The Thinking Other Woman

What you should know BEFORE your affair.

"A mistress never is nor can be a friend. While you agree, you are lovers; and when it is over, anything but friends."

                            --Lord Byron.

If that's how you're doing relationships, you're doing it wrong, whether you're the mistress, the cheater, or the wife.

   For almost seven years, I had a lovely, happy marriage to one of the sweetest, funniest guys on Earth. A year after he passed away, a mutual friend of ours--married--and I found ourselves drawn to one another, and we fell in love. It didn't last, as most of these situations don't. Usually the woman with the wedding ring wins.

   After the bittersweet sting of our affair, at least two of us have suffered more than three years over what happened. To date, his wife never found out, but from what I've learned over the years, I know she suffered, too, during this time and long before. All of us did; that's why the affair happened in the first place. Affairs happen for us to learn from; and if we can do some of that learning ahead of time, we can deal with our feelings in a way that doesn't leave lasting bitterness. Maybe we can avoid some of the pain in the first place!

   My guy and I had one of the sweetest partings you can ever imagine. We apologized to each other for the things we did that hurt, and our last words to each other were, "I love you." You can't have a better breakup than that.

    I don't know how their marriage is now. I do know how very much I learned about him, her, and myself, and that will serve me well for the rest of my life. Now I hope it can serve you, too, maybe before you get yourself into a big mess. One thing I know:

                              Relationship triangles are never as straightforward as they seem.