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    People Who've Been The "Other" Person In An Affair Are Confessing If They Knew And Why They Did It, And They're Pretty Brutal

    "I am ashamed of how I acted and had to work hard to forgive myself, but it's a process. I know in other people's minds, I'm still that other woman."

    If you've perused BuzzFeed, you might know that we've shared stories from people who've caught their partners having an affair. But you might not know that those stories often attract comments from people who have been the "other person" in an affair and want to share their side. Given that, we decided to ask them to share their perspectives and reasons with us directly, and they did not hold any thoughts back.

    Raquel Leviss on Vanderpump Rules

    Without further ado, here are 34 of their stories below:

    1. "He was single then and had a history of cheating on his girlfriends. I developed major feelings for him but kept them to myself. A few months later, he returned to school, got a girlfriend, and messaged me over the holidays to hang out. We hooked up. I figured he would cheat anyway; I may as well enjoy it — my shitty 18-year-old reasoning. He has been with his now-fiancée for over eight years, and she's caught us through text and Snapchat about three or four times. Since she continued to stay with him, I stopped feeling bad. That is until they got engaged a month after our final hook-up."

    chat apps on smartphone

    2. "He was a salesman 10 years my senior and trained me at a new job. I was instantly drawn to him. He was charismatic, funny, and friends with everyone. He also had a girlfriend of nine years, whom many of our coworkers knew. After a month of strictly professional interactions at work, we went out for drinks as part of a group of colleagues. We stayed long after the others left and laughed all night. We joked about the 'chemistry' that our coworkers teased us about and even laughed about how we wish we would've met 10 years ago. When we said goodnight, I impulsively kissed him. I kicked myself and chalked it up to one too many beers, but he texted me later that night. Over the next few weeks, things quickly spiraled into constant texting, flirting, and sex. We both felt guilty, but he was adamant about separating from her, and I was truly in love. He told her and moved out shortly after, and I justified my behavior on our 'once-in-a-lifetime connection.'"

    conference room in corporate office

    3. "I was in graduate school and fell head over heels for another student rumored to be engaged to his long-distance girlfriend. He insisted they were on a break when I asked him about it. Cut to the moment she called while we were in bed, and he told her he loved her. He thought I was asleep. Even though I was shocked, I kept the affair going because I wanted to believe they were done and he was in love with me. They broke up six months later (she dumped him), and he was officially my boyfriend...until he cheated on me with someone else."

    A university campus

    4. "My mother had just died when I met an older, married student at my university. His wife lived in another city for work. The first time we met, he told me, 'There's something special about you.' One night, we all had too much to drink. I couldn't drive home. We shared a bed and started sleeping together. It started as filling our sexual needs. But on weekends, while he was with his wife, he'd call to complain about her. A year later, he talked about leaving her. I encouraged him to try counseling while I backed off. It didn't work, so I started legitimizing that it was over and I wasn't the cause. Then, I got an STD. I asked him who he'd slept with; he denied it. After weeks of questioning, he admitted he'd gotten drunk and slept with someone. I then started getting horrific emails from an anonymous account. I assumed it was his wife and tracked the IP address. It was another woman. He told me he saw his children when he was with her."

    people cheering their beer

    5. "I was the best friend before I was 'the other woman.' I was even the female 'Best Man' at the wedding. I had recently had a nasty breakup. It felt like I was never going to find the right person. Right after I had been dumped and informed that I had been cheated on and everyone knew, my best friend told me that he didn't love his wife as he loved me and said, 'I should have married you.' That's when I became the other woman. He told me he would divorce his wife and that I was the person he was supposed to be with. He led me on for over a year, and I was an idiot to put myself through all this agony and turmoil. Everyone knew about our relationship, and while I didn't care because I don't live my life for other people, I felt myself turn into the villain everyone believed that I was."

