Rick Reynolds, LCSW
by Rick Reynolds, LCSW
Founder & President, Affair Recovery

Affair Partners: Eight Reasons Not to Confront Them

Last week, while I was at the credit union, I ran into one of our Group Leaders; we were discussing one of my recent articles. I'm sure the tellers had their antennas tuned all the way up since we were discussing infidelity and different ways to respond.

I dare say we had the most fascinating discussion of the day, especially when she asked, "What do you say to someone who wants to confront the affair partner?"

Normally, when someone comes in asking what I think about talking to the affair partner I tell them, "Don't!" Rarely have I seen any benefit; in fact, I've witnessed a great deal of harm.

What's the driving force when we feel a compulsion to speak to the affair partner? Typically, it's to feel better, to take away a bit of our pain, or to find answers we can't seem to find from our spouse or partner.

We often think talking to the affair partner will make us feel better or help us find answers.

Here are 8 reasons to NOT confront the affair partner:

  1. Affair partners can lie. It is interesting how often a hurting mate believes the affair partner will tell them the truth and sorrowfully see the error of their ways once they realize the pain they have caused. It is not uncommon for the affair partner to lie and manipulate the situation.
  2. How much information do you really want? If you think you might be able to get more information from the affair partner – you're right – but it might not be the information you want to hear. If you're married, then you've probably already experienced that you and your mate have different subjective realities. You might have vastly different recollections of any event. For that reason alone, you can certainly gain a different perspective by talking to the affair partner. At the same time, if all you are gaining is details about a specific event, you're not gaining anything substantial. It's already difficult enough to process the information from the perspective of your mate, much less the information from the perspective of the affair partner too.
  3. Talking to the affair partner is comparing apples and oranges. One of the most difficult pieces of an affair to discern is motive. Frequently, there is a compulsion to discover why this has happened. One thing is for certain – the answer does not lie with the affair partner. All too often, I've worked with people who have talked with the affair partner and made the mistake of assuming their motives must have been the same as those of their mate, or they assume the affair partner somehow understands their mate's motive. In reality, the affair partner has created an illusion of what your mate's motives are. So please, don't think the causes and motives of the affair partner match those of your mate.
  4. Vengeance doesn't work. When you're really hurting, it's tempting to think about making the other party experience the same pain that you're experiencing. The only problem is that this course of action lowers you to their level and results in self-inflicted injuries. Don't compromise your personal integrity by acting in ways you normally would find inappropriate. Injuring another will never bring the peace you seek and it will only lengthen the amount of time it's going to take to heal.
  5. Don't gratify their hostility. You don't want to act in ways that allow the other person to believe your mate was justified in coming to them. If you act like a crazy person in confronting them, you will only give them justification for their actions.
  6. Trying to get them to "get it" is futile. One of the most common motivations for confronting the other person is to try to get them to see that you're a real person and that their actions are destroying real lives. Personally, I don't think you're going to have any more luck getting them to understand than you've had at getting your mate to realize it. The defense mechanisms put into place to justify the affair in the first place are most likely still in place after the affair. You alone are not going to be the person capable of breaking through their denial.
  7. It tends to perpetuate the problem. If your mate is trying to break off the relationship with their affair partner, then talking with them doesn't help the process. In fact, it is almost guaranteed to create more contact. They'll either contact your mate telling them to have you back off, or they'll use your contact as a way to try and guilt your mate into trying to gain comfort. The goal is to break off the relationship not to perpetuate the fight.
  8. You are not lacking anything. At times, curiosity drives the desire for contact. You may be asking, "What does the other person have that I don't?" or, "Why would my mate choose them over me?" I seriously doubt you'll ever find the answer to those questions by contacting the other person. Motivations for affairs are complex; meeting the "other person" will normally not answer your question(s). In reality, it's far more likely to confuse the issues. In my work, I've found that people always affair down; they never have an affair with someone better than the person with whom they're married. I'd suggest not lowering yourself to their level by interacting with them. Have more respect for yourself.

After all is said and done, some of you will still feel an overwhelming need to confront the affair partner. For some, it will be driven by a need to get the crazy compulsion out of their head. For others, it may be a need to face their fears. There can be any number of reasons, but I do suggest you try to get your mind off the affair partner and onto your own recovery – that is much more productive. The last thing you want to do is let another person have the power to control your peace of mind. I hope you'll consider our EMS Online course for couples. It'll help the two of you communicate in effective ways and find answers as to why the affair happened – in a much healthier way than contacting the affair partner.



