It still haunts me to this day.
Long ago, I was the other woman, the mistress, the villain. I’ve previously documented this experience and the lessons it taught me, but I never did disclose the details of what happened during the end of the affair.
It’s been many, many years since that drama unfolded into a finale of heartbreak, tears, and fury.
Probably the most haunting aspect of the affair itself was how it finally ended: by speaking to my lover’s wife on the phone. And she wanted details.
She found my number on her husband’s cell phone bill and called me. She had actually called me several times over the course of the affair. She knew I existed. But I would never answer the call.
Until I did.
I was done. I was done with the lying, the secrecy, and my lover’s cowardice. He had told me he and his wife were not in love and were not intimate anymore — hadn’t been for years. But it became clear that it was all a lie.
He had been having his cake and eating it vigorously for far too long. I was drained and ready to move on. So I answered the call that night and two hours later it was all over.
She asked me scores of questions. She was still in denial even though she knew. She asked me about particular details only a lover would know. She asked about certain dates, where we went, what movies we saw together. She wanted to know everything.
It took hours on the phone just for it all to sink into her mind that, yes, the affair was real and her husband had been lying to her to consistently and without hesitation.
What I noticed most about her was her voice. It was sweet. She used the same kinds of words my lover did; you could tell that they were a couple. They spoke in a similar way. That hurt.
The conversation brought us both closer to the light. I realized I had been lied to on a far larger scale than I had suspected and she seemed to realize the same thing. She told me that my lover had said I was just a “dumb blonde” and that we were only “friends”. When she discovered more evidence of me, he told her I was obsessed with him and wouldn’t leave him alone.
Per her request, I forwarded her all the voicemails he had left me, begging me to see him, telling me how much he loved me and needed me. And that was that.
I knew he would never try to contact me again after this conversation. His jig was officially up.
We ended the conversation with her telling me how much she hated me and couldn’t think of another person in the whole world that she despised more than me. She was sick to her stomach. I don’t blame her.
You could tell by her voice that she was far more intelligent than my lover was. She vowed to leave him and told me she had divorce papers ready to go. But I could tell she still loved him. I could tell she didn’t really want to leave him. She also knew I wasn’t the first affair and probably wouldn’t be the last.
My life changed for the better after that night. I cut the cord. What was once in the dark was now in a fluorescent spotlight.
Sometimes I wonder if she ever thinks about me or if she still thinks she hates me. I wonder if she’s still married to my ex-lover and if she’s happy. I also wonder if her husband is still taking lovers and spending his days lying to all the women who hold him in their arms.
Ultimately, I’ll never know for sure. It’s been over a decade now.
It still stings that I became a villain in someone’s life story. As much as I can move on, take responsibility, or as many times as I can apologize to my lover’s wife (which I did), that kind of experience lives with you and takes up residence in your soul.
I came clean. I atoned for my actions. And I definitely came out of that heartbreaking conversation with my lover’s wife a changed woman with the ability to evolve to a higher place and do better going forward.
More from Michelle: My Heartfelt Advice to Any Woman Having an Affair with a Married Man