July 2, 2016

The other woman

It is not every day an email in my inbox starts like this...
Dear Ashlee, When you accepted my friend request on Facebook, I was thrilled, because your story inspired me and made me look at my marriage in a new way. I had thanked you and said, “though I was happily married, you were still an inspiration to my life”. What you didn’t know was, that my marriage had suffered infidelity as well. But, I was the betrayer. 

Two years ago I was in a similar place as Emmett. I think that’s why your story hit so close to home for me. I was lost and hurting and caused my family and my marriage pain. My husband is the one who showed me forgiveness and I have wondered why and struggled to forgive myself, until I read your story. Your love and dedication made me see that in my husband and why he fought for our marriage and our family. Though I still struggle to forgive myself and I know that I am not a victim of infidelity, as so many of the people I have seen share their stories with you; I find all of the stories inspiring and admire the women who share them. And I am sorry for being everything that you and others have seen in a significant other. But, because of people like you, everyday I love my husband more than ever for the same love and dedication he has shown and I want to share how strong he has been. 

I want to share a part of my story with you, and others, because I often hear people say how bad men are or how husbands can’t be trusted or that all men wander … this is not true. I want to share our story because it was my husband who was strong and stood for our marriage and helped me stand as well. 

Two years ago my marriage suffered from infidelity, but it was not my husband who had betrayed our marriage . . . it was me. 

I was the other woman. 

I know as women we are not supposed to feel weak or hopeless. We aren't supposed to be the ones who walk away from our marriages or families. We are supposed to be the strong ones. Home holding together our families, and put together every day. Perfect. Never broken. But I was just that, weak and broken.  

My husband and I had been together for about 6 years and married for half of that; we had recently bought a new home and had a little boy. I don’t know what it was . . . life, jobs, money, etc. that got in the way, but something drifted us apart. 

Things had gotten so bad; I finally told my husband that I was leaving. I did not want the struggles of our relationship any longer. Every day it felt like something new. I felt empty, dark and miserable. I knew I deserved more. 

I don’t know if he believed me, but I had made up my mind I was moving out. I guess looking for other houses made looking for other things easy. 

But, the truth is: we still shared a bedroom and he still had hope. While he was working on our marriage—I was walking away from it. 

One night he walked into our room and said “I know something is going on, so why don’t you just tell me.” 

My heart stopped. I knew if I told him the truth everything would be over for real. I told him of all the problems I thought our marriage had because of him … hoping to avoid my role. At first I thought that would be enough, but then out came the truth. 

I told him I had been with someone else. At first he just looked broken. Then he got angry. He yelled and screamed; and finally he walked out. 

My marriage was over—and I was the one who had destroyed it. 

I broke down.  I sunk deeper than I had ever been in my life. I cried harder than I had ever cried before—not because I was leaving but—because I (for the first time) realized that I had hurt the only person that I really loved. I had hurt my best friend. All that time I had forgotten that I loved him. It had felt so real, all the lies. But the truth was: I didn’t want anything or anyone else. 

I realized that for months I had told him all of the problems I thought our marriage had, but I never once was there trying to help him fix them. I had put everything on him, but the truth was … our marriage was done because of me. 

He came back into our bedroom hours later. We cried and he held my face in his hands and said “This isn’t it, divorce is not an option. I said our vows in front of God and our family and I meant them. You’re not leaving and we’re going to make this work. It isn’t going to be easy and it’s going to hurt, but we’re going to do it . . . together.” 

I never believed in second chances, or forgiveness, or true love … until that  moment. 

My childhood had been full of heartache. I had never seen anyone willing to make right their wrongs, or ask for a second chance. I didn’t even know what that was until I saw my husband pick himself up, stand strong and show me what forgiveness is and what second chances mean. 

He helped me stand. 

Since then, I have opened myself up to him. I have worked hard to show him love and appreciation and work at our marriage together. I have found out who I am and what I want to live for. It has not been easy and there have been many tears, but we have shown each other more love in two years than we have in all of our other years together. We have even welcomed a new baby into our family. 

Not all betrayers are men; not all men cheat. There are men who are stronger than you ever thought possible.

To everyone who is reading this. You may never know my name, but now you know my story.  I am the other woman. The weak one. But that day I learned that it was my weaknesses that were hurting my family, and my husband's strength that brought us back together.

