How to heal after being the other woman: 17 steps

You thought that you truly loved them, that they were the one.

You thought that you just got together at the wrong time, and that’s why you need to be in an affair for a while. But eventually, you’ll figure it out.

What you need to understand, however, is that the relationship you’ve built is NOT real. Lies and secrecy are the foundation of this relationship.

Do you really want a relationship like this?

No, you deserve something more. You need to end it and be in a healthier and more sincere relationship.

It’s hard to know where to begin after all the emotional turmoil of being in an affair with a man who just couldn’t give it his all in the relationship.

But the healing process is not impossible.

Here’s how you can get back on your feet.

Right person, wrong time?

This is how it begins:

You meet someone. They’re really cute and you feel like you have near-perfect chemistry with them. It’s just that they’re not always available for you.

But you like this person. You like them way too much.

“Screw it!” you say and dive into the water.

In the beginning, maybe you think you can handle it. It’s just a short, little fling.

But slowly but surely, you grow more attached to them.

Their role in your life grows and grows and you start to care about them more genuinely. Eventually, deep in your head, this person you like becomes a person you love.

Their presence is addicting. You start to believe that you’re soulmates, that you’re meant to be for each other.

Then, you start daydreaming about your future with them. A romantic trip abroad, a marriage, kids, growing old together.

But, of course, they’re already married. They probably have kids too.

And sure, maybe their spouse isn’t treating them the best. Maybe they put them down or don’t listen to them, or neglect their needs.

Still, the fact is that you’re the other woman.

They’re supposed to commit to their current partner.

They promised to stick with them no matter what, through thick and thin. But then they couldn’t actually handle the “thin.”

Yes, maybe they’re actually in a bad relationship where there is no sex, no affection, no love.

But here’s the thing: it doesn’t matter!

All this isn’t just a massive red flag…

It’s an entire alarm siren with flashing red flags!

10 reasons you should end it now

Are you still doubting whether you should end this relationship?

Here are 10 things you need to understand:

  1. They can walk away anytime because they have all the power in the relationship.
  2. Knowing that you’re continuing to hurt others will hurt more than the break-up.
  3. It will give them an opportunity to actually fix their primary relationship.
  4. You can save your time and emotional energy for someone who’s actually available and can be with you in an honest, healthy relationship.
  5. Staying will only lead you to develop even more shame and resentment.
  6. You deserve to be a co-star with your and your lover’s movie (and not the villain in someone else’s)
  7. You deserve to be loved openly, honestly, and intensely—this can only happen in a real relationship.
  8. You’re being used by someone to deceive their partner.
  9. You will avoid the further consequences of staying in an affair for even longer.
  10. You are being fed the crumbs of a relationship—you deserve the entire pie.

You also need to understand that being dramatic is not the same as being romantic. Have some self-awareness: you’re actually being in a real-life soap opera!

As hard as it can be to let go, you need to do it in order to find true love and happiness. You’ll never find that with them.

The 17-step process to heal from the affair

This is the scariest part for most people — the letting go of someone they still value and love, the fear of loneliness, withdrawals, the pain of saying goodbye.

Read these helpful tips on how to heal from being the other woman and step on the path to recovery.

1) End the affair, for real

End it. For real this time. Do it ASAP.

You need to stop giving even another second and another ounce of emotional energy to someone who cannot fully reciprocate your love.

Only a truly single and available person can give you this.

It doesn’t matter whether you want something serious or just a bit of fun. At the very least you don’t need to sneak around and hurt other people in the process.

After all, the first part of healing from a wound is to stop the bleeding.

Remember that true love is supposed to make you happy. Can you really claim that what you have with them is true love when you’re always anxious about the secrecy and hiding?

You will never find it in this relationship.

Maybe you’re happy enough with the fact that maybe, just maybe, things will get better in the future. But that is like expecting to win the lottery.

You deserve someone who gives you the world. They can’t give you that if they’re hiding you from it.

2) Overcome your insecurities

Being the other woman may lead you to feel less secure about yourself.

You might be feeling like no one will ever make you their priority, and the one and only partner they want in their life.

But it’s not true and you have to rewrite this harmful idea in your head.

So how can you overcome this insecurity that’s been nagging you?

The most effective way is to tap into your personal power.

You see, we all have an incredible amount of power and potential within us, but most of us never tap into it. We become bogged down in self-doubt and limiting beliefs. We stop doing what brings us true happiness.

I learned this from the shaman Rudá Iandê. He’s helped thousands of people align work, family, spirituality, and love so they can unlock the door to their personal power.

He has a unique approach that combines traditional ancient shamanic techniques with a modern-day twist.

