Up until this point in the somewhat brief history of this blog, if you analyze the comments from readers, we have had primarily two types of visitors: the Cheated on and the cheating spouse. Well, we received an excellent comment that we wanted to share to everyone from a very different perspective of an “other woman” (OW).  Her writing shows another side of just how devastating a marital affair can be to all parties involved.

Here’s the post from “Getting Sober”:

Feeling numb, often tired, almost listless, just want to lay down and sleep so I wouldn’t have to feel or think. It comes in waves. I’m OK. I keep busy, very very busy and working very hard at trying to enjoy a completely new life which I am in the process of carving out for myself and most of times I succeed. But it will take time to be truly OK and have to work so hard at being OK.

We had been together as soul mates and lovers, as buddies, as friends, broken up and starting over many many times, sitting in silence, touching hands, laughing out loud without a care about who sees or hears us, having someone there when you want to say “Look!” and not having to explain. Oh yeah, I know that you know what I mean. We used to think we were the only two people in the world to experience the Magic, but we do know better.I know that you, dear reader, have been there too, otherwise you wouldn’t be here.

Well, after 7 years of magic and living our waking dreams and fantasies of finding the great love of our lives, intense passion, pain of too much tenderness, a friendship that gave us complete peace, sharing our love of music and the arts in museums and theaters, sitting on the blanket by lakes’ edges and feeding the fish, simple acts deepening the feelings of kinship, miles of walking while talking, sitting in spiritual places…….. after 7 years, we wrote our farewells. Because I could no longer face the other side of midnight. When after being one body and soul, being full of contentment and pure happiness, came the awkwardness of leaving our rented room in the middle of the night to go home to someone else.

After a particularly close and deeply connected time together I wrote myself an email note. In the Subject I wrote: “I………..” and in the Body of the email I wrote “…….can’t do this any more”. I felt exhausted and defeated, as I pictured him cheerfully greeting his wife, maybe laying down next to her… I felt empty and knew what I would do and that this wasn’t one of those break up times when we would make up in a week or even a month.

There is no sense in a love, however great, which is based in lies and deceit at every step. And if a love is truly great then two people will find a way to spend the rest of their lives together in a way that shows backbone. So what was it? A great love, or a great illusion? Perhaps is was both. Nothing in life stays the same. Just because something isn’t true now, doesn’t mean that it wasn’t true then. Do I regret it? Oh, no. I’ve known something I would not have known had I not had this affair of love and friendship.

But it is truly time to go now because ……. I………. can’t do this any more………… I’m ok, not to worry. Just sharing it here with you because I no longer have someone to share what’s inside and it helps to write it out. I feel accomplished and there is a wall in front of me with “point of no return” written on it. You can do it too. Listen to your soul’s muted voice as it cries out to you……… I……. can’t do this any more…… and then be good to yourself. Peace to all.


See also  Discussion: Getting Them To Stop the Affair

    47 replies to "Marital Affair: An ‘OW’ Speaks Out"

    • ppl

      i have read a lot from people involved with infidelity and nothing pisses me off more than the “victims” always seem to place blame on themselves or the third party. this is crap. third party only has responsibility for themself, no obligation to keep others marriage intact. if affair not meeting their needs, then get out. they are not the enemy or a victim. the cheater is totally to blame. no exception. if your needs are not met, have the balls or ovaries to tell partner ahead of affair that they are looking. notify no longer exclusive or get out of relationship entirely. oh i get it, it just happens in that case notify immediately. i didnt meet needs, i drove them away etc all bull crap. they are lying deceitful loads of sh#t.

    • ruth

      She got the best part of my husband and I should feel sorry for her!!! H–ll NO!!!
      He should of been spending those wonderful moments with me!! She knowns he is married she get what she desevers heart ach!!! She should of known better. She should of said go make your marriage work and leave me alone until you are divorced than come see me. Sorry if you are involved with a married man you should know that they never leave their wives all they are is someone to stroke their ego!!! Now What about my ego??? And the cheater should of given me a chance and been honest with me right from the beginning, instead he blames me for his unhappiness that he had to find with someone els. Sorry but I am sick of the excuses. I am with you ppl its lots of bullsh-t! I have been thinking about will I ever get over this how long with this take. The worst part I have to keep it inside or he goes off the deep end if I even talk about how I feel. He hates to talk about it and I need to talk about it. Sorry for ranting.

      • admin

        Ruth, Ranting is OK! Have you tried to compromise with your husband as far as talking about it? Maybe something like scheduling a time and promising to only ask a certain number of questions or discuss it for only a certain length of time. Of course he will be able to get his side of things in as well. And do it calmly, btw. You need for him to talk and he needs to stop being so stubborn about not talking. Obviously healing is easier if you have someone that helps you heal.

    • ppl

      talking about it sounds great. only problem is the decietful liar is moving their lips which almost by definition means you cant trust what is coming out. it is time to empower ourselves. you want to get back together, do so but you should not be surprised in the future. they have already proven themselves and their values. i myself made the mistake of forgiving my future wife wandering, now i am dealing with my now wife (same person) wandering. i really have no right to moan about this episode or future if we get back together.

    • ruth

      I have tried so many time and he keep saying over and over we are moving forward and stop bring up the past. Maybe its to soon for him. I have a gut feeling its not over for him thats why he cant talk to me about it because again everything he says will be another lie so he avoids the whole thing. I figure I will wait until I think it will be ok to talk about it maybe in a month.

