They Do Exist.

An Affair. And Being The Other Woman – By Raeanne

Editor’s Note: This is a recounting of a young woman’s affair with an older man, and what it’s like to be the Other Woman. In sharing this story with me, she told me, “The only thing that broke and saved me was hearing other women’s stories. Hearing that I wasn’t crazy, that I wasn’t the only one.” It’s a hard truth, but affairs will weave themselves to make you feel like you are a special case, but in actuality, they are cookie cutter. In all the love in the world, I ask you to find yourself somewhere in this story. Give yourself grace, and then find the strength to fight for The Best. You are not ruined, you are not alone, and The Best is attainable. And so worth it. – Lauren

I wore the mask for a while. Except instead of covering what was underneath, it exposed the ugliness and desperation inside.

It was innocent at first. He complimented me. I began to notice him. The compliments began their slow turn into minor harassment. I never acknowledged it because I secretly craved the attention, deciding to dismiss it as regular work banter. The tension mounted between us, turning into an ugly distraction from my job. Yet I thought about him often, as unhealthy as it was.  I tried to ignore him. I ignored his undressing stares, his enticing eyes, his remarks about my beauty. The more I denied my attraction to him, the stronger it grew. It left me overwhelmed, confused, and ashamed because I was dating a man who I loved completely. How could I love my boyfriend and have such a strong pull towards someone else? Someone who was fifteen years older, married, and a father of two beautiful girls.

That tension between us grew over the course of the year. He continued to ask me out, I repeatedly refused. He kept reassuring me it was just a meal, innocent, and that his wife would know. I refused. I even took some time off, but when I returned to work the heat between us had escalated. He and I became the dump for each other’s garbage. He’d complain about his rocky marriage, I’d complain about my dissatisfactions with this life.

Then, the relationship with the man I loved ended.

One night soon after he invited me out with a friend. I somehow convinced myself it would be okay to go. And it was. We sat at a bar. We talked about ourselves. Two unhappy people enjoying simple bonding, right? Maybe he did just want to me by friend. Maybe he wasn’t trying to just sleep with me.

The lies started. My lies. I began inviting him out. Our conversations quickly became about the sexual tension we had felt over the past year. He said things like, “I always think about you.” That, “You made a man who others claim has ice in his veins quiver with nerves.” And my beauty, my smile, made him unsure of his surroundings. These words shook me. How could this be happening? I wanted him more with every sentence that rolled off his tongue. I fell for every word, every pause, every breath. Oh, how he was so enticing. I was needed. I was wanted.  I was desired. He touched me, kissed me, in all the right ways.

We continued like this for weeks.  Feeling progressively guilty, I tried to end it. Ending it was impossible. He was brilliant. He made me believe I was special to him; that he cared about only me. That he didn’t belong to his wife. He needed me. He’d criticize then affirm. I began thinking this was entirely my fault. But he had me convinced I was in charge. I was the one leading him to the dance floor. I wanted him to make him feel better, to fix him, to help him.  So I began spinning my own lies. I believed that I owed him myself. He’d thank me for brightening his life, for giving him hope. I made his life better. I fixed him.

Whenever I backed off he grew angry and heated. It was easier to lie to him and myself than acknowledge the extent of the damage being caused. So I became his lover. I seduced him with lies. I made him believe my eyes, my hands, my body. I knew everything he did was a lie, which made my lies so much easier to spin. He lied to me, and in order to stay in his world, I was forced to lie back. And I not only began believing his lies, but mine as well. They were so interconnected it was difficult to know what was real.

I started avoiding friends. He and I would meet for lunch, then again after work. If he asked me out at 1a.m. I’d went. He’d find secluded places to park his truck. The first time I slept with him was in his truck parked just around the corner from his wife and daughters. I felt fucked. No love, no caring, no real affection. He said the most demeaning things to me. But I told myself I couldn’t be mad at him because it was my fault. I needed his attention; it was a type of drug. I wanted him gone, but every time I thought about ending it, I knew he’d convince me I was heartless.

