Back in June, I wrote about Coping With Being the Other Woman which gave tips for any woman who had found herself relegated to second place due to being with someone else’s man. Ultimately my advice was and is not to cope, but I was surprised at the stories and emails that have come through from women who have found themselves in this situation.

First of all, there is a reason why all of these people have been searching for content about the subject: on some level, they know that their ‘relationship’ is completely jacked up. Very few claimed to be happy with the situation, most were being driven demented. A few months on, I feel it necessary to readdress this issue with a dose of straight talking.

The relationship is built on dishonesty. You would be surprised how the excuses for having an affair all boil down to only a few basic excuses that are trotted out the world over. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a mud hut in the middle of Africa, or in what you think is your plush life in the city. Lot’s of people claim that their partner doesn’t understand them. Lot’s claim that they are no longer sleeping with them. Lot’s claim they stay with their partner for the kids. Some claim that their jobs frown upon divorce. Others say that she (or he) wouldn’t be able to cope. Many claim that they are just waiting for the right time, the right moment, the right second/minute/hour/day/year to break the news.

For the bulk of people who are ‘The Other Woman’, the odds are stacked against them and it very rarely works out. Let’s break it down. The foundations of the relationship are dishonest. Most of the time he never leaves. If he does leave, it often doesn’t work out, either because he can’t keep his dick in his pants and keeps cheating (except for this time, it’s on the woman that used to be The Other Woman) or because the used to be Other Woman never does quite trust him so it erodes into the relationship.

People who cheat don’t see themselves as cheats per se. I’m not claiming that they don’t realise that they are sticking it to someone else, but for most cheaters, it gets rationalised so that they don’t get to feel too bad about themselves. Trust me, if they faced the reality of what they were doing to the person that they’re cheating on, and what they’re doing to The Other Woman, they’d bail out far quicker. It’s the ability to delude themselves and romantisize the situation that keep things ticking over for so long.

Waiting is a mugs game. Unless you have ‘mug’ or ‘fool’ written on your forehead, don’t wait. Waiting is the saviour of the cheat. As long as they are safe in the knowledge that someone is waiting on ice for them, why change the status quo?

Even when The Other Woman moves on, a lot of the time, they haven’t really moved on. In fact, they’re just play-acting at life, hoping that their facade makes him bolt and come to her or that one day, he will actually leave and then they can be together, against the odds and bla, bla, bla. Moving on means cutting the ties, gaining closure and recognising that as long as he has someone else, he’s not worthy of all of the energy expended by The Other Woman.

When people say that he won’t leave his wife/girlfriend they are normally right. Obviously you have to be skilful enough to weed out the plain ‘ole haters, but if everyone from the cat to his great, great Aunty Betty says that he won’t leave, I’d listen to the evidence. I know there is no legislating for love but when everyone knows that you’re the other woman and they see the real him, you’d be surprised at the truth of their words. “He won’t leave him” should translate to “Abort mission. Take a parachute and jump!”

The sex is great when you’re The Other Woman because it’s dysfunctional sex. Of course when there is illicit sex with a man who belongs to someone else, plus all of the emotion (all of it negative even though most don’t see it that way), of course you going to be clinging to him and orgasming like the sun’s not going to come up. (If the sex isn’t even good, I’d consider saying adios and exchanging him for a penpal….) The more orgasms that you have, the more of an emotional and physical connection you feel is the more that you think that he’s leaving his wife. How many times can I say it!? An orgasm…is just an orgasm. How many of us have had orgasms and great sex with men that were about as good for us as an outbreak of a sexually transmitted disease?

This is about The Other Woman, not him. In this situation, it’s all too easy to focus on his problems, his ‘situation’. The reality is that it’s not about him, it’s about YOU. We have no control over the actions of other people, but we do have control over our own. We shouldn’t be so willing to sell ourselves short and we should be asking ourselves a whole lot of questions if we ever find ourselves either in a relationship where we play the third wheel or where we’re contemplating it. The moment we stop investing all of our brain power in them is the quicker that we start getting real.

Don’t forget to read Coping With Being the Other Woman

NML is the editor of Baggage Reclaim and The Mr Unavailable Guide. She also has a personal blog.

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52 Responses to Being The Other Woman Revisited: It’s straight talking time.

  1. Not Contemplating Anymore says:

    I would like to thank you for this post as well as for the previous post entitled “Coping With Being the Other Woman”. Thank you also to all who commented on the previous post. I had been contemplating becoming an “Other Woman”, but these posts have given me new perspective.

    I’ve been on both sides of the coin before, but that was many many years ago and I didn’t know how I wanted to approach this new situation.

    In 1995 I became pregnant and wound up marrying the father…we had only dated for a few months and ultimately got divorced 2 – 1/2 years later. Ours was never a happy marriage…we were simply young and stupid and wanted to do the right thing. After about a year, I realized I was unhappy in my marriage and had made the wrong choice in getting married so young (I was 20 when we married). But I was afraid of disappointing my family who, despite liking my husband immensely, had told us numerous times that we didn’t need to rush into marriage and that we should wait to get married. And I thought that I should stay because of our son. So instead of making up my mind to leave, I spent time cheating on my husband with one night stands here and there and wound up having a lengthy affair with a co-worker which started off just as sex like all the others and ended up becoming something deep and emotional for both of us. But I was still scared to leave my husband and my other man dumped me because he simply didn’t like being the other man anymore. Soon after, I realized that I could not keep doing what I was doing and that I had a decision to make:
    1) Stay in my marriage to keep up appearances, try to change my decietful personality, and hope that someday I wouldn’t be so miserable anymore;
    2) Get a divorce.
    I chose to get a divorce…though I am not proud of the fact that I am now a statistic and have to opt for the “divorced” box on various forms that one has to fill out in his/her walk through life, I am glad I got the divorce. My ex remarried a few years later to a wonderful woman who fits my ex’s personality much better than I ever could have, is an excellent 2nd mommy to my son and whom I now consider a friend. The relationship I have with him now is much more friendly and much less stressful, but I still regret the choices I made to cheat on him while we were married. He was and is a good man (though not the man for me) and the guilt is something that haunts me on a regular basis. I doubt that it will ever totally go away.

    On the flip side, I have also been the other woman.

