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Here’s Whether You Should Confront The ‘Other Woman’ About An Affair

Posted on: by Women's Health
A woman on her cellphone debating if she should confront the other woman in the affair or not

By Nina Bahadur, photography by Dragana_Gordic / Freepik.com

An expert weighs in.

Celeb couples are so often photographed looking flawless and happy, so it can be a big surprise when they break up. This was certainly the case with Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, who had been married for 10 years and had three young children when they announced their split in 2015. While no one knows for certain what went on in their relationship, initial reports suggested that Ben was cheating on his wife with their nanny. Now, sources have told People that Ben was involved in an extramarital affair with TV producer Lindsay Shookus (whom he is now dating) starting in 2013. And allegedly, Jennifer confronted Lindsay in 2015 after she found out about the affair.

Obviously, being cheated on is heartbreaking. But is confronting the “other woman” ever a healthy, productive process? We talked to Dr. Jane Greer, New York-based relationship expert and author of How Could You Do This to Me? Learning to Trust After Betrayal, to get her thoughts.

READ MORE: How Affairs Happen And How To Move On

When asked whether you should ever confront the person your partner cheated with, Greer’s answer was a resounding: “No!” She went on to explain: “The conflict is between you and your partner—not the other woman. If anything, move away from any further contact or communication with that person. The goal is to have no involvement.”

However, Greer says that rule changes if your partner was involved with a close friend or relative. “Then it becomes necessary to address him or her directly,” she says, because most likely you’ll continue to have contact with that person, whether it’s running into them at a party or family event. Greer suggests having a calm, to-the-point conversation. “Say something like, ‘I feel so betrayed and hurt by what you did. How could you do this to me?'” she suggests. “Address the betrayal and see if they’ll take any responsibility for it, have any remorse or regret, and—most importantly—show any empathy and concern in their apology (if they offer one).” This kind of confrontation “can help you heal and deal with future contact and encounters down the road,” Greer says, while with a stranger, you’ll probably never see them again. “Whether they feel remorse is not important.”

READ MORE: 5 Major ‘Relationship Saves’ After Your Partner’s Had An Affair

More important than confronting the “other” person in your relationship is working on setting things straight with your partner and figuring out how to move forward—whether that’s together or in the form of a breakup. In order for a couple to recover from infidelity, Greer says, “The most important thing to do is believe your partner is genuinely regretful and sorry for what they did, that they’re committed to rebuilding your trust, and that they’re willing to continue to relate to the pain and hurt they caused you by listening to you when you talk about it, expressing their remorse, apologizing when necessary, and demonstrating trustworthy behaviour going forward.”

Wondering if you should move on after your partner has had an affair? Here’s 5 signs your broken relationship is still fixable, plus 5 signs your relationship is actually just dysfunctional AF. 

This article was originally featured on www.womenshealthmag.com

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Got something to say?

  • Charmaine Stephenson Grobler

    I disagree. If the other woman knows that he is married – that is one thing. She is cheating with him and confronting either of them does not help and would only serve to make yourself a spectacle. But what worked for me is confronting the other women quietly, with pictures of our children (who where not much younger than they were). My husband looks much younger than his age and when he went through his midlife crisis, he “dated” very young girls and lied about his age and marriage status. He was ashamed of me because I look my age, even though I care for myself and my body. This embarrassed him when the girls confronted him and eventually led him to some soul searching. He manned up and grew up and now works on our marriage instead of his ego.