guilt vs griefThe following is a guest post from one of our readers, “Jody” who has been the betrayed spouse, the cheater and the other woman.  She tells her story and discusses her struggles with guilt vs grief.

It’s been often said – there are two sides to every story.  The problem is that usually people who feel they have been betrayed or wronged are generally, and understandably so, not interested in the other side of the story. 

There are no excuses for cheating, and there is no point in even trying to justify it.  Cheating is ALWAYS a horrible thing to do, but all cheaters are NOT horrible people.  In many cases, they are good people who do a bad thing. 

Before you slam your laptop shut in rage or post a scathing response, I ask that you continue to read this to the end.  This isn’t a story about being the cheater or being the betrayed spouse or being the other woman.  It is a story about someone who has been all three, and who has lived and seen it all.

As it often is in these cases, the details of all the events aren’t as important as the events themselves why they occurred, and the aftermath they create. 

My first husband cheated on me with a co-worker.  They had become friends in graduate school and then he helped her get a job where he worked.  I didn’t necessarily like their friendship, but I had no reason not to trust him.  We had a child together and otherwise had been happily married for four years. 

We fell into the typical marriage traps of the daily duties of keeping a house, raising a child, finances and put “us” on the back-burner.   He and his co-worker spent a lot of time together, had a lot in common and eventually built more than a friendship. 

While he never admitted to anything other than an emotional affair, I found emails that were pretty darn damning against his case that it was never physical. 

Eventually, with time, I think they outgrew each other’s usefulness.  She got married to someone else, and he turned his attention to home.  It was devastating.  It hurt, and I went through the same gamut of emotions that you all have. 

I felt like it was my fault because I had gained weight and was uninterested in sex.  I hated him for what he did to me.  It cuts you to the core in a way that you can’t know or describe unless you’ve been through it yourself. 

The pain either subsides and you work on it, or you kick that cheater to the curb, or in some cases that cheater leaves you, and you are left with very little other than a broken heart. 

We went with option one.  We worked on it, and went on to have two more children together and had several more years of a happy marriage.

I know the pain that comes with being a betrayed spouse, and I know the hate that you have for the other woman/man.  I lived it, and I survived it. 

So you are probably asking yourself, “How on Earth could this person go on to be a cheater and do the same thing to another woman?”  

guilt vs grief

I don’t have a good answer for you.  Like I said before, there are no excuses.  I felt ignored, unloved, unappreciated, and flat out invisible some days despite bending over backwards to make my husband’s life as easy as possible.  In a lot of ways I also think I felt justified in cheating because I had been cheated on.  This still doesn’t justify it, but I did it anyway. 

Right at my lowest point I met someone who treated me better and showed me more attention and friendship than any other person in all of my life.  I didn’t know that there were other people out there in the world that could care as deeply as me and that gained so much enjoyment out of doing things for others.  

It was the perfect storm for an affair.  It was a big scandal as our families did know each other, and we ultimately left our spouses to be together. 

It felt so easy at the time to make that decision.  In my head it was so easy to dismiss my marriage of over a decade and do the most selfish thing I had ever done in my life.  I made my ex-husband believe that our marriage wasn’t worth saving so he wouldn’t even try. 

At that moment in time, I knew what I wanted and damn the consequences.  I did feel badly that I hurt my affair partner’s wife and kids, and I did apologize to her.  In a matter of months I had gone from being married to being in an entirely new relationship.  It was both exhilarating and frightening, but I had no idea what I was in for ahead.

I never dealt with the end of my marriage before moving on to a new relationship, and I took every last emotion that I should’ve confronted and tucked it neatly away in a box and started anew.   I married my affair partner less than a year after our relationship began. 

I do love him and in so many ways he is exactly the perfect person for me.  I am happy with him, but it doesn’t change the past.  I had an extremely delayed reaction to my affair and the consequences of it, and when it hit me it was the most devastating blow of my life.  It suddenly became apparent to me that I had been in my own little selfish world and had been ignoring everything else. 

There aren’t words to describe the guilt associated with knowing that you nearly destroyed another human, let alone someone you loved, by your own selfish actions.  The guilt has, and still does, haunt me every single day of my life.  After some severe depression, and some advice from friends and other resources I am finally getting the help that I need. 

I want all of you to know who have been betrayed that there is another side to the story for some cheaters.  There are days I can barely look at myself in the mirror, and I have a hard time almost daily facing the truth of what I did to my ex-husband, my children, and my new husband’s children. 

You’ll notice I didn’t mention my new husband’s ex-wife.  She has taken her hurt and rage and used it as validation to do and say whatever she sees fit.  She’s threatened to kill me in the presence of her children.  She’s told her children that she prays that their father dies.  I could go on and on, but my point is being hurt or wronged doesn’t give a person the right to hurt other people.  That is no different than my two youngest children hitting each other because the other one did it first. 

guilt vs griefI am not saying that all betrayed spouses are like this, and I know there is a lot pain and emotion that you deal with.  I DO know this.  The problem is that most of the ones who behave this way feel so vindicated that they don’t recognize the damage they are actually doing.

I am not asking for sympathy, nor do I deserve it.  I am fully aware that I am responsible for my actions as is the man who cheated on me.  Everyone screws up, and some of us screw up big time!  The past cannot be erased, and there is no way to undo the pain and consequences of an affair for anyone involved. 

While it is easy to get lost in a sea of misery when we are wounded in this way (yes, I said we).  I get to be in the betrayed spouse club too) we must remember that maybe not initially, and maybe not ever, the cheaters will do their time and hurt as well. 

I’ve been through both sides of this devastating game, and here is what I can say with 100% truth and honesty.  I would take the pain that I felt from being betrayed and cheated on a thousand times over rather than live with the guilt that I live with every day for having an affair, hurting my ex-husband, and destroying my family.  For this BS, OW, and cheater, there is no question as to what hurts worse.

I wrote this for a couple of reasons.  I wanted everyone involved with an affair to hear all sides of the story from someone who knows all sides of the story first hand. 

If you are considering having an affair I want you to know, not just the consequences of what you will do to your spouse and children, but of what you will do to yourself.  The guilt is unimaginable, and it will be with you for the rest of your life.  You may go on and find happiness again, and I hope you do, but it will forever be part of who you are and the knowledge of what you did will never go away. 

If you are the OW/OM, be prepared for some hate that you’ve never known in your life.   You might have your life threatened or be forced to leave your community or place of employment.  People will HATE you, no questions asked. 

Finally, I want to speak to those of you who have been betrayed.  Please don’t use your children as weapons or use your pain and rage as justification to damage other people.  You can’t take that back either. 

I also want you to know that some of us cheaters really are sorry, and really do genuinely feel true remorse for what we’ve done and fully grasp the totality of our actions.  I don’t know if knowing this will make you feel better in some small way, but I hope it will. 

My ex and I have a good relationship, mostly built around our shared children.  I suffer every time I see him or anytime we have to talk about how to handle holiday schedules or birthdays.  As I said, it is a horrible existence that I will never escape. 

I just wanted to share my story in hopes that it might help even one person in some little way.  To anyone who has been through this, on any side of the equation, I wish you all the best on your journey to healing. 

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Processing the Five Stages of Grief after Infidelity
Tips for managing each stage as well as important Do’s and Don’ts for each

Processing and moving through the stages of grief is a vital part of surviving and healing the trauma of infidelity. So vital in fact, that we’ve created a program that deals exclusively with this subject to help you effectively deal with the stages of grief after an affair.

 

    86 replies to "Guilt vs Grief – Which is Worse?"

    • justbecause

      Jody, Thank you very much. I did get alot out of your post.

      When I started reading, I was thinking you were going to play the “oh woe is me game.” Comments about getting so much enjoyment doing for others, bent over backwords for spouse, etc. do not sit well with me. But you do go on to explain that you eventually realize you were in your “own little selfish world.” This made me feel better about you.

      You do mention your H’s EA perhaps enabled you to be a CS. My H’s OW also had been cheated on by her spouse. Hhmmm – payback affairs?? Maybe only subconsciously, but I think this is often part of the scenario.

      Very interesting to me your comments on not “having the right to hurt the other person.” I do agree it is wrong to bring children into it. I certainly had this opportunity but chose not to. I did, however, make her sister aware of it, her boss and am still considering telling others. This includes her 1st H ( she is on #3) who is the fater of her 3 children. She left him to shack up with a client she met at work. She is a social worker. I want this cow to remember me, to know she “_ _cked with the wrong chick this time, bitch.” I continue to plan occassional intrusions into her life. I don’t obsess on these as I first did. But I am, if anything, persistent. My next intrusion is contacting our county supervisors, her employers, and informing them of her parking in the customer zone at work and leaving every 2 hours to move her car … have a smoke, text someone??

      Children hitting each other cannot be compared to adults cheating on each other.

    • forcryin'outloud

      Alrighty then, that was an interesting read.

      To throw a bone to the betrayers I sometimes feel sorry for my husband and his choice of lies and deceit. Because, if it was I who made the choice he did I would have trouble living with myself. In fact recently we were watching a movie and (of course) it had cheating in it. My H grabbed my had put his head on my shoulders and I could feel the pain oozing from him. The palpable fear that he knows he doesn’t deserve a second chance softens my heart enough to try for another day. And that’s what it is, a day by day process probably for the rest of our married life.

    • justbecause

      I, too, will throw a bone. About 2 weeks after D-day I visited with my Dr. to get some help handling the stress. She commented I seemed to be venting all my anger at the OW as opposed to my H. I told her I was furious with both of them, but I loved my H. I know him and his then damaged, pickeled soul. I didn’t know her at all. I told her I wanted to meet with her, she refused. Makes me think even less of her … if that’s possible.

      My H is trying and doing awesome. This second, and yes last, chance is working and worth it.

      • Recovering

        Justbecause,

        The OW asked my husband why I was calling HER after I found out about their cheating. REALLY?!!? Doesn’t it take 2?! She knew damn well he was married when she came on to him, as was she!! Yes, HE made promises to ME, but she is a skank that knew he was married and was STILL WITH HIM! A decent human being wouldn’t even pursue past the wedding ring! Yet she shit on her marriage AND mine… and yes, he did the same, but I LOVE HIM! I raged on him, but I wanted my marriage to work, so the rage had to go somewhere, so she became the focus because I couldn’t blame myself or my kids, and I had to work on my relationship… I can’t stand the women who say that it was THE HUSBAND that made the vows to the wife, not them… well you are a slut if you sleep with a married man KNOWING he is married!! Pure and simple. If there weren’t sluts like that out there, then there wouldn’t be married people cheating (not that all sluts are women… my husband was clearly that same slut). It seems that nobody respects marriage anymore. I didn’t go into mine thinking it was disposable like so many people do these days. It wouldn’t matter to me if I knew the slut or not. It still takes two, and if I want my marriage then the anger has to go somewhere…. she could’ve been anybody, I know that… though SHE doesn’t think so… thinks SHE was special… I NEED to work things out with my husband… I pray for her to have a 1 car accident… at least my husband is facing what he did… her husband still doesnt even know… I have decided that I won’t tell unless she comes back into our lives… I want to destroy her, but I can’t be the one to destroy him and his children… her improvement is not one that I care about… my husband’s is…

    • exercisegrace

      Here is my (long) take on the grief vs. guilt issue:

      You are sitting in your living room one day and you begin to have thoughts about shooting yourself in the foot. You find this disturbing, as that thought is something that never would have crossed your mind. You push aside thoughts that perhaps you should share this with your spouse, a pastor or counselor. The next day you go and apply for a gun permit. You tell yourself it is for target shooting. You would never follow through on your thoughts. You tell yourself that even though you applied for a permit, doesn’t mean you will actually buy a gun. But the thoughts persist. At the end of the waiting period, you find yourself purchasing a gun, bringing it home and locking it away. You realize you have crossed some type of line. You reason it away. The gun is for protecting your family, whatever. A few weeks later, you decide you should make sure it actually works. You will just target shoot a few tin cans in the back yard, no big deal. You do this once or twice a week. You continue to push away your mental concerns. Then one day, likely without starting out the day intending to shoot yourself in the foot, you aim away from the tin cans and shoot your left foot. In the aftermath, you spend weeks in the hospital (which your insurance won’t cover), you lose your job because of time away from work. Enormous stress is created for yourself and your family. You can’t believe what you have done. You review every step, every decision, every action. It makes no sense to you. But you realize the choices were yours.