    • OW/NowWife

      Getting Sober, I am sorry you wasted those years on what you believed your relationship was, or whatever you thought it was. I had an affair but I married my affair partner (we were both married). I am not proud of that either just so you know. They say that 75% of affair marriages don’t last and the reason for that is they are based on infatuation/illusion whatever you want to call it. When our infatuation subsided we realized we wanted to be together. We knew we had a rough road ahead, we would be judged by our friends and family etc. It can happen but for it to last is rare. We have been married for 18yrs. Our problems are the same as any 1 time only marriages. It’s not perfect like I am sure you imagined it would be if he had chosen you. I hope you find the person you deserve. Just make sure he’s not married because chances are good you will lose again. No one can steal a person away from another, you don’t take them kicking and screaming. They choose to leave and if he really wanted to be with you he would have left 7 yrs ago. I am really surprised the infatuation lasted this long.

      • admin

        OW/NowWife, Welcome and thanks for commenting. I agree with you that it is probably unlikely that infatuation would last for 7 years. I believe that Getting Sober and her affair partner moved well beyond the infatuation stage.

    • debbie

      I disagree with you ppl. The affair partner or OP, willingly, often intentionally, invades the marriage.

      Just because I leave my home unlocked, does not mean people can come in, rob and damage my home and family, and try to burn the place down. “Oh well,” they tell themselves,”if it wasn’t me, the next guy would have done it.” Even if they are invited in to where they KNOW they do not belong, they are as guilty as the inviter for the burglary, harm, and damage done to the family and home. Yes and sometimes the OP is even guiltier. They are predators looking for opportunities to manipulate. Who holds more blame? The one who, in the beginning, innocently allowed themselves to be manipulated into opening the door, or the predator looking for a home to break into?

      One blanket of blame doesn’t cover the whole bed of infidelity.

      • Hurt

        The OW is JUST as much to blame for the affair as my husband. It took 2! She KNEW he was married, and SHE is married… yes he did it, but SO DID SHE! SHE knew what she was doing just as well as he did. Had either one of them had any sense of morality and boundaries then the affair wouldn’t have happened. Yes, I am mad as hell at them both! I am only hurt by my husband, however. She isn’t worth my time, and frankly I am insulted that HE would sink so low as to be with a married woman. I guess at least I have the knowledge that HER husband doesn’t know to keep her away from mine – and I told her I would tell him too. I don’t want to hurt her husband or children, but she will NOT invade MY family anymore without some sort of consequence!!! I may not have had a say before, but I sure as heck do now that I know! SHE was just as much to blame as my husband…

        • Anita

          I was once a former betrayed spouse, so I know how upset
          you are and rightfully so.
          However your husband is married to you and part of
          the wedding vows were to forsake all others, that was his
          job to forsake all others. Even if the other woman came on
          to him it was his responsibility to tell her he was married
          and walk away. He made the wrong choice of not walking
          away. There will always be temptation out there, however
          it is the married spouse’s responsibility to walk away,
          and not get himself involved in an affair. Sorry I know
          that hurts and I remember when I felt the same way you
          did at one time. My exhusband’s last affair was not his
          first and to blame the other women was a form of denial
          on my part to have to except that I as married to someone
          who, wasn’t serious about his vows, and didn’t keep them
          either. The other woman was stupid for getting herself
          involved, but your husband is married to you. Again I’m
          sorry I know that it it’s hurtful, however its a process to
          except it was a poor choice your husband made in not
          considering you or your marriage.
          I wish you both the best and hope you can rebuild your

      • Alecia

        Agreed. I do know of affairs that happened to people who had deep friendships or family ties for years but my experience tells me that for the most part, one or both parties are open to it or looking for it. In my own personal experience, every affair my husband had happened because first and foremost he was open to the advances but secondly and as importantly these women came on to him with the intention of sleeping with him even though they knew he was in ministry and was married with children. They simply didn’t care. They liked him and the attention they got from him and they wanted what they wanted. I don’t know about you, but I call that selfish.

    • Anna

      I hate the other “girl.” I’m calling her a girl because I feel the two of them (she and my husband) are acting like children. She left her spouse and dragged me and my husband into their failing marriage. I feel like the victim of a violent theft.
      She dares to compare herself with me. She dares to say things like, “I’m willing to do whatever it takes for our relationship…”
      Why didn’t she say those things with her husband? I’ve already made huge sacrifices because my relationship so important. Why doesn’t my husband see the difference between her unproven promise made in the heat of passion and my hard work and loyalty. He just keeps asking me why am I still with him. As if I’m so stupid for wanting to work things out with a man who could hurt me so much.
      She doesn’t really know my husband or my marriage. Why does she get to influence decisions that affect my life so deeply? My husband has cut himself off from caring what I need, so that won’t factor into anything he decides.

      • admin

        Hi Anna, and thanks for commenting. Things said and done while in an affair are certainly not logical most of the time, nor are they fair. Your husband is obviously under her spell and is unfortunately making decisions based on illusions. Perhaps he is saying things like that due to the guilt that he feels for hurting you so much.

    • ppl

      debbie, its not stealing if something is given away. if your parnter gives away his fidelity then the op did not steal it

    • ruth

      You know, all I think about sometime is if the ow is in as much pain as I am in and if she just can’t move forward. I really wish I knew. I really need to move forward but something in me just can’t and I can’t figure out why. I need closer and thats what I don’t have.

    • Last2know

      Ruth, I am sorry but why do you even waste your energy on the OW? You need to be focusing that energy on your marriage. She is not worth the worry. Who cares if she thinks she still has feelings for you H. She’ll get over it and see what a stupid A she was for letting herself cross that line. He’s with you and you need to be working it out.