I was numb. I was apathetic. I felt nothing. When you build your own reality it becomes devoid of true emotions.  My only emotions were fake.

I noticed a change in how my mind processed reality. I felt split in two. There was myself; the real self which wanted nothing to do with this dark situation I was in. But then there was the created self which begged for more.  Both realities could not co-exist. I could tell myself to accept both, to live in both, but when I asked my friends to live in both along with me, it became impossible.

I knew I had to tell the people closest to me what was going on if I wanted any chance at destroying my world I created. I had to make every effort not to lie to them. Once my friends knew, I regretted telling them because I had to work harder to hide my late night escapes.  I enjoyed the game of dodging them. It was more exciting. More dangerous. It made the affair I was in that much more enticing.

While my false reality was flourishing, my real self was dying. The only thing that made me feel alive was the comfort of his presence.  This is due to the fact that my only emotions were really lies, so when I wasn’t experiencing those lies I felt nothing. The feelings I created to convince myself he was worth it had to be extremely intense. They were. And they wiped out all my other true emotions.

All my real self wanted was the confidence and strength to stand up for myself. I needed something to save me. I wanted to be picked up by strong arms and be removed from the situation, for every moment I spent with him, I became weaker.

I was removed from the situation by someone who intervened and did what I didn’t have the confidence to do. She confronted him, warned him to keep his distance. She’d ruin his life.  He told her he just wanted to be my “friend.” He was full of lies. I then made it impossible for him to contact me. Community, accountability, and honesty were my only ways out.

I couldn’t ease out of it. I couldn’t warn him. I just had to flee. I couldn’t expect him to understand. And I didn’t. I felt guilty for dropping him. For giving him hope, lying, and then making his life even more miserable. He still had a fragile heart, and I ultimately didn’t want to hurt him. I made him believe my lies just as much as he made me believe his. The whole scenario filled me with guilt. If I’d chosen to stay, I would have ruined our lives even more.

In the weeks after I fled I immediately noticed clarity of thought. I’m happier and not as desperate. I don’t have to pretend anymore.

I still want to see him. I still find myself driving towards his house, his work, looking for him everywhere I go, but it was not my duty to fix him, or be the escape from his terrible marriage. He deserves to be happy, just as much as anyone, but it was not my responsibility. He doesn’t have the right to even look at me. I don’t have the right to ruin a woman’s marriage, and I certainly don’t have the right to ruin two beautiful girls’ perfect image of their father.

And I, myself, am worth so much more than a meaningless fuck in a dark parking lot..

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31 Responses

  1. Katelynn

    I myself am in a situation where i am the other woman, with several differences, but i wanted to ask about something you wrote. You said he became angry and heated when you tried to distance yourself, but how did he convince you to stay, for as long as you did? was it something in particular he said or was it simply that need for attention? Feeling stuck myself

    March 23, 2011 at 11:46 am

    • Raeanne

      He would accuse me of burning bridges and say I am young so It makes sense I don't know what I want. But then he would tell me how much I meant to him, and how he needs me because I make his life complete. He'd then begin to compliment me even more than before. Every time I wouldn't respond to him I knew He'd put me through hell and make me feel heartless so it was just easier to play along and not deal with his accusations. He wouldn't leave me alone until I responded.
      I hope you find ways to become unstuck. It's heartbreaking to be the "secret." How long have you been with him? Have you tried distancing yourself? Has he pulled you back as well?

      March 23, 2011 at 5:22 pm

      • Alandria Zenon

        Could you please contact me i really need to talk to someone about a similar situation. I feel like my life is falling apart because of this man and I cannot let him go and he is also a coworker of mine.

        December 25, 2012 at 3:15 pm

  2. You are worth much much more & it's such a relief to know that you realize it now! Thank you for sharing what you went through and explaining how being honest & confiding in your friends was what saved you. Other women's stories helped you as well and this story will help someone, if not many other women in the same way. You are brave and strong and beautiful and such a good woman!

    March 23, 2011 at 4:48 pm

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  4. Thank you for sharing your story.

