Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Responding to the Other Woman: Elle Unleashed

Definitely not smiling!
A woman recently posted a comment on my blog post Open Letter to the Other Woman. Here it is:

Does anyone (like me) ever wondered why the other woman always gets the blame, and the husband gets welcomed back with open arms??

Does the Wife forget;
He tooks the Vows
Hes the one betraying his family
Hes the one telling the lies

In my case..He initiated the cheating and the chase. Lied about getting a divorce. 
And actually im educated..with a degree..; a single parent of two children.

I was the other women, and a month ago i decided to end it with him finally after two years. 
Only this week his Wife has been trying to call me on a witheld number and i refused to answer to her. Beacuse I know if i did answer..she would not like what i had to say.

As far as i see it. This is their issue, not mine. 

This also highlights to me, the major issue in cheating marriages. Why is the wife is calling the other woman?? Does she not trust her husband to tell her the truth??
Does she not trust him at all??
Do they have an issue with communication??

All he did in the two years was complain about her.
However I finally caught onto it, that things were never going to change. After asking him many times...if its so bad, why are you still there?? therefore something must be going right.

But Yeah i acknowledge my part. its My Bad. 

And as far as im concerned..the issues in the marriage are prevalent long before he has the affair/s. Im pretty sure, im not the first and wont be the last. 
You see...what he wants in the other woman, is what he doesnt have in his wife. The only reason he doesnt leave the wife, is either;

because of guilt
beacuse its easier to go back to the comfort of what you have
because he knows after confessing and worming his way back she is going to take him back eventually
because of kids (he had none)

but they do not stay for the right reasons. So the wife can blame the other woman all she wants. It still doesnt change who he is, and what he did.

Cheating husbands risk losing their marriage all the time. 
If they really honoured their committment, loved their wives,and family so much, do you really think they would take that risk??

Until the next time that is.

I felt compelled to respond:

You're a brave woman wading into these waters. But you ask a number of questions so I'm going to assume you genuinely want answers. Let me enlighten you.
You're right about many things. Chances are there were issues in the marriage long before you came along. And clearly the husband in your case wasn't emotionally capable of dealing with them so chose to distract himself with you. Happens all the time, right?
And then the wife finds out, all hell breaks lose and you start getting phone calls begging for info.
Let me put you into the wife's shoes for a minute.
She's probably aware that something hasn't been right. That her husband isn't around so much. That when he is, he's distracted or uninterested. Short-tempered. Perhaps outright hostile. That's pretty standard for cheaters with a shred of conscience. They feel crappy about what they're doing but don't want to stop doing it. So they look for reasons why what they're doing is okay. They convince themselves that the wife "nags", she doesn't like sex, she doesn't "support" him, blah blah cliché blah.
Sometimes it's even true. As mom of two kids, you likely know that there are nights you're just too damn tired for sex. There are times when you need to talk to your husband about helping out around the house. You need to discuss bills. Home maintenance. Let's be honest, grown-up life is sometimes incredibly dull.
Nonetheless, the wife loves her husband. And, frequently, he loves her too. They've known each other for years. They've looked into their newborns' eyes and been rendered speechless. They've sat beside elderly parents taking their last breath. They've shared birthdays and anniversaries and held feverish kids who can't sleep.
So when she finds out that this person she's opened her heart to is cheating on her, she's thrown completely off her feet. She trusted this guy. With her future, her children. Who the hell is he, anyway? She begs him to tell her why he did this. Sometimes he'll blame her, sometimes he'll blame his life, his boss, his drinking, his weakness. Sometimes he'll accept blame for just making a whopping mistake. Sometimes he'll believe he's in love with the Other Woman and leave. Most of the time, though, he hasn't a god-damn clue why he did it. And now that he truly realizes what he stands to lose, he's even more clueless why he did it. There's generally one reason: it felt good. Not the sex, but the escape. The banality of life was temporarily suspended. It's the reason people gamble. Or shop. Or eat too much. Or drink. Or take drugs. Escape. It's intoxicating.
Out of fear, in an effort to minimize damage, these guys often offer what's called "trickle truth". They minimize what happened ("we just kissed" "it was just one night" "she means nothing") or they outright lie ("I swear nothing happened" "she's just a work colleague"). In the meantime, the wife is frantically trying to piece together her life ("was he with her when I took the kids to my mother's? were they together when I was beside my dying father in the hospital? were they together when I was up all night with our son's ear infection?") in order to shine a light on where things went off the rails, on how much of her life is fact and how much is fiction. I can't explain to you, unless you've been there, just how terrifying it is to believe your life has been a lie. You wonder if anything is true, if you can trust anyone.
So, out of desperation, you call the Other Woman. Not for any other reason than you've got some missing pieces and you're hoping she can help you complete the puzzle. You know it's a risk. You know this person has the potential to tell you things that can destroy any shred of self-esteem you might have left. That she could take your broken heart and piss on it. And sometimes she does. But sometimes she recognizes that this wife likely isn't the monster her husband pretended she was to ease his own guilt and get her into bed.
Sometimes the OW is able to see that this is a flawed guy who made a colossal mistake. Sometimes, let's be clear, the guy is just a total asshole who feels entitled to whatever and whomever he wants. But you're referring to the couples who stay together, assuming, as you say, that none do it "for the right reasons".
I'll tell you one thing. Going back to the "comfort of what you have" sounds NOTHING like what marriage is like after an affair. It is HELL ON EARTH. 
It is excruciating for any guy with a conscience to see the pain they've caused their wives and know that they did it. Some guys simply can't face it. They're the ones who blame their wives for "never getting over it" and take the first exit. Some wives don't want to give them the chance to do it again. Each of us walks her own path.
Those of us who let them "worm their way back"? The smart ones among us demand that they face what they did and work hard to figure out why they risked their marriage for what so many of them insist meant nothing. There's many reasons, which often had little to with the OW herself. A sense of failure in life, fear of aging, job loss, inability to handle life's stresses, addiction...the list goes on. Again, it generally boils down to escape. An affair is a distraction. Men (and women) fall in love with what they see in their affair partner's eyes – that they're sexy and interesting and fun. There are no mortgages, not built-up resentments, no rude teenage kids, no "headaches". That's why they take the risk. Because they want adoration without the hard work of creating that within their marriage, over years and years.
You're right that some of these guys will never learn. They will cheat again. And they're not worth a second chance. They probably weren't worth the first one.
But not all of them.
And not all women blame the OW. We know it was ultimately our husbands who violated their commitment to us. But we also know that, when we were hit on by married guys (and we were), there was a wife at home who didn't deserve this pain. We know that if a guy is worth it, he'll do the right thing, get out of his marriage, and find a woman he respects enough to not hide.
We know that so many of these OW want what we have and are willing to be complicit in our pain to get it.
So yeah...we're not too crazy about you. 
In my case, the OW sat in my house, ate at my table, played with my kids...while screwing my  husband. Absolutely that's indication that my husband was one fucked-up dude. But, clearly, so was she.
I'm sad that you're so cynical. Please know there are decent guys out there. They're the ones who hit on you and don't have a wife at home. Please be a woman who deserves them.



  1. Elle, you are magnificent :)

    1. Holy crap that was so great!!! A lot of things you said is what my H said...addiction, escape from what was going on at home , hus f2f failures as H and dad...(mother-in-law lived w us (big problem ) teen w a drug problem, lil guy in middle of it all! Lists & Lists..only thing is its been 3 yrs of us being in repair mode he works w ow and he just revealed he's been fantasizing about her :( during sex he thinks I'm her, while he occasionally listens to a song that reminds him or her he fantasize s...yet everything is amazingly better then ever.. he really trying..pits up w my roller coater moods, he us in therapy claims its out if sever guilt. .idk...I'm so insulted, hurt I'm numb and I feel like I'm gonna loose it!!

    2. I'm sorry for everything you're going through. Why the HELL he told he was fantasizing about the OW while having sex with you, I just don't know. On the one hand, I guess he's being honest. But on the other, WTF? You should not have to listen to his fantasies unless they involve you in the best possible way.
      Sounds like he needs to determine if he's in or out. And he needs a muzzle while he's figuring it out.


    3. That was flat out amazing! No one could say it any better!

    4. Well said! I am in total agreement with every word. This broken woman went out of her way to sleep with my husband and laughed at it when she was confronted. I know my husband stepped out on our marriage but it was not him alone that woman is to be blamed 100℅ too. The sad thing is that she works for Orange County public schools in Orlando interacting with our children.

  2. Elle
    Thank you, thank you, thank you for your very thoughtful and well-constructed answer to the OW!

  3. Excellent letter, Elle!

    No matter what I think about contacting the OW… for me it is absolutely interesting how she claims to know the truth about the marriage of her affair partner.

