Dear Chump Lady,
A few months ago my world was turned upside down. I received a letter from a someone claiming that she was the other woman.
My story is a little bit different from most that I read on your site, as I have only been married about two years, from what she says, the affair was going on for a couple of years before we were married, and continued until recently when he realized that she was about to find out about me. When I first read her letter I was sick. I couldn’t believe someone would make up such lies, and in my head I still feel that way, but the more I read what she wrote me, the more I believe in my gut that what she says is true, but I don’t want to believe it. I want to believe that she really is just a jealous woman that he went to lunch with a few times because they are from the same home town. I want to believe that he is the wondeful kind man that I married. The one that I thought was perfect for me. He is sweet, handsome, smart, funny, we work I the same industry and have so much in common, everyone loves him. Including my family. I dont want to believe her.
In her letter she told me she told me that they were friends long before they started sleeping together, and that they spoke everyday. HOW is that possible????????? If it’s true, that hurts the most. I think I could deal with a one night stand, that could be a mistake I could get past, but if he has been sleeping with a close friend, who acording to her, contacted me as soon as she found out, how do I get past this???? How could he do this??? I have given him everything. He moved in with me when we got married, I’ve introduced him to so much, we had a beautiful wedding, my family has loved him like their own, and he still kept seeing her!!??
She told me how he explained away moving out of his bachelor apartment, she knew so much about what he has done recently, so much about his life, his family, she knew so much!
I need to know what you think about letters like this??? Are they usually true or bullshit?? I don’t want to believe that he is capable of the lies.
And I need to know WHY he married me if he was seeing her this whole time????????
I’m smart, I’m successful, I’ve given him everything. But according to the letter, he initiated the friendship, he wanted it to become more, and he wanted to see her so much more than shen she was able to. Now she wants nothing to do with him.
What do I believe??? That my wonderful husband was lying for years, or that she is a crazy jealous woman??
Chicago is a big city, but how did he think that I would never find out??? If its true, they have mutual friends that they grew up with???? WTF was he thinking???? I feel like I don’t believe her because he just couldn’t be that stupid.
I’m so afraid my heart is going to be broken.
I would believe her. I had a very similar thing happen to me, but before I bore you with my story, let’s review yours. This woman contacted you, she knew many intimate, recent and past events in your husband’s life, and your gut says she’s right, he was cheating. Did she give you her name or contact information? One way to put this to rest would be to simply ask her for some emails he sent. Or check your cell phone bills. Or ask her for his secret cell phone number. As she’s supposedly broken it off (hmmm… you never know there. OW are about as reliable as cheaters, she may want to throw down the gauntlet in the pick me dance…) she shouldn’t mind outing him further.
You could, of course, confront him. I wouldn’t do that, because cheaters only cop to what they think you know, and he’ll spin it pretty and tell you exactly what you want to believe — she’s a jealous ex-girlfriend. He’ll gaslight you, and because you’re so invested, and heart broken, you’ll want to believe him. So — let’s please avoid him for the time being.
You need to become the marriage police. I’m sorry, but before you detonate your marriage, you probably want some proof. Get on his computer, check his phone, key logger, GPS, voice activated recorder, private investigator (assuming the woman gave you anything to go on).
Could he be that stupid? HelloOoo — have you read my site? They’re ALL that stupid. Every cheating one of them. Flamboyantly stupid. Risk taking, playing you for a fool, is all part of the high. It’s what gives affairs that frisson of danger and excitement — colossal stupidity and entitlement. Damn straight he’s that stupid.
Which is good, because they get sloppy when they think you’re still a chump. He feels entitled to your trust, so play along.
There is a chance I may be replying too late and you already confronted him. If you got defensiveness, if he’s balking at transparency, pop checks on his email or phone accounts, if he’s strangely indifferent to your distress — those are huge red flags. On the very, very off chance this person is a loon and is making it all up (How? She’s been stalking his social media for four years? Carefully piecing together a plausible narrative of his comings and goings?) — an innocent spouse should be beside himself with grief and a heartfelt desire to do ANYTHING to assuage your fears. A polygraph. An ankle monitor. Standing on his head reciting the pledge of allegiance. Anything to demonstrate his distress and fear that you could believe such a thing.
Faux remorse? Anger? Defensiveness? Blah WTFeverness? Blameshifting — how COULD you think such a thing of ME, if you thought I was that sort of person you shouldn’t be with me! You get that shit? Yeah, IMO he’s a cheater.
Whatever stage of disclosure you’re at, may I also suggest seeing a lawyer soonest? You need competent legal advice. People who are this versatile at double lives will fuck you over a multitude of other ways as well, especially financially. You mentioned he moved in with you, you’ve shown him a good life, etc. — apparently, you’re of use to him. So protect yourself legally and financially.
Now to your question — how could he DO this? Best not to look too deeply into that skein of fuckupedness. He could do it because he’s a con. Because he’s shallow and traffics in kibbles instead of deep love and intimacy. Sparkly people are very convincing, at least in the beginning. Watch him because exceptionally UN-sparkly and pissy after discovery. If he’s a narcissist, they never shine quite so bright again after they’ve been unmasked.
Unless of course they need something. There are three channels to the manipulation then — charm, rage, and self pity. If he makes that letter about HIM? About how hard done by he is? And not YOUR pain? Yeah, you have a freak. If he rages at you. Freak. And if he is oddly seductive about all this? Freak.
I’m very sorry you’re going through this Jonesy. Same thing happened to me, but I got a phone call 6 months in. And at first I got a very similar story (mine admitted to bit of it — what he figured OW had told me already). She was an old girlfriend, they met up a “couple” times. She was so into him, couldn’t let him go, was a tragic and pathetic figure who “needed” him. Mistakes Were Made. Etc.
Truth? (That took over a year to find out and I still don’t know all of it…) Twenty year affair spanning three marriages. She wasn’t the only OW. He was a serial cheater, sociopath wing nut. And yes, on the surface normal, successful, and charming. But he really couldn’t sustain it.
If your gut is telling you this woman is right, my guess is yours couldn’t sustain “normal” either, and there’s a lot of stuff that makes sense after that letter. But it’s such a fire wall of grief, you probably can’t go there right now.
Please go there and protect yourself. You’re not freak of the week. You’re not the only one this has happened to, shockingly your story is very familiar to the folks here. (Welcome to Chump Nation… we’re legion.) Yes, your heart will break, but your eyes will open too. Dumping this fraud means you get an authentic life and a chance at real happiness. A person who could do this is deeply fucked up and cruel. Please get professional legal advice and your own shrink (not a marriage counselor) to help you enforce your boundaries as you go through the “discovery” process.
There’s no good explanation for this, IMO, other than he’s a cheater. I’m sorry.