Tuesday, October 15, 2013

More Evidence that Other Women Are Crazy

I've never declared war on the Other Woman. I know that not all of them are monsters. Some of them are young and naive (and perhaps have a not-quite-developed moral compass). Some genuinely don't believe they deserve better. I know of a couple who didn't realize they were the Other Woman. The moment each found out, they refused the title and walked away. 
But then I receive a letter like the one below, posted as a comment to my Open Letter to the Other Woman. And I'm reminded that some of them are bitter and self-righteous and able to rationalize (though irrationally) getting involved with a married man. Herewith, more evidence that some of these OW are downright delusional:
[Her copy is in italics. My responses are in square brackets]

If I was the other woman and you sent me this letter, I would think that your husband was right for wanting someone else. You came across in the letter as someone damaged, with possibly mental issues, who is lacking education and is unable to communicate diplomatically [Let's just start with your accusation that I'm unable to act "diplomatically"? So the OW gets to screw my husband but I'm called upon to "communicate diplomatically"? That seems a little unfair...] as well as unable to understand your husband's primarily needs [I assume you meant to type "primary", as in food, water, shelter, clothing, sex?] , and what was your responsibility and role and his role and responsibility in your marriage is. [I don't, in fact, lack education as you suggested in your second sentence. My education trained me to recognize a confusing, run-on sentence. It also trained me to recognize bullshit.]

You simply blame someone else who absolutely has no control over your communication skills, and your abilities to fulfill all of his needs and not just sexually but intellectually, and emotionally. [Just so we're clear, I'm not blaming her for whatever the hell you're saying I'm blaming her for in this, again, confusing sentence. I'm blaming her for knowingly sleeping with a married man. That's it.] You assume that the other woman knew automatically that he is married [she had dinner at my home so, yes, she knew he was married. And that he had three young children], but what if they communicated in business like manners [she mostly screamed at him about wanting a bigger office and larger salary], and talked over longer period of time, where natural connection and attraction took place over some time before either of them discussed the marital status? [Definitely NOT the case –  but I don't deny that it's possible to become attracted to someone without knowing he's married. But when you do find out? That's when you gracefully bow out until he's divorced.] What if your husband was captivated by her and that is his reality that he has to suppress because his wife is threatening him and making his life a hell? [Captivated? I'm guessing you read a lot of romance. And "t
hreatening him"? As in, if you ever cheat on me I'll cut your balls off? Well then...maybe. As for "suppression", that's pretty much what we agree to do when we get married. Not that we won't ever be attracted to another person, but that we'll suppress acting on it because cheating damages a marriage and hurts the person we promised not to hurt. If we can't or won't "suppress", that's when we call the divorce lawyers.]

What if he did not tell you because he wanted to protect the other woman? [Part of it, sure. But more likely he's protecting himself. He wants his proverbial cake...and ice cream too.] How do you know that they did not discuss how to protect him but also protect her from you? [Probably did. Isn't that in the standard cheaters' manual? How to not get caught?] What if your husband is sacrificing his own happiness for the sake of children? [If he was "sacrificing his happiness" I'm thinking he wouldn't be having an affair. Don't you mean "sacrificing his wife's happiness"?] Do you care if he is genuinely in love with you or its not relevant as long as his your "husband" on the paper? [I'm baffled. What are you saying? If he's not in love with me, there's the door. And the divorce lawyer. Why cheat?]

Why do you think would matter to her if he was in your bed, if she was on his mind from 8 am when he texted her "good morning beautiful", went to work, kept communicating to her the entire day, went home and talked again until bed time at 11 pm? [I ask again, why stay married then? If this Other Woman means so much to him, give her the dignity of a relationship in the open.] Why do you think that your possessiveness [by this you mean my desire that he not sleep with other people?] of husband you don't even care about or respect ( unless he finds someone who does ) is a true love, and his affection and genuine care for the other woman is a fantasy? [Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but only 1% of affairs survive the light of day. So yeah...fantasy.] Cant you see how deluded your assumptions are? [Jaw hanging open.] Why do you believe that a husband can not POSSIBLY fell in love with someone else? [I don't believe that. I think some of them do. I think a great many more fall in love with the reflection of themselves they see in the Other Woman's eyes] Why would you want him to suffer and be with someone he feels obligation towards rather then genuine true love? [I don't want that either. Not sure where you're getting this stuff.] And why do you think that you should suffer with him too, don't you deserve someone who loves you and is captivated by you like he is with her? [Absolutely I do. Lucky for me, I got it in my husband.]

