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When you realise you're the OW, do you tell his wife? Feel like I'm drowning in guilt

(141 Posts)
lightofthrees Sun 02-Oct-16 15:27:28

Dating a man for 10 months.

He's been to my house, and I to his house. He lived in the annex. His reason for starting in the house was for the kids who are nearly both at university. He said they'd sell the house after that.

He came to my house mostly but the times I was at his, there was nothing in the house to suggest they were together.

It all came to a head when I said I wanted us to be official. That meant meeting his kids, his stbxw etc. He said he couldn't because it would rock the boat before the kids leave for uni.

Pretty much that second I suddenly thought there's something not right here. I ended it the same day. He messaged a few times but we've not spoken properly.

The reason I never saw his stbxw was that he said they had an arrangement that they wouldn't do introductions to new people until the kids had left. It sounds crazy that I believed that now. I'm embarrassed. But honestly nothing made me question it. He now tells me that there was no arrangement that they could see other people, and although they have separated and he lives in the annex, and they are splitting finances, he now says to say he had met someone new would create huge drama. Obviously that sounds like utter shit to me.

It was the best relationship (if I can call it that looking back) I ever had. I can't believe it really. And now I'm also feeling so guilty. In no way do I want to be with this man after this, but should I face up to this and tell his wife? It's NOT for my benefit aside from wanting to get rid of the guilt a bit I suppose.

cheesecadet Sun 02-Oct-16 15:36:03

So are they 'together' or not? If not I wouldn't bother.

AfterSun Sun 02-Oct-16 15:36:06

It doesn't sound so ridiculous to me. If they were married with kids nearly at uni they were together 20-ish years? That's a very long time and if they are effectively splitting up in stages (first separate areas of the house, then properly separating) I can imagine that it would be very awkward to introduce new partners.

You could be right - he may just have been cheating.

Either way, he isn't ready to have a new relationship where he is introducing the new partner to his kids (not sure you need to meet his ex?), so he isn't ready for what you want.

I'm not sure I'd tell the (ex-)wife, unless you are sure they haven't separated at all.

lightofthrees Sun 02-Oct-16 15:38:30

Thanks for the views.

He didn't want me to meet his mum etc (again, reason is for the kids). I understand it, but the secrecy was getting too much for me. Why be secretive with his stbxw?? If they're not together, why would she care. I just don't believe him and I feel sick about what I may have done to another woman.

Trifleorbust Sun 02-Oct-16 15:45:28

I suspect, if he's living in the annexe, they're not technically together. The pretence is probably for the sake of the kids. He may also be calculating that divorce before the kids leave home will leave him liable to pay child support. His wife may be okay with separation but not with him being in a new relationship.

lightofthrees Sun 02-Oct-16 15:47:52

But how is that plausible? Was I supposed to remain a secret and trusting in him that it was all as he said it was?

If his stbxw isn't ok with him being with someone new, isn't that effectively cheating on her?

Sorry. Don't meant to sound defensive. Head is a mess. I've cut off the man I loved more than anything and all because of this secrecy that I don't understand.

Trifleorbust Sun 02-Oct-16 15:50:24

I'm not saying he's being fair or reasonable, but that's not to say this isn't how it is.

lightofthrees Sun 02-Oct-16 15:51:46

Do people really live like that? I can't imagine it. Why can't people be honest.

OurBlanche Sun 02-Oct-16 15:52:13

I've cut off the man I loved more than anything and all because of this secrecy that I don't understand. Have you told him that, bluntly?

If he is telling you the truth, has made an 'unspoken' agreement with his stbx in order to keep the peace at home, for the kids, he may have a rethink if he realises that by keeping it he will lose you.

At the moment you have no idea what is really happening. Don't go in all guns blazing, just primed, cocked and ready to go!

HandyWoman Sun 02-Oct-16 15:55:43

Oh dear, I think this is why starting a relationship with someone who still lives in the marital home is just messy. If you are kept a secret you have no way of knowing the situation. To protect yourself then I would say it's always safer to assume they are still together.

Even if he's just wanting to keep up pretence 'for the dc' who are clearly not stupid then I dunno, it's just not for me, it strikes me he is wracked with guilt about the whole thing. In which case he's in no place to start a relationship.

Whichever way you look at it this man is not ready for an actual relationship.

Sorry, OP, it's really sad flowers I think you should tell him to get his situation sorted and he is ready for something real, to look you up. But if you'll always wonder 'was I the OW' best to cut ties.

