Thursday, May 3, 2012

Is it "just as hard" to be the Other Woman?

I recently came across a comment to my Letter to a Cheating Husband in which the writer – who's been propositioned (or more, the note isn't too clear) by a married man – notes that "it's just as hard to be the other woman".
And I had to stop for a second. Really? Harder? It's a blessing and a curse that I'm able to put myself in another's place. And for a split second, I agreed. Because I would HATE to be the Other Woman. I would loathe myself and that would be the worst feeling of all.
But then, I thought...wait a minute. Harder? No way. Not by a long shot.
Thing is, most of grow up thinking that we won't put up with cheating. We can even imagine the moment we find out and, in that particular fantasy, we toss our cheating ass of a husband out the door, dust off our hands, look around the home that now belongs to us alone...and make ourselves a lovely dinner, with perhaps even a glass of wine to toast our strength and conviction.
The reality, as we all know, is nothing like that. We turn to stone. Or we collapse to the floor. We weep. We scream. We beg. We threaten. We become strangers to ourselves, capable of things we never dreamed. We become crazy with grief and fear.
And my guess is this Other Woman can't even imagine that. I couldn't have imagined it...until it happened to me. I was sure I'd be the calm, cool, collected fantasy "betrayed wife". The one who washed her hair of the bastard and strolled into an idyllic future.
The thing with being the Other Woman is that she's got more information than the wife. It might be inaccurate information (ie. "my wife doesn't understand me", "she's not interested in sex", "she's let herself go"), it might be outright lies ("we have an open marriage", "she's got cancer and I can't leave her right now"), but the OW knows we exist. We can't say the same about her.
And it's that level of deception, that bold lie that completely unhinges us. It rocks our very world. It threatens our sense of safety, our trust in ourselves (which is an even more damaging consequence than losing our trust in another), and our conviction that we are safe in this world. We lose our sense that what we see is, in fact, real. The OW is the grown-up version of the boogyman – and this boogyman really has been hiding under the bed. Or in it.
So while I'll acknowledge that being the OW comes with its own pain (or, perhaps more accurately, shame), it's nothing like the pain of being a betrayed wife.
Harder? Not a chance. And I hope you never have to find out just how much harder this is.

34 comments:

  1. I agree with this 100%. I always thought I'd walk away. Now its been 8 months and I sit in the shower (its the only place I can hide the tears) and wonder, did I let myself down by staying? Am I a failure because I still love him? And I'm pretty damn sure the OW isn't suffering 8 months out.

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    1. Hi Stephie,
      There can be really strong societal pressure to walk out. Most cheated-on women (publicly) are cheered on when they storm out or kick the "bum" out. And I think that can be enormously satisfying...in the short term. But life is more complicated than that. Less black and white. Sometimes people deserve second chances. Not always...but enough that it's worth figuring out if your husband is one of them. I think it can help if you ask yourself whether your husband's affair was evidence of his true character, or a slip in judgement. Not to minimize it at all because I know the pain is excruciating either way. But it can help you figure out whether he deserves your compassion or the door slammed behind him.
      As for letting yourself down...I think it's important to give yourself permission to be confused. Your certainly NOT a failure because you still love him. That shows compassion and loyalty and strength. Just be sure he deserves that love. And be sure that you love and respect yourself at least as much as him.
      As for the OW? Well...we all know where I stand on that one. :)
      Elle

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    2. "Sometimes people deserve second chances."
      Sometimes it's not about whether the betraying spouse is deserving. Is the marriage? Are you? I didn't deserve divorce; I deserved a healed marriage.

      "ask yourself whether your husband's affair was evidence of his true character, or a slip in judgement."
      Although I agree about character versus behaviour, sometimes an affair is more than a slip and the inner betrayer's true character is still good. Affairs in midlife crisis (MLC) are emotionally-bonded and last a few years--well beyond admission or discovery and the MLCer sure seems to be of bad character, but that's the crisis.

