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So why do the OW do it?

(192 Posts)
carolst Mon 11-Feb-13 14:24:11

So loads of threads discuss about the H and why they have an affair/emotional affair/whatever and the fault mustlay at their feet, but the OW have to take some responsibility don't they?

Why do the do it? How could they do it? Especially if breaking up their own family in process, and even worse if they have children?

My H obsessional texting affair OW has split her own family, claims her problems are from her own mother having an affair and splitting family, but yet shows no remorse and is actually out to get me for blowing whole thing open?

Explain please?

carolst Mon 11-Feb-13 14:25:40

and whether it is lack of dignity or not... I don't care... but my DC will never be handing over to her for eow.

Sariah Mon 11-Feb-13 14:34:18

I am a 38 year old married mother of 5 children. I have been the ow in the past. Maybe about 12 years ago. Tbh the wife didnt even cross my mind. I was lonely, had a ds, and when my married boss asked me for a kiss on a night out I responded and ended up in a sexual relationship with him for a few months until I finished it as I got back with my now dh. In hindsight I probably didnt have much self respect or esteem, was flattered, enjoyed the secrecy of it. He had 2 children, said he would never leave his wife but that they had both married on the rebound after being jilted by partners who they loved. I also slept with another married man but he forgot to tell me that at the time and I only found out later when I asked him to meet up again. I have also cheated on partners but thankfully have not done so in my marriage (8 years married). But I know that I could and also that my dh could so I try to take steps to ensure I dont put myself in that sort of situation ie if I have chemistry with someone I avoid them rather than court it. Also try and to as much with dh as possible and make sure sex and dating are regular.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 11-Feb-13 14:34:42

There is no one 'OW' template. The reasons for becoming a mistress are as many and varied as the number of individuals themselves.... same as the reasons for choosing to cheat on a DW and kids are very varied. Your experience is probably unique to your circumstances.

Because they want to and are selfish. Much the same reason as a man would do it.

usualsuspect Mon 11-Feb-13 14:38:50

Becoming a mistress sounds a bit more glamorous than shagging a married man.

Who knows why, It's not cool or glamorous at all though. It's all a bit sleazy.

Pilgit Mon 11-Feb-13 14:44:20

because they want to. because they believe that the man will leave his wife. because he loves them. because they believe the man when he says they are special and the wife doesn't understand them etc. because they are naiive enough to believe a liar. i have said repeatedly to my friend who has been the ow - you have to preface all that the man says with the truth that the man is a liar. he has to be to have an affair. she still believes the tripe that he spouts! ultimately though because they have little self respect as any man who has an affair is treating both women abominably and they are allowing themselves to be treated like shit whereas the wife is mostly clueless

snowyskies Mon 11-Feb-13 14:51:55

Some OW don't want the man to leave his wife! Some don't listen to false promises and "my wife doesn't understand me".

There are many types of OW and many types of affair. To view them all the same way is completely wrong.

Lovingfreedom Mon 11-Feb-13 15:40:53

From my analysis:
1. Single woman. Low self respect. Hadn't had sex or b/f for a while. Made no secret she wanted sex. Fwb arrangement ensued with elements of an affair.
2. Married woman. Some problems in own r'ship. Husband possibly lost interest. Kids. Life and relationship all mundane. Facebook reunion leads to 'what might have been' conversation. Leads to meet for coffee....flattered, secret, exciting etc.
3. Single woman. Craves attention. Not happy unless most attractive woman in the room. Wants the man to show she can have him. Seduces him publically as possible. Given choice of married or single man prefers the competitive challenge of the latter.

The man is not an innocent though. I don't believe in unwilling seduction and you should blame your partner not the OW.

Lovingfreedom Mon 11-Feb-13 15:42:52

sorry....former not latter...ie there are women who prefer married men cos you have to win those not get them free.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 11-Feb-13 15:45:16

And there are women who prefer married men because they're not around 24/7.... they have a home to go to.

Lovingfreedom Mon 11-Feb-13 15:48:52

The other kind I've noticed but not had direct experience of (I hope!!) is:
4. Poor thing. From what he says his wife is completely mad, alcoholic, insane, a bitch. He's such a martyr to his family and is trapped in a loveless, sexless marriage. Poor lamb. He deserves a shag from me.

Skyebluesapphire Mon 11-Feb-13 15:49:41

I think in my case, the OW flattered XH. She made him feel wonderful and needed, while at home his DW and DD were just stress and hassle and boring daily life. As to why she did it? She claimed that my XH could support her emotionally which her H couldnt. and she wasn't prepared to let go of my H, she just grabbed him and clung on for dear life and still is.

As to whether she will still want him in the future, or whether she will leave her H, only time will tell. i don't think she seriously wants my H, she just craves the secret attention. She is now cheating on her second H.

Lovingfreedom Mon 11-Feb-13 15:51:10

It must be quite nice to get all the hotels, meals out, expensive gifts and sex etc etc and none of the moods, dirty pants and bills.

Merl0t Mon 11-Feb-13 17:49:31

12 years ago i was briefly ow. that wasnt what i wanted out of life. i was long term single. id begun to think i was some sort of freak. i was very lonely. the loneliness and the sense that something was wrong with me built up over a few long years. i was interested in a few men (single) but i was dumped/ rejected/ passed over for somebody prettier.

then..... along came John, who laughed at my jokes, made me laugh.. he was interested in what i thought. we enjoyed each others company and had a similar background. i always knew it was temporary because he belonged elsewhere. but loneliness made me unable to reject him. the fact that he was married was a detail. i was a lonely woman ignored by single men living abroad... and a human being first (married man second ) made me feel less alone. even when it ended i felt better because i knew there was nothing wrong with me afterall.
i didntcthink much about his wife but i envied her if anything. everything had come easily to her.

Merl0t Mon 11-Feb-13 18:00:14

Ps.. i know now that altho he kept me company when i was lobely and vulnerable he took advantage of my loneliness, youth and isolation(living away from home). he boosted my self esteem but i can see now that what he should have done was to have introduced me to some younger acquaintances perhaps.

i know i was a kind hearted good person thru that time. i was more vulnerable and lonely than his wife, so the picture that is automatically painted of OW is like one of those lazy knee jerk cliches. i read threads on here and i blame the man. the man always wants his cake twice.

Merl0t Mon 11-Feb-13 18:02:57

Ps.. i know now that altho he kept me company when i was lobely and vulnerable he took advantage of my loneliness, youth and isolation(living away from home). he boosted my self esteem but i can see now that what he should have done was to have introduced me to some younger acquaintances perhaps.

i know i was a kind hearted good person thru that time. i was more vulnerable and lonely than his wife, so the picture that is automatically painted of OW is like one of those lazy knee jerk cliches. i read threads on here and i blame the man. the man always wants his cake twice.

Lovingfreedom Mon 11-Feb-13 18:15:13

A kind hearted good person who was shagging a married man....hmm? You seem to be excusing yourself by trying to claim that as you were more lonely than the wife it was ok to shag her husband. Also, don't understand why you think he should have introduced you to young people. I'd say it's your responsibility to choose your own friends and lovers. You sound very 'entitled' to me Merl0t…an interesting perspective though.

bakingaddict Mon 11-Feb-13 18:30:45

Because people are just human and sometimes make bad decisions, but at the end of the day the husband or wife who stood in front of family and friends and committed to another person is really the only one to blame.

The OW or even OM owes you nothing really, because it's your partner who gave that promise to be faithful to you not them

Merl0t Mon 11-Feb-13 18:33:13

It was thirteen years ago. im nit saying it was right. but i AM countering the nonsense that ow is evil. wife is saint. man floats above it all usually emerging unscathed. loneliness is like hunger. i wasnt strong enough to turn down affection when i was starving. it was a long time ago but i know was a good person. and i had no sense of entitlement at all. some people want to understand ..... my post might strike a chord with others. im certainly not flying the flag for ow. anybody who thought their partner was cheating on them would have nothing but sympathy from me.

