Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Healing 101: Awesome advice about continued contact with the OW

I just read this post by Fragments of Hope on the Feeling Stuck forum and was struck by how straightforward and wise it was. I'm re-posting here so that many more will read it and benefit. Thanks, FOH, for this. I say it often but I'll say it again: The compassion and support I see every single day on this site, as you rush to tend to each other's pain, is incredible. I'm grateful for each one of you who makes this place such a powerful, healing place to be.

FOH here...
 (Like many here, I discovered my husband was in contact again a few months later and you asked how I dealt with it. Firstly I just want to say how sorry I am you are going through this, it is horrendous, changes us and takes a long time to get through. It is a betrayal that goes to the very core of us. Keep reading the blog posts and the advice from everyone here and let us help you through it. In answer to your question, the second betrayal (though he was just in touch as friends, not romantically) almost finished us off in more ways than one. If he had come clean that she had contacted him and that he responded and kept in touch (though he was telling her nothing would happen) it would have actually helped us hugely. Instead it felt to me that even though he had seen how hurt I was I didn't give a damn, that he had learned nothing about lying and so on. From his perspective (and so many betraying spouses) he had not fully worked through what she had been for him (and in many cases it's an ego boost or escape from depression and life pressures). There is a huge addictive factor with these affairs, they press the serotonin button and make people feel good and they want to keep pressing the button. Add to that the guilt they feel when they finally wake up to your pain and they are in real danger of turning to something to assuage their guilt and numb the pain (and quite often they go back to their happy place - the OW. It's like the fix they can't get away from, like drugs or alcohol. Affairs are (mostly) not about love, they are about feeling good and, sadly, for the OW, it's all about the feeling, not about the person. My husband was thinking of starting a new life with the OW but when I asked him he couldn't tell me anything about HER he really admired. Anyhow, you are at the early stages, what you need to know now is that your husband needs counselling to see what function the OW had for him, you need clear boundaries, transparency - where he is, devices and so on. It's like keeping an eye on an alcoholic. Your husband needs to do a hell of a lot of work on himself to find appropriate ways of filling any gaps such as gaps in self-esteem, loneliness, sense of (career or life) failure. He needs to give 300 percent to you to make you believe that you are important to him. If he hesitates at any of this, remind him that this is for both of you, to help you stay together, for a good marriage, for your girls, to help him be a man of honour and good values. It is not to punish him or make him feel guilty. He needs to commit himself to reparation - making good what has been destroyed. In the first few months I was flailing around and was not aware of what might happen. You have this place as a sounding board and your husband would benefit from being aware of the real mechanics of an affair and the work he can do. I wish you well with it.

49 comments:

  1. Absolutely brilliant FOH legend!!!

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  2. Elle
    I too saw wisdom in this post! I'm always in awe of other's ability to put into words that can help the rest of us when we are still struggling to voice just what we are feeling. Just writing raw feelings the first few weeks helped me even when I couldn't write a complete sentence! I just noticed that we have almost filled up the feeling stuck page that feels like you just started a days ago! Thanks for what you continue to do for all of us!

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    1. Yep, about to create a new one. Keep writing, warriors! We'll write our way out of pain and into a new story.

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  3. My husband continued sporadic contact with the OW for about 5 months after the affair finished. I did have access to his phone account so I knew he was still lying. Eventually he confessed and said she had been pestering him and she wasn't well so he felt bad. I felt he was more worried about upsetting her than keeping his promise to me but he eventually revealed she had been threatening to tell me the length of their affair/contact (18 years) instead of the four or five years he had told me originally. These additional lies were/are the greatest hurdle to our reconciliation. This post confirms my thoughts on the need for the straying partner to ease their feelings about themselves and that they have difficulty in appreciating the effect of their actions for a long time.

