Why Her?

For months after D-day I agonized over the question “Why her?” Okay, to be honest, I’ve agonized over this question almost every day since my world was turned on its axis over twenty months ago. Why this woman? What was there about her that my husband found so alluring?

To be frank, my husband found her on Craig’s List. There was no picture so he didn’t have a clue what she looked like. They messaged through Craig’s List, then exchanged phone numbers and started sexting. It’s not as if they shared their life stories. This was about sex and whatever she said had him hooked. He went to her house for sex without even meeting her first.

How disgusting is that?!

So it’s not as if he started flirting with someone at work or came on to some appealing woman at the store or decided the neighbor lady was hot stuff. Oh no. My husband knew nothing at all about this woman before that first night when he snuck out of the house to meet up with her. How pitiful. And what started as just sex with a willing partner turned into a five month long affair.

Yes, I know all this. I know intellectually that this woman was completely random. But still the question haunts me, why her? He should have turned and ran the minute he laid eyes on this woman who is the opposite of everything he claims to stand for:

  • He hates tattoos. She has several.
  • He hates short hair. Hers was butched.
  • He hates a messy, dirty house. Hers was both.
  • He hates people who use the system. She’s a welfare queen who knows how to get every dime out of the tax payers that she can.

She’s violent. Before he met her the AP had already four of her six children to child protective services because of abuse and neglect. My husband admits that she was “heavy handed” with the two she had left. When pressed he acknowledged that yes, she was probably abusive. The state has since taken those two children away as well.

She’s not attractive in any way. Not her mannerisms, not her life style, not her speech, not her dress…and not even in appearance. I’m no beauty but I’m not unattractive and I keep myself well groomed and dressed.

So why, after that first encounter, after he figured out who and what she is, why did he keep going back? Was the sex that good with her? Was it that bad with me?

Yes, I’ve tortured myself over the question of “why her.” It’s kept me up at night. It’s invaded my thoughts during the day. I’ve read many online blog and forum articles by other betrayed spouses asking the same question. I don’t agonize alone.

It has taken me well over a year to come to the understanding that the “who” of my husband’s affair does not matter. Thank goodness for the forums and blogs on this site. They have helped me tremendously. I’m grateful for the people who are willing to share their pain with others. These brave people have helped me learn that there’s no rhyme or reason to the “who.” My husband’s AP could have been anyone. He was looking. She was available. Who she was is irrelevant. I’ve had to accept that my husband didn’t deliberately go out and look for someone who is the opposite of me. He was purposefully looking to cheat. He was selfish. He was thinking about himself. He wanted sex and was addicted to the idea that he could have sex with a stranger and keep a marriage where he felt no connection, only obligation. In the state of mind he was in at the time it wouldn’t have mattered who my husband connected with on Craig’s List as long as he got what he wanted.  In fact, Rick has stated time and time again that quite often, spouses ‘affair-down.’  This was certainly the case here. 

So don’t agonize like I have over the question of “why her?” She could be short, tall, fat, thin, young, old, rich, poor…it doesn’t matter. This woman, this AP, this person who helped your spouse betray you, could be anyone. Take some solace in the fact that often times, spouses affair-down.  Why NOT her? 

Add New Comment:


Affair Down is right!

My husbands AP was a suburban mom with a masters degree in "bio something our another". It took me a long time to realize that she too was an "affair down". Anyone who would choose to commit adultery with a married person is an "affair down" in my mind.

If it wasn't her, he would have found someone else, because his depression and demons had convinced him he need to find a warm body to penetrate. If it wasn't her their would have been another "her".

I It was her because she sat next to him on the public bus for 4 months as my husband lost himself in an episode of clinical depression, and she conveyed her "willingness to be his friend". t was "her" because she was willing and broken, just like he was.

It was "her" because she was willing and broken, just like he was.

