The Thinking Other Woman

What you should know BEFORE your affair.


What's currently happening in my life and what I think about all this now.

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Is there a third time charm??

Posted by The Thinking Other Woman on November 30, 2022 at 8:05 PM

It's Bad Actors Who Try the Hardest to Look Good

Posted by The Thinking Other Woman on November 27, 2022 at 5:35 PM

Is This Me?

Walter Rhein was writing about divorced people when he said this, but if you're the Other Person in a third-party situation, I think it also applies.

The thing hanging over all of this is that a lot of people know they were bad parents. I think this is why they make such a huge effort to present themselves as great parents to total strangers.

The people who kick back to have a few drinks with you don't care what the truth is. They're not police detectives. They've got their own problems and they want to relax.

Ask yourself, why does it mean anything to you to cultivate the goodwill of people who know nothing about the situation? That's like flirting with a waitress. Sure, she might smile back, but she's obligated to be there. It doesn't mean that she likes you. If your self-esteem is based on that flirtation, then you're deluding yourself.

Essentially, bragging about what a great parent you are is nothing more than seeking the opinion of "yes" men. Don't ask them. Go ask your child.

Hm. I wonder, if anyone asked my former affair partner, what grade would he give me?

I dragged him into the situation in the first place. True, he didn't have to respond. He could have just frozen me out (as I was expecting he would do), but I made the first move. 

I didn't take the breakup as gracefully as I could have. I remember sending him a letter. In care of his therapist.

I thought his wife had a horrible attitude and that he was making a mistake, and I thought I should tell him that. 

I was hurt and distressed, and I thought I should tell him that, too.

Even if I did turn out to be right about her attitude, a class act would have just disappeared and shut up.

I wrote a website. And the blog before it. 

I kept thinking there was this one picture, and I believed nothing else could possibly be true. Based on some information most of us don't get access to after a breakup.

When, I could have been wrong. I could still be wrong. I really don't know what's best for another person. I can't even figure out what's best for myself. In his case, he decided he was happiest with his family. He decided that, on balance, the rest of his life was worth putting up with a distant marriage. So, that's what's best for him. Who am I to decide he'd be happier someplace else? It isn't my place to decide that, it's his. And I'm just acting like an asshole.

Who knows what's really going on over there? One suspects that if he were really happy, he wouldn't be hanging around here, but he could be checking on me to see if I've recovered and found a whole new life and forgotten him yet.

Some may think that sort of behavior means a person wants to keep you on the string just in case, and that's out of court, but maybe a person just wants to know he didn't ruin my life. 

Maybe he'd breathe a sigh of relief if I forgot all about him, had a grand old time with some hobby or other, and met and married someone else and rode off into the sunset. (The truth is, I don't know how to have a grand old time with anything at all. If I did, I'd just write my novel on Wattpad and not even care about the crickets.)

Of course, if he were just waiting to breathe that sigh of relief, the same person probably wouldn't stay up all night reading all my blogs and still creep back to look at the blog menu after I asked him WTF he was still doing there and if he were going to stay with his family, then why not just be there?

I guess that is some small comfort, but would the best thing to do have been never to write anything at all?

Of course, that isn't me. I'm always going to be writing something

And I think there's something to be said for some deeper insights on infidelity. The standard "wisdom" sucks.

The fact is that part of the reason I wrote was that I fully expected him to go back to his marriage, be treated like shit, and then feel like shit.

I believed he needed to know I loved him. 

That I still cared about him and supported him. That I didn't think he was a bad person. That if he wanted to leave I'd still be here. 

I believed something terrible would befall him if he didn't know that. 

Maybe the opposite is actually the truth.

I thought I was doing two good things: Giving people deeper, albeit unpopular, insights into infidelity, which although enraging to some are nonetheless necessary; and that continuing to love this person was doing something good for him that he needed me to do.

Which presumes an awful lot.

On the first count, I stand firm. A lot of what people have to say about infidelity is total garbage (and I'm not the only person who thinks so.) I think we all need some broadening of our national conversation about marriage and infidelity.

But on the second count? Was I really doing anyone any favors? I thought I was, but who knows? This person could find me a source of pressure and annoyance for believing I knew anything about anything. This person could find me obsessed and miserable. This person could find that a heavy burden.

If so, I'm sorry. I saw it all only one way, and I thought I was doing something, figuratively at least, potentially lifesaving.

But that's only true if you are, in fact, correct about a situation ...

