The other woman’s hatred for the wife

can of wormsAdultery’s Can of Worms 

I can think of no better way to describe my experience of adultery than of opening a can of slimy worms and having to live with them.  My advice to anyone who has yet to have had the bad fortune of adultery in their lives is NOT to venture near this can and certainly NOT to open it.  If you do, you’re gonna regret it, so you better forget it!!!!  Trust me.

You see, it’s not just my idiot husband’s behaviour that is in this can.  It’s also the skank of the other woman and all the other individuals who conspired with their adulterous behaviour.  It is also all the issues that the experience dregs up from the bottom of the emotional barrel for me.  It is also the societal  values that I seem to notice more and more which  romanticises adultery at the expense of the pain incurred by everyone.  It is also about how women behave to other women and whether I am wrong to expect more from my own gender.

I do not condone any woman who willingly has an intimate relationship with a man she knows to be married.  I don’t condone it but over the last few years I have explored the motives.  Basically it is either utter selfishness or utter desperation or a mixture of both.  If a woman hasshadows no concerns about the impact of her behaviour on another woman and her children then she will happily behave in a way that hurts another.  Whether this in itself gives her some form of joy I wouldn’t like to guess.  Whatever it is, it’s an aggressive form of behaviour.  Equally, if a woman has no life of her own to speak of and desperately wants a man in her life then maybe once a month or whenever, a bit of sex dressed up as love and intimacy is better than nothing at all.  Better than the lonely feeling of being on the shelf, undesirable and  untaken.  Does her cruel behaviour stem from envy of those women who do have a partner, who have what she feels she deserves.   Envy and aggression are not often linked directly to female behaviour  because I suspect it is because they are hugely undesirable traits for a woman to have.  There’s probably a lot of denial going on.

Whilst the behaviour of the other woman might be well documented in various places, I have sought a more comprehensive understanding of difficult and shameful female to female relationships.  This is because as well as exploring Pig Shit’s behaviour towards my husband and towards me, I have been trying to come to terms with the behaviour of a woman who I thought was a friend, of sorts.  This woman (Reptile) was the girlfriend of one of my husband’s old school chums (Dork).  We saw each other at couple’s events and actually went on holiday together as a foursome, travelling around France.  I had no reason to believe that she did not like me in any way and I had no reason to think that I might have offended her in any way.  She always seemed most pleasant.  However, it was she who introduced her friend Pig Shit to my husband on a night when I was at home in London.  After drinks in a bar they all went back to Reptile and Dork’s house.  When my husband left he tells me that Pig Shit followed him to the door and they had a snogging session.  (classy eh?)

Now, what was the Reptile’s response to this?  (I probably need to point out here that both Pig Shit and Reptile had a husband betray them and leave them for another woman) Did she tell her friend not to go there because he was married and it might all end up a terrible mess?  Clearly not!  Instead she and her boyfriend ‘normalised’ the adultery in a most perverse manner.  They not only actively encouraged it, they facilitated it by allowing them both to stay overnight and shag in their spare room.  I now know that there were times when I sat talking to Reptile, being nice to her and socialising, when she had the knowledge that my husband was shagging her friend.  Did she enjoy this?  Why did she choose to stab me in the back in such a manner?  She could have made her excuses and not come along, but then she would not have been able to gloat.

The irony of all this is that whilst the Reptile and Dork were encouraging and facilitating the weddingadultery of my husband with Pig Shit they were making arrangements for their own wedding!!!  Surely, this must make bad karma for their marriage. I had made a grand fuss when I found out about the proposal, squealing with delight and wanting to know how it all occurred.  The thought of my enthusiastic response now makes me feel sick.

On one occasion, we were at a restaurant and an announcement was made that my husband was to be their best man.  This was not done quietly.  Dork did not approach my husband and ask if it would be possible bearing in mind his two timing situation.  No, in the middle of the evening, Reptile stood up with Dork and announced their plan.  I applauded the idea and was very happy for everyone.  When I look back now, I wonder what she was thinking.  Was she expecting my husband to take me to the wedding and have Pig Shit there as well?  Was she hoping that my husband and I would have separated? Was it all a cruel game? The thought just horrifies me.  Husband says that he could feel the noose tightening and was going to arrange for us to be on holiday as soon as he knew what date was going to be set for the marriage.  Further lies and deceit to hide the mess he’d gotten himself into.

When my husband chose to dump Pig Shit the Reptile gave her my mobile telephone number so that she could inform me of their adultery.  I also know that a couple of days were spent trying to find out from others where my husband was.  Dork was not involved in this but the Reptile was.  I suspect that she was the one who wanted me to know exactly what had been going on in the hope that I would not stay with him. I felt that there was a panic between my husband dumping her and the text two days later to spill the beans.  It was as if they were terrified that he was going to remain with me. I get a sense that Reptile was very instrumental in the adultery and later disclosure.  Clearly she wanted me to know that my husband had been unfaithful. She was not prepared to act as if nothing had happened once my husband dumped Pig Shit.  She could play nice when she knew I was being silently betrayed but could not play nice if it meant that my husband and I were to carry on ‘as normal’.

Once the truth came out and the shit hit the fan my husband severed all contact not only with Pig Shit but with Dork as well.  As he is part of a big group of old school chums all the blokes in this group have been wiped out of our joint lives.  Two of them were happy to sit and have drinks with my husband and Pig Shit, Dork and Reptile, further normalising their behaviour.  The rest of them probably knew but did not have any involvement.  They are collateral damage.  I never want to see the Reptile again as long as I live.  Now she has to live with the consequence of her choices.

