Choosing

I read a post this morning in an “other woman support forum” that was talking about choices and responsibility for pain. In a nutshell, the author of the post, an OW herself, insisted that her choosing to engage in the affair had nothing to do, ever, at any point, with the pain of the betrayed spouse of her AP. That any damage done to the marriage would lie fully on the shoulders of her AP, as would the responsibility be fully on her to her own marriage.

Her other big point was that every day was a choice…to continue to engage in the illicit relationship alongside the official relationship and that made the illicit just like any other relationship – normal, you see? And if DDay occurred and her AP didn’t do as he promised (not throw her under the bus…and ultimately choose her) then she would have choices. She even ends her piece with saying, “I chose to love him because he offered his love to me.”

Am I alone in thinking this is really destructive thinking all the way around?

destructivethinking2

That there IS a choice for a person in a committed relationship to offer, as her lover did, and to receive, as she did, love from another? Isn’t this the crux of the deceit and the filth and the pain? I’ll say it as simply and succinctly as I know how:

IF YOU ARE IN A COMMITTED RELATIONSHIP, DON’T REACH OUT FOR ANOTHER OR ENGAGE WITH ANOTHER PARTY IN A POTENTIAL FRIENDSHIP OR RELATIONSHIP. PERIOD.

stop

Just don’t do it. Don’t let the conversations go there, the body language flourish, the glances happen. We are not victims of those circumstances – those are things we actively do or allow or partake in. It isn’t the power of the universe pulling words out of your mouth, or the angels shaping your face in a seductive glance. It. Is. You.

If you engage in an affair, you chose to go there, and you are responsible for the pain of your partner, along with the pain of your AP’s partner. And what about all the other collateral damage…the children? Friends? Extended family? But you can absolutely avoid it, avoid being a pain-maker, two ways:

Do not engage in any way with the development of a friendship or flirtatious/intimate relationship. Period. Cut it off. Much to the surprise of other women, us betrayeds have actually found ourselves in these same places from time to time throughout our marriages. We faced moments when our marriage relationships were far less than fulfilling, and another person suddenly said something compelling, or appreciated something our husband had missed, or noticed our new haircut. But we didn’t bite. We chose to honor ourselves, first, and our commitments and all that goes along with that. So stop biting. The OW said “I chose to love him because he offered his love to me?” Make a different choice. That is way #1 you can avoid being a pain-maker.

The second way is be authentic in your official relationship. If you are unhappy, talk about it. Do something about it. Whatever somethings you think may have answers: books, seminars, trainings, faith-leaders, prayer. And if your partner won’t engage, won’t work toward change and you want to leave, then leave. But don’t be so weak that you have to have the next relationship lined up to do so. Not with a single person, which puts them in the position of becoming a pain-maker, and not with another married. Just leave with your big boy/girl panties on, face the reality of your broken relationship and all that means, and then engage in whatever friendships or flirtatious/intimate relationships you choose with other single people.

Don’t tell me it isn’t as easy as all that. That I just don’t know your story. That your situation is different. That he’s been locked in misery for years, or that you have been alone in your marriage for years. That there hasn’t been intimacy between them for a really long time, and they aren’t intimate during your affair. That the financial situation…or the children…or the dog… You can justify your wrong, pain-making behavior all you want, or you can decide that you won’t be a victim or a perpetrator – instead you will be courageous and strong and write the story of the next chapters of your life without decimating other people and children and extended family along the way. We betrayeds agree with the author. You do have choices, far more than you allow yourself to see. Choices to be a whole-hearted (as Brene Brown has coined) person, choices to value yourself, choices to live in integrity so that your one life is just that – one life – rather than having little secret lives tucked around the pockets of your other life.

And the final choice. HUSBAND’s AP must have been shocked. You see, they had an elaborate plan. One that included our DDay, and counseling, and separation, and mutual decision to divorce. One that included HUSBAND dating another mutual friend of AP and H briefly. One that included HUSBAND connecting back with AP, and them dating and falling in love. It was all planned, just so. But that isn’t how the story played out. HUSBAND had a choice. As did I. Somehow under the rubble and rubbish that was tied up in a neat little Affair bow, we found the vestiges of our deep love and it was far more powerful than the empty promises of the AP or the pain of their actions. He chose, and I chose. We chose each other.

bikeride

 

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47 thoughts on “Choosing

  1. Not my fault a married man was screwing me, he shouldn’t have fallen between my open legs. I tried to push him away but his wedding ring got caught on my Welcome Home sign……….said every innocent OW.

