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So why do the OW do it?

(192 Posts)
carolst Mon 11-Feb-13 14:24:11

So loads of threads discuss about the H and why they have an affair/emotional affair/whatever and the fault mustlay at their feet, but the OW have to take some responsibility don't they?

Why do the do it? How could they do it? Especially if breaking up their own family in process, and even worse if they have children?

My H obsessional texting affair OW has split her own family, claims her problems are from her own mother having an affair and splitting family, but yet shows no remorse and is actually out to get me for blowing whole thing open?

Explain please?

Merl0t Mon 11-Feb-13 19:02:48

Lovingfreedom, u seem determined to misunderstand. i wascnot refering to his wife. im refering to the lazy and simplistic assumption that the "ow" must be a wicked whore. and being a wife doesnt make somebody a saint. they might be a saint tho. it depends.

angelelle Mon 11-Feb-13 19:45:51

Wanted to add a question to the mix..hope op doesn't mind me hijacking! What about OW who gets together with a man who is expecting a baby with another woman??? And then seems to condone the fact that he wants nothing to do with dd? Yes you guessed it, my situation. I can't find any redeeming factor in a woman of this ilk.

can anyone else?

Ahhhcrap Mon 11-Feb-13 19:56:40

I've got to be honest and it doesn't answer your question.... But I really couldn't give a flying fuck what made the ow do it!!

To me the blame laid firmly at my dh's feet. Yes she was the other party but she's nothing to me. It was my dh did that was of concern to me..

I was told she was miserable at home, husband didn't understand her, sex was shit etc etc. I'm sure my dh said the same about me. But, and this is the crunch for me, out of the 3 of us in a shit relationship, I was the only one that didn't commit adultery, so... To me.. There is no excuse for the ow or the dh's smile behaviour

Merl0t Mon 11-Feb-13 20:09:39

That's awful angelelle, well, she's got herself a real 'gem' there. You can only imagine the spin he's given his own actions. You're well shot of him.

crazyhead Mon 11-Feb-13 20:12:29

Aside from the odd serial OW I should imagine that most people who find themselves in this situation have done nothing like it before or since, fall into it at a tough time in their life, think they are in love, and get themselves caught up in something they never meant to. I was once the OW and that describes it for me.

It is a nasty thing to do, it is something I regret deeply, and unlike woman on here who have never done it, I have lost the moral highground if I ever had it. But neither am I (or most other OW I daresay) a pantomime villain. I suppose most of us face a situation in life where we really have to question whether we are a nice and decent person. That was mine.

Don't forget that sometimes the wife is a mad bitch, or a bully, or an alcoholic or a drug addict, and the marriage is a disaster that the man longs to leave. More often, the relationship is an inertia one, dead in the water but neither partner is brave enough to leave the other... until someone else comes along.

There's also the fact that monogamy, while constantly peddled as The Ideal Way, is in fact both boring and counter-evolutionary, so it's no wonder people don't stick to it.

Skyebluesapphire Mon 11-Feb-13 20:22:50

Crazy head, I think that's the situation that my XH is in. Has never done it before, may never do it again, but drawn in by this one OW, who caught him at a low point... A weak person rather than a horrible one.

Whereas OW us cheating on H no 2 who she got with while married to H no 1 and will no doubt continue the pattern throughout her life.

I married for life, so I thought, at the age of 33. OW is on her way out of marriage no 2, at the age of 32 and XH is 49. Cliche? Yes.

Bunfags Mon 11-Feb-13 20:29:07

Men aren't the only gender to think with their trouser brain. Women can be just as guilty. An ex friend of mine just had no self control when she got pissed, so she ended up shagging people, be they marrieid or single.

BerylStreep Mon 11-Feb-13 20:33:28

A former colleague of mine announced to me a few years ago that he was in love with me. It was after a bit of drink fuelled silly dancing (think Saturday Night Fever) and I was having a complete laugh. He claimed he was completely in love with me. I laughed and wondered out loud what his wife and grown up children would make of that claim shock. I told him not to be silly, and I still see him a couple of times a year at work dos, without any awkwardness.

