My Letter to the OP After the Emotional Affair

after the emotional affairI decided not to confront Tanya after the emotional affair for reasons I will discuss during my webinar with Dr. Robert  Huizenga on October 6. However, after reading some comments on the subject recently, something really stuck with me.  The statement that rang true for me was, “I became real to the other person.”

During Doug’s emotional affair I would ask him if Tanya felt bad about the pain the affair was inflicting upon our family and myself.  He replied that she didn’t really think about it and that she felt she had always done what she was supposed to do, and now deserved to be happy.  I would be naïve to think that she would have responded any differently.

Looking back, I wish I would have wrote her a letter telling her about who I was, about our family and about the man I have spent the last thirty years with.  In the other person’s mind we, the victim, don’t really exist and perhaps it should have been my responsibility to let her know just exactly what was being destroyed by her being a part of our lives.

So here is my very belated “Dear Tanya” letter:

Dear Tanya,

My name is Linda and I am the wife of the man you are having an emotional affair with.  I know you would like to pretend that I do not exist, but I am very real – unlike the relationship you are having with my husband.

I would like for you to know a little about our life, since you have never met me or our family, or have ever been in our home or shared meals or holidays with us. I imagine you feel as though you are so close to him, but honestly you know so little about his life – our life – that I feel compelled to share with you what your emotional affair is destroying.

A little history here…Doug and I met thirty years ago on a blind date, and to be honest, it was love at first sight.  From that day forward, we have been at each other’s side.  When we met we were only eighteen and we carried no baggage and we had our whole life ahead of us to discover who we were.  I literally feel as though we grew up together, navigating our way through life, figuring out our likes, dislikes, interests and passions.

The qualities that you find in Doug, will also be found in me. We have 30 years of blending together, perfectly complimenting one another with our strengths, weaknesses, commonalities and passions.

If you really knew us you would realize that instantly.  You would see how well we handle our lives around us.  From something as simple as working together every morning in sync to get the kids off to school, to how we have faced the mountains of challenges that life has dealt us over the years, to unconsciously knowing what the other is thinking.

We also have several traditions that we have celebrated for the last twenty-five years.  Every night we prepare meals and have dinner together as a family.  We have a pre-Christmas celebration where we eat dinner, watch our favorite holiday movie and sleep under the Christmas tree together.  For Doug’s birthday we prepare his favorite meal, and on Valentine” Day we bake a heart shaped cake and a heart shaped pizza.  Just to name a few.

Every night at bedtime for the last twenty-five years Doug kisses me and tells me “Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite. I love you.”  On my birthday he wakes me up cuddling and singing the birthday song, which has been another tradition for the last thirty years or so.

I could go on and on, but why bore you?  The point is your emotional affair with my husband not only threatens our marriage, but the essence of our very existence over the last three decades.  And you will not just be hurting me.  You will also be hurting Doug by taking these things – and much more – away from him.  You will also be hurting yourself, as I’m sure you share similar history and traditions with your husband and family.

You may feel at this point that you have the upper hand, but do you really think that ultimately you can compete with the love that we share and these traditions and history that define his life?  I know Doug pretty well and know that all these things, though they may seem trivial to you, mean the world to him. Eventually you both will snap back to reality and find that you indeed cannot compete and your relationship together will die a slow agonizing death.

If you have any conscious at all, you will back out and end this relationship with Doug and let him live the life that he really is meant to live – with me and his family.  Your relationship is only an illusion which will fade when Doug (and you) realizes what could be lost as a result of this emotional affair.

Please do the right thing!




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36 Responses to My Letter to the OP After the Emotional Affair

  1. D September 23, 2010 at 10:51 am #

    Brava, Linda.

  2. Jeffrey Murrah September 23, 2010 at 2:59 pm #

    There are differences of opinion on whether or not it is good to contact the other party. In most cases, more negative than good often come from it. I have seen situations where it worked, in that the resolute spouse and the lover formed an alliance with the cheater on the outs. The intervention changed the whole dynamics. Most interventions do not go this well, so I typically don’t encourage them to be made.

    Your letter is quite moving and captures the relationship well. I find letters even more dangerous that doing interventions, since they have a habit of falling into the wrong hands, and sticking around longer than is good. Although your letter was on more of a positive note, most I have encountered are of the ‘attacking’ or ‘begging and pleading’ sort, which throw gasoline on an already hot fire.

  3. Jennifer September 24, 2010 at 11:22 am #

    Good point, Jeffrey. I think if I wrote a letter to HER now, it would be an attack. Or something to the effect of ‘I’m a better person than you because I didn’t sleep with a married man.’ It has been better for me to forget about her and concentrate on my husband and me. I write letters to my husband all the time. Only recently did I actually give one to him and I think it turned out positively.

    • R September 25, 2010 at 9:18 am #

      Unfortunately the other woman in my case knew me and even commented to me before the affair started that my husband and I seemed to have such a great marriage (which we actually did). She had been to our house for meals, and we had been to her and her husband’s house. It just so happens my husband was going through a mid-life crisis when she came along and was an easy target. I did confront her after the (full-blown) affair was revealed. Although she told me she was sorry, she really wasn’t. I later found out she was still lying about things while “apologizing” to me. She has no conscience. I have seen her since the affair ended, and she acts like nothing happened. She actually thinks we should be able to be friends. There are some people (sociopaths) that just don’t feel anything. There is no remorse or regret. You can’t get through to them. Confronting her was good for me because I got a chance to see who she really is, but it’s very sad to realize she will never change and that she will eventually cause someone else the same type of pain she has caused me. I no longer despise her, I just feel sorry for her.