    So even if she would have answered the wife’s phone call… what unlikable things she might have told the wife? All the crap the husband came up with to get her into bed? Hm…

    But certainly it is easier to claim it isn’t actually her issue after she helped to wreck up the marriage for two years.

    But now… why is she breaking into this blog and talks about things she doesn’t have the slightest idea? Is this maybe the same motivation a wife has when she contacts the OW? Very good letter, but I’m afraid she won’t value the effort you put into it. - Natalie

  4. Thanks everyone. Natalie, I suspect you're right about her not really learning much from her experience or what she might read here. Then again, there's a reason she came to this site. We can hope. Changing the Other Woman at a time. :)

  5. Way to go Elle! Bang on the money with your post.

    I'm going to try and put myself in the shoes of the woman that wrote that letter. Okay, so she takes, steals, borrows, ( only until he leaves his wife) someone elses husband. Has an affair for 2 years. Hears the awful things about the wife. Decides after 2 years to end it. Would I feel surprised that the wife tried to phone me? Nope, I'd change my locks, change my number, close down any social network sites and keep a very low profile.

    How does she know he was welcomed back with open arms. How does she know he hasn't told the wife everything. How does she know the wife's not phoning up to inform her she should get herself checked for an STD. Perhaps the wife has been carrying on with someone too and she wants to compare notes. Perhaps she just wants to talk without recriminations just to ensure that the woman isn't going to do anything silly.

    The O/W had 2 children and the married man had none. Apart from the sex with her perhaps he enjoyed the feeling of being part of a family/father figure.

    I wonder how she would feel if her child phoned her one day and said " Mom, just found out my partner has been cheating, its over now but I'm so scared, I just want to ask her/him why he did it, have they got any diseases" Think I'll phone the o/w, o/m. Then my friend, oh, I forgot, educated lady with a degree, you can show her the letter you wrote to this site. Then you can blame your child for their partner having the affair, after all hunny, there must of been problems in your marriage!

    1. Wow. I think YOU should have written the reply. Well done.


  6. Elle, u make me strong with ur blogs. Thank u! :)

    1. No, Pink, you just recognize your strength with my blog posts. It's already there.

  7. In my case the OW blames me for not moving out of the relationship, because she is in love with my H, he promised her marriage, but couldn't find the courage to leave his family.

  8. I, too, am curious as to why an OW would feel compelled to absolve herself of wrong doing, assume a righteous stand and purport to know anything about the complicated dynamic of the fallout of betrayal in this particular milieu. I suspect that, being an "educated" woman, she has finally had an epiphany, and is experiencing a sense of betrayal herself. Perhaps she has realized that no one "worms their way back" because of "guilt" or because its "easier" or out of a sense of responsibility, or for familiar comfort. He went back because he loves his wife. As Elle so beautifully put it, there is nothing comfortable about going back, post affair. It is sheer hell. But if the WS is fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to examine the mistakes they have made, to express remorse, to be motivated to make changes and to learn, to listen, to communicate, among a myriad of other things, they have been given a precious gift. Real, honest, solid lasting love can be the phoenix that rises from these flames.
    What you had, OW, was a relationship built solely on lies and deceit - you know this, we know this, he knows this. The connection that you may have had with him pales in comparison to the potential that lies ahead for this married couple. As Elle mentions, you were merely a distraction. He is with his wife because he truly loves her. You allowed yourself for 2 years to believe that he didn't because it was convenient for you to do so - because it helped you to justify your actions. He wanted to go back because he loves her. She took him back because she loves him. You know this to be the truth. Ultimately, in cheating with him, you cheated yourself.


    1. Wow. Eloquently put, Abby. I don't want to harbour resentment toward the OW's. But this post rights some of the wrongs. Affairs are a two-way street for sure but one side of the street doesn't get to pretend to know what is happening on the other side. It is a complicated mess of a thing. Thank you Elle, as always for being such a strong voice and thanks abby for standing up right alongside her. It means so very much to me. And I am sure to so many of us who are working so hard to put our marriages back together.

  9. " Does she not trust her husband to tell her the truth??
    Does she not trust him at all??"

    I had to laugh when reading this lied to her while cheating...of course she doesn't believe anything he says! This woman is clearly detached from reality. And if she's so come she wasted two years on a guy who clearly was not interested in a divorce. He was lying to the wife, the OW, and to himself.

    "therefore something must be going right"

    You're spot on! More was going right with the wife than with you, honey. Period. He had both of you and would rather lose you than the wife. And the issues in the marriage precede the affair because ALL MARRIAGES HAVE ISSUES. The problem is that the guy isn't handling those issues (or personal issues) in a healthy way. Being in an affair is a symptom of a man being broken. This woman wasted 2 years of her life playing a game with a broken man. What a waste of her dignity. Hopefully the wife can heal, the man can heal, and this OW can find some better use of her time than hiding herself in a relationship with a man that can't deal with his own problems. I offered my husband an amicable divorce and total access to our four children. I even emailed the OW and wished them luck, offered understanding, and told her I looked forward to introducing her to the kids (not that I believed anything I said...just trying to remain dignified). Well, it's been 18 months and he has never contacted her again, we have another child, and he sees the OW as a terrible distraction from his depression that almost cost him the woman that he truly loves (me!). He had no reason to stay with me but he did anyway. He's put up with my sadness, rage, questioning, doubt, and pain. He's been remorseful and transparent. And the OW is still a stripper in Ohio with 6 kids and an endless string of men. I'm proud of my behavior during and after the affair. My husband is ashamed of his behavior during and proud of his behavior after the affair. Is this OW proud of herself?

    1. ALL MARRIAGES HAVE ISSUES. You nailed it, Natasha. I think you are quite right - the difference between someone who might cheat and someone who might not often lies in a person's coping stategies. All too often, people are quick to judge the cheater, the betrayed spouse, their marriage, etc. As betrayed spouses, you and I know that our marital problems were probably not much different from the neighbours'! I can tell you that I was floored when I discovered my husband's infidelity because I thought we had a great marriage. All too often we hear this refrain - women who thought their marriages were rock solid, discovering infidelity. Couples therapy and individual therapy uncovered my husband's crippling lack of self esteem and fear of conflict dated back to childhood. Acting out in unhealthy ways can offer an addictive, even soothing escape from facing fears. This OW fools herself in the same way, believing the falacies that he offered up to justify his actions. For you and I, I suspect it would be simple: "You're married. Fuck off." But not for her - she dove in. She is a person who chose to sleep with a married man for 2 years and then assign blame anywhere else but squarely on herself. Not a lot of hope for her to scrape up any dignity and move forward on a new path if she refuses to examine her own lack of self worth.


    2. I, too, was hit upon often. My response was, "OK. If it's OK with your wife & OK with my husband, it's OK with me. Let's call them"! It never went further than that. If only my H & the OW had my convictions!

  10. Elle: You might feel like that pic of the snarling pooch (Love that!) but you responded to the OW patiently, rationally and thoughtfully. I love that about you as I tend to act out of pure emotion much too quickly.
    After I read her first paragraph, I was already done with her...probably because I was part of the "everyone" she so casually writes about. "Everyone" (blanket statements piss me off!) that blames the OW eventually realizes, like I did, about transference. Placing the blame on someone you love with all your heart just adds to the already overwhelming pain. So much easier to focus the rage on the OW.
    Before I began to recover and I learned about transference, I blamed the OW for a year, so in that regard, I guess I WAS part of "Everyone" but here's the bone I wanna pick with the OW writer of the above letter....Open ARMS?? Holy Crap! My FWH was subjected to over a year of my life as a resident of Crazy Town! I used my arms to try my very best to push him away.
    He didn't go. He stayed because he knew he risked what he loved most...our family. He didn't stay out of guilt. He didn't stay because it was easy...that's for damn sure.
    This OW is working a little transference herself. So much easier to blame the cheater or the wife than face their own bad choices and obvious low self esteem.
    Thanks for taking the time to really attempt to show that OW the light of reality. Doubt she'll absorb much, but hey...A betrayed wife can dream, right?

    1. Shawn,
      That's what I love about you -- that you take no prisoners. The world needs both of us, right?
      And yes, I don't think this woman has a clue what marriage is like post-infidelity. Open arms, my ass! She's delusional if she thinks that's what happens. Then again, I have heard of some marriages in which the wife does sorta look the other way and they just go back to the way it was. But those don't seem to be the women who post here!