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    1. I'll be honest, Anonymous, some guys just can't do it. Their desire to self-protect trumps everything else, including the feelings of everyone around them. Their shame, their fear, their need to believe that they're not such a bad guy keeps them from ever really digging deep enough.
      Let's hope your husband isn't one of them. If he isn't in therapy, he should be. He needs to understand why he can't be present for your pain without feeling obliterated himself.

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    2. "The need to believe that they're not such a bad guy" puts it in a nutshell, thank you. Until he realises he is that guy he won't appreciate the effects of his actions on our marriage over the years. He thought he could keep their contact compartmentalised and I would never have to know. Our only daughter is getting married in a few weeks and this is unfortunately bringing some of the pain to the fore as it is an emotional time. We are slowly healing but there are times it all resurfaces. The self protection is an important point you have made. His family spent most of his youth 'protecting him and never upsetting him', typical spoilt only male child. I refused to join in with this despite his mother's insistence for years and I do feel this is a large part of the need for ego boost etc.

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  4. I was literally JUST thinking about this on my ride to work...he's said to me and in therapy that he's cut off ALL contact with her (and wants nothing to do with her) and a big part of me genuinely believes that but then the other part of you wonders but if he was able to lie to my face so easily during the affair, what's to stop him now? This post came again at the perfect time for me...it's amazing how so many of your posts speak to whatever is going on in my life at the time. Thank you.

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    1. Photo Girl,
      What's to stop him? A genuine understanding that you pay an incredibly painful price for his actions. Without that genuine understanding, there's nothing to stop him. Even with that genuine understanding, some guys can't stop themselves. What they get from an affair is too powerful for them.
      So...where does that leave you? Insisting on transparency from your husband (while knowing that if he really wants to keep hiding something, he'll find a way). Verifying what he tells you to ensure that he's telling the truth. And slowly, over time, watching that his words match his actions. Is he in therapy? Is he taking steps to understand why he risked what matters for someone who doesn't? What is he willing to do to show you that he's not hiding anything? Those are the signs that he really doesn't want to be that guy anymore.

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    2. My husband refuses to go to therapy. He says he does not need anyone telling him what to do. His head is so high in the clouds filing for divorce will be his only wake up. He says nothing I do bothers him so in my head I say he has moved on with his mistress and just waiting for me to leave so they can move in together.

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  5. Hi ladies.. Think the bottom line is we can't control what they do/don't do all we can do is ensure we are strong enough to walk away at any time if we feel further betrayed... This is where I am at right now.. Living separately from h for 3 months following d day 2... He might me seeing the ow I wouldn't know that's the saving grace of being separated I don't see or hear what's going on if he is in touch with her good luck to him that's his choice. Not a lot I can do about it but concentrate on me and my life... He was in ic had a few sessions then tells me he can't afford and is dropping out, more like he doesn't want to deal with his shit.. But rather than getting myself in a tizz like I normally do I said nothing. What the hell can I do I can't control what he does.. I'm feeling much stronger these last 2 weeks my feelings are changing towards him I know I'll be ok without him, I reckon life would be much simpler but again I will give myself as much time as I need before I think about bringing in the divorce lawyers..

    Ladies live in the here and now, tomorrow's another day.. Big hugs to you all xxx

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    1. Yup. Here and now is usually a whole lot less complicated than trying to live in the past or the future.

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    2. Rock on Sam A. Rock on. I hope I can be as strong as you are role modeling in this.

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    3. SamA
      My h and almost had to separate due to her continued contact and my rage but somehow we got through that part but only after I like you realized that if he or I chose to end our marriage, I could be by myself and be just fine!