      Scenario 2: you are sitting in your living room reading the paper. There is an incredibly loud explosion, followed by excruciating pain. For several long minutes you have no idea what happened, but slowly you realize that your spouse has walked in and shot you in the foot. An accident, surely!! But no, they chose to shoot you in the foot. While you are recovering in the hospital they initially try to tell you it is your fault they shot you in the foot and proceed to tell you why it is at the very least, *partly* your fault. Over time, with counseling they begin to take responsibility for it. But you will live with loss. Things you will never be able to do again, etc. You grieve these losses. You look back over the preceding months. You try and figure out what you did or didn’t do that might have caused this. In the end, you realize that your scars will just be the result of someone else’s bad choices. You choose to forgive and move forward.

      So which is worse? I really don’t know. Is it harder to live with the consequences of your own wrong actions or is it worse to have destruction wreaked on your life for no good reason? There is a fine line between taking the high road and climbing up on your high horse. It is tempting to feel morally superior because I didn’t choose to cheat and my husband did. In the end, NO ONE WINS. We just pick up the pieces, commit to healing and move forward.

    • justbecause

      EG, That was awesome. You are so right. It all hurts.

      Rather ironic for me as my H is a gun enthusiast. He shot a hole thru my kitchen cupboard with an antique pistol a few years back.-just before a 2 week vacation. Never told me about it. Was during heigth of his EA and drinking. Said he didn’t know gun was loaded. Hole went through lower cupboard – I discovered upon return. Led to my getting new granite counter tops, under cabinet lighting and new microwave and sink.

      Lesson: Playing with guns or EA’s is dangerous, It will be discovered. You will pay.

    • Jody

      To just because…..

      I must ask…are you and your husband still together? If you aren’t I think it is in YOUR best interest to not mess with this woman. I’m sure if feels really good right now to plan these intrusions, but I would like to give you a few things to consider. 1) Be careful…you may end up getting yourself into legal trouble. Remeber cheating, while awful, isn’t illegal while harrassment is. I DID end up taking legal action against the OW in my case. 2) Remember no matter how cut and dry this stiuation seems to you (and she might be a total slut puppy for all we know) there are ALWAYS two sides of a story. 3) You are just going to keep stress in your life and delay dealing with the healing process you that you need to go through to be the best you that you can be! You were hurt yes, but you are more than that! You deserve a happy life filled with true joy, not temporary satisfacton but messing with this other woman. Take care of YOU, and if you and your husband are still together, this will only make it harder to repair the damage. If you truly want to move on, then you have to move on in everyway and put your energy into the two of you healing together.

      • justbecause

        Hi Jody, Yes, my husband and i are together. Things are going very well between us. He has quit drinking since 4/1/12 – 3 days after D-Day.

        I am very aware of the harrassment issue potential. Supposedly her sister is a lawyer and threatened me with this. I had made some comments on public facebook pages about the ow. The cow went to the police with this and some texting I had done with her. I was contacted by the police, who admitted I had done enothing wrong but they were telling me this cow no longer wanted any contact from me. Well guess what, I wish she had never, ever had any contact with my husband or me. I

        I decided, come what may, it was my choice to tell who I wanted about the EA and to be in a public place where she might be is my perogative. I am willing to face any consequences. I sent the “I hate you letter” to her H about 4 months later and told him to do with it what he thought best. I had talked with him just after D-Day. His main concern was to keep everything quiet. In this letter I told her, as I wonder, so shall she. She will wonder who I have told of her ugliness. Again, I wanted to meet with her and she refused.

        Our situations are different in that I never ever threatened her, never ever contacted her children or parents. Actions have consequences. CS’s and OW’s must realize they will have to face the consequences. Just as they don’t really know their EA partner, they don’t know just what these consequences may be.

        My sister’s H had an affair with an 18 year old 25 years ago. My sister told her at the time, “I will never forget this.” she kept track of this bitch for the past 25 years and on the anniversary of her D-Day, she sent the OW’s physician husband a letter explaining the details of the affair. My sister, awesome person, just as persistent as I am.

        We are all different. I felt better after learning scum abut the OW, standing up to her, showing her I am the better person, showing her she messed with the wrong woman. Our counselor and H agree with you that I should let it go and I have to a great extent, but they also know I had to have my time, my say. She did not afford that to me.

        Again, I do apprecite your thoughts. It does give me alot to think about. But I am not sorry for contacting the OW. I feel it would have been in her best interest (and my H’s too!) to not mess with THIS woman.

        I never said I was this wonderful, saintly person. Don’t know many that are.

    • Recovering

      Maybe it is just me, but I have absolutely NO regard for the “guilt” the cheater feels afterwards. They made a CHOICE, one that they KNEW was WRONG. They SHOULD feel bad. I made no such choice, as noone asked me if I wanted the slut in my marriage. Noone asked me if I wanted to risk my life on the chance the condom might have broken and she had a disease, or if she had gotten pregnant. Nobody even told me SHE EXISTED! I had NO choice. Cheaters… FEEL GUILTY and suck it the hell up! YOU CHOSE!! YOU KNEW WHAT YOU WERE DOING! You had all of the info right there in front of you and then did the evil deed regardless of how “good” it felt! I expect my husband to feel guilty, and when I have a bad day, I don’t shove the guilt in his face, but let him feel it on his own. I don’t excuse his guilt or tell him he shouldn’t feel bad for what he did. He should. Maybe that guilt will help him to NOT do it again. If not, then we won’t be together. I will carry MY suspicious nature that I have now around with me for the rest of my life. His guilt will subside as my pain does, but I will NEVER fully trust again. How can I? The man who swore to foresake all others in front of his entire family LIED. We made plans… we made little people!! He crapped on our “we”. I had no say. Learn from your guilt, but NEVER compare it to the harm YOU caused. NEVER! I don’t care how guilty you feel – YOU KNEW WHAT YOU WERE DOING WAS WRONG! I did nothing to deserve my pain – you deserve yours. Suck it up. Be a better person. Help the one you wronged. THAT is the only thing that you can ever do to try to make what you did better. Admit that you were a horrible person! After all, good people may do bad things, but they certainly are horrible people while they are doing it – which is why it is all a dang secret after all!!!

      I have sympathy for how my husband FELT before he cheated, but none for after it started, and guilt after the cheating is OVER doesn’t do a damn thing unless you confess to a one-time event. He cheated with the whore more than once… guilt should’ve come in THEN. Cheaters, suck it up and accept that if you have guilt then it is your punishment for doing what you knew was wrong in the first place and NEVER even HOPE that the vicitimized will have empathy for you. You don’t deserve it. Use your guilt to do good… otherwise, whaaaaaa…

      • Ron

        Yes, Exactly!! Well said. The cheater and their affair partner both chose to do this. It takes two to have an affair, but either one of them could of said it was wrong & stopped it. But they both chose to continue. They deserve all the guilt & shame their choices brought on. They desreve to be hated & despised for their bad choices. The betrayed spouses had no choice in the mess. Of course the betrayed spouses will hate the afair partners. When the affair partners made a decision to destry someones marriage, they knew they were doing something wrong. Now they think they deserve simpathy because people dont approve of their bad deeds?? No way. They desrve all the shame they feel, & all the hatred others feel towards them. They choose to hurt others. Now accept the fallout of your bad choices.

    • livingonafence

      Wow. I find it hard to believe that this trash was printed. Oh, it’s SOOOO hard being the OW. Claiming you’re sorry and feel so guilt ridden every time you see the man you stabbed in the back, boo fucking hoo. Does your new hubby, the one you STOLE from another woman, help you feel better? Do you cry to him that you just feel oh so sad that you’re a homewrecker? Does he smile and tell you that it isn’t your fault and that you and he are soulmates? I bet that makes you smile, right?

      And to criticize his wife, for ANYTHING, is disgusting. Let her husband, oh, sorry, I gues he’s your husband now, deal with it. Worry about your own kids. Just because your husband…sorry, did it again.. ex husband isn’t saying foul things, your kids learned quite a bit from you.

      Your pain isn’t near what a betrayed spouse feels. If it were you wouldn’t be able to continue in this marriage. The reminder of all of it would be too much. It isn’t. Feeling bad doesn’t change what you did, and who you are. Yes, this IS who you are based on your post.

      Saying you feel bad and condemning the betrayed wife. Shame on you. If I were your husband’s exwife, you wouldn’t be allowed anywhere near my children. You’re a shallow self centered (insert explitive here) that thinks you have any room to criticize a woman that you helped destroy. You’re as selfish now as you were the day you stripped naked for someone else’s husband while your husband was at home waiting for you.

      Disgusting.

    • jam

      Jody—
      While I do feel some empathy for you, I find it interesting (actually annoying) that as a BS you didn’t learn much from the experience—since you chose to become an OW and cause so much damage to countless people/children.
      Yes, we humans make errors but that you actually have the nerve to judge your husband’s ex-wife’s behavior—-when you were unable/unwilling to ‘control’ your own impulses.
      Now, you want us to believe that the weight of your guilt as a combo OW/BS is an even worse experience/condition than just being a BS? You really are a piece of work.

    • tryinghard

      OMG!!! Well my dear I am happy to hear that you can’t look at yourself in the mirror. You went from one bad marriage to another, no wait you’ lllloooovvveee each other” so it’s justified. Please, grow up. There is more to marriage than love. Your new relationship started on lies and mark my words it will end on lies. Do you really believe he won’t get bored with you too? Do you really believe he won’t do the same to you that he did to his first wife? Of course he will. He will find another bright shiny object and you will be kicked to the curb, AGAIN. You better watch every little calorie you put in your mouth not to mention the wrinkles and for God’s sake make sure you stay well read and interesting enough to have stimulating conversation with him. You have your work cut out for you to keep this present relationship going.
      You didn’t learn anything from your previous relationship. You didn’t spend any time working through your own problems and issues before jumping right back into a bad situation. But you had to wreck another family in doing so. He paid attention to you. He was nice to you. For crying out loud, the Starbucks guy treats me nice too! Lots of people treat me nice BUT I am a married woman, the line is drawn. That is the difference between women like you and women like me. You say you don’t feel guilty for the ex wife because of blah, blah, blah, she brings the children in the middle of it, she says mean things. Now, have you gotten this evidence first hand or are the children telling you this? Because, ok listen close, CHILDREN LIE!!! They are going to say whatever the parent they are with want to hear in order not to shake up their little world. Also most OW love saying this kind of crap about the wives just like we love calling the OW whores, which in my case she was a whore because she was well paid for her ass. I am sure she wishes he were dead instead of ex, just easier, I’m just saying. And I am SURE she wishes you dead!
      You made a choice to have a relationship with a married man. You made that choice just as a drunk driver makes the choice to drink and drive and kill someone. You helped kill a marriage because you could not say no. You did what you wanted because it made YOU feel good. You do not know the difference between right and wrong. You make decisions with your emotions like a little child. Have fun with your guilt, make it your friend. I am glad you know you will have it forever. You deserve nothing less. I do feel for you because you are going to be a miserable lonely old lady in the end.
      Yes there are two sides to every story and YOUR story is the wrong one.

    • livingonafence

      “I’ve been through both sides of this devastating game, and here is what I can say with 100% truth and honesty. I would take the pain that I felt from being betrayed and cheated on a thousand times over rather than live with the guilt that I live with every day for having an affair, hurting my ex-husband, and destroying my family. For this BS, OW, and cheater, there is no question as to what hurts worse.”