    • Enough

      Thank you. Thank you. I didn’t know anyone would ever be able to put my life/feelings/etc into words, like you have. For 4 years, I was involved with the love of my life. For 2 of them, he wasn’t yet married.

      That said, and contrary to what everyone else wants to believe, I did not invade the marriage. I did not take anything that wasn’t offered to me. Because of that, I got half of a relationship, because I wasn’t offered the rest. However, I loved stronger and deeper than I thought possible, and for that, I will never apologize. For me, it is and always will be very real. Not just infatuation.

      But, like Sober said perfectly…


      He’s all yours. If you want him, keep him. If not, don’t. But a word of advise…love him and appreciate him and know just how lucky YOU are that he chose you. I got the best part of him for a while, but you get him. Period.

    • Broken

      Enough… Maybe your feelings were “real” but obviously his were not. If I understand your story, it seems like you dated him before and after he got married. If this is true then he had a chance to choose you and he didn’t. What does that say about your “very real” relationship?

      • HarrieB

        Enough. I am afraid I have to agree with Broken on this – are you sure you got “the best part of him”? May be you got the “illusion” of him for a while….And,don’t necessarily believe all he may have told you about his other relationship, all the reasons he gave for justifying seeing two women at the same time. Be aware that he may have simply been deluding both you and himself in order to have his cake and eat it. Sorry to be blunt, but you just have to read some of the many posts on this site to appreciate the delusion, half-truths and downright lies involved in affairs. Good luck.

        • Alecia

          Yes! Thanks for speaking some truth into this!

    • Michael

      A relationship and a marriage are two different things.
      A relationship doesn’t make a marriage. And inversley, a marriage doesn’t make a relationship. You can have both. Or you can have one or the other. Its when you don’t have either that it becomes very confusing.
      In a marriage you do things for each other. Build a home for the kids. Protect each other. You promise yourself to the other person only. You provide for your kids future. And you do it as a team. And each person brings to the team there own strengths and abilities.
      A relationship is about the two of you only. Its the give and take emotionaly with each other. The openness and freadom to express yourself. The streangth you pull from each other. And the connection you share. The feeling of trust you have with the other person. And the saftey you feel with them.
      I believe sober had that connection. But like I said, a relationship doesn’t create a marriage. Just as my marriage didn’t garantee a better relationship between us.
      When we were dating it was a good relationship. As we had our first child it became mostly just a marriage. We both lacked the relationship. And it got to a point where she rekindled a relationship with an old boyfriend.
      And now that that’s done its back to just a marriage, and that relationship may be just what I’m missing and need.

    • SadDancer

      Thank you for telling people how things look from our perspective.

      When he reached out to me, I said I did not want to be a home wrecker, the Other Woman. That if his marriage was over and he was available, I would be willing, but not if he was still in a committed relationship.

      A month later he moved out and we started to be together.

      6 months later his wife developed cancer and he went back, we stopped seeing each other.

      But a year and a half later we are both struggling very hard to end our emotional connection. We are both committed to doing that so that he can see what can be done about their marriage. It’s a lot harder than you might think, if you haven’t been there. It’s really, really painful for all of us, still.

      Sometimes people are in so much pain, that they just don’t think straight, and they do things that they wouldn’t ordinarily do. He had been in deep pain for a long time, but she had convinced him it was his issues, not hers. I saw the good in him when she saw only his flaws. She played mind games with him. She would not go to counseling, insisting that it was all him, not at all her.

      This is not a justification, just an explanation. Sometimes things are not as black and white as you think they are.

      If you are thinking of having an affair, I would say don’t do it. Go to counseling. And if you are thinking of ending your marriage, do it because the marriage has failed and not because you have found someone else.

      My heart goes out to the OW/OM and their spouses. This is painful for everyone, and we are all being affected by each other’s mistakes and human weaknesses.

    • Lea

      Reading ow’s perspective just shows me how she justifies her actions, not assuming any resposibility. The a doesn’t just start out of blue! It doesn’t rain when the sky is clear! Ow always starts A by sending signals to man showjng that she is interested in him. Ask any man if they just come and hit on an unwilling woman on the street, only the ones who fflirt or show interest in those men. So the first step for starting A is always ow’s choice! Ask any bs, if she thrown flirting glances at other men. I bet not many! So stop pitying yourself, sober! I have just comtempt for you!

      • NoMoreOW

        I disagree with Lea’s assertion that “an OW always starts the A” or that “any man would not hit on an unwilling woman”. I was heavily pursued by a MM and pushed him away countless times only to find him at my door pursuing me even harder. I never did any pursuing. I was very vocal about my discomfort. I even focused the majority of our conversations around encouraging him to repair his marriage.

        Eventually he was able to convince (gaslight) me into believing that he had known for years (prior to meeting me) that he wanted a divorce, that his wife did too and that he couldn’t believe how lucky he was to have me in his life. It took a significant amount of effort from him to earn my trust & believe him when he’d tell me he was deeply in love with me… and then… 2 days after he left he went running back… lying to her and to me the whole way there & back.

        I’m not so completely naive to believe that he wasn’t lying at least a little to either of us (sparing feelings, etc.)… I was NOT prepared for the incorporation of needless lies told for the sole purpose of cruel manipulation.

        The one that damaged me the most had NOTHING whatsoever to do with the affair except that he used it an evil tool to dig deeper with my trust & compassion. Although sometimes I do have a hard time believing he would or even could utilize a traumatic event when it wasn’t needed – then again… sometimes you never really know.

