When the Other Woman Won’t Let Go: An Affair with a “Bunny Boiler”

Yes, this is personal. Unlike most people I’ve read about in blog-land, I was the guy who got sucked into a relationship with a true sociopath, but I didn’t know it until much later. I was the guy who had an affair with a bitter, controlling, Glenn Close-like ‘Venus Flytrap”.  I have experienced the “Bunny Boiler.”

What is a Bunny Boiler? In my case, it was a “she”, but it could also be a “he” – but I can only write from my perspective as a stalked and harassed man. I realize men stalk women too, and often with violent outcomes. But this blog is not about that. The Bunny Boiler, for my purposes, is a woman who refuses to acknowledge that a relationship is over, even when told.

This is not simply a “woman scorned”.  This is far more threatening, pathological and insidious. Often illegal.

ImageThe expression ‘bunny boiler’ derives from the 1987 film Fatal Attraction, written by James Dearden and Nicholas Meyer. The plot centers around Alex Forrest (Glenn Close) obsessively pursuing her ex-lover Dan Gallagher (Michael Douglas). The phrase comes as the culmination of stalking and harassment that comes out of Alex’s frenzied jealousy and her inability to accept that Dan ended the affair quickly and abruptly. She throws acid onto his car, calls him on the phone obsessively and hangs up, stalks him at his office. Eventually when nothing else is working, she boils her erstwhile lover’s daughter’s beloved pet rabbit – she boiled the bunny. And finally, Alex goes to Dan’s house, apparently to kill his wife, as if this is what is standing in between them. At the time that the phrase first came into general use it referred to someone unable to remain rational at the end of a romantic relationship.

crimesAnother movie that comes to mind is “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (1989). In this movie, Martin Landau‘s character, a middle aged and successful optometrist, Judah Rosenthal, is faced with a dilemma that I can relate to. At the beginning of the film, he is attempting to break off his affair with his 2-year mistress, Dolores Paley. Ms. Paley seems quite high-strung, and sure enough, his worst fears are realized. She writes a letter to his wife, which he intercepts and burns. She calls their house and hangs up. She threatens to speak to his wife and to blab about his financial indiscretions to his partners, colleagues and friends. She calls him at home and demands he come and meet her at a gas station up the road or else she’ll come to his door. Anything to try and keep him in the game. He tries to reason with her. He even tries to pay her off, but to no avail. She is resolute in her determination to blab the affair to his wife and his financial indiscretions to others. Judah is in a total panic. In the end, with the help of his mob-connected brother, he has his mistress killed before she can really hurt him, and then struggles with the morality of his decision throughout the rest of the movie.

jodi-arias-300But they aren’t just in the movies. They are quite real. I’m not the only one living this nightmare. If anyone follows the news, Jody Arias comes to mind — this woman stalked, threatened, and eventually killed her ex-boyfriend.  She looks pretty alluring, doesn’t she?  Pretty.  Harmless. Really?  She shot Travis Alexander in the face, stabbed him 29 times and slit his throat from ear to ear.  And says that it was in self-defense!!  This came only after years of stalking him, harassing him, slashing his tires, etc.  Women can be every bit as violent as men.

Or how about Lisa Nowak, former astronaut?  Remember her?  She stalked, harassed and pursued her ex-married lover and then finally drove halfway across the country to assault his wife in the parking lot of Orlando International Airport!  She is one of the poster  children of the Bunny Boiler club!

A Bunny Boiler is an obsessive and dangerous female, in pursuit of a lover who has spurned her. She stalks. She harasses.  She is cruel. Twisted.  Irretrievably self-centered.  Dangerously vengeful. She threatens you or maybe herself. She destroys property.  Anything to get your attention.  She attempts to use carrot and stick to get the lost lover back, no matter the cost.  She will either get you back into her web of love and lies, or she will destroy you and your life.  There is no middle ground.  She shows no grace or dignity when you leave her.  She is childish and self-centered.  You will be hers, or nobody will have you. In some cases, the result is actually physical violence. In most cases, you have to become like a distance runner, and endure her attempts to undo your life and your happiness over a long period of time.  Maybe you have get a Restraining Order (like I did).  Maybe you have arm yourself to protect your home (as I did).  And then you spend week after week, month after month, hoping the “psycho” finally gets a clue and leaves you alone.  And moves on. As you have. You can’t respond to her in any way, because even if you do after 100 attempts, you’ve now taught this psycho that all she needs to do to get your attention is try and contact you 100 times. And even negative attention will encourage her. So you must endure it with silence, and perhaps legal protection.