Trifleorbust Sun 02-Oct-16 15:55:58

When he says there was no arrangement that they could see other people, though, that does sound confused

Surely the whole point of actually separating is that you don't need to ask!

lightofthrees Sun 02-Oct-16 15:56:05

Maybe I was too guns blazing.

Yes I did tell him bluntly that I couldn't live with all this secrecy, and if it was really over with his wife then why couldn't she know. He said it would cause an awful home environment for the kids. I accept that. But what assurance do I have that he's being genuine? And, even though they're separated, (if that is the case), then it feels like another woman is in our relationship anyway because he's hiding me from her! It's so fucked up. I don't know what to do. He's not spoken to me for a couple of days, so maybe that's my answer. Unfortunately I see him everyday on the tiny train station on the commute to work! Such a confusing mess.

Trifleorbust Sun 02-Oct-16 15:58:53

Yes, doesn't sound right to me at all. How old are his kids?

HandyWoman Sun 02-Oct-16 15:59:24

How long have they been 'separated'?

If he's prioritising this charade/his ex wife's feelings or whatever over you then that's all you need to know, surely.

You're right to feel as you do.

lightofthrees Sun 02-Oct-16 15:59:32

Last one to go to uni goes in 3 years

lightofthrees Sun 02-Oct-16 16:00:49

Apparently separated for 3 years. It's not 'official' with neighbours or family though apparently. Even more weird.

But they do nothing together. That's probably the only part I believe. He was 100% available for me anytime and we spoke on the phone every evening and night etc.

Trifleorbust Sun 02-Oct-16 16:01:38

A 15 year old can't be under any illusion that his/her dad lives separately to them unless he isn't actually living separately. Sorry, OP.

lightofthrees Sun 02-Oct-16 16:03:49

He has dinner with them and the annex links to the main house. So it's like he sleeps and washes there. I don't think he eats dinner there, he's always saying he's just cooked for his kids etc.

gillybeanz Sun 02-Oct-16 16:04:53

This doesn't sound right as how does his wife knowing have any effect on the kids.
It's obviously too soon to tell the dc but no reason why an ex shouldn't know.
All this leaving in stages is confusing too, why doesn't he just leave.
it would be far better for all of them, especially the dc.

lightofthrees Sun 02-Oct-16 16:07:07

I have said that to him gilly, but obviously I don't want to say too much about what is best for his kids.

I've asked why it has to effect the kids and I've said I don't expect him to leave the annex. He says it would turn into a war zone if his stbxw knew because and the tension would be much worse. I'm sure it may be, but the kids don't need to go through that - as far as I'm concerned he needs to grow up and deal with it. Clearly I wasn't worth that.

Revealall Sun 02-Oct-16 16:07:50

Either way it would actually be better not to date someone separated until they were actually divorced.
At least then you know you have him as single man, you don't have to get involved in the minutia of the divorce.

I had a friend in exactly this situation so it does happen.The husband and wife had totally seperated a few years before. Neither of them had romantic feelings for the other. Even so it did get acrimonious at times. My friend and the husband are still together but she has had to put up with supporting him through a breakup which has nothing to do with her and has had to live through the husband and wife dealing with their new arrangements.
Not ideal when what you really want in a new relationship is romance, shagging and maybe promise of a happy future.

Trifleorbust Sun 02-Oct-16 16:08:11

So really it's just separate bedrooms? Well, lots of married couples do that. I think your first instinct is correct. He won't tell his kids, wider family or friends that they're separated because they're not. He won't tell his wife is seeing someone else (and has been for 10 months) because they're not (separated).

HandyWoman Sun 02-Oct-16 16:08:37

Well some people will say 'good for him/fair enough' etc for doing things this way but from where I'm standing this is a man happy to live a lie, the kids probably see right through it. The kind of man who ran his life this way would not be for me.

If you're looking at 3 more years of this then walk away.

In fact, run...

Lelloteddy Sun 02-Oct-16 16:09:00

So even if they ARE separated, you'd have to stay a secret for another three years?
Bollocks to that.

lightofthrees Sun 02-Oct-16 16:10:13

Reveal that's a good point and ive considered all that as well. If he can't be arsed to have the conversation for us, then why should I stand by him in such a messy situation. Hopefully I will look back and be glad I ended it. I really did love him and believe in him. I still feel so confused about it all.

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