The Theating Diaries

The truth about his affair is out. Now what? Eight women tell JO UPCRAFT how they found out and dealt with their partner’s betrayal.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

The truth about his affair is out. Now what? Eight women tell JO UPCRAFT how they found out and dealt with their partner’s betrayal.

A scene from the movie The Other Woman, in which three women (Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Kate Upton) discover that they’re involved with the same man (Nikolaj Coster- Waldau). After finding out about each other, they decide to take revenge.
A scene from the movie The Other Woman, in which three women (Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Kate Upton) discover that they’re involved with the same man (Nikolaj Coster- Waldau). After finding out about each other, they decide to take revenge.

Are you a victim of infidelity – or are you the other woman? If you’d like to share your story with us, e-mail editor Penelope Chan at We’ll get in touch with you to find out more. Your details will remain confidential.

My Reading Room

“We got engaged on our third date and were married 18 months later in 2005. My suspicions of an affair began four years later, when I was pregnant with my second son.

He mentioned a girl at work who’d approached him to be a reverse mentee, and how he was flattered by her tenacity. Our friends and I joked that it clearly wasn’t a mentee she was after. We suggested he put a stop to it, but he didn’t.

A few months later, he didn’t come home some nights, claiming he was working late. I warned him to seriously think about whatever was going on because we now had two young sons. He continued to ‘sleep in the office’ more often.

After three months, he owned up to an affair with this colleague, adding that he was unwilling to end things with her.

We saw a relationship counsellor for help, but my husband stopped showing up. I went into crisis mode and singlemindedly pursued a divorce. Sometimes, he blamed his actions on having to live in an extended family home, or said we’d grown apart –despite our sex life being active – and that I didn’t give him enough attention. I coped, thanks to support from friends and Whatsapp group chats.

We are now divorced and both single. We have joint custody of our sons, and have discussed reconciliation, but I don’t feel ready emotionally. I may not have had the fairy tale ending, but I take care of myself and respect myself more.”

*Elspeth Liew, 35

My Reading Room

“Before he cheated on me, our relationship was tumultuous as we bickered over our different parenting styles. Despite the underlying unhappiness, I didn’t suspect he was cheating on me. Then I overheard him talking about his mistress to someone else on the phone.

As our marriage already felt over, I didn’t want to know who she was or any details. When I approached him very matter-of-factly about his affair, he said it was my indifference to him that led to it, which was partly true.

We planned our divorce with our kids in mind. I didn’t want him in my life – I wanted to start again. And I, in turn, had an affair while we were going through divorce proceedings.

Today, we both manage raising our children well despite living apart. I moved on quickly, and while I am still single, I believe everything happens for a reason.”

*Sophie Fay, 48

My Reading Room

“He was the typical blue-eyed blonde and we met while I was working in Europe. We married eight years later and relocated to Singapore in 2013. We had a beautiful daughter the following year.

Once in Asia, he kept commenting on how skinny and well dressed my friends were, and the attention local women gave him. His contempt for me seemed to grow and he would put me down as a wife, mother and woman.

After a few months, I moved out of our home with my daughter so my husband and I could both have space and time to figure out where our relationship was going. Unfortunately, he used that time to cheat on me.

After two weeks, I popped by our house to find women’s toiletries in the shower. I spoke with the condo’s security guard, who told me: ‘There have been multiple women here.’

When I confronted him and reminded him of our marriage, he denied that his actions constituted adultery! He said he no longer wanted to be with me. Devastated, I filed for divorce and hired a private investigator (PI), who followed my husband and different women to bikini parties in Indonesia and Malaysia. He even submitted pictures of one mistress with our daughter.

We are divorced and share custody of our daughter, but we do not speak. I deal with matters relating to her via e-mail. Three years have passed, but I still have good and weak days. Ultimately, I feel more empowered, free, resilient and less stupid. I still believe that authentic love is possible, but you must choose who you give that gift to carefully.”

*Anna Pang, 36

My Reading Room
My Reading Room

“I reconnected with an exboyfriend just after my divorce. We met in Indonesia where we both happened to be working. After five years of bliss, I was transferred back to Singapore and we continued our relationship long distance.

It was not a surprise when I discovered he was cheating. The signs were there after three months apart. His excuses for not flying over for the weekend, and my offers to go to him instead started to come with problems.

It was when he gave me the silent treatment – not answering his phone or my e-mails, and ignoring my Facetime and Skype calls – that I reacted.

I flew to Jakarta to see him face to face. As usual, his front door was open as it often was for ventilation. He was on the sofa with another woman. They were in vests and both had their backs to me. When he saw me, he turned grey. The first thing he said was ‘This is not what you think’. But it obviously was!

He denied an affair and claimed the woman was a colleague whom he’d slept with but meant nothing to him. The guilt was all over his face and when he said he was only using her because he missed me, I felt so disgusted. I’d like to say I remained cool but I was shaking and sobbing as I was so in love with him. I told him I didn’t blame him as we were living so far apart, but he had not treated our relationship with the respect or honesty it deserved.

I left him and, after a period of upset, tears and sorrow, I actually felt relieved. Once I’d turned the corner,

I felt I’d had a lucky escape. I saw our situation as a lesson of strength and forgiveness for me. I now look forward to my next relationship.”

*Honesty Zhang, 37

My Reading Room

“While trying to find an old T-shirt to clean our flat with, I dived into a pile of my fiance’s clothes in the corner of our bedroom, and came across bank statements from an account I wasn’t aware of. The transactions showed hundreds of dollars deposited into the account of a well-known escort agency.

