“It does give you an extra bit of a thrill. It’s forbidden, so it feels a bit more naughty and erotic, which makes it so much harder to resist.” – Chantelle The Other Woman (TOW)
In our minds, the other woman is a mysterious femme fatal, who uses her whiles to manipulate and connive. The other woman is a thief and when she seduces your man, she has stolen so much more than your partner. She’s taken your self-esteem, your future and your sense of security, peace and justice and in return, she’s given you gut wrenching heartache, humiliation, jealousy, rage and crippling fear.
We love to hate the other woman. It’s easy to hate her. What is surprising is how we are able to brush aside our mate’s indiscretion and make her the focus of our malcontent. We do that because a part of us expects it from men, the other part wants to believe that he is a victim too, that he wouldn’t purposely betray us. She must have done something, promised him something or seduced him somehow. She has cast a spell or some kind of a web, that he just couldn’t free himself from. She used her sexuality to coerce him into doing things he wouldn’t normally do. She should know better and she’s broken the sister code, so it’s all her fault. She knows the vulnerability of his biology, and for all these reasons we save most of our outrage for her.
“I liked the feeling of being chosen over someone else. I really wasn’t thinking about his wife, or her feelings. I was just thinking about how I felt and when he wanted me, I felt really good.” – Jessie -The Other Woman (TOW)
When Brad Pitt left his then wife, Jennifer Aniston for Angelina Jolie, American audiences took an instant dislike to Jolie. She was the home wrecker, she had the loose morals, she was the corrupt one, the seducer and Pitt’s role in the infidelity was reduced and brushed under the carpet. Although the parties directly involved, have long since moved on, Americans still haven’t forgiven Jolie. There’s always been something unsettling about her, something that people just don’t trust.
She Made Me Do It
Who is the other woman and why does she do the things she does? These are questions we want answers to. I got to sit in on a self-esteem workshop last week and when the topic swung around to relationships I was pretty amazed by what those in attendance had to say.
“Every time he would come in he’d tell me how unhappy he was at home. How awful his wife treated him and how much he wanted out. He seemed like such a great guy and I started to wonder what was wrong with his wife. I felt bad for him and the more I listened to him the more I thought she was crazy.” Ellie TOW
Overwhelmingly, the majority of women in the audience had had stints as the other woman and/or had been the victim of infidelity. When asked why they chose the role of the other woman, most indicated that they were convinced by their new mate that his old relationship was over or in the process of being over.
For a man to enact the betrayal, he must make his spouse the villain. He tells himself that this is her fault, thus freeing himself from any responsibility. If she’d only done X, Y or Z, then he wouldn’t be doing this. With this mindset it gives him a sense of entitlement and permission to act out in lascivious ways. The act of blaming her makes him the victim and in the retelling of his woe-is-me story, he will also attract the type of woman that wants to comfort him and make it all better.
“I felt like I was caught up in something magical. I believed that we were soul mates. We had such a deep connection and we were just waiting for everything to fall into place before we could be together.” – Shari -TOW
I Win, I Win
Sex is a great motivator for men, especially those like the Somatic Narcissist, who derive their self-esteem by their conquests of others. Some cheaters will stay with their mate and continue to cheat on the side, some will leave their spouses entirely and take up with the other woman and some will bounce back and forth between the two.
There is nothing more alluring to a Narcissist than having two women fighting over him. The new woman always has an advantage, because she is shiny and new and covered with all that warm and fuzzy, new relationship fur. And before her sparkle diminishes, she will revile in winning the tug of war battle. To her damaged sense of self-worth, what winning means to her is – “I’m better than you. “ It’s not the truth, but in conjunction with her unhealthy attitude and what she’s been told about you, it’s how she perceives it. We all like to win, we all like to be chosen and if you do engage her, she will very likely come across as smug and a sore winner. Unhealthy people always feel big by making others feel small.
“He made me feel so beautiful and important. I believed that our love was special. It felt like I’d finally found the one. I didn’t pay too much mind to his wife. She was just an obstacle that we had to get past. I thought if she was good to her man, then he wouldn’t have come looking for me, so she deserved to lose him, cuz I’d treat him right. ” Trinicia – TOW
What’s Really Going on Here?
There is a distinct reason that this article is entitled The Other Woman and not The Other Man. The things that motivate men to be with married or committed women are different than what motivates women. Many women feel compelled to compete with each other using their sexuality in a way that men don’t.
It shouldn’t come as any surprise that the women I talked to about infidelity were attending a Self-Esteem seminar, because women that engage with married or committed men usually have self-esteem issues. It’s easy to get caught up in a fantasy and all the wonderful feelings of budding love, but you have to be phenomenally twisted to get off on someone else’s anguish and believe that true love can grow out of a foundation of deceit. Others participate in magical thinking and call it fate or kismet to ease their conscience.
Typically, the Narcissist’s other woman is often a fixer, one that likes to nurture and is a sucker for a sob story. They can, oddly enough, have abandonment issues, be people pleasers, are extremely gullible, over givers and others can have an entitlement mentality, or be conquest junkies.
My one-time experience as the other woman, happened when I was a teenager. My ex-boyfriend got a new girlfriend and when he came to me for sex, I felt entitled, I engaged in the tug of war, because I had him first and believed he belonged to me. I convinced myself that she was the interloper. She really was a nice girl, but my man was interested in her and that alone was enough to make her the enemy and it allowed me to justify my bad behavior.
Emotionally healthy women don’t participate in these types of relationships. They recognize that something is off and they aren’t afraid to walk away once they realize what it is. They don’t try to win, they don’t engage in the drama, and they’re not afraid to ask direct questions and demand direct answers. They don’t play tug of war, and they certainly don’t allow a man to hop from woman to woman.
Many years ago, a male friend of mine, had been dating a girl for 4 years. She broke up with him and then went to Greece for the summer. When she got back, she found that he had a new girlfriend. It was obvious that they had some unfinished business and his new girlfriend didn’t make a scene, she simply said, “It’s clear you two have some things to work out. When you get your house in order, give me a call.” And she got up and left. While this isn’t an ‘other woman’ scenario per se, it is an example of how a healthy woman deals with this type of situation. She didn’t engage in the drama, she didn’t attack his ex and say ‘he’s mine now,’ she simply said to her boyfriend – take care of this and don’t call me until you do. This happened in a bar, in front of us and I remember thinking that her statement was very powerful and I silently cheered for her in my head. He did get his house in order and eventually married her.
If you’re struggling with your man’s infidelity, don’t blame, or envy the other woman, because chances are, she has been feed a bucket of lies and has her own unhealthy issues to deal with. She very likely sleeps with one eye open. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we are creatures of habit and you can’t really be too surprised, if your mate leaves the relationship, the same way he entered it.
Never play tug of war over a man – let go of the rope and walk away, because eventually both of them will fall face-first in the mud, without your help.