The life I live now would not have been possible if my husband hadn’t made the choice to get back up and hold out his hand to show me how to stand.


The author shared this sweet post with me on Facebook and asked if I post it without her name.  

So friend, you know who you are, thank you for being vulnerable and sharing a piece of your heart. Hopefully someday I can meet you in person and give you a big hug. 

I am so thankful for her encouraging words for husbands and wives. We all need forgiveness and grace if we are going to make it through this thing called marriage. I know the answer is not always to stay, but how powerful it is to hear stories of courage of those who do. 

I don't know what the answers are for you in your marriage. But God does. He has a plan for each of us, and no easy roads. Lots of good ones. If this vulnerable time has come into your journey please know you are not alone. NO matter what your religion, race, financial status, or gender there are so many of us who have been hurt by infidelity—and continue to carry the scars that it leaves. But we are not unique. So many suffer silently, because it is scary and lonely and hard. It sucks. But please know, you have friends all over the world who have walked this road and there are answers to make it through. And whether you stay or you leave, you are brave and strong. It takes courage to get those answers from God and carry them out. But there is no one answer, except the one that comes from Him. 

Thank you again for sharing your story. 

If you or someone you know has a story to share please email me at themomentswestand@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you! (Just know, this summer I am so behind on life outside my kids, so if it takes a while for me to get back to you don't take it personal!!)

Related posts: 
To the Dad who walked away


Anonymous said...

Ashlee, I spent the first minutes of reading this saying to myself "nooooo! Ashlee cheated?!?" You may want to out at the top that this is a guest post....it isn't clear until much further down..

Also, to the woman who cheated...thank you for sharing your perspective. What, if anything, did you say to the wife of the man you cheated with to make amends?

Ashlee said...

Good thought! Thanks. I will start it out with the description.

Richee said...

I want to say thank to Dr Agumagu for everything he did in my life. To everyone who doesn't believe in spell, I was one like you at first. I wasn't quite sure if I wanted to do this since I've tried others so-called spells casters and they did not work and was a waste of my time and money. However, when I read so many testimonials of Dr Agumagu how he help people to get back their ex lover. Dr Agumagu answered all my questions and was very nice about everything, I decided to give it a try. I figured it would be my last try to get my ex girlfriend back. So my story is that I was at my office when the girl I suppose to marry told me that she wasn't in love with me and never will it be and that she didn't want to speak or see me again, especially since she was talking to this other guy. i email Dr Agumagu and tell him everything.he let me know which spells would be most appropriate for me and I chose the one that was to get her back to me and stay with me and to marry me.As soon as he finish the spells, my girlfriend came back into my life! It was a miracle to me and I’m so thankful to him, that is why i am sharing this testimony to those who need his help. Things have been going well, and pretty much according to what Dr Agumagu said would happen. I’m very happy for the love spell Dr Agumagu have done for me, my ex girlfriend is now back to me and we are living so happy. if you asked me or my friends if I would have anticipated how things were right now…no one would believe it! contact him is email address (agumaguspelltemple@outlook.com or agumaguspelltemple@gmail.com tell +233200116937) and here is my private email bouchardemil@gmail.com. Emil Bouchard

Unknown said...

Hi, I have been with my boyfriend (he’s a Japanese) for 3 months. He was a married man and has a daughter. He has been talking about divorcing his wife and choosing a life with me. He even told me how he wants me to be his future wife. Things were going beautifully great. Then one day, I was talking to my boss (whom I had an affair with before I met my bf) and we ended up flirting again and I got mischievous and sent him a naked photo. I forgot about this the following days and didn’t even think to remove any evidence of that text message. But last month, my boyfriend went through my phone and read everything. And told me that it will be our last day together.I was guilty, remorseful, devastated and heartbroken at the same time. I didn’t want that to be our last day, and I sent him a message that I won’t say goodbye but I suspect he has already deleted and blocked me off all channels. I have no idea what’s going to happen next, and no idea what to do. I had just one female friend to talk to and which i did and she told me she was going through a breakup the past week but its Akim who brought her bf back with a love spell. I absolutely did not have any other choice, i talked with Akim and he helped me with his thing and now my lover is back in my arms. If you are going through such situation or any challenges in life, just talk with Akim now and i am sure he will help you out. Get to him on email : bestlovedoctor01 @ gmail . com :)

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