It’s an approach that uses nothing but your own inner strength – no gimmicks or fake claims of empowerment.

Because true empowerment needs to come from within.

In his excellent free video, Rudá explains how you can create the life you’ve always dreamed of and increase attraction in your partners, and it’s easier than you might think.

So if you’re tired of living in frustration, dreaming but never achieving, and of living in self-doubt, you need to check out his life-changing advice.

Click here to watch the free video.

3) Share your experience with a friend

Talking to someone about the complicated situation you’re in can help a lot. You may feel stuck or have no clue what to do, so a trusted outside perspective may be able to help you see and realize things you haven’t before.

However, the keyword here is “trusted.” You need to choose your confidant wisely.

When deciding which friend to confide in, think about these things:

  • Will they listen intently? Or will your words shoot out the other ear? Make sure this person cares deeply enough for you to truly listen to everything you have to say.
  • Will they support you? Some people will try to sound smart by playing devil’s advocate. You need someone who will genuinely be there for you about your problem.
  • Will they empathize with you? You need a friend who you’re on a similar wavelength with. Before they can support you, they need to understand you first.
  • Will they make things about themselves? It’s YOU who needs support right now. Find someone who isn’t self-centered and that will make it about themselves.
  • Are they trustworthy? You’ll be sharing sensitive information. Make sure this person won’t gossip about you.

If you’re able to confide in someone about this, you’ll feel like a weight was lifted from your chest. You’ll feel more confident and more determined to deal with the affair and finally let yourself heal from the trauma it caused.

4) Cut them off

So you finally ended it. They’ll probably be calling you or texting you to get you back.

Don’t let them do this. Don’t even give them an opportunity to possibly sway your decision. You need to cut off all contact with your partner.

A cheater is likely adept at emotional manipulation—that’s probably what they’ve been doing to you. Don’t give them a chance to woo you with his sweet words and false promises.

Ignore them completely. You can’t start healing if you keep scratching at the wound

5) Put yourself first

Don’t be fooled into thinking that your needs were ever prioritized with this person.

If they truly did, then why the hiding? Why did they even cheat in the first place to be with you? The truth is that they’re putting their own needs above everybody else’s.

If no one will love and prioritize the way you deserve to be in a relationship, then you need to do that yourself. In fact, you can’t be in love without loving yourself first.

You’ve likely sacrificed a lot for this affair. Maybe you’ve stopped meeting your friends. Or stopped attending to your own hobbies and passions. Or your career has taken a hit.

Put yourself first this time. Instead of trying to make other people happy, make yourself happy.

After all, you can’t heal if you aren’t treating yourself!

Don’t even begin looking for love from other people until you’ve re-learned how to love yourself completely first.

Then when you do go out to date again, make sure you’re with someone who will love you honestly, not someone who has to run away just to spend a few measly hours hiding with you.

6) Don’t get back with them

There’s a good chance that they will fight tooth and nail to get you back after you end the affair. However, you need to remind yourself that they’re not doing it because they love you.

They want you back because it fulfills a need that their real partner may or may not be fulfilling. But it’s not your responsibility.

You deserve someone who loves you for you. Regardless, it will never work out if the relationship started out as an affair.

No matter how hard you try to fix things, it’ll never end well because the relationship’s very foundations are rotten.

Similarly, no matter how badly they want you back, you should never fall for them again.

It’ll be hard to resist the sweet words and grand promises of someone you had feelings for, but remember why you ended things in the first place.

Don’t fall for it because doing so means falling back into pain in frustration.

They might tell you that things will be different this time, or that they will break up with their main partner to be able to be with you full-time.

But, even if they did end their main relationship to be with you, ask yourself: do you really want to be with someone who’s cheated to such an extreme?

Who’s to say they won’t cheat on you in the future? You’ll always have doubts and anxiety about that.

It’s simply not worth it and it’s better to just move on so you can heal completely.

7) Treat it like a normal breakup

One reason why you might be hesitant to end this relationship is that you think it’s different from the others. You thought they were the one for you.

Try to let go of this mindset (because the truth is it’s actually much worse than the other relationships!).

Treat it like the end of any other relationship and you’ll find it easier to let go. Do the usual things you do to help you move on from other breakups.

Get a new hairstyle, shop for new clothes, go on a trip with your friends, find new hobbies… whatever it is, you need to keep your mind busy.

After all, you’ve spent way too much mental and emotional energy on someone who didn’t deserve it. Focus on yourself his time around to make up for the time you lost during this toxic affair.

Here’s another thing to think about: now that they’re gone, you have more time, and doors which were previously closed to you are now open.

