Both involved in an affair are to blame

Why the other woman is partly to blame for an affair

Both involved in an affair are to blame

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Have you heard not to blame the other woman in the affair? Well, both parties are to blame, but it’s never about you.

I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve heard not to blame the other woman my ex-husband had an affair with. “She didn’t make vows to you,” is the phrase consistently used.

I have to wonder how many of those people are affair partners or have been involved with married people. I have to wonder how many are affair apologists, seeing reasons for affairs to happen instead of just saying “they should have left before the affair even started.”

Guess what: it takes two to have an affair. They are both to blame. Maybe not equally, but they are both to blame.

She could have the self-respect not to have an affair

While my ex-husband’s affair partner* didn’t make vows to me, it’s clear she didn’t have any self-respect. Anyone with self-respect and confidence wouldn’t sleep with a married man. She wouldn’t decide that she needed someone else’s partner and would find someone else out there.

I find it hilarious when people say “well, he proved he could commit to his wife.” Erm, excuse me? If he’s having an affair, he proved he couldn’t commit. And there is a lot of truth in “you lose them how you get them.”

Someone who has an affair and says “well, I didn’t make the vows” tells me all about their self-respect and morals. They have none. And they can take the consequences of those actions.

She made a choice to help break a family

Sure, the partner may have had an affair with anyone. The truth is he had an affair with that other person. And she knew. She knew that she was actively involved in breaking up a family.

If she didn’t want to be partly to blame for that, she should and could have said no. It really is that simple.

She could have easily said “call me when you do leave her.” And then if it was me, I would have asked for proof that he had left her. Not that he was leaving her, but that he was completely out of the marriage. I’d want to see that she didn’t think that they were on some sort of break.

To be honest, though, the minute I find out someone is married, I don’t pursue them. I step well away and make it clear that I’m not interested. Don’t call me unless it’s been a good year since separation/divorce.

MORE: Co-parenting and money: Is the co-parent’s debt ever your responsibility?

The only time the other woman isn’t to blame for the affair

There is only one time when I won’t blame the other woman for an affair. That’s when she had no idea that the man was married.

No, not the lies that men say such as “we’re not in love anymore” or “we’re separating and just getting our ducks in a row.” Those women still know that there is a wife. They still know that there’s a chance that wife is being told all sorts of other lies.

The only woman I won’t blame is the one who has no idea that this person is married. And married men are very good at hiding this. I’ve been the “other woman” without realizing it.

Want to know what I did as soon as I found out? I told the wife and ended it completely with the man. I made it very very clear that we were done. I would not knowingly be an affair partner, and I would not be lied to by someone. Those who then choose to stay when they learn the truth then become complicit in the affair and deserve some blame* from that point.

The spouse still gets the blame

This isn’t to say that the other woman only gets the blame. Let me make this very clear that an affair takes two people: the two involved.

I will never, ever blame the victim spouse. Even if the marriage was struggling, there is never an excuse for an affair. There is never a reason. Communication is essential*, and deciding to do something that doesn’t involve communication is the fault of the person doing it. Affairs can be avoided so easily. They’re an active choice.

So, yes, the spouse will still get the blame, but so does the other person involved in the affair. The other person could easily say no if they had any morals and self-respect.

MORE: 5 tips to deal with being cheated on

Do you get told to stop blaming the other woman? Are you struggling to deal with the aftermath of an affair? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Alexandria Ingham is a professional writer. She predominately ghost-writes in various niches, including fitness, finance and technology Everything is fully researched and well-written. Under her own name, she writes in the technology, business, history and weight loss niches

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