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Don't Call Me a Husband Stealer

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Many of you will assume, before you even reach the end of this sentence, that I'm the villain. And you won't be alone. But you won't be right either.

Don't call me a husband stealer

Wife #2: I fell in love with another man. It was as simple and as complicated as that.

The simple part: we had to be together.

The complicated part: everything else.

We met at our children's school. Our kids were friends. Our families were friends, and yes, I was friends with his wife.

How did it happen? 

At first, we were just acquaintances. But there was a simmering electricity, a lingering look across the pre-K classroom. Every day, I found myself swiping on some extra lip gloss, just in case he'd be at school. When the year ended, I was filled with an unfamiliar ache because I knew I wouldn't see him. 

The next year, our children became closer, and so did our families. We started spending more time together, hanging out at each other's homes. There were some innocently delicious moments in those early days. Like the Christmas party, where, after one champagne too many, he grinned and said, "There are things about you, Caroline ..."

These moments became less innocent over time. One night, a group of us went to a neighborhood pub. We were the last two left. He kissed me. 

Of course, we had the typical "that was a mistake, it will never happen again" conversation the next day. We tried desperately to stick to it, but we were done for.

Here's the strange thing: we never had much of an affair. We snuck around for about three weeks. I'm not proud of that, but we get points for brevity. We just weren't affair material.

I'll never forget the morning it all broke open. I was shopping with my kids when I got a voicemail from him.

"I can't take it anymore. I'm 99% sure I'm going to tell her today. Now I'm turning off my phone so you can't try to convince me not to. I love you."

There was plenty of torture to follow for all of us. But in the end, we left our spouses for each other. We're getting married and raising our five children (my three and his two) as a family. Our ex-spouses hate us on a good day. 

We have only two priorities: our children and our relationship. Some of you are probably ranting about the "damage" we've done to our kids. There has been hurt. We don't deny it. But we'll spend the rest of our years making it right. Our children will have big, noisy, rich lives. And they'll grow up with parents so devoted to each other that they'd risk everything.

As for the exes, I wish they'd have revenge sex. Anything to ease the bitterness. We want them to be happy, but staying married to them would have only guaranteed unhappiness. 

So did I steal him? His ex and the hens she clucks around with accuse me of that. But I don't believe anyone can really steal another person. 

I think of it this way: if you were offered the chance to be truly happy, to live out your days with your soulmate, would you have the guts to jump? That's what we did. We held hands and jumped.

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157 comments so far | Post a comment now
Heather November 17, 2009, 10:44 AM

What you should have had the guts to do is call your relationships quits before jumping into a relationship together. You were certainly not thinking of the kids, you were thinking of your own feelings. You would have gotten more “points” had you left well enough alone right off the bat, and ended your marriages before exploring the chance to be together.

Points for brevity? I don’t think so. Would you look at it that way if your new spouse saw someone else he really loved, and played around with for a few weeks? I don’t think you would.

Natasha November 17, 2009, 10:53 AM

Your children will need years of counseling. I hated that line of we will spend years making it right, you will never make it right. You will always be a a “homewrecker”, end of story. If you wanted to make it right, you should have called it quits, given it some time (try a year) and then make your life as wonderful as you prayed it would be.
What you failed to see is that your children will watch you ex, struggle that is the most painful thing in the world to watch. They will resent you, and you will never make it right.

Anonymous November 17, 2009, 11:07 AM

My dad did this to our family when I was 12 and I never truly forgave him and I never learned to like his “new” wife but that’s okay because they only lasted for 4 years.

stephanie November 17, 2009, 11:16 AM

It is stories like this that keep me constantly paranoid and terrified of every woman in mine and my husband’s life. Thanks, Momlogic, for scaring the hell out of me…again.

Samantha November 17, 2009, 11:33 AM

I do not think your are a husband stealer. The people making comments about you being somehow evil, are just afraid someday that might happen to them. What can you do though? People can fall in and out of love. There are no guarantees with anyone. It doesn’t matter on age, how many times you have been married, virginity, religion, jobs. The most complicated part of marriage is making it work. Sometimes it isn’t a matter of determination. Love can disappear as quickly as it appeared. Good luck with your new love and everyone that posted. But if it fails you always have yourself and that is something we all can and should believe in.

