Tuesday, November 10, 2015

What Does She Have? Nothing You Would Want...


One sour lemon is pretty much like another.
“Affair choices are usually far more neurotic than marriage choices. When one is chosen to be an affair partner, one should not feel complimented. The most important characteristic of such affairees is their immediate availability.” ~Frank Pittman, Private Lies: Infidelity and the Betrayal of Intimacy

I once confided in my friend that I worried my husband was cheating on me with his assistant. Her? my friend scoffed. Ewww. He would never cheat on you. And certainly not with her.
I felt relieved. And, frankly, I thought the same thing. He would never cheat on me. And certainly not with her. She was portly. She was demanding. She was a drunk. She was often unkind. I reassured myself that I was just feeling insecure and neglected because my husband was spending so much time at his new job. 
Turns out, of course, that my suspicions were correct.
But still...her?
Six months later I learned that there were plenty of hers, not just one. And when I asked my husband's counsellor what these women had that I didn't, he told me, "What these women have is nothing you would want." 
While I took some comfort from his words, it was still months before I could wholeheartedly agree. After all, the one thing these women had that I wanted was my husband's attention. It was only when I began to really understand the dynamics of affairs that I understood what the counsellor meant. My husband didn't select women based on their beauty or their charisma or their sexiness or any of the attributes that he might consider in a partner. He selected them because they were willing and able. That was all it took.
On the one hand, that's pretty damn insulting, isn't it? He risked our marriage and family for...what exactly? But that's the thing with affairs. They're not rational choices. Even the language we hear around them – "we couldn't stop ourselves", "it just happened" – speak to a lack of rational thought. It's possible, of course, to argue that love isn't rational. And yet...healthy love is. Healthy love is the product of mutual respect. It's the result of two people who've taken the time to get to know each other, to admire each other, to feel safe with each other. 
Affairs reek of desperation. Unhealthy people seeking what's missing in themselves wherever they think they can find it. In that sense, people who engage in affairs are no different than people who gamble secretly. Or drink. Or snort. Affairs are a distraction from real-life. A parallel world in which the rules don't apply.
In my husband's case, he cheated with his assistant because she made herself available and he was on some self-destructive path that I still don't entirely understand. Sex, for him, meant escape. Thanks to years of porn, he had expectations that weren't necessarily in line with the reality of longtime marriage. Sex was a drug and she was one of his suppliers. It just provided the requisite high that allowed him to ignore all those uncomfortable feelings he couldn't face. Long-buried grief around losing his father. A terror of true intimacy. Years of guilt and shame around sex, thanks to an oppressive childhood. What's more, meaningless sex gave him the freedom to focus exclusively on his own physical pleasure. 
With time, however, it was becoming harder for him to pretend his actions didn't have consequences. For one thing, he was becoming disgusted with himself, less and less able to compartmentalize. His anxiety grew. He became more depressed. He was close to hitting bottom when I finally figured out what was going on – and had been going on for years. He even confessed relief in the week's following D-Day. The jig was up. The sneaking around was over. 
He could lose everything, which suddenly made him see the value in all that he'd been escaping from. He didn't know how to perform all his roles perfectly, which he thought was expected of him: to be a father, to be a husband, to be a provider, a friend. He felt like he was failing at all of them.
Without the affairs to distract him from his pain, it hit him hard. He worked with a therapist to examine and challenge the thought processes behind his actions. He felt enormous guilt and shame. He had never imagined he could be capable of such deception, of so deeply hurting the most loyal friend he had. He fully expected me to leave.
Like my husband, a lot of men have no hesitation in dropping their affair partner because the appeal vanishes when they realize the price they might pay. They're not interested in a relationship with their affair partner. They've been chasing a feeling, not a person. 
Which is why other guys have a hard time letting go. In rare instances, they really have fallen in love with their affair partner though the statistics don't bode well for relationships that start as affairs – fewer than 3% will last. But even the vast majority of those who don't want to lose their wife or their family can have a tough time giving up that feeling – that he's sexy and exciting and interesting. On top of that, our human brain craves novelty.
And yet so many of us, in the days and weeks and months following D-Day wring our hands, stalk the OW on Facebook and try to discern what she had that held our husbands in such thrall. Why would they risk everything for her?
And the answer is as simple as it is confusing to us: They were there. They were willing to participate in deception. They were willing to lie. To manipulate. To hurt.
Nothing we would want. 




126 comments:

  1. Elle,

    Thanks for the reminder that the OW is just an escape from feelings and I love Pittman's quote! Private Lies even tho an older book is valuable in so many ways especially the parts that point out the different kind of affairs. Almost 28 yrs after my husband's affairs I still need help once in awhile to not think they were special women, just those he happened to fly with and were willing to flatter the captain. I do still fight triggers when I fly and I think I always will. Just today my husband asked why I can't put our past behind us and never mention it again. Simply because I can't. When I see a FA! I'm always going to wonder who is she sleeping with...life flies by, pain decreases, but memories of sad times linger unless you work at it over and over. I'm simply amazed at the stories of strong women who keep staying the course and surviving infidelity!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Please help. My husband had an affair about 10 years into our marriage. I found out a year ago and today i found the ow phone number. Half of me wants to call her as she was supposed to be a friend. But the other half of me says what are you doing to yourself.
    We are trying to make a real good go at keeping the marriage alive but i struggly at times at the betrayal.
    Does it help to talk to the ow? Will it help me heal uf i confront her?

    My husband said it was just sex and the way he talks about her she just dud what he asked her to do. But it went on for over a year then we emigrated and the 1st time he returned to our hometown they had sex again. Apparently just the one time. He has issues i never knew about and has been open about our relationship and past relationships with his family. I have no illusions that it was a romantic affair just sex but i struggle to accept that he is telling me the truth. He lied so convincingly all these years. I still dont trust that hes telling me the truth

    My question is should i call her or shoukd i leave her out of my healing process. Although my head guves her too much space. Please help

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trying to heal, look after yourself this woman is like poison. Don't go near her or ring her. I had the misfortune of speaking to my husbands ow and she was awful to me. I stupidly thought she would have some remorse and fill me in on the facts but all she did was lie and say some very hateful things to me, as if having an affair with my husband didn't hurt enough she had to make sure and be cruel and nasty to me. After all lying is what they have both been doing. Most of these ow know about us and the families that they are helping destroy and they don't care. They are self centred. They didn't care whilst the affair was happening so why would they care afterwards. It just causes more hurt for you. They have nothing you want including their opinion or version of the facts. It will only hurt more, save yourself the pain you don't deserve it.

      Delete
    2. Hello,

      We've all been exactly where you are right now and believe me you should throw the number away. I know you want to call her, you want to ask her questions, and you think she can tell you whatever it is you need to know to make sense of what has happened to you.

      She will not.

      She will only cause you more pain. In your lifetime you will never be able to "unhear" whatever crap she spews at you. It won't make you feel better.

      I wish I didn't know many of the details I insisted on being told, Knowing the physical acts my husband asked for and did to his many, many partners did absolutely nothing to help me heal, but it certainly did cause a lot of pain.

      Please, burn that phone number. I don't know why we do these things to ourselves.

      Big hugs

      Delete
    3. Beautiful post Elle.

      I remember the day I found the stash of pictures of many of my husbands sex partners. I was shocked at most of them, he apparently has a thing for old women (think your grandma) and men who have had boob jobs. When I told my therapist at my next appointment, he laughed and said, "Isn't it a shock when you find out your husband's affair isn't with a young, beauty queen?"

      It's so true it's not about anything I did or didn't do or how I looked. My husband's partners were only a phone call or email and a stack of $20s away.

      This is by far the most difficult thing I've ever had to work through. Thank you for all of your posts.

      Delete
    4. Trying to Heal,
      I agree with the others. The OW is poison and will try to infect you with lies and delusions and self-absorption. She's out of your lives -- leave her there. Burn the number and look forward. Look at the person you're husband is working hard to be now.

      Delete
    5. Trying to Heal, I agree with everyone else. I think contacting her may cause you a set back and at the very least, could cause problems in your reconciliation. If she tells you something that differs from what your husband has told you, then you have to decide who to believe and based on her history of sleeping with married men, she's not proven herself to be trustworthy or honest. At the very least, I think it will frustrate you. When I reached out to the OW, which I only did because she is pregnant, presumably with my husband's child, I wanted to shake her. She was much more concerned with telling me how hurt she is and justified her actions by telling me she knows she shouldn't have slept with him, but she had feelings for him, so it was okay, which only made me want to shake some sense into her. Focus on you, your husband and your marriage.

      Delete
    6. I will disagree with the other posters re OW. I think it depends. I knew my H's OW. She worked with my H. I respected her- she'd had a tough go of it after her H left and I was fine with my H helping her get organized and helping her take care of the enormous debt he left in his wake. I felt sorry for her and knew she needed some help. I was fine with it until....
      I was NOT friends with her, but we had been friendly and cordial every time we met, and had even worked on a small project together once.
      So when this whole thing blew up and I realized that the two of them were in an emotional affair - 8 years- I knew I had to talk with her. I did not call her, although I have to admit, I ALMOST did when I uncovered the phone records. I waited until my H and I had started to work things out. I think we were about 6 weeks out. But eventually I needed her side of the story. I wasn't going to move forward until I'd heard from her. So we met at a neutral public site where we could find a private place to talk- a park.
      I was glad I did that. I still am. I asked her the same kinds of interrogation questions I asked my H- when, how, how long, why (no answer even to this day), gifts, etc. Never raised my voice, although that's a tough one for me. Her account was similar to my H's. And she apologized and was truly remorseful. I left feeling like I now had a better understanding of what had happened, and it was the first time I felt as though I'd be able to forgive this (eventually). When I came home and told my H about the talk, he cried, and I told him that I now understood on some level what had happened and why it had happened the way it did. (Of course, H was still covering up a MAJOR part of his story which I truly believe she did not know.) And, oddly, for a while I could use her to get my H to tell me truths. I wouldn't suggest you do this, but in a weird way, she was an asset. All I ever needed to say when my H gave me his millionth "I don't know" was "Well, I know who knows and I'll call her if I have to and I know SHE'LL tell me the truth."
      It was only later that I realized I would never be comfortable seeing her at functions again. That was after seeing her a few times and getting so badly triggered it would set me back weeks in my recovery, if not months. I still scope the room out when I have to go with my H to some of these functions. But that talk, early on, really helped me.
      But I also think you have to be careful about doing this kind of thing. And in some way which I don't understand, I think I was careful about it. If I hadn't known her, I would NEVER have done this. Yours is a sexual affair...very different than an emotional affair. Had mine been sexual...I doubt I would have done what I did. My H had an earlier and shorter flirtation/ infatuation that was more sexually oriented with another co-worker and I still am more flipped out about that than I am the longer EA. I better never see her. So I think it depends. Good luck sorting this out and keep us updated. This is such a hard life transition. We're here for you.
      C.

      Delete
    7. I totally agree that contacting the OW depends on the situation...I did have a "positive" experience for the most part, and I realize, that can be an exception to the rule!

      In our situation, my H and the OW worked together too. By the time I found out about the affair, it had been over for 8 months. The day I found out my H also lost his job...he had to hand in his cell phone, laptop, was an awful day. I had been accusing him of the affair, but he had always denied it of course. So on this day, I had come home early from work and he broke the news of the job loss, of course tears, fear...it was terrible.
      He of course had to contact his employer for obvious reasons and had to use the home computer. She was the HR manager and at one point they started fb messaging each other. The messages were nothing overly incriminating, but I snapped, called him down to the basement and confronted him...he could no longer deny it. I immediately sent her a message and told her I would be contacting her boss and her husband.

      That led to her and I meeting up to talk...and the outcome for me was a positive. She had told her husband about 6 months previous. She was completely open and honest with me, anything I asked, she was more than willing to answer. She felt awful, regretted it ever happened, and it was very obvious to me. When I asked her to block him on fb, she told me it was already done. I asked her to block him on LinkedIn, and she did. She told me she wouldn't be dealing with any of the HR issues regarding his situation, she was assigning it to someone else.

      We hit rock bottom on all fronts that day, but we have risen from the ashes.

      What does she have, nothing. As positive as my contact experience was with her, I still have negative feelings toward her...she's flirty, which lead to the events. She used to be overweight and as soon as someone aside from her husband showed her a little attention, she was all over it, and vice versa with my H. At one point she said it was nice to be told she looked nice or her hair looked, he told me it was nice to get attention. As I told them both, they were pathetic pieces of shit that needed their egos stroked, and instead of going to their own spouses, they went to each other!

      I'm happy he lost his job that day even though the affair was over. Today, I believe we are stronger. I certainly do not think about it or her often...the thoughts happen on occasion, but he is here...with me, with our family, it is where he wants to be, where I want to be, where we want to be.

      Delete
  3. Elle,

    Thank you for your beautifully written post and for acknowledging sex addiction and possible recovery. With honest communication and true intimacy (InToMeSee) anything is possible.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hard to believe, isn't it? We humans are a resilient bunch and capable of great change when we're willing to work hard for it.