      Yeah sure. Why is that? No one feels sorry for you and says nice things to you when you’re the dirty cheater? People look at you and see what you are – a selfish slut interested in ONLY your own happiness. You took your children’s family, your ‘new’ husband’s children’s family and threw both in the garbage because YOU liked him paying attention to you. And here you are claiming to care about ‘the children’. You’re sad and transparent. You don’t give a rat’s ass about these kids, but you sure do care about having to explain that you aren’t a whore like mommy said.

      I’m sure you don’t like being the OW, but don’t for a second compare your self inflicted ‘guilt’ to the pain caused by being crushed by the one person you thought you could depend on. There is NO comparison. You had ALL the facts when you decided to destroy two families. You knew that your marriage was a joke, and that your ‘new’ husband’s was too, the minute you started exchanging “i love you”s and dirty pictures and all the things that made it ‘fun’. Your husband that you threw away had no idea his life was a lie. The woman you’re ballsy enough to insult even here had no idea the man she’s sworn her undying love to, the one she started a family with, the one she LOVED, was screwing some slut from the donut shop, or dry cleaners, or whereever the whores in your town work. This woman had not just the rug but her entire life ripped out from under her. The man she loved voluntarily destroyed her. The family they had worked for? Broken by his selfishness. The future the two of them had discussed and worked towards, that she dreamed of? Gone, in an instant, because you and your ‘new’ husband are selfish and thoughtless.
      On top of this you dare insult this woman who is clearly so filled with pain that she can’t think straight. Instead of true guilt you SHOULD feel for pushing someone to the very brink of sanity, you insult her, and even point out that you aren’t discussing the guilt you feel for what you did to her.

      The more I think about this post, the more I think it should be titled “The mind of a selfish thoughtless cheater”. You haven’t learned a thing, you don’t care now except that people look down on you, and you think the mental anguish felt by a betrayed spouse is equal to a child’s fight. So selfish and stupid.

      Before you go on thinking that I’m just some bitter cheated on spouse and no wonder I was cheatedon, my h BEGGED me to stay. For 2 years I tried, but finally I realized that there was no reason to torture myself. He had been the man I dreamt of all my life. But in an instant he became just another dirty lying cheat. People like you are a dime a dozen – very unspecial, untrustworthy, liars. Yoiu don’t deserve happiness, and I hope you find none until you truly acknowldege the pain your selfishness caused. Until you really understand what you’ve done, you shouldn’t be rewwarded with anything.

    • blueskyabove

      Jody,

      I don’t know if you are still around. I would understand if you weren’t, but just in case you’re still here I would like to present you with the following version of a composition that was found written on the wall in Mother Teresa’s home for children in Calcutta:

      People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

      If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

      If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.

      If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.

      What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.

      If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

      The good you do today will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.

      Give the best you have and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.

      In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

      The original, though slightly different version, was written by Kent M. Keith in1968.

      Some noticeable differences:

      Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway.

      The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds. Think big anyway.

      People really need help but may attack you if you do help them. Help people anyway.

      Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway.

      From one human being to another, I appreciate your efforts, Jody.

      • Doug

        Bluesky! Long time no hear. Glad you popped in. Your post is full of wisdom as usual. How are things going, btw?

        • blueskyabove

          Hi Doug,

          I’m still a work in progress, still dealing with the occasional bouts with my ego and it’s pettiness, but I’m truly grateful that I can recognize the signs and know I don’t have to go down that road anymore.  Now I am able to see a larger picture and I feel blessed.  As a result, there’s a newfound lightness in my step these days.  I am becoming more and more clear as to my purpose in this place, at this time.  Things are going really, really well.  Thanks for asking.

          • Doug

            I’m glad to hear that bluesky. We miss your wise and insightful comments. Sounds like you’ve been doing some meditating 😉

            • blueskyabove

              Meditating?  As in ‘set aside 15 minutes…’?  Actually, no.  That’s one of those things my ego keeps resisting.  Since resisting my ego is an ongoing scenario in my life I guess you could we say we are at an impasse.  That isn’t to say I don’t seek other channels of releasing negativity though.  As much as I think I would like to kick my ego to the curb, I keep being reminded that there are other/better, more full-filling ways of overcoming it.  I have become more adept at recognizing that when my ego is running amok it’s a clear indication that my self-esteem is at a vulnerable low point.   This usually snaps me out of an oncoming funk pretty quickly.  I actually like knowing I have the power to change my attitude so quickly.  But…Is that ego coming in the back door?  As I said, I’m a work in progress.

            • Doug

              Interesting. Sounds like it’s taken quite a bit of effort at being aware. Keep up the good work!

    • Paula

      I’ll just weigh in here, too. I always knew I could never live with the guilt of having an affair. I was tempted once early in our relationship, when feeling quite vulnerable, and unsure of where we were heading, under-loved, and a little neglected, but knew that even if no one EVER found out, I would be wracked with guilt, forever. The OM was married, expecting a third child with her (his fourth!) – that was reason enough to not go there for me, without anything else – I mean I was VERY attracted to him, but what kind of guy does that to his pregnant wife??? Funnily enough, over 20 years later, he is still married to her, and I have never heard of any problems with him cheating on the grapevine of small town gossip, although of course that means nothing. I thought my partner was the same as me, we had talked about it a LOT. I told him about my near-miss, was completely honest about how I was tempted, but why I didn’t, ie I loved him, but was confused at the time (he admitted confusion about us at the time, also, that is another story about being young, dumb and still trying to work out who we were, and what we wanted from life, we were living together, but we were not married) and that I could never live with the guilt.

      My partner – the CS – is full of grief for what he caused in me, and his own giant disappointment in himself. He had himself on a higher level than this. However, this is a long time out now, over three and a half years, and he is devastated that this has taken such a toll. I know he thought I would either a) leave him immediately should I discover it (and he was in such a screwed up state about us at that time that this did not seem so terrible) or b) stay, and eventually all would be rosy again (probably a few months.) He now knows that the effects are permanent. The devastation will never leave us. I will never love, or trust, as freely and naively and completely again, him, or another. We work on us daily, instead of just “being.” We have also talked about “who is the most hurt here” – and I am telling you, in no uncertain terms, it is me. Comparison of pain is of course subjective, but I think if this had happened to me at the 5 year mark, or the 10 year mark, for example, I would of course be very hurt, but well over 20 years of fidelity, huge personal sacrifice and very deep love has caused huge agony. I think the writer here cannot really compare positions, because her affair was kind of “revenge” – or “justified” because she cannot have felt as loved as those of us whose partner’s had not cheated on us (that we know of!!!) Any adult who has not worked out that cheating will make them feel guilty, whether they “end up together with their soulmate, blah, blah, blah,” does not deserve the title of adult. It is a very simple equation. If you are unhappy in your relationship, talk about it, get professional help, if required, then get out if it is not able to be fixed. THEN you can pursue another, and only then. I can’t believe people do not know this!!! As my mother always told me, “if a relationship has to be kept secret, then you should not be in it.”

    • tweet

      Jody,
      You’re warning betrayed spouses that “being hurt or wronged doesn’t give a person the right to hurt other people.” Really? And you are a cheater… This is the most hypocritical statement that I’ve ever read on this site.

    • rachel

      After reading a few of the comments left from my friends Ive decided not to even read “Jody’s” story. I don’t care what cheaters have to say, their sob stories, their lame reasons to hook up with people.
      I can’t wait for my divorce to be over to start a new life and to come back better then ever.
      My first stop will be to see the other women . Wrong term she is no women she is a PIG! I will confront her and let her know the damage that she has done to my family by her constantly hounding my husband for 25 years.
      I will let her husband know the lies, betrayal and dishonest life that he has been living with her.
      Cheaters have a special place in hell and her day will come. Karma!

      • gracefortoday

        You friend, are doing things right. Your story should be told. You were cheated on. You tried to make it work. You didn’t run out and have an affair. You didn’t run off and destroy another family. For nothing. Hold your head high. You have so much of what this poor woman never will.

    • battleborn

      I find it interesting and very telling that everyone on here has lamblasted Jody for her article. Maybe Doug can answer this but didn’t some of us on this blog want to hear from the OW? I am not sticking up for Jody’s actions nor do I agree with the guilt vs grief article as I couldn’t care or less whether or not she is feeling guilty and grieving. But in the interest of being fair, she is entitled to her opinions just as we are.

      Jody, you have hit a nerve with your article but not for the reason you think. No one here can put themselves into the position that you placed yourself in. You are a CS and that is what everyone will see; not a former BS. Why, because you also went out and had an affair knowing the trauma it causes. We do not or cannot feel sympathy for someone who has committed the heinous crime that you have and you should have known better.

      My sympathy lies with your children and the children of your new spouse as they are the ones who have to bear the brunt of your selfiness. I just cannot understand what makes you tick…

      As I wanted to tell my husband’s OW, I hope and pray that your beloved husband breaks your heart just as you have broken your family’s. What goes around comes around and you my dear are in a viscious cycle of infidelity.

      • Doug

        Battleborn, Yes, I do seem to remember some readers wanting to hear from an OW. We also have to remember that there are a fair amount of readers who are the unfaithful party and Jody’s article may strike a chord and be beneficial to them in some way.

      • justbecause

        Battleborn, I ws first to respond to Jody. I did not lamblast her. Although I do not agree with some parts, I did mention it gave me some things to think about. Just saying …

    • Jody

      First of all, if you all get to attack me (or in rare cases be supportive), I get to comment. A few points…

      1. I never asked for sympathy or empathy from a single one of you

      2. I admitted guilt and never said I did anything short of something awful.

      3. Some, not all of these response, are exactly the type of women I was referring to in the article. You feel vindicated by your hurt and anger and you don’t care how you act or what you do either. You have little regards for anyone’s feelings other than your own. How is that much better?

      4. As for the comment “You’d never be near my children.” Why don’t you think of your children rather than yourself? They will be the ones caught in the middle for years to come, not you. I’ve seen it firsthand. Yes, your husband played a huge role, but you are helping destroy your children’s lives with these attitudes.

      5. What about my licensed therapist who tells me that I need to learn to forgive myself and move on with my life, and that torturing myself won’t solve anything? I suppose you know more than someone who is an expert with credentials behind her name. Any therapist would tell you that you have the right to feel how you feel, and you cannot control that. He/She would also tell your that your feelings aren’t healthy and you will hurt your children.

      6. Have you never messed up and been forgiven? Unless you are Jesus back on Earth, you probably have and with time people probably forgave you. If you are a Christian at all you are a hypocrite. If not, I can’t speak intelligently to your religion.

      7. How on Earth can you defend a woman who threatens someone else’s little kids? I mean seriously! You act like I am horrible for not liking my husband’s ex when in truth you know NOTHING about the situation. She’s humiliated my oldest daughter in jr high as a way to punish me. As a parent should I just sit back and let her do this and not stick up for my child? Does it give her the right to tell her children to pray for my death? I don’t care what the circumstances are. Someone messes with your kid and any decent mom is going to defend that kid.

      8. Specifically to livingonafence – you will ruin your life if you continue like this. Move on and give yourself a good life and don’t let this define who you are. And please for the love of God, get some help for yourself! I hope you didn’t take your husband back. If you did I feel sorry for him as it is clear that you will torture him for the rest of his life. At least this is how you present yourself. I hope I am wrong.

      9. I go to church every Sunday. I’ve had counsel with the pastoral staff and have discussed my sins, and I know that God has forgiven me because I went to him with an open and repentant heart and sincerely asked. I follow the word of Jesus. I know adultery is a sin, and I also know that my God is a loving and forgiving God.

      10. My initial instincts were to judge half of you as a bunch of very dangerous nut jobs that needed to be put in strait jackets, but I worked hard to remember that I don’t know each of your situations personally or what your personal journey has been so I have no right to judge you, as you have no right to judge me. I should NOT have cheated. I should have divorced my husband. He ignored me. He was never home. He was controlling and mentally abusive. I tried for a long time to get him to work on things, and he refused. His response was take me as I am or don’t take me at all. Cheating was the wrong way to handle it, but he was not a 100% innocent victim in the downfall of our marriage.

