I Was the Other Woman and I Didn’t Know It

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Dear Hoopers,
I dated this man steadily a few years back. We reconnected about a year and a half ago. He would text, call, but I would rarely see him and I would tell him this isn’t working out and we should end it. He would call endlessly and text until I gave in. We didn’t have a normal relationship.  In the last year and a half we went out to dinner not that many times, went to movies, and we were intimate. He came to my work and we’d go to lunch. He sent me flowers on my birthday. We had plans to go out for his birthday a week ago. The big one was that he invited me on a work function in another state and I was thrilled.

Here’s the kicker: I always thought in back of my head he was seeing someone. For some reason after all this time I did online research and found out that he was married…but I don’t know when and I’m not sure I wanted to know. I am devastated and can’t function. I texted him and said OMG you are married. How can you do that to me?! He texted back that he’s done dealing with me and he shut his phone off (next day blocking me). I called him the next day from my work phone and just asked why. He angrily said “you’re wrong” and hung up on me. Of course I called back but he never answered.

I was so mad and hurt I did a bad thing and Facebooked his wife. It didn’t go well. She said she didn’t believe me so I sent her copy of his airline ticket that he sent me. She said she still didn’t believe me so I sent her snapshot of phone log with all of the calls he made to me. Her response was to ‘leave us alone’. I couldn’t even get closure from that. I don’t understand after all this time how can someone do that? All I wanted to know was why? And to cut me off makes me feel so horrible that it’s hard to function. I can’t believe I meant nothing to him.  Can you please give me advice on how to function?
Sincerely,
-I Was the Other Woman and I Didn’t Know It

Dear I Didn’t Know It,
If this guy is shady enough to cheat on his wife, then he is surely capable of ghosting and giving you no answer. I am sorry you are in this situation and dealing with the pains of uncertainty about why he engaged in this relationship and how he could treat you the way he did. You ask about how you can function now and you function by processing what you have experienced. Closure comes in many different forms. Many times that is wanting to verbally talk it out or physically meet in person to cut ties. But other times it is necessary, due to circumstance like you are experiencing, to find closure within yourself.

While it may be hard with hundreds of questions bombarding your mind, he has no intention of investing in your closure. Turning off his phone and blocking you out of his life is a clear indication of this. You called this guy out on his lies and he cut you off. This hurts. His wife’s reaction also hurts. You were most likely looking for a “thank you” or some kind of acknowledgement from the evidence you sent about his affair, but yet again, another door shut in your face.


But other times it is necessary, due to circumstance like you are experiencing, to find closure within yourself.

-Kate

It’s okay to feel hurt, betrayed and confused in this situation. It is all of those things! But it is also important to understand that getting a response from him is unrealistic. Take time to process your emotions, surround yourself by people that you can talk to, and start making your way to finding individual closure.

As you move forward to future relationships try to listen more to that gut feeling. You said that you always thought in the back of your head that he was seeing someone. Why was it okay for you to continue investing in a relationship with him if you had a small fear that he was seeing someone else? Don’t let these feelings overtake you, but If you have them again communicate to your partner immediately. I bet you’ll be able to tell from their response, now that you’ve had this experience, if you’re right or not. You’ve learned an important lesson here and that is to trust your instincts.
-Kate

Dear I Didn’t Know It,
He is a liar and a cheat, pulling you into his affair without you ever knowing or consenting. He hid his marriage from you and hid this affair from his wife. You and she are the victims of his despicable decisions. How could he do this to you and to his wife? Some part of it has to come down to his short-sighted selfishness. He saw only the benefit and excitement of two relationships at once, without the obvious consequences that were coming at some point. Regardless of these consequences, the saddest part is how he never truly considered the emotional cost on you if/when this was discovered.

There was some part of you that felt like something sordid was going on behind the scenes. This part of you is what drove you to do some extra research on him and find these devastating results. It’s even more unfortunate that after the terrible and secretive affair, he couldn’t even give you the closure of being honest with you. Just deny and defend. This response reveals the depravity of his heart. You were quite justified to reach out to his wife. She was a victim here too and deserves to know. What she does with that information is up to her, but you did the right thing.


This hurts but I encourage you not to allow his poison to infect your future..

-Dr. Ryan

As hard as it will be to cut this man out of your life immediately, you must. He was poisonous and the only solution is to get away from the poison immediately. This hurts but I encourage you not to allow his poison to infect your future. One terrible guy doesn’t mean that other guys are terrible.

I would encourage you to find a therapist/friend/family member with whom you can bare your heart about this whole affair. If you are afraid of judgment, a therapist may be a good place to start. You need closure and healing from this, but know that won’t come from burying it and not talking about it. I guarantee that you will find a good relationship in the future, but take the steps now to prepare your heart and mind for that time.
-Dr. Ryan