      Delete
  4. One person on this site, I think Lynn actually confronted the OW with a good outcome for her, but for the majority of us, it's not a good idea. If she is stupid enough to involve herself in the life of a married man, she must thrive on drama. You calling could trigger all sorts of deluded behaviour in her and you have enough to deal with. I was fortune to never have my H,s OW's phone number, but I had her e-mail and was smart enough or lucky enough or coherent enough to delete it. Thank God I did because my will power in all things around his screw up, was almost non existent.If you call her, it could set up a whole chain reaction of bad choices on everyone part. Are you two in therapy? It might be a good idea to bring it up with the therapist. Others will chime in i am sure, but my vote is no. Leave her outside of your relationship and forge ahead with a new one. I hope your husband is doing EVERYTHING he can to gain your trust again. Everything.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Most times the ow will give you details but exaggerated. .. delusional and her perspective which maybe totally different then what it actually was to your husband. I had pages of emails sent to me from ow ... some details made better sense to me others outright lies to try and hurt me ... make me leave because in her mind then theyd be together. She offered to meet with me show me all these more things .... i declined and sent a cease desist letter truth is its not about her ... it needed to be between us .... walls and windows. .. read not just friends. Sure it was tempting. .. but ultimately i decided it would be more he said she said. Though if u feel completely obcesed by im not opposed to contacting but only if u can handle it. Nothinf u say is going to matter. I actually had seen ow in person on dday. . Long story she had nothing to say face to face but tons to say by email ... hang up calls and text message. Elle says cut it out like cancer ... resolve and bring back to you and your husband only because as this great post reminds us .. its really not about ow .... she could have been anyone .... really.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Elle you nailed it ... it took me a long time to realize this is absolutely true!!! I on occasion continue to look ow up and ive realized i just really want to see her done up ... havent found a picture showing this yet! lol not that i feel any better if he screwed a beauty queen or would i? Thats the damn why why why part of our brain i guess. Ive said it before anyone can ego stroke and give sex. The ow my polar opposite ... nothing special indeed and in hindsight really could have been anyone. Interesting enough ... my h even confirmed in one conversation when i was like really!!!! Her!!! He said he married me because he loved me ... i had all the quality of a good partner wife ... he picked her for an affair and she didnt need to have all the quantites because he wasnt truly picking her because he had it all at home. She was meeting a need thats it ... the sex money lies deceit dilute the thought it was soooooo much more when in fact thats how they continued to meet the need and or in my h words how he kept her quiet of his secret seems more he wanted out the deeper he fell in which is sooooo hard to believe at times its so out of what i see in my husband character. He just kept trying to cover it up till it became too much and he told me. Sighhhhhhhh

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is a difficult question. No, do not call...too much can go wrong. What she has to say is of no value, probably lies,and certainly something you do not need. Think about it..does she have something to tell you that will make it all better? Is this the type of person that deserves 2 seconds of your life...no she is not..she is a cheat, a liar, pathetic and terribly flawed. But I confess I did call the OW. It was 18 months after dday, his birthday. Her number was on his phone. I was furious beyond words but oddly calm. It was a Saturday morning at 8am. I handed him the phone and screamed at him to call her and tell her to leave us alone. He handed me the phone and said he wanted no part of her. He said "you call her" I did...she picked up the phone and in a laughable sexy voice said "well hello there" it was so pathetic I wanted to laugh. I calmly said. " You called my husband...what do yo need, beside some class,some moral value and some self respect ? What? " she said she did not call.. I said "there ate millions of married men out there go pick another leave us alone" she stammered and hung up. I accomplished nothing. I felt I said my peace BUT had she engaged and started talking it could have turned out badly...my rage could have taken over. I would have looked insane and pathetic. I was EXTREMELY lucky the call went as it did. I was also lucky my husband was right there hearing it all. I hung up the phone handed it to him and went to shower. He was stunned, we never spoke about it. Never in 25 years had I taken charge, stood up for me. That was the only good that came from it. And I could have accomplished that without her. I feel it is too risky. My call did not solve anything. We are still neck high in pain and anger and indecision in my marriage. I am still weighing options and she has nothing to do with it. This is between me and my husband. I hope this helps. She deserves no space in your head.. I wish you peace in your heart.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Trying To Heal,
    Ask yourself one question-why? What is the purpose? If the purpose is to tell her how terrible she is then no, she doesn't give a shit what you think. If the purpose is to see what she had over you, how could she captivate your husband, then no. He reached down, she is a low-life pathetic no values skank. If your purpose is to tell how much she hurt you, then no, she could care less. I went to see the OW face to face and spent two hours with her about 18 months after Dday. My purpose was to see if my husband was lying to himself and me. I wanted to compare stories. It was eating me alive that he maybe still lying to himself and me. I was so calm, I had a mission. Sugar dripped out of my mouth, I empathized with her pathetic delusions. But I got the truth. I didn't want her to feel threatened or get her pissed off that defeated my purpose. I didn't belittle her, call her a home wrecker or whore. My therapist said it was the only time in her career this had a positive outcome. I felt empowered. She had nothing over me. I'm better in every way. She is runner up, second place never wins. I could see her what for she is and knew why husband didn't go with her. I understood 99 percent of what the affair was all about. I can't tell you how superior I felt. I found out he wasn't lying. I found out what I thought he was lying about it was too painful for him to remember. I also found out what he told her about our marriage which he couldn't tell me as openly as he talked to her. That really hurt but I was able to put on a good front. I can manipulate and win an academy award for best actress, I learned from the best, my mom who faked cared about me. So I was able to pull it off, do you have the skills, will power, and fortitude? If you deep down know you don't stay away. It will be one of the most painful things you ever do in your life. For me the reward of getting both sides was worth the pain. I have interview skills from my business career so I had experience with talking to people and getting out the truth. Do you? I thought about this for 2 months, planned it out. Then I put her address in my GPS and off I went. It scared the crap out of my husband which was a side benefit of my little excursion. He knows now what I'm capable of not a weak withering wife laying in a puddle on the floor. I'm a wife that can slay dragons. He also learned not to under estimate me. If you have trouble right now in your healing process by standing up to people don't do it. Remember, she hates you, she wants your life, she doesn't give a shit about your opinion or thoughts. She has no conscience and is not bound by any code of morals. Whatever your motivation or purpose if you can't deal with this type of person then don't go. I know I'm very blunt, black or white but I want to save you some real pain. If you want to get back at her but can't confront her then call and request sex toy catalogues and give them her address. Rise up and get Karma going. We are one one bunch of strong women so don't mess with us. You pull the tail on our fighting tiger, our head turn arounds and all your going to see is teeth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lynn, I loved your post and I think you gave Trying to Heal some really great advice!! I too am a wife who can slay dragons! Fierce & fire breathing!!! Something I've been proud of my whole life! I had a face to face with my H's OW. It was nearly 6 months post DD and I knew exactly where she would be. I too kept my cool! No cussing, no name calling, didn't even raise my voice. She backed up into the corner with her husband behind her. I felt so empowered in that moment. She apologized multiple times and said she had been praying for me? ! LMAO Wow! Anyway, I am the kind of woman that you don't piss on my life and get off scott free. For me it was a turning point in my recovery! I had held off confronting her for so long at the advice of friends, family & counselor, but my inner spirit wanted no part of it. I knew from day one it was something I had to do and would never really heal without doing so! I didn't ask her side of the story! My husband was pretty open with answering my questions. I wanted her to look me in the eye and face the woman she so brazenly disrespected in their 5 month EA. She was weak, afraid, and in no way near the woman I am in every category! I left her standing there with tears in her eyes and a deer in the head lights look on her husband's face. It felt better than punching her in the face! Although, I'd still like to do that too! LOL I think Lynn's point is right on. Only do it for the right reasons and only if you're strong enough to handle it. The OW doesn't care about you or your feelings, that's obvious! If you feel she may hurt you more deeply, then I would avoid it!

      In response to Elle's post - This is so true! If you were running a side by side comparison of me & the OW there's only one category she would win - Lying, Cheating Whore! LOL She is fake in every since of the word! Hair extensions, fake nails you can't wipe your butt with, tons of make up, overweight, everything covered in bling. A self-absorbed, attention hungry whore with a husband and six daughters! A 40 year old drunken wino with no real friends outside of her direct sales business which keeps her away on trips and in bars on a regular basis! A real woman does what’s best for her family, not herself! A real mother does everything in her power to protect the innocence of the hearts and souls of her children! She doesn’t put their entire world at risk for her own selfish pleasure! She had nothing over me! I'm a forty year old long brown haired, blue-eyed bombshell in the best shape of my life! I work hard, run a charity and have raised three fabulous kids (19,17,13). I am surrounded by family and friends who know the real me & love me for it! I am not out here posting on Facebook 6 time a day posting selfies of myself and how great my life is! Sorry, I am too busy being awesome! I don't have time to pretend be! I have morals, self-esteem, & self respect! I don't need my husband or anyone for that matter to tell me I'm better than her. I always was and always will be! :) There was never any talk of leaving spouses, but had my H ever left me for her it would have been a downgrade for sure!! To all of you ladies out there struggling thinking they had something you didn't or what made them better than you ...here's my one word answer....NOTHING!

      Delete
    2. Thank-you for weighing in, Lynn. Your experience and thoughtful response gives all of us lots to consider.

      Delete
  9. Im really trying to stay a float on the positive these days ... 6mo out we were doing everything needed to wade thru this bullshit about about a month ago i had an injury medical condition which made me cery limited physically. ive tried everything to fix on my own and im giving in to surgery. I need my H more then ever and he is being supportive ... being so limited arises fears in me .... will he seek sex elsewhere because im limited will all the pressures at home make him cheat or contact ow. Will will will i know these are fear based and as he reminded me hes committed to working on us he also said why obcess about things out of my control ... ah ha he does listen to me .... i always tell him i cant control you (him) Lock you away from the world only hope you act accordingly. Its still hard though ... i feel like we were really make positive strides and now this which puts it all on hold. Ive been dealt a big dose of control this year or more so things are out of our control .... ive now known emotional pain of betrayal and physical pain of this injury/ health condition. But im still standing .... i pray this surgery works ... im scared. .. i know i need to focus on me right now ... hard lesson cause i never really did before. ive had alot of time on my hands because of injury and it is stirring alot up i guess. Im eager to get myself better and start working on us again .... ive learned i need to do for me too ... self care. I just hope i can keep my positive thoughts afloat. I wasnt sure where to post this .... so i did her. Ive never been the one down before .... hard ..... this wasnt my year hardest times of my life .... im hopeful for a better next year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wounded,
      I've been thinking about you. I've no doubt that this injury and your reliance on him for help is triggering all sorts of deep feelings of vulnerability in you (already raw from betrayal). I know it really sucks but could you treat this like a lesson in learning to let go -- to release that anxiety around control? To just sit with the uncertainty, talk with your husband when it becomes overwhelming but mostly just observe and let him support you through this? If you're anything like I am, it will be excruciating. I couldn't imagine why anyone would be with me if I wasn't juggling a hundred balls and dazzling everyone with my capabilities. But learning that people aren't with you because of what you DO for them but because you're simply you is an incredible gift. See if you can give yourself that.
      You need support. Communicate what you need...and then let him support you through this. Might be good for his healing too. A chance at something like redemption.

      Delete
    2. Elle thanks for hearing me ... answering me. Vulnerability understatement. I have been telling him about it and sitting with alot. I think after betrayal my views changed combined now with injury, surgery, recovery that going to be awhile i might just morph into a different thinking indeed.... still me .... just wiser maybe even calmer. Im so thankful for this blog for you and all my bwc sisters. Truly the hardest things in the world esp for an opinionated all black and white control freak like me. I put on a tough armour on the outside but inside not so much i have had the hardest year yes but im also processing and learning so much. Redemption now theres a great thought so fitting .... ive been making it a point to not hold it all in or together ... im not in the position too .... i can just be me right now truly deeply raw me. Ive been showing appreciation too. Your response makes me want to share last night we talked and H admitted hes trying his best at taking care of it all but mostly is scared that hes not doing what i want ... need or whats right he so badly wants to please me make me feel cared for and get me better and is scared he wont meet my expectations. Your right ... we may just come out ahead with all this bullshit ... i took to heart many many months ago you told me once its all out, rock bottem, hurt and vulnerability will be to a point many couples never reach and once at the bottem nowhere to go but up. So true and i shared that gem of words with my husband. Thank you friend.

      Delete
    3. Additional i was walking it out, excercise etc to ward off anxiety and build up im at the moment and next few months not gonna have that option .... i guess ill need to journel or seek a new outlet for release and or i sit with it ... absorb it and learn to just let go! Any suggestions on other ways to cope throw it out there. I think the fact im not laying her thinking crying non stop is a plus ... though ive had some moments ....

      Delete
    4. Wounded, not sure if you like to read ... When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron ... Xoxo

      Delete
    5. Wounded, you are very special. You were one of the first people ever to speak to me on this site. I was in so much pain, and I will never forget it. A person who can reach out to others in the midst of their own pain is an incredibly strong person. It takes a strong person, too, to let themselves be vulnerable and to choose trust over safety ( i've been reading Mira Kirshenbaum), You will get through this, one day at a time, one hour at a time. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

      Delete
    6. Thx you!!! Hoping for best on all platforms. Xo

      Delete
    7. Is swimming an option? A good friend of mine swam her way through betrayal to healing -- she likens it to returning to the womb and then being reborn.

      Delete
    8. Nice ... i swam my heart out this past summer ... eventually but not for 21 to 30 days the surgery site has to heal. We are managing we had a spat night 1 of surgery weather that was me still loopy and being overly sensitive and expecting to much or him being tired sttessed and on edge im unsure ... we are over that now i need to communicate let him help and he needs to continue to try ... besides healing from betrayal. .. now taking care of me during recovery while holding down the fort. Each day is a new day to do better ... be better and keep making choices towards what we want. Its only been a short time since surgery and i feel like im asking alot of everyone or thats just my limited and vulnerable self having a pity party ... life lessons slowly but surely ill get there ... well get there too i hope.

