confronting the other woman: the right and wrong advice

In ALL, BREAKUPS & BREAKTHROUGHS, DATING & MATING, MARRIAGEby Stephanie Klein42 Comments

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I’ve mentioned before that advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer. Intellectually we all know right from wrong, but sometimes making that right turn feels antiquated. "Yes, I know I shouldn’t care, that I should just move on, take the high road, but BLECH." Sometimes it just feels so good to go bad. To say, I might regret this, but so what. I’m going to cross the line. I receive many emails asking for relationship advice. Here’s a recent one:

Should I confront the other woman?

"Hi, I’m not sure if you’ll get this.. but I read your first book, and I have experienced much of the same that you had with your first husband. I was with my fiance’ for five years.. we had a "brady bunch" family together, it was truly a lovely dynamic.. raising our 4 year old children from previous relationships together. I was so in love with him. He was the most amazing man. Our relationship was not easy (also in-law issues).. but I was in complete and utter shock (and still am months later) when I found out he was sleeping with a another woman (much younger).. he lied to me about her for months, but I always wanted to believe him.. I’ve been such an idiot. I have come to my end. I am desperate to put everything behind me, move on with my life, but I have this urging need to have a talk with the woman who stole my life. He says that she didn’t know about me.. but I know that she slept in my bed and saw pictures of our family. She had to have known. There is no doubt that she seduced him, and showed him a very easy life. He is out of town on business right now, so I think I have the perfect opportunity to speak with her tonight.. but I’m very nervous and have no idea how to go about it. I know that it needs to be in person but I’m not sure if she’ll speak to me. He’s told her that I’m crazy.. which is so hurtful. I have wanted to have this conversation and get answers for months now. I need to also let her know what kind of person he really is, because she thinks he’s fabulous. She should know how he has tried to be with me, while they were clearly together. I’ve never been so hurt in my life. Sorry for the storybook, I thought if there was anyone who could give me clear, solid advice it would be you, because you have been there. I just want to do the right thing, and be done with all of it."
The Right Advice For Confronting The Other Woman

Intellectually, we know what the "right" advice is, the good honorable, high-road answer. The answer that forces you to confront what’s REALLY going on, and why you NEED what you do. But that’s no fun, now is it? The "high road advice" would go something like this: You say, "I am desperate to put everything behind me, move on with my life, but I have this urging need to have a talk with the woman who stole my life." That line says it all.If you were really that desperate to move on, you would. You wouldn’t indulge yourself with thoughts about confrontations. You wouldn’t talk about moving on. You’d just do it. You’d will it. You’d distract yourself and force yourself to let it go. And, for the record, no one can be stolen who didn’t want to be taken in the first place. If it wasn’t her, it would likely have been someone else. "I need to also let her know what kind of person he really is, because she thinks he’s fabulous." Now we’re getting down to it. I don’t honestly believe you are concerned about this woman (nor should you be). What you want is for him to feel pain. To have someone treat him the way he’s treated you. No doubt he’s told her you’re crazy, convinced her that you were really separated, etc. Lies to get him what he wanted, and I’m sure his family will hop on board in agreement. And it sucks. It does. But at the end of the day, you want someone with character. Someone who’d never be okay with lying behind your back, not in fear of being caught, but because it made him not like himself. Period. You won’t get any answers from this woman. You already know the important part, you know where you are today, and whatever happened, it’s done now. It’s time to move on, and moving on means letting it all go.

And Then There’s My Advice for confronting the other woman:
This might not be right, but hells yeah, this is what I would do"(the advice I actually gave):

If it will get you that much closer and faster to closure, then… fuck it. I’d TOTALLY confront her. You have nothing at all to lose. Who cares what the hell she thinks of you? Firstly, I’m sorry you’re going through this. So sorry, but you know, in times of pain is actually when we do the most growing. That idea always comforted me. Like, "yeah, this totally sucks. And I feel so broken, so alone, and worst of all, I’m so scared that I’ll never do any better…" but really, how could you do any worse? It’s so so hard to *KNOW*, to feel sure, to have hope, that it will get better. Intellectually you know, but emotionally, you’re a little girl who feels rejected, left alone, and have a hard time believing there’s unconditional love out there, but there is.

