What I Want You to Know is a series of
reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their
personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the
unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to
this series,
click here. Today’s guest posts is by an anonymous reader.

In the fall of my sophomore year of college, my father sent me a
Facebook message letting me know that he had cheated on my mother with
another woman.
I sat in the cafeteria that day crying to my friends,
saying again and again that I didn’t understand how someone could break
such a sacred promise, and how any person could sleep with someone
else’s partner. It was the ultimate disrespect, I said.

Less than a year later, I found myself in a bed with someone’s wife.

the beginning I didn’t know she was married. I suspected it. I knew
that she was lying about several other things—including her name—so it
wasn’t far off to speculate that she was lying about that. Additionally,
I never saw her home; when we would meet up, it would be at an
apartment she had, or at my place.

She said it was because of her job.

was much younger, it was an adrenaline rush for me. She took me
shopping, bought me expensive gifts, showered me with compliments, and I
gave her sex, kept quiet about it, didn’t ask questions.

On her way
to see me one afternoon, she called me, her voice panicky. “There are
some things you need to know,” she confessed. “I’m married…and I have a

I told her it was fine, but my head was spinning. I
canceled the meet up, and sat in tears, staring at the wall, for hours. I
couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that I had slept with someone’s
wife, someone’s mother.

The next morning, she came to see me. I
hadn’t slept. My face was tear stained but I had covered it up with
makeup. I told myself that I had already done the damage; that it
wouldn’t matter much if I continued to sleep with her. I was wrong. I told her it had to end.

I made a promise
to myself that I would never make those mistakes again. I blocked her
number; I haven’t heard from her since.

I want you to know that the
other woman isn’t always an evil temptress. We all mistakes, and some of
those mistakes affect those around us more than others. I want you to
know that we are not guilt- free succubi. I will never be able to fully
express my apologies to this woman’s husband, her family. I am routinely
brought to tears at the thought of the pain I’ve helped bring about.

I want you to know, that if you’re cheating, thinking about cheating,
or thinking about cheating with a taken person, that someday, it will
come out. It cannot stay a secret forever. And nothing pleasant will
come from it. It won’t help your martial problems, your general
unhappiness. The adrenaline rush will go away. It will affect your
children’s future relationships. And it will leave a trail of broken
people in its path.

To her husband, if you’re reading this, I’m so sorry.
To her, if you’re reading this, I’m so sorry.
To her daughter, if you’re reading this, I’m so sorry.