• Mon, Nov 11 - 5:00 pm ET

Screw Forgiveness, I Have No Love For The ‘Other Woman’

165516486I read a post today where a woman is clearly taking the high road and trying to convince those that have been cheated on that they should rid themselves of toxic emotions by forgiving “the other woman.” Fuck that.

The article is called  7 Reasons To Forgive The Other Woman. Here are the reasons, followed by the reasons I disagree.

1. She probably had no idea.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that someone is taken. Is his cellphone always off? Does he not answer it in your presence? Have you ever been to his home? Does he have a Facebook profile? Seriously – everyone has a public persona in this day and age – and if you don’t know how to use Google than you are an idiot.

2. She’s probably just as upset about this as you.

Who cares?

3. She probably believed she was cared about.

Who cares?

4. It’s not her fault there were other problems in your relationship (aside from him cheating).

This is some blame-y, blame-y bullshit right here. Yes, it’s the fault of the person who was betrayed, not the betrayer. I hate that reasoning. Guess what? Most relationships have problems. Doesn’t make it okay to lie, cheat, and be an otherwise horrible human being.

5. She’s probably a good person.

Well, no one is saying that she tortures kittens in her free time, but dating someone who is unavailable is yucky.

6. Forgiving her will help YOU move forward.

No it won’t.

7. And most importantly, no woman ever wants to be “the other woman.”

Well, this is a sweeping generalization that I hate. Not every woman wants to be happily married or even cares if a man is taken. Not every man does either.

Here’s the thing – nobody is perfect. People get bored and unhappy in relationships all the time. If you are not in an open relationship – this is the time to exit stage left. I realize that there are circumstances that make that hard – but cheating is for cowards and those who are so unable to not be viewed as “right” or “perfect” that they cheat instead of owning up to the fact that they are unhappy. Or they just want EVERYTHING without letting their partner have the same, which is uncool. As far as the other woman or man is concerned – yes, maybe they are sad or whatever, but I don’t think “forgiveness” is necessary to move on. You don’t know the person and in most cases will probably never see them again.

I guess I just take the low road on this one – and I’m okay with that.

(Image: Getty Images)

You can reach this post's author, Maria Guido, on twitter.
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  • Annona

    I’ve had one “other woman” in my life…and while I guess I can thank her in hindsight for saving me from marrying the wrong man, otherwise she was just as culpable as he was in what happened. (She knew he was taken, and exactly by who, way before there even was a Google.) Yeah, she was single and he was engaged…but they were both shits otherwise. It is not necessary for me to “forgive” her to move on with my life, even though my life is arguably better because getting cheated on led me down a different life course. And I could give less than a millimeter of a fuck about either of their “feelings”. I’m with you down here on the low road. This makes me mad, and I hope that women aren’t reading it and taking it to heart.

  • Emil

    I would forgive the other woman, after all she wasn’t the one who vowed to forsake all others. Unless the other woman was a friend of mine I would consider my husband to be completely to blame. However if my husband ended up marrying her and she became the stepmother of my children I would have a verrrry hard time with it.

    • keelhaulrose

      If it’s a friend or someone who knows you’re a couple I think it’s perfectly okay to place some of the blame on the other woman.
      Otherwise I doubt he did much admiting, and she’s a victim, too. Cheating men are excellent liars.

    • Rachel

      The significant other who cheats is 100% to blame, but that doesn’t make someone else who willfully engages in that kind of thing a good person and worthy of any kind of “forgiveness.”

  • alice

    ha. it looks like HuffPo was just following the trend of ubiquitous list making on blogs :)

    can forgiveness ultimately be a great tool towards a happier, less toxic, life? of course.

    there’s your reason. now let’s come up with 74 more so we can make a nice click-through list online. hehe

    ETA: i’d love to see her stats on “She Probably Had No Idea [He Was Taken]“

  • Rachel

    I don’t understand the mentality of having to forgive someone to move on with life.

    • Blueathena623

      Thank you!

    • Momma425

      I served Whorable with a restraning order, moved out of my ex’s home, filed for custody, got a job with a healthcare plan, and moved the heck on.
      I’m not an angry, seething person who lets what happened ruin my life. Doesn’t mean I forgive her.

    • ted3553

      Hells yeah. I don’t need to forgive at all. I can move on and not think about it every day anymore but forgive you for consciously doing something crappy-nope

  • candyvines

    Blaming the other woman might help you forgive your partner more quickly, but the other woman never made any commitment to you. Personally, I would place the blame wholly on the person who cheated.

    • CW

      If she is aware that he is married, then the blame is 50/50. If you’re sleeping with a man whom you know to be married, there is a special place in Hell for you unless you repent of your sins.

    • candyvines

      Yes, I see that you would place the blame 50/50, you have mentioned it a few times. I’m not sure that I can be more clear than my original comment – “Personally, I would place the blame wholly on the person who cheated”.

      The only married man I’m sleeping with is the one I married.

    • personal

      Personally, I gave the blame 100/100, not 50/50. No one can ‘share’ blame. Each person is responsible for his/her actions. Anger with the husband has very little to do with anger with the other woman, IMHO.

