Dear Other Woman,
I am sorry that it took losing your family, the love of your life, and yourself to discover that the passion with a lover does not conquer all. I am sorry that you broke up a family, almost two families, in the process. However, your mistake is not a small one and it affects many lives. To say that you “fucked up” and that you “made a mistake” makes light of this. Your choice to leave your marriage for another man and your lover’s decision to sneak around behind his wife’s back affected others’ lives as well; it is completely dishonest. We all make mistakes, but this is more than a mistake. It is the murder of your marriage and your actions teach your children that it’s okay to tell a lie. Cheating is a completely selfish choice because you are only thinking about you.
Your children’s lives got caught in your quest for love when you decided to have an affair. Your children didn’t ask to have their family split in two because mommy finally found her prince charming. Now they must shuttle back and forth whether they like it or not. One day they will ask why their lives are here and there; if you are truly honest like you say, you will have to look them in the eye and tell them that you chose to follow the passion of a lover in secrecy instead of being strong and ending your marriage in an honorable way.
You are your boys’ role model. When they grow up, they will want to be like their mommy and dad. When teaching children, to be honest, kind, and dedicated people, the first thing they look to is their mom’s example. How are you going to explain that you only thought of yourself and disregarded what your whole family unit stood for? Are you going to say to your sons, “I just needed passion in my life? Passion is the most important thing. It’s more important than family or honesty or respect.”
In the meantime, your children may lose sleep, withdraw in school, or have trouble with friends. They may become disinterested in a subject or cry for random reasons throughout the day. (I should know as I see this in my classroom.) Eventually, they will adjust and be okay, but they will remember what they went through as kids. Here is the kicker, though; one day they will know the reason they went through it. Your choice cost them the peace of mind knowing that they have parents who they can trust. If you had left honorably, at least your children could say, “It just wasn’t meant to be,” or “They weren’t a good match.” How do they trust mom if she is lying to the whole family and sneaking around behind everyone’s back?
You can find yourself and change your life in many ways. Were you in a crappy marriage? So, end it, solve your problems like a grown adult, and then find yourself. Go on a vacation. Get a new job. See a counselor. Read a self-help book. Move for God’s sake, but running around and destroying people’s lives for you to feel better about yourself is not okay. I don’t care how sad and desperate or depressing your life was, or how much you connected with your friend, cheating is not the answer.
Cheating is hurtful. It is raw. It is selfish and awful and something you can’t undo by a sorry or saying that you learned from it or that you fucked up. It doesn’t go away and it’s not something you can undo by writing an article that people click on.
Now that your life is better, take a look around you. Look at the carnage in your wake. What did it cost for you to finally feel good about yourself? How many lives did you alter and change? I hope it was worth it to you. To say that this affair “Changed Your Life for the Better” is like a slap in the face to all women who had husbands lie and sneak and deceive. Bravo for you. I’m glad you are better now because of your lie.
From the wife of a cheater and a mother of two,
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