RL_Media Type: 

AA Codes: 

Add New Comment:


Confronting the AP

I did. Sorry that I did? 2 sides to that coin. In the end I'm glad I did, it ended up being by best "gift" of the whole situation. My husband never knew I did til I told him 22 years later. I told him when this happened I'd stay til the kids were grown. 22 years later they were all grown, I remembered what I promised, and it was on again after all that time. Post- whatever you call it? My counselor thought maybe. Anywho, I was so upset for him having to leave, military, instead of telling I loved him and was afraid of being apart so far and so long, I said go the hell ahead, find you someone that doesn't care if you come or go, and don't come back, it's OVER! Bam! I got what I asked for! Knew her 1-2 days, did the ! came home and TOLD ME! Left her pic and # in my car! Did he want me to know? Obviously! I called, heck I had the # readily accessible! I told her who I was and that we were still together, she said good, she was glad, told her I wasn't giving him up to no one, she said don't blame you he's a good guy, she told me, "I just fell for him in a special way!"  Wow! I stood there and took it! I never spoke irate or anything, it was one of the most docile conversations for that kind of situation. He never saw her again. I am still with him, we had another child after that.I just knew the part I played in it, that can't be denied. I did for 23 years. Now I am going thru what we should have then. He stayed with me because he was sorry and put up with me, kids, bankruptcy, etc., because he vowed to stay and make it up to me. She made me see what I could have lost. His reason, he figured it would make or break accusations and false lies I made on him. I love him dearly and just now am able to tell him that. She was just helping him with his "marraige problems"! I still have hell dealing with it, guilt, But I believe (after all these years) it is probably a bit more forgiveable situation. I asked him WHY (like I didn't know) and he replied, "I found myself alone with someone that was the nicest, kindest person I had seen in a long time, and said WHAT THE HELL! You were gone and I had no reason to say NO!"I will NEVER mistreat him again!

Reason Not to confront the other partner

I wholly agree with you on this issue, I wish someone had told me not to do it when I was betrayed because the other partner who was a married woman actually upped her game to my horror.  At one stage I almost divulged the knowledge of this affair to her husband who was oblivious to this whole thing, but the spirit of God urged me to let it go, otherwise I might have destroyed her already unstable shakey marriage.

So true!

I confronted my husbands girlfriend and it was a complete nightmare - pretty much everything that this newsletter said came true. She gave me WAY to much information into their affiar, which in turn is making my healing process a whole lot more difficult. She also lied about a lot of things and tried to manipulate me and my husband against each other. She had her own reasons for why he was with her and she very aggressively tried to convince the both of us that she was right. She tried to convince me that my husband never loved me in the first place, and she tried to convince him and he had hurt me too much to ever be able to rebuild our marriage. By letting her in and hearing what she had to say about the situation it has really made it hard. When he decided to cut ties with her and try to work things out with me, that made her furious and then she turned on me. She would send me old love letters that he had written her, told me what it was like to have sex with my husband in my bed, etc. 

My husband and I are in the process of rebuilding our marriage and we have talked about how and why this happened to us and we are determined to never let it happen again. To be honest, though, what she has told me about her relationship with him and how they were together has caused more pain than anything else. TOTALLY NOT WORTH IT!

October 23rd (when the final

October 23rd (when the final email conversation took place with my husbands ap) was one of the MOST difficult days of my life.  The pain seemed impossible to bear, but I am thankful to God for walking me through every second of it!  God knows IT HAD TO HAPPEN!  I feel a true sense of completion now.  Like it has ended.  Like I have won!  Like my husband stood up to defend my honor, becquse we did Iit together! I am vindicated!  We've turned a page.  We CAN FINALLY move forward!   I can honestly say now that i have forgiven my husband, and that feels so good.  I do understand what is being said here, because not all situations are going to turn out like mine did. Only God can make this work. For me, it has helped immensely. My challenge remains to never the lesson but to forget ALL the details.  It was true, I DID have to have them. So that now when I do think of one of the horrible details, all I feel is victory!!!

Glad in my case. But my

Glad in my case. But my husband is a small ex addict. He gloated how she was 5' 10" and a 7. I had pictures of a Victoria's Secret model. I finally realized he prob affaired down and went to see. She is not pretty, is trailer trash and coarse, shallow, not that intelligent and is about as feminine and soft as a big bruising roller derby chick. I got in my car laughing all the way home. I am so glad I met her. Ewww. Just ewww.

