Most every wife who has ever struggled after an affair knows that thinking about the mistress or other woman can take up a huge chunk of your time. You usually have all sorts of questions about her. You want to know who she is, what she looks like, what makes her tick, and why, of all people on earth, she chose your husband. While the affair is going on (or before we are sure that it has ended) thoughts of her can almost invade our regular every day life to a level that borders on obsession.
But what happens when the affair is over? How does she feel about the end of the relationship? And how do these feelings dictate her actions? Does she just ride off into the sunset? Does she find another married man to prey on? Does she vow to change her ways and eventually find a single guy to settle down with? Does she pine over your husband and try to scheme up ways that she can get back into your life?
Any of these things are possible, I suppose. It truly does depend upon the circumstances involved. We want the answers to these questions. But at the same time, we want this woman out of our lives so we certainly aren't likely to follow up with her to quell our curiosity. I have a decent amount of mistresses or "other women" contact me on my surviving infidelity blog. Their personalities, feelings, and stories run the gauntlet. Some are remorseful and some are quite indignant. Some will tell you that if the wife had kept her own husband happy, her presence would not have been needed.
Others insist that the husband represented himself as single and that, if she had any idea that he was married, she would have completely avoided him. Many will tell you that their intention was never to hurt anyone. (I am not defending "the other woman." I have been the wife on the other side of an affair, so I tend to see things from the wife's point of view. However, I believe that these women have feelings too. And they often have their own struggles to deal with.)
Some of these women have been "the other woman" on many occasions. For whatever reason, the fact that a man is married is either a comfort or a turn on. I've had some women tell me that all of the men that they've had relationships with over the past several years have been married. Some others confess that this is their first (and only) relationship with a married man. Many will insist that had they known the pain and confusion the affair was going to cause every one involved, they never would have become involved in the first place.
What happens to the other woman after the affair (and how she feels about the same) will often depend upon the depth of her feelings for the husband. Some women are quite hurt when the relationship ends. Some will tell you that the husband promised all along that he was going to leave his wife and be with her, and, when this doesn't happen, it can leave the other woman feeling very vulnerable and disappointed. She will often tell you that she feels as if the husband flat out lied and took advantage of her trust.
Sometimes, the other woman will go to the other extreme and tell you that his has concerns about the husband. She will say that she truly wants him to be happy but she doubts that this can happen with his wife. She worries that the wife is "making him pay" and making his life miserable as payback for his cheating.
And others will just try to do the best that they can and move on. Many become more careful to make sure any man that they become interested in is 100% single because they don't want to repeat the same mistakes. At the end of the day though, like every one else in this situation, the other woman has some choices to make. By no means am I defending her actions, but from the correspondence that I get, I can tell you that sometimes, these women are not the heartless monster that we picture her to be. Sometimes, she too must decide if she's going to take the affair and use it as a means to learn about and improve upon herself or if she's going to remain bitter and angry. Whether you believe she is a villain or a victim, you can not deny that she too must pick up the pieces. Of course, if your husband was just a distraction or fling for her, she might make quick and easy work of this.
Some wives are so driven by these questions that they are tempted to check up on her or try to find out what she is feeling and doing (or who she is seeing now.) I understand this urge, but I would caution you against it. I've never seen any good come out of revisiting the past in such a way. Sometimes, reaching out to her leaves you with more questions than answers and it just brings about more pain, anger, and resentment.
And, on the flip side, I sometimes have "the other woman" ask me how to apologize to the wife. She sometimes feels a great deal of remorse and wants to reach out and try to make things better. Again, I understand this, but continuing on with any contact is like rubbing salt in a wound. The best thing that both parties can do, in my opinion and experience, is to leave one another alone and turn their attention to rebuilding and rethinking their own lives.
In the same way that you're probably hoping that she leaves you and your husband alone, she is likely thinking the same thing about you. There's really no upside in quizzing or collaborating with one another. I've never seen much good come out continued contact from any party after an affair. In my view, the best thing that you can do is to hope that the universe is just. If she is truly remorseful and is hurting as much as you are, then let's hope that every one involved is able to heal and move on in a positive way. If she's indignant and has no remorse, then perhaps she has some growing up to do or some lessons to learn, but neither of these things are your problem. My best advice is to make yourself your priority and let her go in the same way that you are hoping that your husband has.
Even though the other woman was a stranger to me, I sort of became obsessed with her in the beginning. However, after a while I figured out that this was hurting me more than helping me. And I realized that even though my husband had long let her go, I wasn't doing the same. Once I realized this, things began to change, and eventually, we saved our marriage and truly moved on. If it helps, you can read more of that story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com/