DEAR ABBY: I am the other woman you rarely hear from. I had an affair with a married man and married him after he divorced his wife.
Please warn your female readers that even when an affair leads to marriage, it isn't going to be what they expect.
My husband and I have been married nearly nine years. We have a beautiful daughter. She is the only good thing that has come out of this mess. My husband is selfish and cares only about his own needs. His ex-wife still won't speak to me (not that I want her to), and their son barely acknowledges my existence. All I feel is guilt over breaking up their marriage and remorse for the mess I made of my life.
So, Abby, if any of your readers are dating a married man -- give them this warning: Run for your life now! He may seem sweet and caring, but that is only because he likes the chase. Once he gets you hooked, you will be treated the same way he treats his present wife. If you complain, he will tell you that you "asked for it." After all, you knew he was married. -- SORRY FOR EVERYTHING IN TEXAS
DEAR SORRY: Oh, the lessons that people learn too late. I find it interesting that you describe only men as craving the thrill of the chase. Women, too, get caught up in the excitement and melodrama of seducing another woman's husband. As in your case, they usually wind up getting less than they hoped and more than they bargained for.
Read on for a letter that arrived the day after yours:
DEAR ABBY: This letter is for all the "other" women out there. I dated "Ray," who claimed his marriage was over. Ray did leave his wife, but he was dishonest with her. In fact, I have learned some pretty hard lessons lately.
A married man (or woman) who pursues a new relationship before putting closure on the previous one displays several character flaws: disloyalty, immaturity, dishonesty, and an inability to commit.
I was Ray's third wife. He left each of us under the same circumstances. When the going got tough, he bailed. Like most people, Ray had a pattern. He would meet a woman, start a relationship, then leave his wife. Yes, I won the grand prize, but what a mistake! I would have been better off if I hadn't. I have no doubt that Ray loved me very much. However, he lacks the skills to maintain a healthy relationship. No relationship can be healthy if it starts in a deceitful manner.
If people truly love each other, they should wait until closure is put on the first relationship. It will allow time for healing. One cannot commit fully to a new job until notice is given and the allotted time spent. The same holds true for a relationship. -- RAY'S THIRD WIFE
DEAR WIFE THREE: To quote a well-known advice columnist, "Oh, the lessons we learn too late." Yours was a painful one. But please don't place the blame entirely on Ray. After all, he had a co-conspirator -- you.