Fact: you want him to suffer.
Want him to one day know the pain you feel… you hope that someone treats him the way he treated you. And that’s what’s at the root of your wanting to tell this woman all you know. You don’t want to save her from him, to protect her. You want him to suffer, to ideally say to you, "I am so sorry, what I did was wrong, but I had no idea. He fed me lies, thank you for telling me…" Honey, I soooo know. But that’s just the anger (and justifiably so), wanting revenge, wanting him to know the pain. Because whether or not he stays with her, isn’t the point and doesn’t change all you have in front of you. You must feel like it’s bleak (emotionally), but it’s not. You must hate the idea of starting over with someone new one day, having to "catch up" to the life you thought you had… but I promise you… it’s an adventure. And even better than that: if you learn to master "change", learn to cope with transience and the idea that there are no guarantees in life, you’ll be equipped to handle anything that comes your way 20, 30, years from now. So try to see this as your chance to confront your fears, tackle them now, so it will be that much easier for you in the long run. I should say I’m sorry… but really, this ending is only your beginning, and I’m excited for all the surprises and meaningful friendships and lifelong connections you’re about to make going through this process. 

And to be fair… I know how you feel. The Wasband is engaged to a new redhead, and I’d love nothing more than to send her a copy of Straight Up and Dirty. But you know what? Even if she read it, I imagine she thinks, "It would never happen with me because we’re suited for each other." That or, "The book is all lies. His family even says so." I’ve been tempted, I really have, to contact her via Facebook. But I didn’t… want to know what the test is? If a reporter were to ask her about me, would I be proud or ashamed about the things she said about our confrontation? That is, any action that I take, I can ask myself, "If this was reported on the news about me, would I be mortified?" If the answer is yes, I simply won’t do it.

2 YEARS AGO: The Days and the Girls

Comments

  1. It is always worth holding on to a bit of one's dignity, avoiding humiliation will hasten the journey towards hope, and this woman will think you are crazy if you confront her.

    It doesn't matter what she thinks of you and it doesn't matter what you think of her. She won't care what she has wrecked and she won't care if you tell her. It is your husband who has breached your trust and who isn't the person you thought he was living the life you thought you were.

    Look up the Kubler Ross cycle of grief and know that you are bargaining, the if I do this this will happen senario, even if you don't know what the outcome is. The end of the road is acceptance, we might still feel bruised at this point, but we are ready to hope and move on. You will get there and by that point she will be miserable or not with him.

    Happiness is the best revenge and a life well lived will be evidence that you are not crazy, it is not your fault, and you are better off without someone who deceives you. Take care.

    1. If they are still communicating then yes, confront her. Some women need to teach other women a lesson.

  2. This is what would help me the most; it was forceful even if I'm not in that position now:
    "Like, "yeah, this totally sucks. And I feel so broken, so alone, and worst of all, I'm so scared that I'll never do any better…" but really, how could you do any worse?"

    Because it's true. He may be "perfect", but he cheated on you and LIED about it for a long time. That is the worst (aside from physical abuse).

    I would be killing myself thinking something like, "What if he doesn't do it to her? What if they do live happily ever after? Then, I must be the problem."

    It's not particularly rational and it's not particularly helpful, because it's not true. No matter how cliche it sounds: It takes two. You can make it work with someone else, because they'll be able to make it work with you even if you and he couldn't do it. There is always someone out there for you (many people in fact), but you have to find it.

  3. I have to agree that the best thing you can do is to forget about the both of them and move on. Don't give him the satisfaction of a "scene." If you take the high road you'll always have the upper hand. And trust me, you will meet someone who is worthy of you and you will look back on this time in your life and be thankful that you had enough self-respect and love to let yourself move on. Good luck!

  4. It's amazing some days how timely your posts are! I know it's a matter of me finding my way to this post (though I read you almost daily) and many more crossings of the stars, I'm sure, but on more than one occasion, they've helped. This one did, today, when I very much needed it. THANK YOU for helping strangers and I hate when haters hate in your comments. Know that you are doing something by positive by sharing the good, the bad and the ugly with the world wide interweb!

  5. If you do confront her: Don't act crazy. I hate it when people's exes call them crazy, to dismiss them, and justify things. If she sees that you're not, that you're a sane normal person just trying to find closure, maybe that will knock down a little bit the picture he's surely painted of things to her. Maybe she'll see that it wasn't you, it was him.