    After becoming divorced, I was reintroduced to a man I had met while I was married. I never cheated with him while I was married, but always had a huge crush. Now that I was divorced I thought it would be fun to persue my crush. Unfortunately it had been many months since we had 1st met and he was now married. He and his wife were not originally from my town. His job brought him here and he proposed to her before he moved. After over a year of living apart he went home to be married and brought his new wife back to his new town. When we met, he was single, I was married…now I was single, but he was married. It seems the fates had deemed that we weren’t meant to be and we chose to become good friends. We went out with mutual friends once a week and would occasionally run into each other around town. We always had a fabulous chemistry and tons of things in common, so much so that other people in our entourage would actually encourage us to get together…even those who knew his wife. One night as he drove me back to my car, we both gave into the pressure and temptation when he asked to kiss me. Going forward, we spoke together often of our connection and the consequences it would have to every one involved. At some point we said we loved each other and we spoke of the love he had for his wife. We both knew going into this that he had no plans to leave her and that I would never ask him to. Neither of us ever intended to hurt either her or each other and agreed that the only way to keep our secret safe was to never let our friends know that we had indeed given in. After about a year, duty called once again and work allowed he and his wife to move back to their home town. Save for one other person, nobody ever found out about our affair and to my knowledge, he and his wife are still happily married with multiple children. I have seen him just a couple of times in the years since he moved back home…we go out for a drink any time he comes to my town to visit…but we made an agreement before he moved away that our affair would end with that and have that promise to one another. That was in 1998. I have nothing but fond memories from our times together and do not regret any second of the time we spent together. I do not know, however, if guilt affects him the way it did in my marriage.

    Eight years later, a new man has entered my life. I have not dated anyone seriously in couple of years and in fact have not even persued doing so. My sex life is virtually non-existant. I enjoy being single and being able to do whatever I want, whenever I want and have quite a full schedule between my job and an organization for which I volunteer. I have a very active social life and have even started attending chuch again…something I have not done since before I was married. My life is in a very different place than it was back then. I am happy. But unfortunately, behind every smart, successful, happily single woman is a need for some sort of physical companionship.

    In recent months I’ve met a couple of single men with whom I can admit to having a crush on and even wouldn’t mind getting to know better and seeing what happens. But then HE walked through the door. Though we are not co-workers, I met him through my work. Instantly upon meeting him and speaking with him for just a few minutes, I knew he was different…my heart nearly stopped and I couldn’t wait for the next time he would walk through the door. I checked for the wedding ring and wrongfully assumed he was not married. When he walked in the 2nd time, I found out that he is married, but that he recently moved here (this is where he is originally from and he intends to stay) and his wife lives several states away. Because of the order of busines he has with my company, our paths have crossed several times over the past month and will continue to cross in the months ahead. Each time we meet, we learn more and more about each other…there is an undeniable chemistry and very intense physical attraction between us. Yesterday we had lunch together for the first time and the conversation flowed as if we had been friends for years. The similarities between our likes & dislikes, political views and taste in movies are mind blowing. He left today for a conference, but already we have plans for when he comes back. But we haven’t spoken about his relationship with his wife. I’ve been too caught up in the aspect of having such a great connection to this other human being that I haven’t wanted to think about the fact that he is married. But now that we are making plans, his wife is looming on my mind. Were he single, there is no doubt in my mind that I would spend the rest of my life with him…crazy to say after knowing him for such a short amount of time, but I’ve never connected on any level to any man the way I have to him. However, he is not single and I have come to realize that I am heading towards a path of distruction.

    Before coming to this site, I thought long and hard about what would happen when he returns from his conference. I had decided that before we can go any further, I must ask him to tell me about this wife of his, their relationship status, and where they stand as far as whether they are intending to divorce or if they are always going to remain married in different households. I tried to imagine scenarios on how we can continue to be friends regardless and just never allow sex into the relationship, but I know that an affair is still an affair even if there isn’t sex. And all of the scenarios just wind up with me becoming more and more emotionally attached to this man. So I did a google search and wound up here.

    Reading all of your posts has helped me to realize that nothing good can come of my pursuing anything more with this man. Not only is having an affair absolutely WRONG, I will undoubtedly be the one left hurting the most. As I said before, because of his business with the place I work, I will still be seeing him from time to time, but I intend to let him know the minute he returns that we will have nothing more than a working relationship going forward.

    Maybe one day, he’ll walk in with divorce papers…but I’m not banking on it. In the meantime, I’ll be seeing one of my single crushes tomorrow…maybe I can work up the guts to ask him out. It will be a nice distraction anyway.

    Just one question…why are all the “good” ones already taken?!?!?!?!?!?!!

  2. Otherwomen says:

    Grrrrr. I have been the Other Woman for 8 year and am almost completely satisfied with my lot. It annoys me when sweeping statements are made – ALL SITUATIONS ARE DIFFERENT! My partner and I have a beautiful son and spend as much time together as we can. He is also still happy at home with his wife which is fine by me. Obviously there are hard times (especially with a child) like christmas for example but apart from that 1 time of year it is the perfect relationship for us. I get my freedom and he gets to prevent hurting people that dont deserve being hurt. We love each other deeply but I dont want any commitment from him.

    Does this make me stupid? I dont think so, if anything I am the one person that is not going to go through a messy divorce and my son will learn what a happy relationship is all about.

    Yes there is occasional guilt for his wife and kids. Yes he feels guilty as well and we have tried to end it on numerous occasions but we cant. The sex is not just good as a result of him being married – its the CHEMISTRY. We have lots of it – even after 8 years its still the best. He has never claimed not to be sleeping with his wife, or that she doesnt understand him, or that he is waiting for the right time to leave. I respect him for that cause he is refusing to lie to me. I have chosen my path and I also choose to stay on it as I have found my soul mate, its just that someone else found him first!

    Anyone looking to chat or share stories and SUPPORT rather than criticism is welcome to come and chat at

  3. ItDoesntHaveToHurt says:

    This site has convinced me that I need to write a book. A book about women who ENJOY being the other woman, who are NOT victimized by the situation, and who see it for what it is, taking what you want, without taking on the added baggage. I am a 40-something woman who has been the “other woman” more often than not because it is what I prefer. The first time I was the “other woman” I was seventeen. I was pretty, smart, and popular and had my pick of boys my age. Boys who bored me to tears. Instead, I chose to have an affair with a 40-something married man. He was handsome, confident, financially comfortable, and amazing in bed. While my friends were fighting over foolish boys who needed gas money to go out, I was living a five-star life. My choice wasn’t about low self-esteem, or needing validation, it was about the fun, excitment, and the perks! In countless articles written on the subject, why doesn’t anyone ever talks about the perks of being the “other woman”?