Merl0t Mon 11-Feb-13 18:35:58

... and yes, if that man had loved me like he claimed to he wouldnt have kept me to himself. he could have helped me meet people. he was as is stereotypical older, well connected etcccc. a randomer owes u nothing but he wasnt a randomer.

CaptainSweatPants Mon 11-Feb-13 18:36:25

Also they fall in love

Merl0t Mon 11-Feb-13 18:39:00

Yescbaking addict, ggood people can make bad decisions. it is not something id do again but i know i am a good decent person. wont be told im not by somebodyvwhovis angry at two other people.

Lovingfreedom Mon 11-Feb-13 18:43:50

So what did the wife do wrong? I'm referring to your assertion that the wife isn't a saint....the 'I wasn't strong enough' line...are you saying you can't control your sexual urges?

It is perfectly possible to meet someone in a social setting, and just click. If they are married it should end there, but what if that person pursues you, tells you his marriage is over, and he is in the process of splitting with his wife? You say no, and walk away, but a few weeks later you bump into him again.... A flirty friendship starts up, which over time becomes more intense as you spend more time communicating and you start to be drawn together.....

That's how it started with my DH, and I don't for one minute blame the woman involved. She was single, and at an age where marriage and babies were very important to her. He offered her all of that, and implied everything was over with me. I don't feel she did anything wrong - she was pursued by and fell in love with someone who said he was free. Had she been a stronger character she might have told him to take a running jump, but she was a rather sweet insecure person and adored him. He treated her appallingly.

Not all OW are marriage breaking harlots... and that comes from a wife in all of this.

Merl0t Mon 11-Feb-13 19:02:48

Lovingfreedom, u seem determined to misunderstand. i wascnot refering to his wife. im refering to the lazy and simplistic assumption that the "ow" must be a wicked whore. and being a wife doesnt make somebody a saint. they might be a saint tho. it depends.

angelelle Mon 11-Feb-13 19:45:51

Wanted to add a question to the mix..hope op doesn't mind me hijacking! What about OW who gets together with a man who is expecting a baby with another woman??? And then seems to condone the fact that he wants nothing to do with dd? Yes you guessed it, my situation. I can't find any redeeming factor in a woman of this ilk.

can anyone else?

Ahhhcrap Mon 11-Feb-13 19:56:40

I've got to be honest and it doesn't answer your question.... But I really couldn't give a flying fuck what made the ow do it!!

To me the blame laid firmly at my dh's feet. Yes she was the other party but she's nothing to me. It was my dh did that was of concern to me..

I was told she was miserable at home, husband didn't understand her, sex was shit etc etc. I'm sure my dh said the same about me. But, and this is the crunch for me, out of the 3 of us in a shit relationship, I was the only one that didn't commit adultery, so... To me.. There is no excuse for the ow or the dh's smile behaviour

Merl0t Mon 11-Feb-13 20:09:39

That's awful angelelle, well, she's got herself a real 'gem' there. You can only imagine the spin he's given his own actions. You're well shot of him.

crazyhead Mon 11-Feb-13 20:12:29

Aside from the odd serial OW I should imagine that most people who find themselves in this situation have done nothing like it before or since, fall into it at a tough time in their life, think they are in love, and get themselves caught up in something they never meant to. I was once the OW and that describes it for me.

It is a nasty thing to do, it is something I regret deeply, and unlike woman on here who have never done it, I have lost the moral highground if I ever had it. But neither am I (or most other OW I daresay) a pantomime villain. I suppose most of us face a situation in life where we really have to question whether we are a nice and decent person. That was mine.

Don't forget that sometimes the wife is a mad bitch, or a bully, or an alcoholic or a drug addict, and the marriage is a disaster that the man longs to leave. More often, the relationship is an inertia one, dead in the water but neither partner is brave enough to leave the other... until someone else comes along.

There's also the fact that monogamy, while constantly peddled as The Ideal Way, is in fact both boring and counter-evolutionary, so it's no wonder people don't stick to it.

Skyebluesapphire Mon 11-Feb-13 20:22:50

Crazy head, I think that's the situation that my XH is in. Has never done it before, may never do it again, but drawn in by this one OW, who caught him at a low point... A weak person rather than a horrible one.

Whereas OW us cheating on H no 2 who she got with while married to H no 1 and will no doubt continue the pattern throughout her life.

I married for life, so I thought, at the age of 33. OW is on her way out of marriage no 2, at the age of 32 and XH is 49. Cliche? Yes.

Bunfags Mon 11-Feb-13 20:29:07

Men aren't the only gender to think with their trouser brain. Women can be just as guilty. An ex friend of mine just had no self control when she got pissed, so she ended up shagging people, be they marrieid or single.

BerylStreep Mon 11-Feb-13 20:33:28

A former colleague of mine announced to me a few years ago that he was in love with me. It was after a bit of drink fuelled silly dancing (think Saturday Night Fever) and I was having a complete laugh. He claimed he was completely in love with me. I laughed and wondered out loud what his wife and grown up children would make of that claim shock. I told him not to be silly, and I still see him a couple of times a year at work dos, without any awkwardness.

HOWEVER, had my marriage been a bit shit at the time, I can see how attractive it would have been to have someone announce their undying love. He tried to woo me with champagne and offers to go in his private jet. Contrast that sort of offer against lack of sleep, endless laundry, homework and the other mundanities of life, and I can sort of see how it could happen.

Not excusing it, not at all. But I can see how it could happen. Having said that, my Dad left for OW when I was 11, so I am all too aware of the devastation that it can cause to families.

KeepCoolCalmAndCollected Mon 11-Feb-13 21:27:20

I don't think anyone has the right to try and justify their actions for having an affair, particularly when children are in the mix.

Merl0t A lot of us have been where you were in terms of being desperately lonely, low self-esteem etc etc etc., but it is simply a question of morals. You either have them, or you don't!

badinage Mon 11-Feb-13 21:30:44

Before saying anything about the question, I'll say that I detest women being called 'bitches' and that I don't find monogamy boring and am completely sick of being told that it is, as some kind of universal fact.

There must be as many reasons for being an OW as there are reasons for having an affair, but from my experience of mates and colleagues, a thick vein of selfishness seemed pretty ubiquitous and could be seen in other ways they acted. The old 'low self esteem' card didn't apply to any of them, funnily enough. One mate made a habit of married men for a while because she didn't want to be tied down; one mate fell in love, believed a load of crap about his marriage and was spinning the same crap back as she admitted to us she was happy till her affair and is happy again with her DP; one awful colleague made it all a 'game' and targeted men in the happiest marriages (fortunately most knocked her back but some didn't.) A lot of OW I've met have had 'Daddy issues' but during their affairs, didn't give a tinkers cuss for the kids involved and less still the wives/partners.

Alittlestranger Mon 11-Feb-13 21:52:29

KeepCool, I 80% agree with you, but 20% of what you say is what annoys me about family breakdown. Why "particularly when children are in the mix"? The cheater isn't cheating on his children, he's not breaking any vows he made to them.

Yes he's ending the family as it currently exists but I 100% think we have to get better at seperating out relationship breakdown between two sexual and romantic partners and the wider implications for how that family restructures itself.

JaceyBee Mon 11-Feb-13 21:55:23

Because I love him like I never loved anyone and he makes me feel like no-one else ever has. And because I'm selfish and weak too I guess.

Lovingfreedom Mon 11-Feb-13 21:56:24

Well....how about turning the question around....why not be an OW? Haven't many or most if us been in a position of being in the company of an attractive married man and noticing a spark or chemistry? How can we, or why do we resist acting on this mutual attraction and initiate an affair? I'll only speak for myself here. My reasons are 1. Wouldn't want to play second fiddle to a wife 2. Wouldn't do betray another woman like that.
Of course it's flattering to know a man finds you attractive. But if you have self respect and decency you don't act on it, in my opinion.
I've got some sympathy for a gullible young thing who gets sucked into the 'my wife doesn't understand me' bullshit but really see it for what it is....'Loneliness is like a hunger'? … give me strength.

