We Can’t Do It

Dear Cheater,

I have had so many interesting conversations over the past couple years with both my female friends and my many male friends regarding the issue of cheating and I find it so interesting the way there is so much justification from grown adults about cheating. It’s with no judgment that I write this but I am inviting you to consider that there is more at stake than just the two people involved in any incident of cheating and there are longer lasting consequences than most are even willing to consider.

When two people first get involved and one is married, engaged or otherwise occupied it speaks highly to the esteem of the person that allows themselves to be the one on the side, no matter how deeply they may believe they are meant to be with that person, but that’s not what this is about. This is about that thing happening that you never imagined would and the consequences it leaves behind. I know there are a number of scenarios and damages and injuries that can occur in the face of a compromised relationship but for the purpose of this post it is not about the children the man already has, the wife that has been cheated upon, the loss he may suffer when  his family leaves him. This is about the pain and suffering that The Other Woman may possibly suffer.

Imagine, just for a moment, this scenario:

“Thank you.” She grabs the bag off the counter and goes into the women’s restroom of the store.

Taking a deep breath she reads the instructions and carefully angles herself to pee over the little stick that was enclosed in the box.  It’s been thirteen days since her last period and although she keeps convincing herself she’s just abnormal this month, her tender breasts, sleepiness, and weird cravings are what lands her here.

The box says to wait two minutes for the results and she carefully watches the clock on her cell phone.  At exactly two minutes she picks up the stick and reads the words that were printed in bright pink on the display: P-R-E-G-N-A-N-T.  Her eyes fill with tears as she looks at it several times waiting for the words to turn blue and the word NOT to appear in front of the pink word glaring at her.

Finally, she takes another deep breath and walks out of the bathroom, the tears welling in her eyes as she works hard to mask her confusion, fear, and slight happiness. She drives home thinking of the thousand things she will say and do over the next few months.  When she got home she lays on the couch facing the ceiling thinking about that stick she had so carefully concealed in a zippered pocket of her purse.  She pulls out her phone and looks at the last date they’d had sex.

December 13th. That would put the end of her first trimester at March 13th. The end of her second trimester at June 13th and her baby would be due September 13th.

“Can you give me a call as soon as you have a chance?” She sends a text message to him and gets an instant reply of “Sure, no problem.”  She swings her legs over the couch and gets up to go to the bathroom, shocked to find blood in her panties. “Nooo!” She wails as she kneels over the toilet. Just when she was getting used to the idea of having a baby she started thinking she was going to have a miscarriage.  She laid back down on the couch for a few minutes and instantly fell asleep. Restlessly, she sleeps through the night, getting up every couple hours to check for blood and ultimately relieved not to see anymore.  The realization that light spotting is normal carries her through the rest of the night.

The next morning she wakes up and heads straight to the Vitamin Nutrition store to get prenatal vitamins.  She buys enough to last the entire pregnancy figuring she doesn’t want to keep making trips back here knowing this is the thing she would need these the most.
“You’re pregnant?” The overly cheerful girl at the counter asks as she rings up her large supply of vitamins.
“No.” She looks at her indignantly and pulled her sweater closer around her midsection.

In an instant her happiness changes to fear and ultimately fades to doubt as she begins to realize people might be judging her throughout her pregnancy. They may begin mistake her age to be younger as they glance slyly at her bare left finger.  Suddenly she’s not as sure as she had been the night before.  She heads to the bookstore where she lays for hours in front of the pregnancy books, trying to decide which one she wants to purchase, reading excerpts from each one and gaining a deeper understanding about her pregnancy.  She learns sushi would be out for the next seven months and cringes thinking about all the Red Dragon rolls she’d consumed over the last few weeks, not knowing she was pregnant.  She breathes a sigh of relief at learning the alcohol she’d consumed before she knew she was pregnant wouldn’t affect the baby but also knowing there would be no more drinking until after she’d finished breast feeding, apparently some mothers lose a taste for alcohol in any form!

Empty-handed she leaves the bookstore, imagining He would want to come back with her and would excitedly help decide which book to bring home. She felt a renewed sense of excitement and desire for the child  growing inside of her, nourishing from the provisions her body was making for it.  Although only the size of my pinkie nail she felt joy take over heart at the thought of the day she would hold her first child, of the life they would create for their child.

“We can’t do it.”

She closes her eyes and lays back into her pillow, closing her throat to the wail that threatens to emit as he utters those words.  He hadn’t called all weekend and had finally called first thing Monday morning, waking her up out of a deep slumber. She’d told him about the baby and he’d paused and then said he was heading into a meeting before quickly hanging up.  Puzzled, she’d let it go and had gone about her day as normal, coming home and falling asleep in front of the television, expecting Him to come by or at the very minimum call. He’d done neither and when her phone rang at 3:00 in the morning it was the most awake she’d been in the past few weeks. Then she hears him utter the words,

“We can’t do it. I’ve been over and over it again in my mind and there’s no way we can do it.”

At that instant everything changes as it becomes clear to her that she is exactly what she’s been in denial against believing for so long. She is The Other Woman and in that moment it’s clear this is no longer a game. This has become real and in the face of that he reveals the she is worthless and The Other Woman is not good enough to have his child.

Never in my life could she have imagined she’d end up pregnant this way and Him not wanting her to have their child is because it’s her. In an instant she’s become the last person on earth he would want to have a child with as she is not worthy of having his child.  It’s clear he never had intentions of being tied to her for the rest of his life.  They can’t have this child because having a child with The Other Woman was never in the plan and not something he can risk becoming a reality.

We get it right, he’s out of options except to so boldly tell her this can’t happen.

Unfortunately the words are his to say but the action of making it not happen has to be hers, hers alone.”

Makes you think right?

Love Always,



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