    In my experience, married men who play are usually successful, confident, and financially secure – they need to be all those things in order to afford both a wife and a mistress. The other commonality is that they are tired of the tedium. Tired of wives who have appointed themselves guardians of his time, his money, and his conscience. She never hesitates to remind him what he has forgotten to do, or where he has failed. She doesn’t wax anymore, wears sweats to bed, and rations sex like it’s a treat for good behavior. We “other woman” don’t have to steal him, he’s more than willing to spend his time & money on a woman who talks about something other than the mortgage and who knows how to show just enough cleavage to drive him crazy over dinner. A woman who is up on politics, has an opinion, and who doesn’t act like her world revolves around him – not being his wife is the sexiest thing about being the “other woman.”

    I love it, I love the attention, I love the gifts, I love the trips, I love the excitment and the thrill of always making him want me a little more, and I love always being just a little unattainable, it’s a rush. The best part, for me, is that I don’t EVER have to do his laundry, or chase after his kids, I don’t care how much he spends, or if his life insurance policy is up to date – I don’t have to deal with any of his baggage and if he ever gets whiney or too serious I simply remind him that I’m not his wife nor his shrink and send him on his way. The most astonishing thing about married men is that less I care out their “feelings” the more they want me. Men don’t chase their wives, they’ve already caught them, men chase “the other woman.”

    If you’re a woman who is letting a married man make you miserable you need to take a course on how to be a mistress – you should never be waiting on him & he should never be secure that you’re going to be available. I’ve always treated men like playthings and they always want to play.

    Being the other woman is empowering and exciting and something every woman should try before she signs up for a lifetime of drugery with a man who will probably cheat on her with someone exactly like me, while she’s at home doing his laundry and feeding his kids.

  4. emma says:

    i fell head over heels 4 guy i have known a long time. our kids are in the same judo class. he confessed all to his wife and left the family as he told her he loved me. after loads of abuse from her stones thrown at my car and lots of verbal. she was physicaly bashing him every couple of days. we thought we were getting some where and shewould calm down. how wrong i was. because she tried everything she could to get him back and nothing worked she tried to kill herself. and guess what it worked he went running back i couldnt belive it after making us public knowledge he succrys back to her after a couple of months says he is scared for the child. i am devastated. he is txting and trying 2 talk to me. he says its me he loves not her. says he has only gone back for the safety of there child.i cannot bring myself to speak to him as i am so hurt. he promised me the earth what a fool i have been

  5. Voice(formerly Of Reason) says:

    Does everyone know about the discussion boards for being the other woman/break/ups etc

  6. […] Other relevant articles: How to cope with being the other woman, Being the other woman revisited […]

  7. I_gaze_at_the_blue says:

    I have been in a relationship with a married man for nearly seven years now … but I have never, until recently, felt like the “other woman”. You see for the past twenty years they have lived apart, in seperate continents, and it has seemed until recently only to be in name alone.
    His wife is older than him and has had heart problems for a few years and I feel that he does not want to cause her any anguish, also he likes the kudos of marraige … he talks about her a lot, even in front of me and I find that quite hurtful … as it seem that although for most of their marraige they have not just lived apart, they live in seperate countries … he still ranks her as number one whilst I am just second best. And sometimes I can’t understand why … from what he and some friends say, he got married almost as an afterthought, both of them were running their own business and for ten years basically passed each other in the corridor, it was almost as if he got married as it was the “done thing” and gave him a certain respect and status. There are no children.
    But recently it is as if I am too much trouble, yet I have never involved myself and never made a fuss when, with people who do know her quite well, he treats me more like an aquaintance as he has his reputation to uphold … I no longer think it is worth putting in any more time and effort as it is obviously not going anywhere and I feel that it is just now convienent for him to keep me hanging on.
    I am really confused …

  8. sick_of_it says:

    Reading the emails that have been sent i see that there are actually alot of women who go through this. i never realised just how many people do. i thought my situation was bad and ive only been with my mm for 10months which seemed alot to me untill i read these messages. ive got alot of information from these messages and i thank each and every1 of u who has wrote ur story, especially the person who created this site. my mm regurely tells me the quoted things above ie. ill leave wen the time is right etc.. and how stupid i feel now for believing it. i think any1 who gets into this kind of situation the sooner u realise it aint goin to work the sooner u can stop being fooled by this mm!

    A very big thank u to every1..

  9. Cocobell33 says:

    I’ve been seeing my mm for 11 months now and we’ve been through a lot already. I’m recently divorced and really don’t want a man constantly around me all the time, so this situation some-what works out for me. I can tell you that I some times get frustrated with his unavailability when I especially what him around., but most of the time I enjoy it because I like my space. He has been m for 24yrs and Is very unhappy at home. Some months ago he really wanted to leave his wife for me and I told him no……I’m not ready for that. He is totally head over heels for me and I do love him too. We have a good relationship and the sex is the best i’ve had in my life!!!!! The problem I have with him is he doesn’t want me to see or date other men. He tells me I’m wrong and I should be faithful to him. I tell him how dare you… when you’re not being faithful to your wife!!!! I don’t know what I should do about this and need advice. Shouldn’t I have a right to date other men if I want????

  10. pc says:

    i’ve been seeing a mm for 10 months. i’ve tried to break it off twice but keep going back. i’m now on my third time of trying to stop it but can feel myself weakening already, which is why i came looking for some advice.
    i would so like to be with him but i don’t want to break up his family. i sometimes think that maybe i will be happy being the ow, but then deep down i don’t think i will.
    it just seems so annoying that i found someone who treats me so well and makes me feel so special but its all a lie isn’t it? and i don’t think i really want to admit that to myself.
    boy this is rubbish…

  11. goldie says:

    Is there anyone who can give me sound advice? I am so confused. I have been seeing a man who has a partner of 8 yrs for 14months. It is not the usual cock and bull story of how his partner dosn’t understand him, quite the opposite, he says they are in love and what a lovely woman she is, so why i he coming and having sex with me? I want to let him go but he keeps contacting me saying he will come round just as friends and then the inevitable happens. How do i get out of it? He says he tells his partner white lies but never lies to me, It’s all about sex i think! Help!