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  6. Hi, doesnt it just make your blood boil to think that the OW just doesnt care about the W its all about what they need
    and the H wonders why you would like to get hold of the OW and kill them!!! I feel real anger when i think about it.. xxxx

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    1. It used to make my blood boil. And now and again, it still does. But mostly, as an abstraction, I feel sorry for people whose lives are defined by self-centredness and insecurity. I sure as hell don't want to live like that. Heard a heartbreaking story last night about a husband cheating on his dying wife with another woman. Friends of the OW suggested that she back off while the wife was in chemo/radiation, etc. OW said she was afraid that if she backed off, the husband (whose wife was literally dying!!!!) would find someone else.
      Imagine that level of insecurity. Imagine the moral gymnastics you need to do to convince yourself that cheating under a dying woman's nose is preferable to stepping back and having some decency. It boggles the mind. But there will always be people willing to abandon decency to get what they think they want. But know this: what they want is never as good as they think it will be. Nothing out there can fill a hole that exists inside. Nothing. And nobody.

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    2. Jilly 55
      Yes it made my blood boil each and every time she continued to text my h and especially when I sent one from his phone and told her point blank to leave us the hell alone and how he told her he didn't love her and she pretty much told me to stay out of their conversation as she had already apologized to me for the affair but would never apologize for true love two ways..that left my h shaking his head and saying now do you understand why I can't make her stop! Well a few months past that he sent her to jail and that just held her off for four months and seven months later she tried again so he sent her back to see the judge and if she breaks it again she goes to jail! Yeah my blood still boils from time to time! And then I just bust out laughing at really stupid she has to feel standing in front of the same judge less than a year after promising she understands the no contact order!

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  7. Elle
    I was getting emails of the new posts but I hit a button yesterday and although I can post, I no longer get the email notifications. Anyone know how to fix my mess?

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    1. I wonder if you somehow unsubscribed. Try inputing your e-mail again under the subscribe button and see if that works.

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    2. I gave that a try so we'll see if it works! I'm so computer deficient!

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  8. Elle Thersea. I was at a dinner party where an (ex) friend was complaining about her married lover, she was annoyed because her sex life was going down the pan cause he couldnt see her at the moment due to his wife having cancer and being quite poorly. I had recently found out about my H and i was disgusted at what was coming out of her mouth. Definitely an EX friend. You are very precise Elle when you say these woman are not real and not worth bothering about infact Theresa that woman sounds like a lunatic !! xxx

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  9. Sigh...the OWs of the world. A perplexing bunch of gals driven by ego, pain, a lack of conscience and empathy. Who among us would want to be described that way? Perhaps due to a lack of introspection and an over abundance of beer, cosmo magazine and media they can rationalise their behaviours, but if I could sit them down I would challenge them to consider the fact that they aren't rescuing these men, they are filling holes. In my world most holes are filled in with dirt--not the way I want to be perceived.

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  10. Yeah my husband went back to the OW repeatedly until she finally quit him. Then of course he started pursuing me heavily again. I'm sorry, I really am better than nothing and he can bite me. We are now divorced.

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  11. Fragments of HopeJuly 30, 2016 at 4:44 PM

    Elle, I'm very touched that you highlighted my post. I'm sure this goes for many here but it's a great healer to ) feel you're not alone and b) to think you might have helped someone else in a similar situation.

    One extra thing I will add regarding The Return of the OW (!) (In Fatal Attraction, she just kept coming back didn't she?) is that my husband was, scarily, able to be compassionate and quite articulately tell me how he realised what he had put me through WHILE AT THE SAME TIME keeping in contact with the OW for a month (initiated by her) without telling me. (He told her he felt guilty and that nothing could happen between them but if I hadn't found out, who knows what might have happened. She actually told me when I answered a previously unseen message from Facebook nine months after it was sent. She obviously had not given up on him.) I still struggle with the second D-day. The line we have now is that he hadn't figured out what she meant to him but was also trying to take back control and end it the way it should have been ended (but he was taking his time, and lying.) 2.5 years after D Day1 whenever he acts thoughtless and separate to me I still wonder whether it's just some part of his character that was switched on at a stressful time. If I tell myself the story in that way it would mean I would not want to stay with him. In some ways I'm still on the fence.

