I Was The Other Woman; Read If You Want To Walk AwayI'm 29 years old and I live and own a house with my boyfriend of 11 years.
About 2 years about I became involved romantically with my co-worker, a married man with three young children. I still work with him very closely with this man...but about two months ago I completely walked away from the situation, and I'm so happy I did.
I was completely in LOVE with him. There are qualities that pseudonym "John" has that I honestly still am in love with. Our romance progressed slowly over 4 years. We were first just friends, but it slowly evolved into love. At first he pursued me just physically and I rejected him several times--partly because we work together but more so because of my current boyfriend, who I do still love.
Eventually I became weak to his pursuits and we became physical for about 16 months. He wrote me love letters, called me daily, sent me thousands of texts. I always looked forward to going to work, to see his smile, to laugh with him, , to love and "live" my life fuller. We spent many nights together, and met in secret to spend time together outside of work. I was completely in love, and so was he. I remember saying often "I've never felt this way before. This is different. He is my soul mate." John spoke often of leaving his wife, and I spoke of leaving my boyfriend. We were drawn to one other because we saw traits in one another that our current spouses just didn't have. To a certain degree--I still think this is true.
About 4 months ago, he told his wife he had feelings for me and wanted a divorce. He expected her to be just devastated and walk away, but she was determined to make it work and go to counseling. "John" was very torn because although he was not "in love" with his wife, he does still care for her. John waffled back and forth--but remained true and honest with me about how he was still crazy about me. However, one fact still remained: he was still with his wife, despite her continues moments of "kicking him out."
I thought of walking away dozens of times...but I told myself "just hold on a little longer...give him time....he/I need more time." I mainly didn't want to walk away though because I didn't want face the hurt and devastation of losing a man I was in love with.
Finally, about 2 months ago, I told him I was tired of waiting, tired of the jealousy, tired of the hurt, and most of all, tired of being unhappy.
The realization that I was actually UNHAPPY during the 16 month affair was an awakening moment for me. Yes, there were amazing "highs" where I felt like I could do ANYTHING. John made me feel beautiful, intelligent, funny, unique and loved. However, along with these incredible highs were the darkest of lows...incredible sadness for betraying, lying, and hurting my boyfriend (who eventually found out) and not actually having the "real" love that I wanted--John. My life was a ROLLERCOASTER, but overall of was UNHAPPY, anxious, nervous and not fullfilled both emotionally, physically and psychologically.
Walking away was devastating, but I have to say that I am far LESS sad than I thought I would be. (THERAPY has helped A LOT.) The anticipation of saddness/depression is far WORSE than what I actually feel. Still, I cried in secret for weeks, dreaded going to work because I didn't want to face "him." I torn up my diary in tears, and spend many drives crying around my neighborhood mourning the loss who I once thought was "the love of my life."
Since walking away, John has attempted several times to get me back into his life. He has emailed me, written me letters, and expressed how he misses me and still is unhappy in his marriage. In the beginning, I was weak to his attempts and succumbed a little to his pursuits. However, because he is still with his wife, I have remained strong in my decision to walk away. I eventually realized that John will NEVER leave his wife, but he still wanted me in his (however small it was---whether it was flirting, or being physical here and there) which is why he has continued to contact me/keep me close in his life. Once I realized this, I saw him as weak and selfish, and I felt EMPOWERED to find happiness in different way.
The only way the affair would end was if I was the one who ended it; it took a while, but eventually I was STRONG enough to do it.
Since walking away, I have begun to try to repair my current relationship, which wasn't completely broken to begin with. Our relationship has become "better" but we still have a lot to work on. Since immersing myself in my current boyfriend, I have started to appreciate traits in him that I believe I was completely blind to before. I've also now appreciate traits in my boyfriend that John just never had.
When I think about how my life would have been if John had left his wife, I'm SO happy it didn't turn out that way. My life would have been a DISASTER. I would have been vilified by his wife's family, by my friends and colleagues at work, by my friends, my current boyfriend's family etc. My honest and respected reputation at work would have been tarnished, and I would have been unjustly labeled as a "homewrecker"---even though John is the one who ruined his marriage, not me. Not to mention, I don't think I could have EVER REALLY trusted John. I honestly don't think our relationship would have lasted through the chaos of our circumstances.
Do I still love John? Yes. (I'm being honest)
Are there times when I miss him? Absolutely. (You can't just turn those feelings off)
Are there times when I wish he would contact me? yes (I'm human)
Do I sometimes become weak to his flirtations? They are less and less every day.
Am I happy in my current relationship? The progress is slow but steady.
Am I unhappy/sad/depressed/anxious anymore? NO!!!
My advice to those still in relationships with married men is this:
1) There ARE situations where men leave their wives for their mistresses. However, if he truly wants to be with you, he will leave his wife. If this doesn't occur within a few months - year MAX - it most likely will never happen.
2) You don't see how messed up the situation is while you are in it. It isn't until now that I see HOW MANY people are involved, and how difficult it would have been for John to actually leave.
3) It wasn't until AFTER I walked away when I realized how demeaning the whole situation was. I was always SECOND--but I deserved to be FIRST!!!
4) You will never find TRUE happiness being the other woman; you will be UNHAPPY. (bouts of highs, yes, but overall unhappy)
5) Walking away can be an empowering experience. You will find strength you never thought you had.
6) The only way you will find happiness with another man/woman, is it you completely LET GO of the married man.
7) Find a good therapist. I have been seeing one for the past 8 months--he's the one who actually gave me the courage and insight to walk away.
8) If you and your married man are meant to be together, it will happen. Have Faith.
I still struggle with this "dark side" of my life every day. John is still "trying" to keep me in his life (which I actually resent now!!! Go figure!!)
I'm still trying to mend my current relationship and find happiness with my boyfriend. Even though I'm not sure if it will work out, I'm CERTAIN that walking away from John is the best thing I could have done.
I'm MUCH MORE HEALTHY now than I was not too long ago!!!