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.
I am the OW...(179 Posts)
Long story short...
I am a 38 year old woman, 1 child, separated, I have a fuck buddies relation with a married man.
3 years ago I separated from my husband of 11 years because of his drinking. We had a phase of getting back together, he wanted to start treatment but didn't. Instead, he found himself a mistress and a marriage didn't survive. I used to see my husband as a soulmate and had a number of happy years together, but now I doubt how much real it all was, as he is a person with obvious NPD traits, and even the past with him seems like one big lie now. Sometimes I think that the only good think I got out of this marriage is my beautiful daughter.
Ex is still 'happy' with the OW, 15 years younger than me.
In the meantime I had one serious relationship which died as well, as my partner didn't want to commit because of distance between us and disability of one of his young children.
Despite receiving counselling and taking antidepressants for years now, it seems like I cannot sort out my own head and understand that I need to see my own value first, before I get into any relationship, otherwise it will never be healthy.
I was in very bad place for the last couple of months, I desperately needed someone who would 'confirm' my value, made me feel wanted again. Pathetic, I know.
I threw myself in a string of casual sex relations, I guess I met 4-5 men and I had sex with all of them. Most of them were met online.
One of the men I met is married. The nicest one, the only one who actually doesn't treat me as meat, as fuck, he is genuinely interested in me as a human being. I think this is what attracts me most to him.
He claims that he lives in a sexless marriage.
He loves his wife and his 2 little children, but his wife has very low sex drive and pushes him away whenever he wants to be intimate. He says that she always had very little needs but since children arrived, they have sex 3-4 times a year. He tried to talk to her about it but she finds excuses of being busy with children and says she doesn't really need it. He suggested therapy, going away, babysitter so they could have time together - all she says is no, because she is happy the way it is. He says she trusts him 100% and they always been good friends, so she would never ever think he can cheat. So he decided he just needs to find someone for sex to fill this gap...
I developed friendship with that guy, we met a couple fo times and finally we had sex. It was great, we are very compatible and I could easily say that he is deprived of it. He is a very passionate man and I struggle to imagine that any healthy woman wouldn't be happy to make love to him, which leads me to conclusion that his wife does have issues with her sex drive.
He claims he doesn't want to split with his wife, that he cannot imagine living without his children, but on the other hand he cannot carry on without sex.
I know I should end this and what we do is just disgusting.
The facts are that he cheats on his wife and I am the OW.
On the other hand I kind of 'justify' it by thinking that for both of us it is just sex and a bit of intimacy. I have no intentions of splitting his family, he would never do it anyway, and I would never want it as I know best how it hurts, how much children suffer etc.
The risk of his wife finding out are minimal - we never speak on the phone, just text via kik or email. We don't exchange any dirty pictures, meet once a month maximum. He is normally very devoted to his family and children, it's not like he deprives them of his time, attention, money. We don't exchange any gifts or pay for hotels or trips - it is all very casual and we both lead our independent lives, apart from this short hours of intimacy.
I know it will have to end at some point, and every time I see him, I feel guilty... but then I think that if it wasn't me, it would be someone else... and at least I have no intentions of messing his life up.
Now, why am I writing all this... I guess it is because of guilt. I was always quite strict about being faithful and honest in relationship and in general, never cheated myself, but after that last year, when I was lied to and cheated on by my own husband, and then disappointed in another relationship, it is as if something broke inside me. I just don't feel like it's worth being honest, being the good one anymore. All the genuine and honest people around me end up lonely or used, and the ones who think of themselves are just better off... like my ex and his mistress, like so many other people I know.
I am aware of the fact that my self esteem is crushed now, that probably the only reason I am sleeping with a married man is the fact that I like the attention he gives me. I like him a lot as a person and obviously worry that I can develop feeling at some point, which will leave me in even deeper hole than now.
I would like to have a normal loving relationship but I kind of lost faith in it. It's like I have already had my bit of love with ex husband and there is nothing left for me in this life, apart from being a shag for a man, who still loves someone else.
Why am I writing all this... I think I just need someone to talk some sense into me. That arrangement leads nowewhere, I do not want to harm anybody but I am, in a way, doing this... I know affairs are wrong, that nobody deserves to be cheated on... but still I am in it. My counselor said that I do not harm anyone because I am single and I do not cheat, it's him... but still I do feel guilty.
