My ex husband married the other woman

‘My ex married the woman he cheated on me with. Help’

They told you what they thought was right and, most likely, what they thought would help you most to hear.

At the time you probably couldn’t imagine life without him. So they wanted to give you hope he might come back. They didn’t want you to feel broken or undesirable so they told you he’d ‘traded down’.

Sensing your anger and pain they suggested he would also feel bad, if not now, then in the future.

They may have believed every word they said or they may have reached for familiar phrases we all use when relationships end.

There will be people reading this who are in the middle of a break up and may now be anxious they have been given similar messages they worry might be wrong.

It is worth remembering what happens after a relationship ends varies a lot.

Everyone’s different

You never know how things will turn out

Sometimes people do realise they have made a mistake. They can reconcile with someone they broke up with. They may then stay together happily or realise the relationship really was over. Or become friends, if not lovers.

Alternatively by the time the person who ended the relationship wants back in, the person who was dumped has moved on and is no longer interested. Or you never get back together but in time it ceases to feel so agonizing and overwhelming.

Sometimes their lives do unravel and the hope of that may well be your lifeline when you’re struggling to cope with rejection. But very often (as you have found) their life goes on just fine and for those immediately affected by breakup this may be tough to accept.

Your friends and family weren’t wrong to try and help you or to offer you what they thought was the right advice at the time. And if it got you through it and left you feeling stronger that’s no bad thing.

But they were wrong in their predictions about him. By their reckoning, when he met you at the party he should have looked dishevelled and unattractive. He ought to have been unhappily single or in a miserable relationship. Karma should have ensured he’d been cheated on too, or that some other catastrophe befallen him. On spotting you he ought to have confessed he messed up and begged for you to take him back.

Look how far you’ve come

The story you had all created didn’t factor in him staying with her and them having a happy life.

We could speculate about whether he told you this because he’s genuinely fine with everything, or whether he wanted to give a good impression, or even make you jealous.

Their relationship might not be as perfect as you think Photo: ALAMY

But we’ll never really know what is going on and it’s safe to say even where people’s lives seem fantastic, behind the scenes they may be struggling with all kinds of things you’ve no idea about. That’s just life. It’s not something they deserve or have earned because they once did something that upset you.

This clearly came as a shock and you may still be trying to make sense of it. Perhaps the best way is to recognise your friends and family meant well at the time. So you don’t need to doubt their help or advice in the future.

You might be in a place now to recognise even if the breakup was terrible at the time, it seems that things have turned out well for both of you.

And look how far you’ve come. You met him at a party and heard how his life had moved on and this didn’t overwhelm you or set you back. That wouldn’t have been possible a few years ago.

Perhaps you can wish him well. Or maybe you don’t feel that generous. Either way you can continue to focus on your own life, what’s gone well there, and what you have to look forward to in the future.

Petra Boynton is a social psychologist and sex researcher working in International Health Care and studying sex and relationships. She is The Telegraph’s agony aunt. Follow her on Twitter @drpetra.

Email your sex and relationships queries in confidence to:[email protected]

Petra cannot print answers to every single question submitted, but she does read all your emails. Please note that by submitting your question to Petra, you are giving your permission for her to use your question as the basis of her column, published online at Wonder Women.

All questions will be kept anonymous and key details, facts and figures may change to protect your identity. Petra can only answer based on the information you give her and her advice is not a substitute for medical, therapeutic or legal advice.

Why I Cheated on My Wife With a Co-Worker

While it’s nearly impossible to get a sense of how many people cheat on their partner (data is scarce because, well, people who are unfaithful aren’t always the most reliable or forthcoming), it happens. A lot. In fact, the rate of infidelity, per social scientists, has risen steadily over the past decade. That having an affair happens is not a surprise; the why, however, is always a bit more surprising — and morbidly fascinating. Sometimes, cheating occurs because a close relationship with a co-worker went too far. Or because an alcohol-fueled night ended in a huge mistake. Other times, it’s not a mistake at all and having an affair is a conscious decision — a grasp at intimacy, emotional or otherwise.

Sean (not his real name) fell into his own affair fairly slowly. Facing stress at work, he began confiding in a casual friend, who did not know much about his personal life, such as the fact that he had a wife. At first, Sean says it felt good to confide in someone who wasn’t his wife, because he didn’t want to stress her and their child out or put any extra strain on their relationship. Soon, however, the friendship became an affair — one that Sean juggled for more than a year until his ex-wife found out.

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Here, Sean talks to Fatherly about the reason he cheated and why, if he could do it over, he wouldn’t do it again.

So what happened?

I was under pressure at work. I didn’t want to talk to my wife about it, because the situation at work was quite stressful. So I started confiding in another female friend. And then, it went from just confiding in her, to her and I starting a relationship.

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When the affair began, did you tell your wife?

No. To be honest, I didn’t have any intention of starting the affair or leaving my wife. It just happened over time. I continued with the two relationships for, like, a long time.

What’s a long time?

Over a year.

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Are you still having the affair?

My wife found out after just over a year. She left, and I continued the relationship with the person I was having the affair with.

What was going through your mind when your relationship with the other woman escalated?

I felt the conflict of having someone that I can talk to, that was outside of my relationship, without causing any problems to my partner. In the beginning, it was a relief to feel that there was someone I could talk to.

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There were all of the pressures and expectations of the long-term relationship that you probably didn’t have with the person you were talking to.

The pressures I was under at work were life-or-death situations. I didn’t want to worry my partner with that. So I sought out another relationship. Having someone to talk to about what was going on was a relief for me, without having to worry my partner with that stuff.

Did the person you were having an affair with know that you were in a long-term relationship?

No.

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Did she ever find out?

Yes. When my ex-wife found out, they had a conversation, and my ex-wife told her that the whole time, she had been in a relationship with me.

How did that happen?

