Just last week, a friend of mine, Becky received an email from the other woman." Granted, when this woman ("June") became part of the picture, Becky and her husband, George” were in the midst of a horrible marriage. He was addicted to prescription pain medications and he had all the personality traits and behavior of an addict—explosive outbursts, blaming, sorrow, stealing money, hiding, lying, and more. Becky and George had two young daughters and their relationship was toxic for everyone. Becky was going to file for divorce and she was getting all of her ducks in a row so she could kick George out of the house soon. She was saving money, had selected an attorney after interviewing several, she had her single mom budget carefully figured out, and she was getting emotionally prepared.
And then Becky found out that George had a profile on a dating website. That was the final straw. Becky moved out of their home, taking the two children with her. Everyone’s life was in turmoil. The children were confused and hurt. Becky was unable to eat or sleep. And George… he had a new girlfriend already (yay for him! who needs to recover from a relationship when he can just hop into another one instead?) That's right, George had moved on in a matter of days, and he loved throwing it in Becky’s face. “See what a catch I am?” he texted her once. “I already have a new girlfriend and you will never find anyone as great as me. You’re a single mom—hahahaha.” Mature, right?
Flash forward to a week ago when June emailed Becky. June had just kicked George out of their home. She wanted sympathy and understanding from the one woman who knew her hell—Becky.
“George is a sick man,” June wrote. “I am done with him.” And June spent the next several paragraphs telling Becky of some of the horrible things George had done in their time together. He lied, used pills, stole her medications, screamed and accused. He blamed June for his addiction. He promised to get well (but he didn’t). Gosh, this was all sounding so familiar, thought Becky. June was describing her marriage almost to a T.
She needed a couple days to process this new information. She was initially … thrilled. She felt vindicated. George wasn’t really a great man and father who was just in a bad marriage with her. George was still an addict. His behavior hadn’t changed a bit despite a new relationship. The bad marriage and divorce weren’t Becky’s fault after all, as George had tried to convince her it was. In Becky’s world, everything seemed right again.
Then Becky became angry. She had so much to say to this woman.
I’m so sorry you lived my hell. Actually, not really. Let me remind you that you inserted yourself into the middle of MY marriage. I was going to divorce him anyway. George was honest with you when he said that our marriage was over. Still, that did NOT give you the right become part of OUR FAMILY. With all its flaws and imperfection, I (WE) had a right to end our marriage without another woman in the picture. Our children had a right to their dad’s attention during a very tough time. YOU helped heap unnecessary additional pain on so many people.
You ended up with a sick man who did not become “better” simply because you were around. You deserve exactly the man you started dating. A sick, addicted, abusive, narcissist. Your surprise that things didn’t work out so great is called KARMA. As you start dating again, you might want to make sure that you don't pick someone else’s husband.
You want me to console you? I don’t think so. Without you, George and I could have ended our marriage with clarity and maybe even a bit more dignity. And you SHOULD have told George to spend more time with his children instead of letting YOU become THE distraction. Instead of pulling him away from his family, you should have done just the OPPOSITE. How many holidays, birthdays, and big events did he skip because he was with YOU? Shame on you!
Well, I hope you’re happy. You made choices, you hurt people, you enabled George, and what exactly do you want me to say to you? That I know your pain and struggles? Yes, I do. And, thanks to YOU, my life and the lives of my children were made even worse.
I hope you’ve learned something. And karma is a bitch.
And there you have it—an email to the other woman. And, yes, June is the “other woman,” even if she arrived towards the end.
Ladies: If you are dating a man who just split (or is in the process of splitting) from his wife, you’re nuts.