I received a message from the “other woman” – should I bother responding?

In January of this year, my boyfriend admitted he cheated on me for most of last year. We’d been together for 12 years but when he confessed, I decided to end everything. We’d been going through a rough patch the last couple of years, but I don’t see that as a reason to cheat. It’s his excuse, anyway. A couple of days ago, the woman he cheated with messaged me on social media. She was really apologetic and said she felt bad for ruining our relationship. Honestly, as much as I dislike her, I don’t really blame her for the entire breakdown of the relationship. But now I don’t know whether it’s worth responding to her message or just moving on with my life. It’s been playing on my mind since I received her message – she even asked if we could meet for a coffee to discuss everything and clear the air. Why, I don’t know, as we’re not friends or anything so I’m not sure what her real intentions are for meeting. Help! – Amairah, UK

Dear Amairah, 

I’m so sorry you’ve had to go through this. You’re right, though, a rough patch certainly isn’t an excuse for stepping out of the relationship with someone else. So I totally understand your pain and frustration. 

I’d also like to mention that your approach to not blaming the other woman for the entire breakdown of the relationship is incredibly mature – too often, women get caught up in hating on the mistress, whilst failing to recognize that it was their partner who chose to inflict this pain on them, to disrespect the relationship. 

Now, whether you need to respond to her message is a different thing entirely. You have zero obligation to speak to her. 

Her reaching out may stem from a place of guilt or a desire for closure on her part, but the key question is: What do you need? This isn’t about her or even your ex-partner; it’s about you and your path to healing.

Meeting her could reopen wounds or, conversely, offer some form of closure. However, closure doesn’t necessarily come from understanding or forgiveness from others; it comes from within. My advice, Amairah, is to spend some time reflecting on your own feelings and what you’d like to do going forward. Don’t feel you need to reply straight away (or ever, if that’s the decision you come to). 

Ultimately, if she feels guilty that’s something she has to deal with now. Your main focus should be on yourself, rebuilding after a significant 12-year relationship, and ensuring the pain of this experience doesn’t carry through into future relationships. 

Trust your instincts on this one, by the looks of it, they’re already serving you well. 

Sending love and strength, 

Evie 

Do you have a question for Evie? If you would like advice from Evie, fill out the form here or send your problem to askevie@ideapod.com.

Ask Evie

Ask Evie

Evie is on a mission to revolutionize relationships and help you sort through your emotional woes. Her popular column helps readers break free from societal restraints and create empowering relationships - both with their inner selves and with those around them. With a wealth of experience in relationship counseling, backed by several professional certifications, she’s open-minded, big-hearted, and extremely compassionate… But she’ll also be completely honest in telling you the (sometimes) brutal truth, so you can get straight to the heart of the matter. Maybe you’re trying to save a marriage that currently feels like a sinking ship? Or worrying that your new friend isn’t quite as nice as they seem? Perhaps you’ve accidentally killed your partner’s goldfish and are weighing up the pros and cons of going to the pet store and finding a doppelganger, or fessing up? Whatever the dilemma, Evie’s at the ready to help sort through the emotional turmoil and guide you towards the next best step. To get in touch with Evie, click here.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.

0:00
0:00