  6. When I was in this situation, I sent her two emails a few months apart; the first email I sent immediately after I found out, and I told her the pain she had caused me and my family. The second email I sent a couple months later, when I was really angry, and I told her how despicable and pathetic their behavior was. I also told her never to contact me, because frankly I didn't want to hear her story (this person absolutely knew she was involved with a married person). Of course I held him more at fault, but I was angry with her, too. I found myself thinking about her more than I would have liked, but eventually I moved on. It took a while, it really did, but I only think of her on the rare occasion at this point. I just told myself that anyone who is leading that type of deceitful, dishonest life is not a happy person. No revenge on my part was necessary.

  7. When I was going through a hideous divorce after my husband took up with his secretary, I had two markers: Will it matter in 5 years? and Would I want my mom or my daughter to know I did this. Neither question took away my interest in finding a knife to twist in his back, but they did keep my hand off the hilt.

    Almost 16 years later, I can honestly say none of it mattered in 5 years. Someone who would do the kinds of things he did turns out not to be that big a loss in the long run.

  8. I must not want to get past my personal devastation. It's been 8 years and I'm still keeping that corner of my life shut down. I'm too afraid to be burned (fried toa crisp) again.

  9. You're so right.
    In the heat of the moment, it always seems appropriate to confront, thinking it's a position of power. It never is. The older I get, the more I understand cliches… and there's a reason for them. They are universal, life-lessons, borne from the beginning of time. And my favorite cliche(s)are: 'Living well is the best revenge', and, 'Revenge is a dish best served cold' (I always interpret the 'served cold' part to be the cordial greeting you are bound to be able to someday give to the person who hurt you in your past. Of course, you will look fabulous, your handsome husband will have his hand on the small of your back, your children will be particularly cute and well-behaved, and you will genuinely be able to wish him/her well) cue… visual of riding off into the sunset.

  10. I think I'd be interested in meeting up with her to find out as much as I could. I would want to know more about this person who I thought I knew but obviously didn't. I'd like to know how sneaky he was, how long etc etc. I'd think it would make it easier for me to think 'what an asshole' and move on. Also, I'd want to learn from it – were there signs I'd ignored etc. But who knows whether she would talk and if she is still in the thick of it then she may not say much anyway. I rang up the woman my dad had an affair with because my dad would say nothing and my mum was curious – so was I. I approached her nicely and she told me some interesting stuff – which I believed but my mother didn't.

  11. I'd want to confront her. Or at least make her see that I am a person and that she did, along with my husband, cross a line.

    However, I have had friends who were/are the other woman and honestly, they are so convinced that they are in the right and that they have done nothing wrong that I know it wouldn't matter if I confronted her or not. My pain would not register on her radar.

  12. I would want the confrontation but I know that I would get overly emotional and end up angry with myself.
    Years ago, a male co-worker of mine came home from work to find that his wife left him. Her closet had a few remaining clothes and her note was curt without an inkling of remorse.
    He changed the locks that night, threw out all her stuff and cried for weeks. Once that was over, he seemed to take a deep breath and with a great therapist, he made a new life, remarried after a few years and now has two beautiful pre-teen daughters. I'm sure he would have wanted the big scene (and came close when she found out her stuff was tossed) but like the old cliche, "living well is the best revenge," he moved on with his pride and sanity.

  13. Your life was my own in so many ways. I read SUAD, and felt as if I were in a time warp. Your mother-in-law has an evil twin named Vicky, right here in Indiana. I promise you that. I was never good enough. They did all they could to alienate me for years.

    After my ex-husband's affair was finally acknowledged by him (I had known about it for 2 months before confronting him), all I wanted to do was to confront his coworker- a 20 year old secretary whom I had met once before. Several months later, I ran into her and pretended I didn't know her. It was enough for me to see her deer in headlights face as I walked past her.

    Then, I found out that he was dating someone he had met off the internet WHILE he was still begging me to not divorce him. I realllly wanted to email her via myspace, and forward the emails he had sent to me. But I just couldn't. When I asked him about her, he claimed she knew our history. And maybe she does. I just don't care. It's a rough world we live in, if he cheats on her, she'll find out and deal with it on her own. It's not my job to babysit his social life.

  14. Hi Mari,
    Did you regret sending the emails or did you find that it brought you some form of closure? Did she ever respond? I have had an email that I've been thinking of sending for months, and I can't think about it anymore! Wanted to meet with her in person, but I believe with email I can get EVERYTHING out that needs to be said. Thanks for your insight..

    1. I did send a text messages to the other woman of my husband the day I confirmed it. I said anything that i needed to say to release the anger inside me.. because honestly it felt like i am going to explode with too much hate and anger. Its such a relief . ” i will say anything i want to say because you two did anything you wanted to do” during your affair.