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    1. FOH,
      One thing that read so often on this site is that the husband imagines himself some sort of white knight, rescuing these women from their misery, their loneliness. They seem to love that image of themselves as powerful, sexy, interesting. It's so intoxicating that it does allow them to feel almost invincible -- able to convince themselves of all sorts of bullshit, even as they're claiming to want to save their marriage. It's only when THEY can see their own bullshit that it all comes tumbling down. When they can see that this other person didn't really matter, it was what this other person represented. It was the reflection they saw of themselves in the other person's eyes. They were in love with this image of themselves.

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  12. Fragments of Hope

    Thank you - your insight and story about bearing through continued contact with the OW is very helpful to me. The common practice of continued contact even in a no romance way is a very very painful part of the affair process. In many ways it has been the most painful and damaging part for me.

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom and strength!

    Love
    Becky

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    1. Fragments of HopeAugust 3, 2016 at 9:34 AM

      Thanks Becky, yes, the continued contact after him seeing the hurt, after knowing his lying was wrong, that was the hardest thing to get over emotionally and also when trying to make a story to help me stay with him and move forward with him. As I said, he did it WHILE saying all the right things (and I believe he was genuine about wanting to make things right) and I'd be lying if I said it still, almost 2 years from D-day 2 - make me sometimes feel I am a fool for sticking around. So much will continue to be reviewed and seen through the lens of the 2nd betrayal, it has made me very, very wary. It has also made me clear that I will go if it happens again and he knows that. The continued contact felt like a complete lack of consideration and respect, although it was more about his own warped world view at that time. Good luck Backy, hope you can continue to feel stronger over time.

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  13. Excellent summing up, FOH. Especially the part where you point out the addictive quality. We have learned in therapy that this is exactly the case, and the behavior escalates to continue to get that 'high', because they get acclimated to the level they are at, just like drug or alcohol addicts. Add to that the feeling of low self worth when they are 'sober', and that feeling drives them back to get their fix.
    I guess I am better off this way than finding out he was a gambling addict..at least there aren't 4 mortgages on the house I don't know about.
    The key is finding a way to have a healthy outlet now while they attempt to rebuild what they have destroyed. I tell my therapist that is my biggest fear, that his addictive tendencies will just lateral into another destructive behavior, and with his phenomenal ability to compartmentalize and deny, I/we may not recognize it until it is advanced.

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    1. Fragments of HopeAugust 3, 2016 at 9:44 AM

      Yes Suzannah that addictive high of being liked, admired and so on was a huge part of the original and 2nd D-Day. My H has been an odd mix of insecurity and arrogance over the years, both highly praised but also 'brought down to earth' by his family of origin. I don't think he thought of himself at first (no self-analysis) of being a person who could do bad things. His brother in law left his sister for the OW in horrible and more extreme circumstances. My H had an emotional affair, with meetings and plans to be together but he could not see the parallels with his brother in law. I think one of the worst things in life is when we fool ourselves that we would never do 'such and such' or that we are more enlightened than others. From my reading in Psychology we can fall prey so easily to justifications and biases even if we think we are openminded. My husband was aware of his own possible addictive nature before the affair came along but he thought it might take the form of alcohol because two of his uncles were alcoholics. He was vigilant re alcohol but the addictive qualities of the affair took him right by surprise. You are right to be concerned about how your husband's addictive tendencies might mutate. He needs to be aware of it.

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    2. FOH,
      You make an important point when you note the dangers of believing that we would "never" do such and such. It was only when I began to acknowledge that, under certain circumstances or if I'd led my husband's life, I might have also made the same choices that I began to have compassion for him. And it's within that compassion that healing for both of us could take root.