      11. I HAVE BEEN CHEATED ON TOO. I DO KNOW HOW YOU FEEL. DON’T YOU EVER FORGET THAT!!!! No one ever thinks they are going to be “that person.” Until you’ve walked in someone else’s shoes, don’t judge them.

      12. I don’t thing Doug and Linda created this place for angry women to come and spew hate and venom. I think it was intended to be a place of healing.

      For those of you who didn’t attack me and respected my right to an opinion, thank you. For everyone else, I think you actually managed to make me feel worse which probably makes you feel better. I will pray for you all that you find the comfort and healing that you need.

      • tweet

        Jody,
        You have posted your thoughts on a public forum, yet you seem shocked and insulted by the response. What did you expect? You say that you are looking for forgiveness – or maybe you just want affirmation that you did the right thing because it makes you feel better? I don’t think that you will find that affirmation here.
        I see that you are searching for help with your guilt on another thread. There are many references in the Bible dealing with forgiveness, but there are also many referring to penance and reparation. Guilt happens for a reason. Maybe it would be wise to read Rick Reynold’s essay on forgiveness: http://affairrecovery.com/newsletter/founder/cost-of-forgiving-infidelity
        The possiblility of forgiveness will only come if you make amends – remorse is not enough. Saying that “ the past cannot be erased, and there is no way to undo the pain and consequences of an affair for anyone involved” is certainly true, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to make things better.
        You also say, “There aren’t words to describe the guilt associated with knowing that you nearly destroyed another human, let alone someone you loved, by your own selfish actions.” Nearly destroyed? Again, what are you going to do about this?
        Your tirade against your AP’s wife indicates that you have no sympathy for her whatsoever. Whatever she is doing, how she is dealing with her grief, you and your AP are responsible, so take responsibility for what you have done. You write that “someone messes with your kid and any decent mom is going to defend that kid.” What about a decent wife defending her marriage? What is she supposed to do?
        None of us are dangerous nut jobs. Your statement that, “you feel vindicated by your hurt and anger and you don’t care how you act or what you do either. You have little regards for anyone’s feelings other than your own” is the height of hypocrisy. We are human beings who have been wounded to the core, yet we have tried the best that we can to contain the devastation caused by infidelity and pick up the pieces of our shattered lives, not just for us, but for our children and families. Despite all of the pain, we know that we would never inflict this misery on another unsuspecting spouse as you did.
        Lastly, we have every right to judge you. By your own admission, you are a cheater. You destroyed many lives by your selfishness, and the pain and anguish that you have inflicted on your AP’s wife, their children, your husband, and your children will have far-reaching consequences. You can make excuses forever (“he was controlling and mentally abusive. I tried for a long time to get him to work on things, and he refused. His response was take me as I am or don’t take me at all”), but in the end, you are responsible for the unrelenting anguish and havoc that you have knowingly caused by your actions.

      • gracefortoday

        1. No you didn’t ask for sympathy. But you expected some or you wouldn’t have posted this type of article here.

        2. Yes, you admitted guilt. It would kind of hard to defend any type of innocence in this story.

        3. I do care how I act because my actions are derived from my choices, which in turn come from my moral and religious beliefs. I am entitled to being hurt and angry. Two selfish people blew my world apart with choices they made. It would give me no right whatsoever, to turn around and say that two wrongs make a right. They don’t. Ever. I try to keep my feet on strong moral ground.

        4. I didn’t make the initial comment, so I can’t address that. But yes, I agree. YOU chose to put your kids in the middle of horrible situation for the rest of their lives, when it was really your ex-husband you were trying to punish. Well-played.

        5. Your therapist is right. You DO need to forgive yourself. As part of your apparently Christian background, this would also involve making amends with those you have harmed, as far as it is up to you.

        6. Yes I am Christian. I have messed up, and yes I know my bible well enough to know that God sees sin as sin. He does not judge it on the human scale, as we do. But God’s forgiveness is not a “get out of jail free” card. He tells us to not only repent of our sin but TURN from it.

        7. I refer you back to question 4. YOU chose to pursue a married man. You chose to take him away from his wife and family. You likely knew or saw along the way how she was or would react to all of this. You could have done the RIGHT thing for your daughter and protected her from living in a situation like the one she is in. Am I saying the ex–wife is right to speak terribly to your daughter? No, but as a “decent mother” I am sure that SHE feels she is protecting HER child from the horrible situation both you and your husband have put her child in. Someone messed with her child, and unfortunately for you, this is her way of defending her kids. If your husband doesn’t stop it, I am sure your ex-husband will by making sure his kids are not in that environment.

        8.This was directed to LOAF, so my only comment will be: Each and every spouse here is doing the best they can in the situation that someone threw them into. It is hard. Very hard. There are good days and bad days.

        9. God is a loving and forgiving God.

        10. My initial instincts (since you were so kind as to give your initial impression of us) was to judge you as an amoral, self-serving whore. But I worked hard to remember that while I am a Christian, and am called to name sin as sin, I am not to stand in God’s place and judge you. It is well and right that you have confessed your sins, repented of your sins, and received mercy and forgiveness from our Loving God. You are forgiven by God. Hopefully that makes it easier to live with all the people in your immediate family who do not forgive you for what you have done. You have plenty of judgement, you do NOT need any from me or God.

        11. You know what it’s like to be cheated on. You know what it’s like to be the other woman. I would not want to walk in your shoes. A cheater married to a cheater would be more than I could handle. I would drive us both crazy with my suspicions, and my knowledge of how marriages that grow out of deceitful relationships typically fare.

        12. Nope. They created this site for men and women who have been cheated on. Who are hurting. Who have been betrayed. For people who have pain that defies description. For people who have had lives, marriages and families destroyed, not by their consent, but by the selfish choices of two people who only cared about getting their OWN needs met in the quickest way possible, instead of looking for an honorable solution.

        Your therapist is right. You do need to forgive YOURSELF. Whatever sympathy you get here is not the same as absolution and that seems to be what you are looking for. What you did will never, ever be right. That is the cross you carry. Sometimes consequences outlast forgiveness.

        Overall, your story just makes me sad. more broken people in an already broken world. More children that will pay for the choices of the adults in their world. I will pray for you and your family, just as I do for everyone here.

      • Recovering

        Jody,

        Suck it up. What you did was WRONG and you KNEW IT from the beginning. You KNEW what you were doing and CHOSE to do it anyway. Of course we despise you! You are our spouse, the selfish narcassistic “poor me”. Your “guilt” should’ve come to keep you from doing what you did, not in the aftermath where YOU get to judge US betrayed spouses for our pain and psycho feelings over the lack of control over our own lives. YOU HAD ALL THE CONTROL! No, the children shouldn’t be used as weapons, I do agree, and I also would NEVER allow my children around the slut that my husband cheated with had they ‘ended up together’ because clearly she is NOT one who can guide my children to be good, decent, honest people!!! Nobody on here knows all of the details of everyone else’s stories, but there is NO justification for cheating – EVER! As an adult you CHOSE to do wrong, by your children, your husband, and your “love’s” family. You chose YOU above everyone else, and for that, you can take your guilt and wallow in it. You obviously have NO REAL concept of what it feels like to be a betrayed spouse or you could have NEVER perpetrated that kind of pain – unless you really are the selfish narcassist you claim not to be (“he ignored me… blah blah blah…). YOU had other options that YOU CHOSE not to pursue. YOU need to forgive YOURSELF. WE do not, and never will, forgive YOU! What you did, and are still doing, is cruel, heartless, and wrong… YOU are still making everything about YOU! Thank goodness my children aren’t subjected to such a selfish pig anymore… at least MY husband sought counseling and saw that all of his issues were about HIM and is a better man… clearly you haven’t changed.

    • tryinghard

      This article really opened my eyes. I have been focusing on telling the OW just what I think. Tell her the truth because actually she was lied to more than I was. After reading Jody’s article I realized there is NO sense in doing that. She proved that the OW really isn’t worth my time and energy to focus any kind of attention on her. They are the equivalent of cockroaches. Only can come out in the dark and shadows. I am way better than they are on ALL levels. So thanks for helping me with that Jody. I;m sure you and my H’s OW could be BFFs! So much in common.
      These women and men are selfish little children letting their little emotionally immature egos guide them. They have not evolved personally since high school. The whole, If It Feels Good, Do It, YOLO, etc. Yes Battleborn I was one that wanted to hear from the OW and I guess she said what I pretty much thought she would say. It confirmed my assumption that women who choose to be with a married man are selfish fools asking for trouble and trouble they get. I too am in the same camp that it is b**s**t that the guilt she feels is worse than the grief a betrayed spouse feels. All empirical evidence speaks to the contrary.. I have read too many books myself not to have learned this. So given a choice of listen to an educated psychologist/psychiatrist or some anecdotal evidence from the OW I believe the former.
      We all make choices that in the end we have to pay for. Too bad on her she didn’t know that before making her poor choice to destroy so many peoples lives. She also lost any empathy I may have had for her when she judged he new husband’s ex-wife.
      Battleborn and BlueSkyAbove you are casting your pearls to swine by worrying about this women’s feelings. She is a lying con artist who doesn’t deserve it.

    • Mandy

      Unlike many cheaters, who fail to anticipate the likely consequences of their actions, Jody knew ahead of time exactly what kind of pain and devastation she would cause, and she chose to do it anyway. When she advises, “If you are considering having an affair…” she is being ridiculous. Cheaters rarely “consider” an affair. They just do it. “I knew what I wanted and damn the consequences” says it all. Her article and her response to the comments reveal that she is still just as selfish as she always was and probably always will be. Sadly, the only people in this story who deserve sympathy are those kids, who had no choice in the destruction all these so-called adults brought and are still bringing into their lives. Unlike the adults, the children don’t even have the option of leaving those who have hurt them.

      • Teresa

        Well said, Mandy, well said!

    • Broken2

      I can’t relate to you Jody…..if the pain was so great as the BS why in the world would you inflict that pain on another. I feel like the only person responsible for the pain of these children is you as you made the choice to destroy a family just as your ex made the same choice that hurt you and your family to begin with. I have to agree your selfishness knows no bounds. I also know many people who hide behind Jesus and justify their behavior with his blanket of forgiveness. I’m sorry I feel no sympathy for you ..in fact since it happened to you…you should have known better. You have made your own hell…have fun living in it.

    • Redemption

      Jody: I won’t attack you and I am glad you wrote but I simply disagree with your actions and conclusions. I further question the level of your new husband’s integrity because of his role in your affair. How can there be any integrity in your affair/marriage when so many people are being hurt by the lies and subterfuge he was an accomplice to?

      Further, I do not undertand how a man, or a woman, who has been cheated on, who knows the devastation this creates, could possibly inflict this pain on another? You knowingly participated in your “role as an accomplice in the intentional hurting and deception of another human being”. (parenthesized words are not mine.)

      I am sorry for your daughter but remind you, you are the one who exposed her to the potential of such hurt.

      You state . . .”cheaters are not horrible people. In many cases they are good people who do a bad thing.” In many cases I would agree but would also add that good people generally learn from their mistakes in life and the evidence of your life is that you didn’t. So the debate extends to whether these are “good people” or simply “selfish people”? In fairness to you, you did call yourself selfish.

      I think that possibly you are being attacked because you made a statement aligning yourself as one of us, a BS. To repeat the point: A BS didn’t choose their role but you chose yours. Knowingly and with intent you hurt many human beings.

      Lastly, using religion to throw hypocrosy at others is very unchristian like. And by the way, I am not a christian but I can speak intelligently nonetheless.

      I wish you a better informed future.

    • livingonafence

      Any one of us would have happily listened to your side of things..until you started insulting this man’s wife. Like it or not, it was your actions, and your shiny new husband’s, that led her to this place of misery. You may not like how she’s behaving, but you bear a significant amount of responsibility for setting her up for this state of mind. You don’t see that at all. If you did, you would have simply been silent. Instead you WANTED to say that she has no right to be upset, lash out, etc. She has every right, and if you were truly guilt ridden every act of hers would make you feel sorry for what you’ve done, not angry at her.