So glad I divorced him

I found out almost 4 years ago that my ex had been unfaithful from the very beginning of our 16 year marriage. He is likely a sex addict. After I found about all of them, and the ones he was both starting to and in the middle of grooming for an afffair, I still wanted to save our marriage. I suffered so much for so long trying to save our marriage. It was not an easy decision, but I am so glad I jettisoned that nightmare. His words said he wanted to recommit, but his actual work always left me stressed because it didn't feel like real work. Excuses for everything. I am so happy now. If they don't put in what feels like satisfying work to you and any real heavy lifting I give you permission to walk away. I also give you permission to put your mental and physical health above your cheating partner. I actually regret not walking away the minute I had proof of the one damaged female he had been meeting for 15 years in public parks, park and ride lots, and cheap hotels. I wish I had slammed the door then on the whole sordid lifestyle he had chosen. I got a lot of bad advice. I wish our therapists had put my mental and physical well-being above saving our marriage and not try to make me feel guilty for anything of what I was feeling. I realize now that I am free that I had been in an emotionally abusive marriage for years with him. Your therapist should talk with you alone and ask you if you feel safe. If you do not, then the cheating partner should move out and let you heal. You work with the therapist and focus on yourself and your health first. I was put in the position of being told the marriage and the cheaters needs came before me. I realize now I should have gone to a therapist whose job was tending to my well-being first and foremost. Good luck to you! Stand up for your mental and physical health and that of your children. The cheater needs to take responsibility for their own health regardless of what you do. You owe them no more suffereing - and actually if the really do love you and want you back then they will do whatever needs to be done to take care of you. If they make demands on you, then they are not ready to go back into a marriage with you. My counselor told me that serial cheaters rarely recover unless they have years of therapy and then it's probably a half-alive marriage. I want more and finally realize I deserve more than that. 5 years later I am so happy I ended that horrible existence and moved on. It was also a great example of strength and self-compassion to my daughter. I deserve better.

Powerful testimony.

I'm so happy to hear you found true happiness and healing.

confronting affair partner

Sure wish I would have read this post before I decided to confront. The bottom line is that anyone who would knowingly sleep with a married man (or woman) especially when the wife is PREGNANT (as in my case) is a broken human being. Everything went down just like the post mentioned. She denied knowing he was ever married (lie) and blamed everything on him. Then she changed her tune and told me "he'd never been in love with me and was going to start a new life with her." Wow. Just Wow. This girl is delusional. Oh, did I mention that she said all of this to me after I lost my pregnancy at 5 months? First of all, even if he did say these things, (which he claims he didn't, but who knows the truth) how could you look your married lover's wife, one who just lost a much wanted pregnancy, straight in the eye and make these claims to her? Logically, I know she's crazy and was grasping at straws trying to "win." But today, one year later, her comments still haunt me, I won't lie. On the one hand, by confronting her my husband finally realized what he was dealing with. A lying, deceitful, manipulator. Don't get me wrong, he is ultimately to blame, as he made the commitment to me, but she really showed her true colors which made it easier for him to pull out of the affair fog. I wouldn't wish this misery on anyone. How do I get past my disdain for this other person? I'm hoping that time will heal.

Harrassment in a coffee cup.

I recently discovered my husband of 19 years had been involved in an 8 month long affair with a co worker from an other town 7 hours away. She was responsible for his travel arrangements. It was easy for her to manipulate his schedule in order for them to spend time together. It took my husband 7 weeks to fully disclose what had taken place. I believe my healing restarted every other day. That was and still is the most painful experience I have ever endured. Over the 7 weeks ( which is today) I tried 4 times to contact her. I wished her no ill will, I just needed her to confirm that it is as in fact over. My husband claimed she called it off. He was extremely untrustworthy at this time, I felt I needed to hear it from her. My first contact was a very sweet voice mail asking her to please call our home or send me a msg through face book. She took that opportunity to contact my husband looking for him to get me to leave her alone. To protect her. She sent him a nasty gram including things like " I was forced to listen to her message" that she "almost felt sad for me listening to my voice" and when I asked her for "conformation of status" in my message she replied to him with "That girl has trust issues" he didn't reply. He allowed her to remain in control of how this would play out. Two weeks later I drafted a letter and sent it through email. The letter outlined what had been going on in our lives over the last couple years and how I understood what and why my husband had been looking for attention. That I forgave her. She again became very angry with him telling him it's not her problem. That we two have serious problems and good luck. Again he didn't reply. He didn't stand up for us. Two days later because I was in the same town as she was I text her and asked if she would be willing to meet for coffee. No response this time. Any how. Two more weeks go by with no contact. Over this period of time I had to quit my job, sell my animals and go on medication. My husbands job was about to dictate him to be working out of the town he and his AP spent time in on a two week gone one week home schedule for the next three months. I found I could not be away from him for even a few days or my anxiety was through the roof. So I planned to go with him for one of his away weeks. The AP learned I was to be in town and called the police. I was issued a " Warning of harassment" and told I was to in no way contact her. She woman would rather call the police and have me slapped with a warning THAT WILL show up on enhanced criminal record checks for life than have a conversation with me. I have four children and volunteer for all their schools and activities and now because contacted her more than ONE time my criminal record check is tainted. The law states that if you contact somone more than one time and they don't want to her from you because it makes them feel uncomfortable or bad about themselves it can be looks at as a " course of conduct" and you can be issued a warning. No trial, no investigation and proof. I feel like I have been run over by a train. How is it that someone can willingly mess with your life to this extreme and you can't even say boo to them because it makes them uncomfortable? Completely unfair.

