3 Unexpected things about mistresses that can help wives heal from betrayal
There is absolutely NO excuse for cheating. But in effort to heal and move forward, striving to understand the ones who wronged you can sometimes help...
First of all, there is no argument in the world solid enough to justify infidelity, but in order for a betrayed wife to heal, there are some things she should know about mistresses.
Recovering from a broken heart is not easy. It can take years before you can be sure that you have already moved on. It’s easy to see that the first step to healing is forgiveness. But the challenge lies in actually forgiving those who wronged you.
Though we all have our own views on forgiveness, there are three common components, according to Psychology Today.
- Forgiveness helps you gain a deeper understanding and sometimes objective view of the offender or the betrayal.
- It helps decrease your negative feelings and increase compassion towards the one who hurt you.
- It helps you relinquish the idea that you have the right to take revenge, hurt your offender, or demand reparation.
Why should wives know about mistresses?
Healing from infidelity can mean opening yourself up to understanding the “enemy” to increase compassion and make forgiveness possible.
This doesn’t make what they did right, but it spares you from having to carry the weight of the betrayal for the rest of your life.
Here are some unexpected things wives should know about mistresses.
She might be feeling guilty, too
One thing wives should know about mistresses is that they do feel guilty for their indiscretion. They can go through frustration and depression, too. In fact, guilt can be their constant companion throughout the affair, just as self-blame is common for jilted wives. (This is unless they had no idea their lover was married, of course.)
Though rare, there are women who feel absolutely no remorse. The important thing is to know that no woman, no matter how devious, is completely unfeeling.
It doesn’t matter if she owns up to it; she might not have apologised, but what matters is knowing that there could have been some guilt or remorse to help inspire even the tiniest bit of compassion.
She feels she was left no choice but to fall in love with a married man
Mistresses are so deep in denial that they are willing to make excuses for the man they are seeing. They justify their own actions, sincerely believing they are not free to break away from the affair.
Dr. Gina Barreca writes about “the other woman” in an article on Psychology Today. She believes that mistresses are stuck in a “tough, rotten, exhausting” routine which they didn’t choose on purpose.
Of course, adults should be accountable for their actions. But mistresses often act on impulse, focusing on their own needs with little to no regard for who they might be hurting in the process.
Again, this does not excuse a mistress’ poor choices, but it helps wives know that they are not at fault. It is their husband and mistress who chose to violate the sanctity of marriage. This is not because she failed as a wife, even if she is imperfect.
She might have seriously believed there was hope
Mistresses get the brunt of the hate when an affair is discovered, but men are just as at fault, too. Some men string mistresses along, making lofty promises in order to get them to stay.
What makes betrayal hurt more — and can make forgiving more difficult — is thinking that one woman set out to ruin your life. Perhaps knowing that not all mistresses meant to destroy families — even if this is what usually happens — can offer some comfort. Or at least, pave the way for forgiveness.
Just because someone does not deserve forgiveness, or didn’t even bother to apologise, it doesn’t mean they should not be forgiven, for your own peace of mind.
The best way to move forward is to forgive, but you don’t have to forget. Remembering the pain can help you heal. With forgiveness, you can move forward to a future where you can appreciate the happiness that comes from being free of the burden of past betrayals.