What makes women so hostile to other women?  Why is it done so secretly and spitefully?  Is there not enough misogyny in our world for women to try to behave better to each other?

I think some of these answers need a very deep analysis.  Phyllis Chester an American writer, psychotherapist, and professor emerita of psychology and women’s studies at the College of Staten Island wrote a book in 2001 entitled ‘Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman’.  It’s a troubling book but it raises a lot of uncomfortable issues that I think we as women need to consider.  She makes a number of interesting observations.  Firstly, we need to realise that women are sexist. We have “internalised the prevailing misogynistic ideology which we uphold both in order to survive and in order to improve our own individual positions vis-à-vis all other women”.

Secondly women can be aggressive.  Whereas men are often openly aggressive in direct and dramatic ways, women are seldom physically violent, instead they act indirectly and the targets of their aggression are not men but other women and children.  Indirect aggression is aggressionanonymous aggression.  Girls learn from a young age that a safe way to attack someone else is behind her back, so that she will not know who is responsible.  However, aggression in females is a taboo subject and often suppressed by being systematically ignored.  Labelled as irrational, hysterical or bitchy.  Girls also view aggression more negatively than boys do and so tend to deny it even to themselves.  But the danger is that if girls are trained to say that aggression is wrong even whilst continuing to be aggressive then they may be learning to disassociate themselves from their negative behaviour.  This capacity might prove resistant to the acknowledgement that is required before recognition and change can occur.  If a woman pretends to herself that she is kind to other women when she is not, she will have no reason to learn how to resist her aggressive  inclinations.

Pleasingly Chesler reports that most women do not hate women; only some do.  “The data indicate that women who are hostile toward other women don’t feel good about themselves.  They have lower personal self-esteem, optimism, sense of self-efficacy, life satisfaction, and higher objectified body consciousness compared to women who are not hostile to other women.” Sums up most Other Women, no?

Thirdly we need to acknowledge all aspects of female behaviour.  The book argues that we must free ourselves from the bonds of ‘inauthentic niceness’.   Recognise that we have real power over each other.  Women are not innocent of the betrayals they commit but their ignorance of what’s going on and why robs them of the power to act otherwise.  However, it is impossible to malicechange one’s behaviour if it is not named first.  We need to acknowledge the shadow side of female to female relationships to each other, not only the sunny side.  If a woman treats another woman inhumanely, cruelly or sadistically, she needs to understand how powerful, painful and paralysing the effect is.  Naming and acknowledging this is the first step.  It has got to become easier for women to talk about how other women have hurt them and how they might have mistreated other women themselves.

We are competitive but we deny even to ourselves that we envy or compete. We cannot insist that we are all sisters or that we are the kinder gender, this would be foolish and self-destructive.  We need to understand the process required in order to respect and not violate another woman’s boundaries.  It begins with being able to maintain our own boundaries first.

I have been hurt by two women and although I recognise it was my husband’s choice to betray me I must be able to hold them accountable for the harm they did me.

Image Credits: First Time In School by Vlado; Aggression by Sujin Jetkasettakorn; Wedding Ring by Boykung; Malice” by rattigon  all via

41 thoughts on “The other woman’s hatred for the wife

  1. somuchhurt

    I have been thinking about the OW a lot lately….to make it short….she moved to town and in our neighborhood about 3 years before they started their affair and I befriended her and was good to her and she became friends with a close friend of mine so when they started their affair the OW was telling my friend most of the details and my friend never once even gave me a hint something was going on???? I just don’t understand how or why anyone could do this to someone…. It just breaks my heart that they could hang out with me and act like everything was ok while they knew my life was being destroyed!!! It’s almost 2 years for me now and I am still a wreck I just don’t see how anyone moves past this much betrayal!!! I would like to ask her how, why, what was she thinking but I know she will not be honest! And I can’t to her I tried and all I did was blow up and scream , cuss and threaten (which is not like me) but I couldn’t talk to her I want to hurt her thank God she moved out of the neighborhood!!!

    1. marriagerecovery Post author

      Thank you for responding and sharing your feelings. I constantly feel that I ‘should’ be kinder towards Pig Shit. It is as if I can only be truly angry at my husband for the adultery. If he had kept his dick in pants blah-di-blah-di-blah! But for me this is proving to be unrealistic. I want Pig Shit to feel accountable for her role in the mess and I want the other conspirators to recognise their complicity in the adultery. But I am silenced towards them. There is a belief held by many that my anger towards Pig Shit and the others is just misdirected anger that should be reserved for my husband, but the truth is, it is a different kind of anger. I am a woman and I admit to feelings of aggression towards them but I have no idea how to express this. I have no real desire to hurt anyone physically but I do fantasise about verbally abusing them all. But really, I know this would be futile so I end up back where I started – writing to try to come to terms with the burdens of betrayal. I do view women differently now. The woman who pretended to be my friend and the woman who shagged my husband were both motivated to hurt me very badly. Firstly behind my back and then later when my husband dumped her.

  2. CrazyKat1963

    Wow, this is a really great post. Definitely along the lines of what I was ruminating on yesterday on my own blog, but you are much more eloquent. Do you think some of this destructive female to female behavior comes from childhood, from example? Or is it learned in elementary school and beyond? I have never done anything destructive to another woman or her relationships, and I only have sons, but I watched the girls in my son’s classes really go after each other in overt and covert ways. Sometimes the moms seemed similar, sometimes not. I hope you don’t mind if I re-blog this tomorrow. I have never re-blogged before, so I guess I will see if I can even figure it out 🙂 .