    2. Yes Elle, that is what I love about you as well. And I also love Shawn the wife's blog as I identify so much with her! One of these days I want to post my story. It involves multiple affairs going back over 27 years and I was clueless until I received a FB message from an unknown person outing my husband. It's been 18 months since the first discovery and 9 months out from the 2nd discovery, and 8 months out from the last of the trickle truth. I'm just like so many betrayed wives. It's so completely devastating. But I have a question since this last post deals with contacting the OW. I have actually contacted all of them I could find. Actually got a response from 2 of them. I feel like so many of us feel. The OW pays no consequences and it really irks me a lot. And by the way, I should say that I have chosen to forgive and I should also say that forgiveness is by no means complete yet. Sure, I'd like to get my pound of flesh in revenge. I do however realize that it won't make what happened go away. But as many betrayed wives do, I've done a ton of research and I could make the OW's (most of them) life miserable if I wanted to. I don't. But I DO want them to be held accountable for their behavior. I have a letter written to one OW brother as she has no other family in the area where she lives. I have told the brother the basics of how she became involved in my life not to bring a world of grief to him or the rest of her family, (although I know it will bring pain) but to bring her to accountability so that she can face what she has done and get some real help. My husband didn't have his "come to Jesus" moment until the moment I opened her van door and found them in the act. In that moment he realized that he had just lost everything. And it wasn't until that next day in the counselors office when I presented him with the evidence that he broke. I mean he broke like I have never seen a person break. I reminded him of how when our daughter was born, he was the first to bathe her, to hold and rock her....and about how he wouldn't be walking her down the isle in a few months. I reminded him about his 2 sons who had followed in his career footsteps and now wanted nothing to do with him. I reminded him that he chose a whore over me. His life changed that day when he literally fell off that couch and grabbed my legs and cried out to God. So, my question is WHY CAN'T I CONFRONT OR OUT the OW to her family? They need forgiveness and help just like the cheating scum bag husbands do. Why can't I at least try to put a stop to what these OW are doing in hopes of somewhere down the line saving another unsuspecting wife from being blindsided? I'd like to hear from some of the other wives who want to DO something that is within our capability to stop this.

    3. I agree, Barb. We've gotten to this point with ignoring laws on adultery and "No Fault" divorce mentality. At a minimum, she should be held accountable, just like anyone else who contributes to the violation of a legal contract. And I agree, she should be outed...I find myself in that quandary as I don't want anything to do with the OW, but had evidence two years ago while monitoring my spouse that she was seeing yet another married man (coworker of my spouse) - so, while it was a relief to see her attentions away from putting her claws in my husband, I am in a quandary on what to do about notifying this man's unsuspecting wife.

    4. Firstly, I am so sorry to hear about all you've been through. Yes, I too wanted her whole family to know what she'd been up to. I haven't done anything as yet. The reason I haven't is because she's unhinged and I have 2 kids to take care of and my husband and I are trying to work things out. This is the only time ( that I know of) that he's been unfaithful and at the moment I am accepting of this, but I am always on red alert in case another piece of vermin comes out the woodwork.

      You probably couldn't put a stop to these kind of women. They need to find their own epiphany. They are a particular breed and quite frankly my life is too short to spend time educating them. What would happen if their family did find out? What kind of crap would they come out with and I rather suspect that close family already know deep down. However, there is still the cranky side of me that would like to cause HUGE damage, but I know I never could. I have this deep belief that they will get their comeuppance.

      Your husband has really blown it with his daughter and sons. That's another consequence of these women and the stupidity of our husbands. I never knew until I found this site how many wives had been betrayed. When you feel able, do share your story. Good luck with it all and I hope your daughters wedding day goes well.

    5. My thoughts on "outing" the OW are twofold. I'm all for telling a spouse, if the OW is married. I think he deserves the same chance as we do to determine if he wants to be in his marriage or not. What's more, he deserves to know he's susceptible to STDS. And finally, if he knows and the whole thing is blown open, it's a lot harder to carry on the affair.
      But as for telling the OW's family...I'm not so sure that's such a great idea. For starters, what my adult children (mine aren't adults yet) do is their own business and, frankly, I would love them regardless. I might not be crazy about what they do with their lives...but they're not my life to live.
      My concern for betrayed wives who try and "out" these OW is that we'll just get hurt further. By, in a way, declaring war on the OW, we open ourselves to getting hurt or humiliated. We engage with people who have really unhealthy boundaries and open ourselves (and our families) up to harassment.
      I believe that the best way to deal with the OW is to cut off her oxygen, which is attention. Most of them -- the truly crazy ones -- thrive on it. Establish a no contact policy for you and your spouse, ensure that she knows about it, and then proceed into the rest of your life without her in it.
      I know we all want to ensure that the OW gets hit by the karma bus...but most of these women damage themselves enough without our help.


    6. Elle and I are in 100% agreement here. My blog preaches...Here's what I did after DDay. I DO NOT recommend it! Steer clear of the OW! She took enough. Don't give her another piece of you, not a minute more of your thought or energy. Let her go. The bitch ain't worth it.
      However, if the OW has a spouse...tell him. I'm good with that. Be prepared for your WH to get an earful (at the very least) from the OWs hubby once he gets the news. The fallout may not be worth the effort, but, I still say tell the other spouse.
      Do not involve any other family members. They will side with the OW. Believe it! They will not welcome any criticism you share regarding their loved one.
      Take from me! Been there...done that...wrote the freakin' book.
      Involving others only adds to the mountain of pain and frustration we already own after DDay. Focus on your relationship with your WH. That is where the real healing will begin.

  11. Thanks for your comments everybody. Yeah - I get that life if not fair and in reality there probably isn't a whole lot we can do about the OW except as Elle said - cut them off the oxygen. In my particular case none of the whores except two had sex with my husband more than one time. And even then, it was purely for the sex. The OW that I speak about is divorced, no kids, and deceased parents. All other relatives live in another state. So, this whore is free to post/answer Craig's List ad's all day long. My husband is concerned that by contacting her family that I may open Pandora's box, and I understand that we cannot know the outcome of such disclosure. Harassment or other legal trouble. My husband is ex-military/law enforcement so he's seen the really bad side of what that can lead to. It's just that SOMEONE needs to hold these people accountable. And darn it......I'm applying for the job!!! Somehow he does not see the humor in it! This is a great place to let the pressure out of the pressure cooker though, and I appreciate your listening ear and providing an avenue to vent.

    1. Barb,
      You're 1 1/2 years out from D-Day #1, so I think you're probably still pretty raw. But I'm wondering if your focus on the OW is getting in the way. Sometimes, by focusing so much on the OW, we're able to avoid the really uncomfortable feelings around moving forward. Our terror about this happening again, our new understanding of what our husbands are capable of. Our lives going forward will never be as "certain" as they were. We've been hurt so deeply and many of us would do almost anything to avoid that happening again. By focusing so much on the OW, I'm wondering if you're doing exactly what your husband (and our husbands) did: distracting ourselves from feelings we didn't want to face.
      Something to consider, anyway.
      We've all been where you are. I just don't want you to stay there. :)


  12. Elle, thank you for your kindness and care. I am still very raw. I did not learn the extent of my husbands addiction until Jan. 8, of this year. That was the final disclosure and the 'date' I use for the starting point of our healing. It's not that I'm focusing so much on the OW (multiple) now as compared to before (and boy was I) as the topic of your blog this week and how nervy this OW was to have posted on your site. You answered her in a way which demonstrates your character and those of us who follow you are blessed because of it. I try to have a sense of humor about these OW and how I DO wish they would be hit by the karma bus.....and I certainly DO wish there was some way to take these women out so that they can do no more harm. Having said all that, I do not willingly give them any more of my mind real estate than I can help because they are not worth one ounce of my energy. However they are part of my history now. How do you prevent history from repeating itself? Exposure and accountability. I don't care about these other women, but I do care very much for marriages, and both my husband and I want to be part of the solution, not just people who get through it. I actually take that back about not caring about the other women. I care about their soul, and even if I could orchestrate the karma bus hitting them, I do not wish my worst enemy to be damned to hell. These women need exposure and accountability so that...........they can get the help they need. I realize some couldn't care less about whoring around. But I know there are those that do care, and if they were forced to see the carnage and admit they have a problem. So, no I don't want to stay here, I just stopped along the way to vent my personal frustration based on your letters to the OW. Your comment about the terror of this happening again is very very real, and I am the first one to admit that is the place I really am.... I gave trust again too soon and in my case it DID happen again. Thank you Elle, for your straight forwardness. You give me lots of encouragement along my path of recovery, and I am very grateful for your words, and the TIME you take to share. Which tab would you suggest for me to tell my story? Thanks again.