My husbands adultery partner was nothing special. Her own husband is a beautiful man. Successful engineer with a great personality, handsome, and committed family man. Why did she choose "him". Because he was sending out those vibes, and he was willing and broken.

Thank you for sharing your story. I have spent years wrestling with this question as well. There are a lot of broken people out there with loose morals. Adultery is as old as time. There will always be a "hims' and "hers".

In response to ......... Why Her?

Thank you for sharing your story and your honest thoughts of "Why Her?" I'm fairly new to what infidelity recovery looks like since I only discovered my husbands heartbreaking choice this past December 2015.

I wanted to comment on when you said that "I'm no beauty but I'm not unattractive........... You are beautiful. If you can endure and heal from the devastating choice that your husband made, and want to at least try to reconcile your marriage, this makes you a very beautiful person. Please don't accept anything less than that as you have endured one of life's most tragic events.

Very good!

Very good!

Great article! Thank you so

Great article! Thank you so much for sharing on this issue. To find out that your spouse is trolling for sex with strangers is just as hurtful as if they fell in love with a coworker. I do however have one tiny complaint. You say he was looking to cheat because he felt only an obligation to you, rather than a strong marital connection. Betrayed spouses, especially women, are likely to blame themselves, when their unfaithful partner says that the love had disappeared from their marriage ... and that's why they cheated. That's just as unhealthy as thinking that the AP was sexier or better than you in any way!
Rick is very clear about this: martial dissatisfaction is never a reason to cheat. In fact, complaints about the marriage are often a way to blame the victim and avoid taking personal responsibility. To be sure, you're husband's feelings are important, but he has very likely exaggerated the awfulness of the marriage, either consciously or unconsciously. So many people look at the glass half-empty! He may also have unrealistic expectations about marriage itself. Good therapy can clear out the false beliefs and old resentments that both spouses may be harboring, so you can rebuild on truth to create something wonderful. But women must not internalize all this blame!

GoCubs, trust me, I am in no

GoCubs, trust me, I am in no way blaming myself for my husband's selfish behavior. We were both in a marriage that had lost its connection, intimacy and romance. Neither of us knew what to do and we both felt an obligation to stay married if for no other reason than for the children. We didn't even understand this until after D-day and the start of recovery. He cheated. I did not. This is his moral failing, not mine. I should have articulated this better. Thanks for reading and commenting. More importantly, stay strong in your own recovery process.

More appropriately titled: Yuck! Why Her?

This article is great as I often ask my husband and myself why her, or more accurately, why them? They ranged in age, race, nationality, body type, and most surprisingly there were no beauties among the bunch so my husband affaired-down big time! He actually admitted that the thrill and the ego boost was what he was after, and once sex started he was actually wishing for it to be over -- yet he kept going back, so that I don't understand, not even a little bit. Anyway, knowing all this still doesn't take the pain away. Knowing that he risked everything and broke my heart for someone who he would never be in a real relationship with messes with my mind. They were easy, convenient and accepted 45 minutes on his lunch break or 30 minutes before or after the gym is why they were ideal. They never got dinner, movies, never met his friends or family, yet they remained available for sex for months and most of them for years. When I think about it, it is really sad and shocking that there are so many women out there who are ok being the OW. I take comfort in knowing that "...for whatsoever one sows, that will he also reap". Thanks for sharing your stories. It's good to be reminded that I'm not alone.

I could have written your

I could have written your post word for word, Denyce. Yes, I take comfort in knowing that "you reap what you sow".

Great work.

