Lucy Overthinks… Infidelity

Lucy has two friends. Their names are Helen and Mina.

Helen’s in her mid-forties, married with a 10-year-old daughter. Mina is 35, and single… technically.  Helen’s husband has been having an affair for the past fifteen years.  For the last ten, Mina’s been in a relationship with a married man.

Two sides of the infidelity coin.  The scorned wife, and the scarlet woman.

Helen

Lucy met Helen at work.  She was one of the best bosses Lucy’s ever had: brilliant and decisive, but also warm and supportive.  She and Lucy hit it off, and after the project ended they became friends.

Recently, over dinner and rather too much wine, Helen told Lucy all about her husband’s affair.  51-year-old David has been secretly seeing Sarah, who’s in her late 30s, for almost their entire relationship.  So far, so fucking stereotypical.  He and Helen both have busy careers, often involving nights away, so he was easily able to hide his despicable scumbaggery until the day he received a text and immediately jumped on his phone with a guilty look.  Helen smelled a rat, so the next time he was out, she checked up on his location using the ‘find my phone’ app, and – quelle surprise – instead of being ‘at a work event in the city’, it turned out he was at a house in a totally different part of town.  Jesus Christ, man, if you’re going to sneak around behind your wife’s back, at least have the fucking decency to be subtle about it!

When Helen confronted him, David admitted the affair and swore he would end it.  Yet a few months later it was still going on.  Often, when he said he was away with work, he was actually with Sarah and – in Lucy’s mind the most shocking crime of all – was having unprotected sex with her.  This pathetic piece of shit was actually willing to risk knocking up another woman, or transmitting an STI to his wife, simply to satisfy his own pleasure. Total Bottom-Feeding Pathetic Evil Cunt doesn’t even begin to cover it.

Helen says the worst part about all of this is not the sex, it’s the lying and the betrayal, which is still going on even though everything’s out in the open now.  Helen’s told David she’s not going to leave him: she doesn’t want to uproot their settled family life and give up her nice home.  So she’s been forced to accept the cheating, and has drawn a line in the sand, telling David that while she won’t kick him out, she will never, ever, have sex with him again.  And yet even though he now has carte blanche to carry on, he still continues to lie to his wife, telling her he hasn’t been seeing Sarah, even though his WhatsApps, which Helen occasionally spies on, tell a very different story.  It’s as if he enjoys the sneaking around and deception, or maybe he’s just pathologically incapable of telling the truth and admitting what a scumbag he really is.

Lucy’s really not a man-hater; she has loads of male friends who are just lovely, but when you hear so many stories like this, of middle-aged sleazeballs cheating on their kind and patient wives, it’s very difficult not to conclude that an enormous proportion of the population are feral animals who make every decision with their dicks and don’t give a flying fuck who they screw over in the process.  Maybe #notallmen, but certainly #afuckloadofthem.

Of course, #notjustmen, as well.  Women cheat too, obviously, though Lucy never has, FTR.  She just doesn’t think she could respect or trust a cheater, and that would make her not want to shag him.  Though it may, of course, also be down to lack of opportunity.  She’s been single for so much of her life that she’s rarely ever had anyone to cheat ON, and she finds it so hard to meet even one nice man that the chances of her meeting two at the same time are about as likely as Theresa May ever winning Strictly.

But plenty of women do cheat, and of course the reasons are complex.  Disconnection, frustration, dissatisfaction, neglect and self-esteem issues all play a part, as well as, for some, the more simple reason that they’re just spineless jars of warm piss in human form.

Lucy’s not a psychologist, though, and has never dated a woman, so she can’t really comment on that.  What she can comment on is what it’s like to be friends with both a cheat-ER and a cheat-EE, and to be able to empathise with both sides of a very conflicting coin.

Sarah

So what about Sarah, the girlfriend?  Lucy despises her for her part in the pain poor Helen is suffering, though she can only imagine what that must be like.  Lucy’s lucky that long-term infidelity has never happened to her: twice she’s had boyfriends leave her for someone else, but they did so swiftly, ripping off the plaster in one excruciating wrench, rather than carry on the sickening deception for months or years behind her back.  She doesn’t know what this would feel like, but she supposes it’s not dissimilar to having your internal organs slowly drawn out of you with a crochet hook.  So sure, the selfish bitch who knowingly inflicted this torture on her friend definitely deserves whatever misery this sorry mess is causing her.  She should’ve walked away while she had the chance.  But should she be blamed?  Stoned to death for adultery?  Lucy’s not convinced.