      • Doug September 25, 2010 at 1:16 pm #

        r, I imagine the betrayal was even greater because you knew the person and trusted that person to behave differently. I also can relate to the sentence about this woman causing someone pain. Just recently Doug admitted that Tanya had become “close” to someone else before she became involved with him, although I don’t know the details. The thought of her affecting someone’s life like she affected mine made me sick to my stomach. I wondered what kind of woman she really was, what void was she trying to fill in her life. Linda

  4. jac September 28, 2010 at 10:58 am #

    This post rings true to me. I have been considering writing a letter to the OP in our story. I was wondering if anyone has found themselves in a similar situation. in our case my husband and best friend found themselves in the midst of an emotional affair that recently turned physical. I found out when i was confiding in her and at the end she told me she had to tell me something and admitted that she was in love with my husband. At that point i was calm and realiezed she could no longer be my confidante.

    Since then my husband and i have been talking and connecting and i truly am happier than i have ever been before.

    The only part i can’t fully understand is what to do going forward in regards to her. our lives are so intertwined with family, friends, kids etc.

    I keep telling myself I’m going to be okay and I can be around her but i saw her last week just a glimpse of her and I had a mini panic attack. This scared me a great deal.

    I should add I have been speaking with a counsellor and am seeing one tonight to help work on me.

    the biggest thing I learned is that by putting everyone elses feelings, needs ahead of mine i lost myself and i never want that to happen again.

    Thanks for listening.

    • Doug September 28, 2010 at 11:45 am #

      jac, thanks for commenting and sharing. I’m assuming that your husband and her have cut all ties with each other? If not, completely cutting off contact is a must, and it concerns me that since your lives are so intertwined with the OW’s that it could become an issue down the road. If it is impossible for this to happen due to your circumstances, your husband must be completely transparent and must abide by strict boundaries when it comes to the OW. Does her husband know? Keep us updated on your counseling session. Best of luck.

    • Bonnie August 29, 2014 at 9:10 am #

      I wrote a 24 page letter to the OP and gave her an idea of who I was (am), that I have passions and talents, skills and abilities, not to mention that I’m smart! My husband only briefly mentioned me to her. Told her how much she meant to him, how much our children meant to him but never once told her how much I meant to him (even though he told me so). As a result, she saw me as this blank-faced presence in the background of his life. I emailed my letter to her 6 months after D-day. I also sent it in the mail to make absolutely sure she received it (taking the chance her husband would see it and come after my husband). Then I dropped it until he did it again a few months later with a co-worker. It’s been 4 years and I have yet to gain back my full trust in him. We’ve been married for 30 years.

  5. Nancy October 4, 2010 at 9:44 am #

    My husband of 30 years recently had an EA with an old friend of his after he retired and we moved back to his hometown. After I found out about it, he cut off ties with her, although she continued to send him occasional emails asking why they still couldn’t be “friends and just talk.” She lives in the same small town as we do, so it is possible that we could run into her at some point. I finally asked him if I could respond to one of her emails. In my response, I said that while as a couple we had hit a rough patch in our marriage ( adapting to retirement was a little more stressful than he had anticipated), we had re-committed to one another and I was sure that we faced an exciting and long future together. I also said that I did not see our paths crossing very much with hers, but that we both wished her and her family the best. My husband read it, and I told him it was his decision to send it or not. He did – and since then, only one email from her in the last 2 months. I felt at least maybe she realized that the secrecy that was probably part of the excitiement of thier relationship, wasn’t there anymore – and that I’m not some mushroom being kept in the dark about any contact from her. Maybe it made no difference to her, but the fact that my husband pushed send on his own helped me.

    • Doug October 4, 2010 at 10:11 am #

      Nancy, thanks for the comment. That’s an excellent idea that many could learn from.

  6. Jenn October 12, 2010 at 9:28 am #

    I contacted the OP several times, and nothing worked. The ONLY thing that worked to end this was contacting her husband. It was a gut-wrenching decision for me, because I knew that this meant he would be devastated like I was. But now, my husband is back and we are working on the painful process of reconciling. I am so glad to have found your site, I have been looking for months for real life stories of those trying to make it–from both sides of the affair.

  7. emiboots October 18, 2010 at 3:40 pm #

    I have communicated several times the with OW, but I don’t have plans to do so again. I felt compelled to let her know directly from me how I felt about the situation and that I was concerned that she was being manipulated and used to a certain extent. My husband refuses to end contact with her; he says (and so does she) that they’re “just friends” now. So I’m pretty sure if I were to say anything more to either of them that I will be exacerbating a me against them kind of thing. I’m not interested in that. I know he feels this need to “protect” her and anything negative I say is going to push him away even more.
    Today – right now – I am very angry. I think it’s unfair and I don’t want to have to be the bigger person. I don’t so much have a problem with not bringing it up anymore, but I am not currently interested in cheerfully meeting his needs, today, either.

  8. Rushan October 20, 2010 at 2:00 am #

    Yes emiboots my husband and the ow are also just friends and he feels sorry for her because she had to care for her mother and shelost her jo. but now she has a nice job and a nice house, he says he doesn’t contact her anymore but I have heard something and from that I gathers they still contact each other more so she than he and now I do not know how to react to that becaus I am not suppose to know they still contact. I am going to confirm it and then maybe oh I don’t know

  9. jac October 20, 2010 at 8:48 am #

    Just a little update. Her husband now knows and he has forgiven her and I have forgiven my husband. the problem is she still wants my husband. She looked me in the eye and said she understood, that i still love him and want us to stay together and she knows that he has fell back into love with me but she doesn’t care. She loves him and knows better and knows that they will one day be together. I know that I am the one responsible for my happiness and I am working on myself each and every day BUT I still can’t help feeling like she just keeps taking and taking and wondering how she can be so Cruel. I know it’s because she does believe she loves him and it is slowly breaking me because as much as my husband choose to stay it hurts him that she is hurting and he is responsible….

