Can The Other Woman Ever Really Become The Wife?

I've read a lot of judgmental comments on different sites but we should never say what we would or would not do because we honestly never know until we find ourselves in a place called "here". I became the other woman (OW) a little over a year ago. We were both married at the time. The irony is that I specialized in advising single people and couples who were involved in adulterous affairs for a number of years before I found myself in the situation and I never ever thought that this would happen to me.

Nothing makes adultery right. I dare not even search for any justification. However as far as crime goes, there is a difference between a grown man violently raping a 2 year old baby and an 18 year old boy that falls in love with a 15 year old girl who loves him back and has consensual sex with her. Both men are called rapists but the degree of wrong-doing and guilt is so different in these cases. My point is that I have learned through my years of experience as an advisor and my own heart-breaking experience now being an OW that you cannot apply a blanket generalization to all of these situations.

In most cases if you go beyond the surface acts and get to the heart of the matter, everyone in the situation has a role as both victim and villain - the faithful spouse, the cheating spouse and the OW/OM. A brief synopsis of our story:

1) We were both in very bad marriages; his was APPARENTLY BAD and dead for years and mine was secretly bad and coasting for years.
2) Neither of us were seeking an affair or sex and fought hard to maintain a professional relationship and friendship even to the point of involving our spouses in our struggles and asking them for intervention.
3) He and I and both of our spouses had deep emotional scars from childhood and from our marriages (him 29 years and me 10).
4) And most importantly, we were deeply in love before we ever crossed lines physically (this had nothing to do with sex, we were both sexually satisfied in our marriages).

When a genuine spiritual connection is developed between two people whether rightly or wrongly, it is as strong as death and not nearly as easy to walk away from as people say. Not all people who cheat get caught up into the sex. It can go much deeper than that which in the end means that any way you go great devastation awaits. To return to a spouse that you know in your heart you will never be in love with the way you are in love with your affair partner will save a family but cause perpetual pain to you and the spouse indefinitely. To leave the spouse to start new with the affair will damage a family and put a life long label on an other wise loving relationship. Neither choice is an easy one and truthfully, at the end of the day you have to be able to recover from and successfully move forward with the decision that you can live with. There is no definitive right or wrong answer that you can apply to every case.

In my case the affair opened my eyes to how abusive my marriage was and so although my husband was willing to forgive and take me back, I chose to divorce him quickly. I was glad to be free, but sad that an affair was involved in ending it. In my lover's case, after 30 years of marriage it was a much slower process and harder decision to make for him but he did finally choose to divorce. My divorce was amicable, his was not and he is still in the process thereof. His wife does not want to divorce although she is fully aware of the affair and that made it emotionally harder for us all. You hate to see someone else in pain no matter who they are or how you feel about them... sigh.

I honestly never thought that we would both end up divorced. Soon we will have the opportunity to marry each other and have a "legitimate" future together. And crazy enough, I never worry about him cheating on me, nor he me. It's not that I trust him or even myself. If we can do it once we can do it again. But I trust what we have. The magnitude of our love is nothing short of a miracle really and we don't believe that anything can come between us. Besides, the truth of the matter is that fear of a possible affair is responsible for creating the conditions that cause them in many cases in the first place! So yes - I would lay my head down in peace at night as his wife.

But did I get off scott-free? No! There is always a price to pay. I guess I got the "Mistress fairytale ending". But believe me there are skeletons in the closet of happily ever after land. I don't know to date if I can go through with marrying him. I don't know if I can live with the lifelong stigma of being the "former OW". It's a lot of pressure and I am trying to be honest with myself about the ramifications of this. But who could walk away from a love so great that our friends call it a miracle?

The drum is still rolling on this one, but one thing I can say with confidence is that he and I and our ex-spouses are all going to be better off divorced. Our marriages were bad and really destroying us. People just shouldn't stay in marriages that are causing so much pain and devastation. If you are not willing to do whatever it takes to fix it, then get the hell out of it so that you both can be Free and enjoy your lives. You think staying together for the kids is best, but children raised in unhappy 2 parent homes turn out worse off than kids raised in happy single parent homes! Whether I marry him or not, I will always be glad that the affair was used to bring decades of marital misery to an end for all of us. We will all recover one day and hopefully find True happiness and peace.
essenceoflaneen essenceoflaneen
8 Responses Feb 19, 2011

Thank you for your honest story. It is so important that people understand love is spiritual and not sexual in an extra marital affair just as in 'regular' love stories. Sex is not the point.It is too easy to judge others. I am separated from my husband and have been with my MM for three years. He is very happily married and yet determined to provide a life for me. The jury is still out on that one : I believe he will do his best but I doubt my ability to accept that long term. Life is hard to navigate when head and heart do not agree.

no...not usually...but it seems obviuos from your story that it my case it just didn't happen...<br />
3 years ago I started an affair with a married was wrong,I felt bad but it happened...he comes from a sexless marriage (or so he told me and I have many reasons to beleive it's true) and I thought he loved me and wanted to break free from his sad and boring substitute of a marriage.After some time (2 years) I got pregnant and finally gave birth to his baby daughter.He changed his mind about me and his baby several times but finally decided to leave me over the phone.He left me pregnant,ill and alone and ran back to her...of course he kept it a secret from her but she finally found out and now I'm the ***** that stole her husband.<br />
Bottom line-they walk through town,hand in hand,smiling...I raise his child on my own,no support,not even once having asked to see her...<br />
This was my ending to a story with a man with no heart and no soul...<br />
<br />
all the best to you