    wedding tables at venue

    6. "I worked as a server when I was 17. One manager would always compliment me and seek out time together at work. When I turned 18, he started asking me to hang out, kissing my cheek, and showing affection. He had a wedding ring, so I knew he was married, but I liked the attention and felt special. We exchanged numbers and began talking. He would often whisper things to me at work like, 'I can't keep my eyes off you,' or 'You look so hot in that skirt,' or 'You would be the cutest pregnant woman ever.' This went on for a couple of months. Eventually, he stopped wearing his wedding ring. He told me they'd been having problems, and she cheated. He assured me that he kicked her out, changed the locks, and was getting a divorce. We then began hanging out and hooked up a few times. It felt like we were starting a relationship. Later, I found out he was not getting a divorce. They came into our work together and were seated in my area."

    pay terminal on restaurant counter

    7. "My therapist introduced me to the idea that one person, such as a significant other, cannot necessarily fulfill all needs. They might be unable to be our best friends, cooks, lovers, drinking buddies, and the many things we need to be fully happy and satisfied. I've since been open to the idea that while I'm happy with my husband, he may not fulfill my needs sexually, and I perhaps need better compatibility from someone else. Two months ago, I started a relationship with a friend who is also in a long-term relationship to meet fairly often to have sex. We are very attracted to one another, and the chemistry and sex are wild. He allows me to explore the Dom/sub-sexual dynamic I've always wanted to pursue but have never been brave enough to experience with anyone else — even my husband."

    close up of health counselor in session

    8. "I had been divorced for 10 years. I wasn't interested in dating until my kids were up and out but missed sex. A friend from a co-ed team started flirting with me and being suggestive. In the beginning, it was just a lot of sexting. He's genuinely a good guy and in a very happy marriage of more than 20 years. I know his wife; she's great. He just has a much higher sex drive than she does. He was missing the one thing I wanted, so we filled a need the other had. He'd never cheated before, and the first time we had sex, he felt so guilty. He wished he could ask his wife for permission. For two years, we've been on-again, off-again. The chemistry and comfort level with each other is off the charts. It's the best sex of our lives by far, but his guilt and shame have been so hard on him."

    arm reaching for smartphone on nightstand

    9. "We were both in college and in our mid-20s. I didn't know he had a girlfriend when we met. We had this intense connection right away. Our classmates noticed it and always commented that we were perfect for each other. One night, our classmate threw a party, and we hooked up. Honestly, it was one of my best experiences. A few days later, our friend told me he had a girlfriend but never talked about her, so none of us knew. I confronted him, and he said he didn't say anything because he was unhappy; she was at another school, and he didn't have this connection with her. I threw caution and morals to the wind, and we continued to hook up for months after that. He and his girlfriend eventually broke up for other reasons. She never even knew about me. We stopped seeing each other when we graduated and moved away. We live a couple of hours apart now, and he's truly one of my best friends."

    bottles, red solo cups, and chips at a college party

    10. "He seemed sweet, funny, and handsome. He pursued me even when I backed off after discovering he was married. He made me believe his marriage was over and often vented to me about how bad it was. I was single, and, in my mind, he was an adult choosing to continue a relationship with me. I was no temptress. It ended when I asked when I might see him again (everything was on his time), and he blew up. He said it wasn't easy to just 'drop everything,' which isn't what I was asking."

    "It was all very one-sided because he took the risk, and I was expected to do everything on his time and only respect his feelings. In hindsight, he was manipulative, lying to me the entire time, and I feel stupid for falling for it." 

    —Anonymous, California 

    11. "In college, I met this truly amazing guy. We had a couple of classes together since we shared the same major. We started spending time together outside of our classes and eventually scheduled our classes so we'd be together. He made me feel like I was the most important person in his life. This was in 2005, so social media was starting to take off. A few months in, he bought a small birthday gift for his female coworker. He had mentioned her before, but always as his coworker or a family friend. A few months later, he joined Facebook, and I saw her on his page. She didn't have much on her page, so I looked her up on MySpace. Not only did I find her, but I found out she was his girlfriend of a few years. Her most recent blog post was about how he broke up with her because of some girl he met at college. The more I read, the more I realized I was that girl."

    myspace website

    12. "He was with his girlfriend for six years. They'd moved together to California from their small hometown in a completely different state. He and I met at a job and immediately hit it off as friends. Seriously, we just clicked. I didn't know he was with anyone and started to develop a crush on him. I didn't think the feelings were mutual, and I found out he had a girlfriend, so I knew I wouldn't make a move. He then started to open up about their relationship and how she was a horrible person who treated him like absolute garbage. We continued our friendship for several months before he told me how he felt about me, and things escalated. We knew it was wrong, but we quickly fell head over heels for each other. He was going to break the news to her, but literally days before he planned to do it, she found messages between us on his Apple Watch."