HOWEVER, had my marriage been a bit shit at the time, I can see how attractive it would have been to have someone announce their undying love. He tried to woo me with champagne and offers to go in his private jet. Contrast that sort of offer against lack of sleep, endless laundry, homework and the other mundanities of life, and I can sort of see how it could happen.

Not excusing it, not at all. But I can see how it could happen. Having said that, my Dad left for OW when I was 11, so I am all too aware of the devastation that it can cause to families.

KeepCoolCalmAndCollected Mon 11-Feb-13 21:27:20

I don't think anyone has the right to try and justify their actions for having an affair, particularly when children are in the mix.

Merl0t A lot of us have been where you were in terms of being desperately lonely, low self-esteem etc etc etc., but it is simply a question of morals. You either have them, or you don't!

badinage Mon 11-Feb-13 21:30:44

Before saying anything about the question, I'll say that I detest women being called 'bitches' and that I don't find monogamy boring and am completely sick of being told that it is, as some kind of universal fact.

There must be as many reasons for being an OW as there are reasons for having an affair, but from my experience of mates and colleagues, a thick vein of selfishness seemed pretty ubiquitous and could be seen in other ways they acted. The old 'low self esteem' card didn't apply to any of them, funnily enough. One mate made a habit of married men for a while because she didn't want to be tied down; one mate fell in love, believed a load of crap about his marriage and was spinning the same crap back as she admitted to us she was happy till her affair and is happy again with her DP; one awful colleague made it all a 'game' and targeted men in the happiest marriages (fortunately most knocked her back but some didn't.) A lot of OW I've met have had 'Daddy issues' but during their affairs, didn't give a tinkers cuss for the kids involved and less still the wives/partners.

Alittlestranger Mon 11-Feb-13 21:52:29

KeepCool, I 80% agree with you, but 20% of what you say is what annoys me about family breakdown. Why "particularly when children are in the mix"? The cheater isn't cheating on his children, he's not breaking any vows he made to them.

Yes he's ending the family as it currently exists but I 100% think we have to get better at seperating out relationship breakdown between two sexual and romantic partners and the wider implications for how that family restructures itself.

JaceyBee Mon 11-Feb-13 21:55:23

Because I love him like I never loved anyone and he makes me feel like no-one else ever has. And because I'm selfish and weak too I guess.

Lovingfreedom Mon 11-Feb-13 21:56:24

Well....how about turning the question around....why not be an OW? Haven't many or most if us been in a position of being in the company of an attractive married man and noticing a spark or chemistry? How can we, or why do we resist acting on this mutual attraction and initiate an affair? I'll only speak for myself here. My reasons are 1. Wouldn't want to play second fiddle to a wife 2. Wouldn't do betray another woman like that.
Of course it's flattering to know a man finds you attractive. But if you have self respect and decency you don't act on it, in my opinion.
I've got some sympathy for a gullible young thing who gets sucked into the 'my wife doesn't understand me' bullshit but really see it for what it is....'Loneliness is like a hunger'? … give me strength.

Merl0t Mon 11-Feb-13 22:00:31

I feel sorry for people have so little empathy that they can make sweeping assumptions with so few detais about who has or does not have morals!! so black and white. it is so long ago for me, im not the poster girl for Ow. i know of a girl in her twenties going down that path and i have concern for her(because i know her). i have shown AND felt sympathy for women who have been cheated on. i blame the husband 9 times out of 10 though. i guess the need to paint the ow as an amoral woman is borne out of pain.

Lovingfreedom Mon 11-Feb-13 22:03:03

I agree that it's the responsibility of the married person 100%of the time. They took the vows. I'm struggling to understand a defensive for knowingly shagging a married man or woman though...

Lovingfreedom Mon 11-Feb-13 22:03:58

Defence not defensive sorry...predictive text

Merl0t Mon 11-Feb-13 22:09:19

Lovingfreedom, it would be frankly ridiculous for me to get sucked into your interrogation. i am a normal person, and this happened 13 years ago. i never claimed that i was proud of it. i explained why it happened; how a "good girl" can end up making bad decisions.
u r not going to get me to defend it. i explained it which is different from defending it, but i wont flagellate and berate myself over it either. i lived and i learned. Things arent always either black or white.