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  2. Every time I cry and wallowing in the pain of the betrayal, I often think, "Is she in just as much pain as I am right now?" or "I hope that she's in worse pain than what I'm feeling now" But somehow I really doubt that. The only thing she's thinking painfully about is that man she lost, never mind married or not! I think OWs have an expiration date when it comes to their supposed 'pain and suffering'. Just like getting over a bad break up. But to us Betrayed Spouses, whether we stay in the marriage or not, this is now part of our stark reality forever. And yes, they are the Boogeyman from Hell.

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    1. Dear Fighter,
      I think what you've said is true. But if there's one thing that helped me move through (I don't know if we ever get past) my husband's betrayal, it was moving the focus away from the OW. I had to stop wanting her to hurt, I had to stop thinking about her. I was even able to evoke a smidgen of compassion for her...because I knew how lonely and pathetic her life was and how her choices were simply making it worse. And that compassion gave me the opening to move away from dwelling on her and into focusing on me.
      This will be part of our lives from now on. I often say life becomes divided into "Before" and "After". But like any of life's pain, we weave it into our larger life and it simply becomes part of the pattern. It doesn't have to be the dominant pattern...but it will always be there.
      Elle

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  3. Oh yes!!
    For some time after my husband told me about the affair he would say "OW is as much a victim of this as you"
    Bull****!! As I none too gently explained she knew all the facts up front, he was married, had children, had obligations and responsibilities. She chose over and over to be involved with him, her eyes were wide open.
    I was totally blindsided. I was given no choice. The two of them blindfolded me and kidnapped my life. In those first few months I used to tell my husband it was like I was in deep water and he was helping me enough to stop from drowning but no more.

    So does the OW have it as bad as us? If she does it's her own choices and stupidity that put her there. My OW had had several affairs with married men so I have abolutely no sympathy for her.

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    1. Yes, to me the difference is that they (most of them) know what they're doing and choose to keep doing it.
      The ones who are also lied to and deceived...well...I have more sympathy for them. A friend of mine got involved with a married guy whom she honestly didn't know was married. The minute she found out she dumped him...and told him the he had two choices: He could tell his wife. Or she would. She never heard from him again but still felt horrible about the role she played in the deception of his wife, even unwittingly. THAT's an Other Woman I can feel sorry for. And respect. The rest...not so much.
      Elle

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  4. I don't think they're in the same kind of pain but they do feel pain. There's something wrong if your after another woman's man, or if your a prostitute or if your a porn star...don't think these women are that healthy or happy or even satisfied with their empty lives.

    If the ow was lied too, just like Elle, I'd feel sorry for her. Hell, I feel sorry for the prostitutes my husband slept with. That my husband contributed to their sex abuse and supported pimps and madams with his business and spured on the insatiable appetite for sex trafficking. No woman wants to be in their shoes.

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  5. Yup. With Elle as usual. We are still pretty new to this with Christmas d day. Married ow knew exactly what she was doing. Didn't actually know me, but knew we had two young ones. And she knew my husband was quite conflicted on this. Unfortunately not conflicted enough to remain faithful to me. And this wasn't her first foray outside her marriage. But that is her problem. I told my husband the other day that he didn't owe her anything, that there was no reason to be worried about her. She started this thing with eyes wide open. Yuck yuck yuck. Thanks for this. I am working on indifference towards her, but still confess anger.

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    1. Amazing how many of these OW are serial OW. Yuck. And...ewwww.

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  6. I think what you stated above is the kicker for me. That the OW made the CHOICE to be involved with our husbands (with the obvious exception of the one who was lied to). She had her CHOICE to stake a claim on our husbands. Sure, WH lead them to believe that they had a shot at landing him, but they chose to provide the open arms (and legs) to our husbands. Then they participated in and encouraged the deceit and lessening of our our husbands' love for us. They knew EVERYTHING THE WHOLE TIME. We knew nothing and we chose NONE OF IT. Not only that, but we're saddled (for however long), with the visions of them with our husbands. I'm only 9 months out from d-day and while things are actually going really well and my husband is doing a remarkable job, I still have this war going on in my head. I'm pretty sure the little twit who worked so hard to take my husband has moved on by now. As someone stated above, for them it was a bad breakup and life goes on. There is no lifetime of "before and after" for them. Harder to be the OW? I say no F'ing way. Sorry Elle and everyone for the rant. Thank God for the therapy and meds! LOL! Could be much worse, right?

