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Dear Chump Lady, I’m the OW. Do I give his wife the details?

Dear Chump Lady,

I am a new reader to your blog and I am disgusted to say I was the OW. So why, you might ask am I reading a blog about cheaters cheating on their married SOs – especially when you zing the APs pretty well? Deservedly. Because I was in a long-term affair with a married man (MM) for nearly five years, I am not at all proud of this and in fact now see what a delusional total piece of shit I was but it’s over now (nearly six months) and I am moving forward. But something has come up that involves the married man’s wife and I need advice on how to handle the situation.

Over the course of the affair the MM’s wife found out about me approximately 4-5 times. She actually kicked him out once a couple of years back but allowed him back into the home after nearly two weeks. Earlier this year he was let go from the company we both worked for which was pretty much the beginning of the end for he and I. He was home with her 24/7 and she kept him on a short leash. For a couple of months after that our only form of communication was occasional texts from his secret cell phone. This was after he had supposedly recommitted himself to their marriage and promised to go no contact with me, which he being the manipulator he is decided that meant only live and in person contact and did not include texting. For about a year prior to this I began to “dabble” in self-evaluation, I knew what I was doing was wrong, but was still trying to convince myself that True Wuv can find you anywhere. We were just victims of circumstance! He had done the right thing marrying a woman who was pregnant with his child, he was A GOOD MAN for doing this but that didn’t mean he had to be stuck with her forever right? (those were his actual words BTW). We would make it through this together and come out on the other side united and strong and be everyone’s dream couple.

But time wore on and the whole thing just became so draining (lies and deceit and cheating take a lot out of you) and I finally woke up and realized what a loser I was for being involved in such a horribly selfish and destructive “relationship” (if you can call it that). I’ve since been reading anything and everything I can to try and understand my actions for which I take 100% responsibility. I see now that I was NOT entitled to “love at any cost.” Just because you “love” someone does not make it OK to hurt people – it is NEVER OK to knowingly hurt people. It is NEVER OK to overstep the boundary of marriage in insert yourself into ANOTHER woman’s life. When I first met him he cried the usual….only there for the kids, money issues, his wife was fat and unattractive, all her focus was on the kids and they only went through the motions, he only married her because she was pregnant and he would have never chosen her otherwise, as soon as the kids were old enough he was OUT blah blah blah. He said he had never felt about anyone the way he felt about me, and as usual…we were different, special, unique “unicorns” and we were going to show EVERYONE who ever doubted us! And I WANTED to believe him so I did. I made that choice. Ha! I actually feel a mixture of repulsion and humor when I think about accepting such cliché bullshit. I thought I was smarter than that. But no, I was just an asshole. I see how delusional and stupid I was for not only willingly participating in tearing up a marriage and family, but for also believing his self-serving his crap. I not only gave him cake, I accepted the crumbs of that cake. He was/is extremely manipulative and believed that anything was OK as long as it had the outcome that we desired. Finally around July of this year (four months after he lost his job and was not supposed to be contacting me but was still texting from the secret cell phone) I told him to STOP and to fuck off. If he needed an ego boost, get it somewhere else. There was no real “love” between us – that shit was not LOVE. He didn’t love me, he didn’t love his wife, he loved/loves only himself. He has thankfully stopped contacting me and I am resting easy for the first time in years. No more wasted energy on all the shit that goes into an affair (planning, scheming, conniving, secret texting, quick phone calls, pining for him). Ugh!

So here’s the thing, his wife has chosen to remain in the marriage. She told him that it’s because she loves him so much she’s willing to stay and move forward. I’m sure she has her legitimate reasons for staying, but a big reason is because she told him she would never lose him to me (he told me this, imagine the ego boost?). In the past each time she found out about the affair she would guilt and shame him and club him into submission, she’d threaten to tell his kids and his family, and would also remind him of the financial repercussions of divorce. He’d promise her he’d never see me again, and we’d be back fucking at the dingy motel room we’d meet at Monday after work. Bottom line: he’s a fucking liar, she knows it and while I have removed myself from the situation completely she must still deal with the residual fallout. Don’t get me wrong, I was a lying piece of garbage too, the difference is I don’t have a husband who as to deal with the trust issues she has to deal with. Also, I should add that about a year ago she found his original secret cell phone (he had two more after that) and read three months of a text stream. The thought of this makes me ill because no wife should have to read what she did, it was all there…sexting, professions of love, negative speak about her, everything. I know this must be seared in her mind making it horribly difficult to move on.

Cut to now and my reason for writing: in the past six weeks or so I have received four calls from her cell phone. One I ignored and three were missed calls. One was made very late, about 1:15 a.m. I don’t know what to do if she calls again. Should I answer? If she’s calling for information do I give it? I have not seen or spoken to him in months but given our past I’m sure she thinks there Is a possibility that we are still in contact. Also, even though she read three months of our texts there is SO much she doesn’t know. Not only about the affair between he and I, but about HIM in general (he confessed that I was not his first cheat, he’s had a few one night stands over the years while traveling for business) and sooooo much more. I don’t want to inflict any more pain on this woman than I already have. I know from reading through your archives how incredibly painful and damaging affairs are to the person who has been cheated on. I know that every single day she has to think about it and live with it. It makes me sick and I just want to put it all behind me and move on, but that’s easy for me to say right?

CL, if she calls again should I answer and share any info I have if she asks for it? Should I just forever ignore the calls and hopefully they eventually stop? I know I’m scum and I’m not looking for any kind of sympathetic ear I can only continue to work on myself and try to be a better person – and that’s what I’m trying to do. I am remorseful the role I played in this whole nasty mess.