my story

This is the way mine went down . My wife of almost 35 years told me she had had an affair with her boss and my friend almost 30 years ago. She told me because her AP's wife found out and she had confronted my wife about it at her office...the same office and job she had during her affair. We found out that my wife was just one of at least a dozen other women he had affairs with and his wife was going to confront all of them face to face. I was friendly with her as well so I contacted her and she was stunned that my wife had told me about the affair. We talked a long time and I told her that I was going to contact her husband and let him know that I knew and how disappointed I was in both of them . His wife pleaded with me to not contact him until she could serve him with the divorce papers because being a very high profile person in our small town that if word got out it would ruin his reputation and he would have no reason to sign the papers that would have meant a very large settlement to her. So I did wait for a couple of weeks but then I sent him text messages and told him just what I thought of him and just how bad he had hurt me and my wife and that I was being moved by the Lord to let him know that I forgave him and would pray for him and that I was determined to make our marriage work no matter what . This was in June of 2017 . The timeline had changed from a couple of years to 3 or 4 years and a couple of months ago , putting 2 and 2 together, she admitted that the affair went on for almost 20 years and that she never initiated any part of it but never could tell him NO when he would call her and set up a meeting. Anyway , He did lie about most everything that I ask about and said he couldn't remember any details . Frustrating isn't the word for how I felt. My wife and I are doing very well but still see him all over town daily .

I had a different experience

I didn't want any details from the AP - he was 15 years older, weak, and very unattractive. My wife affaired waaay down. I calmly told him never to speak to my wife again. He was shaking for our entire conversation and got the message. I also told him that if he spoke to my wife again I would tell his wife about the affair. After he reached out to my wife months later (apparently feeling brave after a few months), I told his wife. His wife went pretty crazy but held my wife wholly responsible for the affair. So after his wife sent many angry texts to me about my wife, I told her not to contact me again, referred her to this site and focus on her marriage. lol. I did learn some details from his wife after her conversations with him, however, that my wife had been lying about, which was helpful. What a s$%&show.

Affair partners: 8 reasons .....not to contact them.

My husband had an emotional affair which was a big shock to me. We had our issues, but I didn't think he would act out in that way. When I discovered it, I believed that I needed to hear both sides of the story to understand what had happened.

I texted twice and called the AP once and she finally called me back. Having heard all the sordid details from my husband, I was well aware that she initially tried to lie her way out of the situation. She was friendly at first and told me that she was happily married, and that she and my husband were just platonic friends. I told her that I was confused because that was not congruent with what my husband had told me. I quoted some things she had said about her marriage and her husband, as told to me by my husband.

That information caught her off guard and she deteriorated into screaming denials and calling me names. I listened, unable to get much of a word in, until she screamed “don't tell my husband“ and hung up on me.

Frankly, the conversation helped me to see more clearly that my husband was living in a fantasy world, believing the AP was something she was clearly not. My recounting this conversation to him later helped him to climb out of his fantasy life, although at first he was horrified that I called her.

Contacting the AP helped me begin to understand my husband's motives and why he choose this person at this time. It was a beginning to many future conversations between us on motives, opportunities, and broken boundaries.

I'm glad I called the AP and would do it again.

confronting affair partner

I confronted my husband's affair partner. I am not sorry that I did, but I probably did fuel the fire some. She went for sympathy from her ex-husband as well as mine. She likes attention and drama. That said, I would not recommend it and I won't do it again. She does not deserve the recognition. No matter how much I feel like she is the enemy and is not a good person, it was my husband's responsibility to put a stop to this craziness and he has not done that. He is to blame because he would not say no. So...for really the first time in 38 years I am very serious in considering getting a divorce. I have waited a year and have given it a lot of thought. I just feel like this is the best solution to give me peace of mind.
Blessings to all the betrayed out there. It really is the worst!