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    1. Actually the "it could be worse" got me through plenty a horrible day. I kept telling myself that "at least my parents are alive and healthy" (I told myself that until my mother died suddenly six months later!!!), or "at least my children don't have leukemia" or "at least I'm not going to jail for murder" and "at least he didn't have sex with children". Sad but amazing that the fact that my husband didn't screw children or goats could cheer me up! It's all relative, right? :)

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    2. You crack me up sometimes. Those "could be worse" scenarios have helped me at times too, then other times nothing helps. I'm encouraged to see from some of your posts that this doesn't seem to be at the front of your mind anymore. I believe I read in one post that you considered yourself healed. I'm looking forward to that day. I've been thinking of your OW post a lot and decided I wanted to share something else. I worked with a girl (who was a long-time friend of mine) who is on her fifth marriage. She has two young sons with this husband. She carried on a 2 1/2 year long affair with a man about 20 years older than her, who was married 34 years himself. She did everything she could, includingi contacting his wife a couple of times, to break up his marriage and she was going to leave her husband and kids. This man was a serial cheater (like my former friend) and was supported financially by his wife. I asked my former friend if she actually thought she would ultimately be happy with this guy since she was likely going to have to support him and he would probably cheat on her too, plus he was in his 60's. When I asked her that question, she just shrugged her shoulders. So my next question was "So you're willing to blaze a path of destruction not only in his family's life, but in the lives of your two little boys and your husband and you can't even say that you are certain you would ultimately be happy with this guy?" Again, she shrugged her shoulders. Just friggin shrugged her shoulders!!! The friendship didn't last much beyond that. She called me when he finally, ultimately dumped her - after she forced an ultimatum and contacted his wife one last time, and tried crying on my shoulder. It was hard for me to communicate with this woman considering what I was dealing with myself, but it gave me some helpful insight into the mind set of women who prey on other womens' husbands. They are damaged, reprehensible, predatory, opportunistic people. I don't think I will ever reach a point of any level compassion for any of them, particularly the one who inserted herself into my life.

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    3. De,
      Wow – talk about insight into the mind of an OW! As much as that type of personality drives me crazy, it nonetheless helps me to know that many of these women aren't worth the tears required to cry over what they've done. You hit the nail on the head when you said they're damaged. Not so say I haven't had my share of damage over the years...but my damage isn't contagious!
      It's the old saying (or maybe it's a new saying. Whatever.): Hurt people hurt people.
      Thanks for sharing that story! Though I'm sorry you had to suffer through a friendship with her...not to mention the pain of your spouse's affair.
      Elle

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  7. I'd NEVER feel sorry for an OW. I'd feel pity. The majority of husband thieves gotta be severely lacking in the self-esteem department. At the very least, they are delusional and easily manipulated by lying, fog possessed married men. It's pathetic, deserving of pity.
    I never, EVER considered the OW might be hurting as much as me. True, the OW in my situation was only 24. She didn't have enough life experience to know true heart ache. Excluding her..I still can't imagine any OW hurting as much as the betrayed wives. That's probably why so many of us in the betrayed club seek to bring the hurt to their door. We feel justified in our efforts to cause them as much pain as they caused us. Too bad that's an exercise in futility. We can never hurt them as much as they hurt us.
    Hope & Hugs, Shawn
    http://ayearaftertheaffair.blogspot.com/