Single women involved in affairs regularly get ripped to shreds, branded homewreckers and man-stealing whores as though they somehow lured the husband into doing something against his will.  Just look at the recent media storm surrounding Carrie Symonds and Boris Johnson – sure, by all means attack her, but not for ‘stealing’ anyone’s man as though he’s just a chocolate bar you can slip into your pocket down the local newsagent.  If you want to convict her, do it for the real crime, the total lunacy of getting naked and doing the nasty with a despicable cretin like BoJo.

It’s definitely not black and white.  Lucy knows from bitter, soul-crushing experience how difficult it is to find a decent man, and how it’s possible for feelings to creep up on you unexpectedly and painfully, like a bad case of cystitis.  Most women don’t go out looking for a husband to ‘steal’, but if feelings develop, what do you do?  In Lucy’s case, angst over it relentlessly, shed bitter tears of frustration, pine like a lovesick teenager, and do nothing.  Lucy knows that getting involved with a married man would only lead to more misery, frustration, and mistrust.  But other women might take a different view.  And if, after years of loneliness, you finally meet someone with whom you feel a connection, and he pursues you, who amongst us can honestly say with 100% certainty that we’d be strong enough to resist?

Mina

This is exactly what happened to Mina.  Lucy also met Mina through work, just last May, and even though they haven’t known each other that long they’ve already become great friends.  Mina is brilliant at her job, clever and funny and sarcastic and brave – in other words, just Lucy’s kind of person. It wasn’t long before she and Lucy were having lunch together every day, and boozy evenings out, and sharing all their secrets.

Mina tells Lucy she met Stephen when she was 25, and he was a visiting lecturer on her postgraduate degree course.  Twelve years older than her, charismatic, highly intelligent and articulate, he flirted with her, asked her out for a drink, and only after several dates did he reveal he was married with kids.

By this time it was too late for Mina.  There she was, an ambitious student with the world at her feet, fed up of being dicked about by fuckboys her own age, and now being pursued by a confident, successful older man.  A few dates led to more, which led to sex, which led to falling in love, and before she knew it, it was ten years later and she had become the reviled ‘other woman’, the object of scorn, shame, and hate.

I’m sure you don’t feel too sorry for Mina, but being the ‘mistress’ is not exactly cupcakes and rainbows, y’know?  She can’t introduce her boyfriend to her friends and family, or even tell them about him.  She can’t spend holidays with him.  In a crisis, can she rely on Stephen to be there for her?  She’ll always be second best, a side dish, a backup option.  Her wishes and opinions only count when they don’t interfere with his other life, his ‘real’ life.  And every so often Stephen has a crisis of conscience and pushes her away, only to come crawling back a few weeks later when he realises he misses her.

Meanwhile he gets to have it all.  He has the seemingly perfect happy home, an adoring (but unknowingly scorned) wife, two bonny children, barbecues and dinner parties and holidays to the South of France.  And on the side, a younger girlfriend who he can call on when it suits him, but who is never allowed to make any demands on him.  Put out, and shut up.

So why, oh for fuck’s sake why, do women like Mina and Sarah put up with shit like this?  Why do they allow themselves to be drawn into this kind of situation?   They may not be the criminals, but they are certainly accessories to the crime – so why, for the love of whatever deity you believe in, do they allow cuntish arsewipes like David and Stephen to get away with this shit?

Lucy’s not a psychologist, but she imagines it’s a lot to do with accidents of fate, of falling for someone in spite of your best intentions, of wanting what you can’t have, and of a depressing dearth of attractive, charming, confident single men to fall back on.

For everyone’s sake, women need to stop accepting these shitty deals.  Of course this type of fuckboy is going to dick about, because we fucking LET THEM!  We’re offering ourselves up on a plate!  Hey, it’s ok, I don’t mind! Fuck me and then go home to your wife until you get bored again, it’s cool!