Why do some women become Bunny Boilers?  Well, it depends on to what degree I suppose you believe they are mentally ill.  Bunny-Boiling has been linked to people who have “Borderline Personality Disorder.”  BPD is a mental health condition in which a person has long-term patterns of unstable or turbulent emotions. These inner experiences often result in impulsive actions and chaotic relationships with other people.  People with BPD often engage in idealization and devaluation of themselves and of others, alternating between high positive regard and heavy disappointment or dislike.  They are mentally abusive and controlling in relationships.

It’s also been linked to “Sociopathic” Behaviorwhich I blogged on – in which the lover is so narcissistic and self-centered, it is not only beyond their comprehension that someone would not want them or would leave them, but their egos are unable to absorb the rejection the way normal, well-adjusted people can. They are the consummate self-interested and controlling partner.  When the sociopath negatively affects another person, she feels no guilt or remorse for what she has done. Sociopaths express no care or concern for others. This is due in part to a tremendous sense of entitlement. A sense of narcissistic grandiosity exists within the sociopath, however she gains no insight when this is pointed out.

I would also examine the possibility that idolizing the lost lover may be a twisted form of self-protection. So long as the Bunny Boiler stays in love with the ex, she  doesn’t need to put herself at risk by falling for another man. After all, the love of her life shafted her (in her mind, anyway.  But anyone ending things with a Bunny Boiler is a “shaft” to them — they are perpetually the victim not only in relationships, but in life) which means that she becomes inappropriately scared stiff to trust another person. This idolization may provide another form of unconscious protection. As long as she loves him and live in the fantasy that he may return to her, she doesn’t have to face all the feelings that are really going on inside. There’s tremendous hurt, pain, anger and fear. All these feelings will need to be felt as part of the process of letting go and moving on.

In reality, the Bunny Boiler may be all these wrapped up into one.

fatal-attraction-2As with Dan Gallagher, the true Bunny-Boiling Sociopath is difficult to recognize when you meet them. They are often blessed with incredible charm and allure.  They have “game.”  They are often very attractive, and know it, and are used to getting what they want.  They mix lies and truth constantly, and convincingly.

You have to be very astute to pick up on the little clues they drop along the way that they may be not who they say they are:

  • Do they have frequent problems with people in their lives? Family? Work?  Friends?  Do they really have any true friends, or just acquaintances that seem to come and go?
  • Did you become their #1 hobby and sole focus very early in the relationship?  Do they resent any time you have to yourself or away from them? Do they try and talk you out of friendships, hobbies and anything that doesn’t include them?
  • Do you see signs of small lies? Inappropriate jealousy/control?
  • Outbursts of anger when you disagree with them in any way?
  • Are they abnormally obsessed with their looks and need constant compliments and reassurance?
  • Is everything your fault or someone elses’?  Do you notice how the Bunny Boiler is never, EVER at fault for anything?   They are always the victim. Taking responsibility for their choices, actions, and words is not their strong suit.
  • Is she Dr Jekyll and Ms Hyde? One moment she’s kind and loving; the next she’s flipping out on you.  She becomes so vicious, you wonder if she’s the same person
  • Are you constantly accused of things by her that have no basis in truth??  Her accusations may run the gamut — from infidelity to cruelty to being unsupportive (even when you’re the one paying all the bills), to repressing her and holding her back. It’s usually baseless, which leaves you feeling defensive and misunderstood.  But it’s all about CONTROL —  her controlling you!

I could go on and on.   All of these are red flags.  If you see them, RUN RUN RUN.  You can’t get away fast enough.