So every situation is different, every man is different, every woman is different, every wife is different, every husband is different, every other woman is different... [Every cat is different. Every pebble is different. Every raindrop is different. This is fun...] Not everybody does it for the reasons you assumed, not everybody is in the same category at all times, not all wives are angels, not all husbands are devils, and cheaters, not all other women are sluts. [Not all children like ice cream. Not all accountants wear suits. Not all cats have fur...] That's a shallow thinking and based on your letter, its clear that you do not love your husband. [Really? I kinda thought I did.]  If anybody is responsible for your marriage its you, and your husband. [Very true.] Leave other people alone and take responsibility for what you created. [Ahem...pot meet kettle. Please tell me you can see the irony of telling THE WIFE to leave THE OTHER WOMAN alone? How about she leaves married men alone?] And speaking of that, you created a prison cell out of which he wants to escape. [I did? No bars on the doors/windows – literally or metaphorically. And I wouldn't have this "betrayed wives" site if he didn't escape. He escaped quite frequently. Note to self: Install bars on doors/windows to prevent escape next time.]  And if he does not escape its not because he is love with security guard who keeps him locked and starved [have you seen my husband lately. Not starved!], nor it is because he likes prison cell. [Not sure any of us like prison cell. But, as noted, he doesn't live in one.] He does not care, it is perhaps because that is the only life he used to have and needs an extensive therapy to want BETTER for himself. [He did need extensive therapy to want better for himself. He was a very mixed up person who got involved with a very mixed up person. And he's thrilled that he's created better for himself and grateful for the chance to do so. But with his wife and family, not the Other Woman. Whether she's engaged in extensive therapy go create better for herself, I know not.] Some will pick up themselves and leave, many will be simply lost. It takes time to think like a free man and get used to true love and qualities in a woman he deserved. [I think what you're saying is pretty much what we say on this site every single day. Some of these guys are jerks who are incapable of a healthy, loving relationship. They will remain lost. Others will leave, though for the record, if they marry their affair partner they are twice as likely to divorce. Still others will do the incredibly hard work of rebuilding their marriage in order to deserve the woman they've hurt the most, their wife.]


Okay...now it's my turn. I honestly don't know what you hoped to achieve with this letter. I'm assuming you're in a relationship with a married man who has convinced you that his marriage is a "prison" and his wife is some sort of demonic monster from whom you need protection. It is remotely possible this is true. It is far more likely that this guy is a lying scumbag who doesn't have the balls to be honest with either you, his wife or himself. He's not treating you with any sort of respect. Secret texts and clandestine meetings are the stuff of fantasy and manipulation, not respect.
Affairs create devastation. I know you doubt this. You seem to have convinced yourself that we betrayed wives are hollowed out loveless people who only inflict pain, not feel it. I hope you'll read through the posts and comments here. The women on this site are lovely, warm-hearted people who are going through the worst pain of their lives. It's impossible to overstate just how damaging affairs are – to whole families, even friends. Betrayal affects our sense of worth in the world, our ability to feel safe, our trust in others. 
It really is as simple as not cheating. There are undoubtedly other problems in marriages that will either require addressing or, in many cases, result in the dissolution of the marriage. But to do so in a way that allows each party to move forward with dignity and worth should be everyone's objective, including that of the next person to get involved with either partner.

35 comments:

  1. Oh dear, oh dear!

    Well, how do I start to sort out this garbled mess this woman has written. My first thought is seek help. Second thought is, perhaps she has but has been given day release for rehabilitation. Third thought, delusional or just writing to gain a reaction. Perhaps bored, lonely...Whatever.

    Now, Elle, you wicked person; locking your husband up and forcing him to stay in his marriage and making it difficult for him to leave and think like a free man. I'm thinking Nelson Mandela here. Think of your poor captivated husband. I actually can't stop laughing as I write this.

    Thank you so much to the O/W, you have brightened my day no end and completely assured me that the O/W is a different breed. Anyone remember the film " Misery" and the personality of Kathy Bates. Yep, enough said.

