I often hear from wives who are seething because as they are trying to reconnect with their husband and save their marriage after his affair, but their husband is defending the other woman. The wife often does not understand how her husband could be so stupid as to look at his wife and defend the woman who is the source of all of their problems.
I heard from a wife who said: “To be quite honest about it, I hate the other woman. I mean, I loathe her. I think she’s a low-quality tramp who set out to take what was mine. I think she is a liar and a cheat. She knows my family. I wouldn’t call us friends anymore. But I know her children and her husband. I know how she went behind everyone’s back and pursued my husband. I know how she lied right to my face. I know how she took advantage of the fact that I was going through medical issues that stressed my marriage while she pounced like the predator that she is. But when I tell my husband this, he will say that I am making assumptions and that I don’t really know that much about her. He will assure me that she’s not an evil person and that she does have some redeeming qualities. This infuriates me! Why does he defend her behavior?” I have some theories on this which I will discuss below.(Also Read:- The Stages of a Relationship & How Relationships Progress)
Some Reasons That Husbands Defend The Other Woman: I absolutely understand why this makes you so angry. It’s easy to hate the other woman. It’s normal to make her out to be the villain. And I don’t think that anyone can deny that a woman who preys on another woman’s husband (when she knows he is married and is married herself) is lacking in integrity and moral character. But you know what? When you give your husband a laundry list of the things that are deplorable about her, he often knows that these attributes apply to him too.
If you say that the other woman was a sneaky, evil person who snuck around who took advantage of the wife’s illness, well, all of these attributes apply to the husband as well. He also snuck around and used the wife’s medical treatments to meet with the other woman. So it can be painful for him to hear you tearing into her, when he knows that he is just as guilty.
Also, it’s very common for men to feel a little defensive about anything to do with the affair (including the other woman.) This is because he feels the need to justify his actions. If we define the other woman as a nasty, conniving, hideous creature that doesn’t deserve the time of day, then what does this say about your husband and his judgment? What does this say about his decision making process and impulse control? He doesn’t want to admit these negative things about himself. And admitting the negative things about her means he has no choice to acknowledge the negative things about himself.
Many wives worry that the husband’s defense of the other woman can mean that he is still invested and still has feelings for her. Sometimes, this is possible and you need to be on the look out for it. Many husbands tell me that they find it difficult to just turn off their feelings for the other woman once the affair has found out. It’s as if they are suddenly supposed to hate this person with whom they’ve spent a lot of time and for whom they risked quite a bit. If they acknowledge how foolish they were to take these risks for someone who had no redeeming qualities whatsoever, then they really do look like a fool. And even folks with a guilty conscience and who are fully aware that they are wrong do not want to look like a fool.
So understand that sometimes his defending the other woman is a means of self preservation and their effort to maintain at least some of their sself-esteem It doesn’t always mean that they still have feelings for her and don’t want to save their marriage. It can mean that they hear your criticism of her as criticism of them and of the affair and this can be painful. So they want to avoid it. And part of that is trying to shut you down when you talk about her.
How To Handle It When Your Husband Keeps Defending The Other Woman: Hopefully you now you might understand why he is being defensive. Now, let’s talk about how to handle it. The next time these types of conversations come up, you might say something like: “we are just going to have to agree to disagree when it comes to her. I will never look at her favorably, but that doesn’t matter all that much because going forward, it is about me and you. It’s not about her. In fact, I’d like to stop placing my focus on her and placing my focus on us.”
This is the best way to go because quite frankly, it doesn’t matter what type of person she is in terms of your marriage. What matters is that you heal, you move forward, and you are one day happy and fulfilled again.