For example, there might have been other people who were interested in you, but you didn’t notice their advances because of how preoccupied you were with the affair.

Thinking about stuff like this will help you look forward to the next chapter of your romantic life, and help you heal more quickly and effectively.

8) Take advantage of this uncertainty

The thing is, most ladies who are being other women lack resilience.

Without resilience, most of us give up on the things we desire. Most of us struggle to create lives worth living.

I know this because until recently I had a tough time overcoming a very painful breakup with a married man.

That was until I watched the free video by life coach Jeanette Brown.

Through many years of experience as a life coach, Jeanette has found a unique secret to building a resilient mindset, using a method so easy you’ll kick yourself for not trying it sooner.

And the best part?

Unlike many other life coaches, Jeanette’s entire focus is on putting you in the driver’s seat of your life.

To find out what the secret to resiliency is, check out her free video here.

9) Allow yourself some forgiveness

You’re likely feeling guilty about being involved in an affair.

However, wallowing in guilt can lead to intense feelings of self-loathing, worthlessness, depression, and anxiety.

You need to learn how to forgive yourself if you want to start the healing process.

You may feel that you deserve to be punished for what you’ve done and you may resort to some self-harm. If this is the case, try seeking professional help to help you deal with the emotions.

However, even talking to a close friend or a trusted family member who knew about the affair can be of significant help.

Let them help you hold yourself accountable, but they should also be supportive of your healing process.

This is a sign of true, mature love for someone.

And the knowledge that somebody loves you in a mature, healthy way despite your wrongdoings can be crucial to helping you move on from the affair.

At the end of the day, you were also a victim in one way. Be kind to yourself—you need to do so if you want to heal and start being happy again.

10) Fantasize about a relationship that you really want

What good is a relationship if you won’t feel fulfilled and happy? What good is a partner if they don’t respect you, value you, and love you?

You will never get these things in a secret affair.

Think of being with someone who is honest. Or someone who can take you out on real dates? Who can hold your hand on the sidewalk? Who can tell people they love you?

You deserve so much more than a sneaky, shady affair. You deserve a real relationship where all your needs are being met.

Try taking note of the things you want in a relationship. List down your preferences, your deal-breakers, and your must-haves.

And be honest with yourself: the person you’re having an affair with likely does not check all the boxes.

You have the right to set standards for the people you will devote your love. If you’re scared that the standards you’ve listed down are too high, don’t worry.

Because in reality, your standards are likely in the gutter if you’re settling for this kind of relationship!

As you go through the healing process, always remind yourself that you could have had what you truly wanted if you weren’t in the affair. You’ll find yourself feeling determined to go get what you want and deserve.

11) Learn how to avoid this situation again

Have you ever asked yourself why love is so hard?

Why can’t it be how you imagined growing up? Or at least make some sense…

When you’re dealing with the pain of being the other woman, it’s easy to become frustrated and even feel helpless. You may even be tempted to throw in the towel and give up on love.

I want to suggest doing something different.

It’s something I learned from the world-renowned shaman Rudá Iandê. He taught me that the way to find love and intimacy is not what we have been culturally conditioned to believe.

In fact, many of us self-sabotage and trick ourselves for years, getting in the way of meeting a partner who can truly fulfill us.

As Rudá explains in this mind blowing free video, many of us chase love in a toxic way that ends up stabbing us in the back.

We get stuck in awful relationships or empty encounters, never really finding what we’re looking for and continuing to feel horrible about things like finding yourself in the role of “the other woman”.

We fall in love with an ideal version of someone instead of the real person.

We try to “fix” our partners and end up destroying relationships.

We try to find someone who “completes” us, only to fall apart with them next to us and feel twice as bad.

Rudá’s teachings showed me a whole new perspective.

While watching, I felt like someone understood my struggles to find and nurture love for the first time – and finally offered an actual, practical solution to healing from being the other woman.

If you’re done with unsatisfying dating, empty hookups, frustrating relationships and having your hopes dashed over and over, then this is a message you need to hear.

I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

Click here to watch the free video.

12) Stop romanticizing affairs

One of the reasons you stayed in the affair is probably because you were romanticizing them.

The media portrays them as exciting and a manifestation of incredibly strong love. They make affairs seem like they’re true love because the people in them continue being together even if they’re not supposed to.

You’ve likely felt the same, having convinced yourself that they were the one and that’s why you stayed.

Life is not a movie, however. Life is infinitely more complex than fictional stories and curated romances.

Sure, it can feel thrilling at first, just like in the movies. But in reality, everyone, including you and your partner, simply gets hurt.

Ask yourself: is it really romantic to be sneaking around and hiding from everyone else?

