End of the Affair: Ask the Former Mistress

I just ended an almost year-long affair. It’s been three weeks yesterday. I got the idea of doing this after much venting in my blog.

You see, I don’t know if this can help anyone at all, but if it even prevents one person from going as far down this path as I did, then it’ll be worth it, whatever that may be.

First off, I won’t bore anyone with a long back story or gory details (I’m sure the PTB will appreciate us not turning this into Penthouse Forum), but I will answer legitimate questions to clarify why I thought I did what I did/felt/behaved. I’m not looking for any support or “oh you poor thing.” Nor do I have any desire to rehash what an immoral idiot I was for ending up in such a cliche’-riddled predicament. So, if that’s your beef with me, by all means take it to the Pit and I’ll be more than happy than to be one of the first posters to share in your sentiments. Otherwise, if there’s the usual amount of disapproval, I understand. Trust me, right at this particular moment, I believe no one can sink much lower than I did.

Secondly, this is not a “how to” guide on cheating. It isn’t to help anyone get around their suspicious spouse or to prevent being tripped up if you’re already in this sordid position. No, it’s to reiterate that if you don’t trust your SO, then find out why. And if there’s a good reason, deal with that. Don’t chain them to a bedpost, because they’ll just find more creative ways around it and degrade you and your self-esteem in the process. Furthermore, if you feel your intuition is correct, by all means, get whatever proof necessary as completely as possible before you confront them or, if they truly are the good scam artists that mine was, there WILL be a way out it that would make the unfaithful everywhere proud.

Lastly, please ask questions in the best interest of fighting ignorance. I can’t say for certain that if there had been a thread like this when mine started, I’d have been convinced to run screaming in the other direction. Because, you know, “we were different.” But perhaps it would have made me think more and rely less on how in love I was. Look deeper at the things that seemed odd and realize (how a 36 year old woman couldn’t of figured this out is beyond me – certainly since I know it in most other cases) that there’s more than one side to any story.

So, fire away. In the interest of protecting the not-so-innocent, will call my ex Ted. Because he and Mr. Bundy definitely had enough charming traits to have been considered brothers. Just hopefully, mine doesn’t devolve into serial killing.

(Just remember though, if I go a little sensitive or wiggy, this is all really still raw. I apologize if I come across in any way but helpful, so simply tell me to reign it in. And no, I don’t even know what stage of grief I’m in (I think it’s the ‘hating’ part), but I’m sure that’ll change within the next 15 minutes.) You’ve been warned.

What type of relationship was this guy in when your affair started?
What type (if any) were you in?
Did you know he was in a relationship?
Have you ever cheated on anyone before?
Your age? His?
When it started, were you purely in it for the sex?
What’s the meaning of your username?

Married 12 years, 2 children. Supposedly miserable from the get-go (see previous mention about “one-sided” stories, but was staying until his oldest could legally pick him as custodial parent. Yeah, I know.

Married 10 years, no children. A miserable relationship due to my ongoing mental health problems which had pretty much sunk us financially, physically and any othery ‘ally’ way you can think of. This had been going of for more than a dozen years at that point.

Yes, it was in the very first email (I think) we exchanged through Classmates.com.

No. He had. He said just once though since they’d been married. Before? ::: shrug :::

We’re both 36.

When it first started, I was looking for a friend. As an agoraphobic, I no longer had any. So because we’d had a bit of previous history and he seemed equally friendly and eager to see me again, I thought it a nice place to start. I was totally upfront with my husband about our meeting. He, OTOH, looking back in hindsight, I DO believe sex was the goal (for reasons I will elaborate on if interested).

It’s two-fold. I was initially hopefool because I always had hope, but felt it was a rather foolish thing for me to hold on to considering my circumstances. I’ve changed it now to avoid the ex stalking me (he’s VERY computer illiterate – if he can’t find the old name, he’ll never think to look for a new one) and because I feel like I was foolish to have ever had faith. In anything.

Did your husband/his wife find out?
Did you ever think about his wife or kids? What did you think about them?
What are your plans for your marriage/life now that this is over?

Since both parties involved in my marriage knew we had problems, he was aware right up front. We’d discussed what to do to salvage things, but they’d all been vetoed by him (Therapy as a couple was out because he didn’t believe in it personally and separating was as good as divorcing – other than that, we’d pretty much been living as roommates for quite some time and the only other thing that had been brought up was the possibility of making it an ‘open’ arrangement. Of course, at that time, I meant emotionally, not sexually. And that conversation predated what happened by almost 2 years -and- it was gone over again in length (like for 6 weeks or something) when Ted came back into the picture.

As for her, she found out a month after we’d started seeing one another. I hated lying about it in the first place, but he begged for me to just say that we were friends and that he was helping me deal with my problematic marriage.
::: sigh :::

I agreed and she wanted to believe it. Then things just proceeded ahead as ‘normal’, but with her keeping a much shorter leash on him. But as he always reminded me, we didn’t have very long to wait anyway. Just until his oldest turned 12 and he was leaving then. With or without me. :rolleyes:

All the time. He truly was the master of manipulation or maybe I was just obscenely naive, but daily, when he’d get home from work and before he had to pick the kids up from the babysitter, we’d talk on the phone (living a bit of a distance apart then, we couldn’t just see each other every day). He almost always made it a point to have some necessary conversation with her on his cell while I patiently listened in the background. That 20-20 thing now makes me understand that most of those were probably intentionally directed to make her look like a harpy, demanding, nutso shrew, but while I was in the midst of it, I thought he was insane for having put up with it ever, let alone for so long.