      You know NOTHING of my situation or my husband. You know only how I treat cheaters that aren’t sorry for the damage they’ve caused, and you aren’t – see my paragraph above. Tell your therapist about this post and your comments about OW and see if he/she thinks you’re sorry. You may feel bad on some level but you think you’ve earned the right to live scott free and be forgiven just because. You haven’t helped this woman deal with the enormous pain you’ve caused. Maybe there is nothing you can do, but your husband could, and hasn’t. Even if you’ve tried, you would feel badly that she is still in pain. You don’t. You blame her. Pain can make a person do things they would never dream of doing. You caused that pain and you’re angry that they aren’t behaving as you would like. That isn’t guilt.

      And your comments about me ruining my H’s life? Another insult from a cheater. You don’t know me or my H. All you know is how I react to a cheater insulting a BS. You didn’t like my reaction so you assume I would ruin my H’s life and that you feel sorry for him. You should feel sorry for him – he’s broken, living in a rooming house knowing he destroyed his own marriage for some ‘fun’. Everything he loved is gone because he was selfish. Me? I’m still here, doing very well, making a very comfortable living and I’m actually happy for the first time since I rid myself of the cancer that is cheating. I tried, but once a relationship is broken, it’s broken.

      You really shouldn’t have insulted your new husband’s exwife. It shows how unsorry and selfish you still are. That woman is dying inside and on the brink of insanity because of the hell her H, now your H, put her through with the lies and the betrayal. You respond to that pain with insults. You aren’t a nice person.

      • justbecause

        Livingonafence, noticed your use of the phrase “justbecause”. That is why I chose my moniker. I choose to be an intrusion on the OW’s life … just because. I don’t need to have any specific reason. At this point, I want to. I did not choose to be in this situation, she will not scare me with idle threats to leave her alone.

        Jody, you say this will delay my healing – moving forward. I disagree. It is part of my healing process. When someone dies you don’t just forget it. This is part of my grieving process.

    • livingonafence

      And please – stop with the children comments. We are all aware that when you and your shiny husband were sneaking around and lying to everyone to sleep together you were thinking of nothing but yourself, and the damage you were doing to your own children and his wasn’t remotely a thought in your head. For you to try and guilt others into ‘correct’ behavior because of the children when you could have cared less is laughable. Now that you’ve completely stolen someone else’s marriage you’re a concerned parent again. What a joke.

    • Paula

      Jody, without wishing to add fuel to this fire, I just want to comment that it was interesting to hear from someone who has been in all three camps. My partner was also cheated on in the past (same woman he cheated on me WITH more than 25 years after he discovered her multiple cheating!) Seems counter-intuitive that those who are betrayed would cheat, but it happens with alarming regularity. I also agree with your statement that good people do bad things, ABSOLUTELY! Why do you think I am still with this man??? He is a good guy, he did a terribly, terribly, gougingly hurtful thing, but he is sorry, and he works daily with me to try to mend our life together, but, like LOAF said, once broken, it is NEVER the same again, glued together to try to get on with life in a meaningful and loving way. However, I am not religious, and I feel even mentioning your christianity here gave the people whose wounds are very fresh more amunitition to unload at you, who cares??? Who cares about your christianity?? Seriously. All that says to me is that there was another facet of your previous life you ignored during your feel-good frenzy of being involved with a married man, whilst you were still also married. I know the forgiveness of God concept is helpful to you, and I am glad, because what is done, is done, and you, your husband, your ex-husband, your husband’s ex-wife, ALL of your children, ALL have to find a path forward, as there is none back. I am not a blanket hater, I have friends who are married to their affair partners, often very happily, I know the guilt that they carry, but it didn’t stop them breaking marriages to get where they are today. There are better ways of exiting bad or unhappy marriages. I am one of those who knows that I would never have been hateful to my partner’s “new wife” if it had come to that, done a LOT of thinking and discussion of that, it was a possibility, and I feel sorry for your husband’s ex that she is carrying around such hatred, and that it is affecting all of your children, hers, and yours. My plan was always a life well lived (as the best “revenge” – swallowing all that poison and hoping the other person will die is not particularly effective, huh?) I understand that hatred, but it is of course so damaging, and I don’t really care a jot if it is damaging to you, but it is damaging to her and her children. Just know that whilst I feel for you and your “remorse” – my partner also feels deep shame and remorse – it is not the same, and you are really kidding yourself if you think you know what some of us feel who were in good marriages, who had this happen to them, unlike you, who was in a sad and unpleasant marriage – mine was great, and it still happened, yes, he got lost, and confused for a while, but neither of us were, or are, abusive, neglectful or callous of each other’s feelings (he was, temporarily!) It DEVASTATES you when you have a good marriage, you trust (both him and my so-called old friend) and this happens anyway!

    • Blue

      Hi Jody,
      Not sure if you’re running for the hills, but if you are still here facing the backlash can I ask you a question? How long have you been with your new husband?

      I have no doubt you are in pain over the way you played out the end of your marraige/family and someone elses. You can’t change the past only deal with what you have now. One being, a very resentful mother bear of your husbands ex-wife. That in no way gives her the right to include your innocent children!! I AGREE!!!!! It is never OK to make a child pay for thier parents mistakes!!! Fullstop!!!!!!! She’s gone off deep end through her pain. So sad. If you truly are a CHRISTIAN you will have pity for her and how she is handling her pain. She does deserve pity for she’s in histeria over the loss of her family, something that was more than likely the most important essence of her being. Be kind, be patient.

      Paula- My husband (the one who cheated) also was cheated on in his 1st marraige, no children. Why did he feel after we have a family on teens that he can cheat with a married subdinate at work -who was also marrried to someone else he managed? He said ‘It was an itch I had to scratch’ I too had ‘itches’ too, as bad as chicken pox and I didn’t f*ck the itch- he did!

      I read on this blog before ‘I am glad to be the person who was betrayed than the type of person who does betray’ What a shallow place to be for them.

      PS Linda and Doug, I would love to hear Amanda’s view on this. She is so forgiving and spiritually enlightened, I WISH US ALL ONE DAY SOON TO FEEL ‘FORGIVE’ and do it for yourself. Only then can you feel happy.

    • Jody

      I actuall did run for the hills initially, but I bucked up, as I often do, and decided to face the hate head on as I am trying hard to not escape pain by taking the easy way out…a little something I learned along the way.

      Again I appreciate the opinions and thoughtful considerations of almost all of your comments. I myself admitt that I was awful and horrible and feel remorse and say I don’t deserve sympathy. I appreiate those of you who can disagree with me, but still respect my intent with sharing the article. I wanted some of you to know that your spouses might just actually have souls and true remorse and would be worth a second change. That was my main intent.

      I can’t remember who asked about how long we’ve been married. I’d rather not say specifically for privacy concerns, but I will say more than a year and less than five.

      As for living on a fence…I have an idea, Why don’t you get “off the fence” and move on with your life already? You know initially, I felt awful for his wife. I personally appologized to her. I prayed for her every single day. Regardless of what happened, she crossed just as big of a line as I did by torturing my daughter. She doesn’t get to lash out at a child on purpose and intent because of what I did. Trust me, the court and local school district were in complete agreement with me on this when they had to become involved. She was crazy long beforeI met her, and clearly this set her off the deep end. I may have done the unspeakable to her, but she did it with clear intent to a child! How on Earth can you defend that? What is wrong with you? You clearly have chosen to not deal with your issues and to just wallow in it and let it eat you alive. YOU have fund with THAT and YOU stop judging me about this other women. I never set out to hurt her or her children. Cheaters don’t think about all of the consequences. Yes, that makes what we did AWFUL, but that cow, pig, slut (I’ll use some of your favorites) made a purposeful decision to go after my daughter. One good thing did come of me talking to you. I found out that there is someone else out there with my hatred, more bitterness, more resentment, and more craziness than my husband’s ex – YOU! Not to mention, my primary concern with my guilt is with my children and my ex-husband. He is the one I betrayed, not her and thus I feel more of an obligation to deal with what I did to him, not her.

      • Exercise grace

        I will be the first to say that it is always the kids who get the raw deal, and they NEVER deserve to be treated badly. But let’s be real…….when you choose to cheat, you are choosing to hurt that man’s wife. Regardless of how good or bad their marriage was or wasn’t, regardless of how crazy she was or wasn’t, until You came along they had a chance, with the Grace of God to fix it. You DID betray her. You stole from her. Check your bible for this fact.

        When you chose to cheat, you decided to destroy the lives of your own kids and his. You and Your Affair partner were more important than either your, or his children. It was worth throwing them all under the bus to satisfy yourselves. And now you are shocked that life isn’t sunshine and roses.
        If I truly believed this poor grieving woman was a threat to my kids, I would divorce my affair partner and get put of that mess. And if I were your ex-husband, I would demand full custody for their protection. Kids come first. Always. No man is worth dragging your kids through the hell of court hearings, etc. it is damaging.

      • Teresa

        Jody….I’ve stayed out of this until now, but your attack on LOAF is uncalled for! Those of us who’ve been around awhile know LOAF and her “story”!
        She fought long and hard for her marriage, over two yrs, and if she seems bitter and resentful then she and she alone must deal with that…IN HER TIME!!
        I thnk you need to go back and reexamine how YOU felt when your ex cheated on you….the feelings of pain and betrayal can at times, seem insurmountable!
        LOAF has been here for many of us, she has a “tell it as it is attitude” that can be misconstrued as abrasive, when in reality, she is just trying to help!
        There have been many women on here who were walking “doormats” for their CS and she helped lift them up and set them straight, so for you to attack and insult her, without knowing her, is uncalled for!
        She is in pain, her life has been changed forever, as is the lives of her children….for you to condemn her and feel sorry for her H is very harsh, and wrong!
        I cannot understand your mindset….to be cheated on is one of the most horrible experiences to ever effect a marriage, and for you to know this, and then inflict it on another human being, well, it boggles the mind!!
        If your new H’s wife was such a “crazy” woman, then he should have divorced her long before you came on the scene, same as you should have divorced your H for his abuse…end of story!
        In the two yrs since Dday, in reading and researching hundreds of betrayal “stories” the one central theme all cheaters have is that they have a level of selfishness that others don’t seem to have…I don’t know if it’s something they are born with, or a learned selfishness, but I feel, and this is just MY opinion, that until a CS reaches deep inside themselves and grabs hold of that selfishness and uproots it, then there will always be a chance that they will cheat again….in reading your post and responses, it seems to me that maybe you need to do a little more work on that aspect of yourself….do some introspection, and root out any selfishness that remains.

    • Carol

      To be fair, Jody: LOAF has moved on with her life — read her post. She was a faithful spouse who was betrayed terribly by her H. She’s a straight shooter to be sure, but from what I’ve seen on this board she’s never unfair.

      It’s absolutely true that your new H’s ex should not go after your children in revenge. But that doesn’t make her a slut. It makes her someone who’s not dealing well at all with her pain — but to be fair, you inflicted that pain on her; you put your children in the middle of this mess — so I wonder how exactly you thought she’d react to your destruction of her family? You should feel some obligation towards her — as you were the one who brought about the ruin of her life as she knew it. The very least you owe her is not to shame her in a public forum. Again, this is not to defend her actions — but to point out why some people here are so frustrated with your responses.
      In my case, my H’s AP said she ‘never meant any harm’ and then proceeded to complain to me about her bad marriage. Her marriage may or may not have been bad; I have no way of knowing. All I know is that there is no reason in the world why I or my children should have had to pay the price for the failure of *her* marriage. In my case, my H is busting his ass every day to try to reform and change. He is really, really trying. And he cut off contact completely and immediately with his AP, whom he now says is one of the most selfish people he’s ever had the misfortune to meet. I am deeply grateful for all of this, and I do hope for my children’s sake that we make it. It was helpful to read that a cheater did have guilt about what she’d done to her former spouse. I also hope that you’ll be able to listen to some of what’s been said here. I think you do have an obligation to the woman whose life you wrecked. I’m sure your daughter knows that it was you who hurt your H’s ex; she will know, eventually if she doesn’t already, that her mother is to blame for triggering this situation she finds herself in.