Merl0t Mon 11-Feb-13 22:00:31

I feel sorry for people have so little empathy that they can make sweeping assumptions with so few detais about who has or does not have morals!! so black and white. it is so long ago for me, im not the poster girl for Ow. i know of a girl in her twenties going down that path and i have concern for her(because i know her). i have shown AND felt sympathy for women who have been cheated on. i blame the husband 9 times out of 10 though. i guess the need to paint the ow as an amoral woman is borne out of pain.

Lovingfreedom Mon 11-Feb-13 22:03:03

I agree that it's the responsibility of the married person 100%of the time. They took the vows. I'm struggling to understand a defensive for knowingly shagging a married man or woman though...

Lovingfreedom Mon 11-Feb-13 22:03:58

Defence not defensive sorry...predictive text

Merl0t Mon 11-Feb-13 22:09:19

Lovingfreedom, it would be frankly ridiculous for me to get sucked into your interrogation. i am a normal person, and this happened 13 years ago. i never claimed that i was proud of it. i explained why it happened; how a "good girl" can end up making bad decisions.
u r not going to get me to defend it. i explained it which is different from defending it, but i wont flagellate and berate myself over it either. i lived and i learned. Things arent always either black or white.

KeepCoolCalmAndCollected Mon 11-Feb-13 22:15:54

Alittlestranger
Well that's just fine and dandy for the children then isn't it. Let's not mind about them ah!
The OW is utterly selfish and self-indulgent, she does not care about the children's feelings and the detrimental effect it has on them.

Bunfags Mon 11-Feb-13 22:16:09

Fwiw Mer0t, I think a great many of us do things we regret when young, that seem out of character to our older selves. I have never been OW, but was certainly rather naive and easily led by men. As long as you learn the lesson and move on, that's the main thing.

StrongerNowThanBefore Mon 11-Feb-13 22:17:33

Why was I the OW? I was young, single, met a lovely guy and we just clicked. We started an amazing friendship, which led to a passionate romance. He was leaving our city to go off to uni, so I was hoping he would ask me to join him. I thought all my dreams had come true. I knew we had limited time together but I trusted that maybe we'd work something out.
So when my friend told me that he was actually with someone else and she was expecting a baby, I was totally devastated. He told me he was messed up, didn't know why he wasn't honest. Didn't know what he wanted. Didn't know if he wanted her - it all just 'happened'. He went back, wrote to me, told me he couldn't forget me. I told him he needed to let go and look after his family.

My trust in men was completely broken after that. It took me years to get over him. Even now, many many years later I still think of him. He was a shit to do what he did. A total shit. I heard he married her and they went on to have more kids.

badinage Mon 11-Feb-13 22:18:48

My mates don't think they are blameless and neither do I. If you know someone's married, dead right you're at fault and interestingly, they don't buy this old line about they didn't know the wives and had no responsibility to them. Think if they were peddling that old bollocks they wouldn't be mates tbh.

Me? I'm old and so I've had my fair share of married men make offers, some of them to die for too but only as far as looks and a twinkly eye goes grin

But it's never appealed at all because I've never wanted to be second-best or an option and not a priority for anyone I'm in a relationship with. And I just couldn't - ever - shit on another woman even if I didn't know her. I'd never be able to sleep at night if I thought that some woman somewhere was crying because her husband was mistreating her, or being distant, or critical of her just to justify his affair - and I'd had a part to play in that. Although I'm an earthy sort and swear like a trooper grin I just love women and their company and for me, the sisterhood thing is important. If a bloke's married to a woman he doesn't like and I might not like either, it's up to him to sort it out and he'll never get my help to do it.

asktheaudience Mon 11-Feb-13 22:22:09

In my case, I'd say that OW did what she did because she was

1. selfish enough to think that she could do what she wanted,

2. deluded enough to imagine that no one will ever know

3. self-obsessed enough to not think for a single second of the children - hers included (which is what I find most baffling) - who have to live with the shitty consequences of having a spineless liar for a parent.

But these apply to both (married with kids) parties, not just to OW. I couldn't give a stuff what justification she used in her own head, it boils down to having the morals and integrity of an alley cat.

Lovingfreedom Mon 11-Feb-13 22:27:06

My comment about why not being an OW wasn't directed at you merl0t except for the very last bit.
For me it is black and white....if they are married I personally don't go there. I can understand people make mistakes but I respect them more when they take responsibility.
For me, having affairs with married people is outside what I find acceptable.
I don't have an issue where everyone is in the loop e.g. open relationships but I don't like lying or deceit or bullshit 'I'm too weak' excuses like Jaceyb has just given. Get some self respect, self control and get a grip FFS.
I'm going to make no excuse for my intolerance. Isn't it about time women stopped shitting on each other? You only have to read thread after thread on here to see how much pain and hurt is being caused through this selfishness.

JaceyBee Mon 11-Feb-13 22:40:05

I have plenty of self-respect thanks. You may not think I deserve to but I do. I am not a bad person at all. I don't relish the thought of hurting his wife, of course I don't. It's not her fault and he has behaved terribly towards her. But it's him that's really shitting on her.

Looksgoodingravy Mon 11-Feb-13 22:40:07

Being the person who has been cheated on has been so very tough but even before this happened I know I would never be the ow as I could never piss on somebody's feelings.

If the ow is aware of a dw/dp then she is equally responsible for causing the devastation to that relationship.

You have to be a special kind of selfish to be ow/om!

Lovingfreedom Mon 11-Feb-13 22:43:06

So it's ok to knowingly have sex with a married man????

Sometimes the married man conceals the fact that he's married, as well. If you don't know that your new playmate is not as single as he claimed to be, you are in no way responsible for his behaviour.

But in general, if people stopped thinking of sexual partners as property and stopped basing their own self-esteem on how far they succeed in controlling someone else's genitalia, the world would probably run more smoothly.

MorrisZapp Mon 11-Feb-13 22:45:59

Same reason anybody has a relationship, probably. They like and fancy the person and its mutual.

That is presumably the driving force.

Lovingfreedom Mon 11-Feb-13 22:49:03

Yes I agree with you to some extent SGB but isn't it more morally acceptable to negotiate an arrangement in which that can happen rather than sneak around lying and deceiving other people?

AuntieMaggie Mon 11-Feb-13 22:55:20

For me a combination of some of the reasons above... I had just come out of a relationship that had wrecked my self esteem and one night when we were drunk we ended up having sex - he initiated it not me and I had never done anything to make him think sex was on the table.

I was lonely and self destructive. He never once lied to me or promised me anything. He was my friend and occasionally we'd have sex. It was like a drug and I did things with him I had never done before or since. It ended when he moved away and I haven't spoken to him since.

I know there are no excuses for what we did and I would never do it again. But I can't completely regret what happened because I probably wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for what happened between us.

GregBishopsBottomBitch Mon 11-Feb-13 23:03:19

I think its insecurity to some, and if the man leaves his wife, then it makes her feel special at first, because her picked her, then the reality sinks in.

Adversecamber Mon 11-Feb-13 23:03:42

I have known two OW well, one was lonely and had poor self esteem.

The other is my sister. She is an actual mistress, flown round the world by her very rich lover as a Companion on his business trips. He is a hedge fund manager in the city and I know his first name only.

He clothes her and spends a lot of money on her. I struggle with it, she is calculating. There are five sisters in our family, two have disowned her and my other sister will once our Mother dies, I am also contemplating this.

I don't think many OW are Mistresses like my sister is.

ohfunnyhoneyface Mon 11-Feb-13 23:28:33

My friend has become a serial OW and has now a deeply troubling obsession with wanting to find a married man to leave his wife/family for her.

She is deeply damaged and I'm telling her to get therapy.

Abitwobblynow Tue 12-Feb-13 14:15:42

Alittlestranger: 'The cheater isn't cheating on his children, he's not breaking any vows he made to them.'