Signed,

SorryOW

Dear Sorry,

Yes. Answer the phone! What good is telling ME you’re sorry? ACT sorry. Apologize to the person you hurt — douchebag’s WIFE.

I’m really glad you feel awful and are working on yourself and everything, but I can’t help but notice you still suffer from a common OW ailment — wife disdain. Who you? Yeah you. I’m not feeling 100% remorse as long as you pepper your narrative with nuggets like “kept him on a short leash” and  “each time she found out about the affair she would guilt and shame him and club him into submission, she’d threaten to tell his kids and his family, and would also remind him of the financial repercussions of divorce.” Club him into submission? Seriously? How was that working for her seeing as the guy was a serial cheater? Guess she didn’t club him hard enough. Or in the right places. He still had equipment to operate with.

I think you clued in after 5 years that your magic romance was a dead end. He wasn’t leaving his wife and it’s a lot harder to sparkle and buy dinners and shit when you’re unemployed. So you ended it. Okay. You dumped the married man, but you maintain your sense of superiority over the wife. You did the pick me dance for five long years, and mentally, you’re still there. “Nanner, nanner boo boo! I’m better than you!” You want to heal from this? Get down from your perch of judgment. Quit competing with her. You don’t KNOW her. Everything you know about that man’s wife was told to you by a practiced liar. A highly manipulative person. She’s lived in your imagination for five years, and you’ve painted her as an old battle ax.

If you’ve read on this site, then you know what chumps do when confronted with evidence of an affair, or what they do in false reconciliation. They throw themselves at saving their marriages, which surprise! requires a large element of policing the person who betrayed them. They make arguments for why marriage is a good option, everything we have together! family! children! — and yes, the life they built together — finances! To lose that is a LOSS. What you describe as “clubbing him into submission” is basic reconciliation 101. Betrayed spouses don’t say, oh hey, go to Vegas. I’m cool if you don’t call. Don’t need to open the mail, or see the bills. I trust you! They’d be IDIOTS. They’re traumatized. They check, they double check. They seek assurance. Douchebag probably reassured her, and then obviously took his affair more underground. She’s undoubtably gone crazy from the gaslighting.

You fell for his shit for FIVE YEARS. She’s been with him much longer and she’s probably got him weeping all over her promising to be a better man. Oh please oh please don’t tell my family and kids. The wife has got serious sunk costs. You, Sorry, you lost crumbs. She’s got a shitload more invested than you did. So don’t judge her. You want to get past this blot on your integrity? You FACE her. You TAKE her call.

You know why you don’t? Because if you pick up that phone, or return that call, you’re going to lose your last shred of superiority. You dumped the guy, but you got to walk away thinking “Well, at least I’m better than her. I’m not so pathetic as to take him back and keep him on a short leash.” You sucker punched her. She doesn’t have one iota of the knowledge of her husband’s fucking around that you have. And if you give her that knowledge, you’re going to level the playing field. You’re going to release that power you’ve had over her — all his secrets. And you can’t tell his secrets without humbling yourself and feeling complicit. To take her call means you’re going to walk into her PAIN. Pain you helped cause. You will feel like shit. That’s why you’re avoiding her.

So you’re sorry, Sorry? You tell her what you know. Starting with that secret cell phone. You tell her you were not the first OW. You answer every question. You tell her about Chump Lady, so we can help her leave that motherfucker. But you don’t presume to tell her to leave him. You can’t. You’re not a chump. She’s going to think you want him back. She’s going to question your motives. You let her take the lead. And you apologize.

And when you’ve done that, then I’ll believe you’re sorry. Be brave and call her back. She deserves the truth.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • At 1:15 in the morning, there is a chance she is just looking for him!!!!! My x did leave me for OW after fucking her (22 year old) on the internet in front of our daughters for at least 7 months. On my birthday he facebook messaged her to tell her he’d told me he was leaving and she was going to get in her car and drive to see him, in our home, at 1am, on my birthday, all over facebook. They would probably both be dead now. Their not telling me before he left preserved their lives. And probably mine too if I think about it. I’m not convinced I’ll ever get over the hurt though some days are better than others (this just isn’t one of them :(. I guess because she is with him, she needs to make educated decisions, but seriously I wish I never knew.

  • You know what else strikes me as hollow? Why didn’t you change your number so neither of them could ever get in touch with you? Why do you know her number? could it be him?

    You are flattering yourself thinking she wants all the details from you after all this time. My money it’s him, looking for a booty call. What’s he got to lose?

    • Ray, that was my thought, too–it’s HIM using his wife’s phone. But what didn’t occur to me is to question why OW would know the wife’s phone number.

  • Take the call, humble yourself and apologize deeply, truly and unconditionally. Answer whatever questions she might have truthfully and without judgement. Apologize again, then leave that woman alone to do whatever she needs to do. Oh, and definitely tell her about this site.

    I agree with CL. You still sound like you feel some superiority over the wife. You are not superior. In fact, you are turd. No integrity, a liar, a cheater. Nothing you do will ever take that stain away from your soul. The best you can do is live the rest of your life with decency and integrity, if you actually possess those qualities.

    Are my words harsh? You’d better believe it. I for one am very, very skeptical about OW/OM who claim they feel bad and want to apologize or tell the betrayed spouse about the affair. I think far more often, what they REALLY want is to blow the marriage apart so they can grab the cheater back up.

    • Glad, she doesn’t want to take the call, and she didn’t mention apologizing. I did. My read of her letter is she’d prefer to let things rest, but wants to know what I think.

      I stand with my advice, to tell, apologize and be humble.

      Facing her would be a step in the right direction toward a life of integrity. I don’t believe every cheater is lost. Just the ones who want to be. Who don’t want to do the hard work on themselves. So, IMO, her soul isn’t “stained” — that sounds like DOOM! I don’t believe in doom. I believe in actions. Some good actions would be take the call, and get some serious therapy.

