The Other Woman

affair recovery-survivors blog-elizabeth-the other woman

Dear Betrayed Wife,

I am the other woman.

By admitting that, I know I am the one person that truly and most easily deserves your hatred and your spite. I know I am a source of your anger and contempt. I am a huge source of your pain. Essentially, I am the person that is largely responsible for the ache in your heart that seems like it will never go away.

I am quite certain you must periodically wish that I had never existed. Of course, I am making a huge presumption; I can hardly even begin to understand what things must look like on your side of the equation. However, when I start to put myself in your shoes, I can begin to imagine. When I put myself in your shoes, I have a tenderness that starts to enfold around my heart and chest. Often, I have thought that your life would be so much better if I were dead. If that were the case, you wouldn't have had to endure the nightmare of knowing what I stole from you.

I have taken so much from you.

By having an affair with your husband, a knife was stuck in your back. And I have to confess – I was the one holding the knife.

All the while, I never thought of you. I only thought of myself.

While you were making meals, taking your kids to school, ironing your husband's clothes, and running yourself ragged like any good wife and mother does to keep your family and household running, it was me who was stealing from you – behind your back and right under your nose.

I flat-out lied to your face. I pretended I was your friend. I pretended I cared.

I did this for months. I was the one enticing your husband away.

Only a hypocrite would do something so callous, and that hypocrite was me. I wore the mask of "just friends" with your husband for many months. I'm certain I was so good at this charade that even you believed it. Surely, no one could betray you in the ways that I have.

While you were at work, I was flirting with your husband. Many afternoons in his office, his phone calls were to me; they should have been to you. I soaked up the attention like a sponge. But the attention wasn't mine for the taking. You were the one that deserved it – that needed it. Add that to the long list of things I have taken from you.

When you were spending weekends visiting your dying dad, I was doing the unthinkable.

I was seducing your husband.

I am that woman.

And thinking of that brings such shame.

As women, there is a code of honor and integrity that says that we are comrades, sisters, and friends. We are both wives and mothers, doing the very best we can to keep marriage, jobs, and families running. Even if I didn't know you very well, in theory, I was supposed to be your friend. I was supposed to be the one looking out for you. I was supposed to have your back.

I did none of those things. Instead of supporting you, I betrayed you.

If the tables were turned, I'm sure you would have never done to me what I have done to you. I had no right to cross those lines and take what wasn't mine.

In doing what I did for the months leading up to discovery, I not only abandoned my own marriage, but I walked straight into the sacredness of your marriage and shattered it. In one fell swoop, I jumped off the cliff of abandoned emotions and took so many people down with me – including you.

It has taken me a long time to want to confess any of this to you, or to even face my feelings about you. To be honest, it is taking me a long time to become healthy enough to put into words what I know I need to say to you. It would be far easier in my mind if I could just pretend you didn't exist.

However, I did what I did, and now I must own up to my transgressions.

You do exist. You are a human being that deserves far more than my betrayal.

You are now a part of my healing journey, and I have to face you and confess.

Every night in my mind and in my heart, there you are. I will never deserve your forgiveness for what I took from you. I won't even ask for that. Having an affair with your husband was so very wrong. As much as it hurts to speak of it, I at least owe you this because no one deserves what I did to you. I have given you shame and disgrace in exchange for a few months of fantasy with someone that was yours. Not mine. He was your husband.

I even wounded your kids. Kids who only wanted a dad who could be devoted to their mom. I stole that from them with my incessant need for attention.

I know my words, my name, and any image of me, likely stirs up a lot of emotion and pain for you.

I know I can never take back what I did to you, nor can I undo the damage. As I work to rebuild and restore my own marriage, I do want you to know how much I think of you. You merit so much more than a meek apology from me. I deserve everything you bestow upon me, but the remarkable thing is that you probably won't hold onto that anger or hurt. You will heal. You will go on to live a remarkable life because that's who you are.

All I can offer you is evidence of my sadness, my regret, and my commitment to my own healing. In my own brokenness, I broke you. Like chards of glass all over the floor, my own brokenness cut you and injured you. You suffer because of me.

As I offer you my confession and repentance, I no longer will wallow in shame, as that would mean I stay selfish and stuck – susceptible to hurting others. Instead, I offer a release from what happened. I hope you can be free of me, and all my sins against you. I hate what I did, and I hate what it did to you. In time, please take what you can from me, and I hope and trust God is big enough to set us both free.

In kindness,
Elizabeth

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As the betrayed spouse on the

As the betrayed spouse on the verge of divorce because of an emotional affair that won't end, I can say that I have longed to hear these words from the other woman. I don't think I ever will. And although I continue to pray for reconcilation, as it stands now my husband has chosen her over me repeatedly. I thank you for sharing your words and being brave and selfless enough to share them with those of us who be may never get to hear them the woman who willingly took part in the destruction of our marriages.

