How My Husband’s Mistress Took Over My Life

The first ultrasound came back inconclusive. I knew something wasn’t right when the technician quickly left the room and came back with the doctor.


“We can’t hear a heartbeat,” he said matter-of-factly. “It’s either too early or you have miscarried. We’ll do another test in 10 days.”

He said it exactly like that, with apparent disregard for how tortuous the next 10 days would be.

The next day, my husband and I left for Connecticut. We were going to visit his dad, his dad’s wife, and her family in a little town on the sound. I had been excited for this vacation, but after my appointment, I was overwhelmed with fear and anticipation.

Looking back, there was no doubt that I was pregnant on that trip. I couldn’t ingest anything besides saltines and ginger ale, and I slept for three hours in the middle of each afternoon. Despite all the worry about the upcoming ultrasound, I had a wonderful time being there — lazing on the porch, chatting with my new family, playing cards, dining al fresco. There was a local lobster shack that I loved, which my husband and I had visited a few years earlier on a road trip. It was an out-of-the-way place set back in a residential area that I had found online; I was thrilled to have the chance to go there again.

We returned to Connecticut a year later, but this time with our 6-month-old son in tow. I remember vividly the pictures we took with the three of us frolicking on the beach and some of my husband and me alone, smooching with the sunset in the background. At the time, I never would have guessed that he had already started having an affair.

We separated about a year later when I discovered his infidelity. It was about a month before we were supposed to go on the annual trip to Connecticut. Needless to say, we didn’t go.

The next year, my ex-husband took our son and his girlfriend (previously his mistress) back to Connecticut. I felt so left out and so bitter. It wasn’t fair that she got to take vacations with my son. It wasn’t fair that she got to eat grinders on the porch and wander out into the sandbar. Suddenly, someone was living my life and taking my family vacation without me.

It has now been two years since our separation. Last week, my ex, his girlfriend and our son returned to Connecticut. At the same time, I was in California having a beautiful visit with some of my best friends and close family. And though my trip was fabulous, I still found myself wondering what was happening on the East Coast — and feeling left out.

When I Skyped with my son, his dad said, “Tell mommy where we had dinner.” My ex then informed me they went to the lobster shack I loved so much. It stung to hear that, and I let my ex know. “Are you purposely trying to make me feel left out?” I asked. I knew that wasn’t his intention and that he was probably trying to make a connection with me by mentioning a place I knew, but it was just more salt in an already painful wound.

Later that night, I was perusing my Facebook page when I saw a picture that had been posted by my ex-husband’s stepmother. It was a picture of my ex and his girlfriend, tan and smiling in front of a dusky Connecticut sky. I gasped. I still hadn’t met her and had only seen a few pictures of her alone; until that point, I had seen none of them together. It was shocking to see her in that photo instead of me.

Although we’ve been separated for two years, I still have a hard time facing the fact that I was cast out and replaced by another woman. It’s like watching a movie in which someone else lives my life. She’s lazing on the porch, playing cards, eating at the lobster shack — and I’m watching it all go down from a distance.

I try to live in the present to, as one of my dearest friends always says, “be where my feet are.” I appreciate so much that I now have the opportunity to take vacations on my own and know that my son is in good hands with his father. And yet, there are times when I can’t help but fall down that hole of despair and self pity. I guess it’s part of the whole “two steps forward, two steps back” aspect of the healing process.

Last week would have been our five-year wedding anniversary. In keeping with the tradition of giving wooden gifts at the half-decade anniversary, I wonder what I would have given him if we were still married. Perhaps a new desk chair to replace the wobbly, uncomfortable one he has? Or maybe a nice wood valet for him to stash his keys, wallet and phone? No, I probably would have invited him to steal away with me for a romantic rendezvous in a wood cabin… in Connecticut.

About The Author

Annette Powers has worked as a marketing and communications professional, primarily for nonprofit organizations, for the past 15 years and has moonlighted as an actress from time to time. She has a joint bachelor’s degree in English and Theatre from The University of Michigan and a joint master’s degree in International Communications and Nonprofit Management from American University. She is a single mom of a beautiful two-year old boy and lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

3 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. I know exactly how you feel my ex husband recently remarried a much younger woman and when my daughter came home after her weekend with them she couldn’t stop talking about how “awesome her new mommy is.” it stung so bad that I literally had to leave the room and put my head in my pillow while I cried. To hear those words “new mommy” felt as if I was dead, like I no longer mattered. I hope Ms. Powers is right about it getting easier because it is way too hard right now.

  2. You seem to be dealing with it well, though, taking vacations on your own and learning to be a different kind of person. Just remember the bad bits of the relationshio – I mainly just remember bad bits and am glad someone else has to deal with him now! And yeah, my ex does things of this sort, and I don’t know whether it is deliberate or not. Knowing him, it probably is, but he seems to have little understanding of how or why other people might have the feelings they do. He regularly sends pictures of his (very young, new , snooty, and whom he treats like a princess, doing all the things with her and for her that he refused to do with and for me, leading to our breakup in the first place) girlfriend posing with our own kid. Why not just send pictures of the child? Or him and the child having fun? Why these photos of the child and girlfriend or girlfriend by herself all the time? I have no interest in the woman. Is he trying to shove it in my face and get a reaction? Is he stung because in the end he was so awful I didn’t want him and someone else “cuter and younger” does? Good for him but I just want to see how my child is doing when he is with the father, not pics of the hot new thing he has. I have a crystal ball and she too shall pass – and he doesn’t even know it. I want my own child’s life when he is not with me documented, not discardable images of some woman he’ll have for awhile who will also become fed up with him.

  3. This is such a devastating experience to which I can certainly relate. My soon to be ex spouse of 12 years had a two year affair with his mistress and immediately moved in with she and her son (same age as our son, seven years) upon separation. The most difficult thing to deal with is the expectation that in 10 months, I should just allow our son to visit and blend into their new family. The total callousness and lack of integrity is appalling. I just feel like screaming – “How dare you? How dare either of you have the unmitigated gall.” The worst part is the lack of support in acknowledging the difficulty of this situation. Being the “ex”, any concern I express is demeaned or deemed as jealousy. Not only am I not jealous, I feel that their actions are pathetically selfish and my son and I are bearing the brunt of their choices. As if we have no choice, but to accept this.

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