    March 28, 2011 at 9:41 pm

  5. Justine.

    You are an incredibly strong woman to have left, this story was so honest and beautiful, thank you for sharing, I am can't imagine it was easy to write.

    March 31, 2011 at 6:58 pm

  6. Anna

    Thank you for sharing your story. Is this a christian blog?

    April 1, 2011 at 3:51 pm

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  12. Sal

    Thank you for being so honest and open.

    August 13, 2011 at 12:43 pm

  13. Diane

    Thanks for the honest story, my heart goes out to you. For others that are facing this situation or related issues I recommend reading "Mr. Unavailable and the Fallback Girl" by Natalie Lue. Finding a good therapist to help you is also a good idea. Life is beautiful and it's never to late to create a better story.

    September 18, 2011 at 5:02 pm

  14. Ruthie D.

    Thank you for your honesty and vulnerbility. Praise God you had the courage to leave. Most women don't. Remember that was a season–a series of bad choices–but it doesn't define who you are. You can be clothed in a robe of righteouness if you believe in Christ. Thank you for sharing so boldly. May you have peace!

    October 10, 2011 at 2:09 pm

  15. Stacy

    I want to thank you for posting this. I was in a similar situation with a man in a serious relationship with another woman. At some point, I just walked away and never looked back. Sure, I receive emails and messages from him from time to time, but I have become strong enough to ignore them. I didn't realize how depressed and ashamed I had become until it was over. I feel free and like myself again and it's a wonderful feeling. You have no idea how your story has helped me! Thank you so much! :)

    November 8, 2011 at 11:55 am

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  17. Benny

    Thank you for sharing your story. It's been a year since i let go of a similar relationship and suffice to say I am still recovering from the shame, the guilt and my feeling responsible to take care of him. I completely identify with what you were going through and yes, wherever I am, a small part of me is still looking for him. It's been hard to let go but I am beginning to realize how fortunate I was that God gave me the strength to finally let go of this destructive relationship. The moment it ended, I felt like a huge burden off my shoulders and I begin to feel more happy with myself. However the pain continues to linger. Every now and then, I start thinking on what I could have done better which would have made him choose me over his wife, what could i have done more. But then I stop and realize, that's just my ego talking. After all, as much as it was about intimacy and desire and euphoria which seemed like love at first, it was also about power and control. Part of the reason I got into it was because I felt I could use my sexuality to control this man who was much older, more successful and smarter. Sex was my means of feeling powerful and it gave me a high, a fix, an affirmation of status, almost a celebrity like status, being admired and adored and idolized.
    Getting over it has been hard. It's a slow and steady process and reading your story has only reassured me. I can get over this and I will get over this because I am not alone in this battle!

    April 25, 2012 at 1:51 pm

  18. Raeanne

    I completely relate and felt those same things. After I wrote this I soon went back to this man. My affair with him continued for a few more months. My heart was not ready to end it. I was still battling with God everyday, ready to turn my back on Him because I could not handle the guilt. I enjoyed the chase, the thrill, the darkness of it but it ruined me. 3 months later I ended it via text. 1 month after that I found myself on his front lawn at 1am, calling him, asking to see him. My heart was ready to be transformed. I set aside my pride, the idea that I was in control and I uttered one small prayer. "God, I need you." Instantly I felt his strength. When this man came outside, thinking I was again asking to spend the night with him, I stood and spoke words that were God's. I said everything God told me to say, turned and walked away. It's been 10 months since that night that I truly found God and ended a relationship that was eating away at my soul. I felt renewed, forgiven, changed. I was a new person. I still feel shame and hate what I did, but the forgiveness I felt/feel is real. It's deep. It's powerful. I had to find God's strength and accept it before I was strong enough to end it.

    May 5, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    • MBG

      You really should amend your article with this update. I’m sorry you fell back into that but you can see it coming at the end of the article. It’s what happens when we don’t have a heart changed by Jesus himself. God bless you and light up your path.