    Hugs to you Elle. x

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  2. Elle,

    Once again, You are pure grace in the face of absolute, laugh-out-loud, absurdity. I see so much strength, wisdom, and compassion in many of the posts on this site...then you get the occassional nutso (OW usually) to remind you that there's always someone out there that sees things a little differently....though for the life of me I can't see how???? Any time I feel down about what happened in my marriage of 20 years, I find strength in recognizing that I wouldn't trade it and the personal growth that came out of the challenge of forgiveness and rebuilding, for some delusional, head-in-the-sand, second-rate kind of life.....talk about a prison! This OW needs to trehink WHO is acutally in one.

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    1. At first I was angry at someone taking aim with absolutely nothing to back it up...but then, upon taking a few deep breaths (more evidence for the power of just breathing!), I recognized that I could actually have some fun with this.
      Good points, both of you. Kathy Bates, yes!
      One of the gifts around betrayal (did I just write that??) has been my own new-found ability to open myself to compassion. This woman is locked in her own brand of hell. Prison, indeed. That compassion, however, doesn't get in the way of having a bit of fun.

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  3. Just have to add......"More evidence that Other Women are Crazy"....and in this case, incomprehensibly stupid! That was truly painful to read....I sure hope English is her second language. Her first being the "language of love!" Oh my...crackin' myself up!

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  4. I can't stop laughing! The absurd ramblings of a deluded, immoral OW who has apparently convinced herself that being a "bit on the side" is her civic duty to suffering husbands everywhere. Oh Honey, get a clue!

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  5. What I have learned since my D day is that yes the OW is crazy. In my case- the OW took advantage of my husband who stopped medicating his Bipolar disorder and drink and drug heavily. He was her boss. (No I am not placing the blame only on her- he is a big boy and knew what he was doing) I asked her to please leave my family alone. Instead she went to him and said they needed to kiss to get it "get it out of their system". She sent me nasty text messages- then later on she unleashed her knew "homeless guy from California" on me with harassing emails from her email account. I had to contact my PD and then recently she called me at work 30 times from 258pm-324pm. SO, I emailed her mom asking her to ask her daughter to back off and gave her my 2 police case #'s. Thank you Elle for your blog- it helps keep me sane.

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  6. I accidentally deleted this comment from a reader:

    For the O/W:

    "It is better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."

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  7. whenever I see the words 'genuine true love' or 'soul-mate' I reach for Tim Minchin:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsKVjfkipt0

    (If I Didn't Have You)

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    1. I love that! And I think it's incredibly romantic to acknowledge that there are lots of other people we could love...but that we've chosen THIS one and are willing to, truly, forsake others. Way more romantic than believing we're simply following some pre-ordained path that will lead inevitably to one person. It's like knowing you've got the gene for some disease...and that there's nothing you can do to stop it. (Well, maybe it's not exactly like that...)

      Elle

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  8. It's science Elle! Science is our friend! Not like the ow, she isn't our friend, or his friend, or her own friend frankly. I could go on.

    Latest episode of The Archers, the everyday story of country folk, for anyone able to get radio 4 on BBC iplayer. Helen the organic cheese-making OW is told no contact by her married man! She protests! I speak as someone held up this morning by (organic) cows on an English lane, which made me cross but not THAT cross.

    Mx

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  9. I cant help it. Call me catty, and I know I should be more compassionate and adult about this, but there is such sweet satisfaction in reading such atrocious sentence structure. The appalling grammar is sheer bliss! My husband's affair partner gave me the the same delicious gift in her parting messages that were directed to me, via my husband. The desperate and unending, e-mails, messages and texts were rife with grammatical atrocities, spelling mistakes, and in some cases, she simply made things up where she had apparently heard a phrase, but clearly had not picked up enough books in her lifetime to see how it was actually written (example: "should of" instead of "should have"). And, yes, English was her first language. In one of her (many) last missives, she contends to have "told her husband everything and consulted a lawyer". The "lawyer's" threats to me were so hilariously chock a block with spelling mistakes and errors in syntax, it was actually a comfort to have received the messages, since they betrayed her as desperate, uneducated and truly nothing special. Since she was merely a symptom of my husband's acting out, she could have been anyone. I guess that is most often the part that these deluded women choose to ignore.

