Goldi-Child, the Three Bears, and Beds: Who Takes the Blame for Infidelity?

the blame for infidelity

By Sarah P.

Sometimes people think I am too hard on the affair partner. There is a backstory as to why, but since people who read this blog do not know me, I have hesitated sharing all of it. After all, the lives of other people are not TV shows where we sit back and gawk.

Sometimes readers (not commenters or members) might read these blogs to gawk at the lives of others – any of our lives – those of us who leave comments and wonderful advice on the blog. But, we are all real people and I wanted to re-affirm that.

But, the shame of being judged has caused me never to tell all of my own story to the world. There were events that occurred that were more traumatic than what I have already told. These traumatic and (untold) events have influenced and continue to influence my perspective.

Regardless, I wanted to explore the fine details of who takes the blame for infidelity. I want to clear a path for a new way to both perceive adultery and help people recover from it.

This post is a culmination of beliefs that need to be thrown out (the old way of thinking) to be replaced with a new way of thinking that is founded in solid psychological research, accountability, and empowerment.

A fair warning: this post will contain straight talk about sexual relationships and a lot of other uncomfortable things. The more emotionally difficult the topic gets, the more satire I will use.

What is satire?

Satire is a genre in which vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are exposed. Satire is meant to be humorous while drawing attention to real issues in society. Its purpose is to deliver constructive criticism or commentary by using wit or humor.

For example, my oldest (a teen) watches video game streamers online. My oldest is all-too familiar with infidelity because my teen was the one to counsel friends whose parents were divorcing due to infidelity.  I only found out all the details recently. In this case, the apple does not fall from the tree.

Today my teen was watching a male, video game streamer who announced his girlfriend was having a physical relationship with his best friend. Obviously, the male streamer dumped both the girlfriend and his best friend.

But, in concluding the story, the video game streamer said:

“Cheaters are just like pennies. They are all two-faced, they are always dirty and on the streets, and eventually they find themselves in someone else’s pants.”

Boom. Or, do I say, cha-ching?

That is satire.

Both the streamer’s commentary and my comment about cha-ching, which implies cheaters are for sale and concludes if cheaters are for sale, they might just belong to the oldest profession in the world. (In case your parents never told you what that profession was, it is called prostitution.)

I have also experienced the devastation of infidelity. Unfortunately, I have also experienced devastation over many other things, such as an inherited and rare genetic disease that leads to bouts with hospitalization.

All of that stress and heartbreak turns into a big monster. I have two ways to let it out: crying for days on end or finding ways to laugh for days on end. Regardless of the satire that I write, I have never done any of the following in real life:

  • I have never hit anyone… I have never even spanked my children.
  • I have never said anything truly unkind to another person about who they are. Since I counsel, I have to point out traits and patterns of behavior, but those are SEPARATE from the person. I respect people unconditionally. That is, unless they are sociopaths… in that case, I stay as far away as possible.
  • I have never cheated on anyone and took great pains to ensure whomever I dated before marriage did NOT have any kind of girlfriend… not even a casual one.
  • I have never gotten physical revenge on anyone because it is the wrong thing to do. However, it also ties you to them from the perspective of karma. Yikes.
  • I love all animals and children unconditionally. Spiders go outside. Spiders bite and I do not fault them for it, but since I know their character, I put them outside so they can peacefully make a home in a nice tree.
  • However, I do not love all adults unconditionally if they have no insight and continue to actively destroy the lives of another people. Those people are like the “money changers” in the Temple. Like Jesus, I start throwing tables when these people enter the room. (Satire.) In all seriousness, I just take great steps to avoid them.
  • Here is one detail I have never told until now that gives insight into why I am so hard on my ex. This horrendous situation with my fiancé and the other woman did NOT come at a time when people might be able to say they were too young to know better. My fiancé was over 30 years old and the other woman was over 40 years old when all this happened. (I have no issue with younger men and older women. If older women have younger boyfriends/husbands, they get a high five from me.) What I was trying to convey was my ex and the other woman were not at an age where people could say, “maybe they have some growing up to do.” If someone has not gotten the idea of how to treat others by their mid-twenties, they never will, unless they seek therapy.
  • I also judge cheaters and the people who knowingly engage with cheaters in an attempt to destroy families. These people are adult bullies. Uncovering what adult bullies do (cheating) and giving them the mouthful they signed up for is not bullying. It is called fighting back. Bullies, cheaters, and spouse poachers do not pick on tigers. They only pick on the docile people of the world. I used to be docile and that docility caused me to lose the life I thought I was supposed to have. I am still docile UNTIL cheaters and spouse poachers turn up. Then, I become like Katy Perry in the video Roar. Also, Katy Perry is a lot younger than me.

Spouse Poachers: When it’s open season on your husband, you need to have a plan

 

False Beliefs

Here are the false beliefs that belong to the old affair narrative that we are going to throw out:

  • If a husband cheats, his wife caused it.
  • If a husband is not getting it (sex) at home, he will find it somewhere else and no one can blame him.
  • If a wife strays, her husband does not know how to provide for the family or for her.
  • Single or married people who knowingly have sex with married people are victims. WRONG. They are victimizers right along with the married person.
  • When people are cheated on, they are not allowed to blame the other person or their spouse.
  • Boys will be boys.
  • When people are cheated on, they are not allowed to verbally rage about the other person and their spouse. (The operative word is about and sometimes it is okay to rage at the wayward spouse.)
  • Truly kind people never swear or do unusual things on or after D-Day.
  • When people are cheated on, they should just “get over it” in less than 30 days after D-Day and move on.
  • Cheating is not a big deal—everyone does it.
  • Married people who cheat are kind people who took a detour.
  • Other women are equivalent to wives in terms of their victimization. (WRONG. The other woman is someone who victimizes the wife.)
  • The other woman is a nice person and it is the wife’s problem for not understanding that.
  • People have affairs because they found their soulmate (who was not their spouse.)
  • People have affairs because their “spouse made them do it.”

I was having a conversation the other day with someone and it dawned on me why Western culture is one that is famous for blame-shifting. If someone commits a terrible act against another, they find a way to blame their victim and others blame the victim with them.

Anthropologists call this scape-goating. Instead of cultures making individuals accountable for their behavior, they find a convenient scapegoat so that a perpetrator does not have to be held accountable. The scapegoat gets blamed instead.

In Western culture, people used to say, “The devil made me do it.” But, this is just another form of scape-goating.

The other day, the root of scape-goating and not taking accountability occurred to me. It goes like this:

One day a man walked in a beautiful garden and had a wonderful life in paradise, but became lonely. Soon a woman arrived and the man and woman played in their jungle paradise together.

The woman was a natural explorer and liked to explore all the wonders in their garden of paradise. One day, she struck up a conversation with a stranger. The stranger was an expert on all the flora and fauna located in the garden.

The stranger gave the woman a tour around the garden and they soon arrived at a beautiful tree. The stranger told the woman that the fruit from this tree was not only delicious, but that it would give the man and the woman a mental upgrade so that they could know everything there is to know.

The woman took a bite of the fruit and brought some home for dinner. Her husband also ate some of the fruit and they both got the same mental upgrade.

Soon, the entity that created and oversaw the garden arrived and noticed the man and the woman had eaten fruit from the fruit tree that provided mental upgrades.

The entity got angry and asked the man and the woman what happened.

The man said, “My WIFE made me do it.”

The wife said, “The green stranger made me do it.”

 And the green stranger said, “I was just minding his own business until the nosy humans arrived and wanted to be know-it-alls.”

All three of them were kicked out of the garden and forced to live hard lives. They taught their children to blame others for their behavior and that is what happened until someone came along and said each must be accountable for his or her behavior.

Now, it is time to for people to take responsibility for their part of infidelity—and the accountability falls on the wayward spouse and the affair partner.

So it is time to throw out false beliefs that place blame elsewhere. It is time for a new way to think about affairs based in accountability.

But, now it is time for a satirical story that is supposed to make you laugh, but that also instructs you on the warped thinking that can occur during infidelity.

Adult Story Time: GoldiChild, the Three Bears, and Beds

Let us talk about the reason why I believe the other people who have consented to destroying a relationship get part of the blame. Notice again, I used the word “part” and not “full.” 

There is this prevailing myth that the other person, like GoldiLocks, is just someone nice who lost his or her way in the woods. 

These (allegedly) really nice people had packed a picnic lunch of cucumber sandwiches (without the crust), petite-four cakes, scones, cream, and a nice thermos full of black tea with cream and sugar. They were minding their own business and they were on the way to a castle for high-tea on the lawn.

Some people still believe these GoldiChilds were out in the forest taking an innocent stroll while a choir of adorable singing birds flew through the sky and sung a sunny song about only being as big as your dreams.

 

Note how those birds were given a reality check by the swift-running Peter Rabbit?

Back to GoldiChild, since this is not Peter Rabbit’s story.

So there was GoldiChild, minding her own business, while a bunch of singing birds came along, and caused her to take the wrong fork in the road.

Plus, GPS sometimes does not work in forests.

After taking the wrong fork, GoldiChild saw a simple, thatch-roofed cottage in the clearing.

That was the beginning of the horror story for the three bears: Mommy Bear, Baby Bear, and Daddy Bear. These three docile bears lived quietly in the woods, minded their own business, and were a happy family of three furry and quiet bears.

GoldiChild saw their house and said to herself, “This house is nothing like the Queen’s castle, but is a new and unexplored thing.”

GoldiChild liked new things.

She had never seen the cozy cottage before and was intrigued by what goodies might be inside.

GoldiChild let herself into the thatched house while Mommy Bear and Baby Bear were walking in the forest, with the hand-woven baskets they had made, and they were picking wild huckleberries.

It was huckleberry season and the three bear’s favorite dessert was Mommy Bear’s huckleberry pie.

Note: If you would like the recipe for Mommy Bear’s Huckleberry Pie, just email Sarah P. because Sarah P. is a friend of Mommy Bear and they trade recipes. Unfortunately, Mommy Bear does not have email in her thatched-roof house, or she would be happy to share it herself.

Back to Mommy Bear’s story horror story…

It was a beautiful day, the sun was out, and the huckleberries were ripe. Mommy Bear and Baby Bear were out picking huckleberries all day long so that Daddy Bear could have a day alone in his man-cave.

GoldiChild saw the thatched-roof house and since GoldiChild was a nosy person, she walked into someone else’s house to explore. Note that GoldiChild was actually a 30-year-old woman in denial about her age.

GoldiChild smelled something delicious in the house.

Sure, the house did not belong to her, but something smelled delicious and GoldiChild needed to know what that delicious smell was.

GoldiChild entered a beautifully-decorated, Tuscan-style kitchen and saw there was something baking in the oven.

Why it was one of Mommy Bears famous lasagna’s.

GoldiChild decided to take the lasagna out of the oven and she proceeded to eat all of it straight from the pan.

GoldiChild and Garfield are actually the only two entities known to humankind who can finish enormous pans of lasagna in 30 seconds and all on their own.

GoldiChild was really tired after she ate the entire pan of lasagna. She wandered upstairs looking for a bed.

First, she entered Baby Bear’s room and laid down the bed. The bed was too small and GoldiChild felt she deserved something more elaborate.

So, GoldiChild went to look at the other beds.

GoldiChild spotted the guest room, but she kept going because she believed she deserved the best.

On her way to looking for other beds, she noticed there was a very tall and handsome Daddy Bear asleep in a beautiful, king-sized bed.

GoldiChild said to herself, “A bed fit for a king is better than scones on the queen’s lawn, so I will take it for myself.”

GoldiChild removed all of her clothing because she got too hot if she wore clothing to bed.

Then, GoldiChild crawled into bed with Daddy Bear.

When Daddy Bear sleepily rolled over, with his eyes closed, he accidentally pawed at GoldiChild.

At that moment, GoldiChild realized she had just found her soulmate. He had such big and strong paws!

It did not matter that Mommy Bears’ clothing, perfume, and even Mommy Bear and Daddy Bear’s wedding photo was above the bed, GoldiChild did not believe such things should come between soulmates.

GoldiChild pawed back at Daddy Bear who was still half-asleep with his eyes closed. Daddy Bear pawed some more. GoliChild pawed back even more briskly. Then, Daddy Bear pawed back quite intentionally.

Daddy Bear was definitely in the mood for something and GoldiChild said to herself, “Bear or human, it does not matter. A soulmate is a soulmate and being a different species should certainly NOT stand in the way of true love.”

Daddy Bear and GoldiChild pawed vigorously for about a half an hour. Exhausted, they both fell asleep. (Daddy Bear had never opened his eyes to see what he was pawing at.)

When Mommy Bear and Baby Bear came home, Daddy Bear was not in his man-cave and there was a pan of empty lasagna on the counter.

“That’s strange,” Mommy Bear thought. “He only takes a slice and leaves the rest for us.”

So, Mommy Bear wandered the house looking for Daddy Bear while Baby Bear stood at the kitchen sink and rinsed and dried the huckleberries.

Suddenly Mommy Bear screamed a scream like none before.

She found Daddy Bear and a naked, human female in her marital bed.

This scream woke up GoldiChild.

GoldiChild looked up at Mommy Bear and said, “Could you keep it down? Me and my soulmate are taking a nap.”

Mommy Bear yelled, “But, he is my husband!”

And GoldiChild yelled, “That does not matter because I am his soulmate.”

And Mommy Bear yelled, “Did you eat all the lasagna?”

And GoldiChild yelled, “Duh! Would you just shut up? I am trying to sleep!”

And Mommy Bear roared a roar that had never been roared before.

That roar that had never been roared before woke up Daddy Bear.

He looked at his wife, Mommy Bear, and noticed she was not in bed. Then he looked to see who was in the bed with him.

Daddy bear said, “What? How did I get here?”

And GoldiGirl said, “You got here because we are soulmates.”

Mommy Bear roared, “Is this true that this human is your soulmate?”

And GoldiGirl yelled, “Don’t judge interspecies love! No wonder he loves me more than you. At least I am open minded.”

At that point, Mommy Bear hit Daddy Bear over the head with an iron skillet and grabbed GoldiChild by her hair and threw her out the bedroom window along with her clothing.

Mommy Bear hoped Baby Bear did not see what had just occurred because it would be too traumatic for her cub.

After that, GoldiChild did all kinds of things to harass Mommy Bear and Baby Bear. 

Mommy Bear sued GoldiChild for alienation of affection and for breaking the laws of common decency: it does not matter if your soulmate is a married man or a married bear, married is married and married is off-limits.

Thankfully, Mommy Bear lived in a state that recognized alienation of affection and won.

Daddy Bear, Mommy Bear, and Baby Bear are still a family, although GoldiChild still hides in the bushes and stalks them anytime she is on her way to the castle lawn.

End of satire…

So, let’s analyze this situation.

Let’s suppose a person in the woods is lured by “goodies,” eats the goodies, and tries out all the beds until he or she finds the right bed. It does not matter (to them) that the marital bed they found themselves in belongs to someone else–that someone else would be the betrayed spouse.

But, GoldieGirl or GoldieBoy could not be bothered that the bed they are sleeping in belongs to a betrayed spouse. They are tired. It takes a lot of work eating other people’s goodies, sleeping with other people’s spouses, and then sleeping in other people’s beds.

GoldieGirl and GoldieBoy do not see people (or bears)—they just see their own needs and how to use others to get those needs met. It does not matter if their use of people breaks up families and causes unspeakable trauma, the GoliChilds of the world continue to see their own needs.  

If GoldieGirl or GoldieBoy is confronted, he or she will blame the spouse-poaching scenario on the fork in the road and broken GPS. Indeed, their GPS is broken—their moral GPS. Also, forks in the road (and forks on the table) are not living or sentient beings—they cannot be blamed.

Since most readers do not know me in real life, the alternative-universe of GoldieGirl and GoldieBoy was meant to make you laugh. It was meant to be satirical, not literal. Also, the fact that Daddy Bear was asleep the whole time was metaphor for the affair fog.

However, spouse poaching is quite literal.

A caveat before I begin: spouse poachers exist and genuine spouse poachers are truly cruel and selfish human beings. However, they are not a large percentage of the population. But, since our global population is heading for eight billion, millions of spouse-poachers exist. I suspect true spouse poachers qualify for a diagnosis of malignant narcissism, which is not actually a diagnosis.

Someone with the qualities of a spouse-poacher would likely be diagnosed as a sociopath with narcissistic features. But, I like the term malignant narcissist since it has been a common term in online communities dedicated to healing those who are abused by cluster-B personality types.

You are very fortunate if you came across an affair partner who was more or less passive in his or her relationship with your married spouse. Once these passive affair partners realize there will be a big fight ahead, they generally move along.

Besides, people who have affairs with married people generally have several different people in rotation, in case the married person stays with his or her family.

I always laugh out loud when a wayward spouse discovers their lover has several lovers. It turns the tables for the wayward spouse when they realize their affair partner is not monogamous. They are cheating and being cheated on at the same time by their lover—the ultimate irony.

Let’s use a fictional example of how the life of a female spouse-poacher might look:

Imagine a single, spouse-poacher named Little Lisa.  Little Lisa has sexual encounters with Married Man on Monday, Tim on Tuesday, William on Wednesday, Theodore on Thursday, Fred on Friday, and Sam on Saturday. Sometimes Little Lisa uses Sundays as a day to spend time with Jesus. You know Jesus: he is the handsome, young Puerto-Rican man who attends Lisa’s church.

When Married Man on Monday finds out about the six other men, he is generally shocked to his core. Sure, he can cheat—but he is devastated when he finds out he was no more than the Married Man on Monday to Little Lisa. If the Married Man drops out, Little Lisa has six more men to keep her entertained and will be happy if more men come along.

Infidelity as a Crime

I wanted to talk about culpability for a moment and discuss it from a legal perspective. There is a logical reason I assign half of the blame to the other person. When the other person knows they are involved with a married person and said married person met the other person while married (and not separated) and the other person continues to fuel the affair, they have some culpability.

I will explain.

Imagine your marriage is a bank.

And marriage is a type of bank due to shared assets, even though it is not normally referred to as a bank. That would not be as romantic and maybe people would think harder about with whom they share their bank.

Caveat: I am not talking about betrayed spouses. No one can predict if he or she will be betrayed. I am merely pointing out that a relationship might be less shiny and exciting if people thought of it as a bank.

After all, there has never been a romance novel written that takes place solely in a bank. It is great if the leading man is a handsome billionaire, but it is more fun for the fictional leading lady to get to know him at sunset while they both ride horses on a beach.

Regardless, since almost all long-term marriages involve assets and since affairs affect said assets, let us pretend marriage is a bank.  (I lost a new home and all the money I had invested in it. After the break-up, the HOA got sued and directly affected the sale price. So, I never recovered all the money I had put into it.)

So now that you are imagining marriage as a bank…

Imagine your spouse met someone, developed a relationship with them, and realized they would be a perfect partner with whom to rob a bank.

The other person thinks it is a great idea to rob the bank and excitedly develops a plan on how they (the spouse and other person) will rob the bank together. Then, the other person and the spouse rob the bank together and the other person even drives the getaway car. The other person drives the getaway car to ensure that the spouse does not have second thoughts about the bank robbery.

If these two people actually robbed a real bank together, they would be seen as co-conspirators to a crime and they would be put in jail while they awaited their trial. It would not matter if they were lovers—it would not matter “who started it.”

The only thing that would matter is that they planned to rob the bank, robbed the bank together as equal partners, and one person drove a getaway car to ensure there was no going back to return the money.

Let’s look at who did what, if it involved consent, and how those actions affected a situation.

Note: the other person/lover cannot consent to a relationship with a married person if the married person carries on a double-life and takes great pains to reinforce the idea they are single.

musings on infidelity

Conned

One time there was a story in the Huffington Post about a single woman who had been conned. My heart broke for this woman and what she went through. Unfortunately, I forgot who wrote it, but I remember the story.

The story went something like this: there was a single woman living in NYC and like most people, she was looking for love and marriage and she was dating other single men. She started dating a single man in NYC whom she grew to love. She spent many nights in his studio apartment with him and they practically lived together for a period of time. He had a great job, he loved her, and she believed this man could be “the one.”

Eventually, she took him to meet her large group of friends. Her friends all gave him the “thumbs up.”

This man proposed to the woman and she enthusiastically said, “Yes.” But, it was (not) her fairy-tale moment come true.

Soon after, this woman’s phone rang and she answered it. There was a woman on the other end of the line and she wanted to speak to her husband.  The woman on the phone informed the “fiancé” that the man she had been dating was married and had children.

The fiancé literally put the wife on speakerphone so the man could hear. The man continued to lie to his fiancé and told her that there was a woman out there pretending to be his wife. He explained it was not his wife calling; it was a woman who spent her day pretending to be his wife calling.