    Apple Watch with iPhone and Macbook

    13. "I was the other woman in high school. I was naive, dumb, and pretty unpopular. I was so happy that a guy was finally paying attention to me that I lowered myself to be okay with being the side chick."

    high school lockers

    14. "We worked together and were both in relationships. My fiancé was going through a hard time, and he was unhappy in his relationship because it was toxic; she treated him poorly (belittling him, calling him names, possessive, etc.). He started texting me, and I tried to keep it on the surface because I knew he had a girlfriend. One night, he had a party. We got messed up and hooked up, and that one night turned into a year-long relationship — dates, sex, going to each other's houses, buying each other gifts, saying 'I love you.' We eventually fell in love. He plotted to get me to break up with my fiancé, which I did, but he never left his girlfriend."

    A blurry photo of people dancing at a party in the dark

    15. "After graduating college and backpacking Europe, I moved back in with my parents. I was looking for jobs and stupidly lonely. I found him on OKC. He messaged first. It was clear he was married and looking for something extra. I didn't respond seriously, but he was charming. I could see he was also lonely despite being 'happily married.' We texted and exchanged pictures daily through Snapchat. I told him my darkest, deepest secrets, and he was there when he could respond. He was a source of validation and attention for me for five years. He regularly told me about his relationship with his wife. He deeply loved her and would never leave her, but he needed more. In the beginning, I told him I'd only be physical with him if he didn't have children and his wife wasn't pregnant. That didn't last long. From 2015 to 2019, we only had sex five times. It's been almost two years since he cut me off, and I've periodically checked his social media."

    The Snapchat app on a phone screen

    16. "It was Valentine's Day Eve, and I was hitting on this really cute guy at my favorite bar. He was shy but seemed really into it, so I asked him to come to my place. On our way to my apartment, he told me he had a girlfriend living a few hours away, that they were in a rough patch, and that she had cheated on him. We ended up having really good sex and simultaneous orgasms. He lied to me about his name the following day. I found out later, laughed at him, and brought him home again, but that was it. I enjoyed my time with him, although I could never be in a relationship with someone as dishonest. I have no regrets, though."

    Fuzzy hearts

    17. "I matched with a really cute guy named Dillon. We met for a beer and clicked right away! He lived in Colorado but worked for a large company opening a location near me, so he was in St. Louis for one year to ensure everything ran smoothly. We were grabbing drinks a couple of weeks later, and I saw his ID. His name was not Dillon (it's not even his middle name). I asked him why his ID said 'Stephen,' and his face turned white. He scrambled to piece together some story about how 'Dillon' was his nickname from college. Things felt too weird, so I distanced myself until we lost touch. A year later, Instagram recommended that I add a friend from my contacts. It was his number but with a woman's name and face. I clicked on her profile, and it was his wife. They had been together for many years and had children together. I felt disgusted knowing I was actively dating and sleeping with him while they were together."

    A person at a bar with their drivers license on the counter

    18. "I was his boss. He's super smart and awesome in every way. I fought against the feelings, but I fell deeply in love. We both did. I knew he was everything I'd ever wanted. It didn't matter if our story was short at the time — as long as I could be with him even for a while. It sounds cliché, but his relationship was a little forced because she got pregnant a few months after they met. He was unhappy; so was she. We married a year after she learned about us, and they broke up. We've been together almost six years now, have our own baby, and are madly in love! To be honest, I can't say I regret it. He is the love of my life. We just met in a weird moment."

    "I never expected him to end things with her. I knew it would be hard for him to tell her the truth because of their baby. We had our little secret for almost a year until she accidentally found out. 

