ten years on the effects of my affair still affects me

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-11-2014
ten years on the effects of my affair still affects me
Wed, 06-11-2014 - 5:13pm

I so wish that i could back and change what i did. basically i was unhappy in my marriage, my husband was a bully i met someone who was also unhappy with their wife and

we  quickly moved inwith each other when spouses found out.  We had four children between us the youngest then was my son who was 15.

Ten years later we are married although i am ashamed to admit not happily, after all the pain that we caused to so many others the same problems exist.

We are now grandparents and have to attend family events, this weekend i have to face my husbands ex wife again and i so dread it as she is so nasty to me. it is so embarrrasssing as even people who have recently come into our family will know that i am the scarlet woman. strangely my husband does not get this from his side or my side, everyone just seems to accept what he did but not me. His ex wifes family talk to him but ignore me . i so dont want to go to this event.

it seems that i will never be able to get away from what i did.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-13-2006

What a double-standard !!! I guess his family feels that it's to be expected from your husband since he's a man...ignorant but true.It takes 2 to cheat and he didn't do it by himself so I don't know...To be honest..what do you expect from his side of the family too? He actually married the person that he cheated on with his then wife...You guys made your bed and unfortunately after 10 yrs...you're still laying in it..YOU more then your husband apparently which sucks but what can you do about it? Now you and your spouse aren't doing too well...maybe you guys should go to counseling to see what there is you can do to fix the issue...

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009

Things like this can only affect you if you allow them to.  If there had been two good marriages, then neither of you would have been "looking".  And then it seems you moved too quickly, and now 10 years later, you're in the same situation......which is probably why you're so miserable.  If the two of you were happy, what other people think wouldn't bother you in the least.  Maybe instead of worrying about other people and their opinions......you need to work on THIS marriage, and either fix it or end it.  An a/p always seems wonderful........that's because you don't live with each other 24/7.  Once the "bloom is off the rose" reality sets in, and the a/p isn't Mr.Wonderful (or Ms.Wonderful) you realize you've jumped from the frying pan into the fire.  Ignore the "other" people, and work on yourself and your marriage.  If you can fix that, then your life will be much better, and you won't care what anyone else thinks.  My ex was a serial cheater.....and his first a/p developed breast cancer.  She got dumped quickly.  Nice guy!  There were one night stands, and then another long term affair.  I finally had enough, and I divorced him.  They got married so fast they didn't even wait for the divorce to finalize.  Guess what?  She divorced him too!  I'm sure she thought she was rescuing him from a horrible marriage.......she (like you) didn't realize he brought the baggage from his first marriage to the next relationship.  It wasn't me......it was him. 

 Work on your marriage and try to fix it.  Don't worry what other people think.  If they ignore you, that's their problem, not yours.  Don't let a guilty conscience make you miserable.  Right or wrong, at the time you did what you thought was right.  Look into some counseling to get some help......good luck to you.

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006

Yea...I am sure it sucks, but I agree that you two need to focus on saving your M.  I am sure the disconect right now with your DH makes you even more uncomfortable at family events.  Miserable if you go, but the backlash if you don't go is probably worse, am I correct?  

Remember that regardless of the past your two ARE married and should be treated as such.  I think if you two can work through your issues, the cold shoulder from his family probably won't bother you as much.  

I am fortuante that my DH doesn't really have any family, but on the rare occasions we run into someone, I still have the little butterfly in my stomache, wondering either what they know, or what they think.  

Good luck and keep us posted...

Serenity CL making a marriage work

Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010

  What is there to be embarrassed about?  BFD.  If she cannot be civil that's on hers lack of class.   Of course go to the event!   Always stick it to your enemies.  it feels so good.


iVillage Member
Registered: 02-10-2009

Why exactly would you expect civility from someone whose life you helped to destroy? I read that complaint often on these forums. The extreme self-centeredness that causes us to cheat must also make us believe we should be exempt from normal reactions to our hurtful actions.