I had hidden the new girl’s number under a different name in my phone. But one evening, when I was in bed, she went through my phone and realized I had been speaking to the same number on a regular basis. She decided to call it, and told the other girl who she was. Then, that was how they both found out about the truth.

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What happened after the person you were having an affair with found out?

We broke up. A month later she called me and told me that what I had done was a very bad thing, however, she wanted to be with me, and thought we could try and work things out.

Is that what you’re doing now?

We did that for seven years. We broke up about 18 months ago.

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Why did that happen?

She was concerned that there were too many other women that were close to me in my life, even though I wasn’t having any relationships with them.

I guess I can see how that would come full circle.

From my perspective, I just thought that because we were together for such a long time, she would overcome that insecurity. But because I spent a lot of my working life with women and a lot of my friends were female, she never got over the insecurity that I caused at the beginning of the relationship.

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Did you ever feel guilty about the affair?

No. In the beginning it was the comfort of having someone to talk to. But I didn’t know how to end it. I was worried on a daily basis that my partner would find out, or that the girl that I was seeing would find out. I didn’t find the strength to tell either of them what was going on.

How did it feel to be really falling for someone else — for real — while being in a committed relationship?

It was hard. I was torn. I could tell the girl that I was having the affair with that it was over and continue with my long-term relationship on one side, but the biggest worry I had is that if I did that, she would find out about my long-term relationship and tell my ex-wife what I had been doing, and then I’d wind up alone.

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Do you have any children?

I have a son with my ex-wife.

Does your son know about what happened?

He does. His mom told him what happened. He asked me why I decided to cheat on his mom. I tried to explain it to him the best that I could. But his mom also told him that I cheated on him, as well as her.

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Do you feel like you did that?

I didn’t feel like it at the time. But I felt very guilty about it when he told me that.

How is your co-parenting relationship with your ex-wife?

It was very, very difficult for the seven years that I was with the girl that I had the affair with. Things got significantly better when she realized that we had broken up. A while after that, I started a relationship with a new girlfriend. My ex and my new girlfriend get on very well. I think it’s because the new girlfriend has no connection to the other woman or my ex. Things have gotten better, not only in terms of the communication between me and the ex, but also it allows me more time with my son. For the seven years that I was with the girl I had an affair with, my ex-wife made it very, very difficult for me to spend time with my son.

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When you look back at the affair, would you have done it again?

Absolutely not. Absolutely no way. There was never any intention in the beginning to have an affair and in hindsight — and having the experience that I’ve had since then and the stuff that I’ve gone through with my son — no, absolutely, I would never do it again.

The lesson I learned is that even though I was trying to protect my partner from the worries and the stuff I was going through in my work, I think it would have been much better to tell her what was going on and deal with the worries that she might have with that. Other than doing what I did and ruining the relationship. To be honest, I don’t think that she’s gotten over what I did.

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Marriage Advice

  • This has to be one of the old age questions. Why do married men never leave their wives? This very opinionated topic continues to haunt many marriages and relationships as we try grasp why this heartbreaking habit continues to happen.
  • As many try to explain this ‘phenomenon,’ one thing is for sure, men want to have their cake and eat it too.

Cheaters do not necessarily want a breakup when they are looking for a lover. Those who chose to go outside their marriage do so out of selfish needs or simply some adventure.

Whether you’re the wife or mistress, here are five reasons you should be aware of that make men stay with their wives despite their philandering ways. ESTHER MUCHENE

  1. He has it all

When you think about it, why would a man leave the woman who’s giving him amazing sex when he needs it then go home to a perfect family? He has two girlfriends who give everything he needs so why would he want to ruin that balance by leaving either one, more so the mother of his children? Call it the ideal situation for any guy. Clean clothes, food, kids, sex, an escape, you name it.

  1. He loves his wife

If he really loves you as he claims, he should have left his wife already. The true reason he married her is because he loves her. Despite their challenges, he still goes back home. If he truly loved you as the mistress, he should be willing to sacrifice his family and wife to be with you regardless of the consequences. The reason you are still waiting for him to leave his wife two years later is really because he doesn’t want to. The other woman will always be just that and she will continue wasting her time on a man who will never be hers.

  1. They value their children

Despite his cheating ways, men stay so they can give their children a stable family especially if he didn’t have one growing up. Whether or not he is getting along with his wife, his children can make him commit to his marriage for their sake.

  1. Divorce is too messy

Divorce cases are ugly to say the least. No one in their right minds wants to go through that pain if they don’t have to. If he can hide the affair from his wife and continue parading as an upright man he can keep both his wife and the other woman happy. If the arrangement is working and no one is complaining then why would he want to put himself through a divorce?

  1. He just wants a break

Men don’t cheat with the intention of leaving their wives. They look at it as simply sex or as an arrangement where two adults are benefiting without attachment or commitment. In his mind, he has justified his actions as no big deal hence his decision to be unfaithful. He is not looking for love.

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It hurts to know that your husband is loving someone else to love out there. It makes you thinking very hard whether you have do the best to show him all the Wife Material Signs you have. You start worrying about the future of your marriage and how your children will become the victims if you decide to get divorce. Moreover, you have to deal with the hurt and betrayal of trust all along.

But a wife and a mother is strong. No matter how sad and heartbroken she is, she knows the best way to save her family. Remember than other than your husband, there is another woman involved in the situation: his mistress. You can’t decide who you hate more, your cheating husband or his mistress. However, for the sake of your children you decide you save your marriage instead and trying to find the best ways to destroy your husband’s mistress so that she will know she has awaken the sleeping lion.

So you want to win your husband back and destroy your mistress for good. Instead of getting angry to her, the best way to destroy her is by making up the relationship with your husband and prove her that she is nothing to you. Here are all the ways you can do:

1. Have a Deep Talk with Your Husband

You are your husband’s wife and the one he chose to marry anyway. You must that force you have over your husband and have a deep conversation with him. It’s important to convince him that nothing better than the family and how your kids will be affected by the affair. Remember to stay calm and listen to what he wants. He could be cheating because of the Ways to be a Good Wife to Your Husband is not enough yet for him.