Furthermore, he made it seem repeatedly (by the above tactics and other sorts of stuff – like if he’d seen me that day, but didn’t arrive home by when he’d said, she’d keep the children up all night to make them pay for his sins, and on and on and on) that getting them away from her would be the best thing that could happen. I wanted so much to be a great step-mom to them that I was overcome with ignorance about how far off base I undoubtedly was and just how difficult it would be (plus, that whole hating the woman who took Dad away from Mom thing). Needless to say, I was led to believe she was barely one step away from Andrea Yates.

My marriage has been over for years, just no formalities done. Fortunately, this has been the absolute best thing ever to happen for my husband. He’ll know longer be responsible for my 24/7 suicide watch and I won’t drain him of his entire life force. He’s making friends again and becoming active. And, thankfully, we’ve become the real bestfriends we were meant to be in the first place. The only Catch-22 about that is, if we hadn’t been married, we’d have never been this close… so, although I could die every minute for hurting him, I’m blessed that he wants to keep me in his life. I love him more than anything/one ever.

What I’ll do now? I’m trying to get back up on my feet by house-sitting for some folks. All I’ll have to pay is electricity and any other utilities I incur. I’ll be responsible for upkeep and they think I’ll at least be able to stay 6 months. By then, I hope my disability will have kicked in until I can find a job I can hold down without turning into a raving loon every other week or so. Meanwhile, we’re trying to find the best approach for what’ll work until the divorce. He’ll pay more in taxes, but to get my medication, I’ll have to get on Medicaid. So that part I’m not really sure how we’ll figure it out. Good thing though, is he’s being gracious (as always) enough to not be in a hurry.

If you’ve both proved yourselves to be untrustworthy by betraying the trust of your respective spouses, how did you ever expect to trust one another? And, at the end, was is that very untrustworthiness that was at the root of and that led to the demise of your trysting with your illicit lover?

Please note, this is not a ‘judgement’ question, I’m really just curious.

No judgment perceived. That’s why I started this thread, to shed any light I could and for some more restraint with my catharsis than I was experiencing while journaling.

As I said, in my case, not only had I never strayed before but I was under the impression that our marriage was now “open”. For me, that meant maybe I’d find someone to develop one of those highly romantic unrequited love dealie, but faithfully toil away believing that it just wasn’t meant to be in this time and place. Glurge, I got it. But that’s really where I was. Sadly, after the fact, my husband and I both didn’t think the same thing.

You see, I was one of those people who NEVER ever believed I’d even look at another man, so my question was always what I’d do if he cheated. I thought, without a doubt, I’d kick him to the curb. So, under those conditions, he felt I was being facetious with my inquiries and was therefore sarcastic in return. I couldn’t believe that anyone would think I was joking if we continued to talk about for over a month. I mean, I didn’t take the route of “Wooohooo! Right off the bat he said yes so I’m gonna go pick up the first willing fellow I see and jump his bones!”, but instead kept trying to make sure we were on the same page. Ultimately, didn’t matter because you’ve read where I’ve ended up.

As for trusting each other… I had been the former poster child for Pollyanna of the most conservative fundamentalist church imaginable. He told me he knew there was no way I could do this for anything less than the love of my life, so he wasn’t the least bit concerned. So, someone like me (or my former self) would never dream of it unless it was fate. I got sucked with the “This is the first time in my life I’ve ever been honest completely with anyone” and he peppered it with enough of him looking slightly bad intentionally, that I bought it. Lock, stock and barrel.

Nope, what led to the end was him not keeping his word. Everything he requested of me, I fulfilled. After I got “our” apartment, bought “our” furniture, got all “our” utilities turned on and moved up to be with him, he reneged. And totally did to me what I’d heard him do to her over the last year. On the phone no less. Definitely an eye opener.

Does Ted’s wife know about the affair?

While the affair was going on, did you ever see her or the kids?

You’ve provided glib and almost flippant responses to queries but I think you’re being true to form - you are not facing the true nature of your predicament and you squirm out from every question that confronts the real problem. You cannot be trusted. You’ve proved yourself to be untrustworthy in your real life and you’re reiterating that lying predisposition herein. You speak of catharsis but you lie, even to yourself. You’re a pity sponge. I’ll give you no more of my precious time.

There is no bloody way that I would ever trust you to even prune my hedges.

But please note, this is not a ‘judgement’ question. He’s really just curious.


faithfool, did Ted give a reason for his reneging – did he try to continue the relationship without actually moving in with you, or did he just blow you off?

You might not. You might be one of the good guys.

Many ain’t.

Wait a minute. In a later response you said you had no idea that your husband didn’t mean a sexual relationship. And that you were resigned to an unrequited love that could never be. At what point in those 6 weeks did he say he didn’t mind another man’s penis being put in you?