- are you for real??? How old are you? Don't you realise that this is THE most important relationship of all? That messing this one messes them up? Children are helpless and vulnerable. They NEED their parent's love and safety and consistency in order to develop.

They, unlike adults, don't have a choice!!! Sheesh. Please.

It is a miracle that 'my' OW is alive, let alone unharmed, let alone uncontacted, for what she helped do to my children. She took their life and their safety away from them - for what??? A fantasy of her own???? Their lives, vs her ishoooos?
It took a lot of self-control not to take steps to destroy her. None of us should EVER hurt children. Whether we are related to them or not, we all have a duty of care towards our most vulnerable angry angry

Looksgoodingravy Tue 12-Feb-13 15:19:48

Spot on Abitwobblynow!

I too have had to take huge steps to avoid confrontation towards the ow. Although I did make contact, had my say (while still remaining dignified) there have been times when I could have quite easily made things difficult. In my imagination I still do, I need to get past this, I don't want to think about them anymore.

To hurt me meant also hurting my ds!

GregBishopsBottomBitch Tue 12-Feb-13 15:41:10

Alittlestranger: 'The cheater isn't cheating on his children, he's not breaking any vows he made to them.'

When we have children, we make an unspoken vow to them, to protect them and love them, no matter what, relationships may fail, but when one parent cheats on the other, it disrupts the family unit, disrespecting the faithful parent, and disrespecting the children, by basically saying "the life i made here isnt good enough".

Both my parents cheated on each other, and it hurt alot throughout my teenage years, and i still struggle even at nearly 30, i made peace with my parents over it, but the damage is lasting.

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Tue 12-Feb-13 15:52:51

Some don't know that they are the other woman.

Looksgoodingravy Tue 12-Feb-13 16:06:13

Those who don't know they are the ow can be forgiven but not those who knew about the wife/partner and dc.

carolst Tue 12-Feb-13 16:21:00

Hmm interesting points. I know the blame lies at my H feet as he is the one that made a promise, not her. I also know she isn't innocent as is already lying to him that she is a rape victim, raped by her husband, doesn't drink or smoke has never done it before etc etc, where as I know for a fact that she has done it before, is the boss in the house, and drinks heavily.
I also know she is telling him to be meaner to me and DC BUT he is the fool that listens so his fault. She begged me for forgiveness and not to tell her husband and that she would stop, but then straight off the phone to me, texted him again.

I think, and know from past experience, that when I meet a man and it seems they be interested I would end contact, or avoid extra contact, as fact I'm married. That is a principle I know I will stick too. If he told me his marriage was over etc, I would say OK I'll see you when you've done what you were doing. BUt that is me.

Mintberry Tue 12-Feb-13 16:37:35

The man may not always advertise the fact that he has a wife and kids up front and by the time she finds out she already has feelings for him. Have known this happen, anyway.

MindTheFlap Tue 12-Feb-13 16:59:33

In my experience - husband had affair - the other woman was lonely hadn't had a shag for ages and actively sought out my husband played on his insecurities and gave him attention and actively pushed for him to leave me and the kids - eventually asking him to lend her a very substantial amount of money within 3 months of getting together with him ......................

True colours shine thru eventually

money grabbing batch

neontetra Tue 12-Feb-13 17:02:17

A very close family member of mine was OW forty years ago. She fell in love with her now dh. He had fallen out of love with his then dw. Sad, but it happens. The couple in question have been happily married now for forty years. There are other couples i know and respect too who started as an affair - i wouldn't dream of judging them. Though i do get, of course, how angry the partner who is cheated on or left must feel.

If you think you are entitled to 'destroy' someone for having sex with a man you regarded as your 'property' then maybe it's not that surprising you got dumped. No one is entitled to own another person.

As for children: they can grow up happy and healthy without their parents practising heteromonogamy. Having step-parents and/or parents who have a variety of sexual partners is not necessarily a bad thing as long as the original parents can treat each other with courtesy as co-parents and treat the children well. And there is no better lesson for DC to learn than that heteromonogamy is not compulsory but one option among many, and that what matters is to treat others with courtesy and kindness as much as possible.

I know an OW. He was married with children. They worked together.

Why did she choose to become the OW? Well she didn't apparently, she genuinely does not see herself as the OW. His marriage "was already over". I think she has confused the difference between a relationship going through a weak point and a relationship that is over. Unfortunately, the fact he still lived with his wife to whom the breakup came as a horrible shock points to the former. She won't see it, and in fact can't allow herself to see it now as they are now married to each other.

Bizarrely she holds very strong moral opinions about most other things. We shouldn't underestimate people's ability to rewrite the grey areas to fit their particular set of circumstances.

I did it.
I was the last person I ever thought would, but I did it.
I met someone I couldn't live without.
Saw him off and on for about a year, then walked away and confessed all to my then husband.
Didn't see him for another year and tried to patch up my terrible marriage.

Couldn't bear it. Found him again.

After a year, about three years after we first met, and after I separated from my husband, we had sex for the first time. So it wasn't all about shagging, I don't think.
He went to therapy to search his soul, and at the beginning of this year left his wife.

I feel for her, but I'm shocked at how little. He's mine. Has been from day one.

Reality has well and truly kicked in. He's had winter vomiting bug all week, so I've spent a fair amount of time scrubbing his puke, washing his clothes, making him soup and giving him meds.
Don't mind a bit. In fact, I'm blissfully happy to be doing it, because I love him, and I know he would do exactly the same for me.

Our relationship didn't start well. There's no 'meet-cute' to tell anyone about. People got hurt.
But there was nothing else we could have done. Even staying with our partners would have been an insult to them, because we both loved someone else.

Maybe karma will get us, but in the meantime, we're happy.

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Tue 12-Feb-13 18:01:32

My dad had an affair. My Stepmother was the other woman. She was miserable, my dad was miserable. They have now been together for 12 years and are married.

My mum still reckons she would want to punch my stepmum if she saw her. Personally I think thats pathetic. Mum is re-married now as well. My dad maintains that if he hadn't left he would have killed himself. As for my stepmum, she has been a better mother to me than my own mum, and although I was deeply damaged by the split, I mostly blame my mothers reaction to it and actions after it.

clam Tue 12-Feb-13 18:24:28

rockinastocking

"we're happy" Oh goodie for you. Is his wife? Are his children? I presume you couldn't give a shit.

"there was nothing else we could have done" "He's mine." "I met someone I couldn't live without."

Bollocks. angry You've been reading too many romantic novels. Grow up.

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Tue 12-Feb-13 18:34:42

Rocking do you ever worry about the age old saying 'When a man marries his mistress, he creates a vacancy'?

Genuinely curious.

He has no children. Mine like him a lot and have pointed out that both me and their dad seem much happier apart.

His wife is probably very unhappy, but by her admission was for a long time before I came on the scene.

No, no romantic novels. It's just the way it is. I do love him, and yes, I suppose I could live without him, and will in all probability have to one day, but once I knew him, and knew what life could be like there was no going back.

I have worried about that, and we've talked about it at length.

One of the reasons he went to therapy was to talk about that very thing and try to ensure he would never do it to me.

If he does, he does. You can't own a person. It would mean that our relationship wasn't working and it would hurt like hell, but I'd have little room to complain, would I?

Here and now, we're happy and I trust him.

Uppatreecuppatea Tue 12-Feb-13 18:52:27

I

clam Tue 12-Feb-13 18:58:16

"You can't own a person."

But earlier you said, "He's mine."

confused

True. You've got me there. He feels like mine.

But if he went off with someone else, I guess I'd know he wasn't mine any more.

Uppatreecuppatea Tue 12-Feb-13 19:26:15

I was the OW for a year. It was thoughtless and unkind, I know that. I don't know why I did it apart from falling in love with someone else. It became an obsession. I was married and so was he. He for 20+ plus years with grown children, me with an 8 year old son.

Even though I knew it was wrong, I couldn't help myself despite knowing that what I was doing was destructive - I was willing to stumble in the debris of it all. It was an obsession. I thought I'd never be happy again if I wasn't with him.