2. Win Your Husband Back

Show the mistress who you really are by winning your husband back. Do all your best to mend the broken pieces in your marriage once again. Your husband will surely touched by your sincerity, and he will eventually leave his mistress. This may not easy and probably he will still in contact with his mistress, but you can’t just give up easily.

3. Make the Use of the Children

So what you got that she doesn’t? Children. Yes, a man’s heart would be softened by the innocence of his children. Ask them to join forces with you to win their father back. This is also the best way to do when you start to notice the Signs of a Cheating Husband During Your Prenancy and even better when the child has born.

4. Show Her the Person You are

Focus on improving yourself and it will destroy her harder. Let her know with what kind of person she deals with. Show her your cool side even your husband never know. If the mistress is young and pretty, who says you can’t be young and pretty too?

5. Gather Support from Your Friends

Tell stories about the mistress to your friend. Rather than insulting her, make them sympathize you. Tell your friends how hard living was after you know all the Signs Your Husband Doesn’t Care About You Anymore and let her know all about this? How? Through your social media of course. There is no way she never stalk on you.

Why Would You Want to Destroy Her

When a husband is having affair and betrays his wife and children, the one who get the spotlight is the mistress. Somehow you hate her to death that you try all the possible ways to destroy your husband’s mistress. Here are what may become your reason why you hate her that much:

  1. You see her as a threat both in your romantic and sexual life.
  2. You feel insecure all the time, even in bed, remembering that there is other woman who seduces your husband.
  3. You are worrying about the future of your marriage.
  4. You can’t accept the idea you have been betrayed.
  5. You feel like rejected by your husband, due to the fact that he falls for other woman.
  6. You believe that she is the one who strayed your husband.
  7. It’s hard to accept that your husband is not someone he used to be.
  8. If you are in her shoes, you will never seduce a married man.
  9. It’s hard to accept that you are lacking in something.
  10. The fact that you have flaws that make your husband run away is just too much.

Inside Feeling of a Mistress

It’s hurt to notice the Signs Your Husband is Cheating with Your Friend and you judged her as a third wheel right away. But have you ever once try to stand on your mistress’s shoes? Trying to understand her motives and what does she actually feels. But still it doesn’t make what she did become right.

  1. Deep inside her heart, she knows she did wrong and feel guilty about it. She knows that she is crossing the line.
  2. She feels depressed, sad, and hopeless as well. She just conceals them all so you can’t see.
  3. She never want to be a mistress herself. It may be her circumstances that makes her to.
  4. She could be having some difficulties in life that you never know.
  5. She also get jealous when she sees your husband is smiling happily with you. Even though she knows it’s wrong, she can’t handle the feeling.

So those are all the ways to destroy your husband’s mistress once for all. Going through a marriage is never easy, and both sides need to improve everyday to keep the love on fire. Whether you or your husband should never take each other for granted because nothing will ever last anyway.

What is the Best Revenge on My Husband’s Mistress?

I’ve written several articles putting my experience after my husband’s affair out there for all to read. I often get emails from women in the same situation. Many ask me how to best get revenge on the other woman and / or their husband. I understand these feelings because I felt them myself. I used to follow the other woman around, trying to get up the courage to approach her. Or, I’d plot awful ways to get back at her (which I never actually did carry out.) So, I do understand wanting her to feel every ounce of the pain and hurt that you feel right now. But, you may be surprised as to what is really your best revenge. I’ll explain more below.

To Understand How To Best Get Back At The Other Woman, Think About What She Values (And Wants) The Most: Many people will tell me that they intend to do physical type pranks on the mistress, like mess with her car, do something to her house, or embarrass or shame her in front of others. Another popular tactic is to tell her husband about the affair if she is married. Again, I understand this. But, let’s think about this for a second. This things are all temporary, right? She can fix her house and car. And, it’s highly likely that very little can embarrass her because she’s participating in behavior which proves that she has no shame.

What is it that she wants and values that you can take away from her? Your husband. She wants to take your husband from you. In fact, her best case scenario is for you to lose control and to appear unattractive, unstable, and beaten. Always remember that she wants you in a weakened state because it makes her job so much easier. So, when you rage, lose control of your emotions, or strike out at your husband, you’re playing right into her plan. You’re making it so much easier for her, which only gives her what she wants.

How To Take Your Life Back From The Mistress: There’s a saying which goes “happiness is the best revenge.” That is so true right now. The mistress doesn’t want you to be happy. She doesn’t want for your husband to be happy with you. She needs for things at your house to be tense and heavy because this means that your husband will turn to her as a safe haven. Do not play into this. Do not give her what she wants. Whether you save your marriage or not, don’t let her beat you. Don’t allow her to take your productive, satisfying life from you. Don’t allow her to rob you of your self esteem.

Here’s the truth. Your husband’s affair has less to do with you (or even with her) than you think. Often, an affair is a man’s way to restore his self esteem or something that is broken within him. Very often, the mistress was just at the right place at the right time. It’s more a matter of timing than anything else. There’s nothing special about her. In fact, over 85% of cheating husbands admitted in a study that the other woman was not more attractive or more alluring than their wives.

So, what does she have that you don’t have? She doesn’t live in the real world! She doesn’t have to pick up your husband’s dirty socks or make his meals. She likely doesn’t demand a lot from your husband. She’s all fun without any sacrifice. She doesn’t have to worry about the bills or running the household. She can present herself as a fun diversion with no strings attached.

But, you know what? She can’t keep this up forever. The longer the affair lasts, the more that reality is going to set in. She’s going to start demanding more from your husband and this is going to make her less and less attractive. And then, she plays right into your hand – rather than it being the other way around.

