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Does the OW ever feel any remorse/guilt?

(151 Posts)
RealUnreality Sat 12-Apr-14 15:42:10

This is a very general question purely out of curiosity.

I'm am not or never have been an OW. I was the victim of one years ago, but that is not the issue.

This thread certainly has lots of experience, hence my question.

Donki Sat 12-Apr-14 15:45:33

Not IME (admittedly a limited sample)

QuiteSo Sat 12-Apr-14 15:46:23

Probably not much.
I actually phoned up the OW to try and get some 'closure' on why she'd destroyed my family (along with 'D'H, of course). When I announced on the phone who I was, there was a stunned silence for a couple of seconds, then she hung up. So I think she was feeling at least a little bit guilty.
However, just like with cheating husbands, an OW can justify it to herself by saying that the marriage was more or less over anyway.

JaceyBee Sat 12-Apr-14 15:47:44

There is no one type of OW. We are not a homogenised mass. Just individual women in individual situations. Some of us feel guilt/remorse, I know I have. I imagine many do not. Just like any group of people, you can't generalise so it's kind of a meaningless question.

RealUnreality Sat 12-Apr-14 15:55:53

JaceyBee the question invites all opinions/points of view, therefore cannot be meaningless.

Given that the actions of an OW are capable of causing catastrophic damage, it is a very relevant question.

OW merely refers to a specific group of women who have something in common.

Your response provides some insight.

Tiredstilltired Sat 12-Apr-14 15:56:17

I think it depends on the age of the other ow too. A younger unmarried colleague who is childless, is unlikely to truly understand how devastating an affair can be for a family. And how much women sacrifice when having children only for their dh to shag someone else.
I suspect such women would realise as they get older, marry and favs children themselves.
Older women with children who are the ow should know better. It is such women I think I lose respect for.

Some are victims as much as the wife. They are sold a line by a man they fall in love with. They believe the lies. My 'D'H hurt OW badly. I don't know whether she gives a sh*t about me, but I completely understand her hurt, and tbh I doubt she feels guilty. Why should she? As far as she understood it DH and I were married in name only, and things had been dead in the water for years. I think he told her I'd be relieved and eager to move on. OW are people too, often (but not always) insecure and lonely people.

Op - if you are asking whether a person who slept with a person married to another person (clumsy wording sorry) - may regret that decision and feel sorry that it happened or for any hurt caused? It seems likely that many will even if they don't demonstrate it - others won't or will blame the married party more.

But in my experience as the offspring of an 'other woman' there is plenty of blame thrown the way of the OW when the more appropriate target is the person who took the decision to cheat on their spouse.

OW are not a separate species - they are people - they obviously have made a choice that many would disagree with/ rightly condemn but when they are more demonized than the cheating husband it seems a double standard to me. I am not sure how much - if at all my Father regretted cheating on his first wife - but he was the main transgressor in my opinion.

I am sorry you have been hurt by an affair op - but saying "that is not the issue" is disingenuous if it prompted the question and how you worded it.

I hope you get what you want from this thread.

RealUnreality Sat 12-Apr-14 16:15:12

There's absolutely no need to accuse me of referring to the OW as a 'species' that is absolutely not what I said. On this analysis are 'women' in general a species too? or nurses? It merely describes what I am referring to!

It is not an issue I've got at all, I explained at the beginning it is purely curiosity, and tbh I've seen this question posed on many other forums where the OP has not been met with such contempt! I hate MN sometimes for this.

All questions are based on experiences at some point, it's how any of life's questions are answered fgs.

If my questions hits a nerve, feel free to ignore!

Rebecca2014 Sat 12-Apr-14 16:18:00

Not at the time but I heard of OW feeling bad once they are married themselves with children and are afraid of karma coming back and hitting them hard!

whitewitchofnarnia Sat 12-Apr-14 16:18:55

Im not sure, when I was the ow in my younger days, I didn't realise I was the ow, and when I did find out, I had never felt more guilty, I cryed and cryed to his dw about how I destroyed a family, which looking back was extreamly selfish, she was the one with the destroyed marriage, I should have been supporting her!

Lookingforfocus Sat 12-Apr-14 16:22:17

A friend of mine was the OW (not to my relationship) she came to see me and DH when I was pregnant with our first child. She had never been married or had kids but was only about 31. Just before she travelled to see us she had met a married guy who was feeding her all this crap. I refused to let her use our phone to call him (internationally) as he sounded like a controlling creep and I didn't want to facilitate their relationship. She kept telling me how evil his wife was and how they hadn't had sex for ages. I asked her if she had ever met the wife? Of course she hadn't. In fact when we were out one time I couldn't stand her bitching abut the wife any longer and flounced out of the venue (I was 8 months pregnant!). She went on to have a relationship with this man who left his wife for about two years and would call us in tears because of his EA. He eventually left her for another woman.