Fortunately, the fiancé did her homework and figured out the man was always married, had children, and had been living a double life. He had a regular home in New Jersey and a studio in NYC.

The studio was tailored to look like a bachelor pad and he even had burner phones and laptops. He was serious about maintaining the smallest detail of the illusion that he was single.

I cannot help but wonder what kind of marriage a man would have if he invested all that time and energy into his wife and his children. It could be a fulfilling marriage. But, instead he chose to spend all of his free time creating a seamless double life.

Of course, the fiancé talked to the wife and broke up with the married man. My heart sank for this woman. She had genuinely thought she was dating a single man and thought she would get married to him. I cannot imagine how she felt when her engagement turned out to be an elaborate con. It’s a nightmare situation for any woman.

This woman is NOT “the other woman,” even though she had an emotional and sexual relationship with this man. (We are giving her the benefit of the doubt that she is telling her the truth. I do know of others who have been conned and none of these women were easily fooled.)

To be the other woman or the other man, a woman or man needs to fully consent to a romantic/sexual relationship with a person who is married (and not separated.) In this situation, the husband is 100% to blame because he had created the illusion of being single.

The ‘Bad’ Spouse

Then, there are women who are seduced by married men and consent to a relationship with a married man hoping the man will leave. In these cases, the married person starts it, but the other woman or other man keeps it going. Perhaps the married person lies to their lover and spins complete lies about his or her spouse in order to make himself (or herself) look like a victim.  Nonetheless, it does not change the fact he or she is married.

I have heard a lot of very moral women say they will NEVER date a married man. But, then they announce the caveat. The caveat is this: if the wife is withholding a sexual relationship from him and being a bad wife to him, then the wife deserves her husband to cheat.

What is a bad wife anyways? If a bad wife means a wife is not 100% perfect, everyone could meet the criteria for a bad wife. That would also imply all men could be bad husbands, since no one is perfect. And if spouses can cheat because they have a bad spouse, everyone can have an excuse to cheat.

I have explained to many a woman that a man who is willing to cheat – that is knowingly and willingly breaking his marriage vows – is probably an unreliable person in terms of the truth. I try to explain to a person that if a spouse is willing to cheat on his/her spouse, he or she will have NO problem building up a fictional story of a bad wife or bad husband. That never seems to occur to people.

Why would someone who is willing to break his marriage vows tell her the whole truth?

In this case, the other woman still shares some blame. She knows the man is married and she assumes it is okay to have a relationship with a married man because he claims his wife is neglecting him.

Even if his wife is neglecting him, it does not matter. That is between a husband and a wife and it is up to the husband to let his wife know what his needs are OR he can also get a divorce.

In these situations, the other woman shares some blame because it takes two to tango. She is knowingly committing the act of adultery with a married man. It does not matter what she has made herself believe. It is the act that matters.

Back to the bank scenario… it does not matter if someone thinks about robbing the bank.

If they never commit the act of stealing from the bank, then nothing is stolen.

Look at people’s concrete actions and not their words.

Also, for anyone who maintains the married spouse takes 100% of the blame when the other person is pro-actively consenting to do whatever it takes to destroy a marriage, remember this:

  • If one man or one woman does a sexual act alone, the human species does not continue and no one has an affair.
  • Until recently, it took one man and one woman to conceive a child, thus helping ensure the human race continues. Each person contributed 50/50 in terms of DNA and the sexual experience.
  • One person is to blame when one person commits an unlawful or immoral act alone.
  • If two people conspire and consent to committing an act together, each person shares 50% of the blame. Caveat: As said before, in order for someone to fully consent to an act, he or she must have full knowledge of what he or she is consenting to. You cannot give consent to an affair when a person takes great pains to have a double life and even pretends not to know his wife when she shows up at the door.

Back to spouse poachers…

Spouse poachers are usually female and pursue the men/targets and get a tremendous high from the idea of destroying another woman’s life.

In my case, the other woman pursued my fiancé and would not give up until she poached him. Many different people told me this. She took tremendous pleasure in ruining my life even though she never met me and never saw a photo of me.

They told me the OW’s behavior was so outrageous, no one took her seriously—they told me no one could be that evil or crazy, so they assumed she was drunk and saying stupid things. So, they did not tell me.

They literally could not see it happening and let it go. Then, it did happen and I got to find out after the poach.

In this case, the other woman and the wayward spouse share the blame equally.

The other woman in my case gave me the “parting gift” of stage one cancer. She probably wanted to thank me for allowing her to take my place in what was supposed to be my life. In fact, she even got to move into my home.

Is there a Miss Manners book for the etiquette involved in spouse-poaching?

I wonder if there is a checklist of all the formal etiquette that is required for poaching a spouse. I am pretty sure leaving parting gifts of some kind if STI or another is one of those “must have” events on the check-list.

Marriage requires something borrowed and something blue.

I am sure in the spouse-poaching world this something borrowed and something blue is giving the gift of STIs to the betrayed wife or betrayed husband. The betrayed wife/husband gets used, is forced to borrow an STI they never wanted and from a stranger, and this causes the betrayed spouse to be very blue indeed.

09/11/2001

September 11th, 2001, also marked a turn for the worse in my own life. From what I have pieced together, my fiancé and the other woman met each other in the late spring, but I think it became sexual for them during September 11th, 2001.

Several colleagues and I had been selected to work on an elite software team and we were sent to San Francisco to get training on the ins and outs of launching third generation phones.

On September 10th, we all sat in a restaurant overlooking the San Francisco Bay. It was around 11pm and I saw flickers of lights over the inky black water. I was feeling rather peaceful until a rather loud thought announced itself in my head: “Something bad is coming. Life as you know it is going to be changed forever. Don’t get too comfortable.”

I did not tell my coworkers who were drinking too much while I sipped on regular iced tea. I kept looking out the windows at the thick, black water and vague points of light. I felt two things: that our country was under attack and that some things were going to change in my life.

I am an intuitive empath and intuit things others cannot see. I could not understand why I was so upset. All I knew is that I felt so very shaken on the inside and I kept looking over the bay and had a vision in my mind of planes that were flying and either dropping bombs or flying into things.

I told myself this was completely irrational thinking and so I never said a word, not even to one of my close friends who was sitting next to me.

My mom called my hotel room around 5:50am Pacific time; before then sun had even come up. Her first words were, “Our country is under attack. Turn on CNN, our country is under attack.”

I freaked out because of the strong premonition that occurred hours before. My mom could not quite explain what was happening so my hands shook as I located the remote and tried to figure out how to find CNN.

CNN was reporting live what was happening. I could not make sense of what I was seeing. It was so outside of my frame of reference of how the world worked, my brain scrambled to try to put together what was happening. My premonition had come true about planes hitting things, but where was it happening and why?

At one point, I thought I might be caught in a bad dream. It was too much to take in that I had the premonition only hours before and it was happening live on TV. I cannot describe in words how I felt. Instantly, the world became something I did not understand.

I got off the phone and banged on my friend’s door. I ran in and told her we needed to turn on the TV. She and I were trying to figure out what was happening. Life felt surreal. We wondered if we were in danger, if there were more planes to come, or what to do. She we called all of our coworkers and told them to come to her room.

We all sat there together as we watched the Twin Towers fall. We were speechless and did not know how to react. We did not know if we should leave our hotel and start driving the many hours it would take to get home or if we should stay put.

By mid-morning, we found out training was cancelled. One coworker got ahold of a Suburban—the last vehicle left on one of the lots. Planes were not flying and the Amtrack schedules had been suspended.

I begged my friend to come with us, but she wanted to stay put. She was paralyzed with fear and refused to move. Three of us got into the Suburban and shared 16 hours of driving non-stop until we got home.

I arrived around 5am and ran into the bedroom to find my fiancé. I was so frightened and needed to be comforted.

He woke up with a frown and said, “What the hell are you doing here? You should have stayed in San Francisco until you knew more.”

He was genuinely angry and I asked him why. All he said was that it was stupid for me to leave San Francisco.

Something was definitely wrong and I believe that was probably when he consummated his physical relationship with the other woman. She may have been sleeping in my bed with him and he probably had to shoo her out. If that were true, she would have had five days to stay with him in our home to see how well he and I had it.

She was an employee in high-tech (like me) but had managed to get to 40 years old without her own house or any real assets. I had real assets by the time I was 26 years old and one of those assets was the home we had purchased.

I believe September 11th was the day our country lost its innocence—at least in recent history. It was the first devastating event that I had to live through in my life-time.

It was also the first time I could intuit something was wrong in my relationship. However, after a couple of days back home, my ex started acting normally again. He continued almost another six months with the other woman before he made a decision.

Knowing the Affair is NOT Your Fault

Emotional Reasons the Other Person Shares Some Blame

In my case, the case of that featured a real spouse-poacher—the poacher wanted my bed and my head. A real spouse-poacher wants to target your married spouse and take down your marriage. In doing so, they will also very intentionally mess with your head. They get pleasure in doing so.

Even though it is hard for people with empathy to understand why someone would want your bed and your head, all I can say is that real spouse-poachers lack empathy. They think life is a game and they have chosen you to (unknowingly) be their opponent in playing the game of “steal the spouse.”

They love the fact that you do not know because it gives them an advantage and you a disadvantage. They get a kick out of thinking about you, the betrayed spouse, going about your day and planning the future of your marriage, knowing that when they succeed there will be no future marriage for you- at least not with your current spouse.

Again, I wanted to state this is a small percentage of the population and is NOT meant to infer that all other women are like this. Fortunately, only some other women are like this. But, when they arrive, they arrive with the force of a hurricane and leave everything they have touched in shambles.

If you happen to cross paths with one like I did, you will never forget. You will end up blogging about your experience years later because you cannot stand the thought of another innocent spouse going through what you went through. You will feel it is your duty to raise the alert to all the spouses out there and in so doing, you will hopefully preserve families.

Contrary to what some say about divorce—“the kids will get over it!”—this does not appear to be true. Recent studies show that divorce shapes the generations to come in very negative ways. If you look at it holistically, you get a very bleak picture of a future emotionally broken society. In case you have not figured it out, the thought of betrayed spouses and the children from unnecessarily broken families drives me.

The New Narrative for Affairs: 10 Core Principles

At the beginning of this article, we mentioned the old narrative of affair recovery, in which many people still frame affairs. But, it’s time to replace it with a new narrative. I have identified Ten Core Principles at the center of affair recovery.

But, before I jump in, I wanted to say that writing for the affair recovery world is a field fraught with land mines. Whoever visits EAJ does so in a time of tremendous grief. EAJ is absolutely biased towards the side of the betrayed partner and we assign blame equally to the wayward spouse AND his or her lover. It takes two people to have an affair.

My caveat is that the “other person” is never to blame if they wayward spouse takes great steps to hide the fact that he or she is single. No non-married person can consent to an affair if they are led to believe the person they are dating is single. Also, if a non-married person is in denial about the (married) person they are dating, denial is no excuse. The affair partner does not get blamed if any reasonable person in the same situation would also be fooled, due to a married person’s double life.

Here are the new Ten Core Principles of Affair Recovery:

1) It takes two to tango and both affair partner and wayward spouse share blame equally (if the affair partner knows the wayward spouse is married.)

2) The betrayed spouse is NOT to blame. I have done tremendous amounts of research and have discovered a betrayed spouse cannot make another adult cheat or un-cheat.

3) A person who has affairs can control his or her behavior if he/she wants to do so.

4) A wayward spouse cannot blame-shift his or her behavior or his or her bad choices to make another person, including his or her spouse, responsible.

5) Wayward spouses and the lovers of wayward spouses must be held accountable for their behavior because they caused the disaster.

6) If a marriage is that terrible, having an affair makes the marriage 100 times worse. 

7) All of us have terrible experiences at one point or another, but having terrible experiences cannot be a valid excuse for choosing to harm betrayed spouse through infidelity.

8) People who choose to cheat with married people and attempt to break up marriages are emotional bullies and spouse poachers.

9) Betrayed spouses are allowed to verbally rage, swear, cry, punch pillows, confront their wayward spouse and even verbally confront the other person if they feel the need to do so. Note: if we judge betrayed spouses for acting less than perfect, we become a partner in their abuse and invalidation. We must validate the betrayed spouse’s experience and never fault them for being less than perfect. We don’t have to live through the pain—they do. 

10) The other person who knowingly chose to have an affair with a married person is not a victim. In having an affair, this person has helped victimize a betrayed spouse and/or his or her family.

In Summary

It is time to throw out the old way of thinking about affairs so that we can create a new model that empowers the victims of affairs: betrayed spouses, children, and even grandchildren.

We must not fall into the trap of blaming the betrayed spouse for the actions of another person. We must also support the betrayed spouse when he or she shows that they are only human, just like the rest of us. We cannot judge betrayed spouses for how they handle infidelity. Betrayed spouses are usually very kind people who have been thrown into a terrible and unusual situation.

People in unusual situations behave in unusual ways. French culture understands this very well, whereas cultures based on Anglo-Saxon value systems usually promote the blame game. It is time to end the blame game. None of us can help it if we are victimized and it is okay to do what we need to do (short of illegal acts) to recover from infidelity.

How has you week been? If you are a betrayed spouse, did others blame you for your situation? Did others ostracize you? What do you think about the new way of thinking versus the old way of thinking?

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82 Responses to Goldi-Child, the Three Bears, and Beds: Who Takes the Blame for Infidelity?

  1. TheFirstWife June 19, 2018 at 12:55 pm #

    My H had a 4 year EA. She was definitely poaching. Her final call was to ask me (the W) if I would allow her to have my H go to a wedding with her. She did not have a date and we were friendly with the couple but not invited to the wedding. But the OW was better friends with the bride to be and invited.

    I guess she thought b/c she went to some prestigious grad school that I was too stupid to see through her charade.

    I’ve been friends with far too many poachers. Some after my BF or H and others just poaching other relationships.

    One poacher was dating my cousin (he was still married). And the W was a very good friend of ours. What a loser!! Both of them.

  2. Sarah P. June 19, 2018 at 1:38 pm #

    Hi TFW,

    That is so insane that she thought it was ok to bring a married man to a wedding and more insane that she thought it was okay to call you (the wife). Weddings are not Sadie Hawkins dances and you are a mom to your children but not a mom to your husband. Your story truly provides a peek in the warped thinking of spouse poachers. The ultimate irony: calling a married man’s wife to ask her permission to have the married man attend a wedding with the poacher. Truth is stranger than fiction and some spouse poachers live in a Twilight Zone type dimension. As for the poacher’s prestigious grad school, it has been my experience that the morals at such places are very “fuzzy.” TFW, how did you react when she called?

  3. TheFirstWife June 19, 2018 at 3:38 pm #

    Sarah. Long long story. From the second I met her I told my H watch your back. She likes you more than a friend.

    At year 3 I was very suspicious. Complete EA. Now my H did not love her BUT loved the attention and ego boost. Gaslit. Stonewall. He refused to acknowledge or admit EA.

    Fast forward to the 4th year. I’ve run out of patience. She calls my home #. Asks if it’s ok with me if my H goes to this wedding w/ her. As her “date” or friend as she has no one else to ask. My H Is walking in the door from work. I say to OW – hold on you can ask him yourself. So I hand the phone to him and say (so she can hear me) – Its OW and she wants you to go to the wedding with her.

    The look on his face is ingrained in my brain. 20 years ago this happened. He was not happy and knew he I was very unhappy. He was mortified she would do this. I told him she has now made “her move”. He had better end it.

    About a week or so later the OW is having a party. We both get an invite. I am done pretending she is my friend. She nevercwas but used me. So I ask my H if he plans to go. He says yes (knowing I won’t go).

    Yes that is how unbelievably clueless (insert any profanity you wish for emphasis) my H was. He thought it was ok to go to this party knowing I would not go and how I felt and the fact she asked him to go to a wedding about 10-14 days ago.

    That explosion (from me) was of epic proportions. I did not speak to him for 3 days. He finally finally ended the “friendship”.

    But not b/c he ever did anything wrong in his mind. This was the early beginning of the term EA. No texts or internet stuff. This was 4-5 days a week during grad school. Face to face. For years.

    No remorse. No consequences. Rug swept and denied by him.

    Which is how or why he had A #2. Because he got away with A #1.

    • Rose June 20, 2018 at 12:53 am #

      Same here TFW. 2 years of an underground EA. 2 years of putting someone else before me and our family. 2 years of blatant lies. But I was an idiot so he got away with A #2 as well.

      • Nearly Normal June 21, 2018 at 11:49 am #

        Rose,

        You’re not an idiot. You were deceived. If you had perfect knowledge of everything and knew exactly what to do, you would also have cured cancer and ended world hunger.

        I know it feels like you were an idiot, because I felt like one (and still often feel like one). I have to remind myself everyday, if I will listen.

        • Rose June 21, 2018 at 12:52 pm #

          NN, I hear ya. Every day I need to tell myself “You’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and doggone it, people like you!” (Stuart Smalley, aka Al Franken, SNL) But yeah, I wasn’t an idiot, just trusted my H because why wouldn’t I? He had an EA 30 years ago, and I barely remember the details, but he was a white knight, taking care of a poor abused destitute single mother…except she wasn’t. It was a scam for her and her boyfriend to blackmail him for money. Thought he learned his lesson but no. Took him a while but he got involved with another one of these women. When I found out, he said he’d end it…and it lasted another year and a half. That was it. I haven’t trusted him since, and that’s been 6 years. After that EA, he got involved with an online EA (very pornographic) with his cousin. So yeah…trust has been shattered and will never return. My counselor says “What’s the worst that can happen?” when he does something like go behind my back to message the OW. And I guess the worst is that I’ll be deceived again…but he knows the next time that happens, he’s out the door. If he lies to me about where he’ll be this Sunday (heading to this function because the OW will be there), that’s the last straw.

  4. Hopeful June 19, 2018 at 3:49 pm #

    Sarah, I relate to everything you write about. I too had the same feelings before 9/11. Thankfully my husband has agreed with me that this is 100% on him. There were a million other options for him besides the ones he chose. It is sad in the end how he had such a low moral compass and betrayed himself first. One thing is I have always remained true to who I am. As we have discussed in the past I am thankful for my parents and how they raised me. I thought in general most or many had a similar upbringing. It has all become so obvious how my husband was indulged, put on a pedestal, not given the correct boundaries and consequences that led to his betrayal.

    I totally agree with your 10 core principals after discovery. I think what makes it the hardest is the way society looks at and reacts to affairs. It is not grounded in research or even real life. Thank you for another great post

    • Sarah P June 19, 2018 at 7:56 pm #

      Hi Hopeful,

      I am glad that your husband took the blame for what he did. Unfortunately, I have come to realize that more people have affairs than we will ever know. I was speaking with a retired sex therapist and he believes 90% of serious relationships experience emotional or physical infidelity. A serious relationship could be defined as a long-term boyfriend/girlfriend relationship, two people living together, people who are engaged, or people who are married. This number changes depending on how someone defines cheating. I think people who do end up cheating either don’t feel like they are “whole people” and need constant ego feedback, or perhaps they were not given boundaries that they assimilated into their character, others are entitled, and others don’t even try to prevent an affair. If someone is offering an affair on a silver platter, some people never think twice– they just dive right in. Sad. I have always made sure NOT to put myself in situations where I would be tempted. But, I am not prone to temptation. When I was single, I only found about 5% of the male population attractive. My best friend is the same way. But thank God the 5% she likes is not the 5% I like. Otherwise, there would be a BIG issue.

      What was your premonition about 9/11? Did you have images in your mind and a feeling or just a bad feeling? I saw planes that were either carrying explosives or running into things and I knew it was going to be an attack from an enemy of the US. I just did not know which one. I still remember sitting in that restaurant with my coworkers and they were all having a great time and I was withdrawn and obsessed with the idea something was coming our way and we were no longer safe (as a country.) At that point in time, I did socially drink and loved having a great time with coworkers. But, I became withdrawn, serious, and refused to drink that evening. My coworkers did not notice because they were busy seeing who could slam down the most shots. (I was the designated driver but in the past, I would have 1/2 glass of wine over the span of an evening.) That evening I was internally scared to death because I knew life was no longer safe. It had more to do with our safety as a country and a little bit to do with my fiance. But, 90% of it was about our country no longer being safe.