KeepCoolCalmAndCollected Mon 11-Feb-13 22:15:54

Alittlestranger
Well that's just fine and dandy for the children then isn't it. Let's not mind about them ah!
The OW is utterly selfish and self-indulgent, she does not care about the children's feelings and the detrimental effect it has on them.

Bunfags Mon 11-Feb-13 22:16:09

Fwiw Mer0t, I think a great many of us do things we regret when young, that seem out of character to our older selves. I have never been OW, but was certainly rather naive and easily led by men. As long as you learn the lesson and move on, that's the main thing.

StrongerNowThanBefore Mon 11-Feb-13 22:17:33

Why was I the OW? I was young, single, met a lovely guy and we just clicked. We started an amazing friendship, which led to a passionate romance. He was leaving our city to go off to uni, so I was hoping he would ask me to join him. I thought all my dreams had come true. I knew we had limited time together but I trusted that maybe we'd work something out.
So when my friend told me that he was actually with someone else and she was expecting a baby, I was totally devastated. He told me he was messed up, didn't know why he wasn't honest. Didn't know what he wanted. Didn't know if he wanted her - it all just 'happened'. He went back, wrote to me, told me he couldn't forget me. I told him he needed to let go and look after his family.

My trust in men was completely broken after that. It took me years to get over him. Even now, many many years later I still think of him. He was a shit to do what he did. A total shit. I heard he married her and they went on to have more kids.

badinage Mon 11-Feb-13 22:18:48

My mates don't think they are blameless and neither do I. If you know someone's married, dead right you're at fault and interestingly, they don't buy this old line about they didn't know the wives and had no responsibility to them. Think if they were peddling that old bollocks they wouldn't be mates tbh.

Me? I'm old and so I've had my fair share of married men make offers, some of them to die for too but only as far as looks and a twinkly eye goes grin

But it's never appealed at all because I've never wanted to be second-best or an option and not a priority for anyone I'm in a relationship with. And I just couldn't - ever - shit on another woman even if I didn't know her. I'd never be able to sleep at night if I thought that some woman somewhere was crying because her husband was mistreating her, or being distant, or critical of her just to justify his affair - and I'd had a part to play in that. Although I'm an earthy sort and swear like a trooper grin I just love women and their company and for me, the sisterhood thing is important. If a bloke's married to a woman he doesn't like and I might not like either, it's up to him to sort it out and he'll never get my help to do it.

asktheaudience Mon 11-Feb-13 22:22:09

In my case, I'd say that OW did what she did because she was

1. selfish enough to think that she could do what she wanted,

2. deluded enough to imagine that no one will ever know

3. self-obsessed enough to not think for a single second of the children - hers included (which is what I find most baffling) - who have to live with the shitty consequences of having a spineless liar for a parent.

But these apply to both (married with kids) parties, not just to OW. I couldn't give a stuff what justification she used in her own head, it boils down to having the morals and integrity of an alley cat.

Lovingfreedom Mon 11-Feb-13 22:27:06

My comment about why not being an OW wasn't directed at you merl0t except for the very last bit.
For me it is black and white....if they are married I personally don't go there. I can understand people make mistakes but I respect them more when they take responsibility.
For me, having affairs with married people is outside what I find acceptable.
I don't have an issue where everyone is in the loop e.g. open relationships but I don't like lying or deceit or bullshit 'I'm too weak' excuses like Jaceyb has just given. Get some self respect, self control and get a grip FFS.
I'm going to make no excuse for my intolerance. Isn't it about time women stopped shitting on each other? You only have to read thread after thread on here to see how much pain and hurt is being caused through this selfishness.

JaceyBee Mon 11-Feb-13 22:40:05

I have plenty of self-respect thanks. You may not think I deserve to but I do. I am not a bad person at all. I don't relish the thought of hurting his wife, of course I don't. It's not her fault and he has behaved terribly towards her. But it's him that's really shitting on her.

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