    1. marriagerecovery Post author

      Thank you CrazyKat for your generous comments and response to my post. I think that female to female destructive behaviour that centres on sexuality and competing with another woman for a man is deeply rooted in our misogynistic culture. No doubt a biologist would take me to task and say it is in our genes and an evolutionary aspect of our behaviour. I do hate to generalise but sometimes we have to in order to make some kind of sense of things. A friend of mine has two sons and she always says that she wishes that she had had a daughter and how lovely it would be to have another female in the home but she also says that when she watches daughters in other people’s families she says that she’s often pleased to only have sons. She says that in the main, with boys, what you see is what you get. However, with girls there is always a constant sub-text to what is occurring. Only an observation but maybe a grain of truth? Perhaps we are more aggressive than men but are taught that this is not acceptable for our gender and it just gets re-routed and twisted along the way.

  3. Bugsmetwo

    Yes this sums up my feelings about the OW completely – she is selfish beyond belief and truly spoiled so she must have seen something she wanted (my husband) and went after him. I know she collaborated the deceit with my husband. I’m sure she not once stopped to think if her own husband had been behaving with a coworker like mine with her if she ever thought that would be okay. Why is that so hard to figure out? I know from snippets I’ve found about her around the internet this girl has been like this all her life, sad and selfish. I don’t get it at all. I have never ever before in my entire life even thought about betraying another person yet I’ve been betrayed by every single person that entered my life? Life just seems cruel.

    1. marriagerecovery Post author

      Over the last three years I have learned something about myself. I now realise that I projected my feelings, my values and my sense of right and wrong on to others. I have also been guilty of assuming a level of emotional intelligence in people that has been way too high. All in all I think I have expected far too much from people. I could respond to this by shutting down but I won’t. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. And certainly wiser! What I am proud to say is that I believe I have kept to my own north throughout all of this mess. Even in the stormiest of seas and times when I am ashamed to think of how I behaved when fuelled by anger, I never lost my own compass. Life is cruel and unfair so we have to do our very best to make our corner of the world a better place.

      1. Bugsmetwo

        Oh my yes. I never realized I was projecting my values onto others. I thought they felt the same way based on our conversations. Perhaps I am still just incredibly naive then.

      2. exercisegrace

        Well said. I too have always assumed that people have a genuine core of human decency. I thought (generally) that we were all playing by the same rules. It was astonishing to hear that his whore admitted she aggressively pursued him for a long time and that she started pushing the boundaries of their work relationship long before he had any clue her feelings had taken a turn.

  4. Iris

    yet another great post. I wrote a long comment then thought it was better as a note to self, so I’ll spare you. The shorter version is that my therapist (when I had one) kept saying to me: ‘This woman is NOT your friend’ about various of my friends. And didn’t I say before that men think when a woman is nice to them this means she is nice? Huge generalisation although I think my own husband was definitely that kind of idiot. As was I.

    Thank you for finding Phyllis Chester, had never heard of her. Looks very interesting.

    1. marriagerecovery Post author

      Hi Iris, thanks for your response but please be assured that I would have appreciated your long comment. The blogosphere of betrayed spouses has helped me to keep anchor on so many occasions. Some women can be our sisters but some can’t and we must recognise this and proceed with caution. When our instincts tell us that a woman doesn’t like us I think we need to accept this and act accordingly. I am always cautious with men because I don’t want to give the wrong message and being friendly can be wrongly interpreted. Equally, until I know a man better I am always on guard as to his intentions. I had not thought that I needed to be the same around women. WRONG!!! When you have a so called friend allowing your husband to shag another woman in their spare room you start to understand friendship more clearly.

      1. Iris

        thank you for the invitation! I wonder whether in your case the ‘friend’ was jealous of your situation or perhaps your intelligence or how articulate you are? She thought she might ‘take you down a peg or two’. But I haven’t had the benefit of meeting her…

  5. valkyriemad123


    I agree with Iris another amazing post! You dig into the heart of the matter with such elegance. I’ve been traveling and just picked up a book at the airport yesterday and read the following passage which echoes Phyllis Chester: “We don’t view other women as members of our team. As women, we spend too much time competing with one another, being catty, talking trash about one another, and being disloyal to one another. That gives men a tremendous advantage. Divide and Conquer. Men today can pretty much get away with whatever they want to in a relationship because women are so busy tearing one another down they lose sight of the game itself. Not only do we betray one another far too often, but we also betray ourselves by allowing men to get away with certain things.” La La Anthony “Playbook rules for love, sex and happiness p 4. (I read anything I can from younger people and cherish their views)

    Women are “Not innocent of the betrayals they commit.”

    Somuchhurt “I just don’t understand how or why ANYONE could do this to someone” else…..(even our children and even their own).

    I think it’s the shocking and heartbreaking realization (for all of us betrayed by our husbands) is the sudden recognition that “another woman?” is watching, hating and wanting you removed in order to “get the man.”

    I’m grateful that my husband stands next to me and I get to engage in questions and discuss “Infidelity, Cheating, Adultery.” and explore his views. Yet…..Why am I still enraged, appalled by his paramour? STILL like it was yesterday.

    Because there is no closure.

    And No legal or cultural means to address my outrage (which is received with scorn)

    I feel (as the betrayed spouse) socially “gagged.” to remain invisible. Furthermore told NOT to ‘Name it.” and you can not name the dark side of another woman…… with experiencing outrage.
    She becomes the dramatic victim.

    Here are some of my ‘observations’ and ‘opinions,’ after 4 years of study and questioning.

    There are tendencies of behavior among this population of women. (I see an Archetype…….)

    Agreed! from your post. “They are hostile toward other women. Lower self esteem, sense of self-efficacy, life satisfaction, higher body consciousness.”
    “Sexist and internalized prevailing misogynistic ideology.”