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It’s interesting. I am the other woman. Was the other woman. He was someone I dated in high school. he came back into my life 30 years later. Five months of friendship and a lot of telling me how unhappy He was and the attraction we had in high school was still there. What’s odd, is that he lived two hours away and she would allow him to come and visit me for a weekend. We were just friends but my friends all thought, “What kind of marriage is this?” She allowed it. Anyway, after his sob story, he told me he was separated and that she wanted him out on the weekends. He came to my place every weekend for four months and she allowed it. Spent 6 days with me on Thanksgiving. She allowed that, so I thought, he must be telling the truth. They must be separated. They were not. This went on for four months until…ding ding ding, she figured it out. He was having an affair. She confronted me and told me he wanted a divorce and had wanted a divorce but she did not believe it. That he told her he didn’t love her anymore. She believed it. Bottom line, she knew he was feeling differently and lied to herself. The wife went after me. We are talking a full year of a smear campaign, you name it. Never ending harassment, so when people think the other woman is crazy or going after the wife or husband, you need to know; not always. This husband and wife are so toxic. I ended it with him after their house blew up and he went to a court and tried to put a PFA on me. A restraining order. Made up a tale. I had to hire a lawyer. Why? Because he was livid. He is a narcissist. He wanted to punish me and said how dare you leave me while my marriage is breaking up. How dare you. The judge dismissed the PFA and said it was crazy. He then tried to get me back. The wife has a public blog calling me a whore, a tramp, a slut, a harlot all mixed with biblical verses. This story gets so much crazier. She competes with me. Started a business on the side doing what I do for a living as an artist. She has zero talent. It is a year later and on it continues even though he and I are done. Accusations, my life out on public display for everyone to read on Facebook. I have had a nervous breakdown due to the both of them. Him wanting me back and calling me a whore at the same time and the wife calling me a whore all of the time and having people stalk me on all social media platforms. I am in therapy. I am not saying this for anyone to feel sorry for me. How did I get tangled up with him? He was my high school crush and my mom had just died. I was vulnerable and he wanted to be by my side as a friend with an agenda. I was crushed over her death. In he came. I had known him for a long time, we had history and so I leaned on him and fell in love with him. I don’t even regret that I came in regarding his marriage. According to his family, his marriage had been troubled for years. I was a symptom, that’s it. What I feel bad about is that I didn’t know he was crazy. I had no idea what he would try to do to me. The stalking, the everything. The biggest thing I have to say is; I understand falling in love with a married man. Why? Because just because someone is married doesn’t mean that that person is happy. Love is love whether with someone or not, but the thing is, don’t go there until that person is divorced. PERIOD. It’s too complicated and you have no clue what you are dealing with. His wife is crazy and so is he and they have a child. I would be stuck to his wife for my whole life and no thank you. She will try and destroy any relationship he has with any woman, not just me. She likes control and so does he. She whispers in his ear and he whispers in her ear and he triangulated with me regarding her. NO THANK YOU. Check please.
My friendship with narc was great or so I thought, he was the chameleon and thought he was the male version of me. he is married and talked about his wife. His wife moved out of state and at the same time I announced that I was quitting the job we both worked at.
He was crushed, which I felt weird/ awkward about but I just dismissed.
I ended up hanging out with him a lot after work on my last week and he never touched me – he was very stand- offish – so I never thought anything would happen.
It did happen the day before my last day and fast. He kissed me tenderly and cuddled. He was shaking, I was shaking, it felt horrible. I noticed that it felt like a drug – I felt horrible but I wanted more.
He begged to see me again but I didn’t agree. I just ended it luckily but I listened to his side over the phone which gave me more evidence of narc characteristics. He said he had fallen madly in love with me. He asked to date me. So INSULTING. He also told me that he lied to stay at job to be near me instead of moving to be with his wife. He said I was amazing and that it was my fault. He threatened to go to his wife if I didn’t see him – I said good, please go! Glad I’ve made it easy. I said i deserved someone that was there for me 100% and he said he wanted to be that guy. He said a lot- a lot of lies – anything to guarantee supply. He finally accepted that I would not agree to date him – and I begged him to have a shred of morals here – little did I know I was dealing with a narc. He cried crocodile tears bc getting supply is not always easy. And he said he loved me. He told me I wouldn’t be strong enough to stay away.
I blocked his number and on Facebook. I just survived the love bombing phase but it was easy bc asking me to be his mistress made it easy to say no. He had another girl at work that he immediately went to for supply after I did NC. She posted them galavanting around for 24 hours straight.
The rage I felt at the perceived morality and great person that I witnessed all to be ripped apart- should have been at the kiss but it was when he spoke of his true intentions. I was shocked!! I was targeted and it feels so painful. I don’t ever want to be friends with a married man ever again!!!
TOW is always miserable and a loser. I told him I’m the loser here and he said he hated that I said that but it was true. Cannot believe I let it get that far but to end it at the love bombing phase showed me I did have some dignity after all.
I guess I’m still suffering and wondering. I’m on strict NO CONTACT.
I still wonder how could he do this to me? My emotional mind is so screwed up and intertwined with the N’s fake reality and mask.
I guess I wonder when we last talked – I did not say I love you back when he said he was madly in love with me. I of course didn’t reciprocate these feelings. He pointedly asked if he wasn’t married would I say “I love you back”? I said yes if you were single I might say I love you back. To this his response was this huge exhale, like it was something he was just DYiNG to hear. I wish I didn’t say that ugh!!!! After that I’m pretty sure that is when he asked if we could date. Dumb question but is that already part of the devaluation phase or in his mind – he’s entitled and justified to have a side chick so he didn’t even see it as devaluing? I guess I’m blaming myself here for him asking me that INSULTING question. I’m also noticing that I feel a lot of shame – I told him NO so why do I feel the shame, he should be ashamed of himself.
I am there with you LEARNINGALLABOUTNARCS. My narc husband has done the same thing. He has left me and started a new life with is sea turtle chia pet mistress and her children. She is pregnant too. She knew he was married and continued on with the affair. However, I do not blame her alone because my soon to be ex-husband initiated the affair.
What makes me so angry and confused is why he chose not to start the divorce since he left so easy and discarded me and my children with no remorse or care in the world. Surely, someone that was ready to leave from his unhappy life and marriage would want to divorce and move on.
I have learned so much about narcissism and I am still trying to pull my head around how someone could fake marriage and mimic your inner qualities. Wishing you the best and happiness. Happy New Year as well.
This,, article is dead on Spot,,about not Competing with TOW,,even if you want too.. Don’t..I Broke the Triangulation,,by telling HER..To come get your Real BF,,out of my Home,,the BF you don’t Know,, if want my GF Position that BAdly Guess What,,She Disappeared..And I Kicked Him out of what He once knew as Comfortable Home.. for Him and I..So let TOW compete with You.. Because that is what she is Doing,,if even Subconsciously,, Don’t compete with HER..Dont Compete with Nothing,,YOU Don’t NEED too..Get rid of the Lying and Being Cheating in your Life..When I did it Hurt Like HELL.. and I Never cried so HARD but I felt So Empowered by my Decision to Let Him GO… Please Do Not Play into his Narcissistic Fanctasy of Deserving Two Women to Serve Him and his Pathetic Power Games he has Playing with YOU and TOW…,and am sure he certainly can’t Afford Two Women… Either in all Honesty… Most Men Can’t.