Not confront them

Its hard to do when the AP is the down stairs neighbor and you have to see them multiple times a day and money doesn't allow you to move for 2 more months.

Mine lives on our Street. Not

Mine lives on our Street. Not as bad as you, but I do fell your pain. Hold on for two months. I have to wait for a half year. The are so arrogant when they had the affair. So so arrogant. I hope you get by.

I confronted and glad I did!

I'm the type of person that needs honest answers. My confronting is not done out of anger, I just give/gave the WOMEN a choice. I messaged them and asked if they wouldn't mind speaking to me. Why? Because my husband is a LIAR and I don't believe a word he says. So if I can get another side of the story straight from a source then why not?! Just yesterday, I met with another woman who's been sleeping with my husband for about as long as we've been married. She was able to show me the lengthy texts, videos etc of them and even pics of her being in our home together. We even went and had drinks with her and the other other woman lol. Anyhoo, am I hurt of course! Angry, you bet! But I'm glad I can but a nail in this coffin. Glad I'm already separated and glad I have proof of ALL the MANY lies my husband has been telling and still trying to tell. So, I dunno, I think it's a case by case scenario. You have to know who you are and what you can handle. Me? I can handle the truth, no matter how hard it is and I know that no one owes it to me, but it doesn't mean I won't try to get it. If these women didn't respond, then I would have moved on and dealt with what I knew to be true for me. Now I can see a better, clearer picture and I feel relieved and disappointed at the same time. But thank God I know!

When the AP joins the family

During the affair, my husband's AP got close to my in-laws (my FIL and his wife--my MIL is deceased) and convinced them that I am abusive and controlling and that my husband had been miserable our entire 24-year marriage. She was just trying to "rescue him." When he ended the affair, the in-laws were enraged and drove 8 hours to our city to "comfort her" since she was so devastated. This was 1.5 years ago and they have maintained a close friendship with her. They don't care that my husband's affair with her caused him to lose his 17-year ministry career or that it did permanent damage to our marriage and his relationships with our girls. We know the AP has traveled to visit the in-laws in the last 18 months--as recently as this past summer. As a result of their friendship with her, our children and I have cut off contact with them. My husband does stay in touch with his dad some. Now the dad is dying of cancer and maybe has a year to live. My husband would like to see his dad one more time, but we fear the in-laws will signal to the AP that he is coming and will try to arrange a meeting between them since they want so badly for my husband and the AP to get back together. We think they have no idea that when my husband met the AP, she was married to one man, living with another man, and getting on Ashley Madison looking for married men for sex. That's how she met my husband. At some point my FIL will pass away and I'm sure the AP will show up at the funeral. So what about those of us whose AP's are still hanging on through other family members? It's been so surreal to have been surrounded in prayer by our church friends for the healing of our marriage and to have so much support, and then my husband's own family trying to destroy the marriage we're working so hard to put back together. It's been so bad that our daughters don't really even care to see or speak to their grandfather before he dies. They don't even like for me to refer to him as their grandfather.

confronting affair partner

What if you should meet up with her by chance? I have fantasized about that, but what is the best thing to say to her, if anything? (The affair is over.)

Contacting the AP

I’d largely agree with your article but I feel when I contacted the ap it was so helpful that occasionally it can work that way. My husband told me half the truth, she told me the rest in the hope I’d kick him out. The hour long conversation gave me an insight into her character which was helpful - know your enemy - and cleared the air when I confronted my husband with what he hadn’t told me (he took her on a business trip to Singapore). It taught him there wasn’t a limit to what I could cope with - but yes she did turn to him for comfort and played the guilt card. I said to her, he was playing one of us off against the other so we should talk. It didn’t seem to bother her that he was lying to her - she just said what fun he must be having sleeping with us both. Yes I know she would lie to me if it helped her cause - I can’t trust her - and phoning her is the only way I know to find out if the affair is over, but I can’t as if it is over it would start it up again, and if it isn’t I know the truth will find me in God’s perfect time. It always does. But I’m glad I know what attracted him to her - the light heartedness and fun and ultimately the emptiness

Experience in Contacting AP

I agree with all of Rick's observations. I offer my experience only by way of illustration. When devastated by my wife's adultery I responded with great naivete: I believed my wife's partial & trickle truths; in response to her blaming me I took on much too much responsibility & accepted her revisionist history of our marriage; I did not demand an immediate cessation of the affair & no contact; I did not demand she make amends. I even invited further contact so that she could 'work it out.'