      Delete
  10. Sorry, I can get pissed of, amped up f just thinking about that bitch and want to beat the crap out of both of them. My mom always wanted my sister and I to be independent. She raised us that way. My therapist reminded me today what that means. I thought of it only in financial terms but I'm so strong that I can make a decision to stay. Independence is being strong enough to make your own decisions. That made me feel so good about myself for staying which I haven't felt in a very long time. Feel good about being independent, You know you would be ok without him. You might be lonely, have less money, a car that sucks, no vacations but you will be ok. Listen, You don't need him but you want him. That is being independant making your own choice and how strong is that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is where I hope we all get to: the recognition that whether we stay or go is our choice to make and that it takes courage and self-respect either way.

      Delete

  11. Elle, thank you. You just summed up my husband's behavior 100% perfectly, in a way I could understand. I am going to bring your observations & insights to our therapy session this afternoon.
    You should be doing this professionally. In the 9 weeks since dDay, you have helped me a great deal.
    And many other women as well.
    Thank you for being there, lady. :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. My opinion is you should not call her. If she's out of your life do not invite her back in. Focus on you instead.

    I fight this battle all the time. I so want to confront her but the funny thing is I already did. She knows me, she knows my family, she knew exactly what she was doing. But the confrontation will only open up a new can of worms and I don't need that. I also try to step back and analyze will I be better off if I do tell her off again. The answer is no.

    You say she was a former friend? Well if she happens to come in contact with you maybe calmly tell her you know and that you want nothing to do with her. But instigating the contact will only make you more miserable.

    I read that our need to confront is really an ego, and not the smart ego, compelling us to confront her. Also you will be giving away your power to her making her important again. I'm certain she has her own miseries she's dealing with. Whatever you have to say to her won't make her feel bad or anything else. Focus on you and positively building your relationship with your husband.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I subscribe to the belief that living well is the best revenge.

      Delete
  13. Elle, what a beautifully written post. My husband and yours could be long-lost twins! I remember over and over trying to figure out why he would cheat on me with someone (who could have been anyone), who was older than me, not as attractive as me (his words), and who he didn't even connect with on any level. He said that was the point. He was using sex as a drug, as he's a recovering porn/sex addict. He told me the entire point was to get high, and in order to get high, it HAD to be meaningless. And being with me was MEANINGFUL. That's why being with me didn't fix that.

    It hurt me so bad at first. Realizing that his only criteria for an affair partner is that she had to be female, willing, and most of all, not be me. That hurt so much. She could have been any race, tall, short, fat, thin, pretty, ugly, it didn't matter. It just had to be someone else, someone who wasn't me. It was a really hard thing to come to terms with. And then I managed to find peace in it after a while. It wasn't that there was something that was lacking in me, it was that I actually meant something to him, and I couldn't fulfill the twisted need for meaninglessness in him. And I don't want to. I don't want to be someone's drug. I am more than that.

    Now he's finally dealing with the issues that lead to the porn/sex addiction. Extremely sexually repressive childhood, emotional incest from his mother, a young exposure to pornography (he was only 10 years old), and the fact that addictive behaviours are common in his family. I've been told over and over that there is no hope if your partner is a sex addict. That you are doomed to a lifetime of betrayal. But your blog has shown me that it is possible to build an authentic marriage with a sex addict if both partners really want it, seek help, and really work at it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gee,
      I'm not sure why anyone would say there's no hope with a sex addict. That's like telling every recovered alcoholic, drug addict, gambling addict, shopaholic, etc. etc. that there's no way they've recovered. Of course, people recover. My mother was an alcoholic who had been sober more than a 25 years when she passed away. She always knew she could slip. But she didn't.
      Sex addiction is like food addiction. It's about learning to live in a healthy, respectful way. I'm lucky (h'mmm....) in that my husband was already in treatment for sex addiction when he confessed all (D-Day #2) and the first person I spoke to about sex addiction was his counsellor who specialized in it. He was able to outline the challenges and the pitfalls and the successes. He was the one who assured me that people who occupy that world aren't anyone I would want to be -- they're people in extreme emotional pain using something wonderful (sex) to fill a void.
      It's a challenge, of course, to create healthy intimacy with someone who's spent a lifetime running from it. But it's not impossible. And with a partner who's committed to really learning from his mistakes, I would argue that intimacy can become even richer because there's no hiding from anything. It's all there -- our deepest darkest selves. And being known and loved in that way is an incredible thing.

      Delete
  14. I know quite a few people have already commented but I wanted to add my experience as well. I called the OW the night she texted my husband two months after he had ended it and at this point I was still being lied to and told it was an emotional affair. She attempted to lie to me and tell me she hadn't texted him which pissed me off further. I ended up screaming at her over the over the phone and screaming at himm as he stood there shocked. I looked like a lunatic. I think I may have actually been a lunatic. The affar then resumed for nearly two months. The day after I found out the full truth (that it had been sexual as well and that it had resumed) I sent her a long text message telling her what I thought of her. She responded immediately with an apology acknowledging her lack of morals, etc..., claiming she had never intended to take my husband away from his kids and saying that she hoped I would accept her apology even though she doubted I would seeing how I "viewed her character". It calmed me down for about a week. And then it struck me that it was probably a bunch of lies and an attempt to cover her own ass. She didn't attempt to hurt me or say anything mean or awful, but the end result was that I still have no forgiveness for her and I still despise her. I battle regularly with the urge to confront her again but for me it brought no resolution, so why do it again? In my experience, even an apology didn't make the pain stop snd it certainly didn't help me to understand it. I agree with what others have said in that generally no good comes from it.

    ReplyDelete
  15. This post is very helpful Elle. I only knew affairs from books, movies and TV. Well they don't seem to be on the same page as what my husband experienced. He said after the initial thrill and excitement of someone else liking him it was nothing special. He actually did not like it at all but felt like he messed up too bad and was miserable, ashamed, guilty, depressed etc.

    For me I have thought about contacting these women (there were two) but then decided not to. According to my husband they both knew he was married with two kids. He claims to never have talked about our marriage etc. they pushed him over and over. The one begged for his phone number for three years and set up getting dropped off at a bar with no ride. He said they both knew full well what they were getting involved in. Neither one had a marriage or boyfriend so they had nothing to lose. There is nothing they can say that will allow me to respect or understand them. I know I will never or would never do what they did. They are the kind of people I want nothing to do with and would not want to waste my breathe on. Saying all of this ultimately the blame for me rests on my husband. And I told him unless they drugged or rapped you it is all your fault. He entered into marriage with me and had kids with me. He knows what is right and wrong. So in the end he has to answer to me not these women. For me the affairs went on way too long and I am struggling with that. But I also think his affairs overlapped so not like either was special or unique. I am choosing to focus my energy on my husbands decisions, the changes he is making, our marriage and my future. It is so hard each and every day. All I know is I have found out I am stronger than I ever gave myself credit for and I am a good person and will always be true to myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hopeful 30,
      Women who knowingly get involved with married men are a special breed of nasty. We're best to give them a wide berth. And you're right -- our issue is with our husbands.

      Delete
  16. With regard to contacting the OW... Mine was a bizarre situation but I initially accepted the OW. He told her I wanted him to sleep with someone else but I was embarrassed about it. He believed this. I thought he just had a strange way of asking for a divorce but then he'd dropped the topic. Months later he told me about her,

    We were roommates where I managed the house, he ignored me and I had no physical interest in him for months at a time. I had no faith left that people really loved each other and that better was out there so I just hoped that someday he'd pull his head out.

    I initially accepted her as a temporary friend with benefits in a fucked up situation. Because this is totally the time to explore polyamory, right? HAHA.... He was starting to treat me like I was valuable to him for the first time in years because he was terrified I was really going to leave and I was, in part, desperate to hold on to that.

    Then she contacted me and told me they were "in love" and they "never planned on that happening because it was supposed to be just sex". At this point, I was pretty sure that relationships were a joke anyway so why not? I might as well get some for a while... who cares who he "loves" or what he thinks that even means. I had a very happy man around part time for a while with two women wanting his company and trying to get to know each other. She even spent the night a few times. Then Everything Exploded.

    Three incredibly f*cked up and hurt people were trying to get their needs met in a totally bullshit situation. I still can't believe I participated. I was completely insane, drank til I passed out, threw things, cried at work, took mental health leave, screamed at him, took off running down the street, drove away and sat in my car at night for hours - it was a complete Shitfest.

    At some point I said I was only okay with them being friends. He made that his new boundary. Then he tried to get us to stop talking to each other to avoid the drama so I set a boundary of no friends that I can't be friends with. So now she's gone. And I'm learning from all those mistakes...

    Elle is right. He chose her because she was EASY like a pornstar and available. He also had no expectations or responsibilities to her - total fantasy relationship.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I just re-read that and realized how bitter it sounds. :-( The point I was trying to make and didn't really say clearly is that it seems that almost nothing the OW can say really addresses the pain. She can be apologetic, but it doesn't undo it. She can admit she was wrong, but the affair still happened. In my particular situation, it became clear months later that my husband was not the only one being manipulative. My lack of forgiveness comes from a lot of different things to include the fact that she has consistently played the victim, going as far as having her sister e-mail my husband to threaten him and me. She is married and was also fully aware that my husband was, yet she was not deterred. I think if I knew she were doing something to address the issues that allowed herself to enter into an affair, I might be more capable of forgiving.
    The reality of it though is that what she does or doesn't do now should be of little consequence to me. My focus should be on me, my husband and our marriage.
    I apologize if my post sounded bitter. I'm still angry at times, but not bitter. I'm still working on not letting her consume too much of the space in my brain. This post helped me move a little closer. Clearly, I'm still a work in progress.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aren't we all? 😄
      You are so right, Dandelion, and thank you for you wisdom. I AM still bitter, and I know it. But I am 2 1/2 mo from Dday - and only 1 mo from the last Dday - so I am hanging in there and chanting the "work in progress" mantra.

      Delete
  18. Thank you all so much. I respect each and every one of your comments.

    I think i knew it wouldnt be any use calling her but i suppose i wanted to hear from her to ensure my husband was telling me the full truth.

    She was (i considered at the time) a good friend she was married and he had an affair on her. I want to know why she would dish that pain to me. I have 4 beautiful children and have shielded them from knowing the truth. They think he was talking to her online.

    My eldest is 18 and she is not foolish but i thought long and hard and realised thst if she wants to be nasty she could contact my daughter and spill the beans which i think she would.

    I am a strong women and not affraid of what she might say to me hes told me everything and how she just did what he asked if her and nothing else. We were in therapy but to be honest cant afford it. But we have been having long conversations mainly at my instigation and released that our marriage fell down years before her. I finally got the reason to why and he is making every step to treat me first.

    Last night he put me first to his job. He has never done that before.

    But i wont ring her. I dont want to allow her to think that she has a foot in my door anymore.

    Thank you all so much xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trying to heal, that's perfectly stated, she does not have a foot in your door anymore, good for you! As far as therapy, I'm not sure if this an option for you, but my husband and I are in pastoral counseling for our marriage counseling and our church also provides counselors as a ministry, so we do not pay for our marital counseling, nor for individual counseling, which has been an amazing blessing in our life and in our path towards reconciliation. It might be something to look into if you did want to continue therapy.

      Delete
    2. "Foot in the door" is such a perfect metaphor. That's the whole point of No Contact -- to slam that door shut. Hard.