Don’t Allow Her To Place Negative Presence Into Your Life: I know that you think it may be oh so satisfying to confront this woman or to hurt her. But, please believe me when I say that I’ve seen so many of my readers do this and it almost never turns out well. She’s going to do everything she can to make you doubt yourself and your husband. She’s going to give you a mental image that is so hard to remove from your mind. And, she’s only going to sling more negatively and doubt onto you. So, don’t let her do this.

Instead, conduct yourself with dignity and grace – two traits that she definitely doesn’t have. Don’t play into her hand and wait her out. Focus on your husband, your family, and those things that are important to you. Build yourself and your marriage up (should you chose to save it.) What this woman really wants is to remain in your husband’s (and therefore your) life. Don’t allow her this. Fling her away like the little gnat that she is.

Ultimately, her worst case scenario is if your husband tires of her, severs all ties, and then commits to saving his marriage with you. She does not want this to happen. So, your best revenge on her is to make absolutely sure that this is exactly what happens – if that is what you want. Remember, you call the shots in your own life – not her.

Pooja Parikh Traveled Across The World For The HS Diagnosis That Changed Her Life Forever

Marielle Stobie

1. Your relationship was not a game that the other man/woman won because they were skinnier or sexier or had a cuter laugh than you. Your relationship was a relationship. It was supposed to mean game over.

2. As much as you’d like to blame the other man/woman for running your relationship, they didn’t do that. Your shithead of a partner did that.

3. Nobody is out to get you specifically. Everybody just wants to be loved and is fighting as hard as they can for themselves.

4. Hating the idea of someone is a lot easier than hating an actual person.

5. Getting cheated on doesn’t mean you’re less lovable than the other person. Chances are they would have switched spots with you in an instant.

6. It’s a really long road to forgiveness but the empathetic path gets you there faster.

7. There are no true “bad guys” out there; only people whose morals resemble a potpourri of excellent intentions with the occasional bad seed thrown in there haphazardly.

8. Chances are you’ve got a few bad seeds too, even if you haven’t found them yet.

9. Your worst enemy can turn out to be someone you have a surprising amount in common with.

10. Nothing the other man/woman can say is going to take back the past. You will always have been cheated on and it will never be a fair thing to have happened.

11. Sometimes receiving a genuine apology really does help though.

12. Once you’ve forgiven the other person and forgiven your (hopefully ex) partner and tried to move on from it all, you might find that there’s another person left to forgive and it’s you. Forgive yourself for not knowing what you couldn’t possibly have known. Forgive yourself for losing a game that you were never meant to be playing. Forgive yourself for falling in love with a person who turned out to be untrustworthy, and then forgive yourself for not knowing what you couldn’t have possibly known. The last person often isn’t the final frontier: you are. Your past self is the last ‘other person’ that you need to get over to move on.

It’s Cheat Week at Mashable. Join us as we take a look at how liars, scammers, grifters, and everyday people take advantage of life’s little loopholes in order to get ahead.

The last conversation Nicola had with the man she’d been having an affair with for 2.5 years was about a tattoo he was thinking of getting. The next day, he vanished from her life.

“Deleted Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Skype. Emails bounced back, WhatsApps were undelivered, and that was that,” she said. At first, she thought he was just taking some space and eventually he’d explain why. But days turned into weeks and weeks turned into 8.5 months.

One evening, she did something she’d done a few times since his disappearance — looked at profiles of people who know him in the hope it’d reveal something about his whereabouts. Nicola looked at his wife’s Facebook page. “Her photo had changed to a picture of her, very pregnant. From the comments below it turned out she was due in the next couple of weeks,” she said. In that moment, Nicola said her “heart broke into a million pieces.”

The affair had started with a conversation at an office party. He was much older than her and very senior in another department in the company. The pair kept that conversation going through emails and Skype messaging all day. Nothing physical happened for eight months — until another work party. “That was where the romantic relationship started. By that time, even though I knew he was with someone, I’d never felt that way before and felt like I couldn’t ignore it,” said Nicola.

“My feelings towards her were a very weird mix of envy and pity”

Did Nicola ever think about his wife? Nicola said she found it “pretty easy” not to think about her. “This sounds horrible, but my feelings towards her were a very weird mix of envy and pity,” she said. “I was so envious that she’d got there first, that she got to have him come home to her. Then pity because she didn’t know, and that made me feel sorry for her in a way.”

Asked if she ever felt guilty about her status as the other woman, Nicola replied: “Nowhere near as much as I should have.”

Two years since she last spoke to her married lover, Nicola has a very different impression of their relationship and its impact. “I feel worse now because she’ll never know, she’ll go through her life thinking she has the perfect husband and father and she’ll never know who he really is,” Nicola said.

Seeing the photo of his wife made Nicola see the man she’d loved clearly for the first time. “Instead of seeing the tortured love of my life, I finally saw a liar, a manipulator, and a coward,” she said. “But I still think about him every single day — how he got to go back to his life like nothing happened, and I got to berate myself for months wondering what I’d done wrong.” She now views the affair as a big mistake. “He got to forget, I get to wonder if anything he told me or anything we shared was real,” she added. “No closure, just feeling like the stupidest girl in the whole world.”

Nicola told me the affair isn’t something she’s ever really spoken about. “Because you’re objectively in the wrong, no one really cares that there can be more to it.”

On our TV and movie screens, the other woman trope is oft presented as a clingy, sex-crazed home-wrecker consumed by jealousy. Think of Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction and Jeanne Tripplehorn in Sliding Doors. Hollywood stereotypes aside, I set out to find out what it’s actually like to be the other woman. Are they consumed with jealousy? Do they feel guilty about what they’re doing? Do they get a cheap thrill from running around behind people’s backs?

The answer to all of those questions is not at all what we’ve all been told to expect.

