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never be an OW because you will probably always be unhappy even if he leaves his wife(242 Posts)
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I was 26 and recently come out of a long term relationship and was a single mum with a 3 year old ds. MM was 35 and i worked with him (oh the cliches) we became friends. and eventually he started telling me he was unhappy in his marriage and had been for years and he couldn't wait to leave. inevitably it soon became flirty and he told me he was falling for me. I didn't have MN then so I didn't know about the script.
I thought I must be so special to have a married man chasing after me. but actually what I should have known was that I was far from special...as we all know it is just the thrill of the new compared to an established long term relationship. I was nothing special just a silly girl...but one who was something new and different.
When he asked me out for a drink I said yes and from that first date I fell absolutely head over heels. I told him I wanted him too but I wouldn't be the "other woman" (except, I was, I just couldn't see it because I was a fucking idiot) but we dated for a few weeks and then he left home.
we got married a couple of years after he left. and 9 years after we met he is the "perfect" DH he is loving, adoring, generous, funny, gorgeous looking and a great father - we have 2 dds and my ds (obv a shit one with his first dc as he left her) ...but I will never be happy because I just constantly question everything in my head ....if he hadn't have met me or i had have turned him down, would he still be with exw? he says no but he is bound to isn't he? we also have 2 dc together. but I feel the dc shouldn't be here, that they are a product of something nasty. if I could go back I would change everything. I would have ran a mile....as the whole relationship has been tainted by how it started...I would probably have eventually found someone who was actually single and had more dc If had wanted them.
his adult DD from his first marriage refuses to see or speak to him. she allowed contact for a year after he left but then decided she wanted nothing to do with him. so he has not seen her for 8 years now. (she was 13 when he left) and my DC with DH have a sister who they've never met and who wants nothing to do with them. She has a child too so dh is a grandparent but he has never seen his grandchild. And I totally don't blame her tbh. Because I see how Dh is with our dc and I know it would break them if he ever left
I also never anticipated how hard it would be being part of a "second" family ....everything dh and I have done together he has already done. got married, had dc, bought a house, had holidays, xmases, birthdays, ....it just makes our relationship (and me) feel less special cos he has been there and got the t shirt. I also find it very hard to be around DH family ie his mum, dad, aunts he is very close to them but I never feel I fit in. also dh's dd cut everyone else off as well so thanks to me, his family don't see her either. I am embarrassed for what I did
I cant imagine the guilt will ever go away nor the feeling of being second best....If anything it has got worse over the years, as we married, had dc as it makes it even clearer in my head what DH had with his ex and what he threw away. and how his ex must have felt when he left. I have had years of counselling through relate (with and without dh) and also had CBT to through and have been on anti depressants on and off for years. but it has made no difference. I am 35 now, the age DH exw was when he left her...I am not the young pretty girl he met and now I am scared he will do the same to me. I have thought about ending things but I really do love him and I couldn't be without him. I sometimes think about suicide and how I could end things quickly
feel free to flame away because I couldn't feel any worse than what I do. I know I am a total cunt and deserve this and more. I am not even sure why I have posted this.... I just hope this puts off any potential OW and also makes any wives who have been left for OW feel a bit better because this OW hates herself
I was the OW for my XH. it took him 10 years but he did the same to me. I feel sick that I did that to someone else.
he's 50 this year and marrying wife No. 3. good luck to them. I will never get married again as to me it's tainted - I know what I did and I know what he did and really, neither of us deserve 'forever'.
it's a hard lesson to learn.
There's an old expression, "When a man marries his mistress, he creates a vacancy".
yeah I heard that too......am just waiting for that day violetvaccine
sorry exwifebeginsat40 for you ....he is the twat not you, you do deserve happiness (whether with someone or not) and I hope you find it
I understand what you are saying, but surely you must see that you are just punishing yourself and torturing yourself, to no avail.
You sound like you are just metaphorically whipping yourself constantly. What good is it doing? What are you achieving, other than misery for yourself and possibly those around you?
Can you try and flip your thinking?
You did gain an husband and a family, from causing distress to another woman and child. But if I was that woman, or that child, I would feel much better that it hadn't been in vain. (I'm sure some others would prefer you to suffer for eternity)
I would be really pissed off, if someone had an affair with my dh/dp, we broke up, and then they spent years wishing they hadn't, and going back in time would be more agreeable.
