A Random Act of “I am Sorry”

I received the following response in an email notification this morning. Truly, with exception of the “minor details” of this affair and this Affair partner, I could hear it coming from my husband’s AP as I read it…

It crushed me…

Here it is…. (I will protect her identity)

I am not going to begin to say I understand or know what it is like to be the wife who finds out her husband is a cheater in all of this. Nor, do I begin to say that what I went through is justification for the OW’s behavior in this.

But I am other woman. And I echo a lot of other people’s experiences, when I say I never thought I would be that person. I even directly asked the person who I had the affair with if he was single before we ever met. And each time he answered no.

Even after I put two-and-two together, I still played the part for another couple of months, and meeting him recently on a business trip. I have no justification other than I had developed feelings for him, and that I loved him. The lonely part of me wanted to be the exception, rather than the norm.

And to anyone who has been the victim in this, please know that it is not easy to live as the OW. I do not sleep, I have lost appetite, and I have tearfully pleaded, begged, and sobbed asking him to do the right thing and confess to his wife. To be a better husband and father, and to either seek counseling to fix the marriage or do the right thing and walk away.

The truth is the cheater, while not always a bad person, is selfish. He started this affair because he was bored in his married life, and wanted the adventure of a new love. I am almost 35 years old, and I have given up on love. I told him he was so blessed and lucky to have a wife and kids. That he had no right to throw that away.

But I am also no better than him, because I didn’t run away. I continued the secrets despite the pain. I did it for no other reason than I loved him, and couldn’t bear to know a life without him. But in the end, I still ended it. The sleepless nights, the guilt, the jealousy, and the hurt. See being the OW means you will always be the last choice and that you have to be content with everything being on his timeline. You can only call, text, e-mail when it works for him. You lay awake at night feeling suffocated by the loneliness, while knowing he can turn around and wrap his arms around the woman he put a ring on it.

He says is not happy. But lacks the courage to make changes to find happiness. Why stay in a marriage if you are not happy? He says it was for the kids, but what is worse: having children be raised with a lie that destroys families or know that their parents loved each other but couldn’t make it work? I cannot answer that because I don’t know.

I am single. I have no one. I am alone and unsupported. And I am dying inside. From the guilt, from the pain, and from feeling like I am always the loser. Please know that not every person who becomes the OW is okay with the title of OW. That some of us have consciences and integrity. That it destroys us as much as you. He selfishly threw his marriage away and wants to keep it hidden, but he also selfishly wanted me to suffer in silence.

I wanted to find love. To feel beautiful and wanted again. He said all the right things. He kept saying “stop over thinking things”, and to have “faith”. All the while knowing he lied to me too, he could never love me the way I deserved.

I am sorry that your husband has refused to hold himself accountable. But as the OW, you deserve better than a spouse who will not acknowledge the pain he has caused, nor work on improving the relationship. You can stop a sinking ship, if not everyone is willing to help bail.

Again, I am sorry to you and any spouse who sits in this position. Please know that affairs hurt the OP as much as the spouse. We are not proud of ourselves, and many of us do not want to hurt you. We are hurting and confused ourselves. We are trying to find a glimmer of love ourselves, and yes we had no right to take it from someone who doesn’t belong to us. That is something I will live with everyday for the rest of my life. Knowing that I caused someone else pain, because I was so desperate to feel love…even if it was brief and temporary.

I am sorry.

To the Other Woman

Dear L,

This is Ra,but you know who I am, have for a while. I’m M’s wife. We’ve never met so I thought I would introduce myself. I know he’s probably told you a bit about me and our life together. I also suspect he’s lied to you. After all, he’s been lying to me for years now. He started sometime after you and he connected on Facebook in 2009.

I asked him to give me a time line of your affair. I need to know when my marriage became a lie. He’s told me generalities about you and answers questions, although vague. I get it though. He’s ashamed of himself. I hope you know that what you and he “shared” as “abysmal” as it was, still wasn’t real. It’s based on lies, deceit and selfishness. You stoked his fragile ego.

His timeline only provided a reference of your clandestine activities. Again, its vague and he sucks with detail. Always has. It’s probably self-serving now. I struggle with the history that you and my husband share. I knew you were a friend of his sister, and that you fucked in high school. I  had no idea about the multiple “hook-ups” later, in your 20’s, long before I was in his life. In all fairness, I never asked. It wasn’t really important until you and he decided to keep your relationship secret and then fuck. If we were keeping score, you’d have one up on me. I cannot compete with the history that you and he share. Actually, I find it intimidating. I’ll never believe you were “just friends,” that fucked a few times.

So what I know about you.. His timeline has 4 times that he met you at a hotel to fuck; met for coffee or lunch 4-5 times. Yeah, that’s it! That’s all he remembers. I searched our phone bill (only 15 months available) and see all the texts. I searched his email (work) and found a dozen or so emails (all trashed or archived, so I can’t see what the body of the email says.) that’s really about all I have.

He told me your married to your 3rd husband and have 4 kid, all girls. I know where you work and I know your husband’s name. I saw your FB page, what little there is to see.

Oh, there’s that one , ONE single phone call from his iPhone to yours. One 13 minute phone call that he claims he told you it was over because I found out. One single fucking phone call in all the time you two have been screwing; Only responsible for yourselves, not giving a shit about your husband or me. One fucking phone call. He insists that is the only time he ever spoke to you on the phone. I hope you can see my skepticism.

He’s told me that it was “just sex,” good sex even. He told me that it was for professional gain. That statement makes me laugh now because of its obscurity. He has his master’s degree. Your title may be CEO of that little rural healthcare center, but lets call a spade a spade. You are a glorified office manager. (He doesn’t even know if you got your GED, but recalls that maybe you dropped out of high school.) When I ask him, “why?” his most ridiculous responses include,  “because I could,” or “I don’t know” or “I  didn’t think you’d care.” He claims he has no feelings for you. I saw messages that said  “I think I like you pretty lady” and  “I miss you too, baby.”   He claims that were just words. I will never know the truth. But the pen is mighty.

He used to call me pretty lady and baby too. I’ve told him to stop. It used to be endearing. Now it makes my skin crawl.

I was naive and foolish. He hid it well. I was blindsided. I never saw the affair coming. Even in hindsight, there are very few signs. They were there, but I didn’t notice them. I didn’t realize there was anything to be concerned about. He told me he’d never cheat. I had no reason to doubt him. I believed him. I trusted him. He lied to me.

You don’t know me or about our life together. Whatever he told you about me and us, is probably a lie. Our marriage wasn’t perfect, but it was based on love, mutual understanding and truth,  Although clearly not enough. You and he carelessly and effortlessly destroyed it. We’re still married, but it will never be the same. Honestly, nothing will. Nothing will ever be the way it was. It can’t. Together you and he destroyed it.

I need nothing from you. Nothing. I wish you didn’t exist. That you would just vanish. Disappear. The last email you sent him (that I saw) was the day he called you to end contact. It was an article about putting relationships on the back burner. I wonder what you’re intent was. M says he doesn’t know, that you never talked of a future. I don’t know. I have a hard time believing him. There’s so many lies and so much time. I know so little. I have serious doubts. I’ll never feel the ease and comfort  he was able to provide before destroying me. I will never know the truth or the all details. It doesn’t matter in the end. What I do know is that your very existence feels threatening to me. It always will.

Continue living your mere pitiful life hiding behind the lies you’ve told your husband. Wallow in your deceptive memories of my husband, but know that it was not real. He lied to you too.

I am moving forward. I don’t know what direction it’s going to take me, but for now it includes my husband. It doesn’t include you. You will never be welcomed again.

You never were. And you can’t be friends.