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Confronting the Other Woman

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Thella posted 4/26/2014 07:28 AM

I've written several letters that I don't intend on sending to my husband's mistress, an overweight, unattractive twenty-something coworker he had a one-time physical affair with and an ongoing phone friendship. I confronted her initially after find out via FB and an awkward phone call, where she seemed to be forthcoming with the information I requested and was not unapologetic, though perhaps a little flippant about the situation. She has a boyfriend who I also spoke to (in fact, he was the one who informed me of the affair) and he made it seem like I was being irrational in my anger and hurt, that they had just made a mistake and had learned their boundaries now. A few weeks after that confrontation, I saw she had texted him again (he said it was work-related) and I lost my mind. I called her and told her that I had initially taken pity on her because I felt bad for her being an ugly fat girl with no self-esteem who sought to make herself feel better by leeching onto any dick that paid her any mind. I told her boyfriend about the other guys she had been sleeping with at their job (a fact that another coworker of theirs had told me) and threatened to humiliate her publicly if she ever had any contact with him again. I had all of her FB contacts, her pictures, her address - I could contact all of her friends and family, her school, her new landlord and let them know what kind of a person she is (ala Karen Hill at Janice Rossi's apartment in Goodfellas). Since then, she has not contacted him in any way (going on about two months now) and she and my husband no longer work together. I still find my anger directed mostly at her, and not my husband, even though I know he is the one who betrayed me and more to blame. Because I love my husband it's harder for me to be mad at him and I know that I'm just misdirecting my anger somewhat. Even though I want no further contact with her and don't want to open up any dialogue, I keep finding myself writing her letters that I don't intend to send.

Some are very nasty ("You are a pig inside and out. Just because a man will fuck you, it doesn't mean you're pretty or special - you are just an available hole and one they regret and/or laugh about afterward. It doesn't matter how many men you fuck - you'll never be pretty and you'll probably always be fat. Your nose is enormous, your skin is terrible, and your body is lumpy and ungainly. A fat girl with a square, pancake non-ass - Jesus Christ, you're even bad at being fat. The only compliment I can grant your face is that it looks like it would be fun as fuck to punch. But at least your outsides match your insides, so you get a gold star for truth in advertising. Oink.")

And then other times, I try to put my hatred of her in perspective because I know it's more damaging to me than her. I wrote her this calmer letter and though I have no intention on sending it, I just want someone to see it. Sometimes I feel like the only thing I have to make sense of or get me through this situation are my words. I don't know if they're worth anything or if they will help in anyway, but I keep writing and talking with my husband in hopes that they will. Anyway, here's the letter:

I don't know what the past month has been like for you, if you've been able to cast recent drama aside and go on as nothing ever happened, but this past month has been one of the most difficult of my life. H and I have discussed endlessly what took place and I've found myself thinking about it more often than I'd like to. Though I want to be completely done with you, your actions have loomed large in my mind recently and as a result, I decided to contact you one last time because I want you to know how I feel and as an attempt to move on from this awful period in my life.

I've decided not to hate you. Not because my hatred would have any impact on your life since it's likely I won't ever see you again, but precisely because I probably won't ever see you again and don't want to burden myself with the weight of hating someone who represents an insignificant blip on my life's radar screen. To be clear, you were certainly the catalyst for an event of great significance, but like the petty skirmish that finally brings a long simmering animosity between two nations to war, YOU are actually rather unimportant, as if it weren't you, it would have likely been something or someone else somewhere down the line that brought the escalating tensions to a head. After more than ten years of friendship, love, and both the meaningful and the inconsequential everyday events of a life lived together, H and I found ourselves drifting apart somewhat. It was an unspoken rift, but we both felt it - I in my annoyance with his mostly heretofore benign immaturity, his stagnation at a job which kept us apart on nights, weekends, and holidays, and his stubbornly contented tendency towards repetition, often happy to rehash the same activities and conversations that once seemed sparkling and exciting, and now often bored me, and he feeling insecure and unsatisfied by my seeming lack of affection or interest and often hurt by my propensity for casual cruelty and biting remarks. Both of us had begun to feel a little lonely in our relationship and that's where you came in. You were available and you were easy - you were not someone he had to pay bills with, help around the house, or even try to impress, but could just fall back on the same stories and conversations about movies and books and music and life that he had shared with me countless times over the years, and you would laugh or find them interesting simply because you hadn't already heard them hundreds of times before. You represented nothing special to him in and of yourself, you merely served as a placeholder for something that had gone missing in our relationship.