    Then, he told her it was time to accept that he wasn’t the one and neither was she, and they finally broke up." 

    —Anonymous, México

    19. "I was 18; he was my 26-year-old boss. We worked in remodeling and maintenance for apartments. He said he was separated from his wife and had two kids. There was a thrill to heavily making out and groping on the job site with the possibility of getting caught. We didn't do much outside of work besides text or talk on the phone. One day, while I was out to lunch with a friend, his wife called me and told me to leave her husband alone. I quickly hung up and asked him about it later. He never told me they were reconciled, and she found out about us. That didn't stop us, but we fizzled out when I found someone else and committed to them."

    The interior of a room being remodeled with drywall

    20. "I was teaching abroad; he was an ex-pat working in the country. I was dining alone when he invited me to join him and his friends. There was immediate, undeniable chemistry. I figured it was going to be one hot, heavy fling. He was upfront about being married even though I didn't ask. It didn't matter. We were magnetic. We messaged each other all day and went deeper sexually than I ever thought possible. Each summer, I had him to myself as his family went home. He told me he loved me a year in. It was mutual. Keeping our secret was exciting, and so were we. It was magic for four years. But in 2020, making excuses for him to get out became impossible. Our summer together couldn't happen. I was lonely and lost. Between work and slowly losing the man I believe is my soulmate, I had a depressive break and moved home. We still talked every day until his wife found out. He told me I wouldn't contact him again if I loved him. I was stunned but did as he asked."

    The Gran Via in Madrid, Spain, shot from above at dusk

    21. "I was recovering from a horrible and unexpected breakup, and I rebounded with a friend after drinks one night. I knew he had a girlfriend but justified it by telling myself that no one in our friend group liked her, including my friend who was with her."

    "We continued hooking up for years until he moved her into his house, and things got more serious between them. That was two years ago, and he still asks to hook up." 

    ashleyh4ad7f3263

    22. "I had just gotten out of a four-year relationship after finding out my ex had been cheating on me the entire time. I joined Bumble to feel better and see what else was out there. I ended up meeting this lovely guy. We hit it off and hooked up that night. We then began texting every day and FaceTiming; he kept trying to see me again. One day, I got a DM from his girlfriend of three years. They were doing long-distance. When she saw we were texting, she confronted him. He said we only kissed. We did not."

    "So I went from being the girlfriend who finds out about other women to accidentally being the other woman — circle of life." 

    misstimberrose

    23. "We'd been work friends for a few years. He was a super sweet, doting father and thoughtful husband — the kind of guy I hoped to end up with one day. We had great conversations, and I was always excited to see and be around him. Still, I figured it was a silly, one-sided work crush. He was surprised when I left my trash, long-term boyfriend because I'd never complained about my relationship. After I explained what happened, he seemed sad and said, 'I guess no one knows what goes on behind closed doors.' It turned out he was miserable and mentally, emotionally, and financially abused by his wife. She then caught him sending me a text that said he couldn't talk to me anymore because he was developing feelings for me."

    An office with employees at their desks

    24. "We worked together and were close friends. He'd vent to me about his fiancée, and I'd vent about my divorce. I felt like I could tell him everything. I trusted him; he trusted me. We'd hang out after work and text 24/7. After we went shopping one day, he told me that if I answered his question correctly, he'd do whatever I wanted. I got his question right and said I wanted a hug and kiss on the cheek. He hugged me, and we got in the car. When he kissed my cheek, I turned around and kissed him. I wasn't planning to do that; it all happened. When we stopped kissing, I started having a panic attack and told him I was so sorry. I said that couldn't happen again. He told me he couldn't stop thinking about the kiss and was still daydreaming about it on his way home. I continued talking to him, and we got into a relationship. After it got sexual, I tried to end it. But before I had the chance, he ended it."

    A couple holding shopping bags as they walk past a store

    25. "I met my now-husband when he was with someone else. They had been together for seven years (unmarried), so when we met, we tried hard to remain friends. But we fell in love so quickly that, before I knew it, we were living together and planning our futures. When he left her, I felt so awful. I'd never done anything like that before, so it tore me apart — let alone imagining how she felt. We moved to Italy together and got married pretty soon after. Honestly, I regret nothing. I'm sure many people would hate me for this, but if you find the love of your life, wouldn't you do anything to be with them?"