    Abby

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  10. I dont know why Elle, but I have this feeling that I know who wrote this letter to you. Maybe I'm being paranoid but I just wanna let you know. This could be the OW if my partner. How in the world did she find your blog? I actually led her here. Few days after my dday in July, I sent her the link to you some of your blog posts. The one about how the wife suffers and also your letter to the OW. It was somehow my response to her email to me telling me that "she knows exactly how I feel, and that she cries all the time and that she suffers too", that time I couldn't think straight and though I have a lot to say, my mind couldn't make sense. Everything was messed up and i barely slept and only drank water to for days. Anyways, what made think it could be the oW were the words used there like obligations and prison cell, responsibility, suppress, the text in the morning and late at night before going to bed. The grammar errors and "diplomatically". First, if this reply came from germany, then bingo. English isn't her first language (just like me). Then the words, those words. I read them on the email sent to my partner that he forwarded to me. I also read some of these words on the email she sent me. Like when she said the H sent her morning text before going to bed "good morning beautiful", the OW of my partner said the same thing to me except some words in German. Again, I could be wrong but I just have this weird feeling after reading this post.

    But once again, I enjoyed reading this blog post. The way you respond to the letter is hilarious! :)) Have a nice day Elle!

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    1. PinkStellar,
      You might be right. I do get some readers from Germany but I don't know exactly where letters originate.
      I was aware when I chose to respond that I could have been inviting trouble in. My first reaction was to let it go. But too often I think we don't push back. We don't stand our ground and point out the hypocrisy and outright insanity of their "defense." If it's true "love", then don't sneak around. Divorce, remarry and live happily ever after. Of course it's not that easy. And of course, that option doesn't seem nearly as attractive once it's an actual option. It's only appealing when it's a fantasy.
      Glad you appreciated the humour...

      Elle

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  11. I call the readers that leave these kind private emails or comments on my blog "Hit & Runs". The only way I can find any tolerance for their ignorance is to imagine they are extremely delusional individuals that have little self-esteem and are wallowing in self pity wishing their "true love" could be lived in the light. That kind of warped train of thought is gonna cause some anger issues. They need a place to vent. We're easy targets.
    The "Hit & Runs" usually lash out and then head back to their holes of secrecy, rarely waiting to read our replies to their irrational, argumentative and often unintelligible diatribe.
    Responding to them is an exercise in futility...yet, like you, I continue to try. Hoping there may be one Other Woman out there reading that will finally admit her choices were/are morally bankrupt and deeply misguided.
    Once again...this betrayed wife continues to dream......
    Congrats to you for taking the time to challenge your "Hit & Run."

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    1. Shawn,
      I think this will be my token response. I responded not for the OW's sake...but for the sake of my readers who can see, in black and white, just how messed up many of these women are. Too often we imagine that they've got something we don't. And they do...but in the immortal words of my husband's therapist, "what they've got," he said, "you don't want."
      Indeed.

      Elle

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  12. Dear Pink Stellar,

    Although that piece could have been written by the O/W that you know, I have realised that affairs and bullshit follow a pattern. 70% of the blogs I read on here I think I wrote as they are so similar.

    The classics are always: We don't sleep together anymore, staying for the kids, you've given me the best sex I've ever had, if only the wife understood me the way you do, wish I'd met you years ago, of course we'll be together some day.

    After looking at many other sites about infidelity, I'm staggered that the O/W falls for it, really staggered. I know that there are the cases where men have genuinely fallen for another woman and separated and sort of done the honourable thing by being up front and open with their wives/husbands, but these cases are so far and few between.

    Elle, as your husband so rightly put, " What they've got, we don't want"

    Like Shawn, I too hope that by putting a constructive view point of the facts to the O/W, it may deter some, although something tells me that these women do know what they're letting themselves in for. I often try and take the sympathetic approach and think, well, perhaps their parents had multiple affairs, they have low self esteem, they only have a shallow personality so they cannot hold their own as a woman/mother/spouse involving good family decisions. They must feel bitterness and bile within themselves for being let down or taken for a ride so often.

    In the first few months after D Day I thought I had lost my mind. It must of been me that was all wrong, that I was a pain to live with, but with this site we soon realise that we did have issues but we didn't run into the arms of others or get sucked up into a pointless and destructive relationship, and its only by reading what a strange person the other women is, that we feel that they are willing to be used. Any port in a storm!

    Any O/W reading this, don't make yourself a demoralising statistic. Keep your head held high, don't put yourself in the position of shame and anger. So what if a married man makes a pass at you, I can assure you there's nothing nicer than enjoying the compliment and walking away.