A very insightful and inspirational story for people in similar situations. Agree an affair is not always as bad as people think it is. An affair can be due to bad conditions existing in what is seemingly happy and loving marriage. Only people who have inside knowledge of the marriage will know the reality. Great story and great comments

Hey essenceoflaneen, hang on in there and sit tight because it will end. I know the weight of it, the actual wait, the protracted legal situation...all of it, its hell for both of you. He and you haven't and aren't going through this for the fun of it, you do love each other and you do and will have a future. I know its hard, its soul destroying on occasions but it does come to an end. I thought I was going to kill someone before he finally had the DA in his hand. I will never forget that night when I saw it, its something that will stay with me forever, but when you're in the midst of the divorce you simply feel that you can't see the end no matter how hard you try. Good luck and stay strong, you'll both get there and no matter how slowly time feels like its moving, its always moving and always towards the end of it, OK?xxx

Wow celtically, wow! Thanks for that. Everyone that has been asking me questions ought to read your response. It is hell and you have to be strong to live through and get to the colorful side of happily ever after. Right now, I am feeling like I can't hold on through this divorce process. I don't want to lose him but it is all taking so long, the weight is so crushing... Your post is very insightful and helpful. Thanks

Yes, the other woman can become the wife. Yes, it can work out.<br />
<br />
However...listen to everyone and anyone who stands in judgement when an affair comes out into the open and by God, you'll know where most people stand - on the side that you're the biggest harlot since Moll Flanders and you've singlehandedly destroyed "his" marriage, lured him away from his perfect wife and stolen the children's father. I'm not being disrespectful, but I do roll my eyes.<br />
<br />
I had the audacity to fall in love with a married man, have an emotional affair that stretched over 4 years and then a physical one that lasted barely as few weeks, before he called time on his 20+ year marriage to be with me - and without one backward glance of regret.<br />
(I often describe it as "4 years emotional, 1 year physical" for simplicity).<br />
<br />
I read and searched out every piece of writing and experience on an affair with a married man, before my fiance left his wife for me (its how I came across this website). <br />
Virtually every single thing I read described that "marry the mistress and you create a vacancy." Fair enough...but yet I knew this was wrong, that did not apply to my situation. This wasn't some five minute "I've got to have you now or I'll die" thing. This was a bond between two people that had formed over 4 years of trauma, life, death, life threatening name it, we'd gone through it. Professionally, it was very difficult and I was the one that continually backed off everytime things began to move towards crossing from the emotional to the physical. This was due to deeply painful past relationship issues and the fear of losing everything I'd worked for.<br />
<br /> is possible for it to work out with the OW, but it does take courage and determination. Especially, and never more so than when you're walking away from a marriage that may have lasted decades, along with a more than comfortable life, to leave that all behind and go to a brand new unknown. I was single when I had my affair, he'd been married for over 20 years and is 15 years older than me. It was also a marriage that had also produced his two daughters who are now grown up, one of whom was less than thrilled with the knowledge that her father had been having an affair and was divorcing her mum for the other woman. <br />
<br />
I would honestly say that an affair and then walking out on the marriage, the subsequent divorce, recrimination, revenge antics etc...nothing short of sheer and total unadulterated hell. I stood by him when things got rough - and by hell did they get rough, but we did get through it just about unscathed.<br />
<br />
Men don't file for divorce (or women for that matter) if they're not serious. No, adultery is never the way to go but the reality is it does happen. I will never condone or condemn anyone having an affair because you can never attribute the "one size fits all, all men that cheat are snakes and all women that cheat are who***!" generalization. You never really know what goes on in a marriage between a husband and a wife and know why their marriage has broken down irretrievably. I can hear a chorus now of "well I'm sure your involvement didn't help matters...!"<br />
No, it didn't. It didn't help to repair the marriage, but what it did do was cement the realisation for him/to the married man as to what was wrong with it in the bloody first place, or if not then, definitely now.<br />
<br />
Ultimately, if you're the other woman, you're not there in the marital home and bed so the reality is, none of us know why a marriage breaks down but break down they do. However, if either party (man or woman) are willing to endure the inevitable stress and heartbreak of an affair and marriage ending to be with the OW/OM, I admire you and I truly wish you well. Happiness is not a crime but its rarely easy to achieve it. <br />
<br />
I have no qualm whatsoever in saying that hand on heart, I would stake my life on the fact that my fiance will never cheat on me and I will certainly never cheat on him. Call me naive? Maybe. But I do know this, he did not go through what he went through and stand by me during the times when he has, only to throw away what he's always wanted and now has, wholly and completely. You can even call me old fashioned, but even in this day and age, it is possible for two people to simply fall in love and want to be together for the rest of their lives. We did and we do.

I love this I have had a lot of unanswered questions lately and this pretty much summed it up for me. I agree with you 100% and thank you so much for writing this!

I wish the guy i was with would stand up and take that step of walking out on her since he tells me that he doesnt love and that what he felt for her ended way b4 i came around . he is inlove with me but doesnot want to leave the house because of his kids. what advice can u give me please .

i hope i had the same courage as you have. leaving your old life and start something new, we are just both cowards..