… and not just blowing smoke up your own ass because you are desperate to feel better about growing up always feeling on the outside, growing up not being loved in your family, growing up ostracized by peers, then ending up widowed and stuck in family caregiving, finding out you weren't good enough to achieve your dreams, giving up all your dreams, and desperate to believe it all means something. 

And the fact is, I can't make anyone feel loved. I can't make anyone feel worthy of love. 

I can't prove to a person damaged by his own bad childhood that he actually is lovable. I can't fix him because I stayed around hoping for years on end, thinking that would prove to him that he was lovable. And even if that were possible, his family could still be more important to him than the possibility of a better marriage with a different partner, and it's his prerogative to make that decision. 

Which he did.

And I can't save anyone's life but my own. 

Maybe I am just an idiot.

Group 3

Posted by The Thinking Other Woman on November 27, 2022 at 12:45 AM

No bullshit." target="_blank">


Posted by The Thinking Other Woman on November 26, 2022 at 7:45 PM

I dream about you, too.

Quote of the Day

Posted by The Thinking Other Woman on November 25, 2022 at 9:15 PM

"I loved him and didn’t want to go, but I’ve learned the hard way that you cannot save a relationship that the other person isn’t even trying to save. You can only accept what is and save yourself."

-- Crystal Jackson.

Well, THIS Experience Was Really Sad ...

Posted by The Thinking Other Woman on November 23, 2022 at 10:15 PM

(And, you know, I know you're here so you might as well just read it. Sheesh.)

So, in my ongoing writing-about-infidelity career on Medium and YourTango, I often find myself railing against the common assertion that "Infidelity is ABUSE!!!" while the cheated-on person pretty much can treat the cheater A-N-Y way they please both before AND after the affair, and their behavior is sacrosanct. One of the fellows I follow was told he just wouldn't be having sex ever again, because the wife had decided she just didn't feel she wanted that anymore, and when he asked for marriage counseling the answer was NO.

Fast forward two years. The guy started corresponding with a female sex writer online, and they met and had a wild passionate affair and fell deeply in love. (Get ready for it ... here it comes ...)

When at long last the guy confessed the affair, Wife was destroyed. Devastated. At LONG last she finally came around and decided marriage counseling might be a good idea. But by then the guy was so hooked he simply couldn't give his girlfriend up--and Girlfriend put up quite a fight, sobbing and crying about it all over social media. These two broke up and got back together again SOMETHING LIKE FIFTEEN TIMES.

Wifey pulled on one arm, Girlfriend pulled on the other, teenaged kids at home were upset ... oh, the drah-mah. Now that Wife has decided she doesn't want the husband anymore ...

(FUCK am I glad I DIDN'T DO THIS.)

... we have the scenario where Wife has pulled back and decided she wants nothing more to do with Husband ... and NOW Husband is all about the family life he will have no more, canonizing the marriage and missing the kids, and just groveling and self-flagellating himself into the very dust for this horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible thing he's done to His Poor Wife. 

Wife doesn't want Husband anymore. She has accepted the end of the marriage. So now Husband doesn't want anything more than to go back home, resume the marriage (complete with sexlessness and a wife who feels no need to work on herself OR the marriage, one assumes), and the sad girlfriend is accepting the end of the relationship and going on with her life alone. Because Husband feels SO guilty that he has elected to live on only $800 a month and remain in his parents' house, so his wife and kids can get everything else he makes. He can't afford to get a place with Girlfriend ... no money.

And we have several interested commenters popping in to announce that, a.) Husband has indeed done a Terrible, Abusive Thing No One Deserves (even if Wife did expect another person to remain chained in a sexless marriage for the rest of his life AND refused marriage counseling UNTIL there was another woman in the picture), and b.) Meanwhile, there is nothing abusive about expecting someone to remain faithfully married and deny them sex, oh, for THE REST OF THEIR LIFE. While refusing to work on either themselves or the relationship.

Usually, I refrain from commenting on this person's articles anymore, but This Was Too Much.

I responded to that commenter's hypothesis with


And those last two really made me sad.

Here we are talking about all the ways people can accomodate themselves to the fact that sexual and physical (and probably emotional) closeness will never be part of a marriage ever again, forever more (since one person is expected to work on themselves and making everyone else happy and the other person isn't), and ...

If my guy had've stuck with me, HE WOULD NEVER HAVE HAD TO DEAL WITH THAT.   

(Unless, quite possibly, I were dying.)

