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.