  15. I have been the falsely accused 'other woman'. My dear friend's wife decided that I was having a long-term affair with him, after breaking into his e-mail accounts. In reality, I *never* would be the other woman, and the accusations were, absolutely, unequivocally untrue. I actually have seen him in person twice in ten years – both with all of our children around, in a public restaurant, for about 45 minutes each time.

    She sent the most hateful, spewing, vitriolic stream of hysteria, accusations and suspicion my way via e-mail, calling me names, casting aspersions and evil predictions of my ultimate demise, totally out of the blue. I was flummoxed, to say the least. When I asked my friend about htem – he responded with the fact that she's forever accusing him of something, has made his life miserable, sex has ceased, she's constantly searching and suspecting…

    All this was many months ago. Now I've lost my dear friend (for a while), he's lost another tie that binds him to his wife, and she's lost every ounce of credibility and dignity. Talk about quick ways to hasten a divorce.

    I guess the point is – if you're going to confront – make sure you're confronting the right person.

  16. This post really touched my heart. I dated my most recent ex for years. Shortly after he proposed, he called me and broke it off.

    I'd be lying if I said it didn't break my heart. And to be honest (in-law issues here too) I'd be lying if I said I didn't blame his mother for it.She had a singular gift for making everybody feel uncomfortable. But in the end, it was truly his decision to make. I have spoken to my ex several times since, and no matter how many times I rehash it, he'll never give me the answer to the most important question: why? And the more time goes on, the more I realize it doesn't matter what excuse he came up with, because it's exactly that: an excuse. I'm not interested. In the end, it doesn't change the fact that he took himself out of my life. I couldn't help but think that he owed (owes?) me a little more than that. But sometimes you just don't get the answers you're looking for.

    As for me? I met a really great guy a month or so ago. Maybe it will work, maybe it won't. There aren't any guarantees. But what I've learned through all this is that you can't let someone else control your life. Nobody should have that kind of power. And yes, this includes anyone your ex is currently with. It makes me crazy to think that some woman might make the same mistake I did, but ultimately that's not my problem.

    Stephanie, I hope the person who sent you that email reads this. I want to say to her that she can make it through this. But the trick is to remind yourself, every day, that you can make it on your own. You didn't choose this, but the great thing about being the one who didn't leave is that you can rest easy at night with a clear conscience, knowing that you did your best to work things out. You have to wonder, at least a little, if he can say the same.

  17. Ah, when I read such stories I often wonder what I would do. I have been lucky to never have had to deal with 'the other woman' (as far as I know at least). I probably wouldn't want to see her, imagining them together would be painfull enough, being able to put a face on it would be even worse… And you're right about just wanting to hurt him. I hope whomever sent in the email is feeling better soon.

  18. What if you already knew who she is, knew what she looked like but have never met her? I would want her to look me in the eyes, take a good long look at the woman who's family she tore apart. To know there was a 'real' woman who had a life, had a family, had a home, had a bed, had a fiance', all of which she felt the right to take away. She desired a life that wasn't hers. If she felt any remorse at all after the meeting, it would have been well worth the pain of seeing her face.

  19. I have been in some interesting relationships in my life. My first husband cheated on me and became abusive after joining the military and I had the sense to leave him. (YAY ME!) There is one relationship though that really got me, if nothing else by sheer execution.

    I was dating this guy seriously enough and long enough that we were planning on moving out-of-state together so he could take a job offer. We worked together, mistake number one, and we spent a great deal of time together. I had been hurt before so I thought I was aware enough of the signs. In this case he was just really good at what he did. Not only was he sleeping with another friend of ours, I found out after the fact, but he hurt both of us in the end; the other girl was much younger and more niave, I truly felt sorry for her, she lost more in my opinion.

    How did he hurt us? He disappeared and coming back married to someone he had apparently been engaged to for over a year. And here I am, oblivious, packed and ready to move.

    Sad part, he was living with her and any time I visited I never even knew. I found out, from his best friend later, that he had this wonderful little ritual where he would completely clean their apartment of any trace of her, right down to the hair in the hairbrush, before I came over; I laugh about it now but I was devastated and numb at the time. She traveled a lot with work and the pattern was random or I think I would have caught it, who knows. LOL Needless to say he knew exactly what he was doing.

