One of the most devastating blows to the soul is the discovery of an extramarital affair. It is hard enough dealing with the betrayal, humiliation, anger, and despair caused by your husband, but the emotional upheaval caused by the other woman can be even more severe. There is a history, oftentimes children, and thus a vested interest in restoring a relationship with your husband. The other woman is another story.
Studies show that married men rarely leave a marriage to be with the other woman. Surveys have found the the wife is more often than not, more attractive, better sexually, and obviously of higher character than the other woman. Realize that the other woman is a pitiful character.
It is natural to place slightly more blame on the other woman than your husband, despite the fact that your husband has broken sacred vows. Evolutionary psychologists have found that men are wired to have affairs, women are not. While this in no way excuses men from exercising free agency to decide to stay committed, it does shed some light on the moral compass of the other woman. She has none. Attempting to steal a woman's husband and a child's father is as equal a moral crime for a woman, as rape is for a man. She is a threat to the most sacred unit on earth, the family.
While you may want to throw sugar in her gas tank, order a hundred magazine subscriptions in her name, or simply call her up to vent venom, constrain yourself. One phone call at the time of discovery is understandable, but you do not want any more involvement with this woman than you already have. You are "the" wife. She is "the other" woman. Do you hear the difference? "The other" suggests a dis, a "less than" position. You hold a higher place on the moral ladder, and although this may be one of the hardest things you ever do, you want to conduct yourself with control and grace.
By virtue of the actions she has taken, the other woman must be a self-centered, drama-loving individual, who has little fear of consequences from a higher being. If you attempt to go head to head with such a person there will be no winning. Both husband and wife should agree to have no contact with the other woman. If you must be in the same location, treat her as if she is invisibible. This is the absolute WORST thing you can do to a person of this type.
The other woman may not give up easily. Even if she does, in your mind she will remain the third party in your marriage for a long while. You just have to wade through it all. Time will soften the pain after a year or two. In the meantime, do not let her win. Gather up all your strength and self-control and continue to have her believe she is a non-entity. Control and grace are key.