How to change it? How to come back to the values I used to believe in, after having them rubbed in my face by ex and after doing what I did?
Dear Ow! This counselor clearly does not fit you. You must find another one- with values similar to yours. This kind of relationships will not do much to raise your own self-esteem or rebuild your confidence.
And you comes across as a bit depressed as well. Did you go to a GP? Maybe some pills can help a bit.
And no no no: Life has a lot to offer to you. How about doing some volunteer work?
Are you really that gullible OP?
Of course his DW is still sleeping with him - or as you put it, making love to him. You're just a shag to him.
Have you heard of the cheaters script? He's playing you like a fiddle.
I think your harming yourself, he has probably told you a pack of lies and at some point you will find out that yet another man has used you but actually wants someone else - In this case his wife if any of its true.
You don't deserve to be treated so poorly but you really are inviting it in this instance, it's going to feel far worse when you see through it,
Listen to your instincts, they're there to protect you. And perhaps avoid seeking a relationship while your so vulnerable - it's so easy to pick something bad when you're really low on your own self worth.
In movies men come along and 'rescue' women and solve all their problems etc - IRL decent men would like a problem free not needy partner. Needy ones get abused so easily - precisely because they will take so much more crap
There are quite a lot of similar threads on here, started by other women in your situation. They are all pretty much the same. Read them, and see how similar they are. How much the script is the same.
You know, deep down. You're just kidding yourself. Which would be fine, but it's not fine to destroy innocent people in the process.
Christ, they ALL say that they don't have sex with their wives........
Give your head a wobble and walk away from the married "fuck buddy".
OP there are some good relationship healing type meditations on YouTube, they may be useful. Iv used them in my recent breakup and found they do seem to help the subconscious let go of the pain a bit.
I really reluctant to stick the boot in which frankly I usually do to OW posters. But you sound in a very low and vulnerable place.
You need to sort yourself out, and that won't happen with a LYING married man.
Why doesn't his wife sleep with him?
Well, she probably does.
If she doesn't, maybe it's because he lies to her and cheats on her and she just ain't feeling it?
My XH could tell his current GF about the lack of sex in our marriage. Because I couldn't bear to be near him because he was a cheat!
Look, you sound vulnerable. But I suspect you're not stupid.
Get some self respect.
I'm not even going to tell you about not treating the wife badly, because you don't care about that. Stop treating YOURSELF badly.
You are a piece of meat to this selfish arsehole, you are just a fuck. He just puts a nice shine on the shit.
Ubu to have a relationship with this man because it is hurting you. You started this relationship because of your low self esteem and need to be valued and from what you described he is not helping with this at all.
IMO your counsellor is right, it is not you harming the wife, it is her husband doing that but he is also harming you.
For your sake you need to end the relationship. Then join some social groups which you enjoy, a book club, running club, cladenstine cake club, wi. Anything as long as you enjoy it and it I s with others. This will increase yourself esteem and you will feel/be valued.
You are only 38. You have plenty of time to build a good life with your beautiful daughter, go out and do things, and meet someone who shares your interests, who will make a good companion when your beautiful daughter flies the nest.
If you dump this waster.
He is taking up too much of your time and headspace and giving nothing much in return.
I agree with Ma, you need to find another counsellor.
You really need support and help and your counsellor is just dismissing this relationship, which is causing you so much anxiety.
It doesn't matter how you wish to percieve this married man, he's a liar and a cheat. You deserve so much better.
but then I think that if it wasn't me, it would be someone else... and at least I have no intentions of messing his life up.
At lease you are not delusional! Can I just say there is nothing wrong with you sleeping with other men, you were with your husband for a long time and you been separated 3 years. Don't feel guilty for having a sex life.
Now, the married man. Just end it, its making you feel shit and there are nice single guys out there who you can have this type of relationship with. Stop punishing yourself, it seems like your saying to yourself "Look how wicked I am." It sucks your husband did not want work on your marriage but you are nothing special, it happens all the time...it is actually pretty common! you can and will move on, just let yourself.
This arrangement isn't good for your mental health or self esteem. It's making both worse.
Also, married men generally say that their wife doesn't want to have sex with them. It's often not true. My husband started turning down sex with me when he was having an affair.