This,,article about not Competing with the OW,,is dead on Spot.. Don’t do it..Even if you want too..I did not compete over EX,,when I found out about the OW. I told her to come get Him,,if you really want my GF position..its your Turn now and everything that reallyyyyyyy comes with being with the Real HIM…and Guess what she disappeared into Thin Air… Guess she didn’t want my GF Position all that Badd after all…And I kicked him out of the Place he once called HOME.. That Knocked His Super inflated EGO and the Narcissistic Nerve of you about Deserving Two women in his life to serve Him,,Back down to Reality faster then the speed of light.. Believe me
Oh boy did i need to read this! I’ve been having a “relationship” with my former boss who is married for almost a year now, and i just decided to cut him off.
It all started last summer after a gathering with my collegues at my former boss’ house. It got late and the others wanted to go home, so did I, but my boss said he wanted to talk with me about something and asked if i could stay a litte longer, so I did. As soon as the others had left, he grabbed me, looked me in the eye and kissed me. I dont know if it was the alcohol that made me, but i kissed him back. It quickly escalated and we ripped eachothers clothes off and headed towards his bedroom wherer we had sex till next morning. My first tought waking up was “what have I done???” I was sure he was going to fire me, that he regreted it, and that it would be difficult for us to continue working together. As a single mom, loosing my job was the worst thing that could’ve happen to me. Thousand toughts ran trough my mind. He was still asleep and i just wanted to quietly get up, get dressed and leave. Then he grabbed me. He looked me in the eye like he did last night and kissed me. He wrapped his arms around me and held me tight. He asked if i was ok. Which I was, now. I felt so relieved that he didnt look at me with regret and tell me to leave. One thing led to another and we had sex again.
This was the start of the biggest pain of my life.
I’ had never been in love before, Yes I have a kid, but i realised i was never in love with his dad. I had much love for him, yes, but i was never in love. You know, that overwhelming feeling of desire, that nothing else matters, but being with that one spesial person, that made the butterflies in your stomach go crazy everytime you would think of him or her, when your heart skips a beat and you feel dizzie and shaky all at ones when you see him/her? That feeling. I had never felt it before, not once, until now. You would probably think i’m weired to feel this only after one time having sex with someone, but i had been working for my boss for almost 9 years, and we’ve always had a good chemestry and we had always talked very easely. Back to work on that Monday after, i saw him in a whole new way. I couldent focus on my work, i just felt so happy, it was almost like a high. We didnt talk about what had happend for a few weeks, until one evening i got a text from him. “I’m sorry if i come off as inapropriate now, but i’m home alone, and i’ve been thinking alot about you lately. Maybe we could share a bottle of wine later tonight when my kids are gone to bed?” I remebered my heart started ponding. I didnt want to come off as too excited so i testexted him back “maybe, i’ll call you later” But i knew i was going! I felt this high again, and i felt so incredably happy. I called him back and told him i was coming over. We had sex again that night.
I dont know what it was, but i felt so safe with him, maybe because the fact that he was an older man, 15 years older than me, much more life experienced, and after all, he acted like a real gentleman. He never left out on the compliments. He told me how beautiful I was, how happy he felt when he was with me, how good i made him feel. I truly felt he cared for me, that i was special to him. We continued on like this everytime his wife was out of town. He would call me or text me and ask me if i wanted to come over or if he could come to my place. He even took me to his lodge occasionly when his wife was home, telling her he was going with his mates, but it was to be with me. All this made me feel special.
Until he one time opend up and told me he had been with another one before me. I remebered feeling sick to my stomach, i just wanted to throw up. I was devestated. The feeling of being special to him disapered. I cried when i got home and i felt extremly jealous of that other girl who he had been with before me. Was she more special than me, prettier? When i learned that she was one of my collegues, i broke down. I’ve never felt so jealous, ever. I tought she was so much prettier than me. And i decided to stop seeing him. I told him to never contact me again. I knew this whole situation didnt do me any good. As i’ve been struggling with eating disorders earlier, i felt it was about to get it’s grips on me again. I went on a diet to get more fit. He had told me earlier that he liked skinny girls, and he would often state how thin i was, and how much he loved my body because i was so thin. Staying thin, for him to continue liking me became important, so i started excercing, and counting Calories again. I havnet been doing that for the last six years! I did not want to get back into old habits, but at the same time my fear of gaining weight became obsessing. I know i told him not to ever contact me again, but at the same time this was me testing him how much he cared and wanted me. I wanted him to contact me, and it took 5 weeks before he did. We continued where we left off, and i have never felt more sad. It’s not a secret to say i’m a girl with lov self-esteem. It’s often women with low self-esteem that gets involved with a married man. We just thrive for the attention, the feeling of being so special that someone risks their family just to be with us. Today is exactly a week since i blocked and deleted him. I dont want him to ever contact me again. He is not my boss anymore either so that makes it all alot easier. Last time we were together was the beginning of june. I tried to call him a week ago, i needed to talk with him about something, as he said i always could call if i needed to. But he rejected me, and gave me the cold shoulder. i’ve been blind to see it all this time, but the only time he showed me any intrest is when he wanted to see me. Other than that i never heard from him. Of course that’s understandable as he has a wife and kids, and that’s where his heart is. I dont think he ever tought of me other than when he wanted to have sex with me. That’s when he usually told me how beautiful i was, and how much he cared about me. And I belived him. Last sunday after i had been binging and purging for the 10th time that day, i told my self he wasnt worth it, this wasn’t worth it anymore. It’s been a hard week, and i cry alot, but i tell Myself it will get better. And as for my eating disorders, im going to get help again. It got it’s grip on me and this time really hard. it’s taking my focus away and the one person that should get all my attention and my love deserves better. I’m not that mother he deserves right now.
As for his wife and his kids, i feel quilty everyday. I wish i could undo this, but i can’t. I never ment to hurt any of you. They never found out about me, and i honestly hope they never do, not because of me, but bacause no one deserves to have their trust broken like that. I really hope i was his last, that there wont be another me.
And to everyone else who is involving with a married man or woman or someone in a relationship for that matter, dont do it! It will never end happy, never.