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  8. I just found your blog, I am approaching the one year anniversary of my dday. Like so many who post here, I never thought I would find myself in this situation. Our friends and family will tell you we are the "perfect couple", married at 18 and 21, and have been married almost 37 years. My husband adores me, as a matter of fact he will tell you that he never stopped adoring me, even during the nine years that he was fucking the OW. She was a married coworker of his who cheated on her 1st husband with a married coworker, got pregnant and married that coworker (he left his wife and child for her). Then when that relationship became stale, she set her sights on my husband. They were working together on a project that required them to travel together. I never suspected a thing, after all, she was married and had a little boy, right? And my husband is the love of my life and my best friend, what was there to worry about?
    Let me tell you, from the first time she knocked on his hotel room door when they were 3,000 miles away because she wanted to "talk" it was game on. She had made her plan, and it involved trading up to my wonderful man. He told me that he was physically sick after that night, but now there was no turning back. When he told her that this could never happen again, that he loved me and had never strayed before she became hysterical. She threatened to tell me, their boss and coworkers if he did not continue seeing her. She even referred to him as her "knight in shining armor." She was full of drama and he could not seem to find a way out. Eventually, she just became like a bad habit, he would listen to her complain about her husband and she told him she would wait as long as it would take for him to change his mind. She used the sex like a tool in her scheme, feeding his ego and working her charms in the hope with a future with him. The last few years, he became more and more despondent and distant with me, and that is when a friend asked if I thought he could be having an affair. I really didn't think so but I started snooping just on the off chance. Anyway, I found text messages, confronted him and the rest is horrible history.
    The good news is that he was actually relieved to be found out and be done with her, he never even hesitated or looked back. As a matter of fact, he said that even if I left him, he would rather be single than to continue the miserable relationship that they shared. Our marriage is stronger and more loving than it has ever been, I never take him for granted anymore and he is beyond grateful that he can concentrate on me and us again, something that he was too guilty and ashamed to do while involved with her. Do I struggle every day with thoughts of revenge and images of them together? Of course. Does it help that he chose me and our marriage is better than it has ever been? Absolutely. Our grown children were told and they were shocked, disappointed and disgusted. They did not speak to their dad for over 6 months, but that is getting better every day too. He will have to live every day of his life trying to make this up to them, too.
    So, do I feel sorry for the OW... NO!! I feel like she was an opportunistic whore who saw a man and a life that she preferred to her own and went after it. And the best revenge for me is that she is still married to the "boring old man" that she finagled from someone else and is too chicken-shit to leave until she finds herself another "replacement" (oh, and I'm sure she is working on that).
    Thank you for this forum, for sharing your brave stories and letting me share mine.

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    1. I'm glad you found us...and thank-you for sharing your story.
      And I'm so happy for you that you're able to rebuild an amazing marriage after that. Like your husband, mine was almost relieved to be found out. He was disgusted with himself but unsure how to extricate himself without "outing" himself – or being outed by his OW.
      These women often leave a path of destruction in their wake...and simply plan to create more. Few seem to learn that their relationships are horrible because they're based in dishonesty.
      Sad...and sadder still that more wives will be betrayed.
      Elle

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  9. So is it harder for the alienator or not?
    No:
    Because as others as said, the alienator made the coice to have a relationship with someone's spouse--often pursuing that person.

    Yes:
    If you, the betrayed spouse are stronger, and detach... and the alienator does not have your abilities to recover. That's a big if.
    My situation lasted from MArch 2005--Bomb Drop--until October 2008 when Sweetheart left her for the final time. There were many leaves in-between.
    It wasn't so much that her challenges were any greater than mine, but that I had the mental strength and perseverance to overcome or rather, go through them. He snuck out of her house each time he moved home. For days or weeks when she could tell he was about to leave she would skip work so he couldn't escape. Her fear--terror--was greater than mine--I was not afraid.

    She chose to keep purusing him and eventually provided him with a cell phone after he moved home and got rid of his--she paid for it. I pity her as an unstable woman with severe mental problems, but I do not feel sympathy for her; she made her choices. Then when she experienced the consequences of those choices, she insisted on continuing them, and thereby continuing her misery.

    Her fear was so great that she faked a pregnancy the first time he left her. A few months later she threatened indirect suicide, claiming she had a proplem with her brain that she wouldn;t fix unless he came back to her. A few months after that, a hysterectomy, Karma. When he snuck-moved out of her house in 2007 she came to our house, drove several times around the block, banged on our front door and then trespassed into our back yard, banged on the back glass door which was where she was when the police found her.
    I don't hate her. I don't think she's despicable. I think she is sick--and I don't mean that as synonymous with disgusting, I mean literally mentally sick.

    It was harder for her only because she made it so. But that's her Karma and she needs that Karma for her own life purpose and growth.

