Email from the ‘other woman’. What now?

Email from the ‘other woman’. What now?

My husband and I have three kids and we recently had a four-week break. We’ve had a tough year – my mum died, and things were rocky before then – but we worked a lot of things out in counselling while he was living away and we agreed to try again. He came home two weeks ago, and five days ago I got an email from a woman who said, ‘ask your husband about me’. So I did. He got really mad, told me she was no one, she was some crazy woman from the gym who had it in her head that they had some connection and if I was going to believe her over him then I was an idiot. In short, completely denied anything. I don’t believe him (it’s not the first time). Then he point blank accused me of being suspicious because I was probably cheating on him (no, I’m not and never have). Where to from here? The kids who are so happy their dad is home have no idea of the latest turmoil. I am emotionally exhausted and just don’t know whether I owe it to my family to try again, or just get rid of him for good.  Wish I Knew

So sorry you’re going through this, WIK, especially after what you’ve been through of late. I once got an email like that myself, and my boyfriend at the time also used the she’s-crazy-nothing-happened-how-can-you-believe-her-over-me line. Given you say it’s ‘not the first time’ you’ve distrusted him, my hunch is that maybe your husband saw the whole ‘break’ as an opportunity to tap some girl at the gym, whom he no doubt promised the world to. Now, having reconciled with you, he’s in a bind because the other woman refuses to put up and shut up. His diversionary tactic of calling you the cheater – in the midst of an undoubtedly gut-wrenching discussion about his own infidelities – is also pretty text-book.
I always think that being faced with cheating and lying when you’re still unencumbered by kids is somewhat clear cut. If that kind of behaviour is a deal-breaker for you personally, it’s easy to bid the dumbass buh-bye. Adios. Sayonara. When you have kids – particularly of the age where they’re all too aware – things are trickier. Sure, there’s the whole argument that in indulging bad behaviour in your spouse, you’re giving your kids the wrong message about where to draw the line. But it’s often not as easy as that. After losing your mum and nearly your marriage, chances are all you’re craving right now is just a bit of normality for you and your family. I get that. That said, if your husband’s pulled this kind of crap before and giving him a second, third or even fourth chance feels like a massive moral compromise, it’s never going to be worth it.
Don’t feel you have to make any rash decisions while you’re feeling so adrift – but do let your husband know that you’re thinking very carefully about your options. I also think you should see a counsellor on your own to help you process your feelings, and get you to a point where you’re able to make a choice that’s right for both you and your kids.
Love, reality chick

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Freelance journo, blogger, self-appointed advice-giver and co-author of Get Lucky. If you've got a dating or relationship issue, feel free to ask a question. (PS. You can also find me at The Mama Files and Letter To My Ex).


  1. Lisa 9 years ago

    Great advice, RC. I hope it helps ‘Wish I Knew’!

    • Carissa 7 years ago

      Be careful. The other woman contacted you because she is in love with your husband and will not let him go. She is probably still waiting for him, or still ‘involved’ with him some how. I know because I sent a similar text to the girlfriend of the man I was seeing.I struggled with my conscience in telling her, but finally I did it because I wanted him to validate me as a human being who has very deep feelings for him. After 2 years of seeing him, I was tired of him pretending I didn’t exist. I work with him and although he called it off, we are becoming close again. He even visited me. But i’m being a good girl and not falling into bed with him because it isn’t fair for his girlfriend, nor me as i want forever with a man. I have a child and endured an unhappy relationship with her father. I know it is difficult being a single parent, but do not ‘hang in there’ just for the sake of the kids. As parents to our child, we are much happier being apart.Kids can sense negativity and it affects them greatly, especially the ongoing trust issues. See a counsellor.

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