Bionicle Boys
Marathon Morning

Hating "her"

A few days ago I was watching a TV program…ok, it was Oprah. Anyhow, she interviewed Men Who Cheated. As I turned it on, I wondered to myself if it was a good idea. I mean, I tend to have a touch of…um…ire for such men.

On the whole, however, I didn’t get angry at them. They were just people, struggling with understanding and living the choices they’d made. There was ONE guy who kept blubbering like a little girl, and I did want to stomp on his instep just ONCE, but that was a fleeting sort of thought.

After talking to the men, Oprah talked to the couples together. In that discussion the question came up: why do women get so angry at the “other woman?” After all, these women aren’t the ones who took the vows; they aren’t the ones who betrayed them. How could they LIVE with the men who’d wronged them, but continue to seethe at the women they had been involved with?

That question stopped me. Why?

I thought about it for days, reliving my own experience.

My ex told me he was sleeping with someone else when Raphael was four months old. I remember the moment. I had known something was wrong – how could I not know? Logic would have pointed to an affair, but I was not terribly logical at the time.

“Could there be someone else?” a friend asked. I thought about it carefully for a moment, and then shook my head.

“No, not him. He couldn’t. I’d know.”

Then that day he looked at me and said,

“Today’s gonna be a hard day for you.”

“Why?” I said, hoping he wouldn’t answer.

“There’s someone else.” Silence, then as if I need the clarification, “a woman.”

It was like a chemical reaction flooded my body. Love turned to acid, and it burned every part of me. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t think. I desperately wanted him back, I desperately wanted him dead. I wanted to die. The shame, the pain, the disbelief. Don’t say that, don’t let it be true. When I had been home with our children, he’d been with this woman…

This woman.

A click sounded in my brain, and I turned from the chaos inside me at the thought of him. I turned to the thought of her.

Now THAT was something I could deal with.

I called her names. Whore, I spit, slut.

For months, years, every time I saw a little blue Honda like hers, that fiercely self righteous rage swept over me again. I drank it in, because I needed some sort of strength. Thinking of him sucked the air right out of my lungs, left me weak and mute. But thoughts of her caused the hair to stand up on the back of my neck. Muscles tensed and I could feel for a moment the rage I needed.

After all, I didn’t know her. I didn’t care about her. I could hate her without harming myself. It seemed.

“Why do you care about her? HE’S the one who wronged you,” my mom said. I nodded, acknowledging that she was right, and turned away to seethe quietly, where no one could see.

Just today I drove past a little blue Honda. It’s been a long time since I’ve watched for her car, but perhaps because of the things I’ve been thinking about since the Oprah show, I looked at it again. It wasn’t her, of course, but I realized that it wouldn’t matter if it was. As the acid receded, so did my need to hate her. She isn’t the demon I made her out to be, just a person with problems of her own. One of those problems is my ex, and I don’t envy her at all.

I could say I wish I hadn't given her so much thought, I could wish for a more sane and serene reaction, but the truth is we use what we have to in order to get through the hard times.

I like to think that if I were faced with her today, my reaction would be a shrug. I wouldn’t have to react for the same reason I reacted so hatefully then.

It’s not about her.

It never was.



I went through the same thing when my fiance cheated on me. Yes, I was upset with him, but the bulk of my rage was directed at her. I knew it was completely illogical, even while I was thinking that way, but I didn't know why I felt like that. I still don't really understand it. I guess, like you say, it was easier to be angry with her than him.

Something I've noticed, from my experience and from seeing friends go through this, is that sometimes the guy wants the two women to like each other, once he's been caught. My fiance tried to get me to befriend the other woman, because she'd had a hard life, he said. I've heard that other men have said the same kind of thing.

It took me a long time to forgive the other woman, but I finally was able to forgive both of them. I even wish them well, now. But it took a long time to get here.


I agree with you 100% here. And for some reason we all do the same thing. But thank you for reminding us that it does eventually go away.

Heather McCutcheon

Oh Oh OH... I have so been there Kira! (Really, are we twins separated at birth or something?) My husband took up with a girl I nicknamed The 19 Year Old Wh0re while we were married. It was, obviously, a key factor in the divorce. But I hated her. I reveled in hating her. Until I did not need to hate her anymore.

It reminds me of a line from a movie "and then I shall think on you no more."

Once I had forgiven all parties for my own sake, I got rid of everything angry - such as blog posts - and moved on. I felt like I'd grown an entire foot.

Well not a foot-foot really, like with extra toes or anything... but you know, upwards in life and stature.


This makes sense, Kira. I agree.


Isn't it wonderful to finally move past something. I wish I would have seen that show as I have had my number of cheaters in my life...and I never thought to not blame her, but in my past I could blame her because she knew about me and so just as much as it was her fault it was his fault as sometimes we can hate the other woman just as much as we hate our loved one.


Thank you for posting this, Kira. I am in the middle of hating 'her' in my life right now. I also know it is completely illogical and is misdirected. And I also want to ram my car up the back end of every silver Lancer I see. As I struggle through it, I ask myself why? I've NEVER hated someone so much in my life and my inability to control it and let it go is driving me more insane than my actual feelings for her.

So thank you. Thank you for sharing this so that I don't feel like a complete imbicile. I'm normal. And it's okay. And there is hope.

But she will always be a hoochie.


Girl, what is it going to take to get you to start publishing some of your writings as essays? Don't make me drive out to Denver to force you to submit stuff. Heh. I'll be there next summer.

I'm sorry this happened to you and the boys, by the way. Nobody deserves that.


I can only say one thing since my mind is reeling: You've hit the nail on the head as far as the emotions and the reasons for them go.

And I thank you for wording it so well.


I am in full swing...full hate. Perhaps it is the belief that women will save your ass and men only want a piece of it. Women have a bond that men will never understand, so the thought that a fellow female would purposely target my family to resolve her own feelings of inadequacy...well I see no forgiveness in that act. To knowingly engage in a base act, to knowingly enter my home and touch my child and destroy my first year of motherhood (as if the first year is not hard enough)is not forgivable. She is not a victim, nor does she deserve reprieve. Both parties are guilty and I am an equal opportunity hater. I wish neither of them luck, I wish them an eye for an eye. Perhaps if people were held more accountable for their actions, instead of all this psycho babble for excuses...perhaps they might embrace higher moral standards instead of taking the low road.

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