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    1. So, so beautifully put. Thank-you.
      (Does anyone know if there actually IS a cheater's handbook? I swear these guys operate from the same script.)

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  13. Thank you Elle. Yes, think its called " A barrel of lies dredged up for mistresses" ... I feel a book coming on.

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  14. Dear Elle, some of your blogs should be really posted with a warning: "Do NOT read with a toddler sleeping in the next room; there is a risk of waking her up with your outbursts of loud laughter".
    [Jaw hanging open.]
    [Every cat is different. Every pebble is different. Every raindrop is different. This is fun...] - these are my favorite lines. Thank you for making my day! I have not had much laugh lately.
    Anyways, as this is my first post on this great site (although I have been reading you beautiful ladies for nearly 2 years), I would like to say a bit about myself and “join the club”. Do I have to put my story anywhere specific?
    Also, Elle, let me tell you that this site has helped me over the past months better than any therapist or expert book on the subject. I find you put everything in words exactly as I feel it, with humor and perspective that seems so effortless. Thank you!

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    1. Laughing is good! Glad to help.

      Elle

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  15. I don't know if it helps me or not that the photo here looks a lot like the other woman on my story. I mean, if she made that face, that's her! (At least, that's my memory of her. I forced myself to let her image fade, by deleting all photos and making myself stop looking her up online.)

    I've read this a few times and I keep meaning to post that this other woman sounds very, VERY immature -- even taking into account English is quite likely not her first language. Her thought processes are immature. At first I thought she must be VERY young, but maybe it's not her chronological age, but her mental age. Or perhaps that's just the level of maturity that is exposed when she's trying to justify behavior that isn't easily justified.

    I don't think there's just one type of other woman. They're not all evil, not all conniving and manipulative, not all immature, not all lost and confused. I guess they're all behaving selfishly (as were our husbands), but that doesn't mean they're all inherently selfish. That might just be a phase in their lives.

    But this immature thinking...at least during the affair, or when justifying it afterwards....This might be a common thread, at least for many other women.

    It's possible to see this as sad, even pathetic. You need help, honey. You need to grow up and look at yourself more honestly. You need to stop blaming everyone else for your own mistakes. Hey, that might be another common thread. The other woman in my story did that, in spades! And in every area of her life, not just regarding the affair.

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    1. Mountainsailing,
      Yes, it is sad. Sadder still that too many messed up people hurt the rest of us in the form of collateral damage. Like drunk drivers.

      Elle

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    2. Great analogy!

      The other woman in my story was "going through a difficult time." She was turning 50 and having trouble with that landmark, along with feeling alone and desperate. She had been serial dating, never finding the right person. No man was good enough for her (except, apparently, my husband -- although who knows how long he would have been up to her standards). Her marriage had fallen apart years before, due to her husband cheating with her sister and refusing to do the work to reconcile, and she was still bitter and angry about that.

      So she was in a bad state of mind, and rather than handling it constructively, she went ahead with an affair that she knew was wrong and reportedly "fought" all along. (You didn't fight hard enough.)

      I can now see that as immature thinking. She behaved like a child: "I'm hurt and scared and angry, so I'll just ignore the feelings of this around me, and trample on them despite knowing exactly what damage I'm doing." Kind of a long term, adult- themed temper tantrum, don't you think?

      So, yeah, I'm the "victim" of a hit and run accident by a drunken, immature driver who disregarded all of the consequences of her actions.

      (Of course I work hard to not to think of myself as a victim. It's just apt in that sentence.)

      Put in that light, maybe, hopefully, I'm a step closer to letting her go in my mind. It's such a long process!

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    3. It is a long process. Longer than any of us would imagine before we go through it. That said, you sound well on your way.

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  16. Wow...some people will believe anything...

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  17. Trapped, eh? So that's why when I started packing his things, he begged me to let him stay?

