Dave emailed me this article last week, “What You Really Need to Know About The Other Woman”. I didn’t read it initially. Cleaning out my inbox today, I decided to see what he sent before deleting. He made no comment, just copied the article and sent it.
My take away from this article:
- Dave is the only person to blame for his cheating.
- Our marriage was one of those marriages that experienced infidelity when it was not a “bad” marriage.
- We have not tried nor do I have any desire to “rebuild our marriage from the rubble”. Dave has made no attempt to do this either and continues to see the other woman so I am not sure why he would send an article from the perspective of a wife who is staying with her cheating husband.
- Cheating is awful even from the cheater’s perspective.
- The OW has a lot of issues to be able to be an OW in the first place and the cheater has no respect for her at all. She needs help in her life.
- My ex and the OW were lonely people with something missing in their life. Happy men and women don’t cheat however see #7.
- This is a big one that maybe Dave wants me to know: Statistics support that the majority of men who cheat consider themselves happy in their marriage. Affairs are an escape from other stressors in their life and a way to try to make them feel young and sexy.
- What I disagree with is that there is no satisfaction in contacting the OW. I did this once after finding out about the affair and it gave me great satisfaction. I have zero regrets about that one. I don’t know one person who thinks I was crazy to do this. Anyone who knows this story has only given me high praise and expressed admiration and awe for my boldness, courage and ability to stand firm and make the OW face what she did and who she did it against.
- I agree that there is no satisfaction in outing the OW. I did this on my blog to tell the entire story. It is what it is and she is who she is. I do not feel any regret about doing it. It is just fact. I don’t feel any regret about telling her husband. That wasn’t intentional. Dave told our daughter and me that she wasn’t married and wasn’t living with anyone or even had a boyfriend. The universe worked that one out and it saved her spouse from the OW continuing her lies and deception to him. Too bad she didn’t have the courage and respect for her husband to do it herself but she is a cheater so I guess that is a given.
- Why my husband cheated makes no difference to me 3 years later. He gave me some reasons at the time but they made no sense (I didn’t clean out the garage like he asked) so I don’t know if he has ever really been honest with himself about why he cheated. Maybe he sent this article as a way to try and explain. Still doesn’t matter now. He has never expressed regret and remorse.
- I have no obsession with the OW. I agree that she never should have been part of my life and I will do what I can to make sure that she never is part of my life. I don’t want to see her or hear anything about her. I hope she makes sure that doesn’t happen either. I suspect it is quite the other way around. She will have to live with my presence in her life for as long as she stays with my ex and I suspect that her memory of me will last a life time. Hopefully it will be a reminder to never fuck around with a married man again. And when she learns about him cheating on her, I will be the first person she will think about.
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Warrior Post: What You Really Need to Know About the Other Woman
“Anonymous” posted her story on another part of this site in response to what she noticed was a lot of talk and concern and obsession with the Other Woman. Her words are poignant and painful but it’s clear she’s taken a clear-eyed look at her marriage and the role she played in the breakdown of it. As we make very very clear on this site, nobody is to blame for their husband’s cheating. That’s on him. And not all marriages that experience infidelity are “bad”. But some are. And Anonymous took a forensic accounting of her own marriage and what had happened in it and then used that knowledge to understand her husband’s affair and how the two of them could rebuild a marriage from the rubble. ~Elle
- The OW debate seems to be showing up more and more on here, so I wanted to share a few things from my story.
In therapy, my H and I had some brutally frank conversations. It took a while to get him to open up but when he did, it all came out. One of the “reasons” behind his A was our crumpling marriage. I couldn’t deny that. We were two people who co-existed in the same house with little connection at all. Days would go by without him having much to say and I just nagged and nagged like usual. It doesn’t excuse his actions but it’s the honest truth of what we were. I learned that my nagging was actually an attempt to get him to pay attention to me. Even bad attention was attention and I was yearning for that. I would constantly yell at him to give me an opinion on something but then I would just override anything he said and make the decision on my own anyways. He felt that I didn’t value him, his opinion or his input on anything so why would he bother to give it any more. One day in therapy, I was raging about the OW, how she seduced him and my husband cracked. He actually said to me “I did this to you! I DID! You think I’m so weak and feeble minded that I’m just nothing, that I could be so blindly tricked into doing this awful thing, that I wasn’t even capable of making this f&@king decision either?!” It really was a breakthrough for me when I realized how little I have made this man feel he was that he was grasping to even be acknowledged for doing something this awful. This was a decision that he made that I couldn’t override him on. I guess the whole bad attention is still attention thing was at play on his part as well.
The other thing that stuck with me was him laughing about the OW seducing him. He told me how the OW had so many insecurities that she’d probably take it as a compliment if someone thought so much of her to have this hypnotic power over men. And that’s when I stopped giving her that power in my mind. She has nothing on me.