We all need to stop, hold hands in a big circle, and agree to not do this any longer.  If women stood up for themselves more, men would soon learn that this kind of behaviour is not going to wash.  If we threw these guys right in the sea where they belong, and instead only dated the decent ones, then the fucktards and the walking erections would soon realise that if they want any chance of getting laid ever again, they’re going to need to treat women better.

And wouldn’t that be a lovely world to live in?

What do you think? Have you ever had an affair?  Been cheated on?  Comment with your thoughts below.

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31 Comments

  1. Tecla
    10th November 2018 / 12:07 pm

    Love you Lucy.

    • Lucy
      Author
      13th November 2018 / 10:52 pm

      How kind, thanks!

  2. Life-of-Fai.com
    10th November 2018 / 8:27 pm

    Hi Lucy. Avid reader of your blog. I’ve been cheated on by my husband, at that time, of five years who decided to break the news to me in the car park of my work. He didn’t actually come clean though, just decided to leave and it transpired after I thought we were on a break he’d been seeing someone else for a number of months. It’s pretty awful and I remember the feeling of disbelief that someone you love and trust with all your being would think it’s ok to crush your feelings in that way. I’ll be honest I think it takes a long time to recover from a betrayal like that and what possibly pisses me off more is how people who cheat easily move onto the next one but those of us left in the wake of their infidelity, we’re the ones reeling and changed by it.

    • Lucy
      Author
      11th November 2018 / 5:56 pm

      I’m so sorry to hear you went through that. I can only imagine how horrific that must have been for you. I accept that relationships are hard, and people fall out of love, but I just wish people would have more consideration for the feelings of the people they claim to care about. Unfortunately, though, a lot of people don’t pluck up the courage to end a relationship until they have found a replacement. Which yes, makes it extra hard on the person left behind, grieving and hurt while they apparently just swan off with their new love. It’s the sort of thing that makes me hope with all my heart that Karma exists, buts sadly I’m not sure it does.

  3. 11th November 2018 / 1:26 am

    Never had an affair/cheated, nor have I been cheated on (that I know of). I do agree, women tend to put up with some abhorrent behavior from their men at an early age. It’s understandable b/c you start out young and naive and don’t really know better, but I wish women would realize how valuable they are. They don’t have to put up with shitty men–they can demand the world if they want. It’s just all very depressing to reflect on sometimes.

    • Lucy
      Author
      11th November 2018 / 5:59 pm

      Hi lovely Sarah! I really wish the same too, and I hope that younger generations of women are being taught to value themselves more and stand up for themselves, and not put up with shit from shitty men, and likewise that young men are growing up with more respect for women. For my generation I fear it’s too late, and sadly I fear that people (especially men) will always be driven by their sexual urges and make selfish decisions without really giving a shit about others.

      • 12th November 2018 / 7:42 am

        Ah lovely Lucy! It’s weird (and only anecdotal), but there some friends/acquaintances of mine demonstrating this entire situation. I know a woman in her late 40s who is FINALLY divorcing her deadbeat husband after 2 kids and a couple decades of marriage. What she put up with was insane, and I have no idea why she didn’t call it quits sooner. And then there are two other women I know (mid/late 20s) who have only been married a couple years and are divorcing their husbands b/c of infidelity (on the wives’ part). Not sure what prompted those women to choose to cheat, but they were clearly in unhappy relationships and chose to do something about it, albeit in a rather hurtful way. Just very weird how things play out in other people’s relationships sometimes

        • Observant one
          8th December 2018 / 5:12 am

          So man who cheated is a deadbeat, but women who cheated were clearly in a unhappy relationship???

