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Should You Confront the Other Woman or Man?

Learn if it's ever a good idea to confront The Other Woman (or other man) from couples counselor Victoria Wilson, Ph.D. in this Howcast video.


I generally do not recommend to my patients that they seek out and confront the other man or woman that their partner is engaged with. And there are multiple reasons for this. One, main one, is their safety. We don't know how people are going to react. You never know whether this person is going to engage in violent, erratic behavior. You don't know yourself if you would lose control. You don't know what feelings meeting that person would evoke in you and whether you are clearly capable of impulse control when you're flooded with those feelings. So your safety is the main reason why I recommend against confronting that person, however, there are certain exceptions.

One is that if you believe that unless you confront this person, this person will continue to initiate contact with your partner then I think it's important to confront. I think it's also important to confront if this is someone you know and you have a chance of running into as well because that could cause all sorts of otherwise uncomfortable situations as well. I think it's better to get things out in the open, however, you have to be very careful when you confront. I usually ask this person to make sure they're very calm when they do that and to enlist a friend that they can either go with or talk to at the same time so that you don't feel overwhelmed and alone.

But again, it's a complicated issue. A lot of people hope to confront the other man or woman in order to get some kind of details or to get the truth and you're never going to get the truth. They only heard a different side of this. A whole different story. A lot of time they will lie. They will say things that will make you angry or so chances of you getting some sort of closure or some sort of remorse or expecting them to apologize this is all kind of a set up for more hurt and more negative emotions. So I don't generally recommend it unless you feel that you absolutely must confront or you, you just keep ruminating and you cannot go on. And so it's a, it's an important thing to weigh your safety versus the real importance of confronting the other man or woman.

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