Amongst the wreckage and aftermath of an affair, there are many processes that many women like yourself go through before they are able to reach a place of healing.
One of these processes is an unfortunate phase of uncertainty and dangerously low self-esteem.
During this phase, many women begin to compare themselves to the other woman. They think about the other woman almost as much, if not more, than their adulterous husband.
Is she prettier than me? Was she better in bed? Did she make him happier than I do? Is she thinner/taller/fitter/sexier than I am?
These questions are pretty natural, but it is a phase that you need to move past quickly and without too much thought. Obsessing with the other woman and comparing yourself to her will only serve to make things worse and hurt you more. Not because she is in any way better than you, but because these thoughts are toxic.
Six Reasons Why You Should Stop Comparing Yourself To The Other Woman
1) It’s Just Plain Unhealthy
Obsessing over anything too much is unhealthy, but obsessively comparing yourself to the other woman is an especially toxic behavior. It can cause a great amount of undue stress that can lead to elevated blood pressure, anxiety, severe depression, and even substance abuse among other significant health issues.
Obsessing about comparisons between yourself and the other woman is unhealthy both mentally and physically.
2) It Hurts Your Self-Esteem
Continuously comparing yourself to the other woman can be a hard blow to your self-esteem. Especially when you are going through such a tough time, your self-esteem is one of the most important tools you have to move forward.
These comparisons do not hurt your self-esteem because the other woman is better than you in any way, but because your obsession can and will make you see things that aren’t there. You will imagine that she is prettier, sexier, better and imagine all sorts of situations that will only serve to make you feel worse.
3) It Creates Unrealistic Expectations
No matter what your husband’s reasons are for cheating, or what the other woman knew, did, or looked like, she is not better than you. You are two completely different and separate people and comparing yourself to her creates unrealistic expectations that will only serve to bring you lower.
In most cases, affairs are built on fantasy. They occur outside of daily stressors, children, chores, and responsibilities. That alone can create a fantasy environment where this woman and your husband were able to feel excited and cast a rosy haze over their view of each other. None of it was real, however, and comparing your situation to that one is unrealistic.
4) It Stalls The Recovery Process
Spending so much time, energy, and effort on obsessively comparing yourself to the other woman actually stalls the recovery process. No matter if you want to reconcile your relationship with your husband or choose to move on in your life, you cannot make good decisions when your mind is bogged down with these obsessive comparisons.
You need to work towards finding yourself in a mentally healthy place so that you can process your thoughts and feelings without any added stressors. You have enough on your plate dealing with your individual issues and then figuring out how to move forward as a couple without her extra baggage too.
5) It Creates An Unhealthy Fixation
A continued obsession with comparing yourself to the other woman can cause a very healthy chronic fixation with comparing yourself to any and every one. It could even get to the point where you find yourself crippled by the weight of comparing yourself this way. It could affect every relationship you have, not just your marriage, but also your friends, family, and random acquaintances even.
If you and your husband decide to move forward and reconcile your marriage after the affair, this unhealthy fixation with comparing yourself to the other woman can make your life and marriage very difficult. Your obsession will follow both of you, and it will change the way the two of you communicate as well as cause an extreme case of jealousy and worry in every aspect of your marriage.
6) It Changes Your Relationship’s Outcome
Whether you truly want to save your marriage or not, the unhealthy obsession with comparing yourself to her will change the outcome of your relationship. Instead of you making the decision to save your marriage or not, the obsession will make the decision for you. Even if you stay married, you can never truly rebuild a happy relationship if you are always worrying over and comparing yourself to her.
Your mangled self-esteem, hurt from the initial shock of the affair, will only worsen as time goes on and that will affect so many aspects of your life and relationship. You could literally drive yourself crazy.
How To Overcome Obsession
If you find yourself unable to let go of thoughts of the other woman, and are constantly comparing yourself to her, you need to take steps to overcome the obsession.
Seek Professional Help: A therapist, counselor, or affair recovery program can help you make a plan to deal with and overcome your apprehensions about the affair as well as coach you through your own issues.
Seek To Understand: Learning more about the affair can help or hurt the situation, so tread carefully. For some people, trying to understand how and why the affair happened can help them to move past their hang-ups about the affair and the people involved.
Seek Self Worth: Constantly remind yourself of your own attributes and self-worth. You are an amazing person with so many great qualities, reminding yourself of that and building up your self-esteem will help you realize that you do not need to think about the other woman.
There are many phases in the process of affair recovery that can knock you down. Allowing yourself to become obsessed with comparing yourself to the other woman is perhaps one of the most detrimental behaviors you can hold on to. For the health of your mind, body, and your marriage do whatever you can to move past it.