  4. Zoe Orr
    11th November 2018 / 11:15 am

    Totally true!! I’ve been cheated on, in which I consider a monumental way, I had a toddler & this affair had been going on for at least 3months, again unprotected bumping uglies was had & I considered the girl the bike of the town!! #great she was the younger woman….. However I was on the verge of my 21st bday when I found out…….so still a baby myself, but a ruined 21st was had!! Single, alone, young, single parent …… What did my future hold……
    He was my first ‘love’ or at least that’s what I thought back then….. 20 odd years later, I’m pretty much happily single, having not had a great relationship track record since then, thanks mate!!……….but maybe it is just me??x

    • Lucy
      Author
      11th November 2018 / 6:03 pm

      Oh Zoe you poor thing! Cheated on with a baby! But also so young yourself! That’s the sort of thing that you can end up carrying with you your whole life, and I really don’t think people like your ex even give a second’s thought (or care) about the damage they do. But I suppose in a twisted way getting cheated on can be quite helpful for getting over someone – it’s much easier to get over someone if you hate them? Anyway I’m so happy that you’ve managed to find peace, and yes, there’s lots about being single that’s great, and it’s far better than being in an unhappy relationship (or getting cheated on).

      • Zoe Orr
        11th November 2018 / 9:29 pm

        Tbf I wouldn’t be where I am now & have what I have if I was still with him, so he actually did me a favour!! It was actually nice to invite him to my daughters 21st at one of my houses, when he didn’t have any….. .Not to blow my own 🎺, but he cudnt even blow a whistle 😂x

  5. 11th November 2018 / 2:57 pm

    Never cheated or been cheated on, but I’ve thought about both an awful lot. I suspect I would feel similar to Helen — it’s not the sex, but the lying and the lack of consideration too. It takes time to build a rewarding relationship… and you don’t get that time back when your partner destroys it.

    • Lucy
      Author
      11th November 2018 / 6:05 pm

      Completely agree with you. It’s the betrayal. Someone who claims to love and respect you knowingly doing something that they know will devastate you, purely to fulfil their own urges. It’s despicable. Having said that, I’d be devastated by the sex too, and the emotional betrayal.

  6. Anonymous
    11th November 2018 / 7:37 pm

    Two sides to every story but the cheater should man or woman up and end their current relationship before going elsewhere!

    • Lucy
      Author
      13th November 2018 / 10:52 pm

      I completely agree!

  7. 12th November 2018 / 2:23 am

    Oh yeah. I’ve been cheated on. I don’t think all Other Women are horrible homewreckers (though plenty are). I think most of them have never really stopped to think about how devastating it is to be cheated on, how traumatic it is. I think they often have some weird notion that THEY are the ones being cheated on by this guy with his wife. I think the mental and moral gymnastics required in order to be involved with a married man are more than my wee brain can manage. I’ve written about it myself here: http://betrayedwivesclub.blogspot.com/2010/11/open-letter-to-other-woman.html
    Mostly I wish that our culture talked a whole lot more (and with a lot more nuance) about the devastation wrought by infidelity. Nobody wins, least of all the betrayed partners and often the children who, even if their family doesn’t blow up, nonetheless are affected by a parent who’s in excruciating pain.
    So bravo to you for this.

    • Lucy
      Author
      13th November 2018 / 10:55 pm

      Oh Elle, I’m so sorry to hear that. I think I agree with you. As someone else said to me, I think you can sort of end up in the affair without really realising what you’re doing. And yes, people are generally very selfish, and only wrapped up in their own heads, so they rarely think or care that much about person who is getting cheated on, especially if that person is a faceless stranger.
      Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment.

  8. Joss
    13th November 2018 / 12:11 am

    Perhaps, I have been on both sides of this, albeit, exceedingly young(er). At 17, I was with the love of my life, I spent four years pining for her throughout schooling, and finally snared my princess. We had a year of bliss. She once said ”’I think the sun shines out your arse.” Such a comment has never been heard since. I adored the woman. I think I’ve called her LOML previously. After a year, my best friend (female) was getting beaten up by her boyfriend, confessed she was in love with me, and in her hour of greatest need, I slept with her. I was honest to my true love, ruining my attempt at happiness (yet they continued for a further year?!?). I began a relationship with another friend. We shall call her EWAM, as I always do. We were together for three years. We had a mortgage. I had 2.3 children in my head. John, Pete and Cha(rlotte). We had a row, and on the day it happened, she left, never to be seen again (until recently) to live with another man. How long that had transpired previously? I will never know. So, what did I learn from it? Certainly, first, I would never cheat, ever. If I’m so unhappy in a situation that I’d choose to do that, I would at least have the decency to end it before any conflicting interests. The getting cheated on bit? I really don’t know. Yeah, I’m over it, but trust, and honesty, are the staples of any of my relationships. To this day, even a white lie, (friends, family, or lovers) can absolutely crucify me.

