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.
ZOMBIE THREAD ALERT: This thread hasn't been posted on for a while.
Cautionary Tale from OW(129 Posts)
I was relentlessly pursued by a MM whilst also married myself. This continued for the last three years. I take full responsibility for my actions but now I find myself:
On the verge of a nervous breakdown
Seeing a counsellor every week to try and get back the parts of me I lost during this damaging time
I've lost everything - my husband, my home, my job, my friends
Am on the receiving end of frequent and distressing text messages from MM's wife (and rightly so)
Grieving for two relationships - the MM (as stupid as that sounds) and my lovely dh
Devastated by the hurt i've caused dh who in no way wishes to reconcile (and who can blame him)
Whilst NOTHING has changed for MM (he is back in his marriage) - I have to start again from scratch. I'm a shell of my former self and can't see past this.
I can't eat/sleep/concentrate. I'm such a mess. Please help.
These things rarely end well and I'm sorry that things are such a mess for you. But you can and will recover from this.
Is your marriage definitely over? Do you have DC? Your MM has made his choice so please don't waste anymore head space on him. Block his wife on your phone, her anger should be with him not you.
We all make bad decisions and some of them have rough consequences. Anyone who has never made a mistake is lying. I think, rather than berating yourself for being human (or inviting others to flame you) and wallowing in guilt, all you can do is learn from the experience and move forward best you can. The MM's wife should be told to back off... there's being annoyed and then there's persecuting someone... so don't tolerate persecution. Good luck
Yes, dh won't reconsider for a second. He hates me. No DC - dh wanted to start trying before all this
How have you lost everything? What about your job? Was he a colleague?
Have you friends deserted you in a judgy fashion?
Are there any bridges you can build so you don't have to start all over again?
How old are you?
It's a crap situation, but starting over may not be a bad thing. Hard as it is.
I'm very sorry you're feeling so bad.
Can you write down what you think would make your life better again? Realistic things though- not any 'turning back the clock' wallowy stuff.
One of the first things that struck me about your post though was the contradiction. You say the MM pursuded you relentlessly but you take full responsibility. I think part of taking full responsibility is to realise that his pursuit, relentless or otherwise, was irrelevant. Of course we say the same to women in the MM's wife's position- it doesn't matter how predatory the OW was- your husband should have said no and he should stop blaming the OW for his behaviour. This is truly, no different.
I'm sure the OM's wife is in pain and that's why she's contacting you. However you don't say what she's asking or saying, just that it's distressing for you. If you tell us more, perhaps we can help with that boundary?
You live and learn......it's only terrible if you keep making the same mistake. Things will get better for you. I assume you have apologised to dh for your crap behaviour?
It is perhaps a blessing that you have no DC with your DH - it will enable you to have a clean break - though I appreciate that is hard for to hear right now.
Does the MM have DC with his wife? Perhaps that is what is keeping them together? I agree that his wife should not be haranguing you - her issue is with her husband, though maybe by putting the blame on you, she can bring herself to forgive him.
But really, that is none of your concern now. You need to look at you. Things cannot have been so rosy between you and your DH for you to have succumbed to this guy. I would look at those issues, and sort yourself out, and then you will be in a better place to move forward with your life.
I'm sorry, OP. I promise things will get better and life has served you a nasty deal here.
But there is much to learn from it and actually, in a strange way, you are free.
You are consumed with feelings of loss and that feels dreadful but actually the reality is different. By giving in to his pursuit and conducting the affair you were playing out some part of you that wanted something. You now either understand/realise that you don't really need that thing OR you do and are free to find it in a life without a lying, cheating charmer. Both of these are better positions to be in than the one you have spent the last 3 years in. You no longer have to lie, feel stressed, tense, anxious. You are free and you are honest now. Broken but honest.
Please buy 'Tiny Beautiful Things' by Cheryl Strayed and read it from cover to cover.
You thin OM is laughing? Oh no. Many people who remain in relationships post affair where the other affair partner doesn't suffer immense jealousy of the new found freedom of the old lover. He is in the same situation as before, but with a hugely damaged relationship. So the marriage he had before was not strong enough (on his end) to prevent him cheating. Do you really think it will be now? He is going to be starting from scratch too and it will be horrible an hard, full of trust issues, doubt, acrimony and never the same again. You could start afresh, eventually with someone who loves you for you, who knows none of this firsthand and who you trust completely and trusts you. Every time he walks out the door she will be wondering where he's going. he will be heavy and stressed about what time he comes back, he will sense her checking his emails. He will grow weary and tired and grouchy. She will grow paranoid and furious and depressed.
It's a mess what you've done. But you are not responsible for his marriage, he is. Move on. You can do it. You are stronger now, not weaker, because you are wiser. We all fuck up. The people you think get away with things short term rarely actually do long term.
You'll be okay. You haven't lost everything. You are just in shock and this too will pass.
I know people are going to be so judgemental. .. Oh hun.., this was me several years ago. My exP wouldn't discuss. Moved out and married a work colleague 11minths later... There was no way either of us wanted a reconciliation. Do you want your marriage or not? My ex recently told me I did him a favour and how it's all worked out for him. The relationship was dead.i don't regret it ending, just the way it happened. If you are moving on then make sure you stay NC with MM. Mine came back and caused more heartache for everyone involved. Mm's wife sent about message, texts endils and its all very hard. I bitterly regretted hurting her.a big fat mess..don't be tempted to talk to her. How long did this last? It does get better, promise
Oh yes, NEVER contact OM again. I know that's hard but you will heal so much faster.
great advice from tessa.
the Cheryl strayed book was instrumental in me leaving my 16 year marriage . buy it now .
also buy Paul mcKenna , I can mend your broken Heart .
good luck x
what sort of text from the wife ?
