This is a subject that is difficult for everyone. I have been cheated on. I have had friends that were cheated on. My mother was cheated on. It is so easy to hate the other woman but we all need to remember that it is as much, if not more, the cheaters fault. I am not stating that she is not at fault, depending on the circumstances.  He is the one that made the promise to his wife. The other woman did not. I m using the male as the cheater but it, obviously can be the other way, too, so if you are a male reading this, change the pronouns to fit your life.

My father cheated on my mother numerous times. We kids found out when my sister went into the Officer Club and saw him with his girlfriend. That was the beginning of the end of my childhood family. My sister hated our dad for a while and told me about the other woman in a fit of anger towards him. Of course, I hated the girlfriend, too and was so angry with my dad. I was about 13 at the time.

That was the beginning of my not trusting men. I didn’t understand how my father could do what he did to the family and my mother. My mom is so awesome and would always tell us that no marriage ends because of one person and they both made mistakes. Personally, I don’t think anything justifies cheating.

I have been the other woman a couple of times. The first time I was in college. He was here in town for a construction job and I had no idea he was married. I ended it as soon as I found out. Luckily, that was almost immediately so I wasn’t too emotionally invested. The second one broke my heart. I met him in AIT training and fell madly in love before I found out he was married. He was tall, good looking, fun, fit, smart. When someone told me he was married, I couldn’t believe it. When I confronted him, he told me that he was but they were separated and he wanted out. That turned out to be a lie, of course. We continued our relationship, with me under the impression that he was leaving his wife before he knew me. I met a couple of members of his family even. When we left training, we both ended up in San Francisco, unfortunately. His wife and son joined him there and he still was telling me that he didn’t love her and he loved me. He kept asking me to marry him when he left her. I kept telling him that I was not going to promise him anything and I was not going to be the reason or excuse for him to leave her. She found out about me and confronted me. She and I had a long talk. I was honest with her and ended up asking her point blank if she wanted to save her marriage. She said yes so I told her that I would not see him anymore and I did not. He tried so hard to get me back, everything but leave her. I was NOT going to make him any promises first. I remember him crying and begging me to come back to him. It was so difficult to walk away from him because I did truly love him. I had told her I would stay away and I did. Years ago, I looked him up as I was wondering if they had made it. I found out that he is dead. I thought he had died in a car accident but a mutual Army friend found me recently and told me that he killed himself. I haven’t asked more details yet. I couldn’t hear it. I felt terrible for my part in his marriage trouble though I was innocent in the beginning. It was a terrible time in my life and I am not proud of it. I tried to right the wrong by being honest with her and stepping away from the man I loved. I wish his life had turned out better and they could have been happy.

I was surprised when I was younger as to how many married men would actively pursue other women. I don’t know how many times I was hit on by men that I knew were married. Now, it seems open marriages is the thing. That is a whole other topic that I wrote about a little bit ago and I am sure I will again. All this cheating that I have seen in my life made me very cynical about trust and very aware of the signs of a cheater. I am pretty sure my ex-husband cheated on me. The signs were there. He claims he never did and at four years since he left me, it really doesn’t matter anymore but if I ever find out he did, I would not be surprised at all.

Those of us that are cheated on have every right to be angry at the other woman but unless she knew he was married when they started the affair, he is the guilty one. Even if she did know, he is more guilty than she is. He is the one that broke the promise. He is the cheater and user. We don’t know what he told her and, obviously, he is a liar. You cannot believe anything the cheater says about the relationship.