      I don’t think all cheaters are beyond the beyonds. But I do think it’s the minority of them that own it, feel ashamed, and do the hard work. I’d like to give this poster the benefit of the doubt that yes, she feels awful. Now, I’d like her to act on those sentiments. Sorry is as sorry does.

        • Arnold, I think 5 years of cake eating, of double life leading, is disordered. I think 5 years of crumbs, of being a side dish fuck is simply pathetic. I get the impression OW is single. If she’s married, and leading a double life on her husband? Then I agree, that’s disordered.

          • Sounds like the hag my “spouse” hooked up with for the past ten years. She’s also married, but without children…AND she’s “sorry”. These people SUCK. Sorry for what??? Sorry for participating in a deceitful, disgusting affair? Sorry for hurting the children and families? I think they are sorry they were caught, or were dumped. They are sorry that the days of trips, Broadway shows, gifts, B&B’s, porn-swap, … are over.

    • I agree with you, GIO– the OW may feel bad in some ways, but her letter (and the over the top self-shaming) doesn’t read like someone who is genuinely remorseful. I don’t know if she wants to blow up the marriage so she can get the cheater for herself, but it sounds like no matter the motivation, she really, really, really misses the drama. This isn’t an OW trying to get information to the betrayed wife– it’s an OW who is looking for an avenue of reentry into the drama.

      Plus, five (FIVE!) years! An then she suddenly sees the light when the cheater loses his job? Yikes.

  • Wow, CL, your response was brilliant–completely dead-on. SorryOW, whatever you decide, I’d love to read an update.

  • Remorse, like love, is a matter of action. Not words. Action.

    It is nonsensical for a cheater to say he loved his spouse while cheating. It is equally nonsensical for anyone involved in an affair to say he or she is remorseful unless they have taken every action in their power to reduce the harm they caused.

    Some actions you should take, to start on a path to true remorse:

    1. BE TRUTHFUL. Tell the woman you helped hurt (think of yourself as having held her arms behind her back while her husband punched her in the gut) that you had an affair with her husband and then offer to answer every single question she has for you. Every. Single. One. Let her decide how much she wants to know, but she deserves to know the story of her own life, which includes the story of her marriage. Also, offer to document what you tell her in an affidavit if she thinks she might need it in any divorce or child custody proceedings. Remorse is willing to be sorry by light of the noonday sun.

    2. BE QUIET. Give her your contact information and tell her you will be available whenever she has any questions but otherwise . . . never contact her again.

    3. BE DIFFERENT. Never again engage in any inappropriate contact with any married person. Don’t even get close. No flirting. No discussing relationship problems with married co-workers of the opposite sex. And avoid friends who are cheaters, too. Like an addict, you need to change the world around you if you want to maintain the change within yourself.

    • ~she deserves to know the story of her own life, which includes the story of her marriage~

      This made me cry Nomar, because I realize no matter how far I come or how well I do, I’ll never know the “story of my own life,” the 25 years with my cheating ex. The bit I do know is not pretty, but I’ll never know or have the chance to understand (if there is even anything tomunderstand ither than sociopathy amd selfishness). If the OW can give the wife some information, some closure, at least she will know this partof her story.

      • Ah Kelly – so beautifully put. Tears in my eyes for you and for me and all the chumps who have been denied the stories of their lives.

        • It’s the hardest part, isn’t it?

          Knowing some of the disgusting turns that happened while you were with the cheater. But knowing that you’ll never get closure, and that you’ll never know the full story, nor understand the exact why of it.

          I grieve for us all for having to live that way.

          If this OW really is remorseful, she has a chance to do something to help a chump. What a wonderful opportunity. I wish she was really remorseful, so she’d give someone that closure… but actually, I doubt it.

      • Kelly, I also know that the info I have on what my ex did during our 20 year marriage is just the tip of the iceberg. I think it’s best that you and I DON’T know the whole stories, because I am sure what we don’t know is really, really ugly and perverted. I figure I know way too much about what a cheater and liar my ex was, and what a horrible, abusive husband. I spent way too long brooding and thinking about it, but now I’m pushing it out of my mind. I don’t want to waste any more precious time thinking about the awful things my ex did. I know the story of my OWN life, and the stuff I don’t know about, well, that is HIS burden to carry, not mine.

        • I tend to agree with you GIO. I really don’t need to know all the gory details to know that what STBX did was enough to keep me from ever wanting to be married to him again. I know enough. Anything more is just acid in the wounds I am trying to heal. And having been through a false reconciliation for nearly 17 – yes, SEVENTEEN years – which included the birth of my wonderful daughter, I also know that had the first OW wanted to share everything there was to tell with me, I would not have been ready or willing to hear it. I had to hit MY breaking point before truly accepting that my marriage had no hope of succeeding. That said – I know there are many of you who need to know, and feel the chumped wife in this situation deserves to know. I appreciate that opinion. I just know that for me, it would serve no purpose.

      • Kelly — you do know the story of your life. You spent a chunk of it with someone who cared more for himself than you. that is his character flaw, not your fault. Sometimes the answer that someone is just a creep is all the answer there is.

        “understanding why” was my biggest sticking point. I didn’t understand the why behind his actions, and I felt as if I couldn’t act correctly (whatever that was) until I understood why. Then,one day that was faaaar too many years down the road, I realized that I didn’t have to understand the why. I just had to understand what “was,” and act accordingly. The reasons made no difference except to make me think that maybe I could have done something differently to…make him an homest person? By focusing on the situation — his actions and not the reasons behind them — I could figure out what I wanted to do. And one of the things that I try to do is not give him any more if my time/life/space in head. He had 21 years — now when I (rarely) think of him, I picture the word CREEP in big red letters.