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  14. Part 1 You all know from time to time I go cray cray crazy. I know I shouldn't do this. I know it is not good for me. I know all that. I was compelled to research the letters the OW wrote to the wives? Why? I wanted to figure out how I could write a psychological damaging letter to the OW so she would feel it at 200mph like being hit with a high torqued engine with a hemi. I researched and read for several weeks. There were common themes. Not what you think. They didn't have any regrets or cared less we were devastated. What they did care about was not being chosen. They cared about not being recognized as being good to our husbands. They lament about all they did for him. Many didn't see themselves as the OW. They cared that they failed to get what they want. None of them felt sorry for what they did. So with that being said, I wrote another letter. I apologize if some of the sentences you read before are repeated. I tried to hit on their fears, inadequacy and their lost. All of them wished they had been chosen.

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  15. Here goes: After this letter you will never hear from me again. You had no right to insert yourself into our marriage and family. YOU knew that he was married and that makes you just as irresponsible as he is. You knew this day would come. You weren't even able to depart with quiet dignity or grace. You called after he and I left your home, then 6 and 9 months later. Did you REALLY believe that YOUR thoughts would matter to either one of us? See how important you were to him?
    You envied me more than I despised you. It pissed you off because you know in the end he would stay with me. You have done countless undeniable repulsive things without an ounce of regret. You were the other woman but never felt like that. Deep in your heart you were hoping he would leave me. He made promises to me. Promises he would only keep for one of us. He chose me and I chose him. You were thrown under the bus immediately, dream girl. You could have been ANYBODY...it was never about YOU.  You were a vagina with an ego boost for him. That's the sum total of your captivating traits. My husband said it was pathetic when he saw you try to phone men who previously left you. He knew what you were a whore, his words, the second you said, "Look at all I do for you." Smart move. 
My marriage is going to be fine...as a matter of fact, MY JR (he hated that nickname) and I are stronger together. His true love for me, you couldn't even get his attention, is demonstrated with vacations, cruises, new car, clothes, compliments, being cared about and his attention is endless. It is called unconditional love. He says sex with me is passionate, wild. We make love every other day. You? You said he stayed at your house less than an hour. You didn't seem to measure up in any department, sweetie. You know he used you. He wanted me, you get nothing.
    My husband rejected you. I know he complained about me and our marriage. He complained about you too. You were fat, not that attractive, not smart and your clothes were tasteless. He said you whined, over dramatized, kept a dirty house, you had a delusional self image, and used both family and friends. He lied to you when you called him, he didn't want to come over and was tired of you. You were "on-call sex". He was bored. The one reason why he didn't leave you? He was afraid you would tell me. He said he did just enough and no more to keep you quiet. That is true based on his business bank account. You are a pitiful failure, honey.
    You have caused irrevocable pain to me, both families and friends who are surprised that you are not the moral teacher. Your reputation in town is a want-to-be home-wrecker who lives in her mother's house. Drives her mother's car. Even two years later our family and friends remember the family devastation and your name is brought up in disgust.
    The bank sent me your endorsed checks, $500 and $300 although you denied it. My children say the money you requested is not unlike robbing our family. Enclosed is a prepaid envelope for you to send the necklace, watch or any other cheap gift he gave you for sex, as an act of contrition. Take some accountability for the pain you caused our family.
    My husband's refers to you as a town whore and our family/friends couldn't agree more.

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  16. FOH, It is so comforting to be in touch with people who have had the same experiences. None of my friends or relatives have ever experienced what we have and do not know the extent of the pain it causes.... I struggle also with the second D-day (again 2 or more years after d-day 1) just like you i had to finish the affair by ringing her H. My H said he was trying to finish the affair properly too (what is properly OW coming first again!!) and i think well you certainly took your time and if i hadn't intervened when would it have finished!!! Its a horrid feeling and although we feel more "normal" after time some days i still feel cross i don,t think we will ever really get over it. I love reading your posts as with all the others i dont feel alone in this situation xxxx

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    1. Fragments of HopeAugust 3, 2016 at 9:59 AM