In retrospect, my naivete was breathtaking, but that was before a therapeutic consensus against all of the above emerged, before the current cornucopia of helpful books on affair recovery, and certainly before helpful websites like this one. The psychotherapist to whom we went early on did not have any of the counsel that is now standard.

Back to my story: I contacted the AP in order to gain insight. When we met I did not confront him but rather simply asked him how it started & what it meant to him & so on. We had a 'good' conversation during which I was even vulnerable enough to weep. What did I learn that I could trust? Nothing! He naturally attributed the initiative in the affair to my wife, while she attributes it to him, but how can I decide who's accurate about that? Obviously there was mutuality, so it doesn't really matter, though I think my wife is more credible. My errand accomplished nothing.

Through it all, however, I am glad that I've never fixated on the AP, nor have I wasted much energy in hostility toward him. My focus has been on my relationship with my wife. That's where all of us recovering from adultery need to focus. And I'm glad to say that we've made great progress in healing.

Rick's comment that people affair down, not up, is very interesting & my guess is that he's right. That was certainly true in our situation.

I hope this vignette is helpful to others thinking about whether to contact an AP.

Affair partner contact

Too late for this article. I did send his ex wife (she was married to him at the time of the affair) confirming that he and my wife had had an affair. I sent him a letter warning him to never contact her again. My wife claimed she had told him this already. I sent it to his Dr.s office. Not addressed to him but the office. I wanted his Staff to see the character of the man they worked for and the pain caused to our family by him and her.

I confronted him

Aaaand...laughed. He was old, ugly, and weak. He was visibly shaking during the encounter and when he cried to my wife she then saw him as pathetic. Complete reversal of what she thought before. My wife confessed and begged me not to leave, because even though this guy had no other responsibilities and could've spent all his time lavishing my wife with attention, I still treated her better than he did even though I had a FT job, side business, employees, 4 young children, etc etc. Amazing. Goes to show you its all their own issues, not anything to do with us. Worked in my case, but I get why you'd advise against it.

Thank you rick!

Just what I needed to hear. I ghosted her and have always felt like I missed the opportunity to let her have it! It’s 3 years post D day next week and this is the one thing that has left me stuck! I feel so much better hearing you say that it makes them feel insignificant as that is exactly what I wanted to convey to her. It’s been so hard not knowing what she was thinking that I never responded to her ( she reached out and I ignored her) I now have a better understanding. At first I thought she must have thought I was weak by not responding, but now I realize I must have made her feel invisible and totally on the outside while my husband and I were in the inside... the switching of those roles must’ve been unbearable to her… After all she felt like she was in the inside until she was most definitely out and I didn’t let her in!!! Thank you!! 🙏🏻

Thank you Carolann!

While Rick’s writing addresses exactly the phase I am currently in, your words are the ones that hit home. Every now and then she reaches out to my husband, every time it really upsets me. I have asked my husband to repeat to her to stop any contact but he refused, insisting that it is better to ignore her completely instead. He is so right and thank you for helping me to accept that. I’m often thinking of her and what I would say to her or even her husband, and I hope that reading your reply and Rick’s post will help me to gently stop these thoughts as well. It would be a relief and would give me tonnes of extra energy for our relationship.

Made contact. Got a response. Then I ghosted.

Wow I never thought to think of it like this. I contacted the AP via message. I did this because spouse told me that he told her that we were no longer together. I Literally just gave birth to his child and we live together. He came home to me / us every night... anyway, I reached out in a way to let her know that I now know. She then responded saying not to blame her blah blah. And then she sent another message that she would be happy to meet to set the record straight. I never responded after that. I thought she was not worth my time! I hope it infuriates her.
I have no idea whether they are still in touch. He claims they are not. But she is liking photos his cousin is putting up of them fishing. I know that if I were in her shoes, If she didn’t know my spouse and I were together and found out he had been lying not only to her but his wife and child, I would never want t anything to do with the guy ever again. Could they still be seeing each other? Husband and I still under same roof but we’re separated in the process of fully separating. Our baby is now 8 mo.

I understand and agree with

I understand and agree with all of the 8 listed, however, my UW AP lives a couple miles down the road and we will inevitably run into each other. I plan to confront him when this happens, for me. I need nothing from him. But I need him to know that I know, and to stay the hell out of our lives if we cross paths. That's for myself. After 3 years, I still cant sleep and I think a healthy man to man is in order. I expect no apologies, no truth, no remorse. I need him to know for me.