    Did I want to cause him pain? Oh yea. LOL Did I want to tell her, warn her? Very much so. I felt bad for her and believed "us girls have to stick together"; she was a genuinely nice person and totally oblivious too. Causing him pain was of course an added bonus but it was a catch-22 as I would have to hurt her to get to him. I tried calling her one time but my calls were blocked so I knew she had already been brainwashed. Did it help me? A little, I knew I had tried and I could have gone to her workplace but I didn't want to humiliate her or, more likely, myself.

    So what got me through it? "The best revenge is living well." I moved on.

    I created a better life for myself. Reading this was the only time I think he has crossed my mind in years and there is no emotion other than "what an idiot" attached because I let go of it.

    My philosophy now is that if someone screws me over they no longer exist. I don't need or want them in my life. I have better ways to spend my energy and life is too short. I will be 40 this year; I hope none of you take as long as I did to learn that. Just move on, it is in your best interest. Karma will catch up with them WAY better than anything you could do anyway and your conscience will be clear for it.

  20. WOW. Sorry.. I don't want you to relive this again, but the part where he "cleaned up any trace of her"… that is insane. I thought My story was bad. My ex took all of my son's furniture out of his room without him knowing and put it in storage- so he could bring the "other woman" into the house and cover up his life. She thought he only had a daughter and was single.. he got rid of my things too. His explanation for disposing our "life" was he wanted me to stay with my parents for a week so he could have space, and wanted to feel what his life would be like without us- having to move remove every piece of the life we built together for four years, any reminder of my son and I. When my son walked into his bedroom and it was empy- I will never forget the look on his face. It was devastating for us both. It's months later, and many lies later, and still I'm coming to terms with this man who I thought I knew sooo well. This is why I want to confront her. I feel like she has to know about us and what he's put me and the children through. There was so much invested in my relationship and she is also to blame because she pursued him and wouldn't leave him alone. He's a 31 year old professional with a 10 year old daughter,a 10 year old step-son, and now he is re-living his 20's. No responsibilities. He changed OVER NIGHT after spending the night with this woman. Then after months of telling me he was experiencing a mid-life crisis and not wanting to let me go, he is still with her. (Even though she's just a "good friend".) Still he says that if I expose the truth, I will never see his daughter again. I raised her as my own, and for him to use her is sickening. I'm stuck. I can't put myself through this anymore. I've lost myself. I still can't believe this is happening. This message board is helping me so much, and I thank Stephanie for this as well. I'm sorry for any of you who have experienced such pain.

  21. Hey Faith! Sweetheart you are not making me relive anything. He was a loser and I have totally forgotten him except to post sympathy.

    I remember how devastated I was and I can COMPLETELY understand your feelings, as much as I can without being in your shoes at least. My first husband, different guy, changed when he joined the military; the first few months he was ok but then he started hanging out with the bachelor's and that was it.

    On one hand I would like to tell you to walk away. On the other hand I would tell you not to let him hold his daughter over your head, tell his parents and ask their advice, and tell his daughter that no matter what happens you love her. After that, no clue.

    …everyone, help me out here? I have no tolerance for people who use their children. I have a 7 year old little girl and am best friends with her father, technically my second exhusband but I don't count the aforementioned first one because we were both 18 and he was a putz. LOL

    You are in my thoughts and prayers Faith. Remember to breathe. :::hugs:::

  22. I feel that same way. I know the deal is not to talk to your ex, make contact involve yourself in anything with him but…
    I would want her to see how much pain, shock, change she caused someone. How could anyone just pull your life away from you and feel no remorse

    I absolutley wouldn't be proud of the fact I did it for about five years. But when I finally grew back into myself,
    and I know she was stuck with a complete jerk and prob going to have to face the same shit I did…
    there would be NO ounce of regret.

  23. I have been hurt, I have been betrayed, i have been left for another woman and also I fell in love with a married man. And I knew it. I have experienced both sides and I was feeling hurt and broken-hearted on each of the sides, believe me.
    And as the one being betrayed as well as the other woman I have learnt: It is not the fault of “the other woman”. It’s not her who destroyed a wonderful, perfect relationship, who stole “him”. It’s him who walked away, on his own authority. It is easier to believe that external interference caused the two of you to split, that your relationship was perfect, that he loved you and the life you were leading – but it’s the fault of the two of you, not of only one of the partners. You don’t fit – maybe from the beginning, maybe you have evolved in different ways,… If he loved you more than anything, if he loved the life you were leading he would not have gone for anyone.
    You cannot steal a person. A man is not cattle you can own. He is not your property. He belongs to as longs as he feels so. That has nothing to do with living together, being married or else. Yo can live together and he can anyway be far away.
    That is what I had to learn and what I think now. Hate me for saying that but it is what I feel and think.
    What you can accuse him of is that he didn’t check things with you and leave you before searching for another woman. That he didn’t tell you he didn’t want to continue the relationship.
    When I was left, both of us would have been happier if we just split up in time, I have to say with hindsight. I would’t have been weeping and feeling in despair because I didn’t feel good in my relationship any longer. We would have been separating earlier. Would have been better as I now know. But it’s all gone and I’m happy now with a completely different partner. Still believe in love after all.
    Don’t shirk responsibility! Cry and weep and feel devastated. But then move on!! Make the best of your life!