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  2. I totally agree with you that it is all a choice. Whether or not you want to acknowledge that your choices affect and hurt others is a different story. I think that is a different/deeper problem with society than just one with affairs. Humans, by nature, it seems are selfish to the point where we have to actively seek to consider the impact on others when we make our choices. And many don’t seem to ever pick up on that skill. I also believe there is a huge subset of the population that will not/cannot accept being alone. They seek to fill the void, they seek to have the next “one” lined up before exiting the relationship. I think we all have some tendency towards this – I certainly do. It is hard to be alone. But some will never try, or work towards self-discovery or reflection on one’s choices. It’s just on to the next… Sad, but there are more people like that out there can I care to admit…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely and absolutely agree with you. This is a broader problem than just affairs, but they seem to have a special dispensation from AP perspective (both partners…my H now admits he felt that way when he was cheating). If a person was texting someone because they wanted to speak to them and had an accident in which someone was injured, most of us would hold the texters responsible…they wanted to talk to each other (like APs wanting to connect) and certainly did not INTEND anyone to get hurt, yet hurt happened. And we see they are responsible. Whether they meant to hurt the other person or not.
      And the being alone thing…well…that is the hard work H and I did after DDay, and we realized our alone beings needed work. It was through working on our alone beings that we could come together in wholeness and real, unfiltered love. You are so on the right track toward your own completeness, dear BLT!!!! HUGS!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. To be very clear, your blog started with you being tempted and then being a super grown up and resisting the stupidity oops I mean temptation and managed to do the right thing and it has exposed how awful your husband was. I think your blog is the proof in the pudding… People don’t fall into affairs unless they want to, and they know exactly how much it can cost them, hurt others wtc. But they choose it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. If d-day comes he will choose her? If that’s the case, why isn’t he choosing her now? That’s messed up. And as for being completely not at fault… You’re there. You’re an accessory. If your vagina was closed for business, the choice wouldn’t be available. Ugh. This just gives me a bad taste

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Yes! Yes! Yes! If they are so perfect for each other, if their relationship is so meant to be, then why don’t they get divorces and be together on the up and up?

      Well we know why. Because they are selfish children in adult bodies who want nice stable homes AND the excitement of a forbidden relationship.
      ☀️

      Liked by 5 people

  4. H and I were having a conversation about the ease with which he thought I could find another man, if I chose. I expressed doubt, as I haven’t really been hit on or had another man express interest in many years. H told me “you put off a vibe, so that’s probably the reason”. What- the “I’m not available because I’m a married woman” vibe? Yeah, I guess I do. 😳Because I am. If only the man I married also put off an “I’m not available because I’m married” vibe, rather than the exact opposite, where he offered his body and emotions to others besides me, we wouldn’t be in our current state of fuckedupness.

    And if only the poor OW would have some respect for herself, her own committed partner, and the other humans that her choices affect…well that would be a perfect world, wouldn’t it?

    I don’t doubt that they don’t intend to hurt us. How could they? They pretend we don’t exist.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. So much wisdom in this post. My H had an affair with a woman he had dated while he was growing up. Active in his addictions – which included alcohol, opiates, weed and sex – they partied together whenever he traveled thru her state on business. She provided him with drugs and ignored his abuse of it because she was also an addict. She believed his sad story about our failing marriage (he neglected to mention it was failing because of him) and how his wife “wouldn’t let him drink”. He didn’t tell her that he was lying to everyone including me about being sober. He told her he loved her and that he was going to leave me for her. She didn’t know he was a sex addict who would say anything to keep the affair going.

    But she had choices.

    If she had any self-respect she would have said “call me when the ink is dry on the divorce papers”. If she loved him she would have encouraged him to stop abusing his body – if not for her then for his 2 kids. The last day he was with her she gave him a surprise – OxyContin, which he took just before boarding a plane home. He could have died and she would have surely been an accomplice. She didn’t make any of the mature, responsible choices. She chose carelessly.

    After D-day my husband referred to her as a friend. I asked him if any of his other friends would supply him with deadly, addictive drugs to show how much they cared. Of course he said no.