  10. Lostinlove November 24, 2010 at 3:00 pm #

    The cowardly ways, it’s always been amazing to me how people who say they “love you” can destroy you. The OW in my case was an ex coworker of both of us, she is single and half my age which makes it terribly painful, not only that she would contact me now and again to say hello, talk about my family, ask about my husband! Along the way, she was texting him and he, her all day long, every day, except when he was off work. no communications if i were around, but when i was at work and he home…he would send me one note and her fifty! Just friends……those words make me sick now. When I discovered the affair, i sent her a text, asked her if she enjoy’s texting MY husband, she replied” why do you say it that way I text everyone”…so everyone look out. The bond of marriage is so thin in this world we live in, it takes all the romance out. Our marriage is still young, but had survived, devastating financial loss, a child with cancer, alcohol abuse, verbal abuse, and now emotional abuse and betrayal… i am trying to piece each day together, one emotion at a time.

  11. Alecia May 10, 2011 at 1:14 pm #

    Very touching. And truly a positive letter. Being negative and attacking would benefit absolutely no one. What I find wonderful about your letter is that in telling her everything that her choices are affecting you are in a way throwing all the good things about your relationship with your hubby in her face. She probably never stopped to think about the fact that you wake up together everyday or have traditions or inside jokes. There is also a good chance that most OW’s believe that the marriages that their affair partners are in are awful and tense and unloving. Sharing some of your examples let her know that there is a lot of love in your marriage. Potentially the stories she was fed or the truth she allowed herself to believe about Doug’s marriage was just obliterated by this letter.

    The few communications I had with my husband’s OW were negative. She came across as very manipulative, controlling, jealous and selfish. It often made me wonder why my husband wasn’t capable of seeing those things for himself! But I did eventually write a letter to her that I never sent. It took over a year for me to be in a place where I could even write it. But it needed to be written. It was a letter of forgiveness. And although my heart doesn’t always everyday feel forgiving the words of this letter bring me back to what is most important. The healing of my marriage. The moving forward instead of always looking back.

  12. Kristine July 7, 2011 at 2:16 am #

    When I found out WHO the OP was (most of my H’s adultery was online) i did write out a letter. It would have backfired on me because my letter was to tell her all the sex me and my husband were having. I thought at the time that I would blow a little truth her way and let her know that her “man” as I saw her call him many times online was still sleeping with his wife. As if that would have bothered her. I naively assumed it would but I realize now it wouldn’t have. I don’t think she cared if he was or wasn’t since her goal was to just get us to be over at some point so she could have my life. She was willing to be very patient and once my H moved out she thought all was going in her favor. I also realize where my husband was at, it would have caused a closer alliance between the two. He would have thought I was trying to wreck all his happiness and she would have played victim, acted upset, like she was going to end it and that would have caused him to get angry at ME. I read the email to my mom THANK GOD and she said “don’t’ send that honey, you don’t need to clue her into anything else about you or your life.” Wise words from a wise woman. I hit delete and never sent it but you know what? I’m going to type one up now to her and send it to myself. It will be therapeutic for me to do so.

  13. Broken August 4, 2011 at 10:14 am #

    I know this is an older thread but I am struggling with this right now. It has been 11 mpnths and lately I have felt this incredible urge to write the OW. Actually I did and saved it. The letter was very civil and I didn’t bash her at all. She pretty much disapperared the day I found out (thank goodness). I really just want to know what she felt her relationship was with my H. DId she love him? Did she see a future with him? How much time did they spend together? Did she know I didnt know she even existed? I guess more then anything else I need to know if my H is telling me the truth because he has answered all of these questions for her. Should I send it? Should I just let itgo? My h doesn’t want to talk about the affair anymore and I still need to at least occasionally. I do not trust him at all and I dont trust him to tell me the truth so I struggle with this.

    • Doug August 4, 2011 at 12:01 pm #

      Broken, If you haven’t already, read the first comment for this post from Jeff Murrah. That might help you with your decision. You might also really look within to determine exactly why (and if) you really want to know all these things. Will it be beneficial to you, your relationship and your healing?

    • Kristine August 4, 2011 at 12:51 pm #

      Broken I think you’re at where I was at last year when I wanted to email the OP. I wanted her to know the truth about our marriage and I wanted to know her side. This was when my H was still *in* the adultery. I didn’t trust anything he said and somehow thought I could find out the truth from her. Dumb of me now that I look back at that.

      Knowing her side would have only caused ME more grief because I realize now she was not in a position to HELP ME. She would have made things worse if she could have because she wasn’t coming from a place of sincerity and wholeness herself. She was a person who had no problem getting involved with a married man no matter what the destruction caused to others. Why would she want to give me any closure to help me beyond that? She wouldn’t have. She wanted my husband! She would have helped give me closure alright, closure on my marriage!

      Don’t get me wrong. I’m not blaming the OP for my H’s adultery. He had his part, I’m just giving her, her share of the blame. Why would you expect your husband’s affair partner to be in a healthy place to assist you in your healing? She’s not. She’s also not privy to what REALLY was going on. Her take on it will be one of EMOTIONS and FEELINGS. She’s not coming from a realistic place of what an affair bubble is and how your husband wasn’t even fully himself.

      My advice, is to write a letter to your husband’s affair partner and save it, don’t send it. I am SOOOOOOOOO thankful now I never sent that email. I will not give her another peek into my marriage or my life now that the door’s been shut and she’s on the other side.