Christina November 17, 2009, 12:10 PM

Sorry, she gives the game away by calling the ex-wife bitter and a “hen”. She was never friends with the wife. She has no idea what she has done and no understanding of why it was wrong. No matter what any of us post here, she will rationalize it all away.

Anon November 17, 2009, 12:24 PM

I met the love of my life after 11 really tough years with someone I thought was the love of my life but proved to be quite the opposite. He was also married and in a similar unhappy marriage. We left our marriages for each other and are incredibly happy and committed to each other. We found what we’ve always wanted, finally. I can relate to your article. You’re not alone.

Rita November 17, 2009, 12:27 PM

As a woman who has been on both sides of this, I see your point, but I know the hurt. Does that make sense? My husband and I both had affairs and after a while we realized we had it better with each other, were still in love with each other and we got back together. Our marriage has been SO much better ever since, we’ve even had another child. Yeah, it’s hard but we work at it and I know he won’t ever cheat on me again because now he knows what he would lose.

On the point of finding someone you want to be with while you’re still married, I know how it feels, the chemistry, the electricity, the tingling feelings, everything. But just like almost everyone else has pointed out, that will fizzle too and you’ll be left with what might have been. It’s very hard to walk away but it can be done.

As for being the wife, it hurts so much to know your husband has been unfaithful to you. I feel so much for his ex in this story. I don’t know her side or even your ex-husband’s side but I’m pretty darn sure they didn’t suspect a damn thing. I’m sure they were blindsided by the whole thing, and to be confronted by the fact their spouse loved and wanted to be with someone else who was supposed to be their “friend” (who, by the way, if you were a real friend, you would have graciously bowed out of both relationships, as in your friendship and the affair), I’m sure that was devastating.

And for your kids to be involved in such a mess, I surely hope they won’t need therapy someday. My daughter was 5 when her father and I seperated and it tore her up. Like I said, we’re all better now, but she does remember.

Living for the moment? I’m all for it, as long as you understand the possible consequences of your actions. You married him. Deal with it. If you’re not happy, get a divorce before you do anything rash.

And as I’ve said before, one can’t break up a house that’s already broken.

angie November 17, 2009, 12:46 PM

What you and he did was wrong. Plain and simple. You fed the fire. You didn’t steal him. He is just as much at fault, but you are at fault. You may think the kids are OK with this set up but I bet if you had a heart to heart talk with them you’d find out other wise?

Sharon November 17, 2009, 1:45 PM

You ask the question at the end about jumping…..true love, a soulmate love would not be so impatient. My husband and I met while married to other people. We fought it for a time and then walked away from each other completely for almost a year…..we both took the time to make last tries with our first marriages, when those were cleanly over we started talking again….time and patience made us sure of what we wanted and that indeed we were meant for each other. Over 12 years later we are still madly in love and no one came out hating anyone else.

Jen November 17, 2009, 1:52 PM

Wow, I almost threw up in my mouth reading your self pity party story. You obviously don’t know what commitment means and there’s nothing to say you won’t ditch this guy for the next once you get bored. You’ve been deceived and as consequence done irreparable damage to your (ex) husband, your children, your husband’s (ex) wife not to mention extended family and mutual friends, and you will be punished. You can’t see past your own selfish desire and sadly proclaim that you’ve actually done something good for your children. You are a weak excuse for a woman and should repent and beg forgiveness for what you have continued to do.

bpeter3196 November 17, 2009, 2:19 PM

LOL Wow while I’ll agree you didnt steal him after all he kissed you first you placed alot of hope on the new relationship & that this time it will really work & last even though you both said the same thing before & yet it didnt. Life is usually a pretty long time and you’ve already failed to live up to your promises & thoughts already. How do you know he doesn’t get the urge again you do have 5 kids & how does he know how do you even know you won’t get the urge picking up the kids from day care or maybe from a “friends” hows, school teacher maybe… Your life is your own but you both must pay & take responsibility for your actions cheaters usually repeat & life is a long time having you learn making promises especially “forever till death do you part” havent worked for you?