I endured the Bunny Boiler.  I got calls to our house.  She tried to call my wife many times even after my wife told her to never contact us again.  She sent emails by her to my friends and extended family full of lies, all designed to hurt me and undo my marital reconciliation.  There were veiled threats of physical violence. Threats against my job.  An absurd obsession with my wife, played out on her Facebook page, as if my wife was the only thing standing in between me and her.  More phone call attempts at work. Text messages alternating between expressions of continued, undying love for me, and ridicule and invectives.  Gifts sent to my office.  Threatening, bizarre phone messages. Stalking me at shows (I’m a musician).

It was bad enough that I had to endure what I endured with my wife due to my own poor decisions, but I have to deal with this maniac too. And it’s almost 2 years later and she has yet to abate. It’s creepy. It’s threatening.

What I have to remind myself, and a basic truth she’ll never understand, is that her actions indicate anything but “love.”


© COPYRIGHT 2006, 2007, 2013 Recovering Wayward Enterprises, LLC


29 thoughts on “When the Other Woman Won’t Let Go: An Affair with a “Bunny Boiler”

  1. holy hannah..i can not imagine having to go through something like that..and am so sorry that you experienced it.

  2. Ah yes. My husband’s OW is somewhat like that – except she went after me and, ultimately, when that didn’t work, decided to destroy his job and professional reputation. Luckily, she’s more or less gone dark, but I still hold my breath waiting for whatever she perceives as the next slight and justification for trying to hurt me.

    • Yes, it’s sad. You need patience to endure her attempts without comment, and carefully collect information and a timeline should you need to go the legal route.

  3. Wow. I feel bad for you, and your wife and family. I don’t care how “hurt” someone is, what she has done and continues to do is NEVER okay. Especially if you have children in the home still. That would not only scare me, but that….would piss me off. Messing with me would be one thing, and messing with a spouse I chose to stay with would be bad, but involving my kids in any way….well, I can only say it would not be pretty on this end. I am glad that you have gone to such great lengths to protect yourself and those you love. I am sorry that you have had to, but glad you are taking precautions.

    Obviously I do not know your wife, but I think it takes a special person to go through this by your side. Please do not think that is a judgement in ANY way. But that is a lot of stress and fear and crap to go through (for both of you) and some women may not have stuck around to deal with that. I envy that quality in her, and in your relationship, to be honest with you. It means something much bigger than just staying “married” and it still saddens me that my own marriage never had that kind of commitment.

    You are a human being, who made a mistake. Maybe the greatest being that you probably DID love the OW at one time or in your own way, and then had this nightmare happen. No one deserves that. It must be an odd thing to work through. Being labeled the “Betrayer” in your primary relationship….the one that you are focused on and committed to repairing, and yet simultaneously having to deal with your own sense of being “betrayed” by one who you believed loved you. I’m sure that some may not have sympathy for that, but I do. I can’t imagine the private feelings that YOU had to work through, and maybe couldn’t work through “out loud” for awhile, b/c you had to focus on what “you” had done, instead.

    Even though I am in my own situation, in my own life, I really enjoy reading your blog. You have a lot of insight that comes from experience, and that is very valuable to many. I feel like the honesty you share with your readers is a gift, really. I am sure you have helped many people deal with the aftermath of an affair, and maybe even helped many to reconsider moving forward with one. I know that you always give me another angle to look at things, and I appreciate that. To take a mistake or something “bad” in your life, and not only own it and learn from it, but then turn around and try to help others, is quite impressive and honorable. I wish you well and hope that this lady finally just leaves you all alone.

    • Thank you for the feedback and kind words. 🙂

      And yes, I agree, my wife IS special. She showed real courage, compassion, character strength and love — and it very much impressed me. If she had been unable to truly forgive and get past this by now, I would’ve walked. Life is too short to be tortured by someone for your mistakes. It seems like in blog-land that most betrayed spouses can’t really get past it. She has. And it certainly made me love her even more.

      That being said, I too had to reach down within myself and really take a hard look at the man in the mirror. And make real changes. And show courage. And love. It wasn’t easy. I was getting shit in stereo — from both sides. And still try and keep the rest of my life and living afloat. Worst period of my life!! But I brought it on myself. I was stupid. Vain. Naive. Live and learn.