    Both were incredibly selfish and too wrapped up in what they wanted out of the relationship to give a crap about anyone else. Everyone loses and everyone suffers when there is an affair. And everyone has a choice to change their course of action at any given time. Even addicts. I am grateful every day that my H has finally chosen his life and our life over her.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. It will always be astonishing to me that an OW thinks of herself as an innocent bystander in an affair. Will told me of a waitress he kept trying to sleep with and flirted with a lot. This waitress just told him point blank, “sorry, I don’t do married guys” I respect this unknown waitress more than I can say. If only people (tramps, whores, sluts…you know…OW) had just a modicum of integrity, our pain would be decreased… Well written my friend!

    Liked by 4 people

  7. This is so much of what bothers me about those who cheat — the ability to excuse this terrible behavior, to ignore the devastating damage that you’re creating in someone else’s life, and to do so without regret! This is my biggest problem with the AP in my husband’s affair, that she will excuse and ignore to the point that she never accepts responsibility for her actions and then she’ll do it again, ruin or nearly ruin another family. Is the cheating spouse responsible for the pain he causes his wife? Absolutely, but that doesn’t negate the fact that so is the other person. Human kindness requires putting goodness ahead of selfishness.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I always come back to the crime analogy. If Little Miss AP was robbing a house with her married lover and someone got shot and killed during the robbery, guess what, Little Miss AP? You’re going to jail! Welcome to your very own starring role in Orange Is the New Black.

    Likewise, when you’re engaging in an affair with a married man yes, you are responsible for the pain and suffering THE TWO OF YOU have caused. Then again, they’re typically so devoid of actual feelings that this won’t even penetrate their brains. They’re too narcissistic to be able to think of others. It’s all about them and what they want.

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    1. It has been 16 months since I found out my husband was having an affair with a woman he works with, family friend for the last 20 years and 16 years younger than him. Oh the ultimate trifecta! She told me to get over it! Oh….ok then…..
      Last week I sent her a 1 page synopsis of my hate and loathing for her and a well documented account of her new status of office whore. Did she care ? Would the truth bother her? No. But man did it make me feel good. She too had a plan I think. She wanted my life. Hers is screwed up. She will never admit it but I am sure she was stunned when we did not split up. I think part of me staying in the beginning was just to stick it to her a little. Not anymore though. I’m here for real.
      Sometimes I think we become our own worse enemy and start to self destruct. This helped me. Senseless maybe but what the hell, the whole affair was senseless.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I know for sure my OW was stunned that we stayed together. The things she told me the day she called were not the words of a woman who expected to lose, that’s for sure. And I knew from the beginning that I would never leave even if I had to keep putting up with the affair for the simple reason I could never allow her to ever be close to one piece of hair on my children’s heads. I have considered writing her a letter, but what I really want is a conversation with her.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I wrote a letter to the AP after my husband entered rehab. I threatened her and told her to stay away from my husband and let know that she caused tremendous harm and pain to everyone involved. She never responded.

        I felt good about writing it but I also realized afterwards that I essentially broke up with her for him. Today I regret the letter and wish I had let him end it himself. But I felt that my voice was heard and I no longer was an invisible person that she never considered when she was with my husband. So it was worth it to me.

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        1. There just isn’t a rule book to follow when it comes to betrayal. Each of us must consider our situations, personalities, circumstances, mindset…and then move the direction that works toward our own healing. The invisible thing is huge…I felt so invisible…and wanted to be heard…and wanted HER(s) to know that I knew and that I knew it all. That those secrets she thought she’d shared with her lover were now part of the story of my marriage. It was important to me…and together, HUSBAND and I wrote her a letter. I’ll blog about it…

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  9. I would be interested in reading that forum. Part of me wonders if Bobbie wrote that comment about love. I had to go back through my texts with her, but she wrote nearly the same thing. She said that he showed her what love was. In all honesty, just from the bits and pieces she told me, it did not sound like she really ever did understand love to the extent some do. Her father had a whole other family that he left…big red flag there. Plus, she stated many times her family never had any money. I always wondered if she blamed her parents for that. It’s clear that she has deep emotional problems, not just because of the affair, but her unsatiable need to be loved AND touched…..again, her words. This was in one of the yahoo messages she sent the other husband…that she had a need to be touched. And my husband had said many times that he felt sorry for her ( I never did ask him why he thought that, but maybe I will now.) And maybe all of that together is the reason I really do not hate her. I see her from the other side. I see so many things that she is trying to juggle emotionally. I don’t excuse her behavior, or his for that matter, but I do understand that there is so much more to any story that the front story.