Alan November 17, 2009, 4:54 PM

I am separated after 18 years of marriage with 3 children. We live in a hard world where fairy tales dont always come true and marriages do fail, even with the greatest of intentions. 18 years i tried. I have finally given up because my soul is dieing and im becoming abusive, at least according to my standards. I have no guilt for leaving. Actually, i am not leaving, I have just lost the ability to stay.
As fate would have it, i have reconnected with my very first love. I feel love again. I had lost hope of that. I am like a thirsty man dieing in a desert of apathy who has found a river of cold water. I wasnt looking for her. I was just fleeing the death of my soul. But how could i let go now?
She is married with 2 children. Im the “bad guy” for the first time in my blameless life and i am overcome by her. She is everything to me. And she was mine first.
I cannot ask her to leave him but i cannot retract my availability to her either. To consider my future without her feels like the darkest night.

exwife November 17, 2009, 6:03 PM

nice little story, but you both were not available to be together.

smoore November 17, 2009, 6:49 PM

How will you ever trust each other. Neither of you will be able to go to PTA with out wondering if the other has found a new soulmate.

Your poor children will never want to bring home any new friends.

Crazieshamrock November 17, 2009, 6:59 PM

Good for you guys. I’m glad you are happy. Sucks for those other two emotional destroyed suicidal sacks of left over human waste that you created. Those poor people. Hey… Maybe they should get together too.

OU girl November 17, 2009, 8:15 PM

Sigh. You’re not a husband stealer but,

This is the problem with marriage. Apparently “until death due us part” just means until I find someone cuter/whatever. You can justify with your “girlfriends” that you do what makes you happy, but you’re just justifying that you behaved like a teenager frolicking from one man to the next.

Good luck though.

Azucar November 17, 2009, 9:16 PM

You’re right: you’re not a husband stealer. That implies that he had no choice. He had a choice, so did you, and you both went for the worst choice possible.

You can delude yourself that you’ve found your soul-mate, and that everything is wine and roses, but the truth is that you broke your family, on purpose, because you were selfish beyond belief.

You can tell yourself that your children are loved, sure, but honestly, you broke their lives. They’re broken. NOTHING you can do or say will ever make up for that.

Your selfish happiness is nothing compared to your child. You didn’t cheat on your spouse, you cheated on your children. One day they will hate you for that. They will be in therapy. They will be afraid to make their own relationships, and be terrified of marriage and children. Because you found your “soul-mate.”

Someday, the sparks will fade with your soul-mate, and what will you do then? Go seeking another one? More than likely you’ll divorce because you aren’t happy. You want something new and shiny. So keep telling yourself that what you did was justified. It wasn’t, and your babies will pay the price.

It’s UNBELIEVABLE how selfish people are. That’s OK, there are consequences to every action, and you’ll certainly reap yours.

RC November 17, 2009, 10:28 PM

You’re not the villain? Why do women like you only see things two-dimensionally? If you’re not the villain, who is? And, if there’s a villain in this story, then who’s the hero? Who’s the damsel in distress?

The fact is, this is no fairy-tale. You’re not some princess in the tower slathering herself up with lip gloss, and the ex-wife isn’t the Wicked Witch of the West. And yet YOU’RE the one who’s living in a world of make-believe and soon it will come crashing down.

If I wanted to perceive this situation in the same small-minded way that you do, I WOULD label you as the villain. But not in the pathetic “husband stealer” way that you think. You are the villain because of the flippant way you view your bad, very bad choices. You are the villain because I could not sense one ounce of remorse from your words. If you want your life to be some fairy-tale where you’re able to do whatever you want, take a look into all classic tales of yore: it is the character who is incapable of accepting responsibility and who stifles all feelings of guilt in order to get and do what they want, even if it ruins the lives of others—THAT is character is the villain.

Sadly there is no hero in this story. You’ve poisoned your children. Congratulations!

NatTheFatRat November 17, 2009, 11:09 PM

Yes, you didn’t steal her husband. Congrats. What you stole was the childhoods of his kids AND your kids. Good one.

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