Do you have the fear that someday you will run into your spouse’s affair partner?

run into your spouse's affair partner

By Doug

How would you handle it if you someday run into your spouses affair partner?  Linda and I had to address this very issue last week.

Linda has a friend who recently got divorced primarily because her husband had an affair.  Last week she talked with her friend who was quite despondent because one of her kids discovered that her ex-husband is now engaged to the other woman.  How did her kid find out? Facebook.  It seems the other woman changed her status to “Engaged.”

This not only devastated Linda’s friend, but also infuriated their child.  More than anything, the kid was mad that her father didn’t have the balls to tell her and her siblings about the engagement himself.  They had to find out on Facebook instead.

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Linda’s curiosity got the best of her and she searched for this woman’s Facebook page. She found it and saw for herself just how blatant this person was with her announcing of their engagement.  There were pictures of the ring and the happy couple plastered all over the place.

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The Unsettling Possibility of an Unwanted Encounter

For some reason, Linda then decided to check out Tanya’s Facebook page.  She was mortified to find that Tanya had “liked” the very same dance studio that our daughters attend.  She asked why she would do such a thing.  I had no idea, but Linda eventually deduced that it must be because her granddaughter attends the studio as well.

This sent a shockwave of panic and emotion through Linda that I haven’t seen in quite a while.  One of the things she has feared the most is running into Tanya.  Now it seems that there could be the possibility that it might happen at a place where Linda always considered safe.

As we talked about the situation, it became clear that the thought of running into Tanya is terrifying to her.  She doesn’t have a clue how she might handle it if it happens.  Does she get angry and lash out in some way?    Should  she duck her head, turn and walk the other way so as to avoid her?  Does she faint?

Coping Strategies and Personal Reflections

I tried to calm her fears and while doing so I felt just horrible.  Guilt rushed to the surface as I questioned how I could have been so stupid to have done this to Linda.  My emotional affair continues to impact her in such a way that she has to be upset at the possibility of running into another human being.  It’s not fair.

I really wish we were in the situation where we could just move to another city or state so that I could take her away from all of this and ease her pain.  Since that is not an option at present, we have to consider how to handle the possibility of running into her.  Though the last thing we want is to have to think about it on a daily basis, it does need to be addressed.

See also  4 Keys to Knowing the Affair is NOT Your Fault

Linda is not a very confrontational type of person so probably the best choice is to just try to avoid her if possible.  But what if she’s in the grocery store, turns around and there stands Tanya?   What then?

I know that many of you have had the unfortunate (or fortunate as the case may be) circumstance of running into your spouse’s affair partner.  I also know that there is another group of you who have not, but have the same fears as Linda does.

We would be very interested in hearing the stories from those of you who have run into your spouse’s affair partner on accident.  How did it happen?  What did you do?  How did you react?  Even if you haven’t experienced this, we’d like to hear your thoughts on how you think you would handle it if you did and how you handle your fears of such a chance meeting.

 

    178 replies to "What if You Run Into Your Spouse’s Affair Partner?"

    • on the edge

      This is something that I have had to deal with as well. The first time that I “ran into” the OW was by choice. I drove by her house and there she was sitting outside having a garage sale. I pulled over and asked if she knew who I was. She said no but you could tell that she was lying. So I told her who my husband was the next thing I knew her husband was at my car saying how he could not believe this was going on. As it turned out she had conessed everything to her husband as soon as I found out about the EA. I had the chance to ask her a few questions and speak with her husband. This was very early on. The only good that came out of it was that her husband and I exchanged phone numbers and have had the opportunity discuss details on a couple of occasions. Other than that she revealed herself to be an unattractive liar. But it seemed to give me a sense of control at that moment.
      Since then I am very anxious about running into her again. Although we live in a larger city we live in close proximity to each other and I often drive near her home while driving my kids around and running errands. I also found out that we shop at the same grocery store so every trip there has me on edge. I find myself constantly wondering if I will run into her down the next isle. I have also seen her once while at the zoo with my children. I take my kids there often and found out that she does too. I practicly ran into her at the exit. She didn’t even seem to notice me but I felt like I was having a panic attack and my kids kept asking what was wrong. I didn’t say anything to her, I was too shocked, but afterwards I wished I had. I am now dreading these summer outings with my kids which is a shame as they have always been fun for us.
      After I told my husband about this run in he said “sorry” and has never addressed it again. I have tried to express the sense of dread that I have when I am out and about but he doesn’t get it. He doesn’t see why running into another person would cause me such distress.

    • Notoverit

      I “ran” into the other woman at a restaurant while I was with my H. Funny thing is she walked about a foot in front of me and my H and he didn’t recognize her (put on a lot of weight). I was shocked and then got angry. But I kept my mouth shut because I knew that once I got started I wouldn’t stop and the restaurant would have me arrested. LOL

      Funny thing is yes, I do worry about running into her; not because of the shame or embarassment but because I am afraid I would lose it. It does cause me a moment of panic (and it did when I saw her) if I think I might run into her or see her. Why, I don’t know. But when I had the opportunity to be that close to her I did nothing. She’s not worth the trouble and I don’t see her as a threat any more. Still, that old adrenalin does kick in…

    • Linda

      Doug is very accurate on his post. I was very upset and felt totally threatened. It is very difficult to explain this feeling to Doug but I felt completely unsafe. I was thinking about why I felt this way, I know that I’ve had issues concerning running into her how I conduct my daily life.
      I believe it stems from something that happened while Doug’s affair way going on . I had asked Doug after I found out about his EA if Tanya had ever seen me before or met me. He told me that she had seen me at a store with our daughters and had recognized them from a picture. She called him and told him it was strange coming into contact with me, seeing that she was having a secret affair with my husband.
      Since I heard that it really made me freak out. I picture myself being so vulnerable, there was someone who knew everything about me and I didn’t even know that she had even existed or the impact she would have on my life. I was left there in the open for her to size me up, report her opinion of me to my husband.

      I know this may sound like I am crazy but since then I have made it a point to never allow myself to be vulnerable like that. So when I shop or are out and about I scan the parking lot for her car. I look around for woman who may look like her, I want to be prepared, never blindsided again.

      When I saw that she could possibly be in a place where I am very involved I just lost it. I thought one more place I have to be on alert. One more place I have to worry how I am going to react when I see her. I wonder if I am strong enough to handle it. I don’t know if I can really face the real her. I have never met her, in my mind she is a picture, a fantasy and I don’t know if I really come face to face with her if the reality of what she did with my husband will overtake me and I will lose it.

      I know that I am allowing my fear and the unknown take over which is unhealthy. In some ways I should just face it and get it over with. I am not sure of the answer all I know it really stinks feeling this way.

      • rollercoasterrider

        Linda, I am learning that I wish I were more like you. I think the reason maybe this is bothering you so much is that you are a kind, thoughtful and committed wife and knowing that Tanya could have so boldly carried on with Doug makes her an unsafe person all the way around. Also, you weren’t angry at the beginning following D day, instead you turned against yourself, thinking that if you had been more a) pretty, b) smart, c) sexy or fill in the blank, this wouldn’t have happened and Doug wouldn’t have strayed. I, on the other hand, got so angry I could hardly contain myself, and I wanted to confront my husband’s AP even though at the same time it freaked me out. One of the reasons was that I didn’t know her at all, and that whole Junior High mentality of fighting for my H set in. But Linda, even though you probably would never want to see her, Tanya is not a threat to you and I would even go so far as to say that most likely her terrible choices will one day catch up to her. You, know, what goes around comes around, right?

        • Linda

          rollercoasterrider, thank you for the kind words, I am not sure why this bothers me so much. Maybe it just brings me back to Dday and feelings I had experienced at the time. The trauma that invades me sometimes.

      • Sam

        You don’t sound like a crazy person. I know exactly what you mean and can definitely relate to the emotions.

        I often wonder if my H and OW talked about me. I want to know what he said to her about me, if anything at all. I get so angry thinking that I had no idea this woman existed at all… and at the same time, she might have known so much about me.

        My H refuses to talk about the EA anymore, because he feels that rehashing the past isn’t constructive, but I often wonder…

        I don’t fear running into her. I look forward to it.

        • Trying Hard

          OK I just joined this group but I feel the same way Sam does. I would love to run into the OW and tell her off. I fantasize about it and then my adult ego tells me she’s not worth it, what good would it do etc. I know she works in a store in my area and I have been in there when she works. I pretend I don’t recognize her and I love seeing that she has to work two jobs since she got fired from working for my company!!! I have had my slice of revenge like turning her into Unemployment for working while collecting benefits but it just isn’t enough. I would never physically hurt her but I just want her to know how out of the picture she is now and how happy my husband and I are now and how he realizes she was the biggest mistake of his life. It’s been a year but I still have revenge thoughts although I have never acted on them.

          • PatheticWomen

            All these women b1tching about the OW. You are clearly pathetic, weak, cowards. You choose to aim your angers toward the OW because you can’t face the fact that your douchebag of a husband does NOT love you and that YOU failed your marriage. Fine if you want to delude yourself and continue to live with a lie but don’t spill your venoms on the OW. It should be her who ought to go after you. Funny you think your husband is such a prize. Keep him. If not her, he will be looking for someone else. He is a coward and so are you. You are an enabler because you choose to take him back so stop acting like a victim you deserve to be cheated on.

            • Nancy

              You have a valid point. The OW has no place in this UNLESS she was a suppose to have been a friend…then you go after BOTH of them. But ALWAYS the cheating husband MORE. And if you are able to repair your marriage (it will NEVER be the same) the ‘friend’ is still OUT.

            • Nancy

              I have to say you do sound quite bitter and somewhat justifying the OW’s behavior. Each person was wrong and have to be accountable for THEIR own actions. No one ‘deserves’ to be cheated on. Actually, the OW is being used and disrespected and does not even seem to realize it.

            • Sienna

              Is there a “Like” button? I agree with this.

              A few years ago, my husband and several work buddies were stunned to find out that a co-worker’s wife cheated on him and up and left him for the other man. They were all sitting around bashing the wife saying, ‘how could she DO that to him” etc….and I looked at them and said, “maybe he was a shitty husband.” That shut them up.

            • Sienna

              The “Like” button comment was for Pathetic Women’s comment….

            • lovely

              Thanks a lot for your valid point, PatheticWomen.

            • Moving On

              Parhetic women…..you are a fine piece of work aint you!! Maybe you are an OW…..if so i hope karma comes & bites you in the arse big time

            • Amanda

              Are you joking? You sound very bitter about it. Why come for the wife like that. Thats not nice the way you speak about it. For starters you never ever blame the wife it’s not her fault at all. It’s the husband’s fault he is the one being a dirtbag and a homewreker. Explain why the wife should get the blame I know if someone had cheated on me I’d get rid of them. But that Is not the wife’s fault. I’ve seen some of the most Prettiest women get cheated on for someone that looks like they came out of a dumpster!! It’s not the wife’s fault she is innocent if anything it’s the husband who has self esteem issues so he cheats to build his own self esteem. He also lies to the other women about what happens in within the relationship to make the other women feel sorry for him. So basically the hole affair is build on lies from the start. I should know I talk to couples that have gone through it. I am a marriage counsellor not that I’d speak like that in Therapy..! But would you like to be with a man that is cheating on his wife would you take the chance with a man like that knowing that you could have the same out come..

            • Melisa

              I hope you trip and fall on a pole. I’m a strong woman and have been they hell but I don’t blame the other woman. I do blame my husband. But I have 23 yrs invested in him and I was to blame partly for this affair. You just want to be an asshole.

            • Emma

              I’m on the fence here, as I have been in both roles. When I was the OW, at first I had no clue the guy was married. I was told he was recently divorced (which was technically true) and given a lot of info about his ex wife, the child they had together, and even met the child a couple of times. He was still a bit hung up on the ex wife, so there was zero reason to even consider he had recently remarried someone else. He seemed very honest and open. We met via work and no one else in the office thought to mention he had a second wife, even when they saw and joked about us flirting (he had zero subtlety). I only realised two months in and by then had fallen in love. Fortunately we hadn’t progressed to sex by that point, which would have been even worse. As soon as I found out, there was no chance of that happening. But everyone had seen/heard us flirting and I’m guessing the wife had cottoned on to it too, as she started hanging around in the office a few times. I felt really bad and tried to just be polite to her, as I had no idea what she did/didn’t know. The husband stopped flirting with me but instead began using me as a free therapist when we were alone (I still had to work with him, so it was unavoidable). He acted guilty, but instead began sharing a load of personal issues and other things with me as if we were close friends. The conversations never crossed into NSFW territory, but we became very close still. I’d never heard the term ’emotional affair’ before, but I guess that’s what it turned into. The wife had a very different personality to me and wasn’t much of a listener, so I guess he thought he could use me for that even if sex was now off the table. I left the job eventually and didn’t say goodbye to him face-to-face. 1.5 years later I’m still heartbroken over him, but would never try to reconnect.

              When I was on the other side, I found out my ex had met up with someone he’d met online. I was angry and hurt at the time, but our relationship already had a lot of issues and in hindsight I can now look back and admit I had just as much involvement in what happened. We weren’t compatible other than sex and had more of a trauma bond than love (we met while both on the rebound from painful breakups). As we both got over our exes, our relationship began to fall apart as it was based on the wrong things. We would argue constantly, had very different personalities, different backgrounds, different values/needs, and those differences were a novelty at first but soon became extra obstacles between us. We should have ended things amicably a long time before, but both of us were too stubborn and egotistical to admit defeat. We had rushed into getting a house, moving in together and ticking as many ‘couple’ boxes as we could before we really knew each other. So splitting up was a pain in the ass and we dragged things out far too long just to avoid that. I wasn’t that surprised when I discovered he’d had an affair. Our relationship had a lot of control issues and I think I was just enraged that he had been the one to ‘jump ship’ first and another woman had some ‘control’ over the situation. I made him end things with her and we went to therapy, but after another year I think we both knew it was pointless trying to continue and both of us would be happier elsewhere. I wanted to strangle the OW at first and set fire to her car (I have no idea if she even knew he wasn’t single), but now I have no hatred towards her whatever and I’m glad in a way as it sped up the end of a relationship that would have just kept spiralling on forever. We were both miserable deep down, but addicted to the toxic fight-makeup-fight-makeup drama cycle we had.

              So I can understand both sides. As painful as cheating is, I think it’s more of a symptom than the cause. A relationship already has to be pretty bad for one or both parties to fall in love with someone else. When I’ve had good relationships, things are so much calmer and happier and I never consider being with other men for a second.

      • Mandy

        My SO had a fling with one of our old neighbors for the short time they lived next to us. She was married but they obviously didn’t care. Horrible thing was she pretended to be my friend while stabbing me in the back, I didn’t find out till after they moved but always had a gut feeling. They only moved a couple miles away, and we live in a very small town so I see her at least 3 times a month. First time I saw her was right after I found out, we were in a grocery store and got into a verbal argument because I confronted her, calling her a homewrecker along with some other colorful names. Now we never even look at each other, but I also scan the parking lot to make sure her car isn’t there before going in. Unfortunately today I did run into her in the store, she must have gotten a different car so it caught me off guard. By the time I got to the cashier I was shaking and visibly upset. It sucks, I wish she would fall off the face of the earth.

      • Mike

        Hi Linda – our situation is that 30 months after D day and my relationship with the O W ended completely, she keeps popping up just when we are beginning to heal and my wife begins to trust me just a little.
        Of course when I was involved in the affair, the convenience of having the O W living only 3 miles away was great – in my addictive behavior, it felt ideal and of course I never thought I would be caught or pay any price for this stupid reasoning.

        Now however, when my wife drives down the street, she will occasionally see the O W pulls her car over and confronts her. This has happened 4 times and each time it gets nastier.
        This week, while at a small gym that my wife andI train, as my wife was leaving, she saw the O W and another confrontation occurred.
        Each time all the wounds of my affair are reopened and in many ways, it seems as if nothing has improved. same accusations, same defensiveness, etc
        I don’t know what to do with this. I have ended everything with this woman, my wife and I were making progress, goingto therapy but everytime this woman shows up everything is triggered again. Any help would sure be appreciated
        flash

        • AJ

          Mike- sounds like my situation so much. We are fine and healing well- and then BAM here she is- and I’m triggered so bad. I just don’t understand how this happened to my family. My husband doesn’t know what to do. I really don’t either. I’m just so hurt by all of this.

          My husband doesn’t want to talk about his affair because he is embarrassed, he knows he screwed up and he wants it over. I think being willing to just listen to her, and ask how can you help her get through this goes a really long way. Even if its hard for you to hear. My husband isn’t allowing me that yet- and doesn’t really understand why I am so hurt. if he could just allow me that I think I could heal.

    • E

      Amazing that this topic has come up, because this is something I fear and think about all the time, and I have no idea how I will handle it. It consumes way too much of my thoughts. I would like to think that I would be calm, cool and collected. I’ve read that the best revenge for the AP is to see you and your SO getting on with your lives. So, my hope would be that if it happened that is what OW would see. My fear is that it will send me into a panic attack. I am sure that at some point, we/I will run into her, it’s just a matter of when. So I find myself looking for her – everywhere, and I hate that feeling. I think my H also worries about it from a couple of comments he has made. I think he is worried about how I will handle it. I almost wish it would happen, so that I could get it over with. Also, and I hate to admit this, but here goes – I hope that when it happens I am with my H. I hope that he is very publicly attentive to me. I hope that I am looking damn good at the time too! 😉 Not sure if that makes me shallow, but just being honest.

      • Linda

        E, I definitely hope I look damn good too. It’s terrible but I usually don’t leave the house without making an effort to look good, I don’t want her to see me like she may have the last time. Also, I try to remember the situation when she did see me, obession huh? What was I wearing, etc. This is definitely a situation where I am allowing her too much power.

        I have turned it around somewhat in my head, for one he is with me, not with her and shows me he loves and cares about me everyday. He also had a choice, I told him he may leave and he decided to stay. I have nothing to be ashamed and fearful about I was a good wife who loved her husband.