  12. Burgled! says:

    Cocobell33, I have a similar dilemma. Trying really hard to finish it with UMM. Been on a date with a guy who I haven’t let myself get to know yet but who seems to be much more worthwhile than this UMM. But now new guy is asking me for another date and I keep turning him down with crap excuses and seeing UMM. For one thing my conscience won’t let me two-time and the sooner I get with new guy the sooner I have to end it with UMM… which I’ve tried unsuccessfully twice already. Trying to keep hold of new guy cos I feel it may help me end it with UMM…?

    Anyway, UMM always says to me that I should be with someone who can be there for me 100% (hello!! Why did he initiate the relationship, then!) and that he knows I’ll find someone before long who can commit 100% and can I tell him when I do! I find all of that spiel very strange, to be honest. Anyway, recently he accused me of playing him, ’cause I’d ‘stood him up’ two Fridays in a row and so he assumed I was on a date with someone else!

    Is it any wonder my brain is fried?

    Been with UMM 2.5months

  13. Kaymart says:

    Boy oh boy, do you write good stuff!!! I logged in here last night for the first time, in an 8 month relationship with a MM, where, of course, if I WAS completely happy, I wouldn’t have been doing searches periodically on ‘cheating husbands’, etc. that uncovered sites like this!!! Reading this stuff, plus the latest thing I have to put up with from him this morning (playing second fiddle) has me suggesting we take time off for me to make a quality decision. He’s going to talk to me tonight, he said, as if there is something he could say…..and I’m going to take a week, I think, to make sure I mean it and can stick to it. My relationship is long distance too. …guess who has to pay all the airfare!!!??? His money goes to his family, so he can’t afford it.

  14. NML says:

    Oh dear…you have been jacked. I am getting more and more shocked at these tightfisted married men! This is the fifth story in the past couple of days that I have come across where a woman has had to finance a guy in this situ! I recommend you visit the forum where there are lots of OW’s and also check out and

  15. Ilovememore says:

    Thanks for reiterating exactly what I have been thinking and feeling for the last 6 months. Well its over now but MM still trys to contact me even after 3 weeks of avoidance. I told him, ‘i may love you but i love me more’ wow, he had no answer for that.

    I suppose you ladies have all done the same as me, you know, kept all the incriminating evidence, cards, texts etc! Well I have and they paint a story of how ‘I’ was chased by him and not the other way round.

    Time to put me back on the menu in my life! Come on girls, chins up, dust yourself down and start loving yourself!

  16. Taila says:

    I am also the “other woman” and enjoy being in this type of relationship. It is mutually satisfying for the both of us. We are married to people that we should not be married to, but have decided to stick it out for our kids. We are good friends in public and enjoy doing other things together that our respective spouses do not enjoy. We have been in this relationship for over two years and it just gets better and better. And we don’t have sex every time we get together, in fact it is few and far between.

  17. RulesGirl2theEnd. says:

    Why oh Why would you do this to yourselves? Really? Im a total love addict, but this? I have a friend, who met a guy who had a pregnat girlfriend. He was on a lads night out, spent the whole eve drinking to the point of not knowing if he was coming or going and pissed up the bar!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ANYWAY HE ASKED HER IF SHE WAS SURE SHE WAS’NT A PROSITUTE? Oh lord! she replied that she was sure she was not and asked why, He said, because then IT WOUL NOT COUNT AS BIENG UNFAITHFUL! oh my god!! This bloke was about to be a father. My friend got the hell outta there.!!!

  18. Anastasiya says:

    Dear ladies,
    I have read your stories. The problem is, I have not yet encountered any reference to a situation similar to mine. I (37) was with a MM (53) for over 3 years — the first and the last time in my life, I was feeling incredibly guilty towards his wife — but this was not the first time he did this to her and she is not jealous at all, as long as he is there for her, she is fine with it. And they have not been sleeping together for the past 5 years. As in many such cases, our relationship was great. Sex – yes, but not just sex. Telephone calls every 2-3 hours; an hour and a half on the phone every evening. There was not a moment when each of us did not know where the other one was, what the other one was doing. It was so incredibly good, we loved each other more than anything. Suffice it to say that out of these 3 years, I spent 2 whole years working overseas — and still, the phone conversations never stopped, I felt we were always together even when we were not physically together. At a certain point about a year and a half ago I decided I still needed to break out of it and find somebody who would be 100% with me. I started dating somebody (it was a bad choice, but that is irrelevant). My MM went absolutely crazy. I cried and begged him not to leave me. He said that he could not imagine being with me while I was dating other men, and decided to leave his wife. The problem is they have a child (and that is what makes my story different from most of the other stories I read on this site). The boy is 7, and for my MM he is the whole world. What is worse, the child is attached to him much more than he is attached to his mother. They do everything together, the wife is pretty helpless in everything that has to do with the child, just as she is completely dependent on her husband when it comes to all other practical matters. My MM is a very, very decent, responsible, kind person. He was taking his child to a child psychologist for 12 whole months, on a weekly basis, to prepare him for the fact that one day the father may not be there to take him to bed, as he usually does – every day. Then he told his wife. She fainted, cried, became ill, would not leave her bed for weeks, lost her job, became even more helpless than she used to be. As a result, the child became even more dependent on his father. I felt that he was spending more and more time with his child, but he claimed he still loved me more than anything in the world. Still, obviously the child, and the house, and taking care of his wife were top priorities – and I accepted that. But I was becoming increasingly irritable. Bad, very bad. I hated myself for this, but I just couldn’t cope with it. I know better now, but it is too late…. One day, I was so upset that I did not call him — and neither did he. I am blaming myself for having alienated him by being irritable, which is not like me at all, I am telling ymself we should have continued in some form, because it was so great, so magic — but on the other hand, I remember I was not always comfortable with the fact that he was always rushing to pick up the child from school, to help him with the homework, to go shopping, etc., etc., etc . Ladies, is there anybody out there, please, who was in a similar situation — when a man really does want to leave, but cannot because he genuinely loves his child or children, because the wife is dependent on him, etc., etc., etc.? And am I a total idiot for having ended it like that, for not having called him and apologized for my irritated reactions of the past days? Please, please, please help me, it has been a month now but it hurts like hell. I have no children of my own, and somehow I felt the situation is unbalanced — but what do I have now? Nothing….