    The top of the cathedral dome in Florence

    26. "First, I want to start by saying that I am not responsible for anyone's relationship. I know that's not a popular opinion, but if someone is in a relationship, it is not my job to ensure they stay faithful; it is 100% on them. That being said, I don't seek out individuals in relationships, though I am currently involved with a man who has a serious, live-in girlfriend. We had been on and off for two years. (We took a year-long break and then started talking again.) Little did I know, he had gotten with a girl. When I learned that, I was a little upset. But I was infatuated with this man, so I continued our relationship. I am so drawn to him, and we've had a six-year friendship now where we have 'dated' consistently for the last three years — and utterly guilt-free at that."

    "We talk daily, and I see him several times a week. We don't sneak around; despite what someone might think, it's not a physical relationship. Of course, we've had sex, but mostly it's emotional. 

    He's become my best friend, and I honestly don't know what I'd do without him. I know we probably will never end up together, and I'm okay with that. I'm personally content with what we have. I love him, he loves me, and we maintain a healthy relationship. 

    He's admitted that his real relationship is fine, and he's not unhappy, so it's not even like he's in a toxic relationship. We're simply drawn to each other and have gotten extremely close over the last six years. I don't think either one of us wants to let that go. I'm sure this eventually will go south and won't be enough for me anymore, but for now, I'm just enjoying what we have." 

    —Anonymous, Unknown

    27. "I was with this man before becoming the other woman. We broke up and then started up again months later. Everything was going well. He flew me out to where he was working when I found out he was in another relationship. He was even living with this woman. I ended up staying out of pure stupidity. It didn't help that he was a master manipulator. You could imagine all the ways he was spinning this story. I felt bad, but at the same time, I didn't. The woman he was in a relationship with had also been with him prior. She knew what he was like — a cheater — so I rationalized it that way."

    "I'm shitty for it, but oh well. In the end, I contracted type-2 herpes, so you could say I got what was coming to me." 

    —Anonymous, Texas 

    28. "We met at the gym and had an instant connection. I knew he was in a relationship, but we had excellent chemistry. I did not pursue him in any way, but he got my number under the ruse of having a workout session and 'coaching me.' From there, texting became post-workout smoothies and pre-work coffees, and then he kissed me. He made me feel desired and sexy. At first, I was almost empowered and thought, Wow, he is willing to risk so much to be with me. It was a real confidence boost. But as weeks turned into months and then into a year, my self-worth completely plummeted. Whereas it started off feeling like forbidden love, it ended with me feeling incredibly cheap. I internalized that I'm not the woman worth marrying and sharing a life with — I'm the woman for quickies in the car and cheap motel rooms and who wakes up alone."

    An empty gym

    29. "I knew this man because he was in the same, albeit extended, friend circle as me. He told me he was divorced when we connected at a friend's wedding. A few months later, I slept with him after a couple of dates. There was a knock at the door in the morning, but he sweetly kissed my brow and told me to go back to sleep while he went downstairs to see who it was. I discovered who it was a week later when my phone rang. She ultimately asked to use my name on the divorce papers. I was so ashamed that I gave her all of my details."

    A decorated dinner table at a wedding

    30. "I'm the bad guy. I hooked up with a friend I had a crush on for 15 years when we got together to have drinks and commiserate. They were in a miserable marriage; I had just gotten out of a bad, long-term relationship. I was not looking for a relationship. There is much more to the story, but I don't want to make it seem like I'm trying to justify what happened. Suffice it to say sometimes people just pick the wrong person. I know it's a crappy thing to do and a crappy way to end up with someone I know is my soulmate, but people don't always do things the right way, and I think more people need to admit that. Cut to 10 years later; we've been married for years and are very much in love."