Ellie is so right with the man making his wife look like some abusive psychotic bitch. If you are so lucky to get caught up with a married superior narcissistic man, the rollercoaster ride is even more exhausting. I knew the wife since high school about 30 years ago. We both were in love with the same man then and now however, she was the not so lucky one to marry the jerk. I moved and went on my own way after high school. They stayed in the same town and dated and years later, married and had children. I recently got out of a bad long term relationship and reached out to him on social media. I was surprised he was still with her and I told him how cute that was and congrats. He immediately started to love bomb and put her down calling her a bipolar c*nt. I asked if counseling was a consideration and if he tried to work things out? He was so hateful in his words about her and declined to do anything to work on the marriage and told me he already moved out and was separated from her and NEVER to return. I believed him. We started to talk daily and went out a few times one month. But, the day after we spent the night together, he vanished! Prior to sleeping with him, I felt him pull away a bit and I just assumed he needed space because he was falling in love. LMAO not. It’s the narcissist’s game. Love bomb, devalue and discard. He went right back to the arms of his wife the very next morning and acting like nothing happened while I lick my wounds. He than began to call ME psychotic and bipolar because how dare I be upset that he went back to his wife. Too late, I was hooked on the game but I laid low for a month and only messaged him in a friendly “hey what’s up” type of way. One morning, he drives by my old house in Seekonk and takes a pic of it and sends it to me with sweet gestures. I thought it was extremely cute that he did that and we fell right back into it. He would use me, use her, back to me. I got sick of the game and reached out to his wife and let is ALL out of what happened and even sent her pictures of all the saved messages from him. We bonded and talking for weeks about him and life and everything else. We grew to really like each other and we both blocked him on FB and I’m sure it’s driving him nuts. He has NPD because he is using her for her money and sex. He used me for sex and constant praise and admiration that I gave him. He uses the many many girls in between us for constant narcissistic supply. We won’t stop. I’m glad she and I finally saw the light with him and it’s damn sure sweet revenge that we are bonding over this and he is left in the dust!
Thanks for writing this article. I needed to read a good article about the other women or in my case very young just turned 20 girl. She and him wanted me to play tug of war they both were getting off on me falling into their game. When I finally got my senses back thank God it was quick. I changed my phone number, deleted my email and Facebook so neither one has anyway of contacting me. No tug of war with them anymore. I’m not going to compete for him not compare myself to her. My life is miine and I will not allow them to use it in their sick game.
This is a great article. As a spouse who was cheated on by my husband of over 20 years I can totally agree. After I was discarded for a young co worker after discovering his affair with him I was devastated. They are both sheriffs deputies and hooked up on their nightshifts together. I was shocked. I was in pain. I begged and pleaded with him. For about 3 months I was pathetic. I am not proud of the way I acted. Until I woke up. I finally had it. I went no contact. I hired the best attorney I could find and he was served with divorce papers. It was an ugly nasty divorce but in the end I won. He was ordered to pay permanent alimony to me. He is losing half of his army retirement to me. And i used to hate this other woman and now I am thankful for her. She set me free from a life full of lies and betrayals. I am divorced for over 2 years now. 3 years of no contact. I will never go back to this craziness. I love my new life. It’s peaceful and happy. I might have been the fool during the affair but who is the idiot now ? Like my lawyer said. YOU CANNOT FIX STUPID BUT YOU CAN DIVORCE IT. BEST DECISION I EVER MADE.
Actually it’s pretty standard procedure that if you were married that long you split the military ASSETS in half. Military retirement assets are NO different than civilian retirement assets as it is simply part of JOINTLY owned and subject to 50-50 division upon a divorce which is FAIR to BOTH parties … not just you … but him as well … there’s nothing unusual there.
Even if you weren’t military and it was a civilian retirement account the spouses are expected in MOST divorce cases to split the marital assets 50 / 50 … as that is what is fair for both him and you.
And the permanent alimony was awarded most likely due to your age …. Length of marriage … education (our lack thereof) and chance of work ….. so I hate to say it there’s really nothing unusual about that divorce settlement.
Hopefully your attorney was really good and found a way for you to get additional income after he passes because alimony usually ends when the person paying it passes … Or you remarry or live with someone else .
And if it was a “bitter nasty divorce” then chances are he was ill fit for you and you were ill fit for him …. so I think both of you are probably in a happier place right now hopefully after these years .
And that’s really the important part … not whether he won or you won in the divorce ( because your divorce settlement was pretty standard and it’s what I would expect it a nonmilitary divorce as well … You don’t deserve 70% of the assets anymore than he does …. the marriage fell apart not your assets.)
And since most states are no-fault divorce now ( even if someone cheated like my ex did on me) that’s why you split the assets 50-50.
But it feels good to be in a better place and I think he is as well and that’s the important part.
This sure does help to separate and let go of the OW. My ex was a serial cheater, porn addict, and all around con artist, mostly a narcissist. I met him at church when I was naïve and 24. It was in the 18th year of marriage and when he quit traveling for work that I noticed a woman that was very inserted into his life. They went to high school together. No strong ties then. He had moved away eventually. They were in different circles in high school. But later in life they connected. He tried to say it was innocent friendship and get us to be friends. I knew inside something was very wrong. He lost his job and was more distraught about not making his 30 year class reunion. He got a plane ticket to go to the reunion for just him. He made every excuse why I could not go with him which was unusual. He was so out of control with her he was saying things that were making me wonder what in the world was up with him. I call it a stupor or stupid fog. He lied and said his classmates chipped in for the plane ticket. He had since found a job in Nebraska and the ticket was from there to his home state. Yes, he was working out of town. I found the 700 dollar receipt that his special friend paid for with her amex card. They were constantly texting, talking as I found when I pulled cell phone records. I would drop him off at the airport and he would be on the phone with her right when he got there. At first I thought that their Facebook friendship was their first reconnection since high school and after more stuff started to come out I realized they had been connected much longer. I also found out that her son is his. He is only a few months older than my daughter. She is married and went to great lengths to make sure I never contacted her husband. So her husband has been under the impression he has a son and she has let him raise him as their son. Guess that is why she made sure she cut me off from contacting her husband. Mind you I did not know at the time I was trying to contacted her husband that her son was my ex’s, but she did and that explains a lot. They are wealthy and she is much like the ex on the narcissist side. She made fun of me as I lost my home while she was building her dream home. She tried to speak to my daughter at 9 years old on the phone to tell her she did not sleep with her daddy. Who in the world does that? That forced me to have to explain to my 9 year old what I would have otherwise waited to tell her at a much older age. The OW is still in his life. Her husband is a surgeon and she is a flight attendant so pretty sure they are busy especially her. She seems to enjoy her job as I was told. I personally was scratching my head wondering why she needed to fly a lot, but as I was told it has perks she enjoys like men and not being home. She paints a good picture and no one would ever think she is a serial cheater like the ex. Much more happened, but too many details to tell. I could write a novel. There were more women, and all the porn, and more sordid past I found out about when I decided to divorce and look further to see what he hid so well. I did move on. When he said he did not see his friendship with the OW like I did and was keeping her as a friend even though I was leaving him. I had asked him to sever the relationship so we could try to go to counseling otherwise I would leave if he did not. That was before I knew there was more and worse secrets. I think he was shocked when he was served with divorce papers. I look back and it was the best decision I could have made. I took my power back when I walked out. It was not easy financially or emotionally. I grew up with infidelity and knew I would never stay. A lot of counseling and just a strong will to move to better. I was broken but knew I needed to make it. He eventually got himself into a mess with my daughter and that landed him in supervised visitation then he was put out of that. We do not have to see him anymore. I did marry again. I was not looking to, but life has a way of surprising your plans with something better. I found me in my singleness. I found love that I deserved for myself and with my husband I am married to now. My material world from the past that was lost is not missed. I will say I have more than I imagined now. Life is far better and I am happy. My daughter is doing well and she is beyond happy with her life and new family unit we have together. I do not miss the ex at all. I realized his double life and what a cad he is. I do have to say I wanted her husband to find out about their affair and of course that may never happen. Not sure about him finding out that his son is not his. I do not think that is what that child needs to complicate his life. I do think children do figure it out without a cruel way of finding out. I am not that person. So at this point and years later I find I would like to be able to put the OW in the dust like I have the ex. Reading this thread helped me have insight to how OW”s are and how others like me deal with the comparison, the wanting to just tell them off, and just major blow the self esteem. I am at the point that my life is wonderful. I had to really fight for my daughter for a few years so I really did not get time to deal with the OW part and my feelings there. Seems that is the last thread of the past I need to make peace with and let go. I would love any insights and comments that would help.