  19. Jean says:

    Anastasiya, there are thousands of stories just like your on the net. I’m sorry to say that your situation is truly no different than any other woman getting involved with a married man.

    How do you even know his wife got sick? How do you know he even told her? The entire act of cheating makes him a liar. How could he not be?

    His little double standard is just amazing but just an example of the utter selfishness he has. It’s ok for him to still live with his wife and cheating with you but how dare a single woman like yourself date someone!

    The best thing you can do is get some counseling about this and work on yourself so you can have a healthy relationship with someone who is actually available to you the next time.

  20. NML says:

    Hi Anastasiya. I have to agree with Jean – the age old tale of the child being very attached, the wife falling apart, him near losing his mind when you started dating someone else – is age old. The only thing that is unique here is that you actually believe it’s unique, which is what many OWs are like till they get enlightened. There are many sites dedicated to being the other woman – I have had to close down a number of posts because it couldn’t cope with comments in the thousands from readers telling their stories. They all have the same thing – a woman who thinks her situation is unique, a man who has a special reason why he cannot leave and must continue cheating on the wife and keeping you on ice, and a whole lot of lies and subterfuge. It is not easy to end relationships however men with integrity do the honest and decent thing, and either stay with their wife/family and stop cheating, or end the relationship. He is not the first man to meet someone else and have a child and wife to deal with. All cheats have ‘obstacles’ which they inflate the size of so that they don’t have to leave. Oh and before you say he left, that’s another ploy too – leaving and then saying that the guilt and pressure is too much and going back. Either way, he’s not with you.

  21. Gaynor says:


    I agree as well. Sounds like the the majority of MM stories I have read, funny how everyone sees their story as being unique.

    I think the MM are the biggest con artists of the EUM world, that’s why it’s best to just stay away.

  22. Margaret says:

    Hi Everyone,

    I just came across this site and article. There is so much truth in what you write NML. I was the girlfriend first; but found out he hadn’t fully ended it with his girlfriend, but continued the relationship. He is the type of man who swoops in and is in love after a couple of dates. He wanted to move in and a commitment after a few weeks, but I wanted to take my time. We continued to date and things heated up again – I was in love. I then found out he was online dating and one of the girls he was seeing was pregnant. He was confused, a screw up, how could he be a father when he kept screwing up relationships. I am embarrassed to say that I became his support person. Listened to him, hung out with him, slept with him all of it. I was so afraid of losing him I never really asked any questions. He started coming around more frequently and I finally asked if he wanted a real relationship with me I’d be here otherwise I wanted to be left alone. He continued to check in regularly, I tried to ignore him, but was so weak. I found out he had left the girlfriend a couple of months ago! He was living with another woman. I have been completely played for a fool. He claims I’m his best friend. HA! Best Fool for putting up with this crap. I know I have a lot of work to do on myself and self esteem because I know he’s a creep but I still find myself asking what was so special about this new woman that made him leave the mother of his child? I think the most painful part was him telling me he could never have a real relationship with me one day and then the next telling me how confused he was and how wonderful I was. Trust me its a no win situation – get out as soon as you can and try to save yourself some heartache. If he cheated with you, he’ll cheat on you too.

  23. Anastasiya says:

    Dear ladies,
    So many thanks for all your responses. It helps so much to gain an external perspective on things. And because in this case all the people involved are really decent human beings (including his wife!!), it all got even more complicated.
    May I just pose yet another question/ comment? In my case, the problem (for me at least) began when I found him saying, repeatedly: “We (meaning him and me) ARE together… When people ARE TOGETHER, I expect that they do X and Y… I am not sharing you with anybody, my wife and myself — we are just friends, talking about the children and the house and the like”. But my sense of what it means being TOGETHER was apparently different from his… After all, there was simply no way he would be able to be with me, physically, hug me and just sit by my side, when I needed him, if this clashed with his family duties — which is fine, I accept the family comes first, but it did kind of imply that we are not completely together. Hence my question: is it understandable– here I am, again, seeking justification and support, but it is simply because I am feeling completely lost at the moment — that I was feeling there were certain double standards applied here?… That he was living in two different frameworks of ‘togetherness’ at once, whereas I had only this one – me and him, and the lack of balance was growing increasingly difficult to cope with?

    Still, we always, always talked on the phone, constantly, so in this sense we were together…. I miss these conversations, I miss this spiritual intimacy…. Sometimes I feel I should have let it go on, for this… On the other hand, I am not sure it would have allowed me to be open-minded about other possibilities.. I really want to be able to pick up the pieces of myself, to reconstruct my inner integrity and to start attracting normal people! NML – thanks so much for all your articles, they are a huge help.

  24. ts says:

    Hey Anastaslya,
    Well, you do have yourself in a pickle. I think the reason you have found this website and have reached out, should tell you all you need to know. I only wish the best for you. Only you can do what you need to do. Cheers. ts.

  25. Anastasiya says:

    Thanks ts. Yes it is true — the very fact that I started to look for help out there means something…. I hope the pain will pass one day — at the moment it does not look like it will, but it probably will. Wishing all of us happiness….

  26. Used says:

    Based on the facts you have presented, the best change you could make right now is to move to another city (preferably even in another country or state), and start completely over in all aspects of your life (personal, social, and career), b/c that will be the best way to redefine and find yourself…and learn to love yourself.

    These married guys are hilarious.

  27. Anastasiya says:

    Thank you Used,
    I actually did think about it. And I will try to change a lot about my lifestyle and my habits once I feel a bit better. This site helps a lot. You see, the irony is that for most of the time we were together we were actually in different countries. We maintained a constant contact, though.. Always. So — it was not really so much about physical intimacy. I think he found in me a confidante, a conversation partner which was perfect for me — just as he was perfect for me, in this sense. Except that a point came when it was no longer enough for me, the double life in the other senses (the daily routine – with his family, the more ‘elevated’ issues – with me) was too much. He is a wonderful man — but, ladies, is there such a thing as (unconscious) emotional exploitation? I am still furious, angry with myself for having become irritable, for having cried, for having become ‘not myself…’ But maybe it was inevitable. I hope so much this forum will allow us to become stronger and more loving — towards ourselves, because we already can love others.

  28. Used says:

    So your living in separate countries was another factor here that contributed to making things reaaaally easy for him to have things the way he wanted them to be: status quo with the wife and kid, and status quo with you. And it sounds like both you AND the wife are way younger than him. What a great ego boost for this a**hole!