      Consider that. What will YOU gain? The truth or her truth? Her perception or reality? Will you get healing or more pain. Why would you expect anyone who colluded with your husband in such a manner to do anything upstanding to assist you with what YOU need? Don’t do it! Write the letter, send it to yourself, print it if you want to and save it and then think on it. I bet in time, you will be glad you never sent it.

      The REAL issue and why you think you need to write the OP is because your husband isn’t giving you what you need. You NEED the pieces of the puzzle that are missing and they can only come from him. He can’t close the door on your healing until you say you’ve healed. Once you get THAT, then you won’t even be thinking about the OP! I know because by God, I’m there!!! 🙂

      I just found a book I wish I had found when my husband first returned but I don’t think that was in God’s plan. It’s called How to Help Your Spouse Heal from your Affair. Get it. Read it and then pass it onto your spouse. I’m not sure if you’re in counseling or not but I’d recommend that too. Focus on the Family has great counselors all over the US and you can call them for a referral.

      God Bless! God does heal hurting marriages. Pray pray pray and trust in HIM, not your husband 🙂

  14. Sane September 17, 2011 at 12:19 am #

    In my situation the OP works close (not same building) to my H job. She had been in our house meet our grandchild and set out to steal my husband. When he told her it was over she begged him to continue with the emotional affair. It took my H over 4 months to get honest about that. Also, OP is married, and her H works out of town. I can not grasp how a person can do this to other human beings. I would rather do more than write her a letter.

    • nm wife October 24, 2011 at 5:29 pm #

      I am having a hard time coping with an emotional affair my husband had for over 4 months that ended when i found out 3 months ago . I have wanted to contact the other person so many times even though my husband cut off all ties with her. She lives in another state. the letter is as nasty as it can get towards her because of my anger and jealousy. however my husband has had to pay on this end and is doing every thing he can to make it up to me, I love him but i don’t know how to make the pain end. we have been married for 30 yrs. He regrets it all but i’m mad as hell and hurt to the core, how long will it take to mend my broken heart. I even feel sorry for my husband at times because of his sincere, heartfelt remorse. we cry together and i know he hurts for my pain. what what what do people do to cope after betrayal.

  15. Mia November 14, 2011 at 4:38 pm #

    I found myself in a similar situation, but what I did was contact the OP’s husband and made him aware of what I was burdened with. Needless to say it didn’t turn out pretty. She approached my husband and and thanked him for me ruining her marriage as if I really cared.

    • nmwf1 March 31, 2012 at 1:01 pm #

      Hi Mia, i was reading old blogs and i just came across this one you wrote about you contacting the op’s husband, I am impressed and frankly love the fact that it ruined the OW’s marriage or at least caused a lot of grief, I do however feel for her husband who is in our same shoes. But I have a lot of regrets because My D-day was July 3rd 8 months ago and I have stewed about contacting the OW’s husband or what ever he is, I just know shes been with him a long time , but It seems pointless now, I wish i had the guts in the beginning. But i was a coward, instead I sucked it up and drove myself crazy and obsessed about it. During a few of my rages which I still have from time to time, I scream at my husband to get her on the phone so I can at least vent my anger but he wezels out of it cause I guess poor thing,he doesn’t want to hurt her poor little feelings. F her and F him I’m the one falling apart and It pisses me off so bad that he wants to spare her feelings and his humiliation of calling her with me screaming, but who the hell is sparing my feelings. IT SURE AS HELL ISN’T EITHER ONE OF THEM
      !!!!!! sorry have to vent to you…….thx nm

  16. NM wife January 16, 2012 at 4:58 am #

    well its now been a few more months since i discovered my husbands emotional affair, and i am not any closer to coping than i was in the beginning. i feel sick all the time. i have had fits of rage with him, i have had crying cessions with him, i have had heart to heart talks with him. It angers me to think this emotional affair is controlling my every waking moment of thoughts in one way or another. Everything in one way or another reminds me of it. I cant believe he did it and i don’t know how to get over it. what really bothers me is that he is being overly attentive to me and doing everything in his power to make me feel better, but I feel I love him and hate him at the same time. Honestly on a daily basis i want to rip his head off. And yet I cant bare to lose him. I cant stop the madness. I have lost 40 lbs because of the stress and i constantly lie to everyone that I did it dieting . What a bunch of crap the betrayed person has to endure because of a selfish act of a spouse who’s only answer for it all is I don’t know how it happened, I just got carried away, It wasn’t me, it wasn’t me. what a f—ing cop out. I hate what he did and I am destroyed.

  17. NM wife January 16, 2012 at 5:27 am #

    Dear MIA i would love to do that but my understanding is that she has a boyfriend but not a husband. course that could be a lie as well. I mean really, what the hell makes me think anything he told me is the truth. I don’t understand how a person who has been married for so many years would risk his relationship for a cheap sorted affair. Not to mention i get the impression that he didnt see it as an affair. even though to appease me he agrees that it was. I mean really they both called each other around the clock and text message thousands of times and had phhhhooonnnnneeee sexxxxxxx. for GD’s sake. if that isn’t an affair i don’t know what is for crying out loud. I am a total LUNATIC at this point over this whole thing and I want answers from my husband that he cant seem to give. or won’t . And I want to give her a piece of my mind. Oh did I mention that she once dated him before we met. Really REALLY . And by the way I am no slouch even though i lost 40 lbs i have always taken good care of myself and dressed nice. I have always been a person who was aware of my husbands needs and made sure they were met . but apparently it wasn’t enough. i guess superwoman I’m not. Maybe phone sex was more exciting than the real thing. Oh boy I give up.

