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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.
As the wife I told OW face to face in no uncertain terms what her relentless flirting ,texting and declaration of love had done to me and our marriage and how sorry I felt for her DH ,ripped to shreds by the same gut wrenching emotions.This in no way exonerated my DH and the massive part he played in their deceitful and disrespectful months of inappropriate behaviour.But I would not have wasted precious time and energy repeatedly texting her.That is harassment on her part,but if anything like me she will be deranged by grief and hurt,and we all react differently.
I received an ' appology' of sorts from OWs,but it was a hollow one because she then blathered on about her loss,her pain, and her relief that her DCs and family hadn't found out about her behaviour.As if I cared I then turned my attentions fully on my marriage and trying to understand why this had happened,and help DH understand his vulnerabilities, and see if we could salvage our marriage.
We did,and we have,although I will never be quite the same.But thank you Francesca for making the point not all post affair couples are weary,tired grouchy,paranoid ,furious and depressed.Some of us are wiser, kinder, more compassionate and hopeful for the future.You say you have lost your husband and your marriage.But if you are truly remorseful,and with counselling and time there may be a way back.If not I wish you peace of mind for a different future.
Thank you all for this tremendous advice.
I know my wording said MM was relentless, he was, but like you say, I did it all on my own and hold myself fully accountable.
I can't apologise to dh enough. It's too late though and I understand why.
Yes the marriage wasn't great but I wish I'd have worked through the issues, now i'll never get the chance.
With regards to MM, he disclosed to his wife as he claimed he wanted a relationship. On the day he was due to move out of his home he decided to stay. I did not tell dh because I wanted a relationship with MM. This happened after MM was out of the picture. I told him as I wanted to give us a fighting chance where he could make an informed decision about our future. He has, he wants me gone and it is so, so hard.
I'm no spring chicken - we've been married for 15 years. I can't believe I betrayed him after all that time. It makes a fresh start much more difficult at my age and I will likely never have a child.
The texts from his wife are easing up. I replied to the first one, a heartfelt apology but I won't be engaging with her anymore.
Thanks so much for your replies.
I don't agree about writing a letter either.
It will prolong the OP's emotional entanglement in their marriage.
If the wife wants answers, revenge, whatever, she should be pursuing her husband.
The OP owes emotional reparations to her own H if that's what she chooses to do but that's all.
She made a mistake but she didn't do it all sand she wasn't married to this guy's wife.
OP, I think you're really brave for posting here and I hope that you will learn and heal and move on from this situation. Good luck and may your future hold peace.
If the marriage wasn't great, painful though this is, you're probably better off. Sometimes it's too easy to just bobble along in a rut, mildly complaining but doing nothing about it. There are better ways to change things up than by creating a traumatic crisis but sometimes that's what everyone needs to kick them out of their torpor...
I'm sorry, OP. It's very hard. You can't say for sure you'll never have a child, and there are lots of options in that direction. be kind to yourself. the next time around and there will be a next time you'll get to put into practice all you've learned.
Bopeep, do you try to be that offensive on purpose, or are you just a naturally offensive person?
Now, you I think have trumpeted that you yourself have never actually experienced an affair, but you know an awful lot about them through 'your friends', and that makes you an expert.
Well, I have experienced first hand having an OW in my life fucking my husband and him preferring her. Hell, she slept overnights in my bed. I picked up her hair in my hoover. You could say, we are close. So I know and not through 'friends' the awful, awful blows on many levels that feels like.
And I, as a betrayed wife, would love to hear from the OW. 1. to hear some sort of acknowledgement of the damage done to me. 2. because apologies do help give back respect and work towards restitution. 3. to hear her side of the story, because he never stopped lying and having some more puzzles fit together would help my life at that time, you know the one turned upside down by deceit and psychological abuse, make more sense. 4. I already know OW and I are on opposite sides of the same coin. We were both lied to, and I know what he is like when he ardently persues. Having that confirmed would increase my sympathy towards her. 5. I personally admire honesty and courage. 6. I believe in redemption. But you have to repent in order to get redemption.