      I have had premonitions over my entire life and they get stronger as I got older. When that tsunami happened in Thailand in 2004, I saw it in a dream as it was happening. (I was asleep during the time it was happening in Thailand). I woke up and continued to see stark white images of it in the dark floating through the bedroom. When I turned on the light, the images went away. These were horrific images to see: dead people wrapped in barbed wire, dead floating bodies everywhere, enormous volumes of water carrying cars away as if they weighed only 10 pounds. I went back to sleep and the news of the tsunami was on the front page of the news websites. The Scottish people call this ability “second sight” and the Jews call it “spiritual sight.” The women on the Scottish side of my family and my Jewish side of the family have it in small amounts. Somehow I got it in outrageously large amounts and I am not afraid of it. I have trained myself to fine-tune it to see if it could be used for the good of others. I have so many stories about experiences with ‘second sight’ that could fill up a book. However, unlike some people who call themselves psychics, I do not refer to myself as a psychic and I never charge people when they ask me to take a deep look into a situation. Whatever it is, the ability to channel it was freely given to me and I freely give it to others. (It does not originate from me– it comes from a higher power or higher understanding. I have chosen to fine tune it and give it freely when people ask. It helps a lot when I counsel people because I can ‘tap in’ to what third parties are thinking or feeling that would affect whomever I counsel. That way they can prepare. But, enough of the spooky talk.

      Still, do we have any other intuitive empaths out there who can channel information or “remote view” events? (Even if they do not do so consciously.)

      Sarah

      • Hopeful June 20, 2018 at 1:43 pm #

        It did involve airplanes. It was an different feeling for me. I had family that was travelling and after talking with them on 9/10 I had these very specific feelings. I have had many reoccurring dreams throughout my life. Some good some more nightmare like. And just like that during the “affair years” i knew something was off. I just could not figure it out. I did ask direct questions and I did go on my husband’s phone and look through it. He lied right to my face and I did not dig around often enough. Since his affairs were sporadic that made it tricky. I still wonder if he had not left home his iPad during that trip if it would have come out. Hard to know and it does not matter. I am thankful he did not walk away and just lie to me about why he was leaving.

  5. Sarah P. June 19, 2018 at 5:02 pm #

    Hello TFW,

    What an awful, awful, awful four years of graduate school—to know that your H had face to face contact with a poacher in his grad classes all week long. You did the correct thing by calling a spade a spade and telling him OW was on the phone. I have found that speaking very frankly and in a way that communicates the game (the affair game) is over works wonders. But, epic explosions in these cases also work wonders. They are warranted. A betrayed spouse must stand up for his or her rights because the poacher will do everything to make sure the spouse does not have rights.

    I have noticed that the need some have for constant ego feed from those of the opposite gender interferes with the marriage. The feed becomes like a drug and makes the spouse feel alienated. This is the article I am working on now— what to do when one spouse needs constant ego feed from anyone but their spouse. Very destructive. And betrayed spouses can use any expletives they like when they figure out someone is trying to rob the marital “bank.” I have found that the betrayed spouse has to be a big pain in the butt to the poacher so that the poacher goes searching for a different forest where the poaching comes easy.

    I just wish all married people would follow the rules. Don’t cheat and don’t put oneself in situations where it could be possible.

    TFW, how is your H these days?

    Sarah

    • Rose June 20, 2018 at 12:49 am #

      Sarah, my H was/is like that, needing the constant ego feed from everyone but me. I was “too busy,” “not attentive enough,” yada yada yada, because mommy didn’t breast feed him or something. Uh huh. Thus his 3 EAs (the ones I know about anyway).

  6. TheFirstWife June 19, 2018 at 6:57 pm #

    He is a different person now. He realizes the pain and damage he caused to me and our M.

    His last A – where he wanted a D and I finally told him at DDay2 that I was divorcing him! – well that was the kick in the butt he needed.

    He is truly grateful we are still together and we have survived his last A.

    He also knows he has no more chances and I will my tolerate any more flirting behavior or disrespect.

    And in my life I now come first.

    • Sarah P June 19, 2018 at 8:17 pm #

      TFW,

      It’s great that you have been able to work this out on all levels. Every betrayed spouse must come to a place where they put themselves first (in terms of self-respect and boundary setting.) Men also seem to like women who put themselves first.

      One time there was a guy about 8 years younger than myself who would come and hang out in my cube or ask me to go outside for a coffee break. He was the “office hunk.” He was 6’3,’ single, and had model good looks. He had dumped a very attractive and nice woman who worked on another floor. She could not get over him. One time I asked him what was so bad about his girlfriend that he had to break up? Well, he said she wanted to get married to him. I reminded him that he was looking for a wife and that this woman would have made an excellent wife and mom. I did not understand. Finally he said, “The REAL reason I broke up was because she was too available and never said “no” to me. Every girl I have every dated is always available and I don’t have to put up a fight for them.” In the end, he told me that the woman he would marry would be someone who had her own hobbies, her own life, and someone who was not desperate. This guy knew I was married and others had told me they overheard him saying he wished I was single because I was the only woman who he had met who was indifferent towards him. He was extremely physically attractive, but even if he had been single, I did not see myself dating someone like him. He had a boring personality. For me, personality comes first because I am attracted to the person inside and not the exterior wrapping. Still, this guy gave a lot of information when he voiced his frustration that he just wanted a girl who said ‘no’ and made him work for her affections. No matter how much the guy spoke with me, I found him boring and treated him VERY indifferently. But, I was not single and not on the market anyways.

      Sarah

  7. Shifting Impressions June 19, 2018 at 7:59 pm #

    I agree with the ten core principles….ONE HUNDRED PERCENT!!!! I also think we should encourage the BS spouse to get in touch with their feelings of rage, sorrow and devastation etc.

    I shudder when I read about people talking about forgiveness, moving forward and repairing the marriage etc…..only a few months after d-day.

    The blameshifting that surrounds infidelity is absolutely beyond believe. I doubt my husband ever once thought that not only was he betraying me but he was also messing up someone else’s marriage. OW says her husband is a bad husband and he buys it hook line and sinker!!! Why would you trust someone that is willing to betray their spouse???

    I tried to behave with integrity after d-day and was fairly successful most days but let my husband know in no uncertain terms about the damage he had done.

    Good post, Sarah!!!

    • Sarah P June 19, 2018 at 9:33 pm #

      Hi Shifting,

      Thank you so much.

      Just figured out that this post might be an important landmark in the field of infidelity recovery. Now I need to write a book about these 10 Core Concepts so that betrayed spouses have a voice and a book that advocates on their behalf.

      As for your husband and what the OW said about her husband…. the number one excuse married female cheaters tell a married man is that they have extremely bad husbands OR that they are battered wives. I know how battered wives live and truly battered wives have been so isolated from their social networks (and often don’t work outside the home) so that their abusive husband can have 24/7 control. Women married to truly bad husband generally don’t have the time or inclination for affairs.

      OW like to say they are battered so that their married target will feel like a knight in shining armor. “Oh married man, my life is so horrible. My husband locks me in a tower alone all day and beats me for 8-hours straight! But you, Married Man, are soooo strong and so amazing and you, Married Man, are the only man who is “man enough” to rescue me from my tower of abuse!”

      Note: I have never read the book Fifty Shades of Grey. But, from what I understand, the book is a highly-glamorized version of spousal abuse. And people bought the book. That is so wrong.

      Anyhow, I do not make light of women who are battered. I have volunteered in women’s shelters. I can tell you women who are truly abused are so scared of men that the last thing they want to do is find a married man to have an affair with. They know doing such a thing will get them killed. Battered women grab their kids and attempt to disappear because they are afraid the husband will kill them and their children.

      However, every (married and female) spouse poacher I have ever encountered gives a married man a sob story about the (fake) abuse she receives.

      It is sickening to me because it undermines the experience of actual battered women and it also ruins the reputation of an innocent man who is also being betrayed. (That’s dirty dealing, if you ask me.)

      For example, there was the story of one of the Nasty Nurses and Devious Doctors. Everyone in the community knew Devious Doctor and his wife. His wife (a general practitioner MD) is a veritable saint and that is for real– it is not a social face she puts on. The wife funded her own medical missions to remote areas in third world countries to bring lots of medicine and a few Bibles in the local language to share. The wife had a little hobby farm on their property and allowed disabled kids to visit. Their kids were almost grown and followed in the mom’s footsteps of being exceptional people.

      Then there was Nasty Nurse and her husband. Her husband was a volunteer fire-fighter (in addition to his day job) and did all kinds of great things for the community. Nasty Nurse felt terribly abused by her husband because he did not make a surgeon’s wages. Nasty Nurse felt she deserved prestige and lots of money, but she was too lazy to get it for herself. She decided to steal it.

      So, Nasty Nurse told a bunch of people she was going to poach Devious Doctor and she succeeded. Nasty Nurse did so by NOT wearing scrubs to work. Instead, she came dressed in nightclub wear and full make-up to work. And then she started sighing and spinning stories about how abused she was. (Her husband could not afford those $700 shoes.) Then she convinced Devious Doctor that he was married to a wicked witch. Why, if Devious Doctor’s wife loved him, she would not spend time in the 3rd world helping others, according to Nasty Nurse. But, Nasty Nurse could love him the way he needed to be loved. Forget all those suffering strangers in the third world– they will die anyways– Nasty Nurse said. And so Nasty Nurse flattered Devious Doctor and made up lies about her husband battering her. Devious Doctor was the only one who could save her- he had special powers. And his wife would be okay– she would just move to the Third World with her Bibles and medicine for company.

      But, here is the problem. Devious Doctor’s wife did not ignore him. She worked hard on their marriage and their love life. She was dumbfounded that he strayed because he always said how happy he was. (Until Nasty Nurse came along.) Nasty Nurse’s husband was also dumbfounded. He thought she loved him and everyone who knew him said he treated her wonderfully. (But, he did not make enough money — he did not make a surgeon’s salary– and so he was abusive. If he loved her he would find a way to become wealthy so she could have all of her material items. Note, these people were not poor either. They brought in 6 figures between the two. But that was not enough for Nasty Nurse. She needed MORE.

      And so she spun all these terrible lies about her husband and spun all these stories to Devious Doctor about how he could NEVER be happy with his wife. Devious Doctor took the bait.

      Before Nasty Nurse was fired, all she did all day was gives monologues out loud all day about how she saved Devious Doctor from the Wicked Witch who loved people and animals and how Devious Doctor saved her from her abusive volunteer fire-fighter husband who saved the lives of others in his spare time.

      These two got married and anytime I hear about them, I get massively triggered. Anyhow, women who are in truly abusive marriages are under their husband’s thumb so much that they don’t have time to spouse poach. They are on too short of a leash to do so.

      It angers me so much that victims of infidelity are also the victims of the massive lies their wayward spouse has woven. It is just SO WRONG. Betraying someone is soul-shattering– but then also spinning lies about their victim? There are no words to describe how wrong this is. (As in the case of Devious Doctor and Nasty Nurse.)

      Sarah

  8. TheFirstWife June 20, 2018 at 5:46 am #

    Rose. Please do not blame yourself for his Affairs.

    You are not an idiot. He is!

    As is my H – I loved him and supported him and made his life so darn easy.

    I may be late to the party – but I no longer put him first. I learned the hard way that I was a doormat all these years.

    Until I am forced to become a “witch”. All those DDays come to mind. But I stood up to him. I called him on his lies. It is his lot in life that he has chosen to have EAs – same as your H.

    It is on him. Sometimes people are too blind to see what they have in front of them.

  9. Tired June 20, 2018 at 7:44 am #

    Yes, yes, yes and yes! Sarah, you have excelled yourself. This post actually made me cry. This is hard to do…ask my husband. Never have I felt so understood as being the victim of all this. This post said everything, and more.

    NOBODY understood. I felt like I was a running target and that this woman was after me but nobody would listen, not even him! I did nothing to this woman, I met her a few times and that is all. Yet she even got me to meet her under the guise of being his ‘friend’ so she could pick our relationship for holes in the armour. And use them later to further her cause. Yup, didn’t realise that until the damage was done. Silly me, She slandered my character to everyone in my husband’s workplace. And they all believed her, although they didn’t know me either!

    People even said I was paranoid. But I knew I wasn’t…it was all deliberate. I was too trusting, I admit. I might have had a bad feeling about her from the beginning, but even in my wildest dreams I would never have suspected anyone was that vicious. And I trusted him so much.

    I too feel great anger about these people who are blame shifting. People I tried to talk to, my family included, would say he did this, don’t blame the other woman. Yes he did and I’m furious with him. But the way she approached this was so cold and calculated. Everything. From the sneaky little conversations she tried to bring up about our large issue, to getting him to stay back talking at work. Everything was planned. Well they can not listen and have it happen to themselves one day.

    This woman saw he was a giver and a stayer and she thought she could just take that for herself with a bit of sleazy flirting and shaping herself into the person she thought he wanted. None of this would have happened if it wasn’t for her cold, calculated cunning. Then after it was over between them, the posts on social media, all with double meanings, all instigated to start fights between us so that he would be pushed to reach out to her. I shouldn’t have looked, but she knew I would. I’m human as well.

    She was a wife’s worst nightmare. So persistent and determined to take someone else down. And as you say, it is all for the thrill of being the victor. It is not even about the man. As this woman has moved on to someone else and has become impregnated immediately it seems as though it was all about being left on the shelf. Anyone would have done, it seems. Her great love for my husband seems to have dissipated so quickly.

    Nothing is so horrible than being attacked by someone who is going after you full throttle in for the kill, and no one else cares, or even sees anything wrong with it. Yes, so I am a bit pissed off about those who take neutral territory as well. They allow it to happen. They perpetuate it. I think a lot of therapists do this. Good on you for being the one willing to shatter the mould.

    • Sarah P June 21, 2018 at 11:46 pm #

      Hi Tired,

      I am sorry that the post made you cry. I hope it was one of those cries of relief because someone somewhere in the world understood EXACTLY what you went through during that life-shattering time.

      Yes, your OW was cold and calculating. She sat up all night plotting and planning every move, every facial expression, every word she would say…. all of it was planned. And as she was planning it, she perceived you as no more than a mere object that was in her way. So she plotted and planned how to get your life because you living your life was a horrendous thing for her. She irrationally thought she was supposed to live your life and it fueled her with a passion like none other.

      Here is the inconvenient truth. There are millions of spouse poachers. All of them are sociopaths. All of them will drop a nuclear bomb on your life if it gets you out of the way. These women do not even feel the smallest twinge of regret. Quite the opposite– in their mind, you are the enemy and the OW is the victim. You (the enemy) are standing between her and her alleged soulmate. So, yes, she targeted you. It was absolutely planned. It was malicious and EVIL beyond words. She was trying to be a “skin suit.” The other woman in my experience with my ex actually got her goal: she got my life, my house… all of it. And she laughed and celebrated when she accomplished it. And people who witnessed it said it was a type of evil they had never encountered until that moment. Talking about the evil that this woman did is not bullying. It is reclaiming my voice.

      Here is a subject that most of psychology likes to overlook: some women intentionally target other women with the intention of totally and completely destroying that woman. A woman might target another unknowing woman just because that woman was minding her own business but was prettier than the aggressor. Or maybe the woman was doing a corporate job she earned fair and square and another woman targets her because she does not want to work her way up the food chain in a way that is ethical and based on hard work. By the way, I am speaking very literally about life in big corporations and the jobs I had earned based on my own had work. (And the women who took short cuts by sleeping with the married executives.)

      Trying to destroy a woman who has never even done anything to the perpetrator is called “relational aggression.” That is what it is called in psychology journals so that it can sound all clean and sanitized. Because it goes against the myth that women are all nurtures and always play fair.

      Many women are not nurturers and very few play fair. That is why the word “frenemy” exists. By the way, I don’t have frenemies because no woman is my enemy unless she sets her sights on my husband. I choose NOT to make women my enemies. I choose to be kind to everyone even if they are not kind back. (My caveat is the world of adultery. If a woman is a spouse poacher, all bets are off.) But, most of all, I choose to have my friend’s backs.

      I was talking to my H about this the other day. We were talking about the #metoo movement and how victims are finally being heard. But, I said we need a #metoo movement where all of the victims of female bullies can come out and tell their story. Also, being targeted by a female spouse poacher IS a form of relational aggression and bullying. But, it’s worse than that because the spouse poacher will not be happy until she has your life and you are completely obliterated. And it’s all because the spouse poacher believes she is a victim because you married the spouse poacher’s soulmate. Spouse poachers see themselves as the victims of those horrible, horrible wives who had the audacity to get married to a man and/or have children with him. (How dare the wife do that!!)

      Betrayed women out there — all of us here who are regular commenters or just regular readers– feel free to use the comments section to tell the story of how the other woman bullied you.

      Don’t name names and don’t give identifying details. But go ahead and tell your story. If another woman has tried to come between you and your husband and cause a divorce, she is bullying you. She is aggressing you.

      Don’t stay silent– say whatever you want about the person who is trying to poach your spouse (but again, do not give any names or specific details. It’s about the actions of the person and not about their name or state. There are millions of spouse poachers out there and the names, locations, or identifying details don’t matter.) Only the actions matter because all spouse poachers do variations of the exact same thing.

      And I do understand exactly what they were doing and how they have tried to ruin your life. I have lived it. So have others. It is real. And we need a safe place to talk about the actions of the poacher and how our experience has shaped us as people.

      All of us, male or female, black or white, old or young… we are all here for the same reason. Someone tried to ruin our marriage. We always talk a lot about what our husbands have done to us and we should.

      But, now it is time to talk about what the other woman did to you and us since she is 50% of the problem. (Or other man if you are a male betrayed spouse). A victim talking frankly about how they were victimized by a spouse poacher is NOT a bully. A victim speaking out is empowering herself and talking about what she went through and placing blame where it needs to be: on the spouse poacher and wayward spouse.

      But right now I want to focus on what the spouse poacher tried to do.

      Tired, I hear you and I understand what you went through. I hope she is OUT of your life for good just as I hope all of the betrayed spouses here can get the other person OUT of their life for good.

      Sarah

  10. Tired June 20, 2018 at 8:00 am #

    SI, My husband’s OW was single, but obviously she bought that idea: Must have a bad wife. My husband told me early on when we reconciled that he ‘couldn’t trust’ her.’ OH, if he could hear himself 🙂 🙂 I wish I could figure out how to use emoticons. Anyway, I digress.
    I have had varying explanations of this idea that she was not trustworthy. Such as, she tried to make me think things about you, as well as general things like she was cheating with a married man. Ha, ha. He didn’t talk much about that one!

  11. CatMandu June 20, 2018 at 2:08 pm #

    Sarah, I agree completely with your 10 new core principles. My h’s OW was married and also in another affair at the same time. My “Oh so gallant” h wanted to “beat up” the other AP but he didn’t mention the OW’s husband. She had to be a real piece of work because she came to my house and slept with my h in my bed. What kind of person does that? If I had ever contemplated such an action I would never go to the house they lived in. When you said the OW shared in this, that is so true. They bear at least 50% of the blame. This polyp of a woman knew my husband was married. She had tried in the past, about 20 years ago when he was still in the military, to get him and then contacted him again in 2010, when he decided that it was a good time. After all I was tied up with my dying mother in another state. They had a long distance long-term affair, getting together for sex about once or twice a year. She would come to my home when I had to leave for some reason and/or meet up at his work conferences. It lasted for almost 8 years and we were approaching our 39th anniversary. This has definitely shaken my faith in people. When I discovered the truth I got the “We’re just friends” BS. Then I got the tearful confession of the truth. Then came the begging to stay. I set down immediate boundaries and he cut it off right away. She tried to contact him once (that I know of) since then, I have blocked her on his phone. I am a former investigator for the DOD and was blindsided by this. I am now fully try to trust but verify. I won’t be taken for granted again. I have put myself first now. It’s amazing to me how easy this was for him to start and stop. He didn’t seem to have any problem cutting her off. Makes me wonder if he really cares about anyone but himself. I am in full protection mode and have told him I have absolutely no problem kicking him to the curb should I find out anything else or he starts this up again. It hasn’t been easy and I have had a few crazy moments, see “Crazy Meltdown” on the forum.

    • Sarah P June 21, 2018 at 9:56 pm #

      CatMandu,

      Welcome! But I am sorry you have found yourself here. *sigh* It is the club no one wants to join and yet here we are.

      The woman who interrupted your marriage is freaking scary. What kind of married person spends years mooning away about the spouse that got away. What kind of person? A spouse poacher and/or sociopath does those kinds of things. These women are the most frightening individuals I have ever encountered.

      One spouse poacher tried to poison a wife’s children when husband was separated and had moved in with poacher. The woman was super smart and on top of it. And this happened in the United States. The poacher thought she could poison the children of the man she was trying to poach. These women are INSANE and dangerous.

      So that is the kind of woman who appeared in your marital bed. You need to do whatever it is to protect yourself. I know that when husbands find out about their wive’s affairs, they can be rightfully angry. But someone needs to hire a private detective who catches her in the act and have the detective meet with her husband.

      This woman’s game will continue until her H finds out. Just make sure it is not traced to you. I know some wives here have rightly mentioned that a husband could go off the deep end when he finds out and hurt his cheating wife. But, I have found that women who have violent husbands are too busy trying to stay safe and they know that having affairs will get them killed. I bet this husband knows somewhere deep down this is going on and would not be all that shocked. He would be angry, but probably not be shocked.