      Delete
  19. I keep telling myself she is Las Vegas and I am Rome. It's laughable and beyond crazy to think of Rome caring about anything Las Vegas (all fake, sad and pathetic... trying for Rome but can never in a million years touch it) Good luck to her husband, I can't imagine being married to Las Vegas... and my husband couldn't be more lucky to currently (if he keeps up his truthful remorseful change) to be married to Rome. Love you guys, you're worth more, you are so much better then Las Vegas.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Well timed, Elle, and a great post! Just yesterday my H and I had a good long conversation, and one of the things that came up was my resentment of the fact that he STILL does not like to admit that the OW was culpable for her actions. Because she is, supposedly, an abused wife, she is not to blame. Under other circumstances, I would have a lot of sympathy for her, but as it is, I have absolutely none. She has a family and a support system. She could have done so many other things. He says I don't know what it is like to be in an abusive relationship, and it is true, I don't. But I never injured her in my life, and she made the selfish choice to destroy my world and put my family and children at risk. He and I sort of agree to disagree: he listens to me vent about her and acknowledges that I have every right to feel as I do, and I refrain from calling her a skank in his presence.
    But it is bitter. An EA is a bit of a different beast, because she DID mean something to him, and that is incredibly hard to except. Words like "love" and "soulmate" were bandied between them. It is, and probably always will be, incredibly painful for me. My H says he had to choose, and he chose me. And I'm thinking: well, bully for you. Am I supposed to be grateful? It should never have been a choice.
    That being said, you are absolutely right: she has nothing that that I want. Her life is a mess because of all her rotten choices, and she's dragging 4 kids through that mess with her (THEY have my sympathy). Maybe there is hope for her, but right now she is jobless I think, about to be twice- divorced, and she is morally bankrupt. And I'm prettier. 😜
    About calling the OW - man, was I tempted. But I don't want to give her that kind of power and attention. I called her once, a few weeks ago, because I just wanted to hear her voice (pathetic, I know). I hung up when she said hello. But here's irony for you - apparently someone from my town HAS called her, asked her spitefully, "Are you happy now?", and hung up. I have no idea who. So now, in spite of my restraint, she and her hypocritical, enabling best friend will be convinced that it was me. Well, screw 'em. Not my circus, not my monkeys. And SO not my problem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Phoenix
      My h also was convinced his ow (being a Christian lady), was as plagued by guilt and he too was rescuing her from a 'controlling abusive husband'. He had sympathy for every part of her miserable life. The new sex that he was excited by in the first couple of months lost its useful appeal once he started seeing the true side of her. She was a substance abuse councilor that abused one of her clients and convinced that poor person to 'give-loan' her 10 grand. She lost her license to practice at the same time she was going through the divorce my h was f-ing her through both emotionally and with great sex. Once the drama of divorce was over, he tried to help her get her license back. She did accomplish that by paying huge fines and had to take a few classes. He finally realized how messed up she was when she was supposed to be up and out to a job interview and instead was still asleep in his bed. He had to face the fact that he could not help her as she really didn't want to get a job. By this time she was in love with the man and her goal was to 'help him find his truth' and divorce me so they could be happy ever after. When he first broke up with her, she pretended to be dating other men. He prayed she would find one and then he could be free. All this crap was the first 6 months of their relationship. He was miserable but allowed her to continue her contact for fear of her telling these truths to me. When he cut her off sexually, in May of last year, he allowed her to continue contact again to keep her silence. By October he had enough tried one more time to be 'just a friend' and her sexual advances were more strongly rejected by him. She was still texting him daily and calling unrelentlessly! She was driving him crazy to the point when he told her do what ever you feel like you need to do. I don't love you and I can't help you. Within 2 weeks of no calls back to her nor answers to email or text, she imploded my world with their truths. That's when her true side was fully exposed to my h. He spent 6 months texting her to leave us alone and harassment charges had to be filed before she left us alone. During that time my h was very open with me every time she text or email and that was both good and bad. She was able to put so much distrust in my mind and because of all that truth I trigger with no real understanding of the cause until I go back and wade through the words she spit out and him explaining yet again the questions that he felt he answered over and over. Sometimes he sees this as progress other times he just is tired of me hounding and punishing him for his mistakes. He does read some of these posts and agrees that this blog has helped me get to where I am now. What he never was prepared for is how long it takes to heal a broken heart. His own hurts almost as bad as mine as he now has to see the look in my eyes when I suddenly face a trigger! I wish at times anyone of the mutual people they knew would have called them out in their bad behavior. It would not change that it happened so in the end... Karma has delivered both the ow and my h a look at hell on earth. Slowly I see us growing stronger as a couple....so slowly ..... Hugs to all of us strong ladies!

      Delete
    2. Phoenix,
      Don't give up hope your husband will see the OW for what she is. I'm 23 months post D-day and it took my H up to this time this month to admit, he felt used, she only showed the side of her she wanted him to see. And her statement "look at what all I do for you" was his kick in the head. My husband never said anything bad about her until I asked him what did you not like about her? I was calm and listened did not accuse. He said he never thought about it that way. He sure told the OW about me so I turned it about. Just last night we had a conversation about something that triggers me 100 percent. This morning I said I'm feeling not cared for, dismissed and irrelevant. My therapist taught me to say, "I feel....." Instead of being accusing. My husband said "I guess I minimized it". Wow that was a first. So I said you minimize for yourself because it doesn't help me. The thickness of this crazy fog seems varied he will eventually come around. It is a process for him too. I guess I was dumb that men have their own process to go through after they see what destruction they brought to their marriage.

      Delete
    3. Unfortunately, Phoenix, your husband is so very wrong. You do know what it's like : You have been in an abusive relationship...all the time your husband lied and deceived you & and threatened the stability & sanctity of your family. He repeatedly abused your trust, your faith and belief in him and has put you thru incredible pain. The effect of emotional abuse is not much different than physical abuse on a person's psyche. I'd rather my husband had blacken my eye or split my lip a few times than go thru the gaslighting and then the post D-day devastation that resulted from his affair. I respect your decision not to confront the other party in that abuse. She is just not worth it. Hang in there. C in Va.

      Delete
  21. Dandelion I really admire how you and the other women here go so far to understand the rotten behaviour that was foisted upon them and to come to terms with being treated so callously by our husbands and their affair partners. The way their delusions allowed both the husbands and the OWs to feel blameless, superior, justified and so on just presses my buttons. I have blocked the OW on Facebook (she felt justified enough to contact me on there when my husband broke it off with her) but for a while after d-day , I was in patrol and surveillance mode and was checking up what I could on her (I wished I'd done it earlier - in the first mental month because I found out she signed up for an evening class in our town when she still thought she was onto a good thing (she lived miles away.) She also posts so many 'bumper sticker' quotes about finding your true destiny, love, love for her kids and so on and, most annoyingly has all these good causes posted up including autism awareness (she is a nurse in a special needs school and is so autism aware that she villified the mother of an autistic child (me) and tried to break up his family (adding untold stress to this child and his parents lives.) She just doesn't get it, she is still firmly rooted in her own delusions. Her actions along with my husbands have caused such mental anquish, depression and anxiety, in other words, real harm. But the way affairs are still portrayed they are not seen as acts of violence and harm in any way. How can we get that message out there. I have come to a point where I know the OW really doesn't matter - but that's logical and rational, emotionally there is always a lag and I don't think we will ever be okay either in affairs on in general world affairs with the callous and thoughtless cruelty inflicted on others. Why should we be okay with that. Not being okay with it means we have values. Once again Dandelion you may be a work in progress like we all are (and no, you did not sound bitter) but your heart is huge and hugely open as you try to move towards acceptance and understanding of others.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fragments, thank you! I agree with you in that much of society laughs affairs off, treats them as harmless. I would challenge those people to read some of our stories, listen to the pain we endure as a result of our spouses' and their affair partners' selfishness.
      I feel like I'm finally coming around to realizing exactly how screwed up my husband was at the time and how screwed up the OW was and most likely continues to be. I know I would not want to walk in either of their shoes. For my husband, I can say that he is a good person despite all his mistakes. Her... I don't know. I just know there is something terribly off to allow her to do the things she's done and then justify them. Is she just evil? Is she broken in some way? I don't know. The OW in your case sounds the same. To work with autistic children and then attempt to destroy an autistic child's family... that is especially screwed up. I would not want to walk in her shoes either. They have to live with the consequences of their own actions. I just hope they change their behavior rather than moving on to damage another marriage.
      Changing society's treatment of affairs, that's a big hurdle. Many of us remain quiet and anonymous so no one aside from groups like this (and therapists) really see the pain and damage in the wake of affairs, nor does anyone see the strength it takes to heal whether it's with your spouse or on your own. People make jokes about infidelity and people laugh, except those of us sitting by silently realizing it's our reality. :-( I wish I knew the answer to it.

      Delete
    2. Fragments and Dandelion,
      YES!! Affairs are acts of emotional violence. And no, our culture doesn't see them as anything other than either exciting/romantic/titillating or "none of my business." All we can do is keep telling our stories, anonymously or otherwise, and provide a space for the grief and agony of those experiencing betrayal.

      Delete
  22. Oh and what did my husband see in the OW. Nothing physcially apparently. Neither did she share or understand any of his interests in books, films, science etc and she was a huge spender (he admires frugality.) What she was was interested in him, he could be her knight in shining armour (she was seperating from her husband) she sent him affectionate text messages and was planning their life together (showed she wanted to be with him) (although the reality of such a life would have been ludicrous (ten children to juggle between the two houses!) a disgruntled ex husband and the devastation he would have left with his kids here. It all seems so obvious now, it was never going to work. However my brother in law left his two boys and went to live in Australia across the other side of the globe with his (very manipulative) OW. In the process of dropping the bomb he went on holidays with the OW and left my sister in law alone the weekend her mother (and my husbands mother) had a massive stroke that destroyed her communication abilities and put her in a wheelchair. This lady had been more of a mother to her son in law than his own mother had been (which is probably why the affair happened) and he had lived with his parents in law for several years. My mother in law had great affection for him. He met his OW on Second Life. How Apt. His family of origin is messed up and he is coming 'home' to have a big fancy wedding in a Castle (my sister and law and he never had a proper wedding, as they first eloped and then had a very low key wedding after.) So over compensation much. He remains delusional many years later, has been confrontational towards my sister in law and the OW is a nasty piece of work. Sadly in this case there seems to be no 'Karma' as they live in a beach front accomodation in the sun while my sister in law has brought up her two boys for the last few years alone though things are working out for her too now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fragments,
      The thing with karma is we don't always see it. I can't imagine either of them feel particularly good about themselves. They need that beautiful view outside their window because the view in the mirror is so appalling.

      Delete
  23. Thanks for the article Elle. I struggle with feeling insecure about myself (for so many reasons now), but one of the main ones is because of who he chose as his affair partner. She resembles me physically, although, I'd say she looks a bit trashy, and she's younger (25 to my 32), but the similarities end there. She's has 2 kids, works in a factory and lives in welfare housing, which is not wrong in and of itself, but appears to be making no attempt (outside of trying to latch onto a man who is already established) to raise herself. Sometimes I try to give her the benefit of the doubt of being young and making foolish choices, but by the time I was 25, I had 2 degrees, had lived on my own and paid my own bills for 6 years and was a bank manager. Not a path for everyone, I know, but being young does not seem like an excuse. Still I let her get to me. We are from a small town and I still choke up (2 months out from our last DDay, in which I received all of the truth, including about her pregnancy) at the thought of running into her. She is absolutely the one that should feel ashamed and embarrassed, but I'm not quite there with being confident in myself yet. This article helps because I do keep telling myself I would not have made her choices. She wooed my husband by making him feel needed at a time when our marriage was going through a rough spot, but is that who I want to be? No. Ugh. I wish she still didn't hold so much power over my thoughts, but until this pregnancy is over and the baby is proven to be either my husband's or the other man's, its difficult to not dwell on her because there's a fair possibility she will still be a part of our lives.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Out of the Ashes,
      That, then, is your task as you heal: to learn to truly love and respect yourself. Treat yourself with compassion, celebrate your accomplishments, remind yourself every single day of something -- anything -- that is wonderful about yourself. It sounds so silly but affirmations have scientific research backing up their effectiveness. The brain can't hold competing thoughts so the more you tally up your assets, the less your brain will focus on your alleged defects. My youngest daughter wrote me a sign (I honestly don't know where she got the idea -- maybe a "girl power" book?) that read: I am smart. I am talented. I am kind. I am beautiful. I posted it on my bathroom mirror so I see it every day.

      Delete
  24. These posts really bring up the anger! I'm 13 months out today & still have to see the ow periodically lounging outside the coffeeshop next to our business. I have never spoken to her -- even right after d day when I basically caught them "talking" in our shop backroom (their liaison site). I fantasize about telling her to stay the f#ck out of my sight, etc etc. But we live in a small town & are known--i cant risk the loss of business if this were public knowledge (our only source of income presently).... And the loss of reputation & his family reputation & businesses. All of this affects me & ultimately the kids. So we move the business or sell or deal with it silently. Really she is soooo far out of the picture for me in our current, improving relationship; but seeing her keeps bringing crap up. I can relate to an earlier response about the h not blaming the ow. My h had a 6-month ea/pa & @ this point he still takes the majority of blame basically because he was raised better & should've known better. She wasn't. Not a glowing recommendation of her.... I so appreciate this site!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Queen B, our situations sound so similar. We live in a small town and own a business that is currently our only source of income as well and we are very well connected/well known in the community. It infuriates me that not only did my husband not think a thing for my son and I, but also about the business. In our case, the OW is pregnant and there's a very good possibility that its my husband's child, so unfortunately, this will become public knowledge at some point. The OW has no concept of adult relationships, business, etc. When she surprised my husband with the pregnancy test (because she thought he'd be excited), she didn't get upset until he freaked out. He told her he might as well sell the business now because he's going to lose everything anyway and she just kept saying that it was going to be hard for her to. Hard to add another child to her welfare housing? Ugh. Our hope is that our reputations will stand for themselves and that while we may lose some business, in the long run people will know us for the good work and service that we do and that eventually, because it is a small town, something else will come along to take the attention off of us. In the meantime, we pray a million times a day that this is child is not his.

      Delete
    2. Out of the Ashes, this is so hard. I remember being thankful after dday that h had a vasectomy. Its just different levels of horrible & pain. This one "loves" her. That one had lots of ow. This was a one night stand. That one was a long term. None of these details make it hurt less, although some determine how much rippling into your future it has. I've been thinking of you all day. I so hope this is not his baby & you can keep your privacy. But I do think you are right & I need to remember that even if this comes out our/his good deeds will outweigh his stupidity. As well as his (so far) stellar treatment of me & the kids.

      Delete
  25. Trying to Heal
    Trust me I know how you feel wanting to contact the OW. I battle it all the time. But what has helped me most is knowing what is driving that need for me. What I've learned is it is the id part of our ego. You know the one that tells you to eat that cookie when you are on a diet :) Our immature, immediate gratification side of our ego. It's voice is so compelling. It wants that immature confrontation which undoubtedly includes all those words that are floating around in our heads and are on the tips of our tongues. To my point, try actually saying the stuff you would say to her in a mirror and you will see how ridiculous you sound. LOL--it works and you do NOT want her to see that side of you.

