What I wanted you to know about about being the other woman

What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to this series, click here. Today’s guest posts is by an anonymous reader.

In the fall of my sophomore year of college, my father sent me a Facebook message letting me know that he had cheated on my mother with another woman.
I sat in the cafeteria that day crying to my friends, saying again and again that I didn't understand how someone could break such a sacred promise, and how any person could sleep with someone else's partner. It was the ultimate disrespect, I said.

Less than a year later, I found myself in a bed with someone's wife.

In the beginning I didn't know she was married. I suspected it. I knew that she was lying about several other things—including her name—so it wasn't far off to speculate that she was lying about that. Additionally, I never saw her home; when we would meet up, it would be at an apartment she had, or at my place.

She said it was because of her job.

I was much younger, it was an adrenaline rush for me. She took me shopping, bought me expensive gifts, showered me with compliments, and I gave her sex, kept quiet about it, didn't ask questions.

On her way to see me one afternoon, she called me, her voice panicky. "There are some things you need to know," she confessed. "I'm married...and I have a daughter."

I told her it was fine, but my head was spinning. I canceled the meet up, and sat in tears, staring at the wall, for hours. I couldn't wrap my head around the fact that I had slept with someone's wife, someone's mother.

The next morning, she came to see me. I hadn't slept. My face was tear stained but I had covered it up with makeup. I told myself that I had already done the damage; that it wouldn't matter much if I continued to sleep with her. I was wrong. I told her it had to end.

I made a promise to myself that I would never make those mistakes again. I blocked her number; I haven't heard from her since.

I want you to know that the other woman isn't always an evil temptress. We all mistakes, and some of those mistakes affect those around us more than others. I want you to know that we are not guilt- free succubi. I will never be able to fully express my apologies to this woman's husband, her family. I am routinely brought to tears at the thought of the pain I've helped bring about.

And I want you to know, that if you're cheating, thinking about cheating, or thinking about cheating with a taken person, that someday, it will come out. It cannot stay a secret forever. And nothing pleasant will come from it. It won't help your martial problems, your general unhappiness. The adrenaline rush will go away. It will affect your children's future relationships. And it will leave a trail of broken people in its path.

To her husband, if you're reading this, I'm so sorry.
To her, if you're reading this, I'm so sorry.
To her daughter, if you're reading this, I'm so sorry.

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