    • whiteroses

      Yep. Consensual sex means, in theory, that both people thought it through and decided that it was a smashing idea. If my husband were to cheat on me with another woman, then he’d be to blame because he knows damn well he’s married. To be honest, I’d be more angry at him than her.

      But I’d still be angry at her, because if she’s an adult woman then she should give some thought to who she’s sleeping with. She may not owe me anything, but her actions will affect me. And they wouldn’t just affect me, but they’d affect my son. That’s what I’d have the hardest time forgiving, personally.

    • Momma425

      Hey, so if I stop you on the street, hand you a crowbar, and ask you to smack my unsuspecting husband in the face as he walks by…would you do it???
      Should he not be angry with you for smacking him in the face because you’re not his wife, and you didn’t “owe him anything”???
      If the other person knows the wayward spouse is married and chooses to sleep with him anyway, no that person is not guilty of being unfaithful in your marriage. That person IS guilty of being s completely shitty human being with no morals, however. And I very much can blame someone for choosing to behave like a shitty person.

    • candyvines

      I wouldn’t smack anyone in the face with a crowbar.

      You can blame whoever you like – as for me, see above or below.

    • Kelly

      Except you do owe random strangers the kindness of not hitting them in the face with a crowbar.

      We have laws about that…

    • Momma425

      If the only thing stopping you from hitting a random stranger in the head with a crowbar is that it is illegal… well, that is just who you are.
      Personally, I wouldn’t do that because it’s wrong. It’s not nice. It’s not respectful.
      The point is, it is very much okay to blame the OW for her part in the affair, for choosing to disrespect someone she doesn’t know just because she is a selfish b*tch who wants something that isn’t hers to take. If there was nobody to cheat with…if every single OW said, “No, I’m not going to sleep with you. You’re married, you dingbat,” then nobody would have anyone to cheat with. It takes two to tango. The OW is responsible for choosing to act like a selfish, trashy, whore and a terrible, shitty person. The Wayward spouse is responsible for that choice as well.

    • Kelly

      Are you trying to insult me because I didn’t like your analogy? Weird.

      No, the law is not the only thing that stops me from hitting people with crowbars. I also don’t refrain because it’s wrong or not nice or disrespectful. I just don’t have some insatiable bloodlust that drives me to go around smacking people with crowbars.

      I didn’t say the other woman is a nice person or that I have ever been the other woman. I said your example was bad because it was.

    • Katia

      Lol if a lady refused to cheat with him due to his marital status I think he’d eventually figure out that he could tell ladies that he was single… Right?

    • Lucy

      It kind of seems like you’re putting the onus on women to reject married men rather than expecting married men not to try to cheat. I’d rather know my husband is faithful for better reasons than just, “All the women I tried to cheat with rejected me.”

    • Muggle

      And that’s precisely what I hate about this “hate the other woman” message that’s so common around us. Like we own our husbands and boyfriends or something, and they don’t make choices by themselves but with the help of some evil, cackling shrew corrupting and “stealing” him. IMO it’s a lot like saying all of your friends are men because women are all catty bitches. It says a lot about how you really view other women while viewing yourself as the exception.

      The onus should not be on the “other woman,” when the other woman may be being abused or is honestly clueless (both have happened to me). The onus is always, ALWAYS, on the cheater.

    • Rachel Sea

      I wouldn’t hate the other woman because of what she did or didn’t do, I would hate her for whatever qualities she possessed that attracted my spouse to her over me. It’s unfair and irrational, but I wouldn’t be able to tell that to my feelings.

    • Muggle

      I can understand that. It’s a natural reaction and being cheated on (as I have… yeah, I’ve had a weird love life) can really mess you up. It’s not rational, and I think that’s the driving force behind a lot of the “let’s hate on that Jezebel who stole my man!” sentiment.

    • Rachel Sea

      I think the idea of the man-thieving Jezebel is more rooted in misogyny than that. There is a tradition of thinking that men just can’t help themselves when it comes to sex, and I think that stems more from the Adam and Eve myth than women’s hurt and insecure feelings.

      The trope is that when a woman cheats it’s because she is fallen (Eve), and when a man cheats it’s because he was lured (Adam), when really it’s just that people of all genders are sometimes stupid assholes when it comes to sex.

    • Kate B

      Two very insightful posts there Rachel Sea.
      I think the reasons you would, theoretically, hate the ‘other woman’ are very honest and are probably the real reason that a lot of women are prone to demonizing the ‘other woman’..
      But it’s much easier to hide that insecurity and jealousy behind personal attacks on her character and behaviour.
      You’re right on your description of the ‘Jezebel trope’ too. We’ve seen this sort of thinking so many times. We even see women blamed for being raped because they’ve ‘flaunted themselves’ or ‘asked for it’.

    • candyvines

      I do not think anyone can be “stolen” from a relationship either. There’s not a man on earth that could steal me from my husband unless I was willing. Saying otherwise implies that we are not responsible for our own actions. There are people who choose to cheat and people who don’t. That being said, a woman who knowingly pursues a married man probably shouldn’t win any humanitarian of the year awards. I don’t think many people here disagree with that.