        I believe my greatest fear is she will confront me, she will say something to cause more pain.

        • Linda

          I also know this is being paranoid, what I wonder why she put that on her likes, knowing that our daughters dance there. A little too close for comfort.

      • Trying Hard

        I never leave the house without looking my best. I too gave my H the choice to leave. He choose me and us. I scan parking lots and stores. I don’t know what I will do either if I run into her. I hope my husband is with me and by golly he better be very attentive to me! We are NOT crazy we have been terribly betrayed and hurt. We are on guard and that is just good thinking. I’m done blaming myself. I did nothing wrong, he did. I hope all of you look beautiful/handsome and all hold your head up high and stare the cheat in the eye as if to dare them to say something! Linda she wants to run into you at the dance studio so be ready. Look great and look happy, it will kill her.

    • E

      Linda, I scan parking lots too!!! It is a horrible way to live. I am sorry that after all this time you still feel this way, but it feels good to have some company. What can help us with this?? I wish I knew.

    • Greg

      I don’t have any fear of running in to my wife’s EA partner except for what I might do to him. I have thought about it and figure I would give him a five second count to get out of my sight if I ever do run in to him. Sort of reminds me of the Lynard Skynard song ‘give me three steps’. The likelyhood of it ever happening is low but we do live in the same city and I own a candy store so there is a chance that he may come in one day with his son and wife. I would like to think I would handle it calmly but I just don’t know if I would or not. The need to hurt him might be greater than my self control at the time.

    • Mandy

      Years ago I had a boyfriend who cheated one me. The OW was someone I didn’t really l know, but ran into from time to time, inevitably, because of where we lived and worked. Oddly enough, it didn’t bother me as much as you might think. I didn’t really see her as the bad guy in the situation. Rather, I felt that he had misused her almost as much as he had misused me, and so I actually felt some sympathy for her. She wasn’t a predatory type, but just a vulnerable girl. The boyfriend turned out to be a serial cheater, so I didn’t stay with him, and as far as I know he didn’t end up with any of the various OW either.

      • Anita

        Mandy,
        I didn’t see the other woman as the culprit either, I forgave
        her for her wrong doing, however I held my exhusband
        responsible for his infidelity, I had been through it more
        then once with him, so for me to blame the other women
        for him not keeping his vows would put me in denial.
        Once I opened my eyes and held him accountable for
        him for his cheating it put everything back into prospective.
        I had to look at the person I was married to, and I realized
        I really didn’t know him as well as I thought.
        Now I understand why, we are complete different people,
        and to blame the other women for this wouldn’t change
        that fact we had grown apart, and no longer wanted the
        same things. However its a process to work through
        this.

    • Pippi

      This is a huge issue for me. Not just the chance that I might run into the OW but that I might run into one or more of the 200+ people at my CS’s previous employer who knew of the affair before I did. None of whom told me about the affair until someone sent me an anonymous note.

      I have near panic attacks when I go to places where I have seen people. I try to hold my head high as I know I’ve done nothing wrong but the shame cloak weighs heavily on my shoulders. I also make sure my hair and make up are done and I’m wearing a descent outfit even just to run to the grocery store. I was never like this before and it’s exhausting.

      I can just relate to what everyone said as I’m also afraid of what I might do if I actually run into the OW. I don’t want to end up in jail — she is so NOT worth it. I would just hope I’m able to keep my rage somewhat in check.

    • Dave

      I was dogged by the fear of running into my wife’s affair partner since we lived in a small town. I was even more worried that they’s run into each other even though she called it off, because he lived a block away from her work.

      Those fears weren’t unfounded because in one of her post-affair love letters she wrote to him when before we moved, she said, “It’s hard to believe we are actually moving. It just doesn’t seem real. It’s harder leaving here than any other place we have been. The thought that you won’t be close by anymore bothers me a lot. Even though we couldn’t really see each other, I found some comfort in knowing I just might bump into you somewhere.”

      She claims she wrote that in her fog and that those feelings of longing turned to feelings of dread and wanting to get as far away from him as possible – but over the years before I saw this letter and learned about the extent of the affair, she often reminisced and talked about going back and even talked to “him” on FB about the “good times” she had there.

      Of course I only recently found out about this, but I had my suspicions. My fear of seeing him again, or more to the point, of her seeing him again, caused me to become borderline paranoid. Before we moved, I literally followed her, made her check in hourly, and drove by his place and made sure she wasn’t there, but it didn’t end once we moved. The fear and anxiety lasted for years.

      It had finally faded more or less several years ago, although using internet services I kept tabs on “him” – that was until recently. Finding out everything threw me back into paranoia mode, but what was most unsettling was that I also found out that he was considering moving with a few miles of where we live now.

      Even though time has passed, that thought sent me reeling and I did something I really didn’t care to do. I contacted my wife’s AP and had a very frank conversation about how this town isn’t big enough for both of us. If he intends to move here, I intend to uproot my family and leave. I cannot stand the thought of that man living so close to us again.

    • Katie46

      I have heard that to free yourself from a fear you should make the object or situation you fear into something ridiculous. I would suggest picture the OP in their underwear but that would probably be highly inappropriate under the circumstances . LOL Maybe put a clown nose on them or inscribe a giant A on their forehead.

    • Anne

      This just happened to me a few weeks ago, almost exactly one year since D-day. To tell the truth, it gave me a sense of closure and satisfaction. I’ve spent the last year wondering who she is, what she’s like, what I would say if I ever ran into her. Now I know: She’s just a woman, nothing special. And I handled myself in a way that I can be proud of and that reflects who I am: gracious, but assertive.

      I had seen pictures of the OW online, so I knew what she looked like but wasn’t sure I would recognize her if I ever saw her. One Saturday, I was walking around town and I saw two women on the sidewalk going in the opposite direction. I just knew in my bones that one of them was the OW. I calmly passed them (they didn’t notice or register me), and then I turned around and followed them for about a block hoping to hear the friend use her name to confirm it was her (she didn’t). They went into a coffee shop and I sat on a bench outside considering what I wanted to do.

      I’ve had all kinds of fantasies about the withering things I would say if I saw her, but when the moment came, I didn’t want to do any of that. I didn’t want a confrontation, I just wanted her to have to look me in the face and acknowledge my humanity. To see that I’m not an abstraction, but a real human being with feelings and a life.

      So when she and her friend came out, I called out her first name. She turned around and took a couple of steps in my direction and said hello (with a very friendly tone). I stood up from the bench, took a step toward her and removed my sunglasses so I could meet her eyes and said, “You’re Jane Doe, right?” At the moment she realized who I was and she said, “No, sorry,” and quickly turned around and walked away. That was it. I didn’t follow her, didn’t say another word. Mission accomplished: She had to come face to face with me. Later, I saw that she checked my LinkedIn page (you can see who has viewed your profile) to confirm that it was me—which told me that she had been shaken by the encounter. Meanwhile, I took some delight in the fact that she was forced to DENY WHO SHE WAS before skulking off. I’ve never done anything in my life that has made me feel like I had to disown my identity.

      From my perspective, it went as well as it could go. Yes, I was a little rattled, but I have nothing to be ashamed of. She can’t hurt me anymore. We’re in a very good place and have made tremendous progress in healing ourselves and our marriage. I don’t need anything from her—nor do I have anything to say to her. Any lessons or wisdom I have would be lost on her, anyway. I was alone when this happened, but H was very supportive when I told him. I was proud of how I handled a difficult situation.

      Linda, if you run into Tanya, remember that you’re holding all the cards. You and Doug have learned so much about yourselves and each other and you have used this event to strengthen your relationship. She didn’t break your marriage—and she certainly didn’t break you.

    • Anita

      Hi Doug and Linda
      I saw this post and I hope I can be useful.
      In my own situation my chances of seeing the woman my
      ex and I divorced over is slim to none, however should
      that chance ever occur I would welcome it.
      I forgave her a long time ago, and since I believe in the
      Bible we are told to be nice to our enemies in doing so
      it would heap coals of fire on her head. Romans 12 vs 20.
      We also are to overcome evil with good.
      So by being nice you are showing the other woman the
      good in you, also it may bring them into a state of repentence themselves.
      Should the chance ever occur, what a wonderful chance
      to show them your inner beauty. Instead of something
      else, let your own beauty inside you shine through.

      • Anita

        Linda,
        Take back your life, and live, if you cross paths with her,
        be nice but go on with your day. She more then likely
        will try to avoid you, because of her own shame. If she
        doesn’t then with every fiber of your own being, be nice as
        you can be, this will shock her, and its shows you have gone forward with your own life, and shows her the
        wonderful person you are. Also it overcomes evil with good. Its a win win.

      • hurtanddisillusioned

        I didn’t have to wonder if I would run into the OW, my ass of a H wouldn’t give up his relationship with her and even went so far as to bring her to our home to hang out or to have dinner. There came a time where she became homeless and of course he felt that we needed to help her/. All that was part of their relationship. She was constantly in crisis from one thing or another and would call and ask him to save her. Well I drew a line there as far as she could not come into our home and stay although my H flat out stated that is what he wanted. So even though it was winter and believe me I had already helped her plenty through other crisis she’d had I let her live out of her car. She had a regular monthly income from disability ( Mental illness) and could’ve gotten her own place and qualified for all kinds of assistance at any time but she just didn’t make any effort to do anything for herself. I tried to convince my husband that this was all part of her plan and that she was just waiting for me to get fed up and leave so she could move right in and replace me in my own life. She tried to claim that she doesn’t want to hurt me in any way but that was just her playing the sweet helpless damsel in distress for my H’s benefit. If she didn’t want to hurt me then she would’ve gotten out of my husbands life as soon as she knew he was married. She tries to play victim and even though my husband and I had been together when we were introduced to her she claimed that she didn’t know he was married and that he lied to her and that by the time she found out he was married it was too late she was already in love. That is so much BS! I know my husbands style and he is not really aggressive in coming on to women never has been in fact rather shy. this is due to some self esteem issues and his fear of rejection so I knew her story was BS. I tended to believe my H when he said that she came on to him so strong he didn’t know what hit him. She had been previously married and divorced for about5 years and it was obvious to me that she was on the prowl for someone. She happened set her eye on my guy then somehow arranged to be in a situation where I was not there with him. She proceeded to tell him things that she claimed I did and said ( blatant lies) but just enough truth to convince him she was telling the truth and got him angry with me and then tried turning him against me while at the same time coming on to him and filling him with all kinds of compliments and feeding his ego. Its not that I didn’t feed his ego at times but I wasn’t constantly doing it. We just been through an especially rough time after having experienced a natural disaster that destroyed our home and much of our possessions. It had been too much for him and he had had a breakdown of sorts. She came along as he was just finishing up his recovery from that and he was vulnerable. I’m not excusing him by any means because at that time I felt we were closer than ever having been through that together but I do understand how things happened. I too believe that we should show our enemies kindness however, in this situation it just back fired on me. When she didn’t have anywhere to live I helped her locate an apartment and then qualify for the rental and even with my husband loaned her the amount of$ she was short to get it. this was self serving too because I felt this would reduce her helpless appeal to his knight in shining armour. Bad move, she gave him a key to the place so he could come over and see her anytime alone. He has gone back and forth with her and their relationship since my d day 1 1/2 years ago. He and I have known each other all of our lives since we were teenagers and have been together the last 15 years the last 9 of which we have been married. We have been through many trials and some real bummer incidients but we have always come through together. I simply refuse to let her step in and take my life and my future and my dreams away because she has convinced my H that is what he wants. He has vacillated back and forth so many times. A couple of times saying he wanted to leave and be with her and when I tell him to go then he doesn’t do it. And most of the time he says he doesn’t never want to lose me and he is so sorry for the way he has hurt me and will never do it again it has become strange like he is actually two different people. I think the strain of living a double life is getting to him because he is having really severe memory issues as well. There are times where he and her get into physical fights and no it is not domestic abuse she has attacked him and started most of them. He responds in kind and will come away saying he never wants to see her again. Unfortunately this is a very bad cycle because once their relationship was out in the open and I knew it immediately cooled off until they had a big fight and broke up. Then she would wait just long enough for the negative emotions to subside and the either call or text him like nothing ever happened and I swear I think he didn’t recall that it did, because he acted like nothing had ever happened too. then their relationship would go underground and become secret again spicing it up. Until of course I would catch them. I always feel his disconnect from me very strongly but when I do shortly thereafter something always happens like his phone will butt dial mine without his awareness and I can hear everything they say over the open line. So then I bust them lying to me and everything comes out in the open again and again things cool off with them. over and over. I have pointed out to both of them how this is like an addiction and that it is sick and the intimacy and then hatred cycle does not look anything like real love. Yes even though I am not a violent person I have had fantasies of hauling off and beating the crap out of her, but truthfully she would probably kick my butt. I am no fighter and she punches like a man or so my husband tells me. I refuse to give up. I know that I need to let go. I did a couple of times and told him if he really loves her then he should go be with her but he always finds an excuse to not go. He says he wants a divorce sometimes but he doesn’t want to be the one to file. Ha! I’m not going to do the work needed for him to leave me for her. Besides I know him. He is fickle….it would only be a matter of time before they broke up. I would give it maybe a couple of weeks and he acknowledges that this is probably true. He is also prideful and I don’t think he would come back even though he would want to if he did leave to be with her. That is just the way he is. I’ve seen it in other things over and over through the years. This is why I don’t let go because I know that if I do all the fighting and hanging in there and even dealing with her that I have done would be for nothing if I do. I am just trying to be the best person I can and hang in there until he comes to his sense. I do know that my integrity is something that he admires and she knows it too because I saw once she got to know who I was she dropped all her being naughty tactics and tries to play like she is the sweetest person. Well I have a ton of voicemails of her swearing worse that a sailor and threatening both him and I with all kinds of things sounding like the most evil witch that ever lived that I just break out and play for him when he starts to fall for her sweet and kind act. She has done many things that were so underhanded and shady and when he starts to fall for the crap I also remind him of how she had stolen money from him and tried to blame me and then he caught her with it and of how she tried to turn my daughter against me by talking trash about me to her and how she told him lies in the first place to turn him against me and make him vulnerable to her advances, How she has gone around a lot of the people we know and our family and friends and talked trash about both him and I trying to ruin our reputation. I know that she thinks of it as a game and she is very competitive and has even proclaimed that she doesn’t lose and will not go away. My husband is getting pretty messed up by her games. She is very controlling and constantly tries to tell him what to do and If his behavior doesn’t meet her expectations she bitches him out to no end. Now My husband has never taken this from anybody and if ever anyone even came close to treating him like that he would tell them to f off. He has walked away from jobs that he desperatly needed in the past because someone acted like that. I am at a loss that not only does she get away with this but he doesn’t even see it ! Once she called him up and I was just in the same room with him and I could hear her screaming at him through the phone. He was all apologetic and I stood there with my mouth hanging open. He and I have always had a higher standard of treating each other with respect that is until this affair. He seems to have lost that. I however maintain it because that is who I am and I refuse to let her push me into behaving in a manner that I don’t approve of and will not be able to hold my head up afterwards.

        • Strengthrequired

          Hurtanddisillusioned – wow, my goodness. Can you take those voicemail messages to the police and get a restraining order against her? This ow is nuts, and for your h to fall for a woman that is so destructive and open about it to you as well, who he can fight with, then I wonder what it is she is holding over his head? Does she have something on your h that has him hesitant in stopping all contact with her? She has definitely read the same book a lot of the ow have read, that’s for sure. I’m sorry you are going through this, yet I can tell you the ow all seem to get to the husbands that are in a vulnerable position. I know that’s how my h was lured.
          I hope soon your h truly sees what he has with you and starts showing you and proving to you that he wants you and gets her out of your lives. I understand your reasonings for not wanting this ow to take your life, I did the same, there was no way I was going to let the ow in my life take my life, she desperately wanted, I was not going to let her have my family, and definitely not going to let her touch my children. Yet I know you know, choosing this road is a tough one, it is so hard on your self esteem, and it is so draining. I know if my h had of told me after I had tried and tried, that he wanted to be with the ow, I would have told him to leave, because I didn’t want to hold him back from his so called true love, yet he always gave me something to keep me fighting for him.
          They do act like a jackal and Hyde, it’s so strange to see it right in front of you, sometimes you can’t believe what is standing before you. It just doesn’t seem real.
          These ow certainly do a number on the sanity of these once descent men.
          I do hope all works out for you, I do worry about you though, because all of this just makes you go crazy as well, it is so heartbreaking. Honestly there is only so much a person can take, before they can take no more. I do hope your h wakes up before you get to that point of that’s enough.
          Lease look after yourself and your daughter, keep her away from that ow, not a good influence at all on young minds.
          Hugs to you

          • Emma

            First of all, I would research codependency. You are in a very abusive relationship, whether you realise it or not. My ex never hit/insulted me, but would constantly try to hook up with other women, cross boundaries, openly flirt with other people in front of me, and then act confused and play the helpless victim when I confronted him. Look up ‘covert narcissist’. They are excellent at playing the innocent naive child act to get away with really sh*tty behaviour. And they know you will keep putting up with it (which you are). Any sane person would have kicked his ass to the curb and demanded a big pay off and custody of the kids. I’m not sure exactly what you are ‘fighting for’ at this point. You seem to be making yourself miserable. They get to have their relationship (as crazy and toxic as it is), your husband still has a doting wife at home that basically allows him to run off with another woman. He is having his cake and eating it! I would take him for everything you can in court (or just get him to pay you off). Then bide your time and let them have their ‘wonderful’ relationship properly. I think they’ll quickly realise it’s based entirely on control/addiction and the excitement of doing something wrong. Once the OW has him to herself and they are living a mundane life together (and he has to put up with her crap 24/7), one or both of them will get bored because the excitement is no longer there and/or your husband will get so worn down by her that he will beg to come back. At which point you will hold all the cards!