While the alleged one-time-only physical relationship (at this point, all I can do is take both his and your word, for what little it's worth, that it was just one time) upset me deeply, it's mostly because it cemented the romantic aspect of the part of your relationship that I found the most troubling - the friendship. Though you described this to me as "just talking," you fail to realize that the shared intimacy of the mind is the greater betrayal than the physical intimacy - that's just sex (and for men, as was the case here, often meaningless, a rash, poorly thought-out physical release and afterward a source of regret), but his forging a friendship with you, talking to you on nights when I was upstairs in bed, hurt worse because it showed that the long-standing connection, the best friendship that he and I have built over the past ten years was more deeply fractured than I had realized, to the point where he had to seek that friendship with someone else. Again, you are insignificant in this regard. If it hadn't been you, it might have been another girl or perhaps I might have eventually been tempted to do something similar. He felt lonely and you made yourself available, for "just talking" and more.

And that's where you were wrong. In your naïveté, you believe you have an understanding of the realities of relationships and love, a sort of laissez faire approach where boundaries are permeable and infractions of this sort are no big deal. You tell people you and your boyfriend have an open relationship (which seemed to be news to him) and you pursue other men outside of the boundaries of your relationship (and theirs) either because you're unhappy with your boyfriend or, more likely, with yourself and desperately need to bolster your sagging self-esteem. I don't presume to know anything about your relationship with your boyfriend, but when you truly love someone and make a commitment to that person, that's not how it should work, dishonesty and secrecy have no place in any relationship worth having. Monogamy and marriage aren't antiquated notions - they are a choice made by two people that, no matter what life throws their way, they're in it together because they love each other. Because through good times and the inevitable shitty times, there's no one else they'd rather share those experiences with. It's a promise that, if taken on seriously and whole-heartedly, ensures that no matter what happens, you'll always have a friend by your side to get through it with. Maybe you haven't met someone yet who you want to make such a commitment to, but just because you haven't experienced it yet, doesn't make it a myth or an unrealistic approach to love. It's valid and a worthy goal, but maybe you just haven't gotten there yet. Maybe you never will.

I don't know you very well, but you strike me as someone who is deeply insecure and misguided in her attempts to feel better about herself, seeking male attention for validation. You try to do this through sex outside of your relationship, but just because a man will deign to fuck you, it doesn't make you any more beautiful or special. It says nothing about your attractiveness or desirability, just your ready availability. It makes you the low-hanging fruit, dangling droopily within his lazy reach and quickly tossed aside afterward. It's a false path to self-worth, one that is obviously fraught with the potential to blow up in your face. Similarly, you told me he liked your personality, a hint of flippancy, maybe even a little arrogance, in your voice revealing that you believe there was something special about you in that respect. In fact, many girls like you pride themselves on what they deem a "cool girl" status, as if the fact that they like The Hobbit or some shit, have good taste in music, or other similar interests somehow sets them apart from other girls and perhaps makes up for other insufficeincies they believe themselves to possess. This is a manifestation of insecurity again and no real indicator of worth, as girls who share such guy-friendly interests are a dime a dozen. After all, all the things you and my husband talked about are the same things he and I talk about, with him merely serving you the same conversations he and I have had, tossing you the crumbs of our many discussions like feed to a pig at a petting zoo - how does that make you special?

Again, it would be easy for me to hate you, but I'm trying to empathize with you and to understand how you could make such a selfish and hurtful choice. Although I am not aware of any of them myself, I'm sure you have your good qualities and are more than just a self-centered, insecure child, that there's more to you than your bad decisions. For my part, I'm trying to learn from this horrible experience and make something better come from it - hopefully, a better relationship with my husband but definitely a learning experience for me and a chance to practice empathy, forgiveness, and maturity, which is why I haven't sought revenge on you and will not do so. The old me would have. But the trauma of these events have led me to not only reexamine my marriage, but also myself. I've long had a tendency to be vicious when crossed and can wield my wit like a machete, but while cutting you down might bring me an ounce of momentary satisfaction, I'd inevitably feel worse because there's no fun in attacking an easy target. You're neither an equal nor a rival to me, you represented no real threat to my marriage in and of yourself, but were just the personification of a threat that had gone ignored by both H and I for a long time, the growing disconnect between us. You were just a screen onto which he could project what he was missing from our relationship, a blank canvas onto which he could paint a rough approximation of the friendship and affection he wanted from me.