  • CL’s advice is spot on. This woman deserves to know exactly to what she is married.

    Talk to the woman. Tell her that yes, indeed it is over. Tell her what she needs to know about his habits and his lying (without including anymore gory details than she gleaned from that little text fest). She probably isn’t going to be real polite to you (DUH!!), but you need to have patience, suck it up, and deal.

    Oh, and by all means send her to this boards. She can learn a lot here about how to look out for herself. (FIVE YEARS! What a cum-stain!) It’s a foregone conclusion that Fuckwad McCheaty isn’t going to look out for the best interests of her…or any woman. All he is going to do is run around continuing to screw up (literally) women’s lives, and sooner or later he is going to catch and share, “a gift or two that keep on giving.”

    Once the deed is done, change your phone number, leave this whole mess in your past, find a decent SINGLE guy, and pray everyday that some biotch doesn’t do to you what you helped do to her…and, of course, yourself.

    • You know so much she does not know…and what might she know that he never shared with you?
      If you are truly sorry then block the number and stay out of their lives. Yes, she has a rotten marriage and her husband lies and screws around. That is their business and she probably knows anyway.
      It sounds to me like you miss the drama, the dream that this wonderful man would be all yours one day and maybe resent having invested all those years waiting. Maybe if you tell her she will divorce him and it will finally come together.
      He is her problem now so leave them alone to do what they will and focus on your own life.

  • I need some support – I had a breakdown tonight. Checked my exs FB profile and saw a pic of him and OW… Feel like shit. He fucked my whole head up…. Why do they do this and say they love you?…

    • They do this so that they can continue to eat cake. They say they love you but it’s like holding out a treat to a dog and making it shake hands, roll over, or sit. That’s the treat he dangles in front of you to get a response. It means nothing to him. CL says to trust that he sucks. Watch what he does… not what he says. What he *does* is flaunt the OW. Someone who really loves you doesn’t behave like that. I don’t even know you, other than that you’re a chump sibling, and I wouldn’t do that to you. And he claims he cares? I’m sorry that it’s going to hurt for a while. But the pain is energy. The anger is energy. After a while, you’ll learn how to focus that energy towards healing and meh. Please hang in there… it will get better. Sending you long-distance virtual hugs. 🙂

      • Thanks sunny – sometimes the pain is unbearable knowing the truth now. They seem so happy – you know? How are people happy screwing other people over? I will never understand that.

        • Simple…..absolute selfishness…. And just know this, people, no matter what it may seem like, are RARELY as blissfully happy as they seem on FB and Twitter… It’s not a chronicle of real life and truth, it’s a highlight real of epic BS proportions….

        • Hey Gottotgetbetter….

          I’m three months after D-Day, and I’ve been doing a little experiment lately.

          I dont’ know your situation, but I assume you are still living in the same house, this means either you are trying to reconcile, or haven’t had the courage yet to extract yourself from it by taking steps to consult a lawyer, etc., I’m imagining.

          First of all, you MUST MOVE FORWARD. Get a lawyer. Get your ducks lined up. Take steps to move away from this toxic relationship. Even if you don’t feel up to it, go through the motions. It will help you climb out of this huge hole you are in.

          The experiment I’ve been doing lately, is to ensure whenever I am within communicating distance of the ex, I display either indifference, or outright happiness. I don’t always feel it. But I do it anyway. And you know what? It makes him crazy. I had some music on the other day and was in the kitchen making lunch. I was singing to the music. It was happy music.

          Boy, he was not at all happy to see me happy. I was supposed to be there miserable, doing the pick me dance and crying! No ego kibbles for him today. He was not the sun. I wasn’t revolving around him.

          He stomped into the other room, picked up his keys, and went out somewhere. I don’t want to think of where or with whom… but the mere fact that seeing me happy made him angry… well, that spoke volumes.

          So, the point is, even if you don’t FEEL strong, ACT strong anyway. Eventually, your emotions will catch up with your actions, and you will start to live what you are portraying… and eventually, he will matter less and less, and you will get yourself back.

          Make a start!

    • You really think he loves you? if he did then he wouldn’t be posting her on there now would he….stop torturing yourself…don’t look at it….he’s a fucktard and believe me others will see him there with his smug grin and his twat and they will know what he’s about if they already don’t. He might impress one or two but I can guess their IQ equals the number of dick’s I have but trust me others are disgusted and laughing at him and know exactly how much of an ASS he is. I made a mistake of going in restaurant once after seeing my exes car outside…I’m lucky I’m not in jail, it’s all I could do not beating the shit out of him. I know it hurts it really does… but guess what – it didn’t last- they were a disaster and fought all the time and he was also fucking around on her too LOL… SHE got what she deserved and so will your EX. Best of all you don’t need him anymore and she has to deal with his pathetic shit. You WILL get by this stage trust me. I found out who I was and also found amazing people to be around . They are little shallow people and will have nothing one day and they will run out of people to bullshit and the ones they have bullshitted get tired of the story. He’s shit …flush the toilet and don’t look back.

    • Gottogetbetter – at times like this the pain can be overwhelming – we’ve all been there – you’re NOT alone. Can you call someone?

    • If you need someone to call, you can call me….I’m still half-in and like most stories on here it is an epic saga. I’m currently dealing with actions that in no way match up with words…..anyway, drop me an email and I’ll send you my number and we can curse them and commiserate anytime! Chin up!