My ExH caught us (he put spyware on my computer) after I confessed I was in love with someone else. He didn't tell me he'd 'caught me'. Instead, he confronted OM's wife with all the evidence and then they both confronted us separately at a pre-ordained time (after confiscating both our phones) - obviously at our separate homes.

I'd say that m ExH put me in a position that I could not endure (same for OM) and we were both put in the position - which we wanted - of leaving our spouses to be together.

We are now married and have been for three years and we are very happy. We honestly believe that we belong together.

The pain we have caused to our Ex-spouses is unforgivable and I wish our happy and stable marriage had started under better grounds.

I DO NOT think I have created a vacancy for another mistress. The misery we have suffered (also our Ex-partners who have suffered 10 X as much) would never incline me on this path again and I would say the same for my DH. It has caused MISERY for everyone involved. We are lucky in that we are sooo happy together and I don't regret our union at all. I just regret the way that it happened as there is no pride in that.

I never thought it would be this hard. For any OWs or OM out there: think very carefully about what you want. It is a difficult road ahead and nobody apart from your very best friends will accept you.

My DS is very happy though and loves my new DH. My EXH and I get along very well and we share custody 50 / 50 and are better friends now than when we were married.

It's not an easy path and I wouldn't recommend it. For me, it was worth it. I hope that you take some heed from my tale.

AmITheOW Tue 12-Feb-13 19:27:14

I'm really interested reading this thread and would also be interested to know people's opinions of my position.

Ultimately I suppose I am the OW, but it really doesn't feel like it (apart from the fact that I can't tell anyone about him).

I'm seeing a man who has been leading a separate life to his wife for ages. They haven't shared a bedroom, let alone a bed for 6 years now and never go anywhere or do anything as a couple. In fact, they barely speak. Their children are in their 20s, one lives away but comes home most weekends, the other lives at home because it's convenient for her.

The key question is why they're still living under the same roof and it's purely financial. The fact that he hasn't actually divorced her yet is the only thing we ever argue about. He seems to want to do it all at the same time when he's finally in a position to sell the house which needs work doing to it before it can go on the market.

So, would you consider me to be the OW?

BTW, to answer the OP's question, I truly believe, as does he, that we're meant for each other. I never dreamed I would ever meet someone I could totally be myself with and not have to apologise for the fact.

Merl0t Tue 12-Feb-13 19:30:55

AmITheOW, i would say that you are his partner emotionally but he is locked into a financial partnership with his wife.

I don't see why you can't tell SOME people, if they don't share a bed and don't socialise together.... do her friends know that they just live under the same roof now? or does she want to keep up the appearance? Does she not want to divorce even though the relationship is over? does she know about you though even though his friends don't know?

Merl0t Tue 12-Feb-13 19:31:52

ps, sorry for all the questions, but you have a lot going on there, you need your own thread!!

TheOwlService Tue 12-Feb-13 19:35:27

AmITheOW
Wow, you're brave posting that comment on this thread!
Hope you dont get too much of a savaging smile

AmITheOW Tue 12-Feb-13 19:36:21

It's agreed between them that it's over and divorce will happen but I suspect she's keeping up the pretence for some reason. Yes, some people do know, and we spend time with some of his friends. I'm more wary of telling mine because I feel it's too much to explain.

I've often thought of starting my own thread but have been too scared about being flamed!

AmITheOW Tue 12-Feb-13 19:37:11

Owl I know (see x-post!) but I'm not the first to have confessed! (Which comment in particular?)

TheOwlService Tue 12-Feb-13 19:44:24

If you do start your own thread you may well get some "constructive criticism" !!! for sure.

Ultimately if you believe, as you say, that you are "meant for each other" then time will tell wont it.

I would read Upatreecuppa's post again, tho. Particularly the last paragraph.

redbobblehat Tue 12-Feb-13 19:48:32

because thats all they can get imo

TheOwlService Tue 12-Feb-13 19:49:57

Sorry AITOW, I meant your post as a whole, not a specific comment.
No you are not the first to have confessed, of course not. Just prepare yourself for the inevitable ...... Have a cup of tea and a biscuit ! smile

Zavi Tue 12-Feb-13 19:53:05

I don't think the OW is doing anything wrong - assuming she's not also committing adultery/deceit.

There isn't an OW in the world who could lure a man - who didn't want to be lured away - out of his own relationship, of his own free will.

I've never been, and never would be, an OW (I wouldn't want anything to do with a cheating man grin) but I don't think OW are doing anything wrong. After all, they're young, free and single!

I think any woman who thinks that an OW is responsible for the breakdown of her relationship with her deceitful OH needs a reality check to be honest.

asktheaudience Tue 12-Feb-13 19:55:29

Surely you former OWs who go on to marry their OM realise that he must have felt as much love and devotion to their exWs as they do to you now, or they wouldn't have married them?

So you must all know better than most that relationships change and evolve? Which is why I don't quite get why you are saying how you belong together, it was meant to be etc. Maybe you're ok for each other right now, but who's to say one or both of you won't end up bored after 10 or so years, and start wondering what else is out there again?

As for not wanting to go through that pain again... well childbirth is painful too, remember? But we get a lovely cuddly baby out of it. And then we might want another...

badinage Tue 12-Feb-13 19:59:03

AmI if they are separated and living in the same house, why doesn't his wife know he's in a relationship with you?

Sounds like you don't have the full story here. Would be very interested if you ever had a chat with his wife and asked her to confirm what he's saying. I bet their stories would differ.

To me, it just sounds like excuses to stay with his wife and keep you hanging on for a day that will never come. Even if it does, how many years will you have spent not living life the way you wanted to?

Actually, quite a lot of people get married because all their friends are getting married and/or they are under family pressure to marry, and the person they are currently seeing is all right, pleasant, similar libido, solvent, no addictions and no signs of violence or cruelty... sometimes people even marry because the relationship is stagnating and they are rowing a lot and they think that a wedding will fix things.

And at some point a new person enters the scene who is much more suited to one of the partners than his/her officially sanctioned spouse is. So an affair begins, blah blah, the new couple end up madly happy and, after a while, so does the other spouse, in a better place than stuck in a stagnant marriage.

Sounds like our situation, SGB.

Hope so, anyway.

KirstyWirsty Tue 12-Feb-13 22:04:25

lovingfreedom I think you have totally hot the nail on the head re the type of people who become OW

I would never become involved with someone who is attached never mind married .. Can't understand anyone who would!!

Skyebluesapphire Tue 12-Feb-13 22:31:12

Kirsty - I'm the same, I never would cheat on anyone, or get involved with an attached person.

How I laugh now confused when I recall the conversations that me and XH had when we first got together, about how we hated cheaters and how we could never do that to anybody.... he had been cheated on himself and could never do that to anybody as he knew how much it hurt ............

Greensleeves Tue 12-Feb-13 22:58:12

What a fascinating thread. Particularly Lovingfreedom and Merl0t's posts to one another - you both express yourselves so well, I have really gained an insight into how infidelity feels on both sides (it never having happened to me).

I agree with SGB that you can't "own" a person, have always believed that (but then I don't really believe you can own an apple tree, or a lake either)

but I have the same gut response of "he's mine" when I look at dh as Rocking describes. I think the "he's mine" thing is simply a function of how much and how deeply I love him, in relation to anyone else apart from the children. So it doesn't really imply ownership - they still have the right to sovereignty over their own genitals (rr. SGB threads passim grin) I think maybe the possessiveness that complicates so many relationships may be to do with not articulating and properly understanding what rights and responsibilities each partner assumes are automatic when you lve somebody that deeply and have "committed" to them.

So while I don't agree with SGB that heteromonogamous relationship are soooooo last year, I think people have different expectations and presumptions about what a marriage - or a mutual attraction - entitles them to, hence the "we had no other choice" and the "yes you did" etc.