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  10. Rollercoasterider...I identify with your observation that the OW is often an alienator, at least that was the case in my situation. During the 9 year affair I kept wondering, why is my husband so at odds with me? We were never a couple to fight and had always been very affectionate and loving, but I could feel him pulling away and I just assumed he was having some sort of a midlife crisis. Come to find out that she was doing a number on him, trying to convince him why she was the perfect woman for him and why they were meant to be together. And you are correct, the alienator has the advantage with our husbands because she is in a competition, and she is in it to win. I had no f***ing idea what I was up against... that he was getting blow jobs in the car, and his ego fed while she hung on his every word like he was some kind of a god. Not many 30 year marriages are still burning with that white-hot intensity and trust me, these alienating women bank on that. I think that if she had put as much effort into her own marriage as she did trying to snare my husband, she might have had a happier marriage herself (though I seriously doubt that since her marriage was based on an affair, too).
    I wish I could say that I don't hate her, but the selfishness with which she pursued my husband makes it difficult for me to not feel hate. Especially when I think of how she friended me and even our grown children on Facebook, now I realize it was so she could peek into our lives and see what her competition looked like. And also all of the energy she siphoned away from my husband, relying on him like her best friend to text and call her constantly to make her feel important.
    I do hope for Karma for her, and actually I think if I was a person with as little regard for others as she seems to be, the ultimate Karma for her is just being her. An unhappy and insecure woman who drinks too much, has a terrible temper, and now has lost the man she had been hanging her hopes on. And like your OW, I think she is also literally, mentally ill. And fortunately for me, he is thrilled to be free of that burden and it has opened up our love with much more affection, sex and fun than we have had in years. It's been just over a year and it does get a little better every day.
    So happy to have found this blog; love sharing with you strong and amazing women... -S-

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    1. Glad you found us too – and that you're sharing your own strength and wisdom. You've got great insight into the Other Woman, which I think can help you see her as a somewhat pathetic, flawed human being. Certainly someone you do NOT want to be. Sad the damage these people can leave in their wake, though.
      Elle

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    2. I do see her as pathetic and flawed, and yet I feel as if those labels somehow excuse her from her very damaging behavior. After my husband described the OW to our counselor, she is almost certain that the OW has Borderline Personality Disorder, which is basically a fancy term for someone who is extremely self-centered and narcissistic and thrives with a lot of drama in their life. She has a wicked temper and used to pick fights with him over any perceived lack of attention on his part.
      What I am wondering from some of the other betrayed wives out there is this...How many of you have told the spouse of the OW? I feel like he deserves to know, and yet I have to remember that he cheated with her and left his wife and young child after she became pregnant with his child (she was also married with a small child during that affair). So maybe for him; what goes around, comes around. Thoughts??? -S-

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    3. I believe the spouse of the Other Woman definitely deserves to know – regardless of his own character. I don't think you need to commiserate with him or do anything further than relay the information you know to be true: his wife had an affair with your husband for XX amount of time. I wouldn't expect sympathy or, frankly, anything from him. You might be called a liar, a homewrecker, a jealous crazy woman... Who knows what his response will be. But in the end, you will know that you shared information with him that you wish someone had shared with you long before you actually found out.
      That's my take on it, anyway. Anyone else want to share their thoughts??
      Elle

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    4. Anonymous,

      Did you say his affair lasted 9 (nine) years! If so, WOW, that is a long time.
      I call the OW or OM by the term alienator because it is gender neutral and nondergatory, but accuate in meaning and Sweetheart hates the term OW and I dislike acronyms. Plus she knew of the term and said it meant "other wife."
      As for Borderline PErsonality Disorder, yes, that is precisely my assumption about her and I find BPD attributes to be common in alienators--I wrote an article reviewing the Cluster B Personality Disorders in affairs.

      As for exposing to the alienator's spouse... Well, Willard Harley (Marriage Builders) certainly advocates it strongly. I didn't have that issue, as she was not married. I think it is a good idea, but I advice considering the circumstances first. What is the purpose of exposure. Was her spouse physically abusive--I may not like the alienator, but I don't want her physically harmed either. Do you know him? Will you come off as the vindictive betrayed wife or as someone who is concerned--that depends not only on your manner of exposure, but what your spouse has already said about you--your present reputation. There are a lot of things to think about, but in general, I'm for it. I actually started researching the topic of exposure again last week for a future article.