    1. Barb,
      You make me laugh. Yep -- we all "stop along the way" at this point. It can feel somewhat empowering to vent our rage, including toward the OW. But we should all move along as soon as we can.
      Glad to hear that you're headed toward healing.
      You can post wherever makes the most sense...or I can create another page that suits. Let me know if you have any ideas.


  13. I have been struggling with this. I am about 3 months out from DD. (I need to write my story out, but my WH had been having an emotional affair for 2 years and a physical affair for at least 9 months with his coworker. She is also someone I considered one of my best friends. WH was also friends with OW's husband.)

    I told WH that I wished that OW would burn in hell. And I don't think this will ever chnage. OW's spouse kept texting both WH and I. I have only texted her once with the same questions her husband asked WH - about how she now feels about my husband and her husband. The syrupy response made me want to throw up - They are finally together again, etc... Then again, would I expect anything else? I can't believe a word she says either way.

    Her spouse texted me a last month, he wanted to know how get along and how not to look back. The nice person I was responded, but I will never do that again. He then told me stuff about the emotional stuff started a lot longer then I thought. Her (the OW's) issues was that she wasn't getting enough quality time... And I figured out that I was just being a pawn for him. So there is no responding anymore.

    I wish I could blame it all on the OW, but I know I can't.

  14. You described it so perfectly - the raw emotions involved when you find out that the person you trusted the most is the one you should have trusted the least. I'm months out from discovering the truth about my husband's double life. I go through fits of sadness, rage and anger but the acceptance is more often there than not. If I'm faced with the OW, I don't know what I'll do. Let's hope it doesn't happen at a school or sporting event... I might have to be dragged kicking and screaming off of her. :)

  15. I truly enjoyed reading the post and everyone's responses. I really feel that this blog "gets" me. It understands my feelings, beliefs, emotions, and state of being. I am still working at marriage...prayerfully we will be successful.

  16. All these replies are helping me heal; six weeks from DD. I look forward to telling my situation soon when I understand WH's reasons. I am in a depression stage now.Been through the anger wanting to call OW stage.
    I am also taking care of ME. So glad I found this site!

  17. I come here, a lot, because of Elle's beautiful writing and to see in words how I am feeling. I re-read certain blog posts, because my memory is SO fuzzy five months out and the feelings change all the time. So, we are talking about why the OW doesn't have any consequences to what she did.
    In my case, she is a serial OW and has broken up other marriages. Now, you would think she would "get a clue" on how this ends for her, because NONE of the guys have married her. Sure, she got to play house for a few years with one of them, but they haven't married her. The one she played house right after breaking up the marriage eventually broke it off with her and then did get remarried a second time.
    In my case, I didn't have to even think about telling her family (she wasn't married and had no kids), because my father called her father. The OW had my husband so convinced that I was going to leave him, didn't love him, blah, blah, that he separated from me for 2 weeks after I found out because he was so confused on why I would want to go forward with our 17 year marriage (he now has it figured out - love - and he is doing the hard work).
    So, my dad, seeing my pain and doing everything he could to help me, sought out her dad's information on the internet, two states away, and called him on the phone and told her dad what his daughter had done and that I wanted to try to make the marriage work. Her dad said he couldn't make her do anything, but that he would definitely talk to her and tell her to "get her head screwed on straight." Her dad also asked if we had a family, because family is very important with his ethnic heritage. Her dad thought my husband was "just a boyfriend," who his late 30's daughter had talked about and had no idea he was married.
    If her family didn't know, I would be tempted to use the "She's a homewrecker" website and out her, because she is a serial OW AND she works with families who have children on the autistic spectrum. So, she has a lot of access to married men, finds out intimate details about the family and the marriage, and, obviously, no morals to not get involved with them to satisfy her own needs.

    1. Yay for your dad! We should all have dads like that.
      And wow, she sounds pretty messed up. As tempting as those revenge sites are, I think it can do more damage than good to get too caught in them. I doubt anyone really checks those sites until after the fact…and there's little point then. However, you could send an anonymous letter to her employer letting them know that she's been involved with a number of married and been complicit in the breakup of families. Just says it's something you thought they should know given her position of trust with vulnerable families. And then wipe your hands of it.


    2. Elle - Yeah, my dad was pretty awesome for doing this and I do know that her dad did talk to her about it. She is a great liar (aren't they all?), so I bet that the family doesn't know about the other married men. Unfortunately, she is so crazy (or fortunately) that she gets fired from every job she has had and has her own company now to "help" families (find the next married man to screw around with and the next family to destroy.) I have considered advising her licensing board, but I couldn't do that anonymously and as much as I want to, and could, end her career by getting her license revoked, I am trying to not give her another thought.
      She is messed up, I don't think you can do what she does for a living and purposely pursue married men and rationalize it. My definition of messed up is definitely, "I don't really know you, because you and your wife are my landlord (although I know you are married because I write a check every month in both your names), but when I found out that your wife just had major surgery, I thought you might be vulnerable, so I started being a good listener for your insecurities about your wife's health concerns and knew that once you crossed the line with that first kiss, your guilt would keep you coming back, to keep me quiet, so I could convince you that your marriage was over and wreck another home."
      Don't get me wrong, my husband was a complete dumb ass. However, she knew exactly what she was doing and definitely worked over a vulnerable man. My only prayer for her is that she never brings any children into this world to mess up. She has already messed up the lives of enough children by ruining their families.

  18. Yep, the ow does know the buttons to push to initiate and control an affair. The o/w, in my husbands case started talking to him when he was out shopping one day. Invited him to take her for lunch. Within 5 mins she knew he was married and her first words were, I'm not a home wreaker, that was after asking him to meet her again because she had never felt an attraction like it before and she had never done anything like this.

    1st visit after that she flung her arms around him and kissed him. Said, don't worry, I will never tell your wife. One month after that she was madly in love with him and asked when he would be leaving.

    Found out for sure this is her 4th affair with a married man and shes been married three times before.

    Her parents must be so proud of her.

  19. I messaged the OW on facebook and Twitter as I felt so cheated when she would not come to her front door. She sent her Husband out as she had to come clean to him in 1 minute when she recolonized my car in her driveway. Well she would as she had sat in it with my husband. She has since taken down FB and stopped public viewing of her Twitter. After the affair caused so much pain to my family I then messaged her mum to tell her what a lovely daughter she has.
    Its been 7 months from DDay, not having a good day today. 2o/c in the afternoon and still in bed and I don't care what my husband thinks when he comes home from a hard days work.
    Need to lick my wounds today....

    1. Just saw this post. I had suggested on another one that you tell her husband.
      I'm not surprised that she's cut off the world. Let her. You've revealed her to her family. Best to now let that go and focus on your own.
      By all means, lick your wounds when you need to. Seven months is still pretty raw.


  20. That letter from the OW got me so angry! First she had the nerve to ask; "Don't we trust our husbands?" Really??? What kind of bubble is she in? Yes, ultimately the cheating spouse is to blame. Most of these OW do know that they men they are with are either married or have a girl friend. In that case, they are just as guilty and it's a game that they play for their own ego. In her case, it was definitely an ego. She is heartless, selfish and cruel. She seems too smart to believe that he wasn't married.


    1. The delusional double-speak that many of these OW (and let's be honest, our husbands) are capable of boggles the mind. It's like trying to reason with a three-year-old. Better to relegate them to the "glad-I'm-not-you" file and trust that they'll eventually self-destruct.


    2. I thought this was Betrayed Wives Club not the OW's Club. Husband and I are still together after one year of finding out about his affair and I found out that his OW is trying to contact him threw social media. What's a wife to do?

    3. Betrayed and Lost,
      Well…you could insist that he eliminate his social media accounts. Is he responding to her fishing expeditions? Or is he shutting her down? You have the right to insist on honesty and transparency if you're rebuilding your marriage.


  21. I am writing this after a prev post with run on sentences and more because right at this moment I had a back and forth convo with my old flames wife. At first our communication with each other was not hostile. I have had a on & off relationship with this man almost ten years. Have moved on and left him alone. I find myself in a tug of war within myself and my feelings everyday. With trying to move on, requesting he leave me alone & him ignoring that. I finally snapped with her today and really just asked that she make her demands with him as I didn't feel I needed to relay play by play of things he is doing to prove a point. I know as a woman it must hurt, my intent is not to make him do something he doesn't want to do. I honestly, have been more than willing to remove myself from the picture. He does not want that, so really it is on him to make that decision and leave me alone and be happy if that is what he wants. I didn't call her names or resort to childish arguing but am more aggravated and just stressed with him the situation.... just everything. I recently lost a close family member and have been trying to deal with loss and my own dating dilemmas. He refuses to stay away from me. I have ignored multiple calls and he will show up at my house. Did I want to throw that in her face? No! My intent is not to hurt her. I know what type of man he is hence why we didn't work but I am human. I do have emotions just like anyone else. I am pissed at him more than anything for even putting me in a position to be the "OW" and upset with myself for not being strong enough to get a restraining order to make my point clear. Each time I get back on track and accept that he is where he is because he wants to be. When I begin dating someone else he does everything he can to stop it. In turn it just pulls me back into the bullshit. Yes, I am to blame. But every situation is different. The OW is not in the picture unless he places her there. I simply requested her not talk to me about it anymore to tell me what to do and what not to do as if she dictates my decision making. Let me deal with my own demons. I am not in a relationship with her, he is. He needs to cut it off completely and be where he truly wants to be. He hasn't done that and she and I really don't need to talk because I'm not going to waste her time or mine with telling her the he said, he did, that one day when he was with me etc .... what does that prove? NOTHING. I am trying so hard to get my life together with some much. I wished him the best of luck and told him to have a nice day ... so seriously the person that needs to make a decision is HIM.