        If his wife had not contacted me (which sent him disaster clean up mode) I never would have known about even a few of the lies he fed me (or her). I offered him a chance to be honest with me about what he had done. He was only focused on making sure I had his story was straight for the lies he had told his wife. I guess in a backhanded way that was the only “confession” I was ever going to receive… and when I say backhanded I really mean slap in the face…

        He didn’t even bother to slightly soften the blow with an “I know that I told you that I told her ‘xyz’ about us and I’m sorry that I lied (to you or even to her)”. Instead what I received was, “I never told her ‘xyz’ or ‘abc’ so I would really appreciate it if you kept that just between us and oh one more thing I didn’t tell her ‘zyx’ either. I know owe you big time for this.”…. Those were not little ‘whoops’ lies… they were serious ‘need to know’ information, not just for me but especially for her.

        At that point it became clear to me that he would never tell either of us the “real” truth so I decided to answer his wife’s questions. I didn’t want him to “owe me” anything but I did believe she was owed the truth. I felt the least I could do for her was to tell her the truth as I had experienced it… Before I answered her questions, I gave her a sincere apology and warned her my answers & his emails may hurt her even more.

        I don’t know that I will ever forgive myself. I even carry guilt because he either gaslighted the heck out of her and/or she fell into very deep denial. Even with the hard evidence (& common sense) placed right in front of her; I failed to help her. Then again, I don’t know that I will ever be able to trust my own common sense either.

        I allowed a cop to walk right into my house, my life, my heart and he robbed me blind. If my soul hurts this much I cannot imagine how shredded her’s must feel by being married to an “upstanding civil servant thief”. A wolf in sheep’s clothing indeed.

        • lea

          Hello NomoreOw,

          If you really absolutely honestly can say that you did not like that man, his attention, you would have not been in any way involved with him. Otherwise, all the things you have written are just plain and simple rationales, justifications and excuses to appease your conscience.

          Have a nice day.

          • NoMoreOW

            Hello Lea,

            I very much liked the man who I THOUGHT he was. I do not like the man I LATER REALIZED he really is. Not everything or everyone in life is as transparent as we hope or believe them to be. The sad dichotomy is that very often it is the people with the biggest hearts who are preyed upon by those with the smallest.

            There is a saying, “there are no victims, only volunteers”. That is applicable to most instances to a certain degree including mine. My heart & conscience are not entirely exempt.

            There are also two other applicable sayings, “Psychological manipulation doesn’t happen because a victim volunteers. It happens because the manipulator lies to the victim.” … and…

            “Humans live by beliefs which can be powerful… with great power comes great responsibility and the ability to destroy those beliefs which are easily manipulated.”

            Have a nice day also.

    • NoMoreOW

      P.S… He absolutely hates me for telling her the truth. That does make me sad and although I am hurt, I don’t hate him but I do hate his lies & behaviour.

    • Lynne


      What’s unfortunate here is that you didn’t stay in the “discomfort” stage with him. To a degree, it sounds like you willingly allowed him to gaslight you. When a man says “he had known for years (prior to meeting me) that he wanted a divorce, that his wife did too”, you should know this is far less than the truth. Were it the real truth by both parties, they would have gotten divorced already. So what stopped you from saying, “great, when your divorce is final, please look me up?” Married is married–it seems pretty black and white–some people choose to only see the gray! And lastly, if a married man (or a woman) is lying to their spouse, you can be GUARANTEED they are lying to their AP, too. I’m always surprised when APs are surprised by this….it’s a house of cards built firmly on repeated lies!!!

      • NoMoreOW


        I was always in a “discomfort stage” what was unfortunate was that it had varying degrees. I did not willingly allow him to gaslight me. I did make a serious error in judgement by believing he had no reason to lie to me. He knew I had no “designs on him” & severe anxiety/fears of crossing boundaries. Yes, I am ONE of THOSE that never, ever, in a million years thought I would find myself even close to an edge let alone crossing any boundaries.

        He told me his wife asked for a divorce. I encouraged him to try to save his marriage. He told me she brought it up again but this time he agreed and I STILL encouraged him to try to save his marriage. I did tell him several times that we should not have any contact. He would stop for awhile but would always come running back to me begging me to “not give up on him”. The last time he said that to me I ended our “friendship/relationship”…. his wife discovered that email on his computer after the fact.

        I am extremely disappointed and disgusted with myself but I am even more disappointed and disgusted with him. I am not looking for absolution or forgiveness from anyone.

        I was not able to help his BS see the other side of his lies even though she asked. He masterfully convinced her that HE was the victim. Even after I sent her the emails she requested (how much he loved me, begging me to answer my phone and call him back) she still believed him when he told her he didn’t even have my phone number so that “proved” we were nothing more than acquaintances/casual friends…

        That realization made me feel even worse… not for myself but for her. She was falling apart; struggling and fighting to hold onto a husband that was STILL lying to her because she was afraid I was trying to steal him (before, during and after).

        If my experience might help another OW or BS with another perspective then at least my mistakes would not be in vain.

        • Lea L

          Nomore, all your actions just plainly show me how selfish person you are. So what that you are disappointed with yourself? Did anyone put a gun at your temple and force you to fall in love with him? It was his lies, you CHOSE to believe to motivate your decision, and also you CHOSE to contact his wife by trying to put blame on him. So, if you cut all the crap and are honest with yourself it is only you to blame.

          And it is true that cheating spouses have thinking problems: they tend to exagetare problems they have in their lives in their heads. And people like you give them motives to cheat, pursuing them no matter what.