    Psychological issues on a spectrum, family of origin issues unresolved
    (Classic presentation of Having a daddy or mommy complex)
    The Low self esteem – flip side – vane, perverse narcissism and grandiosity
    Royal Queens of cowardice. (unless psychotic becoming openly aggressive therefore The majority are:
    Secretly aggressive (covert warfare and tactics)
    Use sex as means of manipulation (interestingly MOST don’t even like sex) but use it.
    (Even sociopaths sexually “act,” their performance is means to an end.
    Sex used to gain “Male attention.” AKA their drug of choice is vanity and attention seeking. So that every time my husband goes to her in her mind, she “Wins.” (remembering always that HE put her there)

    However I believe the “Core” issue is that these women are human mate poachers.

    “In a recent survey of single American men and women, 60% of men and 53% of women admitted to “Mate Poaching,” aka trying to break up an established relationship to begin a relationship with one of the partners themselves. ” (June 16, 2015 Newsweek Special Edition Science of Sex) This comes from the scholarly works of David Buss. Anyone reading his works will find the other woman and other man in glorious detail.

    Imagine if Buss got a sample of 200 or more anonymous views from OW?

    This was a sample of SINGLE men and women and if you got true accounts among the “cheaters.” What would the real number be?

    (I also believe that women cheat equal to men. The numbers will remain elusive because no one is going to tell the truth unless (maybe) in an anonymous survey. We “take our sexual secrets to our graves.” We say one thing and do another. (Sometimes out of legitimate fear for our lives).

    So how could these women do this? easily without shame, or concern for anyone but themselves. These women secretly prey upon betrayed spouses and even their own children. They lack compassion or awareness of “Other.”

    Why am I still outraged at all the people in my husbands officer that watched and colluded?

    In her Ted Talk “Rethinking Infidelity,” Ester Perel says that the key to infidelity is the nature of it’s “secrecy”. But as addressed in your post that’s not true either is it. Because, Someone ALWAYS KNOWS is watching and/or collaborating with the adultery. (another point no one wishes to discuss openly in our culture). You were “Gutted,” not only by your husband, and OW but people ‘intimately’ smiling into your face, while sticking a blade in your back without your knowledge. They all “Got off, on feeling One Up.” Didn’t they? They not only collude but participate in that “Specialness,” that sense of “Entitlement.” Who wants to give up their secret, “Stuff.”

    As for the men, as for my husband. The only HOPE he has is to recognize how he turned me and his daughters into abstractions (because it’s easy to betray an ‘abstraction.’). All the encounters with other women were as sexual, “objects.” It’s easy to discard a “Movable Bed Object.” The other woman’s value was limited to fueling his own narcissism.

    My husband had a problem with intimacy and connecting authentically as a couple because of his ambivalence and fear of vulnerability. Everyone became an abstraction in his little drama.

    When my husband experiences real intimacy and the ability to feel connectedness and compassion for “other people,” around him there is hope.

    In the Sea of betrayed spouses (men and women) I also see a tendency – our Archetype . We are the first to take ownership for ‘our own part,’ and how we may have ‘contributed.’ to the rip in our marriages and partnerships. We also seem to live by a simpler code:

    Treat others as you would want to be treated.

    We are from different ‘tribes.” (“You either cheat or you don’t.” Wendy Plum)

    I challenge this, “Conspiracy of silence that all of us participate in when it comes to our erotic Antics.” (Rophie/Wurtzel)

    And applaud open discussion and exploration of our collective, “Shadow Sides.”

    To look candidly at Infidelity’s rippling effects. Understanding that “Sexual Dishonesty,” has a far reaching impact upon everyone, and particularly “unaware” partners.”

    And our children.

    Bugsmetoo, I stand proudly next to you! I’ve been gaslight, lied to, cheated, and even publicly shamed as a betrayed “Wife,” And I say “BRING IT.” I will not carry, “That shame.” No one can put that onto me.

    As marriagerecovery said so profoundly: It’s not my circus. Oh but I’m going to talk about it now……..


    1. Iris

      wow, V.

      I challenge this too. I think people don’t admit to their ‘erotic antics’ (or imaginations). It would be better were we more honest, then the betrayed wouldn’t feel so isolated.

      I suspect it would be less agonising for some if they realised it was never impossible for them to act out themselves – maybe part of the pain is the realisation that it isn’t impossible. Pushing away the suspicion of their own shadow. “I would NEVER do this.” Well, be grateful you haven’t.

      As for the OW: I do remember doing a few not so noble things when I was young and our relationships were all more fluid. It wouldn’t have occurred to me to have anything to do with a married man (partly because of their advanced age) although like most young women I was propositioned. I never took it seriously because it was always obvious it wasn’t personal (about me) but had something to do with the man and whatever state he was in. I grew up when people in screw-ball comedies still poked fun at the plaintive: ‘My wife doesn’t understand me’. Only an idiot would fall for that line. His problem, we joked, is that she DID understand him. Now it seems to be: ‘My marriage is over but for some unaccountable reason I’m still in it.’

      What I cannot understand is women who have been cheated on getting involved with the destruction of another woman. My h’s OW was a divorced woman, my husband never asked her why she was divorced (he seems to have lacked the most basic curiosity about her) she just said her ex was ‘controlling’. So I’m guessing she cheated. I can’t imagine she would be anything but snippy with me if confronted. ‘You’re messing me around,’ was I believe the last thing she said to my husband. Dear lord, what did she think he was doing?

