Response to the other woman

I want to respond to the poster who commented first here:

((( discarded ))) No judgment from me. Certainly not hatred. If I worked with you, I’d probably enjoy going out to lunch with you. Naturally, if you told me stories about your childlike ‘boy’ friend, I’d be screaming, Run, run, run!!

In fact, I’ve often wished that someone would snag my husband away from me. I usually stopped wishing not because I didn’t want him to leave me, but because I knew it would hurt our kids. The problem is that I also knew that once I met ‘you’ or whoever she was, that I’d probably like you.  My biggest fear was that you would be so amazing that all his abuse would stop, or that he was about to hit that magic milestone of Eureka! and you would be the one to reap the benefits while I paid the bloody cost.  In those moments, I’d feel terrible anger and resentment for this woman who didn’t exist yet.  

Once I really objectively pondered the concept, I realized that she would eventually be socked in the gut with jarring and disturbing moment after moment that would diminish her.  I’d feel pity for this non-existent woman who might steal my husband one day.  I’d fluctuate between ‘he better not give her what he’s withheld from me’ anger, and the hope that some tart would lure him away. 

It would be so much easier if she was a shallow, scheming tart because then I wouldn’t have to feel sorry for her when he inevitably hurt her.  I knew she’d probably be a nice person though.  Probably a caring, compassionate and giving person.   I often wondered if I’d try to warn her, but my experience with friends who did actually try to warn the ‘other woman’ were stories of the other woman totally rejecting the warnings. It seems that we must all pee on our own electric fences.

There are going to be readers here who have been hurt by their husbands having affairs. I’m praying right now that we can all sit quietly and absorb our mutual humanity and pain. Open up conversations. Consider each of our hearts and stories, and let forgiveness open our understanding. If someone isn’t at that place of healing yet, I hope we each also offer understanding and acceptance for that too.

If someone had long ago warned me not to marry my husband, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have listened. I’d like to think that with such a warning I would have been illuminated and wise, but that’s highly doubtful. Nonetheless, I try to let my mistakes serve that purpose here on this blog, hoping some young woman is wiser and stronger than I was.

I hope you never call yourself skanky or cow on my blog again. Please. We’re all women who have a normal need to desire love, and each of us were in some measure lured in, hooked tightly, enmeshed, and deceived.  I’m not condoning infidelity. It rips hearts and lives and families. As a child, my life was not only torn from adult infidelity, but my path was altered. I appreciate your courage in writing about it. 

I’ve also learned from living long enough that there have been times that I’ve been so sure that I knew exactly what I thought and therefore how I’d feel or respond if X,Y, or Z happened.

You know what? I’ve had X, Y, and Z happen, and my lacking experience self didn’t know piddly squat about what reality would feel and taste like, or how I’d think and respond once I hit it (or it hit me.). As a very young woman, I watched the young man I loved marry another woman. It didn’t mean that he didn’t love me anymore, and since I still loved him, I became de facto ‘the other woman’. That was a shocker I didn’t plan for when young and dreaming my dreams.

I didn’t plan for a painful, turbulent marriage, or to ever hurt my kids as I navigated the marriage and my life. 

I don’t think most of us plan unhappiness. There might be some real stinkers out there trying to snag husbands to notch their belts with another man, but I’m guessing many of the ‘other women’ weren’t planning to play that role in their life, and most of them pay a high price for it.

I hope you stick around. What you shared could be invaluable to help someone who reads your firsthand experience.

I understand how unfinished business and dynamics from a parent and family of origin can play into our attractions and choices. If you haven’t read it yet, I recommend, Women Who Love Too Much by Robin Norwood, as the best book to connect the dots on why and how we get attracted to toxic men because of old family stuff.

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11 Responses to Response to the other woman

  1. marsocmom says:

    I totally agree, PJs. I’ve come to the conclusion that having him find someone else is the only answer for me, too, yet I wouldn’t wish this relationship (or lack of) on any other woman. It’s just so sad that it seems to be so difficult to “fix” these “really nice guys.” From all the things I’ve read, the behavior is so ingrained that fixing it is nearly impossible, and the best we can hope for is a kind of uneasy detente. I’ve passed the point of being hurt or demoralized by an affair – on the contrary, I would use it as an excuse to get away, and my first stop would be a visit to the other woman to warn her what she was signing up for, just in case she hadn’t already figured it out.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. lonelywife07 says:

    I’m sorry, but if you’ve never been hit with infidelity…you don’t quite understand the pain, humiliation and anger that you feel!
    Put it this way… people who don’t live with a PA have NO idea what our lives are like! We all acknowledge this, don’t we?
    They don’t understand how it feels, they don’t understand the pain and feelings of worthlessness that passive aggressive behavior makes a person feel. They don’t understand the constant “hyper alertness” that we live with, ready for the next PA attack from the one person that is supposed to love us and protect us….because they haven’t lived this life!
    Well, the same can be said of infidelity! Trust me! You do NOT want this! You think PA behavior is bad?
    Throw in an affair…pure hell! They don’t answer your questions…they get even MORE angry with you for “not getting over it!”…. they want you to forget about it and just go on with life…they want you to trust them again, even though they do NOTHING to build up that trust…and then when it’s evident that you can’t do that, they get mad and give you the silent treatment!!
    They promise they’ll go to counseling and either they go for a few sessions and quit, or they use the session to point put all YOUR faults and in most cases the counselor is FOOLED by the charming PA and says nothing gets accomplished!!