      I am surprised that you were a former investigator for the DOD but I am so glad you mentioned that because one of the ‘myths’ about betrayed wives is that they ‘must have known’ and went along with it. WRONG. If an investigator for the DOD (you) did not know what was going on, then the rest of us do not stand a chance.

      And it’s so considerate that your husband did this when your mom was dying. I knew cheaters were low, but the fact that your H did that during the time you needed him the most, is a new low. He has set a new record for cheaters: have an affair with the other person while your spouse is nursing a dying parent in another state. Your spouse will be so grief stricken and horrendously terrified about what life will look like without a beloved parent, that they won’t notice that GoldiChild is using the bedroom.

      Your story makes me really sad. But, it shows exactly what spouse poachers do. Spouse poachers are like that dentist from Minnesota who shot that famous lion and then tracked it for a couple of days until he could deliver the final blow. From Wikipedia:

      “Cecil (c. 2002 – 1 July 2015) was a Southern African lion that lived primarily in the Hwange National Park in Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe. He was a major attraction at the park and was being studied and tracked by the University of Oxford as part of a larger study.

      Cecil was initially wounded with an arrow by Walter Palmer, an American dentist and recreational big-game hunting,[1][2][3] then tracked, and reportedly killed with a rifle approximately 40 hours later on 1 July 2015. Palmer says that Cecil was killed with a bow and arrow in much less than 40 hours after the lion was first wounded.[4] Cecil was 13 years old when killed.[5] Palmer had a permit and was not charged with any crime; authorities in Zimbabwe have said he is still free to visit the country as a tourist – but not as a hunter.[6]

      The killing resulted in international media attention, caused outrage among animal conservationists, criticism by politicians and celebrities and a strong negative response against Palmer.[1][7] Five months after the killing of Cecil, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service added lions in India and western and central Africa to the endangered species’ list, which includes Cecil’s subspecies,[a] making it more difficult for United States citizens to legally kill these lions. According to Wayne Pacelle of the Humane Society, Cecil had “changed the atmospherics on the issue of trophy hunting around the world,” adding “I think it gave less wiggle room to regulators.”

      Okay, I hate killing. I don’t kill anything– not even bugs. But, these big game hunters have a similar attitude to spouse poachers. It is one big, exciting hunt and the spouse poacher loves the chase. The longer the chase, the better. When spouse poachers have sex with their target, they create a giant mental trophy in their mind with the married person’s head on the wall above their bed. They get to fantasize all day about all the married men and peruse their creepy head trophy collection that they keep in their mind. They get such a thrill from it. Married men are like Cecil the Lion.

      No one dared to touch Cecil because he was being studied by Oxford and was a popular lion. Cecil’s ‘specialness’ made him a much bigger prize and the literal poacher did not care if he was breaking the laws of the park and common decency as a human being. Nope. He got to kill something that others would not kill due to sheer decency. Well, married men are Cecil the Lion to female spouse poachers. Married women of the world: know your enemy better than she knows you.

      Sarah

      • CatMandu June 22, 2018 at 11:31 am #

        Sarah,
        Thanks for the analysis. You should have been a profiler, you have great insight.

        My instincts are usually right on but with this I was blindsided. I think if I had been paying more attention I would have figured it out sooner than I did. A perfect storm was happening in our lives: he lost his job, started his own business, and me being tied up with my Mom made it possible for the OW. But still it was his choice. My h is a retired military pilot with an ego the size of Mt Everest. OW stroked that ego like a classical violinist.

        Interesting side note, his mom has been living with us for the past 3 years and I have learned so many things. She is very selfish and so is he.

        I remember the Cecil incident and was outraged by it. Some people just are evil. I have seen it many times.

        • Sarah P. June 24, 2018 at 4:06 am #

          Hello CatMandu,

          Here is what I have found, I can walk into a room and literally profile everyone I see and I am never wrong. However, this does not work when it comes to my husband. Because we have a marriage and there is a lot to lose, my instincts get clouded. I am so close to the situation that it is almost impossible to read. Happened with whoever I dated, including my ex-cheater. That is what happens to women who are even professional investigators and the cream of the crop just like you.

          What I am hearing from your story is that your husband probably meets a lot of the criteria for narcissistic personality disorder. However, he is probably an adult child of a narcissistic mom. In this case, he is what I call a ‘faux narcissist.’ The original narcissist is the parent and this selfish parent can never give a child the unconditional love each child deserves since life is always about them and not even their child. The child never really gets love– the child has to perform like a trained monkey for the parent and be the perfect little child that makes the parent look good to his or her friends. This child never gets a stable foundation or any real love. The child grows up to be an adult with an enormous hole in his or her heart. The person has been trained to seek constant outward achievements in order to have some little slice of self-esteem. But it is not real self-esteem since it can be destroyed by the smallest thing that goes wrong.

          Not all over-achievers are narcissists by the way. Some have really high IQ’s and they must keep their mind engaged so they are always learning new things and making new discoveries. Others over-achieve because they are fearful. They learned they could only rely on themselves and so they do. They overachieve to feel emotionally safe– if the rug gets pulled out from under them on one thing, they have a back-up plan, skill, or several. Overachieving makes them feel safe. I freely admit that I was always an over-achiever because my mind needed to be active. I would get placed in the gifted and talented programs and they moved too slowly so I had to keep my mind occupied with projects and all kinds of hobbies. BUT, after everything went down with ex-cheater and I lost what was supposed to be my life in the blink of an eye, that caused me to be a fear-based achiever. My ex was met a spouse poacher and she made it perfectly clear to everyone that destroying the lives of women gave her the biggest thrill of her life. Me and my ex were her target. She got him, she got to move into our brand new home, and she gave me stage 1 cervical cancer. She thought it was hysterical. I am not kidding you. I have never met an evil like that before. After that I realized I could not depend on any man, ever, even if I was married. And I am married and my husband and I have children. I always have several back-up plans brewing in my head because I have learned no man is strong enough to go up against a very skilled, seasoned, and manipulative spouse poacher who absolutely refuses to give up. Some spouse poachers win because they literally will tell a man that as long as they or the man are alive, they will keep trying. If a man has any insecurity or weakness at all, he will cave in, especially if she is quite a bit younger. It happened to me and I have watched it happen to many other people. Each time I see it starting, I think the target will be strong enough. Nope. Every target eventually succumbs. Women have to understand that– especially stay-at-home wives. They have to have some kind of back-up skill and have their eyes wide open.

          LOL about being a profiler. Twenty years ago a certain secret government agency found my resume and did everything they could to recruit me to work for them. They were offering me my dream job: traveling the world and being a journalist, writer, and film-maker and meeting some of the most interesting people in the world. And about 80% of the time I would actually being doing that job. There was only one little catch.. that was my ‘cover’ (wink wink). When I found out the things I would have to do when the phone rang and it was a call from said agency, I gave them a hard and non-negotiable NO way on earth I can do any of that stuff. No one can pay me enough to do what they wanted. A part of me is still ticked that they got into the pile of the foreign service resumes (the job I actually applied to because I speak French and English) and took the resume for themselves. They were not nice enough to return it to the foreign service because they did not like being told no. The end.

          So tell me more about your H’s mom? Does she have a strange relationship with her son? What is the dynamic? Isn’t it hard having her live in your house for so long?
          Sarah

          • CatMandu June 24, 2018 at 9:32 pm #

            Mom always makes any conversation about her. If I am speaking to H about something she will butt in and turn it to her. She complains about everything, nothing makes her happy. She lives with us totally free, she used to have to pay rent and laundry at her senior housing. She has said she had a terrible childhood as she was the oldest. She says her mother blamed her for everything. Then she complained that her husband never did anything for her or the kids. My H remembers it a little differently now.
            Because we were military we were not around them much in the early years of our M. We spent about 14 years in Germany. I didn’t know FIL and MIL all that well as we only saw them for about a week once a year. My H liked spending more time with my parents.

            My H relationship with her is a little strange. He has seen more about her since she has been living with us. He had thought that when he was young that his father was not taking care of them because she was always complaining about him not giving her enough money. But we have seen first hand how she manages money and she blows it on crap. Now he knows that it was not his dad’s fault. His dad has been deceased for about 14 years. Mom is always being persecuted by somebody and so constantly complaining about how no one takes care of her. I think she thought that when she moved in with us we were going to quit our business and cater to her. We like what we do and plan to work at least five more years.

            It is hard having her but she has since told us she wants to move back to her original home. We live on the west coast and we moved her up here from the South. I am so glad because this hasn’t helped our situation.

            I so appreciate your analysis and it really opened my eyes to what was happening. My H has been great in helping me through this and understands that it will take time. I am not a crier but more of a hysterical laugher. Every so often I will bust out and laugh hysterically for about an hour. I even put the paper towels in the refrigerator the other day. Thank God I have a dog, she has been my rock.

            • Sarah P. June 25, 2018 at 1:29 am #

              Hi CatMandu,

              I am glad your MIL wants to move to her original home. I cannot fathom how your relationship has survived this long with her in the house. I can picture exactly the type you are talking about. Here is what I imagine:

              (Cue satire)

              You: “Honey do you think you want eggs or pancakes for breakfast?”

              Him: (Sitting next to you) “I am good with anything, how about you?”

              Mother-in-law: “You know that you cannot have me eat eggs because the way that you make them doesn’t agree with my delicate stomach and besides no one can make eggs the way I do. But you know how frail I am these days. My egg making arm hasn’t worked for years because of my dead husband and you don’t use those pans that I used to use in 1957 because that was the only way anyone could make a proper egg. I have not had a proper egg since 1957 and I don’t know what is wrong with all these new fangled youngsters and their microwave ovens. Where are those pans from 1957? I gave you one twenty years ago, but I can’t find it anywhere. Did you throw my egg-making pan away? Did you? You better not have. Those darn microwave ovens give me a headache and I can’t even stay in your kitchen for very long and that means I can’t make coffee the way I like it either because of ya’ll and all your new fangled ideas and your new fangled contraptions. When I was a little girl, I was the oldest and my mom taught me how to be a proper and responsible housewife and I was even a better housewife than her. I deserve to put my feet up on your couch even if I am wearing my shoes because I am old. Don’t you see that? Why don’t you have those plastic couch covers, CatMandu? You weren’t raised right, were you? If you were my daughter I would have raised you right and you would have that pan from 1957 and you would have inherited my egg-making arm and you would have gotten rid of that gosh darned microwave years ago. Those things are bad for you. They scramble your mind. I want to move back to my old house because you make my life too darned inconvenient here. You don’t even know how to properly care for an old and frail woman like me. I don’t understand why everyone is so mean to me and doesn’t take care of me. In my day, you took care of your mom. But, oh no, not you hippies. When ya’ll became hippies back in the late 60’s the entire world fell apart. And that’s why ya’ll don’t know how to care for me properly like kids took care of their parents in my day. Because of all those gosh darn hippies, no one respects anyone anymore. And the hippies caused it. And that’s why all the pans made in 1957 are gone and replaced by microwaves. The government wants to scramble everyones brains with them microwaves and I will never in my whole life eat a proper egg again because of my bad arm, and because of the microwaves and all those hippies who ruined the world back in 1969. So, I am gonna move back to the South where people still save their best clothes for church and wear hats. Out here ya’ll wear your jeans to church and I was taught that on Sunday I wore my best Sunday dress and hat for God. But, ya’ll on the West Coast are crazy with your hybrid cars and your purple hair and all your rainbow t-shirts. The world ended the day them hippies were born and I am moving back to the South where someone still has those pans from 1957. CatMandu. You will make pancakes for me today and you need to use my recipe because my son has been brought up on my cooking and he knows mom makes it best.”

              You: “Okay mom, can you tell me your recipe?”

              Mother-in-law: “What? You don’t remember it even though I told ya about it a 1,000 times.”

              You: “May I please take the time now to write it down now? I would really appreciate it just so I get it right.”

              Mother-in-law: “What? What’s wrong with you. Real women keep their recipes stored in their head. I already told you 1,000 different times how to make pancakes the way my boy likes them. And you need to get that pan I gave you 20 years ago to show me that you did not throw it out. If you threw that pan out, I will never forgive you… Son, did your wife throw out that pan? It was a family heirloom passed down from the 1700’s. We need to search the house now for that pan or you can’t make the pancakes right.”

              And on and on and on. I was actually recreating the exact way my mother-in-law talks to me on a GOOD day, but I was throwing in some “ya’ll’s” since yours is from the South. (Oh and mine is Jewish, so scratch the Sunday clothes for God bit. I heard that from a Southern woman my age and laughed. She had several different closets and one was a sacred closet that held all of her Sunday God dresses and God hats. She was genuinely mad at me when she found out I did not have a closet dedicated to God clothes and God hats.)

              So, does your mother-in-law talk to you that way or is there more of a “poor me” bit in every sentence? Or is there a story about walking 20 miles in the snow that they don’t actually get in the South?

              (End of satire)

              On a serious note, that whole bit about putting the paper towels in the fridge is pretty normal. I did that last month. It happens when too many things are going on in my mind at once.

              YES to your dog. What kind of dog do you have and how old is she?
              Any other dog owners out there? Raise your hand and tell us all about your fur babies.

              I adore my dog and when he is sick, like he has been this past month, it has completely turned me upside down and made me panic and the kids cry and that put me into a tizzy where I forgot appointments unless my phone alerts went off. He had major surgery and is recovering. The vet scared us and told us he may die during the surgery so everyone had been freaking out up to the surgery date. Luckily, he came out of the surgery and is recovering. But, the day after the surgery he started bleeding heavily from his mouth and had bloody stool and that caused another panic. Only now is everything getting better. Whew.

              Dogs are God’s little gifts to us. They are four-legged angels who make getting out of bed every day possible. In moments of extreme stress, my dog is the only thing that keeps me sane. Literally.

              Regular readers have seen this story, but I will tell the new readers anyways.

              This dog has been different than any other dog I have owned for several reasons. He was from a show dog line and a couple thought they could make money to buy drugs by breeding him with a female show dog. These are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. They kept the dogs outside in tiny cages all year long and had one set of pups after another. I came there because I had reserved a puppy. Their house smelled of marijuana, they sold the puppy out from under me then they asked if I would like to see the ‘dad dog.’ (I did not know it was a puppy mill situation until I got there.) They had sold all the dogs off in a rush and the ‘dad dog’ was the only one left. When they opened the cage, the dog ran through the open doors into their house, out their open front door, ran to my car, and my dad and kids were waiting in the mini-van and they opened the door and the dog jumped on my dad’s lap. I saw the condition the dog lived in and told them to name their price. He had been so abused he was completely withdrawn and too thin. He would not eat. I took him to the vet and his lower jaw was split completely down the middle. The vet took his jaw and moved each part separately. (OUCH). The vet said only a kick with a steel toed boot could cause such an injury. The vet told me to put him to sleep because he would need extensive surgery and he was so emotionally checked out he hardly responded to external stimuli. But he was only 3-years-old. The vet said he needed extensive reconstruction surgery but that he would never heal emotionally so I should not bother. He said putting him to sleep would really be the best thing to do. During that conversation it occurred to me that the reason he was the last dog left and he was not online was because the owners knew they broke his jaw and they were going to let him starve to death alone in a small cage outside. I came along and since they sold the puppy they figured they would try to scam me. And I am glad they did because no dog or living being deserves that. Something inside of me said a very hard NO to getting the dog put to sleep. The dog’s name was Hero– the original breeder named him that and I kept it. I paid for the reconstruction which included metal wires to reconstruct his lower jaw. The surgery was so traumatic, he checked out even more after the surgery. You could wave your hand in front of his face and he was so checked out he did not even respond. I told God I NEEDED His help. I would love the dog unconditionally, but I needed something to break through so that Hero would not die of a broken heart. (I had never in my life seen a dog that was so abused it was catatonic. Never in my life. I have seen abused dogs who get up and make an effort when they realize they have been rescued. The effort Hero made was running to my car, jumping in, and then checking out) That day when I turned it over to God, something happened and Hero started to respond. I made it my mission to make him a normal dog. I had to start at ground zero. I had to show him he could eat without being beaten and drink water without being beaten. To this day, he still hesitates a little on that, but is able to eat and drink his water in front of us. He had to lose his fear of people. He never feared me, but feared strangers, especially men, but not my dad. He is now friendly to people. I had to teach him how to play. He still doesn’t know he needs to bring the ball back, but at least he will chase it and ‘pounce on it.’ He is extremely calm, loving, and outgoing to strangers. He looks and acts nothing like the dog I rescued and one of the reasons is because he was so thin because they were allowing him to starve to death rather than turning him over to a charity anonymously. The day I took him back to the vet who said ‘put him to sleep’ but who was happy to take all the money that was required to surgically fix him did not recognize him. I took him back about two years later to get his rabies shot at that same vet. When the vet walked into the room, Hero greeted him with enthusiastic wagging, jumping, and smiling. The vet said, “I am so glad you got rid of that dog and a got a normal dog. I told you the other dog was a lost cause…” I told him it was the very same dog. He did nit believe me. I told him to look at the jaw. Hero lost several front teeth during the jaw injury. The vet saw it was the same dog and said in all his almost 40 years of being a vet, he never saw anything like it. He never saw someone take a catatonic dog and make him completely normal. I told him God was the miracle worker, but I was willing to do the hard day-to-day work of absolute unconditional love and care. God had to help me because Hero had gone through horrors I cannot imagine. He is turning 9-years-old and I am bound and determined to keep him alive and healthy for the next 10 years if possible. He is a miracle dog and the love and understanding he gives to the family is ten times what we give him. When I have attacks of a rare disease called “acute intermittent porphyria” Hero refuses to leave my side. I can be on bed for almost 24 hours straight and he stays glued to me. My husband has to carry him outside and stay with him until he goes to the bathroom, otherwise, he will refuse to go. He will just run upstairs as fast as he can and glue himself to me. He refuses to eat or drink when I am in bed and ill. He is glued to my side. My husband will have to hand feed him and give Hero water while he sits on the bed because Hero refuses to leave his post. He does the same thing for my autistic son. He can intuit my son needs extra care and so he plants himself next to him and licks my sons hands and arms as he is falling asleep. Then he lays there until my son falls asleep. If my son is sick, he does the same thing. He plants himself on the bed next to my son and refuses to leave. Hero can intuit when people need extra care or love and he will go and give it to them until they feel better. He puts us before himself. Dogs are loyal, especially dogs that have not been abused. But Hero is unlike any dog I have ever owned.

              That is something to celebrate. Dogs are here as God’s little angels to help us through low points. I have told my parents many times this world would be too hard of a place to live in if dogs did not exist.

              Sarah

              • CatMandu June 25, 2018 at 6:46 pm #

                Hi Sarah,

                OMG! I had to laugh when I read your reply about MIL. She is so much like that but does it a little more subtly. She will tell my H that I just don’t quite know how to do something and she can do it better. She doesn’t like the milk, eggs, and even the canned green beans we buy. It goes on and on but she does it in the guise of a little old lady. When she got here she was buying him stuff that he liked when he was 9 years old and couldn’t understand why he didn’t like it now. WTF!! So funny about the pan, because when she moved out here she brought her own pots, pans, and knives. I have the best knives you can buy but they aren’t good enough for her. I have some great pans, too. My house is nicer than anything she has ever lived in. When you labelled her a narcissist I had never thought about it. But that seems to be so insightful.

                I read something by Jonathan Cahn and he was talking about how some evil can be disguised as a “kindly” grandmother. He was right on the money.

                My fur baby is a Shar Pei-Lab mix. She was one of a litter of 11 and only 2 survived. She is a rescue. She has a back leg that was broken at birth and now stays straight. We call her leg “Peggy” (her peg leg). She is the sweetest dog and we love her so much. She didn’t care much for the OW. She ripped up one of her blouses when she was at my house during one of her “visits”. Now that is a good dog, smarter than my H. If there not dogs in heaven, I want to go where they are.

                I have some letters the OW wrote to my H. They are so predictable. “You and I have a special kind of love and so on.” If you ever want to see them I’ll be happy to forward them to you to use in your practice.

                Cat

                • Sarah P. June 26, 2018 at 7:41 pm #

                  Hi CatMandu,

                  I am going to ask Doug to ask you for your email address and you can send him wherever you want to be contacted. You don’t have to tell me who you are and can feel free to write anonymously if you wish. Whatever works for you.

                  I definitely want to see those letters from the other woman.

                  To all readers, you heard us mention a book about a year ago. I am working in it and still accepting stories if anyone wants to include their story with all identifying details CHANGED. And as always, anyone who emails does not need to tell me who they are if they do not want to. But, emails/identities are confidential nonetheless.