    • Momma425

      The onus is on both.
      Married men should choose not to cheat. If they are unhappy, they should be honest with their wives, leave the relationship, go to counseling, find a hobby- whatever.
      Women who know that someone is married should respect that, and stay away from him. Why? Because his wife is a person. With feelings. Because his kids are people. With feelings.
      It takes two to tango. If no married men cheated, there would be no problem in the first place. If no women decided “fuck the wife, I only care about ME,” then the only “other women” there would be is ones who were lied to themselves.

    • Kate B

      Damn right Lucy.
      My husband is not some helpless, lust-riddled, sex pest; blindly following his penis wherever it leads him.
      He has a mind of his own, and he has chosen to be with me.
      I couldn’t imagine being with someone that I felt I had to ‘guard’ other women against.
      I can honestly say, I’d trust my husband in a house full of horny playboy bunnies. And I wouldn’t be with any man that I couldn’t trust to do the right thing of his own accord.

    • Meredith

      Why does everyone assume that the OW is unmarried? I was both a Wayward Spouse and the Other Woman. We met via an online dating site. We sought each other out. We had a 4-month-long affair. We each had holes in our marriages that led to us choosing to stray, and if we hadn’t found each other we’d have kept looking until we found a suitable Affair Partner. We were both normal yet flawed people who made selfish choices that were destructive and hurtful. It is what it is, and it frigging sucks for all involved.

    • NicknamesAreDull

      That is an awful analogy. I just can’t even.

    • Sunny

      Yes, that person is scum and is trying to get an ego boost knowing that he/she can pull your husband/boyfriend away from you. Of course, we don’t know that shitty things that husband/boyfriend had said about us which makes it worse by adding fuel to the fire.

  • keelhaulrose

    I was “the other woman” once in college. I was with a man, but we hadn’t agreed to exclusivity, so I knew he might have had another woman somewhere, but I thought no more than casual dating. I wasn’t an idiot, he didn’t let me look at his cell, our agreement was we’d be a casual couple, and if something went more than a date or two with someone else we’d have a talk. It went on for a couple months like that, and while he told me a few times that he was going on dates I didn’t think it was any big deal. Until I found out the dates he was going on were with his fiancee.
    I’d love to tell you there was a movie-style revenge plot, but there wasn’t. I told him we were done, told him exactly what I thought of him, and left. I don’t know what happened with his fiancee, I don’t particularly care, the person who told me was good friends with her, so I’m assuming she was told.
    I never would have started the relationship had I known. And I doubt I’m alone. Charters who aren’t good at cheating would quickly get caught. Multiple Facebook pages can be set up. A friend’s apartment can double as his. Multiple cell phones aren’t unheard of. It’s not simple, and most of the time the other woman is in a similar position as you, with someone she loves and trusts enough to ignore that little nagging suspicion.

    • Katja Yount

      We must have been seeing the same guy.

    • Muggle

      And me! o_o This guy really got around.

    • Ally

      Um yeah. He called me next…

  • Katja Yount

    I found myself in the position of “other woman” once. I ran into an ex (we were casual the first time around so I thought a second time out would be fun), we went out for a couple of dates and hooked up each time. Then one day he just casually mentioned that he needed to meet his fiancee somewhere. I was like “Wait… come again?” He wanted to continue seeing me despite dropping the bomb. Needless to say I never made contact with him again.

  • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

    I think how much blame or loathing the other woman deserves is dependant on:
    Was she aware of his relationship with you? And if so, then yes, be angry, but adjust the anger to suit whether she aggressively pursued or was pursued aggressively.

    For example, if she didn’t know about me and my husband pursued her aggressively, she’s a victim of his BS too. If she knew he was married and pursued him aggressively, then I’m furious at them both. Either way, though, dude is an asshole.

    • Muggle

      this. I’ve been the “other woman” before and had no clue whatsoever the guy was taken (in hindsight, yes, I should have creeped his Facebook page a bit more often). We weren’t in a real relationship at any point, because I’d refused his offer of an open relationship. I didn’t want a relationship at the time, with anyone, period. He did, and he entered one, and I had no idea they were off and on for 9 months. No clue whatsoever. But by the time I found out I was pretty much over the guy for other reasons. He was a twat.

      This is really judgemental and catty and not something I’d expect from Mommyish. :/

    • Rachel

      No sane person would have held you accountable for that. I can see why you would think this article was directed at you since I am sure there are a lot of irrational people out there, but I think the Facebook stalking was specifically for long-term and/or committed relationships rather than what you described. Flings would also fall into this category… if a woman goes to the bar just wanting to hook up, is she really going to FB a guy to make sure he isn’t in a relationship beforehand? That’s kind of a ridiculous expectation.

      Really, my interpretation of this article was that willful ignorance (the kind where you want someone so badly to be available, so you mentally make excuses for shady behavior) is what the fault is. Sorry this was so long, just didn’t want you to blame yourself for that BS.

    • LiteBrite

      Yeah this.