  18. NM wife January 16, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

    i just have to say Linda. you are much nicer than i can be. My anger is so strong I could not say something nice to this person if i tried because there is no way the OP is innocent. she knew he was a married man and that there conversations were behind my back and she had to know I didn’t know anything about it because what wife would put up with that for minute. All the sites say you should tell a trusted friend or trusted family member so that you can talk about it and get there input. Are you kidding me i am so ashamed of what happened that i can’t bare to let anyone know. Ours is (was) the marriage everyone envy’s . we are always together. was very happy, loving, the one couple everyone believes is untouchable, boy what a sham, I can’t bare to be the laughing stock since, conversations have come up time and time in our lives about this very subject and people would always comment on how we are so lucky. At Christmas this year at the family get together I pretended everything was just the same, but was absolutely sad inside, angry inside that I wasn’t enjoying a single moment of any of it. But with a big f—ing smile on my face. What a fa sod. Our family gatherings are large so everyone sits with others to gossip and of course, to add insult to injury the subject came up about of infidelity of others we know and for once i didn’t have much comments to make because I didn’t want to be a total hypocrite. After all its easy to give advice till it happens to you. Then you cant even give yourself advice because you to busy trying to overcome the betrayal and lies and the question to yourself of (Just where the hell was I when all of this was going on?) Sorry I have to vent and this is my only outlet thus far…..

  19. Paula January 16, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

    NM wife

    Don’t panic, and try not to be too hard on yourself, easy words, VERY hard to do! Many of us have been exactly where you are now. The crazed person you become is truly bizarre, I know, I’ve felt that way myself. I think you sound very similar to me, had a lovely relationship with your H, mine was gorgeous, too. His emotional and sexual affair of 15 months, with the ex-girlfriend (who cheated on him, with at least 4 guys, that I know of) who was a lifelong friend of mine – not a close one – just a member of the girlhood crew we all grew up with, but, who nonetheless holidayed with our family at our holiday home, came to all our parties, ate my fabulous food (without ever repaying the favour, BTW) stayed over at our house, etc, etc, completely floored me, gutted, wiped out, took me completely by surprise. She was too damn close, and then never had the grace to apologise or even acknowledge me after he ended it and she took it upon herself to let me know all about it, via text (gutless) about a month after she realised he’d “chosen me.” I was bereft, embarrassed, sick (they’d given me chlamydia – I’ve only ever slept with him in my lifetime.) But, you know what, even though all of these awful things happened, and we’re not healed yet, I’m okay. I still have periods of complete misery, but the anger has finally subsided somewhat. I don’t know if we’ll make it as a couple, it’s looking pretty precarious at present, but I know our friendship is intact, he is deeply embarrassed and remorseful, he loves me, I love him, we love our kids, and I’M OKAY. I know exactly how you feel about the facade you put up, I do the same thing, and I know about the discussion about affairs, it feels very uncomfortable. blueskyabove posted a fabulous comment today about self esteem and ego, and it is SO very right. I liken it all to the “pride comes before a fall” saying, we now have gained empathy for people in this situation, I rather fancied I knew how they felt, and the pain they experienced, I didn’t know it went of for years, some parts of it, for life, but I like that I am now not on my high horse, thinking I knew about something I had never personally experienced, through watching my mother’s pain, my friends’ pain. I wish to high heaven that I didn’t have to know this way, but there it is. That is not to say I thought we were perfect, but we loved, laughed, worked toward common goals, communicated (up until the point where he shut me out, and confided his fears, etc to her) and I thought we were “perfect” for US.

    If you are too embarrassed to talk to a trusted friend, that is where you need to find someone else, a paid professional, a church counsellor (I’m not sure how this works, as am not church minded) etc, as keeping up the facade is part of the reason why you are venting all of your anger AT your husband, it has nowhere else to go. That is not to say that he doesn’t deserve it, and he actually needs to SEE what his selfish actions have caused, feel some of your pain for you to move forward, but eventually there needs to be another outlet or release valve as well!

    I wish you all the best, and am glad you have found this forum, as it is a safe place to vent, and I’ve found it can soothe somewhat to understand that you are not alone in this most hideous of journeys.

  20. NM wife January 17, 2012 at 1:08 am #

    wow, thank you for replying so fast, Thanks for reading my rant, truly i don’t know how to cope, This woman lives in another state and i believe him and her have not physically seen each other however because of the nature of the affair, phone s.x and all, I feel the betrayal and pain as if it were physical. But really i feel that if i didnt catch it when i did they would have eventually found a way to see each other. My husband is very remorseful and is going overboard to make up for the mess he has caused but my resentment is so strong right now. When i am out of controll angry at him, he breaks down. Sometimes i feel sorry for him, sometimes I look at him and want to attack him, I don’t, but i sure as hell feel like it. I really hate when he tells me it wasnt me i don’t know who i was, i don’t know what i was thinking, (really I suppose if the tables were turned he would buy that same line. really REALLY . Gee honey it wasn’t me who had phone sex with that person it wasnt me who sent explicit pictures back and forth with some guy. Do you think he would except that from me? not just no but HELL NO. There are days when I can pretend that i’m not thinking about it. because i really don’t want to push him to leaving. That would be salt in a wound, however there is not a day that goes by and practically not a minute that it is not weighing heavy. This whole thing cuts like a knife and i don’t even feel like me anymore. I am not the person anymore who felt so secure and so sure of myself and my relationship with the man i love. Where do i go from here? how do i get back that feeling of security, that feeling that is absolute, a feeling that i was the only one in his world or ever would be. He had another woman on his mind for months and i cant change it. All i can do is suck it up and get the hell over it. Oh and by the way, the worst thing i have found is analyzing the phone bill on line. I know it inside and out. i have obsessed over it, i have worked up stuff in my head. God help me, I am so overwhelmed with this f…ing nightmare. My Jealousy is out of control and i think i am at the verge of a nervous breakdown.