    • Alecia

      First, to Ruth: This was my thought exactly! “He should have been spending those wonderful moments with me!” Can you imagine if husbands and wives would take the time to sit by the lake on a blanket, go to art museums together, take a walk and just talk…there would be far less affairs.

      Now, my thoughts on this subject: If we spent half as much time investing in our marriages as much as we do in affairs they just wouldn’t happen. Period. And, as much as when I read the letter I feel compelled to offer grace because I don’t know her whole situation, I can state emphatically that it wasn’t love. Oh sure it may have felt like it but real love isn’t based on deceit. It was complete and utter fantasy. They could have those times of “You really get me” because they DIDN’T have times of other things that lay in the realm of reality – like living within a budget together, disciplining kids together, serving the other when they are really sick, waiting to eat dinner because he/she is “late”…again. There is nothing REAL about an affair. Again, it may FEEL like it, but it isn’t. Because its foundation is not based on anything that is true and good. So, I say good for you for waking up and finally deciding “I can’t do this anymore!” No one ever should in the first place.

    • JustA Girl

      Three days ago, I ended my affair. It hurts so much and I feel like I love my affair partner so deeply. But, I can’t do it anymore. I think about him being with someone else, and it kills me inside. My advice to everyone–Don’t have an affair. The pain hurts like hell. And it’s my own fault. :”(

      • Recovering

        What you had WASNT love! You don’t destroy the life of someone you love! You are upset that you don’t have someone else to validate you anymore. Look inside yourself for validation. What you did was WRONG. You ended it, which was the FIRST right thing you have done! Get therapy and NEVER do this again!! THAT is how you will become a good person again….

        • K.

          Amen, Recovering! Amen, amen, amen!!!

          If you LOVE someone, you don’t help them make a mess of their lives…you help them make HEALTHY choices and do the RIGHT thing.

          LOVE is patient and selfless. Affairs are impatient and selfish. Affairs are NOT love.

          It’s sad, really…affair partners have no idea what LOVE actually is. And they don’t love themselves, either, or they wouldn’t make a mess of their own lives.

          But even though it’s sad, I still have NO SYMPATHY for any affair partner who has the AUDACITY to tell betrayed spouses how tough they’ve got it. What a vortex, what a black hole of narcissism and selfishness! Just no clue what it means to be human…no empathy whatsoever for other people, and yet they want ours. Ha!

      • K.

        JustA, you think it’s so tough…but you have no clue. When two people are married and they’ve been together for a couple of decades, and all the things that a person goes through from, say, age 20-something to age 40-something…they grow together in a way that makes them inseparable, that really does make them one flesh in a way that you cannot possibly understand if you haven’t been there. It’s like two trees that have grown together, intertwined, and have become one massive trunk. You and he, however, are just two trees side-by-side, you’re not intertwined. When a spouse cheats and/or leaves, it is truly like half of you is being ripped away with no anesthesia.

        So for you to say that it “kills you inside” to think of him being with someone else…well…that’s just laughable. You have no idea what it feels like to be the wife having to imagine her life partner being with someone else. Just no idea.

        So, your advice is good, but you are telling the wrong people. AT LEAST you recognize that it is your own doing. That’s a starting point. Now STAY AWAY FROM HIM and make it a clean break. Any contact you have with him from here on out, you’re just asking for more trouble and heartache, and you’re just causing pure agony for the betrayed spouse. And I mean pure AGONY, far worse than anything you’re going through.

        Here’s what I told my husband when he admitted in the early days to missing her and being sad about their breakup: You were together for four months. Now take that sadness you feel and multiply it out to 20 years. Now imagine how much greater your grief would be. Add the pain of betrayal, the pain of being burned even though you weren’t the one playing with fire…and the pain is just that much worse.

        What you and the married man had together — whatever you want to call it — doesn’t hold a candle to what he and his wife have together. It just doesn’t. Your pain is a tiny fraction of the pain that the betrayed spouse goes through.

    • K.

      Are you FREAKING kidding me? I don’t have an ounce of sympathy for any affair partner/other woman, and ESPECIALLY not for one who tries to make it into some poetic/romantic/dramatic “poor me too” thing this. I call B.S.!!!

      You have to remember, when you as the OW experience a breakup with your married man, IT IS JUST A BREAKUP, like you would have as a teenager or any other boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. Ending a MARRIAGE is a whole other ball game, and YOU HAVE NO CLUE what it means or what that kind of pain is. Because you’re too damn selfish and too damn caught up in your little “poor me” act.

      And yes, it IS black and white!!! Married or not married. Period. YOU DON’T MESS WITH A MARRIED MAN/WOMAN. You just DON’T. It is that simple. There is nothing gray about it!!!

      My anger toward my cheating spouse and my anger toward the other woman are/were two different kinds of anger.

      My husband was in a dark place, in a fantasy world. I read once that an affair is what you do when you can’t see any other way out and you aren’t willing to commit suicide.

      I think that having an affair is like committing marital suicide. It is one thing to be the person who chooses to commit marital suicide…and it is another thing to be the person who cheers it on and hands that person the freaking gun. How can you forgive the person who thought it would be fun to give them the gun and who encouraged them to hold it to their head and pull the trigger???

      My husband’s OW is now in a relationship with someone and it appears that they are happy together. Good. I hope they get married, have kids, and they’re married for 17 years and then she has to go through the same damn pain that she helped put me through.