    2. Cathy

      I really liked your post. The woman that was after my husband left her live in boyfriend with a plan to destroy my family. And she nearly did with the help of other women that we with. What got me about our situation was that it wasn’t moving fast enough for her. These women, played with his pay, saying they were compensating him for only making a certain amount an hour. They bought him a futon to sleep on in the office. The one manager was pushing them together and pushing her job onto my husband. My husband also worked overnights in corrections. The whore was putting adderall in his coffee. That way they could ensure that he would have sleep deprivation and she would have total control over him. And they did. He went weeks with only 16, at the most, hours a sleep a week. He told me and other people how he didn’t feel right, he couldn’t sleep. He became aggressive and his skin color changed and lips were purple. A week after their 10 day affair blew up in her face he tried to commit suicide because of the pain he caused his family. As soon as they couldn’t contact him because I blocked the whore’s number and the other managers number on his cell phone, he was fired to cover up what was really going on at this restaurant.
      I got a front row seat watching her go after my husband. By the time I figured out what was going on he had already lost his mind from lack of sleep. The whore followed him around like a dog in heat. As soon as it all blew up the whore ran back to her boyfriend with all these lies putting all the blame on my husband.
      You talked about being cultural- we were on a small Indian Reservation in NY where manipulation, lies and deceit run rampant. They are always after each other’s husbands or wives there. I was supposed to step aside for her to move in have him because that’s what the chief’s first wife did. I made a scene at the restaurant looking for my husband the day he tried to end his life. I found him at the hospital Thank God. Three days later I got a letter of restraint in the mail. They were stupid because they sent me their copy too. Telling me that I was no longer wanted on the reservation and that I was not to have contact with the whore or show up at the restaurant. I framed it. But all this did was give her access to my husband and I could do nothing about it.
      All these people were encouraging the destruction of my family because she had had some fantasy regarding my husband from 20 years ago when they worked together then. I also found out that this was not the first time she had done something like this. She bragged about her sister breaking up someone’s marriage and then leaving the guy. We put two and two together and found out that it was her.
      For the last year I have been struggling with what did I do, working there that made these women join together and do this. They felt entitled? I’ve had confrontations with her and her friends over the things that they have done. They actually gave the whore sympathy cards for not being able to destroy us. After reading all of these posts I realize that it’s not me that they really hate it’s themselves.

  6. marriagerecovery Post author

    V, another wonderful response and again lots of leads for me to follow up. Thank you. I recently read a book called the anger habit which suggests that an alternate and more productive way to respond to anger is to seek information. Naturally, there needs to be a cognitive space between the anger rising and our responding but I just loved this analysis. I realise now that sub consciously that is exactly what I have been doing. I want to know EVERYTHING about adultery. Not just my idiot husband’s adultery with Pig Shit but EVERYBODIES adultery. I want to know about the cheater… the bit on the side… the friends who conspire… the society that cultivates it… and of course US, the betrayed spouses who have to navigate their way out of the betrayal and shitty mess that adultery shovels up to their door.

  7. Pingback: How do I know I wouldn’t do “it” | try not to cry on my rainbow

  8. valkyriemad123


    Again we see broad brush strokes of this “secret,” relationship. Repeatedly I am given the image of betraying men ALL seeming to “have lacked the most basic curiosity about,” the “Other woman.” Which is equally destructive for the betrayed spouse. We are usually given very little if any honest portrait of this intimacy-invader into our lives (and once we start to investigate are appalled by the women we find).

    And I believe those lines you mentioned are both STILL used repeatedly “My wife doesn’t understand me.” AND “My marriage is over but for some UNACCOUNTABLE REASON? I’m still in it.” Boo Boo Mommy….whaaaaa……(all said in order to justify ‘any betrayal,’ in the human mind)

    Like most betrayed spouses I find we are genuinely open to looking “inward” at our own failings and darker side most eager to learn from it. And You sound way more insightful in your youth to call it and brush off a married man’s advances.

    Recently I witnessed the same disgust by college aged women when parents (when older men get drunk at their children’s college parties) and try to seduce a few young women. One man said “I hate my wife,” to a young woman. And he reportedly bit another young woman’s ear. She laughed it off. (Of course it’s condoned though isn’t it. Boys will be Boys, Men will be Men) However, Recently a “mother” went after college aged men. (all this? in front of their children?) Ugh. Such self destructive – self indulgence.

    I’m exploring those women who “Make sexual offers,” to married men. The ones who specifically “target,” married or partnered men. The mate poachers. They don’t want “just Good time sex,” they want to walk into your life. Someone gave the beautiful image on another post of a “woman strolling past an open window of a lovely home and deciding she ‘wanted to get into it.’ and climbed into the window.” Stepping into your shoes while hating your wardrobe…..

    Intent to harm.

    Because it’s all about “Me.”

    I used this yesterday on another site but the way I view most Infidels across the board and in general…… is that these men and women would be:

    KINGS AND QUEENS OF ashes…..
    willing to burn down their families, partners and children just to get what they want when they want it. AKA, “The heart wants what the heart wants.” and “I deserve to be happy”

    I collect stories about betrayal by both men and women and this one comes to mind:

    “Beatrice had been married three times and was looking for her fourth. Her motto was, if at first you don’t succeed, find another mother. Patricia had never been married. Years before her Fiance’ messed up and knocked up one of her best friends. Since the, all of Patricia’s affairs had been with married men, displaying perhaps a subconscious vendetta against all their wives. Dianne went after attached men but only to get closer to their girlfriends, she didn’t comprehend she was bisexual. Her desire was to destroy and merge with other women, girlfriends and wives.

    The men don’t look to close because ‘they don’t care,’ and just want attention even more than sex it’s (entitlement and ego). Broken women, and attachment disordered carry their pain and treachery into each new relationship. fueled by female vanity, perverse narcissism and a relentless need and yearning for male attention.