I am very sorry. I do know

I am very sorry. I do know you deserve to hear these words, even if you never "hear" them. I wrote this letter for my own release. Understand because of my situation, I was never able to actually hand it to my AP's wife either, because it would be complicated and initiate contact where we have chosen to not have any. Tina, I will be praying for you, and your husband.

Betrayed

I understand something of what you’re going through, Tina. Since last month I find myself in the same situation. I can’t begin to get my head around another woman doing that. I hate her. And I’ve made it to 55 years old and can’t remember ever feeling hatred like this. She has her claws stuck in to him and he’s just loving her attention and adoration. They are like a couple of love sick teenagers and neither of them give a damn about me. I would love for her to see what she is doing and back off, and apologize. I can dream!

Truth, Shame, Sorrow, Repentant, Redemption

Thank you for writing this Elizabeth.
Truth, Shame, Sorrow, Repentant, Redemption - your words could be spoken from the mouth of every woman who had at one time lived in absolute selfishness and callousness of heart. Who, when the spirit of God transformed her heart to be humbled and to repent from the vileness of her sin, when the veil lifted, the scales over her eyes had fallen and the devastation and the destruction of her actions were and will always be before her, was, in her repentance, able to see and know the pain and sorrow she had created.

Knowing there is nothing that can replace what was done, only a broken and contrite woman full of shame and sorrow for what she had allowed and what she partook in without a thought of how it would impact the esteem, the thoughts, the physical body of this precious wife, her children and everything in her world, who was betrayed by her husband and you as the other woman, it's ever so painful. Knowing how much God loves and cherishes every soul, it grieves the other woman who trampled on the personhood of this woman and her marriage, knowing it grieved the Lord.

When the heart of the other woman is transformed and her eyes are opened and she becomes ever vigilant to guard her mind and actions towards the schemes of satan, towards her own inner weaknesses, she laments what she should have done to begin with, being able to prevent the pain inflicted on the wife and her family. And when she hears of this happening to another woman, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, she is full of sadness, hurt and anger for them, always remembering that it was someone just like her who put them in this place. There is a desire for healing not only for her own husband but for that of the wife that was betrayed as well.

WOW!!!

WOW!!!
Thank you so much for this Elizabeth! (How I wish to receive this letter from her.)

Thank you for sharing that,

Thank you for sharing that, as I know it spoke to me and benefited me. I know it will bless others as well.

Thank you for writing this.

Thank you for writing this. How tragic this kind of letter should ever be necessary to write.

And it is necessary to write as a demonstration of self awareness and amends. A hallmark of healing.

Without such a letter, I see my UH's AP as choosing to remain in self centered brokenness, entitlement and self protection. I pray she may one day have the healing to write such a letter to me.

I pity her.

Feels weird to even say you

Feels weird to even say you are welcome because I very well am aware of the tragedy that this would even be necessary. I am thankful for a grace that myself, nor really any of us deserve. I will pray for your husband's AP too, for I have been her.

Unrepentant OW

What about the unrepentant OW and US....I am having trouble finding any information on how to cope with that. Other than let it go and move on which I have made progress with. However it is still a wound to know that neither care. It is an experience of many of us on her yet all material points to reconciliation. Not all of us got that chance. I understand that I need to focus on myself - and I do. There is still hurt.

I am really sorry that they

I am really sorry that they do not care and that it doesn't look like there is a chance for reconciliation. I can't imagine that kind of pain. Not sure if you have read When Godly People do Ungodly things by Beth Moore, but it was an instrumental book in my own journey. I remember it talks some about what to do when people truly fall away into sin. Thank you for writing and sharing your hurt.

I had the same thought. I

I had the same thought. I have no idea how to cope with the feelings I have toward someone that is truly incapable of any insight, empathy, responsibility, or connection to their actions. I would love to hear the AP say these things and really mean it but her actions over the course of our recovery have proven over and over that she won’t, which is even more hurtful. Any secular resources you can recommend, other than therapy, for how to deal with the pain of narcissistic abuse?

I don't know if I have many

I don't know if I have many secular resources, but some good books that speak into this are books from Cloud and Townsend on narcissistic behavior and Leslie vernick writes a lot of books about emotionally abusive marriages. Not sure if that falls into what you are describing here or not.

No code of honor

Dear Elizabeth,
You are a unique woman to offer an apology. I was naive at one point in my life to believe in faithfulness in marriage and a code of honor, integrity between women and respect for marriage. I gave other women the benefit of the doubt. I am not this naive any more. I wish that all women who had affairs with married men had this level of insight into their selfishness, but I have learned that there is a lot of selfishness. Bless you for learning and growing. I am doing the same. Even with my husband trying to make amends, it has been painful, but I am learning to feel the pain and to let it go. wishing you the best.