I wish that for your sake he

I wish that for your sake he won't want to say anything in reply to what you say, but knowing APs, he will and it will be unpredictable and probably extremely painful what he says in reply, even if it isn't founded on truth. Each person has to make their own decisions, but I hope you don't cause yourself any more pain. I would like to think I'd be strong enough to walk past my UH AP one day without giving her any expression of emotion or time of day.

Contacting affair partner

I'm hoping to be able to see the AP one day with no reaction. Not there yet. I did confront her. I'm not sorry I did, but it probably wasn't the smartest thing I've ever done. She used our meeting to gain sympathy from her husband. Probably convinced her to keep working on mine. Oh well. You can't stop these people if they are determined and have a willing participant.

Thank you

Rick, thank you for this article. It gave me even more strength and let me feel better about myself. I did exactly that....ignored the AP. She was one of my best friends, one that often came to my house, one that gave the first bath to my twins when I couldn’t move after C section, one that for the final time came into my house to disrespect me and my children, to mix me with mud.
I showed her pure ignorance. She wanted to meet, to talk..... I thought to myself - how on earth can I be sued she will be telling me the truth and not manipulating the situation. She had been deceiving me for 2 years whilst having an affair with my husband, manipulating situations, even sending anon letters to give me hints he is over the side in the hope I will kick him out do they can be together without me ever realising...why all of the sudden she would be telling me the truth. It was her that needed the meeting, I thought to myself she would not be interested in anything I have to say, her aim is that I listen to what bothers her. I never responded to her message.....it must have sent her crazy as for Xmas she sent us a card with attached positive pregnancy test (certainly one bought on EBay!) only to destroy our Xmas. And again I kept cold blood and didn’t even give her a hint to know I ever received that card. In a way, I was happy....it opened my husband’s eyes to whom she really is, and it was my opportunity to show to him that I’m the better, proud, string and wise woman.
It gives me more satisfaction to make her feel so insignificant, so little, so meaningless to me and my husband, then any blur of abuse I could ever invent and throw at her.
There are times it doesn’t come easy...., the situation is complex, my sister in low is best friends with her, and knew all along..., it feels as if I have been betrayed by my husband, best mate, brother and sister in low all at the same time. As a result we don’t talk, perhaps this is for the better....why do I need two faced people around me and my children. Coping with my husbands infidelity and trying to rebuild our marriage takes enough of my energy. I made my vowels to him, not them, don’t owe them anything. I owe to my family and children though and will stand in my head to make things work. He is committed, I thank God he had awakening from this terrible mistake.
I wish you all strength. And go by Ricky’s advice, I agree 100% it is effective.

Confronting the AP

My initial contact with my wife's AP was to let him know the gig was up. I attempted to make him feel guilty for treating my wife like a cheap tramp and explained to him that, unlike him, I loved her and would take care of her., etc., etc., etc. Of course he forwarded my email to her, and to my utter shock she let him know that she didn't feel the same as I did (she was still DEEP in the fog of the affair and hadn't confronted her illusions and rationalizations yet) and that her 'friendship' with him (old boyfriend from 30 years earlier) always had and always would be special to her.

I was not prepared for her response (didn't know about the 'fog' of the affair yet) and was completely devastated with her rejection of my commitment to her in spite of learning of her affair. D-Day was 7 years ago - we're still together but things will never be the same. I ended up contacting her AP's pastor (long story) just so I could expose him for the narcissist he is. This also backfired. He denied it at first but when faced with the undeniable evidence I presented to the pastor he confessed, said he was sorry (to the pastor - never to me or my wife) for what he had done, and that was that. Just a few months later that same pastor performed the marriage ceremony for him and his fiancé - whom he was cheating on with my wife.

People never cease to amaze me, both the evil and the naive. Turns out my wife is co-dependent and her AP is a malignant narcissist; she was drawn to him like a moth to a flame. I still feel like I did the right thing by exposing him to his family and his church, but the real issue was my wife; he was just a symptom. I wanted so much to see her as a victim because facing the truth – that she chose of her own free will to betray me and risked the loss of our marriage to be with a 'man' who had abandoned her for 30 years – was just too painful for me to admit.

I have no regrets about doing it.