    Deep down we know, because thank goodness for our evolved Super Ego the mature Ego, that the confrontation will NOT change anything. What we really want is to seemingly be in control. Control that it really didn't happen and certainly control that it won't happen again. Thing is that sense of control is false. For every OW you tell off, confront, put in her place, whatever, there's more waiting in line to take her place. What we have to get to is a place where we accept the affair happened, and accept there's not a damn thing we can do to change it. Bygiving our H a second chance and him realizing the hurt and devastation he caused by having an affair outside the marriage, he won't do it again and we accept our choice to stay in the marriage where trust has been broken. Giving up the need to contact the OW is really giving up the need to control and in turn place all the responsibility on our H where it maturely deserves to be.

    This helps me. I hope it works for you too.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I'll spare you all the details but I caught mine after coming home from a trip with my daughter and mother 14 months ago. While I was gone he and his "friend" who was also supposedly a "friend" of mine got together in MY HOUSE. Turns out he had been "sexting" with her for months. He swore he would dump her and that he wanted to work it out with me. Then I found out they were still texting and he lied and said she had contacted him but he didn't write her back. Then a few months went by and he admitted to me that it "just fizzled out." He never even completely ended it - it just "fizzled out." Now we are in marriage therapy and I am attending CoDa meetings twice a week. He swears it was because of his alcoholism at the time and mental health issues. My gut tells me to dump him. I'm trying to see a future with him but I just don't think I can ever forgive him and the fact that he chose her over me when I had made it clear I was going to leave him, it really disgusts me. Frankly, I think the only reason I am even attending therapy is because I feel sorry for him. I loved the man I thought he was. I'm sorry he is seriously mentally ill (schizoaffective/bipolar (possible antisocial personality) but I just don't think I can ever forgive. Don't know what to do at this point.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pagan 602,
      You do exactly what you're doing. Attending meetings that will help with clarity and strength. And giving yourself the time to determine what you want going forward -- and whether you want him in your future. There is no right or wrong through this. There is only what feels right for you. We get tripped up sometimes thinking we need to immediately decide. But you want a decision that comes from a place of strength and conviction. You can feel compassion for him without staying married to him. He's the father of your child so you'll have plenty of opportunity to extend compassion and wish him well should you decide to separate/divorce.

      Delete
  27. Thank you Elle, for your article. I keep reading this post over and over, and especially Frank Pittman’s quote. I wish I could physically insert that thought in my brain so that it would always be there whenever that heartbreaking mind tape starts playing in my head, “He loved her, not you. She was everything to him, you weren’t. Her smile lit up his day, not yours. He wanted a life with her, not you. Sex with her was so much more, in every way, than it ever was with you..” Etc. Then I am reminded that the only thing special about her was that she was as available, willing, and as sick and selfish as he was to ruin two marriages, devastate spouses, children and a boat load of other trusting friends and other family members, all for cheap booty call parking lot sex, and that is how they felt they were validated by someone who “truly loves me just as I am.” I know it wasn’t real, but nevertheless, the pain is at times excruciating and seemingly permanent in my life. But I thank God that it is ever so slowly, lessening, and even in the midst of such pain, I have learned great lessons and grown to be a stronger woman. Sometimes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lili,
      I want you to challenge those thoughts when they arise. It's based entirely on your imaginary script. Just like affairs are fantasy, our understanding of those affairs are based on fantasy.
      The reality is that you are a loving, loyal wife who deserved better. Focus on how great you are...not her. She was convenient and available. Imagine those being your most-appealing qualities!

      Delete
    2. Elle
      This advice is probably THE most powerful message we can give to anyone who has been betrayed.

      "Focus on how great YOU are..not her" absolutely and I may add don't be afraid to verbalize it either. My husband is very aware how lucky he is to have me after all the damage he's done to me and our relationship. I am awesome!!!

      Indeed, the OW's qualities are definitely NOT those to which I aspire.

      Delete
    3. Elle,
      You are right. And yet I have a dilema. My script that keeps running through my mind is based on actual comments from him when he was in his affair and not wanting to give her up: “I’ve never been happier.” “She’s my soulmate.” “I’m in love with her.” “I will always be there for her.” I have seen the actual physical change in his eyes as they lightened up with joy whenever he was near her or talked with her or about her (I was around them often as we were attending the same church, and she and her family were good friends and were often in our home). In this way, my scripts are based on truths and reality, he did in fact feel all that for her. I understand that the life they were living was all built upon lies, lies to me and to themselves, and so in that way it was all fake and fantasy. Therefore, in that way my mind scripts are also false, as they are based in fiction. However, I struggle not only with knowing that these things happened, even though they were fake, but that there was also real feeling and attachment associated with the affair experience, and the affair partner, and that those feelings of attachment to someone are hard to give up, when he may not feel those things for me. I know he wants to feel them for someone. He might feel them for me, he might not, it’s hard to tell, he really doesn’t know what real attachment is right now. He admits it was all based in fantasy. But still….So the mind scripts are both real, and fake at the same time. How do I accept this and get out of the negative loop of this feeling of “I am stuck in this never ending pain cycle in my mind.” This how messed up I am! I can’t even find my way to peace about our progress in my own mind, even as I try to challenge my negative thoughts. I just can’t seem to get through it. I’m so stuck. I’ve spent hundreds of hours and way more $$$ in therapy than I care to think about, so I’m not coming from a place of naivete. I so appreciate the gentle and true reminders from this site of who I am, and what I can do. I also really love it when I hear someone respond who says they know exactly how this all feels, and I can believe them because they have shared their own painful, shocking story. Thanks, to all you sister warrior women on this blog. I love you for all it!

      Delete
  28. Today is 8 months since my first d day. Yeah Friday th 13th. I feel so conflicted. Reflecting back I have come so far. I do feel strong and more in control of my life than ever. Yet today makes me sad too. This person who I trusted most in the world did terrible things and worst of all lied to me and had affairs and online relationships for over 10 years. I still think to myself how could he have done this for so long? And really it is the lies that hurt me the most. It hurts we have daughters. It hurts that he missed out on so much with me but more so our girls. I struggle with the fact that we had so many great times and the conversations and cards he gave me. One for Christmas he gave me just two days before he broke up with one affair partner said "I love our life together. I am so lucky to have you as my wife and mother of our daughters" so was that all honest and true or fake. He says he meant everything but it was grey not black and white. He says he never wanted to leave me or end what we had. He said he would have been mortified if our girls ever met these women and never spoke of us to them. Yet how could he carry on for 10 years of this. That still seems to be my stumbling block.

    On the flip side after 8 months things are better than ever. He is happier than ever and says that he loves what we have and it comes effortless not work at all. He continues to say that i and his highest priority and our marriage. He is there for me. I guess I just need to give it time. After so many years of deceit it makes sense. My therapist says he would worry if I came in and said hey look at everything how it is now. We are all better. He said it is important to take time and have so level of self protection. So I am going with that.

    I am so thankful for this site and for everyone on here. It really is comforting to know I am not the only one going through this. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hopeful,
      Today was 8 months since my final D-Day. Like you, things are going well with my marriage and, also like you, I question how my husband carried on his affair while still maintaining that he loved me and never wanted to leave. I can't fathom it. I keep trying to apply rational thought to irrational behavior. I think the only way I can get past those questions is just to realize that he compartmentalized so much that it was like living a double life. Family at home, whore at work. He managed to balance it for about 2 years. And when I wonder how he did it knowing that it would hurt me, I have to believe him when he says he thought he would never get caught. Again, the irrational behavior. All of which goes to show just how messed up he was when it was happening. When we talk about it now, he can acknowledge how stupid it all sounds from the outside. What we can both agree on is that I can't grasp where his head was (aside from up his ass) because I've never gotten involved in an affair. And on the days where my head is able to be stronger than my heart, remembering these things keeps me from cycling back to how could he have done it.
      Another thing that has helped is that we've reached a point where our conversations about his affair are far calmer and more rational. There is still emotion there obviously but it just seems we're both a whole lot more rational which brings about more effective communication.
      I'm glad to hear things are going well for you. Hugs!

      Delete
    2. Hopeful and Dandelion,
      My husband's affairs (or, more accurately, his "encounters") extended back to even before we dated. And yes, coming to terms with that was hell. Now, however, being almost 9 years out, it's incredible to me how little thought I give to that. He was a very sick man. He's not that man anymore. That's really all I need to know.

      Delete
    3. Yes i too found my h had known the ow 10+ years!!! They had sex and or only met a couple times a year we had been together longer then that .... it was crushing to learn and comes to terms with because we had no issues way back when so why???? Not that it makes it right or easier but when i first thought it was more recent but still long term and more continual when we were in a rocky patch it made it easy to swallow. .. well prob not just made the why easier to pinpoint. .... the why is where you can really get stuck. It happened i cant change any of it .... only today and tomorrow i can focus on even if i still have my moments. Hang in there.

      Delete
  29. Hello ladies. Melissa here ... My husband and I seem to have entered a strange place. Or should I say, my husband has taken me on a strange ride and we've landed in a strange place. About a month ago I took a vacation with my sister and girlfriend and he went up to see his parents. It was obvious how much he missed me and frankly, it was the first time in this whole ordeal that he verbalized how much he missed me. There are other times his actions say he missed me… it is apparent he is still confused whether not he wants to be in this marriage. Or perhaps I'm reading into things. He simply is not as demonstrative about his love for me he doesn't say it as much he doesn't write it as much i.e. In texts or cards - he does continue to go to marriage counseling once weekly which is absolutely huge for him! And as he so gently put it in our last marriage counseling session he does not want to be intimate with me. Even though there has been tremendous progress - hell, we're living together and he has not said he is filing for divorce in at least two months LOL. It is as if he only really, wants me, and really express such, when he thinks he may lose me… Or when I'm off on my own. Yes, I recognize that the 180 may play into this… but it is so short-lived. Longevity runs in our familyies; we could have another 30 or 40 years together. Do I want to constantly be wondering if he's going to decide he wants to leave? Or do I want to be with someone who cannot, for whatever reason, express his love for me ( in the past, even during the affair, he was very fluid with expressing his love for me.). Our therapist believes that his inability to be intimate with me is because of his guilt. He maintains that is not true and that although he did feel guilty he is not caring it as a weight every day. She told him that unless he can come up with another theory she's sticking with her's: guilt.
    Some of my friends and family who have gone through all of this with me, are telling me that perhaps I am expecting too much from him. They are telling me to look how far we have come. And they are telling me that I cannot force him to have feelings, or should I say to express those feelings, or to be intimate, if he does not want to, or if it is not natural.
    Yes, I see where that is all true, however, I am not certain how long I can continue in a relationship with uncertainty ... And less love than I had become accustomed to. I know too that I am a person that needs a partner who shows me a great deal of love, hugs and handholding and verbal expressions and cards and notes. Honestly, it was one of the reasons I chose my husband.
    So, now what? Frankly, ladies I become a bit jealous when I read on this site of so many men doing everything within their power to make amends so to speak. And don't get me wrong, my husband is attentive he does hold me we do quite a bit together ... I kind of wonder if he was right when he told me between his sobs long ago that he broke it ... Referring to our relationship… he said, I broke it ... And he wept.
    Any thoughts my friends?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Melissa,
      I'm inclined to agree with Cactus Flower and MBS below. Your husband seems to be in charge of your relationship, doling out his affection or intimacy or commitment on his whim, while you patiently give him space and time and compassion. I fear your husband is just an incredibly damaged guy. You have such warmth and passion that I hate to read about you clinging to hope when, though things might be better than they were, the situation is still fragile.
      Melissa, I respect your commitment to your marriage but it must be mutual. You can't love him into a different person. He has to want to do the work and instead he seems dedicated to his narrative of waiting to "feel" love. Love is a verb. We express love to the person we've committed to through actions -- even when we don't always feel it in the moment. He keeps you dangling, which, on some level, is working for him. Maybe feeling powerful in your relationship allows him to ignore his intimacy issues or his vulnerability. I don't know. Seems he doesn't either. But he wouldn't be doing it if he wasn't getting something out of it. I'm not sure your therapist is right either. I don't know if it guilt. I think he's got real problems and constantly blaming the situation (confusion, lack of desire to be intimate, etc.) instead of deeply examining his issues allows him to avoid a whole lot.

      Delete
  30. Melissa, it surprises me that he seems to have so much control over the fate of your relationship. I'm not familiar with the details of your story, but I'm assuming he was the one who cheated, not you. You consider his not threatening divorce recently progress, but, you acknowledge that he is still confused about whether or not he wants to be in your marriage. He misses you, but refuses to be intimate with you. Has he offered you any reason why? You suspect he only shows his feeling when he fears losing you or when you are gone. This does not sound like a man who is all in, ready to commit, and determined to make up for his betrayal. Yes, he broke your relationship, but the effort to hold your marriage together should be on him, not you. Either he doesn't want to be there and is afraid to acknowledge it out of guilt, or he still needs to do a whole lotta work on himself to tackle the feelings he had that lead him to stray, and that continue to keep him on the periphery of your marriage. Don't be afraid to stand up for what you need, and don't apologize for it. No, you can't force him to have feelings, but you shouldn't have to. That is on him, and he is avoiding it for whatever reason. My thoughts are that he has to honest with himself and with you about his feelings. He must express his love intimately, openly, often, and in a way that makes you feel loved and cared for. You must be willing to say "This is what I have to have. This is what I need. I won't settle for less." You said it yourself: "Do I want to be with someone who cannot, for whatever reason, express his love for me?" Why would you?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cactus Flower hit it on the head. "Progress" is great but they can so easily sit on that fence forever. He needs to sort out himself before he is a good candidate for reconciliation. That will take alot longer than you can imagine. In the meantime, now is your time to stand strong about what you need and not settle for a half-in/half-out partner. Then focus on how you will heal and move on with or without him. Hard to do but I know you will be better in the long run.