      It was a team effort. We’re not fully out of the woods, but we are doing well.

      Ironically, the bunny-boiling behavior, which started IMMEDIATELY after affair termination helped in a way. It gave us a common enemy to stand against. It also confirmed in my mind that I had made the right decision in terminating things with her. Her behavior, ironically, was working against her interests, though she still doesn’t realize it.

      • “That being said, I too had to reach down within myself and really take a hard look at the man in the mirror. And make real changes. And show courage. And love.”

        -This is apparent in your writing and is WHY I pay attention to what you write about. I appreciate the honesty, from start to finish. 🙂

  4. I can relate too… I am almost certain that my husband’s AP is a sociopath. She even told me after I found out about the affair that she cares about me and my kids. She told my husband that throughout the affair to keep him from absorbing the guilt. Her web of lies was so convaluted too–so easy to decipher the truth if he had just not trusted her for a moment. She hasn’t made a play to get my husband back in her grips but I feel like either she is waiting for me to make a move or she’s moved on to her next victim. Sick and twisted.

    Do you think that it’s really easy to ignore the signs when you are in the affair? Or did you see things and ignore them? My husband feels foolish that he trusted her and gave her exactly what she asked for despite him not really wanting to. Did you feel this way?

    • I mostly definitely felt that way. I felt duped by the Other Woman, and I’m not a trusting person by nature, but I trusted her completely. I am mad at myself for being so taken in and ignoring the red flags along the way.

      I’m not blaming her for my decisions – I totally own my decisions – but I definitely felt lied to and manipulated, and that doesn’t happen to me. I am far more angry at myself for various reasons than I am with her, truth be told.

      So badly was I shaken by all this, I find it almost impossible to trust ANYONE any more. I am now more suspicious than ever of people around me. I even have had a hard time completely trusting my wife. The OW was the last, and biggest, in a long series of betrayals in my life stretching back to when I was a kid. I doubt I will ever fully trust anyone again. And that’s a sad way to live but I don’t know how to overcome it.

      Now people may sneer and say I deserved it. I betrayed, and therefore, I shouldn’t complain that I was so completely betrayed. But that’s judgmental, biased nonsense. Anyone out there NEVER lied to someone in their lives? Do they forfeit the right to be outraged when someone lies to you? And for the holier-than-thou crowd about cheaters. well, if I am to believe the statistics, 90% of you have cheated on SOMEONE in your lives in one way shape or form. Ever flirted with someone while in a relationship? Then you’ve cheated. Ever fail to break up with someone until you firmly secured your next BF/GF? Then you’ve cheated. Ever kissed someone else while in a relationship, even once, even if drunk? Then you’ve cheated.

      So not pointing the finger at you, but almost everyone has cheated. EVERYONE has betrayed someone in one way shape or form in their lives. EVERYONE has told lies to someone, and probably recently. So nobody is without sin. I’m no more deserving of betrayal by this woman than anyone out there is deserving of betrayal. My sins are just more public and recent than some of yours.

      This isn’t about you. Just reacting to what you wrote in which you were describing the attitudes of other people. I’ve come up against this attitude that you described. People can be such incredible hypocrites.

      I’ve learned many things from my affair — and a big one is that I have become a lot less judgmental of others, especially those who have been involved in affairs. I don’t think it’s a good thing, but I don’t see sins quite so black and white now.

      So for some of you others in blog land? Let he/she who is without sin cast the first stone at your wayward spouse. You might feel vindicated, but you’ll end up divorced. You can’t pursue justice and healing at the same time.

      • My husband can relate to your comments that he feels like he was manipulated by his OW–and he doesn’t easily allow people into his private life and world. He feels ashamed of himself and I am trying to push him through this… Yes, I am glad he sees his AP for who she really is but I don’t want him to spend a lifetime punishing himself either.

  5. It seems to me that damaged people only are happy or validated when they are damaging other people, I guess. I don’t know.