I wish everyone considering an affair would read posts like this one. For those less likely to think they are special enough to have a different outcome from 99.9% of the rest of us, it may just make them pause and reconsider whether the grass really is greener on the other side, and whether or not it is worth taking napalm to the rest of their lives in order to get it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2010

Sadly, you have learned the hard way that we reap what we sow.  Its a bit unrealistic to expect your H's exwife to NOT be nasty towards you.  You had a hand in causing her and her children so much pain. Regardless of whether you and he were happy or not in your marriages, you know you made a poor decision that hurt so many people when you both could have just divorced. Yes, that would have been hurtful to the spouses and children, too, but not as much as having an A and then divorcing.

If only people would stop and consider the consequences of their actions before having an A. Its 10 years later and you are still looked upon as a "Scarlet woman" while the double standard in our society basically leaves the male affair partner's reputation untarnished.  Its unfair but that's just the way life is sometimes. And now you've also learned the grass isn't always greener as you aren't happy with your AP, now husband. The truth is we never truly escape from our pasts. Even if no one else is there to remind us what we did or didn't do, we know.

I wouldn't expect any kindness  from his exwife or her family. Honestly, they don't owe you that. At one time, they were all family and let's face it, you were not.  They had familial connections that you were not a part of, except in the severing of those family ties. So naturally they are going to be cold and aloof towards you. It might be the best thing for you if you did not attend those mixed family functions.  It seems you're looking for forgiveness and acceptance from his exwife and her family and that is probably never going to happen.  Put yourself in their situation and consider whether you would be cordial and friendly to your H's AP.  If you're honest with yourself, I highly doubt you would be. His exwife may have to continue to have interaction with him because of the kids and grandkids but she really doesn't have to with you.

I know it must be disheartening to find out that what you thought you wanted and what you thought would make you happy has done just the opposite. If you haven't already, you might try apologizing to his exwife. She may or may not accept your apology immediately but perhaps down the road it would ease the tension. It sounds as though you are sincerely sorry for the pain you caused.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-22-2014
I feel your pain. I am also the Scarlet Woman. Some posts below seem harsh when they haven't walked in your shoes. As sorry as I am about my mistake, I could only hope for the wife & kids to forgive me -- but I also not that is probably not going to happen. Out of respect, is it possible to ask your now-husband if you SHOULD go to those family events? Perhaps you could gain more respect from those you hurt if you are more considerate of their feelings -- and by more considerate I mean not attending that side of the family events so as not to "rub it in their faces". I would also suggest self-forgiveness. Start here .... John 8:1-11
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2007
I know exactly how you feel. None of us are perfect and allowing someone to hold you to your past is not healthy for you. IMHO, you should not attend any gatherings where you know the ex-W is going to be. She deserves that much from. I think we owe ppl the common courtesy of not rubbing salt in their open wounds when we have had an A and left the M. It has been over twenty years since I had an exit A and left my ex-H. During those years my second H (xap) and I stayed clear of him even though I had children with xh. Only recently have we been able to attend events for our now adult children and be cordial to each other. My ex-H stayed very angry for years (even though he had had multiple affairs throughout our M), so we made sure not to flaunt our relationship/happiness in his face. Unlike you, my M is going really well and I don't regret marrying the love of my life and ending the first very bad M. However, I do regret that it took an A to give me the courage to leave. It was a cowardly way to end a M. Don't stay stuck on the karma thing what goes around comes around as an excuse to stay miserable in this M. I am a believer in a higher power (God) and I know that God is forgiving and merciful to give us a second and even third chance when we mess up. You are NOT a scarlet woman. You are a woman who made a very bad mistake. Don't let anyone hold you hostage for your mistakes.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-02-2002

Lucylu,  I don't understand why you are so worried about how your husband's EX-wife will treat you.  Who cares?!  She's his X too! Go to your family events and enjoy talking with those who treat you well.  Smile, laugh, and act care-free. Hold your husband's hand and show you are united.  It has been 10 years, and it is their problem for holding grudges, not yours.  And don't allow others views to stand in the way of you and your husband's happiness.