In my case XXXXXXX X from Xxxxxx, Xxxxxx who is a real estate agent in Xxxxxxxx Xxxx was the other woman to my husband. They carried on their affair for months until i finally had all the proof and caught them. When i texted her she was quite quick to tell me to back off – oh really??? Im the wife with lovely daughters at home so why dont you back off bitch. She said i was a crazy bitch and had issues. Well she doesnt know me at all so i can only imagine the stories my husband and her had about me and my mother-in-law Xxxxxxx had plenty of input as they were good friends too – nice right. Those two bitches can rot and no one will ever respect them
What did you want the other woman to do or what did you expect the other woman to do when you wrote her? The issue is with your husband NOT her. If you wind up divorcing your divorcing your husband not the other woman.
As the former wife of a serial cheater I wrote the other woman too … he wound up marrying her. I realized in hindsight that she could not fix my marital problems although at the time I believed if she would just go away my husband and I could restore our marriage.
I think as wives we find it easier to tell the other woman to back off because we are not emotionally invested in her and we forget that she doesn’t have to listen to us. When in reality the other woman can do whatever she wants independent of what you as the wife wants and even though it hurts she does have that right …. The issue is with your husband … NOT THE OW.
If you and your husband can’t come up with the terms of your marriage and stick to it a third-party does NOT have a responsibility to uphold it. And while that hurts …. that’s what I realized and now I fully agree with.
Wives waste their time writing the other woman telling her to lay off when it reality she doesn’t know another way to save her marriage. Writing the other woman gives that other woman a whole lot of power and I realized that myself after I did it with my ex.
Bottom line look at your ex sit down to discuss whether you want to stay married to each other if not, marriage done. She is not a party to our marriage contract in the legal sense but she is what scares the hell out of us when we realize our marriage is in trouble …she is a symbol of that. So we want her to back off so we can save our marriage when in reality your husband (spouse) is the only one who can save it and you if you choose to stay with a serial cheater.
But she’s easy to blame because you don’t have to appease her in any way but if you lash out totally at your husband you’re afraid he’s going to be even further out the door than he already is.
“So I am getting no money to run my house. As far as I am concerned, these are the two most selfish people on the planet.”
Could you perhaps get a J O B and join the rest of the untitled in taking care of yourself?
New here and been reading alot. So much good info. I have been on both sides of this fence and one is not any better than the other. Trust me. My ex narc drunk husband was a blessing in disguise in that the hell I went through with him taught me to take care of my own self and kid. Hard? Yea. Hardest thing I have ever had to do. But I wasn’t “blessed” with the sense of entitlement some seem to have. I was very aware that marriage is not a guarantee that I would always be financially provided for. Women do have more power than they realize. They are the ones that spread their legs and consciously decide to bring a life into this world. Anything can happen. Men drop dead. Some with no insurance etc. Things out of our control. Should each and everyone of us not be responsible for the lives we brought into this world? I don’t know about any of you but I am not special enough to even begin to think anyone owes me anything. I have to do it… Or not. My choice.
Btw. Thinking like that is exactly what the sob NARCS tell tow. “All she wants is my money” “she won’t work” etc. Perhaps some of the stories he tells are not complete falsehoods?
Not sticking up for them. Far from it. But. We can all do ourselves a favor and realise that we are our own responsibility. Financially and otherwise.
Let’s be aware of our own sick entitlement issues and stop trying to live fairy tales. Real life is hard. It’s tenuous. It’s also very rewarding when you can say “I did that” and know you own your own success.
If your are so unhappy with your marriage why not leave that individual …but Instead, you dirty that person name , make her look like a jealous , crazy bitch that you onced loved and you only leave her, when you found someone else .it wasnt enough that she treated you like crap and u let everyone else know your so unhappy…you can’t leave her to another woman appears in your life …man are so pettyful
I was the other woman. I feel most for the wife. She had been married to this man for 15 years before I came into the picture. I saw first hand the interactions between them, as he hired me to work for their landscaping company and I lived at their house for a while. I saw they were having marital problems. He would always sleep on the couch. I don’t remember seeing him sleeping much in their room in their bed. He controlled me after he seduced me one night on his couch. His wife would go out of town, per his suggestion and he would bribe her kids out of the house and then sneak me in. He would tell her I worked those weekends when in turth I didn’t work at all. I am not proud of my actions. I would watch him cause a fight over the phone just to see him put it on speaker, mute it, open his mouth, and stick it in his mouth and drive like that with the phone hanging out of his mouth. Or he would put the phone on speaker, and mute it, and then yell horrible names at her as she got upset about some thing. It was pretty sick. He would threaten my life when I tried to end it. He controlled me by making sure I became good friends with his wife and told me if I didn’t then he would call children services on me. I had no choice. I feel most for his kids with her. They I knew would be the ones to suffer most if they ever divorced. I did not feel entitled over the wife. I pitied the wife for never knowing just how much he hated her. He told me later that when she threatned divorce he told her, and luaughed alot as he told me, he told her that she would be nothing with out him and that if she divorced him he would destroy the landscaping company she owned that he ran. To this day she says (in a letter I found she had written too) that I must have been delusional and thought an affair took place. I feel bad and I have remorse for it. There is no way to apologize to a wife after you have been the other woman. I just think you have to learn from it and move on. To send her a letter would be pretty cruel if she wants nothing to do with you. After I left her rental property her husband then smeared me totally and made her hate me to the point that she wouldn’t believe a word I said anyway.
My ex and the other woman are happy together. They have lived together for about 2 years and have been together for 4.5 years. He left me for her and never looked back. Told me how he changed in an email after more than 24 years of marriage!
My son thinks ow is a better fit for him them I was. I am sure that he gets her to do everything for him as he was always trying to get me. I started standing up for myself and once I did that he moved on.
