The open letter below is a response piece to the hate-filled attacks that the author of To His Wife – From the Other Woman received after publishing only part of her personal story on MissMuslim. She silently faced days of online abuse. The following was written in collaboration by both “The Other Woman” and “His Wife.”
Written by Anonymous
To the Other Women,
I am not referring to other mistresses or as you have so boldly and vehemently labelled me, “home wrecking sluts”. I am referring to you, the keyboard warrior so quick to judge and assume. So quick to tear another female down and inject poison via the internet. You automatically assumed our story, you drew out scenarios in your imagination and labelled the villains and the victim, self-appointing yourselves as God. You were 100% certain I intended to fall in love with a man who was not mine, instead of giving me the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps I was misled? A single woman commented that I had no idea what a woman sacrifices for her marriage and children – I do, I have been there. I am sorry you internalized the letter so much that it hurt you to read.
So quick to tear another female down and inject poison via the internet.
I shared this letter now years after the end of the biggest mistake of my life. I shared this letter after the healing, after learning to self-love, after the pain and confusion had cleared, so your words will never hurt me. In fact, I forgive you and wish you the same kind of peace the wife of the cheating “scumbag” had wished for me. You see, you have no idea the pain and hurt that misguided love brings and I do not expect you to understand. I do want to fill you in on bits of the story so you may look inward before pointing outward. The purpose of writing the letter was to show a different perspective that is usually not expressed, to help people open their minds and take a different route in thinking.
Do I apologize for the hurt? Yes, I have and I continue to. Do I think the mindset I had at the time when writing that letter was correct? Absolutely not. I was in a fantasy-land where I believed the false stories and the fake love from a man who has left a dent in my world and his family’s world, forever. When I wrote that letter I had formed an opinion of my own based on an unreliable source and drew a horrible conclusion of the wife I wrote it to. I walked into a marriage (unknowingly) that was having a rocky chapter like all marriages go through. I did not consider that, perhaps, this man wasn’t being as supportive or emotionally engaging to his wife. I was judgmental based on a story I formed inside my head with the bits of information I was given, just like the keyboard warriors had done to me after my open letter was published.
What was worse was that I had become a part of an online group on Reddit named “Adultery”. I warn anyone and everyone to stay away from such groups. It served almost as a support group for people in adulterous relationships and justified their actions on the basis of love! People shared stories and offered emotional support and it made it OK to be in such a relationship because you were surrounded by people who “understand”. Reading this perspective over and over solidified the crazy ideas in my head and I truly believed that our love would prevail, and I was to be his happy wife if I stuck through the fight and TRUSTED him. I did not consider that perhaps he was the one who was unwilling to be workable and open to building his marriage again. I did not consider that his wife was at the end of her rope with their relationship and had fallen into a depression that created a barrier and let herself go as a woman. I was not able to put myself in her shoes at the time.
Long story short I was at the end of my marriage, and the beginning of my separation when I met John*. What began as a friendship became something more before either of us could realize what was happening. He did play victim, he did tell me they were separated, he did make it seem “complicated”, he did mislead me. I was completely convinced he was already in the process of leaving her when I came into the picture. Months into this affair, the “love cloud” cleared up and I was able to see some warning signs and questioned many things. I immediately reached out to the wife, Jane*, via email. To my surprise she knew my name and many details about me. She called me with John in the car on speakerphone. I found out from that very difficult phone call – the truth. She had caught him talking to me and he had confessed and promised that he had ended our relationship but he hadn’t communicated the same to me. Instead he had me believe that I inspired him to start mending things in his marriage but planned to propose polygamy to his wife, since he “loved” both of us with all his heart. As crazy as it sounds, I believed him.Desperately in love with a man who I learned belong to someone else, I had no other hope but to believe his plans.Click To Tweet
It got messy, there was a lot of back and forth, he even tried to keep me from moving on myself. He continued to entangle me in emotions and false realities but I knew I had to break free for the sake of Jane, her kids, and myself and mine.
What was amazingly empowering and admirable was that Jane did not put me down, she did not blame me, she did not scream at me. Not once did she call me a bad name or label me as “the mistress.” We had separate phone conversations without John on the phone, where she explained how she was a religious Christian woman who believed this was the work of the devil that lead us into this situation. I cried to her with all my heart, she listened, spoke to me from her heart and we agreed it needed to end. We were two women filled with nothing but love and to break the other down would mean breaking our own souls down. Many phone calls back and forth between the three of us took place and as anger against John peaked and then subdued, sadness from Jane and I came in waves, and the hurt was only healed with strength, love and God’s will.
Nonetheless, after speaking to Jane the road to recovery was anything but smooth. Depression, addiction, heartbreak, self-hate, guilt, anger and a sea of sadness followed for months. How do you convince your heart and mind that something you felt so real was fake? It took months of repentance, therapy and support to finally come out of the dark hell I found myself in. My heart and soul covered in scars, flinching at the thought of ever trusting someone with my heart again.
Jane was adamant in fixing their marriage and holding onto the years of love they had shared – and her strength during the whole ordeal inspired me. Not only did Jane work on her relationship, she encouraged me to find help and healing spiritually and mentally. We spoke on religion although I was a Muslim and she was a Christian. We spoke as human sisters with dignity and respect. That, my dear spiteful women, is empowerment. Jane empowered me and did not tear me down. In fact, until this day I feel oddly comfortable in reaching out to her and speaking to her (as I did to get her thoughts on this piece). I admire her strength and will be forever grateful for the lessons we learned during this “ordeal.”
It took months of repentance, therapy and support to finally come out of the dark hell I found myself in.
*Names have been changed to ensure the privacy of all parties involved remain anonymous.