      • Thanks so much everyone. I really had a tremendous break down last night and acted out very badly by texting my exes brother and letting him know all the sordid things his brother did. He has that picture up and it makes me sick. He said when I first found out about the affair that it was just lust. Now a year later they are together… It make my head spin. He claimed to love me so much and in the end he shat all over me and now is looking so gloriously happy with that skank. It makes me so sick… I was so depressed all night and I couldn’t sleep even with 3 Tylenol pms. When the hell am I ever going to feel normal again? Can people really love you and treat you this way?

          • Hey Gottogetbetter, drop me an email at eemalina@hotmail.com, we can exchange info there. Believe it or not, I JUST got out of bed , like 20 minutes ago after a long night of texting and a phone call from my stbx….in which, as usual, yet another detail came out that shattered one more fragment of my decimated heart….He’s in his “caring” phase and thus texted me this morning, when I didn’t reply immediately, I get the “OK….I get it” passive-aggressive crap….this shit is exhausting….I mean why the big push now? The holidays? And it would be one thing if there wer sincerity involved, which maybe there is, right along with rainbows and sparkling unicorns…..but how in the fuck do these people expect you to even dream of trusting them EVER???? It feels like a big ass game to me…Oh wait! There’s my dinging text tone, let’s see what he has to say now…..

            • Oh, the passive aggressive crap is the worst!

              It’s like this big, black hole where you fill in the blanks with your own non-damaged character, thinking, “He’s going to come to his senses” or “I wonder what’s up?” Argh.

              You two both hang in there. Let me know if I can e-mail you too!

              I’m 3 months past D-Day, still living with the cheater. He is being served with a settlement offer today. The sh%t is going to hit the fan. At least I will see his true side when that happens.

              • Feel free to email me, frankly I can use all the support I can get. I am still “with” my stbx in a manner of speaking, long story, but aren’t they all? Tonight’s round of texts were poetic idealizations like, “I lay myself at your feet, do with me what you will, my heart will never be whole until you’re back in it”, ” I will always, always love you, and no one else for as long as I live” and of course within the space of 20 minutes and as many texts, it’s, ” fine, whatever. Goodnight.” it’s nerve wracking and infuriating. He gets me all emotional, sad and wound up and then slams the fucking door in my face….i must be some sort of co-dependant masochist…so like I said, all the help I can get. Happy Chumps-giving from Texas!

            • I’m in the city. Not as many years but have been pretty much devastated for the last year since I found out.

  • One year after I found out the real reason that my husband was going to be able to finally be happy, the skank OW, and just before the divorce became final, I took the flight to crazy town and wrote the skank OW whom I knew for many years and in fact was her friend before she became his F—Buddy. The first thing that I told her was that no one had a right to get into anyone else’s marriage. I described all of their meetings to something comparable to very old senior citizens rooting. And I took that theme to great heights. Like I said, CRAZY TOWN. I didn’t threaten anything, I just described how disgusting they were in graphic detail. I also told her the names of the younger, more desirable women that he fantasized about. I mentioned that their actions were no secret from my family, our friends, and his family. I called her a home wrecker etc. I said she had caused the ruin of our family. I tried to be concise and keep it to one page so she would red it.

    She wrote me back. She did the NA NA NEE NA NA dance. She told me that they were merely “exploring a relationship”. She said that maybe they should have waited until he was divorced but assured me that the BOTH of them were sorry that they hurt me. She wished that I could create something wonderful for myself. She knew that I told many others about their affair and said that I ruined their reputations. she also said that SHE never told her children about her divorce unlike me. It was work of art of an NPD intent on proving her superiority to me. All of what she said told me that she was in a war for a man and she felt proud that she won.

    Sorry OW, your letter to CL confirms to me that Hoebag Ann, the skank, was trying to make herself look superior. In spite of the fact that she held my arms behind my back while he hit me in the gut so to speak, she wanted me to know that she of course was the better person and my wrecked family was all my fault. You have no idea the intensity of pain that you have help inflect on someone else. If she calls again, take your licks, offer your apologies, and then act like you realize just what hell you enhanced. Then live like you should.

    • Why do they always say we ruined their reputations? It’s not like we were there helping them get naked and busy – we simply told the truth when it was revealed and they really, really don’t like that. Always astounds me.

    • Mott I think I know just who you are talking about ! sounds exactly like something my ex douche did…hmmmm interesting coincidence

  • I’m glad Chump Lady called out the wife disdain. The pathetic little wife who is desperate or mean or ugly. You act like you know her because you screwed the same man. You don’t know her.

    You only know what he told you. You said yourself he is a “fucking liar.”

    Be sincere. Be honest. Pick up the damn phone.

  • I think it’s better just not to open the door to communication with the wife. It will only hurt the wife more, and make you feel more falsely justified, because, yeah, “he’s cheated before you. ” I say send a copy of the CL’s letter and response to her and leave them the hell alone! The only reason for your consern is you”lost” the war for that man. You’ve lost your empowerment and now you have to face the consiquences that your truely a loser and a cheater. 5 years with a false relationship is hard to bear. Not to mention you must feel very lonely. I mean, who likes cheating woman? I’m sure you felt so sorry for her while you were sneaking around to ride your True Love in your special places.(cough cough) . I bet you felt like such a great Prize because the ” controlling fat wife ” didn’t know. I’m so amazing in bed!! Yada yada yada. You don’t have any consern for her, you just want to hurt him, and cause trouble. Get over yourself! Get the hell away! Stop messing around with married men!

    • I am with you Living. Do not call, do not answer the phone, change your number, act like you never existed, disappear from their lives, be dead. Why get in their lives again. The wife already knows enough. For myself, there is nothing more I ever wanted than for OW to disappear, delete email account, change phones, sell her vacation condo where they hooked up …. I am tired of playing the marriage polices or wondering what may happen a few months, years from now

  • All OWs (unless they’re just young and naive, and often then too) are losers. Especially one who was involved with a married man for 5 (!) years. Hello, what’s wrong with this woman that she can’t get a real man? She’s a desperate, pathetic, weak, loser of a human being, that’s what. Married cheaters are not hard to land; they’ll go out with any vagina that says yes. This OW thinks she was special, but her lying ass cheater was probably telling his own wife what a loser the OW was.

