The Futility of Confronting Affair Partners

If someone wants to engage in an affair, or leave you for an affair partner, no amount of rational argument is going to sway them otherwise. Don't hector, beg, or argue. Just remove yourself from the equation.
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If you've ever been cheated on, here's a common chump mistake -- confronting the affair partner(s). Maybe you did this. Maybe you agonized about doing this. Maybe you're still waiting to come up with the perfect withering remark to deliver along with your poisoned umbrella tip. Let me spare you the trouble -- don't go there.

But! But!

I know you want to tell them off, but it's futile for a variety of reasons.

1. They have no shame. Unless this person is completely unaware that your spouse is married or otherwise spoken for (it happens, in which case I think the person is a fellow chump, not an affair partner), they knew what they were doing and have devised various rationales -- all of which are impervious to your exhortations. The most common rationale is that you are sexless and crazy. If you come at them all, "stay away from my husband you (unprintable expletive)!" -- you're going to validate their assumptions. You're nuts.

Worse, if you come at them all classy -- appealing to their sense of shared humanity and common decency -- they will delight in their superiority. You poor pathetic chump, begging for your marriage. Can't you see you're dealing with an uber being? One more charismatic and sexier than you? How could one as dim and sexless as you understand someone as compelling as them? You cannot. This is bigger than us both. Their love cannot be denied. You are too feeble minded to comprehend this. Don't make me explain it to you.

Which brings us to the other reason you should not confront the affair partner...

2. They might actually be crazy. Yeah, there's some irony in that, huh? Look, to exist in an affair for any length of time, you have to be a few sandwiches shy of picnic. Either you've got really low self-esteem and opt to be a side dish, or you're flamingly narcissistic. In the first case, desperate people can do desperate things. And in the other case, narcissistic people don't think the rules apply to them -- and that doesn't stop at poaching your spouse. It might also extend to the rules of law.

Being in an affair has been likened to addiction, and in confronting the affair partner, you're trying to sober them up. Have you watched those recovery programs? People get ugly. Very ugly. Haven't you suffered enough? Do you really need this person harassing you and pressing charges? No. You do not need that.

But the biggest reason not to confront the affair partner?

3. It's an ego boost to your cheater. Confronting the affair partner is the essence of the pick me dance. "Stay away from my wife!" makes your wife really central. She's getting a high off two men fighting for her. How fabulous. Maybe there'll be a duel!

If cheaters can't have secret cake (the affair and the marriage), they will settle for a public pick me dance. It's all good. It's all kibbles. Don't participate in this humiliating game.

You might delude yourself into thinking you need to talk with the affair partner for reconnaissance purposes. To compare notes. Maybe that person will tell you things your partner will not.

They might. And it might also be a pack of lies. Consider the source. There might also be some truth in it -- but how messed up is that? Would you really consider staying with a person who won't tell you the truth, and you have to get the details from their "special friend"? Really?

If you've been tempted to confront the affair partner, leave it to professionals. Have your lawyer write a no contact letter. Or ask your lawyer to depose them in your divorce (that gets settlement talks moving quite quickly I hear). If you need more information about the affair(s), hire a private investigator or become a computer snoop. Hand over the evidence to your attorney. Don't go all vigilante on this alone. Get professional support.

The point is to get away from them both and stop giving your cheater and the affair partner your precious mental energy. You know what says "you are beneath contempt"? Filing for divorce. Letting the cheater have the affair partner. Walking away from this lets you maintain your dignity and self respect.

If someone wants to engage in an affair, or leave you for an affair partner, no amount of rational argument is going to sway them otherwise. Don't hector, beg, or argue. Just remove yourself from the equation.

So confronting an affair partner? No. It's an exercise in futility. Pointing and laughing? That's totally permitted, however. Go right ahead.

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