Still pains me as he has gotten away with all the lies and cheating… They live in bliss
FYI he did not Hoover once and I doubt he will as I was never allowed to express my concerns about anything but I did after I told him to get out. He tells people I was just so angry, no shit I was. Now just frusted how it always works out for him
The other woman is overly nice to me ;’)
She likes all my photos on Facebook (we have mutual friends) especially the ones with my new lover.
This surprises me. I’m thinking triangulation. Anyone thoughts on this?
Full disclosure, I am a man and the scenarios that you are all relaying is happening to me RIGHT now…no remorse, calculation, triangulation…it is absolutely disgusting and she attempts to justify it with smear campaigns.
i spoke to tow and we talked all night. posted and paste his text msgs. what he said to her he said to me. we seemed to build a connection although she declined to meet me for coffee. she had contacted me twice. I had not contacted her.
I told my partner now ex to get lost and told him his girlfriend had contacted me. He said, all you have done is hurt her. she then responded dont text me again. After coming out of my shock,she played me also. good luck to then both as he a has another woman tucked away that had phoned my ex new woman and said she was my friend,which she is not. ive never met or talked to her!!! so yes i am sure tow will have the same treatment.
I was the other woman.
He told me that it was over when we met, I told him to finish things with his ex and that I didn’t want to be with a married man. I told him this, over and over for 6 months.
He was persistant, spent more time with me than with his family and by all accounts when I did try to check online, she hated him and was happy it was over. I let my guard down. I was wrong, I should never have done that.
I never judged his ex on anything nor competed with her…I have an ex husband and wouldn’t judge her if she had pain. My interactions with her after he moved out were not friendly and his children seemed to like me. After he moved out we were together for over 4 years, he was an artist at future faking…I let him into my children’s lives, my parents and my friends..until a friend told me back in February to check his ex’s facebook page and there they were…together again.
I had no idea.
When confronted, he simply stated that they were never going to be together, the picture was taken together for his children that he didn’t love her and he wanted me. I gave him several options and even told him if he felt he needed to work on his relationship with his ex he could go…I would understand. He didn’t go.
At this point, I checked her page and it explained a lot of the changes in our relationship. I am happy to be out of the relationship and I broke it off in April after being accused of stalking his ex and kids (to find out the true info as I had a feeling he was lying…please note, there was NEVER any bad intent towards them..I never posted on thier pages nor searched anything other than what was openly posted on public pages) …once I confronted him…he started not coming home, disappearing without a call, not calling, insulting me, sex with me, etc. I broke up with him in April and two weeks after he was off to Italy with yet another woman…not me and not his wife.
For the record…I am so sorry that this happened and I will always be sorry that I had a part in hurting her and her children, I am very sorry I let my guard down and will have to live with that for the rest of my life, I am human and make mistakes…But I wasn’t out looking for anyone and I am not a homewrecker. He was after me for months before I gave in to the love bombing of this covert narcissist.
A question though…..why the hell does this liar get to walk away after sucking his ex, me and God knows how many other women in and triangulating us all while not taking blame for any of this while we women tear each other apart knowing there is something wrong with him?
I am the other woman, and in no way do I feel proud of that. In fact, I have more empathy for her, than I have for myself. I have gone so far as to express my guilt to him for hurting her (although she had no idea of our affair and we had never met.) but, I had a conscious and it was my own moral compass I questioned for my involvement. On the polar side of things. my Narc agreed that he felt bad too(but he lied), and it never stopped him from perusing me anyway.
He justified his cheating with me, because she was (according to him). cold and unaffectionate. He was so blazen as to say she was a closest lesbian. Dispicable.
According to him, I was genuinely loving and affectionate, which was true. But something she was seriously lacking, which is not true.
I really never never took stock in what he said about her, brushing it off to what men say to their mistresses, get what they want.
I asked him not to tell me things about her. Particularly ugly things that would shade her character as a mother to his of his son.
He tried everything in his power to persuade me into a triangulation, but I wasn’t buying it. I already feel guilty for sleeping with “our” man, that I was not about to hate her too. I knew she was innocent, and good, by what I personally discovered of her.
Once upon a time I was too was innocent. That is until I found out they were not separated as it was told to me at the very beginning.
I met my Narc one might at the gym. From the on set, he told me that he was fresh out of a 12 year relationship by three months, and that the only reason he remained in the state (he’s originally from another state), was because he needed to be close to his 6 year old son, which they shared custody.
The rest is typical. We started a torid and fast paced love affair. And during the course of this new relationship I was endoring the statistical value and devaluing that happens in a relationship with a Narc. It was during the devaluing stage when I didn’t think that things added up, and went on a quest to find answers.
I stumbled upon the answer while browsing through social media, and found her FB page. I was horrorified to discover that not only were they not seperated, but had the appearance of a perfect couple! I think I threw up, or passed out–because I never would have engaged in a relationship with a man who was already committed to another woman. The only truth he told me about their relationship was that they were not married. And they are not, but that doesn’t make the matter better. I’m still the other woman.
Sadly, I never had a chance to confront him. Narc’s have a very keen intuitive way of sensing something is off, and he bolted. No excuses. No apologies. Just poof…gone.
I had loved this man blindly. And had I known he wasn’t available, I would have never spent five minutes with him.
I was devestated by the whole thing. I could not wrap my brain around the fact that someone could profess their love and devotion, and yet lie and use you so blatantly. This was new to me, and all I could describe for mysf was that I felt I had been rolled over by a locomotive.
My love and my confusion never died, so I was easy prey when he returned 9 months later. My love for him overruled my logical sense and continued to see him, this time fully aware that he truly not available to me. He didn’t have to lie to me about their relationship, but he did anyway.
For now the fog has finally lifted. I have been on and off with this man at least a half dozen times, in the year we have been together. I had never engaged in triangulation, since I did not feel what he was telling me about her. I never told him how I came to find the truth, because I wanted the luxury of being able to pop into her page and seek HER truth.
I say it that way, because she too is in the dark– more so than I. I know about her, but she does not know about me, or whoever else he had used too.
I cannot express the number of times I wanted to reach out to her and tell her. But by doing so, I felt that I could be putting myself in jeopardy, not to mention that he would find a clever way to persuade her that I must be some stalker.
I pray for her as much as I pray for myself. I finally came to my breaking point, and have started my NC for the second time. I have all the faith in my self that I will be able to find my happiness. But I look back once in a while and feel terribly sad for her and her son. I was able to identify him as the monster that he is, but she still lives the facade of a happy couple. I wish her the best.
Just found out that my husband is having an emotional affair with some lady. I discovered it through text messages that they were having. Once I was able to find out what was going on I was asking her a bunch of questions and one was what did you and my husband talk about? She said they discussed me….. Why would he discuss the things that are going on in our marriage with Her? Trying to make me look bad,he tried to make it seem like it was nothing and all they talked about was God and spirituality REALLY? So I guess you guys were having late night bible study mixed in with a little fornication!
I love your writing, it’s been a huge help to my recovery. I have stayed away because the pic in this article was a trigger for me. Thinking about the other woman while looking at an image of a beautiful woman in an erotic pose makes my stomach knot up. Just thought you should know.
