Friday, July 20, 2012

Second Letter to the Other Woman...

I recently received this: 
In my circumstances of life, I am the other woman. I have been involved with a married man for many months and have since left the state and discontinued all contact. I am only in the beginning stages of healing myself- but I am very torn that his wife does not know. I, although already began the process of destroying their family, am truly seeking the forgiveness of this woman. The husband has contacted me multiple times and my answer has always been no. In the clearest most non-vindictive motive ever, I want to write a letter asking this woman for her forgiveness. Any advice?~Anonymous



So I responded with this:


Dear Anonymous,
I applaud you for refusing all contact with the married man. That's the smartest move for everyone's sake, including yours. A relationship with a man with one foot still in his marriage (no matter WHAT he's telling you) is a recipe for heartbreak.
However, I question your motives for seeking forgiveness. You say that the wife does not know. I’m assuming you want to tell her? I do believe she should know…but the best person to hear about it is from her husband. I'm suggesting you tell him that he needs to be honest with her or you will. 
And then, I'm asking you to step into the wife's shoes. Let me to give you a glimpse into what it's like to learn that the person you love and trust has betrayed you:
The world suddenly seems extraordinarily unsafe. You wonder, if you could be so wrong about your husband, what other things are you wrong about. Can your friends be trusted? Your parents? Can anyone be trusted? Including yourself?
You can't sleep without images flooding your brain of your husband and the Other Woman. You imagine their sex is like the steamiest, most sexy movie ever. You imagine she's more beautiful, more exciting, more interesting – no matter that reality (and often your husband) reveal otherwise. You feel invisible, useless, of no value. You might need to take anti-depressants. You might consider suicide. Betrayal takes you to the lowest point of your life.
You feel a rage you never knew you were capable of. You could kill him. And her. With your bare hands. If only you had the energy to get out of bed.
You can't eat. You feel constantly sick to your stomach. Indeed, many betrayed wives are physically sick when they find out. 
You can't think about anything BUT your spouse's affair. Your children fade into the background. Your work suffers. You take no pleasure in anything and wonder if you'll ever feel joy again.
You have no idea whether to stay or go. You have no idea whether what he's telling you about the affair is the whole truth, partial truth, or simply more lies based on what he thinks he can get away with. You wonder what happened to the man who promised to cherish you above all others, 'til death do you part'. Was he lying then, too? Has your entire married life been a waste?
Now imagine, in the midst of this emotional maelstrom, the other woman asking you to forgive her
Do you see the problem with this? After all the pain you've caused her, you're asking her to do something for you.
It's time for you to do something for her. A kind something. A generous something. 
And that's only possible when you acknowledge the pain you've helped create and figure out what moral lapse allowed you to go down that path. 
What stories of his were you believing? What stories were you telling yourself? What red flags were you ignoring? 
If, after this, you can offer a sincere apology – a simple no-strings-attached "I am so profoundly sorry that I contributed to your pain" – go for it. THEN live a life that indicates you've learned from your mistake. 
But remember, the apology is for HER, not for YOU. Though it might make you feel a little better about yourself, ensure that it's INTENDED to lighten her load, not yours. Don't be surprised if she rejects it...and you. Her pain is so deep right now, she can barely function let alone truly absorb your remorse. She may hate the fact you’re using up oxygen on this planet. Or she might accept your apology. And she might be able to offer forgiveness somewhere down the road. I don't think I forgive the OW who was with my husband, but I also don't wish her ill. She's simply a non-issue now. I understand that she wasn't the problem, my husband was. If it hadn't been her, it would have been someone else.
The question comes down to: Is the apology to help her with her healing, or to ask her to help you with yours? 
If you can't answer, then walk away and get on with your life. One without married men in it.




Elle

52 comments:

  1. I would love for the OW to acknowledge and accept partial responsibility for the affair that almost destroy my 20 year marriage.

    In her world, I was the one interfering with her relationship with my husband. I guess leaving her husband for mine(husband upgrade), just complicated her plans. In her eyes.. I was the other OW.

    Living in a small town..I would see her occasionally driving pass me in her jeep and giving me that look..The look of hate and anger. It truly bothers me that she has no remorse at all.

    Sometimes, I do wish that she would contact me and apologize for all the pain and agony she has caused me. Sadly, she doesn't care about anyone but herself. In her eyes..I'm the enemy!

    I'm truly grateful that my husband and I are rebuilding our marriage. It's been a tough road...but were doing it and we are doing very well.

    It's been almost 2 years since DD and I still loathe the sight of her! I just can't understand how someone who can feel nothing for the pain they have caused....

    In my case, I believe accountability and true remorse would help me in my healing. It would be the final piece in the puzzle..Closure.

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    1. I think it takes a rare person to truly understand and acknowledge the pain they've caused. I hope you get your apology...but I wouldn't hold my breath.
      Instead focus on your marriage, happy that the OW is no longer part of it. Good luck...and thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Elle

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    2. That's exactly what I thought, if only she would have the guts of a real woman, call her old friend, and apologize, ask for forgiveness. I think I would have closure!