My husband refuses to admit he was looking for an affair with the last AP. Early in our marriage he had an affair that began he says out of a sexual attraction to a coworker and the attention she lavished on him. Several years later another affair under the same circumstances. His last affair started after bumping into an old class mate he had not seen in 20 years at the gas station. Within 2 weeks of this bump in they were secretory meeting just to catch up. Fast forward several months and he is asking me for a divorce because he just did not love me anymore. During the time he bumped into her we were having a serious issue in our marriage so I can see that he was vulnerable to an affair. However I take absolutely no responsibility for that. What bugs me to this day is the fact that he will not admit to me or to himself that he was seeking an AP. He refuses to go there because what kind of man is out looking for someone. I tell him all the time LOTS of them. He refuses to accept that he was and it makes it hard for me to trust him that it won't happen again. Every affair was during a troubled time in our marriage. I battle with clinical depressio because of hormone imbalances. Up until after D-Day I had never been correctly diagnosed. For the most part it is controlled with meds and I can't believe the difference. I carried this for as long as I can remember and thought feeling the way I did was normal. Every affair occurred when I would be having what the doc called a depression crisis. I am not justifying his behavior. He still made a critical immoral decision. But what still pisses me off is he will not admit he was looking for an AP. He groomed her. He Pursued Her. He actively lied to me and his boss and his kids and his family. He made choices. But he still wants to be some what of a victim about all the affairs. I have told him if I hear him say one more time "he just could not help himself because the sexual attraction was so strong and men are just wired that way" I just might claw his eyes out.
Ft he first 2 AP were young and "in love" with him and I truly think they thought havin sex with him was going to take the relationship to the next level. But as soon as they tried he freaked and bolted. This bothers me bc I never ever thought my husband was the type of man that could use a woman in that way. He admits now that he had no concern for them other than that they thought he was great and they were willing to have sex with him.
This last AP. I say she was a professional other woman. She knew what she was doing. She played him like a musical instrument. She used him as much as he used her. She even knew how to manipulate his guilt and shame to her advantage. Yes she is much skinner than me. And she has had professional work done to enhanse certain areas. Those things are hard to accept. My physical appearance has always been an area of insecurity for me and this has played on that until it almost drove me crazy. But I have come to realize She turned his head, but no matter how she tried she could not capture his heart. And she could have been anyone. He just needed someone that was willing.
Ladies (and men) believe this the choice of the AP has very very little to do with you and everything to do with the AP's willingness to accept the conditions and circumstances of the affair.

My guess is your husband is

My guess is your husband is in denial because of shame and guilt. My husband at first also tried to minimize his actions. If your read my blog post 'It Takes Time" you know that his first affair was with an erotic massage "therapist" who provided "happy endings." They had intercourse only once, on his last visit. So when both affairs came out he denied that he and this woman had "sex" except the one time. I asked him how he would feel if I went to a male "therapist", removed my clothes and allowed him to massage me sexually but not have intercourse. He wouldn't have a problem, right? You know the answer. He finally admitted that yes, he had sex over and over again with this woman.

Denial allows them to minimize their actions, including the impact it has made on betrayed spouses. Stay strong. Hopefully you'll find a way to get him to acknowledge what really happened.

This just happened

Funny. Sad, but funny. I was just asking/crying to my husband why her? Why her? And he, after saying, I was irrational, I was ungrounded, it was a vanity mirror, got frustrated with me. Even though these are the "right" answers, they are also unsatisfactory. Really what I seem to be asking is why if we were happy, if we have chemistry, if we are friends, why did you cheat? One of the reason he says he that she thought he was the smartest person in the world. She's 23, he's 39, she was a student, he in a power position and in university administration. Here is my questions:!!! Why do you need a stupid kid to think that you are smart? She's dumb that's why she thinks you're the smartest person in the world. It's not even that validating. I know, I know, I know...it's not about her. She was willing to accept fantasy terms (which again points to both her selfishness and stupidity)...there were no long term commitments, there were no dates, no lunches, no movie nights, no washing dishes and planting a garden, no real friends, no family, no reality.
But still!?!???????

Why her? Why the #%^* HER?!

Sometimes out of frustration my husband asks, do you wish it was someone else? No. No, I don't. When they were caught, to her credit, she cut off all contact and told her parents. She was still an absolutely bitch to me when I confronted her but she was clearly done with him and done with the fantasy. It could have been worst. But still?!?!!!! Why her? Why were you looking?? Why if you never had a porn problem, if you never cheated on a girl friend, if you saved yourself until marriage, why? Why? Why?