You have no hope of finding a partner who would love you and treat you nicely whilst you waste your time/energy/emotions with this married man.
Yes if it wasn't you he was cheating with, he'd probably cheat with someone else. But that just means he's a shit. Why would you want to be part of the destruction of someone's marriage? The woman that shagged my husband had also had her marriage destroyed by a cheating husband. It's really odd.
I appreciate there are many grey areas to love and life.
You are taking what this man says and believing it to be absolutely correct.
Yes when young children come along the sex life suffers but usually finds itself again. Not like before but nevertheless that's family life!
It's strange how he lies and cheats on his wife yet you seem to think he isn't doing the same to you??
A married man is not the answer to your troubles and yes your behaviour is abhorrent. If I try to feel sorry for you I then think but 'what if I'm the wife' (unlikely I know) then I feel nothing but disgust for your actions.
Find a man who is free.
OP, I also usually stick the boot in, but you sound so damaged and battered. Try and re-find your self-respect and leave him.
I'm a great believer in 'water finding its own level'. He won't be happy - people who treat others like sh#t never are, you can be.
So basically you are doing society a favour, keeping this sexless marriage together. Why don't you offer it as a service to others?
I am interested what is your sex-per-year threshold? Your FB says he gets it 3-4 times per year.
I was expecting to read a typical inflammatory post from an OW but I actually feel a tiny bit sorry for you.
Your comment "the only one who actually doesn't treat me as meat, as fuck, he is genuinely interested in me as a human being. I think this is what attracts me most to him" is very telling.
Having your husband cheat on you badly affects your self esteem but seeing this man because he pays you a bit of attention and shows an interest in you isn't the way to improve your self esteem. From what you have written it has made you feel worse.
You have managed to meet 4-5 men in the last few months, in time you will meet someone decent but this man is a shit who is using you. You need to work on yourself without having this man involved in your life. Please give some thought to seeing a different counsellor as it doesn't sound like they are helping you.
Please don't assume you are not hurting anyone and that his wife won't find out. My ex-DH and the OW he is now with apparently had no intention of splitting our family up, it was just "harmless fun". They only met up a couple of times a month, didn't really speak on the phone or do trips or hotels but I still found out. She apparently never meant to hurt me, but what she and my husband did devastated our family. Please don't be that woman.
Why do these men always give the same story? It's so pathetic and predictable.
Would you want to have sex with a man who is happy to lie and cheat to you?
So why do you think his wife is any different?
If he is happy to sleep around he is risking his wife's sexual health and she won't have a clue.
Or she knows he has cheated before and can't bring herself to sleep with him any more.
I bet you aren't the first and you won't be the last for this man.
You need to get back to a different counsellor and find one who can help you with yourself because your current one is wrong. You are hurting yourself. All the time you waste on this man you are not moving on or meeting a decent bloke.
I think it's unlikely OPs counsellor expressly stated that she's not harming anyone (and if she did do that - please find a new one) I thought counselling was to help people discover their own answers and it's more likely she expressed that was what OP believed/felt?
He claims that he lives in a sexless marriage
They all say that.
Does he also say
my wife doesn't understand me
I agree about getting a different counsellor. She obviously doesn't have your best interests at heart....
I understand your feeling of not caring any more and I agree that the good ones often get fucked over (been there).
However, the longer you justify this is o.k. with yourself the worse it will get. What if the wife were to find out? You have a daughter and you need to protect her from any eventual fall-out.
I had a friend who was in a long-term affair also, she is a LP with a daughter. I used to say to her "What kind of lesson are you teaching her?"
That relationships have to be sneaky? Lying about "the family friend"?
I don't see her anymore.
Staying with this man is going to do nothing for your self-esteem.
Since DS came along I have sex with my DP a few times a year. It's not uncommon. My friends say a similar story.
So while I would personally be devastated if my dp cheated on me, I think it's wrong to assume this guy is lying about his sex life. It sounds very believable to me.
Some counsellors are crap!
When I told mine about the physical and emotional effects my stbxh's affair was having on me her reply was, "it's better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all". This was said as I was sobbing uncontrollably but my hour was up!!
If your counsellor has said that to you then you need to find another one.
It also seems that you have gone from one man to another since your marriage ended. How about having some time on your own? It will feel better than being an OW and will probably do wonders for your self esteem.
Join the discussion
Please login first.