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    5. Yes, nine years and yes, it is a very long time. She was in it for the long haul, and my husband now sheepishly admits that he was very afraid of her anger and her threats of retribution if he were to cut her off completely. She is one tenacious bitch, I'll give her that. The last few years of the affair consisted largely of him listening to her complain about her husband and grown daughter, and taking her for the occasional lunch for which she would reward him with a BJ in the car. Sounds pretty romantic, huh?

      I also hate the acronyms that go with the whole sordid subject of affairs, my least favorite is the term "lover" which is often used in self-help books. "Alienator" certainly fits in my case, since she spent a lot of her time trying to weasel her way into my wife spot. I choose to be known as his lover... he and I have loved each other for 37 years and I have more than earned that title. And I will check out your article on BPD and affairs; it has been really helpful for me and for my husband to be able to put a label on this type of behavior. He is so ashamed that he was able to be manipulated by her for so many years, but in hindsight, he realizes just what he was up against after the very first encounter with her.

      Which brings me to the subject of exposure. Do I really want to open that Pandora's box of ugliness with a person this mentally unstable? I have met her husband once, he seems like a nice enough man. My husband actually said that he feels sorry for her husband...not so much because of the affair, but of what it must be like to be married to her and dealing with that drama 24/7. We are putting our life back together. We are both so grateful for where we are now. Her husband cheated with her and then married that mess, so he knows what she is capable of (and who knows, maybe he is cheating on her, too). And I admit, my main motivation in telling him, her grown children, or even her parents for that matter, would be just to expose her for who she really is to the people that are closest to her. But for now, I think I am going to just take the high road and let her spiral down the drain that is her life. And my priority is, and will continue to be, my own marriage and family.

      Thank you for weighing in, sending love and light to all of you fine and faithful women out there... -S-

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    6. S,
      Yes, I think it's important to consider the "cost" of exposing someone who is unstable. You might be wise to simply let her create her own undoing. And if she cheated with him in the first place, it won't exactly be a shock to him to imagine that she's doing it again (still?).
      Sad...

      Elle

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  11. Exactly, Elle, it is tempting to "out" her but at what risk? It is the same behavior that kept my husband connected to her that makes me want to keep my distance. Sad, yes, and you are right I don't think her husband would be surprised, and he might even be looking for a way out of the marriage. And my husband feels that she most likely started another affair ASAP, that she used to brag to him about her teenage son's friends finding her "hot"...she is addicted to male attention and needs it like a drug.

    And Rollercoaster...WOW!! So much of what you write about in your personality disorder sections fits this woman and also my husbands role with her. The emotional blackmail. The erratic behavior; one minute she would shower him with compliments and screw his brains out, and the next minute she would be in hysterics and threatening to expose him because he wasn't giving her enough attention. He said her temper left him terrified, that once he even left her at a restaurant because she had to much to drink and was picking a loud public fight. She said that she hated that he wouldn't fight with her, that she wanted to have "make-up sex"...really??? Wasn't enough that she was having illicit affair sex, she needed to have make-up sex too? And I cringed when I read your section about the "knight in shining armor" that is what she used to refer to my husband as. She definitely had 5 of the 9 listed traits for BPD and even though I thought he was smarter than to get caught up with someone like her, I can see how it happened. The good news for me and for our marriage is that I was always his soft place to fall, and I think that is why he was so happy to leave the stress and the drama of her behind and has never looked back. Not to mention... I have a kind heart, I am a caring and supportive wife and mom, and I keep myself fit and looking pretty (I am also learning to give myself credit where credit is due, thank you very much!!) -S-

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  12. oh em gee! I was boiling hot when I read that "harder" part. I loved reading your blog post about it. Since I know the OW (that wasn't one of many prostitutes) and I know she wanted nothing more but to destroy my marriage, I can't fathom how anything can be harder for her. She basically went on with her boyfriend after the longggg affair - a boyfriend who happened to be her ex husband's friend! Ugh. OW and it being harder? Yeah right! She just moved on and did what she knew how to do best.

