I’ve debated many times over the past few years what I would say to the woman who got involved with my ex husband during the end of our 17 year marriage. There were so many emotions wrapped up behind the feelings I felt for her, because she knew our family. Our girls played together. Our two oldest girls were best friends and played soccer on the same team together. She stood in my driveway and told me she’d be happy to help entertain the girls during the summer while I worked and she acted like a friend. She confided in me about her divorce she was going through after finding out her husband of 10 years was doing drugs. I listened and consoled her, as any friend would. She did all this while she was secretly texting and meeting with my husband. If I ran into her today, I wouldn’t have anything to say. I’ve moved on, and I’m happy. But for closure purposes, I wanted to write this letter to her today.

(Please note: I know it takes two to play the game of infidelity. My ex has just as much blame–if not more–in this as she does. But this moment is for her and her only.)

To the woman who tried to steal a husband and father to “fix” her family:

After realizing you were failing in your own marriage, you found a friend in a man who was, himself, going through his own personal failure. What you saw in him was a sad, broken man who told you he was unhappy in his marriage and sleeping in his basement. What you didn’t realize is that he was sleeping in the basement because he was carrying on an emotional/sexting affair with a woman who lived across the country. You reached out to him at a time where he was seeing his world fall apart. I, his wife, had found out about this 6 month long-distance affair and identified that he was depressed and angry and screaming out for help. I urged him to seek counseling and get on medication. At first, he denied he was in such a hole. But soon, he told me he hardly ever laughed anymore, he didn’t have any friends, and he was lost. I told him to seek help for his anger and depression and if he did not, I would divorce him. I had tried for years to help “make him happy” and I couldn’t help him–he had to help himself. That’s when you came into the picture.

You rode onto the scene on your “white horse” and he saw you as someone who could fix his problems. Your “fake” happiness, your 24/7 ability to plan activities and escapes, and your books on “how to find your life passion” and self improvement made him think that you were the woman for him. When I found out that your “friendship” had pushed the boundaries of our marriage, I told my husband to immediately stop speaking to you, and he complied. But you couldn’t let go of the image of this new man/father to your girls. You were told to stay away from my family, yet you drove up in your suburban in your swimsuit and found him outside and asked if you could take my daughter swimming. You kept pushing and pushing back into his life, and he gladly accepted you there because he was hopeless and didn’t want to admit he was depressed in his life.

You got what you came after: a man who left his marriage and children for you. But, you couldn’t keep him. What made you think you could? He used you for two years. You had no clue. That trip he took you on to San Francisco for your birthday? That was our 17 year wedding anniversary trip I organized! I booked the hotel, bought the tickets to the 49ers game, all of it. My kids told me their father told them not to tell you it was MY trip. November 20th may have been close to your birthday, but it was the day we got married. You didn’t know you were thrown in as a “substitute” did you?!

My children figured out the affair on their own. You two were instantly together after we separated. Did you think they were stupid? Your photos all over, your “instant” family. These were all clues to my children. I would never have told them what their father did: they simply knew that “daddy made some bad choices and we are getting divorced.”  Now they know the shattered truth about their dad. I despise you for that. Their dad is supposed to be their hero. But the two of you, equally, can chew on that bone until you have to answer to God in heaven about your life. You may have lied to everyone about your relationship, but I know the truth. Your religious beliefs didn’t get in the way of you having a physical relationship with a married man. How you could go to church every week and act like a wonderful, faithful person is beyond me.

You were always watching me and inspecting my life after my divorce from him. I know you were jealous of me and my happiness. You thought I wanted him back and you became over-protective and paranoid. You hated it when we could co-parent and let the past go. That is sad! My children told me they heard you tell my ex husband that he had to choose you before his children. What a pathetic woman you turned out to be. His anger and depression weren’t “fixable” were they? You couldn’t turn him into the man you needed so you could stay home, not work, and not be accountable for your life. He used you and threw you away after he realized you were controlling and jealous. My children heard you begging him to take you back. They saw you become a beaten-down, pathetic person. That’s the person I always knew you were. You’re not strong. You are sad, insecure, and desperate. I feel bad for you.

My ex husband has since met a very sweet woman and married her only after 2 months of knowing her. You had him for two years and planned a marriage and threatened and it didn’t work out for you. Did you learn anything? Did you understand that karma comes back to you and all the lies you told about me and stealing things from my home wouldn’t catch up to you? I always held my head high and was nice to you, because I thought you might be a step-mother to my children one day. But that isn’t the case any more. I don’t have to be nice to you. I don’t have to like you. I don’t have to deal with you. And I’m glad.

I hope you learn to love yourself. Because when you truly love yourself, you know how to make good decisions. You don’t do things that involve lying, cheating, sneaking around, and justifying. When you can live an honest, open life is when you succeed.

One last thing. I will never forgive you for breaking up my children’s family. But I want to thank you. Thank you for helping me to see my ex husband’s true colors. I am happier now than I’ve ever been. I live my life full of love, honesty, integrity and I always have. But now I also have authenticity and power, because I know how to stand up for myself and take what I deserve. My path is much different than yours. I don’t know what you were going through those years ago, but perhaps you finally learned a lesson.

11 Responses to “An open letter to the other woman in my first marriage”

  1. avelinerants

    You sound amazing and so strong…it’s inspiring to women like me who are still learning to survive betrayal, trust themselves, and move forward. Awesome. And, karma is very real…it’s a sad place that woman has created for herself.


    • Lori

      Thank you. I’m definitely a work in progress. It’s a journey, that’s for sure. Trust your heart and loving yourself are good places to start. Good luck in your journey!


  2. Don’t lie to me | Love, Lori A.

    […] My ex husband cheated on me because he felt old, undesirable, bored in his life, and he didn’t want anyone to know about it. He wanted to play the big tough jock role he’d always played so he needed a bit of a supplement to his ego in the dark of night where no one could see. This came in the form of the neighbor. […]


  3. Lifelonglearner

    Wow! So similar to what I’m going through (except the other “woman” was a 17 year old student of mine, our baby-sitter). I hope I eventually reach the place you’ve reached – one of integrity, happiness, and peace. Our divorce proceedings have me reeling. It is soooooo stressful. I will be so glad when the divorce is complete! Thanks for sharing. I didn’t realize how much it would help to know someone else has survived something so similar.


    • Lori

      You’re right in the thick of it. Just like standing in a hurricane. So sorry you’re having to go through all of this and deal with his juvenile behavior! The only depth a 17 year old girl has is…well, hell. I can’t think of anything!



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