    I have shared on your blog previously that my husbands OW turned out to be a psycho too and I was glad that she revealed her true nature. When he finally ended things with her she turned her hurt on me. When she chose to harass ME under the guise of talking to my husband I had the opportunity to have her arrested and get a restraining order and yet I passed on both because I wanted to be the better person (I’m dumb, I should have gotten the order). To his credit my husband did call the sheriff, if he hadn’t then I would have known for sure that we were done, but he did and it showed both she and I where he WANTED to be. It KILLED her and I LOVED watching it happen.

    Does that make me cruel?

    Maybe but she went to my home to be cruel to me so turnabout is fair play. To my credit I didn’t flip out on my husband. All I said was, “There you go. I told you she was damaged. See what trash you’ve brought into our life and our family? She didn’t come here to talk to you… she came here to endanger our kids and to mess with me.” He agreed and admitted that yes, it was clear she was damaged, and that her only intent was to HURT me. As if I had not been hurt enough.

    I really could care less about her, she’s just another damaged person and since I am not her mother I don’t need to worry about her. I am hurt that my husband couldn’t see what I saw so clearly though. I appreciate that perhaps there was an appeal but I still don’t get it. As I saw it, in the early stages, when I saw theirs text messages I had said to my husband, “She doesn’t know me but she calls me a c*nt? She HATES me? What have you told her about me? Or is she just a f*cked up manipulating bitch?” If it wasn’t so screwed up I would laugh about it.

    I understand the loss of trust. It’s gone for all of us.

    • It’s sad that people act like this. I’m sure the ONLY thing that kept my psycho ex from coming to my house was the distance from hers – 125 miles. If we had been in the same city, I think it would’ve been uglier and more dangerous. It’s why I got my wife firearms lessons. The OW knew my schedule and when I would be out of town and when my wife and kids would be alone, so I knew it was dangerous. When someone is as mentally ill as this, you don’t know what they are going to do.

      We all make mistakes. Some are bigger than others, that’s for sure. The fact that my ex (and your husband’s) turned out to be immature, ungracious, threatening, unbalanced people is not the mistake — having an affair was — but it becomes salt in the wound for us. In addition to questioning why we did what we did, we now have to face that we trusted someone who turned out to be very untrustworthy and dangerous. It’s a double-whammy. I’m still reeling from it all.

      What I can say is this — the ex-OW’s actions actually drew me and my wife closer together. We had to be in order to face down this second crisis. And frankly it made it REAL easy for me to move on. I feel nothing good about her now. I hate her. I would laugh if I heard she was dead. Yes, I mean that.

      • I wish I knew that my husband hated her. I don’t think he does. I hate that there perhaps is between them a lingering romantic idea – that I got in their way – that there lovelorn like Romeo and Juliet. Is that crazy? I don’t think he hates her, maybe dislikes how she was really just not a nice person and kind of nuts, but well maybe that’s not the point. I guess the point is his owning up to his part, my willingness to work with him to not let it happen again & maybe that’s all I should concern myself with? Thinking about her makes me think bad things about me and I hate that.

      • I think that you cannot really heal if you focus on her and drive yourself nuts about whether he has any good thoughts about her. It’s not helpful to focus on symptom and not cause. It’s not helpful to stay too focused in the rearview mirror.

        I mean, were you ever in love before your husband came along? Do you have no good feelings anywhere for some past lover? Does this threaten your marriage? Probably not. I think you need to look at your husband in similar fashion. Hopefully he has shown you real remorse, has committed to the marriage again, and is showing you that he is living a more authentic, and honest, life so you feel safe again. If he has, then you need to treat “her” as part of his past, just as you have a past. yes, his sin is far more recent and greater, but yet I think you must focus on the “now” and not the “then”. Your old marriage is over. He made a tragic error he can’t undo, but is still the past.

        I know, easier said than done. The fact that she’s bugging you two makes it harder to fully move on. My wife would say the same thing, and she KNOWS I loathe the ex-OW. Her periodic attempts to get my attention do more than irritate us — they keep HER on the agenda, when in reality, she is a part of the fairly distant past now and was never really the “agenda” anyway. How this happened within the marriage is far more critical than to understand how “she” happened. Where we go from here to keep this momentum going is far more critical than “her” antics.

        I wish you luck.

