1. People & Relationships

Letter From The Other Woman

The "Other Woman" Shares Her Feelings

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Dear Cathy,

I was truly offended by your article and description of the “Other Woman” in a marital affair. The Other Woman, truth be told is a wonderful,loving lady. She is caught in a love triangle without knowing.

I met a guy, Tommy who said he and his wife had drifted apart, which happens… they were living in separate rooms. I can't understand that, I was married for 30 years and the sparks never left, I am now widowed.

Tommy and Patricia were staying together for the financial reasons, not love, not intimacy. So, Tommy knew all the right things to do and say, and we had a world-wind romance for almost a year. Then Patricia saw a smile on his face and Tommy was happy, now she wants marriage counseling, no intimacy, but counseling.

Yes, the trophy wife so to speak, why should she have to go out into the world and work? Give up her lifestyle. Well, she knew how to put the guilt on him, and it worked. Tommy wants to give his marriage one more chance, but I should stand by him and if they can't fix what is broken, which will take many years of therapy, he will come back to me.

Wow, I felt my heart was ripped out of my chest and stomped on. The Other Woman, I am no glamour girl, typical legal secretary with a warm and loving Italian heart, who would do anything for anybody.

Well, Patricia and Tommy can go on with their miserable life for the sake of money and children, when they should have found the decision to be happy. It’s OK, God will help me through this and for Tommy, well, the guilt that he hurt that nice Italian Lady, will haunt him forever.

So please don't make The Other Woman out of be a DIVA, we are not. W are nice people who get sucked in too.....Thank God I didn't become Mrs.Cavanaugh Number 3.

Best,

Donna

Hello Donna,

Your letter is full of positive denial but not much reality. You are spinning your tale in a way that makes it easier for you to continue to have a positive view of yourself as a person. That is fine; we all do what we have to do to justify bad behavior.

If you don’t mind I would like to point out a few things to you.

  1. You weren’t caught up in a love triangle without knowing. You knew he was married when the relationship started. You bought into his story that he and his wife had drifted apart to keep from having to admit to yourself that there was a third person in the equation, one who might be terribly hurt she should find out her husband was cheating with you.
  2. What man wouldn’t be happy with a wife at home and a woman on the side? Tommy was living the dream, having his cake and eating it too. I doubt the smile his wife saw had anything to do with his connection with you and more to do with his good fortune. He was sleeping with two women at once and in his mind getting away with it. Men like him have a tendency to grin ear to ear!
  3. If I were Patricia I wouldn’t want intimacy with a husband who had just cheated on me. You say you were married for 30 years, would you have been willing to sleep with your husband after finding out he had cheated? Patricia is probably smart enough to know that her marriage will only survive his infidelity if they seek marital counseling. Her trust in him has been destroyed; hopefully counseling will help restore trust and then intimacy in their marriage.
  4. Patricia shouldn’t have to give up her lifestyle because Tommy cheated. He is evidently OK with her lifestyle and her not working or he would not provide such a lifestyle for her. What did you think would happen? Did you think he would leave her and you could start living her lifestyle?
  5. Tommy wants to work on his marriage because his marriage is more important to him than his relationship with you. If Tommy didn’t want his marriage he would be gone. Divorce is easy to get these days and Tommy doesn’t sound like the kind of man who stays for money and the children. He didn’t stay with his first wife, why should he stay for his second unless staying is exactly what he wants to do?
  6. Of course Tommy wants you to stand by him. Tommy still wants the best of both worlds, a wife at home and another woman on the side. His desire for you to hang around while he works on his marriage should tell you exactly who Tommy is. Yet you insist on blaming Patricia, accusing her of guilting him and manipulating the situation in her favor.
  7. I’m certain you do have a warm and loving heart. I’m also certain that you are naïve and fell for the charms of a man beneath you. You let go of your values and beliefs and bought into his lies because you were attracted to him. Maybe you were lonely and needy. Who knows why but you made a mistake. One that not only ended up hurting you but Tommy’s wife also.
  8. Donna, people don’t choose misery over happiness. When Tommy was faced with a choice he chose what he knew would, in the long run make him happy. He chose to work on his marriage and relationship with his wife.
  9. Tommy will never feel guilt over hurting you. He views you as an accomplice to his cheating, not as a victim of his lies and deceit. Tommy knew his affair would be hurtful to his wife if she discovered and you were his partner in crime. His wife is his life partner; few men like Tommy ever leave their life partner for their partner in crime. Tommy will be working on his marriage, not worrying about how hurt you are.

Donna, I paint the other woman the way I view her. Some are selfish; some are narcissistic and go after what they want regardless of who it hurts. And then there are those who are needy and allow that to put them in harm’s way.

Whichever one you are, you are lucky you didn’t become number three in Tommy’s life. It sounds like he has a hard time being faithful and you would have been on the receiving end of his infidelity just as numbers one and two were.

Forgive yourself for intruding into another woman’s marriage. Stop blaming her for something Tommy did and move on with your life. And, in the future, don’t become involved with a married man no matter how horrible he tells you his marriage is. If you do, be sure to get his wife’s side of the story before putting any faith in what he has to say.

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