    [BTW, I see that your “alias” is Greek-sounding. If you are Greek or the like, you come from a patriarchal society, wherein ALL women get used and abused. I come from a society like that (patriarchal), too. I learned fast to stay away from my own men, who are mostly EUMs, and married a 100% American, who appreciates me and my family to death! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ]

    Conscious or not, this guy has proven to you he is a jerk. So start over in any way you can, and stay away! When you’ll do, you’ll see that he is getting what he deserves!

    The internet and the fact that the whole world has gotten so much smaller (in that people travel, and work with other countries, more) has made it sooooo much more easy for men (and women, yes) to cheat. It’s scary.

  29. Jean says:

    He really isn’t a wonderful man. Wonderful men don’t lie and cheat.

    I don’t know if you have ever been cheated on but how would you feel if you were married and found out your husband was cheating on you?

  30. Anastasiya says:

    Hello Used,
    You know, you actually do help me shed a new light on a lot of this. It may not have been so much about boosting one’s ego, but rather about the emotional support etc. that he was not able to get elsewhere.
    You are right about the name :-). But I am a very cosmopolitan being, because of my job I live ‘all over the place,’ speak languages and like to discover the world…. I definitely do have issues with my family background, but this is a different story altogether… I am working on it now. You are also right about the Internet having made it so much easier to cheat — but I still want to believe that the majority of men (and women!) would never do that. I will try to follow your example and I hope that one day somebody ‘normal’ will enter my life — when I am ready for it. I am trying to piece myself back together now, to start believing in myself… I wish you happiness, and again — many thanks for all the support…
    Jean — the answer is very simple, and I told him that many times: if somebody cheated on me, I nwould send him packing, immediately. As I tried to make it clear in my first post, his wife (and child) was a constant concern for me. I do not know how, and why, I have no explanation for that, but she was not bothered by any of that — I think because she knew he would always be there for her, that he would never ever leave. Which is legitimate, after all, who am I to judge. It would not work for me, I really want to believe in integrity of relationships, but apparently it did work for her.

  31. ts says:

    Hi Anastaslya,

    To quote you:

    “the answer is very simple, and I told him that many times: if somebody cheated on me, I would send him packing, immediately”

    So, I guess, my question to you, is why didn’t you?

    I know life tricky. ts.

  32. Anastasiya says:

    P.S.: Just as an afterthought — apparently the value of such painful (for all parties involved) experiences is nearly always that they can open our eyes to the deeper issues that we have deal with before we can move on to a healthy, normal type of relationship, without self-victimisation and without hurting anyone else (the two often go hand in hand). Learning to accept one’s past mistakes as a lesson may be the first step towards recovery, on all levels. It is only now that I am beginning to see to what extent this relationship was a reflection of so many problems I was having with myself. So — this is on the ‘positive’ side of it, however ridiculous this might sound. I hope to be able to gradually move to other sections within this blog, as I make progress — and I do hope I will make progress. A good day to all of us!

  33. Anastasiya says:

    ts, — well, I guess my previous post (P.S.) explains why I didn’t. I was completely confused, did not know what it was I wanted, could not answer clearly the questions I was posing for myself. But in the end — I did!!! Even though I am still in agony, but it is getting somewhat better.

  34. ts says:

    Hey Anastaslya,
    It sounds like you are getting to where you want to be. I only wish you the best. Be strong in your journey. It is confusing, but, you can do it! The best to you. ts.

  35. Gaynor says:


    How do you know that the wife actually knew of the affair and was not bothered by it?? Is this what he’s telling you to string you along?

  36. Anastasiya says:

    Hello Gaynor,
    Well, yes, this is what he told me, that she had never ever been jealous of women approaching him, or of him being with another woman… And I do believe that on most counts he was very honest with me. He also used to spend hours on the phone, talking to me, and she never seemed to mind. He never made a real secret of our relationship, we appeared openly everywhere, etc., etc., etc. I do not believe he would ever want to hurt her in any way. On the other hand, now that I am trying to look at it from a different angle, I think that maybe she was OK with it because he was giving his wife what she wanted — not physical intimacy, but whatever other kinds of support, emotional and otherwise, she needed; he was (and is) taking care of every single aspect of the family’s life, every single thing, from buying newspapers to mortgage etc. — just as he was giving me many of the things that I needed at the time (and still need, yes, except that I cannot get them from him any more…). This is the flip side of being a good man, isn’t it — equally good to everybody….

  37. Used says:

    I doubt the wife knew about it. In any event, knowledge or no-knowledege on her part, especially when you state so strongly that you are so opposed to extramarital affairs, you should not have done what you did to a married woman. You say that you are cosmopolitan (and, I guess, not “traditional”), but it is not a “cosmopolitan” thing to be the other woman in an affair, even if a wife is openly and truly “O.K.” with it!

    You are only at the beginning, and have a lot of work to do, b/c, even with your education, languages, and travel, career, etc., you are MORE subordinate than the wife. SHE has status, legitimacy, a public face. YOU don’t.

    So this guy is a total egomaniac. He has the faithful trophy/non-working/dependent wife and family at home, devoted to his image, and a very much younger career woman who he can have conversations with on the side.

    YOU are perpetuating this type of behavior, this “code”, among men: “Marry the trophy, who doesn’t work, and have an affair with the brainy girls, who do work, who have a career (which, lucky for us, took time away from these girls’ finding a good single guy!!), who we can have great conversations and side/forbidden-sex with, and who we don’t have to support financially in any way.”

    Rent a movie called “The Best of Everything”. It is about your situation, exactly. Came out in the 1950s, when women started having real careers and first entered the workforce, and showed how hard it was forthem to have personal lives, in a world where men like yours want the situation they put you in.

  38. Gaynor says:


    I’m sorry but a good man does not string you along with lies. I do not believe he ever intended on leaving his wife and that the situation was very convenient for him.

    I cannot imagine any wife being comfortable-no matter what her feelings are for the husband- with the fact that her husband is parading his mistress around town (how humiliating for her) and spending endless hours on the phone with her and not have some issue with it. I’m assuming that if she was so comfortable with the situation he was also living with you on a part-time basis? The thing that doesn’t make sense is that she is comfortable with your arrangement but flips out when he threatens to leave her? This doesn’t add up!!!