This isn’t true love. True love is supposed to make you feel happy, safe, and secure—not anxious, fearful, and guilty.

Unless you stop idealizing and glorifying the affair, you won’t be able to properly start the healing process.

13) Think about how you could have it better

Talk is cheap. True love is shown through actions.

So don’t you believe that you deserve a relationship where you can see each other regularly? Where you can prioritize each other? Where you can envision a future that’s actually attainable?

One where you don’t have to lie and hide for only short and occasional moments of fun? You are sacrificing so much to get so little.

You need to realize that you’re denying yourself authentic happiness and sincere love by staying in this affair.

By telling yourself you deserve better, you can fully let go of this affair and start to heal. Then, you’ll finally be able to pursue a future that truly makes you fulfilled.

14) Process the feelings of guilt

Staying in an affair for extended periods of time has likely caused a lot of intense negative feelings in you, especially guilt. After all, the truth is that you were involved in hurting and lying to other people.

However, you deserve to stop being in pain too. Don’t hesitate to seek professional help and let go of any fantasies of making a big, dramatic scene with your affair partner and their original partner as a way to absolve yourself of your mistakes.

What you need is a counselor or a therapist who can help you work through feelings of guilt and shame in a safe, private space. Not fully resolving these feelings will stop you from completely healing from the affair’s traumas.

Try to remind yourself that, even if you started in the wrong by pursuing or staying in this affair, you ultimately did the right thing by ending it.

15) Try healing techniques

You may feel like you don’t have any certainty and your life is a total mess.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

When I felt the most lost in life, I was introduced to an unusual free breathwork video created by the shaman, Rudá Iandê, which focuses on dissolving stress and boosting inner peace.

My relationship was failing, I felt tense all the time. My self-esteem and confidence hit rock bottom. I’m sure you can relate – heartbreak does little to nourish the heart and soul.

I had nothing to lose, so I tried this free breathwork video, and the results were incredible.

But before we go any further, why am I telling you about this?

I’m a big believer in sharing – I want others to feel as empowered as I do. And, if it worked for me, it could help you too.

Rudá hasn’t just created a bog-standard breathing exercise – he’s cleverly combined his many years of breathwork practice and shamanism to create this incredible flow – and it’s free to take part in.

If you feel a disconnect with yourself due to this traumatizing experience of being the other woman, I’d recommend checking out Rudá’s free breathwork video.

Click here to watch the video.

16) Don’t let the affair affect future relationships

If you are unable to fully heal from being in an affair, the leftover trauma can affect how you think of and behave with your future partners.

The pain you’ve experienced might have put a bad taste in your mouth about certain groups of people. For example, you might assume that all men are cheaters or that all women are golddiggers.

It’s essential to let go of such sentiments if you want to be a participant in a healthy relationship. If not, you may always be suspicious of your partner or harbor resentment for them that they don’t deserve.

You might find yourself to be incredibly clingy as well since you weren’t given much time and attention during the affair.

You may also find that a normal, healthy relationship might feel more “boring” at times. It’s not like in the affair when you were always hiding and sneaking around which may have been thrilling in the short term.

Try to remind yourself that there are boring times because you actually get to see each other often!

In the end, you need to heal and unlearn these things—preferably even before you start dating again. That way, you can be your best self and you can make the best out of your new relationship.

Or else, you might actually ruin these relationships because of your behavior.

Then, you will be in even deeper pain and it will be even harder to heal.

17) Rediscover yourself

During the emotionally chaotic times of an affair, it’s entirely possible that you’ve lost touch with some parts of who you are.

While it’s also definitely possible to have grown and matured from these experiences, you may also find yourself engaging in unhealthy behaviors that you otherwise wouldn’t be doing.

Maybe you’ve compromised on some of your values. Maybe you’ve sacrificed aspects of your career or hobbies. Maybe you spent less time with your other loved ones.

Maybe you’ve even changed how you interact with people or your entire life philosophy has been changed. Maybe you’ve grown bitter or cynical.

Try to remember how you were before the affair and get back in touch with parts of the “real you” that you’ve lost.

Reconnect with your friends and family. Re-focus on your career. Devote yourself more deeply to your passions.

As you rediscover both yourself and the life you’ve been missing out, you’ll find it easier and easier to move on and heal from being the other woman.

If you decide to stay…

If you truly believe that you can make it work, here are some things you need to keep in mind.

Confide in someone

Keeping all the complicated and intense emotions to yourself will lead you to a lot of stress and mental health issues.

You need a trusted friend who you can confide in. They can help you keep yourself sane or even help you plan what to do about the affair.

If you isolate yourself, you are depriving yourself of emotional support as well as another perspective that can help you make decisions.