If his wife is harassing you then you really so need to stamp on that. Send one text back, or better a solicitor's letter, stating that you consider her behaviour to be harassment and if it continues you will report it to the police. You've behaved badly but that doesn't give her the right to torture you.
And I agree with everyone else. This is an opportunity for you. Make the most of it.
Where are you now in terms of the practical stuff?
Has your home been sold?
Do you have a job?
Where is your support in real life?
Are you relocating, finding another job- what's happening day to day?
As someone else said, don't make yourself feel you are a victim. You weren't pursued- you were 50% of that affair.
Is the affair over because you were found out by his wife?
Was there every any chance of you being together?
I suppose what I am asking you is- are you grieving over a fantasy life that was never going to happen, and are you annoyed at yourself for believing there was a future with the OM?
You need to forgive yourself and move on - what can you do to make that happen?
I think it's more a case of the MM not being strong enough to prevent himself from cheating Tessa, not his marriage having some arbitrary preventative qualities of its own. Maybe you worded that clumsily? You don't usually come out with lines like that.
I also think that's some projection about what his marriage will be like now! Comforting though it might be for the OP to think that, IME that doesn't always happen. Some couples see an affair as a big wake-up call either about their former behaviour as individuals (mainly the behaviour of the one who's strayed) and/or the dynamics of their former marriage.
We can support this poster without injecting projections and falsehoods.
Ok it was a monumental mistake but you have realised that and admitted it so you need to focus on how to move forwards. You will need some time to grieve for the relationships and during this time try to be kind to yourself and then you must put it behind you. Think of the future.
Perhaps, Fran. I'm being very specific to this poster here. I apologise for causing offense.
When I say the marriage is not strong enough (on his end) that's what I mean. HIS end of the marriage was weak. Him. He is and was weak. That could change, of course. I have no idea. But this poster describes a conquistador of an OM. That's a specific kind, the relentless pursuer. And it's based in a very specific sense of challenge and narcissism. It's highly unlikely someone like that just becomes it overnight with one person.
i do not wish to denigrate the relationships of anyone post affair, my own included. But we know from our own experiences and the many posters here that it's a hard hard road. And the OW thinking that he has lost nothing and she has lost everything is a deeply psychologically damaging and false perspective that can lead to real depression and foolish actions (like OW we have heard from here who have wanted to get 'revenge' and such like.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
You're a vision of my own sister's future (see my thread).... maybe I should show her this.
Trouble is, if you were like my DSis is being at the moment, you were blinded by it all, and only now can you see what you've done.
You can't change what you did, but you can learn and move on. Consider this a very difficult lesson, but one you only have to go through once and it's done now. You'll be a better person for this.
Don't be too hard on yourself.
Hi, please remember that the wife is in a lot of pain. She is in a situation through no actions of her own and she is trying to make sense of it all, and let you know how much she is hurting through YOUR actions. Forget Mr Lover. YOU made yourself available to the deceitful twat and agreed to become deceitful yourself.
As that wife this is what I would appreciate: a full letter of apology from you. Telling the whole story of how it started with nothing left out. Just the unvarnished truth. And if that lands MM in it, all his promises what he said etc that kept you hooked in, well that is up to his lying arse to sort out.
Tell her you are seriously being slammed by your consequences and that is punishment enough.
Then give her the boundary: that you have apologised, showed her remorse and the 100% truth, and that if she contacts you again that will constitute harrassment.
75% of marriages rocked by affairs fail. They could be swiftly cut off like your DH who values himself, or in the case of wives trying to eat the shit sandwich of hurt and humiliation whilst 'reconciling', they tend to slowly bleed to death as the cheater keeps running from what he has done and does not provide the honesty self reflection and reassurance that is needed.
Get thee to counselling and try to take this time to look at a couple of things. Never stop apologising to DH.
A full letter of apology? You think that's going to stop a bitter DW from sending nasty texts etc? Sorry, I think the OP has to do her level best to leave this whole thing in the past as a big mistake to be regretted and cut contact with everyone involved if she's to move on. Some individual counselling may also be necessary.
A letter to the DW?
Bonkers. Rub salt in the wound for her perhaps?
For all we know she may have had numerous affairs herself.
Is the intention of a letter to try to break up the marriage which they MAY be salvaging, or for the OP to get it all off her chest?
Whichever, it's a barmy suggestion.
No personal offence taken at all Tessa! But although you're right that when people have affairs, they aren't at that point as committed to their marriages as would be ideal, I don't think all MM think of it in those terms. Some see an affair as a diversion, or an optional extra that in their warped rationale, doesn't have to affect their marriages at all. I don't think it helps OW to be thinking about their exes marriages in any case. Better to confine any analysis to what they actually know which is the behaviour of the man, not why he might have done it, or what his marriage was and will be like in the future.
I don't really hold with all that stuff about relentless pursuers or types either. It's a distraction. I think people like to let themselves off the hook that the OW or OM was a predator, but even if he or she was a player with known form for chasing extra-marital activity, allowing oneself to be played is a choice. That's not to say people aren't more vulnerable to that at lifepoints, or more vulnerable as people because of low self-esteem but it's a case of taking responsibility for it and forgiving yourself if you think you were vulnerable.
You're right that if the DW gets it right, her husband's life will be uncomfortable and trust will be a long way off, but sad to say I've seen some folk get caught up in the honeymoon period or worse still, blame themselves for the whole thing.
I don't interpret the DW's communications as being 'bitter' necessarily. The OP has said they are 'distressing'. The woman's probably in pain, just like the OP. Until we know what the DW's saying, I'd hesitate to demonise the DW. Until we hear back from the OP about what the wife seems to want from the exchanges between them, suggestions of letters or calling her bitter seem very premature.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.