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  2. Well said. A spot on description of the torment of infidelity on the BS.
    Think she heard you?
    I'd venture to guess...nope.
    Truly, I hope she doesn't contact the WH. I hope she just keeps moving along as far away from the WH as possible, literally and figuratively. In the best of all possible worlds, the BW would be told, but I don't think it's worth the OW contacting the WH again.
    Hope & Hugs, Shawn
    http://ayearaftertheaffair.blogspot.com/

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    1. Yes Shawn, I agree. She had said he kept contacting her...and it seemed to make sense that she advise him to come clean or she would. But definitely don't contact the husband, especially one that seems unwilling to let go.

      Elle

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  3. Same here with me, I would also love the OW to acknowledge that she is equally responsible for the pain and anguish she has caused me. But it seems that at her point of view, she blamed it everything to my husband to think she knew all along he was married.

    Its been 7 months since the DDay, I still have the same horrible dreams at night, dreams like I was trapped in a room where I could not breath and feel so powerless. But somehow, I still managed to get through the day and to think more on the positive side because I dont want my children to be affected with my emotions.

    I guess speaking for myself who is willing to past all the pain and move on in restoring our marriage, I try to not to think of the OW as she does matter nor important in my life. If I think of her it drains my energy and makes me weak. I just pray and tell myself that God sees and God cares.


    To anonymous, I don't think it would be best that you tell her for the reason that you are the OW. I agree with the other wives to definitely don't contact the husband and move on.

    Advice to anonymous:
    We are free to choose but we are not free from the consequences of our choice. So before it gets worst, leave the husband.

    Do not do what you feel like you are going to hide something because God sees and God cares. He can see people in pain, despair and lost and He will make it just for them.

    Brave wife

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  4. Bravo, Elle, Bravo. This post is amazing. You just floor me sometimes with how you can take an issue you are so painfully familiar with, examine it from all sides and then write about it succinctly.

    You've left me wondering how I can make my husband's OW read this.

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  5. Thank You Elle. You're right! Focus on the marriage and Not the OW. Some people are incapable of understanding the pain they caused. I can only hope for Karma one day. ;)

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    1. With time, I think you'll realize that she was only a convenient distraction. Which is kinda sad when you think of the amount of time/energy/emotion she likely put into the relationship. Feel pity for her more than anger...
      Another site I used to go on talked a lot about the "karma bus" as in "I hope she gets run over by the karma bus." Always made me smile.

      Elle

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    2. Now...I like your idea better!!!!! Thank you sooo much for all your wisdom.

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  6. Excellent description of how I felt then and sometimes still do 3 years after my husband's affair.

    I'm thinking of printing it out and giving it to him since another by-product of the betrayal for me was an inability to string more than 3 words together coherently.

    You said it beautifully.

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    1. I sometimes find it hard to express myself when my emotions are soooo extreme. It's hard to put words to pain that brings us to our knees.
      It has been time and a certain distance from what happened that allows me to articulate now. But, bizarrely, I don't remember the feeling. I just know that's how I felt because I remember my behavior. I felt empty. It's a survival skill, I think. If we let ourselves feel everything at once, it would bury us.

      Elle

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  7. Wow, I'm not sure how I feel about this. I would love to get an apology from the secretary my husband was screwing. And I would love to hear all of the shit he told her. However, never seeing or hearing from her is just as good.

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  8. I sort of know the answer to your question, Elle. This OW's sudden contrition for what she has done is only driven by her own self-absorption (the same self-centeredness that allowed her to have an affair with a married man). If she had so much at heart the interest of this betrayed wife, she would not have entered into a relationship with her husband in the first place. While the affair was going on, the BW was just an after-thought and now suddenly she needs to know??? Hypocrisy is what comes to mind...

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    1. Yes, could be hypocrisy. Though I'm enough of an optimist to believe that people can and do evolve emotionally. I wouldn't still be in my marriage if I didn't think so.
      I hope she has faced the pain she's caused. But unless she can approach an apology asking nothing in return, then I still think she should simple move on, wiser and kinder (hopefully).

      Elle

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  9. When I confronted the OW and told her to back off, we have three young kids (we own our own co., she was a former employee and 20 years younger than my H), her response to me was, "I know you'd like to blame me, but you may want to look inside yourself, for the seeds of destruction you planted long ago." OMG, what self righteous bitch says that?? This was 7 months ago...Now because of your blog, I have been able to move past that evil comment. I think the Karma Bus sounds fabulous. Thank you for your blog, it has helped me immensely.

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    1. "Seeds of destruction?" Ah yes, drama. The kryptonite of OW. Hopefully she's feeding her drama addiction somewhere else now...

      Elle

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  10. Have been following your blog for the last year or so. Oct. 24 D-Day. It is getting close. Thought we were doing well. Husband having to work early morning hours same as when he was having affair. Have moved cross country. How do I deal with the memories? It went on 7 months and he was discovered. Seems like he has totally changed, but how do i deal with these triggers? I thought I was better?