      A friend of mine “dated” a married man for over two years. I put “dated” in quotation marks because how much can you date someone who is unavailable? Yes, she knew he was married, but he fed her such a line of BS that it still disturbs me that she fell for it. (“My wife doesn’t understand me” “Our marriage is over but I can’t leave” “I love YOU not her”) I mean, you could see from space that he was just playing her, but she insisted their relationship would work if she just gave it time. It finally ended when she found out that he was seeing not just her but two other women on the side.

      I’m not letting my friend completely off the hook. She knew he was married and in my opinion she should have automatically stayed away. But I still lay most of the blame at the cheater’s feet.

  • Rachel Sea

    It’s no one’s job besides my wife’s to keep her from cheating. If she had an affair, I would probably hate the other woman, but I wouldn’t blame her.

    • Muggle

      “…but I wouldn’t blame her.” Awesome.

    • G.E. Phillips

      I agree with this exact statement. Would my own jealousy make me hate her? Perhaps, to a certain extent. But it wasn’t HER fault, she didn’t MAKE my husband/wife do anything he/she didn’t want to do.
      I may also have some sympathy for her, as most likely, she got as played as I did.

    • Ali

      Maybe? If she didn’t know about you… stats say that majority of the affair partner knows the betrayer is taken…. just some fyi

    • Faith

      Wow! You put in to words exactly what I feel, but never knew how to express. My husband cheated on me with a co-worker who not only knew he was married, but knew me, and had met my kids. I guess I don’t /blame/ her (that’s for my husband)….but, man, do I hate her.

    • whiteroses

      This. Hypothetically, whether whoever cheated with my husband knew he was married or not— he certainly did. It’d be pretty damn hard to forget.

      My sorority sister and my college boyfriend carried on a yearlong affair under my nose (“there are none so blind as those who will not see”, I guess). I confronted her about it, and she said that I shouldn’t make him choose, because I wouldn’t like the choice he made. That was really all the confirmation I needed.

      I kicked both their asses to the curb and moved on with my life. A year later, she contacted me and informed me that he had a drinking problem. I looked at her and said, “I’m sorry, why in the hell do you think this is my problem? Are you delusional?”

      She still sends me friend requests on Facebook, and though I am completely over what they both did I have absolutely no desire to invite her back into my life. I’m married, I have a kid, and I’m happy. I kind of feel like the two of them richly deserved each other. The opposite of love isn’t hate- it’s indifference. I don’t care enough about either of them to hate them.

    • Sunny

      So in other words, she did you a favor! It’s weird how things come back and bite the guilty in the ass. May not be the way they had hurt you, but things come out in strange ways.

  • FF4life

    The woman my ex cheated on me with for the first time was one of my friends who was a serial home wrecker. The next one was my legit best friend. They talked about me to each other behind my back. Screw forgiveness. They knew we had a kid. They knew we were in the process of buying a house. Screw them and screw him.

  • Katia

    It’s 100% the married persons fault. But if your friend or sister does this to you uou should probably hate them forever. At least, do not trust them again.

    I knew an other woman a few years ago. It was my friends mom and I tutored her English. Her boyfriend financially supported her and she gave up her pretty good job in Hong Kong to live frugally in a tiny clean basement with her son in Vancouver. (Had divorced first husband years ago) Her son and I went to college and university together. She was lonely but just not my type of person- I now know my need to limit time with people who make me exhausted for hours after we hang out. At some point he dumped her, the reason giving was that he had to choose his wife or she’d divorce him and take half. This lady wanted to tell me all her problems and I didn’t have a lot of patience(I’m busy! But I feel kind of guilty) I think she was really stupid If a married man wanted a serious relationship with me and I was really into him (and didn’t already have my family) the first basic step would be to completely break up with his wife. If you don’t like me enough to divorce your wife, then no.

    I think some women just want fun (and don’t want your man full time or forever) but some are just sad and not very intelligent and kind of weak. I can see hating her if she was manipulative though, like she actually wanted to steal your guy even though you have a family already. That’s down right cold and cruel. Lets be real though, unless she orchestrated it you’re just deflecting blame to avoid facing the inevitable truth that it was your husband who chose to hurt you so badly.

    • CW

      It is only 100% his fault if she truly did not know he was married. Otherwise the blame is 50/50. There is NO excuse for sleeping with a man whom you know to be married.

    • Katia

      Well if you just want some fun and are protecting yourself, it’s not my style to do that, but I would not blame the non-married person for doing that. I mean I might look down on people like that, and think they are odd, but if I deflected half of my husbands blame to a stranger that would make me willfully ignorant.

    • CW

      Find a single guy if you just want a hookup. There are plenty of them out there! Leave the married ones alone.

    • LOLA

      What about the married ones that are looking for hookups? I am sorry, but how stupid do you think married ones are? If the married ones are loyal, they will be loyal, if he does not want to, then pfft!

    • http://www.benwhoski.com/ Benwhoski

      See, I _do_ see it as being 100% the fault of the cheating partner. The other woman (or man as applicable) may or may not be a lousy person, but she’s not the one who violated an agreement or vow she had made with the spouse. You can’t hold someone to a contract they never signed.