  6. You are very right. The repeated attacks do keep her on the agenda. Instead of fading into the past, it continually inserts her into our present. And that, I guess, would be her point. Its been over two years since the affair ended, about a year since d-day, and we are still harassed. So much of what you wrote is eerily similar. She attacked me on facebook and linkedin. She
    stalked our two oldest children on facebook. She lawyered up and tried to ruin us on every level, but was so crazy her own attorney dropped her and warned ours about it. She has a history of physical violence against a former boyfriend. We keep guns and pray it never comes to being physically attacked. We have shown our therapists things she has written, described what we have been through and both of them say she sounds like a true sociopath. As is your affair partner, obviously.

    And that begs a question. Do you think that played into your affair? I hope I am not being too nosy or personal, but I think it did play into my husband’s. While he takes full responsibility for the choices he made, I also know that she pursued him aggressively with an end game in mind. She lied and manipulated for her own gain. I don’t think he would have been as likely to engage in an affair with a “normal” woman, who would not have been as patient and persistent in her pursuit. As you may remember, they worked together for quite awhile before anything turned south. He had even told her he was happy in his marriage, but was also honest about his depression and other struggles in his world (thinking she was a friend). Our therapist says this triggers the sociopath personality. She grabbed a shovel and began to make mountains out of what should have been molehills.

    Today we are much better, although I do struggle. If you have read any of my posts on other blogs it is clear that I have good and bad days. Normal, so I am told. Overall, we communicate much better. He is able verbalize his emotions and state his needs clearly. Something he has struggled with always. I am slowly able to start letting go of the anger and hurt from the betrayal. It’s not who I want either of us to be. I think it HAS delayed our healing, to have things crop up that we have to deal with. Stark reminders of what he brought into our world. Worries about “what is coming next” doesn’t let things settle and fade as they should. And as you said, in a sad and weird way, she did me a favor by going bunny boiler. She effectively killed any and all sympathy he might have had for her. Or any that I might even have had for her mental problems. Once she targeted me, and particularly the kids…….his vision cleared quickly.

    • Yes, I agree. Our stories ARE “eerily similar” in many ways. Her lawyer also dropped my ex-OW and told my lawyer this. How strange huh? She made all kinds of threats. She claimed she could sue ME for adultery and for “Breach of Contract”. Huh? I took her to Court and the Judge literally warned her to never contact me or my family again or that he would throw the book at her, and she claimed “victory” in our legal encounter. HUH???

      And as with your husband, her continued presence in our lives makes it harder for us to fully move on past this, and yes, like your husband, her actions killed off ANY sympathy and good feelings I ever had for her.

      Did this happen BECAUSE she was a sociopath? Interesting question. And I have no idea as to whether I got into this because she was a sociopath, or I got involved with someone who also happened to be one. I certainly cannot blame her for MY actions and decisions. I pursued too. I DO feel lied to and manipulated along the way, but I can’t off-load the whole thing on her either. I just feel stupid. She is very cunning. Very clever. She certainly knew how to get to me. She was very very good as portraying herself as the ultimate GF, knew just what to say in response to my questions, and seemed totally in-tune to what I needed. And it wasn’t until later that I figured out that at least some of what she was doing was an act to portray herself as someone she was not and in a situation that was partly fictional. But as I said, while all that is true, I should’ve been more astute as to the red flags, and I still am an adult and am responsible for my own decisions.

      As I said, the sociopath is not without their charms. They can be very alluring, very convincing. They have “game”. They are good at it. She knew what she wanted, and she knew how to get it. Well, almost, anyway. I started to put it all together in my mind. My gut told me that something was not right with her. And this was also the time when I realized I needed to get out of this and save my marriage. That what I could not continue what I was doing and could not life my wife and kids. It all came together at once.

      Nevertheless, I feel completely duped by her. But I can’t say that this wouldn’t have happened with a “normal” woman. Normal people have affairs too. Normal people pursue affairs.

      Sociopaths are just more insidious and better at it than others.

      but in the end, we are responsible for our own choices.