      Delete
  31. I would like to respond to the women out there who have some concerns about confronting the other woman. I did and would do it again in a heartbeat if given the opportunity. After doing a little research on her reputation, I would love to tell her what I know about her, how her trashy reputation precedes her, what I think of her now, and about another marriage she helped to destroy. I felt, and still do, that any woman who cares about her marriage has every right to try to save it, and for me, that also meant a confrontation. I confronted her a week after I discovered my husband’s betrayal and did so without contempt; I remained very calm. Their emotional affair went on for 7+ years that I am aware of in the form of texts, emails, the gym, etc. I cannot, however, prove a sexual affair or anything before 2005 and after 2012. She was actually in love with someone else, and it was not my husband or hers for that matter!! My husband was beside himself when I told him I talked to her. He was incredibly embarrassed (too bad). I stayed in the marriage for one year/nine months after D-Day and then moved out. I have been gone for a little over a year, and I want to let you all know that, in time, you will be okay. I never thought I would be either… dropping 80 pounds, diagnosed with PTSD, thoughts of suicide, lots of counseling that didn’t seem to help… but today, I am okay, and know that whatever I choose to do, I can make it, and so will all of you regardless of the path we take.
    My husband and I are in counseling, and I have boundaries and deal breakers now, and they’re wonderful!! I have a better understanding and relationship with God, too. He can do all things! Leaving was a good healing process for me – things at home were nasty and volatile; someone had to leave, and he wouldn’t. Aside from healing for me, my relationship with my teenaged daughter is also healing, too. I had neglected her emotionally for too long due to dealing with my own pain. I have no regrets about leaving, and I never will. As I look back, I probably should have left months earlier but wasn’t ready. I am proud to say the obsessive thoughts have dissipated to nowhere near where they were – the other woman doesn’t have a place in my head. February 2016 will be three years since D-Day, and I am not the same person I was back then. Please – give yourselves some time – YOU WILL HEAL but you may never forget (I know I won’t). You are all in my thoughts and continued prayers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SomewhereOutThere,
      I'm glad you're healing. It sounds like a hell of a road you've travelled but you're making progress. So pleased you found us.

      Delete
  32. Melissa, I'll add my voice to the chorus. My husband is consumed with guilt. Even if I don't bring it up, even if I'm having a good day. It's been almost a year and a half, he says he still can barely stand to look at himself in the mirror, even just to shave. He has not been stingy in expressing his love for me since d-day. He tells me it every day, and it's obvious he means it. My alarm bells are going off about your therapist, I don't think this can be entirely blamed on guilt. Yes, it does seem to be a normal human reaction that people really only realize what they're going to miss when they're on the verge of losing it, but if it's only a temporary wake-up call, is that enough for you?

    Lots of hugs. We're here for you.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Melissa, my h did some similar things as yours. His was a 6-month ea/pa. At the beginning, he went nc, wanted to go to mc, save the marriage, etc....but still "felt torn," "pulled in two directions," "missed her telling him she loved him," etc etc puke puke. Then he would say that yes, he wanted to be here, for me to "look @ his actions," he "wanted to want me," but maybe he should be by himself, broken, guilt , depression, shame..... Although i totally could see that he was "trying" & incredibly broken, it was so confusing & crazy-making for me (on top of me trying to get through the day without a panic attack!!). What helped me the most was to make a list with my ic & put a time limit on this bullshit. At first I gave him 6 months with my dealbreakers: mc, ic, nc, acting affectionate, helping me with my pain, total transparency, etc. At the end of 6 months he was finally starting to get more verbally affectionate with me--much more like my husband-- & was having few, if any, "irrational feelings" for the ow. So I gave it another 6 months & was willing to separate @ a year if there were ANY residual feelings for the ow or him not 100% ready to try to rebuild (+ my earlier deal breakers). It gave me power & control. It also made me get real clear on what i wanted/needed & how much patience I could have without damaging myself. Plus it gave me a little breathing room in between the deadlines. Now I'm in year 2 with all my same deal breakers, but wanting to see if he can get healthy enough to be a safe partner (self-hate, depression, childhood issues) Thinking of you with whatever you do. It's so hard.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Thank you all for chiming in re; my situation; I do appreciate your support. And then I speak to my mother, who at 94 was married 59 years when dad died. They loved each other dearly, yet I learned that he simply stopped being intimate with her when they were in their 50's. For about ten years he wouldn't even cuddle with her in bed. They didn't talk about it - you didn't do that then. Later, Dad was diagnosed with diabetes. And that would be why he stopped cuddling; fear he wouldn't be able to perform. Of course, Mom, who loves my h as her own, is very disappointed in him for the affair, yet says, you wouldn't give up on an alcoholic or a drug addict or ... she says, people are too quick to give up on their marriages today ... people are too self centered. And I get it ... my h could benefit from IC - maybe? You have to really believe in the treatment to benefit. What matters most is how I feel day to day. And for me, I am where I want to be. I can't make him love me any differently or anymore. For whatever reason we are together right now. Our life is full with activities and friends, alone and together. And if one day we are not together, our lives will be full as well. What I know for sure? I am a stronger woman today - stronger than I've ever been. And no matter what happens to us, we will be there for each other. We care deeply for one another, whether we remain married or not. Love and hugs to each of you :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Melissa,
      In the end, of course, we all walk our own road. None of us can know what's right for you. I don't agree, however, that we shouldn't give up on an alcoholic or a drug addict. Though I went through that with my own mother -- who did, finally, choose sobriety and remained that way for 25 years -- it was only when I gave up on her that she hit bottom. I had finally abandoned any hope that she could be the mother I needed. She had let me down too many times.

      Delete
  35. Melissa, I hope I didn't just sound like a know-it-all with my cut & dried time limit, etc. I was just thinking, it sounds like it was a simple thing. But while I was going through it, it was in stops & starts as I sloooowly figured out that I HAD needs, what they were, and what I wanted/needed from him. Seems basic, but I've spent 22 years in this marriage stuffing needs, denying needs & accommodating his. So I was not really used to figuring out what I needed & owning that & being ok with myself for needing anything in the first place. Im Still working on this!! I guess I just wanted to be clear that I'm the last person that has things all figured out. I'm just muddling through this this best I can. Its so helpful to hear all your stories!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  36. Melissa
    You've gotten lots of good compassionate advice here for lots of very smart people including your own mother. I agree with all the advice from the very wise women here but ultimately you are the one who decides what is important in her relationship and it sounds like you've decided. It wouldn't be the decision I would make and your husbands actions would be a definite deal breaker for me and I surmise others her as well. But we aren't you and if maintaining your marital relationship such as it is I say go for it. Who knows you may or may not regret it when you are your mothers age. Thing is life isn't short. It's very long and we all have to live and accept our own choices.

    And by the way, no I would definitely leave an alcoholic or drug abuser or someone with a gambling problem. But there are also many women who would leave a man that treated them as poorly as my husband did during his affair. So it's truly to each his own

    ReplyDelete
  37. Queen B, I didn't think that at all. It was actually VERY refreshing to hear that your h struggled. In my estimation my h is in a midlife crisis - and the affair is all part of it. He hasn't struggled with feelings for the OW so much as feelings of "do I want to be married?" "can we ever be us again?" Hell, I struggle with the same. Even our book, "After the Affair" notes that there are no guarantees. And you know what's pretty great? I'm relying more on myself. I wrote once where I lost that sense of safety ... Elle so aptly responded that she now seeks it, feels it in herself. I'm beginning to feel it, more and more each time I must call on it. Because really, there are no guarantees. I'm with you ... a work in progress. Oh, I too had timeframes in my mind ... nothing set in stone, but some idea. I still do. Hugs to each of you. I am grateful for you.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Melissa, if he isn't going to individual counselling, I highly recommend it. I can basically be sure my marriage would not have survived without us both having individual and marital counselling. My husband's was actually addiction counselling, as he's a porn addict.

    As to would someone leave another kind of addict, that's another question that I think doesn't have a cut-and-dried answer. Would I leave my husband if he was an alcoholic? Probably not if he was committed to recovery. If he had no interest in getting better, and/or was violent, then yes, I would leave. My husband is a porn/sex addict. But as he is committed to recovery, I'm willing to give him another chance.

    I like what has been said on this site before, that you don't have to make the decision once, or even right now. Just take the next right step.

    Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Thank you Gee. Neither of us are in IC at this time. I have had a therapist for years whom I see off and on ... I saw her at the beginning of this hell, yet stopped so we could afford marriage therapy - my choice.
    And I love the next right step. We are 10 months out from DDay 1 and about six out from DDay 2 ... we shall see. For now I smile and laugh often - I'm in a good place. Thanks for caring :)

    ReplyDelete
  40. Trying to Heal, I had the misfortune of speaking to OW - she was the one who gleefully told me all the details of their affair.....my H had finished with her just before I found out, so she felt very hard done by and enjoyed calling me to tell me just out of malice. She threw herself the biggest pity party, had absolutely no remorse or thoughts towards me or my 2 year old son. She was simply just as selfish as my husband had been. 2 months on, I then found texts she sent my H 'please answer' with sad face icons and in a rage I rang her. I wish I hadn't - it made me feel absolutely no better listening to her telling me that she could contact whoever the f88k she wanted and that I was stupid if I thought that was the first contact they had..... She still didn't give a hoot about the family she had wrecked, it was still all about her and I'll never really know what she told was lies or what was the truth. I have hers and my husband's versions, quite frankly I can't trust neither!
    So the upshot is, don't call. I totally understand the temptation. My counsellor asked me why i thought I had called her - I couldn't even answer but I knew the aftermath actually made me feel worse. Don't waste precious time or breath on someone that has gave no thought to you ever.

    ReplyDelete
  41. One of the problems with contacting OW is you really don't know what you're going to get. If you think by contacting her and trying to guilt her into feeling bad that is a poor decision. They don't feel bad. They may say they feel bad just to get rid of you but they don't. Also you will quite likely be contacting a sociopath at worst or a person with a Borderline Personality Disorder. None of these personality types are expected and most times we walk away feeling worse and more confused.

    Unless you are going into the confrontation as one the posters her commented very clear about what to expect and very clear what your message is, don't do it. You are NOT prepared for it.

    Most times they are going to strike out in anger and rejection. Heck we may even be approaching them with compassion and empathy which only pisses them off more. I contacted the OW through an email. She sent an email to my H with nothing in the body just in the subject line, WTF?? I sent her back her answer and it was NOT nice. I did NOT mince words. I was prepared. I knew just what and whom I was facing. I knew I could NOT be compassionate or with empathy. I told her in no uncertain terms to piss off and if she didn't she'd be hearing from our lawyers and the police. That was the end of that. I've since heard that she's scared of me, which totally amuses me, but whatever it takes to make her disappear from our lives. I'm glad I did it however I would NEVER call her to get her side of the story or ask her to clear things up. She's a liar why would I believe anything she says. I have enough to deal with sorting through my H's lies let alone hers.

    So what I am saying if you have to contact the OW only do it if you need to tell her to leave your family alone or you will take the next legal step to do so. In my opinion there should be no other motivation to contact her.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I agree, and they are all narcissists (husbands included). They never ever think of the wife, kids, families they are hurting. Sometimes, too, what can be just as bad are when the people who witness the acts (flirtations, conversations, etc.) and think nothing of it... like maybe letting the wife know. I was so blindsided... I never thought he had it in him to make such a fool out of me. Still have trust issues... probably always will. I think of all of you every day. Sending much love.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I couldn't agree with you more Somewhere...it's a selfish act...we are an after thought, along with the children. The thing that passed me off most, is it was a work affair...our daughter was working for her dad, she came home one day and said she went in his office and the OW was in there, she was flirting with him and gave her a look like she was disturbing them and left the office. I asked my H about it, he said he didn't see any flirting...of course. Eventually when I confronted her, she remembered it and she didn't think she was, she's just friendly with everyone. I was also told by our daughter that she flirted with everyone...I don't know if anyone knew of the affair, she didn't think so, aside from their boss having an idea something had gone on, but once my husband lost his job, he said he didn't care.

      What I really wish in the end, is that when I confronted him on numerous occasions, he would have just come clean...it pissed me off that he was willing to risk it all, over a short fling.

      Delete
  43. Elle. Thank you. That was my point exactly. Addiction is tough and addicts need lots of help that they have to get for themselves and most won't. It's not until they have lost everything and everyone for them to realize they need help.

    Just like cheaters, until they realize what they are going to lose and you stick by your ultimatums/boundaries they won't stop.

    My H threw that sex addiction out on DDay 2. I lost my shit. I drew the line in the sand that if he truly thought he was a sex addict HE would be the one to find the intense treatment I knew he would need. I also told I was pretty sure he wouldn't do it and I was leaving him this time. I was cutting my losses. Well he changed his tune real fast. He threw that out there hoping it sounded pathetic which it did!! But I saw right through it right away and called him on it.

    ReplyDelete
  44. I am thinking of sending the OW a thank you card, using the return address of a local church. And signing it "God still loves you". Thoughts?