    My cheater told me that I was way hotter, way better in bed, smarter, more fun, a better mom, a better human being, etc, etc., than the OW. Everyone else who knew her said the same. So if that were true, you ask, then why did my husband ditch me for the OW? Well, Ex told me that she was the only one who’d put up with his cheating, since she was so desperate for a man and unlikely to find anyone else on account of being so unattractive, overweight, sucky in bed (according to both my ex and her Ex), whiny personality, etc, etc. Yeah, he’s a liar, but I knew both of them pretty well, and he was right…

    Not saying all this to make myself look better, but just want to point out that research shows that most cheaters’ wives are Way more attractive than OWs in every way. But Cheaters want cake so they go with whomever they think will let them have it (in many cases OW, since shes already putting up with him cheating on her with the wife anyway). That’s probably also why so many cheaters who leave become so angry at their exes. They realize that they gave up a quality woman and got stuck with a loser. SorryOW, CL is right. Get off your high horse and get a reality check. You weren’t even worth that loser cheater leaving his wife for. Not only is she way better than you, but on top of that you also owe her. The least you could do is take her call.

    • Everyone told my STBX that he married way out of his league when he married me. Maybe that is why he is so angry to me. I didn’t do anything but value the marriage and him BUT finally filed for Divorce after the 2nd (known) affair wouldn’t stop (over a year). Yet I’m the bad guy because he never left me. I was supposed to be ever so thankful that he didn’t “leave”. What he doesn’t realize is that he “left” the marriage when he started affair #1.

      • Dazed, you are probably even way more out of his league than your friends thought, especially now that he’s been shown to be a lying cheater. And you also prove my theory: You wouldn’t put up with his cheating, so he (presumably) had to go to OW or look for someone else who would. And actually, my case isn’t so dissimilar. I say “he ditched me for the OW,” but the truth is, first I kicked him out of the house, filed for divorce, and conditioned our reconciliation on him going NC with the OW. He essentially left me when it became apparent that I wasn’t going to let him have us both (though obviously OW was ok with that). Once again, all evidence points to OWs not only being lower quality than the spouses but their also having much lower standards.

      • Dazed, this is SO common! My ex actually reassured his mom, during his first affair, that he ‘wasn’t going to leave me or break up our family’. She was the one who informed him that if it didn’t end right away, I would be the one to leave. Guess he hadn’t believed it when I said it!

        I almost wish the ex hadn’t stopped fucking the first OW, ’cause then I would have been out of that stupid marriage seven years earlier.

    • There was a study done fairly recently that studied (male) cheaters and their affair partners and the conclusion, to paraphrase, was that the affair partners were usually blowing big time smoke up the cheater’s ass, telling them they were the greatest thing in the world, their love was the best ever, etc. They weren’t universally better looking and generally they were less accomplished than the betrayed spouse. It goes to the theory of the cheater finding the weakest in the pack and honing in. I would say that’s true with nearly all my ex’s affair partners. Final OW is much younger, new to her career and sees ex as this big swinging, successful hero. She doesn’t see behind the facade. Yet.

      • Amazing what smoke will do! I wonder if it ever really gets old. You just know what passes for conversation is 1. How HOT you are, mister! 2. How much of a fool/bitch/crone your (ex)wife is. I personally could not be compensated enough in money, houses, cars and trips to stifle my intellect to the degree needed to keep one of these cheater’s self esteems propped up.

        • Oh, yeah — I forgot the biggest joke of all — This smoke blowing and sexing is called “Respect” lololololol

        • Back after dday, but during the nightmarish five months I still lived in same house as ex, I saw an email from his OW. She wrote all sorts of gushing nonsense about how wonderful it was when they could be together (they were fucking in my minivan, how great could it have been?) and how WONDERFUL ex was, so terrific. She ended by writing, “I just know you are going to be a STAR, sigh!” LOLOLOLOL! ha ha, snort giggle! I guess in her defense, he had not yet come out with the two dancing bigfoot videos (though they were in the works) and had not yet done the leotard dancing number. But still, she’d seen him act. Talk about blowing smoke!

          On a related note, he’s now focusing his attention on the dancing bigfoot again, and told our son a week ago that he “senses that the time has come for it to go huge.” I’m sensing that he’s probably wrong, and definitely needs some sort of meds. 😀

          • Hmmm…go huge…where? On YouTube?

            The dancing bigfoot video *must* go huge, because that what he needs to justify him giving up everything (and everyone, including his wife?!) for his acting career. Or maybe his current acting “jobs” are drying up and he is trying to squeeze a few more YouTube likes out the old stuff.

            I wonder what your son thinks of your ex’s antics on YouTube….

          • Glad, it’s so great that he put all the evidence needed for his eventual mental institution commitment hearing out there for your or your son or for whomever to use for that. Crazy.

      • Yep, that totally fits the bill in my case. OW is older than I am, jobless, no savings, no kids, engages in self-destructive behavior (alcoholism, perhaps now an eating disorder?)–BUT! She is pretty and blonde (like his mom) and thinks of herself as the nurturing type, what with two chihuahuas (he HATES dogs). She loves spiritual quotes, but also man-bashing “jokes.” He told me all about her before he left. In his mind, she is highly accomplished…at…hmmm…scuba diving, and…??? He says she is extremely manipulative, BUT, she loves him for who he really is (ahaahahahh!) He believes her when she tells him she never loved anybody but him in the nearly 30 years that they were apart, having once been fuck-buddies while she was in high school and he was in college. Nice! What a dope. Guess that’s why he’s so angry–he got duped. But now she’s all he’s got.

