evidence that it's slipped another notch...or two.
The most recent for me (though it's old news by gossip mag standards) was a letter that Jesse James' alleged second mistress faxed to Sandra Bullock, offering up the usual blend of self-absorption, oblique apology and high-school "can't-we-be-friends-now" offer of resolution.
It's surprisingly common. Way back when I was coping with the breakup of me and my first serious boyfriend (and he was sleeping with my former best friend – FBF), I received a letter from FBF filled with recriminations, blame-shifting and spelling mistakes. I was incredulous. I was the injured party, I sputtered. She (and he) had hurt me!
Well...maybe. But that's only in the grown-up world where people accept responsibility for their actions and choices. Certainly not in the fantasy world of "but-we-couldn't-help-ourselves-we-were-meant-for-each-other" cheating.
BWC Member Erica found out about her husband's affair when the Other Woman sent her an e-mail outlining their relationship and adding that Erica's husband thought his wife was a "bitch". Ouch! And did I mention that Erica was nine months pregnant at the time of this little letter-bomb? I honestly can't hazard a guess why someone would want to hurt another in such a profound way. I imagine it goes back to the truth of "hurt people hurt people".
But while you can't stop some wacked-out OW from contacting you (though if it's consistent, you might want to seek legal advice), you can control your own actions in response to it.
1) For starters, DO NOT ENGAGE. These women (see Exhibit A, letter to Sandra Bullock) are generally attention-hounds. They love the drama. The spotlight. Take it away and watch them wither. They might ramp it up in the short-term...but they'll eventually make a mess elsewhere in their lives that will pull their attention away from you. In the meantime, put the focus back on you and your healing...where it belongs.
2) Don't step on their crazy train. The reason these women are involved with a married man at all is often because their low self-esteem is matched only by their competitive drive to "win". Oh yeah – and they're crazy. Remember Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction? Keep that bunny boiling image in mind any time you're tempted to retaliate, threaten or respond in any way that doesn't sound like: "Please don't contact me again."
3) If you're trying to put your marriage back together, your husband must also cease and desist re. any contact with the Other Woman. A carefully worded, emotionless "no contact" letter should be sent by registered mail, insisting that the relationship was a mistake for both of them and that there will be no contact from this date forward. No reminiscing. No "last good-byes". Just No Contact from this day forward. Then he needs to honor that, even if the OW doesn't.
As for any invitation from the OW that you become friends? Bonded over mutual heartbreak courtesy of the man you both love? Uh...no. With friends like that, who needs enemies?