      I agree Jilly55, as I replied to Becky and Suzannah above, it really is the hardest thing to get over and it took the ground away from under us. I felt we had to start from scratch all over again. The headwreck of having him express the best of intentions to my face (genuinely) and then not telling me when she contacted him and when they messaged and rang each other was so hard to get around. I found out when I answered an old email I found from her (it was coincidence, I believe, that I answered it at the time they had renewed contact (or maybe i had a subconscious inkling). The funny thing is that she rang him to complain about my email. Then he rang me in a panic saying that she had rang him 'out of the blue'. Before I discovered they'd been corresponding that month I felt delighted he'd 'come clean'. I felt closer to him and positive about our chances. That was all ripped away when I found out he had lied (or deceived) about the fact they had been in contact that month. Luckily I found out, he needed that wake up call, I was completely enraged, I said I would have to tell his parents (I never told them as they are in poor health). He knew that this was serious stuff. Again, others here have suffered much worse 2nd revelations, it's such a body blow. We went to counselling after that and the key phrase that helped my husband to see sense was when the counsellor asked 'what did the OW mean to you.' He could then stand back and see what function she had. It has been so difficult though, I have really struggled over the last couple of years and some difficult family times have made it difficult. I agree we might never completely get over this, esp with 2nd betrayals. The only chance we have is if the H keeps working on himself to step up to be the best and most considerate and aware he can be. I now demand this and stand up for what I was and how who I was was betrayed by his lies, nastiness, backstabbing (complaining about me to the OW). I was a good person doing my best and now he needs to honour that. Wishing you well and lots of strength Jilly.

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  17. Ladies, today has been a rough day. Picture googling, etc.. I need to hear some revenge stories! I think it will cheer me up to live vicariously through someone else's adventures sinc I know I can't do anything myself!

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    1. Debby there are great posts and comments on this site. But a couple of my fav fantasies include mailing her a big red ornament in the shape of the letter A. The OW in my casa has a first name that starts with A so it could have a double meaning sent anonymously. I also love the idea of signing her up for nasty sex toy catalogs. Or the classic flaming bag of poo. Or just spitting in her face. I'm not a spitter but I feel like I could work up a good loogie just for her.

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  18. Hi friends, well I'm on vacation with family and my kids. Enjoying the lake and the peace and quiet. Really struggling missing my h though. He should be here, we should be sharing things and I'm sad and angry about it. Got a bug hug the day we left and he said "I'll be here when you get home.". Meanwhile we've moved ahead with the separation and he is moving in to his little cabin in the woods while we are away. I am fighting myself and the urge to text him. He needs to miss me and feel some of what life will be like without me and the kids available all the time. I'm just so so so sad. Hope I can make it through 6 months of this. Meanwhile I am working on my luscious lake tan and feeling gorgeous in a bikini for the first time ever in my life. Suck on that wayward h. I'm going to go swim now. Hugs to you all!!!

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    1. SS,
      Yes, I think the space will do you good. Sad is normal. Of course, you're sad. Feel it and then let it wash over you. Take some time to just watch the lake, listen to the wind in the trees, focus on the beauty around you and know that you're a part of that. Recharge.

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  19. One revenge story. When I got hold of his phone I find 49 names it in. FORTY NINE. But only a few had decided with him and even fewer had any contact after his paid sex. When my insanity was in full swing in the firstvweek of discovery I wrote to two of the women telling them he had killed himself. One denied knowing him after 19 email exchanges with him, then she said she was a dude. I assured her he was ok with that too. Lol Then she wanted to know all about ihos suicide. That's when is stopped writing and killed the phone number. Let her wonder forever. Another I told he was insane and killed by a jealous boyfriend. also wrote one apology (as him)!to a whore he was pursuing. But the suicide story (she is in another country) was the most fun. Insert evil laugh here.

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  20. Still standing
    Revenge is a double edged sword. I day dreamed about how to hurt the bitch the way she did me! By blindsiding her with the truth as she attempted to do to me! However, me being a patient people waited for her to make all the crazy she could and not being as crazy as her was very difficult. Well I got my revenge when she was hauled into jail and he her knight in shining armor didn't ride out to rescue her one last time! She didn't learn from it not move on from it nor go away quickly nor quietly. She reached out again when her son died thinking he would come back and rescue her emotions as he had done from the beginning of the affair. But instead he simply sent her a text of condolence from the both of us. He thought surely that would make her move on. No she sent one more text requesting a meet up for drinks and no hard feelings! lol more revenge for me when he called the attorney and she once again was hauled in to see the judge who totally scared the shit out of her with the threat of jail. I just smh! I'm still not convinced it's the last we'll hear from her but at least I'm convinced that my h has no feelings for her other than pity. So if ever I'm forced to see her in person I know that I'm strong enough to be the southern lady that the whore crazy bitch will never be! Yes revenge was sweet knowing she finally brought me revenge all by herself! Hugs!

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  21. Theresa, you are right about revenge. I have no intention of actually pursuing or taking any kind of action. I have fantasized about showing up at here house (she lives several states away, so it would be quite a shock) and introducing myself. I just want her to see I am a real person and not the disembodied nebulous ogre of a wife she's probably cast me as in her mind, to justify what she has done. I would want her to see a real human that she has caused harm to. I'd want her to have to look my children in the eye and say "yup, i'm the girl that fucked your dad." But I know none of these things would accomplish anything. She doesn't care that she has caused harm, clearly. I had thoughts about walking in to her house and cooking her a meal while she watched and making her eat it. Calmly and confidently. Because this is something I know I am good at. And I picture her terrified the whole time. I don't know why I think about this, but it is satisfying to me. Maybe because I have invaded her space and mastered her kitchen, when i know she is not much of a cook. Really strange, I know. Because my H and the OW are still in touch, I don't talk about her or acknowledge her existence. I am for now focused on me and my relationship with my H such as it is. I am not going to draw his eye there any more than it already is. One final thought I relish is that the OW lives in one of the few states where you can bring a lawsuit against an affair partner for "alienation of affection." I certainly fantasize about making that case and having that follow her around forever. The OW in my case has no social media presence except for LinkedIn. Has never called here or even looked at me online (as far as I can tell). She has made herself, small, and as wounded and pathetic as possible. (i'm just straight venting now...) and I hate her guts. I hate her pathetic neediness that played on my H's need to be a hero, a rescuer. Fuck him, Fuck her. He talks about how he's had much longer to process this situation because he's been unhappy for so long. Fuck him. Fuck him for not speaking up. Fuck him for his shitty coping strategies. Fuck him for medicating with another human being. Fuck her for being weak and needy and available and for medicating with my husband. They can both eat the food I cook in her imaginary kitchen and choke on it.
    Phew. I needed to get that out. Couple session was tough today. Listening talk about his bachelor pad and how great the kids are taking it. At least he got to see how this is truly affecting me. I don't lash out, but I don't hide or protect him from my feelings anymore either. That bullshit is done. Sessions are full of mixed messages. He can breathe. He's taking time for himself. He's starting a new job. But he has shown empathy and wants to add us all to the new benefits because it makes financial sense. And volunteered a hug after the session. So confusing. urg. That's a brain dump y'all. Thanks for your patience. My hand was shaking too much to journal and I wanted to feel heard.

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    1. Still Standing,
      Sometimes you just have to vent. It feels good to just get it all out of your system. I have a blog that I started just for me. It's my space, never intended to be seen by anyone. But I do fantasize about tagging her name, #slut, etc... and making it public. I would love for her to google herself and have my blog posts come up, especially the one titled "Fuck You"!
      I will most likely never have contact with her again, but there is some pleasure in knowing that she knows the only thing between her dirty little secrets staying private and being made public is my conscience. That's got to suck.

