked. Whatever time you've spent with this man is questionable and likely a complete farce. If you were thinking he was falling in love with you and if you saw a future with him, all of these images may start to disappear, leaving you to feel lonely, confused, betrayed, and hurt.
Unfortunately, turning a blind eye to the warning signs in your midst may lead you down the path to one day finding out that you're the other woman. While trusting your significant other is an important pillar of a successful and healthy relationship, it's still important to keep an eye out for abnormal behavior or behaviors indicative that there is some sort of other commitment on the part of your partner.
Does He Love You?
Before making any rash decisions, it is strongly advised that you take a moment to step back, step outside of the situation and evaluate the affair and what your feelings really mean. Look at the potential for your future together. Can you really see him staying with you? Do you believe that he won't do this again? One of the situations many people caught up in an affair don't realize is that cheating may be a repeat offense. While it may feel like 'true love', there's a chance that your man simply gets bored, requires more, and seeks that outside of his marriage. If it has happened before, there is potential for it to happen again.
Now that you've taken a moment to let that digest, evaluate your feelings. Do you feel like you and this man will be in a long-term relationship? Do you see yourselves going through hard times and trials together, making it out on the other side successfully? There is a chance that you may realize that he's not going to stand beside you over time. On the other hand, there may be a chance that he will. If you feel as though this relationship is truly worth having him give up his life and you sacrifice all the other options you have, there may be room for real love. However, if you see yourself questioning fidelity, seeing obstacles you're unsure you can overcome, this may be indicative that it's time to end the affair and move on towards someone you can build a trusting relationship with.
Who Do You Want To Be With?
At the moment, during the occurrence of the affair, of course, you are naturally so full of passion and attraction for this man. However, passion and attraction naturally fade over time, as relationships become comfortable, as life moves on. After all, isn't that how he came to be with you in the first place? Now you have an important question to ask yourself. When all is said and done, when you've lived all of your youthful and vibrant years, is this the man that you see yourself sitting next to on a rocking chair watching the sunset? Cliché? Absolutely. However, that's beside the point. Who do you want to spend your later years with? Is it this person who you've been having an affair with?
Aside from considering your feelings, play the other side as well. Try to think objectively, outside of yourself, and decide whether you can see him thinking that he wants to be with you over his wife or current partner. Unfortunately, there is often some clouded judgment here, as we tend to see what we want to see in a given situation. When you step outside of your personal feelings, do you see him wanting to be with you? If it came down to it, would he really choose you over his wife/partner? Would he stay where he's comfortable? Do you worry about him moving on to someone else? If you are worried about the fidelity of your partner, it may be time to end the affair because trust is hard enough to rebuild between two completely committed people to one another, let alone someone who is the other woman and a man who's engaged in extramarital affairs. However, if against all odds, you can see not only him but you as well wanting to be together for an extended period of time, making a real relationship work, you may not want to end the affair, but turn it into a monogamous relationship without the other party.
Do You Trust Him?
This is the million-dollar question in all situations regarding all affairs where emotions are involved. While you may have trusted him from the beginning, believing that you were his one and only, you've come to uncover the truth and things have changed now. The dynamic of your relationship has changed. Not only do you have to worry about whether you can trust him, but you have to wonder whether he feels the same way about you as you do about him. Are you willing to take the plunge and possibly end up getting dumped for his wife/partner? Are you willing to trust him with the chance of him cheating on you in the future? There are many unknown variables when it comes to trust in a relationship that's begun due to an affair. It takes a strong woman to be able to put all the negatives aside and try to create a future.
If you are a woman who is willing and able to put aside the past, focusing only on a positive future, try discussing this with the man you've been having an affair with. Get a better idea of where he stands because he has likely already built a life he is comfortable with. There is a chance that he won't be willing to give that up.
If you are both on the same page, if you can both trust your feelings for one another, you may consider continuing to see one another. If not, it may be time to end the affair.
What About His Wife?
This is a question you've undoubtedly been pondering ever since you found out that you were the other woman. The other woman is forced to bear the burden of considering the feelings about the wife/partner of the man they've been seeing. Begin by asking yourself how you feel when you consider how that woman would feel if she found out about the affair.
You may feel completely distraught, torn up, and hurt that you hurt someone else and inadvertently changed their life. If you were not aware that you were the other woman, feelings of guilt are to be expected. Simply think about how you would feel if you found out someone you loved was having an affair with another woman. It may be time to end the affair if you're feeling guilty and uneasy about the situation. After all, you are yet to be blamed, as you have been unaware until this point.
There can also be instances that work out the other way, where you and the man both have genuine feelings for one another. In this case, if you both are willing to live with the consequences, you may want to continue seeing one another. In this event, the guy may want to end the relationship with his wife/partner in order to explore avenues with you, but that should be a choice you both come together.
Are You Wrong To Stay With Him?
There is no black and white answer to this question. There is no simple wrong or right. There are so many variables that make it difficult to definitively judge any person. While there is no good excuse for any man to cheat on any woman, there is always the possibility that real and true love has blossomed. That is not something to neglect.
No one can tell you whether you should end the affair or stay with the man (either in the affair or as a legitimate couple). The choice is truly your own to make. However, the consequences will last a lifetime, so do consider all options.
There are many chances where two people may meet under less than ideal circumstances but form a lifelong relationship. What's important is to be true to yourself and all parties involved. If you feel as though you are not ready to let go of the affair, discuss this with your partner. See if you can both agree to tell the wife/partner about you, the other woman. Be open and honest for the best results and treat all parties as you would if you were in a similar situation.
For more information about being the other woman and how to handle this difficult revelation, contact https://www.regain.us/start/, where a board-certified mental health professional can help you understand your relationship and how you should proceed for the best and most effective results that leave you in a happy and healthy space.