                  A reminder again…I get all content from things I observe first hand with strangers, stuff I have experienced, or stuff that people allow me to mention. However, I write about cheaters I observe in day to day life (not involved with the website and not involved with me in any way) and they are always fair game. But, I change all identifying details. It’s the dynamic that is the issue and the dynamic is so common that it could be happening to 1,000’s of people as we speak and they could literally live in any country in the world. This cheating dynamic is cross-cultural, but I do like to write about the especially clueless ones I see (not in the context of the work I do) and talk about some of the more outrageous things people have done and that they broadcast it to the entire world. That’s how I know about cheaters who have nothing to do with me, they broadcast their story constantly to perfect strangers. It borders on insanity. (And the affair fog is a type of insanity.)

                  Sarah

                  • Sarah P. June 26, 2018 at 8:31 pm #

                    PS CatMandu-

                    You have an awesome dog. I LOVE that she tore up the OW’s shirt. That is HYSTERICAL.

                    There is this renter that moved in temporarily for several months. It was easy to see she was a spouse poacher and had two families, the younger family being with the man she is married to. I could always see that in her, but never said hello because I could see it. One day I was out walking the dog. He has never growled at ANYONE for the entire time I owned him. She walked by and he tried to attack her. He has never attacked anyone, human or dog. He has never even growled!! The dog say the exact same thing I say, even though I never told my dog what I thought of her. LOL.

                    Also, I have spoken to several Rabbis and they believe we have our pets in heaven. There are places in the Old Testament that confirm it. But you will need to read the Jewish Bible since it is translated differently than the Christian Bible.

                    I have also read thousands of near death experiences during the course of my life. There are so many of them where as the person is crossing over their deceased dog or cat is sprinting ahead of the deceased family members that are walking to greet the person “arriving” into that other realm of existence. Each religion has a different view, but I believe we are basically arriving in another dimension. We entered this third dimension through a “portal” and arrived to bright light. (The portal is the mother’s body and we were literally in a dark tunnel until we arrived in the light.) Judaism has always talked about this, believe it or not.

                    I absolutely believe in near death experiences. I had one of my own when I was in the hospital (about a year and a half ago) and my husband was there. I sat in the corner of the room as the doctor shined a flashlight in the eyes of the body laying on the table and yelled, “Oh shit!” The body laying on the table looked like mine, but it was not me. I (who still had my body but was not the body on the table) refused to go anywhere and watched them as they did what they needed to do to revive me. I never lost any awareness and refused to search for any light because I refused to go. I said to myself, “I will wait here until these clowns get their act together and do the thing I told them they needed to do 20 minutes ago to prevent this from happening.” My husband told them what to do, they did it, and I was back in my body. I never felt myself coming or going. There was no sensation of leaving or lapse in identity. So, for anyone out there who wonders if there is life after death, that is a YES. There is an existence and I believe we are merely moving into another dimension after we discard the “meat suit” that we were using to exist in the material third dimension. I have kids and REFUSED to leave because of that. I have told God I refuse to leave until I am at least a 100. After I turn 100, I will reconsider it.

                    If anyone reads quantum physics, physicists are finding the very same thing about existence. Funny how the things that religious mystics over 5,000 years ago knew as the truth are now being discovered by physicists to literally be The Truth. I always wonder why it takes science so long to catch up.

                    CatMandu, if you are a spiritual person, I can tell you in an email all about my ability I have that provides comfort to bereaved loved ones of both humans and pets who have passed on.

                    Hope I have not offended anyone by saying that. I have experienced a near death experience myself and my husband was there to witness and confirm everything I saw. I know it was real, 100% and without a doubt.

                    IMPORTANT NOTE: These are my opinions and do NOT reflect on Doug and Linda or represent their opinion/beliefs or the message of this blog.

                    So, if I offend anyone, blame me and NOT Doug and Linda.

                    Sometimes I like to tell people a little bit more about my experience outside of the infidelity realm. Sometimes there are folks out there wondering about these very serious topics and maybe they can find comfort in hearing a little about what I have experienced first hand.

                    Also, how were my ‘profiling abilities’ about your MIL considering I was going in fairly blind?

                    Sarah

  12. Rose June 20, 2018 at 11:41 pm #

    Along those lines of “who takes the blame,” an “interesting” situation has come up. H has not messaged the OW (well, I say OW but she wasn’t interested, just mildly friendly) in a few months since I had a tizzy fit about it. But he still responds to her FB posts. He doesn’t know I “friended” her a while back so I could monitor his flirting, etc. I never post anything on her threads, just likes or whatever. There is a liberal organization called Indivisible which stumps for good causes, especially flipping the vote in November. I’m not talking about politics here. H (and I actually) are interested in fighting the good fight. He has talked about volunteering for this organization many times. So…I noticed a post from them asking for volunteers. OW responded to them that she wanted to volunteer this Sunday. Mind you, she lives 4-5 hours away. I know I am putting the cart before the horse here but I JUST KNOW as soon as he sees this, he’s going to want to do it…but of course not tell me about it.

    In advance of something like this that may or may not occur…what would YOU do if he says he is going? Or if he makes some other excuse about having to go out just on that date and time? Confront him and say I KNOW where you are going and why? Say go ahead and I’ll go visit my male friends while he’s out? Say go ahead but I won’t be here when you get back? Go do it myself and find him and OW there? What a coincidence, huh? Again, I am probably worrying for nothing, but this is what I’ve become. Sigh.

    • Doug June 21, 2018 at 9:30 am #

      Hey Rose, If it were me, I’d say “Wow, that sounds like a wonderful cause. I think I’d like to get involved. What time are we leaving?”

    • Hopeful June 21, 2018 at 1:56 pm #

      Rose, For me if he is still lying and keeping secrets which to me this qualifies then I would say we need to set new boundaries. Part of the boundaries for my husband was zero social media. He said it felt better once he deleted all of his accounts. He does still have his work and personal email accounts. In my book being connected on facebook to the same causes would not fly. It needs to be a hard line. As my husband has said there needs to be 100% transparency and authenticity. He said since dday he has not done, said, written anything etc that I could not see or hear. This was liberating for him. It took a while to set boundaries and pretty much retrain himself. He had gotten used to do whatever he wanted whenever. To me this is a bigger issues. Another boundary was I had access to all of this pass codes and phone at any time.

    • Tired June 24, 2018 at 2:44 pm #

      I would say I am going too. If he makes an excuse that I cant go, then I would either folllow him or hire someone else do do so.

  13. Rose June 21, 2018 at 11:05 am #

    Thanks Doug. The thing is, he lies and lies. If he wants to go, I have a feeling he won’t tell me where he’s going. So when he says he has to go run errands, etc., do I call him on it?

  14. Nearly Normal June 21, 2018 at 12:00 pm #

    Sarah,

    Nice article as usual.

    I get stuck on #2. Mentally I know that I am not to blame for her EAs, but how do I convince myself emotionally? There is always that nagging feeling that if I had done this or that, all could have been prevented. I know, it’s not true, but I feel it’s true. Certainly i could have been a better husband in any number of ways. If only i had done exactly the right thing at exactly the right time, she would not have felt the urge to do all she did.

    Maybe reading good articles like this will eventually get it through my thick skull.

    Thanks

    • Shifting Impressions June 21, 2018 at 2:39 pm #

      Nearly Normal
      # 2 is a tough one, that’s for sure. Sometimes we just have to face the fact that we just don’t have that kind of power. The thought, that we somehow were not enough is really not the issue. I think that thought just has a tendency to feed into our own insecurities…..and we all have them.

      Every person has a God given right to make their own choices….whether those choices are good are bad. We just don’t have the power to control that, in someone else.

      Don’t be so hard on yourself.

      • Sarah P June 21, 2018 at 9:27 pm #

        Hey Nearly Normal and Shifting:

        Number two on the list is not so hard to get stuck on if you concentrate on the implications of numbers four, six, and seven.

        4) A wayward spouse cannot blame-shift his or her behavior or his or her bad choices to make another person, including his or her spouse, responsible.

        6) If a marriage is that terrible, having an affair makes the marriage 100 times worse.

        7) All of us have terrible experiences at one point or another, but having terrible experiences cannot be a valid excuse for choosing to harm betrayed spouses through infidelity.

        Those of us in Western culture (even myself) must do years of mental de-programming because we are so used to living in a culture that “passes the buck” or finds a convenient scapegoat. We are also up against the cultural beliefs that we can make people do something– that we can control others. But, that is impossible. Since we are so programmed to believe these things, most never stop twice to realize they cannot control others. I really do see the Adam and Eve as the start of a culture scapegoating. Note that God kicked all three OUT of the garden for their actions, which meant God understood they all acted of free will. But, I think people have subconsciously absorbed the message that if they do something that angers an authority figure, they immediately blame someone else. And people have been doing it every since.

        Until the past hundred years, women were the ultimate scapegoat. If someone’s house got robbed, it must have been because the woman with one eye who lived two miles yon was casting spells to control the minds of others. Then there were the Salem Witch trials. When something bad happened– that evil woman down the road– just like Eve brought temptation to the poor and defenseless man who had no choice but to eat the apple. She made him eat the apple. He had no free will and he was Eve’s victim. In fact, Eve had a chair, enormous amounts of rope, and the ability to force feed Adam the apple while he screamed, “No!!! Not the apple!!! I refuse to eat the delicious apple!!!” It did not happen that way.

        When we are thinking about infidelity, we are creating a new paradigm based on accountability. But because the old way of thinking is too ingrained, we keep going back to #2 on my list and beating ourselves up. But, #2 really is #2 in all senses of the word: it is total horse sh**. So, don’t forget that I put that belief as the second belief because it stinks to high heaven.

        Sarah

  15. TheFirstWife June 21, 2018 at 5:52 pm #

    Rose. I would say this:

    Him: going to run some errands. Be back at 4 pm

    You: hey you know what why don’t we do it together and stop for lunch or coffee when we are done? Let’s spend a nice afternoon together.

    Then you can watch him lie (if he insists on “going alone” to do his errands did) or watch him change his plans OR end up spending the day together because he has no way out w/out raising suspicions.

    Time will tell!!

  16. SuzySunshine June 22, 2018 at 1:17 pm #

    Thank you for your article. Very few in my life know about A that nearly broke my family up last summer. Some of the reason is to protect my family from further trauma, but the other reason is because of the shame that has been cast on me by society that I in some way did not take care of my wifely duties and thus deserved what I got. I am working on combating that in my own head, and that is a process. All that to say my circle is small because I feel I have very few that understand my season in life.
    The one thing I have had the most trouble with is understanding how any other woman could want to destroy or harm not only a fellow female but also children. After DDay a few months later, losing control of my H and him now persisiting on staying and working on our family/marriage, the OW in my case contacted one of my sons (age 14) through a PM on his social media. She used a photo she had of my husband (not X rated BTW) to prove she was telling the truth and that his dad didn’t love his mom and he had an affair with (the name of the OW). She even told him to go to his dad and ask. She did it under the guise of being a class mate to my daughter and tried to give details about my girl, all untrue, to keep her case legit. PTL that my husband and I were a united front and were able to recover the situation in a way that did not leave my children frightened but aware. They still do not know about the A but they do know there is a coworker of Dad’s that has a mental problem and wanted to hurt daddy for a work issue and that she has been reported. And of course we have had to change social media accounts, set up greater securities, etc. The OW also threatened to cause harm to herself, which further allowed her to claim the victim status. I cant stop thinking who does that?!
    All these months later, and after all the recovery time and details shared, I have to admit I still live in a fear that all it will take is one bad day, one bad thought, or one instance where the OW has to cause her to do something again.
    Because we have kept this from our children (which we are determined to do), it leaves me feeling like our new fortress/rebuilt family has a gate left open. It’s like an emotional terrorist lingers, but I don’t want to give that power away. But I also don’t want to let my guard down now that I know there are actual people in this world that truly have no regard for others. And take pride in “taking people down” (the phrase she used to threaten my H). It has been hard for this SuzySunshine to adjust as I always saw the good in everyone. And those that do know of our circumstances, have seen the struggle for me has been mostly over trying to stop being the better person and thinking that I don’t get to pitch a fit from time to time. I will not contact her nor do I want any part of her, but man it sucks to think I live in a place where she could hurt my family again and I really have no way to help that.
    I am an intelligent and logical woman, but man this has not only challenged me emotionally but mentally. The best thing I’ve gotten is growth (and even some more strength) which is always good. The time has come and I am secure knowing I am determined to stay a good hearted, loving person who just has learned that there are truly bat $h1& crazy people in this world. And when someone shows you they’re crazy; believe it.
    As a side note the most humiliating day (aside from DDay) for me was the day I had to walk into my GYN for STI testing. All the tears and pain that day! Oh my!
    I do hope one day to share my written story in the effort to do as you say, and hopefully help someone else. In the meantime, girls like you keep me believing there are good people that want to help others without tearing others down.

    • Shifting Impressions June 22, 2018 at 7:15 pm #

      SuzySunshine
      Thank you for sharing your story…..so horrific. Unfortunately, when one someone cheats they are so unaware of what they unleash. It’s hard to believe that such poachers exist. Yet we hear story after story.

      The thing is, our CS left the gate open….not only did they leave the gate open, they invited the poacher in. I think the CS spouse is often somewhat naive as to the damage that can be caused by the OW or OM.

      I’m glad to hear you have experienced growth and strength. I found the same thing but the cost was way to high in my opinion.

    • Sarah P. June 24, 2018 at 8:52 pm #

      Hi SuzySunshine,

      I am going to say that your comment made me speechless. You are not in a situation where I can see a situation in my mind in less than a minute and figure out next steps.

      Let me back up and say that I am SO VERY SORRY what you are going through. You have come in contact with a bonafide and sociopathic spouse poacher. I have good news and bad and this is why your comment left me speechless. I was trying to figure out the practical next steps that you need to take.

      I can tell that you are who I used to be. When I was with my ex, I took for granted that as two adults we would each be our own keeper. Even when we were discussing marriage, we both agreed that we wanted to “marry well once” and we even talked about the idea of infidelity. I had been cheated on by a college boyfriend and my (fiance) and I talked about the idea that neither of us would EVER cheat on the other for any reason. We were committed to our relationship. He would even tell me when this one crazy co-worker of ours would literally grab his scrotum under the conference room table. Yes, she was married and her husband also worked at the same company at us. (In the past I never dated coworkers, but he and I were dating before we got hired at the very same large company separately).

      So in my mind, my fiance and I were good. We were both committed and he had my trust 100%. He went out with his friends, went to networking events, sometimes went rock-climbing without me. Sometimes he had lunch alone with female coworkers. Sometimes I had lunch alone with male coworkers because we were talking about a project. (That is, there was always a work reason for any lunches alone.) Him cheating never hit my radar. I kept being the unfailingly kind fiance and would throw large dinner parties for the managers (per his request.) He would say he was aiming for a job higher in the food chain, he would tell me who to invite to dinner, and so I would cook these huge gourmet meals for the executives and their families and even help entertain the executives little kids. Why? Because silly me supported my fiance’s work and personal goals 100% and I wanted to ensure he attained his goals. So, I did everything right.

      Of course, it helped me too since I worked at the company, but I was already getting promotions solely based on my work performance and not based on dinner parties. He needed the dinner parties and he and I worked as a team to make a good impression so that he could get a promotion. Maybe that was part of the problem. Guys don’t like being upstaged. But, I was not upstaging him. I was just doing what I had done from the time I was 12-years-old… find some odd jobs and work HARD.

      Back to your situation. I know exactly what you face and what your husband went through. I have seen spouse poaching happen play by play around me in these corporate environments. I could tell what was up, would raise the alert that woman X was going after married man Y, and that someone should probably find a way to inform the wife. Even though it had nothing to do with me, watching it happen was so disturbing that it would keep me up at night. And so I would ask someone to talk to target Y or talk to target Y’s wife. This was before it even happened to me.

      I don’t know how long you have been reading, but you are in a very serious situation. If your husband is still a coworker to this spouse poacher, she is going to put him in a rock in a hard place.

      Being the very embodiment of kindness will not help you. How do I know? Because being the embodiment of kindness and trust ensured that a spouse poacher could come in and take what she wanted. Being the embodiment of kindness shows a spouse poacher that poaching a husband will be like taking candy from a baby.

      Here is why. These spouse poachers do their research. They find out every thing they can about the man, his personal life, his kids, how long he has been married, and most importantly what his wife is like. Spouse poachers are a combination of both a tiger and a snake. Like a snake, they have no morals whatsoever. They slip slowly and soundlessly through the grass, blending into the environment, and then waiting to strike. They are like tigers because a tiger also observes its pray from afar and knows how to sneak silently through the brush on the savannah. The snake in a spouse poacher strikes with lighting speed while the tiger in the spouse poacher takes out its claws and shreds everything it can. My fiance was poached by one of these snake-tigers and she announced to anyone who would listen that she would take me down even though she had never seen me, she had never met me, she knew nothing about me except I had a handsome fiance and a great new house that did not require a commute to the high tech corridor in our city. But, I forgot one thing, one of the women who told the spouse poacher about my life told her how “nice” I was. I was the person in the department who went around to all the colleagues in December, collected tons of money, got Christmas lists for local families in need, and then we all went shopping as a team, had “wrapping parties’ in the conference rooms, and then in January we would get thank you letters from strangers. I would type up all the letters and send them to everyone who participated and there was never a dry eye in the department. As you can imagine, the woman who wanted to take me down knew that I would have no context for people like her– the kind of people who steal husbands because they get great pleasure in watching the wife get destroyed. I knew there were office affairs, but they were usually done to get promotions or happened at drunken Christmas parties. No one actually wanted to break up a marriage or take the wife’s place. They wanted flings and promotions but they did not want the guy. So, at that point in my life, I did not know women existed who actually got a sick kind of pleasure destroying other women they did not even know “just because.” There is no rational for this behavior and no logic to it because it is what sociopaths do. And sociopaths are not logical to people who have empathy. It would be like a human standing in a field and then a spaceship lands in front of them, murders a bunch of cows, and flies away. The human would be shocked at what they saw– they would have no context for it– and no matter how much they reasoned through it, there would never be reason or context.

      Well, spouse poachers who get off on destroying complete strangers are like metaphorical spaceships that land, murder cows, and fly away. You cannot make sense of it.

      So, here is the most important question from the perspective of a spouse poacher: what is the wife or fiance like?

      I learned after what happened to me that I can be the kind lady who organizes Christmas for a large number of area families in need. But, I have also realized that when I get a whiff of someone at my husband’s work trying to poach, I put on my best clothes and make-up, and I show up with homemade brownies unannounced. Then I look the spouse poacher in the eye and send out a very clear vibe that if she really wants to mess with me, she will regret it for the rest of her life.

      Sometimes others have not gone away easily. When that happens, I bring in my kids close to when my husband’s shift ends, and I bring more brownies. My kids are so excited to see dad they climb all over him and then he introduces them to everyone. I had to do this three different times before one spouse poacher gave up.

      There is another spouse poacher who will always be around but not in the same building or area. I have asked him to alert me if she is. She is a doctor from the same South-East Asian country that my first spouse poacher came from. When she saw me and my husband out at an event one time, she physically pushed me aside so she could get 6 inches from my husband’s nose. She is not attractive, but they don’t need to be. I did nothing at that time. She is allowed one push. But, I have told my husband that if she ever attempts to do that again, there will be a VERY loud verbal confrontation asking her why she physically pushed me. I will call her out to an entire room of people and asked how a doctor could physically assault a stranger.

      Luckily, I have not had to do it yet. But, this lady has been around for years working for the same large hospital system. In the beginning, she was more passive and smiley and tried to play the innocent act.

      Now she is outright aggressive verbally and physically. My husband does not like scenes. His achilles heel is embarrassment. He manages his impression 100%. So I have told him he makes an effort to never be drawn into casual conversations with her or I will have to do what I do to PROTECT my family.

      This woman has literally told me to my face and through body language that she would get really sick pleasure out of breaking up my family. I am not kidding you. She is evil and she does not even try to hide it. (Again, she is from the same country as the woman who poached my fiance. I am learning this might be a cultural thing.)

      Before everyone stomps away and says I am ‘so mean,’ I wanted to give you all something to consider. If anyone out there has studied karate, you will remember that your sensei has taught you the way of peace and the way of integrity. Karate should only be used as a last resort and it should be used to disarm an attacker WITHOUT harming them.

      So, to all readers, here is what I mean trying to say. You need to follow the path of peace and integrity. However, you must also be aware that there are people out there who want to literally destroy your life.

      You need to develop an inner mental strength and a set of peaceful methods to disarm the spouse poacher: you bring brownies, your bring your children, you make yourself really known around your husband’s workplace. You need to dress and carry yourself in a very classy manner and never speak a word of unkindness. You need to stand in your own power and show these would-be spouse poachers that they have an opponent — the wife –that will not give up.