    • Rachel

      I would love to run into my husbands disease. Like Linda, when I leave the house I’m pretty well put together.
      The other thing is nothing but a manly, skank, dirty looking with not a stitch of class.
      And I’m much better then her because I would never have an emotional affair with a married man!

    • blueskyabove

      Off-hand I would say that Tanya probably doesn’t feel particularly threatening to the two of you. After all it’s been 3+ years? If you put yourself in her shoes, Linda, and your exAP had made no attempt to contact you, what would you think? Would you feel he wanted to see you again? Cared anything for you? Regardless of what was said between the two of them, Doug’s actions since the affair say something about who he is now. I’m only mentioning this because I know how the paranoia can grab hold of a person. Once the paranoia starts, inferiority and low self-esteem start flooding our minds and the ego takes over. Once the ego takes over, we start becoming self-conscious. We then start focusing on the other person and their ability to control our life, our future. Tanya can only gain that control if you give it to her with your thoughts.

      Having said that, I believe it is important to rehearse what you would do should you run into Tanya. Regardless of whether the meeting was strictly by chance or Tanya in some way manipulated an encounter between the two of you, it helps to be somewhat prepared. (Probably more so if she blindsides you again.) I understand your not wanting to be blindsided by her again so take charge of how the scenario will play out in your mind. We all believe in you, Linda. Make it happen. It’s your future. I’ll bet Doug will help.

      David Lieberman says, “it is our responsibility to perceive the wider reality, which is that God is speaking to us through every person and situation.” Maybe he was speaking to you through your friend and her daughter so you could prepare yourself and not be blindsided.

      • Linda

        blueskyabove, thank you for the words of wisdom, you are always so insightful and have a positive way of looking at things. You are correct, she isn’t a threat to our marriage unless I allow her to be. You are also correct about the downward spiral than can occur when we become paranoid, and feel inferior. Honestly, it is a difficult battle trying to stay on top (confident and secure). It is something that I have to work on daily.

    • Patsy50

      I have run into my husbands EA partner, but by no means, an accident. It was at husbands company Christmas party, which I was going to, come hell or high water. There was alot of anxiety that night, but something I had to do. So, I mentally confronted her and in doing so could let it go and move forward. She never made eye contact or conversation to me or my husband at any time. Not much chance running into her again as she lives in another town but then there’s always next Christmas party.

    • Teresa

      I Agree with blueskyabove… you should play a ‘random meeting’ scenario over and over in your head…that way if and when you do run into the AP, you aren’t as shocked as you normally would be…
      I don’t fear running into the cow….since she’s hundreds of miles away…but I do know that one day, it can be a possibility, since she lives in the same town as my H’s family and is friends with his cousin…at this point my H and i have no plans to visit anytime soon, but his parents are elderly, so it’s only a matter of time before we have to make a trip there.
      I did have a phone conversation with her a few months back..my cell phone rang and it was the area code where she lives…I didn’t answer, but googled the number, and I knew it was her place of employment…so I called the cow right back!
      And wow…talk about feeling empowered! I controlled the conversation from the start…was calm, and slightly dismissive…it felt fantastic!
      I even told her I was GLAD my H had the EA because it showed us how we had drifted apart….and that now things are better than ever…a “slight” exaggeration…but she didn’t need
      to know that, LOL! I already knew that she was very jealous of me, because Im a stay at home mom and she’s not…
      I was able to call her back, keep the conversation FIRMLY in MY hands, because I had already had this “conversation” in my head many, many times!
      I would say to NEVER let the AP know the full extent of the damage they have caused….hold your head high…because YOU are the victim here…and they should be VERY ashamed of what they did!

      • Blue

        I’m not sure about not letting the OP know how much deep hurt the affair has caused you. If I was part of the reason for hurting someone, and I knew or found out of the pain caused, I would feel truly horrible, not expect them to forgive me but for them to know I will carry the burden of what I did forever! (but that’s me) Cheaters want to believe the BS is cold hearted to justify what they partook in.

        I do feel that for AP to see you and your spouse working on healing, it shows what strength of character you have in not giving up, it shows that you take your vows seriously, it shows that your marriage was stronger and ultimately more important than the ‘fantasy’ relationship they had with your spouse.

        I concede I still hope she (AP) sees me with my husband and us being very affectionate and happy with each other – us not noticing her at all and/or ignoring her presence!

        If I were to get upset and he was saddened by my sadness she would see me as making him unhappy- which would validate to her what they did was ok- that she made him happy, even though they weren’t showing thier full selves during the affair. It’s not really fair to have to push panicked emotions aside, but during that time I pray for the strength to, at least until she is gone. Maybe my hubby and I can even have a hug&giggle&high5 afterwards at how well I composed myself and didn’t knock her in the kisser.

        I want her to see my spouse and I making each other happy and fulfilled!!!! and her the outsider, the enemy (my husbands own words) of our marriage. I want her to see and feel she’s the one that’s NOT welcome in our lives.

        Doug, I hope you grab Linda’s hand or put your arm around her if you see Tanya together. Also, what would you do or plan to do if you see Tanya by yourself?

        • Doug

          Blue, Trust me I will! We did talk about if I ran into her by myself. I know it would be awkward and I would be very uncomfortable and would want to avoid the situation if at all possible. I really don’t have a plan if I unavoidably ran into her other than perhaps a quick hello and “gotta run.” I know I need to think more about the what ifs and have a plan in place should it occur.

          • rollercoasterrider

            Doug, my H who is now living alone had to face the OW a couple of times. She actually did some things bordering on ‘breaking and entering’ but I was so proud of him because as much as he wanted to avoid her, or even run far, far away, he faced her and told her point blank, “There is nothing for you with me anymore.” He is the type of person who just hates having to confront or be the ‘bad guy’ so for him this was a major step. I do think, for Linda’s sake, it might be better to have something a little stronger like “I have nothing to say to you” in mind for Tanya, but that’s just me. I think strong boundaries are really critical for the BS to feel secure.

            • Doug

              Thanks RCR, no arguments from me. I agree 100%. Good for your H, btw!

            • Linda

              rollercoasterrider, thank you for you response, I agree “gotta go” in some ways leaves the door open for further contact. I believe a strong statement like you mentioned would make me feel safer, and would prove that Doug is really committed to me and our marriage.

              I believe that is what bothers me so much. I am not sure how they ended it. He said he wanted to work on our marriage, however I know that he was clear to her that he really didn’t want to leave his children instead of saying he loved his wife and was sorry for all the hurt he caused. He obviously wasn’t at that point at the time.

              I hate to think that she believes he is only here because of our children. I don’t know why I care what she thinks but it really scares me that she may still believe he is only here for the kids and when they are gone the door will be open.

            • E

              Linda, I have those same thoughts/fears. I know what my H has told me he said to her when he ended things, but has she decided in her mind that it was just for the sake of family, financial, etc. After all, she was convinced that I was a horrible wife and that my H was completely miserable with me during the A. I would really like for her to know how successful we have been at rebuilding our marriage. Maybe that is my way of wanting some revenge?? I suppose I really should not feel that way. But I need some kind of closure on this issue because it is consuming way too much of me and I am not sure how to get it.
              As far as running into her, my H and I have discussed this and it helps. If my H runs into her and he is alone, he has said he would keep walking as if she were a stranger. If she tries to engage in conversation with him, he has said he would simply cut her off immediately. If we run into her and we are together, we have both agreed that if one of us simply says to the other “we need to leave/go somewhere else” then we leave, no questions or discussions needed. If I run into her and I am by myself – this is where I am stuck. I hope that I can just keep my head up and keep walking.

            • Linda

              E, I am sure that I am not alone in my thinking, I wish if he did run into her, he would tell her that being with her was the biggest mistake he ever made in his life. He had completely lost his mind, and he loves his wife and his life with me is everything he ever wanted. Their time together was a lie and the experience of seeing her makes him sick to his stomach because of all the hurt their fanasty relationship caused himself and his family. That is what I would like to say if I ran into her, but it would mean so much more if it came from him.

            • Teresa

              I like that Linda…and I’m going to show it to my H..he’s a very non confrontational person…and it worries me a bit to have to go into the “spiders lair” in the future…I not only have to worry about running into the cow aka OW, but she’s best friends with his cousin…who hates me, because my H has cut off ALL contact with her, since she helped facilitate the affair… my H’s cousin is a very messed up person, who would HAVE no problem attacking me verbally in a roomful of people!
              I NEED to know he can handle not only the OW but his cousin also! He’s in therapy, so he’s learning what he needs to do to protect me should the need arise!
              My gosh…reading this sounds like something out of a soap opera!

    • Lynsey

      A little bit different scenario here: When my H was still in his affair fog, I contacted the AP by phone & email. This was strictly for information gathering. She had previously said that she was trying to break off with my H and “help get my H & I back together (yeah, right…by having an EA with him!). Anyway, I was calm, and pretended to be on her side which allowed me to gather much information. Weeks later, when my H finally saw her for the manipulative, money hungry B**ch that she is (she used him for extravagant gifts and money-which we don’t have and is a whole other issue with my H) she came to my place of work, and tried to tell me things to get me to leave my H. She did this because earlier that day, my H and her had an argument via text. Of course I still didn’t trust her, but acted like I went along with her story. That night, my H came clean and confessed all that was going on. Earlier that day, her texts confirmed to him that she was using him and manipulating him for money. He ended the affair, and gave me full transparency, and ended contact with his AP. The next day, she emailed me, basically fishing for info., obviously hoping that I kicked my husband out in light of the “info” she told me the previous day. I replied, “no comment” and left it at that. Boy, did that feel good. I don’t feel she needs to know anything more about my marriage. Besides, by now I am sure she has latched onto her next “sugar daddy.” She has that reputation. If I run into her (and I don’t even care what I look like that day, as my character and morals are far above hers – that is more important), I plan to ignore her. It’s over, and my H and I are doing the long, hard work to make our marriage better than ever.

    • chiffchaff

      I do have a distinct fear of bumping into the OW, which thankfully has an extremely low likelihood of happening given that she lives in SF and I’m in England. But I have worried that despite her not (as far as I know anyway) being in contact for 4 months she would get herself a job in London so she could ‘bump’ into my H. Or she’d be there doing her ‘urban trekking’ (or whatever it is she wants to call sleeping with married men in foreign cities) and we’d bump into her. It feels irrational but at the same time it was someone who, like Linda says, knew all about me when I knew nothing of her. It’s like discovering that you’ve been stalked for 8 months I imagine. Very unsettling.

      Only the other night I confessed to my H that I still really hated the OW from time to time and would love to know she was dead. This errupted because we’d watched a film that was set in SF but we hadn’t known beforehand. I confessed to having wanted, some months ago, to get a flight to SF, wait in her street until she got home and then have a real go at her. Make her life a nightmare. I have also been tempted to send her a present from my dog on her 40th birthday this year, seeing as she claimed to like my dog after my H sent her videos of her playing.
      But, as others have said, to do such a thing makes the OW aware of how much of a threat you considered them, and I really don’t want to give the vain, narcissistic, empty headed, surgically enhanced little princess that gift at my cost.
      If I met her by accident I think I know I’d probably just be sick on her shoes. My H, if he was there, would probably implode or faint out of inability to know what to do.

    • Recovering

      It is so funny how the topics seem to follow the line of my life!! It has been 11 months since I found out about the affair. They worked together, and one of my stipulations for staying to work on the marriage is that one of them had to go. Well, lucky for me, the OW had already been interviewing for another company, so 2 months after the discovery she was gone and I had a huge sigh of relief. Well yesterday my husband called me to tell me that the OW’s old boss quit and that the company (namely a friend of the OW who knows about the affair) is looking to possibly bring the OW back! I am completely freaking out!! Once again I am feeling that the OW has gotten away with the affair without a scratch, and that I am paying the price!! If she does come back it will only show how truly selfish she is, but it will also mean that my husband, who is currently looking at a big promotion and his dream job within the company, will have to go somewhere else for work, which will most likely mean a large pay cut. So there goes my financial security!! She has stolen my trust in my husband and in love, made me doubt myself and my sanity, stolen my safety with my life partner, and now is a threat to my financial stability as well. All the while I haven’t told HER husband about the affair because I didn’t want to hurt him the way I was hurt. Sometimes it is better to not know I guess…. Now I am at a crossroads… do I contact the OW and threaten to tell her husband and all of her family if she comes back to the company? There is no way that my husband and this woman wouldn’t have to work together if she did come back, and I should not have to deal with all of that bs again! My husband and I were finally starting to be good again, and now the other shoe I’ve been so afraid of may be dropping!!! My husband doesn’t want her to come back either…. I feel like I did in the beginning… trapped! And I swear if I did see the OW I wouldn’t be able to control myself – I am sure I would attack the whore. I don’t want to put her husband through what I’ve gone through the last year, but I don’t know what else to do but to tell him if it looks like she may be returning to the company….. UGH!!!

      • Teresa

        Recovering….this might not be the most Popular answer….but I say tell her H…I don’t like to see other people suffer either….but why should you bare the burden all alone? And why should you and your H have to suffer financially? it’s not like she doesn’t already have a job….she can just stay where she’s at and leave you in peace!
        And if her H knows about the EA, you will at least know that he’s going to be paying attention to what SHE is up to and Im sure he is not going to want her to be working with your H…..Or If you feel telling her is better then by all means do it ASAP…..but be firm and in control, whether by email or in person!

        • Recovering

          Teresa,

          Thank you for your response. I agree that I shouldn’t have to go through it alone. I have been afraid to tell the OW’s husband because I know how crazy I was when I found out – I seriously wanted to hurt the woman… And I just didn’t think her husband should hurt too… I was devastated, as were my children. I CANNOT deal with the OW coming back to my husband’s workplace. I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t dig through his pockets daily, don’t check his email and cell phone all of the time, and can finally sleep at night. It was a PA, not just emotional… not that it was romantic… was mostly in the back seat of her car behind the bar after a work outting! ROMANTIC!! I don’t want to hurt her husband, but I have to protect my family. I am sick to death of her having such a hand in my life. Popular or not, I think you are right. I HAVE to tell her husband if it is looking like she will really be coming back so that he can stop her. Lord knows she is too self absorbed and selfish to stay away on her own…. My husband has been wonderful to me, though I have been freaking out like I did in the beginning… spewing all sorts of crazy stuff…. I just can NOT let her have more of my life. It will be one of the hardest things I ever have to do if I have to tell her husband, but I will do it… I don’t see another option if I am going to protect my family!! Thank you for your support!!

          • Teresa

            Recovering..another thought….the OW obviously did not care about hurting HER H….if he should find out about her affair with YOUR H…so it’s not really YOUR responsibility to protect Him any longer! She opened that door when she has sex with YOUR H….it is now time for YOU to do all you can do to protect yourself AND your marriage!
            I didn’t know when I wrote the first response that it was a PA….now that I do, BY ALL means contact the OW H if it looks like she will be coming back to work there. That would be very cruel on her part to even consider it….based on what she did!

          • Teresa

            Recovering…I guess the reason I’m all for you telling the OW’s H is because in my case, the OW’s H found out about 3 weeks before I did…and I WISH he would have told me!!
            We don’t know each other, have never met.. but he COULD have found me on FB…I’m sure of it!
            At the time, I was friends with my H’s cousins…he could have looked on there…anyway, I felt like such a FOOL because I was living my life, thinking all was well, and here there was this big, fat secret that I was left out of…a secret that pretty much ruined of my life for over a year!
            My H’s cousins knew about the EA…his one cousin is best friends with the cow…he was even warned by the other cousin that if I found out, it would be a “train wreck’!
            But she said NOTHING to me!!!
            Even if his cousin didn’t want to tell me, she could have told my H to stop, or she WOULD tell me..but nope, she said nothing, and they were writing to me on FB, being my friend, etc…makes me sick!!
            Anyway, you must protect yourself and your marriage, first and foremost…it’s not being mean or selfish..it’s called SURVIVING!!! Best of luck to you!!

        • Jamie

          Recovering..I totally agree with Theresa.
          If the OW in my situation would have been married or even had some sort of SO, it would have been my first call, email, expedition to find him and let him know all about her EA with my H. IT is NOT your responsibilty to protect someone else. It’s your responsibility to protect your own camp.

          I say tell the OW’s husband and do it ASAP. And add, when you tell him, that you would appreciate some kind of forethought on his part, his influence, in her NOT working in close quarters with your husband. You have done too much work in your marriage to backslide down the trail of hell again. I’d just be very forthcoming and say straight out; that I don’t appreciate her trying to weasel her way back into his life through working conditions (even IF that’s not the reason for a “transfer/move” for her). Manipulative…??? Maybe. Protective. Definitely.
          Protect yourself and your family’s livelyhood and security..and if it’s your H’s dream job, why would you even consider for a second keeping silent?

      • WriterWife

        Recovering — I’m in a similar boat because the OW still works with my husband. I think this has made our recovery take a little longer; however, after five months I’m at a place where it really doesn’t bother me as much (we’ve worked on this a ton).

        Here’s the thing for me: I will NOT allow that other woman to make me curtail my life. In the beginning my instinct was to avoid places I might run into her but because of that I wasn’t able to do the things that *I* wanted to do. So I made the very conscious decision that I would live my life exactly how I wanted — to allow her to force me to change was to give her too much power. She can be the one to curtain *her* life (and it appears as though she has which is fine by me).

        In my head, when I picture the relationship between me and the OW (a former close friend) I think of myself as an immovable wall — strong, solid, uncompromising on what is important to me. The very few times I’ve interacted with her, this is what she’s seen of me and she has very clearly backed down. She is the one looking for another job, she is the one no longer eating at her favorite restaurants, she is the one who is lonely and miserable.

        I say all of this because I hate hearing that your husband might have to give up his dream job and you your financial security because of the OW. I’m glad it looks like you’re willing to fight for that! You do sound very stressed about telling her husband — is there a reason you need to do it rather than your own husband telling him (or him taking the lead and you doing it together?) First, I think there is a lot of power in showing that united front and second, let him shoulder the stress of it. He’s the one who created the situation, let him clean it up!

