I finally saw a liar, a manipulator, and a coward

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: lawrence@krubner.com, or follow me on Twitter.

An interesting article, about an affair:

Did Nicola ever think about his wife? Nicola said she found it “pretty easy” not to think about her. “This sounds horrible, but my feelings towards her were a very weird mix of envy and pity,” she said. “I was so envious that she’d got there first, that she got to have him come home to her. Then pity because she didn’t know, and that made me feel sorry for her in a way.”

Asked if she ever felt guilty about her status as the other woman, Nicola replied: “Nowhere near as much as I should have.”

Two years since she last spoke to her married lover, Nicola has a very different impression of their relationship and its impact. “I feel worse now because she’ll never know, she’ll go through her life thinking she has the perfect husband and father and she’ll never know who he really is,” Nicola said.

Seeing the photo of his wife made Nicola see the man she’d loved clearly for the first time. “Instead of seeing the tortured love of my life, I finally saw a liar, a manipulator, and a coward,” she said. “But I still think about him every single day — how he got to go back to his life like nothing happened, and I got to berate myself for months wondering what I’d done wrong.” She now views the affair as a big mistake. “He got to forget, I get to wonder if anything he told me or anything we shared was real,” she added. “No closure, just feeling like the stupidest girl in the whole world.”

Nicola told me the affair isn’t something she’s ever really spoken about. “Because you’re objectively in the wrong, no one really cares that there can be more to it.”

On our TV and movie screens, the other woman trope is oft presented as a clingy, sex-crazed home-wrecker consumed by jealousy. Think of Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction and Jeanne Tripplehorn in Sliding Doors. Hollywood stereotypes aside, I set out to find out what it’s actually like to be the other woman. Are they consumed with jealousy? Do they feel guilty about what they’re doing? Do they get a cheap thrill from running around behind people’s backs?

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