    Marriagerecovery I also want to know EVERYTHING about adultery, cheating and infidelity and EVERYBODIES adultery because despite my own personal pain, it’s fascinating and compelling.

    I pray for more open discussion. To me, it seems the New Frontier would be to acknowledge this darker side to human sexuality. Sexual deceit DOES impact the ‘unaware,’ partners (and children if there are any). Betrayed spouses (men and women) are not only “Isolated,” (as Iris said) but “invisible.”

    And I am witness…… to a growing number…… of “special people,” who count themselves as, “sexually privileged,” wanting to hold their partners completely and cruelly-hostage while remaining unaware.


    1. Iris

      “sexually privileged,” – brilliant. This is all terrifying.

      The human mate poaching studies were mostly conducted amongst college-age students (am I right V?) which is problematic. I don’t know if we can make a firm distinction between those who go out of their way to poach – to walk in through the window – and those who choose to make an offer or not to turn an offer down; who believe it’s not their fault, they didn’t seek it out, it just ‘happened’, they’re somehow innocent bystanders. The moral choice has been made some time before and creating a boundary has something to do with more general levels of empathy, the desire for honesty, a reluctance to ‘compete’ and a disinclination to take sexual attention (which is frankly plentiful) too personally.

      Is there a different kind of person? The mate-poacher? Or is it more a spectrum of opportunities or moral poverty or lack of empathy?

      ‘The men don’t look to close because ‘they don’t care,’ and just want attention even more than sex it’s (entitlement and ego).’ Yep – they really are thinking mostly about themselves. Part of this wailing down the phone at the wife comes from the OW’s consciousness that she was played, that some boy picked her up and tossed her about simply because she was lying there in front of him. Women shouldn’t be flattered by the attentions of a married man, they should be disgusted. It is not a compliment.

      1. exercisegrace

        You are so right. It is NOT a compliment. When I was working and a married man would flirt, I was always disgusted. It would entirely change my opinion of him. I was also insulted as well. Why would he think I would be willing to be his play thing and possibly his whore? How can you be flattered when someone sees you as whore material?

        I do think there is a category of poachers out there. My husband’s whore had had a history of marriage poaching, although none ever left their wives for her. She grew up in a home where daddy had a long-term affair partner and mommy turned into a raging alcoholic. It’s no excuse, of course. She admitted to my husband that she had “pursued him aggressively”. For him it wasn’t about the sex but about the attention and adoration she heaped on him. I think some women just want the challenge and the ego boost of “catching” a married man. It (in some sick way) makes them feel more special to have “won” the man from another woman. And that is exactly why I think they have so much rage. Because in the end, they realize they didn’t “win” anything. Even less than that, they were just used as a balm for a flagging ego and then tossed aside like the trash they are.

      2. valkyriemad123


        As I remember that study by Buss was NOT all college aged candidates but massive international and cross-cultural study. Years of research and he’s the one that coined the “Dark Triad,” traits of psychopathy, narcissism, and Machiavellianism. Oh yeah, he made a distinction.

        And I think it IS as you said so beautifully “A spectrum of opportunity AND moral poverty AND lack of empathy.”

        It appears that we the betrayed are onto a “New Frontier” of finding new ways and words for describing what we’ve experienced and witnessed in our betrayals.

        Very complex but fascinating.

        I just picked up (again!) Laurel Richardson’s “The New Other woman,” and went right to page 88 “HIS WIFE.” (Which Richard Tuch also extensively uses her work in his book The Single Woman Married Man Syndrome). I replace single woman with any OW because the dynamics are all the same. The book is timeless.

        This chapter on the “Wife,” repeatedly blows my mind (Richardson’s work started in the 1970’s). All the ways the OW justifies her relationship and the ways our spouses use both wife and mistress.

        Frankly I continue to be stunned at all the (individual and CULTURAL) distortion and animosity directed towards the “Wife.”

        Iris your right….the main ingredient is that cheaters “only care about themselves.” And We get handed the bill for all the pain.


  9. exercisegrace

    I will never understand the burning hatred my husband’s whore had for me. At the time they began their affair, she had never even met me. How do you hate someone because they have the life that you do NOT? Why would you not want to just go and meet someone and create your OWN life instead of trying to poach and live someone else’s? And it is laughable at best to picture these women hanging on every word our husbands said. Because do they really believe he is telling them the truth when he complains about his wife? This man who is clearly demonstrating his ability to lie and deceive, proven his ability to manipulate merely by the fact he is having an affair? They take HIS word as the gospel truth? Again, laughable. I am baffled as to why they cannot see how far they have fallen. Whoring themselves for married men, waiting for little scraps from another woman’s life. Isn’t that pretty much the definition of pathetic? Wouldn’t you want to be in a relationship where you are wanted enough to be someone’s one and only? Instead of his dirty little secret hidden away in snippets of time in motel rooms and back seats of cars? My husband told her from day one that he loved me and would never leave me. He told her he didn’t know how he had let himself have an affair. Her answer of course, was that they were “in love”. If love means being a whore, then no thanks!

    1. Iris

      ‘Because do they really believe he is telling them the truth when he complains about his wife?’ This is remarkable, isn’t it? They shouldn’t listen to the words (that would be like taking a politician seriously) they should look at his actions. He will say whatever he has to to get what he wants. And what he wants is not always obvious, even to him. It generally has more to do with his wife than with the object in front of him.

      I think it’s Frank Pittman who talks about the danger of ‘falling into the machinery’ of someone else’s marriage. The machinery is always there – it’s the structure in which the ‘affair’ takes place, it buzzes and clunks to an audible degree and forms the view from every window.