        • Recovering

          My husband is too much of a coward to tell the OW’s husband. Affairs are about cowardace… being too afraid to face your relationship and what is real, so taking the easy way to ‘make yourself feel better’. He supposedly has heard stories of the OW’s husband’s violence and is supposedly afraid for our family of the man’s reaction. I said to him once that if he was so afraid that he shouldn’t have been doing what he was doing in the first place! Obviously neither of them were afraid enough, yet now… Telling the OW’s husband is the only way I can think of to keep her from coming back to the company. HER husband wouldn’t want her to work with my husband if he knew… that is if her husband didn’t just dump her cheating butt right then and there (it wasn’t her first rodeo – she’d cheated before, which I know now because of what she confesssed to my husband). My husband doesn’t think telling her husband is the right thing to do. I don’t want to destroy this man that I don’t even know the way I was destroyed, and my husband is too much of a coward to face him, so if it comes down to it, I will be the messenger. The OW has had too much power over my life and I am sick of it! I welcome other ideas, as I do not relish destroying another family, even though the affair wasn’t my fault! I would wish the OW’s husband to cheat on her, but other than that, I wouldn’t wish the aftermath of an affair on anyone…. I know that I had murderous thoughts about the OW, and my husband is afraid of the OW’s husband’s reaction… I want to protect my family, and I guess with reward has to come some risk… Idunno. I feel trapped again. I don’t want to hurt the OW’s family – they did nothing wrong, but I CANT let her come back into my family’s life!!! I don’t know what other option I have at this point…. if it becomes apparent that she really IS coming back, I will HAVE to tell her husband, even if my husband hates me for it.

          • Jamie

            Every single sob story I’ve ever heard of from a manipulative OW involves their “somewhat, scary/violent husband/boyfriend”. It’s a ruse. It’s a way to play damsel in distress and to capture the attention of the “protector” instinct in any man.
            Tell her husband, Recovering. Seriously.

            Besides, maybe he has many many reasons to be violently angry…I know I did, when I found out that my husband was having an EA that was leading to a PA when I was ready to deliver our miracle baby; and for weeks afterwards. Maybe he’s been down the road before and he has EVERY reason to be angry and volitile with her; because she’s a clear serial cheater; from your descriptions.

            Tell her husband. And don’t look back. Hopefully, your husband will understand, in time. But the hurt and continued pain that this “job move” may cause you and your family; not to mention the financial issues, is NOT worthy of giving it a second thought.

          • WriterWife

            My personal opinion is that *you* aren’t doing anything to hurt the OW’s family. She did that the moment she had an affair. I’ve never had to face the issue of whether to tell someone about a cheating spouse so I can’t begin to understand how stressful and difficult of a decision it must be — I’m so sorry you’re in this position!

            There have been several times in this process I’ve come back to the Richard Bach quote: “Not being known doesn’t stop the truth from being true.” Mostly when I used to ask my husband if he still had feelings for the OW. He didn’t want to tell me the truth that he did and hurt me but it wasn’t the telling that hurt me… it was the truth of his feelings that did.

      • Anita

        Recovering,
        Should this other woman return to the same workplace as
        your husband. Your husband is responsible for keeping
        fidelity within your marriage. He will have to make the
        choice not to rekindle that affair again. I know your frightened by her possible return, however its your husband
        who has to remain faithul to you. If you can’t trust him with
        her there, then maybe another job would be better for him,
        even if it means less pay. I understand your nightmare,
        I have been in your shoes. My best to you,

        • Anita

          Recovering,
          Your husband is the one who brought this nightmare into
          your life, he broke your marriage vows and wasn’t faithful to
          you. Your trust in him has been shaken, because he chose to have an affair with another woman. There wouldn’t have been an affair had he not wanted it to happen, otherwise he would not become involved, he
          would of said “no”. I am married and love my wife.
          So the other woman isn’t the threat to your marraige, its
          wheather or not your husband can keep faithful.
          I know this hurts but think about it.

          • Anita

            Recovering,
            I hope you and your husband can work through all this,
            if he promises to never do this again, and keeps that
            promise and you can forgive him. I wish you both much
            happiness!

            • Recovering

              Oh I totally blame my husband for what he did, but I also blame the OW just as much because no matter what, it takes 2, and they BOTH ended up being liars and cheaters. I decdied, without my husband’s approval or opinion, that if it comes down to her coming back, I will first warn her that I will tell her husband, and if that doesn’t work, I WILL tell the OW’s husband. I understand that it is my husband’s job to be faithful, but all of the reading that I have done about affairs almost catagorizes the AP as an addictive drug. He is away from it now and can see things clearly. If she comes back into the picture, he may not be able to stay away. Maybe he will.. I don’t know. The thing is is that I am not willing to take that risk. I am NOT willing to fully trust my husband EVER again. I will never trust another person completely as long as I live. It is the biggest lesson that I have learned from all of this. Reminds me of that Taylor Swift song “Eyes Wide Open”. If she stays away, the more we are able to work through things without that added stress and become much stronger together. Maybe if it had been YEARS since the affair (PA at that) I could let him take the lead. It has not even been a year, so I am not really ready to risk it – or myself. Been there done that. Not willing to do it again…. Thank you ALL for all of your support and opinions… they have given me lots to consider and think about – along with allowing me to not feel so crazy!! LOL!!

    • Anna

      I like what Anita wrote about showing them your inner beauty – getting an upper hand by being the better person. I fluctuate between feeling like I’d be very calm or that perhaps I’d punch her on the nose! I hate that I wonder every time I go anywhere in town whether I’ll see her, if I’ll drive past her. I know roughly where she lives but actually I’m kind of glad I don’t know exactly as otherwise it would eat me up inside. But the other day I was walking through town, avoiding trigger places that I knew they’d been, and I just thought to myself ‘ENOUGH!’ I lived here first. This is my town too and I’ve been really happy here. I need to choose not to allow her to ruin this place for me. It’s a hard choice, and at the moment I have to make it every day, but that’s what it is. I have to actively not allow her any more power over my life.

      Linda, I can completely understand your fears, but this place you go to with your children is a place you enjoy and love. Don’t allow the thought of her to ruin something that is good for you. Own that place. It’s yours, you’re happy there, you’re happy in your marriage now. She can’t hurt you any more – don’t allow the fantasy of her to spoil your amazing inner strength…

      • Teresa

        Love your answer Anna! “Own that place”! good advice!

      • WriterWife

        I’m with Teresa — Love your answer Anna! This is a choice I made as well, I will not let the OW force me to shrink away from what I want and how I want to live my life! Let her be the one to avoid me 🙂

      • Anita

        Anna,
        I have had time to heal from my situation, and in the beginning I felt no different than most of you, however as
        time went on I was able to work through the pain, and the
        more I worked through my own pain I realized there would
        never be another woman had my exhusband not had an
        affair, he was the one who opened that door, and brought
        the other woman/women into our lives. The other women
        were stupid enough to get involved with a married man,
        but it was my ex who allowed that to happen. So no matter
        how much anger I felt towards the other woman, my exhusband was responsible for bringing that into our
        lives. An affair can’t happen without the permission of
        of the cheating spouse. The cheating spouse is the one
        who brought the other person in. Once I allowed myself
        to feel the pain of his betrayel, that it was him who brought
        the nightmare into my life, I could forgive the other woman
        because, he chased her. I know that is a very big pill to
        swallow, but that what happened. So once I could see
        who the real culprit was my feeling for him changed and
        we are no longer together.
        I forgave my exhusband, and now I understand why he
        did what he did even though it was wrong. I believe his
        last affair was an exit affair. He wanted out of married
        life but didn’t have the courage to leave on his own, instead
        he hooked up with someone to avoid being alone.
        When their relationship ended around a year after our
        divorce, then about 2 years later he called an apologized,
        however I had made a new life for myself and I was not
        going back to that kind of relationship ever again. Later
        he met his current wife, who I get along with. So long
        story short he was the stinker for having had an affair
        when we were married. So as far as his former affair
        partner, I am sure now if she could go back in time she
        would change that part of herself. At least I would hope
        anyway.

        • Linda

          Anita, I feel that most of us focus on the OP because we cannot accept that our spouses were capable of doing all the things they did during their affairs. It is very painful to realize that they stopped loving and caring for us and chose to do something so selfish.

          I believe the most important part of healing is to grieve the person we thought we were married to and learn to love that new person. Many BS skip this step because it doesn’t feel right. We feel like bad partners (after the affair we don’t need to feel any more guilt) , unloving, however the reality is someone we loved hurt us very much. We need to feel angry and hurt. We need to verbally tell the cheaters how we feel, even if we are afraid.

          I know in my situation I didn’t want to tell Doug how I felt, I didn’t want to appear like a bad wife. I was afraid to tell him that I had trouble loving him the way I should after the affair. And even though those feeling are normal after a betrayal many BS feel guilty about having them.

          In turn they project all of those feelings onto the OP, hating, blaming and seeing them as the bad person. They have to remember it was their spouses who betrayed them, and that is the person they need to forgive and learn to love again.

          • Teresa

            Linda…I think this is one of the best statements I have read that expresses EXACTLY how I had felt…except I never told anyone I felt this way because even I didn’t know I felt like this! Does that make sense? LOL….wow..can’t wait to share this with my H! 🙂 I love my “new” H so much more than the “old” H..

          • Paula

            So true, Linda, and so hard to do. This is what I was trying to tell all of the professionals that were at a loss, and trying to prescribe meds for me (that didn’t work for me) – I wasn’t depressed, just grieving, and it was/is a long drawn-out process. I am of the camp that understands those of us who “wish” their partner had died instead of this God-awful mess. A friend of mine put a comment on FB the other day, she lost her darling H to cancer some years ago, they were married 18 short years, wishing for “one last moondance ” with him, that was how we were, the cynic in me just thought, “at least he had the good grace to die before he cheated on you!” I know, inside thoughts only, not a very nice person, Paula!

            My “old” partner was wonderful, the “new” one is wonderful, and remorseful, but I haven’t fully grieved the “old” one yet. I also have had times where I have wished he wasn’t so lovely before all of this, and we could just get on with buiding a better future, but I had “one of the good guys” – up until this mess, damnit!

            • Linda

              Paula, I agree and believe the grieving process takes a lot longer than we expect it to. I think it is different than a death because our spouses are still here with us and it is unclear exactly what we are grieving. Are we grieving the marriage we thought we had, which after an affair the perception of that has greatly changed. Are we grieving the loss of our own specialness, we were not as important to our spouses as we thought we were. I believe after an affair there are so many losses, the magnitude of our grief is overwhelming and we do not know where to begin. This is a subject we really haven’t really touched upon. I would like to learn more about the grief the BS feels and how to heal from it.

            • E

              I would be very interested in hearing/seeing more on the subject of grief for the BS. Up until reading the last few comments I just assumed it was depression for me. Maybe it’s not, maybe it is in fact grief. I would have to say that it is probably over the life I thought I had, the marriage I thought I had, the husband I thought I had. My counselor specializes in grief recovery. The first book she recommended for me was The Grief Recovery Handbook – cannot recall the authors at the moment. It’s not a very lengthy book, but I am still working my way through it – very slowly. I think it is taking me so long because I put up resistance to some of the steps it asks you to take. But my counselor keeps pushing me to keep going through the steps. Perhaps this book could be a reference for others? Not sure Linda if you have ever reviewed this book.

            • E

              John W. James and Russell Friedman are the authors

            • Linda

              E, I will look it up and review it. I also have problems with lengthy books that require exercises and deep thinking. I want to read it and be cured, therefore telling you why I have read thousands of self help books and keep searching for the right answers. I agree sometimes I question if I am depressed and perhaps need medication, I believe sometimes I just feel sad because of everything I have lost. I really need to focus on everything I have gained and embrace that.

            • Paula

              Linda, I have always likened this position to having one relationship end, and another start, the “old” person you loved, and the “new” one you are getting to know, and try to fall in love with. Even those words, “try to,” speak volumes. For me, I have never had one relationship end, and immediately started another, I need time, and space to let go of the other. Probably part of the reason why cheating seems so weird to me, overlaps would be ridiculous when I take time to grieve one loss before I can contemplate becoming that vulnerable to someone else again. As an illustration,when my daughter’s little wire-haired dachshund died a few years ago, I thought we may replace him sometime in the future, this was more than three years ago, I’m still not ready! I’ve always had dogs, we have five others, only one “pet” dog, Willow, our ageing chocolate lab bitch, the others are farm dogs, all lovely people, but they don’t live in my house, lol, and I still feel the gap that losing Otis left. It seems foreign to me to have lost one love and immediately try to love another, even if it is, in reality, the same person.

              E, I’m glad you can see the difference between depression and grief, I’ve been trying to tell people for three years that I feel there is a difference, and most of it seemed to fall on deaf ears! I have had several episodes of deep grief in my life, that I have felt I dealt with, quite well, as well as an episode of post-natal depression, so I do have some understanding of the different way these things feel.

            • on the edge

              Paula, Thank you so much for reminding us that this is a grieving process. I too keep thinking that I am depressed and finally made an appointment with my Dr. to talk about trying some meds to help me through my days. But you are right, I am grieving the loss of my H. Sure he is still here with me but he is not the same man who I married, he is not the great guy that I thought he was. I think he still can be a great guy, a different type of great guy, but great nonetheless. I just need to grieve and let the old one go so that I can be open to him as my “new H”

          • Anita

            Linda,
            Thank You!
            I know for my own self in the beginning I wanted to blame
            the other woman, for my exhusband’s affair. I however
            had a couple of friends who sat me down and had a nice
            long talk with me, and set me straight, at first I was felt
            anger towards my friends, however over time I knew they
            were right and I had to face my denial.
            I believe we do this as a way of protecting ourselves, from
            further pain.
            However your husband has gone through great lenghts
            to save your marriage. My ex husband on the other hand
            was a big time stinker.
            I also have had time to heal from this whole ordeal, and
            I can look back and see things more clearly without pain
            standing in my way. I made myself a promise in the
            midst of our divorce, that I was going to get over him and
            when I did I would never allow myself ever again to go back
            to him. I kept that promise, and I do not regret that. It took
            a couple of years to fully get over him but when I did I
            could see why our marraige didn’t work.
            My life now is much more happier, however I had to learn
            my happiness doesn’t come from others, it has to come
            from within, and of course my faith has a great deal to do
            with that.

    • Broken2

      Linda. I completely understand your concern. It’s sad they have such control over us. I am a very emotional person and just hearing her voice was devastating for me. I almost wish I could see her so that it would be yet another obstacle put behind us but I know it would set me back.

    • PunchingBag

      I’ve visited the store where my Wife’s AP works and have yet to come face to face. I do worry about how I might react but worry mostly about not coming across strong enough and giving him some hope that I will leave my wife and they will be free to continue their relationship.

      My wife visits the shop once a week and sees him on every visit has he is our daughters piano instructor. I hate this day with a passion and it only causes me more distrust and fear. I long for the day when my daughter gives up piano or we can move her to a different facility and instructor. I no longer go to the store because my wife is afraid I might make him feel uncomfortable at work. But not long ago I left work late and decided to stop by as lessons were just about to end and take the kids to get a Slurpee (they think it is quite a treat). As I started walking toward the door I noticed that I only had a minute or two before lessons would end and my heart started to race and almost leapt out of my chest. I could hear the pounding and feel my body pulse with every rapid beat. I have never felt that uncomfortable in my life. I stopped and very nearly turned around and left. But I came for my kids and planned on doing what I had set out to do. He did not show is face and things went swimmingly.

      But what if he had come out? What would have happened? I believe that I would control myself and my words very well. But it still frightens me. It still causes me a great deal of stress. It makes me feel like I have still not prepared myself for an eventuality that may very well occur. Why do I let the thought of seeing this man cause me grief? It’s just ridiculous or I’m just crazy.

      • rollercoasterrider

        It sounds crazy-making to me that not only do your kids still take lessons from a creep, your wife is worried about how HE will feel if he sees you. This is completely backward. Of course seeing him causes you grief, as he had an affair with your wife and she obviously still wants to see him. IMHO your daughter needs a different instructor immediately!

      • Greg

        Punching Bag,
        Why do you even let him still teach your daughter anymore? Change teachers or locations for her lessons. There is no reason for you to put up with him being able to see your wife every week. If your daughter doesn’t know about the affair then just tell her that you need to change teachers because of some issue or another. There is no way he should still have access to your wife or family. I personally would have him fired for ethical issues but I can be pretty vendictive.

    • Paula

      With the benefit of time, I fully understand all of your fears here, but please do know, that although it is still stressful (we are three years today, it is the 16th in my part of the world) this panic and lack of self confidence about accidental meeting does pass. I, too wanted to SHOW the OW that she hadn’t hurt us like she thought she had, we were going to be the best, and the happiest couple in the world, there, take that!! I have seen her once in the past three years, I went to her house, to talk with her, and she panicked and slammed the door in my face, then sent me a (fake) restaining order. If it wasn’t so sad, it would be funny! My OH had ended the affair (sexual and emotional) and she was angry with him, so thought she’d out him, so told me a month after he ended it, when we had made big changes to our lifestyle, to improve a pretty awful situation we had got ourselves into (too much work on both our parts, I quit my job to rejoin him in our joint business.) We had reconnected, and were having a really wonderful time, lots of time together, lots of laughter, fun, talking about the things we both enjoy, LOTS of hot sex, during the day, etc, you get the picture, when she decided that he couldn’t be happy, so she’d tell. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m pleased I know the truth, but her motives were to break us up. He’d already told her that if she told me (we were friends, or so I thought) that they certainly had no future together, so don’t even think about it. One of his biggest regrets, after getting involved with the bunny boiler in the first place, is that he didn’t confess, that SHE told me, and he believes that is one of our biggest hurdles, and a big part of the reason (amongst a few other silly things that he did post Dday) why I left him a couple of months ago.