ImAThrillseekerHoney Sat 12-Apr-14 16:24:00

Most single OWs haven't lied, they haven't cheated, they haven't broken any vows. I'd be surprised if a decision by them to say "No, I definitely won't sleep with you because you're married" would have resulted in the prospective cheater saying "Oh. OK then" and living a life of contented monogamy ever after.

OTOH I'd be surprised if most of them don't live to regret their taste in fuckwitted cheating bastards.

GiddyUpCowboy Sat 12-Apr-14 16:24:55

The one's I knew in the past didn't they were too busy finding fault with the Wife and telling you all the things the poor MM had to put up with in his home life.

I was not intending to come over as contemptuous. I was wondering about your choice of words op - why you would mention being the "victim" of another woman - rather than for eg. - "my spouse had an affair"? - the words chosen in a post are all we have to go on when reading a thread and I find it interesting.

I have experience from a different perspective of what you are talking about. The OW in my experience was insecure and angry throughout much of her marriage probably in some part due to the origin of the relationship. Though these days she gets on well with the !st wife and they visit each other, have a gossip in Asda, show an interest in all the grandchildren not just those from their own offspring. Time and circumstances change how people feel and their perspective on past hurt.

You can feel how ever you want to about MN - I hope you do get responses that you find helpful.

PlantsAndFlowers Sat 12-Apr-14 16:30:08

I haven't when in this situation. I wasn't married he was, and his wife meant nothing to me, why should she?

He had a son, and when on mumsnet people say they want to contact the OW to let her know she has ruined their child's lives, I just think 'I can't believe this person thinks some stranger will care more about their children than their own father does'.

RealUnreality Sat 12-Apr-14 16:31:30

Yes I did wonder about the 'victim' bad choice of word - hormonal migraine.

I think I was more curious about the long-term really, because in the short term there are many factors that would cause people to think that there situation was ok?

GiddyUpCowboy Sat 12-Apr-14 16:34:12

Long term the last ow I knew she and mm were both married to others to begin with she went on to marry him, she was full of nastiness for years after.

One of the things I noted that she used as a reason for the first wife being a bad wife was that she had piles of ironing all over the place and he had to keep doing it. The first wife worked full time and had four children. I noted the former friend/OW had piles of ironing all over the place when I visited after they married.

GiddyUpCowboy Sat 12-Apr-14 16:35:46

And the former friend/ow used the excuse her first husband was always moaning at her to do the housework as a reason for him being a bad husband.

Discoflame Sat 12-Apr-14 16:50:44

I'm curious as to why everyone fixates on the other woman. I've never seen anyone ask, well does the cheating lying scumbag husband feel guilty?? why is all blame on the woman?

And yes I've been an other woman. And yes I felt guilty then and I feel guilty now. But I was young and stupid. And looking back, if he hadn't snared me he'd have found some other lost soul to cheat with... So really I often wonder did he feel any guilt at all? Does his wife hate him like she must hate me?

stripeszebra Sat 12-Apr-14 17:07:45

Serial OW, (x3) possibly lonely, vulnerable, victim etc etc. Don't feel guilty. I think the wives are well aware.on all occasions I have been seriously fed a line, been flattered by a man in position of authority, taken in by men who I still believe are unhappy, but wives will take them to the cleaners/haven't got the balls to leave/couple are keeping up appearences. None of them left their wives,they have all had other mistresses, as well as me. One complained about wife so much, told me intimate details, that I was sick of hearing about her...and his unhappy life...I have not wrecked any marriages, they are all still together, for better or for worse! Yep I got hurt, but learnt a lot on each occasion.....

whyisthishappening Sat 12-Apr-14 17:14:15

I had two friends that were knowingly OW; both of them were a bit flirty with both my ex and my current partner and I didn't trust them. I think their actions soured the friendships.

I think some OW don't care much about women in general. When they know about the wife and young children yet still go ahead then I think they are being selfish and very much into competing against the wife. They exaggerate the wife's flaws and minimalise their own bad behavior and consequences.

Do they feel guilt or remorse? I don't think so.

When they are subsequently deserted for someone else by their serial cheating husband......

Do they think back about how the previous wife felt and have regrets?

I don't think they have that insight. It's all about them and how they feel. Their feelings are obviously all that matter.

Tiredstilltired Sat 12-Apr-14 17:15:14

Most ow must lack self esteem. Why shag a mm. Must have a low opinion of themselves.
I don't think the wife blames the ow, but any woman who knowingly has an affair with a mm is a woman most women wouldn't respect or choose to support. Her family must be so proud...

GiddyUpCowboy Sat 12-Apr-14 17:17:07

No, I think a lot of OW who know they are ow have a very selfish, they are quite nasty and as someone else said it is all about them. That is why I am no longer friends with anyone like that anymore.

Tiredstilltired Sat 12-Apr-14 17:19:52

I suspect it all seems like a game to ow. How on earth can the wife compete with a woman who is often flirty, younger and doesn't show the stresses of running a home etc. To certain men who have few morals, the ego massage and attention is addictive compared to the reality of life at home.
The ow probably loves the attention too and the secrecy. Why are they unable to find a decent single man confused

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