I do believe many affairs start with two lonely people looking for something that is missing in their life. It’s not right, it’s so wrong and hurtful but I do think it boils down to that in many cases. The majority of happy men do not cheat. The majority of happy women do not cheat. [ELLE’S NOTE: WHILE I AGREE WITH THIS IN SOME CASES, STATISTICS SHOW THAT THE MAJORITY OF MEN WHO CHEAT CONSIDER THEMSELVES “HAPPY” IN THEIR MARRIAGE. AFFAIRS ARE OFTEN AN ESCAPE FROM OTHER STRESSES, OR A CHANCE TO FEEL YOUNG AND SEXY AGAIN.] As much as it still hurts me, he found something in her even if it was just temporarily. And I blame him for that, just like he asked me to. He was right, he did this to me. I have forgiven him and we are moving towards being better together but I blame solely him. I can’t vilify this OW any more than I vilify him because he was the one who was supposed to cherish me and forsake others. He was the one I had built a life with. He had promised to be my partner in life. To forgive him and understand his flaws did make me think how she probably has her own demons that she’s struggling with. I do still have mean and nasty thoughts towards her but it’s fading every day and sometimes I hope she gets the help she needs so that she can have a second chance at life, too, just like I have given him. (And, then some days, I still wish she loses all her hair overnight, gains 100 pounds, gets horrible adult acne…!!!)
As others have posted, there is NO satisfaction in contacting her. There’s even less satisfaction in outing her to others. I say this from experience. You may think you’ll get some satisfaction but there’s none. Just none. It only makes you feel sadder. I exposed some before we started therapy. It only led to even more self-doubt and self-loathing on my part and a lot of gossip around town about how I was the crazy one. People may agree that you were wronged but they are very uncomfortable with a woman ranting and raving and pointing the finger! I heard more than a few “no wonder he cheated” comments which only fuelled my hysteria! One of my lowest moments in life was yelling at her 80-year-old parents about how their daughter was a whore and I hoped they were proud of her. If I could take that one action back, I would in a second. After I was hung up on by them, I just crumpled and wondered what I had come to. I felt I couldn’t hold my head up any higher than she could, I had handed her that power that I could be just as hurtful as her. And the shame I feel that my children know I did these things is another burden I bear. I teach them all the time that two wrongs don’t make a right, always keep your dignity… and it’s hard for me to not be embarrassed of my actions. I understand them, I have forgiven myself, I understand any one in our position lashing out but looking back, I just am not proud.
For all these reasons, I say let it go with obsession with the OW. I’ve read some stories on here of BS who admitted they were an OW long ago and we still support them because of their pain! And we do that because we are good and compassionate people on here. Take your energy and focus on him. Focus on learning why he did what he did. You have to understand why HE did this in order to move forward. It doesn’t matter why she did, it only matters why he participated. Focus on what you have done to hurt him. And then solely focus on you getting stronger as a couple. Don’t let thoughts of her continue to ruin any progress you are making as a couple. It’s easier said than done but don’t let her continue to be a part of your marriage, she didn’t belong in it before and she doesn’t belong in it now either.
13 thoughts on “Do I Really Need to Know Anything about the OW?”
May I share this post this weekend as part of my “weekly faves” where I reblog a couple of my favorite posts from the week? I envy that you don’t have to know the OW, the OW in my marriage is now my kids step-mother. I see her at least once a week and have for the last 5+years. Though, 5 1/2 years later, I would say that we are actually friends. It isn’t something I ever thought would happen, it sure isn’t something that I had expected. Though it just evolved. In an effort to do the best things for my kids possible, we co-parent in a very positive way. I really really appreciate everything in this blog though.
Of course. Thank you. You are very admirable. My children are older so we would never have to co-parent together. Your children are fortunate that you were able to do this.
I would have replied with, “you still cannot have your cake and eat it too. You made your choices, now you have to live with it.”
Sorry, I disagree. He is having fun making her go crazy. He has not done, or said, one thing loving to her. He is playing with her emotions.
Please just be silent. After a while he will go away and then you can breathe.
It is definitely a lot fewer emails and texts from him and they are spread out over longer periods. He went off on a little e-mail rant a couple of days after we picked up the raffle tickets that I ignored completely. Then he sent the article. Nothing since. All I have been praying for in my life right now is peace, stability and kindness. Nothing else seems to matter to me as much as those 3 things.
Marriage can not be rebuilt from the rubble at all! It does not work. If a person cheated before the person will cheat again.
I think an affair is very difficult to overcome. Especially from my end when we weren’t having problems in the marriage and we were still regularly intimate. It was pure deceit, lies, wrecklessness and selfishness with no regard or love at all for me and our family. With that type of betrayal I know I would never trust him again. He didn’t want to give up his new found lifestyle so it made it very easy for me to walk away (although he suggested we stay separated for a year and then get back together, I guess so he could have his cake and eat it too as iamthatpersonwhoalreadyknows alluded to.) When I read the struggles of How To Not Hate My Husband in her blog I would rather be in my position than hers. I am almost 100% confident my ex has cheated on the other woman or if he hasn’t he has in his heart and would really like to make it real. That is one worry the OW has now inherited and that is one worry I will never have.