      I desperately WANTED to see this woman for at least two years after Dday, I wanted to share my side of the story, try to make her see that she waded into our lives at the worst possible moment, she saw us at our worst, but we had been really, really great before that, and I was working to get back to there, whilst my partner was working to soothe his hurt by using her as a balm, not very successfully, lol!
      I wanted to let her see the damage she had helped create. This was so stupid, because I knew she would never see it, she has no empathy, and doesn’t have a CLUE about what I have felt, and doesn’t want to know, either.

      The day I saw her, I had lost a good deal of weight (that I needed to) and was very dressed up, perfectly made-up, hair polished, etc. I had been at the races in her town, and it was important to me that she saw me that way because she had told my partner that I was fat and lazy (she’d been in my house a lot, with him, and I was working 60-70 hour weeks, three kids, on a farm, dogs, no maid, it could resemble a bomb site some days – I was as angry about him letting her see my house that way as I was about him shagging her, isn’t that silly??!) I was incredibly nervous, I don’t like confrontation, either, but I NEEDED her to see me, see that I was a person, who had been incredibly hurt by their selfish choices, and I really hoped she would soften, and at least glimpse my side of things. She is incapable. She is alone, probably doing this to the next poor sap, she done it enough in her past. Sad, sad person, and I actually pity her.

      Everyone here, who has a spouse who did this, but has stopped, is out of the fog, can’t believe they fell into this trap, and does want to be with you now, need to hold your head up high, stay on the high ground, and know that this person is no longer a threat to you, the only person who is a threat to you now, is yourself. And I do agree that it is useful to have a phrase practised to call on if you do have to see this person, both of you, as blueskyabove and others have mentioned earlier. Good luck 🙂

      • Healing Mark

        Great comment Paula. And I’m sure there are others, but can’t read all of them, and there are so many of them. There are so many different situations, and those that involve AP’s who the BS does not know seem to me particularly difficult to deal with, and certainly involve different responses, or potential responses, in the event that the BS and AP bump into each other at some point after D-day, hopefully after the applicable EA or PA has ended, as opposed, of course, to where the BS knows the AP and is rightfully disgusted with what has happened between the AP and their CS.

        For all the men out there, yes, I made it clear to my W’s AP who is now a former good friend of mine that he was very close to the beating of his life (it would have been a good fight, and I’m pretty sure that he would have had the worst of it, provided no unblocked dirty fighting at the beginning). He actually welcomed a beating as he was sorry for f’ing up. I did not give him any kind of beating, and we have established an “interaction” together that makes it clear to those that have a “clue” that something major has happened to “kill” our friendship but hopefully does not lead everybody to believe that he had an affair with my W. I actually had a chance out of view of friends last weekend to knock him down (in a “guy friendly way”) and when we looked at each other before he got up he could see how angry I still was with him, but the way I have let our “relationship” goes as guys go, he knows that I am cool at not exposing him or my W as persons who could fall into, and then continue, an EA.

        This likely won’t resonate with many out there, but I have to give my W some credit here (she does this a lot, and thankfully it’s more on the positive side than then the negative side since the EA ended). Yes, for the first meeting with the AP (Super Bowl party in 2010), I was nervous and worried that I would act inappropriately. My W equated the meeting to coming back to a table the legs of which I had stubbed my toes on (as she had as well). Yes, I hurt after the stubbing. The key was this: was I going to turn around, confront and bitch out this table that had been the cause of me stubbing my toes on it. Of course not! As my W said, don’t “bitch” at the “table” but make sure that she and I don’t get to a point where that happens again. Going forward is what’s important, and sometimes it’s painfully but eventually happily with the CS, and other times (Anita?) it’s without the CS. The stubbed toe hurts, but directing anything toward it does nothing to stop the hurt caused by the initial hurt from the stubing.

    • justbecause

      I am a newbee. My d-day was 6 weeks ago. I opened my husband’s lap top and discovered his “chats” with the OW. This had been going on for about 18 months. I have discovered, and they have admitted to phone conversations as well. Supposedly they have never met … I am somewhat confident they haven’t but not 100% sure on this point.

      I do not have all the e-mails. What I do have are more recent and shows alot of flirting. A couple show where each of them tried to arrange a meeting. I hate that she knows things about me, my children, even my dogs name!

      My H is an alcholic and also has some bi-polar issues as well as Type I diabetes. None of these things are excuses for what he did. His alcoholism is part of who he is. He has not drank since March 30, day after d-day (also my birthday). This has made a HUGE difference. All contact has been severed.

      I would love to have a meeting with the OW. She should not be afraid of me physically, but intellectually –watch out!
      I have discovered a few things since d-day. This is her 3rd marriage. She left husband & 3 young children during 1st marriage while having a PA with a cllient! She is a social worker.

      I would show her and tell her all about me being the better person. I know where she works, where she llives and what she drives. We have several mutual friends and acquaintences. My chance will come. I will be prepared and love every minute of it.

    • WriterWife

      I worry about running into the OW. I don’t know what I’d say, what expression to put on my face, etc. I don’t want to look shocked and scared but I’m not sure I want to stare daggers at her either. I want her to look at me and realize that I’m done with her — that she is nothing in my life at all! Not even enough to bother being angry over. Because I truly feel that’s the worst thing I could do to her: show that she is so meaningless that she elicits no emotion from me at all.

      I know once she’s seen me. My husband and I were out to dinner in her neighborhood and she walked past us a few times. I knew she was there but didn’t look in her direction. I was really glad I’d dressed up a bit and I know both my husband and I looked good (and he made sure to hold my hand on the table where she could see).

      I’ve tried really hard not to let her curtail my life. In the beginning I forced myself to go to places I wanted to even if that meant running into her. Now it’s much easier and yes, I do take a bit of joy in the fact that I’ve reclaimed the places the three of us used to go to together. She won’t even go to her favorite coffee shop anymore for fear of running into me… I’m perfectly ok with that 🙂

      • Teresa

        Writerwife….Have you seen the movie Sense and Sensibility, with Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet? There is a scene where the wealthy fiance of Willoughby, the man Marianne Dashwood is in love with, looks over at her and gives her a cool, condescending “you are sooo beneath me, I pity you” kind of look!!
        Here is a link…pay attention at the 1:34 mark….http://youtu.be/6POkPYmdu1Q
        THIS my dear Writerwife is the look you want to work on achieving, so IF you ever do run into the OW…you can use it on her!!! It’s a killer!! LOL!!

    • justbecause

      Theresa, I love it!! I’m going to go practice it in the mirror. I love the way she looks Marianne up and down – all the while with her chin up. Yes I will be ready to meet the OW. Thanks!

      • Teresa

        Justbecause…it IS a great look, isn’t it? I’m practicing it myself, lol!

    • Sam

      In my case, I have been hoping to run into the OW. There are so many things I’d like to say to her. I’ve written some of them down, rehearsed many more. You see, when I found out about the EA, I confronted both my H and the OW at a coffee shop. I basically intercepted one of their meetings and sat with them at the table.

      Unfortunately (or fortunately?) I was too nice. I didn’t yell. I didn’t curse. I was calm and cool and actually chatted with her. I told her very clearly that I wasn’t ok with their meetings, and told her I wanted to be sure their “friendship” wasn’t crossing the line into something else.

      At the time, I wasn’t really sure about all the details and was more or less willing to go with the story of “just friends”. She denied everything, of course. Even had the balls to say that she could see I was truly commited to my husband – that my actions showed a lot of courage. Ugh. I get so angry just thinking about it.

      If I could go back in time, I wouldn’t be so nice. I wouldn’t cause a scene, but I would let her know in no uncertain terms exactly what I think of her. I hope I will have the chance someday.

    • Brenda

      I am the OW, the man in the EA was my best friend’s husband. I met him first then made an effort to meet her, to keep the relationship “safe” and drama free. However, I got myself into two very deep yet very separate relationships with a married couple. I didn’t realize their issues. Things never felt right, I kicked a fuss that we didn’t get together as families, I kicked a fuss when he complained about his wife. He was depressed, I tried to help. I tried to boost his confidence, I tried tough love, he wanted to leave his family (not for me)and tried to get him to confront his issues. I found myself in the depression. I took the energy out of my relationship with my H and put it into him. I cried when I was with his wife, often. I was frustrated. Every time, I tried to organize a family get together he would stop it and when we were all together as families, you could just feel the icy cold negative energy pouring from him. I couldn’t figure what on earth was going on. I began to think I loved him why else would I care so much?, he didn’t like that I cared about him, but he was the one that came to me with his issues, I listened and I cared, he told me that my caring was too much, then he told me how important I was to him He was hot and cold, my best friend, more than that, then he’d push me away, and then say something hurtful. I was so confused. I just wanted to have a friend and even more a married couple with kids as friends. I demanded explanations for his behavior. I’m not going into details, but I have lost two friends and the words said about OWs and how I have been described as a person of bad character have hurt me. I have been punished deeply. How many of these people going to EA are deeply depressed and how many OW/OM are getting sucked into something they are completely unaware of.

      • Recovering

        You didn’t get sucked into anything, and that is why you get such a bad wrap. You willing wanted to help this man, who was not your husband. THAT is where you messed up. He wasn’t yours to help. You were not his therapist, and the second he started telling you personal things is when your alarm bells should’ve gone off. You being so important to a man who is not your husband is a problem. Mort Fertel has it right – you save yourself for your spouse. THEY are your priority in all senses of the word – not your friends. You took away what was your spouses to give to someone else, and that is selfish and bad character. That is the truth. What happens now and in the future is what will define who you are, however. You can recognize that what you did was horribly wrong and work to focus on what IS yours and never get involved in something like that again. THAT is what will change your bad character. You wouldn’t have tried so hard to help someone that wasn’t your responsibility if you hadn’t gotten some sick ego trip out of it. Now you know better, and can be a better person, and focus on your marriage and YOUR husband. Save all of yourself for HIM. That is the measure of a good wife. Good luck.

        • Emma

          It’s not that obvious when there is an EA though. I say that as someone who has been both the OW (ish) and been cheated on with a PA. With an EA, many times it just starts off like any other random aquaintance. I’ve likely had an EA with a few married colleagues without even realising it!

          I worked with one man for years and had a friendly banter type of relationship with him (at least that’s how I viewed it). I treated him the same way I treat my brother or male cousins. We spent 7 hours a day together most weeks so obviously built up a rapor. I had no idea he had a crush on me, as he had a typical ‘salesman’ personality and was known for being a flirt in general. He never tried to do anything with me, but would openly flirt with other women in the office. He was actually far more respectful towards me and would often ask my opinion on something to get ‘a female perspective’. At one point he admitted he was having problems in his marriage and would tell me things his wife was doing. I just assumed he wanted my advice as usual and would listen and try to offer useful suggestions. I thought we were just good friends, but nothing else. I spoke to his wife several times and could never understand why she was so cold to me when I was always friendly towards her. I’m guessing she found out he had a crush on me early on and assumed I was trying to steal him away, which definitely was not the case. I was busy dating other men on and off, which the husband knew about, and I had no interest in him.

          Their marriage had a lot of issues (completely unrelated to me) and finally ended as they were just fighting the whole time. I also suspect there was a PA with another woman, as he admitted he went to visit a female friend to ‘help her out’ a couple of times. But nothing like that happened between the two of us. I transfered to another office in the company and later found out he was pining after me, was really depressed over my leaving to the point of being suicidal, the wife was bitching about me to everyone and saying I had tried to take her husband and that I contributed to their divorce, which was rubbish. Nothing happened between us and never would have. But I was apparently responsible for him secretly falling in love with me and ended up getting a reputation as a mistress/bunny-boiler!

          I’m fairly certain that gossip impacted my career in that company too. The wife managed to get other women to believe the story and I was treated like a pariah for the last year I worked there. As it happened behind my back, I had no chance to correct anyone. Sadly, women would rather throw another woman under the bus than face up to their man being a player. Other than a divorce, the husband pretty much got away with everything and still works in that company, still flirts with other women, now as a sales director!

          I’ve had other women act in a similar way when I’ve done nothing at all to encourage their partners. I know deliberate EAs do happen and the OW/OM is hoping for a PA. But in some cases I wonder if the partner falls for a woman who is just being friendly (i.e. just talking to them like another human) and then tries to shift the blame onto her just to make himself look less guilty. It’s a lot easier to blame some random woman who isn’t there to defend herself rather than admit your partner is chasing after other women. The wife would rather believe their husband is an innocent little boy who was forced against his will into the claws of this terrible demon (rather than him being a cheating man-hoar, chasing after another woman for sex, and being sad/angry that it didn’t work)! Some of the posts I read here don’t give any clear suggestion that the ‘OW’ actually wanted an affair and I wonder if some wives aren’t driving themselves crazy trying to avoid someone that is entirely oblivious and isn’t actually a threat. Either way, you are giving far too much power to someone who likely doesn’t even think about your husband any more and likely wouldn’t even recognise you if you did meet in public.

          The same goes for men with cheating wives. I’ve unfortunately watched a lot of interactions between male/female friends and colleagues where PAs happened and 9/10 times it was the married person that initiated it and chased after the OW/OM. Many times they try with an OW/OM and get politely brushed off and there is no affair, but the OW/OM still gets blamed if the partner finds out.

          If you know the OW/OM definitely was after an affair, then obviously that’s different. Be angry at them by all means. But stop trying to reframe it as ‘they chased my poor innocent husband/wife’. It very rarely happens that way.

    • Worn Out Pursuer

      Brenda, Learn from this past experience and think about what you would do differently if the same situation comes up again. My husband’s EA turned into a PA because he felt that the OW would listen to him complain about me. Rather than listening to the H’s complaints and console his feelings. Ask the following question: Does your wife know how you feel? Have you told your wife that?
      It has been 5 months since D day and my husband said he was unhappy with our relationship. I was clueless. I thought everything was fine. Rather than my husband telling me – the other half of the relationship – what was on his mind he turned to another woman. How does turning to someone not in the relationship improve the relationship? Learn from this experience and if another married man wants you to listen to his “problems” tell him to share these thoughts with his wife as she really needs to know and wants to know. Imagine how much pain, anguish and hurt the suggestion to turn to his wife would have saved for all involved including you.

    • teacup

      This is a constant thought for me due to the fact that she lives 3 miles from us and her kids attend my son’s school. Just going to eat lunch with my son can and has caused problems. Just the other day she “happened” to be in the same store as my husband. Of course he didn’t say anything to me, but my older son did as he knows everything that has gone on. I have had to “play nice” on a few occasions just due to common interests of our son’s. And when I think of the times, before I knew what was going on, that she had the one up on my because she knew what she was doing with MY husband. My husband made a firmer decision (3rd d-day) to stay, but she contacted him just days later. He failed to tell me what had taken place, responded to her email, continued contact (emails only???) until I asked him if there had been any contact. He defends the “friendship”, says now that there hasn’t been for a few weeks, but I don’t believe it. Therefore, the thought of running into her makes it even harder with her knowing that he has still been “sharing” a part of himself with her yet. I feel angry that she didn’t respect his decision and want to go crazy on her, but I know that I am a better person and won’t stoop to her level. I would turn around a walk away.eRight after his “decision” we talked about thinking about how we’d respond so that we’d be prepared. He says that he is normally a friendly person and says that he couldn’t just walk away without saying hi, how are you doing. UGH!!!! This has been a VERY SORE point for me in the last two months and I just don’t know what to do. It’s hard to stay positive while constantly wondering if he has just been emailing her. We are back in counseling so maybe that will help. I have been going myself for over three months. I do feel stronger to the point that I know that I will be fine with or without him. Time will tell…….

    • Been there , done that

      Linda, please stop looking at that nasty skank’s facebook page. See if there is a way you can block yourself from it.

      • Recovering

        You can block her in your settings, that way she can’t even bring up your page, and you can’t bring up her FB page as long as you are in your own account. I blocked the OW on my FB page, my husbands FB page, and also my children’s FB pages, and all of our security only allows info to friends only. If she searched for my husband, he wouldn’t even come up on her list of names. Granted, if he wanted to be sneaky, he could just start a new FB page, but I believe that he is in this for the better so wouldn’t do that… we can’t control them, but you can block her so she can’t see you and you can’t see her!!! DO IT!!! She isn’t worth the time you spend on her page! FB is for YOU to enjoy YOUR friends, not to stress yourself out.

    • Been there , done that

      Sorry, Brenda, sneaking around with someone else’s husband is a sign of bad character. You need to admit it, then hopefully correct it.

    • Alone

      Brenda,

      I am a cheater, the OW as well. Many of the the circumstances around your situation very much match mine. The OM was depressed and came to me to discuss his issues. He came to me for some reason even though my H was his friend. He talked to me about his major depression issues. I also won’t go into details, but he became extremely controlling of me as the EA continued. He also talked a lot about leaving his wife, for me, which I discouraged. At the end of the day, all I can say is that this relationship with him was TOXIC. I too have become very, very depressed and it has nearly destroyed by marriage to a wonderful man not to mention many, many other aspects of my life. I understand what you say about it never feeling right… you tried to control it, but it got out of hand. For me, the EA was becoming physical and then we were caught. I guess what I would like for you to know is that you aren’t alone. I too have never exhibited bad morals or judgment prior to this happening and during the EA I truly thought I was helping this person. And yes, helping also meant encouraging him about his own marriage and the value in that. Many BS will not believe you and I when we say that. The OM in my situation also did not prefer for us to spend time together with our families, he preferred time alone with me and was often frustrated when we were all together. Again, without many details I too received more “punishment” when we were caught than the OM. Somehow I felt the whole thing was blamed on me? It takes two for this sort of thing, you and I both know that.

      All I can say it to hang in there.. the only thing you can do now is show your remorse, maintain no contact with this person and focus 110% of your energy on making things right in your marriage. That’s what I am trying to do. You are not the worse person to walk the planet. I know it feels like you are right now. But now is our chance to make things right, the best we can.

      Good luck.

      • Blue

        Alone, I’ve been reading on this site for a very long time and pretty much know your story. I do think you have helped a lot of people see into the mind of a spouse that cheats in the marriage. I think most people just get caught up in thier ego being stroked, the excitement.