Because I'm letting go of my ill-will towards you, I hope that you grow from this experience, too. I hope that you will have more respect for yourself, for your relationships, and for other women in the future. While my husband was clearly the one who betrayed me, not you, you knew he was married and still pursued him. You should never allow yourself to be an agent in someone else's heartbreak, whether you know the other woman or not. You are still young and naive and foolish, but in ten years time, you may find your views on what constitutes a relationship changed. You may have a home and a family and a commitment to a life shared together and you may find yourself in a similar place to where I've been the past month. It wouldn't be undeserved and somewhere, were I to somehow hear about it, I can't promise I wouldn't smile. But still, I hope you'll think twice before making the same mistake again and will find less destructive and self-sabotaging ways to boost your opinion of yourself in the future. Because there's no guarantee the next woman you cross will be as measured in her response as I was.

Grow up.

[This message edited by Thella at 7:50 AM, April 26th (Saturday)]

Bigger posted 4/26/2014 07:57 AM

So if your husband was drinking too much bourbon would you write a letter to Jack Daniels?

The problem isn’t the OW. The problem is that your husband refuses to let her go. Your real problem is that you allow it to remain so.

Sorry for sounding harsh but the ONLY way out of infidelity is refusing to accept it. Once your WH is aware that you no longer intend to remain in infidelity and have set off on a path away from infidelity he can chose to follow or remain. That is when YOU have YOUR ANSWER as to how the future might look like.

Thella posted 4/26/2014 08:06 AM

As mentioned above, I'm clearly aware that she isn't the problem, that he was. I also mentioned that he has broken all contact with her and immediately arranged for a transfer at work and no longer works with her. He told me he was never in love with her or anything close to it, that he doesn't miss her, and doesn't even think of her much unless I bring it up. Even though I know she's not to blame, I keep finding myself thinking about her. I'm aware it's a pointless fixation and one that does more harm than good, but as I said, I was hoping that putting my feelings into words will help me move past them.

Bigger posted 4/26/2014 08:30 AM

OK – this;

“…and an ongoing phone friendship“

gave me the impression there was an ongoing phone friendship.

One of the best phrases I’ve heard about dealing with OP here on SI was something like:
“Why are you allowing the OP all that free rent in your head?”

Evict her. You seem to realize that you dwell on her and you also realize its not beneficial. So get into some pattern where once you realize you are obsessing you do something else, preferably something physical.
When I obsessed on my situation I would have a list of chores to do. I would go for jogs, clean the bathroom, lift weights, wax the car… I guess I waxed my car twice a week for several months!

Merlin posted 4/26/2014 08:31 AM

Put your feelings into words here.

Don't bother with 'her'.

Thella posted 4/26/2014 09:01 AM

@Bigger - there was an ongoing phone friendship after their one-time sexual encounter. Once I found out about both, all contact was terminated. But thank you for the advice - I'm definitely going to at least clean my bathroom today. I've been neglecting housework since finding out and my house is starting to look like an episode of Hoarders lol

Turtles posted 4/26/2014 09:20 AM

My hubby was just a EA but killed me within just as much. In beginning I just blamed him but more I thought about this I realised she is just as guilty as him. She knew he was married and should have told him to back off or I will tell your wife. She is nothing but the whore you describe in your first letter. Yeah she opened your eyes but she should have advised your husband how to approach you, not spread her legs like the home wreaker whore she is. Be angry with her as well. If there were not sluts like her none of us would be here. Both are just as much to blame. Be ANGRY