But then, I could be bonkers. I think fundamentally I am quite a decent human being and would appreciate some decency back from two people who treated me very badly.
I agree with Cog
The MM changed his mind on he day he was due to move out. That must have crushed you. You had probably imagined/dreamt of a future together, that has now been shattered so no wonder you're low. It took courage to then admit the truth to your husband so he could decide on the path he wanted to take.
You had the affair for 3 years, that's longer than many marriages last - I would think it was more like a relationship than an affair. I find it hard to believe that anyone could love/care for their OH and have a 3 year affair. A fling or a ONS maybe but a 3 year affair. Maybe you are looking at your marriage/dh now through rose-tinted glasses because you feel so alone and you can see that the MM is attempting to rebuild his own marriage.
Have you had any contact with the MM since it ended?
As the betrayed wife Wellwobbly, have you been hounding the OW with nasty texts?
No, Cog that I haven't.
But it has taken every ounce of self restraint for 4 years, though!!! Boy have I wanted to do so.
(Rapidly getting to the Land of Meh, tho)
The MM changed his mind on he day he was due to move out.
No, he wasn't!! He was never going to move out. He was telling her whatever BS she needed to hear to keep the Cake (having it and eating it) coming.
My H said he never had any intention of 'replacing you'. It was just a nice fantasy side piece. One of his more honest statements.
There you go.... you wanted to but you didn't. You acted reasonably. The DW - although she has everyone's sympathy - is not acting in a reasonable manner. Sending letters would therefore be like pouring petrol on the fire.
Been there .. Done that. My now XP (of 3 weeks) sat in the new flat waiting to sign the lease - and ducked out and went
Home. Cue more months of dragging on before his W kicked him out and good on her. He really messed her about. Be really careful fuckedupmylife that you know what you will do should he come back . Mine did it over and over and each time I was crushed and felt pathetic . 2 years on i thought we were happy , but he's ended it. so Thoroughly untrustworthy anyway. dont mourn MM. Focus on what you want, one day at a time. Cut all contact and block EXW. It's a big part of your life but a very hard lesson. I bet you have been all consumed - now it's time to
Look around you. I bet you have been missing a lot while investing in MM. Eat a bit of humble pie and apologise to friends. There is a world out there
*The MM changed his mind on he day he was due to move out.
No, he wasn't!! He was never going to move out. He was telling her whatever BS she needed to hear to keep the Cake (having it and eating it) coming.*
Yes Wellwobbly I'm sure your right. But after a 3 year affair I guess (I don't know, I've never been there) you would expect it to be leading to a future together? Maybe I'm naive?? I find it incredible that anyone could maintain an affair for 3 years...........
OP. Brave woman.
Fwiw, if the DW were on here and talking about sending abusive messages to the OW, we'd all tell her not to lower herself, and to take the shit up with her dick of a husband.
Can you change your number? You have to draw a line and move on.
It's cost the DW some trust in her crappy H, it's cost her some tears, and lost sleep, but they're clinging on
until the next time
It's cost you your marriage.
That said, perhaps in time, you'll see that what you lost had to go. Perhaps you'll learn from this.
Promise me one thing though? That you won't punish yourself for this, anymore than you've been punished already? Please demand more of men for yourself, don't settle.
Make all this pain worth it. We all of us make mistakes, if we learn and grow then there is a point to it all.
Be strong. Value yourself.
Put you might find this hard to believe too but as an 'older member of MN' I know of families ( parent's friends) where someone had an affair for over 25 years. I've known others that ran for many many years- longer than 3!
How long ago did all this happen?
Can I just say that I admire your honesty with your husband OP?
A lot of people in your shoes would have kept quiet after the MM changed his mind. To my mind you did the right thing and it showed a lot of courage and ethics.
If this is quite fresh, it's possible your husband will take all that into account once the initial shock has subsided. You could have duped him but you didn't.