I needed to hear this. I have struggled with the idea of contacting “her” to share how I really feel about her disgustingly opening her legs to a man that she knew was married and did not even know his last name! I have wanted to scream at her over hunting down my information to tell me all about them sleeping together purposely as my husband was flying home from the trip it happened on to make sure he was not the one that got to tell me first. I have wanted to judge her and look down on her for her already two failed marriages, and now being engaged to marry a third time with a guy that she has only known since this past summer. I want to make her feel pain. To let her know that the way she is living life is ridiculous and the loveless, lonely person she was when she did this is who she is always going to be because she clearly has not changed any of her immature behavior patterns to have a different outcome. I facebook stalk her constantly. My finger has hovered over the send button of no less than 100 cruel, and well thought out messages that I lost my courage to send. I do not know if I will always have the strength to stop myself, but for now I do. Your post has reaffirmed what I already know to be true. It is not going to make me feel better. She lives over 1000 miles away. I have never met her. He will never see her again. She lifts right out of our lives. So why is it that even with knowing this it is still so hard for me to let go of the idea of putting her in her place?
She is one of those women who just commit random acts of violence.
For what purpose does anyone victimize someone else–you and your husband included? She wanted something. She called you because she wanted you to know. She intentionally and deliberately chose to cause damage by telling you. I wonder if it was a way to specifically hurt your husband. Maybe she felt used, maybe she expected him to love her, maybe she expected him to leave you for her, maybe she just felt guilty after and wanted you both to feel as lousy as she did. Whatever the reason she didn’t get what she wanted with the act of having sex with your husband.
You already know too much about this person you have never met. She is giving herself importance in your life, maybe because she knows she had no importance in your husband’s life. Now she has importance in his life because she messed up his marriage. Why does this woman need to feel important, attract even negative attention and have you be interested in her life so much that you stalk her social media? She must feel very unimportant and this makes her feel powerful.
I think that anyone who can randomly hate others so much to do what she did to your family has to hate herself more. It also could be some very serious mental health issues. Some people just won’t be confined to the rules of society, rules of marriage, rules of law, and rules of morality. Their brains don’t work that way. Maybe from their upbringing, abuse, mental issues, addiction issues, or the inability to discern a conscientious code of right versus wrong on any level.
She has failed marriages. Maybe it makes her feel like less of a failure if she can cause other marriages to fail. Whatever the reason, I think it was about doing something that she felt would give her something better back in return to add value to her life and you and your husband might just be random victims.
My girlfriend had her home broken into. She cannot get over the uneasy feeling of someone, she doesn’t know who, friend, acquaintance, stranger, going through all her drawers, taking things that were special to her, accessing her space where she felt safe and secure. Now that is all ruined. The positive, loving feeling she once had in her home has been taken from her. Her home used to be an escape from the world and a safe haven. Now she wants to move. She looks at things in her home and thinks of the burglar looking at those same things, touching those things. The idea that maybe they are watching her, knowing when she leaves and comes home, leaves her constantly afraid it could happen again. Inanimate things like her dresser now remind her all the time what someone did to her, targeted or random, and she just wants to sell everything and start new.
Our mind is very powerful. Some people think my friend just needs to move on, that it was a random act, that she is giving too much power to objects and to the person breaking into her home. Some think it would be crazy for her to leave her neighbourhood, sell her home and all her possessions all because of one person’s actions that were probably just to get valuable things to sell in order to buy what they wanted to buy. My friend wonders how she can feel safe, secure and at peace again if she stays and how does she know it won’t happen again.
I agree that in your case you are wasting your time and energy by giving this woman power over your life. It isn’t about her. All you can do in your situation is examine your marriage. Why did your husband do it?
I wonder how your husband is doing with all of this. I hope he is remorseful and sorrowful not because he got caught but because he did what he did to you. Maybe it is a relief to him that his secret is out and he doesn’t have to live with the guilt and shame of hiding this. I hope you can work through this and that you have a solid foundation to work from but I am so sad for you and your family. If you have kids the impact is even greater. Trust is a very difficult thing to earn back and I wonder how difficult it will be for you to trust him every time he leaves on a trip again.
I am very angry at your husband. It was such a stupid, careless and selfish act. He let this random, crazy woman into your life now. She is likely stalking your Facebook page and your husband’s as constantly as you are hers. With this one act he may have destroyed many lives his included. It will never be the same as this event will always be part of your marriage. What you are able to do with that now will specifically rest in your husband’s hands. His response and actions will lead the way and then it rests with you on how you will respond. Forgiveness is in your hands. Can your mind let it go and are you able to move forward knowing there will be constant reminders that your husband was the one who opened the door and let a burglar take what was only supposed to be for you?
I thought about it alot too. I did Facebook contact her, no response. I did often think about mailing a letter to her parents (whom she lived with) to let them know what a whore they raised. But never did, they broke up months before I found out anyhow after she took him for all the $ he could shovel her way. So I felt karma worked itself our. I recommend no contact, you gain nothing.
I feel like your husband is trying to school you in some way with this article… Not sure why. Maybe guilt, maybe to teach you a lesson. Who knows. he probably did not even read it completely, just wanted you to leave her alone after she cried to him she was terrified if that moment in the future. Good choice in no contact.
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