      1. marriagerecovery Post author

        Just love the term “falling into the machinery of someone else’s marriage” – this providing the structure for the adultery. Brilliant metaphor. Frank Pittman wrote some impressive stuff around the insanity of adultery.

      2. exercisegrace

        “falling into the machinery of someone else’s marriage”. That is brilliant. Yes, the OW only hears what she wants to hear. I feel (and our two therapists confirmed) that he criticized ME to justify his own bad choices. His guilty conscience drove him to find fault in both me and our marriage to ridiculous degrees at times. His only other option was to stare into the blinding truth that he was being a total a-hole.

  10. Tee

    This is quite spot on! The mantra for women who cheat with married men in my part of the world is that there are fewer men than women so we all have to share! Hilarious isn’t it? In my case, the other woman actually has an organization whose primary purpose is to restore women to their rightful places as the pillar of the family blah blah blah, go figure right? She even had the audacity to suggest to me that my husband was only staying with me out of a sense of obligation and that she was the one true love of his life! She then had the nerve to state that it was the women’s advocate in her that was speaking!!! As far as I could tell, the only woman she was advocating for was herself! All this she shared with me as she also divulged that she was expecting my husbands baby and would now always be a part of his life and she was so kind as to send me several preggy photos of herself, just in case I was in any doubt. She also happens to be 10 years older than my husband and myself, so no doubt she felt much more superior, sexier etc than me because she was able to get my man who was much younger than her. Definitely that competitive streak in women coming to the fore in her case. What also stumps me is that she was divorced herself and her ex- husband had cheated on her previously, so knowing the anguish that comes from being betrayed, how could she then happily proceed to do something that she knew would hurt another woman? So much for being a women’s advocate. We have a saying in my language which loosely translated says ” a woman’s worst enemy is another woman”, now I fully appreciate the truth i that. Being cheated on hurts, it’s even worse when there is a permanent reminder of the affair in the form of a child. To say that I hate this other woman is an understatement! I am convinced (maybe it’s my strong feelings against her just talking?) that she got pregnant deliberately, at 40 it’s highly unlikely that she knew nothing about birth control, or that my husband was the first man she had shagged since her divorce. Now I have to live with the fact that my husband has a child born from an affair, I feel like bludgeoning him sometimes……. What the hell was he thinking??

    1. exercisegrace

      Oh Tee! I am so sorry you are going through this. Pure evil. This may be an unpopular opinion, but personally I feel you and your husband have NO obligation to be in this child’s life other than any court-mandated support checks. And hopefully even those could be sent without any direct contact. This woman sounds like a nut and I hope you have to have very little contact with her.

      1. Tee

        Well, the baby is almost 9 months old now, so now I have to endure the few visits that DH pays the OW to see his daughter. I honestly don’t know if I can deal with this situation for much longer, it just drives me up the wall!!! DH wants his daughter to come and live with us once she is a bit older, but I cannot see myself being able to do that. Unfortunate as it is, this child is innocent in all this and did not choose to be born into such a situation, but all she is to me is a permanent reminder of my husbands betrayal. I don’t see myself being able to love and accept her in the near future, the wound is still too fresh…

      2. exercisegrace

        There is NO way you have to endure him visiting the OW, nor should you!! He should NOT have contact with this woman and there is NO reason for him to do so. You can arrange for a third party to bring the child to you or you both could meet her at a neutral location and have her drop the child off. I admire your willingness to allow him to have a relationship with the child at all. I think you must be a nicer person than I am. While it is true that she is innocent in this, her mother is not. You did not sign on for some evil, manipulative whore to use a child against you guys or worse, to try and tear apart your marriage with her little pawn. I am sorry if this sounds harsh. I think you and your husband need to really think about what the future looks like and what you can both tolerate. I seriously doubt the OW would just give the child up that easily, even if you could stomach having her live with you. Have you considered going with him on visitations? At least then she could know you as well. I can’t imagine how hard this is. I truly can’t. But your husband needs to put YOU first. It sounds like right now he and the OW are calling all the shots and doing it in the name of the “innocent child”. That is unreasonable. He should be grateful you are supporting his involvement in her life, and at this point he should be letting you dictate the terms until you feel more comfortable. No contact with the OW would be non-negotiable for me. sorry if this comes off as harsh.

  11. valkyriemad123



    Agreed with excercisegrace “No obligation,” this is manipulation and strategy and AS OLD AS FATHER TIME….women who “intentionally,” get pregnant thinking it gets the man. She says that He feels obliged to that’s why he stays with you? but now she see’s her pregnancy as a way to make him feel obligated?

    marriagerecovery’s ‘It’s not my circus.” comes to mind!

    But they sure try to make it our circus.

    You are not alone and we are all sorry you’ve joined our ranks. You’ve also entered into a group of “survivors in process,” from this horrible betrayal.

    My heart goes out to you,

    1. Tee

      Well, the baby is here now, all that happened last year and she is 9 months old now and the OW is milking it for all it’s worth! DH wants to be involved in his daughters’ life and has even suggested that she should be living with us, hell to the no! I told him as much, she will be perfectly fine staying with her mother. The downside is that it means continued contact with the OW which just makes me sick, i’m part of their circus !!!

      1. exercisegrace

        I know the courts can appoint intermediaries to handle contact regarding the child and her upbringing. They can also arrange visits or facilitate a go-between so there is no direct contact with the OW unless it is an emergency. I hope you have sought legal advice regarding what his responsibilities are and are not, based on a paternity test. If he wants the child in his life, he had better get his rights legally documented. Otherwise, this woman is going to lead him around by the nose for the next eighteen years.

