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
“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.