    Sometimes I wish he would have just fell in love with her. It would be much less confusing and hurtful if he would have said "I want her and i'm leaving" instead "I want you but I slept with her for years" Like, huh? what? Moving on and foreclosing on my marriage gets more appealing each day.

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  13. I agree with u on this. My partner have an affair on and off with a woman from a different country (we live in france and she germany). The first time i found out about it was a month ago after they slept together. I talk to the OW and she admitted that she knew abt me but she was told that my partner and i were separating, which was not the case because we've just started to live together 6months ago. Then my partner said it was just a one night stand and she will forget abt her. I forgave and trusted him again. 9 months after in september 2012, i found out that they have continued their affair. And she even went here in france ans slept in our home while i was in Paris for a weekend. I tried to leave right after and my partner stopped me. He said he finished it with the OW again. Even forWarded me the goodbye letter from the OW and showing me that he also emailed the OW to say she has to move ob without him. After another 9 months just 3 days ago, my partner confessed that he went to see the OW in berlin 3 weeks ago. Stayed in her apartment for the whole weekend. And of course they had sex. It took me at leadt 12 hours to absorb it. I judt couldn't believe that he could fool me over and over. The worst part was, 2 weeks ago i emailed the OW to ask if she's still talking to my partner. She said not to worry about her because they haven't talked since october last year. She lied to me too. That i couldn't understand. So i emailed her to tell her that i know that my partner spent a weekend with her. I didn't even asked my partner, he just confessed out of the blue. While we were getting ready to sleep. Anyways, the OW said she's in dilemma and in pain just like me because we love the same man. What a bitch. Because he is MY MAN. Now he can keep him. I've had enough. My partner's not only fooling himself but all the people around him. Playing nice and all. I at one point thought I share the same pain like the OW. But not really. Because he's never had the ups and downs with my partner. They just see each other once in a blue moon and when they do they only have sex. Yes they talk but only through email..or a little conversation on the phone. Nothing more.
    I am so in pain but reading your posts make me feel strong somehow. Thank u, Elle.

    Jo

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    1. Jo,
      I think you're wise to move on without him. Despite seeing the pain you're in, despite his promises, he's revealed himself to be a serial liar and cheater. And the OW's pain is nothing like yours. She knew about you...so she knowingly entered an affair with an involved man. That alone makes a huge difference.
      But I think you'll gain strength in yourself simply by walking away from such lack of respect for you. That doesn't mean it won't hurt...it just means that you're choosing yourself, which is a powerful thing to do.
      I'm glad this site is helping you. I'm sure the day will come when your story of moving past this will help others.

      Elle

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  14. It is wrong to be the other woman I never knew I was until we got into an accident And once I knew I was gone He doesn't understand why that would make a difference What a jerk No thank you Go find someone else He has hurt and lied to both us

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    Replies
    1. Yay! You're exactly the kind of "Other Woman" we love. The kind who, once she realized she IS one, gets the hell out. Here's to the sisterhood!

      Elle

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  15. My husband had an affair that lasted FIVE years.. emotional first..then well.. we know what happens..
    he said we lost 'the spark.' And thought it was ok to tell it to another woman st his workplace.

    and he says he treated the OW worse.

    Yeah right.

    how is that even remotely possible??

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    Replies
    1. I understand what you're saying. How can they treat the OW "worse" when we're the ones being deceived and lied to and betrayed. And yet, I think what he's saying is what I often hear: That the affair was really a sick relationship conducted by two sick people. That there was no love or genuine affection. Often, there's self-loathing and disgust.
      It's generally a huge shock to many of us betrayed wives to learn just how un-sexy affairs are.
      That said…your husband has a lot of explaining to do.

      Elle

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  16. I think what he was trying to say was.. that he kept giving her hope, then then betraying, gave her hope, then betraying. Although I dont think 'betraying' would be a suitable word to use. He betrayed me, but he felt he treated her worse.

    I am sure he completely believes that they were 'in love.'

    Makes me feel sick to the stomach. Sigh.

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