Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Advice needed - OW problems resurfacing.

(125 Posts)
Lilly3000 Sun 10-Feb-13 17:35:33

My husband of 22 years had an emotional affair about a year ago. A woman friend (married without children) came to him and told him she was in love with him, had been forever. He / we were going through a difficult time with work, money shortages, his mother dying and general day-to-day shite. They had lots of things in common and she said that they were soul mates, destined to be together blah blah blah. She said she knew how to help him find happiness ( yoga teacher) and that her love was 'unconditional'. Like an idiot he got hooked on the escapism and flattery. It went on for a couple of months; clandestine meetings and a kiss. It all came to a crashing halt when I felt suspicious and listened to a message on his phone, telling him that her husband had found out and had asked her to leave. DH admitted what had been going on and I was absolutely devastated. He wrote to her severing all contact the next morning.

Since then has undergone a year of counselling, endless soul searching and as a result everything is much better between us now. He's even started going to church - bit weird for me as I don't go, but I can see it helps him. It has been a very, very rocky road but one that we've both tried very hard to steer a course on with the help of the brilliant Shirley Glass book. He's far from innocent is this but I do believe it was a strange period of madness that he regrets very much. We've managed to keep this from the children. So far so good.

That is until last week. They both work in the same street but he has managed to avoid any contact for 12 months. Last week she flipped in the street, shouting that he couldn't treat her like this and that she could make everything very difficult for him. She insisted her love had been 'unconditional' and had never meant to hurt anyone. This is in spite of her husband marching her to the park and showing her a family with young children, pointing out that this is what she was trying to break up. She said to DH that he 'must hate her to treat her this way'. Actually he's scared that if acknowledges her then I will be upset and we will take a step backwards. In order to calm her down he said that he didn't hate her but he had to go. She calm down immediately. He came back, got himself into a state about it and then told me. It's all feeling a bit bunny boiler. A friend of mine says she's nut and needs to be 'managed', i.e we need to stop ignoring her. This fills me with dread in case she tries a range of irritating spiritual hypocritical excuses to worm her way back into our lives. What do you think? By the way, I hate her with the fury of seven hells ;) but I know it's not good for me and I look forward to the day when she is a dim and distant memory.

CartedOff Sun 10-Feb-13 17:55:15

" In order to calm her down he said that he didn't hate her but he had to go. She calm down immediately."

Have you heard of the phrase "Any attention is better than none?" This applies to her. She'll feed off any scraps she can get. The only thing he and you can do is refuse to engage and continue to ignore her. You don't have to manage her! How on earth is that your responsibility? shock If she harasses you, you contact the police. That'll soon teach her that she can't scream at people in the streets and follow them around.

The ONLY reason she calmed down is because she got a response. That's what she's going for. You can't give her anything- she'll feed off of it. She'll start up whenever she wants a response. He has to keep ignoring this person.

notonlybutalso Sun 10-Feb-13 17:59:50

The only hold a mistress has over the man is if his wife doesn't know. You do know, she knows that you know ergo she has no hold over him. Don't get drawn into power games. If your OH did as you described when accosted it seems to me that it was the right thing to do, and will probably have the desired effect. If she continues to accost him I would suggest he resolutely ignore her. Oh, and keep a diary of all this, just in case you need to escalate to a complaint to the police about stalking type behaviour. But I don't think you will - it took her a year to follow up on the severing of links.

izzyizin Sun 10-Feb-13 18:01:04

'Stop ignoring her'? Your friend's as nuts as the ow sounds to be. Has s/he by any chance indulged in a spot of bunny boiling in the past and feels some empathy for the nutty one?

This smacks of tales from Reader's Digest Toytown - 'the man who ran away with the fairies for a couple of months, succombed to the embrace of a witch, and found religion'.

Given that they work in the same street, how's he managed to avoid encountering her before? Does he hide behind post boxes, duck into doorways, put his umbrella up in front of his face?

Your h and, by default, yourself, need to continue ignoring Ms Dundee-Cake and, if she should accost him in the street again, your h needs to make it plan that any further such encounters will result in her incurring a visit from Mr Plod the Policeman.

As for your 'friend', I suggest you 'manage' her/him to the Christmas cards only section of your address book - and stop sending them after a couple of years.

izzyizin Sun 10-Feb-13 18:02:05

make it plain!

badinage Sun 10-Feb-13 18:03:21

If there had been a 12 month break in contact, what did she mean about 'treating her this way'?