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  18. I am having a somewhat difficult time getting the OW out of my life. After my husband broke things off with her she flew into a fit of rage and sent me a letter telling me all about their relationship. I was devastated. My husband and I had been going to therapy together 6 months before I got her letter and I was finally feeling safe with him and in love and back on track. She sent me the letter so that I'd leave him as well and when I didn't she decided to write a blog using our full names, where we graduated from, places we lived.. you name it. Anything you could think of she tagged so her greatly exaggerate piece of hurtful fiction could be shared with the world. Even with our children. It was designed to be as hurtful as possible and you could tell she spent a long time crafting her story. She has since removed our names after several emails and a couple of phone calls from my husband, but to this day you can still see a picture of the the two she posted as a couple in google images when you type in MY name. It keeps this hate alive for her inside me and fuels fear about what she could do next. I just want her out of our lives forever. Why can't she just move on and leave us alone? I want to get to a place where my husband and I can start over but I don't know how.. I want to be the funny, charming, peaceful person he fell in love with but there's always this fear or agony that gets in the way. I felt like I was doing so much better until she released her blog and I found out her ugly detailed story and I fee like I'm at square one. She wanted to marry him, hoping he'd just desert out kids and me and start over with her. He clearly never loved her and told her such crazy lies about his life that I had to wonder if he had a different personality bumping around in that head of his. When he was with her he only ever told me he had a huge project at work, or he had to get a proposal written, or something like that. He spent about 10 nights away from home during the month, but always came home looking exhausted like he had worked all night. How do you deal with the OW who is on the warpath? We don't even live in the same sate anymore! It was 4 months after he left that she wrote this public story. When is she going to let us be and accept that he wanted to start over with his wife and kids?!?

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    1. I'm so sorry. This woman is clearly completely nuts and utterly without dignity or self-respect.
      I don't think you have any recourse other than to cut her off as much as possible. At this point, I don't think she can do any more damage. She's already broadcast to everyone…revealing herself to be a total lunatic in the process.
      As much as it's completely unfair, I think you're just going to have to wait it out. I suspect that once she's involved with someone else (and these women always get involved with someone else), she might be inclined to let it go. Or it will just get old and she'll move onto ruining someone else's life. For a lot of these women, attention and drama are oxygen. The less you give them, the more they wither. I'm sorry. I wish I could tell you more. In the meantime, try and take heart is the (true) adage that living well is the best revenge.

      Elle

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  19. I come here every once in a while to remind myself that I'm not the only one this happens to. The month you wrote this (October) was the 3 year anniversary of the beginning of my husband's affair. Two days from now will be the 3rd anniversary of D-day. This crazy lady who wrote you that email could so have been my husband's OW. She thinks she is very intelligent and that she "sees people as they really are". According to her my husband stayed because I threaten him and he is afraid of me. She was afraid of me. That is a GOOD thing. Only bit of sanity about her. I love her assessment of me and my personality which was totally based on my husband's lies to her and himself. Yes I had issues. No I wasn't born with them he created them. He created the awful condition of our marriage at the time and I made it worse. So, I have resolved to no longer make it worse. She thinks that he was her soul mate, yet claims he was a mistake and not that great in bed. Yet every 6-8 months we are faced with another attempt to contact. She claims she is over him and doesn't want him but feels sorry that he has resigned himself to living with such a horrible person as me. Yet she is still getting others to try to contact him on her behalf.So....she is a nut just like the one you wrote about.
    What is reality? Here is where I am two days from year 3: My husband is a kinder person these days. He has turned back to God and is working on the flaws in him that led him to do such a thing with such a person to begin with. No, I don't have the marriage I dreamed of. I've resigned myself to the knowledge that he ended it with her and stayed with me because he wanted to be right with God and do the right thing not because he is in love with me. He loved her. I know that. Since then I have found cards he had tucked away to give to her. He hid them and forgot where they were and I came across them when cleaning out the hiding places. It is crushing to know how he felt about her. I don't get such heart felt, romantic cards. I still don't. I usually don't get one on special occasions (if I do it is usually in the form of a funny card). I have never gotten a romantic apology card, not even after the affair but I found one that he had bought for her but didn't get to send because he was hospitalized and afterward broke it off with her.
    I know I will never again have romance in my life. I know that he is no longer so concerned with his sex life and how often he has sex because he now seldom ask even though I am more than willing. I often am the one who ask now. Ironic huh? I also know that he cares about me but is here to do the right thing. Despite what he told her I love him. I'm not here because of the financial security. In fact, he lost his job months ago and we have never been in such financial ciaos. I don't have the same hopes for my life that I used to but there is one thing I can take great satisfaction from: he may only be here to do the right thing but he isn't with her. I may not ever get to have the marriage and love I want but she will never have what she thinks she had either. Fair enough!