        I’ve always wondered whether you had any remorse for your AP’s wife? You have never mentioned whether you actually felt remorse for your part in the deception happening in ‘her’ marraige (unless I missed something?)

        How do you know that you recieved more ‘punishment’ than your AP?

        What exactly was your ‘punishment’ compared to the ‘punishment’ you have bestowed on your husband?

        Have you ever thought at the ‘punishment’ your AP’s spouse will go through for the rest of her life?! Is she a robot? Maybe she’s like alot of us BS’s who is panicking to save her FAMILY?! Have you EVER thought about the heartwrenching pain she is going through????

        How is your ‘punishment’ more severe than everyone elses in the situation?

        I’ve always wondered this about you……
        I don’t think you’re a bad person, just seems everything is about ‘your’ punishment and pain.

        • Paula

          Blue, I think Alone means that as a woman, we are often judged more harshly than men in cheating situations, and I think you’ll also find that she has beaten herself to a pulp about what she allowed to happen. That’s her “punishment” – and I believe she feels that the OM has just walked away and got on with his life, whilst she battles the demons, and tries to make her marriage work. A lot of it is self-punishment.

          • Recovering

            I believe that women are generally judged more harshly than men for cheating because we ARE the smarter species… we FEEL when it is wrong to be doing what we do when it is wrong. To become physical with someone elses spouse, or someone other than your spouse HAD to set of alarm bells that you CHOSE to ignore. My husband told me once that men and women can’t be friends – not in the sense of how women can be friends with other women, because if the woman is at all attractive, the man will want to sleep with the woman… Believe it or not, I DO believe it. More now thatn ever. Women have the control… THAT is why we are blamed more harshly.

    • Been there , done that

      Doug, your “no contact ” policy should include not even speaking to this woman. You owe her NOTHING, not even an acknowledgement. You owe everything to your wife and this would be a great way to respect her.

      • Doug

        You’re absolutely right, BTDT.

        • Been there , done that

          That’s Great, Doug. Everyone is always so worried about bring “rude” or hurting someone’s feelings but I dont think there is any better way to show so person they no longer matter to you.

      • Teresa

        I don’t know about that BTDT…I think with a lot of these AP, they think they are still important to their AP and the only reason they ‘broke up” is because the BS found out and MADE them!
        If Doug or any other CS just ignored them, they would take that as a ” poor thing, they miss me so much and the witch they’re married to wont even let him look at me…she/he is sooo controlling” Remember, BTDT, most AP have been told a whole pack of lies about us…and they are still believing those lies….
        I like what Linda wrote, the CS SHOULD speak to the AP and tell them that they get sick to their stomach just looking at them and thinking of all the lies they told about their spouse…that they thank God EVERYDAY that their spouse loved them enough to forgive them and work to make their marriage even better….and then I’d want my H to say” I hope and pray that this we never run into each other again, since you are a horrible reminder of how badly I failed my wife and children!

        • Been there , done that

          Well the way you know you are truly over someone is that they mean nothing to you, good, bad, or indifferent. As long as you maintain contact, you are giving them importance. So it really doesn’t matter to me what someones ex-cheater partner thinks about anything. Just my opinion, of course.

        • Blue

          Teresa, I think if my husband said ‘I hope and pray that this we never run into each other again, since you are a horrible reminder of how badly I failed my wife and children!’ I would be much farther in healing. He did tell her when she emailed him that he would appreciate that she make no more contact with him because of his promise to me. Of course, she still works for the same company and could be posted back to working with him, and trying to figure out his options. (he was her manager)

          • Recovering

            Blue,

            If the OW does come back to my husband’s company the stress will kill me I am sure, but I would want him to say that EXACT thing to the whore!! That is exactly what she SHOULD be to him and nothing more! A reminder of the horrible person he became and how he almost destroyed his entire life – for an easy screw!! But then again, she’ll be dealing with her destroyed marriage because if she comes back I am telling HER husband about HER cheating on HER marriage and my husband will just have to understand…..

    • Brenda

      I was selfish and desperately wanted a meaningful relationship in addition to the one with my husband. I thought I could keep it safe, I thought I was doing everything to make it right. I didn’t lie to my husband, I tried to keep everything open. My biggest mistake was when I found out the the man hid things, and lied to his wife and I didn’t walk away. When he told me his problems, i listened yes. I did voice it, I even told her how uncomfortable I was with many thing. I did not walk away, I’ve done that now. Shame on me for being so desperate to have friends that i let boundaries crash and hurt so many people.

      • Teresa

        Brenda…the fact that you are here…..speaks volumes! Welcome..I hope you can find some of the answers you need..

        • Blue

          I concur. The fact that you are here and an open target for all the resentments a lot of us feel, well it must be a bit scary. Good Luck to you and your family!

    • Alone

      Blue, you are absolutely right. I’m sorry if I posts came across that way. I have a ton of remorse for his wife. Absolutely. The whole things really sickens me. The way I make it up to her is by staying out of her life forever. And the way I make it up to my H is by focusing on him and rebuilding.

      Having been in Brenda’s shoes, I just wanted to encourage her a little bit on how to get through this. That’s all I hoped to accomplish. There’s really no safe place for cheaters to share their thoughts. Thanks for allowing me to post. My best to you.

      • Doug

        Hi Alone, Haven’t seen many posts from you in a while. How are things getting along with you and your husband?

      • Blue

        Alone, I didn’t mean to make this an unsafe place for you to share your thoughts. I really appreciate your input!!!! I just wondered if you ever thought of the pain your AP’s spouse is in (from a CS perspective.)

        I’m sure you didn’t mean to hurt anyone with your EA, you just got caught. We’re all anonymous so I thought I’d get a honest answer about how it feels for you. I’m sure it must be hard when a BS from this site starts to questions then takes a poke at you.

        As a BS I just feel like I’ve been ‘punished’ to the core of my soul by my CS actions- not sure if it makes a difference but his turned to a PA with a coworker whom he managed (barf!) Even though my marriage needed work I had just trusted my husband so much.

        This site is the only place I feel ‘safe’ I told two friends during panick attacks and caught one having an EA shortly after and the other had already had a PA. I didn’t even bother telling my ‘wilder’ friends. I feel very Alone too!

        • Teresa

          Blue…I have talked with and emailed Alone for some months now…she is a sweetheart, and I can assure you she is TRULY remorseful for all the pain she has caused..I’m a BS and I count myself blessed to know Alone…She is not like a lot of OW…she realizes that she messed up, and feels horrible for the OM”s wife…As hard as it is to accept, the OM and OW in SOME cases, really IS a decent person, who just made some bad choices
          Why is it considered wrong for Alone to say that she feels she is getting “punished” but her AP is not? She has a right to have feelings also, and just because she’s the OW, doesn’t mean she should have a scarlet letter on her for the rest of her life..
          I am proud to say that Alone IS my friend, and I feel blessed to have her in my life!

    • Blue

      Paula, Theresa, Alone, and everyone else here,

      It is true. I have no right to judge/jab at ANYONE: OW, OM, BS- not one person! I have no idea what they have gone through in thier life or why they made the choices they did. I have failed miserably at this especially since I felt my precious family at risk. Since I’ve been betrayed I don’t think i’ve ever judged or mistrusted so many people and I miss that innocence. I just can’t tell who’s the enemy. My brain just won’t stop! I wish I didn’t care what the OW thinks of me (my pride) or if she is still a threat to my family (my fear). I am weak. It should only matter how my own husband treats me now.

      Every single BS/CS/marriage IS different. I realize this and concede asking Alone how she felt about her AP’s wife and her ‘punishment’ compared to ‘punishment’ felt by all parties involved was a jab. At the moment I wanted her to realize she doesn’t know the depth of ‘punishment’ they are going through, BUT I have no right to make her realize anything- who am I to judge/jab?! I don’t know her-which makes my jab worse, and I feel terrible about this.

      I am sorry to everyone who was offended by my meanspirtedness. She is not the woman my husband had an EA/PA(without protection) with so it doesn’t pertain to me and is none of my business.

      Alone is special and a good person in that she is really trying to heal and keep her family together. I am sorry if I cornered you, Alone, when you were trying to help someone.

      One day I hope my fear, sadness and resentment will turn to wisdom and strength and forgiveness. I have a long way to go……

      • Blue

        PS. I really do wish you all well and happiness in this big world of emotions.

        • Teresa

          Blue…It IS a big world of emotions….sucks, right? You are hurting and wanting to lash out at anyone that reminds you of the OW…I understand…I’ve been there..in my case the cow aka OW wrote my H an email several months after DDay saying they had nothing to be ashamed of, they were just “good friends” and he was just “doing penance” that i demanded, by cutting her and the two family members who knew about the EA, out of his life!
          Not ALL OW are sorry for what they have done…but Alone truly is and I just wanted to let you know that… 🙂
          Keep reading this blog..you’ll get a lot of info to help you understand all the emotions that are running through you right now. ..and take care of YOU…that’s the best advice Ive read on here!

    • Been there , done that

      I’m not trying to be harsh but I dont feel the way to get past what you’ve done, myself included, is to try to rationalize it, or excuse, or to get people to sympathize with it. it seems counter intuitive, but to me just say, I knew it was wrong, made a choice to do it anyway, and accept that. It’s confusing to the mind when you try to rationalize something you know was wrong. And yes, I am guilty myself, even though it’s been,15 , years now :~) do Not plan to ever do it again, either!

      • Teresa

        I think BTDT that maybe you should go back and read some of the posts from the past that Alone has written and you will see that she is very sorry for what she has done. Alone has NEVER tried to garner sympathy from anyone on the blog….like I said…go back and read her past posts.
        And OF COURSE she has to try to understand why she got involved in an EA…..just lke we Try to understand why our partners got involved in an EA.
        There ARE some OW out there that ARE SORRY for what they have done….and Alone is one of them…

    • Paula

      Blue, I second all Teresa said. This is a hard enough journey without making ourselves feel worse, and I know that your “lashing out” at Alone was a symptom of this, so please go easy on yourself. You are not weak, your CS was weak. Your feelings are perfectly normal, we have all felt weak on this journey, as it is a hard, jagged path, and we stumble often. That to me, is the beauty of the gift Doug and Linda have given us with this site, the support, the opportunity to vent. I don’t know how my mother’s generation coped when in this most anguished of situations – I’ve often thought about this, they didn’t have this wonderful resource, or this kind of support, they were expected to “get over it” and soldier on. Teresa is right, not all OP, or CSs are sorry for the pain they have inflicted, but there are many who are just as devastated as the BSs, sometimes it may be even worse, think about it, they are hurting as much as us BSs, but they CAUSED this hurt, by their own actions, so they are hurt themselves, and then they have to watch the person they love more than anything suffer – all because they got lost.. That must suck, big time!!! There are many examples on this very site of CSs who are truly remorseful, and trying to work out how the heck to sort out the mess they caused.

    • Heather

      The other woman was my best friend….who was our neighbor and continues to be our neighbor. We are in no financial position to move and I’m trying to be strong. But I find myself at my breaking point. I just found this site and hope that some of Doug’s blogs give me perspective. At this moment, I don’t see a light at the end of this tunnel. Other than the train.

    • Heather

      The other woman was my best friend who was also my neighbor and who still is. I’m having a difficult time no matter how regretful and amazing my husband has been since, no matter how many improvements him and I have made and no matter how much good came from this, I’m in agony. And to see her, her kid, her van (the main point of rendezvous) and all the memories of family vacations and birthday parties and cook outs—I am re-gutted everytime. I just found your blog and hope that Linda (but anticipating Doug’s writing more) can provide helpful perspective. Because I’m at my breaking point.

      • Paula

        Heather, I can relate somewhat. Our OP was a childhood friend of mine, who I texted regularly, we often had time together, just the two of us, her and me, I invited her to most of our family events, holidays, parties, etc, for two years, whilst most of this time she was having a sexual affair with my partner of (then) 21 years. I understand the feeling of being taken for a ride, being played for a fool. My, now ex, partner was immediately remorseful (he had ended it over a month before the OW told me what they had been doing) and tried to do everything he could to repair the damage. I was/am also in agony, and a couple of months ago I separated from him in order to try a different path of healing. I am NOT advocating this, just stating where I am at. This was all over more than three years ago, and I still am struggling, daily. However, that said, it is better, I am coping, and I still have a really good relationship with my ex – we have three children together, two still living at home, so there is inevitable contact, and it’s great that it is positive. We even accompany each other to some events, I know people think it weird, but I don’t care, we are good friends, and always have been, this is working for us, at least a little better than it was. Is there any way possible to look at moving? If it is necessary, then you must MAKE it happen. Have you had any professional help here? In the form of counselling, etc? A good therapist may be able to give you advice as to how to better handle things. Maybe the old making her seem ridiculous in your head may work for you (I tried hypnotherapy, where I had to imagine this so-called beauty as growing Mickey Mouse ears, warts on her face, wearing a giant pair of gumboots, whatever you can think of, these were suggested to me, and shrinking her mentally, “pop” gone in a puff of smoke, and flicking an elastic band on my wrist to try to avert or reset my thinking when I started to dwell on her- it wasn’t a great fix for me, but maybe it could help you to see her in a less flattering light??) You have my extreme sympathy, I would have struggled having to see her daily in her driveway/section/vehicle. ALWAYS remember you are the better person, and do not allow her make you feel otherwise. If she has shown no remorse, or attempted to apologise to you, she is not worth your time, or worth cluttering up your valuable emotional space. She does not exist!! You will eventually find a place where you are able to forgive her, as Anita said, for you, not for her, I am kind of in that space, I no longer obsess about her, and why she did this to me, she just did, because of who she is, and I could do nothing to stop that. The double whammy of being betrayed by your spouse, AND your best friend is awfully difficult to bear, I know. Keep focused on you, a little on your H, do not let her monopolize your thoughts too much (easier said than done, believe me, I know!) she is the past, and YOU will come out an even stronger and better person. You can do it, you’ll be amazed how strong you are. Much love

        • Nancy

          YES. The double whammy of being betrayed by your husband with your best friend is very difficult to process and allow you to move forward! Actually, this PA occurred 30 years ago. My husband just last year admitted it to me because he said the guilt was tearing him up. Up until this point the ‘best friend’ was still in our lives along with her children and our children with them being as close as cousins. This revelation has been devastating to my family. I did confront her and she stated she was sorry but later texted me (after I had told some of our mutual friends what a snake she was and you had better check because she may have had an affair with your husbands as well) that she was not sorry and would do it again….if my husband ever called her again. I think the hardest part to deal with is the feeling that even though the affair was 30 years ago it is like it was still going on because of the ‘intimate-dirty little secret’ they shared between them all of these years. Of course, we do not see each other any more and I do think about what the interaction will be like when we do. My husband and I have been through counseling and are trying to get our marriage back to some semblance of normalcy…it has been difficult because of the hurt and double betrayal. I have told him that in the inevitable event that we do run in to her again I want him to tell her (what he has told me) that he loved me then but was selfish, low down, greedy and crazy and he loves me now and that he will have to live with his actions that almost destroyed everything that matters to him…..because you NEVER did!

    • Anita

      Heather,
      Its tough enough to have this happen in your marriage,
      then to have it be your so called best friend, who lives in
      your same neighborhood.
      It takes time to heal and forgive your husband and your
      former friend. Your trust is shattered at this point, and
      you and your husband need to rebuild a new relationship.
      If he promises not to ever cheat again, and keep that
      promise, and you can forgive him your marriage could
      turn out to be happy again someday.
      Forgiveness is for you, because it releases the poison
      that comes from unforgiveness. Also when you forgive
      someone such as your former friend, it doesn’t mean
      you need to continue that relationship, but your also not
      carrying the poison of it either.
      Heather it does hurt to have your husband cheat on you,
      and to make matters worse having it be with your neighbor who was your best friend only compounds it.
      Your husband needs to be responsible for keeping himself
      faithful to you, thats the bottom line and can you forgive him
      for cheating on you.

    • Anita

      Heather,
      Friends come and go throughout our lifetime, this one
      proved not to be a friend to you at all. Forgive her and
      put her behind you.
      Your husband on the other hand is married to you, and it
      was pretty low of him to cheat on you in the first place, then
      to make it worse he chose do it with your best friend who is
      also your neighbor, that wasn’t very nice of him.
      However since your choosing to stay with him, you know
      now what he is capable of and since money is a issue
      and your unable to relocate, you have to make the best of
      this situation your in. My very best to you!

    • Anita

      Heather,
      For yourself it takes time, however try not to dwell in the
      past. If your husband is remorseful and wants to save your marraige, forgive him and start over with a clean
      slate, we can’t change the past, and it doesn’t need to
      control today or our future. If you feel he can keep faithful
      to you from now on, then leave the past behind, and
      enjoy the here and now. Otherwise this will remain a
      open wound, and it needs to heal. The scar will be there
      with the memory, however the pain of all this will be gone.
      So enjoy what you have today, and leave the past behind.

    • Been there , done that

      Theresa, I admire your concern for Alone. Believe it or not I feelconcern for her as well. I stand by my statement that being sorry for doing something and admitting it was wrong are two separate things, related but separate.you have to do both, and when you realize any excuses you have are invalid it it’s a very liberating thing. This is my opinion only, not trying to hurt or piss anyone of f. I chose Been There Done That for a reason.I’ve never said whether I was a Cheater or Cheatee, have I? I’ ll tel l more later.

      • Anita

        BTDT,
        As a former betrayed spouse, after my exhusband’s betrayel,it took a couple of years after our divorce for him to admit he was wrong and that he was sorry. He also admited during his affair he felt no guilt, and didn’t feel it
        until about a year after him and his affair partner split up.
        He kept repeating to me over the phone, this is so sad,
        this is so sad, for you and the kids. I am so sorry, I told
        him I forgave him, however I had made a new life for my
        self, I also told him he needed to forgive himself, what
        was done was done, and we couldn’t change the past,
        however we need to go forward with our own separate
        lives. We get along now, but we have separate lives.
        Also as a former betrayed spouse, I forgave him before
        he apologized, however it was nice of him to say those
        words, for me it meant he listened to his conscience,
        and saw his own wrong and was man enough to admit
        to it. It helped me to know there was still something
        good inside of him.
        I also had to do my part of admitting to him also that I
        wasn’t the perfect wife and I am sure I said and done
        things that were hurtful to him also. So in return he
        forgave me for those things. So for us the past is over,
        and we live in the here and now.