I am just really sorry I had

I am just really sorry I had to be the kind of person that removed your innocence and belief in marriage. I trust that God wants us to both to grow into something bigger, but yes, like you, I absolutely hate the fact that it seems suffering doesn't have a stopping point on this side of heaven. I grieve over my own contributions to your suffering. I wish you all of the best too!

Thank you

Thank you for writing and sharing this. As a betrayed wife working towards healing something like this from “her” would now be very welcome. At first I would have been angry and full of rage but with time passing now I think it would be meaningful. She was my friend and I struggle with forgiving her.........

That has to be a huge

That has to be a huge betrayal and I can only imagine how much time it will take to forgive her. I appreciate your honesty about the rage and the appreciation for something so complicated. You nailed what I was imagining myself. Forgiveness is so hard.
Thank you for reminding me to always keep this in mind and to never forget the cost of my sin.

Wow

Wow just wow!!!!!!!!! As I read this letter I longed for it be from my husbands "other woman" and women. I found the contents of this letter to be very liberating. Thank you for your bravery.

I am grateful for your

I am grateful for your kindness. Like most repentant unfaithful, it is nice to let God use our brokenness for the good of others. And I have to admit, you really get me with the excessive use of exclamation points! You are a woman after my own heart!!!!!!!! *smile*

It gives me hope to hear you

It gives me hope to hear you write repentant unfaithful next to each other. You are choosing to own what you did, but also own God's forgiveness. I cried my eyes out reading this, wishing for something such as this from my husband's AP. I told him last night God's true love (no matter how you felt about her or thought she felt about you) always GIVES and doesn't TAKE. The only thing God took was our sin. Praise Him for His redemptive love.

Yes. Amen and well said. I

Yes. Amen and well said. I love and never tire of reading or hearing about how much grace God offers to those who own, admit and give their sin over to Him. Repentance is a lifetime choice, but the beautiful part is we get Christ in return. Thanks for your hope and encouragement.

Good read for the unfaithful spouse too...

Thank you for sharing this. The timing was perfect. My unfaithful husband had both a physical and emotional affair with a colleague. We are five months from discovery and now separated. The affair started a year ago and she knew he was married with small children - she is also married with children. He says he has ended the physical affair but is holding on to his affair partner as a very good “friend.” He is still very much in denial and does not see the ridiculousness of them being just friends. This past weekend I made the comment that one of the things I desperately want is an apology from his affair partner. He keeps protecting her and says that he is 100% responsible for the affair and she is not to blame. While noble in one sense it continues to minimize my hurt and anger experienced by BOTH of them and also reinforces that he cannot see his affair partner objectively. I shared your post with him. Not sure if it will make any difference as he is likely too far gone but I felt validated by what you wrote. Thank you!

I really hope that in time,

I really hope that in time, even if for the kids sake, that your husband can get out of the "fog". I wonder if he could read the book "Not Just friends" by Shirley Glass? And I know in the expert section there is a great article by Rick Reynolds about 34 reasons not to leave your marriage for an affair, or something like that? Regardless of his choices, I hope you can continue to find healing. I'm really sorry you're going through this.

Thank you

Thank you for writing this. As a BH this brought me to tears as with just a few word changes I strongly feel the things you did where what my wife did! If ONLY ONLY ONLY I could ever recieve an apology letter like you have written!

I hope you can receive this

I hope you can receive this letter as a reminder of your worth. I am really sorry for what you're going through.

On my way to recovery

My heart is crying. When she found out i was pregnant she texted me with apologies and it sounded truly honest. I believe she was sorry and regretted of choices she made. We even met each other but it turned out she was complete hypocrite about all situation. A few months later my husband reached her out saying we broke up even though it wasnt truth. We had a crisis and were fighting a lot. She coundnt overcome her desire to be with him. I live in hell now because they are dating, spending nights in hotels while i am 35 weeks pregnant staying at home with his older kids because i have no place to go. I live in hell and torture, praying for my own healing and having faith in my own recovery. I am so glad i was able to find this website.

I am glad you found AR too.

I am glad you found AR too. To receive support, encouragement, and reminders that you aren't alone. I am really sorry for all of the pain you are in. I am praying for your heart, and your new baby. I hope the new arrival brings a lot of sweet to such a bitter situation.

Thank you....

Thank you for having the courage to write this, to say this. I am moved to tears reading this, as THIS is the letter that I wish the other woman had sent me. She did send me a letter but it was not an apology it was out of anger and yet a way of her expressing her personal selfish thoughts. It may have brought her some sort of release/comfort it only stirred up more emotions for me. Reading this tonight helped me. I hope you live by your words daily and choose to live your life differently from today on. I know I do, I find each day a new day to start over with my thoughts, my emotions and yet hold on to my new version of life and choose to live differently because of what has happened. So thank you...

Thanks for your sweet and

Thanks for your sweet and kind comments. I hate that I ever did such things to have to write such a letter. I am glad that we can all be in this together to help spur another onward.

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