I mean, Jesus fuck, man:  I KNOW ALL THIS ALREADY!

I would never, ever, ever, ever, ever, EVER DO THIS TO SOMEONE. I already went through all this with my late husband, when I had my hysterectomy, and I even know now some things I would change and want to do better.

And here I am alone, and there he is with someone very like the wife discussed in this fellow's pieces about his affair. (At least, as far as I know. I could be wrong, and I hope I am!! But if I'm not ...)

I wished, I waited, I hoped.


This guy wants to stay in that shit.

He's going to be there for the rest of his life.

He's never coming back. 

I guess if I want to be that nice to somebody, I'm going to have to find somebody else to be that nice to.

And I'll never find anyone quite like that guy ever again ... if I could even find anyone, at my age and weight. And he's going to be there in that marriage alone, making the kids and the fam happy for the rest of his life.

It reminds me of my stepfather ... whom I just found out this morning died on the 17th. A former coworker who moved to their hometown saw it in the local paper and messaged me with condolences on Facebook. My brother didn't even message me to tell me. Wow.

I really felt bad for my stepfather, being married to my mother. My brother and I were stuck there, but he could have divorced her, and I wouldn't have blamed him one little bit. My mother acted so awful. Jealous of me all the time as if I were a rival for his affection (and I can tell you truthfully, N-O-T-H-I-N-G was going on), jealous of Lions Club, jealous of everything he did, lazy as shit, expecting to be taken out all the time because SHE didn't want to cook, spending money like there was no tomorrow and then when financial trouble hit, SHE shouldn't have to work!

And there she is calling ME lazy for not wanting to own my own practice when that fucking nitwit couldn't even drive or handle a damn checkbook until she was fucking thirty-five years old. Making me clean half the house every Friday the instant I got home when she was home all the time. Asshole. We all put up with her fucking breakdowns over being sexually abused by my grandfather, yet nothing my stepfather did was good enough for my mother. 

He subcontracted work for a general contractor that stiffed him and wouldn't pay him (kind of like Donald Trump, natch!) and lost his business and my mother turned me and my brother against him. Finally I saw through her shit, but I was, thankfully, out of the house by then. Away from all that screaming and all those arguments.

After years and years of this, my mother started complaining that my stepfather was coming home drunk. Well, guess what?? It wasn't alcohol, IT WAS STROKES.

By the time my stepfather was diagnosed, his blood pressure was 300. He'd had several terrible strokes ... and what do I hear? Here he is lying in his hospital bed, gravely ill, and my brother tells me my mother is standing over him screaming at him for not taking care of himself ... and he's lying in bed crying.

This is so sad. This is so, so sad.

My mother is such a goddamned idiot.

My stepfather descended into vascular dementia, and spent perhaps the last ten years of his life wandering off, leaving the stove on, driving off into the county and getting lost, thinking he had to be somewhere on a job.

My brother and mother both talked about him as if they hated him.

No doubt he is glad to be free of this life, and I don't feel sorry for him dying. No doubt he rued the day he ever met my mother.

He could have divorced her.

But he stayed because he was afraid of owing alimony, and because he thought he had to.

What a sad, sad, sad, sad, horrible, miserable life.

Oh, well. It was his choice. No one else could make it for him.

Me, I got the fuck on out of there, and I don't ever want to speak to my mother again. I don't care to go to her funeral, either. The idiot.

Like my stepfather, and like my father, "Chi" is choosing to stay married. He thinks he has to. Ohhh, money, and What Will People Say???

I imagine it will end better for him. (After all, once he's debilitated, demented, and in the nursing home, the kids really will run his life, so I guess it's a good thing to stay on good terms with them at his age.)

At least, I hope it will end better for him.                       



Posted by The Thinking Other Woman on November 20, 2022 at 5:40 AM" target="_blank">" target="_blank">

OK, maybe in this one you don't ALWAYS have to leave, but without tons and tons of work by BOTH people it's better to.

Last time I noticed something like this there was something to report, so here's another one ...

Posted by The Thinking Other Woman on November 19, 2022 at 4:40 PM

... those who know something about astrology might appreciate something BIGGER about these transits than those posted previously.

EDIT: He showed up here on the 29th. Venus was one degree past the MC. NEXT UP: THE SUN.

I have to tell you, tarot readings are VERY interesting right now.

From the Words of Wisdom File: The Sexless Marriage

Posted by The Thinking Other Woman on November 18, 2022 at 8:10 PM" target="_blank">

There's nothing you can do about a person like this.