      You have to show them through your mere presence and by making direct eye contact with them that very unpleasant experiences are ahead of them if they do not back down. Spouse poachers know who to pick on and they work under the guise of not being seen. If the wife sees them for what they are, shows them she is onto their game, looks them in the eyes, and stands in her own power, most will go away. If they do not, you need to consult an attorney and ask what legal means can be used to dispatch them quickly.

      A final reminder: I am talking about a very specific type of spouse poacher. I am talking about the kind of spouse poacher who not only wants your life, she wants to destroy you in the process. She literally wants to sit in front of a fireplace with your husband and have your head hanging as a trophy on the mantle.

      Responding to these people and standing in your power is NOT bullying, especially if it is done in ways that take the high road while at the same time sending a message. A wife should show up in her best dress, have her hair and make up done, and bring in brownies with a smile. A wife needs to be a ‘pest’ by bringing in homemade treats for everyone at work each week. That way even the coworkers get to know the wife and they will have your back.

      For example, I had lightened by hair to the shade it was (light auburn) when I was younger. (It turned brown as I got older.) I brought lunch to my husband and he was hugging me in a common area. One of the women he worked with came and said, “Hello.” She literally said, “I did not recognize you from the back with your lighter hair. I want you to know I have your back and I said hello to ensure your H was hugging his wife and not someone else. Your husband is very appropriate, but you and me both know he is a target. But as long as I am here, I got your back.” Then she smirked and walked away. She was an older woman with grown kids.

      Suzy, I need you to do some recon work. I need you to hire a detective and figure out where your situation stands now. Here is the problem. Your husband works with the other woman. If she reports to your husband even informally, you will have a lawsuit on your hands. If she is on a different team or a peer, if she wants to go to HR and spill the beans, she can get your husband fired. I have seen several men escorted out the door by the security guards. HR still sides with the woman, even if the woman is telling outright lies. If she is in tears and telling lies, HR will believe her. Most people in this world still do not know women exist who set out to destroy the lives of a married woman just “for sport.” They want a wife’s head as the trophy. So when a woman comes in crying and she mentions the word sexual harassment, the security guards are called and they escort the male out of the building and fire him. They don’t want the man’s side because if they did not fire him swiftly, the woman will allude to the attorney she has on speed dial. I have witnessed this happen at least once at every corporation I worked at before I ‘retired’ and got a second Master’s in Psychology. I have kind of a different perspective because I have seen it happen time and again, but then I went and got a credential to help others. I have a lot of “real life” learning that cannot be taught in books.

      Suzy, I need you to be aware that even if the affair is over, you are right that the gates are still open. I need you to start showing up at your husband’s work twice a month with treats and a smile. I want you to bring your kids around occasionally and have people meet them.

      What I have found is that most people in the workplace are decent human beings. If they get to know you and your kids and if they have an ounce of empathy, they will be your silent protectors. If they know you well enough, they will see you and your husband as a united front. They will notice if something weird is going on and they might even call you and tell you. They might even approach the person privately and say, “game over,” he is married. I found out that a lot of people tried to protect me from the spouse poacher, but they did it silently. They thought she would never succeed and they did not want to frighten me. They had my back and they never knew there were such vicious people in the world until after the poach. They all apologized and told me what they saw and heard. A couple of days after I was out of my house and she was in, she started turning up at all kinds of special events with coworkers who I knew. She bragged about what she did. And every single one of them told me. They were dumbfounded and as bewildered as I was.

      There was another piece of the story I have not yet told, but I will tell it to give everyone context of what I went through. My ex grew up in the same town in the South his whole life. He had a life-long male best friend. Whenever we went on long trips, best friend came along. All three of us got along great. Best friend got married to one of the single women at work and so we would go out to dinner together or hang out. Sometimes we would babysit the single woman’s child so best friend and wife could have a date night. (We all lived ten minutes from each other).

      When his best friend and best friend’s wife met the OW and heard her brag to them what she did, they literally walked away and went no contact with him. His best friend– the best friend he had spent his entire life with– literally walked away and refused to have any contact with him again. The best friend and the wife were so disturbed that they realized if he could do that to me, he was not worth having as a friend on any level. When another coworker told me that (because best friend and wife worked at a different company) I was SHOCKED to my core. My ex and his best friend were basically “brothers” even though they were not genetically related. I knew that his best friend and I got along– we did not talk about personal stuff– our lives revolved around my ex. I knew how much my ex and his best friend meant to each other. So, for his lifelong brother and best friend to take my side was absolutely shocking. I could not believe it. Before that, my ex’s best friend would have climbed to the top of Mt. Everest if my ex was in need. He did not have the same history or relationship with me. But, when “best friend” and his wife met the OW and they announced they were planning on getting engaged, his best friend walked away for good. I don’t know about you, but to me that sends a message that whatever happened was more heinous than even I will ever know.

      Back back to you, Suzy. I need you to take this very seriously and I need you to make yourself known around your husband’s work as the smiling wife who brings in homemade baked goods. I don’t know what kind of job your husband has, but if it is a corporate job, I will tell you that those corporate teams are worked to the bone and anytime someone brings in homemade food from scratch it brightens EVERYONE’s day. You want to be known as Mr. Y’s amazing and thoughtful wife who is always bringing food in for the team. If you are known as that person, most people will naturally watch your back. And that is your protection. My strategy has always been to show up with kindness and keep showing up with kindness for as long as it takes. The other people at my H’s work know me as his fantastic wife (their words) and the men always joke about how someone like him got someone like me. (Their words.) I know everyone’s names, all their kid’s names, their wive’s names… I know who is going through what and I send handwritten cards to his coworkers who are struggling. I show up at events and make sure he looks good. All the executives know me.

      So, I know that is a lot to take in, but I would like for you to consider ways to become known at your husband’s work. That way, when people think about your husband, they automatically envision you standing there next to him. You guys are a team– you are ‘one person’ in their eyes and not two.

      Even if this is too much to take in… I just ask this. If your H still works with this coworker, I need you to know what is going on. Is she on a different team? What has happened to her? If they are still in the same company, there will always be a risk in terms of HR. She is like a ticking time bomb. If she wants revenge, she knows where to go. So, I just ask that you go and get all the info on where she is now. Don’t rely on your husband. When men have affairs, they tell half-truths to both the wife and the OW. It’s just how it goes. I need you to figure out where it stands from an objective viewpoint. Then I need you to build a plan. Everyone here who reads and comments is always here to give suggestions on what worked for them and what didn’t and what they learned. The people who comment here always have fantastic advice and most are way ahead in the game. They are here to help. So, please do this little thing for me and find out from an objective standpoint where the mentally unstable OW is. If she is still at work, you must make some kind of plan.

      Many blessings,
      Sarah

      • Suzy Sunshine June 25, 2018 at 6:02 pm #

        Oh girl, I must have left off the part about how when D Day came, the first thing was telling my H that he was free to leave or choose to stay, but it needed to be decided immediately so that I could begin to move forward either way; and I do believe that was a Divine Intervention since I would never have thought I would have reacted so calm and seemingly collected. Next (moments later), after he had chosen to stay, I insisted on the following:
        1. Call your boss and report it immediately so that it is on record that it was consensual and you are the one to admit it first. Ask for a transfer or relocation. *His boss is a (long-term, female) friend of our family and one that I knew would be a good place to start. AND I collected plenty of evidence to prove a consensual (yet highly manipulated) affair.
        2. Call and schedule a marriage counseling appointment because I do not know where to go next and we are going to need some professional help.
        3. Call and let our parents know. They all love and support us and should be part of our rally team and can help with the kids (since we were both a hot mess).

        After that, he took the week off (his own doing) while things were sorted out at work and so we could spend some time together mourning and talking, etc. She (the OW) was at training for the next two weeks; so when she returned, she was moved. They work for the government on a military base (which runs very close to its own little drama filled village), so a move was the best thing we could have asked for. As the weeks went by there was much back and forth between them (which until we both read the rules of recovery learned should not have happened) as he tried to be the nice guy and let her down easy (what a load that he admits later was just that as he was more worried about what she could do to him and our family), she tried to pursue and manipulate, and I was in a state of… whatever it is we as betrayed are in a state of and doing so much digging that even the best-paid P.I. might be impressed.

        I could fill in more about the details, but the bottom line was that she continued over time to try to snake her way in, and sadly it took the incident with my son for it all to come to a head and my husband to see just how sociopathic she was. I took immediate action, as did he, and he called their supervisors that night to report the incident. I took screenshots of all the things that had been sent that my son hadn’t already deleted because he was mortified and in disbelief. I even took a screenshot of all the followers and who the fake profile followed to later be able to connect her back to the account that shortly thereafter disappeared. I was determined to have my case made that she needed to go. Not sure where I was thinking (well yes I do), but if I could send her, she was going. Sadly we are not a state that honors alienation of affection and because the account had been deleted, she had gotten away with no real ramifications accept to be told by her big boss that she better not contact anyone in our family again or risk losing her job; which was a recorded order and would be upheld as it was such. Then she tried to say that she was in fear of harming herself and that she was so scared of me that she had to sleep with a bat at night (which was her own crazy talking to her as I had never even really met her). The lady that she spoke with told her that sadly that was her own consequences when she chose to do what she did.

        Oh and I failed to mention that when the stuff was sent that night, I took all my kids’ devices to ensure no more junk was sent AND I called her to tell her, and I quote my self “You may have F*&k3d my husband, but you may not mess with my kids! We are filing a report.” Her (also sociopathic) cop boyfriend answered and scoffed as he told me super creepily that he had no idea what I was talking about. Then I responded by telling him I hoped she could hear me and that I was serious. Then hung up. I went back to going back and forth with the Instagram person who responded a few more times (enough for me to screenshot) and then they deleted the account. This was my one moment of not nice things outside of my circle… so far.
        I may be nice, loving, and kind-hearted and will remain so because that is who I am, but I will never lay down and let someone walk all over my kids! As for my husband, my oh my what a change! Not only did he request to be in an area that had few to no women, won’t meet with female co-workers alone, and has shown such awe/humiliation/remorse for what has happened; but he has done all the transparency stuff without my request (even sending me pics of every meeting, etc.). I told him, fool me once shame on you; fool me twice and there is no choice but divorce. I will not spend my time worrying about what his daily choices are. Yes, I did check in every once and again (and I would make an excellent P.I. as I have a Masters in technology), but I don’t want to spend any more time worrying about his every move when I know that the truth always comes out. Period, amen, and fo sho!
        So in other words, I so very much appreciate your encouragement and even next steps, and I hope you can tell I have made it a point to recon and react thus far. I will not be taken hostage by others making horrible choices for me.
        My marriage now? It is healing and in a beautifully odd, closer way than I could have ever thought following such a cluster. There is still a long road ahead, but I do wish this one last “opened gate” would close the heck up and leave me alone since it is the one thing I can’t seem to prepare too much for. Crazy is as crazy wants to be. I so appreciate you validating my concern and helping me to classify this OW as she is a true, morally inept, vicious, attempted spouse/life poacher. But I will not go lightly as I worked too hard and loved too deep to let anyone take this away from me.

        • Sarah P. June 26, 2018 at 9:18 pm #

          Suzy,

          Dang!!!! You are my new hero. You did EVERYTHING right. You deserve a trophy. In fact, I should see if there is a place where I can buy real trophies for readers who lay down the law to the degree that is gets REAL immediately. That takes enormous courage and a clear head. Affairs can cause the most logical people to be knocked off balance. And yes you should totally be a private investigator.

          A lot of readers have found their inner private investigator. I just wish it would have come in a positive way for everyone.

          You have a Master’s in technology? Are you taking time off to stay home or do you work in tech?

          I retired from the information-technology field after my second child was born. By the time I retired in my late 30’s, my assignments were always with the highest level execs and Board of Directors of companies. Everyone in the field was asking me why I was choosing to step out during the highest point in my career, especially when execs would only work specifically with me as a project or product manager.

          Well, I had to make the hard choice. My oldest child was being raised by nannies and my newest son was rushed straight to the NICU when he was born. I had to call my boss and thank her for holding my job (literally for up to six months) just to accommodate me and thanked her profusely. I felt so ungrateful and terrible. But, I told her very soon after my second was born. She asked me to take as much time as I needed and I still said no.

          My oldest was begging me to be a mom. Then there was my youngest who has always had difficulties and is on the autism spectrum.

          So, I got a second Master’s in Psychology and work solely from home writing and mentoring people. I took a huge pay cut, but my oldest reminds me every day that me quitting work saved his life. Plus, I was here at home when he suddenly became suicidal. My mom’s intuition told me what was up and I stopped an attempt and pulled him out of the public schools for good. We are looking at online schools and him starting university classes early. His IQ is in the 99th percentile and I will find a way to try to get him into (community) college early so he can live at home.

          I was wondering if you made the choice to stay in tech or if you realized your life was better spent being a mom. I have realized high tech will always be there, but I don’t want to go back unless I have to. 12-14 hour days were my average and that was no fun.

          Also, if you worked in high tech, you will have noticed that many of the women it attracts are not the most moral. I don’t know if its because a field where millionaires are minted overnight (and that attracts spouse poachers) or if it’s just the corporate climate.

          I entered the field knowing I would make my OWN way and depend solely on myself if I wanted a nice lifestyle. I did NOT cut corners by sleeping with bosses, throwing people under the bus, or any of that garbage. Doing those things is wrong. Period. I made my way on my own.

          I cannot tell you how many marriages I saw break up due to infidelity when I was in high tech. It was like a new divorce was happening each week because some single woman was sleeping with a married guy and his wife found out. I did not get into these people’s business so I never knew if the wives even tried to work it out. I just felt like even though high tech is filled with a lot of so-called nerds, when those nerds get money, they lose their minds. They want to wave cash around and sleep with all the types of women who rejected them in high school. That is seriously the most immature mind-set I have ever encountered in my life.

          Can I ask if your husband is in high tech or in corporate work?

          As for that other woman… cry me a river. What other woman has NOT threatened to harm herself. Seriously. These women love making people their emotional hostages. “Leave your wife and family for me or I will kill myself.”
          Uh no they won’t.

          This is pathetic. There was one ‘other woman’ who literally tried killing herself with a 5 inch stiletto heel in front of her married lover. She took it off her foot and started bashing her head. This happened to people I knew over 20 years ago and this was not a secret story. The OW became psychotic and told everyone around town she was going to try killing herself with her shoe again if he did not leave his wife. I am seriously NOT kidding you. The situation bordered on the absurd. The lady had only had sex with the married man for a couple of months when the wife found out and the other woman kept telling everyone she would kill herself with the shoe. The husband and wife moved far away to get away from this lady. I truly have no words to describe this type of behavior. It is profoundly sad, but it is also the act of an emotional terrorist. And a shoe? It just adds a whole new dimension to stilettos…. “the shoe mistress who tried to kill herself with a Jimmy Choo.” I am not trying to be funny. This is very serious and very disturbed and I truly have no words for it.

          Suzy, you did the right thing 100% and thank you for standing up on behalf of your children. The only reason I did not fight for my ex was because we had no children and also he crossed lines that are on my ‘game over’ list. However, now I am a momma bear. If someone wants to come a wreck my home (and if my husband wants to go along with it) they will both wish they never met me. I refuse to have my children’s lives ruined because of someone else’s selfishness.
          (Caveat: if my kids ever came to me and begged that my H went so far that I might consider leaving, that would be different.) But, until then, there is no way I will allow someone to come along and blow up my life.

          Sarah

    • Tired June 29, 2018 at 9:33 am #

      Suzy Sunshine: the shame cast on you by society that you did not perform your wifely duties!!

      This makes me mad. Did you cheat? No. But it is your fault your husband cheated. How does that work? I would probably bet that the people saying this about you are women.

      Your spouse poacher sounds very crazy and dangerous. Fancy contacting the children! This is outrageous. I hope you have taken some sort of legal action against her.

      I feel like you do that it will only take one bad day for the poacher to reach out for him again. However, in your case your husband knows about this instability of character….making false accounts and contacting your children. I’m sure most men would see that as a red flag. Only someone very odd would do this.

  17. Carol June 22, 2018 at 4:31 pm #

    I, too, am a victim of a poacher- 10 years, no less- and also had a 9/11 premonition. Dreamed about 2 tall black towers being blasted into but I couldn’t tell what it was- then I saw rescue workers and all the rubble – this was about 4AM 9/11/01. I also had dreams about things not being right with my H. What does all this mean?? I couldn’t do much about the 9/11 attacks but I should have listened to my marriage dreams a little closer!!

    • Sarah P. June 24, 2018 at 8:54 pm #

      Hi Carol,
      I am very sorry for you. I have found that many women in the world have women’s intuition but quite often it is also psychic in nature. I have learned to listen to it for myself, even if it does not make sense. What happened to the poacher?

  18. Doe June 22, 2018 at 6:31 pm #

    This is so much of what I needed to hear right now. Thank you so much! I am the victim of a poacher and it’s crazy-making, but I ultimately decided to ignore her and focus on observing his actions in discounting my feelings. In the end, his reaction was all that mattered and what eventually caused me to leave; currently entangled by house, business, and emotions, but that’s another story.

    What really struck me about your piece was the part about your premonition and the tranquility that came before it. The days before I found out, I felt that I had made a breakthrough in myself, worked through ennui, healed some generational wounds around commitment, and I felt ready to start a family with him. The night I found out, I had awoken from a dream in which an older woman in a tacky business suit and heels was walking circles around me. I was naked, natural, authentic. I was real, she was contrived. Even in my position of sitting on the ground while she danced around me, chiding me, I still felt like the stronger person. I awoke and he was on his phone, texting someone in the middle of the night. Everything changed in that one swirling moment. I had felt like I had reached a moment of peace and contentment in my life, fully in love with my life, myself, and him And then, all of a sudden it was gone. My life as I knew it didn’t exist anymore. Nothing was real anymore. I still find the juxtaposition so strange–that I felt my strongest and most at peace just before having to fight the hardest emotional battle of my life. And how strange it was that I my intuition was so strong.

    • Sarah P. June 24, 2018 at 10:26 pm #

      Hi Doe,

      That is an incredibly psychic dream that you experienced and I am very sorry that you had to go through it. Did the woman in your dream look like the poacher?

      I don’t know what is going on with your house or business, but all I can say is, get the meanest, most feared attorney in your state and find out how you can take the lion’s share of the assets. I have learned that people who are willing to break apart marriages will do everything they can to take what is yours. You must fight back with everything you have.

      I have officially gotten sick of everyone (in the past) telling victims of affairs that they need to take the high road and be docile. That person may look back and say “I took the high road” while sitting in their $50 tent.

      If betrayed spouses became forces to reckon with, they would not be picked on. Spouse poachers are the playground bully who steals your lunch money. They look for the most docile child to steal from. The child’s docility allows him to be victimized. But, if betrayed spouses became a fearsome opponent for the poacher, the poacher (like the playground bully) will move on.

      As women we have been all taught to play nice.

      But, I think it is time we stop playing nice SPECIFICALLY when the other women comes along to destroy us (in real life) by stealing husbands. I think we should stand up for ourselves and be so strong that the would-be victimizer walks away. We do not have to bully the female bully aka spouse poacher. All we need to do is stand our ground until the female spouse poacher moves on. We don’t have to take swings at her. We don’t have to lower ourselves, all we have to do is say, “No, I will not accept being treated this way and for as long as you aggress me and my family, I will fight on behalf of my family until you go away.”

      My point is, wives can take on the spouse poacher and say, “No. I refuse to submit to your evil agenda for my life and my family. I will hire whatever attorneys I need to hire and do whatever else I need to do until you go away. But you are not getting my husband or my family.” Wives are allowed to do that and sometimes must do that.

      As women we keep forgetting that someone who intentionally comes along to knowingly break up the marriage of a married man is not a kind person. This is not a kind person who tripped and fell into your marriage bed by accident. This is someone who made decision after decision to go after your husband and is also okay with it when she breaks to hearts of your children. This is not a nice person. If we assume this is a nice person who lost her way in the woods, we allow ourselves to be victimized. We can no longer do that.

      Sarah

  19. TheFirstWife June 23, 2018 at 9:24 am #

    Chiming in on the premonition topic.

    I had a dream that my H was going to demand a divorce on a very specific date.

    I woke up and thought what the heck? I didn’t dream about another woman or anything but just he was going to say he wanted a D.

    Sex weeks later in the exact date it happened exactly. He told me two weeks before there was “someone else” but down played it, like it was a casual nothing.

    So I was completely clued in and paid attention but was powerless to stop the A or false reconciliation etc. Because by then the A took over his focus.

    Nothing I did from the day I had that dream mattered. He was already in A fog – but I had no idea there was even an A that had been going on for months already.

    It was that well hidden.