What a waste.
How do you know she would want him back? If she could go back in time, and still be with him, that she would choose that?
I know my DM wouldn't want to go back, as that would mean she'd still be with df and not with step dad.
I don't mean this to be harsh, but you've created a world in your own head, of how it is- when that might not be the case- and you seem to be wallowing in it.
Stop flogging yourself, look at your own dc's and dh, whom you love, and stop ruining their lives by only being present in it, rather than living and loving it.
it's been a couple of years now. it's just a horrible realisation that he never changed and it was all over as soon as he got bored enough. I know he'll have told his new partner all sorts of horror stories as it's just how he operates.
our marriage wasn't perfect and I should have expected it really. leopards and spots, and all that.
I'm with someone now and he's the complete opposite. he does want me to move in at some point but I honestly don't think I could do it all again. I have my flat and my kiddo and my cats. I think at 43 that's enough for me.
you need to be kind to yourself as well OP. relationships rise and fall all the time. I do understand the self-loathing but you weren't the only one doing the running.
it's so hard to talk about as, rightly so, those who have been left behind have to pick up the pieces after a betrayal.
I do genuinely wish that none of it had happened. it's ten years of my life I'll never be comfortable with and the whole thing was a mess from the very start.
I learned a harsh lesson, and I deserved it.
No flaming from me. I had an affair with someone who was engaged. promised me the world when I was really low, told me how unhappy he was (blah blah blah) . . .I lapped it all up and thought he would leave. He ended up marrying her and abusing me over the phone, email, social media - threatening to tell all etc etc (even though he had a lot more to lose than me).
I still feel guilty about his (now) wife. and I sometimes just think that the guilt is the karma from what I did.
I'm sorry you feel so low. the suicidal thoughts are particularly worrying. I hope you can somehow try to get over your feelings of guilt.
as you now know - affairs are just a BAD idea, for ALL concerned. some people never learn this, and just carry on causing destruction again and again. you sound like a good person, who made some choices and you are now living with the back lash of those choices.
I think that a lot of what you say is true. The firsts, the loss of his DD, the age you are now etc. My STBXH left me for a ow who is 20 years younger than me. They have just had a baby. Would he have left us if she hadn't been so compliant - no. He cried when he left us. He sent me loving texts. He has apologised so many times for what he put me through. 4 years later and a baby, he still sends me lovely texts. He still isn't married to her and has made no housing commitment to her. However he has made his bed and he knows that. He has no where to go now. When he left me and the boys we had a big house, 2 holidays a year and no financial problems. Now he is maintaining 2 families. We will never be out of his life. I feel sorry for his OW. She is living with a weak, financially incompetent, lying man who I would never trust. All very sad so I do feel for you OP. But you need to do what makes you happy.
Maybe you should go to the GP about your depression. Second families aren't that unusual and it's not normal to feel suicidal about it.
I agree with a previous poster that you need to stop beating yourself up. He did at least follow through and leave his wife rather than stringing you both along forever. I'm not going to applaud him for that, but the fact he followed through on his promise to leave suggests there really were problems in his marriage. He might have left even if he hadn't met you, and his daughter may have decided to cut contact with him anyway. You can't spend your life dwelling on 'what ifs'.
I can definitely see how starting a relationship and a life together under those circumstances would really stay with you and niggle at you. However going back to that starting point, he dated you for 'a few weeks' then finished with his wife. It's not like he was lying to her for months or even years, while also stringing you along?
Sometimes people really are unhappy, sometimes a marriage is basically over, and meeting someone else you connect with becomes the catalyst for making the break. Catalyst, not cause. Not saying that's the right way to go about it but people are human, they make mistakes, and you are beating yourself (and him) up about this years down the line when you really don't need to IMO.
It's not the ideal start to a relationship but previous posters alluding to you as 'the mistress' (ie marrying the mistress creates a vacancy) are I believe mischaracterising the whole situation as you were only seeing each other for a few weeks and he clearly made a choice and was honest enough to go through with it.
