13 Steps to Ending an Extramarital Affair? Ex-Mistress Gives Advice
How do you go from being the other woman to an independent woman?
Sarah Symonds believes she has the key. Symonds was a serial mistress for 14 years, dating and sleeping with, she says, a variety of celebrities, including celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. (Ramsay has denied the affair.) Symonds, the author of "Having an Affair? A Handbook for the Other Woman," says she has since sworn off dating married men and is working to help other women do the same through an upcoming Canadian reality show called "The Mistress," premiering on Canada's Slice channel this fall.
Symonds also runs Mistresses Anonymous, a support group for women having extramarital affairs. She encourages group members to follow the 13 steps below.
Watch "20/20's" interview with Symonds Friday, starting at 9 p.m. ET.
1. You admit you have a problem - That your life is out of control due to living as a mistress in despair of her affair. You can no longer deal with it alone and need help from those who understand.
2. Fully commit to reclaiming your life from this skid row of relationships, from this toxic love and from the toxic married man.
3. Set goals to stop all communication with your MM (married man) and throw away everything that reminds you of him.
4. Make a list of all the things you have given up to be with your MM during the affair.
5. Make an inventory of all the lies he has told you and the empty promises he has made to you.
6. Make a list of all the family and friends you have lied to, and come clean to them.
7. Attend MA meetings and find a sponsor to keep you strong.
8. Actively monitor your goals. Empower yourself. Work hard to regain your personal power, self-respect and self-esteem.
9. Practice being single. Go on a date a week with a single guy. Get your dating skills back on!
10. Fully commit to NEVER allowing yourself to being second best again!
11. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and wallowing in misery.
12. Actively follow the 12 steps and share the MA message with others.
13. Enjoy a nice cold glass of #13 (a.k.a. Chardonnay). You deserve it.