    • Recovering

      So I do NOT feel ANY sympathy for the OW!! She KNEW he was married, and SHE is married, and she came on to him anyway. YES it was his responsibility to turn the whore down, but SHE should’ve respected that she PROMISED to foresake all others, and that she had children too, and that maybe his WIFE might care about what he did! There is NO pity for the other woman! She can die alone in a single car car accident and I would be happy! I know that sounds hateful, but what she did was worse. I wish sometimes, even a year out, that I would’ve died instead of finding out about them! She can kiss my hinney!!! She is now returning to the workplace where the affair began… My husband is leaving because of this. He will be walking away from a promotion. He is FINALLY seeing her for the selfish whore I told him she was from the beginning. He didn’t want to see it because then he would’ve had to look at himself. He is becoming the husband that I deserve. They BOTH knew what they were doing was wrong, otherwise there wouldn’t have been sneaking around and lying. NO SYMPATHY for either of them! She will burn in hell for what she has done (and she still attends church weekly – SUCH a good Christian!). And I don’t know if I will tell her husband. I don’t want to invite them back into my life. My husband and I have worked our butts off to get where we are, and like I told him this morning, I am NOT gonna let some selfish lying whore destroy everything that we have rebuilt! Our marriage is first to us now – NOTHING is more important. NOTHING!

    • Broken2

      No sympathy….boohoo ow

    • Helena

      Just my humble opinion on the relatively common view that the OW or OM is just a blameless innocent party to the affair, that there is something very wrong in the marriage or relationship that justifies the affair, that the very fact of the affair taking place is proof that the marriage or relationship was effectively already over when the affair began – blah, blah, blah:

      It is generally accepted that people owe it to one another to be decent and kind or at least civil to one another. That is why things like cutting in line, “stealing” a parking spot, failing to wash one’s hands after using the bathroom and before handling other people’s food, being a bully, standing idly by while someone is being assaulted or otherwise suffering a medical emergency (i.e., the “bystander effect” or Genovese syndrome), etc. are generally frowned upon. This speaks to a phenomenon often referred to as “common decency.” See, people are capable of all sorts of indecent or cruel things that aren’t exactly illegal, but just because it isn’t illegal doesn’t mean people don’t owe it to others to refrain from doing it.

      Going after someone else’s spouse (or partner), and/or knowingly and willfully being the person with whom someone is cheating on someone else, causes great pain to someone else in the vast majority of cases; to cite an example that was in the news lately – the pain that Elizabeth Edwards exhibited when she tore her shirt off at the airport in an anguished fit after finding out about her scumbag husband’s affair, exposing her breast cancer-ravaged chest. Thus, going after someone else’s spouse is widely construed as pretty damn impolite. Pissing all over something that is precious to someone else, the way John Edwards and that ho-bag Rielle pissed all over Mrs. Edwards’ marital vows, is generally considered an impolite thing to do. Besides, lacking empathy for another’s pain, and lacking guilt for causing pain to another, are two characteristics of being a psychopath.

      In other words, the view that the OW or OM is just a sweet, blameless innocent party to the affair is bullcrap. The bullcrap of that view is especially apparent when you consider that people who hold that view would probably be among the loudest to criticize the OW or OM as being a tremendous a-hole for lesser things like cutting in line and stealing a parking spot.

    • rhg

      no. sympathy. at. all. for. OW.

    • Gizfield

      I like that, “No victims, just volunteers”. Once you accept what you yourself did as a cheater, and not try to blame someone else for it, you can get past it, probably not if you continue to see yourself as a victim. Also, “great love” doesn’t involve other peoples’ spouses, if he was so in love with you he wouldn’t be married to someone else. As long as you are adults in this country you can”be together” if you want to brave the inconveniences of divorce, which obviously at least one person doesn’t want to do. Great love, indeed.

    • Gizfield

      Oh, I need to makea “Blanket Disclaimer” that any negative comments I make about cheaters I am especially applying to myself, since I was involved in an extramarital affair in the early 1990s. I am not an exception in any way.

    • Gizfield

      Helena, based on my past experience, did I think it was wrong to sneak around with my ex boyfriend behind my husband’s back, and eventually have sex with him? OF COURSE I KNEW IT WAS WRONG! I rationalized it but I never thought it was ok, even though I chose to do it. at the time, I never told anyone, even my best friend because I was ashamed of it. and myself. Adultery is a societal problem, and and everyone has to deal with the repercussions, not just the cheaters themselves. Also, I think both parties are equally guilty. No one goes “whoring” by themselves, and there are no unwilling victims when they choose to cheat. If either party is married, it is wrong.

    • InThe Fog

      Nobody is immune to being caught out. I’ve been on both sides of the fence.
      Someone can’t be ‘stolen’ if they are happy where they are.
      If you have no sympathy or forgiveness for someone who is clearly upset and needs support then well, I wonder what that says about you as people.
      I’m not proud of myself. I think all affairs are wrong, it didn’t stop it happening. I was weak and should have been strong.

      I’m leaving my OH as I wouldn’t have been in a position in my head to allow this to happen if my relationship was right. He is controlling, cruel, intimidating and so I’m getting out. We’re separated, it’s logistics now.

      Im not going to be with my AP, he had complex issues at home and rightly so he is making the most of what they have.

      As for the affair, it’s become more lie the friendship we had beforehand but withdrawing. Reality dawns, it’s so true to say there’s the question of what’s real and what’s an illusion. Only the person in the situation can say what it feels like, but I can see how it could be either.

      I don’t wish to upset anyone but the truth is that if it feels like love then in some respects it matters not if it’s real or not. It takes effort to give up, get over. I don’t expect any BS to accept my position, at the end of the day why would you? If you’ve never walked in these shoes you really can’t say how it is. I’ve been the BS and it didn’t stop me. Nobody chooses an affair- or at least I can say for me I didn’t go chasing or looking.