    ReplyDelete
  45. Ow bday coming i too debated sending something. .. and or a xmas cards ... with a gleaming family photi ...im not ... ive found in past dealings attention good or bad feeds her the biggest fuck you is ignoring her im better then her in many ways i did have one in person contact where she was quiet as a mouse a few emails she sent i read but responded with a cease and desist and text or calls where she called but hung up before i could respond ... big balls when not in front of me .... coward. early on when i saw her and my h were in contact texting again i felt better when i texted her this .....she wants my life but could never fill my shoes stating she cant even take care of herself let alone a family! I spewed a handful of other things.... did it matter idk she never responded doubt she gives a shit what i think and honestly i dont care what she thinks either this has to be between me and my h. Her email to me pages. .... had some truth but also alot of distortion. .. her ending goal to make me leave she wants what i have my h my house my family. Only they dont realize this isnt fantasyland this shit takes work and effort i doubt she has the stamina to be me ...to have my life.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Wounded
    LOL, I always fantasize, sending the OW something pithy, you know those "bumper sticker" sayings all over FB. Just to get the last word and stick it to her. But I don't. I get a kick out of myself for even thinking it.

    Well and who cares what she wants? Of course she wants a nicer life, who doesn't. It's that we don't think having a nicer life is by coveting someone else's. Rational people go out and work for it, losers don't. And the majority of affair partners for men is women from a lower economic and educational class than their wives. And why, because they make themselves available. They work for that attention from married men, they offer themselves up on silver platters. And unfortunately for us, these guys lap up that tacky shit like hungry dogs.

    Best to leave her in the past and don't give her ANY power or attention in your life. She's probably moved on to her next victim by now anyway. Doesn't mean if she thought she had a chance to move in again on your H she wouldn't so stay aware. That's what I do at least :)

    ReplyDelete
  47. My husband tried to get treatment for his sex addiction before he ended up cheating on me IRL. He couldn't find anything affordable and said he didn't want me to find out because he was spending money on therapy. I was so flabbergasted. I told him it would have been a million times better to find out because he was getting help than to find out because he spiraled out of control and cheated on me!!! Sheesh. He admits it was stupid, but when he couldn't find affordable treatment, rather than come clean then (which he now says he wishes he had done), he decided to just try to keep quitting on his own. Which of course didn't work, because the addiction was a symptom of much deeper problems that he was trying to run away from.

    ReplyDelete
  48. The Other Woman For a YearNovember 30, 2015 at 1:14 AM

    I have been the other woman for a year, and I wanted to let you and your followers know that the title of your post is exactly right: what the other woman has, you do not want.

    I know that many betrayed women will spend hours and hours, comparing themselves to the other woman, searching for flaws to make themselves feel better. But the relief that you're looking for won't be found externally. Whether the other woman is beautiful or not, intelligent or not, successful or not.....Her real flaws will only be found deep inside her.

    I was the other woman, and I chose to end the affair once and for all by telling his wife. I know that she is hurting terribly right now, and she is seeking relief to try to find my flaws. Now, hear me out as I explain why she won't find that relief no matter how many hours she spends sifting through my online persona. This will sound arrogant, But I assure you it isn't.....I am quite attractive....not a 10, of course...but enough that it would hurt like hell to see my pictures. I am blonde, blue eyed, 34h breasts, 26 inch waist. I stay in shape. I'm intelligent (took calculus at 15). I have four degrees from high ranked schools. I am very successful in my career. I am a very loving and engaged mother. I have a lot of friends, and people describe me as having a heart of gold.

    But.....none of that matters. None of that was why her husband came to me, and none of that was enough for him to leave her.

    Now.....I'm sure right now, your followers are rolling their eyes in digust at my arrogance. On the outside, I am an amazing woman. I know that is true, but on the inside I am deeply broken. My self- worth is zero. No matter what anyone sees, my inner self tells me I am not worthy of love...that I don't deserve anything more than the crumbs I am thrown. Think of this as the anorexic who can only see fat when she looks in the mirror.

    My desperately low self worth comes from a childhood raised by narcissistic, abusive, neglectful parents (think Mommy Dearest) who are psychologically incapable of love. And through years of reliving this in my romantic relationships, I validated these feelings of worthlessness. You see, women like me have been conditioned to accept abuse, neglect, and cheating as normal relationship behavior. We pride ourselves on how much we can endure....how much suffering we can take....to prove to someone how much we love them.

    I have been cheated on countless times, so, believe me when I say this is not a "woe is me" speech. It is simply to reveal the ugliness inside the other woman that you are looking for.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Other Woman,
      You're a brave soul to wade into these waters. :)
      But thank-you for sharing your experience. It sounds as if you've finally recognized that your actions aren't getting you what you ultimately want -- a more authentic love.
      I'm glad you want more for your own children too. I'm sorry for the pain you've experienced. As you know and as you've likely read on this site, the pain of betrayal is such a primal wound. We often interpret it as a negation of our worth. A complete rejection, when, as you point out, it's the act of two people whose own self-worth is such that they're desperately seeking validation in the reflection of someone else.
      I wish you all the best, Other Woman. I hope you find happiness in yourself.

      Delete
  49. Other Woman
    You are brave indeed and I respect you for it. I believe you when you say you are broken inside. I feel for you. The difference between you and the OW that interfered in my life is you are remorseful. You know you did harm and you admitted it. Much like our cheater husbands you are at least trying to make things right.

    Here's the deal. You do deserve better. Regardless of looks, education, career YOU DESERVE BETTER than what you've settle for in the past. No one should settle for another woman's crumbs. Men use OW and some OW's don't see it or don't care. Those I have zero respect for.

    I commend you for coming forward here. I hope you are getting psychological support from a good therapist because you are as broken if not more so than we here in this community.

    One thing I've always know through all my hurt is that things could have been worse. I could have been the OW. And you are right the OW has NOTHING I want :)

    I wish you the best too. Take care

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Other Woman For a YearNovember 30, 2015 at 11:29 PM

      You are absolutely right about me (or any woman) deserving better than crumbs. I entered into my affair at the lowest point in my life and was just desperately clinging onto anything that would make me feel better....a life raft to keep me afloat.

      And honestly, the saddest part of all of this wasn't that I accepted crumbs from a married man, but that I accepted crumbs from my own husband. I met my AP when I was leaving my husband, who had been having an EA with a coworker for three years. But unlike most of you on this site, there was no D Day. My husband never hid it from me, and in fact, he often threw it in my face. My husband was never romantic, sweet, or affectionate to me. He was actually rather cruel to me.....his nicknames for me were fatty, trashy, the worst, among others. He ignored me, refused to have sex with me, and told me that I was disgusting to him.

      Throughout our marriage, I just assumed that's how he was with women. Until he met his coworker. The two of them shared an office, ate breakfast and lunch together every day, went for walks together every day, texted throughout the evenings and weekends. They were together so often that their coworkers invited them out together as "a couple" instead of inviting me. Even after I cried to him how much it hurt me, he still kept bringing her around. She came to dinner with us, came to all our parties, to events with my family....even to my birthday and anniversary dinners. If I was anything other than perfectly nice to her, he said I was a psychotic b****. When we would go out, he would open doors for her, leaving them to slam in my face. He would fix her plate, refill her drinks, buy her flowers and chocolates. And when I asked why he would never do those things for me, he said it was because I was an embarrassment and I didn't deserve those things.

      I became severely depressed and didn't feel I had the strength to leave. So I became involved with a married man who made me feel beautiful and special in a way I had not felt in a very long time. I was such a wreck that I could not see all the damage he was causing me. In the beginning, I felt flattered, but soon I began to feel alone and worthless. What had initially raised my self esteem, later invalidated my self worth, and by the time I realized what was happening, I was in so deep, believing we were soulmates, falling in love with lies and fantasy.

      I have very deep abandonment fears, and I am co dependent. But for the first time in my adult life, I am alone, and I am more at peace than I have ever been.

      Delete
  50. Ow
    Wow! I think you really have guts to explain why you chose to destroy another woman's marriage to fix your pain in this world! I also feel the same pity I feel for my h x other piece of fantasy! I'm with Trying hard! You do deserve better but will never find that until you heal the wounds of your own past! My advice to you is to stay away from married men no matter how lonely they appear. Somewhere his wife is lonely too!

    ReplyDelete
  51. I will add, stay away from ALL men for a while. Not just the married ones.

    OW--I get your story and it's sad. I'm sorry you married to such a cruel human being. No one deserves to be treated like that. I'm glad you've seen you made a terrible decision to go with a married man. Some people never learn.

    You sound like a smart person who has a handle on her problems. There's lots of help out there and I hope you find it. Life is good and beautiful and doesn't have to be lonely. There are wonderfully kind single men that I am sure will think you walk on water and are the most beautiful woman they've ever met. But first you need to work through your issues. You've already learned the hard way not to bring other people into your life when you are suffering. I really believe these experiences can become life long patterns in peoples lives if they don't fix what's hurt and wrong with them before moving into relationships.

    I hope you apologized to the married man's wife for interfering in their lives. That's a good place to start. When you own up to your own crimes against another human being.

    I have faith you can straighten your life out and find peace. I hope you have the same faith in yourself :)

    ReplyDelete
  52. Thank you for writing this. I really needed to read this today as my "movie reals" play. My husband also had an "affair" (of sorts leaning more on the emotional side as they never had actual intercourse) but he kept saying "she was convenient" "she was there" "I had control and didn't know how to let go of the high of having that control."...It makes more sense coming out of a woman's mind than a man right now. Glad I found this blog tonight. 11 Months post D-Day and very close to feeling normal but still struggle some nights with the rage and thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your husband demonstrates more insight than most. That's exactly what affairs are: distractions, convenient, an ego boost. Knowing that bodes well for the fact that he's likely to recognize when those things seem appealing...and seek out a remedy that's far healthier for your marriage and himself.

      Delete
  53. The Other Woman For a YearDecember 12, 2015 at 7:06 PM

    Betrayed Spouses, I am reaching out to you all for advice about my current situation. For part of my story, you can read my comments above. Here is more of the story and the part for which I need advice.

    When I chose to end the affair, I did so by telling his wife. She knew nothing about me, but had found some very incriminating evidence that he was having an affair. I had tried several times to end it, but was ultimately too weak to do it, and so I hurt another woman deeply in order to force her to do what her husband and I were ultimately too weak and selfish to do ourselves. I know that some women confess to the wife, in order to drive her away, but I did so with the opposite of intentions. My hope was that the man would hate me for ruining his life and that she would ensure we never spoke again.

    I told her everything. We slept together almost every day for an entire year. We texted all day, evening, and night.....hundreds of texts a day, including when he was on dates with her. I explained to her how we were able to do this without any suspicion from her. I told her that he repeatedly, many times a day, told me he loved me, called me his soulmate, spoke of marrying me and our future together. I told her that we went to strip clubs together and had threesomes. That I actively and regularly searched for other women for him, not just for threesomes, but for him to see separately from me. He slept with other women while we were together and slept with many women before me, including a 3 year affair who he still sees occasionally. He has been cheating on her throughout their entire marriage and while they were dating....for more than 15 years. She asked for proof of this, and I sent it to her. As you can imagine, she is completely devastated. I told her all of this, because I knew he would only confess when he had no other choice. I did apologize to her, and I am truly sorry, but that was not my reason for disclosure. I only told her, so that he would stay away from me.

    During this disclosure process, which took about a week, he continued to contact me every day, telling me he loved me and that we needed for things to calm down. He begged me to stop talking to his wife. But every time we talked, I turned around and told his wife, until he was afraid to contact me again. Looking back, I know what a horrible thing that was to do. I should've ignored his texts and moved on. I know that it was an awful thing to put the responsibility of this on his wife. Believe me, I understand the gravity of what I have done.

    ReplyDelete
  54. The Other Woman For a YearDecember 12, 2015 at 7:06 PM

    So, here is where I need some advice......

    We had no contact for several weeks, just long enough for me to get my head on straight and get the strength to deal with my issues. Last weekend, he contacted me and we talked all throughout the week. This was something I knew I needed in order to have closure. I was clear with him and myself that in no way would we return to what we were doing before. He told his wife that at some point he would need to talk to me in order to get closure, but she has insisted that she will leave if he has any contact with me at all. I know many betrayed wives cant understand this need for closure, and it's certainly understandable that she insist on no contact. I understand the importance of no contact in order for their relationship to heal, and so I want you all to understand that I didn't take this light-heartedly. For reasons far more complicated than I can explain here, this closure was a necessary part of his and my healing process, not just from the affair, but healing from many other traumas in our lives, secrets we have only shared with each other. I know the affair mantra..."This is different. We are soulmates. This is true love." I understand the dynamics of affairs, the addiction, the fog....that lead people to feel this way. So I'm not going to try to convince you all that what we had was true love and that we were soulmates. BUT..... our affair WAS different.....not because I'm foolish enough to believe this, but because it's true. He and I share the same very dark demons that we have mastered hiding from the world. He is like me in having an incredible outer persona. But from the beginning he saw my demons and I saw his. And in order for either of us to heal, we needed to talk through this. The only way I can think to explain this is when two survivors of an extreme trauma find each other, they heal by talking through shared experiences. His excessive cheating and my acceptance of him was the result of similar early life trauma.