    And you WANT to get over the pain! You want to get your trust back…but you can’t…and then you get mad at yourself because you can’t!! And then you feel like it really is all YOUR fault, that your cheating PA is right….that YOU have the problem!!

    As for this OW who wrote…Well, I’ve been in “emotional affair world” for over 3 yrs now, I’ve talked to many, many women who have had their lives blown apart by an EA…..and I can tell you, YOU are hated!! By all of us!!
    I’m sorry….but texting and emailing a married man is WRONG!!! I don’t care if you “think” the wife knows….it’s WRONG! After 6 mos of silence you were still hurt…let me tell you….You deserved to be hurt!
    All I read in your email is blaming the cheater …well as they say, it takes two to tango!!
    And PJs…PLEASE!!! Do NOT feel sorry for her! Sure, ok, she has her own “daddy issues” but go to freaking counseling! Stop flirting with a married man! Sheesh!!
    He was treating her like crap and she kept going back…why?? Because she was getting her kibbles..and it made her feel good!!
    The OW was selfish and she should have put herself in the wife’s place…how would she feel knowing HER husband had a secret relationship with another woman??
    I don’t buy it not at all! I don’t have sympathy for the selfish men and women who have their secret relationships…if you got hurt. It’s your own fault…but you know what?
    The spouses and children have been hurt A LOT worse then you and it will affect them for years to come….I know this because my children and I are living it…right now!!

    Marsocmom…why would you warn her? She cares NOTHING for you…let her suffer! That’s what happens when you make bad choices!

    The OW in my marriage has daddy issues..she never knew who he was..but a 45 yr old married woman, with 3 kids, who looks up a guy she dated over 28 yrs before…and uses his cousin to send him a message…sorry, in my book..she’s a skank AND a cow! But to be fair…I’ve called my husband worse names!!

    I think before anyone feels to much empathy for a cheater….maybe you should go on a few sites and read the pain and horror of just finding out that you’ve been cheated on!! Maybe. Then you’ll be educated enough to read between the lines and see the OW in a different light!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exodus says:

      I’ve not had to deal with infidelity in my current marriage ( if so, it’s not noticeable so I don’t care but, I did have to deal with it in another relationship with a man who was screwing one of his patients. I threw him out when I found out and washed my hands of him without regret. Those were the days when I still had grit. He had bad-mouthed me to his colleagues so that he could justify his immoral behavior. People with bad character don’t realize that there is no justification for immoral behavior. I didn’t blame the other woman or give her much consideration because frankly, it’s not up to the rest of the world to enforce or micromanage my partner’s good or bad character. The truth was that I got involved with a man who screwed me and I blame him for not being honest and not having the decency to come to me and tell me that he wanted to be with someone else. I hold him accountable, not anyone else. We all live in the real world where we meet all sorts of people every day and we meet people that we might find attractive or that we share something in common. That doesn’t mean that we should betray our partners and our vows. We had been together for 6 years and lived together for 4 of those years. We had a house together, I had worked my bum off to make that house a nice home for us and obviously those things didn’t matter to him. What could I say? I can’t make someone love and respect me and I certainly don’t want someone in my life that is just there while they play the field looking for someone or something better. I know he used me and it was a rude awakening. It is a terrible feeling to know that the person you’re with and trusted and planned a future with turned out to be a liar and it’s even harder to realize in after thought that while you were working and painting the house and walking the dogs and washing the car, he and his thoughts were all about his new and exciting love affair.

      I did meet the woman/patient that my partner was screwing and she was very young ( of course). I didn’t say anything to her about the statistical odds of him treating her the same way because I figured that she was smart enough to know in her heart that if she’s screwing a man who is screwing around on his wife, then surely, he would do that to her as well. A man isn’t going to grow good character or a conscience for any woman. I don’t care how wonderful or sexy or intelligent or wealthy she is. It may be hard for some of us to admit that we chose a man with bad character but that is indeed exactly what happened. So, for me, the other woman is a moot issue.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Exodus says:

      I also wanted to say that I’ve been in situations where the husbands of friends of mine hit on me and even tricked me into being alone with them in the house ( one husband asked me to come over to help him plan his wife’s birthday party and when I showed up he was nude). I never betrayed my friends and wouldn’t even think of it but upon realizing that their husbands were scum, I was left in a very difficult situation. The first time it happened, I told my best friend that her husband was cheating on her and that he had come on to me in a very direct and aggressive manner. She confronted her husband and he of course lied and told her that it was me coming on to him. Who do you think she believed? It wasn’t me and that was the end of our friendship. She didn’t believe me but she asked me to forgive him? No thanks. I was done with that ” friendship”. I mean, she expected me to be her friend even though she chose to believe that I came on to her husband? Obviously, she knew the truth but chose to shame me instead. After that horrible experience, I learned that telling any woman that her husband is cheating on her is probably a waste of time. That’s not how it should be. Friends should be able to tell those they care about that they are in danger and not be persecuted for doing so.