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    1. Anonymous,
      I worry that you've fallen into a place where I think many of us do -- you can see that your marriage is better than it was (at least when your husband was cheating) but assume that's as good as it's going to get. I think there's a ton of pain in your letter, around feeling rejected sexually, around feeling as if the OW had something in your husband that he won't give you.
      I know money is an issue right now but I'd urge you to nonetheless do what you can to create a better marriage. As long as you're going to keep him, you might as well enjoy him. It sounds incredibly cliché but what about date nights? Time for the two of you to do something you enjoy together. What about trying to change things up sexually? It means making yourself vulnerable, which I think is terrifying for you (and me, too!!). It means opening up all that pain you've pushed down...and risking rejection. But I think you have so much more to offer him and yourself than you're giving. Your life shouldn't be about depriving her...but enjoying yourself. She's likely moved on. Whether she's happy or not, who knows and who cares. This needs to be about you and what you want. Scary, yep. But so much more rewarding than living a half-life.

      Elle

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  20. There are no funds for date night. We can't even pay the bills (just the living expenses). As for our sex life it's not about it being boring it is about my telling him I'm interest and him refusing to come to bed when I do so that he can avoid me. He spends more time with me otherwise but when it comes time to go to bed he won't go even if I tell him I'd like some alone time with him he just says "I'll be there in a few minutes" but never comes to bed until he knows I'm asleep. I love my husband but hate what he has done to the person I used to be and to my life. I don't know if it will ever be right. Maybe she has moved on. It has been 8 months (as far as I know) since contact was attempted. If that is true I think that sucks too.

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    1. Anonymous,
      There's clearly some reason your husband is avoiding you sexually. Will he talk to you about it? It's undoubtedly HIS stuff (he's dealing with shame or guilt or fear of asking you to try certain things or who knows what) but until you two can have an open conversation about it, it won't magically get better.
      Can you tell him how much it hurts you when he ignores you? Could you try just hugging each other? Could you ask him to just hold you? You're likely feeling so rejected, which is doubly hard in the wake of betrayal.
      See if he'll talk to you. No recriminations. No dragging out everything he did to screw things up. Just two people sharing their fears and hopes and thoughts.

      Elle

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  21. Hi Elle..

    may I ask.. do they really think they are not in the wrong... at all? That what they did was not their fault.. at all...?

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    1. As our letter writer so eloquently pointed out, "all wives are different, all husbands are different, all other women are different..." Which is completely true. While I have a hard time ever rationalizing that it's okay to get involved with a married man, it doesn't follow that anyone who does is morally bankrupt. There are undoubtedly exceptions. Some simply don't care ("I didn't take any marriage vows," they say), some fall for the bullshit offered up by married men ("she doesn't understand me", "we no longer have sex", "we have an open marriage"...), and some either don't know or don't want to know he's married.
      I'm able to look back at a guy I briefly dated in my 20s. I could never quite understand our relationship. I never had his home number, he seemed to only be interested in getting me into bed (didn't work)... Now I can see how naive I was. Of course he was married. But then? I just thought he was...odd.

      Elle

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  22. Thank you so much for your response to the OW. Like others, I took great pleasure in your comments to her crazy rant :) I found out about my husband's affair 8 weeks ago. The affair lasted only 3 months, but the damage to my family and myself seems endless. He has literally begged for my forgiveness and we are committed to working on our marriage, but the OW has become a bit of an obsession for me. After I found out, my husband sent the OW an email ending the affair, to which she promptly sent an email to me! It too was full of grammatical and spelling errors (yep, made me smile when I read it), but she went on to announce how she was not going to be sorry for having an affair with my husband (she knew he was married), because she had a horrible marriage; therefore, justified in her actions (insert jaw hanging open here). She then went on to say that my husband was not telling me everything (don't worry, I had 3 months of emails that let me know I knew everything... and then some), and that he was probably telling me she was crazy, followed with the line "and that is not true!" - Thy think thou protests too much :) I never responded and/or contacted her after her rant, which is uncommon for me. I don't typically let things go without a bit more dialogue, but your response to the OW filled this nagging feeling inside me - thank you! It feels like you responded to all of the crazy OW out there on behalf of betrayed wives. I feel a bit more healed as a result - letting me know that I am not alone in all of this.

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