One woman — who prefers to remain anonymous — told me she had an affair with a much older married man who works in the same industry as her. “The intention from me anyway was never to start anything it took several months before we even started chatting in a sexual way but he kept pushing for it,” she told me. “I don’t blame him either. I did my part in this. But we did genuinely care for each other.”

“He would send me photos of himself while she was in the shower.”

“He was known as a bit of a Lothario, but we had real feelings for each other that built up over time,” she told me. “He was older, rich, more experienced. I wasn’t the only younger women he shagged in the industry, which I found out later.”

Back then, she thought she was in love because he was “sweet, kind, and tender.” In hindsight, she feels she had the wool pulled over her eyes. She described some of his riskier behaviour, which she believes was part of the appeal for him.

“He called me while they were on holiday as a family and before he got into bed with her. He would send me photos of himself while she was in the shower,” she said. “I am not proud of this, but it happened.”

She described herself as feeling jealous of his wife “but not in the way you might imagine.”

“I got upset because we were acting like a couple, but we couldn’t meet up and he couldn’t be there for me when I needed him. Because he wasn’t mine,” she said. That was the reason she ended the affair.

“I remember sitting at home after a horrible day (can’t remember now what had happened but suffice to say it was a crying moment) and I needed him, so tried to call him. But he was with her and wasn’t able to call me, much as he wanted,” she said.

In retrospect, she regrets “being as naive” she she was. “I think I would have regretted it more had she found out as I would never want to inflict that kind of pain on someone,” she added. “But the fact they are divorced helps, as I feel it was inevitable.”

This feeling of loneliness in a relationship is something that Amy Elizabeth Hill felt during two relationships with men who were ‘taken.’ One of those relationships was with a man who had a girlfriend. That girlfriend is now his wife and the mother of his child. Hill is no longer a part of his life.

So, is having an affair exciting? Or, does it have its lowpoints? “Always both,” said Hill.

“Being the other woman isn’t just about keeping a secret – you ARE the secret.”

That absence of reality means you can’t always rely on the adulterer for the kind of emotional support you’d get from a, err, less complicated relationship. “The two illegitimate relationships I found myself in both happened when I was emotionally spent and my self-worth was at rock bottom,” she added. “I was lonely all the time; being the other woman isn’t just about keeping a secret – you ARE the secret.”

The other women I spoke to all had very complicated feelings about the women whose boyfriends or husbands they were sleeping with.

One woman — who prefers to remain anonymous — tried not to think about the girlfriend of the man she was seeing. But that strategy didn’t exactly work out for her long-term.

“After we’d been seeing each other for a couple of months we became Facebook friends and that was the first time I saw her in his FB profile picture,” she said. “I was really, really jealous.” She talked to her friend — the only one who knew about her relationship — and spilled everything she knew about the girlfriend. “I said nasty things about her, which I regret. I was so jealous,” she said.

“He’d set out the ground rules at the beginning of our ‘relationship’ so I only got him one night a week if I was lucky. I never thought about her when we were together. But I did when we weren’t, especially if he stood me up because her plans changed,” she said.

“I flitted between absolutely hating myself and hating her. I was jealous of her and I felt terrible for her at the same time,” she explained. “I felt that by choosing to be with him I was actually choosing what kind of person I was and I didn’t particularly like the person I was choosing, but I really liked him.”

It’s an excuse as old as time, but an affair was never something she set out to do, she said. “I went into a relationship with him because I had and do have feelings for him. That doesn’t make it right but it also doesn’t mean that I’m some Jolene-esque man-stealer.”

She still sees him from time to time and feels guilty about her status as the other woman. “I don’t like myself for the decisions I make around him, but at the same time I can’t quite let go,” she added. “He’s like an addiction, and I think I’m the same for him. It’s bad for all of us and there are no winners in this situation.”

Judging by these women’s accounts, it seems there is truth in the idea that there are no winners.

Once you’ve got over the initial lust and the cheap thrill you get from having a dirty secret, the reality is far from sexy. Once you start to feel something more than lust for the person who cannot give you their all, the bloom starts to fade from the rose.

Even when you don’t get caught, karma can be a real bitch.

When You Meet The Other Woman: A Strange Kind of Sisterhood

A few years ago, Eryn started documenting her journey after her husband’s affair on her blog, Gunny Girl. She recently met his former mistress, Kristin, and was shocked to discover their story is nothing like she originally thought.

Eryn’s Story

Last month, I sat across the table from my ex-husband’s former mistress. I casually sipped a cocktail while we had an actual, real adult conversation. We talked about living in Colorado and my kids, but mostly we talked about my ex-husband.

This is not how I envisioned it would go.

For a long time, Kristin was my enemy. When I discovered my ex-husband’s cheating, I didn’t hate him but I certainly hated her. I had visions of publicly humiliating her, of punching her face in and yes, I even had dreams of killing her. Because what kind of heartless, selfish person knowingly breaks up a family?

That was the thing.

She didn’t know.

My ex-husband was and is a charming inventor of complex lies. I assumed that he only lied to me. I was very, very wrong.

Before I met Kristin for dinner, we exchanged text messages and emails. During those exchanges, I learned that my ex had created fake divorce paperwork to convince her that he was divorcing when they met. I learned that my ex had invented an autoimmune disease for my son. I learned that my ex’s best friend had died in his arms in combat (patently untrue. My ex was never in combat and his *former* best friend is alive and well). I learned that I was tagged as bipolar.

I learned that my ex-husband never cleaned up after himself. Not once did he tell the truth to Kristin and ask for forgiveness.

Not once did he say, “I’m sorry” and really mean it.

Instead, Kristin had to discover the truth on her own.

On a perfect late summer evening, I sat across from Kristin and I didn’t feel anger or hatred or vitriol. Instead I felt a deep, pervasive sense of sadness. I wanted to cry, not for myself, but for her and for the painful, twisted lives we have both led as a result of one man’s manipulative game.