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    1. Hi Anon,
      My guess is you are better. You may not feel great...but I bet you do feel better than you did (almost) one year ago. And that's what you need to focus on. You likely not right out into the sunshine...but you're also not completely beneath the storm clouds, at least not all the time. And things that trigger you (like his hours) will take you back. But you need to talk back to the memories. To remind yourself that things are not the same. If he's able, ask your husband to help with this. Explain how anti-versaries can take you back emotionally to that horrible moment when you found out. Ask if he can be especially gentle with you, more reassuring than normal, more available to you than normal. Not only can that help you through the triggers...it also helps you slowly rebuild trust. To rely on him again as a friend/husband, someone to trust with your feelings and needs. But this works only if he's able to support you. If he's still minimizing or avoiding your pain, then it will only make you feel worse.
      One thing I did for the first few years post D-Day was to plan a day for my husband and I to do something fun. To spend it together focussed on a good time. It felt a bit artificial at times during the first anti-versary...but the good outweighed the bad. By year three, I no longer felt I even needed it – the date had sort of lost its significance.
      If your husband isn't available, perhaps you could plan a day with a friend. Or simply do something for yourself that feels indulgent. No matter what you do, know that it's just a date on the calendar. And just because it triggers memories, that's all they are. They aren't today.
      Today, whether you realize it yet or not, you're stronger and wiser. You're getting through this, one day at a time.

      Elle

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  11. Along the lines of what Elle wrote, I deliberately do what I call 're-write' and my husband is very cooperative. For any element, word or expression, date, and other that I feel brings a bad feeling and memory of "their" events together my husband and I decide how to re-write and create our own memory to be better and meaningful to us; and this does change my focus and is productive and brings us happiness and bonding together. Here are a few examples:

    He agreed, but I decided soon after that I no longer felt the need to do this, but, we had planned to go to the hotel where they spent the weekend and stay in the exact room they were in and re-write what the place/event meant to me/him. This year was too busy so, maybe next year.

    My most fun night talking about the OW was soon after I learned about the affair through concrete evidence (my intuition was telling me he was having an affair but I said nothing). It was a Friday. I said, I need this, come outside with me and entertain me. We'll share some adult spirits and this is how you can really lift my spirits. I can ask you anything and want you to tell me all the ugly, horrible and outrageous about her and the experience. I really want to feel good, so, if you need to lie about something tonight, go ahead. We sat, drank, talked openly and roared in laughter! It didn't 'fix' my heart relative to the whole truth but I was grateful for such an awesome break in my stress. Honestly, I think he was too. And, he was quite honest about her uglies and absolute horrors of the experience. We hugged and kissed and confirmed our commitment to get through this horror together.

    I had over 8000 fb messages my husband and the OW exchanged, about 90% was explicit sexual seduction. It helped me to dive in and open up and that brought extreme excitement to our intimate lives. All the sex talk that he found exciting I now own and I do it all the better and with genuine meaning. I had nothing to lose and forced my shyness out of the way. Our communication, oral and written, is easy now, about everything. If one can communicate well in content they feel most vulnerable then they are more likely to be able to communicate about anything else.

    I thought, what do I have to lose? In the fb messages I learned of what my husband found most exciting sexually and now knowing allowed me to deliver. Going with "what do I have to lose" made it all very easy to begin and his delighted responses made my ventures all worth my while and I have succeeded in encouraging him in sharing extensively with me in very personal and private matters/ways. Our sex life boomed.

    I always re-write and he's always on board. Life is exciting. I am no stronger than you and my heart is forever broken in a way I cannot change. I only have one life to live and I choose to repair as best as I can my life with my husband. Our love is not perfect, but in the end it really is quite perfect. I told my husband we need a large ink stamp stating, "[my name] and [his name]'s ROOM. Our love and affection is visible to those around us and I feel good. We are decent and in love.

    Re-write is creative and rewarding. Re-write all of it for your owning and benefit!



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    1. Anonymous,
      Thanks for sharing your experience. "Re-writing" is a brilliant idea. It's empowering and would go a long way toward re-connecting both of you.
      I also give you huge credit for allowing your husband's FB messages to reignite your sex life with him. It sounds a bit crazy but sometimes what happened can be viewed as a gift – the chance to open ourselves to our spouse in a more intimate way than ever before.
      I hope others will try it.
      Elle