It might seem a very small thing now (even a bit hollow), but take some pride in that. It shows you're someone with the capacity to learn from your mistakes and to take responsibility for them. The fact you apologised to the MM's wife shows that too.
bopeep I know it does happen.
When my SIL lost her DF it turned out that his fortnighly golf trips were infact an OW. It must have been going on for over 20 years. He had a 2nd home with her! I just find it hard to believe that someone wouldn't suspect long before then. Maybe my SIL's Mum did know - I think some women do turn a blind eye to it.
Oh and Hissy if a poster said she was sending abusive messages to the OW, yes most people would deter her from that. Sadly not all, by a long chalk.
But we don't know the DW's messages were 'abusive' any more than we know she is 'bitter'. The OP hasn't said what those messages contained. Like I said, we can support the woman who's in pain before us on this thread without casting aspersions about another woman, who is probably also in pain. Maybe her texts were angry, but so what? Hopefully she's said far worse to her cheating husband! The OP is right to step away from that now though.
Likewise we don't know what the MM's future marriage will be like, or that there will be a 'next time'. Maybe he'll learn his lesson and fully commit to his marriage?
Too many projections going on here, I think.
I also feel very sorry for you and admire your honesty.
The wife should not be texting you like this. It's very unfair to you and it's not helping her. I think you should reply to the next one saying that if you hear from her again you will consider it harassment and call the police. She needs to back off for her own good.
Everyone makes mistakes, and no one is perfect. This does not define you as a person. We are all bad, really. Please stop beating yourself up and try to value yourself.
I am sorry you are going through this, because even though it is your own doing you sound so down. Firstly, MM's wife has no right to keep contacting you, her dh is back with her now and made his choice. Tell her you will contact solicitors if she continues.
For your dh to hate you, he must love you very much as the two are the same emotion really. I think if you stand any chance of getting back with him it needs to be while he is angry/hateful of you. Before he becomes resigned to the fact and moves on. Can you not talk to him? Is it worth trying? If you still love him you must try before it is too late.
Good luck and best wishes.
Oh, and any friends who desserted you or judged weren't real friends to begin with, because they don't do that.
Thanks again everyone. You are all really helping.
Yes it is very fresh at the moment, but dh's mind is all made up and I can't see him changing it once the dust has settled.
You are right, the affair and the double life have been all consuming and has taken it's toll on my mental health. Although I don't feel the constant nerves and anxiety, which is a welcome relief, there's just a huge void. Dh has moved out until we find somewhere and staying in the home we built together is heart-breaking. Like i'm sat in the ashes of a fire I started.
I'm ashamed to say MM called me on the phone crying once since deciding to save his marriage (not sad for me, sad for himself - he has never once acknowledged what I've lost, nor should he I suppose, since I got myself into this mess). At my lowest point last week I texted him to say I was really struggling, despite him asking me not to, but never heard back. I'm really ashamed that I did that As if I want his sympathy.
Can you say more about losing your friends? If you have- and feel you've got no-one to turn to during this double bereavement- it's not surprising you texted him, but if he told his wife (which he should) then she won't think your apology was sincere now. That's a shame, because it sounds like it was.
Maybe I ought to check that with you though? If the OM asked you to try again and said he'd left his wife, what would you do?
Also, maybe that's why the DW is texting you just now. You apologised and yet you texted her husband after that apology. He should have been the one to deal with it, but I could understand a DW getting angry about your perseverance.
I am very ashamed to see my friends though they would not ever judge. My friends are close with dh and whilst they have been there for both of us, they don't recognise me for what i've done and since they are so close to dh it is very awkward. My two closest friends have just had babies and it makes me feel terrible inside to see them as they are settling down with a life i'd love but have pressed the self destruct button on. This probably all sounds very self indulgent.
FB - I wish I could answer that question with a big fat 'No, i'd tell OM to take a running jump' but at the moment that would be a lie as I miss him greatly. I realise through my counsellor though it's not HIM, I want/miss, it's the things he brought to my life that were lacking.
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