Although I am sure you're going to rip me a new one for even asking this question, I have to get a woman's perspective on what I should do.
I moved to Seattle just over seven years ago and immediately met the man of my dreams. The problem: He was/is married. We had instant chemistry, one thing leads to another, and six months later we are having an affair. The affair goes on for six years, all the while I am dating others and he is married, with never a mention of us ending up together. So, last July the affair ends with no drama whatsoever. It was just over and we both knew it. Keep in mind, I am not bitter about the end of the relationship at all....
But then last week I hear through the gossip grapevine that my ex-affair now has a new "special friend," who just happens to be someone I am friends with! She knows nothing about my relationship with this guy, and here's the question: Do I tell my friend or let her continue to think this guy is a wonderful man stuck in a bad relationship? (This is what I thought for years, until I realized he was just too damn lazy to work on his marriage.) Do I tell his wife that he is a rotten scoundrel? I have all of his e-mails from our relationship and could prove the affair without a doubt, but should I bother? Would you want to know?Side Dish
Here's what I want you to do: First, grab yourself by the shoulders and give yourself a rousing shake. Then, take your right hand (or if you're a lefty, that one) and haul off and deliver yourself a sound smack upside your head. Hopefully, that'll knock some sense into that deluded noggin of yours.
Who do you think you're kidding here? You're not bitter? Of course you're bitter. Angry, too. And why not? You blew six years of your life on "the man of your dreams," and now you've been replaced. Just like that. He should've left his wife for you! Or at least tried to make a go of his marriage. But no. Instead, there he goes, still married, blithely fucking his way through your circle of friends.
Rationally, you know you have no right to be pissed, but if you'd listened to the rational part of your brain in the first place, you wouldn't have wasted so much time on a philandering asshat.
Once you have accepted the rather mortifying fact that you're furious, it will be easier to come to terms with the motivation behind wanting to give his wife the heads-up. You can claim it's in the name of "sisterhood," but where was that impulse when you were sneaking around with her man? Convenient that it kicks in now that he's replaced you with some other broad.
You have no idea what his marriage is like—only what he's told you. His wife probably knows, and maybe she just doesn't care. Could be she has a little side action of her own. Perhaps she's remarkably stupid and doesn't have a clue. Whatever the case, it's not the job of the lady who spent over half a decade fucking her husband to tell her.
As for your friend, well, you might want to mention it. But say your piece, then step off and move on. Be prepared for her to ignore your warning, because women who knowingly get involved with married men are fairly adept at ignoring red flags. I'm sure you blew off a sign or 17 that mistressing wasn't the healthiest way for you to spend your time.
In fact, I'll bet if you spend a few minutes thinking about it, you'll discover that the person you're angriest with is yourself. I know that whenever I've gotten involved in ill-advised assignations that later—predictably—blew up in my face, my first impulse was to be mad at the other person. When the truth is, most of the time I should've known better.
Getting entangled with an otherwise-engaged human is a sucker's game that you are bound to lose no matter what the outcome. You played yourself on this one. Accept it.
Dating dilemmas? Write Dategirl at firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western Ave., Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104.