  22. Following up on my prev post above on the 31st of Jan. It has been about a 1 1/2 weeks since the blow up between his wife and I, it has kept me up at night & I find myself randomly breaking out in tears because I am overcome with emotions. I am taking time to do a lot of self reflecting and scanning myself 3xs over as to what deep internal pain I am dealing with as to why I have entertained this situation for so long. As this man has stated that his dear wife is a" investment". How he is only with her because of the circumstances and his location. He had gotten out of prison and not a pot to piss in ... at one point they separated. He moved out etc ... but I knew he depended on her and whatever support she is giving him emotionally, financially and otherwise. I wreck my brain on why after me telling him flat out to leave me be that we won't. I cut off all intimate encounters for a year and he still stayed around wanting to spend time with me and saying how I will always be his ... I wonder what the hell is really going on with this love triangle and why me out of all the damn people in the world. I leave and he finds me whether it be a google search away or literally looking for me in places that I frequent and asking mutual friends if they have seen me. Why doesn't he just be happy with his choice and leave me out of it, or better yet leave his situation completely and be a free man to do what he pleases without all the extra drama.I've never given a ultimatum, however if this time he tries to slither back into my life I will and I am going to mean it with every fiber of my being. Especially since he is talking about us having kids etc ... Life is so crazy, I feel trapped sometimes as my heart and logic don't match up. This situation is so wrong, it brings nothing but pain to everyone involved and as all this craziness happens he is as cool as a fan. I really never saw this being such a big part of my life... I am so lost.

    1. Anonymous,
      This guy is poison. He was in prison, for god's sake. He has "not a pot to piss in." He cheated on his wife. You do not need this guy in your life.
      Stay as far away from him as you can. Tell him to stay away from you. Get a restraining order if necessary. Find yourself someone stable and honest.
      But also ask yourself if you're getting something out of his chase-you-to-the-ends-of-earth craziness. Do you truly want him out of your life? If so, take the steps you need to. Don't worry about why he's acting insane. Maybe he's truly nuts. Maybe he gets off on instability and deception. Doesn't matter why. What matters is whether or not you're going to let him make your life crazier than it is.


  23. Thank you for this blog. Very well written. It would probably be something I'd like to send to the OW.
    It's been 3 weeks since my DDay, and it's been a roller coaster ride. I am blessed in a way because my H is very remorseful, and regretted the EA. Another breakthrough yesterday when he emailed the OW (he showed me the email) that he is cutting it off with her completely. All on his own, no pressure from me. We are better, and hopefully stronger. I still have my issues on trust, security etc (who wouldn't?), but H has given me all his passwords and accounts, even work mail. So I guess I'll just have to sit back, pray, then wait and see. =P

    1. P,
      Glad you found us. Yep, roller coaster is right.
      My advice is to not send the OW anything. The quicker you can simply cut her from your life, the better. She's simply a convenient distraction, nothing more. Focus on your marriage.


    2. It's soooo tempting. It takes all of my self-control to NOT do that. But again, you are right. This blog is a life-saver. I am so glad to be here. Two weeks ago I was a wreck. I still am, but to a lesser degree (or so I think). I am empowered by what I read here, and all the women who are fighting to 'kick' infidelity's **tt. Thank you Elle (and all the other ladies here) for being that light in the darkness. Someday I will share my story, and hopefully it will help someone, like the way you are all helping me now. - P

    3. Oh, btw, H and OW still work in the same office, in the same team. Though I 'trust' H when he says it's purely work, and he was dead serious when he told me this (and all his time spent there is accounted for, texting and calling me), there's still that nagging voice in my head that is saying that maybe it's not really over yet. He says he loves me, and that he has made up his mind to be with me and the kids, but sometimes, when I'm not with him (especially when I'm not with him), I crack, I feel (think?) that it's not enough. Argh! I know I'm confused, crazy even, but what to do? I love him, and I really want to work on our marriage. - P

    4. P,
      Trust...but verify. I'm not a fan of anyone staying in contact in any way with someone they've cheated with. I think it makes far more sense to remove temptation. That said, I think you should occasionally check his e-mails, computer, etc. Do you have any friends at his office who can act as your eyes/ears? I'm not trying to make you paranoid, but trust is rebuilt when you routinely are able to put any fears to rest by confirming that your husband is, in fact, doing what he says he's doing.


    5. Yes, I do check his emails/phones/Skype etc everyday, but I feel it is not enough. Does that make sense? And I do have a friend at his office. But I'm ashamed of letting this person know about the A. I feel humiliated that my H did this to me. On the other hand, the OW's husband is also in the same office, and he knows about the A, and hopefully that will be a big deterrent.
      I've also asked H to find another job, to which he said no, even if I think we can afford it (I'm also working) with a bit of a lifestyle change. My head is so full I don't know where to start with what. - P

  24. Reply to Elle's original post: Wow! After 1 year of pain and grief over the OW, your post, Elle, gives me some peace. The OW refused to give me details about the relationship that she and my husband shared. She said she didn't want to get involved. (It is crazy how you totally understand what I was feeling at this point.) I contacted the OW (3 months after it ended) I was rational. I just wanted to know details so I could have closure. I was so upset with her response not to help me. I thought she was being arrogant and aloof. I always hope for the best in people. Your response gives me hope that she did realize I was a good person and didn't deserve this pain (even though not telling me caused me additional pain.) My husband didn't want to talk about the details of the affair either. He said there was no point. All I got was the "trickle" facts of their relationship. After 23 years of marriage, I truly think in his mind, that he felt the details would only cause me more pain. He seemed to truly be sorry for my tears and heart break. Most sites have made it sound that if the husband is not willing to tell the whole truth then there is no hope for the relationship. In my heart, this information didn't seem right. We have been trying very hard to work out our marriage. My friends gave me advice. They said "assume the worst" and figure out if you can live with it. While good advice, this advice was not what I wanted to hear.
    I am still challenged by lingering thoughts of the other woman. For a year, I have searched the internet for some explanation of his behavior (the affair itself and the aftermath). Your words give me peace of mind and hope. I think he just wanted a distraction and too feel young again. It doesn't make it right but it is an explanation. I was working hard and in a rut of my own at the time of the affair. However, I was not worried about my marriage. I thought he had my back. I was totally blindsided when the clues hit me in the face. My biggest fear was that he loved her and that he was so attracted to her that he would never really love me again. She is 15 years younger than me. I know I cannot compete with her physically but I can compete with her when it comes to the history I have shared with the father of my young adult children. Just to note...after I found out about the relationship, they secretly kept it going for another 10 weeks . I know he is not in communication with her now but the thought that he might be dwelling on his loss of their relationship has been on my mind. It is unclear who broke up with who, but the few text I did dig up between the two makes me feel it was a mutual agreement. Back to my point, your frank words, have provided some explanation for the most painful thing I have ever endured. The pain was intense for about 3 months. I finally stepped off the "the crazy train" 9 months ago but the pain and the thought of their relationship continue to haunt me. Thanks again for giving me a little perspective. I become stronger every day.

    1. While I understand that, often, we get more details about the affair than are really helpful. But I also believe that, for too long while the affair is going on, the door is shut to the wife. It's valuable for your husband to open the door to that affair and let you in so you can get a sense of it. Your friends' advice to imagine the worst might be helpful...but it might also keep you believing that the affair was better than it was.
      In any case, I'm a firm believer that the wife gets to the set the terms of reconciliation. If she wants information, then I think the husband owes it to her. I don't buy the "saving her from pain" argument. If they were so concerned about that, they wouldn't have cheated in the first place.
      You, of course, need to determine what you need going forward. At this point, many of the details are irrelevant. And I'm glad you're feeling stronger each day.