In this twisted game of deceit, it turns out that some of us may come out on top. While, my ex husband will continue his pattern of lies, digging ever deeper into the downward spiral of manipulation, Kristin and I will move forward in our lives. We will find success in our jobs and our hobbies. We will seek and find authentic, truthful love. We will be honest with ourselves and others.

I drank that delicious cocktail that night and I thought about how my ex-husband had destroyed my self-esteem, stolen my confidence and killed my sense of trust. Because of him, I only have my children 50% of the time. My savings account is empty. I am wracked with guilt every single day that my children are growing up in two different homes.

I thought about the woman across the table from me. She too had suffered the effects of my ex-husband’s sociopathic tendencies. I didn’t want to kill her or punch her face in or humiliate her in public. I just wanted to hug her.

When everything you think is true turns out to be false, you grasp desperately for what little you are certain of. I was certain that Kristin was evil. That turned out to be false too and I found myself diving ever deeper into the web of deception woven by my ex-husband.

Webs of deception can be dangerous places and on this night, sharing a drink with Kristin, I felt comforted in the truths we shared. Everything made sense and nothing made sense but together we were able to put the puzzle pieces together and to create the beginnings of closure for both of us.

Thank you, Kristin- for being my truth-teller, for being brave enough to talk with me and for standing next to me in this very bizarre and sadly, continually growing, sisterhood.

Kristin’s Story

I didn’t know I was the other woman. And I certainly didn’t know there were at least a half dozen of us out there. I only recently discovered the sheer amount of lies I have been told, and I am I sure there is more we haven’t discovered yet. I can only imagine what the last few years have been like for Eryn.

I never would have thought I would be labeled a mistress. I never thought I would meet Eryn, who several years ago tried to make my life hell (looking back, it was perfectly justified). I never imagined conversations with the women my ex had dated during the course of our relationship, and those that followed during these last few months (where he described that he was so very lost and alone, and I was trying to be a supportive friend). I never would have considered the love story that I thought had lived, the kind you write books about, was really a mystery novel.

Fortunately for both Eryn and me, the truth can change everything. The impact is greater than we thought, and the twisted sisterhood keeps growing. All of these women seriously misjudged one another due to the lies we were told and the manipulation we had endured. Thankfully, we now see each other in a new light – women who did the best they could with information they knew at the time – and we have all forgiven each other. That empathy was seen as a weakness, but it gives me hope that we are good people.

Four years ago I fell hopelessly in love with a man with two kids who lived 2,000 miles away in Colorado, and told me he was mid-divorce. Within a month, it became an all-consuming romance where we talked about the future – marriage, kids, having a life together. I thought I had found The One. The emotions were a drug-like high – I could never get enough and I was so damn happy. He consistently expressed how much he loved me and was a constant in my daily life. We were both in love.

He had talked about his failed marriage, and how he was heartbroken. He showed me the divorce paperwork, and painted a picture that his soon-to-be ex-wife was unloving, irrational, crazy, and vengeful. It made complete sense to me as to why he was getting divorced.

I supported him through his divorce (I hoped my personal experiences as a kid with divorced parents would be useful), helped him with his marketing work (he’d admit on multiple occasions that I should have his job), and tried to offer advice on how to be a good dad (with the hope of being a bonus mom someday). I believed we were a team – all the drama in our lives seemed to come from outside sources, but at our core, we were good together. It ended abruptly in late October 2015, where he at least waited until AFTER my first marathon to break up with me. It was devastating and soul crushing. I went from the happiest I had been to my life to the saddest. The future I had dreamed of was over, and the explanation was that he didn’t want to take me out of New England (with a subtext that I couldn’t make it in Colorado). The reality was that the lie had gotten too big.

In talking with Eryn and the others, we all experienced the same pattern. The incredible drug-like high of falling in love, and meeting a man who seemed too good to be true. How he was incredibly charming and swept us off our feet. That he was a heartbroken man with troubled past relationships, and that he was simply seeking a love that would fix it. Then the situations where things seemed a bit off – an odd text, an inconsistent story, the sudden emotional distance. Each time it goes well until it doesn’t, and the ending is devastating for every women involved. I read Eryn’s blog after my break-up and I went through something similar. Call it the Barker Weight Loss program if you will.

The breakup was hard, but the most troubling part has been discovering each extensive lie. A year later I submitted a public records request. It was only then that I learned Eryn had filed for divorce, and that I had been an unknowing mistress for the first year of our relationship. I know that may be difficult to fathom, but his lies were that good. As a marketer he knew how to creatively handle photos, texts and excuses. In addition to the lies tied to covering up his cheating, there are the seemingly unnecessary lies focused on him as a person, making him into something much greater (and more appealing) than he is in reality. He played with the idea that perception IS reality.

Hindsight is 20/20. I should have listened to my gut, and not tried to explain away the spidey-sense tingling I felt when I saw red flags. Something is amiss if your ex-wife and every single one of your ex-girlfriends are “crazy,” “mentally unstable,” “bipolar,” “suicidal,” “depressed,” or whatever other mental health term you would like to ascribe to them. The pattern seems to not be with them, but quite possibly with the man they have in common. When two mortal enemies – an ex-wife and an ex-mistress – learn the truth and band together, then you have probably done something very wrong.

It has become evident that in the last four years he has cheated on every woman he has been with, and at one point, was dating three of us at the same time, without any of us knowing about each other. This certainly wasn’t the man any of us fell in love with, and we all agree we deserve much better. I am grateful I have learned the truth – it has truly brought me the closure I had been lacking for almost two years. It is much easier to get over the love of your life when you realize he was a fictional character.

It hurts like hell to have had my heart broken then learn the last few years of my life weren’t anything close to what I experienced. I have no idea if any of it was true, and I never will – I have to accept that. It is painful to know the person I trusted the most betrayed me with all these lies. But what hurts even more has been realizing how much pain and suffering I unknowingly caused others, and I can’t change that.