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  12. It has been 4 months since my husband told me about the affair that he was having with someone who I considered a friend. Initially, he said that it had been a one time thing, but the more he opened up, and the more he shared, he confirmed that it had been going on for 10 months. Aside from the obvious, there were many things which were hurtful. I have forgiven him for his part in the affair, but I am having a very difficult time forgiving the OW for a variety of reasons. Not only did she go out of her way to become comfortable with my husband, but she also went out of her way to become friends with myself and my children. She would arrange play dates so that our children could play together and she would go out of her way to try and be close to me. To the point where she was comfortable asking me how my marriage was and if everything was ok. Now I feel betrayed by a friend and my children miss there little friends. After my husband told me about his affair, she contacted me to apologize for any pain she caused me. However, he showed me an email she sent him 3 days later saying she missed him like crazy and hoped he had a good weekend. During their affair, they talked extensively about what it would be like if they were together. I feel that the reason she wanted our children to be friends was in case they ever ended up being siblings. I am very angry at her for involving my children. I am also angry at her for involving her children. I do not have alot of friends but the ones I do have, are very special to me. Although she was not a close friend, she was someone I shared information with. I am angry at her for betraying my trust and using what I shared with her to her benefit. I am also angry at myself for this. She knew that he liked to be spoiled, she knew the special things he liked to do with us as a family, she knew things that were lacking in his life, she knew he liked to sneek away for coffee dates, etc. She knew this because I shared it with her. I understand that what they had was not reality. Their schedules allowed the freedom to meet and have fun without kids. They would buy each other gifts. They didn't have the worries of a household, bills etc. I don't know if I was wrong in wanting the details of his affair, because at the time, I wanted to know everything. However, now I can't get those things I know out of my mind. Like the tattoo she got with the lyrics to his favourite song, the beautiful watch she bought him for his birthday (which I had wanted to do but chose to pay for the kids swimming lessons instead), the weekend they went away (something we haven't done in years). We live in a small town and she is in a public profession, so I see pictures of her everywhere. She truly believed that they would be together at the end. In the end though, I am the one standing by his side trying to make each day better than the previous one. We are working hard at repairing our marriage. We take 3 steps forward and two steps back. The 2 steps back are usually my having trouble dealing with my anger towards her.

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    1. Anonymous,
      She is a very, very sick woman. I know that doesn't do much to help you feel better...but you need to know that anyone capable of that sort of duplicity is not whole.
      Life isn't fair. There you are standing by your husband's side, being a wife and mom and dealing with the pain of not only your husband's betrayal but a friend's as well. Remember that behind anger is hurt and fear. Of course you're feeling hurt by both of them. And I suspect it's safer to focus on her than your husband.
      You say you've forgiven your husband. I confess I wonder what, exactly, he's done in four months to earn that forgiveness. I wonder if you've still got a ton of hurt/anger about what HE did, the position HE put you in. I'm certainly not suggesting you shouldn't forgive him. I am suggesting that you've haven't fully processed the depth of your pain around this.
      This woman is twisted and manipulative and I feel sorry for anyone else who crosses her path, no matter that she's a public figure (as we've seen from news reports, being a public figure doesn't exactly guarantee integrity). I feel extra sorry for her children who are used as pawns.
      Your children are lucky that they have you fighting FOR them, not with them. Your husband is lucky that you're willing to give him a second chance. It sounds as if he's been very honest about the affair and that's a good step. (We've all asked for too much information and many of us regret it. However, it will fade with time.)
      I think, however, that you need to be a bit more discerning with your trust and forgiveness. It's not something you owe people...rather they need to show that they deserve it by being honest and transparent over time.
      You got burned really badly. So it only makes sense that you're going to be careful to ensure it doesn't happen again. But it's your husband who needs to assure you of that, over and over and over. It's he who needs to prove to you that he deserves that second chance.
      As for your former friend? The karma bus will eventually catch up to her...though unfortunately we don't always get to witness it. In the meantime, she's sentenced to having to live in her own head, a ghetto-like place of envy and fear. Be glad you're not her and that you rescued yourself and your kids from being around that.

      Elle

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    2. Thank you so much for your candid response. We have been going to counselling and making gains. One of the things the counsellor suggested I do was write a letter to the OW. However, I am not at the point where I can do that yet. It was nice to share some of the details with you, a third party so to speak. Of course when I shared the information with my closest friend, she did everything a real friend could possibly do. It feels really good to get this load off my shoulders.....thank you.

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    3. WOW. Sounds like exactly what I am going through now. I'm not a betrayed spouse but a betrayed long time live in partner (girl friend). I know who my boyfriend's other woman is (met her once), but she was totally complicit in the deception. In fact, she still believes he is going to toss me out and have her move in. I read tons of emails and chats from her to him that were laced with hatred towards me.

      He says its over but I'm not convinced. I found out about it 4 months ago and he has continued to contact her behind my back. As recently as two weeks ago.

      It's a terribly long and horrible story. I'm not getting better, I'm getting worse.

      But I like this blog and I hope it sticks around. Its nice to find something kindred.

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    4. VerySad,
      Welcome to the club. :(
      Sorry you need to be here...but glad you found us.
      The only way this (and you!) is going to get better is if you insist on it getting better -- either by giving him the chance to end it and work with you to improve your relationship or by tossing him and moving on. But putting up with it simply erodes your own self-respect. I hope you'll treat yourself with the kindness and compassion you deserve.