Make sure he’s the one

Being the other woman is not easy. It requires a lot of commitment and mental strength from you.

But what if you’re doing it for the wrong person?

Want to know for certain whether you’ve met your soulmate?

Let’s face it:

We can waste a lot of time and energy with people who ultimately we’re not compatible with. Finding your soulmate isn’t exactly easy.

But what if there was a way to remove all the guesswork?

I’ve just stumbled upon a way to do this…  a professional psychic artist who can draw a sketch of what your soulmate looks like.

Even though I was a bit skeptical at first, my friend convinced me to try it out a few weeks ago.

Now I know exactly what he looks like. The crazy thing is that I recognized him right away.

If you’re ready to find out what your soulmate looks like, get your own sketch drawn here.

Devote yourself to other things in your life

All the stress and chaos of the affair has you likely thinking about your partner all of the time—even if you rarely get to actually spend time with each other.

It’s important to value yourself and your life outside of your partner. Don’t make them the center of your world.

If you always chase after them, you are giving them the power in the relationship. You are allowing them to control you, making you dependent on them.

Do this if you want to prolong your suffering!

By getting a life outside of them, you will be able to reconnect with yourself and thus develop the confidence to either finally leave or state your demands to become the main woman.

Turn your empty threats into real ones

Drastic times call for drastic measures.

This might be one of the few times you actually need to give an ultimatum if you want anything to change. But, more importantly, you need to follow through with your demands and ultimatums.

If you give them one but end up not actually following through with it, it sends them a message that they are actually free to do whatever they want without any consequence.

It reinforces the notion that they are the one in power and control in the relationship.

You need to back up your words with actions or else you will not get what you want.

Check yourself

You might feel incredibly frustrated over the situation that you catch yourself doing crazy things.

Maybe you’re starting to stalk them to make sure that they’re actually busy when they refused to see you. Maybe you start obsessing over their real partner or their kids. Maybe your behavior is a bit off even outside the affair.

This is a clear sign that this affair simply is not good for you anymore. It’s incredibly toxic and you need to walk out ASAP.

Remember, it’s about you and your life

Being the other woman means you live someone else’s life and get involved in too much drama.

This may actually prevent you from discovering your true purpose and living the fullest life.

So, what would you say if I asked you what your purpose is?

It’s a hard question!

And there are far too many people trying to tell you it will just “come to you” and to focus on “raising your vibrations” or finding some vague kind of inner peace.

Self-help gurus are out there preying on people’s insecurities to make money and selling them on techniques which really don’t work for achieving your dreams.



Sage burning ceremonies with some vaguely indigenous chanting music in the background.

Hit pause.

The truth is that visualization and positive vibes won’t bring you closer to your dreams, and they can actually drag you backwards into wasting your life on a fantasy.

But it’s hard to properly heal from being the other woman when you’re being hit with so many different claims.

You can end up trying so hard and not finding the answers you need that your life and dreams begin to feel hopeless.

You want solutions, but all you’re being told is to create a perfect utopia inside your own mind. It doesn’t work.

So let’s go back to basics:

Before you can experience a real change, you need to really know your purpose.

I learned about the power of finding your purpose from watching Ideapod co-founder Justin Brown’s video on the hidden trap of improving yourself.

Justin used to be addicted to the self-help industry and New Age gurus just like me. They sold him on ineffective visualization and positive thinking techniques.

Four years ago, he traveled to Brazil to meet the renowned shaman Rudá Iandê, for a different perspective.

Rudá taught him a life-changing new way to find your purpose and use it to transform your life.

After watching the video, I also discovered and understood my purpose in life and it’s no exaggeration to say it was a turning point in my life.

I can honestly say that this new way of finding success by finding your purpose actually helped me to heal from the traumatic events in my life and find true happiness.

Watch the free video here.

To conclude:

Being in an affair can be very frustrating, if not outright traumatic.

However, healing is very possible!

First of all, you need to remember and rediscover yourself.

You are not just someone’s side-chick! You are a whole person, who is both deserving and capable of being in a healthy relationship with true love.

From there, make amends with yourself You might be imperfect, but you’re deserving of forgiveness and empathy—especially from yourself.

As you go through this process, lean on the support of trusted loved ones and focus on other things in life, especially things that you sacrificed and compromised for the affair.

Healing from the pain caused by being the other woman can take a lot of work and time. You need to take it slow and be kind to yourself as you go through the process.

Even if it’s hard to imagine yourself without your partner or without the pain that you’re feeling now, you will eventually get there.

Your future self will thank you and, when you’re looking back on your journey, you’ll be incredibly proud of how much you’ve grown.

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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