      May 7, 2012 at 12:11 am

  19. Alandria Z

    I am crying reading this post and all of the comments. I am 21 yrs old and i was too involved in an emotional affair with a man. He is handsome and older (30) and just got married a month ago, since i started working with him ( i started when i was 18) has been trying to sleep with me and date me. I refused all the time, and i make him chase after me because i like the attention. We would text sexual things and i would send him pictures, but i nvr fully gave in because in the back of my head, the Holy Sprit said stop and i would think about his wife and kids. for about a week i could not stop thinking about him and I told him today that we need to meet up and have sex (thank God he didnt respond). I opened myslef up to him and listened to him vent like so many other young women and he charmed and lied to me at the same time. TOday is the day that it ends, i want the man God has for me, not someone else's. I pray for strength not only for myself but for all of the women and men who go through this. Its so easy to get entangled but with Christ we can def make it out! He didnt send His Son for us to continue to live in sin!

    August 8, 2012 at 12:25 am

  20. Lexi

    Did you ever feel the need to confess to his wife?

    November 28, 2012 at 11:40 pm

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  22. Hurt

    I've been trying to let go of this man since I met him. He is extremely charming. He has a girlfriend, 7 1/2, he is going to propose soon. Since he found out I was seperated from my baby's father he "befriended" me. We are both Christians. We deny each other most of the time,say we will only be friends. Then fall right back into the sexual texts and pics until l one of us stops the relationship for a few days or a week, say we want to behave and be faithful to God. A few times, we failed. Its been almost a year since our secret friendship started, constant calls and texting since about 8 months ago, and physical infidelity since 5 to 6 months ago.

    I posted a group photo these days, I didn't notice anything about the way he was looking at me. ( I took the picture.) His girlfriend did though, and now she wants to meet up to talk.

    I found out a few days back, I'm not the only one he texts with similar charm. I'm jealous all the time, of the other girls and of his girlfriend.
    She deserves so much better. I know I deserve more, but I don't feel that way because I'm guilty of playing along and causing this pain.

    A part of me wants to tell her the truth, but I don't want to ruin her dreams of being married to him. I don't want to hurt him either. (He always says he loves her and doesn't want to hurt her, he even breaks down.)

    I feel like I love him. Even before our friendship started I always had a huge crush on him, so the feeling is even deeper now. I know he is not for me. I'd go crazy with jealousy thinking about all that he has done, all the lies. I tell myself I won't answer his text, but because most of them are ordinary, I do untill its starts again.

    I want to stop. I have God to help me, but I'm so ashamed of how many times we've stopped and continued that I can hardly pray.

    January 1, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    • Jill

      If he really loves you, he'll let you go. He'll see how much this is hurting YOU (not just him or his wife). It's been my experience that the only way to escape the shame is to to stand up for yourself, end it, and forgive yourself. Is it wrong tp be involved with someone who is attached? Yes. BUT, i've learned the hard way that life, is a LOT more complex than you think it's going to be and sometimes our emotions and personal psychologies lead us down paths we never envisioned going down. And along the way we make mistakes, even big ones. But, that being said, the adult way to respond to our mistakes is not to beat ourselves up, and leave ourselves in crappy situations to suffer ''punishment'', but to own up to it, separate our self-worth from our behaviours, forgive ourselves and ensure we identify the lesson learned so as not to repeat it. Although you have some responsibility for the situation, so does he. Chances are you have a particular vulnerability (a weak spot in your self esteem, an old hurt, that needs repair that you envision him fixing… is he similsr in any way to one of your parents? ) that men like him prey upon. They're VERY adept at manpulation (consciously or unconsciously) – every ''innocent'' act or word is part of an attempt to keep you connected/dependent. Seriously. I've been there. That being said, i suggest you figure out what your vulnerability is, so you can protect it now and in the future, and hopefully find a way of healing. Two books that helped me include ''co-dependent no more'' by Melody Beattie and ''healing your emotional self'' by beverly engel. I wish you the courage you need to take care of yourself

      March 29, 2014 at 9:38 pm

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