      Elle

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  13. My husband (boyfriend at the time) cheated on me with a co-worker. I had suspicions but I would lie to myself and say he'd never do that to me. It wasn't sexual cheating. It was more emotional...I think that's what hurt me the most. I'd go through his cell phone and find nothing, until one day it dawned on me: check the records on our cell phone account online. So I did. What I saw on the text log baffled me. The same number over and over and over. Text messages sent and received by the hundreds, some responded to in the same minute! I was still in denial...hoping it was his best friend's number. I decided to dial it. I called private and got her voicemail "Hey, it's (her name). Sorry I missed your call......" That's all I needed to hear. I knew. I confronted him about it and all he could say is he was sorry. I asked him to stop talking to and texting her and he said he would. Well, he didn't. It led to a huge fight which ended with both of us in jail. He was bailed out (by her) and I did 6 days in jail. Needless to say, that gave me a lot of time to think. This girl KNEW he was in a relationship, she KNEW we had kids together and she still continued to persue him. We broke up in late January and got back together in June. They were legally married in May (drunk in Las Vegas). That was also the month my husband got her pregnant. When my husband was trying to end things with her, at first she cried to him and asked him why. When she say that didn't work, she told him she was moving out of state with her parents and wanted nothing to do with him and nothing from him. She moved, had the baby and a few months later we got a letter in the mail for Child Support. My husband has paid his support since, but it is just a painful monthly reminder of what they did and the pain I felt. I also don't know how to deal with the fact that he has a child with another woman. its unreal to me sometimes. He wants nothing to do with her or the child and is ashamed of having done what he did. SHE thinks of herself as the victim and says MY husband left her and his son and hurt THEM by doing so! I just want to feel at peace with my situation. Any advice or suggestions? Thanks in advance :)

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    1. Wow, you've certainly been through the ringer!
      Clearly you can't un-do what's been done. But you can try to rebuild a new relationship with your husband based on honesty and respect. Your reference to jail due to a fight raises a red flag. That must have been one helluva fight. I hope both of you, for your sake and your kids, have managed to work through your anger and learn to fight fairly and respectfully. If not, perhaps that's the place to start.
      If you haven't already, get yourselves a marriage counsellor who can help you and your husband process what's happened. This Other Woman might be a total bitch but your husband nonetheless made the choice to invite her into your relationship. So he needs to completely face that and move past that bad decision into some smarter ones. Try not to think about the support -- that's the cost of bad decisions and there's nothing you can do. Nor is it the child's fault. (Incidentally, is he absolutely sure he's the father?)
      So...my advice: Get counselling, both marriage and, if you can afford it, individually. My guess is neither of you are recognize a healthy relationship so you need someone to guide you toward it. It lacks drama but gains peace. It's worth trying to achieve, especially for your children who are looking to you to see what a healthy relationship looks like.
      Good luck with this. I'm sorry for all the pain you've been through but you seem incredibly strong and I've no doubt you can find your way to happiness.

      Elle

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  14. Thank you so much for your response, Elle. I'm not sure if its a good thing when you, having heard as many stories as you have, start out your response to me with "wow" :) also, please don't take this the wrong way, but how did you assume from my post that I am incredibly strong? (A compliment. Thank you.) I've been looking for a place to release all these bad thoughts and energy. I, too, would like an apology from the OW. It would be closure. It would be her actually admitting she did wrong and is sorry for the suffering she put my family through. My husband has apologized time and time again. But her? No. She "doesn't like me. Never did." to quote her own words. She doesn't know me! I don't even know her. I've gone to counseling. It helped. I've been wanting to attend a marriage counselor, but my husband isn't having it. He's not the type to spill his guts about his personal life to a complete stranger, or so he says. We are NOT 100% about the paternity. There was never any test done. He admitted to being the father simply because she told him he was. We plan on hiring a lawyer and partitioning the court for a paternity test this coming up year. We (especially me) can't live with the doubt any longer. Sometimes I get a feeling of jealousy and resentment coming from her end. I have what she's always wanted. A family. All three of my kids are my husband's (she also has a daughter from another man who already had a girlfriend and kids). There is no communication with her or her child. My husband is adamant that he wants nothing to do with her or the child. We haven't told our children they have another brother..not even sure if or how we should.

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    1. Sorry. I don't mean to be insensitive with the "wow". Just an acknowledgement that you've certainly had a lot to deal with. And you must be strong because you're still standing.
      I think a paternity suit is wise, though it might simply confirm that your husband is the father. But at least then he's paying for what is legitimately his responsibility. And he would have some rights if he chose to someday pursue a relationship with this child. I generally sympathize with the kids in these situations. They didn't ask to be brought into it...and it takes two to make a baby. And, of course, any child benefits from a relationship with both parents. However that's clearly your husband's and your choice. Re. your kids: again it's your choice but I think any secret in a family has the potential to become toxic.
      I'm not sure I'd give your husband the "I don't spill my guts" escape route. Fact is, he created this situation. And though there are some people able to heal without counselling, there's plenty more who simply sweet it under the rug without a counsellor to insist that certain issues get addressed. It's also a way for you to have an objective support person so that you can safely explore the issues this has brought up for you -- trust issues, most likely, but also potentially dealing with the resentment of supporting another child. I don't think your husband gets the choice on this matter -- you do.
      And finally, I suspect an apology from this woman wouldn't do as much as you think it would. It doesn't ultimately change anything. And given her history of being with men in other relationships, she clearly has the scruples of an alleycat. What's an apology from someone lacking morals really worth? The fact that she "doesn't like you. Never has"?? Consider it a compliment. You're a walking reminder of everything she's not. And she hates that.