Is his position that he ended things and has never seen or heard from her since?

What did he say in his written communication to her when he ended it?

MajesticWhine Sun 10-Feb-13 18:06:56

Best way to manage is to completely ignore. Unless she gets really out of order, in which case, report her for stalking.
"Spiritual hypocritical excuses" - like what ? Do you mean suicide threats? Is your DH still susceptible to her bullshit?

Lilly3000 Sun 10-Feb-13 18:07:16

Yes, I see your point. My friend has just come out of an unrequited love affair and she says that to be ignored by the person you have given / foisted your heart on to is very painful. This can make people angry and mental beyond reason (?). My DH has a work reputation as a man beyond reproach (ha!) and we live in a very small town. I'm just worried our teenage children don't get wind of it. Don't know if we should arrange to speak to her husband about it and get him to explain the need to blank her. She has 'boundary issues' according to him :/ All wisdom on the subject says that you should sever all contact, so that's what he did. Brutal, but the only way to save our marriage. I sent her an email at the time, outline the damage she had done and she wrote back saying that it had never been her intention to hurt anyone. I just can't get my head round that one.

kalidanger Sun 10-Feb-13 18:08:29

Do you absolutely know all this has happened exactly like he's told it for 100% certain? My first though is " came to him and told him she was in love with him, had been forever." = he wishes

hmm

Tryharder Sun 10-Feb-13 18:09:27

I feel for her. Some man tells you he loves you and that you are soulmates and then it all comes crashing down and you realise that your soulmate was just a tawdry wanker who lied through his back teeth. And then said soulmate goes back to wife as if nothing ever happened and then you just want to scream at the fucking unfairness of it. If she ended up leaving her DH for your DH, then I would imagine that she feels doubly bitter. And who could blame her really?

I feel for you also; none of this was your fault. I am sorry that you feel such hatred for her because in the end your DH was the one who had the affair much as you excuse his temporary madness etc.

However, having said that, I do agree with the above poster who said that continuing to ignore her is the best option. Cruel to be kind and all that.

It just bugs me that the man who had the affair gets off scot free while the OW is landed with all the blame and hatred.

Lilly3000 Sun 10-Feb-13 18:09:37

Izzyizin that made me laugh out loud! Yes, he has been hiding!

Lilly3000 Sun 10-Feb-13 18:12:50

Tryharder, you've got the wrong end of the stick. He never said he loved her, or that they were soul mates. She said she had alway loved him from afar and ( get this) they had missed opportunities to get together in PREVIOUS LIVES!!!

She never did leave the marital home by the way.

Cailinsalach Sun 10-Feb-13 18:15:51

Hmm. Her intention isn't worth the paper it's written on. It's the consequences of her actions that cause the harm.

badinage Sun 10-Feb-13 18:18:06

And he said nothing? That's a very full-on response from a woman to a man who was saying nothing similar, isn't it?

So is he saying he hasn't had any contact with her at all in 12 months?

And again, what did he write to her when he ended it?

Lilly3000 Sun 10-Feb-13 18:19:08

MajesticWhine (great name) 'Spiritual, hypocritical excuses' mean 'the universe tells me to be true to myself and take risks, I only wanted your happiness' etc' Bleurgh. I don't think he'd be susceptible to it, but when a negative is framed as a positive ( I only wanted to help you) you can come away feeling confused and like you've done something wrong.

Lilly3000 Sun 10-Feb-13 18:26:06

Badinage, I've cross-questioned him like the Stasi over the last year and it all seems like it was delivered on a plate. "She did the talking" was how he put it smile Honestly, I'm not in the 'it's not his fault' zone - dear God over the last year I've hauled him over the coals for being a twat of huge proportions - but I have to deal with that. The OW I could do without. He hasn't had any contact because he scared himself stupid about losing his family. The email I sent her said in no uncertain terms that if she saw me in the street she would be very wise to cross over. At one point she saw me in the supermarket, dropped her bags and fled!

Lilly3000 Sun 10-Feb-13 18:27:57

Oh, the email when he finished with her said that I knew everything and for the sake of his marriage and family he was severing all contact. Short and painfully sharp.

kalidanger Sun 10-Feb-13 18:37:04

I do apologise OP but are you sure she persuaded him, it was only a kiss and he absolutely cut off all contact? And all that drama in the street? It all sounds quite unbelievable.

It's quite normal for cheaters to only tell the bare minimum they can get away with.