  24. While I completely understand the desire to confront the “other woman”, you need to be prepared for even more nastiness dependind on the type of person she is.

    In my case, “Cindi” knew full well what she was doing and proceeded to rub my face in it. This was after trying to befriend me and acting completely insulted the first time I confronted them regarding an affair. My fiance denied it but “Cindi” told me that he had said that he was tired of me, and that I wasn’t as exciting in bed, etc…. She rubbed as much salt into an open wound as she could. The only time she didn’t respond was when I asked her why he hadn’t left me for her is she was so great.

    Remember you are leaving yourself open for more pain if you decided to confront her so tread lightly.

  25. My daughter works for a mother and daughter team in an investment firm as their Office Assistant, and the daughter is verbally abusing my daughter not just with sarcasm, but with foul foreign language. Things have escalated to the point where my daughter despises her job, but she’s been there for a year. What are her rights? How does she deal with this?

  26. Listen, 33 years ago I was with a married man, his wife not only went and told my neighbors that fact, she kept coming to my work place where we both work, with their kids, just showing up very frequently, and I was so young (19) that I just cut it cold, I even greeted her nicely and immediately broke up with him, he made me have an abortion prior to this, so she does not know about it, now I look back and mourn still for our baby, I never contacted him again, until one day after asking to the higher power why I have never been loved, I dreamed of him, had to call him, it was a connection, I keep telling him we need to heal because there was a life involved, and we are older and don’t want to die before we do a real burial ceremony for the baby, but he says he has always loved me and will love me forever, but what I see here is that she did all this evil strategy and is backfiring her, I feel sorry for that woman, she even cheated on him years after, and what he did he went looking for me but did not get me to welcome him, I kept avoiding him because we even met in the freeway once, but I married a few times, and all my husbands cheated on me, they all do, but what you learn is that men or women are nobody’s possession ever, its our job to keep the bliss, be honest if it is getting hard for you to keep the bliss, get out before you call yourself the victim, I bless my ex husbands, I wished them happiness, you learn to take half the blame, and to lose, so what, its too selfish to wish a man to pay for it, you are fooling yourself, I bless they fell in love, is the most beautiful thing any human being can experience, I even ashamed I was mad at my then husbands for trying to interfere in their affairs, but i feel sorry for that woman that did all that evil tactics because she is never had his love, what she did actually altered my life, and now hers, now she is freaking because he wants to be with me and make up all years we lost, now I am just trusting history will repeat itself, she will cheat on him again, then I will take him back, I wish she had not done what she did, maybe it was for her to teach those wives not to do the same, it just holds the passion for eternity, creating a false life for them in the meantime, even that has repercussions, don’t give me the wanting to save the marriage, that does not save one when there is none to start with. at 50 you learn to read between the lines, what life is all about, Love or get out, be genuinely in love, don;t fake it.