      My point is simply that it’s easy to judge those in an affair, I did, but then, I hadn’t been there then. Now my reaction is mainly pity, because it’s a decaying unenviable position to be in.

    • Broken2

      Again no sympathy for you or anyone else who cheats…you made a choice so did my husband so did his ow…I kept my vows so what does that say about a bs? It’s called self control of which ow and cheaters have none….I didn’t ask for the pain you and all the other cheater just handed it out so boohoo again you get what you deserve…if that makes me something bad to you then so be it

    • Gizfield

      In the Fog, if you saw my post above you know that I was a Cheater myself about 20 years ago. I totally disagree with your point that no one chooses to cheat. EVERY PERSON that does it makes the choice to do wrong, instead of right. I didnt just end up naked in my ex boyfriend’s bed, trust me. Every communication is a choice, and cheaters make the wrong one, usually repeatedly. As far as someone not being able to “steal” someone who is happy, maybe that has some truth but not much.sounds like something johnny depp would say, lol. Most spouses aren’t stolen anyway. They are borrowed and returned in disarray. As to whether it’s”love” I can’t say, but it’s usually a piss poor version if it is. All that is are excuses for behavior that is unacceptable. When a person quits making excuses, then they will be right with themself, and not before. It’s very liberating to see the truth about yourself and accept it rather than continuing to try to defend it. I’m not condemning you but you aren’t doing yourself any favors with the victim mentality, sorry.