      If you’re married (and don’t have some mutual, consensual non-monogamy arrangement with your spouse), and someone pursues you, it is 100% on you to say “No. I’m married.” The other person may be deserving of one’s dislike for their behavior, but it’s not their “fault” if the married partner doesn’t stick to their vows.

    • CW

      If she’s sleeping with a man whom she knows to be married, there is no “may be a lousy person”. She *IS* a lousy person, period. Actually, I’d call her a homewrecker. Yes, the cheating husband is also culpable, but if we women stuck together and followed the “no sleeping with married men” rule, husbands would have a much harder time finding an adultery partner.

    • http://www.benwhoski.com/ Benwhoski

      Personally, I’d prefer a partner not betray me because he doesn’t want to betray me, not because he hasn’t had the opportunity.

      If the only reason he isn’t betraying me is lack of opportunity, then what about him is worth keeping?

    • whiteroses

      This. My husband’s had plenty of opportunities to cheat. As far as I know, he’s never taken them.

      I made a vow to him that our marriage would last until we died. But the caveat to that is that if I ever found out he cheated, I’d be so far gone he’d barely remember I was there. He knows that. If he wants to leave, I’ll help him pack. And he could at least have enough respect for what we once had to leave honorably, imho.

    • LOLA

      But sadly there is also the “He may be the right one” or “True love conquers all”, the other woman isn’t only looking for sex, she may be actually in love with him. Husband should stick togeher and follow the “I am loyal to my wife” rule.
      My dad was disloyal to my mom, and for a while I was furious at his lovers, but NO, he is the one to blame. The other people try to find happiness, pleasure and who know what in my dad, but they owe no loyalty to my mom. HE did. So, while I wouldn’t want to spend time with them, they don’t exactly deserve the whole “HEY! But us gals should stick together and you didn’t” because of a cheater, girls should stick together for others reasons.

  • Mel

    I’m gonna agree with most of the commenters here: The cheater is the one to blame. The other man/woman never committed to you. Is it a selfish choice to participate in cheating? You bet! But The cheated’s beef is with the cheater. Any attempt to place any blame on anyone else is nonsense, and I think a way of giving the cheated a cover for when they decide to stay with the cheater.

  • chickadee

    The only reason I would go with the forgiveness angle is that hate and resentment are tiring and can eat away at you. Don’t let the a-hole partner and his partner in cheating mess your life up even further.

  • Guest

    Given past experience, 1, 5, and 7 are not necessarily true. I can be a little more forgiving if it were a situation where she honestly did not know, which usually requires effort on the cheating party’s part to conceal it, but there are also people (both male and female) who don’t care if someone is in a committed relationship, and then there are a rare type of people who actively seek to ruin existing relationships. In these latter two examples, they are also culpable, especially the last one, where I might actually go as far as to say they are equally culpable as the cheating party.

    • Mel

      I just can’t get behind the idea that the partner in cheating is equally culpable to the cheater. The cheater is the one who was in the committed relationship and chose to violate that commitment. The partner in cheating (theoretically) did not commit anything to the person who was cheated on. No one can make you cheat. It’s an active decision that you alone are responsible for making. I may be too hard lined on this, but that’s just how I logically see it. Yes, it’s natural to hate the person who participated in the cheating, but hate and blame are two different concepts.

    • Guest

      When I was cheated on, the other woman was someone who got a lot of pleasure getting men whose partners she felt jealous of to stray and ending the relationship. I’m sorry, but if you are actively trying to end someone’s relationship, you bear half of the responsibility in ending the relationship.

    • Mel

      I’m so sorry that happened to you. But your partner was still the one who cheated. Yes, she sounds like she wanted to hurt you but she couldn’t have succeeded unless your partner was a jerk who signed up for it willingly. I’ve been on every side of this argument, literally, and no one ever did anything that they didn’t want to do. Again, hate and blame are not the same. She didn’t bear “half the responsibility” since she technically had no responsibility to you. I agree that the basic social contract we should all honor would theoretically preclude her from participating, and that’s where the hate toward her comes in. But as for responsibility, I still firmly stand behind the argument that the blame is solely that of the cheater.

    • Guest

      I have to disagree. When someone goes out of their way to end someone else’s relationship, they bear responsibility, too. I’m not saying she is MORE responsible than the cheating party, but she does bear responsibility in what happened because it is what she wanted to happen. Yes, he agreed to it, and believe me I held him responsible (of course, “your insecurities led me to cheat,” he said), but saying that this woman is guiltless is enabling her to continue. It bothers me that people are so quick to absolve people like her of all guilt. She actually told me “I will see to it that your relationship ends.” (It is possible that this woman is a sociopath, though). She set out what she accomplished to do and never lied about the goals she had set. Therefore, I don’t see how we can say that there should be no consequences for her.

      ETA: What I’m saying is that if someone goes out of their way to ruin someone’s relationship, they should not be immune from the social consequences that follow. I’m obviously talking about a very small portion of cheating cases.

    • Mel

      Your experience sounds terrible, and I’m really sorry :( Yes, she bears responsibility for her actions just like all of us when we make bad or mean decisions. I totally agree.