Kisabiotch posted 4/26/2014 09:25 AM

Thella I am only about a week out from Dday so I might not be the best at giving advice about this topic but I wanted you to know the letter you posted was like taking all my thoughts and writing a letter for me. I have pretty much all those same thoughts and feelings towards the OP. I get angry and refer to her as the "whore" even tho it was an EA in my eyes that is what she is . I don't think actually contacting her will give the you the results you are looking for because really she probably doesn't care what it did to you! I do believe in writing it's a way to get the feelings out and for me it's a way to get rid of the anger at this point bc I need to get it out. To me it's no different than beating a pillow it's a release. Like I said I might not have good advice but I can feel where you are coming from and send you hugs !!!

krsplat posted 4/26/2014 09:42 AM

You are an eloquent writer, and I love all of the thoughts that you express so well here. I also find that "writing and not sending" is a great way to clear my head. Once I've put it on paper, I don't have to think it any more!

There are some good threads on SI about being obsessed with the OW that I found helpful. I'll find them for you if I can.

In the meanwhile, the folks above are correct. you WH is the one who hurt you, who broke his vows and your heart. OW is a nobody, not worth wasting your time on. And I know you already know that.

Hang in there, sister. It gets better.

Skan posted 4/26/2014 13:16 PM

Frankly, I liked your nasty letter. You have a lovely turn of phrase!

Writing certainly helped me get out everything that I thought and felt. It helps me re-order my mind. Dump it all out in words and get it all down. Don't, under any circumstances, re-open contact with la Oinker. You've managed to get NC locked down don't open that door again.

And keep coming back here to vent and to write. That's what we're here for!

Mac4 posted 4/26/2014 14:36 PM

I would echo what Merlin posted, write your feelings down, get them out, share them here.

Don't trouble yourself with "her', focus on your healing

you are stronger than you know

jstsad posted 4/26/2014 17:02 PM

Although this isn't exactly my situation, reading this helped me a great deal. Thank you for posting this. I hope venting helped you.

SpecialK posted 4/26/2014 20:34 PM

I see no problem with writing letters (of course don't send them) if that helps you vent some anger. I also agree that you need to transfer your "attention" to something productive. I rode bikes, before work, during work, after work. I too wrote many FU letters to the ghetto tramp as well as to my husband.

It felt very liberating to say the things I wanted to say without restrictions or filters. And I must say, you write a very powerful letter! You could be a BS ghost writer....


Notsignificant posted 4/26/2014 21:28 PM

I will admit that I contacted her via email when I found out. I did take digs at her, I insulted the insecurities she had told him in confidence. I threw my blows and I said mean things. I didn't insult her physical appearance but I did say things along the lines of how sorry I felt for her to have such low self esteem that she'll have sex with any man who pays attention to her. And I made sure to tell her how he insulted her and called her names and degraded her to me. Basically letting her know that she never meant anything to him. And really, it didn't make me feel any better. Resorting to insults just shows your lack of self-esteem IMHO. Sort of like how some kids pick on other kids to hide their insecurities. When I confronted her she also downplayed the affair and told me I was the problem. I don't need to say another word to her. Eventually she will get paid back and things will come full circle for her. That's revenge enough for me.

Thella posted 4/26/2014 21:51 PM

You're certainly right with the schoolyard bully analogy. My husband's affair has riled up so many insecurities in me - I just don't feel like my usual, confident self. I realize my lashing out at her (which has mostly been in my head, but still) is just my attempt at making her feel the pain and insecurity I feel as a result of her actions. My husband swears he didn't love her, that she was just a distraction, but I don't know what to believe. He says they had sex one time and both regretted it and afterward, he just thought of her as a friend, someone to talk to because he and I are on opposite schedules and he works nights and I work a 9-5 and just weren't connecting anymore. Maybe this letter is also to convince myself that she was meaningless to my husband. He swears that's the case, but I have a hard time believing that - I find myself wondering if he's just mitigating the story to alleviate any more hurt and anger on my part and as a desperate attempt to save our marriage. I feel like I can't move on if I don't know the whole truth, but how can I be sure he's providing me with it? I only found out on 3/15, so I'm still in the early stages, desperately waiting for some of this pain and shock to subside. And all the while, it just grates at me to know that she's somewhere out there, not giving a fuck, and her weak-willed boyfriend has already forgiven her and thought my husband and I were completely overreacting by terminating their friendship. I feel like out of all four parties involved, I'm bearing the brunt of the pain and it's so hard to deal with, especially because I have a baby to take care of. My husband has so far done all the right things on paper, but the fact that, as the offending party and not the betrayed, he can't fathom my pain is so isolating to me.