      • I’m sorry for what you and your wife have had to endure. Very familiar. He ended things and they continued to work together. She acted ok with it, pursued him more, and then went nuts when she realized he was serious about saving his marriage. She tried everything from claiming sexual harassment and emotional abuse, to saying we neglected our pets and capped it with accusations of business fraud. She wanted us destroyed in every possible way. Of course it was all untrue, and that’s why her attorney gave her the boot. It really is a nightmare to deal with, even knowing you are in the right and have the evidence to prove it. Had she forced it to court, our attorney would have had our older two testify to what emotional distress really is! It was a sickening proposition to think of.

        You and my husband were both lied to and manipulated. I am not one of those spouses who blames the affair partner completely for the affair. You and my husband are both adults, and made some bad choices. You have both stepped up and owned that admirably. I don’t discount my husband’s role in this at ALL. But I still wonder. My husband is a handsome guy, active and fit even in his late forties. He has had his share of women flirting with him and coming on to him over the years. I assume you have as well, particularly with the band? But neither of you ever succumbed to that. Looking back, I can see that those other women were (or seemed) “normal”. When they didn’t get a positive response, they conceded defeat and moved on. According to our therapist one of the hallmarks of the sociopathic personality is that once they set their sights on someone, they are willing to pursue them and patiently build a relationship over time. They are not put off by initial rejection. They have a goal in mind, and will do what it takes. In my husband’s case, the affair partner was in constant contact with him, even texting in the middle of the night. She suggested some google app as being “interesting” and it was a gps app. She tracked his every move, knew where he was at all times. He says now he finds that completely creepy, and at the time he thought it was a little odd but was still flattered.

        You were certainly right when you said they have game and they are very convincing. That’s why I wonder if either of us would be in this position. Yes, normal people have affairs too. That’s true as well. In the final analysis, it may well just be a “perfect storm” of vulnerabilities meets crazy.

        One unrecognized thing is that you guys have done a hard penance. You are seen as the victimizers of the marriage, but in at least some way you are both also victims. That’s hard to see, and sometimes I don’t want to. There were other choices my husband could have made. I would have been open to counseling or whatever he needed if only he had been able to communicate how he was feeling about life at that time. Anyway, thanks for pondering the thought with me! It helps to process ideas with someone who truly gets it.

      • Yes, I recall the details of your story now. You told me in the past. Sometimes the stories become a blur. I get many people posting here. And sometimes direct emails. But yes, your story and mine have strange parallels.

        I agree, your husband’s OW and mine were dishonest, manipulative, cunning sociopaths. but no, I don’t believe all or even most OW/OM are. I “meet” too many of them here and on message boards who have become emeshed in affairs with married people who are quite normal. Who end the affair themselves or who withdraw gracefully when the married affair partner does. It happens to lots of people. Few people really “target” married people. There are some. I can’t even say I was targeted by my ex-OW. I pursued her initially. She certainly didn’t discourage me, but it grew very slowly and it’s not as though I felt like I was targeted. I think she fell for me and very hard. But once she DID, she did decide that I was what she wanted, and then the manipulations and lies began. it went from a fairly uncomplicated affair, to “love” for her. And love meant “possession.” She wanted to own me. And then the worst parts of her personality came out.

        besides, I know lots of married women here and other places that get into affairs too. They, for the most part, seem quite normal. It happens. People make mistakes. People get sucked into an affair even if it wasn’t their intention. We are all human. Connections are made, often in the context of a frustrating and disappointing marriage or marriages as the backdrop. We are sometimes vulnerable to this. I think your husband and me are more exception than the rule in this case — we got caught up with two women that wanted to take it to the next level, who already had very unsavory aspects to their personalities, and would stop at nothing to “win.”

        Hey, I’ve been disappointed too by women. Had my heart broken. I didn’t continue to pursue them and attempt to destroy them because they dumped me. That’s beyond my comprehension. But I guess there are people like that out there. You and I are living it.

        I would hate to think my wife blamed the OW for the affair. If she did, she would be saying that I’m pretty much a weak, fool. That all I need is some woman to flash her breasts at me and wink and I’m going to jump in bed. That I’m some sort of simpleton. I’m not. It was all far more complex than that. Yes, I was lied to. Yes, I was manipulated. But I knew what I was doing and I own all my own (poor) decisions and actions. I can’t blame the OW for that. I blame myself for doing what I did and trusting someone who turned out to be so cruel, manipulative and dishonest.