  • Zettai

    I’m also a nonbeliever when it comes to forgiveness being “needed” to move on from something. I also don’t believe that the other woman (unless you know her) has any blame for a partner who cheats. The other woman made no commitment to you and did not lie to you or hurt you. The partner who cheated did that.

    I think that women who hold on to anger for the other woman are often women that stayed with the cheating partner. And you know what, if they did, that’s okay. But they are projecting their anger onto the wrong person in order to keep some semblance of stability and normality in their relationship/life, to avoid looking at the problem(s) that caused the cheating, to avoid taking personal responsibility at all–even if it’s just for ignoring vital signs that something was amiss. It’s so much easier to be angry at some “whore” who “stole” and “seduced” their partner than take a good look at yourself and your relationship.

    Anyway, let me get off my soapbox and just say I feel bad for anyone who lets another person (thatprobably does not give two shits) control their feelings like that.

  • Jess

    I am a ‘look on the brighter side” kind of person.
    So after my fiance cheated on me- and went on to marry and have kids with- the other woman – my bright side is “Well she just married a cheater! And he married someone who willingly allowed him to cheat on his fiancee with her!” So really- I win. :-D

    • Blueathena623

      My cousin is dating someone he cheated on his now ex-wife with. I think that if you are that tempted to cheat, despite lots of marriage counseling, divorce before cheating. Even if you no longer love your spouse, the fact that you once loved them should make you have enough respect for them to wait.
      And why would you want to date someone who cheated on their spouse to be with you? Why be with someone who obviously doesn’t think cheating is that bad?

    • Rachel Sea

      “Once a cheater, always a cheater” is a pretty good guideline, I find. I had lovers who I knew were cheaters (though I was never knowingly the other woman), and as much as I cared about them, I would never have agreed to a committed relationship with any of them. I’d rather be casual, and know for certain there are other women, than be “exclusive” and be cheated on.

    • LiteBrite

      “Once a cheater always a cheater” is what I tried to tell my friend who was seeing a married man. I told her on more than one occasion “If he’s so casually able to cheat on his wife, how do you know he won’t do the same to you?” My friend felt she was different though because he really loved HER, yadda yadda yadda, that is, until she found out she wasn’t the only “other woman.”

    • Katia

      Yes. You do win!!! It’s much more sad when you have kids. Because you are unable to cut ties, and you’re even supposed to remain civil. How awful..

  • momma425

    My daughter’s dad cheated on me. I tried to forgive him, but I couldn’t. He was only sorry he got caught and made no attempt to change or fix the character flaws (and trust me, there were MANY) that caused him to feel so empty that he decided to cheat in the first place. The woman he cheated on me with is a complete psycho. When I found out about his “extracirricular activities” and told him he wasn’t allowed to see her anymore if he wanted to continue to be with me, she flipped out, stalked my home, and threatened to kill both me and my daughter (who at the time was an infant). I had to get a restraining order!
    I can understand that she probably had hurt feelings. But you know what? She knew he was in a relationship and chose to put herself into that position in the first place. I really don’t have sympathy for someone who is a victim of their own bad decisions, I really don’t.
    Further, I don’t understand the logic of someone who is upset (about her own freaking actions) and decides to harass, stalk, and threaten two people who had no involvement in the disgusting affair in the first place- one of whom being an infant. I can’t imagine the amount of selfishness, entitlement…just ugh! I can’t even talk about it. There aren’t words for the kind of THING that would behave that way. It’s inhumane.
    So, no, I don’t forgive her. But luckily, I have a restraining order protecting my child and I, so she isn’t someone that I ever have to see, hear from, or be within 500 feet from ever again. I’ve moved on with my life and I’m good. But no, she deserves nothing from me, not the least of which being my forgiveness.

    • Seriously

      arguably you are the victim of your own bad decision to date (and stay with after being cheated on!) such an asshole.

  • Kelly

    I don’t understand why the wife would be expected to think or feel ANYTHING for the other women. Why should she have empathy for her? Why should she give a shit if the other women’s feelings are hurt?

    For me, I think people who sleep with people who are in a committed, monogamous relationship are shitty and untrustworthy so I want nothing to do with them. I’m a swinger and I feel that way. I would never screw someone’s spouse behind their back. Disgusting.

    So while I wouldn’t blame the other women for destroying the relationship, I would blame her for being a shitty person.

    • Kelly

      Of course, if she didn’t know then she didn’t know but I still wouldn’t waste my energy feeling anything for her. The wife has enough on her plate dealing with a cheating husband and figuring out what to do with her marriage. She shouldn’t have to worry about some random woman’s feelings too.

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  • meteor_echo

    Fuck this forgiveness noise. I’m not going to forgive a person who is quite possibly an active accomplice in ruining a relationship that I have.
    When I started dating my current boyfriend, I told him that I’d be through thick and thin with him, including the situations like poverty, serious illnesses, war, famine, earthquakes, what have you. But the only thing I’d never forgive would be cheating – and I’d find out whether the other person knew about me or not, and if yes, I’d fuck both of their lives up and he’d be happy if he’d come out of it with all his extremities intact. When someone hurts me, I pay them right back. I wouldn’t blame the other woman if she didn’t know about me, though, she’d be as much of a victim as me.
    As for “the other woman doesn’t owe you anything”, I’m sorry if you think you don’t owe other people fucking up their lives and relationships. Oh wait, not even sorry. If you know that someone is taken and still choose to fuck them, you’re a shitty human being that is going to get what is coming to you, along with the cheater.

