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Wife Comes Face To Face With Husband's Secret Second Family | The Oprah Winfrey Show | OWN

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WINFREY: That face-to-face meeting you just saw with the other woman really did happen to my next guest, Lois. She- listen to this- was out selling Girl Scout cookies with her daughter at the time. WINFREY: She rang a doorbell in a nearby home, and a woman answered. And, Lois, tell us what happened next. LOIS: Actually, my daughter had gone in to- to deliver the cookies, and she came back out to the car and said, `Would you like to go in for a cup of coffee?' WINFREY: And so I went in to have a cup of coffee. I didn't really feel real comfortable with it, because my daughter was familiar with this family, but I wasn't. And... WINFREY: Did your daughter know about the affair? LOIS: No. WINFREY: OK. LOIS: No. But it was--but it was very interesting, because she had spent time with--with these kids. WINFREY: Your daughter. With your kids. LOIS: With her kids--with the other kids. Because what happened was that my... WINFREY: Your daughter had spent time with this other woman's kids. LOIS: Children, yeah. WINFREY: OK. LOIS: She said- as we were having coffee, she- she said, `Well, I suppose you know we've been having some problems over here.' And I'm like- WINFREY: So why did you go in for coffee, Lois? LOIS: I--I--I didn't know how to refuse. WINFREY: Yeah. Couldn't say no. OK. LOIS: I- yeah. And so I went I- I just thought, `Well, it's the polite thing to do.' Even not knowing the woman very well, I thought, `Well, Maria knows the- the kids. She can play with them. I'll have a cup of coffee, and there'd be no problem.' WINFREY: So the woman assumed you knew. LOIS: She was sure that I knew. Apparently, my ex-husband had indicated that I was aware of all of this, and I was OK with it. WINFREY: And she--so she said, `I think you know we're having some problems.' And I said, `I don't know anything about your life.' WINFREY: And she said, `Well, your husband and I are having problems, and we're breaking up.' WINFREY: And I'm like, `Breaking up from what?' And she said, `Well, you know that the boys are his children?' And I'm like, `No, I had no idea.' WINFREY: When was this, Lois? When did this... LOIS: This was in March of '95. It was my 19th wedding anniversary to the day. And... WINFREY: It was on your 19th wedding anniversary. LOIS: Yes. I don't think she knew that that's what that day was, but it was significant to me. WINFREY: And how old were the boys? LOIS: The boys, I think, were six and four, something like that. WINFREY: And this was- Where?--in your neighborhood. 'Cause where do you sell Girl Scout... LOIS: This was fairly close--fairly close to our neighborhood, yes. But it--it turns out that my ex-husband and this woman had been, obviously, carrying on for quite some time, because they had children who were the ages that they were. WINFREY: And he had--I thought--I knew that he knew these people, but I had always assumed that there was a husband. WINFREY: He talked about an individual by name that I thought was the husband. And so I thought that there was an intact family there. And I was always a little bit puzzled about why couldn't I get to know this family. And... WINFREY: But you never suspected that your husband was having an affair? LOIS: I--I didn't, but I--but when--but, like Kathryn when she found out, I started reviewing things. You review things in your mind. WINFREY: What was his profession? LOIS: He was unemployed at the time, so... WINFREY: And you were employed outside the house. LOIS: I was employed outside the home. WINFREY: Outside the home. But for him to have six-year-old sons mean --this had been going on for... LOIS: It had been going on--right. WINFREY: So--OK. LOIS: I--I assumed it was like seven or eight years. WINFREY: How do you then confront him? I mean, I'm sure that moment that we re-enact it... LOIS: I didn't. WINFREY: You didn't confront him? LOIS: I--I--I was in shock. I was numb. And before I was able to confront him, I went--this was a Sunday afternoon. On Monday, he said, `Well, I guess you fin-- found out something about me,' because the other woman had told him... WINFREY: Told him. LOIS: ...mm-hmm--that she had told me. And... WINFREY: Wait a minute. You--you went home and acted normal? LOIS: I tried to. WINFREY: She was in shock. You were in shock. LOIS: I'm a woman, and I was in shock, and I didn't want--I did not want to believe any of it. And so I tried--I tried at first to pretend that it wasn't real. I wanted it to not be real. WINFREY: Be real. Yeah. I can imagine that. LOIS: And so I--I pretended. WINFREY: But I'm just thinking that moment where you're going to see your husband, he comes in the door, and you say, `Hello?' Do you cook the dinner? Do you get in bed together? Do you... LOIS: There was no bed after that. WINFREY: There was no bed. LOIS: No, no. Because I found out... WINFREY: I don't mean sex. I mean, just do you physically get in the bed? LOIS: No, no. WINFREY: No. LOIS: No. I started--I started sleeping in my daughter's room. WINFREY: Uh-huh. OK. LOIS: And I ha--for some reason, I had an excuse or something that night, and then the next day when he... WINFREY: Yeah, for some reason. LOIS: Yeah. Well, I mean, I found an excuse... WINFREY: An excuse, yeah. LOIS: ...whatever. And so then the next day... WINFREY: He confronted you. LOIS: ...he told me about it. WINFREY: Jesus, Lois. LOIS: And I was like--I ev--st-- I was in shock for a very long time. Denial is--is very strong. WINFREY: How many children did you all have together? LOIS: We have two. And he has two others. And... WINFREY: And how soon after that did you divorce him? LOIS: Well, actually, I waited quite awhile for--for a lot of reasons. For one thing, I felt it was really important to keep our family intact. And I told my kids right away on the advice... WINFREY: You did? LOIS: Yeah, I went to the employee assistance program from work. WINFREY: And you did tell your kids. LOIS: And they advised me to tell my-- tell my kids right away, because they were 10 and 16. And keeping... WINFREY: Yeah, 'cause how do you keep that as... LOIS: Keeping a secret erodes a lot of trust. WINFREY: Yeah. LOIS: So I talked to them right away. But they would have known that something was going on just by the currents that were in the home.

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