  21. Myra July 31, 2017 at 4:14 pm #

    I never sent the letter that I labored over for MONTHS – my letter to her was my therapy, and I did share a few versions with my husband – mostly to see if I got it right – would there be something that she would object to, therefore making my whole statement/letter sound ridiculous and not sink in? I am still not sure of the answer….my husband is a little tight lipped about some aspects of the affair…
    We are 2 and 1/2 years past the affair being over (4 month affair – out of town business – old HS girlfriend!), and I don’t believe they have had any contact with each other – if they did, it was early on, it took a while for him to come around to wholeheartedly work on us. I will say, in lieu sending it, I set my privacy on FB wide open so she could see my posts – I often used my marriage photo as my profile picture, and went overboard with pictures of flowers he sent me for anniversaries since the affair, selfies with the 2 of us, remodeled house photos (our joint projects) – on and on about how I love my husband, and he still “made my toes curl” after all these years – I wanted to make sure there was no doubt in her mind that we are indeed a “thing” and not to be interfered with. My husband had told her in a letter during the affair that he would see her again sometime when he was an old man – now that is dangling a carrot that a desperate woman can hold on to…so since that was said, I wanted to dispel any hope of them ever reconnecting. If I were to send her a letter today, it would say how much the affair humbled my husband to the point that he let go of his ego, and became a devoted partner with humility for his humanness – that his remorse and regret were a catalyst for change – that he couldn’t stand the man she had persuaded him to become – basically, that her grand scheme backfired more that she knew, by bringing us together more – that cheaters lose, and hurt themselves in the process. I will never contact her, because I believe she had a “power trip” around breaking up a good thing – never let them see you sweat….! Oh, and by the way, she “blocked” me on FB after 6 months (of watching my page, I assume) – I had never contacted her directly, so not sure what she was blocking – me from seeing her posts, or her from seeing mine 🙂 It must be the latter…. I still post with her in mind – damn, I need to stop! But our anniversary was last week…I can’t help myself.

  22. Beth November 29, 2017 at 2:02 pm #

    I found out about my husband’s affair with a coworker 3 months ago but the affair happened a year and a half ago. She kept sending him nudes and videos to him and He says she is not important. I am going to counseling, he doesn’t want to talk about it.
    But the 3 of us work together!!!! it has been very difficult to see her every day and not to attack her. Contacting her in any form is something that is constantly in my head, but I haven’t done. I just stare when I see her pouring some coffee. I want to leave some notes at her desk or throw coffee at her face, vandalized her car or tell the whole officee. I want her to feel some shame. She knew me and even talked to me as if she hasn’t done anything wrong, was she just checking if I knew? She knows our baby girl for God Sake.
    But everything I have researched is not to do it. Some say she has no shame and will not have it other say it will bring them together, and things like you are better than that.
    Right now just feel dissapointed, sad and without motivation.

  23. AlmostHealed January 2, 2018 at 3:26 pm #

    Here is the letter I wrote – it still hurts, and I feel so utterly taken for granted. Maybe someone will get some healing from reading my words. I never sent it – and I am so glad I didn’t because she doesn’t deserve to know how I suffered – she must think I am a saint for not going after her, and I have to say, I like the saying – never let them see you sweat. But here are my feelings, if anyone wants to read them. Its long, sorry!
    Private ramblings to My Husband’s Affair Partner
    As you know, I am aware you and my husband had an affair some time ago. You may wonder why I am writing to you after all this time and I understand why you would question this.
    I often wondered if you would get in touch with me to debrief me on your side of the story, and if there was a compelling or justifiable reason for you to go down this path that would help me understand why you chose to involve yourself this way in our lives. I wondered if you had remorse for the pain I went through as a result, or if you felt it was easier to focus on your positive experiences than to reflect on the lessons and regret from wounding another woman’s heart and marriage. Some women aren’t ready to face the anguish they have dealt another by their intrusion, and I can see why they may not want to think very hard about that.
    My husband has shared his thoughts and feelings about his missteps – we both needed to gain insight into his motives and weaknesses and to the whys and hows this happened. He has (repeatedly) expressed regret over crossing this line in our marriage and he owned his actions with remorse while he weathered my pain, disappointment and grief. His heartfelt apologies and his ongoing no-contact with you have been the basis for our healing and renewed trust.
    Up until your involvement, we were not irrevocably broken – this was not a failed marriage nor was this a foregone conclusion – divorce was never discussed between us, until the time when he could no longer look me in the eye. We both had our own relationship narrative and I understand how our stories may differ, but we were in the same marriage so perceptions may be different but the facts are not. We may have had issues but I hadn’t given up on him, and I truly believed he hadn’t given up on me until he stumbled down this path and could no longer gain his footing.
    Please understand that it is presumptuous to try and evaluate the availability of a man or the health of his marriage from the outside looking in – you can never know the whole truth from this limited perspective, even though he may act as if his marriage is unimportant and you may feel like you have a clear picture of this.
    Look at this from my point of view. Imagine that your husband is working out-of-town while you are busy with your responsibilities at home. While he is away, he suddenly becomes distant, defensive, detached, snarky, combative and barely able to communicate. Once he comes home, he’s accusatory and blaming with a perchance for deceit and asking to divorce me. His heart and mind had turned against me while I frantically searched for the man I knew inside. To try and reason with him was baffling with his justifications, distortions, combativeness, and lack of caring about my well-being or how I was dealing with this crisis. How would you think and feel if this was your husband? The pain and confusion at this time felt overwhelming.
    I’m not blaming you for the affair since he chose this too…. I am however holding you responsible for sleeping with a married man – my spouse. You acted without my consent in secrecy and had sex with my husband – clinging to the most precious person in my life in the most underhanded of ways.
    You may be thinking to yourself, “no one owns another person’s feelings or body,” or, “if it wasn’t me, it would have been somebody else,” or “he needed me – I was helping him!” or whatever you told yourself to help you feel OK about your choices.
    Did you imagine that you could simply pick up where you left off from your youth despite his marital status and your different life paths? I understand that you let him know that he had the qualities that you were looking for in a man – did you believe ‘being available’ was an important consideration? Did you allow your self-talk of “this was meant to be,” override your common sense?
    What did you believe would happen to me if he got completely wrapped up in your world? Would you encourage him to abandon our marriage so you could keep him around? Did you believe his risk to his life and future was worth it for him? You were casually gambling with his and other people’s lives, with little to lose yourself. To tell your married affair partner “this isn’t what I want” when he tells you he is choosing his real life, is imploring he change his entire life for your needs. Did you consider his needs and the needs of other people in his life? Were your short-term needs more important than…
    his decade-plus marriage,
    his love for his wife,
    his wife’s love for him,
    our offspring’s lessons on integrity
    and their loss of a stable father-figure,
    his self-respect and reputation,
    his financial health,
    the inevitable disappointment of his parents
    the respect of friends?
    Most of these considerations had already been compromised by this point and would continue to trash his life if he continued down this path. Did you understand the enormity of this request, and still feel that this was fair to ask of him while he was emotionally strung-out and vulnerable? Even if he didn’t seem to care or recognize this, couldn’t you? Isn’t this taking advantage at our expense? Where was your compassion? Surely you don’t feel a few months fling would warrant this kind of dedication, did you?
    What I didn’t quite understand at the time were the power of connection, desire shame and confusion. These blur the lines of wants, needs and life’s realities. Connection and desire made the desire feel right, while shame makes right or wrong a mute point. The resulting confusion of how to process these emotions ultimately led to his very chaotic mental state.
    The more he got involved, more he felt connected. The more connected he felt the more he used justifications against our marriage/me. The more he used justifications, the more shame he felt about his choices, face-to-face. The deeper the shame, the more he felt his missteps were unforgivable. The more he felt unforgivable, the more bridges he burned. The confusion and burned bridges made him impressionable and easily swayed as to the meaning of this connection, and how to proceed.