  39. Used says:

    Yes, given the facts, if the wife really did know about the affair in its entirety, she should be happy with being “divorced with benefits”: divorcing the jerk and having a great settlement, property, etc. for the rest of her and her kid’s lives. If he was such a “wonderful” guy, then this would have been the case.

    Again, married guys who cheat kill me. No wonder they think they can do what they do: the other woman is all they need to put up with their b.c., and she does!

    If you are 37, you’d better high-tail it and work on moving forward with your life, Ana, especially if you want kids. If the day comes that you learn that you can’t, maybe in a few years, just watch how this guy will come looking for you–b/c he’ll have you EVEN MORE where HE wants you. (And he still won’t be leaving his wife, that’s for sure!)

    I feel badly for all women who never got married and are now in their 30s. I actually have come to feel that a woman in her 30s should just go ahead and have a kid (by the time she hits 35 at the latest) if she has not met a guy with whom she could have a marriage or other significant relationship to her liking. And she shouldn’t name the kid with the father’s last name, either! Then a man sees that he has his genetic survival and family name ensured, WITHOUT having to commit or even support the wife if he is stubborn about it!

    Yes, men have it swimmingly since “women’s lib”–and the pill–and “free love”–came about. There is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON for a man to marry nowadays, except for the fact that they themselves have mothers, sisters, and daughters whom they HAVE TO respect (and that’s not even guaranteed!!) , b/c of being blood.

    In my next life, if that exists, I want to be a rich, and (at least) decent-looking man.

  40. Used says:

    In the 4th paragraph, above, “wife” should have been “woman”.

    In the 2nd, “b.c.” should have been “b.s.”

  41. Anastasiya says:

    Well, ladies, yes there is a lot of truth in what you are saying, but… Let me just say that, as we all know, real life situations are always as similar to each other as they are unique. We all find ourselves in special situations with specific people, and yes, it is difficult to accept that suddenly one plays exactly the role one has sworn to never ever play. It is difficult to reconcile oneself to it, but this is just life. Real people in real situations — we can never say ‘never.’ The best we can do is try to stay true to the basic principle of not hurting the others — and accept the fact that we just walk away when we feel this happens, with as little damage to all parties involved (including ourselves) as we can. As to what adds up and what doesn’t — of course a lot of it does not add up, and it doesn’t make sense, but this IS the situation, this is the truth, and I stepped out of it before it was too late. I do not have an issue with my age, I feel very comfortable with it. I do want a healthy, loyal relationship, and I hope it will happen one day. I think that, up until now, I had never really felt the real need for it, I had not really known what I am and who I am, have never really appreciated myself and realised what I can offer the other person in my life — and I can offer a lot, but one must also know HOW to offer it…

  42. Used says:

    You stepped out of it (you left) before you wasted any more time. That’s how you should be with any relationship that is not right from its beginnings. Good for you! And you’ll be fine, but only as long you “go where you are wanted” (as they say), where it is right to be, and where you also want to be!

    (You also don’t sound too worried about whether you have kids or not, which is also good.)

  43. nysharon says:

    Cocobell33>this is what happened to me. He kept saying he was leaving, but didn’t, and then would have jelous rages when I would date other men. They want it all. When I would begin to date someone, he would then emotionally black male me by sayig it made him want to stay with his wife and “why should I leave?”. Then there were rules around Who I could date; not anyone he worked with, not someone he knew, not someone who had a reputation cause that would reflect on him if we ever ended up together. I mean it was CRAZY. On more than one occation I heard from one of his cooworkers that he had mentioned to them that I was His Girl (in other words–stay away). I would be out talking to a guy and he would come up and make a scene or whisper in my ear or just make it very uncomfortable. It was about control, maintaining the status quo. Our relationship started as sex when I was still unhappily married 8 years ago. He has been in and out of my life so many times I can’t even count. I had had a few other flings but he was the one there was fireworks with, we would talk on the phone for hours, sneak awy out of town together. I got seperated a couple years later, and have been divorced now for 4 years. He has moved out at one point but was home most of that time with his kids. I was just divorced and started seeing him. He went back to her when I ended things for the umpteenth time because he really wasn’t out and going on with a real separation. I could write a book too but if at any point you want to have someone really BE there for you, you won’t find it with this type of relationship. So here I am at 51 trying to move along in my life. Avoiding his phone calls, and seeing him in public because I don’t want to fall back into the trap again. Twice in the past four months he has called to tell me he is leaving and then he goes back after a couple days because he kids were crying, because he missed them because he has no money, etc etc. NML is right, we can’t seem to move on……and sometimes its easier to just go back with them for the securtiy that at least someone loves you, even if they choose not to be with you. The fun, excitement, but the price is your reputation, your friends lack of respect, and the waking up one day to realize that life goes on and your still in the same stupid situation……..

  44. nysharon says:

    I should add that we had wonderful time together and I do really think we were meant to be together. However, during the 8 years, he had another child with her during a time when we were off, and in the past two years I told him he could move in with me if it meant he would leave….he still didn’t. Now we are at a place were he has resigned to staying with her and he understands that I want something more. Until he sees me with another man…………..

  45. Anastasiya says:

    Used, — thanks for your support!!! I hope to be back in a while with good news :-)

    nysharon — I read your post and I just wanted to tell you that all too often we tend to be attracted to controlling types because it is easy to mistake control for genuine care: we feel this is somebody who actually cares about us…. But it is all about control. For all that, I understand how you feel, since you had such wonderful time together. Still: look forward and ask yourself where you would like to be in 10 years. TThen: try to imagine yourself in 10 years from now and look back. Your are 51 — in my opinion, a really good age for a woman, when she has learnt much in life and knows how to take good care of herself. Good luck!

  46. caroline says:

    Hi ladies, many thanks for reading this message.

    I am a writer for Marie Claire magazine and I’m working on a feature on women whose partners left a wife/girlfriend to be with them.

    It doesn’t matter if you’re still with the man in question – a variety of experiences is expected (and welcomed!)

    The piece will be very positive and non-judgmental, and will comprise a short telephone interview. You will get the opportunity to take part in a photo shoot with of the magazine’s top photographers.

    If you, or anyone you know, has been in this situation, I’d love to hear from you. Please email me at [email protected]. Many thanks in advance!

  47. polly says:

    I know this an old thread but I’ve only just found it.