    • Lucy
      Author
      13th November 2018 / 10:57 pm

      Wow, Joss! You really have been through a lot. Thank you for sharing your story and I’m sorry you had to go through all this. I guess people do make mistakes, it’s how you handle them. And plenty of people knowingly cheat without really caring all that much about what long-term damage it might end up doing to the person they care about. I wish you all the best and hope such things never happen to you again!

  9. Anon_andon
    13th November 2018 / 12:21 am

    So you have more empathy with Sarah and Mina, the ‘bits on the side’? Two women willingly having affairs with married men? Just reads as Men=bad, women=good (rolls eyes).

    • Lucy
      Author
      13th November 2018 / 10:59 pm

      Yes, I do. Not because they are women, but because they are not the ones doing the cheating. They are not the ones who took the vow to love, honour, cherish until death do they part. They don’t have to look the wives in the eye and lie and betray every day. Of course more of the blame and guilt lies with the married person, of course it does. And I would say the same if that person was a woman cheating on her husband. So put your eye roll away, thank you!

      • 17th November 2018 / 4:11 pm

        I definitely agree that the women are less ‘in the wrong’ than the men. However, I don’t feel sorry for them, because they have voluntarily chosen to continue seeing men who they know for a fact are dishonest and treat people badly.

        • Lucy
          Author
          17th November 2018 / 9:45 pm

          I agree. Everything you say is true. They have made their choices, and I don’t feel sorry for them. But I wouldn’t condemn them either.

  10. Michael Mouse
    17th November 2018 / 11:39 am

    Great piece of writing and now we know Lucy is a Scottish Giraffe.

    • Lucy
      Author
      17th November 2018 / 12:39 pm

      Thanks Michael!

      • Anonymous
        17th November 2018 / 8:18 pm

        Nae bother

  11. Jess
    25th November 2018 / 7:57 am

    Emotional infidelity as well as virtual infidetily, the sexting, flirting over whatsapp, while might not seem as bad, is more common place than you realise. And anyone that denies that, including you, is deluded.

    • Lucy
      Author
      1st December 2018 / 6:30 pm

      I’m sure it’s very commonplace. But I think it’s unrealistic to expect that anyone in a long-term relationship will stay 100%, heart and soul, only focussed on one person for the rest of their life. Call me a cynic, but I don’t think it’s humanly possible.

  12. Anonymous
    30th November 2018 / 1:01 am

    This is really sad to read. The guy who’s cheating is worse than Mina as you say, but she is still doing something hugely immoral in my eyes. Maybe if she has never had a serious relationship with a good guy, then she can’t really understand what real love is and how it is so dramatically different from this fantasy she is part of. I guess that would explain her behaviour, but it doesn’t really excuse it. I was with a married guy once, but only as a one-off and I was very young (just 19) and my morals were not really on point back then. But in adult life? No way. I think that unless you have been married, or otherwise in a serious, co-habiting relationship, then you just can’t know bad it is to aid someone in wrecking that kind of trust.

    • Lucy
      Author
      1st December 2018 / 6:32 pm

      I don’t know her history, it’s true, but I do know that if you’ve been dating a long time, and you see the kinds of guys we meet on apps, and you see people cheating all over the place, it’s virtually impossible not to come to a point where you just don’t believe in love any more. You don’t believe it will happen for you, and you don’t really believe that anyone else is really as loved-up as they say they are. So you end up just going with the flow and making compromises, because what’s the point of holding out for something better when it clearly doesn’t exist?

      • Anonymous
        2nd December 2018 / 3:33 pm

        But the thing is, Mina hasn’t really been dating much unless I misunderstood? You mentioned in the post that she met this guy when she was 25 and that was ten years ago? So I take your point about feeling more jaded over time, but in Mina’s case, she hasn’t actually been trying very hard to meet a better class of man.

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Names and some minor details have been changed to protect the innocent. And sometimes the guilty.
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