    You must have felt heartened by your connection, his bridge burning and ambivalence about his life and our marriage, and hoped these feelings may encourage him to stick around. This further distanced us while strengthening your bond. I was miles away and unable to reach him emotionally while he flip-flopped from justification to shame for his choices.

    His inability to live with the lies left him completely numb and empty. Your willingness to provide sex for sympathy in his broken state helped him feel better in the moment but did nothing for his self-loathing as he continued to dig a deeper hole. The burnout of the affair from the big-picture of deception was inevitable – this is the tipping point when the pain finally overrides the guilt, and he was left asking, “Who have I become?”

    It took some time to extract himself from this downward spiral.
    You must have realized I was reeling when he told me about the affair. I persuaded him to quit trying to hide and to come clean with the affair (in case you were wondering how this came about). I never intended to go “down to your state and kick your ass,” however. I could understand your concern, but I felt this was his issue – I gave him the space to figure it out and although at first, he faltered, it was out of my control – I could only cheer him on from a distance. He had free will, always – this had to be.
    Once contact with you was finally broken, you were forced to sit with yourself in a rather large karma debt that may have felt quite oppressive. It’s tough to justify your behavior to your true-self no matter how you try to spin it, like in your last email.
    Your illusion of respect was bogus – no one was given respect. Secret texts, sexual emails and clandestine meetings are fantasy and manipulation – not respect. Overriding your common sense by getting involved in another’s marriage and ignoring the greater good of doing ‘no harm’, failed any self-respect test. Observing his lack of respect for me at that time must have been a red flag for you – yet you still chose this?
    Of the beautiful life lessons you wrote about, I felt the destruction of several lives and potentially a marriage was the primary life lesson I learned.
    Complementing my husband on his integrity was ironic. Isn’t integrity doing what is right even when you think nobody is watching? Do you feel he did what was right for you or I…. or himself? Did you believe a man that values integrity can live with deceit?
    The laws of the universe are exacting. There is no such thing as something for nothing. There’s no deceptive relationship that can also be an authentic one. If you ask someone you trust and respect (or ask your heart) what is wholehearted and authentic about love under these circumstances, and you will have your answer – You don’t need to hear it from me.
    The vulnerability? No argument there.
    The feelings of pain of betrayal, lack-of-respect, feeling taken-for-granted and abandonment that I felt, along with my husband’s shame of betraying and violating the trust and confidence in our marriage, was in stark contrast to your feelings of value, safety, sustenance, and wholeheartedness that you wrote about. I imagine more negative feelings have surfaced since then – connected feelings tend to dissipate once the reality hits of lost connection.
    What is unconscionable to me is in the solidarity of sisterhood that you would not only sleep with my husband but then try to discourage his desire and hope to save our marriage and consciously thwart his attempt to grow from this. During this fragile time, I was searching for faith and sincere regret from him but he couldn’t express these things while you continued to be available. For you not to honor “no contact” on his first attempts to cut ties, and to repeatedly encouraging him to stay connected to you over the next couple of months kept him emotionally distant from me – We needed to heal then – we needed a break.

    I was increasingly bewildered at your fishing for contact even while he was back with me in our home. This was my husband of more than a dozen years – the person I loved and relied on. Your casually sending emails, pictures and texts while our marriage was deep in crisis and we were attempting to heal felt shameless. He needed to act secretively to communicate with you, which further broke trust. This was a confusing and fragile time for us – it was all I could do to stop the bleeding from this jagged wound in the underbelly our marriage without fresh reminders of what cut us. Watching them delivered conveniently through his electronics right to our home felt menacing.