Merl0t Tue 12-Feb-13 23:11:41

WEll, I would never do it now. But I was in my 20s once upon a time, and now I'm in my forties! I'm single now, but wouldn't dream of going down that path now for several reasons, because the man who'd want to initiate that sort of relationship would have NO appeal to the me I've become now, and because it is destructive, and self -destructive too.

Alittlestranger Tue 12-Feb-13 23:44:19

@Wobbly and others. I do think the relationship between the parents and children is the most important one of all. Which is precisely why I think we have to get better at seperating it from the relationship between the two parents. Children shouldn't feel that daddy doesn't love them because daddy fucked over mummy. It's a tall ask I realise.

Lovingfreedom Wed 13-Feb-13 00:06:27

But can we also recognise that when daddy fucks over mummy he fucks over the whole family....and all too often mummy is left to try to explain why everything is now fucked up but without mentioning the fucking over bit cos that would make things too fucking difficult for daddy....incidentally if my dc believe their dad they will think I kicked him out for two kisses on the cheek by an old school friend....crazy mummy...!!

Merl0t Wed 13-Feb-13 09:41:06

It's a dilemma alright. lovingfreedom I also feel for different reasons like "daddy fucked over mummy" and I have told my children that daddy wasn't nice to mummy. Some people might think I did the wrong thing spelling that out but I was the one who face the particular questions posed by my children. I needed to give them a reason. Not immediately funnily enough, about four years on, there questions became more specific. I had to say that Daddy didn't treat Mummy with respect. I didn't want to endorse the version he will give them; that Mummy fucked off on a selfish, impetuous, whim. But, when the dust settles, they'll know it just didn't work out.

Merl0t Wed 13-Feb-13 09:46:01

@lovingfreedom, I would TELL the children. Not with bitterness or with anger, in a couple of years (What ages are they?) "Daddy loved another woman, which broke the promises he made when we got married". That is totally different from saying *your father is a no good lying piece of shit and i gave him the best years of my life and his new whore and he deserve each other and .. and.... and".
What I'm saying is , don't take the blame. From what I've gathered, my children won't blame their father for being piss poor, they'll blame ME for being there for them and not getting it 100% right 100% of the time. He'll be off the hook. Tangent here.

PostBellumBugsy Wed 13-Feb-13 10:18:17

The reasons are often complex. I think on many occasions it is as simple as two people fall in love with each other. Instead of backing off, because one or both of them are committed to other people - they allow it to happen.

My ex-H fell in love with his OW and she has been his wife for 7 years now. I have worked with a number of people who have left their wives for the other woman. I also have a friend who has been having an affair with a married man for 8 years. She doesn't want him to leave his family & just enjoys his occasional company & the sex.

When my DCs were little I didn't go into any details but as they've got older I've tried to explain it better and so I told them that their Dad fell in love with OW. Funnily enough, it is the OW they dislike not their Dad. Weird!

MysteriousHamster Wed 13-Feb-13 11:26:49

I don't get the OWs who say 'but I wasn't being cruel to his wife and children, that's all on him'.

Of course he bears primary responsibility, but you are encouraging and enabling it. You are just as much a part of it!

I can understand why affairs happen. Feeling that frisson of flirtation with someone is exciting. It's nice to feel attractive and desired and that sometimes is hard to find in a marriage of many years when you are both busy and tired. But if you're in a relationship you know what you have to lose, and that the grass isn't usually greener. If you're single, you'd be much better off entering a relationship that isn't going to hurt a bunch of people.

In my case, the grass was greener, though.
I knew exactly what I stood to lose, and to be honest it was only lack of courage that made me take so long to 'lose' it.

I needed a catalyst to shake me out of my inertia.

The reasons for affairs are myriad. Every person is unique, every relationship is unique. Generalisations cannot work.

I'm not a slut, or a bitch, or a tart. I don't enjoy hurting others, nor was a married man "all I could get".

I do think I was a coward, and at first so was dp. It took us too long to do what we knew we'd do in the end. But, we got there and I'll never say I regret him, no matter what happens in the future.

confusionoftheillusion Wed 13-Feb-13 12:05:29

because it's all they can get - this comment is trash.

I became an OW last yr. met someone in the summer, became friends, a few months later something physical happened and then we embarked on a physical (but not having sex) and emotional relationship. We fell hard. Both of us. It was like nothing either of us have felt before. (and yes, i do believe him. I didnt feel like that when i met dh and married him for very practical reasons so why should it be different for OM). We both hated the secrecy and I felt constant guilt for both our spouses and kids. When it was just the two so us it was wonderful but I hated the thought of a wife wondering why her husband was distant and that being my fault. And I hated the fact I was betraying my kind Dh so badly. And ironically I do believe in karma. Plus I questioned a lot what sort of man would cheat on his family, then realised I needed to pose the same question of myself.

So my experience of becoming the OW was that I genuinely fell in love, it was like being hit by a train. And weak though it is that feeling overrode the feelings of guilt and my moral compass.

rockinastocking - I'm interested in your use of 'inertia'. Was your marriage bad or just dead?

venusandmars Wed 13-Feb-13 12:11:23

I wasn't OW, but came close.

It had been 4 years since exh (controlling, abusive relationship) and I had split, and I had 2dc. In those 4 years I'd had an intense relationship with a divorced man who was fabulous, heart-stoppingly lovely, but who was a financial nightmare. I couldn't risk the financial security of my dc and so we split up. Then I was very close to a lovely single man. But he wanted to have a full life with me and my dc, and also wanted us to have more dc. Again, I didn't think that worked well for my dc, and we didn't try to make a go of it.

Then I became friendly with a man who was married, and it did feel tempting: someone who didn't want any financial links with me; someone who didn't want to spent weekends or Christmas with me and my dc; someone who didn't want to move in and disrupt my stable life; someone who wasn't controlling and was happy for me to spend times with my other friends; someone who wasn't in my bed every night 'demanding' sex, or forcing me into it; someone who offered company and conversation.

As a practical and emotional arrangement, it would have suited what I needed at the time, and yes, I was selfish, and didn't think at all about his wife sad If I did give any thought to it, I would have naively thought I posed little threat to her since I didn't want to take her husband away.

It was 20 years ago, and fortunately I met and fell in love with my dp. But as someone young, and hurt, and trying to do the best for me and my dc, I came close to making a pretty bad decision.

confusion

Bad. I was utterly miserable, in therapy and on beta-blockers for anxiety.

"Inertia" might not have been the right word. I just felt I had no way out. Felt trapped.

confusionoftheillusion Wed 13-Feb-13 12:46:49

Fwiw rocking It sounds like you've ended up with the right man for you. At least now it's out in the open everyone can move on with their lives.Good luck

Thank you. It's not an easy path and not for the faint-hearted.

If nothing else this whole experience has left me a far less judgemental person than I once was. I was a hanger and flogger when it came to straying partners...then I was one.

confusionoftheillusion Wed 13-Feb-13 13:35:52

Yeah - I know that feeling. Never judge till you've walked a mile...

Wondering whether to take the same path as you. Head says "work on marriage". Heart says "walk away from marriage now, you'll only paper the cracks if you work on it"....

I tried following my head. My heart won. Good luck, whatever you decide.

asktheaudience Wed 13-Feb-13 14:11:03

Moving on is all very well and necessary, but the experience doesn't go away, particularly for the DC that now have to grow up with a terrible role model for a Dad.

It is easy to understand that people fall in and out of love. But the DC are learning that when push comes to shove it's ok (because their Dad, who is an adequate parent to them generally, did it) to selfishly and secretly pursue your own desires without a thought for the consequences, rather than be honest with me. We might still have broken up. But it would have been an example of responsible adult conduct within a relationship instead of destructive one.

I know of three other men who had cheats for Dads who have gone on to do the same, despite hating it at the time. That horrifies me.

PostBellumBugsy Wed 13-Feb-13 14:17:21

ask - I think it varies. Only one of the men I know who have left their wives for OW had a father who either 'cheated' or left - so clearly that is not a guarantee!