    Here is my situation – I’m 54 and he is 62.

    We are both teachers.

    We first met 27 years ago at a school we were teaching at and became friends.
    I stopped teaching for a while and then 18 years ago moved to anotehr school and he was there. We’d had no contact in teh intervening years. We picked up our friendship and it began to develop. He was unhappy and was saying then that he would stay till the children were grown up. Before we began an affair I moved schools 14 years ago and we had no contact again.
    7 years ago i moved schools again and he was there! once again we slipped into our easy relationship.
    I again moved and no contact.
    Last summer I was walking through a boatyard near my home and he was there -had retired.
    I was by then divorced as my husband left me for the otehr woman.
    we had a quick hug, said hi and updated each otehr brefly. His children were now 20 and16.
    After going for a few walks together over a month or two I could see that we were drifting back together again so again stopped contact.
    Easter this year he started emailing me, telling me that teh children were now old enough at 17 and 21 to cope with a break and pushed a relationship, after backing off for a while I finally succumbed.
    3 weeks ago he tried to leave and come to me – he was here for 48 hours. Older child was on the phone for 2.5 hours and he was shaking when he came off – he has returned out of duty/loyalty yet says he loves me but that we tried to move intogether too quickly. his mother is 93 and teh girls and wife all palyed the “it will kill her” card.
    So what do I do?
    Do I go with the flow for a while and see what happens?
    I love him very much and know that he loves me too. It actually isn’t about sex – we enjoy being together, feel comfortable together and have a kind of history.

    • NML says:

      Hi Polly, I have approved your comment but you will need to join the forum to discuss this further as this comment thread is closing. Your comment due to it being a detailed request for personal advice is more suited to the forum. Thanks

  48. Neha says:

    I am glad that I came accross this site. However, I am on my way to become the other woman. And honestly, i cant help it.
    He is just my co-worker and i am attracted to him. we are both married, he happily with a kid and I with my husband. I made the first move and first he did not acknowledge, but later we were constantly on phone. We even went to the extent of saying that we love each other, but he himself confessed that he is not sure whether it was love or lust.
    Is this happening because of the monotony of marriage and the ” taking for granted” state of a marriage?
    Whatever it is, i dont feel guilty, infact I have not yet slept with him but I intend to do so. I just want to be with him once.
    God help me!

  49. J says:

    I’m in love with a girl who’s mixed up with a married man. I, of course, can’t get the time of day out of her because she’s distracted with what amounts to a fantasy.

    I know damn well that I can provide a much healthier and supportive relationship, but so long as shes wrapped around this guy forget it.

    And of course if she ever wakes up from this, well there’s your emotional damage that some other poor sod, such as myself, is going to have to deal with.

    It really, really hurts. If I had the cash I’d be on a plane back to Afghanistan in a flash. At least there you can trust your mates because real world consequences abound and no one can afford to play these kind of silly games with each other.

    So it’s not just the spouses and the parties involved that are affected by these relationships (loose term there), it’s anyone else in the blast area too.


  50. zaj says:

    I wanted to say a lot of things but for an instant I don’t know how to start.
    I met him at work when my marriage was shaky and I was miserable. Everybody likes him and looks up to him. He’s a fine businessman and faithful servant in his church. Got a great wife who’s an executive and 3 children of 16,14,10.
    Due to my broken marriage, I consoled myself partying and clubbing. There he came and persuaded me. I went out with him but didn’t plan to fall in love with him. But I did. So, I got a divorced. Though I didn’t ask but expecting somehow he would do the same as he told me he loves me and wants everything right for me. I quit the job from the same company he’s working with to avoid any gossips. I tended a small county business. We saw each other regularly once a week and spent 2 days 1 night over some out of town escapades. He’s a very jealous and possessive man and very caring. He started straightening my life out. No night outs. No vices. Everything is monitored. He talks about his job, the kids, and some other things but never about his wife. I investigated. His wife is also a lawful servant in their church, great mom and devoted wife. I think that’s the reason he barely touched that subject. He’s feeling guilty somehow. Only that he keeps on telling me he’s not happy with her and it’s been a couple of years since the last time he “slept” with her…why? well, he said because of individual differences and the wife lost interest with it. That was 2007.
    In 2009, when I realized that he would not leave her anytime soon for no reason, I left to work overseas. There, I tried to go on with my life without him. But, he kept on chasing me. Proved to me somehow that I mattered to him by sending flowers, constant calls, waiting on chats, etc. He knew I had a short-lived relationship abroad but still begged for me to come home. So in 2009, I did. He got a condo unit for me to stay and I took I job in the metropolis. A working project in the county provided him to stay with me 2 nights in a week. It looked fine with me ’til the project ended. As year 2009 ended, his project contract ended, he could not stay even for a single night. I had to miss job just to catch up with him during the day. I minded less until I decided to quit my job.
    Doing nothing and him not around, I started to go back with my own life. Partying and clubbing. With all the money from him.
    In 2010, trying to direct my life, he put up a business for me. Something I own. We work together with it. I could hardly appreciate it because it meant my total dependency on him. We got an office just adjacent to my condo unit. He comes at 10 AM and leaves at 9 PM everyday. No matter how I tried, I could not persuade him to stay over night as he could not tell any alibis to his wife. His wife works nearby. They come and go home together. In fairness, whenever he’s with me he never take any calls of his wife no matter she tries to ring or how ballistic she is.
    I took it as manifestation of his love and respect to me.
    Lately, I talked to him heart to heart. I told him that if he really loves me he would rather let me go if im waiting for nothing. He told me to stay put and wait for few years like 3 til his youngest get into high school. He even told me that I suffered a lot and would not make me suffer even more by asking to wait for nothing. And so I believed him though it makes me wondering how he could ever leave his wife for forever if he could not even leave her for a night?
    Since then, I became irritably miserable. Quarreling him and everything as I feel something is not so right.
    Then, just today I found out that he was still sleeping with her only that he did not want to admit when was the last time.
    All the things I believed and hoped for vanished. Turned into ashes. Because, for all I know , you could not sleep with someone you don’t want anymore. What was it? He could not leave her at once because she’s been all so good? And now, he slept with her because she’s all been so good? He’s lying to me. He’s lying to her. Telling me he’s just doing it for the wife not to get suspected? CRAP!
    Please tell me to stop being stupid.

  51. zaj says:

    pls help

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