It almost seems like the wife or girlfriend becomes the other woman because the cheater spins his lies to his new interest. She becomes incensed with all the emotion he’s passing onto her and due to her lack of self esteem, she’ll go to any length to to find out more about you. Little does she know, eventually she’ll be the one ending up sleepless at night!
“Many women feel compelled to compete with each other using their sexuality in a way that men don’t.”
I partially blame our society, attitudes toward women and the mindset of previous generations for this. It has created an environment that encourages women to compete with each other, all just for the attention of a man. Throw low self esteem into the mix and you’ve got a big, hot mess.
From the time we are girls, we are taught in myriad ways — both directly and indirectly — that landing the “right” man should be a major goal of ours, and that somehow landing this man validates our worth, says that we are beautiful, completes us and will guarantee us a happy life. But the idea of “right” is often twisted to mean superficial, tangible, material things: The “right” man is handsome. The “right” man is wealthy. The “right” man is tall, and so on and so forth.
There is never ANY mention that the right man is really someone who is right for you and treats you well, with love and respect!
I saw the mean girl action in high school, where girls would actually get into fistfights over the boy who was considered popular or good-looking, but they resorted to hitting EACH OTHER when he was two-timing them both, instead of confronting him. I saw it in college too, where smart, successful women were throwing themselves at idiot football players and then being catty toward one another over it. To make things worse, it didn’t matter if that player was in a long-distance relationship with his high school sweetheart (many of them were), was rumored to be a cheater, or was even in the media spotlight for being in some SERIOUS legal trouble, like assault.
Many of us – even women with healthy self-esteems – receive this message that if a man of a certain stature is after us or wants to be with us, then that must mean that we are hot, desirable and worthy, right? This thinking can stick with us into adulthood.
How many of us have Googled a man’s ex girlfriend, at first out of curiosity, then found out that she was stunningly good-looking, compared ourself to her, then started cutting her AND ourselves down in the process?
How many of us, even as mature adults, have received backlash from a fellow woman when we began a new relationship with a man? Many years back, I began to date a coworker but it wasn’t serious. Another woman at the office had found out about it, and actually tried to wage war against me — she had had a long-time crush on him and I wasn’t aware of it. We were both in our late 20s when this happened, and it made me feel like I was back in the high school cafeteria. I’ve heard from more than one friend that they received hateful messages, emails and texts from their current husband or boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend when they began dating him.
The point of my rant: I hate, hate hate that we are STILL taught to identify ourselves through our relationships with men. You brought up the Angelina Jolie-Brad Pitt-Jennifer Aniston issue — all these years later, tabloids STILL run photos with cover teasers saying the Jennifer Aniston is “sad and alone,” and that Angelina and Jennifer are still feuding over Brad Pitt.
This does not excuse being the other woman, at all. But I do think we need to take a good look at how society participates in and encourages this behavior between women, as if they DON’T want us on a united front.
Excellent rant NR. I’d like to add that with the mentality we are raised on, that we have to get a ‘good man’ to take care of us. We aren’t taught to be independent and self-sufficient. We’re taught to be dependent and when our spouse decides one day he wants someone else, we are soooooo lost and crawling around in fear that we don’t know what to do, because much of who we are is wrapped up in the relationship, so when it’s gone we have a hard time trying to figure out who we are. One of my favorite quotes is by Lady Gaga, “Some women choose to follow men, and some women choose to follow their dreams. If you’re wondering which way to go, remember that your career will never wake up and tell you that it doesn’t love you anymore.”
what a relief and how refreshing to know that I am going through the exact same thing. we were together for 13, and he had decided to meet up and live with another woman. I have been sitting up with the year. I was detained for six months. I have been putting up with the back and forth between her and I for the last year and a half. he has since gone to rehab in the last month and it is a relief, but also sad. . I had always thought of them as my best friend, but will be surprised if I ever see him again
There is a reverse psychology to TOW that the primary partner (wife or girlfriend) should be aware of. The triangulation really serves to heighten the other woman’s sense that she is better than the ex, even when the ex really does not want the man anymore.
In my case, I was caught unaware that my occasional contact with my ex (due to unfinished business) was being used by him to infer I was still his girlfriend when in fact I only considered him a “family friend” and no longer wanted to be intimate with him.
When my ex triangulated me in his new relationship, he had TOW thinking I was the barrier to them being together. The reality is, I didn’t want him — but she didn’t know this, and had she asked instead of attacked me, things would have not gotten ugly.
My ex set things up to make it look like I was her competition and TOW actually engaged in vicious verbal attacks by calling me out of the blue and saying things my ex had told her about me, in the form of lies and half-truths. That’s when I was clear he was pathological.
Funny thing is, during this time he was still calling me too much and I kept telling him I had no interest in getting back together and was firm in my stance because I would not agree to see him in person, only allowing contact by phone or internet occasionally.
I simply asked TOW, you and my ex are free to run off in the sunset and live happily ever after if you’d like, because I don’t want him. Why would you engage in abuse-by-proxy by attacking the character of someone you do not know?”
I was a complete stranger to this woman. The beauty is, I am free of him and know what’s in store for her. Had she not attacked me, I would have been open to being on friendly terms with both of them for business purposes. But that will never happen and I no longer talk to my ex because I realize he crossed lines by betraying me in ways I could have never imagined before, by lying about my life.
To put TOW in her “place” due to her verbal aggression toward me, I mailed her copies of all the emails my ex sent still professing his love for me — while he was apparently trashing and smearing me. I got an apology from TOW and she sheepishly asked if we might be able to be friends and I said absolutely not.
I found them both to be toxic and am totally no contact and peaceful, no longer feeling obligated to allow my ex to be considered a friend. I think TOW’s bubble was burst when she realized my ex had still been pursuing me all along. Since I was clear I didn’t even like him for a boyfriend, her having him felt more like a relief for me in the end. She didn’t win anything worthwhile at all.
You make a very good point. Narcs will use a triangulation technique to further his agenda, further the confusion, further the jealousy, further his woman’s unhealthy desire for him, whether it exists or not.
My ex used triangulation to make me feel as though every ex-girlfriend of his was a threat to our relationship when they were not, and I totally fell for it.
He would let me know in an ultra-dramatic way, like shoving his phone in my face, that one particular ex had called him, and that he was telling me this under the guise of “just being honest” and “not wanting to hide anything” from me. He also talked about two other women that he had dated, a lot, as in he’d name-drop them when it was not relevant (and never appropriate). It was like the ghost of his relationships past followed us everywhere.
Since my N was not socially sophisticated nor very smart, I chalked up his behavior to “being a dumb guy” and immature.
Oh boy, was I wrong. All of it was done on purpose.
I am not proud of this, but as I crossed the Rubicon into the land of crazy while in this relationship because of this and many other reasons, I did some online snooping on these Other Women as a result.
Here’s what I found: My N had hoarded and saved EVERY SINGLE email, text and Facebook message from these women, and his browser history showed that he was looking at their profiles quite often.