  27. I grew up in that Men cheating environment from my dad cheating (at least that was the story) to my stepdad cheating. I didn’t date much growing up and married the first guy I met of the internet. I did get lucky that he turned up to be a good guy (not creepy/serial killer). We got married for the wrong reason and realized that honest truth long after we had our son. Guess we both felt obligated to stick to the “vows” to keep our little family together. Rather than being a man about it and get out of the marriage, he decided to test the waters-so-to speak. He tried to date one his co-worker. The truth always comes out no matter what. I was just never good at waiting. I never thought of extracting revenge on any one. But i felt this need to get back at him for being a coward and then at her because she knew he is married. The result of my payback was they both got temporary suspension from work & me almost arrested. As I remember it felt good to get back at him and her, BUT only for a moment. We were busy fighting (verbal/physical) during the separation but stopped after we realized what our fight was doing to our son. We stopped fighting and started to move on. But not even a year into the separation, I met a guy. I wasn’t expecting to meet any one or date but i felt a connection with him & it felt good to have a good looking guy try to get my attention. We started dating a week after we met. I started feeling like maybe this time I found that one guy i can learn to trust. Turns out I need to know how to trust a man first. Since then we’ve broken up more than it’s ever acceptable or allowed and had a child before the year into our dating. I am convinced for some insane reason that I can’t even explain o my own self of this ‘connection’ with him (beside our son). Yet I can’t seem to just simply trust him. He’s never slept with any woman while we’re in a relationship. But he has slept with another woman while were in our ‘friend with benefits’ status. The friends with benefits sound cheap..I know..But at those times, it felt right to have that physical closeness. He never told me about the other woman, but i always find out a day or so after he has slept with the woman. It was a cycle – Break up, wk later become FWB, He sleeps with someone (his version of trying to move on), then we get back together. Then a year ago i found out that he has been talking to this woman behind my back for 2 months. He never met up with her but had more communication via txt, phone, e-mail… my gut feeling is tainted so can’t really rely on it fully. He swear it was just friendly/harmless chat and nothing else… He let out during our fight that this other woman was upset that she’s coming out as ‘the other woman’ when she’s not doing any thing wrong. I called her many times to confront her but she never picked up any of my calls. He told me he’ll stop all communication with her and it seemed for a while, she did disappear. We broke up and thought that was it. He came back 4 months later. We had our ups as it seemed I do have a problem letting go of the past and do bring our past situation up to him. But it seemed like he meant to keep his word of not having communication of any sort to women he dated, that likes him, etc…BUT definitely from this other woman. I thought that this is our time, just US along with the kids, new state. Then 2 days ago I saw several numbers of women from with area code from our old state. I called the numbers and one number turned out to be hers. I know that those contacts were just entered recently. I confronted him about it and he denies and even swears on our son’s life & health that he has not been in contact with this woman since we got back together (6 months ago now). I tried to contact her but again she never answers the phone. I can choose to take his word and let faith do its thing. BUT at the same time I do not want to be that woman who finds out months or years later that he has been lying to me about her. I am torn of what to do and how to handle this situation. I obviously love him and believes a future between us. BUT what now? could he be that cold hearted to swear on his own sons life & health (if he is indeed lying to me)?

  28. I’m experiencing it from the other side. I was dating a guy and have discovered it’s very likely he has been in a serious relationship the whole time. Now I’m wondering if I should tell her. Part of it is revenge and part of it is the fact that he was doing it so blatantly, barely trying to cover it up that it’s clear he just has no respect for her. They’re not married and they have no kids yet so she should find out who he is before she feels trapped.

    1. Author

      I WOULD contact her. But that’s me, personally. Letting her know it’s by no means malicious. You’d simply want to know if you were in her shoes.

  29. Since 2010 I’ve been discovering searches for you and your site on our computer. My husband (Zackary is his name ) continues to deny ever knowing you, and I don’t believe him.. Maybe you van help shed some light?

  30. I really enjoyed you post! Loved the end.
    I have been in this sucky situation, and that is something that always got to me, what if I did. Well there was no need the other women, womens, contacted me. In the end I just smiled, cause I had lost nothing, they freed me, from the overpriced poor quality relationship, that I had invested in so many years.
    Now I think about it, ya why not, your mad, upset, crazy you could say, but if it will bring you closure, go right ahead. just remember, they won’t change, ,man or women, they will always be another, and you’ll always live picking up the pieces of your porclien heart. It’s hard to make decisions, it is, because we know it’s gonna hurt.

    P.S The very last one, I caught them red handed took a picture went straight to her boyfriends house, then sent it to her husband, and had big ass bonfire, that my husband belonging supplied. I had talked to my husband previously, and agreed to work things out, and I warned her if she kept it up… well I don’t like to be disrespected and played with.

  31. I recently found out that my boyfriend was involved with a woman the before and during our entire relationship. I saw her post on Facebook that she was on the way to his town and he “liked” it. That night he didn’t answer my calls or texts. The next day I decided to send her a message. I wasn’t rude but not exactly polite either. We talked. Turns out he was telling us the same things. The same b.s. We both confronted him! Busted that ass! Now he’s alone and probably looking for more women to deceive. If I had not told her she would still be caught up in his lies and deception. Tell her!!