  20. Rose June 24, 2018 at 9:27 pm #

    Sarah, I liked what you said about how some women are automatically believed in the workplace because they are women. I get the “me too” movement but we all know that women can be vicious liars too. I don’t think anyone, man or woman or alternative genders, should be believed just because of their gender.

    • Sarah P. June 24, 2018 at 11:03 pm #

      Hi Rose,

      Totally agree with that. I was talking to my husband the other day about something that happened my freshman year in high school. I told him that we need a #metoo movement for all of the women whose lives were destroyed in high school by some other jealous girl. That is the one subject no one will touch.

      We had moved from a large city in the West to a small Midwestern town for my dad’s university job. I was torn away from all my friends, all my hobbies, everything. Here I was in this small town where everyone had lived together for generations. Everyone knew everyone else and there was a pecking order. I was eager to make new friends and got involved in the same hobbies: performance choir, drama club, plays, the school paper. I was NOT interested in boys at that point, have never been a flirt, and came from a conservation family where I was always dressed very appropriately.

      One girl befriended me and brought me into her clique. we had the same hobbies and same classes. I was ecstatic because now I had a so-called group of friends. Some warmed up while others did not. But I was a peacemaker and never talked badly about girls and always stuck up for the girls who were picked on. I found out this girl befriended me and brought me into her clique because they all thought it would be hilarious to befriend me, hang out with me, find out all about me, which was nothing bad, and then publicly humiliate me by shunning me and pretending they did not know me. And they did.

      However, one of them in the large group had really grown to like me and so regardless of what they thought, she remained my friend and leveled with me about what they did. I asked her why. She said that “Jenni,” the head girl who befriended me, was always the big fish in this tiny town because her dad was on the school board and connected. Somehow Jenni feared I might be better at one of those hobbies we shared. (Note, that I did not compete. I supported my friend in their goals and still do). Well, I was not better than Jenni but she was afraid I might be. She could have just come and leveled with me and told me she was insecure and it would have been good. I had never competed with her so it was an unfounded fear. But instead, she decided to befriend me and then have this group of girls try to psychologically obliterate me so that I would stop doing those hobbies Jenni was involved in. The one girl who genuinely liked me and refused to snub me told me the whole story and she thought it was cruel. She could see that I did not compete and really just wanted to be a friend to people. That was it.

      My parents had to enroll me in a different school eventually because Jenni got almost the entire school to gang up. She got the boys to push me up against the wall and attempt to grab my breasts or my crotch. She had boys come up and tell me things like, “The only thing you are good for is someone who can have me cum in your hair.” Or they would tell me they might rape me if they caught me alone. My parents were calling the Principal daily but Jenni’s dad was the big fish on the school board.

      Eventually, my parents had me take tests and I qualified for a private school for the gifted and talented associated with the university. Everyone there was a professor’s daughter like me and from somewhere else. Like me, they found themselves in this horrendously backward place because their parents got excellent paying jobs at the university. Everything was fine there and I took my place in that school’s choir, joined the drama club and the speech team, joined sports. No one gave me any problem. I knew some people better than others but it was not because of animosity. It had to do with who got put in what class with what teacher and who did what hobby. It was so refreshing because the cheerleader was also on the speech and debate team. The star runner was in the drama club. There was no bullying there. It was like being in a different universe.

      I will announce something to all of you that I have never even told my parents. Had my parents not gotten me into the new school, I had a plan to run away from home and had all the adult connections I needed. My parents had taken me to St Thomas on one Christmas break and when I was allegedly at the swimming pool I was networking with restaurant owners and finding out the legal age to work there. I had all kind of contacts I made there that I kept to myself and a plan on how to get there. Only one female friend knew (also an outcast and a bullying victim at the public school) and she would have come with me.

      Luckily, my parents kept fighting on my behalf. Thankfully, no one could have caused me to want to commit suicide. I had enough of a self-esteem to know not to do that. But I was ready to get the heck out because I knew I would break.

      So the last frontier of the #metoo movement is talking about our high school experiences. And I have told my husband if I unknowingly ever hurt someone’s feelings during that time, they can come and talk to me and I will own it and apologize. No one is perfect. I never tried to hurt anyone for any reason. But who knows how others might have felt– although my friend’s in real life have said many times I am one of the most harmless and supportive people on this earth. Some of my female friends named their daughters after me just to tell me how our friendship has affected them. I am not worthy of it, but I will take it. 🙂

      Has anyone else here been bullied in high school? This is going to be my next big side project… doing an anti-bullying young adult graphic novel for girls.

      By the way, the Jenni who tried to destroy me way back when is still the same person. She got a CEO position of a small company in that small town and stepped over many women (along with her dad’s help) to get there. She had no real experience– but between her ability and her dad’s ability to destroy others, she got to be a CEO in that tiny little inconsequential town in an inconsequential business in the middle of nowhere. She is the queen of a kingdom of 500 rednecks who still think things that became inappropriate over 50 years ago are still normal. Hooray for her! (While all of that is factually true, that was my satirical voice talking and an attempt at irony. And I have NOTHING against red necks or their guns, just her.)

      Sarah

  21. Carol June 25, 2018 at 12:25 am #

    Sarah P:
    In answer to your Q about what happened to the poacher- the night I found out about the OW I was over the top crazy, but kept my cool somehow and remained adamant- told my H it was his choice but I had zero tolerance for waffling- handed him the phone and said it’s up to you – say either ‘my wife found out- can’t ever see you again’ or ‘wife found out, I’ll be right over’. By the look on my face and the tone of my voice, he knew I meant business. He called her, told her he couldn’t ever see her again. She was so stunned she couldn’t speak. But the next week, he did sneak over to her place when she was at work and wrote a letter basically saying he needed to save his marriage so please don’t contact him anymore. She wrote back and said “where are you? I’m all alone. Now I’m thinking I never should have loved you.” Dumb woman. Ya think??! And that was that. I emailed and texted the next year – my email went unanswered, then I texted her about a year later posing as my H. She responded to the effect like “I’m doing just fine”. Last I heard she had moved to NYC. So that’s that. Except for my dreams. Recurrent nightmares, that is.
    I also want to say a big thanks to the one who said the victim isn’t always the wife. In my son’s case, he was the victim of a woman who turned out to be a bipolar, alcoholic prostitute who was involved in an extortion ring. When the truth finally emerged, 8 days in jail and $5000 in legal fees later, our son was released, physically ok but emotionally scarred for life. Can he qualify for a #metoo? Can I as his mother, who became physically ill at the sight of my beloved son in handcuffs and prison garb facing 18 years in prison, qualify for #metoo? Yes, there are sick people out there everywhere! All kinds of perps and all kinds of innocent victims. This has to stop!! I wish each of you peace and healing. We are a huge group- consider this a group hug!!

    • Sarah P. June 25, 2018 at 2:52 am #

      Hi Carol,

      Yes, men are victims too and your son absolutely qualifies as a #metoo.

      And I think there should be a #metoo movement for men who have been victimized by women.

      I am going to say something controversial. I have discovered the hard way that women have more set personalities than men. That is, if they are truly cruel when they are in high school, they will never be anything but truly cruel. I am not talking about immature gossiping that teens do. I am not talking about immature frenemies (but I never did that- ever). I am talking about cruelty that is targeted and intended to obliterate their victim psychologically. If it is there as a teen, it will probably always be there. When they get married, eventually they will treat their husbands the same way since marriage is not perfect.

      Your son deserves a medal for what he endured.

      Your daughter-in-law is every mom’s worst nightmare. I only have sons. I will tell you straight up, I fear for them. I have talked to them already about how the laws work in our country. I have told them that courts almost always side with moms– even the most terrible ones. I do support the men’s movement to some extent. That is, it’s time to stop hating on men as a whole, it is time to evaluate men equally as parents, it is time to find a way to help men who have been victimized by wives. These men exist. I can think of several. Their lives are beyond horrendous. Most of them will stay in a terrible marriage until death do them part, especially if the wife is really off her rocker. I know of men who won’t leave because they are fully aware their wife will find them and bring a gun and they will be her target. These situations exist.

      The point is, there are a lot of jerks in the world and this is a gender neutral thing. There are some patterns that are specific to each gender, but being a jerk is gender neutral and happens in all cultures and ethnicities. Mean people are mean people. Mean does not have a gender but I have noticed that mean is expressed in certain patterns depending on the gender.

      As for the other woman in your situation, she was not thinking clearly.

      (Cue satire)

      I have always had this issue and maybe I am one of the few women with this terrible issue. The issue I have is that when I was single, any time I saw a ring on a man, he was off-limits. If a guy had a girlfriend, I walked away. If a guy was playing the field and trying to find himself, I always knew that he would continue a life long journey of “finding himself” between the open legs of hundreds of women– and no matter how hard he tried– he never found himself so he had to keep seeking out more women to find himself in. Silly me always had an issue with that and walked away from all these great (married) men. Many other women don’t seem to share my disease called “aversion to married men.”

      (End satire)

      On a serious level, when I first met my husband he said he was divorced. I said, “Show me the divorce papers.” He had to show them to me before I would truly date him.

      Psychology today had an article that showed the results of a study: 90% of the single female population preferred a married man.

      This is not a joke.

      I need to betrayed wives here to let that sink in for a moment… only 10% of single women don’t prefer a married man. I was always part of that 10% who would not consider married men. Ever.

      So, that means 90% of single women are more attracted to married men. So, if your husband is having an affair with a single women, let that sink in. She prefers your husband because he is married. This is certainly no passive “other woman” who just happened to fall in love with a man before she noticed his ring.

      Let that sink in. 90% of single women see that ring and prefer that man– your man. They don’t want a single man– they want a married man.

      I need everyone to think about the implications for a moment. The implications are many.

      But, the biggest one is that it is very likely that most affairs that are with a single woman actually begin because a single woman is aggressing your husband. If that is true, it means that the majority of single women fall somewhere on the spouse poaching continuum.

      Let that sink in.

      Because the old myth is that some innocent, single coworker is sitting at her desk preparing spreadsheets while some lecherous man pesters her day in and day out forcing her into a relationship. It turns out, it is the other way around.

      There was also another psychology today article. They polled married men and married women who work. They asked each married person what their focus was during the day. The majority of married men said they were keeping their heads down trying to ensure they kept their job to provide for a family. The majority of women said they intentionally passed their day looking for an “office husband” or a man to have sexual flirtation with at work to pass the time. (These were married women).

      So, we have 90% of single women who prefer a married man. We have the majority of married women in the workforce looking for a man to flirt with and have a sexually charged relationship with so that they don’t get bored at work.

      When you look at the data in these recent studies, the myth of the pure and innocent woman sitting at work minding her own business dissolves into thin air.

      Instead we get a picture of married men sitting at work, minding their own business and trying to support a family, while the women at work are looking for someone to flirt with all day or have an affair with.

      Then there is the statistic that 86% of affairs begin at work.

      The picture becomes pretty clear that many affairs are started at work by women.

      Here is the problem, from what I know about heterosexual men, most of them love female attention. If someone wants to flirt with them and have a sexually charged relationship, all of the blood literally leaves their brain. And that blood fills a part of their body that is incapable of thinking and capable of destroying families.

      I think it is important for betrayed wives to be alert to this. Cute little Cindy who sits in the same isle as your husband is not the innocent ingenue she pretends to be.

      We start to get a picture of many women being predators towards married men. Since men in general love attention from women, here we have the perfect storm. And this storm is of epic proportions, if you think about it.

      Back to the point…. it appears that most women are the ones aggressing these days.

      I do not have easy answers, although I am working on them. All of us female betrayed spouses need to have our eyes open about who is aggressing whom these days.

      I made an oath to myself in high school that I would never be involved with a man who had a girlfriend or anything else after something that happened to me. There was a single guy in high school who was 2 grades above mine. I had an enormous crush and he was such a flirt. He would pull me onto his lap and try to tickle me. I had never had a boyfriend and wanted to take it really, really slow. I had a friend at another high school and told her about him. One night she was out with friends at Pizza Hut and he knew the people she was with. She realized it was the guy I was taking ti slow with. She offered to give him oral sex in his car and he accepted. Then she called me the next day because she gave oral sex to the guy I was trying to get to know. I was shocked. At that point I made a pact with myself that I would never ever ever do that to a woman. And I never did.

      And YES everyone deserves a group hug.

      Sarah

  22. Doe June 25, 2018 at 4:16 am #

    Sarah,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. You got me thinking. It’s probably true that I could have scared her off. I don’t even think she’s genuinely interested in him and am worried to find out the real motives. I have never spoken with her. As difficult as it’s been, I’ve bitten my tongue for 9 months.

    Maybe you will have some advice for me–this is an online affair and they have not met, but have spent all hours of the day and night talking/texting/sexting for a year now. All hours–while at work, while driving, while I’m sleeping, while I’m sitting right there. We had a really great relationship for 12 years and this took me by complete surprise so I tried to work it out. Long story short, he tried to force it into a polyamorous situation and paraded it in front of my face telling me that I needed to get over my jealousy. I hung in for 9 months hoping that the fog would lift, but we could never get past the stalemate that when I explained how his actions made me feel and asked him to stop and help me heal, he felt that I was controlling him. When I realized that he couldn’t understand how his actions could affect me and that he was going to do it whether it hurt me or not, I left and have been separated for three months, but living on the same property. Funny that you mention a tent because my current abode is a yurt while he lives in the home we were building. He is going to visit her this month and I am struggling with it so much more than I imagined. That he weighed his options and decided to throw me away like trash for a foul, abrasive, troubled woman he’s never met. He still acts like everything is fine between us and that I will be his emotional support when he’s self-loathing and he tells me that I was the one who threw it away for not accepting the weird dystopia that my life became in the affair fog and for not “accepting him for who he is.” He makes himself into the victim.

    All of that and I still wonder if I could have fought harder. What do you think?

    • Sarah P. June 25, 2018 at 6:55 am #

      Hi Doe,

      Want to hear something really weird? Before I typed the word tent, I typed the word yurt. I am very familiar with yurts, but many people are not, so I deleted the word “yurt” and used the word “tent.” Kinda spooky. We have many people in my area who live in them. Some can be very spartan and others can be very elaborate. I love the elaborate ones and yurts exude a healing energy. They are circular and a metaphorical womb that creates a safe and grounded energy.

      HOWEVER, you should not be living in one. Crazy husband who went off the deep-end should be living in it and you should be living in your house. Don’t make the mistake I made which was being forcibly chased out of my own home. It’s an ugly story.

      Can I ask what your age range is, how long you have been married, what kind of childhood your husband had, and what you think triggered his polyamory phase?

      I do have some thoughts, but wanted to know more. Also, you need to prevent that woman from showing up in person. You need to lawyer up. People who have online affairs are far from who they appear to be and I mean that in a really insane way. They can be scary as heck. Your husband is inviting a total stranger he has never met to stay on your property while you are there. This sounds scary to me and I believe you must stop the visit in any way that you can.

      As for your alleged jealousy, you can tell him that you are not jealous. You are bound by a marital contract and marital contracts exclude third parties.

      You can also tell him that you accept who he is until his immaturity breaches the marital contract. You and he signed a contract stating you would forsake all others. He is not abiding by the terms of the marital contract and you not accepting who he is is actually NOT relevant at all. The issue at hand is that you both must adhere to the marital contract and he must continue to adhere to the terms of exclusivity that he signed and agreed to.

      Accepting who he is or who he is not is not relevant to the marriage contract. Keep going back to the terms of the marriage contract and the fact that his current actions are breaching the contract. Because he has breached the contract, you are entitled to seek restitution, which includes the house and the business. The only thing that needs to be discussed is the fact that he breached the marital contract and you are taking back your home and business for restitution. After you have received your house and business, he is free to go.

      You must nail his foot to the floor (literally) and talk about the marriage contract, his breech in terms, and the fact that you will take restitution in the form of the house, the bank accounts, and your business. He chose to void the contract, he caused damages, and due to the damage he caused, you will be reimbursed by him forfeiting all assets to you. Then he can walk away.

      Here is the thing– cheaters use bait and switch. Cheaters make you the problem. When dealing with a cheater, you must treat the marriage as if it were a legal contract and it is. You must focus solely on the breach of contract by the cheater. Then you must take what is yours: the business, the bank accounts, the house. That is what he owes to you since he breached the contract and is no longer performing his part of the contract. You must treat this in a legal way. Feelings, jealously, and all the other things are irrelevant in the breach of contract. Make the breach of contract your sole focus– keep bringing it back to the fact that he breached it– then ask him to forfeit all assets and vacate the property. Keep saying it over and over and over again until he gets the idea.

      He says: “you don’t accept me.”

      You say: “Sir, this is irrelevant to the discussion. The discussion at hand is the fact that you breached a contract and because of this, we are focusing solely on your forfeiture of the assets as my restitution.”

      Keep saying it a thousand times if you have to. Don’t allow him to gaslight you by making you the problem. He is the problem, he breached a contract, you are getting restitution. Keep acting like an attorney until he shapes up or gives you everything and walks away. Also, file a restraining order against that woman who is visiting. She truly could be dangerous and it is better not to take a chance. I am not kidding about this.

      Sarah

      PS- A waiver: all of the advice I give is not a substitution for advice from an attorney. All of my advice is opinion, based solely on my knowledge of the situation. I am not an attorney. Everything I say is an opinion based solely on what I know of generic contract law and how the language of contract law might be useful in providing a wake-up call for a wayward spouse. The legalese is merely a way to reframe the situation in a way that forces a wayward spouse to stay focused on his or her actions and his or her actions alone. He did the dirty deed– he gets the blame and gives you what he owes you. It is not about you. It is solely about him and his actions. That’s it. Keep him focused on his actions. He can say all he wants about you being a this or that. However, as an adult, he has choices, and he made the choice to break the marital contract. It is all about how he chose to handle a situation regardless of what you did or did not do. Keep all conversations about his actions. Also, if he says you made him cheat, remind him he is an adult with free will and you do not have the power to control him. You cannot make him cheat or un-cheat. He is responsible for that and not you. Bring it back to him each time until he works on the marriage or leaves.

  23. Doe June 25, 2018 at 11:43 am #

    Thanks Sarah,

    We are not legally married because I do not want marriage for myself, but we were together in a very committed, spiritual, healthy, well-rounded relationship for 12.5 years. I’m 31. We met when we were young, which wasn’t ideal, but we continued to grow in the same directions so it felt right for both of us. The fact that we’re not legally married makes the logistics a lot easier, including with the property, except that under the eyes of the law, our relationship status doesn’t change anything and we are both legally allowed to stay on the property as long as we want. He did move off of the property one time in December, but then I tried again and he moved back in. The second time, a yurt was gifted to me at exactly the right moment and, like you said, they are healing spaces, the house is unfinished and I would be dumping more money into it when everything was up in the air and I needed to save money, and it was also mobile in case I felt I needed to move. He is going to visit her across the country so she will not be here. There is no way in h$#@ I would ever put up with that.

    I just sometimes question whether I should have stayed and tried harder with him. At the same time, the advise on these sites of putting up with actual emotional abuse during the time of the affair doesn’t sit well with me.

  24. TheFirstWife June 25, 2018 at 5:30 pm #

    Doe. You do not need to try harder.

    It’s called A fog for a reason.

    I spent 6 months trying hard with my H after 25 years of M. His A – he wanted a D.

    So after 6 more months of his cheating I had a short and sweet conversation. Calm. Rational. Told him I was D him and he no longer had any control over me or my future.

    And he was blindsided by me. He always counted on me waiting for him to decide.

    But I was done with being the third wheel in the M. And honestly it restored my power and self esteem in one action.

    It was like being a kid and saying you’re not the boss of me! Hahahaha.

    At that moment he begged for a chance to R. I said no. I thought we were reconciling the last 6 months but he was still cheating.

    He had to prove to me he meant R and was committed to me. And he did. At the last possible second he came out of the fog.

    But – I was fully prepared to execute and D. I was not bluffing and I was executing the plan B.

    If you say it / be prepared to do it.

    And unless he decides to end the A there is very little you can do. sorry to say.