      Elle

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    2. Thank you. I think I am finally starting to see this whole situation in a different light. I used to only see it as the victim and I felt like a piece of trash. I think actually was on the verge of convincing myself she was better than me. I mean, why else would ny husband choose her over me? But now I'm seeing it from an outsider's perspective. And now, I'm starting to believe she's in NO WAY better than me. She claims to be a Christian. And does a good job at faking her "happy, perfect life with her family of 3" on her Facebook. When in reality she's desperate for a man and had an eharmony.com account while she was still pregnant with ny husband's child! (No joke) she'll settle for anyone dumb enough to settle for her. She is an ex drug addict, and when I asked about her around town I heard some horror stories to say the least. :\ all these factors helped to convince me that she's not better. She's actually quite a mess. Such a mess that I admit to spying on her Facebook. Another habit I desperately want to break. Buy it has become some sort of an addiction. It started with of course the obsession of trying to see what she had that I didn't. Then after she had the baby I was curious to see what he looked like...now...its kind of a mix of both. Sometimes its as if I compare our lives. I need to stop this! For my own good. Its harder than it sounds, unfortunately. Thank you for all your sound advice. Reading your replies was what convinced me to post. Your advice makes a lot of sense to me.

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    3. It's one of the hardest things to understand, I think -- that his affair wasn't about what she had that you didn't but what HE is missing inside himself.
      And a former addict (unless she's done a ton of counselling, 12-step groups, etc.) is likely full of shame, which makes her much more likely to do self-destructive things (like get involved with a married man). The Facebook stalking is really unhealthy for you and is likely keeping you rooted in the past. You can read some posts on this site (here's one: http://betrayedwivesclub.blogspot.ca/2013/02/obsessed-with-other-woman.html) where other betrayed wives have outlined their own obsessions with the Other Woman. You'll get some good advice there.
      Glad you're on the path to healing. Now keep going!!

      Elle

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  15. I also want an apology from the other woman. It would be nice, but I know I won't get it. I look her up on fb. I wonder about the kid she had by my husband also. part of me wants us to be friends. I want her to envy me. I want to feel better than her for once. Why do I care what goes on in this person's life anymore??? Does she care what is going on in mine? Could she be stalking me just as much if not more? My husband chose me but I want to feel that "best woman won" feeling because right now I still don't and its been 3 years.

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    1. No you probably won't get the apology you want. But you're only hurting yourself by following her life on FB. And DON'T even consider being "friends". Keep her as far away as possible and focus on making your own life fulfilling and meaningful. That will help you feel like you've "won" -- or rather it will make "winning" no longer important.

      Elle

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    2. Yes I know that looking at her fb will only keep me thinking about.her and I know this might sound weird but sometimes I use it as a form of motivation. Why is feeling like I won not important??

      Delete
    3. As long as you're focussed on a winner and a loser then you're focussed, at least to some extent, on her. She's irrelevant. Shift the focus to you and your husband and what you need to do to re-establish connection and caring. That's what I meant by "not important". It's kind of the old adage: living well is the best revenge.

      Elle

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  16. How do I stop obsessing? Its been three years and I still look her up on websites. It is my daily mission some days to find a way to see her pictures of the child she created with my husband. why do I feel the need to know what's going on in her life? I'm satisfied with mine but the way I obsess about hers, you'd think I wasn't. I succeeded in convincing myself that she's "better than me". its like I wish I COULD just stop looking her up but I give in and do it anyway thinking "I'll never NOT be curious, they have a kid" so I go look. its as if I get a rush when I find out something new or see a new pic. As you may very well have guessed, all this makes me feel pretty pathetic...but its as if obsessing about her has become my pastime. the only time I feel motivation for my own life is when I feel envy about hers. For example if I saw a pic of her and her friend hanging out, it would then make me want to spend time with my friend. Basically to feel like I "one up" her. uuggghhh I wish someone could make me not give a DAMN about her! Why do I build her up to more than she is??? Why do I give her the benefit of the doubt? Sometimes I even consider pretending to get along with her to secretly find out more about her! Shheeesh writing all this out, I have come to realize: I need MAJOR help!!!!!!!

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    1. I don't know if you need MAJOR help...but some help, definitely. :)
      You've acknowledged that, on some level, you're rewarded for your obsession -- that "rush" you feel. But I would also argue that a big part of it is simply habit. And habits, even bad ones -- especially bad ones!! -- are hard to break. But they can, of course, be broken with effort.
      It wouldn't hurt to see a professional to get to the bottom of why you feel motivated to do things only when you see her doing them. But I also think you just need to make it a point to stop. I know it's not that easy...but I also know it's not that hard. There are lots of tips in the comments on this and the other OW post -- put an elastic on your wrist and snap it hard anytime you're tempted to snoop. Put a big red stop sign on your desk. Go for a walk when temptation strikes. Reward yourself for NOT snooping by buying yourself a chocolate bar or some other treat. And then, perhaps with a professional, figure out what's missing in your life that she feeds. Excitement? Drama? A sense of purpose? A child? And then fill it in a healthy way. If it's her child that keeps you curious, get involved as a Big Sister or something.
      And remind yourself how pathetic this feels. You don't want to be this person! You want to be someone who embraces her own life, and lives it to the fullest.