    A bar with drinks on it

    31. "I lived in a small town while going to school and hit it off with a guy at work. We flirted quite a bit, but that was the extent of it. One day, he told me a sob story about how his ex-fiancée (whom I didn't know about) had moved to Texas, leaving him with their month-old baby and no help. We dated for about six months and got together about once a week. He'd spend the night when 'his mom' could watch the baby. Suddenly, I got a message on Facebook from an obviously fake account asking if I knew he was engaged. I confronted him about it, and he denied it up one side and down the other. I gave him the benefit of the doubt until a few weeks later. His phone alarm kept going off one morning, and he wasn't waking up for it. I reached over to turn it off when I saw a bunch of messages from "WIFEY❤️" saying how much she loved him, apologizing for getting into such a bad fight, and asking if he couldn't please just come home."

    The inside of a foyer with the front door open

    32. "My best friend had a neighbor. I'd see him care for his disabled dog, which melted me. He was friendly, attractive, and nice. He was also in a stale, miserable relationship with a woman and her child. She was extremely controlling of him. We talked at a block party one night, and something sparked. It sounds stupid, but there was this electric feeling between us. We became friends and began texting and talking all day long (we kept it respectful). This continued for a few years. Finally, he admitted he'd been stuck in a relationship with someone he hadn't loved. We then talked about how we fell in love that night years ago and hooked up. He broke up with her the next day. The following week, I moved in. I have no regrets about being the other woman. It may look bad or messy on the outside, but as the saying goes, the heart wants what the heart wants."

    A group of people at a barbecue

    33. "We were both married and miserable. Having an affair was exciting and gave me a new lease on life. I initially had no intention of leaving my husband. My lover tried to leave his wife several times but always went back because she tried to keep the kids from him. Having an affair made me feel sexy and wanted, which I badly needed. I had begged my then-husband to get counseling, but he refused. After two years of sleeping in separate rooms, I met my guy. Having an affair is stressful. My children did not get the same attention from me during my affair as they did before. I will never forgive myself for that. My lover saw it as a fling at first but fell in love. Of course, we felt guilty. While I didn't feel guilty about his wife — she was a total bitch from what I saw — I did feel guilty about my husband. He wasn't a bad guy. We were miserable for many reasons, and he wasn't willing to work on our marriage."

    "An affair is all-consuming. It's all you think about; it's an addiction. Everyone knew, even our spouses. We weren't very good at hiding it. I never made excuses. I knew it was wrong. My need was stronger than that knowledge; so was his.

    We saw each other every day for two years. We started talking about leaving our spouses after the first year, and the rough part came after we left them. My experience wasn't too bad because my ex-husband wasn't a wacko; his ex-wife was. She had also cheated but acted like she was a victim. She did everything possible to be sure her kids hated us. We were careful not to speak badly of her or defend ourselves because we knew we had chosen to leave. It took a long time, but they eventually realized I wasn't the devil, and we had a good marriage. We've been married 16 years now.

    Would I do it again? No. I'd leave before I got involved in another relationship, mainly because of the kids. They ended up in the middle and missed a lot of time with their dad. While it's hard for me to sympathize with his ex-wife (because she used the kids to hurt him while behaving poorly herself), I regret the hurt and tug-of-war the kids had to deal with.

    My kids were also not treated well because my now-husband felt guilty. He wasn't a good stepdad for the first six or seven years. It's taken me a long time to forgive myself, and I have apologized to the kids and his ex-wife for the hurt we caused. She's remarried now but still bitter. My ex-husband and husband work together and have a very cordial relationship. All the kids are grown now and doing well. I have been very honest about the affair and my regrets with them all. While happily married, I always wish we had done things the right way." 

    —Anonymous, Louisiana

    34. "I knew he had a girlfriend, but he always said he was unhappy. It was just an attraction at first. We had a class together at community college. It was a program attended by people of all ages, so he was five years older than me. We hung out like friends at first. It was flirty. He would tell me I was beautiful. I wasn't used to hearing that, so I melted into the palm of his hand. He kissed me one day, and once the line was crossed, that was it. I became the other woman. I never expected him to leave her and never even asked. I don't know why I did it. I think it felt nice to be wanted so much — to have someone telling you all the right things that it was easy to forget he had a girlfriend."

    A university classroom with desks