    • marsocmom says:

      Lonely, ten years ago I would have felt exactly the way you described. But for even longer than that, my husband has been having an emotional affair with computer porn, and I am numb. We have talked about it, but he always clams up and walks away. I would never have an emotional affair with someone else’s husband, nor do I condone it. I think she made a bad choice in more ways than one, but like women who take pictures of themselves and post them on the internet, there is some major disconnect going on. I can totally understand how a lonely woman would look forward to some attention from a nice man. I can despise the porn queens who keep the porn king hooked, but I don’t know their whole story. Nor can I, nor do I want to, so this becomes a matter between him and me. I haven’t given up yet, but I am close.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Exodus says:

        An emotional affair with porn? That’s even creepier to me because of the disconnect that you mentioned. Seems that we live in a culture that dehumanizes everyone. Cyber-friends? Cyber-lovers? Cyber-everything.

        Liked by 1 person

        • marsocmom says:

          I know…fifty years ago, to do porn you would have to buy a magazine or go to a club. Now you can do it in the privacy of your own family room with your wife upstairs cooking your dinner. To have an affair, you would actually have to make the effort to get out of the house and meet someone. It’s just sad, and so hard to trust anymore.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Exodus says:

            I feel for you. I’m a born again virgin ( not by choice) traditionalist and and have a strong aversion to porn so, I can’t think of anything more insulting and hurtful than living with a man that is obsessed with a cheap fantasy whore ( forgive me but this angers me!). I’m sorry you must live with his disgusting and insulting obsession. Obviously, he has a very low opinion of himself and women.


  3. Amanda says:

    Beautiful post PJ and one is which your beauty, humilty and compassion shines through. I know I would have liked and lunched with my ex-husband’s first and current wife – he had a type and I was one of his “types” so we’d have much in common!

    I’ve been “full blown” cheated on few times and I’ve lived with a PA man as well. At the end of the day the only person who I can change is me. The source of most of my angst in life has been when other people haven’t been living to my rules and behaving in the way I want them to behave. How dare they do their own thing and cause me so much distress……………

    I’ve never woken up in the mornings and said – “today I am going to make some stupid choices.” Some days just panned out that way …………


    Liked by 1 person

  4. jaded says:

    PJ, you’re so smart, I wish I knew you personally and you are such a beautiful person. I have often dreamed that he fell for another woman, and even if that would have hurt like a bitch, I would have welcomed it. Sad isn’t it. Plus I didn’t worry about how he would be with her because the fact of the matter is, he would revert to his pa ways, no skin off my back, and I think (just because I know myself well now) that I would actually sympathize with her and may even become friends. Or if she was the oppositive and she was the pa person in their relationship, then I would fantasize that he would be the one hurt. Sick but that’s what was in my head at one point. I’ve resolved that fantasy with myself now and it’s gone, I don’t wish for any of this anymore or think about it. Funny how your thoughts are skewed when you live with a pa person, we become someone completely different, unrecognizable to ourself. Making strange decision in order to survive.

    To the other woman: my dear, you have been bamboozled just like the rest of us. Whatever he wasn’t getting at home, he found it temporarily in you. You were a challenge for him, he knew you were a smart sane woman but they need one to be able to break and that’s what he did with you, once he had you exactly where he wanted (just shy of a physical affair) he dropped you like a hot potato. It’s not personal, to him it’s essential. He will find someone else to do that with over and over again. You sound like a really nice smart woman, you were lucky that he dropped you, believe me. I have a friend who is caught in a relationship with someone’s pah and she has screwed up her life to be with this man who has started very early on to treat her the way he treats his wife. She cannot get out, just like the rest of us and she’s is totally messed up. She cannot see herself without him and yet it is toxic to her but she feeds on it and falls for every trick in the book he uses on her. You won’t get any judgment from me. It’s always up to HIM to to that and HE chooses not to, HE forgives. It’s time to forgive yourself, heal yourself and move on like the rest of us are trying to do. I wish you goodluck.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. christine says:

    Still reading through old post, amazed by the insight. I can completely see how a PA man would have the emotional affair, and the porn issue as mentioned in a comment above, both don’t require him publicly getting caught at anything publicly. He can justify the friendship, and in todays world hide the porn. The image is always that he is the good guy, the immature and sneaky little boy part is saved for the one he married to discover slowly.


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