Like an idiot he got hooked on the escapism and flattery. It went on for a couple of months; clandestine meetings and a kiss.

Like a liar he met her for sex, he means.

izzyizin Sun 10-Feb-13 18:38:09

Your friend says that to be ignored by the person you have given / foisted your heart on to is very painful. This can make people angry and mental beyond reason (?)

Only if they're predisposed towards being 'angry' and 'mental beyond reason'. Otherwise, they suck it up on the basis of 'win some, lose some' and 'tis better to have loved and lost' and other such platitudes.

I suspect you need all the laughs you can get and I'm glad to have put a smile on your face, Lilly, but, sadly, it doesn't diguise the fact that your h is cowardly little tosser as are so many who hide behind their reputations as apparent men of honour.

One person needs to sort this and that is the turd man that is 'beyond reproach' and he needs to do it direct with his ex-ladylove if she catches him again skulking behind a pillar box, or walking into a lampost because he can't see beyond his umbrella.

In short, it's time for the deluded lad to man up and stop getting mummy you to fight his demons battles for him.

The 2 of you go to see her husband? What are you thinking? Completely ott and guaranteed to foment more angst all round. Put the twat to the test and see if he passes with flying colours. If not, LTB.

Lilly3000 Sun 10-Feb-13 18:41:37

Calinsalach - yes, but I don't think that she thinks that consequences are important for the spiritually enlightened! Apparently I was 'like a wall' around him, making it difficult for her to speak to him about it before. No shit sherlock. This didn't stop her from trying to be my friend in the years precedeing.

I think there are two explanations for her apparently irrational behaviour - either she has some mental health problems, or your DH has not told you the full story. I'm afraid I think it is the latter. The comment that she could make things very very difficult for him speaks volumes

Lilly3000 Sun 10-Feb-13 18:49:44

Kalidanger, I appreciate it sounds strange, but I've known him for a very long time. I can't explain why I know he's telling the truth, any more than I knew it was time to check his phone, but I do. She definitely wanted to have sex but he knew there would be no way back. I think the trigger was the week before. They had bumped into each other in a carpark, nobody else around. She had said 'hi' and he mumbled hi back, got in the car and drove away. I think that maybe she saw it as an opportunity to speak privately and he didn't take it. In other words, I think she thought that I was the only thing getting in the way. 'Cowardly little tosser' is absolutely right, but what else is he supposed to do? I mentioned talking to her husband because he phoned me right at the beginning to see if I was alright and to assure me that she was going to leave DH alone from then on.

Lilly3000 Sun 10-Feb-13 18:53:37

Twogoodreasons, I think she is talking about his professional reputation (they work in similar fields). Everybody thinks he's the dog's bollocks. Also he didn't need to tell me that bit.

izzyizin Sun 10-Feb-13 18:59:57

It certainly comes to something when the 2 wronged parties take it upon themselves to micromanage the behaviour of the 2 guitly parties, doesn't it?

What does this say about the dynamics of your respective relationships? Maybe you'd be better off with her h and, frankly, that should be the only reason why you should be contemplating makiing contact with him.

I mean, come on. A year's gone by and last week was the first time she was able to nab him as he skulked out of his office/shop? Mark the date in your diary and wait to see if it turns into an annual event.

A word to the wise; check out the congregation at his new place of worship and tell him no way Jose if he expresses his intention of joining the choir.

badinage Sun 10-Feb-13 19:01:35

Ok so you know her personally and all this stuff about her believing in woo zen bollocks can be verified by you personally then?

Because I've got to admit I'm having trouble here believing that a woman would lay her soul bare and risk everything for a man who said and did nothing to encourage her. Even one who believed in fairies and although I detest that 'on a plate' phrase, yes even one who did more of the running, if only at the start.

All this aside, given that your husband said he was ending the relationship 'for the sake of his wife and family' and not his own sake because he wanted the relationship over and realised he loved you more than he wanted an affair, I think it's not 'closed' in her mind is it? She probably still thinks that if her husband hadn't found out and you hadn't seen that message, your husband would still be with her, especially as he didn't include his own views when he ended it.

Wouldn't it be a good opportunity if he bumps into her again to tell her unequivocally that he regrets getting involved with her, takes just as much responsibility for it and wishes her no harm? That he was mad to risk the relationship he wants to be in and feels terrible about hurting the woman he loves?

Or couldn't you be sure that he'd say all that?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now