    BTDT

  25. SuzySunshine June 25, 2018 at 6:16 pm #

    Oh girl, I must have left off the part about how when D Day came, the first thing was telling my H that he was free to leave or choose to stay, but it needed to be decided immediately so that I could begin to move forward either way; and I do believe that was a Divine Intervention since I would never have thought I would have reacted so calm and seemingly collected. Next, after he had said he wanted to stay was the following:
    1. Call your boss and report it immediately so that it is on record that it was consensual and you are the one to admit it first. Ask for a transfer or relocation. *His boss is a (long time, female) friend and one that I knew would be a good place to start. AND I collected plenty of evidence to prove a consensual (yet highly manipulated) affair.
    2. Call and schedule a marriage counseling appointment because I do not know where to go next and we are going to need some professional help.
    3. Call and let our parents know. They all love and support us and should be part of our rally team and can help with the kids (since we were both a hot mess).
    After that, he took the week off (his own doing), while things were sorted out at work and so we could spend some time mourning, talking, etc. She was at training for the next two weeks, so when she returned she was moved right away. They work for the government on a military base (which runs very close to its own little drama filled village), so a move was the best thing we could have asked for. As the weeks went by there was much back and forth between them as he tried to be the nice guy and let her down easy (what a load that he admits later was just that as he was more worried about what she could do to him at work), she tried to pursue and manipulate, and I was in a state of… whatever it is we as betrayed are in a state of within the first few months. BTW, we had not yet read the rules of recovery and truly were clueless about how stupid this time period all was.
    I could fill in more about the details, but the bottom line was that she continued over time to try to snake her way in, and sadly it took the incident with my son for it all to come to a head and my husband to see just how sociopathic she was. I took immediate action, as did he. He called their supervisors and even higher that night to report what had happened. I took screenshots of all the things that had been sent that my son hadn’t already deleted because he was mortified and in disbelief. I even took a screenshot of all the followers and who the fake profile followed to later be able to connect her back to the account that shortly thereafter disappeared. I was determined to have my case made that she needed to go. Not sure where I was thinking (well yes I do), but if I could send her, she was going. Sadly we are not a state that honors alienation of affection and because the account had been deleted, she had gotten away with no real ramifications accept to be told by her big boss that she better not contact anyone in our family again or risk losing her job. Then she tried to say that she was in fear of harming herself and that she was so scared of me that she had to sleep with a bat at night. The lady that she spoke with told her that sadly that was her own doing when she chose to do what she did.
    Oh and I failed to mention that when the stuff was sent, that night, I took all my kids devices to ensure no more junk was sent AND I called her to tell her, and I quote my self “You may have F*&k3d my husband, but you may NOT mess with my kids! We are filing a report.” Her (also sociopathic) cop boyfriend answered and scoffed as he told me super creepily that he had no idea what I was talking about. Then I responded by telling him I hoped she could hear me and that I was serious. Then hung up. I went back to going back and forth with the Instagram person who responded a few more times (enough for me to screenshot) and then they deleted the account.
    I may be nice, loving, and kind-hearted and will remain so because that is who I am, but I will never lay down and let someone walk all over my kids!
    As for my husband, my oh my what a change! Not only did he request to be in an area that had few to no women, not allow women co-workers to meet him alone, and asked for some of his (male) counterparts (with wives that I love) to be his accountability partners, but he did all the transparency stuff without my request (even sending me pics of every meeting, etc.). I told him, fool me once shame on you; fool me twice and there is no choice but divorce. I will not spend my time worrying about what his daily choices are. Yes, I did check in every once and again (and I would make an excellent P.I. as I have a Masters in technology), but I don’t want to spend any more time worrying about his every move when I know that the truth always comes out. Period, amen, and for sho!
    So in other words, I so very much appreciate your encouragement and even next steps, and I hope you can tell I did recon and react. I fully intend to stay vigilant. I am grateful that you validated my concern and even helped me classify this particular OW as the morally corrupt, empathy inept, attempted spouse/life poacher that she is. And while I know that crazy is as crazy wants to be, I can at least know that I am in this for the long haul. My marriage is healing, and in a crazy beautifully (but oddly) super close place right now. Our family is even better. And I know that without a doubt this was not the way I ever would have chosen to get to this place, but I cant look back. I can, however, stay guarded over that forever open gate becasue I will not go lightly. I have worked too hard and loved too deep to be the nice gal most love and know if you try to take what is mine.

    • CatMandu June 25, 2018 at 7:11 pm #

      SS,

      You are a mama grizzly. My hats off to you. These crazy-ass poachers are as clever as they are skanky. The ones connected to the military seem to be especially bad. My personal skank waited for 20 years to reconnect with my H. He fought her off the first time but didn’t make it the 2nd time she appeared.

      It was too bad that she was retired or I would have put an end to her civilian career with the Army. I have many friends in DOD and law enforcement and would have had all the evidence necessary to put an end to it. But alas, not to be. But I did contact her husband. Don’t know if he did anything but at least he knows and he knows that I know about her.

      Take care, you are on the right path.

      • Tired June 29, 2018 at 9:19 am #

        Catmandu. The skanky OW in your life is retired? And waited 20 years before making the move on your husband? There is seriously something wrong with these women! How old is she? Sounds like she is not young and silly. Obviously their personality sucks and they have never been able to find a man that wants them. So they go after someone who is married, who might be tempted into looking for a bit of excitement in life. Shaking my head…

  26. TheFirstWife June 25, 2018 at 8:24 pm #

    I think the most powerful thing a BS can do is show strength. Whether it stops the A or not – it shows the cheater you are a force to be reckoned with.

    My H got mad at me recently and slammed something down in the table in anger. I was not having it and walked away. Later after he calmed down I told him he was never to act like that again. At the time of his A I never cursed him or raged at him or threw things etc. I treated him with respect and acted like an adult.

    I told him don’t you dare ever act like that again because if you do- you will not like the outcome. You can be mad but you do not slam things around at me.

    I know it won’t happen again. I am small but assertive when necessary.

    Interesting how you can take control of a situation without raising your voice. Or getting angry. Or causing a fight.

    When I told my H at DDay2 I was D him and he was free to be with the OW and no hard feelings – oh and BTW you are no longer making any decisions regarding my life or me & kids – in one three sentence conversation I restored my power. And my self esteem.

    And when I told him he was leaving and could go live with the OW or anywhere he wanted – he knew he crossed the line and it was not open for discussion b/c he could not stay here any longer. I had to get out from his infidelity and year long A. He pleaded with me to reconsider making him leave.

    And it was all his own doing. His mistake.

    But I regained my sense of power.

  27. Doe June 25, 2018 at 10:06 pm #

    TheFirstWife,

    Thank you so much for your encouraging words. The way your husband was back then and the way mine is now sound a lot alike although he has never made an attempt to end the A; only begged me to let him have his cake. I am really happy to hear that things are going better for you now. Where are you in not only reconciliation, but personal healing?

    Sarah,

    Just realized that I missed a few points that you had asked about. He had a very loving family and I’m not sure that he’s ever heard the word no. I’m pretty baffled by the change in behavior and integrity, but maybe that has something to do with it. He seems to be going through some sort of identity crisis.

  28. TheFirstWife June 26, 2018 at 12:15 am #

    Doe. My H admitted to his A at DDay 1. Then told me he would let me know at end of the summer if he wanted a D or not.

    He must be kidding I thought to myself – who would agree to that?!

    He was completely out of character that entire year. Six months I lived with him and his A and seriously – I thought he started doing drugs. No joke – that is how out of character he was.

    My H thought “we should all be friends” and “I would like the OW if I met her”. Hahahaha……not likely.

    My mistake was being too nice and loving and supportive. Doing the pick me! Routine and waiting for him to see we still had a good M. He treated me like a doormat.

    And at DDay2 I restored the balance of power. Best thing I ever did!

    And he is not like that any more. He gets it – all of it!!

    I hope your H wakes up before it is too late. I really do.

    • Tired June 29, 2018 at 6:52 am #

      Doe, I agree you need to be strong. Learn from us, we have been there. I think if my husband begged me to let him have his cake I would have brained him with a frying pan. He had too much sense to actually say this my face, but he tried it on all right.

      My husband seemed to be sitting on the fence. He had moved out and I knew he was still seeing the other woman, but he had called me and said he wanted to come home. However, it seemed like it wasn’t happening any time soon. He had not committed to it and seemed like he just expected me to wait around for him to have his fun and then come back to me. And I was living my life in limbo not knowing whether I was getting a divorce or if we would work things out. I just could not go on like that anymore.

      So I woke up to that cake eating and I did something like TFW did. I told him if he wasn’t coming back NOW I was letting him go. Then I made arrangements to buy his share of the house. When he realised I was actually going to go through with it that was the catalyst for him to get his act together. He got scared that I might actually move on without him. Then it was like ‘can’t we work things out?’ And I said in no uncertain terms: You have to come home first. And he did.

      TFW, the things they say truly are ridiculous aren’t they? He told you he ‘would let you know at the end of summer if he wanted a divorce or not.’ !!!! It is maddening. Like you’re just supposed to be ok with that. My husband too said ridiculous things. Like when I threw him out and we finally spoke he said he would like to remain friends. Then he wondered why I got so enraged. Some good friend he was, dumping me out of the blue for another woman. He also told me we were ‘incompatible.’ Funny it took him 10 years to work that one out.

      Sometimes I still can’t believe it is the same person who said those things to me. I think it seems like they are a different person because it is actually the affair partner’s opinions that are being told to us. My husband also started using social media, which he has always hated, and started listening to J-pop, which he has also always hated. It was like he had metamorphosized into someone else overnight! He also had new opinions that were the complete opposite to what he had always believed. HER opinions. And they were dumb, like she is. He sounded like an idiot. He gets embarrassed if I bring them up now.

      You were right TFW to demand that your husband not treat you like a doormat. Even though I stood up for myself right from the beginning, I still think I let my husband come back too early because like your husband he continued being in contact with the other woman behind my back. I did not have any evidence and he kept denying it. I knew they were not seeing each other in person because he was always with me, unless he was working interstate (and I knew she was still here). But I still had a feeling something was going on mostly from her social media posts. They were still in touch. I don’t know what I could have done differently though really. If he was going to lie, me telling him not to communicate with her wasn’t going to work anyway. I think he just thought she would eventually go away without him having to put himself in an awkward situation.

      Fortunately I think she got very desperate and started doing things like showing up at his work (the place he worked at here) that put him into a panic and made him he see he really did need to go no contact. So he started working from home when he was here. He would not admit this was the reason because he didn’t want me to know he had still been in contact with her. But I knew all the same.

      My husband too gets it now. In fact he said it was rather scary that the other woman got pregnant to another man so quickly. It was an ‘accident’, but now she has control of him. My husband is glad it is not him. It made him see just how conniving she was.

  29. Doe June 26, 2018 at 3:16 pm #

    TheFirstWife,
    So, so much alike! He told me how she was a lot like me and that we would be best friends. He didn’t see that her behavior was (still is) wildly disrespectful to me and to him. He painted me as a horrible, unfriendly person for refusing to reach out to her, but I’m so glad I’ve kept my resolve in that. I was definitely too nice, played the pick me dance, and even after separating, have continued to be maybe too amicible. I didn’t want to hang on to the anger within myself as I was dealing with so much upheaval and rebirth. I was also worried about his mental health, but it might have been good for him to see more of the anger. I’m not sure.

    I think it’s really important to forgive ourselves when we think back to all the pick-me stuff (or if we’re going through it). We’re doing the best with the cards we’re dealt and it’s a normal part of the process.

    I’ve finally put my foot down yesterday about him continuing to contact me despite my attempt to separate from the toxicity. I am finally not making decisions with the thought of trying to wake him up. I really am done. Maybe in going dark, he will come out of it and have a character change. Either way, I am so changed, he’d have to prove himself now and he’d have to be along for a wild ride because I’m not slowing down my growth for anyone. As of today, I finally feel like I’m in the acceptance phase. Whew, what a heartwrenching, winding road getting here, but it’s truly beautiful how much growth and enlightenment can take place after such an upheaval.

    • Sarah P. June 28, 2018 at 2:43 pm #

      Doe,

      He painted you as a horrible person for refusing to reach out to her. LOL.

      Welcome to upside down land.

      In upside down land, having positive boundaries, self-respect, and self-esteem get you painted as The Wicked Witch in the false narrative.

      No one can understand why you aren’t going along with their “true love” agenda. Gosh, they are “soulmates,” why can’t everyone lighten up and give them ALL the shared assets as their wedding present. They tell you if you were a bigger person, you would hand over all the money and the house and leave with the clothes on your back. That’s what decent people do– they play nice and let the spouse poacher have everything: their house, their money, their soul. Everything. And if a betrayed spouse doesn’t do that, well she must be truly evil.

      All of the above is said tongue in cheek. However, when they are deep into the affair fog, they often think these extremely irrational things and don’t understand why the betrayed spouse/girlfriend won’t play nice and give up everything they worked for.

      Doe, do NOT back down. Go no contact. Forget he exists and move along with your own life. However, if he comes crawling back, I would feel very cautious. He will have to do self-work in order to change. Unless he does the solitary path of self-improvement based on his own free will, take this as a sign that he has shown you his true nature. Now that you know his true nature, continuing a relationship may not be in your best interests.

      You are young and the world is your apple.

      Sarah

  30. TheFirstWife June 27, 2018 at 2:48 pm #

    Doe. You are right we should forgive ourselves for the things we said and did during the A period.

    And I agree that we do the best with the hand we are dealt.

    Is your H trying to do the “we can still be friends “ act to absolve him of any guilt? Or is he just so clueless he cannot function without you.

    Tell him (the last time you speak) that is he doesn’t know what he wants then he has not chosen you or the Marriage.

    And in that case you do know what you want – No Contact from him.

    • Tired June 29, 2018 at 7:08 am #

      I think they do the ‘friends’ thing to absolve themselves of guilt, no question about it. The wife is supposed to just accept her husband has found his soul mate and be ok with it. Go no contact Doe. You will know soon enough what he decides to do.

      I would refuse to be friends when it is uncertain if you will be back together. That will just make him feel better about his behaviour. However it was truly over between you, being his friend would drive the other woman insane and their relationship would implode. Lol. But that’s just the little imp inside me.

  31. TheFirstWife June 29, 2018 at 8:52 am #

    Tired. Yes you are right. He did say “I’ll let you know at the end of the summer what he decided”. Before the end of the summer I was already talking google calendar and where he would live etc.

    That was an eye opener but not enough to snap him out of the A fog.

    I would have been friends to a point. Because of the kids. just to keep the peace. But it would have been on very limited terms. Once there was no longer a house we owned – then I no longer have to be “his friend” and No Contact would be instituted.

    • Tired June 29, 2018 at 11:29 am #

      I still think I would have driven a spanner into the works by being his ‘friend’ if he had chosen her. It would have really unsettled the other woman if she had got him. She would be forever wondering what her (known) cheating boyfriend was up to with his ex wife.

  32. TheFirstWife June 29, 2018 at 9:03 am #

    Ok. He’s gone and I’m back 🤪

    I know the entire A period the OW was putting pressure on him thatvshe did not want to be the OW and he had to leave me.

    He was trying to keep both of us happy. Like that would work out. So every “I want a D” discussion was fueled by his desire to keep her around.

    The cheaters do say the most ridiculous things.

    Doe – it is wrong and unfair to keep you in limbo. Unfortunately you are the only one that can end that for yourself. If he won’t commit and fully 💯% commit – then the M is over. His “no choice” is an indication that he will keep you in limbo as long as you let him.

    The success of an A relies on the BS still being there to do laundry and errands and cook and pay bills.

    Don’t let yourself stay in limbo any longer.

    • Tired June 29, 2018 at 11:55 am #

      TFW. Same here. My husband’s OW was also putting pressure on him. He was also trying to keep both of us happy. Or quiet. My situation is a bit different to yours. My husband wanted to end it but she was not going away. And he wanted her to go away quietly, so he would not be embarrassed. Because all that matters to him is saving face. Saving face seems to me to have been more important than saving us.

      As for keeping both of us happy. Like that was going to work. I agree. But then, they are cheaters. They seem to see their side only. They don’t think what you are going through. That is my experience. Even now, it’s like : ‘she meant nothing.’ Yeah, that’s why you risked us…

  33. TheFirstWife June 29, 2018 at 10:04 am #

    Tired. The sad part is that some cheaters would view the AP contacting their children as validation of “how much the AP loves me” – sad to say.

    Because during the A the cheater justified everything and anything to suit their needs.

    In my case the OW did not want to be the OW. So my H said “ok you don’t have to be” and decided to dump me. Not her – even though I said I refused to be in a M if you are cheating. He chose her (the OW) first.

    While us “normal” people see the AP as contacting the children of the M as a scary 🚩- the CS may not.

  34. Margo June 29, 2018 at 11:29 am #

    Core Principle #2 states “Wayward spouses and the lovers of wayward spouses must be held accountable for their behavior because they caused the disaster.”

    So are you suggesting I contact the OW’s spouse and let him know of his wife’s cheating (with my husband)?

  35. Rose June 29, 2018 at 12:23 pm #

    Absolutely.

  36. TheFirstWife June 29, 2018 at 12:25 pm #

    Yes Margo.

    He may not have any idea of the A and he deserves to know.

  37. Tired June 29, 2018 at 12:47 pm #

    Hi Margo. Don’t think core principle #2 says that. What it says is this: “The betrayed spouse is NOT to blame. I have done tremendous amounts of research and have discovered a betrayed spouse cannot make another adult cheat or un-cheat.”

    The cheating person is accountable, yes. Take things slowly, find out what is going on first before flying off the handle. Don’t contact anyone. Take some time to think about things. It sounds like you have only just found out. It sounds like you are out of your mind, the same way I was when I found out about the cheating. Please keep focussed and do not be silly. This will only be used against you later by the cheating spouse. Do not contact the OW or her spouse,

    • Shifting Impressions June 29, 2018 at 12:59 pm #

      Margo
      Tired has given you some really good advice. Think things through carefully. Contacting the OW’s spouse can have some risk attached to it.

      Get some good counsel for yourself before doing anything.

  38. TheFirstWife June 29, 2018 at 2:29 pm #

    I know we will have differing opinions on whether to contact the other betrayed spouse (OBS).

    In most cases I will vote yes – you should inform.

    I would want to know about the cheating

    I would welcome someone telling me.

    I would want to know (b/c in this day and age cheating can be deadly) if I am being exposed to an STD or worse.

    In many cases when the H finds out the W is cheating – the A ends. Not sure if it’s financial or what – but in many cases it can be the one action that can stop the A.

    I know of cases where the BW and BH ganged up on the cheaters. Watched them throw each other under the bus.

    I say for the exposure to an STD or worse – that alone would prompt me to tell the OBS.

    But that is just me. Everyone has to do what is best for them.

  39. Rose June 29, 2018 at 2:43 pm #

    Agree TFW. There’s some other group (they were nuts) that says exposure is the first thing you should do.. But they also meant to family, friends, children, boss and coworkers as well as OM or OW spouses! What would be risk of informing the spouse tho? Yes, your H or W would be livid. So? I don’t mean to be callous, but even if the OW may experience domestic violence…so? I don’t wish for anyone to be hurt but that’s something she should have thought of before she poached your H. What other risks?

  40. Sarah P. June 29, 2018 at 6:24 pm #

    TheFirstWife,

    On a purely personal level (me as a person and not as an affair recovery person) I would absolutely want to know if there was an affair.

    Why?

    If those coworkers who heard the other woman say she was going to break up my relationship and if they would have given me a warning, maybe I would have been able to find out and break up before he gave me cervical cancer. The type I had was fast growing and deadly. I had been only with one person (him) for several years and seeing the same doctor for yearly checks. That doctor was 99.9% certain I got it because my fiance was having relations with both me and her. If I knew there was a her, I would have stopped having any kind of relationship immediately. So, as a woman knowing that your husband can transmit the virus that causes cervical cancer and that condoms do NOT prevent transmission, I would want to know.

    Infidelity is a life and death issue for a female betrayed spouse when she does not know she is being betrayed and still has a physical relationship with her husband.

    Now, I still believe this as someone who only works with infidelity. Big caveat though. Some men have been known to become violent if their wife finds out about an affair and confronts them in a humiliating way. Caution must be used.

    Does anyone remember Lacy Peterson? (Sorry if I spelled it wrong). She was 8 months pregnant and confronted her husband in front of a crowd in Walmart. This story about what he did to her still haunts me. So, I just have to say that yes please tell the betrayed spouse. But, reiterate to them that they might need to leave the house for a while and be safe and talk to a therapist about how to confront. Recent statistics came out that when a man is having an affair he often becomes physically violent even though his spouse does know about the affair. If some men become violent before their affair comes out think about how violent they might be if confronted in the wrong way.

    Yes, tell the betrayed spouse. But reiterate they need to go to a physically safe location for a while and think it through. Either way, it can be a life and death issue. A betrayed spouse has a right to know. That’s my opinion.

    Sarah

    • Shifting Impressions June 29, 2018 at 8:20 pm #

      I agree with all of you….I would want to know. But I would definitely proceed with caution. Look before you leap into action.

      There are all sorts of possible scenarios that could occurr. There is always the possibility that the OW’s husband could turn violent against your husband and your family. Or the knowledge that one’s partner is cheating could push a depressed person towards suicide…

      All sorts of things could go wrong….

  41. Tired July 1, 2018 at 12:28 pm #

    I would want to know too. For all the reasons everyone has stated. But I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I told the OW’s husband and he came and murdered my husband, or if their partner hurt themselves. Just my opinion.

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