I have no regrets about contacting the OW. It was pretty cathartic for me. I know I’m in the minority here and I don’t think it’s for everyone. But I’m someone who needs the truth. I need the details. She was someone I knew well enough to babysit for before she and my husband had an Emotional Affair. So, I felt perfectly within my rights to talk to her. I needed her to understand what they had done to me together - some people font believe the AP has any culpability but the truth is that you can’t cheat alone. The AF owes you the basic human decency of saying no when your spouse is acting stupid! What I got from her was answers and an apology. Neither she nor my husband made any excuses for their behavior. They both owned it and both said it happened because they were looking for an ego boost from someone. I knew it was risky talking to her and it could easily have blown up in my face. But I had to do it and I’m glad I did. Talking to her made me realize just how broken she was. That makes me hate her less and I really need that.

Thank you for stating that

Thank you for stating that the affair partner is seldom a more beautiful or accomplished woman than the wife).

My husband had a long term, intense emotional affair with a woman at work. He denies that it became physical but he lied about everything and kept the relationship completely secret for at least three years so I’ll never be completely sure. The other woman is also married. I want to stay married. I want vengeance but everytime I seriously think about confronting her, I remember that I need her to stay with her poor cuckold of a husband so she won’t be completely available. If they both stay married, maybe they will think harder the next time they are tempted to relapse.

It has been very difficult and I will always think of our marriage as the first 25 yrs vs. the rest of it. It was helpful to me that I went into the marriage all those years ago with the attitude that I would not unnecessarily squander our marriage if he failed to live up to the commitment. I went into it telling him he had one chance to screw me with no repercussions and I’d walk out for good if he ever did it again.

So he knows he’s had what I call his fling. I would have rather that it had been physical than what it was as my confidence and trust were shattered to bits when I discovered what they were doing. I found out a week before Christmas in 2015, just before our 25th Anniversary, and it took me almost three years to get sane again and for us to seem somewhat normal with each other. Most men would give up in that amount of time or relapse. He didn’t but I keep a close eye on him.

We treat each other differently now. We verbalize happy and unhappy and we talk more. We don’t take each other for granted as we now know what boundaries are non-negotiable.

If you are going through it, I wish you faith, hope, and persistence. You are entitled to answers and to decide for yourself what to do with the information you secure. You deserve never to have to go through it again and the assurance that it will never happen again. If they can’t give you that promise, you really don’t have much to work with. If they can, then at least give it another chance.

Talk with AP was actually helpful

I actually did end up confronting both of my fiances AP's and I'm glad I did as it was very helpful. The first AP was my fiance's best friend's wife and my main reason for confronting her was just to let her know that I knew the truth. They had both lied to me and denied that they had done anything other than text each other. I ended up buying a data recovery software program and was able to do a backup on his phone and recovered all of his deleted text messages between him and her, which clearly showed more had gone on than just texting. I took screen shots of a few of the really racy texts and sent them to the AP with a message that I knew the truth and she better not contact my fiance ever again and that it might be a good idea to tell her husband the truth as well. I honestly felt like I was taking my power back. It felt so good to let her know that I had uncovered the truth and they weren't getting away with anything.
The 2nd AP was actually an innocent victim. He lied and told her we weren't together anymore and had completely led her to believe that they would have a future together. She was just as shocked and hurt as I was. I ended up talking to her on the phone and was very glad that I had. She answered so many questions I had that my fiance was unwilling to answer for me. So, it helped give me some closure and to understand what I was really dealing with. I understand how in many situations this could do more harm than good, but in my situation, I am glad I contacted the AP's. It definitely helped me immensely.

What software?

What software?


I would love to know what software was used? I cannot get any answers from my UH (he claims he doesn’t remember), and the AP has both of us blocked in every way possible.... I just need some answers and I am not getting them!


What about the AP spouse

My wife is lying to me. She said it's over, but I know it's not. Should I tell the affair partner's spouse?

Respond to an apology?

I’ve been struggling with whether or not to respond to my husband’s ap. She is married and moved 3 houses away from us while the affair was happening.She pursued a friendship with me. My husband called it off and she continued to pursue him. I found out and he has been transparent with everything. 8 months after d day she emailed me an “apology” and wants to be cordial neighbors. I’m not sure if I should respond to the apology or just ignore.

Still trying to recover after 20 years

My husband had an affair when the kids were 8 and 13. I divorced him and he married her. They were married for 17 years and he died of stage 4 lung cancer at age 60. I thought she would move after he passed. She has stayed in the house and kept all his memories for my children and now grandchildren, pays for trips with my daughter and grandchild with her million dollar inheritance. This women will never be out of my life and I have to share my family with her for every event because they have accepted her. It still hurts and I need to move on. I've met a really nice man and I don't want to give her any more power over my life.

What type of affair was it?

Our free Affair Analyzer provides you with insights about your unique situation and gives you a personalized plan of action.
Take the Affair Analyzer