    1. It’s funny because after reading this a similar thing just happened to me. I felt something was going on after a couple months so I decided to look on his facebook and do a little investigating on comments made on pictures he recently posted. Well one girl commented “doesn’t my man look handsome”. Like u I saw he liked it. My man? Why would she say that? I went into her facebook and found that he was talking to her. I was livid. I confronted her by messaging her. Let her know who I was. She called him before messaging me back. She said she had absolutely no idea. He said he wasn’t dating anyone else. She said he mentioned me. As a friend. Of course he did so he’d cover himself if I had called or texted while he was with her. Pig! I wasn’t mad at her and wasn’t mean because I could tell she didn’t know. He’s a trashy pig and I’m glad I confronted her because she needed to know and he got what he deserved. These men need to know they can’t have their cake and eat it too. Woman deserve to be treated better.

  32. I’ve been in a relationship with a married man (actually several married men) online via Skype for quite a long time. I live in Sydney, Australia and work as a research assistant in the school of petroleum engineering. I’m married myself. One of the men I chat and do Skype sex with, his wife found out, now she has tons of videos of me because her husband’s computer was being recorded. What should i do? This is my email address: f.kamali@unsw.edu.au

  33. Just recently abandoned. He emailed me for a divorce. Fifteen years. Two teenage boys. And still, he won’t admit there is another woman and the whole town knows.

    You’re article is one of the best I’ve read, and I read hundreds for comfort, strength, revenge.

    Your article is in my inbox so I can remember the part about “the reporter”. That was awesome and classy.

  34. Just recently abandoned. He emailed me for a divorce. Fifteen years. Two teenage boys. And still, he won’t admit there is another woman and the whole town knows.

    Your article is one of the best I’ve read, and I read hundreds for comfort, strength, revenge.

    Your article is in my inbox so I can remember the part about “the reporter”. That was awesome and classy.

  35. I need someone to talk to. Pls send me an email at romeo.juliet0903@yahoo.com

    I jus gave birth to a beautiful baby girl whom the father is a married man. Makes me the other woman right? But he gave his name to our daughter and weve been in a relationship for almost 5 yrs. he still goes home wth the wife and kids but the wife knows about me and is mad that his husband wouldnt leave me. Pls help

  36. I dated a guy for a long period of time earlier in the years when we first met we both was involved in relationships we spent a lot of time together a couple years went by he left his kids mother for a married women which caused her divorce..i learn about this from friends and research he lied to me saying he stayed between his mom and sister. I knew the truth but kept denying it. I continue seeing him and going on vacations with him until i conforted him again it ended in a nasty agrument.later he found me by my moms and apologized and said he was only there to finish his car note and child support..2 years later both are done she moved and he moved with her and denied he’s living there.but i found out differnt. So again i confronted him about the two of them going to vegas every year and him and her was just seen at the movies again he lied..So i told him to kick rocks and stay away from me he cursed me out and came back and apologized now he leaves her house at 6am every morning and come by me peeking though my window like a peeping tom before he go to work. Im fed up thus lady has no idea of his other life he live and how obsessed he is over me..He wont let me move on.

  37. I have to somewhat disagree with this article. When your significant other is cheating on you, they don’t deserve a free pass. They need to suffer the consequences of their actions because they have made a conscientious decision to cheat. If someone isn’t happy in their current relationship or marriage, try to work things out or leave and seek open relationships. At least there’s no worry and stress about secrets and lies.

    Last year, I wasn’t aware of being the “other woman” when my ex-boyfriend’s stupid girlfriend confronted me. It was obvious that he lied about his single status from the beginning, ever since we first met. I didn’t owe her an explanation, nor was I obligated to answer her questions. So, I ended the conversation by hanging up on her. Despite the name calling, the only thing I could do was laugh because of her stupidity and ignorance. I deleted and blocked my ex-boyfriend’s phone number, because I didn’t want to hear what he had to say. It wasn’t my fault that he was cheating on her with me.

    I was on my way to my mother’s house when I received a text message coming from a different phone number. I replied back by telling him to back off. I saw him at my place of employment, and of course, I was furious. He looked at me and didn’t say anything, not even an apology. He sent a text message again one month later while I was at my boyfriend’s house watching movies. It felt so good to tell my ex-boyfriend to go screw himself. I haven’t heard from him since.

    It’s understandable that women should confront the “other woman” if she’s fully aware of her lover’s relationship or marital status. If not, she should confront her partner. As I mentioned earlier, he doesn’t get a free pass.

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