        • Anita

          BTDT,
          I Forgave the other woman along time ago, so I could put
          her out of my life. However if by some very small chance
          I ran into her I would be nice to her, because that is who
          I am. Even though she was wrong, I have chosen to take
          the God’s word and apply it to my life. So for me it doesn’t
          matter if she ever apologizes. I have chosen to free myself
          of any anger that I once felt toward her. I hope for her own
          sake she has decided to make better choices, and values
          herself enough not to be an affair partner ever again.

    • Aviva

      Same story Heather ! I’m a coward ..have not confronted both of them..to pretend everything is normal is a mammoth task..What I do is pretend nothing has happened…there’s a coldness which has crept btwn my best friend and I . both of them still tell me they are Christian brother and sister..Confused

      • Anita

        Aviva,
        Even Christian bothers and sisters still make wrong
        choices, however as a Christian myself I am thankful
        Jesus forgives the sins of those who believe in him.
        God also asks us to forgive others when they hurt us.
        I know along the way in my own life I have said and done
        things that have been hurtful to others, and I appreciated
        their forgiveness. It makes my life much more happy not
        to hold a grudge, that takes way to much energy that I
        rather spend being happy. My Best to You!

    • Rachel

      Heather, Paula, Anita,
      So I take it you ladies never sent the “I hate you letter” to the ow? Wouldn’t this be a form of healing? Doing this runs through my head daily. I feel that this will possibly help me heal better/faster, just to let her know that it was wrong of her to be in contact with MY husband for the past 30 years. A nd to stay away from him.I know he was wrong also but I feel that the constant attention from her was the root of the situation.

      • Paula

        Rachel, I don’t hate the OW, I hate what she did, I probably felt I hated her to start with, but really, she’s a lost and lonely soul, I pity her. She has never experienced deep love, only for herself, so she has no understanding of what it is to lose that. I did write her a letter, it wasn’t an, “I Hate You” letter, it was a baring of my soul, to try to explain where we were at at the time I invited her back into our lives, who we are, who we were, and to try to let her know that the damage was permanent, yes, people can heal, but they never forget how they were maimed. I asked her if she could please meet with me, or us, and we shoulc all talk. She didn’t care, as expected! She has told people (one mutual friend who is a crown prosecutor, at least) that I am a madwoman, and I deserved it all. How can you rationalize with someone that vindictive? She just has to not exist for me. It’s hard, because, even three years later, I am angry at her selfishness, at her not cherishing my friendship, as I cherish my friendships, not having one ounce of empathy for my position now. I am angry she didn’t have the good grace to apologise, or at least acknowledge my extreme misery. The reason for this seems to me to be that she doesn’t know what a good, loving relationship is, and so has NO IDEA what I lost. She has witnessed her father cheating on her mother her whole life. I now understand why she had no sympathy for her, I always thought that so cold when we were growing up. Her mother is a religious woman, and won’t leave, despite his multiple cheating. OW sees that as weakness, I guess, and that is how she judges me. I was not doing my job in looking after my partner (her words) and that is why he cheated, why he was available to her. (My God, she is a dumbass!!!) I do write to her occasionally now, but I never send them, there’s no point, but I get the poison out of my system, and it does help, and the fire loves it 🙂 !!

    • justbecause

      Rachel,
      I have my “I hate you letter” written. My d-day was 7 weeks ago – day before my 51st birthday. Her birthday is Sept. 12. I will send the letter so it arrives the day before her birthday. I’m glad I didn’t send it right away as I occasionally refine and add to it. I continue to find out tidbits about her scummy existence that help me and that I look forward to throwing in her face.

      The OW attempted to meet my husband last summer at one of her son’s baseball games. (He also attemtped at least one meeting.) They both claim to have never met in person. I plan on showing up at one of her sons games. Not sure yet if I will speak to her or just let her know of my presence. I’m sure many say don’t go, don’t waste your time, she is below the effort. But I want to! Her main objective after discovery was keeping everything quiet. I want her to see me cool, confident and looking good. I wnt to keep her wondering . . . what I will do next.

      • Teresa

        Justbecause……I LOVE IT! I’d want to do the same thing because I know, from the cows own email that she sent us, that her family knows NOTHING about the EA she had with my H! Only her H knows since he found a text from my H that she forgot to erase!
        She actually had the gall to chastise my H and I because our children found out about the EA…she wrote “This is something that belongs between adults only, and it is BAD parenting to let your children know about problems between their parents”….yes, she had the GALL to write that to us!
        Well, hello cow face…my children found out because they were packing their bags to LEAVE their father because YOU decided to have a “little fun” with MY H and I had decided to leave him, because the pain was to hard to deal with!
        I actually feel very sorry for her H…what a selfish cow he’s married to!

    • Gizfield

      Happy 9th Anniversary to me! Through the grace of God, I hope I make it to number 10.I’m not an overly religious person, but I do believe Satan loves adultery, divorce, lies, and all the hurt he can accomplish through them…

    • Gizfield

      Just Because, if sending the letter makes you feel better, I am all for it. I dont feel the need to prove to someone running around with my husband that I am a better person than them, I wasn’t hiding, lying, cheating, etc. so thats kind of a no brainer. Ditto on forgiveness. As to whether I am happier, prettier, thinner, better, etc. what does it matter??? I dont care if I look “good” compared to her. Relationships built on appearances or any outward qualities are destined to fail, impo.

    • Gizfield

      I’m not sure my previous comment conveyed what I wanted it to. Just please dont feel you owe the Other Person ANYTHING, don’t compare yourself to them, and for god’s sake please do not be jealous, cause there is nothing to be jealous of!!!!!

      • justbecause

        Gitfield

        Agreed! I should not be jealous of her. I am normaly a very self-confident person. This betrayal . however, rocked me to the core. Still early for me < 2 months. I am getting better. Must admit finding out dirt about the OW helps in some way. She is on 3rd marriage – complaining to my H what a bad marriage it is! Left small children during 1st marriage to live in a trailer with her AP who was a client! She is a social worker.

        Also, so agree on your point that looks aren't the basis to judge whether an affair is justified. An affair is never justified! Just saying, I am geting my confidence back. I am proud of who I am. She can not say the same.

        Thanks for the post. I consider it encouragement!

    • ChangedForever

      Just getting to this post now…so many great comments i can relate to…but unlike some of you, i did run into my H’s affair partner. And i was with my bike, on the boardwalk, and saw her riding towards me…. Reminded me of a circus chimp riding one of those circus type bikes…and adrenaline took over. I had rehearsed in my head over & over what i’d say, based on where i would have been…but not where i was then. I was with a work colleague who knew what i was going thru … I stood up right in front of ‘it,’ addressed it while talking w/ my colleague & said, “…can’t believe they allow white trash to ride on this boardwalk…see that? ( I said..)…’…white trash…and i’m going after it.” and i got on my bike, and rode towards it, but it was gone…must’ve veered off the boardwalk to the street (if it knew what was good for it.) i just wanted to make sure ‘it’ rode quickly past my H’s work area…and of course i wanted to scare it a little too. You see, it doesn’t matter what i look like when i run into this thing. It’s 20 yrs younger than me…almost 30 yrs younger than my H. Total scum bag and i really do want it to be in fear of running into me. I’m older, tougher, inthe best shape i’ve been in, in years… and married….and i’m hoping its moved away & will no longer be working nearby my H again this summer…as it did last summer. We’ll see. I just didnt know i was so brave…until that 1st ‘sighting’…but there were more….that contact validated things for me…it was not prettier than me, in better shape than me…it was, white trash. That day was like getting a cortizone shot: felt good for a short period of time, then the pain returned…

    • Rachel

      Changed forever,

      Why does the cheating spouse go after the beastly looking things? When I ever found my husbands ow on line and I then continued to google it, I couldn’t believe my eyes?!?!
      More pictures of this “thing” this “cancer”, white trash!!
      And he had the nerve to say on d-day that “she’s kinda pretty sitting across the table at the restaurant during our lunches”. BARF!!! GET YOUR EYES CHECKED BUDDY!!
      My husband is a perfectionist. Hair never out of place, nicely tailored clothing, neat as a pin. One would have called him a “classy kind of guy”. But not any more.

    • ChangedForever

      ..Rachel…my theory on what seems to attract cheating spouses? ‘The devil is very busy…’ that sums it up for me. Nothing good could ever come from beginning a ‘relationship’ in deceit…

    • Gizfield

      I’m loving it, Changed Forever and Rachel! I just wish everyone would realize there is nothing about these women to be envied. Nothing says Confidence like waiting for another woman’s husband to throw you a bone by texting you, emailing u, or seeing you whenever they “can”, which really means whenever they want to, no commitment or questions asked. What a great relationship…sign me up for that.

      • Recovering

        Clearly being in an affair is a sign of poor self-esteem as well as selfishness because 2 things are happening: 1 – the cheater is too cowardly to face his partner to either end things or fix things, and 2 – the cheater can only feel better about themselves by something coming from outside themselves. The OW (or OM) certainly knows that they are not the primary relationship, or the cheater would leave and be with them. They have to believe somewhere that they don’t deserve all of their AP, which they don’t. I read in an article somewhere that if someone is going to leave their relationship for their affair partner that it usually happens within the first 3 months… my Hs affair lasted 2 years – I was EXTREMELY suspicious for the last year, but always got the blow-up if I would ask if he was cheating about how crazy I was, and it took me a year to get proof. I was suspicious before that, but thought I really was just being overly sensitive…. There is NOT ONE THING that I envy about the OW!! I totally dislike her (not that I know her), but I know enought ABOUT her to know that she and I would never be friends even had this not happened with MY husband. I am not friends with people who cheat – cheaters seem to stick together it seems… She is taller and thinner than I am, but she is a whore, has cheated before, clearly lacks morals, and is a coward. She didnt even start pushing my husband for a real relationship until 2 years in – the whole time whining about leaving her husband, which she still hasn’t done almost a full year after the affair has ended. She is a liar, and a terrible mother, because obviously she didn’t even think about those little boys one time when she was at the store buying condoms to use on MY husband. The gum packets, kids toys, and suckers right at the aisle didn’t even phase her! She has nothing on me. Took me a long time to realize that. She will always be the lying cheating whore! I don’t think she is hideous looking (which might have made things easier), but I wouldn’t say she is better looking than me either. I will ALWAYS be the better person AND I got what she so desperately wanted – MY HUSBAND. Now that he has been dealing with the guilt he has openly said that he doesn’t think she is a good person, and hopes he never sees her again. He doesn’t know what he was thinking – that he clearly WASN’T thinking… he was cowardly and selfish, too. He has a hard time passing tough judgement on her because he sees that he did the same thing to her family as she did to ours, and he did, and I hated him for it in the beginning. What I have to keep reminding him of when we discuss what he did and what she did is that yes, they both were evil disgusting people, but unlike ‘it’, he is facing the music. Being there to get me through the torture of knowing my love cheated. Paying the price and doing absolutely everything he can to make himself, and our relationship, better. Even sending me pics from his phone when he goes out somewhere so that I am reassured he is not with ‘it’. He answers the phone whenever I call regardless of where he is even if he can’t talk.. he’ll just let me hear the conversation for as long as I want…. I have access to all his email, Facebook, phone, wallet, etc… ‘It’s’ husband doesn’t even know about the affair. I don’t think ‘it’ feels one ounce of guilt… She is still the evil, selfish coward she has been the whole time, and despite the affair, my husband is a better person now than he has ever been!!! Yes, what they DID was the same, but WHO THEY ARE is not. He was an awful, mean person while he was with her, and he sees that now (as I told him many times while he was with her and I didn’t know yet). She didn’t make him better… I do! I would probably mentally freak if I saw her, but I have practiced many snide, mean, TRUE things to say to her in my head. I would only be intimidated by the situation, but NEVER her… not anymore. Am smarter than that – and definitely a better person than ‘it’.

    • Gizfield

      I also love the way Other Women believe every thing another woman’s husband tells them. He’s a known liar, lol. At least his wife admits it. he tells you how horrible his life and marriage, especially his wife, are and yet he stays. And the reason? Because he WANTS to! Anything else you hear is just a lie or an excuse.

      • Recovering

        And every situation is alwasy SOOOO much worse when the story is told to the AP too! LOL!! My husband was SOOO miserable, yet he didn’t act miserable when he was with me, and we still had fun, made love, did things together, etc… Nobody else ever asked me what was wrong with my husband.. apparently THEY didn’t notice how “miserable” he was either!! And why would the AP even want to be with someone who was such a coward to STAY in a relationship where they are so “miserable”? Or be with someone who is clearly cheating on THEM with their own spouses? There is no reality in an affair – NONE. The only reality was that they KNEW they were doing something wrong, or they wouldn’t have been hiding it! Is all a farse!! I love the the OW thought she could have a “real” relationship with MY husband – while both of them were still married to other people! Did she think she was gonna be a mom to my kids and that my husband would want to be a daddy to hers? Right!! I think not! That NEVER even crossed MY husband’s mind when he thought about “being” with her in real life! Idiots!!

    • Gizfield

      They don’ t want to be together, because that would involve a nasty little thing called Reality. sneaking around is totally avoiding anything remotely dealing with who or what a person REALLY is, and they know this.

    • Gizfield

      I just had the funniest thought. These “affairs” are like a low rent version of The Bachelor, and have about the same result regarding the outcome,lol.I never use the term “affair”, I prefer “inappropriate relationship.” Takes some of the fun out of it for the Cheaters, lol. Not very appealing sounding, is it?

    • Gizfield

      I enjoy word games and just thought of a fun acronym. AFFAIR equals All Funky Fabricated Adulterous Inappropriate Relationships. And unlike Bill Clinton, I dont require Penetration for it to be adultery. If it should only be done with your spouse, it is adultery. If you couldn’t do it in front of your momma, preacher, child, or dog, lol. It is adultery to me. Just my opinion.

    • ocanas

      I may never meet the OM, but. I made sure his wife got to see the most “intimate” e-mails and texts they exchanged – in my mind I said ” it is only fair for her to know the same info as I have found”. He was kicked out of his house – for which I am very pleased – and me and my wife are still working on us after 1 yr of D-day. I did not cause his separation/divorce – he called that on him by doing what he did. I was just instrumental to communicate the facts. Or at least that’s what I tell myself

      • Greg

        Good for you ocanas! I would have done the same but I was the last to find out, his wife knew a month before me and even though she called my wife at work she never thought to tell me. Too bad for her as I found out a lot more info than she has, but if she didn’t have enough respect for me to tell me I figure she can keep living their lie.

        • Teresa

          Greg..maybe she was hurting so badly, that she didn’t want to put you through the same thing? Not disrespecting you…protecting you?
          I wish the H of the OW would have contacted me also…he found out 3 weeks before I did, but now when I think about it’s probably a good thing he didn’t, because it would have ruined Christmas for my children and myself.
          My H did come down with a stomach bug on Christmas Eve though and spent most of Christmas in bed….poetic justice, maybe, lol…as it was I found out on New Years day and it was NOT a good day, week, month OR year! : /

        • Recovering

          Greg,

          I still haven’t told the OWs husband, and I found out about my husbands PA almost a year ago now. If I had not been sooooo insanely shocked and in a major state of panic, I would have figured out how to tell him ASAP so I could be assured that it would all be over, but…. I wish I had told him right away. I have this insane amount of guilt that I know and he has no idea of what his wife and my husband did. But to be quite honest, I felt HORRIBLE for the OW’s husband and children!!! Once a little time went on I was overcome by fear of how he would react (she had left the company at this point), as I knew how many times I had dreamed of running the OW over with a car, and my own feeling of guilt because I knew how bad I was hurting – still am – and I couldn’t bring myself to be the barer of that on someone who probably wouldn’t believe me anyway since we’d never even met. He probably doesn’t even know who my husband IS!! I got selfish too… I wanted to fix my relationship, and my husband kept threatening to leave if I told the OWs husband (sometimes, other times he was ready to face that firing squad). I was ashamed and embarrasssed, and still am, as still none of our family and hardly any of our friends know, and if I had told him, that can of worms would’ve exploded all over our lives. This all has destroyed me… how is it that I am being made to feel guilty for not telling him that his wife destroyed him and their children too? I know that the truth is the truth whether it is known or not… I just hoped that the OW would stay away, and maybe work on her own marriage and then… Idunno… I should’ve told him. Now I feel like it is the only weapon I have if she should come back to my husband’s company. I feel ready for the wrath of being the barer of the news now… I think… I know that I didn’t cheat, but I am trying to get MY life back together and don’t want all of MY hard work undone because of what THEY did… so it is my terrified, selfish, sad secret… I have written the letter in my head a million times of how to tell him… how do you tell someone that their spouse is a lying cheating whore and that you’ve known and that you know they will feel like a fool and hate you because you felt that way when you didn’t know either… I just… I just hope the OW’s husband cheats on her and destroys her… hopefully he cheats with a single woman, though, and leaves the whore for her!!! K… that may have been a little mean, but it is kinda true…

          • Greg

            Teresa,
            She may have been protecting me but what she doesn’t know, since all the letters that were sent were done anonymously, was that it was sent by a previous AP of her husbands, except she was a PA for him. Her husband is a serial cheater and she has only discovered some of it. Personally i think she was just too embarased and didn’t want it to come out. I’m pretty certain she doesn’t even know that a letter was sent to her husbands boss, my wife’s boss, and the HR department since she only confronted my wife by phone at work.