One ex that he always talked about and made me feel threatened by, it turned out, wanted absolutely nothing to do with him and they hadn’t spoken in a few years. Her final messages reflected that he had done the EXACT same thing to her (triangulation) and she said there was something very mentally wrong with him. Another woman was a victim of his boomerang behavior — he went back to her and would sleep with her after every relationship failed, would get money and alcohol from her, than would shut her out. He played this hot and cold game with her for a long time. I also found messages where he complained about me to her, making himself out to be the victim. Her messages to him were a mix of complete and total adulation (badly written poetry) and outright contempt, calling him an abuser.
At my lowest low, I hated these women and the very idea of them. I felt competitive with them. I even said unkind things about them to my N, like calling them names, when they weren’t even tangible people and I had not met them! Before I snooped online, I had filled in the gaps with my imagination about what they were like: In my head, they were all 5’11’, a size 2, had supermodel cheekbones and glamorous, high-paying jobs. I am not saying this to be mean, but I once I snooped, I found the opposite to be true — these women were all seriously overweight (I am of normal weight), none had been to college, and they were not of the same socio-economic status.
I never contacted or went off on any of these women, but the fact that I was tempted to do so a few times concerns me. He managed to create a love triangle between me and women who had long been gone and wanted nothing to do with him, that’s how sick of a person he was.
The fact that I even compared myself to them, and then later tried to think of myself as “better,” shows me that my N had won and that I had lost. He wanted me to feel inferior and threatened. He wanted me to have a rivalry with them. He wanted me to get upset when one of them contacted him. He curated this image that he was highly desirable and could have replaced me at any moment.
Ultimately, this was a mindfuck that he did on purpose – he did it to make me feel like shit. Abusers DON’T want you to have any self-esteem, because people with self-esteem have boundaries. No matter how much I cried, yelled and screamed for him to stop, by staying in the relationship I OK’d his bullshit behavior.
Now that time has passed, I no longer have any hatred in my heart for the Other Woman (the one who called him while we were together). For her to allow my N to go back and forth with her for years means that she has way more issues than me, and even more horrid self-esteem than I do, which I didn’t actually think was possible. I feel sorry for her, and I actually hope that one day she wakes up, loves herself and can go NC with him for good.
I would also bet money that I am now being used in his triangulation tactic and that there is a poor woman or two out there that now hates me because of it.
Anyway, thank you for explaining triangulation and articulating what it is, now I can finally make sense of what had happened to me. Now I’m very aware of what it is, and that is, in fact, one form of abuse in the Narcissist’s toolkit.
Healthy, normal people do not excessively talk about their exes. There is no reason to bring an ex up unless there is shared custody of children, in my opinion.
NarcRepellent, I completely understand the dynamics you describe about how your ex used triangulation to make you feel as though every ex-girlfriend of his was a threat to your relationship.
I am Anonymous who wrote the original reply. The new woman who contacted me was so outrageous in what she said to me — and I was a complete stranger to her. Who has the nerve to tell a stranger about herself, as if she (the new woman) had been a witness to things that happened in my life, much less what really happened in the relationship with my ex and WHY I DID NOT WANT HIM. She could not fathom that I did not still want him, and I recognized she was enchanted despite evidence showing he would have continued to pursue me for sex if I allowed him.
I was able to muster some empathy for the new woman due to hindsight in knowing that my ex tried to make me think his previous ex before me was a threat to our relationship. What I came to learn was that his previous ex did not want anything to do with him — just as I didn’t want anything to do with him long before the new woman entered his life.
But I never went off the deep end with his previous ex because I realized he had started calling his previous ex — and the times she called him were to return his call. I never viewed his previous ex as the problem because, IMO, the man I’m in a relationship is responsible for how he conducts himself and what boundaries he puts in place with others.
We as women need to realize that attacking another woman (especially a complete stranger) can put us in danger — I felt the new woman was so angry at me, she wanted me dead…her attitude toward a complete stranger was just that vicious. But she found out she was attacking the wrong woman because I stood firm and put so much pressure on him to straighten some of the shit out, that I walked away feeling my dignity restored after being smeared and went on to block him completely from ever being able to contact me.
He actually told me that the woman thought that I was the “weakest link” — he knew she would not attack him verbally, since she had been love-bombed apparently. She won’t likely verbally go after any other woman after how I handled her attacks against me, either. She actually said to me, “I’ve been told my mouth is going to do me in.” My reply was: “Next time, focus your verbal assaults toward whatever man you are worried about, not some woman you’ve never met and cannot possibly know anything about, regardless of what a man tells you.”
I came to the conclusion that my ex talked about me a lot to the new woman to make her feel jealous and it helped cover up the emptiness within himself….he had nothing else interesting to say to keep his image inflated.
Another one very well written post. About 20 years ago I was TOW. This still haunts me now and then but I got over it knowing that I can’t erase my past. I was young and stupid and yes, I had not self-esteem though at that time I thought, I did. How accurately you described the nature of sick relationship. What lured me into a sick relationship with a married man was my lack of assertiveness. There is no way I would do it again! Actually, I’ve realized the relationship was sick when he decided to leave his wife and moved in with me into my tiny bachelor suite and made himself comfortable and started to run my life he thought would be best for me. The clash was rather obvious but then I felt guilty of causing all this and couldn’t see my way out. God helped then and he died in an accident. Now I will say something shocking: “That accident as awful as it was saved my life. Literally!” Though years later I am still struggling with the men in my life issue. I’m starting to see now how unhealthy, undealt issues from my past, from my childhood, my overgiving, oversensitive personality “made” me choose wrong partners, co-depend again and again. Will I be able break the sick cycle. I’m now dealing with a Narc husband and made a decision to separate but can’t gather strenghth to move this into action.
I am going through exactly this right now. My husband left me for the other woman, and then now is trying to come back. This is the same thing that happened four years ago. I never have any clue, so I don’t know what’s wrong with me. We have been together a very long time (34) years and you don’t expect the person you have known forever to do this to you. When I started letting go- that’s when he wants to come back. Now I learn he is also an alcoholic. I am letting the rope go… This has been such a disappointment for me and my family. As far as I am concerned, he is 100% at fault, but so is she. My son won’t talk to his father because of all the lying and she knows she has broken up a family, twice! Also, she lives in another state so he has basically given up his business to be with her. So I am getting no money to run my house. As far as I am concerned, these are the two most selfish people on the planet. The thing is- she will be the one who wins- because I will get stuck with him. I am trying to make that not happen.
Awesome post. I would absolutely not give any sympathy to TOW. Self esteem issues are not a reason to participate in the destruction of a marriage. I get you are sharing the perspective of how one can possibly be an OW – but as you alluded to earlier – BOTH of the participants in the lie are exactly that liars and not worthy of merit until they desist from the lies. And guess what, they very likely never will.
The one thing I noticed in talking to these women was they didn’t show any remorse or at least very little. I think they felt victimized too. Not one of them was still with the man they cheated with, and I think that so often happens that they end up getting a taste of what they dished out.