      Delete
  17. Part 1. My insight into the other woman, a friend!

    A little insight into how the other woman feels. This was from a friend who doesn't know that I've been betrayed. I knew about her affair partner but I'm ashamed to say I only took an interest once it had happened to me and the fact that we didn't catch up much as we were thousands of miles away.

    Week one of her affair: They met at a convention. Drinks after the meeting, mutual attraction. She was single he was married which she knew. Ended up in bed by the end of the week. She told me of the flattery - Never had sex like it, she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen, she " got him".

    Week 2 and 3. He went to her apartment for dinner and more sex. Took her some flowers and champagne. He opened up more about his wife, how the marriage was dead and he was only staying for the kids.

    Month 2 and 3. She now tells me that they meet at least 3/4 times a week. He has now told her he loves her. He cant stand being without her. She is having the time of her life. Dressing up, being admired, little gifts. I tell her to watch out. Her heart will be broken and doesn't she think of his wife and kids. Yes, she did, said she felt terrible at first but now she realises they " were meant to be" and besides, the wife is a real ogre, moans all the time, they sleep in separate rooms.

    Month 4-5. Still going well and she still adores him. Bit upset he couldn't spend her birthday with her and she was hoping to take a little holiday with him. She gives him the key in case he can turn up or if the old bag of a wife gives him too much grief he can spend some time at her apartment. After all, he will probably be moving in one day.

    Month 6-7. I hear she's getting a bit pissed about the situation. She really thought by now he would be putting some plans into place about leaving, you know, stashing some money in a different account for when he moves. Shit, she finds out the family are going on holiday together. Why would he do that when he cant stand her. Well, you know, we have to keep a united front for the kids.

    Month 8-9. He has started cancelling a few times. Still says he loves her and they will be together one day. She's had to keep him secret from her friends, so she's missing out on her social life.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Part 2.
    Month 9-10. She decides to do a drive-by the house. WTF, there he is in the front garden with the ogre of a wife, who quite frankly would give Julia Roberts a run for her money. How can he be laughing with her? She doesn't tell him she went by the house. Actually, he never told her exactly where he lived but she found out one day from his wallet. He always told her his wife never had facebook. Oh dear, big mistake, especially when the photos are public. That holiday that was only for the kids, well, there was an awful lot of affection going on, and what was that picture taken at Christmas of the whole family on the bed opening presents looking like the Partridge family? Then a close up picture of the gorgeous eternity ring he bought her. She had never seen him look so happy.

    Cut to the present day. She confronted him. Told him he had to make his mind up that she wasn't going to wait. He apologised and said sorry, she was lovely but he did love his wife and his head was turned. Begged her not to tell his wife.

    It cut like a knife hearing her story, I wanted to shout " You bitch, how could you" But when she cried on my shoulder and said she felt such a fool, used and abused, he was stringing me along all the time. She said that she felt inferior to the wife and the compliments meant nothing as she knew they were just words to get her into bed.

    The final piece of her humiliation. My friend, the OW, went to a book club organised by a friend of a friend. And yes, his wife was one of the members. After a few weeks of being in the same room, she hears one evening after a few glasses of wine what a great sex life this woman has with her husband. She seems a happy woman. My friend said she wanted to destroy her happiness that evening by blurting out the truth. She hasn't so far.

    I don't think she would benefit from apologising. She's humiliated enough already, she would feel even more like trash. She phoned the other day, I somehow felt I didn't need a friend like this in my life. I cut her short, said I would phone back. Haven't done as yet. Through my pain I can feel some sort of satisfaction knowing that at the back of the OW minds, they really must know deep down how gullible and stupid they are. My husbands failure is what I will deal with, hers, well, who cares.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Wow. Classic, huh? I swear some of these guys have a "cheater's manual" and they simply follow the script. Ogre of a wife. Separate bedrooms. Lousy sex life. Just for the kids.
      What an asshole!
      And I'm so sorry you had to know about that, while dealing with your own betrayal. I had a friend who cheated with a married man years before I was even married. It always bothered me. But now I find I simply can't look at her the same way anymore.
      Thank-you so much for posting this. I'm wondering if you would let me re-post it as a blog entry. I think it could help a lot of women understand just how little their spouse's affair really had to do with them. As I've said before, we're just collateral damage.
      Let me know.

      Elle

      Delete
  19. Dear Elle, Yes, please do use as a blog. It took me a long time before I wrote this, partly because pre D Day it didn't have the same effect on me as afterwards and I sort of felt complicit that at the time I was patiently listening to the details over a glass of wine and this affair was in another country, so what the heck! It's probably best I didn't know about the start of her affair after my D Day- she may not have made that flight home.

