I do appreciate your perspective, as I was the wife, as well.
You know what? Let’s do away with the gender labels and just use cheating spouse and betrayed spouse.
Because women aren’t unique to being the betrayed, just as men aren’t unique to infidelity.
My cheating spouse married his mistress and now she is my children’s stepmom. So I know a little about what it feels like when the world drops out from under your feet.
I would never have broken my vows. I’m a faithful person. I’m decent. I’m empathetic. I’m genuine. And loyal. And I give my whole self to the person I love.
So 4 years after my divorce, during which I had been solely focused on work and kids, I couldn’t believe it when I became the participant in an extramarital affair.
And see, here’s the thing:
Serial cheaters ( which he was) are usually narcissistic in nature. They’re natural-born liars. It was MONTHS before I realized he wasn’t even SEPARATED. We were well into planning a life together when he disappeared completely, like he had never been there. He spoke fondly of his wife; they were just working out the financial details of their amicable split; they were going to remain friends, but there was just no romantic spark between them. His hometown was 95% rain and she missed California. He couldn’t leave his high-paying upper management gig at the big name tech empire, he had to pay for his children’s college tuition. She was his second wife; they had barely been married 3 years.
We had a lifetime of history together.
See, this man contacted me on FB when he came home for his 25th reunion. He was my first love. He had been the boy who saved me from myself. He was legendary in my mind.
He spoiled me rotten; the kids and I were destitute and he would just text me and say go to the airport. Your ticket is waiting at x ticket counter.
I wouldn’t know where I would be the next day.
This whole time, his soon to be ex was “getting her new home in Santa Cruz ready”
“Spending time with her daughter visiting art museums in Paris”.
I’m not stupid. I’m the last one called naive. So, maybe I wanted to believe it was fated all those years ago and so I let red flags go unnoticed.
But also, he was a lying superstar. An expert marksman.
Who told me one morning that he loved me more than he ever thought he could love, and 8 hours later sent an email saying he had to disappear for awhile.
He contacted me a year later, almost to the day. He had moved out the day before and did I want to go with him to New Zealand. (they actually were divorcing this time; i think because she said so).
I mentioned I had an interest in fidelity. He responded shocked. It wasn’t that kind of trip. He just wanted to fuck. I was the best lay etc etc.
As soon as his divorce was final, he would be dating a specific woman. They were waiting because unlike me, she respected his marriage.
My throat closed. We had just had phone sex.
When I could speak, I asked if this woman knew that he wasn’t waiting with her for the divorce to finalize.
I said, have you maybe ever thought you should grieve the relationship you’re leaving before starting a new one?
He said, “Come on, Lia. You know I can’t be alone.”
and he really can’t. if I had to look at that lying face in the mirror, I’d be scrambling for distractions too.
She’s another girl from our high school. Apparently he’s got some kind of weird fetish. because i know now that i’m not the first
And while I don’t claim to be a victim to the degree his wife was, I couldn’t breathe for almost two years without choking back tears and hoping to die.
He targeted me and he hooked me to him as tightly as he could.
I STILL don’t know what the actual deal was with the wife. I suspect that she was the one threatening to leave and he was punishing her.
It’s such a longer story but here’s the thing: my ex is a narcissist. And if you had told me that he wooed his current wife so expertly and lied so effectively that when they slept together, she almost felt like she was HELPING me, the wife, by covering for me in the bedroom, I would have laughed myself blue.
But after being on the other end, after hearing all of the sad stories about her failing health and painful intercourse and how it depressed her that she could no longer satisfy him…that she, in fact, no longer had the strength to even use her HAND on him…
I felt so bad for her. But it also made saying yes to him that much more tenable.
I didn’t, for quite a long time. But I was alone, and lonely, and in love with a man who didn’t exist.
I was exactly where he wanted me to be.
So while I think there are some singles out there looking specifically for married partners, I think that more often, both the betrayed spouse and the object of the affair are being expertly played, and I believe that more often than not, the affair ends with the destruction of not one, but two.
And if that happens, I can only hope number three gets what is coming to them.
Yes. I made a choice.
Yes. I could have made a different choice.
Yes, I owe that woman an amends that can’t possibly ever be enough. So every day, for the rest of my life, I don’t sleep with, or flirt with married men. I don’t allow myself to become even a passive participant in behaviors or activities that would possibly cause a wife to feel jealous or insecure or hopeless about her marital situation. I put women first in regards to relationships. No male BFFs with wives I know only through him.
I take esteemable actions.
But, that man absolutely victimized me.
He destroyed every good thing in my life. I’m just now coming out of it. It’s been three years and I’m still not dating.
Anyway, that’s my two kajillian cents.