I hope that my DCs will grow up to know how to be decent people. They live with me & that is what I am teaching them. They already think their father is a bit of an arse & they don't like their step-mother (who was the OW). They haven't needed me to say anything bad about either of them (because I don't do that), but true character shows through all by itself.

However, I can't guarantee that my DCs won't be stupid and fall in love with people they shouldn't. I'd like to think they won't do that - but who knows? As far as I'm concerned, marriage in this country can no longer be considered a permanent state!

OverlyYappy Wed 13-Feb-13 14:28:33

When my ex cheated on me he told some very good stories. I just wonder how being the OW you can actually believe anything these men tell you tbh!

Mine is with another OW now but I am pleased, she is terrified I am going to steal him though, I couldn't live like that, I have told her I wouldn't piss on him if he was on fire to try to ease her mind and get them to leave me alone but he still tells her he could come back. She understands my ex though. I didn't. I understand he has mental problems and is abusive.

I was OW for 1 or 2 weeks when I was 18/19, he told me he worked in the Army Barracks, I believed him, seen him maybe 7 times over a few weeks then his friend asked if I knew he was married. I finished it that day, the same evening he brought his Wife to a Club he knew I would be in, she had just had a baby, I felt awful, I have no idea if he thought I would be jealous or what but I just felt sorry for his wife.

badinage Wed 13-Feb-13 14:42:34

Never judge till you've walked a mile...

Tommyrot.

It's always assumed by people who write bilge like this that no-one else has ever had the same opportunities..........and has walked away, however rocky their relationships and however golden the opportunity. Stop assuming that anyone would have done the same as you, if they'd had the same opportunity. Some people are stronger characters in this area than others, that's all.

That doesn't make you bad, or others good. We all have our faults, just not the same ones.

belleat40 Wed 13-Feb-13 14:53:14

The first time I was an idiot and believed him when he said they were having problems, he was sleeping on the sofa, they were just sharing a house, they hadn't had a relationship like that for years - all bollocks, he just fancied a shag.
The second, I had no idea he was married (with a baby on the way), couldn't believe it when I found out. Couldn't believe I was that stupid, naive, trusting and that the 'friends' that had introduced me to him thought it was okay - despite the fact that they knew his wife. Dumped him and them the day I found out.

fergoose Wed 13-Feb-13 15:00:19

In my experience the OW is vulnerable, very depressed, heavy drinker, lonely, looked for no strings sex online and attracted my ex at a vulnerable time. He admitted it was a doomed relationship, she has been horrendous to me and my daughter. Told me it wasn't an affair as we were not married, and it was all a 'bit of a mess'.

She hates me with an absolute passion - she is very insecure about their relationship, and I think she has every right to be. I think they deserve each other tbh. She does her utmost to keep him and my daughter apart too.

He is mid breakdown by all accounts, and she is trying to fix him, and cling on as she has nothing else - or so I have been told.

confusionoftheillusion Wed 13-Feb-13 15:35:21

badinage - I don't assume that everyone would have done the same. But the experiences i have had recently have made me realise that saying things like "I'd leave my dh straight away if he did x", or "I would never do Y" are all very well to say, but until you are in that situation you don't know.

So I have become a lot less judgemental of people who cheat. Ther are a myriad of reasons why both men and women do it.

badinage Wed 13-Feb-13 16:28:34

Yes but the point is, many of us have been in your situation many times and so we do know.

Merl0t Wed 13-Feb-13 16:31:35

Wow, well if friends introduced you to a man you would assume that he was single wouldn't you confused

I honestly think some men get married with the full intention of continuing to see what opportunities meet them along the way. They have a sense of entitlement.

Lovingfreedom Wed 13-Feb-13 16:32:31

Merl0t, Daddy didn't 'love' another woman blah blah...he just likes the thrill of seducing women who don't have enough self respect to say 'no' and then lies about it.
BTW, at least 3 of the categories of OW that I described fell for my ex-H. I blame him...but I don't celebrate them.

MoodyDidIt Wed 13-Feb-13 16:41:01

Don't forget that sometimes the wife is a mad bitch, or a bully, or an alcoholic or a drug addict, and the marriage is a disaster that the man longs to leave. More often, the relationship is an inertia one, dead in the water but neither partner is brave enough to leave the other... until someone else comes along.

There's also the fact that monogamy, while constantly peddled as The Ideal Way, is in fact both boring and counter-evolutionary, so it's no wonder people don't stick to it

i came on here to say this ^^ but found SGB had beat me to it.....

confusionoftheillusion Wed 13-Feb-13 17:04:47

badinage - every situation is different so I think it's a bit shortsighted to say many of you have been there.

Clearly we won't agree though!

Agree that sometimes the wife/husband is all of the above... But the other spouse should still leave them first...

madonnawhore Wed 13-Feb-13 17:16:18

About ten years ago, when I was in my early twenties, I had an affair with my boss who was ten years older than me.

He wasn't actually married but he lived with a long term girlfriend and they'd bought a house together, etc. So same difference.

I did it because I had low self esteem; it was during an 'off' phase of an emotionally abusive relationship that I would go on to waste another four years of my life on. An affair seemed like an 'anti-relationship', which in my fucked-up head, appealed at the time.

I was flattered by the attention of someone who was older, sophisticated, in a position of power. I mistakenly thought that reflected well on me - that someone like him would be interested in someone like me. Of course I would later realise that was bollocks and he was just on his own power trip. To him I think I was like a corporate perk.

It was all very exciting and illicit for a couple of months. But I started wanting it to become a proper relationship. Although I never said this to him, I wanted him to leave his girlfriend for me. Until one one morning in the taxi on my way back from his place I had a 'what the fuck am I doing?' revelation.

In that moment I realised that he was just a cheating dick. If he did leave his girlfriend for me then I'd never be able to trust him so what was the point? And how much of an arsehole was I being? Who was I kidding that I was some kind of minxy mistress? Yeah right I'm soooooo cool sleeping with the boss. In actual fact I was just second-best shag fodder. The whole thing suddenly seemed so seedy and gross that I texted him there and then from the back of the cab that we were over and never to contact me again.

Work was a bit awkward for a while but it sorted itself out. He ended up marrying his girlfriend and they have two DCs now.

I know I will never be an OW ever again. That was one huge lesson learned for me.

LittleEdie Wed 13-Feb-13 17:54:17

Excitement.

Zavi Thu 14-Feb-13 14:28:09

Merl0t, just out of interest: did your kids' Dad ever want to take the kids with him when he left?

I often wonder how many men would still leave their OH's if they had to take the kids with them when they left...

DiscretionAdvised Fri 15-Feb-13 22:35:46

There is no one size fits all. I agree that there are some men(and women) who are just after what they can get. However there are many who simply fall in love. I believe it is possible to marry the wrong person, for the right reasons. It is also possible to fall in love with some one else. Sometimes it takes the lantern to recognise and be brave enough to address the former.

So here's my story....

Dh and I have been together 14 years. We had our ups and downs. We have three dcs 8,5,2. We get on well, we enjoy doing the same things has a good dad. However there has never been butterflies, rarely passion. We hadn't had sex for two years. I stopped fancying him. He's not a bad man and everyone likes him. We are from different backgrounds and have a very different education and careers.

I had known I was unhappy for a long time but lacked the back bone tondealmwithout.mwanted more but felt that the rest only really existed in fiction. What we had enough. However whilst on a work trip got to know a colleague, he is also deeply unhappy, wants out, lacks the courage and belief that there is someone else there for him.

That was 5 months ago. Within a week of my getting back from that trip dh and I agreed to separate. A intense ea with the om started immediately. We started with the physical, then stopped but restarted again. Dh moved out two weeks ago. He doesn't know about the om. The om will leave his dp in about month (financial). We have completely fallen for each other and I'd do have high hopes for the future.