        Ick.

  • I loved CL’s response to this post. It certainly hit a nerve with me. 5 years, 5 whole years!!! I hope the wife finds this site, I can only imagine how lost she feels. I was on the hunt for the reconciliation unicorn for 2 years and almost completely lost myself in the process. The part of CL’s response that really spoke to me was when she said. “Everything you know about that man’s wife was told to you by a practiced liar. A highly manipulative person. She’s lived in your imagination for five years, and you’ve painted her as an old battle ax.”
    My STBX had affairs with two co-workers.

    It was awful kissing him goodbye every morning and telling him to have a good day when I knew he would be spending the entire day with her. All the while trying not to be a “bitch”, annoying, demanding, etc. I couldn’t win, it was impossible. And I have NEVER been described (not once) using those words by anyone other than by HIM (and probably them).
    Funny part is that neither OW knows about the other!!! They both think they are “special”. I have thought about letting that cat out of the bag many times but I’m trying to get to MEH and I think that he would perceive that as me still doing the pick me dance.

  • Personally, I don’t give a shit what OW/Ms have to say. They have crap for morals, crap for integrity, crap for judgement. They are, by definition, people who are willing to totally devastate the lives of innocent others for what: pleasure? a sense of superiority? belonging? a need to feel that they matter? I don’t really give a fuck, personally.

    Anyone who can be an OW for five years deserves nothing more than a slap upside the head, and being outed at work and anywhere else that matters.

    Reading the legal records of my STBX’s OW, she had clearly had at least 3 previous marriage-destroying affairs, with mine the 4th. It was a nasty habit she had, while cloaking herself in Christian baloney.

    I say, no mercy. This is an adult who knew very well what she was about, to quote Brigadier Hugh, Earl Percy (who rescued the Brit troops who had their asses handed to them at Concord in 1775.)

    I’m not interested in their “remorse”. I’m interested in their disappearance from the face of the earth, along with the married scumbags to whom they attach.

    But, what do I really think? hmmm.

  • Call her. Face the consequences. They will not be pretty-because you have fucked around with the mental welfare of innocent children. My ex lives with the OW, it is Twu Wuv. But my DD cuts herself in order to cope….so you will find out a lot more of what SHOULD have been on your conscience from the get go. Infidelity effects children immensely- how would you feel, waking up one day to know your Dad’s preferred reality hasn’t got you or you Mum in it?

    Suck it up. Call. Show some remorse, not genuine imitation naugahyde remorse, real remorse.

    CL is right- and none of us are damning you out of hand, brave of you to post here.

    You asked, we told you. It is not going to be pleasant or easy for you, but full credit for thinking about it. CL is right about your ‘tells’- you ain’t sorry for what you did, you are sorry for getting caught.

    Oh yeah, and your lover? USING both of you. Find a single guy, and hope to hell he won’t cheat on YOU.

    At least you were a secret OW which is bad enough, but chances are you haven’t been as secret as you thought. People are rarely as stupid as cheaters need them to be. That includes you.

    Give this woman the knowledge she needs to protect her kids-which is that their dad lies, cheats and steals (time with you was time from them), then change your number and find a new place to be a good person in. If they split, destroying the family ain’t just on him, it is on you, too. But don’t worry, he will blame his traumatized, emotionally abused wife for that part.

    And good luck-I really mean it. Your thinking about calling means you have some shreds of empathy, which is in your favour as a human being.

  • OW, call her. Tell her everything she needs to know. Being lied to and wondering what is reality is the worst thing.

    Remember, you are dealing with a selfish liar. I got told:
    if it wasn’t her, it would have been someone else (yes, that is how special you are. You were just stupid enough to fall for his BS and offer up your vagina and your admiration)
    she was just a c–t and a pair of tits (that is a lie)
    it was a fantasy.
    We blew smoke up eachother’s arse.
    I was never looking to replace you.

    But ultimately, do you know what you did? You knowingly participated in the emotional, sexual and financial abuse of other people who have done absolutely NOTHING to you. How could you hurt children? How could you?
    And that is entirely on YOU. Nothing to do with him, her, YOU. You have got a lot to be sorry about, you lost your integrity and you are not a person to be proud of.
    What are you going to do about that? Repentence means ‘changing the way you think’. The 12 steps talk about ‘making amends’, which is changing the way you behave.
    What are you going to do, OW?

      • People always say that, but it’s the biggest cop out ever: “If the married man doesn’t respect his own marriage, why should I?” Seriously? Are you that much of a follower that if someone else was jumping off a bridge, you would too? If a man was physically abusing his wife or kids, you’d join in also? I could go on with the analogies, but I think you get it. That married man and wife have a legal, social, financial, personal, spiritual, and (often) religious contract. Who the hell are you to destroy it and injure his poor, innocent unknowing wife and kids? No way am I saying that the cheater doesn’t deserve enormous guilt and blame. But the OW/ M is literally a partner in crime, murdering a marriage and family.

  • Because she is different from him, and responsible for her own actions and choices. What she CHOSE to DO, was knowingly PARTICIPATE in the emotional, sexual and financial abuse of other people.

    That is entirely on her. Separate from him.

  • SorryOW – You know how CheaterMan used to tell you stuff about how the wife was a drag? Lies. You know what he told his wife, once the affair was exposed? The SAME thing he previously said about her- that *you’re* a drag. You can bet that he told his wife that he doesn’t love you (and never did), that you were a cheap lay and didn’t mean anything – you were a bad decision, a *mistake*. Yep. You can kiss that superiority goodbye. Seriously.