    • Hurt Wife

      Jody, I agree with many of the points made here and find your judgement of LOAF’s situation and person way off the mark simply because you dont like her analysis of the story that you presented.
      You placed your children in this situation without thought and now you say this woman has no right to hurt your daughter. Wow!! You should really take a look in the mirror and you may perhaps see what many of us to, someone who is selfish and continues to be so. Judging this woman that was placed in a situation she had no control over for being angry and striking out anywhere she can after you knowingly, willingly and selfishly took everything from her. Shame on you! My heart goes out to the children involved in this sad situation, I hope they have healthy role models around them somewhere so they can learn about positive healthy relationships and aren’t forced to carry the burden of a situation imposed onto them into adulthood.

    • suziesuffers

      Jody…You disgust me. My husband left me finding grass was greener on the otherside of the tracks…………..over and over. You proclaim how the ex wife is destroying children and family with her accusations ect. WHAT do you think you have them living with everyday of their lives…..What a legacy you are!! Of course a therapist is going to have you forgive yourself………so you don’t destroy the rest of your life with guilt and can live your life…..BUT YOU ARE LIVING THE LIFE YOU WANTED SO DESPERATELY…..you are happy with your new husband and he’s happy with you…..two people together that have destoryed the lives of many because you had no self control and either did he….Two people so selfish that their “love”………LUST was more important than anyone else. Well, you’re happy with your perfect husband….and I truly hope you cheat on each other and carry the legacy on….divorce and remarry your newest loves. Karma is tough. ……. You’re in your “high” of new love……a dopamine hit……….but how are these ex spouses surviving? Hurting tremendously everyday…..over and over and over. Thrown to the curb like trash. They have to live with abandonment, loss, grief and hurt for years….while you and “hubby” were in your affair you were creating a new life and already high from the experience….but your unsuspecting spouses were slammed out of their safety and life to be alone dealing with the wreckage you’ve created. They are in so much pain they can hardly breathe….you STOLE their spouse. So you have guilt….YOU SHOULD…….FOREVER AND IT SHOULD RUIN YOUR CURRENT MARRIAGE SO YOU CAN FEEL THE PAIN AND LIVE THAT LIFE. If someone killed a child while drunk….I’m sorry, I won’t be worrying about the guilt he’s feeling about killing the child….TOUGH…ya, peoople make mistakes but you should have learned from the pain not repeated it!! and your husband left his affair to be with YOU and work on the marriage…….I’m actually feeling sorry for HIM a cheater….I don’t know which makes me sicker….reading your post about your happy marriage and poor you and your guilt and depression……or knowing I feel bad for your husband the original cheater…..So much I guess for the affair partners not usually marrying each other……..seems I read more about them marrying than I expected in this blog…….so maybe statistics don’t weigh out …….But this article really hit a nerve and it made me sick……I feel sorry that you and your “new” husband are such sick people….you probably deserve each other…….only hope your ex spouses find something better……..they definitely deserve it and I don’t even know them!!! But seems anything would be better than your sorry a…sses, even though your ex’s don’t feel that way because they are so hurt and devastated and betrayed…….and truly want their spouses and would have liked the opportunity to work through the problems………..BUT THEY DIDN’T GET A VOTE BECAUSE OF YOUR SELFISH UNILATERAL DECISION…..

    • Broken2

      Bottom line…you and you alone caused the suffering of your children. Had you not cheated they would not be in this situation. Period. You can spin the excuses all you want but you did it. Two families destroyed because your ex husband cheated and then you did, A relationship will not last born of lies and deception. What a legacy you have made for your children! What lessons the two of you have taught them!

      You said you wrote this piece because you wanted us poor BS to know that our CS was remorseful and that good people do bad things, I agree with you there 100%. Big huge difference between a good person who has made a mistake and moves onto build a better marriage and a better life is that they have learned a lesson. You are so far from learning a lesson you cant even see it. You are blaming everyone and everything for the life you live and the life your children live. WHen its your fault. What a tangled web you weave.
      As far as LOAF is concerned…I take it you are not a person who is on this forum alot because you have no idea what LOAF is or has gone through. She tells it how it is and almost always right on the mark. She has helped more people then anyone on here. She would never do what you have done because she knows the difference betwenn right and wrong.
      Good luck to you….

    • forcryin'outloud

      When I wrote my first post it was before all the volley between us BS and this OW “Jody.” I didn’t want to past judgement because I have suffered enough of that over my choice to try to work it out with my CS. BUT – I will say this “Jody” has lived up to what I expected an OW to think and say!!!!!

    • tryinghard

      Jody,
      I need to thank you for presenting your story and your subsequent comments to the criticisms on this post. You have helped me immensely you have not idea how much. Your story and responses have helped me get past my obsessive need for revenge against the OW in my life. You say “we don’t know you” but you are wrong, we do know you. You are no different than any of these other women. You silly, sad, pathetic people with sad little lives. You go out and grab for whatever at the time you think will make you happy. You don’t get it and you never will. So with that being said there is never going to be anything I could do or say that would make a difference in my H’s OW life. I am wasting my time by even giving her ANY energy or further thought. You are right, the best revenge is living a good life and my H and I are having a wonderful life. I am grateful for every little thing he does for me. He has changed so much. He shows me he cares every moment of every day. He is so ashamed and embarrassed of what he did to to himself, his family and the hurt he caused me. He constantly shows and tells me how important I am and how much he loves me. I can see the change through his actions and his words. I know the OW is very emotionally immature. She not educated, experienced, financially broke, desperate. I don’t know if you are familiar with the theory of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory but she is at the base line of having to feed, cloth and shelter herself. She found a “meal ticket” with my H and she played it and used her sexuality to get it. Yes he gave her a lot of money.
      I think many OW are on this same level. I on the other hand am at the top of that scale. She was easy to impress as she has nothing and has done nothing. He liked that. Made him feel important. I could go on but don’t want to. I am sorry if you were offended by any comments but you put yourself out there for it. If you want sympathy and someone to agree with you maybe you should look somewhere else. I just don’t want you to think you didn’t help someone because as odious a person as I believe you may be, you helped me and I want to say thank you. Good Luck to you and God Bless.

    • justbecause

      tryinghard, you are better then me. I still work on making the OW’s life miserable. No plans to quit any time soon. I feel I can move on, I can be and am a good person while inflicting pain, fear, intimidation on the OW. As previously mentioned, none of this involves her children who are 25, 22 and 18. Sometimes the wondering when and where the next intrusion will be must be agonizing for the OW. Sure hope so.

      So what about Jody “taking legal action” against her new spouses ex? I don’t like it. We are hearibg your side of the story Jody. As others have said, much better then I, you and your new spouse inflicted the pain on the others. From personal experience, a person who has been cheated on may act erracticly, out of character, from gut instinct. You, having been the betrayed spouse, should have known this. I feel it was wrong of you to get all legal with things. I think this may have escalated the betrayed spouses actions. It did mine.

      • Doug

        justbecause, Forgive me if you’ve mentioned this somewhere previously, but I’m curious what sort of things you are doing to make the OW’s life miserable.

        • justbecause

          Things I’ve done or am doing to make the OW’s life miserable:

          -Contacted her husband about EA and gave some of the details I new about.
          -Contacted her sister on facebook and told her of EA.
          -Told her boss (who I have known, although not on a personal level), about the EA. Told her of known texting, phone calls while at work. Could have put entire work place in danger if she had been involved with psycho affair partner or AP’s wife.
          -Told my sister-in-law, who is somewhat of a supervisor to her, about her but told her it happened to a co-worker of mine. She knew and gave me much of the history I have on the COW. Sweet.
          -Sent my “I hate you letter” to her spouse. Assumed he would give it to her. It was awesome. Included many things I have learned on this site. Told her she could always wonder, just as I wonder about EA details.
          What co-workers of hers, what firemen from her hometown, what teachers from her son’s school, what friends of friends have I told of her ugliness. I mentioned her 1st in-laws who are customers of mine. She is on in-laws #3 now.
          -Told her I will not write her again but will remember her 2x each year. Her birthday, and D-day. Not to think of her but to celebrate me, that I am over this, that I am the better person.
          -Told her things about my H she did not know including his alcoholism, lies he told her, his time in psych hospital. Asked if she had ever drove home wondering if H had committed suicide. I have.
          -Wrote, I wonder if my H and I would still be together if I had not discovered the EA. (We are but she doesn’t need to know that)
          -Showed up outside her workplace on her birthday. Stood outside of my car as she parked and walked in. First and only time seeing each other face to face. Said nothing. She was shocked.
          -Contacted parking department about illegal parking and got her ticketed.
          -Am contacting her boss’s bosses bout her parking in area meant for customers. Leaves work every 2 hours to move car and not get ticket.
          -Considering contacting her 1st H. Father of 3 grown children. She cheated on him, too.
          -Someday may show up at a school event, ie baseball game that she is at. Won’t talk with her, just make my presence known.

          I think any of these things are so very minor to what I could do, and what she (and my H) have done to me. She and her H want to keep this hush, hush. I have phone message saved from her to my H just after D-Day. “Well I guess being friends, and only friends has really screwed things up.” Yuh think! Only friends — haven’t there been books written on this?? LOL

    • Jamie

      My only comment for Jody is this…
      “If he did it with you (cheat) it’s likely that he’ll do it to you.”

      I wish you both luck. You’re gonna need an astronomical amount of luck in the fidelity arena of your marriage, both of you.

      This entire story sounds like a spiral to me. It also sounds like it’s likely to repeat, on one or both partners.

      Best of luck.

    • livingonafence

      LMAO. First, thank you to those that made decent comments on my behalf. Second, Jody, you’re truly sad. You don’t like what I’ve said you so choose to continue to insult me. Sorry that the truth hurts. You went and had your fun, destroying whatever you felt like along the way, and NOW you want to tell others how they’re not living the way they should. You’re a joke, plain and simple. Apparently me ending my marriage and being happy isn’t moving on. Maybe I should find a married man, convince him that our love is destiny, convince him to leave his wife and THEN I’ll have moved on? That is your life right? And it has apparently put you in a position to judge others. Congratulations!
      Should this woman have gone after your child? No, of course not.
      It’s obvious my posts got to you so thanks for making me laugh. You cheaters are so easy to figure out its sad. There are posters here saying horrible things, and one saying she enjoys ruining OWs life, and yet MY posts are bothering you. Hmmm, wonder why? Again, thanks for the laugh. I’ve had conversations on this site and others with plenty of OW/OM, and I’ve had no problem with them. They were sorry and honest about what they had done and the damage they caused. You? You’re an attention hound that has nothing to offer except “What about meeeeeeeeeeeeed??? I’m a good person reeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaalllllllllyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!! MEMEMEMEMEMEMEMEME”
      I’m sorry the woman whose life you went after because you wanted it went after your daughter. I’m also sorry for your daughter. Young girls need positive role models, and yours apparently doesn’t have any. See? I can insult you too!!! OH HOW FUN!!! LMAO

      To All:
      As Jody has shown her true colors as just another unsorry OW, I suggest we all do what we recommend we do to all OW – ignore her. She’s not worth it.

      • tryinghard

        LOTF—Just for the record you have said everything I wanted to say and more and I agree 100%. I don’t believe the whole “mean to my daughter” bit. It sounds contrived to me. Just don’t buy it. I mean really, how many people do you know that are mean to children. Unless of course that teenager was nasty to her. We don’t know. I just doubt the ex wife provoked. This story fits too many patterns of OW. It is their go to excuse and “I told you she’s crazy” story. Heck she suggested that we all should be in “strait” jackets 🙂 Well I don’t know about you but I will happily wear the mantle of crazy bitch as opposed to pathetic, liar, cheater! Matter of fact I’m liking the Crazy Bitch moniker more and more. I say spread the word. Rock on LOTF I’m here for you! As far as ignoring her, that is EXACTLY what I am saying. I am going to apply this to my H’s OW. They are ALL ignorant pathetic people so NOT worth my time and energy to even worry about. Trust me Karma is getting her and I am having fun watching.