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        1. I think there is a common denominator here when it comes to the words of love and devotion spoken and written in an affair. It is all a masquerade and it truly sickens me. I read the words and they cut me to my core.

          I waited 16 months to send that letter. Perfected it to the smallest detail. I figured this was my one chance to make myself as Boomer and SS says visible. I needed to be heard.

          I wish I could feel compassion but I do not nor will I ever. It was all too calculated and devious right down to her phone call to me about how she did not care about me or my kids. I saw red that day and truly if she was within my grasp at that time I predict my actions would have gone beyond words. Mess with me..ok. My kids…no no no. Yes pure hate is what I feel and I am trying to find a way to funnel it out of my life.

          And I did try to meet her and she refused. She told me I was not in control of her or the situation. The only word I can describe her tone to me was smug. I have seen her several times and she used to smile ear to ear ( she no longer does this believe me) she thought she was rubbing my nose in it I suppose but she is the one who lost her integrity. My husband too lost his integrity. Don’t think that I have not put his feet ( and other parts) to the fire. He will pay for his actions for the rest of his life way beyond when I finally do let this go. He will always be the husband that cheated on his wife and the dad who devastated his own children. She will always be nothing more than a loathsome office whore trying to make her self feel significant and powerful even. Think about the power these women must feel to take another woman’s husband? Narcism to the bone.

          I have made plenty of mistakes during this recovery process but I hold that I did the best I could with what I had. I don’t think she can say the same.

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        2. Bobbie also told me that day on the phone that she did not care about our children. I did feel pure hate at that time. And there are moments when I still do. I often wonder if my husband would still be pining for her had the other wife not come forward to inform us of her extra-curricular activities with him as well. I think the whole office knew she was a narcissist, and to this day it boggles my mind that he fell for it knowing all the things he knew. But, she made him believe she had changed for him, fed his ego. In reality she was trying to beat me. But, I was not beatable, because I was not giving up. I suppose she realizes that now. And, knowing all of that, I know she would never be brave enough to actually talk to me face-to-face, but she did before, so maybe. Bobbie also had long ago lost her integrity.. My husband on the other hand, lost his. And I have no doubt she never even factored that into her equation. She wanted to win at all costs and take me down. That’s the bottom line.

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        3. I don’t think I ever mattered, at all, to SW. I was expendable, worthless. HUSBAND was “such a great dad” and “making so many sacrifices” for his kids…you know…like staying married to me. Just my thoughts…

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        4. I understand your anger. Completely. And when our children are brought into the filth…oh my. I’m not sure when my anger began to dispel…but now I feel more a continued shock, and disgust. In those pivotal moments of choice, I just want to know how she chose the road she chose. HUSBAND and I have talked about it extensively, and he has expressed his own self-disgust, shock at what he did. But her? I just want to know…

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  10. SS – Expendable is a good word for how the OW consider the wives. We don’t matter to them. They want what they want. Cadillacs – I used to think my husband would keep the office whore on her pedestal. She came off as such a “I must save all the abused dogs and feed the homeless” kind of a person. I did some reading on narcissists and that is exactly the mask they wear. I don’t think my husband really thought of her in a bad light ( i think he was only blaming himself) until her rant on the phone. He could actually hear what she was saying so that put her in the light. Since then we have had some conversations about her role in all of this and I don’t doubt now he realizes her real character or lack of one.
    Men and their egos. Seriously. I think part of the problem is that wives don’t have time to feed their egos they are too busy running everything.
    Oh ladies, this is exhausting. Looking forward to the instruction book SS but I still think you should plan a weekend retreat somewhere. : )

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  11. I wrote about this the other day. Really angry at ow who brag abt being your man. Who know you’re there but chat them up trying to wish them. One ow my ex was with put up a meme saying if you think I’m stealing your man call the police. I was mad at all the ppl who knew and helped him cover up. Women don’t stand up fir each other. If I’d known the truth I would have happily told her that she could have him. But I didn’t. A guy commented saying men would be fukt if women had each others backs

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yea…can you just imagine if we did that? Had each other’s backs? We could turn this filthy behavior around. That meme is ridiculous. Although…depending on the state you live in…infidelity is actually illegal! 🙂 HUGS to you, fattytomend!

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