  25. Barring immediately following the text the OW sent to me (to find out who this was), I have never contacted the OW. She never picked up on that first day, being the coward she is, having sent an anonymous text. Let's not pretend typing the sentence 'I thought you should know' was for my benefit.
    It went exactly like: '(my name), (his name) is cheating on you, and on me too apparently, just thought you should know'

    My immediate reaction was that is was one of those scam numbers - you know the kind - phone it back and you're charged £1000 per minute type - so I went to my husband and showed it to him, saying 'look at this weird text I just got' - I seriously NEVER believed he would be the type and even in that instant, thought - no ways, never... We were talking about it maybe being a scam etc, but suddenly something just didn't sit right, so I started to push - and I pushed and pushed until he admitted to having 1 night with a prostitute around 8 years ago (at a specific event). It broke me then and there - I just couldn't believe my honest, caring, loving gentle husband could do this, but when I came up for air, I suddenly remembered the text.
    I know that sounds weird; 'suddenly remembered' - but when stressed my mind moves a million miles an hour latching onto a billion thoughts at once and in the moment, I get caught up on certain things and forget others, until after I calm down again.

    And this is when I called the number - probably between 5 -10 times consecutively, but she never picked up.

    So, I started pushing him again - and it took freaking ages. Over the course of the same day, I found out that that 'one time', was actually just the first time. That there had been others - many others, all prostitutes, up until the one who had taken it upon herself to text me - the one he had been having an affair with for 2-3 years, the one he thought he loved - but kept saying he loved me - that he loved us both. The one he had broken up with twice, and then slept with other prostitutes during the break up. The same one who said she was 'clever' with the internet and could find my number etc the first time he left her. The very same one who made contact with him a few months after each of their breakups to rekindle the relationship.

    Over the course of the next 5 days, we had 'trickle truth', until on the 5th day, I gave up - I couldn't fight, cry, respond, ask questions any more. I completely lost my will - I screamed in a raspy broken voice that I could not take it anymore (after having spoken fairly calmly when not bawling). That the lying was NOT to protect me, it was to protect him. Each time I found out he had lied about something, it set me back to dday. I told him it was over, I couldn't do it anymore, because he couldn't come properly clean. Afterwards, I could only slump listlessly, staring blankly out of the car window while he drove me home. He hovered at the door not knowing if he should come in or leave - and I was at this low point: you've been doing whatever the f-ck you want for the last 8 years, so why stop now, just do whatever...
    He never left home, but we slept separately (although experiencing hysterical bonding - but that's a whole other post) - he said he was staying until I told him to leave - because he definitely didn't want to leave and never ever intended to leave through out everything, and it was my decision if he had to leave. The following morning, I gave my second boundary - since he already had had 5 days of me trying, he had 24 hours to tell me EVERYTHING. I'm on 'team tell all' - I was not going to ask him any questions, he had to volunteer all info - and correct any incorrect info that had been given. To be fair, he had already told me the bulk of info during the 1st 5 days, there were just a couple of sticking points. But it was a definitely turning point for BOTH of us.

  26. part 2:
    I know some people may be reading this thinking - there is probably more - but I promise you this, we're down to the nitty gritty - what he has told me is so, SO shocking, it just wouldn't make any sense to hold anything else back anymore. And whether it's right or wrong, I've asked EVERYTHING that has even popped into my mind. I know all the different types of sex / positions / toys etcetc , the fantasies (his and hers) - those carried out and those discussed, What they talked about, her needs, his needs, what she looks like (feels like / smells like) and all of the services she offers (twitter / website / adult websites she advertises on / reviews / what he knows), some of the stuff she does outside of her main source of business, what they call each other and how they connect up / how long it took from when she started suggesting no condoms until the first time they no longer used protection - i mean everything when I say everything. I also know where she lives, since she was a client of ours (we run our own business) in January this year. I know about their fights. I know about their joys. I know what she's told him about her past. I know her insecurities - both from what he's told me and by her actions during the whole sordid affair and by her subsequent behaviour.

    My husband doesn't want to tell me these things anymore (like when I ask the same question again and again), because he see's the pain the answers bring, but he understands now finally and fully, that it's not for him to decide what I do and don't know any more.

    We've both had our first round of tests (clear), and due to dates for some STI's, are booked in already for the second round.

    On day 2, I went to the doc for med help (I suffer with anxiety, so I knew already I'd need medication to help me) We've already had 3 mc sessions. On day one he insisted we go because he knew he needed help and that we needed help. He did some research and brought some suggestions to me, we then agreed on someone, and thank g-d, after seeing him that first time, something has gone right for us and he is great for BOTH of us.

  27. part 3
    I fear I've veered off topic - such is my life these days - back to the original thought:
    Other than the original immediate 5-10 times of calling, plus his calling her that morning - which she also did not pick up to, that was my very first boundary. First - before I said anything, he had to decide - was he staying or going. He knew already (since that was the source of much of their arguing - that he wouldn't leave me) - if I'd give him a chance, he was staying.

    So, on that very first day of finding out, my first boundary was this - he is free to leave, that he cannot stay out of guilt / obligation / 'the right thing' etcetc - i.e. he had choice. If he was leaving, I didn't care to hear details etc, he should just leave. But if he was staying, then his first commitment to me was: break off all contact with her - and not to do it until he was SURE it would be the last time. With me in the room, he picked up the phone and called - again, she wouldn't answer, so he text her. I said after 3 odd years, can it really be done over text but his response was, she sent the text, if she can't then pick up the phone afterwards to talk to him (he called off his phone) and face up to her actions, then so be it, and he was putting an end to the situation there and then. He told her via text it was over, that if she wanted to hurt him, she could but that she shouldn't have hurt me. That they would have no contact ever again by phone/email/text / anything.

    So neither he nor I have contacted her since - but she sure has tried to contact us. First it was just to him - sometimes things like 'i know you hate me, please call me' another time a long winded explanation - I'd say a lot for my 'benefit' again. Either her or her flatmate / partner / house co-owner (whatever the hell their situation is) emailed our work email - to him about another job and swear at him about about how she didn't deserve it after she's put up with his shit for the last 3 years - in my eyes clearly again for my benefit (i.e. so that I know the job he went to for a week in January was with her) - because they know I am the 'office' part of our business. (and how stupid do you have to be not to know that if you play with fire, you might get burned - so don't f--k other people's husbands, idiot). I also got about 4 'hang up' calls on my own mobile. She also called his work mobile and as the number was unrecognised, he answered - and when he knew it was her said he can't talk to her and put down. Then the texts started saying (to him) 'please make the calls stop'. Then I got a text, something about to please stop calling her, she's sure I don't want to hear what she has to say and she definitely doesn't want to hear what I might have to say. Trembling voice message 'it's me, please call me back'.
    And the last thing we heard (so far) to his mobile was to make the calls stop - that if he couldn't, she would - either by calling me or the police. All this carried on for around 2 weeks after dday. Although we both barred the numbers she contacted us with, so maybe she's been texting, but neither of us get it. (his second phone - the one I didn't know about is destroyed and at the dump) I seriously questioned my decision in not having any contact with her, even wrote a 'cease and desist' type formal notice from our work contacts (never sent it, junked it). Worried that maybe due to her profession she had stalker type things going on and thought it was me, therefore giving her satisfaction that i / he was hurting - when it dawned on me - who gives a toss what she thinks? Who cares if she thinks it me or him? More than likely it's another play to get a reaction - after all, all she had to do in the past to get him to come running was create a drama (knight in shining armour and all that jazz).

  28. part 4
    Yes - my husband made VERY poor choices - which were mean and nasty, and he has to be responsible for those choices. But WHY does the OW / AP so often sing the tired story 'I didn't break any vows'? Perhaps not, but since you knew he was married (in my case and in many others) why did you get involved in the first place? You are equally responsible for being mean and nasty - those were YOUR choices, OWN THEM! I get that she must be hurting etc, but what the hell did she think would happen? If he was lying to me, why did she think he wasn't lying to her? Or if he wasn't lying to her and told her all along he wouldn't leave me, then what did she think would happen?
    The reason I hate her more than I hate him, is because I don't know her - she is a total stranger who through no provocation from me, decided to take a dump right in the middle of my life. I have moments when I hate my husband, but I also truly, truly love him and it's all an entangled mess right now. I'm not simply returning to my old life - at the moment, this is seriously the hardest thing I have ever had to do/ confront. I have no idea what I'm doing. But I am doing my best. And so is he. And there is something comforting about being chosen -and in the dark times, I try to cling to that. I didn't beg, or even scream - I told him - and meant it - he can leave. But he chose to stay. He chose me. I also take comfort in the way he has / we have closed ranks. Times are not really ever going to get worse than times like these - even although he is largely the reason behind my hurt (I have to be realistic and find the part i played in the big story). I think were he not so sure of his feelings, were he not so active in facilitating a plan of action, and once I broke through, were he not so totally honest, I would not be here. It's only been 4 weeks - and who knows, maybe tomorrow I feel different, but when I'm calm and have a second of clarity, I know in my heart that my husband is not a bad man. He is a good man, that made very poor life decisions, that has issues he needs to work on himself (self esteem / self worth / ADHD / etc) and we have issues we need to work on together (improving communication / spicing things up / etc). And lucky for me (IF I can call myself lucky) when I'm in the black hole of despair and jealousy and hate, he comes to me in calm love. I sincerely hope, with every fibre of my being, that we can make this work.

