I get it…when people are from different sides of an argument, it is hard to see and accept the other side’s views. With infidelity, like any other highly emotional and charged topic, it becomes even harder. I struggled a great deal and did a lot of work in order to be able to see and understand my husband’s affair through the eyes of his mistress. And, although I have made the efforts to see her point of view and appreciate her struggles in the outcome of disclosure, I still nonetheless see her as a crazy, mentally-ill individual who isn’t deserving of any of my pity or time. Seeing the other side doesn’t mean joining the other side, and abandoning your views. It is simply about OPENING YOUR MIND TO THE POSSIBILITY THAT ANOTHER SIDE EXISTS.
As a betrayed wife I can completely understand the anger that a betrayed wife feels in the wake of an affair discovery. I can understand the trash-talking that happens when you find out that another woman slept with your husband, was impregnated by your husband, kissed your husband, gave free blowjobs to your husband, stroked your husbands ego and all other parts that needed stroking, flirted with your husband, made plans with your husband, etc. While this trash-talking can get a little intense and sometimes over the top, what I don’t understand is the trash-talking that comes from the other side. Now this blog’s readership is comprised mainly of betrayed spouses who go online looking for someone who can relate. But, there are also readers who have themselves been mistresses and who un-apologetically admit to seeking out and taking pleasure in coaxing a man into the bedroom and out of a marriage. They have their own forums, and their own blogs like this one where they ask for and receive support for the pain they go through when an affair is revealed (especially if the husband returns to the wife, leaving her and all the promises he made behind). I get it, there are many people hurt in an affair, but that is for another post, so I digress…
Where was I? Oh right…I understand the trash talk from betrayed wives to mistresses, after all, they engaged willingly with a man they knew were married (and for sake of argument I am not referring to those who perhaps had no idea the man they were sleeping with was married with kids, a dog and a picket fence). What I don’t understand is the trash talk that comes in the other direction; the mistresses who trash on the wives, and blame us for their situation. The mistresses, upset at how things didn’t go according to “plan” and then hate us for fighting for our marriage and our family. That makes no sense to me, and yet sites abound with women who were the “OW” in a relationship and who lash out at the wife, putting her down, telling her she wasn’t enough to keep her man, capitalizing on her low self-esteem in the aftermath of the affair and taking the cheap shots when she is down. Who does that? Better yet, who does that when the situation was started by them, and they are the ones in the wrong? It’s like cutting someone off in traffic and then flipping THEM the bird…
While “most” mistresses expect married women to become angered when the affair is discovered, strangely they don’t allow us this reaction when it does happen. It’s like we are expected to just shutup and take it. And, when we call other women out on their behavior, we are called “bitches” and “overly emotional” and “hysterical” (the ow in my husband’s affair called me this many a time) and “overreactive”. The irony is that if the tables were turned, they would behave in EXACTLY the same way. But, in order to understand and appreciate that, these women would have to put themselves in our shoes, something that exhibits EMPATHY, and is something that I feel many of these women lack, which is exactly why they participate in these things in the first place.
Last night, while perusing my CNN app on my phone before bed, I came upon an article by Peggy Drexler, writing an opinion piece about Arianna’s blog “She’s a homewrecker”, where betrayed wives post lurid details and sometimes call out and name the women who were involved in affairs with their husbands. This journalist essentially called this retaliation “bullying”, and claimed that women tearing down other women is horrid when the husbands are getting off scot-free. I’m sorry? My husband got off scot-free? I don’t think so.
To say that this journalist doesn’t get it is an understatement. Where on “She’s a homewrecker” does it say that betrayed wives have absolved their husband’s of their responsibility for the affair and opted to place sole blame on the mistress? It doesn’t, yet this is what the author has implied. Funny, because she says “it takes two”, so if she follows her own argument, she sees fault lying on both sides, but yet fails to see that betrayed wives, while choosing to out the mistress in public, is likely lashing out at her husband as well. The difference is that the husbands return home, while the mistresses run deep into the woods, back into obscurity, pointing fingers at the wife, returning to the rocks from under whence they came.
Once an affair is disclosed, the mistresses scurry like rats abandoning a sinking ship. Husbands come home to face the music. Mistresses escape down a fire escape. How are betrayed wives to express their anger and disappointment when one of the parties recedes into the darkness? Yes it takes two, but the husband’s payback is something most don’t see, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen. Wives out their husbands, embarrass them, pay them back for the shame and hurt in many ways. The difference here is that they have ACCESS. With mistresses, many betrayed wives don’t even get a name, let alone an address, workplace or cell number.
Although sleeping with a married man is of questionable morality — and that’s, of course, assuming the woman is even aware the man’s attached — the job of staying faithful belongs to the man who took the vow. And yet on “She’s a Homewrecker,” the men get off largely scot-free.
OMG if I have to hear this argument again, I will spit. The vow argument? Yes, he took the vow, but when a woman knowingly sleeps with a man she knows is married, why is she off the hook? Why is Drexler so keen on letting her be? Has she herself been the OW in an affair. One must wonder. So the breaking of the marital vow falls on the husband, yes, but marriages are contractual agreements, if you will, between a man and a woman. In business, when a third party violates or interferes with an existing contract, they are said to be committing Tortious Interference. Tortious interference, also known as intentional interference with contractual relations, in the common law of torts, occurs when a person intentionally damages the plaintiff‘s contractual or other business relationships. An example of tortious interference is when “false claims and accusations are made against a business or an individual’s reputation in order to…[break a contract]. Funny, I seem to remember stories of the OW telling my husband how much I must not love him because I don’t dote on him like she would. I also recall her mentioning, after having stalked me at my car, mentioning how pathetic women are who have my hair style and drive the kind of car that I do. She found any angle to put me down in his eyes, trying to compete with me by trashing me to him. Based on the example above, if this were a business, she would be guilty of tortious interference.
So why is it that business contracts are better protected against trolls than marriages are, when they are the foundation of our family lives?
Drexler also writes:
Despite this, the “homewrecker” still must pay, and does, in the form of having her name, details of her life and no fewer than six photos of herself splashed all over the site.
This is payback? Really? It doesn’t come close, in my opinion. OK, so her name and reputation are compromised. So are mine. But is her family compromised? Is her deepest and most intimate relationship violated? Are the lives of her most vulnerable and cherished family members (paralleled with the children of a marriage) destroyed? Are her foundations of trust shattered? No. I would EASILY take the shame of having someone post about me than what I’ve been through. Seems like a cake-walk Peggy, and to compare the two is ridiculous. It is the LEAST of what they deserve. And don’t say that the husbands get off scot-free because, my dear, they don’t. My husband has paid dearly, both emotionally at almost losing his family, financially at being sued on false charges for the purposes of extorting money and the child support he is willingly paying. On the other hand, the OW has been successful in coaxing my husband into bed, getting pregnant on purpose, and choosing to have the baby she wouldn’t otherwise have had, and having that child MORE THAN COMPLETELY PAID FOR. She doesn’t pay for A SINGLE THING RELATED TO THAT CHILD because her child support check is enormous. Sounds like she is basking in it…no? I haven’t posted to “She’s a homewrecker” but I don’t admonish those who have. In some cases, with mistresses running for the hills and leaving the husbands to absorb the damage, they leave the betrayed wives no other choice because they simply don’t take the honorable route: apologize, express remorse and beg for forgiveness for the damages you have caused to an innocent party. It’s what we teach our children in grade school. I guess these women missed that class.
I will be penning a response to Ms. Drexler on this article. I hope you will too.