    • LOLA

      If the other woman really tried, with all malice, to ruin my relationship, then yeah, eff her! But I always think about why a woman would be in that kind of relationship! Did she fall in love with him? And if she did, did she go by the “Love conquers all! He will be with me! He doesn’t love her, he loves me!” and decided upon her own happiness? I keep thinking that because one of my friends liked this man that one of her friends liked and at the end she decided that she wanted to be happy (after she found out the man liked her back) and that she was gonna go ahead with the relationship, even if it hurt her friend. At the time I was sort of mad at her for chosing the guy before her friend, but then, yeah, she decided her happiness. Not saying that being cheated is the same, but at the end, people do become stupid with love.

  • personal

    What you said. All of it. Excellent.
    I was cheated on by my first husband. The woman I eventually left him over was an acquaintance of ours. (She knew, obviously. She’d been a guest in our home.)
    There ARE women who don’t mind much being ‘the other woman.’ My ‘other woman’ (I just call her Bimbo) had left her ‘previous relationship’ (her words) because her ‘boyfriend’ and his WIFE were expecting a baby. She was offended.
    I did eventually get over the hurt and move on, but I definitely have no understanding or respect for a person who can do that.

  • Guest

    one of my sisters got involved with a guy who was seperated. she had a fiancee that she left just before the other guy split from his wife. before all that they were friends at work and were real chummy. i don’t think them splitting from their significant other was planned. to hear them talk, both of their relationships were toxic and would be better off. they dated for a few months and the girl got pregnant. my sister wasn’t suppose to be able to get pregnant. the doctor told her recent weight loss could have triggered ovulation, anyway. she said they were suppose to be each other rebounds but he fell in love. while he was seeing her he got back together with his wife but never told her and lied about filing for divorce. so a few months after my sister got pregnant the wife got pregnant. she use to call me crying because the wife would stalk her on the internet and threaten the safety of her baby. she would tell me everything. his family isn’t allowed to speak to him or his other children. he isn’t allowed to work or own a cell phone. the wife doesn’t work. according to his sister she “takes care” of an old man for money and has been addicted to pills for years. his family has tried to help him but he stays for the kids. all this and worse went on before he seperated the first time, according to his family. the other day she told me his sister said he tried to kill himself and that if the hospital called anyone but his wife she would sue. i think she thought of him as lost and tried to save him from her and himself. i’m glad things didn’t work out for my sister and him and i wish he and the wife would get help. he hasn’t seen my nephew since he was 3 months old. he’s about to be 2. hasn’t even inquired about him. his sister tells her it’s because he’s scared of what his wife might do. she doesn’t bother her any more. she says its been about 8 months since she’s been harassed. my sister is a good woman. she’d do anything for any one. she made some mistakes but that doesn’t mean she’s heartless. like me, she’s been single ever since. she’s focusing on being the best mom she can be.

  • gothicgaelicgirl

    i’ve been here before. i wasn’t able to forgive him or her until several years had passed. i met up with each of them at different times. we cried for having hurt each other so badly (i went beserk when i found out) and now thankfully, we can all move on.
    i’ve actually become good friends with the other woman! now bear in mind, they cheated on me 6 years ago, so maybe I needed that time to you know, not want to claw her eyes out =P
    I never hear from him but she and I chat on a regular basis (he cheated on her too after)
    so I managed to move on, got rid of him after clearing everything up, and somehow, unbelievably, made a new friend!

  • Aleesha Lewis

    The funny thing is that not only is most of it true, and by most of it I mean the original (sans the forgiving to move on part…don’t see that as ‘necessary’ in that sense), the one thing it neglects to point out is that you never have a reason to be mad at someone not involved. This is ONLY about the significant other because the other woman/man isn’t a part of your relationship. They are not cheating on you. Being mad at the other person is misplacing the anger that most definitely should be directed at the person actually cheating, and neglecting to understand this will leave you grappling with anger and resentment for a very long time.

    • http://SommelierinSneakers.blogspot.com/ SomminSneakers


    • thatgirlkaren

      if you cheat with someone you know is in a relationship, in my opinion, that makes you extremely selfish and a very bad person. it doesn’t mean i have to be angry with you forever but i’m pretty sure i’ll be angry with you for a little bit. be smart and kind enough to think about how your actions effect other people.

  • JLH1986

    Having been cheated on, yes I was pissed off at the other woman. But it wasn’t her I was hurt by, it wasn’t her that I wanted to beat into oblivion. It was him. It’s my husband/boyfriend/fiancé/biance, whatever’s job (and my expectation that he will) say no to a piece of ass shaking in front of him. If he can’t say no, that’s not the fault of the woman, no matter whether she pursued him or he never once told her about me. I can dislike her, but the blame is 100% on him. He should be able to say no. She might not be a person I’d choose to spend time with, but yea. that’s on him.