Here’s my question. Did you and your husband, during your wedding, promise any sort of fidelity? That may make a huge difference in this case. I know it’s not unheard of to enter marriage knowing each spouse could have affairs. Was this the case? Otherwise it’s generally accepted that when you marry, that’s your partner.

And if your vows didn’t include extra-marital activities before you signed the certificate, why not just get a divorce and move on? You can’t convince me you’ve never seen the effects of cheating. And neither can you convince me, barring serious psychosis, that you didn’t know it was wrong. Proof being you didn’t tell your husband after the first time.

I’m not going to slam you personally for what happened, but the fact you helped to hurt his kids, his wife, and your husband,leaves very little sympathy for you right now. The only good thing I can see is that you never gave birth to children that would be put through this mess. But, as you said regarding his wife, we’re only getting one side of this.

To summarize: you knew it was wrong, you knew you didn’t love your husband, and you did it because you needed the security of a man at home as well as a “fun” outlet with no regard of how your family nor his would be affected. I can only hope there is a mental problem that can be helped. (Otherwise this sounds like the most selfish thing I’ve heard of in years)

Good luck to getting this sorted out. Now go do something to try to reconcile this with all involved.
Oh, and the boyfriend is a complete fuck for doing this to his family. A beating is due on behalf of his poor kids. :mad:

Do any of your friends know you had an affair?
If so, what have they said about it?
What do you think of the label “homewrecker”?
What amount of blame (if any) do you place on yourself for the damage to Ted’s marriage and family?

Please note that the title of this thread is not “Pass Judgement On The Former Mistress, Then Glibly Dismiss Her.” If you don’t like the way she answers the questions( and Ghod knows there haven’t been enough question-and-answer exchanges in this thread to pass that judgement), and you can’t just leave well enough alone, the proper place for this type of response is The BBQ Pit, not IMHO. Try to remember what forum you are posting in from now on.

Since her own family was “wrecked” well …

Oh christ. Promise, schromise. Things change. Life changes. People change. Holding one’s self to a promise when everything else surrounding that promise has changed (whether it be the cheater or the cheatee) makes the promise null and void. I’m not advocating affairs here, but the promise has little to do with a living, breathing relationship…particularly when it’s dying.

Like I said, if the relationship is over, end it and move on. Don’t start looking for a backup before ending the first.

Shit, I thought I was reasonably clear on that point. :smack:

In a perfect world, that would be nice. However, when you’re already a single person in every aspect except the paperwork, there’s nothing to hold your heart back from becoming emotionally involved. It’s not a matter of looking for a back-up. It’s a natural reaction to be drawn to someone who feeds the emptiness in a failed relationship.

Again, I’m not advocating affairs, but sometimes shit happens. As far as “the damage” an affair does…that’s not always the case. Sometimes it’s the best thing that ever happened to a dying relationship. It allows people to see the marriage in a different light, from a different vantage point. It’s not always a bad thing.

I’m pretty sure she gets that concept now. As for when it started, well, she’s already admitted to having a whole ton of emotional/financial/whatever problems, plus her husband was not going to go to therapy, and they were already living as roommates. I can see how feeling so messed up can make you not want to take the big step of actually going through a divorce.

What’s up with you Kalhoun as of late your responses to certain Q’s have been getting progressively dark. This is in no way a dig from me, I’ve respected your opinions on a wide variety of subjects…but <snip>It’s a natural reaction to be drawn to someone who feeds the emptiness in a failed relationship…<snip>Again, I’m not advocating affairs, but sometimes shit happens. As far as “the damage” an affair does…that’s not always the case. Sometimes it’s the best thing that ever happened to a dying relationship.

That shit you refer to happening, is the very stuff that must be avoided from the get go. Do you think people are problemless, who live to be 85 with the same spouse. Sorry K but health relationships yell, scream, bicker, and lash out at each other to a good end, where each party is satisfied and there is no resentment left to breed.

Resentment is like water in rock, over time the little drops of resentment form a pool, and soon the rock (the marriage) has gone past the point of no return and the rock cleaves. That shit you mention can be avoided by two people who know how to avoid it. And bring children into the picture like the OP and that shit should be avoided at all times.

Unfortunately the OP could not salvage as much of her own self, and love of herself to know that a marriage can be rekindled. To truly love another one must love themselves in my own opinion. My wife and I have certainly not had it easy, and there were times when we thought the unthinkable (divorce) but you know what? We were smart enough and looked at the problems selflessly, and knew we loved of ourselves, as much as we ultimately loved our marriage. I’ve not doubt my wrinckly hands will be holding her wrinkly hands when we are enjoying playing shuffle board in Rainbow Springs FL. You get my point.

As for Faithfool - simply by what I have said above I’m sure you understand where I stand. So my question is this:

Why did you not end it when the discussion of having an ‘open’ relationship was discussed? Were you that void of emotion or forethought that you couldn’t see what was truly happening? The affair was built on red flags…what did you even get the appartment knowing that?

Finally, did you not think about his children? I know it takes two to tango, but why did you not think about the futures of his kids and not your own selfishness?