    • No Contact Lady

      Interesting. This is my first time to this blog.

      I’ve also been on both sides of this. Very recently. My husband of many years left me brutally and suddenly for a woman he had met in a bar and with whom he conducted an affair.

      I’ve never really blamed the OW. She doesn’t know me. She doesn’t have any responsibility to me. I’m sure he’s told her only his side of the story. I know a little bit about her. She’s 39 and doesn’t have much of a career. Her husband left her, clearing out their bank account and leaving her destitute. She’s desperate to have a family. My WS is a wealthy successful salesman. I’m sure that she never really stood a chance to do anything except believe what she desperately wanted to believe.

      If she came in front of me career wise, I’d kick her to the curb, for sure. But she’s not likely to do so, and I wouldn’t go out of my way to pursue her.

      To my shame, while recovering from my grief, I drifted into an affair with my married best friend. I’m now trying to cut contact with both of them (husband and AP)– largely because I think it’s the right thing to do for everyone. But I don’t think of myself, or the OW, as evil. Maybe I should. I don’t know.

      I would never compare the pain of guilt to the pain of betrayal. They aren’t the same at all. I’d take the guilt of being the OW over being the BS 1000 times, anyday. Maybe that’s why it happens so often? A f-cked up way of getting some power back? This is complicated and hard from every side.

      • Tryinghard

        No contact lady
        Good point. I’m not in the evil camp for crying out loud hitler was evil! I say poor choices. I respect you for chiming in and you candor. I respect you good choice to break it off with your married friend. I get how it happens. I’ve gone thru a lot of hell but my last thought was ever to strike up a new relationship married or otherwise while in the midst of my total misery and devastation. But that’s my experience. Your comments helped me too. Thanks

      • livingonafence

        nocontactlady, thanks. You, in your brief post, seem genuinely sorry. You’re cutting OM out of your life and understand pain isn’t about how you are seen, it’s about how you view yourself, and that betrayal does horrid things to a person on such a deep level.
        I’m sorry you went through what you did with your H, and that you took a bad turn in the aftermath. Things will get better, as you know.
        Thank you again.

      • tsd

        Nocontactlady, after what was written, your levelheaded ness was what we needed to hear in guilt and especially forgiveness. Hopefully you have forgiven yourself, and it sounds like, you’ve moved on..brava my friend…please continue to use this site as we may learn from you, and you from us…again thx

    • Disappointed

      There is no comparison at all between being the betrayed and experiencing grief and being the AP and experiencing guilt. As the BS you lose everything of importance and you question yourself incessantly as to why it is so easy for the CS to abandon you. As the AP, yes you may hate dealing with the consequences of your selfish behavior, but you have the sought after prize, the love of the spouse of the betrayed.

    • justbecause

      Jody, No Contct Lady and any other OW’s,

      If a betrayed spouse asked to meet with you, say in a public place – you could both have another present pesent if you so wished, would you meet with him or her? What kind of questions would you ask? If the betrayed spouse asked you particulars, such as where you and her H met, what you talked about, etc., would you answer? Would you answer truthfull?

    • tsd

      Wow, I’m sure Doug and Linda had no idea this would get the response it did…I now can say one thing to Jody and one thing to LOAF…Jody, you ding bat….since you were the wounded puppy first go around, how in the world did you think angels would grace you with the perfect life with second new hubby? Have you not heard karma is a bitch? Or if he cheats with you, he’ll cheat on you? Then to post your story…I’ll give a bit of credit, you said your peace…so now it’s our turn to give our opinions. Listen to them, and listen well…. Some may be directed at you and some may be directed to our OW and our horrible stories that beought us here, but you had no right to attack anyone personally without knowing them. Lick your wounds and go back to your corner…

      Now to LOAF, my friend, I got your back!!! What’s the damage when only wasted words can not affect you? I know your skin is thick, I know your heart is good, so let go of this petty little bean, and let your beautiful self grow!!! You have a voice, and a voice we love to hear…never, never leave again!!!!!

      Now, can we play nice? Doug and Linda have wonderfully put this forum for us to help one another, not slam a person for stories they don’t know…if you tell your story, be ready for good and bad news…if write it, they will come…

      • Tryinghard

        Girls
        I don’t know about you but when I am criticized I try to listen and learn. I don’t want or need yes people in my life. Do you think poor Jody learned anything about all this? I’m really feeling kind of sorry for her. I hope she prints off what we’ve said and takes it to her therapist and minister. Regrettably she’s probably stopped reading. I don’t think we said anything worse than what she did. She needs to wake up and quit deluding herself. Mark my words that fool husband of hers will cheat on her too and well here she goes again. I truly hope she’s taken what we have said to her constructively and learns from it. Really Jody don’t take such offense we’ve ALL been ding bats 🙂

    • No Contact Lady

      justbecause,

      It’s interesting, because I’ve thought a great deal about that very question. And I should stress my answer comes from my particular situation, not from any sort of universal OW standpoint.

      I would answer questions truthfully, if asked, and I have told my AP so as part of the process I’m in of cutting things off. However, I would only do so in a responsible context– preferably a therapist’s office. I’m not sure I would have anything to ask. There are also questions I would not answer. But that’s why I prefer a therapist help make the call (not trusting myself) for when it goes over the line and help set up the ground rules before the conversation began.

      tsd, thanks. I’m working on forgiveness. I have not forgiven my husband. I’m working on forgiving myself. That will be easier when I fully end the affair. I’ve ended the romantic/physical side, but the contact part is taking longer than I had hoped or expected. I’m working with my therapist now to find a way to land this respectfully for all involved. He’s been a life long friend, and I’m still talking to him right now to help him (us both) understand why I do not believe we can ever be friends again. That’s a lot more difficult than ending the physical side of the affair.

      Then there’s going to be a lot of pain to work through, and that will need to happen before I can think about forgiveness.

      Not planning on working on forgiving my husband any time soon, however. I’m not that evolved.

    • justbecause

      No Contact Lady, Thanks for the response. I appreciate you view.

    • Decimated

      I don’t think I can agree with the cheater feeling worse then the betrayed…at least not in my case.

      My STBXWW cheated on me for over about 2 years…if it ever stopped. There were no real issues in our marriage except that she became selfish and bored. She got to live a double life, date and screw her om during that entire time while I was in the dark, frustrated and wondering why our marriage was doing a downward spiral. When I would try to talk to her I was repeatedly assured that we were fine and that she loved me.

      After discovery of her affair, I stayed because our our children and the fact that the marriage vows I took meant something to me. She claimed no more contact with him (lied) and said she wanted to work on our marriage (another lie). Over a year later I finally realized she wasn’t doing anything about fixing what she had destroyed…and was still in contact with him. I finally filed for divorce.

      Our divorce will be final in two weeks. She does not show remorse at all. She is still lying about him, she is getting 1/2 of everything I have worked so hard for during our 15 year marriage while she contributed nothing financially…her money was her money, mine paid all the bills. Our children have been cheated out of the life they have grown accustomed to as well. All I get is the pain of the most awful betrayal I could ever imagine and the loss of my hopes and dreams…to someone else.

      She does not feel any pain for what she has done to me and our kids…but I live with it daily.

    • Pippi

      This post and the comments make me so sad. The devastation affairs cause is beyond words.

    • CBB

      Whow, what a reactions!
      I’m sorry Jody but as all the other BS your story does’nt feel very comforting.
      I to was one of those who wanted to hear more from CS en OW trying to understand how/why so I could see them as humans and not all bad selfish monsters.
      When I found out about my H’s EA (I probably senssed it before Day -1 had a DD1 after 2m and a DD2 9m. I was furious and enradged towards my H; I felt his guilt and all the stages descibed in our posts. As the OW was supossedly a friend of our family and part of half of our entourage (work, social activities, friends…) I was initially prepared to try and understand they actually didn’t plan to evolve to this EA (my H still finds it hard to admit there is a line he crossed) and assumed that everybody would take responsebility for their actions. How wrong could I be!!! Althoug my H is trying hard he tried to help us all get along and the OW went and abused us both. She was the one to put me down in public but making sure she had everyone on her side. Playing mean games with my H who does have to work with her . I still kept quiet, then she started playing games with the kids (my D en hers were best friends) and putting me in very difficult situations of not having to explain what was goiing on to a 7y old an not coming over as the mean mom…
      I really believed she would realise what happend an just try to make things right and apriciate my respect but NO!! she felt cought and acussed for something she didn’t do?! and is trying to fight her stay in the picture. My H tries to convince me she feels guilty. It’s not their guilty feelings that we need. Is the action of trying to help in getting over the trauma of deception of 2 people I trusted blindly. Even if that only means staying away. The guilt (if they really now what that feels like) is something they inflicted upon themselfs; the result of their actions not mine. Dwelling in guilt and remorce is as contructive as dwelling in the anger and bitterness.

    • onmyway

      This has been an eye opening read for sure. I for one am always grateful when a cheater shares on this board. I do not always agree or have sympathy for them but I do find it helpful to hear the other side. I did not take from Jody’s story that she was asking for sympathy. What I got from it was that the cheating spouse , if truly remorseful, does have a heavy burden to carry. Jody’s situation is different than mine as my husband , the cheater, did not leave me for his affair partner. He has shown true remorse and we have been working very hard together to rebuild our marriage over the last 15 months. I see his pain and yes, I even have some pity and empathy for him. I do not consider it to be the exact same pain as mine but I do believe it to be , on some level, almost as devastating as the pain I have been put through.

      I doubt I would feel that way if he had not been trying to work so hard on himself and our marriage and also recognizes MY pain as being worse than his. I can understand how a betrayed spouse would have a different perspective if they had gone through multiple DDays and next to no support from the cheater. If that was my situation I have no doubt that I would be divorced by now. That is not a judgement towards those who have stayed in their marriage despite the lack of effort by the cheater. In fact, I give them a lot of credit for continuing to try and make their marriages work and am very, very glad I have not had to face that situation. I am just fairly sure that is not something I would tolerate. Who knows? I could be wrong and still be with him. No one really knows what they would do until they are in that place despite thinking they might. I certainly never thought I would even consider forgiving, let alone STAYING with my husband if he cheated. But he did and here we are.

      I want to speak to the discussions regarding getting revenge on the affair partner. I for one blame my husband and focused my anger and rage at him almost exclusively. I don’t know if I even ‘hate’ the other woman. If anything, I pity her. Am I pissed at her? Does she disgust me? Of course. Do I care if she is happy? Not at all. In fact she is very ill now from what I understand and if she died I couldn’t care less. THAT Is how much I despise her. But what I never did was go after her or seek revenge. Because I could not give her that power over me. Since she never made my contact with my husband again I have let her be. If she hadn’t , sure I would have gotten nasty with her but that hasn’t happened. I can understand making life difficult for the other cheater, by telling their spouse or reporting them to their work if co-workers, etc. But after that , if the affair has ended, I feel it serves no purpose.

      The OW’s husband in my situation has not taken the same path. He has continued to stalk, harass and vandalize our property. He cannot and will not let go and does not seem to care that he is not hurting only my husband he is hurting ME and our child. Emotionally and financially. I live in fear for my husbands life and we have had to pursue legal action against him. Does any one consider THAT when they stalk and harass the cheater months or years ? The fact that the OTHER VICTIM, the other betrayed spouse in this , wants to put this behind them and move on? The continued reminder of the betrayal every time they disrupt the cheaters life has an affect on the betrayed spouse, too. And children should never , ever be made to pay for the actions of their parent. NEVER. I don’t care how old they are or how pissed the betrayed spouse is. That is just wrong!

      Just because one betrayed spouse has not found peace, which is the case if they continue to harass the cheater, does not give them license to continue to hurt the other one.

