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to be shocked that my friend was the OW

(67 Posts)
NonJudgementalWannabe Wed 18-Dec-13 14:09:22

name changed for this as i don't know if i am being a bit silly blush

i met another mum a couple of years ago through the dcs school, we instantly hit it off and now i class her as one of my best friends. our dcs are very close as well.

we were recently talking about how we met our DHs and it transpired that she was the OW. i have to say i was (and am) shocked. as she just doesn't seem the "type" IYSWIM, and neither does her DH. she is one of the nicest, kindest people i have ever met.

friends DH is lovely too and absolutely besotted with her. they have been together 6 years, married 4 i think. they have a gorgeous little DD together and another one on the way. she was a single mum of one when they met, so he is also stepdad to her eldest. their marriage just all seems so genuine and lovely, i can't imagine them having such a horrid start, and doing such a horrible thing. according to my friend it was her DH that started things (she was single) they fell head over heels ( hmm ) and he left his XW within weeks of meeting her, and he wasn't happy in his marriage anyway (but they all say that don't they.....) and she says its been very hard sometimes dealing with the guilt, fallout and what ifs etc.

i am possibly being biased as dh had an affair a few years ago. but i took him back and we worked through it, it wasn't easy. i never knew dh's OW, i sometimes still wonder about her tbh. i guess that, since dh's affair, i have had this image of the OW always being a hard faced nasty type and my lovely friend just doesn't fit the bill. she does seem to regret how they met but she wouldn't change anything as they are happy now. BTW my friend does not know about this.

i am not going to stop being her friend and i don't want to judge. but i just feel weird about it TBH, not sure what i am looking for but just wanted to write it down i guess.

formerbabe Wed 18-Dec-13 14:13:42

None of your business to be honest...life is complicated.

Middleagedmotheroftwo Wed 18-Dec-13 14:17:00

I expect the first wife also thought her marriage was "genuine and lovely" until OW came along.

IMO, if someone's done it once, they'll do it again, and I wouldn't feel comfortable with committing to someone who once also made the same committment to someone else and then jacked it in.

I wouldn't lose a friendship over it though, it's just a personal opinion, and if she can live with herself, then it shouldn't be your concern - the deed was done before you met.

SirChenjin Wed 18-Dec-13 14:17:39

Affairs happen, and there is no such thing as a 'type'. It sounds as if her DH really wasn't happy in his previous marriage given that he and his first wife split up, and whilst it would have been better if they hadn't met in the way they did, it happened. Try not to judge her based on your own experience - you've said yourself that she's a lovely person. The fact that she was the OW doesn't change that.

WhoNickedMyName Wed 18-Dec-13 14:19:10

Sometimes people start off their relationship the wrong way but turn out to be perfectly suited and genuinely happy - and faithful to each other, but that's not a popular view on here smile.

I can understand why you'd feel weird about it, especially given what you and your DH have been through though.

EmmaBemma Wed 18-Dec-13 14:23:38

I wouldn't give it any more thought.

defineme Wed 18-Dec-13 14:23:48

It's just not your business. However, I have been weirded out by this before, there were children involved on both sides and I felt it would have been more decent to end marriages and then get together, rather than have secret affair etc. All of which was beside the point because it was none of my business. Also, if anyone held my past under a microscope there'd be a lot that wasn't very pretty!

TheCraicDealer Wed 18-Dec-13 14:27:33

Agree with SirChenjin. It sounds like you've built up the image in your head of the OW as a "hard faced nasty type" as a coping mechanism to help get over what happened in your own marriage, and you're uncomfortable now this being challenged. Affairs happen. Although the relationship board frequently displays the hackneyed "Oh we're only together for the children, our marriage is basically over" reasoning as a load of aul codswallop, for some people it is actually true.

I doubt your friend wakes up every day congratulating herself on stealing her other half away from his ex-wife, so try not be so hard on her.

NonJudgementalWannabe Wed 18-Dec-13 15:41:46

oh i know its not my business, but i guess i have been unsettled by it because of my own dh's affair

and i would never say anything to her of course, or let it affect our friendship. just wanted to air my feelings in a safe place

and none of us are perfect are we?

littleredsquirrel Wed 18-Dec-13 15:46:23

Oh blimey now I'm worried that you're one of my friends!

My DH was married when we met and I was the OW. We are "nice" and "kind" people.

People make mistakes in life. The person you thought was right for you doesn't always turn out to be. That doesn't mean we have two heads and go around giving babies chinese burns.

CosyTeaBags Wed 18-Dec-13 15:51:16

It takes all sorts.

I know of several very happily married couples who started off having an affair when one of them was with someone else. Ironically, they are some of the wisest, most level headed people I know.

Sometimes people genuinely aren't happy in their marriage, and genuinely do meet the love of their life, have an affair and live happily ever after.

It's just that this is rare - and affairs happen for so many other reasons that we tend to tar everyone with the same brush.

I wouldn't think any less of your friend for it, just consider it a lesson that sometimes even good people end up doing bad things.

monicalewinski Wed 18-Dec-13 15:51:32

IMO there are two very different types of affair.