I felt so numb. I couldn’t even cry. I sat on our bed, staring into space while playing the past five years of our relationship in my head. Had there been signs? Maybe he hadn’t had sex with these women?

I confronted him two nights later at our home. He denied everything at first. After hours of discussion, sobbing, anger and lies, he admitted he’d been sleeping with escorts for the past year and had cybersex with women.

He claimed he couldn’t remember how many – and that he thought I knew! I was physically sick in the bathroom before I walked out. I kept my engagement ring but never went back to him.”

*Heng Wai Ling, 30

My Reading Room

“The first time my husband lied to me was when we were still dating 10 years ago. He said he was in camp when he was actually at a club. He lied a few more times after that, mostly saying he was somewhere when he wasn’t, but I was so in love.

Soon after I had our first child, I found SMS text detailing a booking with a prostitute. He said he never went through with it – the idea of a prostitute was just a curious experiment because he was bored and stressed. A year later, I chanced upon an e-mail from a woman declaring her infatuation with him. He said he’d called it off but we’d started to fight as he’d be affectionate one minute and then hostile the next.

We had two more children, but the trust was gone. We tried counselling and sleeping in separate rooms. He’d show remorse but then he’d grow mysterious again and would do things like spend a long time in the bathroom on his phone.

By our seventh year of marriage, I stopped confronting him and started collecting evidence from his phone and e-mails instead. He’d cheated with prostitutes, had onenight stands in neighbouring countries and was unfaithful during boys’ nights out.

Our divorce is still ongoing, so we have to speak regularly. I joined a support group for women going through a divorce, and have found my spirit again and am my feisty, somewhat unconventional self again. Now, I live to please myself and my kids.”

*Jaynie Lim, 39

My Reading Room

“We met, wed and started a business in Thailand together in 2001. We got on brilliantly and our industry boomed, and we had two kids together.

However, after seven years, the business crashed. We’d lost a lot of money and had to return to Singapore and move in with his family. Both of us worked to pay our debts.

I never thought my husband would have an affair – until his mistress showed up at his office. She strutted in and made a scene demanding money from him. His colleague, also a friend of mine, called to tell me what happened before my husband arrived home.

I didn’t say anything at first but he opened up straight away. We both collapsed in tears. He was full of remorse and explained that the woman had been blackmailing him for payments ever since they had slept together a month ago – three times over three weeks.

I was shocked and angry. I thought we were fine, but he said he felt lonely. Confused, we spent the next few weeks sleeping apart in the same house as we had nowhere else to go. The family knew what had happened and we had to explain the situation (in as little detail as possible) to our sons.

It was a hideous period, full of mistrust, fear and sorrow. But I knew my husband had made a mistake. We worked to overcome his betrayal by talking, spending more time together as a family and worrying less about money, and more about those we loved.

We got through it. Ten years on, he has never strayed again and we are the happiest we’ve ever been. I can’t say I never think about him cheating, but I have forgiven him and I don’t regret doing so.”

*Wong Yi Ling, 44

My Reading Room

“My husband travelled a lot for work and I quit my job to accompany him after we were married. After she was born, our daughter went with us. I started to get tired of travelling, but he refused to stop.

In 2012, I discovered he was seeing another woman when we returned to Singapore for a while. What made it more painful was the fact that she was a close friend of mine. Her husband had found their SMS texts and forwarded them to me.

I was heartbroken. I confronted my husband and he admitted that they’d been having an on-off affair for about two years, and would text, Skype and meet whenever we were in Singapore.

He left my daughter and me the next day with no emotion, saying he loved his mistress more than me, and they moved in together. We got divorced and I only see him when he picks up our daughter. He is still with the other woman.

I felt dirty, broken and resentful. I lost weight and sought advice from anyone – friends, online forums, even taxi drivers! After two years of crying, I didn’t want to let him make me suffer anymore and started to live again. It’s okay to fall, but you must always get up and move on.”

*Mei Giang, 43

*Names have been changed.
Can A Marriage Survive An Affair?
My Reading Room

Anoushka Beh, a psychologist, marriage and family therapist, and life coach at Abehpsych Counselling Services, believes it is possible to move on together.

1 Ask questions to establish transparency. You may not want to, but when you get the facts, you will stop being so obsessed. This will be horrible, tough and painful, but the details (it’s up to you how far you go) can stop your imagination from spiralling out of control.

2 Set a talking limit. Only speak about the affair for 15 to 30 minutes so it doesn’t become all-encompassing. You need to connect, but you need to concentrate on other areas of your relationship, too.

3 Expect pain. Your husband may try to twist situations and feelings around, or even accuse you of betraying him to make him feel less bad. Keep the focus on the affair.

4 Remain honest. Explain your feelings. This will open a window of intimacy between you. Don’t hold back – but don’t string out your sorrow for sympathy.

5 Find support. Reconnect with family and friends, and find a support group that can help you feel less isolated.

6 Hang out without the past. Go to your favourite restaurant or the cinema, and play sports together away from your children. Connect as friends by doing the things that brought you together. The affair has happened but it is also only one storyline.

7 Forgive when you’re ready. You’ll never forget an affair but the memories will fade. This could take months or years, so be patient. When and if you find yourself ready, some couples engage in a ritual or activity that marks this as an important turning point. Ultimately, forgiveness is essential in allowing you to move on, but only do this when your partner has taken sufficient steps to rebuild your love.