      2. marriagerecovery Post author

        Tee, such a terrible mess for you to be in the middle of. My heart goes out to you. I have to agree with Exercisegrace and her comments. You have been placed in an awful situation where you are hugely compromised. On the one hand you want to work at the recovery of your marriage and therefore insist on no contact whatsoever with the OW whilst on the other hand your values, which makes you a compassionate and caring human being motivate you to want to do the right thing for the innocent baby. Two very difficult options which I consider to be incompatible. It is a tragedy. I don’t believe both are possible. If your husband wants to work on his marriage with you AND have contact with the child then it must be without the presence of the OW. Have you looked at the Beyond Affairs Network web site? They state that it is bad enough to be dealing with an affair alone, but when there is a child from an affair, healing is much more difficult and complicated, but not at all impossible. They have some useful resources which may help your thinking about this situation.

  12. Iris

    Tee – concentrate on yourself and ask for what YOU need. This is a dreadful situation. But you are young, and you will survive it.


    1. Tee

      exercisegrace and marriage recovery
      I’m actually not sure if I still want to be in this marriage, I’m very conflicted. So many things have happened in the entire course of our marriage both pre-and post-the affair that I ask myself if this is all worth it. At times I feel like my husband is just going through the motions and there is no real sincerity or empathy and this really makes me wonder if it’s all worth the effort. I suppose some of the issues stem from cultural influences, being African adultery is not viewed as anything spectacular, in fact it’s largely said to be normal for African men to cheat. My husbands father also had an affair which resulted in the birth of 2 children, and to my knowledge his mother never really made a big deal over it, perhaps that is why he has such a relaxed attitude about the whole thing. His logic for wanting to take his daughter is so that he wouldn’t need to have as much contact with the OW, but I’m pretty sure she is not going to agree to that, this child is her only way to get to DH. A few weeks ago, the OW dumped the baby on DH, packed up all of the baby’s clothes and supplies and drove over to our house and left her there at 3a.m. After she had sobered up though she called and said she wanted the baby back. If this sort of drama continues, I’m not sure I will be able to deal with it much longer. In the last couple of days, the triggers have been coming thick and fast, opening wounds and returning me back to square one! I am in despair! When will this end? Will it ever end?, will my life ever be free of these thoughts? Sorry for the rambling, just don’t have anyone to talk to about all these feelings. I am in another country, away from my family and friends, so I don’t have much of a support system. I am seriously considering counseling for myself, coz I never really processed this whole thing, everyone just tells you to get over it, that’s the typical African response!

      1. marriagerecovery Post author

        Don’t apologise for the ramblings, it’s only natural that you should attempt to put into words, in a safe place, how you are feeling at the moment. I would think that counselling would be a really worthwhile option as long as you have a therapist who has empathy with your position. It sounds like you are going through hell. It must be awful to have to cope with all this knowledge and all the actions that are going on – all outside of your control. Seems like you are doing exceptionally well under the circumstances.

        The important person in all of this is YOU. What is best for you? How do you want your marriage to be? Staying together is not the only option and sometimes the fear of really losing their spouse frightens betraying spouses into a more conciliatory mode of behaving. But you can’t threaten and then not go through with it because it will give him a license to continue treating you in this way because you will stay no matter what. It might seem easier in the short term to stay but in the long run you need to work at shaping a life that you deserve. Good luck, And keep ranting on here if it helps.

  13. jitterbugjellybean

    Reblogged this on Karma's Payment Plan and commented:
    So true. In my case, the OW was a friend of mine, someone I thought was close to me and cared about me. A mutual friend of ours knew about the affair but kept quiet, just looking at me like she felt so sorry for me. But she didn’t actually do anything. After I found out about the affair, I felt so humiliated, so demeaned and belittled. I could not believe how people were ok with what had happened when my world had just blown up in a fiery mushroom cloud of pain. Only a few friends were upset. But in the end their understanding and anger was based on their own fear in their own lives and they stopped talking to me. This whole thing has been incredibly, discouragingly, extensively, and overwhelmingly lonely.

    1. foreverchanged2014

      It is so overwhelmingly lonely. These blogs make me feel at least someone understands me. Most of my friends don’t talk to me anymore either. Thank you for putting in perspective for me as to why. Their fear in their own lives…never thought about it like that. They were there in the thick of it but strangely enough fell off the face of the earth once I decided to stay and work on my marriage. One in particular who went thru the same situation and was instrumental in helping me get thru it doesn’t speak to me at all anymore. It’s so painful and I just don’t understand. My husband and I have very little friends now and it makes me sad. He says he doesn’t care, that he would much rather spend time with just me and the kids. It’s almost like we just need to move and start over completely…

      1. jitterbugjellybean

        I totally understand. It is a very hard road to travel. I have found friends and companionship in twelve step groups and group therapy for my experience. Over time I have also made new friends, as has my husband. It will get easier and there is hope!

  14. Pingback: My Marriage 13th August 2011 – 1st August 2012 | marriagerecoveryblog

  15. Sabiscuit

    Thank you for sending me the link for this post. It was an interesting read and I have learned a lot from this thoughtful commentary on female to female aggression. Up to this point, I thought it was irrational for a person to act so destructively towards another human being. In my case, someone came to me crying for help. In return… backstabbing. Even though I understand that it is a documented phenomenon, the world does not feel safer for knowing it. I will be more cautious in future but I realise that my actions in the aftermath were valid: Cut everyone off without further notice and give no one a chance to make excuses. The people in your situation were vile and evil. There is no forgiving what they did. I have had the fantasy screaming match in my head, too. It is very satisfying.


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