    I have a close friend whose husband left her for his AP - he divorced her and stayed with the AP for something like a year after until it ended. She is years away from that and is now happily married (new man) with 2 lovely kids. She is my chosen friend & confidant, with whom I confide my deep, sometimes shameful thoughts. And she has in turn confided saying that the death of her sister was 'easier' to deal with than the affair and subsequent divorce. That she is so, so happy and wouldn't change 1 bit of her current life, but is still not entirely over the hurt that caused her. Luckily for me, she is level headed and fair, and loves me thereby wanting the best for me - whether it be to help me create a new relationship and marriage with my husband, or whether we part ways - she is such a great support, I fear I will never be able to repay her for her kindness and love.

    I've read a lot of your comments Elle - and like you, I don't think I'm ever going to be one of the ladies that say this affair was the best thing that ever happened to me. But I do hope that like you I can one day look back on this as a sad time in my life, in our life - as just one small aspect of our lives together, rather than it being the brush that taints every single aspect of our so far 11 years together.

    We've got a lot of hard work ahead of us - unless we find the reason for the infidelity, we will not be able to prevent it from happening in the future.

    As you can see - I am literally all over the place at the moment.

    Thanks for listening everybody.

  29. My husband gave me his email address and password to "prove" that he wasn't hiding anything from me. What he didn't suspect was that I would sign into his facebook account using that same email and password (he uses the same password for everything). And what I found was an eyeful.

    A few years ago we were separated and seeing other people. I was seeing G, who was also separated. He was seeing P, who claimed to be in an open marriage. It was an awkward time and I was very unhappy. He was jealous that I had more dates than he did. I told him I was willing to work on our marriage if he would agree to counseling but he also had to stop seeing P, and I agreed to stop seeing G. I kept up my end, but he never stopped seeing her although he told me he did.

    When I logged into his facebook account, I saw messages going back two years where they discuss various fabrications - I'm mentally ill and he is going to have me committed, I'm going through 'the change' and that’s why I don’t want to have sex with him, I'm an unfit parent because I demand that he communicate with me - while also planning trysts and he has declared his undying love for her. I found out that P grows pot and sells it to my husband. He made arrangements to detour on his way to a boy scout camping trip with my son to a friend's house to sell her pot. And he documented all of this on facebook. I also found out that he has multiple facebook accounts, as does she, and they are all ‘friends’ with each other. How weird is that?

    But that’s not all I found. At the time I asked him to work on our marriage and end the separation, he had just started seeing another girlfriend. He didn’t give her up either. AND he told the kids that she was a friend from HS who shares his photography hobby. His facebook messages tell a very different story. The “photography” dates do include picture taking because that’s his cover story. But afterwards, they go to her house while her family is out and “wildly fuck for hours” (her words). He is facebook friends with her adult daughter, who is apparently unaware of their relationship.

    I locked him out of his account to secure the message history and in hindsight should probably have done the same with his other account. I confronted him and told him I wanted a divorce, but that I would be willing to work with him on a DIY petition so we aren’t paying lawyers for what we should be able to discuss in a rational, mature manner. I also suggested that he play nice because he wouldn’t want a judge to see the facebook message history. I don’t think he realizes how damning the messages are. He either believes it’s an empty threat or that I won’t be able to introduce the messages because of privacy laws. I consulted an attorney and there was no expectation of privacy because he not only gave me his login and password, but also used my computer to store the information.

    Until the facebook incident, he didn’t take me seriously. He has recently opened his own checking account and he had an appointment with an attorney (he doesn’t know how to unshare his calendar). I approached him again and asked if he’s willing to work with me on a custody agreement so that he could move out without giving up any future custody rights that would be settled in the divorce. He told me he has something “in the works” but he has no intention of moving out. I think he’s delusional if he thinks a judge would agree to let him be the primary custodial parent after all he’s done, or take children away from their mother.

    How do I deal with this and not explode?

    1. Wow. Woe to the fool who messes with you!
      You're clearly handling this beautifully. But I can imagine how much anger is building up inside you. You need to find some sort of outlet. Do you exercise? Running was my way to expend my fury. I'd hear my feet pounding on the pavement.
      Meditation works too. You just focus on your breath, even when the anger is building. Let it build and trust that you won't explode. That it will wash over. It's just a feeling.
      And finally, I'm a big fan of therapy. I think it's important to have an objective person to guide you through all the emotions. Often behind anger is hurt and fear. Betrayal triggers deep, deep feelings.
      And then channel it constructively like you're doing. Allow it to motivate you to ensure that you get absolutely what you deserve in terms of support, custody. Of course, with kids, you want them to be free to love their dad and spend time with him. But you won't allow yourself to be pushed around.
      It certainly seems as if, once this mess is cleaned up, you're going to be a whole lot better off without him.


  30. Ok I have a different situation. Met a guy in 2003 who did not say he was married. I was married at the time but separated my husband was being totally abusive. The guy and I were friends only for almost a year without any intimacy. We were intimate a few times when I got pregnant. Approached him with the pregnancy and then he sprung on me he was not only married but going through IVF treatments with his spouse. So he told me he would not judge me if I had an abortion. His thoughts not mine, I would never do that. Anyway, ended up telling my husband of my mistake and we worked through it and had the baby. Somewhere around 2006 the guy calls me to apologize and desperately sorry he and he hoped I had the baby and that it was my husbands. He had a baby with his wife during this time. Anyway, long story short the baby is legally my husbands but not biologically which my husband knows. The other guy comes in and out of my life every year wanting to know about my son. Told his sister of the affair and my son. Fast forward to 2013, he contacted me several times and I did not respond at all. No text, emails etc. He sends a note saying my son is a blessing from GOD and he wants to know about him and how can he be in his life without hurting my family or his. I texted the wife and told her he was having an on and off again affair for 10 years and has another son 3 months older than hers. Supposedly he told her I was a one night stand and he nothing about this other son. Which infuriated me so I sent her an email stating he did not want her and I to ever talk and if she wanted to know the truth contact me. Finally, he tells me she knows everything and has photos of me and my family so I contacted her again to see if this was true and if so not to publish or do anything with the photos in order to protect my son. I will be the first to admit what I did was wrong I should have been divorced first and I feel terrible and for the pain I caused my husband but we have worked things out and have two beautiful children. We don't want this jackass in our life but at the same time what he has done and the lies I want so bad for his wife to know not to hurt her b/c from what I gather she is nice but very naïve. What type of jerk lies about being married and has another baby while you are going through IVF and then wants you to have an abortion to cover his tracks.

    1. Wow. I honestly don't know what to say. The guy sounds like a loose cannon, which is always a bit disconcerting.
      I'm confused a bit about the on-again/off-again ten-year affair. You were with this guy for 10 years? Huh?
      In any case, it sounds as if this guy lied to you about his marriage, lied to his wife about his affair. I'm generally an 'honesty is the best policy" type of person because I think lies always come back to bite you in the ass. Your husband knows the truth, his wife now knows the truth. All you can really do is hope that she's not vindictive so I was do my best to not piss her off. Apologize for your part in her misery, ask her to please respect your choice to move forward in your life, make it clear that you did NOT know he was married, and then hope for the best. You might want to consult a lawyer because I have no idea whether she can do anything with the photos/info she has about you but forewarned is forearmed.
      In the meantime, stay out of her marriage. He is clearly a jerk. But you've got your own family to protect as does she.


  31. I have been married for almost 8 years in January my husband started cheating on me with his coworker I just found out in April he would just tell me lies so I confronted the ow and she said that they were just friends a week after I found the text messages saying I love you and naked pic she send him!! She was a liar like my husband my husband ask me to forgive him and I did because I love him and we have a 3 year old son! ! She got pregnant with the boyfriend and then she lost it in august and she quit the job I was relieve because I thought it ended!! in September I found out more emails they were sending each other! ! It broke my heart my husband even cry and asked me for forgiveness I did because again I love him and I think about our son but he lied to much to me and I can't trust him anymore! ! My sister in law keeps telling me to move to SC where she lives I think it's a good idea but at same time I don't want to leave my house my job and everything else because of this women! ! He send an email to the wo ending everything she thought it was me and said to my husband that she didn't wanted to deal with bi*** of wife!! Really after all she is making me go through I'm the bit**?? How can I be sure it ended and how can I deal with this feelings how can I be sure my husband loves me and not her?? This is very hard!