One of the definitions of the word romance includes the following: “a baseless, made-up story, usually full of exaggeration or fanciful invention.” I don’t believe there is a more accurate description.

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Read Eryn’s previous posts:

The death of a dream: my personal hell after discovering my husband’s affair

A Year Later: The aftermath of my husband’s affair

Author: Guest Blogger

5 Reasons To Befriend The ‘Other Woman’ And Leave The Cheater By Himself

I once befriended “the other woman.”

Though which one of us rightly deserved that title is questionable, our entanglements with the man were not.

To both be free of him because of each other and because we couldn’t bear the thought of being his second choice felt like one of the timeliest occurrences I’d ever experienced.

I messaged her, and we met on the sunny balcony of the library, overlooking swarms of students on campus.

She was shorter in person than I recalled and more beautiful in all the simplicity of a college freshman.

I felt aged and jaded, gazing at the girl I’d heard epic stories about for the past six months, and I believed — despite my sophomore status and cultured persona — she was somehow better.

We agreed to an armistice, to a budding understanding between broken women that we each deserved better than an even more broken man.

We spoke of the future and our individual searches of self. And, as we tempted a hug and turned back to the lives so entwined, we blushed.

I watched her walk away, smiled and gazed directly into the orange haze of sunlight until my vision was black.

Two weeks later, they got back together. I heard in ripples of gossip how he hadn’t changed, how she would never learn.

The persistent murmur of infamy that surrounded him never quieted, but I thought of her the most often.

I saw her bottom lip quiver and heard her bitter laughter as I reflected on that day with a profound sadness for being the only one to escape the madness.

I was the only one to understand the difference between what love is and what it should be.

I will likely remember her for the rest of my life simply because we could’ve been friends. We should’ve been friends. And for a brief moment, I think we were.

Because in the end, the other woman is likely the ultimate companion.

Here’s why you should befriend the other woman:

You don’t know her.

Chances are you’re a lot alike. You fell in love and apart over the same person, and that is your first similarity.

If you think you hate her because she has a part of him you don’t or you’ve shared feelings for the same person, think again. You don’t hate her for falling into the same arms you did.

She’s not the threat, he is. She’s not to blame, he is. Or at least, they both are. But, if he desires the both of you, don’t see it as an insult.

Take it as a reason the two of you should sit down for coffee. Imagine the stories you both would benefit from hearing. Only she knows him like you do.

It’s easier to be friends than enemies.

It takes energy to hate someone, especially when it involves the man you love. And, if you’re hurting because of what’s occurred, the potential for friendship with the girl who loves him too is boundless.

If he’s hurting you, he’s hurting her, and there’s nothing stronger than the bond between scorned women. It’s like girl power or something.

She understands like no one else can.

When he stopped responding to your texts in favor of late-night drinking, she’ll sympathize. She’ll recognize his persistence that he never did anything wrong.

The torture of suspicion that he’s with her (or you’re with him) will conjure identical feelings of contempt.

What you share with her, you’ll never share with him or any girlfriend who’s heard your sob story too many times to empathize.

You can heal each other, safeguard the past and embrace the future.

Once you’re past the initial awkwardness and the flames of rivalry you swore you wouldn’t be able to snuff out, you’ll be surprised just how healing it can be to know her.

Having her in your life and building something good from a mess of heartbreak can feel incredibly rewarding.

There will be times you will remember the jealousy, the anger and the fondness you once felt for him, but letting those feelings go is worth the effort.

They never did you any good. If trading him for her brings you happiness, you’ll know you made the right decision.

But in the end, it’s sometimes simply wishful thinking.

All of these reasons flashed through my mind when I met her on the balcony that day. I imagined being her friend, and in doing so, I immediately felt healed.

And if she had done the same, maybe things would’ve been different. But, it wasn’t meant to be. And only one of us got to walk away unscathed.

If there is one thing I learned from, it’s that you should be friends with the other woman.

You should love her as opposed to him. You will benefit more from her friendship than you will from his pretense of one.

Perhaps it takes a certain type of woman, an establishment of growth in each of you letting him go and an equality that goes beyond any other meaning of the word.

And perhaps one day, I will find this in another woman, and I’ll establish the friendship I couldn’t secure that day.

But for everyone else, it’s worth contemplating.

The REAL Reason I Befriended The Other Woman

It’s not what you think.

By Samantha Roberts.

I first met Jen* one summer when a mutual friend brought her to a party at my boyfriend Jordan’s* house. I couldn’t pinpoint why, but I thought there was something a little weird about her.

Boy, was I right.

Jordan and I had been together for three years, and that summer was a rough one. We’d been having major disagreements on an important personal issue, which caused a lot of tension between us. When we couldn’t come to an agreement, we eventually decided to call it an impasse and try to move on.

That autumn, we moved in together — a decision that was, in retrospect, pretty stupid given the state of our relationship. Still, I was proud of myself for finding us a perfect little love-nest of an apartment, and I put our problems in the past. Living together would be a fresh start.

It wasn’t easy, though. There was a big emotional gap between us and we were going through the motions. It was starting to get cold, so I attributed it to general weather-based depression.

Around the same time, Jen began dating Henry*, who was Jordan’s best friend. The four of us began to hang out regularly, though I still couldn’t quite connect with Jen. She seemed to keep me at arm’s length, which made our gatherings a little uncomfortable — but when I learned that other friends had similar experiences with her, I decided it probably wasn’t personal.

A few months later, my relationship with Jordan seemed to be back on track — or so I thought. In December, days before my 23rd birthday, he said those dreaded words: “We need to talk.” He felt like our relationship was “dying,” he said, but he wanted to make things work. I was crushed; this seemed completely out of left field! As we talked, though, Jordan did a 180, chalking up his worries to our communication issues, the weather, and his ongoing fear of living together.

Yet again, we set our problems aside. Yet again, we tried to move on.