    The closure was good and healthy for me, but I have ended things now before they have a chance to return to the way they were. I have been going to therapy and learning to face my demons, and I am not afraid of walking away from him this time. He is also in therapy and is seriously committed to fixing himself. His priority now is himself, as it needs to be, whether he stays married or not. His wife will not understand his need for closure, because she knows nothing of all of his other battles. He has never shown her all of the ugliness inside him. I am certain he and I will continue to talk occasionaly throughout the years, but I am committed to causing no further damage for her. If it were up to him, he and I would still be sleeping together now, even while his wife believes he is "locked down." He will only tell her the truth when he has no other choice. He absolutely will continue to cheat on her, whether with me or with someone else.

    My question is this.....should I tell his wife about this week, or should I just let it go? What would you want?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Other Woman,
      You know exactly what to do. That you continue to come here and seek support tells me that you still have a long way to go to understand and respect boundaries. The women here are in agony. They have been betrayed by the one person who promised to never betray them. It's impossible to overstate just how deep a wound that creates. It's trauma. It bleeds into every other aspect of our lives. Our work suffers. Our ability to parent suffers. Our ability to be a friend suffers. We suffer.
      Your affair wasn't different. Not at all. Affairs are two messy people seeking distraction and escape. That's it. And that's what you two had. Nothing more. It sounds as if you recognize that it was a sick relationship. Good. Cut him out of your life. You do not need "closure" -- that's total self-centred bullshit. Closure is walking away and shutting the door tight. Any contact with this man is serving some twisted need in both of you. Don't dress it up as if you two are emotional refugees. You're sick people who recognize someone who shares that sickness. If either of you was truly interested in healing, you would have done that and not simply fed your narcissism.
      If he was truly your friend, he wouldn't have kept you hidden. Him "sharing his ugliness" with you wasn't about healing, it was about using you to help him stay ugly. The only healing that can possibly take place is when each of you fully owns up to the pain you've caused a totally innocent person (and kids, if there are any) and takes steps to ensure you never, ever do it to anyone again.
      In the meantime, his wife is, as Trying Hard puts it, "fighting for her life with one hand tied behind her back." She is in shock. She is trying to digest that her entire relationship with this guy has been built on lies. I sincerely hope she dumps his sorry ass and builds a wonderful life without him. In the meantime, I hope she finds this site for support and compassion and clarity around how to move forward.
      The single kindest thing you can do is never ever talk to this guy again and simply forward his texts, e-mails, messages, whatever to her so she can stay completely on top of what he's doing. When you hear that she's filed for divorce, you can stop. When she asks you to stop, stop. If you have any sincerity in your desire to know what we would want you to do, that's it. It's not asking much, given the destruction you've contributed to.
      One more thing, Other Woman: I applaud your desire to "face your demons". But your letter reeks of self-absorption. You pay lip service to feeling badly about his wife but I don't honestly think you've managed to feel any real empathy for what she's going through. Whatever has happened to you in your life – and I don't doubt that you've experienced plenty of pain and trauma, and for that I'm genuinely sorry – was not her fault. She's terrified. She's devastated. She's traumatized. And she has to somehow pretend to the world that she's fine. Betrayal is hell. Don't give yourself more credit than you deserve for doing the right thing. You should have done it a long time ago.

      Delete
  55. OW. Same answer. Tell her. This women is in a fight for her life with one hand tied behind her back. Tell her everything and give proof. This guy is probably diseased and she has a right to know. As for you. I hope he leaves her and you two spill mates end up together. Sounds like a soulmate match made in hell. Have fun with that. YUK!!!

    ReplyDelete
  56. Elle. I can't wait to hear your response to this question. :)

    ReplyDelete
  57. Bravo Elle!!!! Will you please move to my town and be my BFF forever :) I'll do all your ironing if you say yes!!

    Seriously, as usual you gave perfect advice. I don't know about the rest but I sincerely hope OWFAW takes her story to another site. She doesn't really want our advice. She wants to put us in our place. It's sad she comes here to do that. I gave her credit at first but as usual these anti-social personalities show their true colors and intentions. The thing is there's lots of OW/OM support out there. She must have some sadistic qualities to herself to come to a site like this. Actually I think I've seen her on other recovery sites.

    LOL where she really needs to go is the Chump Lady and tell her sad story. She would chew her up and spit her out and not in a nice way. This chick thinks she's smarter than all of us. We OWFAW you're def not. You're just another loser who chooses to wallow in the mud with creeps. I hope you have fun with that when you are a withered up old woman by yourself with nothing and no one to care about you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. TH,
      Yeah, I sometimes wish I could have Chump Lady's take-no-prisoners approach. But I don't necessarily think this OW believes she's smarter. I think she's just so mired in her own pain that there's no room to imagine anyone else's. Look at the humiliating things this guy had her doing. She's telling herself they were somehow kindred spirits rather than seeing the truly destructive and ugly nature of it. I don't think her way of thinking is particularly unusual. It's just very emotionally immature.

      Delete
    2. One more thing, TH: I'm happy to send my ironing along anyway!

      Delete
  58. OMG!!! OMG!!! OMG!!! Elle... your response is spot on!!! Thank you for putting this into an incredible perspective for me... one I can totally relate to. I loved this portion of the response, especially when you stated "Your affair wasn't different. Not at all. Affairs are two messy people seeking distraction and escape. That's it. And that's what you two had. Nothing more."
    It so reminded me of my husband's sick and twisted emotional affair that went on for at least seven years. Your response was terrific and was exactly what I needed today. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Somewhere,
    Putting the affair dynamic in a nutshell can go a long way toward helping us recognize just how trite they are. Our culture tells us they're passionate and romantic and exciting, the same way our culture sells us the notion of the tortured artist who's somehow deeper than we are. It's bullshit. It's messy people living messy lives without the insight or desire to clean themselves up and start living lives of integrity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your words again helped me with understanding the ow in our muddy life! She had the attitude that the one that wants our advice. She sent texts telling us how hard a marriage is to recover from when we are still not willing to be honest with each other! I know h has told me the truth the way he felt when it started and when he stopped feeling anything for her except fear of her telling me.
      She felt they were so special but now he feels nothing but pity for her and still feels the shame every day! Thank you Elle for showing me once again the perspective I need to keep on the ow and her truths!

      Delete
  60. The Other Woman For a YearDecember 14, 2015 at 11:44 AM

    You are all correct. I have no words, except that I am sorry.

    ReplyDelete
  61. The Other Woman For a YearDecember 14, 2015 at 12:30 PM

    I really don't know why I chose to find support here instead of another group. I guess after 20 years of being cheated on, I was just more drawn here. My last post was rude and insensitive. This weekend was the one month anniversary of losing my baby boy after a very long battle with a rare genetic disorder, and I simply felt alone. I guess as his heart stopped beating, so did mine. I am sorry for the hurt I caused and wish you all well. I made the wrong choice in seeking understanding with a married man, and likewise, it was wrong for me to look for comfort here. Best of wishes to you all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OW,
      You said nothing about seeking support here but rather expressed a desire for advice about how to proceed re. the wife of the man who continued to contact you.
      What's more, I don't recall you noting your own experience of being cheated on.
      If you had made clear that you were looking for support, I would have told you straightaway that this was the wrong place. You know these are women who have been deeply wounded by the behaviour of women like you who have knowingly had affairs with married men (and don't think for a second that the men are off the hook. We hold them far more accountable than we hold you.). But to anticipate support makes clear, again, that you have very little understanding of the specific brand of pain that betrayal brings and our healthy need to protect ourselves from people who will hurt us further in any way.
      Nobody should ever have to bury a child and I'm so sorry you've had to. I know there are groups of people who share your experience and it makes sense, if you haven't already reached out, to find them and share your sorrow there.
      OW, there is support available for you if you want it. But it's not here. I sincerely hope you want better for yourself.

      Delete
  62. Amen, Amen, Amen!!!!

    There is NO romance in any of this shit show that I can see. If that's romance and soulmate--NO THANK YOU!!

    I'd get more romance from watching CAT VIDEOS if that's my choice!

    ReplyDelete
  63. OWFAW. You owe NO apologies to me. I took NO offense at what you said. You asked our advice/opinion, you got it. Candid and unedited. I won't pretend for one minute that I can associate or condone your actions. I feel sorry for you though. Hurt people hurt people. You're no different.

    Do I judge you, yes I do. You are wrong on so many levels. I believe the only right way for you is if you have an idea, it's a bad one. Don't do it.

    Look this place is not the same as cheater sites. I've read those and you all hold hands, sing Coomb Bay Ya and wax all pietic about your cheater married men/soul mates. You will never get that here. We call bullshit when we see it.

    You can talk and explain your story and we don't care. It's all bullshit as far as we are concerned and we are right!!!

    Do I think you are beyond redemption. Hell no. I think you believe you are beyond redemption and don't deserve a nice life. You my dear are your own worst enemy, not us:)

    I am sorry you lost your child. I'm sure you hurt bad from that. As a mother my heart aches for you.

    I still stand by my original answer to your question. Tell the wife. This guy is toxic and she has a right to know.

    Good luck to you. I will keep you and your soul in my prayers

    ReplyDelete
  64. Elle
    Thank you so much for placing the ow for everyone on this hurtful path to the realization that she really meant nothing! I hope all of Us can realize we mean everything! Hugs and Merry Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Merry Christmas to you too Theresa. Hope it has been a good day.

      Delete
    2. Elle
      We had a wonderful Christmas Eve at church. Our daughter became engaged before the service and we were thrilled to meet his parents! It was the sweetest proposal I have ever seen. We had our grandsons for Christmas Day and of course this was wonderful! I feel so blessed this year when I look back at where we were last year! Thank you for all you do with this blog!

      Delete
  65. And then there are those of us who can say all of the above is true, but were still left for the OW. I am over two years past D-Day, and over a year beyond him ending our marriage. I am healthier and stronger than I have ever been, and am clear I don't want him back. But he is with the OW. Living with her. My children are there with shared custody. They are taking a trip together next month. Despite the fact that I know I don't want him back, I can't get this woman out of my life. She still "won". How do you move on from that? How do you get to the point that the loss no longer tears you apart inside? I've dated, but met no one worthy of "more"... I am growing and learning and finding my way, but still, I hurt and am angry. He didn't see my value or the value of our lives together. He was scared to lose me and yet chose her. I simply do not know how to see that as anything other than a devaluation of me, even knowing that isn't true.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Karey..
      I'm saddened to read your post, and I'm so sorry for what has happened to you. Can I respectfully ask you what the OW really 'won?' Is you former husband some sort if prize, a trophy perhaps? Remember the famous words of Dr. Phil... "If he'll do it with you, he'll do it to you"... a rather clear message to many desperate other women out there. As for you feeling that maybe she 'won over' your children, she will never ever be their mother no matter what!!! Please keep believing in yourself and know that the pain will lessen. I'll be thinking if you. God Bless.

      Delete
    2. Karey,
      I'm so sorry for what you've gone through and for the pain you're still in. A friend of mine once cried on my shoulder that the woman who broke up her marriage was going to be tucking in her son with bedtime and stories and he'd never know. Years later, she's remarried, her ex is still with the OW and she's long past any pain. However, it took a lot of time.
      More than that, though, it takes effort to let go of the OW and the notion that she "won" anything. Relationships are hard work, even good ones. Especially good ones. You're clinging to something that's gone and I think you'd do well to figure out what you're clinging to. What does this woman represent to you? When, in your past, can you remember this feeling of being cheated out of something that you felt was yours. Often, when time isn't working its magic by untangling us from the past, it's because something from long ago is keeping us tethered there, something that we haven't yet resolved.
      If you're not in therapy, I would encourage you to find someone to help you untether yourself. You're no longer with a guy who cheated on you. That could be cause for celebration. And though you haven't found anyone else, it nonetheless sounds as if you have a rich, full life in which you can pursue anything that intrigues you. I think any time our response to something feels "stuck", it often has more to do with something long in our past. Not always but it's worth exploring.
      I hope you can find peace around this. You deserve to move forward with hope.

      Delete
  66. Larry
    You know sometimes I think they make a choice of the least resistance. That's not to say you weren't worth it. It's just saying it was easier to go the other way. With the OW. She did a better sell job?? Don't know. Whatever it was that made him decide your self worth or value is not measured by him. He is not the Karey barometer! Who knows what influenced his decision making. Human nature is comprised of many idoiosyncricies right? I know in my case it could have just as easily gone the same direction. All I know is reconciliation is not for the faint of heart. Not that you are faint of heart. Reconciliation is a long and arduous journey and sometimes I do wonder if it was worth it. Would time spent working on me and only me and not my marriage and relationship would have been time better spent? I'll never know :). We did reconcile and I can't say for sure my life is better than what yours will be. All I know is after betrayal everything is shit. Sure you can make the best of a bad situation and read everything you get your hands on to heal yourself, your marriage, your relationships with others.. you name it. All I know is life is never the same. You are never the same. Makes no difference if you've reconciled or divorced. What I do know for damn sure is your value and self worth is NOT diminished because of his choices. You had no contribution to his choices. That's all on him. But what is imperative is for you to find, know and recognize your value. Your value is NOT tied to him. Your value is yours and no one takes that away.

    I know were I in your place dating would be on the back burner until I could sort myself out. Of course no one is "worthy". You haven't figured your own worth out yet. Doesn't mean you can't find someone to have fun with. This isn't a race right? And she won nothing. She won a lying cheater. Big deal. That's nothing but second or third place. She found herself a loser. She will end up losing too. Eventually.

    I hope you will find your true value and not some perceived value that is tied up in being Mrs So and So. You hang on and quit giving him so much power. You're going to be fine. You can be better than fine. You can be great

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails