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The OW seeking details/trying to pass a message...

(121 Posts)
wrinklyraisin Mon 28-Jan-13 13:57:56

What would you do if you found out the woman your OH cheated with, a year ago now, was fishing around for details and trying to pass messages to your OH through a mutual friend? My OH has no desire at all to have any direct contact with her. But the mutual friend has no clue what happened last year so keeps talking to him about how she's doing (terribly as it happens, yay for karma!) and I want her to know that I know what she's up to and me and my OH are a team working together NOT to let her infiltrate our life again. But at the same time we don't want our mutual friend to know any of the gruesome details of what happened. We just want her to stop fishing iyswim? Am I out of order for sending her a polite and concise email saying what I've said above? And copying it to her husband too? My OH has worked very hard to undo the damage he did and he wants her to back off and stop using an innocent mutual friend as a go between. He agrees an email from BOTH of us to her, showing a united front, is the way to go. I just want her up crawl back under her rock. Her life and marriage is shit but that's not our problem and my OH will not be her fantasy escape route again.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 28-Jan-13 14:01:48

Why doesn't your OH tell the woman to go away and decide what to tell the mutual friend? If he's working hard to undo damage, surely that's his responsibility? Btw.... it was him that shagged her. Presumably voluntarily? Enthusiastically, even? I know it's convenient to paint her as some kind of evil femme fatale but I don't think that's entirely realistic on your part ... hmm

Charbon Mon 28-Jan-13 14:07:14

Unless she tries to contact you directly, I always advise against doing anything at all in these circumstances. Just make sure that the mutual friend has no reason to pass back any negative messages about you as individuals or about your relationship. This might put a bit of a strain on your friendship and lead to it being less then authentic of course (in that you probably don't feel as though you can share any negatives about your life with said friend) but you probably feel that anyway if you didn't tell her about the affair.

wrinklyraisin Mon 28-Jan-13 14:09:37

I realize she's no femme fatale however he's been honest enough to share the attempted communications with me via the mutual friend and he told the ow to leave us alone after it all came out. We both thought it was over and done with. Now he's afraid that I won't believe him if he says he's told her to back off again so he wanted to include me in the situation. I'm happy for him not to quite frankly. However I want the OW to see that he and I are a team on this. There's no secrets any more. We just don't know what to do about the mutual friend. Him knowing would open a whole new can of worms tbh.

HecateWhoopass Mon 28-Jan-13 14:10:13

I'd just tell the mutual friend to please not pass anything at all. That you and your husband don't want any contact with this woman and to please just refuse to pass a message if she asks again.

tbh, the mutual friend probably already knows.

It'll be fairly obvious. From the please pass a message to him stuff. I assume she will have been clear to the mutual friend to not pass the message to you.

Unless mutual friend is stupid, they will know.

Charbon Mon 28-Jan-13 14:16:09

Yes I can see the dilemma. But is the OW passing actual messages - i.e 'Sally asked me to tell you.....or Sally asks that you get in touch'? Or is it more that she's offloading to the friend fairly openly and he's innocently discussing it with your husband?

If it's the former, your best bet is for your husband to contact her and tell her he wants no more contact with her. There should be no contact from you at all, because she will reason that you are stopping him from making contact. Hearing the no contact message from him and him alone is far more powerful.

If it's just offloading, do nothing.

ResolutelyCheeky Mon 28-Jan-13 14:17:23

Mutual friend definitely knows. Just get you husband to say he is not interested.

McBalls Mon 28-Jan-13 14:21:45

YY mutual friend knows already.

Whocansay Mon 28-Jan-13 14:23:34

I imagine the mutual friend knows exactly what's gone on. I'd tell mutual friend to back off with his/her big wooden spoon. But I'd have no contact with OW. Blocking is the only way forward. She clearly wants some attention.

Whocansay Mon 28-Jan-13 14:23:57

I'm too slow at typing!

meditrina Mon 28-Jan-13 14:25:21

How is your DH responding to the conversations? If it's general chat about someone intermediary friend thinks is a mutual acquaintance, he needs to show a (polite) lack of interest. And separately (so it does not look too pointed) make sure he mentions several times how great you are.

If it's a direct 'X asked me you tell you Y', then first step is just ignore. Only if it persists should he consider agreeing with you a form of words to send her. If you go that way, then the message needs to be simply along the lines that he has discussed what he has learned from X with you, and you have jointly decided you cannot help her with Y.

meditrina Mon 28-Jan-13 14:30:41

Make that "... cannot help with Y or anything else". If you think she might persist, add "Therefore I do not want to hear from you directly or indirectly again. If you do attempt to contact me again, I shall discuss it with DW".

It needs to be a short, unambiguous 'no contact' message.

BTW, his telling you, and his willingness to send a 'no contact' message, is a good indicator that he is serious about his reconciliation with you.

LessMissAbs Mon 28-Jan-13 14:31:18

Tell the mutual friend you don't like her and to stop talking about her.

Your DH sounds like an attention seeker. Now instead of getting attention from the OW, he is getting attention from you about the OW...

wrinklyraisin Mon 28-Jan-13 14:34:00

The recent messages are along the lines of "oh I miss you (mutual friend) and (my OH) so much since I left the theater group, how's he doing? Can you tell him I miss him? Tell him I said hi?" And so mutual friend later says to my OH "by the way (OW) says hi, she misses you. Want me to say hi back next time I chat with her?" My OH then says "sure" then the OW responds to that a few days later saying "thank you thank you for telling me he said hi and that he misses me too. That means so much!" .... So the OW is obviously reading too much into this as to the outsider it's so not any kind of enthusiastic response from my OH. There have been times when the mutual friend said to me that OW says hi to me. I just smile politely through gritted teeth. Our social circle is small and we've avoided each other so far. It's in no ones best interest for the fact they had a brief fling to become public knowledge. I suspect it will at some point though.

I kind of want the mutual friend to know the actual nitty gritty. He would be mortified if he thought he was enabling them to remain in contact. He knows that OW left the theater group for a reason. I don't get why the OW has renewed her attempts to get in contact with my OH though.

I'll tell my OH that he needs to email both the mutual friend and the OW and tell them both that he would like a cessation of all communications between them. That should be clear enough to both of them.

wrinklyraisin Mon 28-Jan-13 14:36:32

My OH said it actually makes him feel sick when he's put on the spot about saying hi back. He is merely being polite.

coolkat Mon 28-Jan-13 14:38:18

I would ignore therefore she would think the messages aren't getting through and give up - not adding fuel to the fire.

Badvoc Mon 28-Jan-13 14:39:38

I think people already know wrinkly.
You seem very naive about this.
(Have had experience of this in a similar am dram theatre group)
It didn't make your oh feel sick when he slept with her, did it?

AdoraBell Mon 28-Jan-13 14:39:48

That mutual friend isn't a friend. The only thing your DH should be saying if he really is trying to repair the damage is "I don't want to know, please don't contact me/us again".

HecateWhoopass Mon 28-Jan-13 14:42:00

oh please.

come on.

Open your eyes.

(not saying that in a bitchy way, but in a please wake up to the truth of what you're dealing with here way)

The mutual friend knows. Honestly. He may not know the ins and outs, but he knows. do you really think he's that clueless? Really?

ResolutelyCheeky Mon 28-Jan-13 14:46:00

Mutual friend is fishing. IME everyone knows everything in small communities and the ow probably confided in someone, who confided in someone and on and on. Your husband is sounding too passive, he needs to change that.

wrinklyraisin Mon 28-Jan-13 14:50:20

No he slept with her perfectly willingly. Twice sad It's been a year though and now he and I are in a good place. He is including me in every communication and wants me to feel secure about "us" and the fact that yes he made a huge mistake and he's really trying to rebuild my trust in him. He understands it'll never be like it was. But we both love each other and are a good team in spite of his idiotic decision a year ago.

Charbon Mon 28-Jan-13 14:53:18

Unless this mutual friend is a bit dense, he must realise something has gone on. But in his head that could be anything from an unrequited crush to a full affair. I understand other posters' scepticism, but I've found some people to be spectacularly naive about stuff that's happening right in front of them. Look at how many threads on this site where it's so obvious that an affair is underway and some posters always say 'No, I think it's depression....'?

I think your partner needs to tell friend that he doesn't want to go into the details, but that he doesn't want any communication at all with this woman and doesn't want information passing back and forth. Quite separately and not involving the friend, he should tell this woman that he doesn't want any contact with her or any information about her at all.

I agree it's a good sign that he is telling you about this. It would have been easy (but a mistake) to keep this from you, out of fear of reopening old wounds. But he did not and this helps to rebuild trust.

"oh I miss you (mutual friend) and (my OH) so much since I left the theater group, how's he doing? Can you tell him I miss him? Tell him I said hi?" And so mutual friend later says to my OH "by the way (OW) says hi, she misses you. Want me to say hi back next time I chat with her?" My OH then says "sure"

So he needs to stop being polite. Try "Want me to say hi back next time I chat with her?" My OH then says "NO! Tell her I'm not interested in passing on any message." Add a death glare for added impact.

wrinklyraisin Mon 28-Jan-13 14:54:44

The mutual friend is a good 2 decades older, a father figure to both my OH and the OW. He's very "proper". Knowledge of a sordid affair would not sit well with him so I can't honestly see him nonchalantly saying to my OH that the OW says hi. Maybe he's as naive as me.

wrinklyraisin Mon 28-Jan-13 14:59:46

My OH is very passive/quiet in general so he just says sure rather than seem rude or impolite. But yes, he does have to tell this mutual friend that he's not interested in hearing from or about OW. He doesn't want me to feel anything is being said in secret so he's telling me everything. Which I appreciate, as it really is indicative of his desire to make things right between us.

Charbon Mon 28-Jan-13 15:05:30

Now that you've given more details, I've got more of a sense of this situation. The main thing is though that you should have no contact yourself with the OW. If there's going to be any, it must come from your partner because he's the only one she'll believe when he says he is not interested and wants no communication at all.

He doesn't have to tell the whole sorry saga to the man. He can spare the details but make it clear that he doesn't want any messages going back and forth. That's not rude or impolite; it's assertive.

AdoraBell Mon 28-Jan-13 15:06:21

Your DH still needs to tell him straight not pass on messages. He may need to confess his affair to this "father figure". In short if he genuinely wants to rebuild a relationship with you he has to do whatever it takes to maintain a distance from the OW. If that means losing the esteem of this person then he has to lose it. He married you, his responsiblity is to you.

wrinklyraisin Mon 28-Jan-13 15:10:46

My OH said that too, that the only opinion of him that matters is mine. It's difficult in such a small community to admit openly an affair occurred even though the irony is everyone probably knows anyway sad

Charbon Mon 28-Jan-13 15:11:24

Yes I agree with that. If he hasn't told this man because of his own shame, perhaps he needs to - and that's all part of living with the consequences of his actions. You've said that you wouldn't mind the man knowing, so it's not as though he is complying with your wishes about wanting it kept secret (which I would understand, if you did feel that way).

Xales Mon 28-Jan-13 15:27:28

Absolutely no point you contacting her and telling her to back the fuck off when your H is telling people to say hi back.

You will look like a deranged nutter and she will take it as an invitation to contact him further as people are telling her he is saying hi etc she may drawn the conclusion that things are not going well between you.

MadAboutHotChoc Mon 28-Jan-13 15:27:32

My DH was in a similar position, he simply said "OW and I are not friends and I have no wish to know anything about her, thank you".

Your DH has been a prat in saying Hi back to OW hmm

wrinklyraisin Mon 28-Jan-13 15:29:57

I kind if do want it kept secret if I'm honest. It was a stupid mistake which he fully admits and is working hard to rebuild us. I'm happy with our life, with the OW out of the picture. The fallout if the whole community knew for sure, would cause way more damage to us than the stupidity of the actual cheating itself. Am I naive for wanting to maintain the status quo? Probably. But it's a measured decision based on my life. As long as my OH shows his commitment to me and me alone, and is open with me about everything no matter how awkward, then in a way I want to let sleeping dogs lie. No contact between them for sure. But no reason to drag it all up again in front of everyone unless its absolutely necessary.

MadAboutHotChoc Mon 28-Jan-13 15:30:06

And definitely no emails OW and you should stay out of it otherwise it will make her think oh nasty deranged jealous wife trying to stop him etc and that it wasn't his decision.

MorrisZapp Mon 28-Jan-13 15:41:47

Oh god, don't contact her. The only message that will send is that you see her as a threat.

As an aside, I often feel slightly 'sorry' for the OW on threads like this when the couple close ranks against her. I can totally see why people do it, it's self preservation. But it's a shoddy way to treat somebody - on the part of your DH, I mean. I don't blame you a bit for wanting her banished to Siberia.

Hissy Mon 28-Jan-13 15:43:59

Oh FFS, your H was man enough to shag this woman behind your back, can't he find the balls to take responsiblity without you being involved/hurt?

What a weak prick he really is.

He needs to speak to the mutual frenemy and say, 'actually OW is not a friend of ours, and certainly not of our marriage, so tbh, I'd prefer you didn't discuss us with her. What you choose to talk to her about wrt your OWN details is up to you, but I'm not happy to have any contact with her'

Let this stirring old fool think what he likes. Let OW rot in her appalling life and move on.

You, fwiw, can't stop him or her from doing anything, but you CAN get your H to deal with the tittle-tattle. This is not your mess to clear up, and tbh, you have every right to be furious at H, and also, if the frenemy reports directly to you, then and only then can you say something. And I'd not spare your H's embarrassment either.

Your H needs to be told that THIS is what happens when you lie down with fleas. He deals with it. Once and for all.

Charbon Mon 28-Jan-13 16:17:29

So what do you think is the best course of action then, OP?

It's fine not to discuss this with anyone, as long as that's your decision and not your partner's.

Badvoc Mon 28-Jan-13 16:24:01

He loves you?
But he slept with her - not once - but twice?
No. He doesn't love you.
Put very, very simply, you do not do that to Someone you love.
I think he is very sorry he got found out, though.
Not really the same thing.
Maybe if he had only slept with her once, came straight home to confess and admitted it was the worst mistake he had ever made...then maybe I could see why you would think he deserved another chance (actually, no, I wouldn't) but for him to sleep with her more than once...did it take twice for him to realise it was wrong?
You have nothing to feel embarrassed about. Let it come out. And let your h deal with it. His fault, his problem. You can hold your head up high.
Op, I really really hope you are not posting about him again in a few months time but, really, the stats are not in your side sad
Best of luck to you x

Badvoc Mon 28-Jan-13 16:25:45

...and the friend knows op.
Trust me.
These bloody groups are positivley incestuous angry
I live in a small village and I personally know of at least 3 marriages destroyed by affairs within the same small am dram group!

ImperialBlether Mon 28-Jan-13 16:32:34

I think you're all giving the OP a really hard time. Why are you all turning on her and talking about the enthusiastic sex her husband had with the OW? That's not kind, is it? They have decided to stay together and make things work. She doesn't want to tell everyone what happened, and why should she?

OP, I think your husband should speak to the mutual friend now and say, "I'm afraid the OW and OP and I don't have a good relationship. We were friends but that's no longer the case. I don't want to go into it now, but I would really appreciate it if you don't discuss me or my wife when you're talking to her. I'd also like you to correct her impression that I am missing her. That's not the case. OP and I wish we hadn't met her."

Badvoc Mon 28-Jan-13 16:36:55

They have decided to stay together and pretend it didn't happen imperial!!...they can't keep it a secret however much they want to.
People either already know or will soon find out.
Op is being very naive.

ImperialBlether Mon 28-Jan-13 16:39:16

No, they're not pretending it didn't happen. They're just not broadcasting it to everyone. It's nobody else's business, is it? It sounds as though they've done quite a bit of work between themselves to help the OP recover from it. They don't have to tell anyone about it if they don't want to.

makealist Mon 28-Jan-13 16:44:23

Yes agree with Imperials post at 16.32

Badvoc Mon 28-Jan-13 16:44:59

They already know imperial.
To think otherwise is a bit deluded IMHO.

Charbon Mon 28-Jan-13 16:45:15

I suspect this demonstrates why the OP feels she has to keep what happened a secret - because of others' judgements and pronouncements about her partner's love for her. Affairs so often are not about the feelings for a partner, they are more a reflection of feelings about oneself.

So rather than focusing on what this meant about the man's feelings for his partner, it's much more productive to concentrate on the character and personality traits that allowed this to happen. I'd venture that someone who is very passive and fears offending others rather than giving someone the unvarnished but painful truth still has some work to do on himself and that this is what the OP should focus on - and certainly not intervening and clearing the mess up for him.

ImperialBlether Mon 28-Jan-13 16:52:11

Badvoc, when this happened to me, I had an overwhelming feeling of shame. I hated the thought that people would know and weigh up whether my husband was reasonable to want to shag someone else. I didn't want people to know, not because I wanted to protect my husband's reputation, but because I didn't want people to discuss my private life.

So people probably do know about the OP's husband's affair. Does that mean she should talk about it to others? Is it then public property? Does she not have the right to some level of privacy?

wrinklyraisin Mon 28-Jan-13 16:56:17

Imperial you've hit pretty much every nail on the head.

Thank you for understanding.

tomverlaine Mon 28-Jan-13 16:59:05

Why don't you say to mutual friend that you/OH have fallen out with the OW and don't wish to have contact. If he is as you describe he won't pry (and he can relay that you don't want contact to the OW)

ImperialBlether Mon 28-Jan-13 17:00:20

Thanks, OP. I wish it wasn't borne out of experience. A year is still a short time, you know. Be kind to yourself.

Hissy Mon 28-Jan-13 17:01:41

The H is taking the spineless weasel's way out, by sticking his head in the sand, saying nothing, admitting nothing and 'not wanting to hurt anyone'

Well that ship has sailed. He hurt his wife. The OW conspired in that at the time, and is trying to do so again. As much as I understand her desire to take the gloves off and go for the OW, it's not her fight to have.

I totally get why the OP wants to set this bitch straight, but it's not her that needs to be snarling at anyone.

This 'man' she married fucked up, in everyway imaginable, but what he doesn't do is bring anymore of this shit home. He needed to head this off, man up and protect his family. The one HE nearly destroyed.

Bottom line, OW needs to be told to Fuck off, by him, not OP. Definitively. His pussyfooting about ois encouraging the OW delusion, and fuelling her attempts to respark the fire. OP shouldn't be expected to do a thing. she needs to maintain radio silence as far as OW is concerned, and her well deserved dignity. The old shit stirring frenemy needs to be told that his tittle tattle is unwelcome, that neither H or OP wants anything to do with OW, and that he needs to pack this sensationalism in.

The softly softly approach is hurting OP, and it has to stop.

wrinklyraisin Mon 28-Jan-13 17:03:06

And thank you charbon too.

Hissy Mon 28-Jan-13 17:05:52

"So people probably do know about the OP's husband's affair. Does that mean she should talk about it to others? Is it then public property? Does she not have the right to some level of privacy?"

Absolutely, he broke this. HE fixes is and protects HER image, and that of their family.

OP doen't need to give it a second thought. She's done NOTHING wrong.

You have every right OP, to TELL your H to make this all go away. You only need focus on rebuilding your trust of him. But he needs to earn it back!

Hissy Mon 28-Jan-13 17:10:05

And fwiw OP, it'd never occur to me to judge you for your H's actions. I'm sure I'm not unique in that.

He chose to do what he did for his own reasons. He must make it right with you, and for you. You are not him, and what he does doesn't reflect on you.

I'm so sorry you've had to go through this.

wrinklyraisin Mon 28-Jan-13 17:10:30

I think there's got to be a way to fix this without the social drama. I'm not sweeping it under the carpet. I'm just choosing not to be the gossip fodder. I've nothing to be ashamed of. But I would still suffer the fate of all gossip victims. I choose a life of discretion with regards to this. Even though my OH does not deserve the same protection.

wrinklyraisin Mon 28-Jan-13 17:13:32

Thank you hissy. It's difficult because its not as black and white when it's your own life you're dealing with.

bestsonever Mon 28-Jan-13 17:25:51

The uncomfortableness of this situation continuing is that if the mutual friend is blindly passing on info to your DH, then he is probably blindly answering questions the OW may ask him about how your H is doing these days thinking it is just friendly inquiring.
Your H doesn't have to say what happened, just that you are no longer friends with OW, so prefer it that no information is given by your friend to OW, and you are not interested in any info she voluteers up to him about herself. Job done, perhaps said when you are both present so you can be sure of it all. Say you had a fall-out, a disagreement that you wish not to talk further if he wonders. If he spreads gossip based on that - get a new friend.

Badvoc Mon 28-Jan-13 17:26:07

As I said upthread...his fault, his problem to fix.
Don't see why op should get involved at all.
Her h is being pretty spineless in not heading this off.
Whether people know or don't know is irrelevant really. It happened and op must try and deal with it the best she can. makes me very sad that you would feel that way about yourself in the aftermath of your partners affair, that you would feel any shame. But that's how you felt. I hope that feeling has passed?
I can't imagine anyone irl judging the op over this.

Badvoc Mon 28-Jan-13 17:27:16

...whereas her h will be judged 7 ways to Sunday and deserves it!
I am glad op has said she doesn't want to protect him.
He doesn't deserve it.
He's a big boy. He can cope.

bestsonever Mon 28-Jan-13 17:27:58

I don't hold with making a mistake -even twice - equates to not being loved. Sometimes mistakes can make a person realise what is important in life.

Charbon Mon 28-Jan-13 17:29:34

Hissy it's a good thing that the OP's partner is bringing this home. It shows that there is no further secret contact and in fact he is doing what every infidelity therapist recommends - disclosing contact of any sort and discussing solutions as a team.

What do you think you should both do with this then OP?

Badvoc Mon 28-Jan-13 17:31:15

Fair enough.
Personally I think there is plenty of time between first being attracted to someone, flirting, sending inappropriate e mails etc and actually committing adultery (when did we stop calling it that, btw? ) to realise what you have and what you could lose.
But there you go.
This whole idea of people being unable to control their passions is total BS.
The ops h knew what he was doing - twice - and the op has got to deal with the aftermath of his decision to cheat.
I wish her well.
Him....less so smile

Charbon Mon 28-Jan-13 17:33:26

Badvoc I said nothing about my own personal experience of this - and you've reached the wrong conclusion there! No offence taken though smile

bestsonever Mon 28-Jan-13 17:33:45

.. the thing is, right or wrong the OP will be part of the topic of gossip and if she would rather not be, it's fair for her to chose not to be. Any protection that may have for her H is an incidental bi-product and neither hear nor there, as it is the OP's wishes that count.

Badvoc Mon 28-Jan-13 17:36:08

Oh bugger, it was imperial, sorry charbon! (And imperial)

Charbon Mon 28-Jan-13 17:37:22

No worries - I was a bit confused there for a moment though!

Badvoc Mon 28-Jan-13 17:39:05

...not as confused as I am evidently, though smile

bestsonever Mon 28-Jan-13 17:39:56

..shouting from the rafters the deceit in the hope your H 'gets what he deserves' is counterproductive, just shows the bitterness you are left with and advertises what a victim you still feel you are. Not helpuf if wanting to stay in the relationship I would think.

lastSplash Mon 28-Jan-13 17:40:31

I understand you don't want to bring up DH's unfaithfulness, but what about a white lie just saying there's been a falling out, as a way to explain to mutual friend? Nothing serious, just that DH isn't interested in hearing about OW.

^Dear Mutual Friend.

Sorry this is a bit awkward. We had a disagreement and I really do not want to hear from OW. I'm mortified that she thought 'I missed her' also as I absolutely do not, and do not want to have any contact with or from her to be honest.

Thank you for your understanding.^

And maybe an email from you both to OW making clear you don't appreciate her attempts to make contact, Even threatening that you feel it is only fair to contact OW's DH if she persists.

(Not sure about that last bit - feels like reporting a child's misbehaviour to a parent - just an idea...)

lastSplash Mon 28-Jan-13 17:41:09

Italics failure.

wrinklyraisin Mon 28-Jan-13 17:55:35

Who's shouting anything from the rafters about my OH's deceit, bestsonever? I certainly am not.

bestsonever Mon 28-Jan-13 18:04:41

No, someone else suggesting he deserves it. Not aimed at you, you seem strong and pragmatic and appear to be handling things very well. Is OW still with her H as you mention copying a possible email to him? Did I get that right as a thought?

wrinklyraisin Mon 28-Jan-13 18:08:06

Yes the OW and her husband are still together. Not very happy though.

Myself and my OH on the other hand are doing well. It's been hater than anything I've ever done before, coping with all this. But things are good. I think we are both scared that the OW rearing her head will undo it all. And neither of us want that.

wrinklyraisin Mon 28-Jan-13 18:10:07

Hater? Harder.

bestsonever Mon 28-Jan-13 18:13:41

May, disrupt her H's world somewhat and he is innocent party too (I assume). Perhaps a threat of 'back off' or will copy email to husband will work, then do copy if still she persists as that is desperate and her H should know in that case, however, at the moment it's not clear how deep her prying has been or if she could be made to realise what it means for all concerned if it continues.

AnyFucker Mon 28-Jan-13 18:14:09

Your H being strong and consistently clear here should mean that OW rearing her head won't get the opportunity to undo all the work you have done on your relationship

the fact that you are worried she might, should tell you that your H is not doing what he needs to do

over to far he appears to have been about as strong and consistent as a very wet lettuce

bestsonever Mon 28-Jan-13 18:18:44

Might it play better for you if their marriage fails not on the basis of info you pass to her H? Seems like it may do anyway without your help, that's for them to work out. If bitterness develops over an email to her H and is seen as the cause of a split, it could backfire and blow the whole thing open.

wrinklyraisin Mon 28-Jan-13 18:20:52

Chocolate teapot maybe, rather than wet lettuce.

No, seriously. He knows what to do. He is very aware of that. However it's the executing that's the issue. He doesn't want my world ripped more asunder than he's already caused it to be. He wants us to a united against any threats to our new found security. There's so many factors here that it isn't as easy as some of you seem to think. There are kids involved. So we do need to be aware of the gossip. I want him to make it very clear that no communication is acceptable. But I also want her to see that fishing around using our mutual friends is not acceptable either.

wrinklyraisin Mon 28-Jan-13 18:26:11

I'm not honestly going to email the OW H. Their marriage is failing without any additional help needed. I refuse to let her scramble about trying to drag others down with her though, especially me or my OH.

bestsonever Mon 28-Jan-13 18:28:28

Seems reasonable to tackle her, and only her first as it's her behaviour that is the problem. You can consider telling her H or not as plan B, it may not get that far. Hopefully, your mutual friend meanwhile inadvertently passes on how good you are as a couple :-)

wrinklyraisin Mon 28-Jan-13 18:35:08

I wonder if she's fishing to get info, or get back in contact because she sees in our community us out and about, popular and happy, and she resents that. In a weird way I feel bad for her being so miserable. I'm not excusing her, far from it. It's just sad to live life like that.

Charbon Mon 28-Jan-13 18:36:46

It's still unclear to me what you think he ought to do.

I think given the circumstances he ought to be giving the friend and the OW separate but unequivocal messages that he wants no communication with her.

If you do too, but you fear your partner lacks the spine to do either, then that's a character failing that still remains in him and will continue to blight your relationship.

Also, if he continues to hide behind the rather weaselly excuse that any actions on his part might bring more trouble to your door, I think you'll lose respect for him. Because you'll know it's not you he's worried about, but that he's ducking two encounters that would be difficult and uncomfortable for him.

wrinklyraisin Mon 28-Jan-13 18:47:20

What I want to happen is pretty simple. He tells OW to stop seeking him out through mutual friends. That he is not at all interested in hearing from her or about her. Then he tells the mutual friend that the OW family and our family are no longer friends and therefore we have no interest in hearing anything passed from them to us. If he wants to know more, then my OH can deal with him. Then I want to get on with my life in peace, alongside my OH and enjoy our life together with no further issues related to this OW.

Frostyfoxy Mon 28-Jan-13 19:00:38

I've not read the complete thread but I think your OH has to reply to any messages of "hi" or whatever from OW through the mutual friend with stories about how YOU and he did this and YOU and he did that and how happy he is with YOU and YOU and he say hi etc etc. hence showing a mutual togetherness and firm relationship.

bestsonever Mon 28-Jan-13 19:02:37

Good on you, sounds like a decent plan is forming, hope we have all helped you to formulate what you want to do on here :-). I have a feeling you will get though this ok. Sadly the OW has a long way to go, but she's not asking for help in the right places (ie friend/your H) so that's not your or our concern. I wish you well. You have arrived at 2 options - tackle OW on her own, or tackle her and your friend also. Up to you now...let us know how you get on either way x

wrinklyraisin Mon 28-Jan-13 19:05:19

I really appreciate all your advice. I obviously cannot talk to any real life friends about this. And OH gets an earful quite a lot. So it's good to have a place to seek sense and the odd virtual slap.

AnyFucker Mon 28-Jan-13 19:06:24

Ok, so tell your husband to make it happen.

And sort it out himself. You should not be involved at all...but you feel you have to be. I would be questioning why that is.

wrinklyraisin Mon 28-Jan-13 19:08:23

He wants me to see nothing is hidden. I would happily stand back. It helps us both though I think to feel like we are tackling this together.

AnyFucker Mon 28-Jan-13 19:15:29

Fair enough. But you are the one on here, asking strangers to help you out with something that should be quite simple for him to execute (which was a good move, however smile ). For some reason though, he is procrastinating and has made the situation worse by failing to sort it out at source. Now you are dragged into it. I would be furious, actually.

I'm all for transparency, and would consider it essential here. But I would have expected my H in this scenario to cut off communication as it happened and tell me about it afterwards. Instead he wimps out and looks to you for "support" (read: to tell him what he has to do)

wrinklyraisin Mon 28-Jan-13 19:26:22

Yep he fully admits he's wimped out. But that's more because he's passive than that he wants contact iyswim? He needs to grow a pair and he knows it. I'm not nagging him about this. But he knows the next time he sees our mutual friend he will have to say something. And he will email the OW and blind copy me in on it too. I'm happy with this plan as long as he follows it through as soon as its reasonable to do so. Tonight hopefully.

Frostyfoxy Mon 28-Jan-13 19:26:54

Maybe he feels he needs the support to take the right action as previously he made a wrong decision??

Frostyfoxy Mon 28-Jan-13 19:29:29

Does the OW already have your OH email address?? If not, then emailing her will give her another avenue to contact him on

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 28-Jan-13 19:29:43

My knee jerk reaction was also to get H to state to OW there is to be no resumption of contact, no attempts to communicate.
Then I thought, isn't any contact better than no contact, as far as she is concerned? Not just saying that to be devil's advocate. I do agree you should not engage with her.

You've done amazingly well to keep this under wraps but imo she is a ticking timebomb. I think you have to steel yourself for some news outbreak. The consolation is it's stale news, and you are working things through with H. I'm glad he's been transparent about this but is he now sitting back? Why on earth did he not just shrug or dismiss mutual friend's remarks as some social pleasantry?

I agree I think mutual friend was fishing. Even referring to her on here as OW gives her some power, she should no longer hold. She has either hinted or told mutual friend outright. If H goes to the trouble of telling mutual friend not to bother being a messenger boy, it just provokes comment. If the storm breaks, then choose who you tell.

bestsonever Mon 28-Jan-13 19:33:47

Much as it's a wonder why he has not sorted this out himself, tell you he did before that, so the best you can do is deal with the hand you presently have, which you are.

wrinklyraisin Mon 28-Jan-13 19:36:14

Any email he sends will be sent from our "family" address. That way there's no opportunity for her to harass him personally. We both have access.

I feel he does need my support in a way. The whole fiasco when he confessed and the ensuing trauma was a bit of a case of him not being able to do right for doing wrong. So now he is scared of making a move that might be construed as deceptive etc i think. I told him to use his judgement and tell me what he wants to happen. I am not his mother. I told him in the early days that if I stuck around it was an indicator I could see he was at least making an effort. But that the moment he gets complacent or fucks it all up, that's it. He's used up his one and only get out of jail free card VERY early on.

bestsonever Mon 28-Jan-13 19:50:51

It's not surprising he's swinging the other way now and telling you stuff you really don't need to be concerned with if it's no threat, that's guilt for you. Imagine in an ideal world, where he would of sorted this himself and you would be non the wiser? But, as he's clearly not the best at making decisions, this is another one he has got a bit wrong, but not a huge one this time.
Just be sure that that you don't find yourself forever deciding things on his behalf, you don't want the stress of this long term, and if it carries on you would need to question why he's not capable of growing the pair you want?

wrinklyraisin Mon 28-Jan-13 19:57:01

I'm not making any of his decisions. He's over sharing maybe. But I'd prefer to know about this than not. If he dealt with this without telling me then I'd feel like he was keeping secrets. And at the moment our focus is complete honesty even about minutae.

If he can't grow a pair over this I'll know where I really stand in his priorities and that'll decide things for me. But despite a small period of procrastination he's been very quick to share info and very open about hearing my views. I take this as a positive step.

Charbon Mon 28-Jan-13 20:12:06

I think it is a positive step, but only if he follows through. If he drops this dilemma in your lap and then doesn't have the courage to finish the job, it smacks more of hand-wringing self-indulgence and indecision than sharing information and acting decisively to cut her off and stop her in her tracks. Now that you've told us what you want to happen, what does he think he should do about it? Without your suggestions, that is?

wrinklyraisin Mon 28-Jan-13 20:13:51

We will soon find out. I'll see him in a couple of hours.

Hissy Mon 28-Jan-13 20:27:44

I see what you're saying Charbon, but there is no contact between OW and the H, only via this frenemy.

H could have just said 'oh right' in a totally non-committal way, or ideally, "well tbh old friend, I'm not really interested in if OW 'misses me' or not, I'd prefer to not be discussed." And leave it at that.

This pathetic and frankly nauseating hand wringing of his and bringing it home to 'discuss solutions' would only be helpful if OW had made direct contact, rather than her misguided and wholly unwelcome fishing expedition. He didn't need OP's input when he was planning or executing his betrayal, why should any responsibility now fall on her shoulders.

She was testing his resolution, and tbh, from here, he didn't really pass.

The only thing he should have said to OP is after the fact, I.e "OW tried to send a message via X, but I told him I didn't want to hear it, and that it was very clear that there'd be no further discussion."

If he's man enough to commit adultery, he's surely man enough to put right the wrongs he did. All this pathetic 'oh say Hi from me', and worse putting OP in the situation where this creature has the brass balls to send a Hi to the OP is H's doing, through his utter failure to find the balls he apparently has to fix it.

He needs to rally to his wife's side, and do whatever it takes to fix her image of him, not invite some mangey OW to actually say a single word to his wife.

Charbon Mon 28-Jan-13 20:46:57

Hmmm....this is a bit why I often feel out of step on this site. Because I sometimes get the impression that posters think that all adulterers are alpha men and women ('man enough to commit adultery') who make a habit of targeting other men and women.

Whereas my RL experience tells me that a lot of adulterers are bumbling, indecisive and non-assertive fools who although share selfishness as a personality trait with the above caricature, often get into these situations because of blurred boundaries, not wanting to cause offence or hurt, an inability to tell someone to back off and then find themselves getting in too deep and addicted to the buzz and secrecy before they acknowledge what's happening. These are the men that people say are 'not the type' to have affairs but that's because the typecast is all wrong. If there's a type, it's a selfish person with very poor boundaries, but that covers everything from the philanderer to the man whose previous hights of excitement was winning a prize for the vegetables on his allotment....

These are just as damaging character flaws though as the men and women who set out to have affairs and regard it as a lifestyle perk, so I am not minimising the seriousness of it. But being decisive and having the moral courage to risk being disliked is usually one of the character flaws that a man like this must work on, to prevent it happening again.

I have to say equally I don't see the mutual friend as a frenemy here either. I see him as an avuncular character who lacks worldly wisdom about what individuals are capable of when lust and the common purpose of a production gets in the way.

Charbon Mon 28-Jan-13 20:49:26

That should read as 'being indecisive and lacking the moral courage to....'

wrinklyraisin Mon 28-Jan-13 20:55:11

Charbon I think you're in my head lol.

My OH is a bit bumbling, selfish at times, not good at establishing boundaries and then gets sucked into being the "rescuer". He's learning how to deal with his flaws and is being less of a wannabe hero iyswim. That's what got him into the mess before. He helped and helped and helped until he was drunk and tempted and in too deep. No excuse I know. But it's an explanation and it means he can recognize the warning signs for himself now. He's learning a lot about himself that he was completely oblivious to before.

The mutual friend is an older man who never really seemed to live in today's world. He's of an older more genteel era when stuff like this happened behind closed doors and no one spoke of it, I'm sure.

wrinklyraisin Mon 28-Jan-13 21:04:18

Another thing my OH took a while to admit to, but finally did, is that the rush he got that one weekend was addictive. Which is why he went back for seconds less than 24hrs later. It was like an escapist fantasy where nothing was real and nothing had consequences. Until they were found out and the reality of what he did was like a huge sucker punch.

So yes I do think people get caught up in the rush and don't think about what they're doing til it's too late.

I've asked him time and time again whether he'd want that rush again. His answer is not any more as the thought of losing me and what we have is way more important and the rush is so fleeting. He'd never felt that rush before but it's like cocaine. It can only lead to a bad dark place. He loves me too much to risk us for that dark place and he's so sorry he ever went there.

It's not a good excuse and it sounds kind of feeble. But at least he's trying to voice his thoughts and feelings. If we are to keep working at this it's important to me to hear what his brain is up to. Even if I don't agree with it at times.

wrinklyraisin Mon 28-Jan-13 21:07:42

Another thing my OH took a while to admit to, but finally did, is that the rush he got that one weekend was addictive. Which is why he went back for seconds less than 24hrs later. It was like an escapist fantasy where nothing was real and nothing had consequences. Until they were found out and the reality of what he did was like a huge sucker punch.

So yes I do think people get caught up in the rush and don't think about what they're doing til it's too late.

I've asked him time and time again whether he'd want that rush again. His answer is not any more as the thought of losing me and what we have is way more important and the rush is so fleeting. He'd never felt that rush before but it's like cocaine. It can only lead to a bad dark place. He loves me too much to risk us for that dark place and he's so sorry he ever went there.

It's not a good excuse and it sounds kind of feeble. But at least he's trying to voice his thoughts and feelings. If we are to keep working at this it's important to me to hear what his brain is up to. Even if I don't agree with it at times.