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    2. Dandelion, I'd love to read your "Fuck you!" Post. I'm sure I'd be cheering you on and recognizing many of my own fuck yous in there. I'm glad the OW is gone from your life. I hope for a day when I can say the same

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    3. Wow -- Still Standing... I hope your vent helped you feel better -- it sure did me! :) I agree, sometimes I feel like I just want the OWs to see that I am a real person. A good person. And that they owe me an apology. No major revenge. Just look me in the eye and acknowledge that they hurt me and my children.

      And Dandelion, I love that thought -- the only thing between her dirty little secrets staying private and being made public is my conscience. Never thought of that before. I'm going to have to sit with that -- I think it actually might be enough for me now.

      Tho I also admit to googling how to get something to come up on auto-suggest. So that if someone -- like a potential employer -- typed her name into google, the auto-suggests would come back "so-and-so is a tramp," etc. I wouldn't actually do it even it I could figure out how. But I do like to imagine it.

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    4. Sal I love the Google auto suggest. So and so is a home wrecker. So and so fucked my husband. So and so is a waste of skin. So and so is a cock gobbler. The list is endless. Just so "fun"to imagine. I feel like there would be a way to track where that started... And honestly I wouldn't want to do that kind of harm to anyone. Because being an optimist, my hope is that in some not do distant future she will have moved on and will look back at this time and think wtf was I doing? And I wouldn't want her parents to see that. I can't imagine inflicting that kind of pain on innocent bystanders. I guess that's where she and I are different. Still next time I'm having a bad day i will allow myself 30 seconds to brainstorm a few more of those... :)

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  22. My story isn't about revenge. I did fantasize about bad things happening to her. That I would accidentally run into her... with my car. That she would be forced to go back to her native country. That I would punch her in the face.
    But what ended up happening, was brought on by bad luck and her own stupidity, and it was not something I would have ever wished. Her child was seriously hurt, rendered permanently disabled because she was a neglectful parent. After that, I realized there was no need to render revenge. She has to walk through life with her head filled with delusions, fantasies, and a willingness to let herself, her family, and community down.

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  23. "That I would accidentally run into her.... with my car." = love. It does seem to be a theme that these sick women (and I mean sick as in mentally ill, tragically damaged) continue their self destructive behavior to the nth degree. I suppose we have few or no stories of OW who regret their actions, learn from their heinous error and move on to be healthy people, because what person would admit to it?

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    1. Still standing
      The main problem the crazy other women were broken when our crazy at the time husbands hooked up and in their crazy minds were fixing each other! Now the ow are crazier than ever when they've been dropped but continue to live in their made up space! There in lies the difference in them and us... Our crazy was caused by their choice to cheat, our crazy is completely cure able with the right therapist and a h who is willing to work harder than ever for his marriage!! Hugs!

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  24. After the therapist read my letter. To the OW. She agreed that OW's absolutely do not care how we feel or that they care about the destruction they caused. She said they have a black hole in themselves they are trying to fill. They fill that hole with whatever makes them happy. So then they lose, are not chosen, and realize they weren't good enough, smart enough or pretty enough it kills them. It hurts them. It devastates them. Some turn into a raging woman just like I did. Think about it. I raged at my husband. She raged because she lost, the calls, the drive-bys, texts, contact. All of it is illogical. Just like me throwing books, remotes, dishes at my husband. Tearing up pictures, taking off rings. Just like me raging words, hitting him, not eating, not sleeping, driving off sitting in a parking lot crying.

    These women then continue to try find something to fill the black hole. It is not about you on any front, level or circumstance. It is they lost totally, they lost their fantasy. I imagine their fantasy is our life, our children and our husbands. The OW said to me, "I wish I could find someone who loves me as much as your husband loves you." That was her fantasy. She not doing the right thing but whatever fills her black hole.

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  25. Lol you are right, they don't care and are too self absorbed in their own pain and suffering to care how their actions will hurt you or me or any children involved. It all just sucks. They suck.
    I love reading your posts and the letters, so very real and intense and often getting out what I need to get out too. I love that you are talking about the reality of the hard work you are still doing. Makes me hopeful that it is doable. High five and hugs lady!

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