I'm not defending infidelity but sometimes life is complicated and shit happens. The difficulty is obviously the guilt and insecurity it's left you with, but reading through your post I think these thoughts and feelings are more about your depression than reality.
It sounds like you need really good support and treatment. You say you've been having suicidal thoughts about all this and from the sounds of it you're taking the most extreme doom and gloom view of things possible which is a classic example of depression/ anxiety skewing the way you see reality.
Also harsh as it may sound it's his daughter's choice not to see him and not in any way your fault. I understand she may have felt protective of her mum but unless your DH really screwed them over during the divorce, her reaction seems unnecessarily bitter all these years later and says more about her than anything else. Kids do deal with parental separation and maintain a close relationship with both and if your DH genuinely tried to achieve this I don't think either one of you should blame yourselves for that failure, unfortunately sounds to me like his ex may have let her issues poison things between them which is sad for everyone really. Obviously I don't know all the facts so could be wrong!
honey his DD just couldn't cope with him rejecting her i dont think. she loved DH and they had a great relationship before he left, she was a real daddys girl. DH didn't screw them over, well not financially anyway, they had no real assets just a house which was just split down the middle and most of it just paid the mortgage off, they ended up with a couple of grand each. and he has paid the correct amount of maintenance plus extras till she was grown up. her hate for dh was because she saw it for what it was ie dh just leaving her mum for someone else and then starting a new family. in the first year after he left DH saw his DD every weekend without fail and there would also be phone calls and texts every day but then she just cut him off. he kept in touch but she was never interested in seeing him. and when she was about 18, she explicitly said she would never ever see him again. i dont know if his exw influenced her decision at all, if she did i dont blame her tbh! because if DH left me for an ow i would be so hurt and angry there is honestly no telling what i would do. he still emails his DD every few weeks now but never gets anything back. I imagine it must kill him - it would me if I lost one of my dc like that....and I always think what if he blames me?
but i can see why she hated him so much for leaving....because I see how much our dc adore him and what a lovely relationship they have and I can see how if he did the same to our dc they would be beyond devastated and probably never forgive him either
also that's what he said re I was the catalyst, he claims he never cheated other than me. but when he is a known cheat from the fact he cheated with me then how can I believe him....I know from reading stories on here its usually just a case that the men are just bored, which is natural in long term relationships.
lots of posters on here talk about "karma" ....I think this misery is my karma
I think it would be hard to build a relationship on so much hurt that was caused to his wife and children and I believe if somebody is unhappy in a marriage they should leave for themselves not because they've met someone else.
Although I don't agree the way your relationship come about, you can't live in the past feeling guilty about things, what's done is done so stop beating yourself up.
You say every time you do something ( married,dc, holidays, birthday etc) you think his done this all before and yes he has but now his doing it all over again making new memories with you and your Dc.
You comment about being 35 and his leaving you like he did his wife at that age, that is no way to think everyday. Any woman could say about there dp/dh
He could leave me for some younger/ more attractive.
I don't think it's normal to feel suicidal about this, sound like symptoms of aniexty, depression maybe. Could you go to the GP or arrange some counselloring for yourself? You can't continue this way as its stopping you from enjoying life. You need a solid support network.
Thanks for posting this. I will send a link to my dc. It helps the first family to know these things, as they did nothing to deserve being treated so badly.
How do your dc feel about having a sibling that was treated so badly? It will make them very insecure as they grow up that it could happen to them too. I think that would be my biggest worry.
I know two people who had a workplace affair and no one approved because they were indiscreet about it and if affected their job performance. However when they both left their partners and ended up together I did think, well at least they were serious about each other and it wasn't just a seedy fling.
I know what you are saying but there is another way of looking at it.
The best thing you can do is stop reading mumsnet and detach from the OW flaming mentality that prevails. If you don't subscribe to the majority view you're made to feel like an outcast. But mumsnet isn't the real world, nor even a particularly well-balanced view of it.
It sounds like you care far too much about others' opinions. Why?
You have two kids with this guy. Enjoy them. And him. Who gives a toss what anyone else thinks? People love nothing better than to position themselves on the scale of perceived virtuosity, because they have nothing more productive to do and because it makes them feel better.