I know I need to accept that it's not about her. I know I do.

I know I need to accept that people to stupid harmful things to the people they love. I know that the why many just be unststisfying because I want my heart to understand something I may not be able too. Or because I look at it from my perspective. She's not the type of affair partner I would choose. I would want someone at least I could have a decent conversation with and not just some stupid groupie.

I know. I know. I know. My heart just doesn't.

It is a process.

willaT, it took me well over

willaT, it took me well over a year to accept that the "who" was not relevant. And while the "who" still hurts I've learned to accept that it could have been anyone. Your husband needed an ego boost, his AP conveniently provided that. This is NOT about you, it never was. His betrayal is all about him, his selfishness, his disrespect for you and your marriage, his lack of morals and his ego. His AP could have been anyone.

Yes, this is a snow, painful process. I hope I've helped you understand the "who" a lot quicker than I did.

This is so very helpful

Thank you so much for this blog. My husband is a sex addict and has cheated on me for 28 years. Your article is so helpful to me - I continually keep asking myself, "WHY the prostitutes?" And reading that so many of the betrayed go through the very same question of Why her, or Why the prostitutes, I realize I need to stop wondering what my husband saw in them and realize like you said in the article it was because he wanted sex and it didn't matter so much who it was with, so long as it was convenient and non-relational. It was strictly a selfish desire to get the "high" of having sex. Thank you again for this great blog, it helps me see that my husband truly did affair-down. All of the comments are so helpful, thank you all for sharing.

I'm humbled that my blog has

I'm humbled that my blog has helped you. Thank you for the kind words. I'll tell you what I say to my daughter all the time, you are smarter than you think, stronger than you believe, braver than you think possible. You will get through this and be better on the other side.


Thank you for sharing the beautiful words you tell your daughter with me. It helps so very much to hear them. Your words are beautifully positive and it gives me hope that perhaps I am smarter, stronger and braver than I think I am. My husband's infidelity has turned me and my life and our marriage inside out, but all the wonderful and caring people at Affair Recovery are helping me to see a new strength and fortitude that I never knew was inside me. Thank you so much, Lisa, for all your blogs. Your insights, perspectives and experience are truly so helpful and valuable to everyone.

Why her

It's been 8months since I found out about my husbands affair and I struggle big time with "why her". I have known this woman for 5yrs now and our sons are in the same class& on the same sports teams. We have sat by each other at all the baseball games. Not the best of friends but friendly. My husband and I and most of our friend would talk about what a awful drunk and mother she is. 3 kids with 3 different guys, no job, lives of the government and has a boyfriend who she lives off of. Then one night at my sons baseball weekend tournament I took the kids to bed and my husband stayed up having some drinks with a few other coaches and parents. They ended up being the last two up and that's when the affair began. After that first incounter she started texting me and wanting to know if I wanted to be on golf league with her. When I told my husband he says he was so afraid she was going to tell me what happened so that is why it continued. It went on for a month and then the boyfriend called me and was suspicious. I have never had any reason to not trust my husband but something told me to check his message and that is when I found out the truth. From what I read there was only three and counters and the worst was she had her at our home while I was out of town. He has sense done everything he can to right his wrong and we are in a better place than we were before but it is very difficult to get past " why her" I don't understand it. We live in a small town and I have to see her at school or church or just driving down the road. Everytime I see her it replays over in my mind. She has never said a word to me and denies anything happened even though I read everything and know the truth. I can't get past how he could chance all that we have on someone like her.

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

Free Surviving Infidelity Bootcamp

Our experts designed this step-by-step guide to help you survive infidelity. Be intentional with your healing with this free 7-day bootcamp.
I would highly recommend giving this a try.
-D, Texas