They Do Exist.

A Letter To The Other Woman

Editor’s Note: This post is Anonymous. She had an affair with a married man. He ended up leaving his wife for her. They got married. Had a daughter. And then he left her for another woman. If you are one of these women and want to speak with today’s author, please send an email to goodwomenproject[at]gmail.com with OTHER WOMAN in the subject line. And I give you my love. Read on. – Lauren

I didn’t have an affair with a married man when I ran away with him on a dark spring night.
I had an affair with him the first time I took mental note of the shape of his shoulders and the way he smiled at me.
That’s when it happened.

When I sat outside a studio in my car in the middle of a March winter and called a friend, I told her that something felt weird, different.

“It’s strange, isn’t? That I feel these things?” I whispered.

“Turn on your car. Leave right now. Don’t ever go back,” She said to me. Oh, how I wish I had listened. Instead I turned the engine off. Put one foot into the mud and began a journey that took me seven years in a very large, silent circle.

Seven years of broken relationships.
Of marrying him.
Only to have him break my heart the same way he broke his other wife’s heart.
To leave again and again.
Leaving me with a child and an unknown future.
God redeems, don’t get me wrong.

God redeems and rescues, and after five years of running, it’s taken two years of repentance, making amends, awkward conversations, humbling myself, swallowing my pride, and recognizing that I can only boast in His grace. I feel like Hester Prynne, and my scarlet letter is stitched into my words, my heart, my conscience.

But, oh, if only I could have seen the depths of my depravity without this bleeding storyline. Without the carnage of hearts.

I can’t help but flinch a little when I hear someone say, “I would never do that.” Because really, I said the same thing. That’s the thing about deception. You don’t realize you’re being deceived. And sin is crafty. It was just the sweetest, juiciest bite that destroyed the story of Eden.

So, when I hear a girl talk about a married guy, and I see the spark in her eye, I want to take her by the shoulders and say, “Turn on your car. Leave right now. Don’t ever go back.”

Or if you think it’s weird that you’re so close with him and not his wife.

Leave now. Don’t ever go back.

Or if you feel butterflies when he shows up, and you wonder why he’s with a girl like his wife. When he smiles at you, and your stomach knots up and you linger in his gaze for too many beats.

Leave now. Don’t ever go back.

If you’re the girl he calls when he’s fighting with his wife, stop trying to convince yourself that you’re just friends. Because I guarantee that there is a part of his wife that wonders why he turns to you and not someone else. Or her.

And if you’re first response to that is “Oh well,” then I beg of you. BEG of you.

Leave now. Don’t ever go back.

I didn’t have an affair with a married man when I snuck out of my house to meet him in secret.

It was the moment I didn’t turn my car around.


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17 Responses

  1. anonymous.

    Run. With everything you have, RUN! Take the advice from people who have went down that road and broken so many lives……

    It never turns out. You are not the exception!

    February 25, 2012 at 8:08 am

  2. Beautiful and heartbreaking. Blessings on you and your honesty, dear one. Your story has not ended here. What joy awaits you and your precious child yet! Hold fast to the Christ. You matter. O, how you matter. Take heart.

    February 25, 2012 at 10:53 am

  3. What a very brave and beautiful post.

    February 25, 2012 at 12:10 pm

  4. A friend

    You are so brave to share this truth with your fellow sisters and brothers. Our God is so good and gracious. My story is similar but different… I had an emotional affair with someone after years of misery with my partner, which led to another year or more of physical and emotional prostitution to them both, motivated by consuming guilt. I should have turned back the moment I wrote in my journal three weeks in, “I don’t think God wants this for me.”

    February 25, 2012 at 12:41 pm

  5. Nono

    Wow, one way to summarise this is 'carnage of hearts'. Thank God that Jesus heals the broken hearted and binds up our wounds, you are so brave and so loved and so precious in the eyes of God and for that reason He has given you honour where there was once shame (Isaiah 43:4). Thanks for the post, lots of love.

    February 25, 2012 at 4:56 pm

  6. It's easier to have an affair, it's easy to leave, it's easy to start over. Sticking with it is what is hardest, and that's where the Lord grows us.

    February 25, 2012 at 7:50 pm

  7. Cady

    My best friend told me for months that my emotional affair with a married man was wrong. I knew in my heart it was as well. But it took someone who didn’t know me for me to open my eyes…thank you, Lauren Dubinsky.

    February 25, 2012 at 8:02 pm

  8. Chris

    Oh that God would give us a "It a Wonderful Life" moment and send us an angel to temporarily fast forward our life and show us the inevitably disastrous consequences of such a life-altering decision. We are so adept at living in denial and convincing ourselves that somehow we are different from everybody else. If you are the friend of someone who is about to step off a cliff be that angel for them, and don't be afraid to be a pain in the butt about it. That's what a true friend (and especially a brother/sister in Christ) would do.

    February 25, 2012 at 8:38 pm

  9. Jane

    Your story is told with such repentance and humility. Thank you. For if we're honest with ourselves, how many times do we have an affair of the heart or mind or emotions, not just in terms of a married man, but in terms of any other sparkling thing that catches our affections and leads us away from God. Thank you.

    February 25, 2012 at 8:55 pm

  10. Melissa

    Absolutely beautifully written. You sharing this has been a blessing. Thank you.

    February 25, 2012 at 10:39 pm

  11. Shawn

    You are so humble and I love how you own your mistakes. Thanks for sharing your heart.

    April 5, 2012 at 11:05 am

  12. Kristin

    By far one of my favorite posts by GWP. I sincerely appreciate the woman who wrote this, and her candidness in her mistake. Thank you for leading others away from making similar decisions that can cause much larger issues.

    April 12, 2012 at 1:57 pm

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  14. Krystafre

    I will say, as a woman who was cheated on . . . It hurts, especially after the fact, when I have made the decision to forgive my husband. She keeps trying to get in between us. He says he has no feelings for her and only kissed her to forget about me. He says he was drunk and obviously wasn't thinking. He says, "well, look at her. She's nothing like you. She's nowhere near as attractive as you nor is she has fun and passionate." I don't know, I just can't let it go. Please don't hurt anyone the way I have been hurt.

    September 3, 2012 at 1:50 pm

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