        And now we are paying the price. We are ALL paying the price. Having to deal with an unpredictable, nasty, dishonest ex is just salt in the wound to this for. For all of us.

  7. Yes you two are definitely the exception to the rule. I agree that most affairs involve regular, every day people. Usually who work together, let boundaries slip and are in over their head
    before they truly realize what happened. He thought they were just “good friends”. It is just as likely to be a woman as man that has an affair. The sociopath angle is interesting to me because i think it made it harder for him to disentangle himself from the affair. He had even told her of his depression, loss of his dad, etc. I think she knew from the beginning that it was an escape from reality for him.

    Although I also agree most people don’t target married men (or women), interestingly, we found out shortly before it all blew apart, that she HAS gone after married men before. Sadly one couple ended up divorced over it. All the legal stuff came up and we never got “the rest of the story” but it sounded like she had targeted this man as well. In her case, the guys she has been involved with all fit a particular profile, the right looks, occupation, income, and about ten years older than her. Not necessarily married, but at that age most were/are. The man she was living with long-term at the time of the affair is over twenty years her senior. Daddy complex, anyone?

    While I think she does have a share of the blame, I put most of it on him. He is the one who spoke vows and made promises to me, not her. But the affair happened in our home. She walked into our house every day (they worked here) and saw and knew what she was doing to our children. She saw the turmoil and stress she was causing. She lied and acted friendly to me (at least in the beginning). She just did not care. We are still dealing with the kids’ emotional fall out. That’s the hardest part of this for both of us, watching the KIDS pay the price.

  8. It is sad when this happens. It happened to me; well, rather, it was my husband’s decisions that brought this crazy woman into my world. She did everything she could to harass us after my husband told her to leave him alone. It has been 8 months since her last contact and we have closed all avenues of contact so she has no way of getting anything more to us. But I still have that “other shoe will drop” feeling. I hope, with time, I am able to get past those feelings. This whole thing was horrible to go through. I felt like my world had ended. But now having gotten past this I now feel like I have a better man as a husband than the man I married. I’m glad you and your wife are working things out. Its difficult but going through a divorce is difficult also. I just realized how much I love my husband and didn’t want to go through my life without him. I also realize people make mistakes and its how they handle those mistakes that really define them.

    • I know exactly what you’re going through. So are we. Yes, I feel awful about it. But the OW really made things worse than they needed to be. A total psycho.

      But I KNOW this “letter” if she read it? She would laugh. She thought (and I presume, thinks), my wife was a total fool and didn’t have a clue as how to make me happy. This type of feedback would’ve been immediately disgarded by her.

      But like your husband’s ex-OW, mine was a complete sociopath.

      I think we are past the point about the “other shoe dropping.” I feared it for a while, but I had my own “weapons” in reserve. She harassed me for about 1 1/2 years after D-day but has been quiet since March/April. Finally. I hope she finally moves on. I regret not only the affair, but ever KNOWING her. Truly.

  9. Hi I am glad I came across your article I am in your situation too but it’s a little different. I am the wife who is being threatened and harassed for a little over a year now by my husband’s ex gf. I cheated on my husband first thats how this crazy girl got into our lives in the first place. As revenge he cheated on me back with her. After he broke off the affair with her I have been getting harassed since last year June. She came to our house and left finger prints on my neck and texted me she should have choked me. Then when my husband puts up pictures on his facebook of us she texts me to insult me and our Christmas tree. She calls me a whore and tells him to enjoy being with his whoring wife and insults our family. She even made up a facebook page using my husband’s name added one of his friends. Used the site to harass me. Calls me all the time claiming to be with my husband but the funny thing is when she was actually with him she never bothered me. I don’t know why she’s bothering me so often now. I got her to take down the facebook page or I would have reported her to the cops. She even leaves stupid voice messages on my phone from time to time. Help me make sense of this as I am the wife being harassed.

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