Letter to the OW

Dear D,

I tried reaching out to you once before and you ignored me. I was hoping to get information in regards to my own safety and the safety of my children. Just for your own knowledge, I got myself tested for every STD as well as HPV. Praise the Lord I am clean. I am very concerned that in this day and age you would have unprotected sex. That seems so dangerous and unsafe. Especially with someone like R who has slept with so many people (without protection) and he didn’t even know their names! Not my business, but something you might want to consider with future partners. My husband was a master liar. I’m quite sure many other men are, too.

So I’m going to share what your choices did to our family. I’m hoping that you are not just a terrible person but that somehow you convinced yourself that sleeping with a married man wasn’t “that bad”. It was.

When R revealed not only your affair with my husband he also dumped the other 12 on me at the same time. Yep, in one 10-minute sitting I found out that my husband, the person I trusted more than anyone in the world, who I supported through numerous deployments, who I thought was my best friend, was actually kind of an awful person. And he was pretty open with me about how your relationship started with him (3 dinners and you were in bed together. And then it kept going). He also answered any question I asked, which by the way, means I know WAY too much about you and your sex life and what you like and what you don’t like.

Anyway, back to my purpose in writing. I want you to know that having an affair with a married man, especially one with kids, has a domino effect. I know this isn’t news to you since this isn’t your first affair with a married man. So why on earth would you do it again? You destroyed your own marriage doing the exact same thing. How do you think your ex-husband felt? How do you think your lover’s wife felt?

I’ll tell you. Broken. Destroyed. Shattered. I had no idea there was even a problem in our marriage, regardless of what he told you. I know he said a lot of things about how he wasn’t listened to, or I didn’t understand him, or he could never measure up to some standard.

The reality is that R is a broken person with serious addiction and codependency issues. I loved him dearly. I had no idea he felt ignored or unheard. He didn’t tell me. I’m actually a pretty nice person. I was busy raising two kids while R spent months and years away. One of our kids is autistic, and I essentially raised him myself. It was very difficult but I did it because I thought I was being a good wife. I try hard to be kind. I care about people. I volunteer my time at a food bank. I spend my life trying to connect middle school students with books. I’m a real person with real feelings. I love Jesus. I try to be like Him as much as possible.

Last summer when you were sneaking around with him, do you know what was actually happening to his family? He left our family vacation to sleep with you. Left me and my 15 year old in downtown Boston to have sex with you. And when you needed your eye surgery? Yep, missed the first days of my kid going to high school. Because you needed a DRIVER??? And yes, I know about Michigan. And sex in the back seat of your Jeep in a cornfield at the parachute club.

I know about sex in the shower. Oh I know your favorite type of sex (that’s a nice little detail I get to keep in my head forever).

So what happens when you mess with a married man? His wife tries to commit suicide. His autistic son tries to commit suicide. His sweet, gentle 15-year old winds up in therapy because he can’t watch his mom cry anymore. His autistic son moves out of the house because of his hatred of what his dad (and you) have done.

As a follower of Christ, I am trying hard to forgive and move on. I realize you didn’t ask for forgiveness, but that doesn’t matter. Jesus says to forgive regardless of the other person’s heart or intention. He says to forgive 70×7 times. That’s hard teaching when your heart is broken and you hurt so much you want to curl up in a ball and cry. But I trust Him. I believe Him. He protected me over the years from all kinds of disease. He walked with me after R’s confession. He comforted me in my darkest hour while lying on a bed in a psych unit. A place I never expected to be (I’m a professional with a PhD!). But here I am, a year later. Still trying to move forward. Still trying to release my bitterness and anger. Not because you asked for it but because God expects it of me.

I pray for you daily. I pray for all the women R slept with. I have a special box in my prayer closet that contains your name and his other affair partner, and then blank slips of paper for the other women with which he had one night stands. R might not remember their names, but they are precious to God. He knows each and every one of you in that box, and He LOVES you so much. I pray that you and the other women will grasp that truth, that you are beautiful in His eyes and He has created you for a purpose. He has a plan for you that involves something much better than other people’s husbands. Something you can be proud of and hold on to. Something that will never make you feel ashamed or small.

Well, that’s all I needed to say. I hope you find happiness with someone who belongs only to you. But more importantly, I hope you find a relationship with Jesus because He is the only one who will NEVER let you down or desert you. He is the only one you can truly trust.

In Christ,


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