    After helping to orchestrate our disconnection, were you trying to make sure our reconnection would fail as well? I needed your co-operation, not competition – He was gone.

    Affairs can be thrilling! Exciting! Full of drama! You have a co-conspirator – a new best friend! There is you and me against the world and our little secret mentality! Feelings of connection – confirmation of desirability – endorphins – sex! As an added benefit, there is competition with another woman – and for a while you actually feel like you are winning. You were able to discourage me from even wanting my husband back by leaving a trail of evidence for me to turn away from him in disgust, while he showed ambivalence – Win. From your perspective, who cares? It only increases your chance of success – so why not? Alienate his wife, while endearing yourself to him emotionally and sexually for the best chance of success.

    It’s all been done before.

    If you felt the need for these tumultuous emotions to sustain you, so be it – but it is the shadow side of true love and will burn you out every time. It exacts a toll spiritually, emotionally, and physically, while spreading negativity to everyone else sucked into this vortex. One thing I have learned – true and lasting love is built slowly on a foundation of trust and respect – it is not rushed or stolen from another family’s home.
    My husband didn’t return to our marriage under an obligation based on his integrity as you may have believed – he loved me and always has – this affair was an unfortunate chapter in our lives and part our life lessons.
    “Home-wrecker” or “spouse-poacher” are not great aspirations or legacies – I would argue these are some of the worst karma generators out there. In fact, this rarely turns out well for anyone involved, least of all the affair partner. You don’t get a man that is worthy of your trust by giving him a pass on his morals – but you will get the one you deserve in the long run. What you had was a broken version of a magnificent guy… what I got back was a humble, deliberate and intentional man determined to make things right between us and grow from this and for that I am grateful. Your involvement (paradoxically) helped seal our ongoing connection by making us face our issues head-on before it was too late.
    You may have felt dismayed by his sudden severing of communication in the end but isn’t that how it goes when married couples reconcile post affair? (and they usually do). Your show of dismay for being disrespected by the impersonal way he severed ties was laughable. The final ‘no contact’ was the long overdue renewed respect for our marriage and me. When you play games that are based in lies and deceit, how do you expect to be treated fairly?
    I have been a victim of many, many atrocities in my lifetime. This wasn’t like any other backstabbing episode because the wreckage was spread out over time and distance – much like a train wreck. The first impact was being robbed of the connection in my marriage; next the integrity of my husband was dragged down the tracks as the twisted metal of doubt cast concerning the viability of our marriage around the issues of trust and respect. I was left in a mangled heap, trying to make sense of what seemed so senseless.
    In the end, I have channeled my pain from this experience into self-reflection and appreciation for life. Our marriage needed a wake-up call – and thankfully we were still recoverable enough to get back “on track”. This attests to the well of faith and strength that I carried for us that kept us viable.
    I hope you will use this letter as an opportunity to reflect on your role in our unraveling with humility so that you may find the grace to recognize your part in the pain from this deception. There is the bigger life-lesson than what you learned during your involvement which may be a bit harder to grasp but is fundamental.
    One cannot know what is needed for remorse until one understands who has been affected, and how….I hope this adds the needed clarity.
    May you go forward in truth and peace in your heart.
    His Wife

    • Muddling through April 27, 2018 at 5:02 pm #

      AlmostHealed, I wrote to you below, but didn’t click the right button to make it show up under your message. I just wanted to add that the paragraph from your letter where you write:

      “What I didn’t quite understand at the time were the power of connection, desire shame and confusion. These blur the lines of wants, needs and life’s realities. Connection and desire made the desire feel right, while shame makes right or wrong a mute point. The resulting confusion of how to process these emotions ultimately led to his very chaotic mental state. The more he got involved, more he felt connected. The more connected he felt the more he used justifications against our marriage/me. The more he used justifications, the more shame he felt about his choices, face-to-face. The deeper the shame, the more he felt his missteps were unforgivable. The more he felt unforgivable, the more bridges he burned. The confusion and burned bridges made him impressionable and easily swayed as to the meaning of this connection, and how to proceed.”

      is exactly what my husband describes that he went through during his affair (except you put it so much better!). Thank you for describing it so clearly.

  24. AW February 1, 2018 at 3:58 am #

    The heck with sending letters to the OW. TELL THE HUSBAND!! Why should she get away with an affair. Let them suffer too! I have my reasons for saying this.

  25. Muddling through April 27, 2018 at 4:50 pm #

    To Almost Healed
    Thank you so much for publishing the letter you wrote to your husband’s affair partner. It has really helped me to read it. You write beautifully and eloquently. I too wrote, and did not send, a letter to my husband’s affair partner. It is 9000 words long. She was a (former) friend of mine so there were a lot of things connected with that that I wanted to express in words. I found it therapeutic at the time to write the letter (I wrote it 2-3 months after our D-day, which is one year ago next month).

    However, I still struggle at times with the fact that she has no idea how much damage she did. She is pretty clueless about the whole thing – as evidenced by the messages she sent me after I found everything out and the ‘explanations’ and justifications she wrote in those, which I did not reply to as I didn’t want to enter into a dialogue with her. So I struggle with the fact that I haven’t put her straight on so many of the misconceptions and self-absorbed nonsense that she seems to believe – similar to many of the things you write about in your letter. In my case, the OW was married too. I take strength from the fact that you didn’t send your letter either and say you are glad that you didn’t. Deep down, I think I know that sending the letter I wrote would not really achieve anything either. I need her totally out of my life and sending the letter would not help to achieve that. Thank you for posting what you wrote.

  26. Myra April 27, 2018 at 11:27 pm #

    Awwww! I read these words from my letter and didn’t recognize it came from me! Glad that it resonated with you.

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