    • hurtanddisillusioned

      I agree that no one affected by an affair situation is a winner. Everybody gets hurt. However, the betrayed spouse gets hurt the most followed by the children if there are any. I come at this from growing up with a divorced mother who had an affair with a married man for over 8 years. He was a super creep. A manipulator extrordinaire! As a teenager I was aware of other women that he was having affairs with at the same time as my mother. I do have some sympathy for the affair partner. My mother was married off very young and was very naïve, inexperienced and immature. My Father was selfish, inattentive and a cad as well. She tried to make their marriage work and even left and went back to him in the middle of their 14 year marriage. Very shortly after their divorce, this MM started coming around her. He had previously been one of a group of friends that both of my parents associated with. So my sister and myself knew him, his wife, their kids and had been in many social situations with them. I was only about 14 years old then and didn’t want my parents to divorce. I don’t know but suspect that the MM had encouraged my mom to divorce. I also discovered and had a face to face with another woman he was in an affair with. He also tried to come on to me and my sister as well as that other womans daughters. I had previously been a straight A student and never been in trouble in school or otherwise. But I told my mom about his creepiness and she went and talked to him and he convinced her that he really loved her and he meant it when he said it to her but not to any of the others and as far as him coming on to me and my sister, well mom had fallen prey to his lies and her own self delusion that it was just a misunderstanding and that is not what he meant! I didn’t see it then but I became a belligerent kid at that point. My grades went to failing within months. My Dad, well he wasn’t an innocent in that he left the state that we lived in so basically he went MIA. I know folks in an affair bubble don’t think about anything but themselves including the most innocent victims of all in the whole mess the kids. It F’s them up. My Mom…she was disillusioned by trying to make her marriage work and yes my Dad had fooled around on her. Folks don’t know if an EA or PA does more damage…..well I say sex can be just that sex but when you are abandoned emotionally well that is the worst. I know that basically I was abandoned by both parents at that time, emotionally anyway. My mothers affair lasted over 8 years. He kept promising to divorce and marry her….of course that never happened. I stayed the hell away from him as much as possible but when I did have to be in his presence as kid I made sure that everyone knew of my disapproval. I almost hated my mother and surely didn’t respect her for buying into the MM bs. My relationship with my mom only started to improve sometime after I had turned 20yrs old. I had had my first love and my heart broken. I realized then that her opinion and behavior toward him would never change. I felt that he had brainwashed her. I can see where it would’ve been pretty easy for him to do. She is still naïve. Her affair ended when the MM had an accident and died. She was devastated. I wanted to support her and did but it was absolutely humiliating to attend his funeral, being directed to the back of the chapel and the gathering of all their mutual friends. Mom had become so dependant on him both emotionally and financially, she was hysterical and collapsed when they lowered his casket in the ground. All the while his wife, and rightfully so, stood there glaring at her and me and my sister. In fact I am surprised we were even allowed to attend. There had been a gathering afterwards at their home that it was made abundantly clear that we were not welcome at. I came of age under an umbrella of shame. I had dropped out of High School but around that time I went back and got my GED and actually started attending the local college. My life could’ve, would’ve been so different if not for that creep and their affair. I have had to struggle with self-esteem issues ever since and that doesn’t even scratch the surface of other issues this has resulted in such as teen pregnancy and drug addiction. Thankfully I am clean and sober today and have been for over 20 years. But guess what? How many of you think that this sort of thing is okay? That the kids are resilient and will bounce back? They don’t! When you get involved in an affair where either party has children, you are screwing them up. You are trading them in for your AP. I had a series of terrible abusive, being used relationships for the first 40 years of my life. One thing that I swore I would never do is cheat on anyone I was committed to nor would I ever get involved with someone that was even slightly involved with anyone else. Over the years I was propositioned by a few married guys. It insulted me that they would think I was so low as to have anything to do with them or be involved in a situation that was so f’d up. It would really piss me off. Once when I was in my early 20’s and in a bad relationship my Significant other at the time and I were visiting a married couple that we were friends with. We knew them because the husband and I grew up in the same neighborhood. When we left that even me and my guy were fighting as usual and although this occurred more that 25 years ago I still remember turning around as we left and seeing the husband in his yard with his kids and thinking “Why can’t I find a guy like that?” I didn’t want him per se just someone like him. He was smart and funny and gentle and although he had been somewhat disfigured by a fire when he was a child I thought he was good looking too! Skip ahead 10 years later and it happened that I was throughing a party at my house which he was attending. I ran out of soda and ice and he volunteered to run me to the store for more. While we were gone he told me how his wife was pregnant and he was shocked because he had planned on traveling once his kids left the nest so to speak and this messed it all up but he would still love his child and was conflicted about it all. We spent some time talking and at a certain point he asked me “what if he kissed me” To be quite honest, he really turned me on and I was really curious…but…I told him that I was flattered but that I couldn’t do that because he was MARRIED! and because I wouldn’t hurt his wife that way nor would I disrespect myself that way! We remained friends but at a distance after that and eventually lost touch. then another 5-6 years went by and I had been working on a laptop for a different mutual friend ( I do tech support) and although it was basically not worth fixing the mutual friend had left it at my place for a couple of months. It turns out that it actually belonged to the first guys neice. So the mutual friend gave him my phone number to come and get it. He would call and then not show up. I didn’t let it bother me, I would just forget about it and go about my business. Well one of the times he called to arrange to pick it up, I started giving him a hard time about standing me up over and over. He said he was just doing it as a favor to his niece and then we had a long get caught up with what had been going on with each other call. He told me that he had gotten a divorce and that not only had his child been born but that his wife had gotten pregnant right after that again and that he now had a 4 year old son and a 2 1/2 yr old daughter along with the 22 and 2o year old daughters he had previously. He told me that his marriage dissolved when they not only had the pressures of to very young children arriving but that within a 9 month period he had lost his oldest brother, his mother, his step father and his father to death. How he had not been able to work due to arthritis destroying his joints and back and had recently had surgery to fuse one of his wrists and a metal bar put in to hold it in place. His arm was in a cast. He told me how his life had basically imploded after that and his wife had left but that their break up was amicable. We made a connection on that phone call and made a plan for him to come by the following Friday night and both visit and pick up the laptop. He showed up that time and it was magic. His ex wife was already dating somebody else and he and I fell deeply in love to the point where we were giddy and joyful and it was incredible. It surprised both of us and within a year we were living together. After 5 years we were married. that was nearly 10 years ago. About 4 years ago we faced a disaster when we lost our home to widespread flooding in the Midwest. He doesn’t handle stress too well and he basically started to implode again. I wasn’t going to have that. I arranged for him to get some treatment mainly for his depression. Also during the time between when we married and now he had to have his other wrist fused as well and could no longer work due to pain and progressive damage to his joints from the arthritis., I guess he went through a mid life crisis so to speak. There was a while there we were homeless. I loved him though and slept next to him on the cot at the red cross shelter. He became somewhat abusive during this time and so I insisted that I had to feel safe in my own home and he could not live with me until he got control of himself. I helped him get setup in an apt and then got myself a little house in a small town nearby for my daughter and me. He worked real hard to make things up to me for the next six months. I was impressed and so when his lease was up He and I agreed that we would move back together and then work on things even more. I was just as in love and giddy about him and I then as I had been when we fell in love. Here is where everything turns to crap though. about a month later we had been out on a socal visit to a friends house. There was some other folks there that we didn’t know. In particular there was a woman there that I was introduced to but didn’t think any more of than anyone else. Sometime that evening I needed to go home but he was having fun so I told him to just take me and then go back. He did and then he was gone almost all night before I heard from him and he was furious at me. I had no idea what was wrong and he told me that there had been a woman there that was telling him all kinds of things that she claimed I was saying about him. Terrible things and he was so imbarrassed. He was so angry he couldn’t even tell me what it was she said I had said. I kept thinking back about what it could’ve been but didn’t have a clue. Pretty hard to explain or defend yourself against. He felt that I had betrayed him in this way. It took me nearly a week before I got him to tell what is was she claimed. It was all crap and I was able to prove it but it didn’t seem like he was listening. I felt terrible and suddenly there was this barrier between us that even in the worst of times had not been there. Well you guessed it. I have since found out that after she turned him against me she then came on to him really strong. I believe that it was her because I know his style. He is actually shy and comes on really timidly. Of course they began an affair. I have since heard that this woman had been coming on to every guy she could just trying to get someone. I asked him about her a few times because I just had a feeling and of course he denied it. He said she didn’t even appeal to him that she was too much of a bi#ch. Hah! 4 months later he confessed and then told me some story about our marriage that was like someone elses not ours and was talking of leaving me. I did everything wrong. I don’t believe in divorce unless there is abuse. I was devastated. after all we had overcome to have this predatory woman try to steal him yes steal. we were intoroduced to her as husband and wife and then she had the balls to try to claim to me that he had lied to her and said that we had been separated for two years and by the time she figured out that he was married it was too late and she was already in love with him. she felt that I had had him long enough and that she should have him now. She has really got some distorted thinking. Yeah I know I should’ve thrown him out then and there but really I wasn’t going to lose the love of my life for some evil witch like that because I know in the end it will all have been for nothing. They won’t be together. She has tried to pull so many sneaky things like turn my daughter against me and that didn’t work so she has been trying to turn my husband against my daughter. She constantly has crisis that he feels he needs to help her with. I told him I will not tolerate this much longer and I won’t. That’s it. A tale of how adultery and infidelity just messes the world up! Sometimes I think those societies that have capital punishment for it may be right!

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