For the most part, it worked — or, again, so I thought. The next year, Jordan and I celebrated our four-year anniversary with a quiet meal at a restaurant, then headed home to relax. Sitting together in the living room as he watched basketball, I opened our shared laptop — and time stood still.

There it was, proof that my boyfriend had been having an affair with Jen before she began dating Henry. As I read through their emails, it all started to make sense: why he’d thought our relationship was “dying,” why she would randomly show up at the bar where he worked, why he didn’t come home one night and returned in the middle of the afternoon the next day, saying he was with his guy friends and that everyone’s phone had died. (Yes, I seriously believed that.)

I went through every email, read every detail, and saw every naked picture. And then I exploded, screaming and demanding that Jordan admit he was cheating and tell me everything. It took him three hours to own up to it all, from “We just kissed,” to “We were seeing each other for a while,” to finally “We were having sex for months.” He told me he decided to cheat with her because she understood him during our rough patch.

I was furious. Instead of lashing out at Jordan, though, I focused all my anger at Jen (who was now only known as the other woman), blackballing her from our group of friends. Henry broke up with her. I was out for blood.

My relationship over, I moved two hours away to give myself space to nurse my wounds and mend my broken heart. My anger continued to consume me, though, and I didn’t see an end in sight.

That began to change during one visit home, when I met up with Henry. He had been devastated by his breakup with Jen; I knew he loved her. I told him that if he wanted to be with her — which he did — then he shouldn’t hold back on my account. When they got back together, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever see my good friend again.

I was still angry at Jen, but I knew that if I wanted Henry in my life, I would have to forgive her. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that Jordan must have hurt her, too. He had promised her so much; she thought he would leave me for her. I knew that the only way I’d feel better was with some closure.

And so I extended a friendship olive branch to Jen via email, apologizing for all the nasty things I had said and done. When she replied with an apology of her own, the weight lifted. That night, I slept soundly for the first time since finding out about the affair.

My first face-to-face interaction with Jen didn’t come until a year later at a mutual friend’s wedding. It was incredibly awkward, but that’s all it was — just awkward. I was relieved to find that I felt no hatred or anger toward her.

After that, things started to become more comfortable between us. When our paths crossed in group settings, we talked, laughed, joked. We even exchanged phone numbers, and eventually, I was texting with her more often than with Henry. I was genuinely interested in her life. I actually started considering her as a friend — and when Henry asked her to marry him, I was genuinely happy for them.

Jordan and I were both guests at their wedding last summer, which marked the first time I’d seen him in three years. At the reception, when he sat down beside me to apologize, I asked him to stop. I didn’t want to think about him or the past.

I wasn’t at the wedding for him; I was there for Henry and Jen. I was there for my friends — both of them.

*Names have been changed

This article was originally published at xoJane. Reprinted with permission from the author.

There really is no shortage of men and no man is worth that kind of hurt and humiliation.

By: Lisa Hayes for YourTango.

In another lifetime ago, I was married to a man who never stopped dating other people. Let’s just say he had more than one affair. Many of them were one nighters or little flings. One was a full blown relationship on the side. When I found out about this relationship, we agreed to get counselling. I agreed to stay. He agreed to call it off. However, it didn’t take long before all signs pointed to the fact that he was still seeing her. We’ll call her Kelly.

One of the signs that something was going on was the hangup phone calls that kept coming to the house in the evening. One evening when I was home alone there had been a series of them over a couple of hours and finally I picked up the phone and immediately said, “Kelly, I know it’s you.” There was a long empty silence and then she replied.

She didn’t hang up again.

“I am having a really bad day. I just want to talk to him.” She was crying. “Well, then you can talk to me.” I replied. “Let’s go get a drink.”

And that’s how I began a conversation that changed the way I saw my life, the other woman, and women in general. Kelly and I sat in the back of a very dark bar and faced each other woman to woman over the strongest drinks in town. What we both learned was that neither of us could trust him. That might seem obvious given the situation but at the time it wasn’t. We also both figured out we were more alike than different.

Kelly had been told our marriage was over and he was only staying long enough to work through counselling related to how we were going to manage the separation regarding our son. She had been told our marriage was mostly over long before they met. We had a mostly “open” relationship. However, I was still very jealous. She had been told I was cold, angry, and abusive. She also believed I knew about the affair all along and knew he intended to move in with her when our separation was complete. She had also been told I was dangerous and unstable and well worth avoiding at all costs because he didn’t know what I was capable of.

I had been told he didn’t have feelings for her. He never did. It “happened on accident” and he was afraid for me and our son because she was stalking him. I’d been told he’d actually had to tell his boss what happened because she was showing up at his work place and it was getting scary. I had been told he’d cut off contact and thought about getting a restraining order except he didn’t want to put our family through any humiliation in court getting one.

He was a liar and a cheat.

Truth of the matter was she was showing up at work because she would pick him up there on his lunch break and go to a hotel at least two or three times a week. I learned that they’d actually been together the day before. As we sat there together we both realised that he probably wasn’t really working late that evening, and he obviously wasn’t with either of us…

I found out he’d taken her to our home. He’d introduced her to our three year old son behind my back. She spent time with him and his friends. She’d also met some of his family. She’d even stayed nights at our place while I was out of town visiting my family. She had every reason to believe she was going to be the next in line for the closet where my clothes were hanging, which she’d looked at and even tried some of them on. I felt like I’d been violated in the most profound way.

What I learned about Kelly was that she wasn’t the evil horrible person I’d taken comfort in believing she was. She was a woman, in love with a man, believing his bulls*it just like me. Although on one hand she knew in her gut she was the other woman, it was easy for her to paint that picture as being the “next” woman. She was devastated by my version of reality and we were both devastated by the shared revelation of his version of reality. What comes around goes around. Generally speaking a man who cheats on his wife will cheat on his girl friend. Like Kelly and I figured out that night he was in fact cheating on both of us, with someone else.