    This is what my STBX did, too. Told me bad stuff about the OW. Plus, I could do the math. He was sleeping with me (his wife) all during his affair. If OW was his Twu Wuv, he wouldn’t have done that. Most cheaters keep on sleeping with their spouses. If your CheaterMan told you he wasn’t sleeping with his wife, he was probably lying about that, too. And his wife is probably hot, and fun and all that stuff. He is a *liar* and told you she’s a hag because it makes it easier to cheat.

    My guess? You are fed up with CheaterMan not leaving his wife and have realized that you’ve been lied to for the past 5 years. You’re heartbroken and pissed off. That’s why you’re leaving, *not* because you feel sorry for his wife. You didn’t mind him lying to *her*, you just don’t like him lying to *you.*

    My guess is that if he left his wife *today* and proposed to you, you’d say yes, and happily go off on your honeymoon, saying “Finally!” with a sigh of relief.

    But that’s not going to happen. And you know it now. So there’s nothing to justify the past 5 years of lying (it wasn’t Twu Wuv after all….darn it). All you have is a shady relationship that you couldn’t openly share with your friends and family, consummated in dingy motels, to quote you. Past five years? Pretty much wasted, with nothing to show for it.

    Plus, the knowledge that if it wouldn’t have been you he cheated with, it would have been someone else (if he wasn’t also having one-night stands with other OW while traveling for business, that is!). Nonetheless, you were a player in a very sad game, and Karma will remember your address.

    Take the Wife’s phone calls, and answer every question, with respect and humility. It takes balls to do this. She deserves to know, so she can make an informed decision about her own life.

  • OW, these chumps are telling you their pain, but I’ll bet if given the time they could fill pages of what anguish their children felt. I watched my brother’s children revert back to infancy and they were years past that. They couldn’t dress themselves, feel themselves and would stare into space when they weren’t screaming in agony. Be sure and pat yourself on the back that it took you FIVE FUCKING YEARS to dump him. Be sure to think about his children every day and when/if you have any of your own be sure and look at their father and wonder if he will shit on you and them they way you and your lover did his kids. Tell the wife. Let her get checked by a ob/gyn because he is probably a walking lab experiment by now.

  • I’ve been stalking this site for a few months. I have to speak up on this one. OW answer the phone… The courage she must have had to pull together just to dial the first time must have been immense. If it is her contacting you this could be one of the steps she needs to take to figure out her next step. She isn’t who you think she is. If she were so awful why did/does he remain there. What makes you think he was ever truthful or sincere to you. Answer her questions, knowledge is power. Let her unleash her anger on you, you are the manifestation of all the pain she will feel for a long time to come and the pain her children will have to suffer for the rest of their lives. Make no mistake, the woman my husband left for will always be the focus of my anger because of the pain she causes my son because daddy doesn’t live with us anymore and we can’t do the things we use to do because of what they took from him (the OW in my case was a very close friend, we spent time together as families my H and hers were the best of friends. My son lost so much because of their selfish actions, 2 families destroyed beyond repair and the children damaged, forever. Yes, forever. What they did will influence their lives and decisions forever). She, his wife, gets to deal with the fall out, not you and not him. She didn’t choose this, he did and you did. Can you imaging having other people make decisions about your life, that you are forced to live with that are this horrific? You can’t, don’t even try. I can’t even explain to you the pain, loss of control, bewilderment, physical pain, in ability to breathe that I feel and that just scratches the surface. You did that, anything she says to you or asks you will never cause you the amount of pain she feels or devastate your world enough to even compare to hers. Maybe the conversation you have with her will open your eyes to what you actually did and prevent you from doing it again. Maybe you will realize how special you are not, you were a hole in the fence, anyone could have been on the other side. Everything he said to you was part of his tried and true script, things he knows a woman would want to hear to justify sleeping with a married man. He’ll do it again to someone else.

  • SorryOW, I think you should call her back and ask what she wants. Really listen and give it to her. She may be trying to decide to divorce, she may need reassurance from you the affair is over. Do send her here to Chump Lady.

    I read your letter 3 times and it seems to me you kicked this guy because you no longer believed he would leave his wife, not because you reached an epiphany about your lack of ethics and integrity. I hope you will get into therapy and explore how you could have done this, how you could treat yourself so badly if nothing else. I’m not going to beat you up, I see no point to it. If you are truly coming to realize your shit then you will beat yourself up with no help from anyone here. If you aren’t really sincere in recognizing your shit then maybe you wrote in to absolve yourself. I have no idea how it takes five years to realize you are fucking people over and decide to stop it. Sounds more like you were hoping CL would tell you not to talk to the wife, like you need an out so you won’t feel any worse than you do. She didn’t give you one. Most chumps have a lot of anger at the OW/OM on this site. Me, I’m glad OW was committed to winning my ex, now I’m free of him. And even with that, at one point I did want to talk to her, to ask her how in hell she justified her behavior, why she would do such a thing. Hell, I wanted to let her know that he was lying to her as much as he was lying to me. So yeah, call the wife back. Take a bit of the pain the affair inflicted on the guys wife and kids upon yourself. It’s worse than the pain you suffered when you realized the cheater wasn’t going to leave and marry you, that I can tell you for sure.

  • ahhh, no. I’m not convinced. I think there is a lingering covert ugliness here. A final Jerry Springer-like, sour-grapes revenge, on the wife he didn’t leave for you. One final destructive punch, to exact revenge on him, but also, to make sure his wife knows what he’s done, so that, if she stays, she cannot maintain any self respect, or have any faith in her husbands love. The ultimate gotcha. If a narcissist wants what you’ve got, and they can’t steal it from you, they taint it or break it, or just make sure you don’t want it any more.

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