Posted by The Thinking Other Woman on November 14, 2022 at 9:45 PM

Abandon hope all ye who enter here.

If you want to talk to me, will you PLEASE just fucking TALK????

Posted by The Thinking Other Woman on November 9, 2022 at 8:00 AM

There's a contact box on this website.

Jesus fucking Christ.

(I'm okay now.) ;)

A Word About the Astrology

Posted by The Thinking Other Woman on November 6, 2022 at 9:10 AM

So, from the way this all has shaken out, it would be tempting for many to say astrology is bunk because we didn't end up together.

Ah, not so.

Sorry to burst the skeptic bubble, but wayyy too many things did happen that were in our transits to be coincidence. Astrology paints wayyy too many accurate pictures of our characters and what the dynamics were in the relationships. (I never did the relationship yods, come to think of it. There just didn't seem to be any point spending all that time on a person who wasn't here.)

And, even though the relationship is over and we didn't get back together, things go like this:

I'll see some reading where the tarot reader says, "You're going to hear from your runner!" and this will move me to go check the astrology. I'll see favorable aspects for contact (if you don't believe me, check out the page, "This amazing thing happened!" and the blog post, "This was amazing!") and then he shows up and reads a few pages.

Or, I'll see he was here and go back and look at the astrology and there they are ... favorable aspects for contact.

The next one is two days from now. I wouldn't be surprised if he creeps over here and reads a few blogs on Tuesday. But that's all that happens, and, given his character and circumstances, that is all that will happen.

The difference is, it's HIS CHOICE whether he wants to speak or not. And he doesn't want to speak. He doesn't want to leave his home, he doesn't want to leave his family, he doesn't want everyone to stop speaking to him, he doesn't want to never see his granddaughters and grandson again. (Maybe he and his wife even get along better now! Although, if I had to lay odds ...)


                                  Razors pain you,

                                  Rivers are damp,

                                  Acids stain you,

                                  Drugs cause cramp.

                                  Guns aren't lawful,

                                  Nooses give,

                                  Gas smells awful,

                                  You might as well live.

(Who was this? Dorothy Parker?) 

It's pretty bad that people can't make healthy choices for themselves, like leaving a bad marriage, without this kind of scorn and condemnation from people who think they know everything but don't.

Which, I suppose, is why I write what I do.

People are just goddamned ignorant. And they really don't care about anyone but themselves. (Of course, they're going to be goddamned ignorant when we pretend in order to please them all the time and we never tell them the truth.)

Anyway, I was writing about astrology. I should also include a word about "twin flames." It would seem there are some souls who incarnate together and who mean to get together, but too much shit is planned in the way and things may not work out.

These souls are not "half a soul" that cannot be happy without the other half. They just incarnate into bad childhoods and end up with twin wounds that mirror each other ... just like ours do.

Most of the time these souls have set rows that are too tough to hoe for themselves, and the relationship breaks up and never comes together again. This is all a matter of courage and personal choice. I'm the end of the yod with no power and no say, so I just have to accept other people's choices and move on.

So that's what I'm going to do.

I firmly believe after all this study that all this is footnoted in the astrology. If there is ever any interest, I will have to go back and note the transits. (Because I did all the initial notes while I was first learning, the names of the transits didn't mean much to me, and I took notes on the meanings and often didn't jot down the transit names. What a lot of work it would take to go back and put those into my notes! If I did I could diagram all this out. Is it worth the effort? Well, nobody much stops by here anyway, so probably not.)

But, seen end to end, I'm pretty sure anyone well-versed in astrology could see certain ones string together to tell a story ... two separate stories. Only one can come true, and in this case it's the separation one.

Usually that's the one that does come true, because these relationships are hard. Often there are huge obstacles in the way. They require that both people do the work in order to come together and stay together, but only one person not doing the work is enough to break them.

That line of transits, the one where we get together finally, is still there and always will be there. However, like the one where his wife buckles down and works in therapy and addresses the problems in their marriage, it will be the path not chosen. All I have to do is learn to ignore it, and just deal with the path I'm on.

If I could, I would be on that "together" path. But I can't, and it's not my choice, and there's nothing I can do about it.

In the end, I wasn't worth his adult children's ire and anger, and that was the end of that.

Nobody ever stops, however, to ask if this is fair. Not to me. I can always go on and find something else. To him.

Anyway, as I study more astrology, perhaps I will write more.