            Recovering,
            I almost freaked out thinking you were the OM’s wife from the timing, as we are coming up on one year as well, except that I know they still work together. 🙂 Telling or not telling is a personal choice for everyone. If you weren’t comfortable sending it or were afraid of what would happen at work then it is your right not to tell her husband. In your case it looks like it might work out because you know have that threat to use as a weapon. I would have had an easier decision to tel or not since it was completely outed at work in the begining in an effort of his previous AP to hurt both of them. Don’t feel guilt for not telling if that is what you chose as it was your choice to do what you felt right for your life. I’m a pretty vengeful SOB so I would have done so not to help her but to hurt him.

    • Gizfield

      Recovering, of course your husband gets mad when you threaten to tell her husband. He is afraid he will get his ass kicked! also, he is scared the husband will kick her butt out and he will have to Put Up or Shut Up regarding his lady love. Seriously, The husband does need to know, she may also be exposing him to disease with others as well.

    • Gizfield

      Recovering, you may also be worried that if you tell, she will get kicked out and have all kinds of free time to spend with your husband!! He might even leave! I doubt that, though. It could be the best thing you can do for your marriage :~)

      • Recovering

        I am not really worried about my husband leaving anymore… though I am honestly afraid of the violent possibility… AND what it could do to my husband’s reputation at work (though that shouldn’t be MY worry, I did choose to stay and work it out, so it does become something that I am concerned about). I know the OWs husband needs to know… he uses the same email as the OW and I worry she would intercept… I could call, but I think I am too chicken, plus then they’d have my phone number, and then there is good ol snail mail… certified of course so she couldn’t open it…. I am afraid. I wouldn’t wish what we BSes are going through on anyone…. I just wish I would’ve been in my right mind to tell him right away!!! UGH!!! The only good reason I guess I can think of TO tell him is to keep her away from my husband…. I already know how bad her husband will feel… that kills me even though it isn’t my fault! It IS partly my husbands fault, so any reprecussions against my husband now go back to me….. Man the cheatin pair really messed me over dirty didn’t they!!!!!!!!

    • Gizfield

      I would make my letter anonymous, short, and to the point. Once he starts checking on her, he will find the proof. If you know of anything they did together include that. Unfortunately, my husband’s co cheater has no husband or significant other. Oh well, she may have one some day, lol. hope he likes whores who date married men cause he will know about it. Karma’s last stand. Lol.

    • Gizfield

      I’m sorry, I like to see people get what they deserve, and in my case I’ve suffered, my husband has suffered but his girl friend is just happy as a frigging clam. It’s just not right, lol.

    • justbecause

      The OW has a sister who is a lawyer in another state. She contacted the police in the community we both work in and said I had been threatening to her sister and wanted no contact. They have no proof of any threats. As the officer said, I sounded aggressive in my voicemail but made no threats. The lawyer sister actually sent me a very threatening letter that I have showed the police!

      The OW does not know, my brother-in-law is a retired cop from this department. Many of the officers know me and my family. They can see right thru her lies. One of the officers was cheated on by his fiance, who was also a co-worker of mine. They are all sympathetic to me and know she is a whore. Oh, sweet justice.

      Still, I can’t wait for her after work or similar. Nothing saying we won’t just “run into each other”.

    • Paula

      To tell or not to tell, that is the question! I still don’t know whether I would tell the partner, if our OW had one. I think the vengeful side of me says, “hell, yeah!” to hurt her, but having gone through this, I don’t know if I could do that to the partner? I am usually black or white, I always thought I would tell someone if I KNEW (not just suspected) their partner was cheating, my ex was told by a mutual friend of his and his GFs (the same AP!!) when she was cheating on him 25 years ago, and I thought that was quite brave of her to do that. Is it the right thing to do to expose someone if this is a one off and the cheater will never do it again??? Who knows? My ex told his AP if she ever exposed him to me (after he ended the affair) that there was NO WAY they had a future together (he knew that this was what she wanted.) She told anyway, and whilst I am glad I know, as secrets of any nature, but especially of this magnitude are NOT a healthy thing for any marriage, I do have moments where I wonder where we would be had I never found out, you see, we were one of the rare couples on this site who did have a great relationship before all of this, and we were having a great time (his guilt at carrying on his double life had eased once he ended the affair) before she outted him. I think he had already done a lot of the soul searching about why he had got involved with her, and what he wanted out of life, and he swears he had worked it all out, and ended things with her, making the choice that he defintely wanted me. As with everything involved with this, every circumstance and solution is a little different.

    • Disappointed

      I had a nightmare about the OW showing up at our upcoming performance. I saw her and refused to go on stage until security had removed her. Woke up with my heart racing. Wish it was that easy to remove her from my husband’s brain and heart;)

    • zjogger

      I think of this way too often. Everytime I see a woman with black hair I think it is her. Wherever I go I scan the environment to see if she is there. Whenever I hear her name, I cringe. My husband says I am ossessed; I am tragically forever changed and marred by him and his senselessness.

      • Bliss Menagerie

        I’m sorry you’ve experienced this. Your husband has no right to ‘diagnose’ and minimize your feelings- clearly he has little to no understanding of the damage his choices have caused. Your experience is a natural response to the vile trauma you’ve experienced, at his hands. It is not an ‘obsession’ it is a post traumatic response. Know that these feelings are not permanent- at least they don’t have to be, and the shouldn’t be. You deserve to heal, and in time and with a good therapist, and supportive friends, you can overcome this. You can survive and be an even stronger, better person for it. Your husband may or may not choose healthy change, but you can. I hope you heal, and find peace.

    • Bliss Menagerie

      I ran into my husband’s AP at his place of employment. I had to meet him there one afternoon to have a document notarized, and I was anxious and nervous of the unknown, like anyone would be, I’m sure. Months before that day, I’m sure there would have been no way I could have gone there, or anywhere I might run into her. I felt so bewildered, and exposed. I felt so shamful. It took a lot of prayer, meditation, literature, journaling, and therapy for me to realize that this affair was not my ‘cross to bear’. This was not my shame, and unfortunately for my husband, the only thing was truly exposed by their affair was his poor character. So, I held my head high, and was as charming and lovely as I could be.
      When I walked into the office, I was greeted warmly by my husbands co workers and the partners. We stood by the entrance door and exchanged niceties as I scanned the room, as discretely as possible. I spotted her at the back of the large open room, and when she saw me, she slumped down in her chair! I was a little surprised, I mean, where did she think she would hide? The chair faced an open table with a computer. Behind her was a satellite screen logged in to their NY office. I almost felt bad for her, so I turned my back to her, Andrew doorway. I continued to participate in the polite conversation with her superiors, and cohorts and paid her no mind. I guess she must have realized that the open table was not suitable hiding place, because a few moments later, I heard a loud ‘bump’ and turned to see her fleeing. She must have hit her shoulder on the wall whilst trying to escape without my noticing. She was successful for the most part- I hadn’t noticed. Until she hit the wall. Unfortunately, while my back was turned, her employers and office coworkers had a front row view. She had denied the affair to all at their office, but she certainly admitted something that day. I guess she exposed her character a bit as well.
      Running into the AP is a daunting thought, but the shame and fear we feel as the abused spouse is not our ‘cross to bear’. Mourning the losses and healing from the vile rejection and emotional abuse is heavy enough. Remember that you didn’t choose the affair, (and you could have just as easily as your spouse did) You didn’t create the devastating crisis that ripped your family apart, and you can’t change it. But you CAN heal, forgive, and find peace. Don’t let the angst caused by others’ choices inhibit you from going places and living your life. And don’t seek vengeance. Give it to God, trust Him, and be your lovely self.

      • One step at a time

        Thank you for this. I try to tell myself those last few lines everyday. God Bless you and your family.

    • Keptmyselfrespect

      I had a guy give me a black eye once. That ended the relationship on the spot.
      I later had a friend tell me he wanted to beat up his sister’s husband because he was always beating on her. I told the friend to leave the husband alone he needed to talk to the sister. The husband was going to get his cues from what the wife did. The moment she took him back she told him by her actions it was okay to beat her up. When you take the cheating husband back you’re letting him know that it is okay to cheat on you. I’m sure in his regret for what he did he’s telling you how much he loves you and all other kind of wonderful stuff but bear in mind he also lied to The Other Woman and told her she was wonderful I’m sure. When cheating men are caught they always tell their wives that the other woman meant nothing to them and makes her out to be this awful person but that’s not what he’s really thinking. Remember, most of these men are telling the other woman what a terrible person you are.
      Case in point, I have a friend who was The Other Woman. When she ran into the wife in public she just ignored her and kept going on. She always thought the wife was beneath her because she had good enough sense to get out of the relationship and now the wife is stuck with a man that not only lies to her but lies about her. She actually pities the wife. She was also the one who told the wife that the affair had resumed after the wife had found out about it two years earlier. She did this in order to slam the door and have him not want to come back. She figured if the wife knew he’d stay away from her. Of course she ended up having to threaten him with a restraining order and the wife for harassment later on to get them to leave her alone.
      And yeah they did put on a happy couple show for everybody to show that the affair didn’t bother them but it only showed the other woman that they were both jealous of her. The man was hurt and he wanted to hurt The Other Woman and he used his wife for that. The funny part was The Other Woman never knew about it until friends told her. She really didn’t care what they did.
      I threw the bum out. If he loved me HE would never have cheated in the first place and it was way too easy to lie to me. He also had no problem lying anout me. And there was one thing my friend had told me that shook me to my very core, that he took her to the marital bed so that if he had to have sex with his wife he could think of The Other Woman. Remembering that made my decision easy.
      I ask my friend what I should do if I did run into the other woman and her advice was to just ignore her otherwise she’ll know she’s in your head and she’ll take a lot of pleasure in that. Also if you push it too far you could end up in jail for harassment. And if you feel the need to say anything to her make sure you’re smarter than her because this is someone who could probably lay you out in public in a way that you could never recover.

      • Emma

        This is really good advice. I understand why some wives choose to forgive and try to fix the marriage, but I don’t think they truly understand how the affair usually happens and just how much sh*t the husband talks about them to the AP. My last boss was cheating on his wife with more than one woman (a PA with his ex-wife, and trying and failing to have a PA with myself and another employee). The wife found out about me, as I played the guy at his own game to get a raise (no flirting or anything, just let him continue chasing after me like an idiot so everyone else could see he was a player) then made it pretty clear to the wife what he was doing after I left the company. As far as I know she is still with him, and I feel bad for her as he must have really trashed her self esteem for her to stay. He even tried flirting with me right infront of her when we first met! She’s a good looking woman and could easily get a much better guy who treats her with respect, but he was verbally abusive to her a couple of times in front of us and I think he’s convinced her that he is the best she can do. That or she’s only with him for the money, so doesn’t really care about love (if so, I’ll be cheering her on when she gets her hands on half of his cash).

        The husband constantly trash talked the wife the entire time I worked for him. Not just to me, but the entire company! According to him she drank too much, had a problem with weed, was a ‘spoilt bitch’, was too lazy to get a job and then rage-quit the one she finally did get, was unnaturally close to her brother, had anger issues, was a gold-digger type that could never get enough money out of him, he only married her for convenience, bla bla bla. Complaining about his wife was a favourite past-time of his. I assume she had no idea he was doing this behind her back. He was a less posh Hugh Grant type of character and very good at playing the bit naive, awkward, ‘nice guy’ routine, which I totally bought into until I discovered he was married and just playing me.

        So to any wives reading this, I would bear in mind that your husband was likely the one doing the chasing, the one trash-talking you to the AP, that the AP may not have known about you to begin with and could have just played the guy at his own game in retaliation (I’m talking about EAs here, not actual PAs). In my case, I had zero interest in hooking up with a married guy and have no ill will towards the wife. He was doing the same thing to other women and may stop for a while if caught, but will likely continue in the future. I had a background check done on him as I know a few high up IT security people, and he is regularly checking out other women online, is into physical abuse porn, says some pretty screwed up stuff about women on his social media feed, etc. The guy is a total misogynist and seems to hate the opposite gender! I hope she finally wakes up and realises who he is and that she can do so much better.

    • AC

      Today, I was waiting for my food order at this new eatery, while I was browsing my phone, this woman called my name, I looked up, for one second I kind of forget whom she was, the ex-staff in our business, the woman of my husband’s affair 8 years ago (during my 2nd pregnancy and post-delivery), I felt awkward inside my heart while I saw her, but I smiled and asked her how has she been? Try to find something wise to say (God, the one person I really don’t want to ever seem again in my life…) luckily soon my food is ready so I have good excuse to leave instead of squeezing word out of my head to say with “smile”
      For all those years I imagine myself how would I react if we run into each other on the street. Here you go, after 8 years of going through numerous arguments, numerous hard emotional feelings, here she is, and she recognizes me as if she ran into an old friend. What is her feelings??
      My husband was waiting for me in the car upper the road because there’s no parking, what if he was also there? What would his reaction be????
      I came out from the shop, walked to the car, sat in the car, talk normal act normal….
      But my head and heart were bit numb…. I didn’t mentioned a word..
      I never met her after this affair was confronted, how I came to know was one night she came shout out loud on our street asking for my husband, since he was trying to avoid her so I know nothing about it and carry on with our family life with our 4 years old and 6 months old, that night he told me he slipped and sorry for what he did. That’s all, I must forgive him and carry on just like that.
      I was numb, upset, angry, disappointed, and speechless, so very heart broken, I held my feelings, has no one to really talk to for this matter, just cried to myself and move on those years… Raising our two children…
      (( it’s so shameful to tell my friend my husband cheated on me again, the first affair while I was pregnant with our first child, I was oversea for a while, he stopped seeing her after my return, she called and called numerous time, but my husband was firmed about he is married, I don’t know who that woman was, he promised me will not happen again…but yet 4 years later))
      while this 2nd affair was happening, I was at least 3 months pregnant, this young girl was working for us for couple of years in our shop, I would see her say 3 times a week, she is good at her job, a bubbly friendly girl, many times she would say to me I am a lucky woman to have my husband by my side, we even went on a short trip together like a family with few other staff, they were already having an affair during that time, it’s only me the stupid woman only came to know in the end… disgusting..
      married for 13 years knowing each other for 16 years
      he always says he loves me very much, those were just mistakes, we argue a lot, fought a lot, many time I wanted to divorce, but can I really live without him? just recently I was firmed I wanted to get divorced, cause I felt the 3rd affair might be happening soon, but he said it’s not possible, truly there was not sparks and he stopped hanging out with this business associated female friend, so that I don’t feel any uncomfortableness, I am heading my 40s, I don’t think I could move on again from the same shit, the insecure feelings are with me through those years, now that both kids are more independent, guess I am ready to walk away any time…
      if I happen to seeing her again, what should I react???

    • One foot in front of the other

      My H had a P/EA with a new friend of ours (our kids play sports together so we have to see her ALOT). We are about 15 months post DDay. She is married with four kids and as far as I know, her H does not know although I imagine he has some ideas. We were friends (our families hung out together) when the affair began between them but there were some red flags that made me feel uneasy with her so I backed away and told my husband I expected the same for him. The affair lasted for seven months and they were intimate in MY house. It didn’t really end until I found out. Having to see her so much almost ruined me and my marriage. I felt like I had PTSD, seeing her car triggered me, seeing her talking to mutual friends made me so angry. I confronted her once (which was a waste of time) and she basically told me she hated me (not really sure why). I sometimes think that if she was contrite and apologized for the role she played in almost destroying my family, I could feel some compassion but at this point, I have to make her invisible to me. My H and I continue to do a lot of work to rebuild our marriage and I have learned to have some compassion for him. But it is really difficult to be in close proximity to someone and to have to share any part of your life with someone who betrayed you like that when they’ve shown no remorse.

    • Kristen

      Thank you for all the comments, after 1 year and 3 months I ran into my husbands affair partner and her boyfriend at the grocery store and needed some encouragement to know I’m not alone. I’ve envisioned this encounter since D-day, what I would say, how I would feel. I had the speech rehearsed and memorized. But when I saw them I wanted nothing to do with them; I didn’t feel compelled to give my speech because she didn’t deserve any more of my time. Somehow I feel like a sense of closure came thru this – I expected to feel ashamed but rather I understand that it’s only her who should feel shame. And guilt. I don’t have to lie about who I am, I don’t have to hurt people to be happy. I think running into them reminded me how far I’ve come and how much I’ve grown. My H and I have been thru intense therapy and have grown individually and together. She’s in the past. I’m moving on. She doesn’t deserve my words or my time.

    • Nolie

      You told him “he may leave”…?? You think he needs or asks for your permission? Did he ask for a permissiom when he cheated?
      He doesn’t need your permission or approval. You are lying to yourself and painting this picture where he “chose you”. He chose her (once if it was one night stand, or many times if it was somewhat longer) and he didn’t think about you then, at all. The thing with her was more worth it for him, then you were. When affair happens, it annihilates any other relationship that already exists!!

    • Lauren

      My partner years ago used to have an emotional affair with this woman I found out because he had a court letter about an incident and he was a witness so found out he was with her and her family. They flirted but never slept together but I think they would have eventually. I called her and told her that he was with someone thinking she didn’t know well turns out she knew and didn’t care she told me it was nothing to do with me and to butt out. I thought well I won’t bump into her 3 years go by my partner and I are trying to move on and had our first child guess who had a child at the same time and moved a few houses away and goes to the same nursery yep. It brought it all back then I noticed the new man she had he looked familiar turns out they were newly engaged but my brain thought back and realized I had seen him on nights out he would hit on me and my friends but we always dodged him. Didn’t bring any satisfaction though wish it did. Then she starts working in our local store it’s a small town I see her most days and she says “hi” I thought ok be mature just be cordial with her. It got easier so I thought I went into the store said hi walked on and heard her slagging me to her come workers saying how desperate I was and how my man was obsessed with her. I walked by her face went red knowing she was caught but I kept a smile on my face and carried on but I went home cried and my man kept saying he was sorry and wished he could change it and now I hate seeing her again so try my best to avoid her but it eats at me still we have two children but she is apparently happy and married now yet still likes to make me squirm

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