Notsignificant posted 4/27/2014 01:05 AM

Thella, I could have written that last comment word for word. I know, he said she didn't mean anything to him and she was just an easy whore but they exchanged over 3,000 text messages in a month and he deleted all of them plus emails. If she didn't mean anything then it shouldn't be a problem for me to see the conversations right?! I feel deep down she meant something to him but he is just telling me she didn't to try and ease my anger or spare my feelings? I don't know. But either way, I don't buy it. Hang in there.

StillLivin posted 4/27/2014 01:56 AM

In the beginning many BS fixate on the women, even knowing it is wasted headspace, and that the WS is the one that did the worse crime.
However, if it helps you get past, then continue to rant and vent.
I hope you are in IC and working on your own healing. As time passes, she won't hold so much headspace, if any.
I'm not like many, I originally, and still do, hold my STBX in the worse light and barely give Shrek a thought, other than to how disgusting she is. He is the one that had the worst animosity, but that's just how my brain processed. But if I had hated and loathed her to complete and utter distraction, it would have been my right.
BSs that knowingly screw around with a married or involved partner contribute to the A. Period.
Do know this, that even though you are venting, you are spot on with how trashy and pathetic OW and OM are.
Shrek is 20 years younger and very much more controlled by STBX that I ever was or would ever be. She is inferior in all ways and she knows it so she was perfectly happy to be backburner slop until I caught him and wouldn't put up with his shenanigans anymore. That is the ONLY reason he left and brought her here. She wasn't "allowed" to call him...unless he texted her telling him to. She could only text him when I was asleep. She never got a single holiday. He denies her existence to his family because he is ashamed. She thinks she got the best of him, but I get his money, the house, his family's respect, and she got the ED (erectile dysfunction) and abusive man he has now become.
The OW in your life most certainly does NOT deserve your headspace, but do what you must to get the rage all out. This is your safe place.

krsplat posted 4/27/2014 10:28 AM

I will admit that I contacted her via email when I found out. I did take digs at her, I insulted the insecurities she had told him in confidence. I threw my blows and I said mean things. I didn't insult her physical appearance but I did say things along the lines of how sorry I felt for her to have such low self esteem that she'll have sex with any man who pays attention to her. And I made sure to tell her how he insulted her and called her names and degraded her to me. Basically letting her know that she never meant anything to him. And really, it didn't make me feel any better.

I have to confess that this morning, after much provocation, I did break down and send one of my letters. And NotSig is right. I don't feel any better. I really need to learn...

OutoftheDeep posted 4/27/2014 17:48 PM

("You are a pig inside and out. Just because a man will fuck you, it doesn't mean you're pretty or special - you are just an available hole and one they regret and/or laugh about afterward. It doesn't matter how many men you fuck - you'll never be pretty and you'll probably always be fat. Your nose is enormous, your skin is terrible, and your body is lumpy and ungainly. A fat girl with a square, pancake non-ass - Jesus Christ, you're even bad at being fat. The only compliment I can grant your face is that it looks like it would be fun as fuck to punch. But at least your outsides match your insides, so you get a gold star for truth in advertising.

Whoa, I think we are dealing with the same OW!! I always refer to her as pancake ass (when I'm not referring to her as "unfortunately shaped- like a potato")

Gold star for passion, creative use of metaphors, and humor. clap clap clap...

I think this kind of thing is cathartic, of course I would recommend NEVER sending it. Write and burn...

Wall321 posted 4/29/2014 20:24 PM

Wonderful writing and thoughts. I believe deeply and fundamentally a lot of personal healing is probably to the credit of forgiveness and acceptance. The urge, the feeling of anger so strong though, the conflict of focusing on the op vs ws. People have suggested to me writing letters and not sending but yours have inspired me to do so tonight. Thanks for sharing.

BH me 35
WW 36
OM friend/acquaintance
Together 5 yrs
M 1.5 yrs
EA 1 yr
PA 4 mos
Dday week ago
99% D

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