    We all hold the O/W up as something unique, special, alluring, attractive and mesmerising, when in fact they are usually deficient in some way, willing to pick up the leftovers, usually less attractive and I'm sure they have to put a lot of unnatural effort into being something special in the bedroom- which leads me to the point my friend made about when they were having sex; she was making the loudest noises, throwing herself around the bed, telling him she never had sex like it when in fact it wasn't that good and she felt exhausted by all the effort.

    Ladies, as Elle points out, the affair is to do with your spouses choice and not yours. Heck, let him eat stale old meat when he had Fillet Mignon at home!

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  20. A little late, but I recently found this site. THANK YOU for this post. It describes EVERY painful thing I went through after discovering my husband's affair with a colleague. The only thing I would care to know about the OW is that she has suffered as much as me through this nightmare. I shared details with her husband as I thought it was only fair that she share in this hell she helped create. Would love to find out what happened there. Probably not enough as I later had to tell her to stop contacting my husband for "work issues" that she needed "help" with. I guess the witch thought they were going to pretend nothing happened and go back to being friends. Whatever! Husband needs to find a new job in a new part of the country as far away from all the crappy memories, and that would suit me just fine. Unfortunately, reality isn't always that easy. This site has been such a lifesaver for me. Thank you again.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Ramona,
      I absolutely agree you were right to tell her husband. But then let it go.
      I'm sorry this woman is still in your life in any capacity. I hope your husband recognizes her as the crazy-person she is.

      Elle

      Delete
  21. Dear Elle,

    Thank you for putting up this blog. It has helped me put things into perspective, somewhat.

    i am 6 months post d-day.. where the OW texted me about how my husband doesnt love me anymore and that my pregnancy was a mistake. I stupidly thought it was a missent sms..but lo and behold.. :'(

    A week later she continued to bombard me with almost 15smses about what they did.. sordid details of the affair.. how he is staying for the kids.. how he wish he knew me better before getting married.. how she wanted to meet with me and apologise (?!?!)... how he told her he cldnt live without her.. how he had to force himself to be with me.. etc. Sigh and i was 7 months pregnant ..

    Betrayal is excruciatingly painful..

    she said sorry for the interruption..

    i wish i could give her a big tight slap. And more. Sigh.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. That is one nasty, toxic person. To want to wound someone so deeply -- and someone who had done NOTHING to her. Wow. I wouldn't want to get close enough to slap her.
      I hope you can see just how crazy she is…and trust that the farther you are from her, the better. Don't respond to any messages from her. These people thrive on the drama and the contact. It's like oxygen to them. Deprive her of it.
      And yes…excruciating is right. It does, however, get better.

      Elle

      Delete
  22. Writing in to add that my husband didnt think that him continuing to be in touch with her would kill any chance of reconciliation.

    He said this is about us. Not her. She does not affect anything.

    is this for real? Can reconciliation happen whilst the intruder is still looming in the background.. as "friends?"

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    1. No, it can not. She is to be exorcised from your lives like the demon she is. Absolutely NO contact. And the fact that he thinks otherwise is a huge red flag. He clearly doesn't understand just how damaging his affair was, nor how toxic this person is to your marriage. Is he in any kind of counselling to figure out why he cheated? Does he have any insights? Or is he just of the "let's just forget this ever happened" school of thought?
      This woman is not a "friend". Not to him, not to you. And certainly not to your marriage.

      Elle

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    2. Could it be the reason why she sent me those smses was coz she was desperate? He said he strung her on.. giving her hope after hope.. even promised to leave me and marry her.. referred to himself as her beloved husband. Sigh.

      I think he is of the 'let's just forget this ever happened' school of thought.. which unfortunately led him to say that the affair completely wiped oit whatever feelings he had left for me.. he claims that he slowly felt less and less for me since we got married 9 years ago.. :/

      so i suppose he found 'the spark' with the OW.. sigh. Soulmates. He told her deep secrets he never even told me, she said.

      Delete
  23. I would love to get a letter of apology from the other woman. To be honest this other woman sounds like mine. They were involved for many months & she moved out of state. Although my husband hates her now over 2 years later I'm sure he did try to contact her multiple times after she moved. (She came back a few times after she moved and they spent the day together & of course had sex, though he says he can't specifically remember what they did those days except have sex & argue.

    And I totally agree with the woman who recommends rewriting-- we have been doing the same. One of the weekends she came to see him he lied to me & said he was going to work but they went to a winery. He bought her a case of wine which he was supposed to ship her but never did; he had it in his car for 2 years. After I found out about the affair he gave me the wine, & nights that I feel especially depressed I have a glass & boy do I savor it.

    And this past sept abt 1 month after d day we took out own trip to a different winery w our kids & his mom. He said he had a much better time than w her. U know, even if it was a lie, I had a great time!

    & we also have some nites when we are both in a playful mood when we just trash the other woman, her profession, & her home state. I recommend it highly.

    -Sam

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