Badvoc Tue 29-Jan-13 08:02:14

Feeble is the word sad

2rebecca Tue 29-Jan-13 08:11:42

Agree with AF that your partner just needs to tell anyone who passes on message from this woman that he no longer speaks to her, doesn't want to pass on any messages and doesn't want to discuss it. He then has no need to tell you about these discussions creating dramas out of nothing.
I wonder if his amdram tendencies have made him create a fuss needlessly where he is highly sought after and wants you to know it.

Badvoc Tue 29-Jan-13 10:46:44

I am sure your H is being honest when he describes his actions as addictive.
The thrill must be intense I imagine.
But that's the thing.
It is addictive.
And addicts find it hard to give up. They crave the buzz. They often fall off the wagon.
Keep that in mind op.
I do wonder if your Hs hand wringing and refusal to deal with the messages are another way for him to get a thrill?
I dont know.
I really hope that things work out for you x

MadAboutHotChoc Tue 29-Jan-13 17:49:16

badvoc - I think you are being a tad OTT hmm

I do get the buzz that comes with an affair and this is why affairs are usually all about the cheater's issues. They need to look into themselves to find out what was in them that made them crave that feeling....

AnyFucker Tue 29-Jan-13 18:07:58

Any movement with anything, OP ?

Has your husband sorted it ?

wrinklyraisin Tue 29-Jan-13 19:17:17

Yep. Two emails sent last night. One to OW saying:

"Please do not attempt to contact me whether directly or indirectly. I am not interested in hearing anything from you or about you. Any further contact will be forwarded directly to your husband."

And one to the mutual friend along the lines of we understand he is friends with OW and her family but due to private circumstances we are not interested in hearing about them or having details about our life given to them, so we would very much appreciate him being more discrete and not mentioning us to them or vice versa. He replied saying he was sad if something had happened but yes of course he would respect our request.

A good if a little long winded outcome. I did tell him to feel free and take action about stuff like this if he knew it was the right thing to do. I said I'm not his mother or his conscience that he needed to show me he's able to act quickly and decisively to protect us from threats or intrusions into our private life. He agreed. So that's that, and I'm glad he's learned something about himself that balls aren't just for decoration.

Thanks again for all your advice smile

wrinklyraisin Tue 29-Jan-13 19:18:02

Oh and he wrote both emails without my input and blind cc'ed me when he sent them.

AnyFucker Tue 29-Jan-13 19:20:11

they sound great, WR. smile

Hissy Tue 29-Jan-13 19:30:28

I agree.

I guess there are 2 approaches with dealing with adultery; to stay, or to go.

You've chosen to stay, and I admire anyone who can do that, as it surely has to be the hardest path to take.

I'm glad he manned up and wrote the emails, it shows that from now on, he can handle the fallout, and leave you to recover over time.

Ultimately, you'll probably have to distance yourselves fromthe 'friend' too, as I'm still picking up a fishing rod there.

Your H and you need to concentrate and focus on the stuff you have together, what makes you both happy, find your collective bliss and all that.

I very much hope you can turn the page, and that he lives up to the standard that you so richly deserve.

wrinklyraisin Tue 29-Jan-13 19:39:38

He's not perfect, my dear OH. I know he fucked up. He knows he fucked up. But I chose to stay and he is honestly trying to rebuild my trust. He showers me with love/attention. He doesn't make excuses for himself. He doesn't ever tell me to shut up when I need a rant. He knows this is a very lucky and rarely given second chance. Of course I wish he'd not had the opportunity or wherewithal to hop in the sack. But what's done is done and together we have decided our life together is worth the work needed to get past the cheating. Some men are serial cheaters. He's not. He was stupid not cruel/calculating. He's working on his flaws by acknowledging them and seeking help when he needs to. If I ever suspected he would do this again I wouldn't be here. We are perhaps an example of how it's not always the right answer to ltb. At least not right for us.

Viviennemary Tue 29-Jan-13 19:45:17

I'd just tell the mutual friend that this person is not somebody you or your DH wants to be involved with or have contact with in any way whatsoever. And to please stop passing messages on. There is no need to give any details. Just say she is not the sort of person you want to hear anything about or have anything about you passed on. And let him draw his own conclusions.

Viviennemary Tue 29-Jan-13 19:47:49

Didn't see your DH had already contacted her. Hope you sort things out.

AnyFucker Tue 29-Jan-13 19:58:36

You don't have to convince us, WR smile

Hopefully the next time your husband encounters a threat to his integrity, he deals with it unilaterally, firmly and unequivocally. I hope he continues to learn those lessons.

wrinklyraisin Tue 29-Jan-13 20:04:28

Yep. Me too. Life's just a big long learning curve isn't it.

Charbon Tue 29-Jan-13 20:17:43

That's a really positive outcome OP.

As I often observe, affairs like your husband's are much more common than people think. So often we hear about the extremes; the serial philanderers or the love matches and yet the most common affairs IME are ones involving ordinary men or women who live an exemplary life, but succumb to a short but fairly meaningless interlude that serves to make them briefly feel better about themselves at a particular time in their lives.

Good luck to you both and hope that your relationship and you as individuals go from strength to strength.

wrinklyraisin Tue 29-Jan-13 20:26:43

Thank you charbon. I agree. We are ordinary people who are happy together and this affair shocked both of us really. It wasn't actively sought out. And I'm pretty certain it would not have happened without a random course of events in the few days beforehand. I've realized it really can happen to anyone and it doesn't automatically mean the end of life as we knew it.

AnyFucker Tue 29-Jan-13 20:45:15

he is very lucky to have you, WR

Badvoc Tue 29-Jan-13 20:45:39

Sounds like a positive outcome.
Glad you are happy with it.

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