      • Recovering

        Onmyway,

        You make a good point about the other BS… I didn’t know the OW, much less it’s husband, so when I first found out I couldn’t just go racing to him to tell him. It took me a while to get myself back into a right mind, well… a kind of right mind, before I spent my entire days searching it and it’s family on the internet. I know more about them than my husband did!! LOL! CLEARLY they had something REAL! Whatever… anyway… I didn’t know this man, and though my desire for revenge was deep, and sometimes I still daydream about dropping the postcard in the mail to tell him a year and a half later (he still doesn’t know), I can’t bring myself to do that. I don’t know if it is because I have taken on the guilt that telling him would destroy him and his boys, or if I have taken on the responsibility of “the secret” to protect my family from what he could possibly do to us. My husband and I are working VERY hard to put US back together. Our children and families don’t know, and most of our friends don’t know, so to put it out there again… I know how crazy I felt for a LONG time after I found out about the cheating… I can’t imagine that we all have the kind of restraint that I did… some people really do lose it and kill each other. Not to say that I didn’t fantasize about that too, but I would NEVER intentionally hurt someone else, in any way! Obviously not everyone is like that. So I hold the burden of “the secret”, and sometimes believe it is a power over the OW since she is still married… In a way it is. If she were to EVER step back into our lives again I would walk right up to her husband and spew the truth. I would knock on their front door, ask for them both, and let her have it. I believe that he should know about what my husband and his wife did to us, but at this point, my family is more important to me than revenge on that whore. My husband was no different from her at the time of the cheating, but I carry my hate for her for what she has done since discovery… which in a way has been good because it made my husband see who she really was much quicker than my blabbering on could have ever done. She is a nasty person, and so was my husband. I believe that my husband has changed – he does things now he NEVER did for me before because he KNOWS… KNOWS what he almost destroyed all by himself. I will never forgive what he did, but hopefully one day I won’t feel afraid to be happy again… and maybe one day I won’t fantasize about telling the OW’s husband either!! 😉 When those days come I will know that I am REALLY healing!!

    • Dave

      Your story sounds very familiar. I’m the betrayed, but I’m also a betrayer. A number of years ago, my wife and I were separated, living apart, and preparing for a divorce. During this time, I had a one-night stand with another woman. However, at the last second, we decided to give it another try and reconciled. Separated and divorce-bound or not, both my wife and I both considered what I did a betrayal. I confessed immediately and set my mind and heart to healing our marriage. I thought she did too, but she carried the pain of what I did.

      Four years later, feeling neglected, she found comfort in the arms of my best friend. (As I found out later, she had also found comfort with him while we were separated – but she never confessed.) Knowing what I did gave her a pass in her mind to let it happen. Her affair was both physical and emotional and last for several months until she was faced with the decision to be with him or stay with me. While they talked of a future together, she decided to stay with me but she kept her affair a secret for 14 years (except for the fact that I caught her at his house, but was never able to prove anything).

      She confessed to her affair on December 31, 2011, so this year we just passed the 1st anniversary of D-Day. I have forgiven her and I’m feeling better, but she on the other hand, now that she isn’t dealing with my daily melt-downs, she seems to be facing a crisis of her own. She finally understands the pain she caused me and our family. (Sadly, the day I caught her my son was with us.) That affected him and damaged their relationship for years.

      Now she is torturing herself to the point scaring me. Her guilt and grief at what she did has been so strong at times that she’s confessed to thoughts of killing herself. We are working with a counselor and she is seeing her own therapist, but I’m very concerned.

      Initially I thought she was trying to keep me from asking questions or taking about the affair, but now that I’m doing better, it is obvious that she is still very depressed. So, my question is, beyond therapy, is there anything I can do to help her move beyond the guilt and grief so that she can be healthy again? Whether we fully heal together and stay together, the thought that she could hurt herself, physically and emotionally, worries me more than I can express.

    • justbecause

      Getting revenge on the cow . . .hhmmm. I don’t know if I really consider it getting it revenge. Part of it was showing her, no – make that showing myself how strong I am. I wanted to feel in control and not act like a wet cat left out in the cold. I wanted both her and my spouse to realize the hurt and devastation they caused in both our lives. Why should I be the only one to hurt when I didn’t do the betraying. Again, her refusing to meet with me also caused me to find things out about her, catch her in the lies and half truths she told. Does she feel remorseful? Most likely not. Will she cheat again? Most likely yes. Am I sorry I told her H, made her remember me and the ugliness she brought into my life? Not one bit. I think my occassional intrusion into her life will help me. It will be a reminder to listen to my gut, work on my marriage, work on myself and show love to those I care about.

      I believe actions have consequences.

    • onmyway

      recovering, how you have handled the affair sounds very similar to me. However, I was told about the affair by the OW’s husband (the one who is stalking us now) so all the partners know. The way I have chosen to deal with this hell, by focusing on us and not the AP , can be difficult at times. None of our family and only 2 or 3 friends know and even they don’t know all the details. It’s like living in your own private Hell. Fortunately our child does not know but had to be told something so we said this guy is a disgruntled ex-employee who has it out for my husband. I don’t care that she isn’t a minor, she does not NEED to know this stuff. She just doesn’t deserve that and it angers me that the AP’s spouse doesn’t give a crap who he hurts. I know how absolutely devastating being cheated on is so I know his pain. Of course I fantasized about humiliating and even hurting his wife. But I have done nothing but call her one time, asked her three questions and left it at that.

      I think that your holding the card you are, the fact that the other BS in your situation does not know, must be a mixed blessing. I can totally appreciate the sense of control that must give you! How I wish I had had control, any control, especially in the beginning of al of this! It’s like you hold her life in your hands and one false move and it’s over. On the other hand, it’s also a lot of responsibility for you. It must be very hard knowing she is getting off scott free but knowing the ramifications to the children and her husband you have chosen to not tell. I know I am grateful for being told (even though this guy is crazy!) but I never really thought about how a BS could use that info to their advantage while it is also is a burden to them. And your wondering if it is to protect your own family or maybe because you would feel guilty is understandable. I’m glad to hear you and your husband are doing well and working together!

    • onmyway

      Dave, I am really sorry that your wife is in such a bad place. I get concerned about my husband sometimes, though he is not in a place that is nearly as bad as your wife. First, it’s good to know that you are both receiving therapy. You need all the support you can get! I admire you for standing by her but it saddens me that you are being put in this position. It just doesn’t seem fair that we, the BS’s, are having to worry and pick up the pieces when they hit bottom.

      You have been through so much and I hope this is the final slump before the two of you can really move forward. I think it is important that the CS hits bottom as it means they are really feeling the effects of what they did. I believe that is better then them not in the long run. Ideally this would be fairly short term period and one that the couple can work through together or with a counselor. But clinical depression is a different animal and needs to be adressed as such.
      I wish I had an answer for you as to how to help her. She may be a candidate for medication to treat the depression. Has she been referred to a psychiatrist? Her issues seem like they need to be adressed quickly. Do not hesitate to take her talk of suicide seriously. Speak with her therapist if you can.

      • Dave

        I need to get her in to see a psychiatrist. I have never met her therapist, and that worries me. My wife is the master of hiding her problems and pain until she snaps. I think she is afraid if she lets her problems show, they become more real somehow. If she hides them, then they don’t exist.

        It is one of the main reasons that she says she never told me. So long as she could hide it and convince herself that nothing happened, then it didn’t. When it finally came out…when she finally confessed, it came out like a torrent.

    • Dakota

      Well Said exersise Grace

    • Dakota

      Great Post recovering!!

    • Dakota

      To the author..Shame on You !! practice what you preach…for contradicting yourself..

    • Dakota

      I See that the author or writer is a perfect example of
      a BS Going the wrong way for sure…she choose the wrong path to go on with her life..if she was feeling so bad about being with her first husband …and being ignored by him ..then why did n’t she choose to leave and be by herself at least for a while … Instead of taking revenge?? and pay herself and her exhusband with the same token by destroying someone elses marriage?? bad choices.two wrong does not make it righ…principles…

    • Ashland13

      I am a BS who is trying so darn hard to wak the high road. I have vented and ranted a little at WH (wayward husband) but don’t expect to get anything back-its all electronic and some I don’t send.

      Sometimes “I’m sorry” comes back, but he is choosing his affair over our 20 year relationship and marriage so it is very hard to stay on that high road. He is very, very pompous and feels -it seems-like he tricked the universe. There is no remorse in the “I’m sorry” and my daughter and I are going to lose our house we built in the process.

      What is strange for me is there is a man who gets in touch with me every half a year or so-out of the blue-and is an ex boyfriend from teenage years. My only other “serious” one. For some reason this man continues to contact me and the last time was this winter.

      It was too much for me to handle because he is married and was doing what I felt to be an Emotional Affair with me. I have been hit on before and I wish there were more pick up lines!, for he gave the same one my WH gave the OW., about my marriage sucks”. I asked him, shouldn’t he tell a counselor?” I wrote him a no contact letter via email and get so angry at him-when I am not angry at WH-because I know how it feels to be the BS.

      My WH has convinced himself hat his A is reality and worth wrecking his whole life for. He works very hard but never finishes anything, it was very interesting to see this on paper recently.

      He contradicts himsef, gaslights, is an artful blameshifter and more.

      I wish I knew when the day comes that he has real remorse but he is extreme narcissistic, so it may never come.

      What does any think of “affair fog?”

    • Time heals

      I liked this article, but I don’t think your first husband’s affair is a fair comparison to yours. You left the marriage for your AP which is a worse betrayal to him and those involved. The article is about not judging the cheater, but you judge the BS of your new husband. I’m in a similar situation where my ex married his AP and you cannot convince me what you feel is worse. You talk about how she hurts her kids by not accepting you, but you hurt her kids, your kids, her and your first husband so your judgement is like the kettle calling the pot black. What you did was bad enough, but you add insult to injury by now pretending to mother her children. I’m hurt every time I see my ex or this other woman and when she shows up to my family affairs it’s even worse. You weren’t seeing your ex-husband’s AP after he ended it mothering your kids so again unfair comparison. Your anger at her is unjustified and will only hurt you more and all those kids. Basically you and your new husband caused the hurt in the first place so it’s your job to find compassion and try to end it. Maybe she is doing wrong things, but it began with you. An apology just doesn’t cut it when you do something that takes years to heal.

    • Gizfield

      Lets see. I have been on all three sides of the coin ( cheater, betrayed, other woman) briefly, as Jody described. I definitely believe the “grief” for the betrayed is worse for a couple of reasons. One, you didn’t choose the situation. The cheaters did. Two, you take a large hit on your self esteem. The cheaters didn’t. They got an ego boost. Three, if a cheater is truly remorseful, and not trying to defend their actions they will admit wrongdoing, and correct it. once you take that step, guilt lessens I think. All I can say is it did for me. It’s been a long time though, but thats how I remember it. I really dont think Jody seemed very remorseful, therefore she felt guilty. I’m not sure how your mind deals with a marriage that begins in adultery.

    • Gizfield

      The real inconsistency I found in the story was the paragraph where Jody gushed about how good the affair partner treated her, better than anyone ever had, and that she didn’t know such wonderful people even existed. Exceptt he just didnt seem able to extend all that wonderfulness to his own wife and children. I would love an update on these two. She didn’t want to reveal how long they had been together to protect her privacy ??? I bet it wasn’t that long. Just til the “new ” wears off and you are still stuck with the same old “you”.

    • Gizfield

      I’ll also say, I dont know if it’s a sign of the times or what, but I never felt that what I was doing (cheating ) wasn’t wrong. I always felt guilty, from the first conversation with my ex, to the last. No affair fog for me, I knew sneaking around with another man behind my husband’ s back was wrong at all points and made the choice to do it anyway. I really was relieved when it ended, I was disgusted with myself, and still am. Thats different than guilt, and I mostly put guilt behind me, because like I said I was remorseful, and I dont know why but that seemed to help me.

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