Ask Janine - How do I retain my self-worth as the former 'other woman?'Aug 13, 2021
By Janine Wirth.
I'm ashamed to say that I was the ‘other woman’. I had a year-long affair with a married man. It wasn't just a few texts and meeting up once a month. It was a proper relationship; we spoke on the phone twice a day on his commute to and from work, we met up 3-4 times a week and even went away together on short trips. I was fully invested and when his wife found out, he just called me up and said he wasn't willing to give up custody of his children and wants to work things out with his wife. Our relationship, and my presence in his life, was erased in just one minute. I feel heartbroken and worthless.
I'm sorry for your pain. Often society blames and shames the other woman, when in reality it takes two to tango and he was just as responsible for the affair as you. He was married and has children and still chose to start a relationship with you, knowing full well that at some point he would either have to leave his family or you.
When a relationship that feels real ends so abruptly, it is normal to question yourself and everything about it because you didn't go through the normal motions of withdrawing, being unsatisfied and ending the relationship with closure.
When his wife found out about the affair, he had to make a choice between two very different lives, and you shouldn't allow his choice to determine your self-worth.
My advice to you would be to go to therapy to work through the multitude of feelings you're experiencing, so you can process it all and get the closure you desire. Understanding your part in this experience and why you made certain choices will also help you identify patterns in your own behaviour to make better decisions going forward.
I hope that helps!
Janine Wirth, is the proud founder of Path to Healing Therapy and Coaching. Her mission is to help female entrepreneurs heal their emotional baggage, heal unresolved emotional trauma and PTSD without spending years in therapy and create spectacular business success for themselves. You may have read her story in The Spotlight and if so you’ll know why she’s so passionate about her work so when she got the opportunity to work alongside The Female CEO and provide a monthly question and answer she was thrilled!
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