  • leeannabelle

    My ex-husband cheated on me with one of my best friends. They ended up having two kids together and getting married. I can’t say that I ever really forgave them (I have a hard time forgiving people who aren’t sorry for what they did, even though I know that’s not what true forgiveness is about), but it just doesn’t bother me anymore. It was a very bleak time in my life when I found out about their relationship and subsequently filed for divorce (after trying everything I could to save the marriage…what was I thinking??), but now it’s just a funny can-you-believe-it story, and I’m in a much happier place in my life than I ever was with my ex. Through the whole thing, I always put the blame on my ex-husband, although it was really, really horrible of my friend to betray my trust, too.
    What I’ll never understand is why the “other woman” thinks that this man will never do to her what he did to his wife/fiance/girlfriend.

  • http://www.benwhoski.com/ Benwhoski

    I agree that you certainly don’t owe the “other woman” forgiveness or anything else.

    My only quibble is with number 4. I don’t think that argument is inherently intended to blame the betrayed. I think it’s about putting the blame on the cheating partner. For example, if I were the one who had been cheated on and the other woman is not someone I had any prior relationship to, then _she_ didn’t betray me. She never had my trust or any sort of agreement with me in the first place. The blame of betrayal would like 100% with the person I _did_ have a relationship to.

    This argument would, of course, not apply if the other woman had been a friend, family member,or someone else I knew and had reason to trust.

  • SA

    It depends on who the other woman is. If she knows, she definitely holds some blame, if she is a friend, even more. I’d say that in most cases other than brief flings, the other woman DOES know, I don’t see how someone couldn’t. If I found out I was seeing a married man, I would leave the situation immediately and inform the wife….I would NEVER start anything knowingly with a married man. You are to blame if you knowingly have an affair and I believe there are some states where the mistress can be sued by the wife for ‘alienation of affection’ as well.

  • Anne Marie Hawkins

    I guess the way I see it, if it hadn’t been for the cheating ex, the “other woman” would have just been any other woman in a regular relationship. If my boyfriend cheated, I would reserve all of my pissed-off-ness for him and him alone, and not give a second thought to whoever he cheated with.

    • Sunny

      True! But being betrayed myself, you can’t say that. Your thinking becomes a lot different when betrayal happens. Your life turns upside down and the life you thought you had with this person, you question if it has been a lie. Believe me he get’s it from me. But the fact, that F’ugly, low life, skank knew about me? It’s a whole different story. You can’t help to hate her even though your Husband/Boyfriend made the clear conscious choice to become a straying selfish asshole.

  • OhHeyDelilah

    Of course, the person who is to blame for the situation is the cheating partner, and not the other woman – the deception, the breaking of a commitment you made to someone else, is clearly more hurtful and destructive than the actions of a stranger. That’s a given. But – and maybe I’m incredibly naive (totally possible) – I do think as women we should look out for one another, even for women we don’t know. You know, treat people as you’d like to be treated, don’t boff someone else’s partner, blah blah. I often think as a society we’d be so much happier if we all took more care with other people, not just those we know. I’ve certainly been attracted to men in the past who are partnered, but picturing the partner as my best friend, or my sister, and imagining the expression on her face if she found out her husband had cheated was enough to cool any amorous intentions I might have had!

  • Spiderpigmom

    Imagining my husband cheated on me, I wouldn’t give a rat’s ass about the other woman. I would reserve all my wrath for him. The other woman never made any promise nor committed to the wife; the cheating asshole of a husband did. The other woman has no responsibility towards the wife, the husband has. I think betrayed wives brood other the other woman’s duplicity so much because it’s less painful than brooding over their husband’s betrayal.
    (Of course if the other woman is a close friend or, say, a sibling, anger towards her is completely legit, but her betrayal adds to the husband’s betrayal, it doesn’t cancel it).

  • GPMeg

    “No woman ever wants to be the other woman…”

    Bitch, please, I knew a lot of women in college who wanted to be the other woman…

    My boyfriend cheated on me, but Facebook didn’t exist and he was in another country at the time. He told the girl he cheated on me with that I was a crazy ex who couldn’t let go. Through some mutual friends, I found her and got in touch with her and she burned him like nobody’s business. Then we met for coffee when she got back to the states and sent him a picture with middle fingers in the air! He was also probably the most sociopathically manipulative person I’ve ever met in my life, it was crazy.

  • Ali

    Here’s the thing, my other half told me that the other woman was kind hearted, respectful, blah, blah, blah. I calmly replied; “Really? What kind of woman who is Kind and respectful fucks a man knowing fully well he’s in a serious committed relationship” She in my opinion and I’m sure in the eye of many, is not…..

  • Lola

    I keep thinking…she owed you no loyalty (if she wasn’t your friend) and if you dated a man so weak (that saying, that she used tricks to get your man)…then…I mean, aren’t you more mad at your man? Not saying you should be best friends with her, or anything, but your man owed you loyalty, she didn’t. Now, if the woman was scheming and all, burn her.