    1. Dany,
      You're in a really unhealthy relationship. Unless your husband is willing to establish NO CONTACT with this woman and give you access to all passwords, etc. so that you can check his phone/computer, you can't really know. And even then, he can establish other accounts.
      Are you and your husband in counselling? Is he truly remorseful and willing to do whatever it takes to earn back your trust? Is he willing to go into counselling himself to understand why he did this?
      Without a genuine commitment to the marriage -- and to whatever it takes to rebuild the marriage -- there's little chance of ensuring this doesn't happen again. While I don't think you necessarily have to move, I do think it's important for you to determine what you need to heal from this betrayal and then to take steps to keep yourself safe and secure.

  32. Hello Ellie. I'm not the ow I'm actually the fiance. We have a son, I recently caught my SO cheating. He said it was because he was high and addicted to drugs. He works away from home. He gave me access to his phone and bank. However I find on my phone a message from ow. And tells me he called her but wouldn't give me the number he called her from. He also changed his bank pass code. She kept going around and around even asked me for his number so she could call him and the she would show me the log to prove they matched. I said it should be there anyway. I wanted to believe my SO but he changed his passwords... But she wouldn't tell me the number. The tells me to stop texting her like I contacted her. What do I do!

  33. I have been the wife (15 years) and the OW ... in that exact order. I'm nearly 50 and as a result I'm UNIQUELY (or maybe not so) qualified to speak my mind on the topic.

    First, having been married 15 years to a SERIAL cheater ... my views on marriage are forever changed - not for the better or worse .. they are simply "different" from how I used to view marriage.

    I think there is too much "possessiveness" of "MY husband ..." (or my wife... but we'll stick to husband for this blog / situation) ... when in reality we are each individual and we CHOOSE to be with someone. There is no such thing as "Hands off MY man..." he isn't yours. Nope. (And remember, I've BEEN the wife - 15 years ... loving /devoted). But we're taught "this person is OURS because they PROMISED US THE REST OF THEIR LIFE.

    Having been (and currently am) the OW... the marriage (lack of trust in husband / wife) has ZIP to do with the OW .. ZIP. And btw.. my spouse LEFT ME and MARRIED his OW> (Like I said... I'm uniquely qualified here to speak from BOTH sides of the table - and no one can convince me I'm not.)

    Here is how I see it and the way it was with my SERIAL cheating husband.... a SERIAL cheater is WAY different from the "oops.. ONE TIME .... affair cheater."

    A serial cheater ... this is their LIFESTYLE - if you can't live with the LIFE STYLE of infidelity DIVORCE - period!!! Do NOT blame the OW .. .it is not her fault for a LIFESTYLE that you have in your marriage that one of you does't like. TALK WITH EACH OTHER.

    If it is a ONE TIME incident ... still .. sorry... no blame on the OW either (and yup - I did lots of blaming .. and now realize it was MISDIRECTED... it should have been FULLY on my SERIAL cheating husband).

    I now view marriages as more desirable if they are OPEN - and quite frankly that is where my next marriage will be. Take the "cheating/ I own you .. you're MY MAN .. etc." OFF the table.... you are an individual - so is "your" man.

    His wife has called me 15 times (couple hang-ups ... a few v/m) and what does she expect me to do / say? Sure .. you can talk to me but you may feel WORSE (I wrote my ex-husband's OW a letter - ask me how good that worked? Like I said.. I've been on BOTH sides of the table.)

    I more attractive, more fit, more educated (like in nearly Ph.D. level) than the wife. I have my own retirement, I'm financially independent, zero credit card bills ... no kids ... in other words - your competition is not necessarily the "ho wearing slutty clothes..." it may actually be a very professional woman who... guess what.. may be a BETTER personality match AT THIS point in life than you and your spouse turned out to be after 15+ years together.

    Be prepared for that if you call her (When I knew about my exhusband’s OW .. I knew RIGHT THEN she was a better match than I was - yup .. hard to admit .. but I knew why he liked / loved her.) Are you ready for that? Because that MAY be the hard honest truth.

    (part 2 is next)

  34. Part 2 ... Time together does NOT owe you a lifetime commitment to anyone - NOPE. Legal obligations .. yes... (bills /child care /etc.) But time and materialistic wealth does NOT owe you a lifetime of "we are not compatible but you still OWE me!"

    Here is the bottom line - NO ONE (myself included when I was married) really wants to get to the root of the marriage problem... "Do we want to be married still to each other? Is serial cheating just a part of your desired life style?"

    These are pushed off by "staying together for the kids" and hiding behind the kids ... and since you can't blame the kids blame the OW.

    In reality - A dysfunctional marriage takes TWO people ... the husband and wife - one has to do the cheating and the other (victim ) has to welcome them back even when they find out over and over again they cheat.

    Eventually something will break it - and that is where the OW comes in and now SHE is the one at fault.

    No... my husband's new wife (the OW) is NOT at fault... my husband and I were for being in a play called "marriage" where we were just acting the roles of man / wife... but neither of us really wanted to address the elephant in the room.... "Do we love EACH OTHER ... do we desire similar lifestyles?" not "Do you love the OW."

    The OW is just a mirror of yours (and what was mine) dysfunctional marriage to a serial cheater. And while I'm now an OW myself ... I can tell you there is no right or wrong to a marriage.. it is what works for the two people in the marriage... and if it doesn't work.. FIX IT or end it. Don't blame. I blamed - I sure did. And now... I see ... there are truly two sides to a story... and I realize that sometimes we are not meant to be with ONE person our ENTIRE LIFE ... from age 20 plus on ... but if we are .. great. ... then we will BOTH have that view and the OW won't even be a factor because he won't be on websites looking for "her" ...

    1. That you're willing to participate in the deliberate deception of another person is revealing. That's you're able to do the mental gymnastics required to convince yourself that you have no culpability reveals more.
      I suspect your cynicism is a mask for the hurt and disappointment you have in your own life. But without a willingness to excavate that and move forward with integrity, I'm sure life won't offer you much more than people who confirm your cynical world view to you.
      As for whether you're a PhD or a waitress, any "Other Woman" who knows she's part of hurting someone else is cut from exactly the same cloth. This isn't about education, it's about character.

  35. I totally respect your comments but I stand by mine and I stand by my way of thinking. If anyone had ever told me I'd wind up asthe other woman myself I would've never believed them.

    My father married his other woman and she was the best thing that was ever added to our family. My mother was unkind emotionally selfish and felt the household revolved around her. My father and stepmother have been married 34 years and I always tell him thank you for giving me a mom.

    I have learned that how we meet people isn't always the greatest concern. In my opinion the bigger concern is what are our intentions.

    That is an individual choice and we can debate character all we want. But having sat on both sides of the table I have learned so much. And I think the biggest thing I have learned is you can't force anyone to do something they don't want to do. And right behind that I have learned that we often choose to be victims by constantly taking back someone into a relationship that probably should have ended.

    I realize I played victim partly out of my own choice. And after having pursued a relationship in all the ways that people told me I was supposed to pursue one i.e. the guy should be single available preferably never married you should be highly educated fully employed blah blah I did all that.

    I have made too many errors in my life to judge how anyone chooses to find a mate. But I do know that most of us choose to be a victim myself included partly out of fear of being single out of fear of finances and for those who have children out of fear of being a one parent household and the list goes on and on.

    How we met is not important. But the best thing That being on both sides of the table has done for me is it has actually helped to heal me yes it really has. Because now I see how I contributed to my own pain being married to a serial cheater but I also see how I was in deep denial about my marriage and that it truly only existed on paper.

    I won't debate with anyone what is right or wrong ... But I realize now that no one owns anyone and we are with people by choice. And if we choose to take someone back Who we know keeps stepping out on us then we are choosing to be victims and we do this by blaming someone else.

  36. I had a guy give me a black guy once. The relationship ended right there. Anytime a man is physically abusive to a woman and she takes him back the message to him at that point is it's okay. When you take back a cheating spouse you're telling him the same thing. It's okay to cheat. It's okay to lie. So the next time he cheats blame yourself. Don't blame The Other Woman. The moment you tell a man something is okay, I don't care how much hell you put him through, the only message he's getting is it's okay to do it.



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