The type where the marriage has genuinely come to a point where it has no future and the wife/husband gets emotionally close to someone else and then has the epiphany that they really don't want to be married any more. This type only lasts a matter of weeks before the person having the affair comes clean and leaves the marriage (whether to be with the other person, or not).

The other type is the boredom, 'my wife doesn't understand me, 'I don't get enough attention' type - which is more common. These ones go on and on sometimes for a very long time, but the married person doesn't really want to leave, they just think the grass is greener and try to have it all. The person having the affair would break it off with the other man/woman rather than end the marriage.

It's just my opinion, obviously, but I would say that they're from the first type, and they are probably very happy together and more compatible than he and his first wife were tbh.

With respect to your friend and you, I would just try and see past the OW thing as it has no bearing at all on how she is now - in an apparently happy marriage with children from that marriage. The past is the past.

NigellasDealer Wed 18-Dec-13 15:53:26

it is not your business stop stereotyping the OW, they might have genuinely fallen in love, who knows?
who cares really?

BerryChristmas Wed 18-Dec-13 15:58:17

and he wasn't happy in his marriage anyway (but they all say that don't they.....)

Maybe he genuinely wasn't. You don't actually know, do you? I'd butt out, if I were you. None of your business.

WaitingForMe Wed 18-Dec-13 16:00:25

Lots of people meet their partners while already in relationships. DH and I were both unhappily married.

I don't class myself as an OW because I didn't have an affair with him. I realised I'd fallen for him an ended both my marriage and the friendship. That made him realise he cared more about me than his ex and he ended his marriage. Many months later after he'd established himself (flat, custody, started divorce proceedings) we started dating.

I'm not perfect but none of the above makes me a bad person. As for trust, anybody can fall out of love. I don't think DH is any more likely to fall out of love with me simply because he fell out of love with his first wife.

TaraLott Wed 18-Dec-13 16:08:49

Mind your own business.

I think the fact that he left his first wife very quickly makes a difference - it is not that unusual for people to keep 'ticking over' in a relationship that has really run its course, then they meet someone else and realise how different a genuine relationship is from the shell they are currently working in.

If/when that happens, it is better to end the first relationship cleanly, and not carry on having an affair at the same time as pretending the marriage is fine. So, ending it quickly is less 'bad' than trying to have both.

Just how unfair that is all round depends a bit on whether his ex-wife also thought the relationship had effectively come to an end, or if she thought everything was fine.

But, either way, the fact is that very ordinary and nice people do fall in love outside of their marriage, for a variety of reasons. That will cause hurt, but it doesn't automatically make anyone nasty, or a deliberate 'home-wrecker'. Just human.

dibsforme Wed 18-Dec-13 16:51:46

I have just left my husband. It hasn't been good for a long time but you bumble along for the kids or its easier or various reasons. I wasn't strong enough to leave him as he was quite controlling. I met someone who from the 1st second there was something, we both laugh about it and say how corny it is. 2 weeks in we just knew it was right. He gave me the strength to leave.
So while I left in some ways to be with him the marriage was already over and it was the motivation to gwt it sorted. I would hope people wouldn't judge our future happiness because of our not so right beginning.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 18-Dec-13 19:49:37

Well he obviously wasn't happy in his marriage, was he, if he left for another woman. Marriages aren't always happy or always worth saving. If one person thinks it's over, it generally is in my opinion.

People marry, people divorce, people find other loves. Hopefully in that order but not always. Your friend and her husband sound very happy now.

You like your friend and her DH, nothing has really happened to change that.

ConfusedDotty Wed 18-Dec-13 19:57:22

I was the OW many many moons ago, we are still together. Regardless of what others think, us OW are quite normal and can also be nice people who don't mind ending up washing the socks.

LovesBaublingTheTreeAgain Wed 18-Dec-13 19:58:40

Sometimes people are with the wrong people and don't do things the way they should. My parents met in a similar way, married and totally devoted to each other for 40 years.

BohemianGirl Wed 18-Dec-13 20:03:41

A good rule I find is to never judge other peoples relationships or comment on them. It serves me well

tudorqueen Wed 18-Dec-13 20:17:07

Like so many others on this thread I was the OW. In my case we had an affair for a year before he left his wife for me. I don't see myself as a home wrecker - I was already divorced and a single mum. It was his decision to get involved with me (ok it takes 2 etc) and his decision to eventually leave his ExW. It was difficult at first, but eventually his children accepted me and now we have a good relationship (they live with us as well at the moment). I have no feelings of guilt towards his ExW. I don't know here, she doesn't know me and apart from brief phone calls about the kids, we've never talked.

Since we've been together - nearly 15 years now - neither of us have wanted anyone else.

One thing I do know: people who are happy in their relationship do not look for anyone else.

It's always better not to judge and to accept the friendship you have - her relationship with her DH does not affect her relationship with you!

anothermadamebutterfly Wed 18-Dec-13 20:57:01

My DH was engaged when we met, it was very messy and I lost a good friend over it because she disapproved, which is my only regret. Many, if not most, relationships only break up when somebody else comes on the scene, until then people just unhappily go along with things. So there must be millions of OW and OM out there, and quite a few of them must surely be lovely people.

Lazyjaney Wed 18-Dec-13 21:29:41

Put this on MN Relationships, they will have crucified the OW by page 2 [grown]

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