You have absolutely nothing to blame yourself for and I think you've indulged your self-flagellation tendency for far too long.
Just let go and enjoy yourself.
VertigoNun and Lunar1 Eh? The daughter from the first marriage was NOT treated badly. Her father left, as he was unhappy, however, he continued weekly contact with his DD and also paid child support. He did not abandon his DD, he still writes e-mails now, even though she ignores him now. I suspect that the first wife has badmouthed him greatly, and that's the reason. Which actually makes the first wife a bit of a cow.
Op, I think you have depression. See a GP and seek treatment. If not for yourself, for your dc.
Stop beating yourself up. You were 26, fgs, very very young, and you fell in love. You did what any young woman would have done, in the same circs. You have enough people on here telling you that you aren't a bad person. And MN can be quite harsh on people, but almost everyone that's posted has told you that you are not a bad person. You believe MN, right?
Ignore the fatuous and entirely stupid 'when a man marries his mistress blah blah' statements OP, they're not worth listening to.
You're not the OW, you are now the wife. This man's daughter from his first marriage has the choice to be in contact with her dad - and was for a year - she's now changed her mind, up to her. I come from a broken home myself (no other people involved) and saw my brothers vacillate between seeing my dad and not. I don't see him myself because he isn't a nice person. If your husband is prepared to be a good dad then that's what he is and if his children don't accept him them that is their choice. He doesn't need to prostrate himself forever for leaving a marriage that he didn't want to be in.
This is your husband now and you love him and presumably he loves you. Don't fall into the trap of believing everything you read here because relationships board is people with (mostly) women who have gone through horrendous times with their own partners and it can't help to colour opinions sometimes. Take the projecting with a pinch of salt and for goodness sake, ignore any talk of 'karma' and 'mistress vacancies'; both are bogus.
I think perhaps some consideration for possible depression would be a good thing. Do you think you could get some help for that if it's applicable?
Great post, LWW
OP, please go and speak to someone. Life is so messy and complicated, nothing is ever cut and dried and you are torturing yourself so unnecessarily.
Please don't view your lovely children as the product of something bad. They are the product of love, and they need to feel valued and cherished by their mum.
There are some people on this thread that need to have a word with themselves.
We have a woman who refers to herself as 'a total cunt' and is talking about suicide, and some pps are saying that they'll send the thread to their dcs to comfort them?
And another one adding to the guilt by asking how the DCs will feel knowing their sibling was so badly treated?
Good Lord. There are worse things you can do than have an affair. The two things I've mentioned above, for example
I went through a horrendous time when my DH cheated.
But I still only wanted him to be happy.
It turns out she wasn't the woman he thought she was and it all ended in tears.
He's still not entirely happy.
I am though. And I don't feel guilty about how I got here.
You need to let that go and get on with being a happy family.
You are punishing yourself and have been for years.
Time to stop now.
As a PP said, and I love this:-
stop ruining their lives by only being present in it, rather than living and loving it
I think some therapy/counselling might be in order to help you get over this awful feeling of guilt.
You are beating yourself up obsessively and it's not necessary.
I think if you hadn't got this to torture yourself with, you'd be torturing yourself with something else. I'd seek therapy, not through Relate but through the GP.
I feel bad for my daughters as well. My oldest DD, who is 7, knows about her sister and has seen pictures, as does my son. She knows in an age appropriate way that DH used to be married to her mum. The littlest one is not quite 3 so we haven't told her yet as she is too young, but will tell her soon. . What scares me is that a couple of years ago DH's DD messaged me to say that she couldnt wait until when my kids were older as she was going to look for them so she could tell them exactly what happened and what a horrible person her dad is..
I really envy people who have mixed families where everything is ok. when I first met DH I never met his DD when DH was still seeing her, as DH, quite rightly, wanted to wait until she was ready. But I couldn't wait to one day meet her and for her to hopefully become part of the family. In my naivety I was excited that I had met someone who was also a parent, I had dreams of her and my ds being step siblings and us being a family ....god how wrong I was and probably horrible and insensitive to even have those kind of ideas given how we got together :/
I definitely have depression, I am on tablets, I am not sure if this is the reason or if my depression just magnifies everything
sorry haven't replied to everyone individually x
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