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.