It has been extraordinarily painful. Intense guilt - I do care for dh deeply. Gilt for hurting my children and breaking the home. I have spent five moths watching my phone waiting for texts, distress, frustration, vulneribilty. Thinking of your om at home as a family, no matter how dysfunctional, is horrid . Waiting for the om to leave is horrid. It's been a tough time. I believe that the om is a good man and that wee have a chance of happiness ahead of us.

So that's why I am the ow.

ChateauCollapso Fri 15-Feb-13 23:04:00

Probably because it's an easy flirt. They think they can do it because a married man is a safe bet. No consequences. Ha ha when the wife finds out they don't want to know. I think it's a massage of both egos until they're found out then it's not a secret 'love' thing anymore and their sordid seedy affair is shown for what it is. Not so fab when the wife knows and they may be landed with an old fat git that they hadn't bargained for!

DiscretionAdvised Sat 16-Feb-13 07:55:45

Chateau, that's completely narrow minded. I suspect it's a very small minority of ow that are happy being the ow and actually choose to be so.

ChateauCollapso Sat 16-Feb-13 08:46:29

Sorry - maybe I'm just bitter!!

GinAndT0nic Sat 16-Feb-13 10:41:58

DiscretionAdvised, I would have waited 'til the OM left his wife before I told my husband. I HOPE you don't end up on your own with 3 children. It's a long old haul.

badinage Sat 16-Feb-13 10:51:51

I thought that too, but the husband doesn't know about the OM does he? Hope he's not being used as the fallback kid if OM doesn't follow through, or if he is that he sees right through it........hmm

DiscretionAdvised Mon 18-Feb-13 14:51:37

I made the decision ot leave DH regardless of the OM. DH knows nothing. I should have left my DH a long time ago but never had courage to do it. Catalyst / exit affair - call it what you like. Decision was based on my marriage rather than the OM. Whilst I hope it works out with the latter I have not left DH for the OM.

badinage Mon 18-Feb-13 15:14:05

So what's the problem with being honest with your husband about your affair? After all, he presumably agrees with you that your marriage was bad for a long time because (again presumably) you told him it was and you tried working on the problems together, before you had an affair? Or is that not the case?

IME, people who leave only when there's an OW/OM on the scene delude themselves that the affair was merely incidental to their decision to go. There are usually only two reasons why they lie to their partners about there being someone else. One is to keep something in reserve if the new bloke/woman doesn't work out and the other is to avoid any blame for the marriage hitting trouble and ending. Either way, it's manipulative and quite cruel to lie about an affair and decide that it's an irrelevant detail a partner doesn't need to know about. I hope the OM is more honest with his own partner, that's if he ever leaves her, which is by no means a certainty.

ineedabodytransplant Mon 18-Feb-13 16:09:12

Lovingfreedom,

You're no 4 poor thing.

I was in a loveless, sexless marriage. IF I had found myself with an OW I would have been telling the truth. But I never felt I deserved a shag!!

Mind you, after coming on for 16 years without a shag I deserve something, even if it's only a kiss and cuddleblush

DiscretionAdvised Mon 18-Feb-13 21:00:37

So I haven't told dh because I feel that it will only make a fragile situation worse. We have three children and need to be amicable for them. To tell him now will create hurt upset and make it even harder to be co parents.

Fwiw I am hurting unbelieveably right now. The om has just told me he can't carry on as he is feeling too much guilt. He wants to be free before we continue our relationship. I have a lovely meal cooked here. He will move out in a months time but tell his partner next week. I have a crap time ahead. I have fallen for completely and incredibly vulnerable right now. Being the ow is horrid, no one would ever choose it and its certainly not selfish or exciting.

His dp is violent, manipulative and toxic. And no it's not just what he's told me to get into my pants. The latter he could have had in abundance.

badinage Mon 18-Feb-13 21:18:34

It will make life harder for you of course because then you'd have to take some blame for the problems in the marriage, especially since you started your affair. But it might stop your husband blaming himself totally for the end of your marriage and the problems within it, but I don't suppose that suits you?

Unless you live in your OM's relationship, you've got no idea what it's really like. No-one has. Just as he's got no idea what it was really like in your own relationship, especially before the affair started.

What you're doing might not be exciting anymore, but it certainly is selfish.

badinage Mon 18-Feb-13 21:34:59

Also, don't fool yourself that just because a man doesn't jump at the chance to have sex when it's offered, it means he's in love or is a decent sort. It could means lots of different things: that he's not very motivated by sex, that he's still attached to his partner and associates sex with ultimate betrayal or that he's just not that into you. What he's just told you sounds like cold feet to me, so I think you should prepare yourself for being hurt. FWIW I do feel sympathy for anyone who's hurt, but of course that includes your husband and your children as well as you.

AnyFucker Mon 18-Feb-13 21:39:29

DA, all your posts serve to convince me that some women make the same shitty excuses for cheating and continuing to deceive their ex-partners way after it would have been kinder to tell them the truth, that men do sad

DiscretionAdvised Mon 18-Feb-13 22:08:32

Maybe selfish, maybe not. The full situation isn't written here. I have posted it under my normal name and it far more complex but outs me (look at the read it and weep thread in reltionships, my other name is bpm). I will tell dh, but not yet. I had planned to do so in a few weeks time. I hate the deceit. Every single one of my friends that knows my situation and our relationship in rl says don't tell yet as it will gain nothing. These are people that care deeply for dh as well.

The om's relationship with his partner are certainly complex. He is the epitome of the abused wife going back for more. Yes, of course he could be spinning me a web of lies, but I truly don't believe it. I believe he will tell her next week which is why he's so fucked up at the moment.

I accept the point that maybe he's just not that into me which is why he has backed out. I believe though for the om, it's not betraying his dp, but lying to his dd. he is scared of his dp and knows she will not give him easy access. He is in a very very bad place emotionally right now. I do know that neither of us are bad people and I know that I have fallen in love. Again I can't stress enough that my marriage was over before this I just didn't have the courage to do anything about it. I decided to end it before the om but was going to wait. Wait for what I don't know. We haven't had sex for two years and I don't want to. It wouldn't right to stay for sake of kids. I won't go back to him even if it doesn't work out with om.

badinage Mon 18-Feb-13 22:33:30

Yes that was the thread where you said repeatedly that your marriage was happy before what happened to your daughter wasn't it? Which was revised after the affair and the unhappiness backdated to long before the tragic incident, despite what you told an anonymous forum at the time?

You must know that the new 'my partner will become difficult about me seeing the children' is as hollow these days as the old 'my wife doesn't understand me' don't you? Family courts these days deal with children's rights to see a parent, not parents' rights to see the child.

I'm not saying you're a bad person. I think the whole family has had a horrible time, especially your poor daughter. And if you're convinced your marriage is over and you were deluding yourself in the early days of that thread, that's fair enough. But I don't think you're being at all fair or honourable in keeping your affair a secret from your husband and you're doing it for your own self-serving purposes, not his. I would think his guilt must be bad enough, without thinking he's totally to blame for the end of his marriage too. Knowing you'd behaved badly too in the marriage might actually help him deal with his own demons and guilt, because as you say, he's not a bad man either. He deserves to know the truth.

jellybeans Mon 18-Feb-13 22:43:45

Because they are selfish and competitive? And maybe a little naïve if they think it won't get done back to them.

AnyFucker Mon 18-Feb-13 22:44:33

DA, it has finally clicked "who" you are (without having to search out that other thread)

I am sure I have advised you to leave your husband. I agree that you should. But like this ? No, never. You are going to get very, very hurt and you are hurting a lot of people in the process.

DiscretionAdvised Mon 18-Feb-13 22:50:16

Yep I know. I have ended my marriage. Dh wanted out too and it has reasonably amicable. The accident has not been mentioned. We hadn't had sex for six, before accident. I was surprised I said our marriage was happy, it wasn't.

SnowBusiness Tue 19-Feb-13 10:53:16

Good luck DA (recognised you). I hope it works out and you all can move forward.

I am not in favour of total honesty. Sometimes it's kinder to keep quiet, and I think that would be so in DA's case.
Also, people who make a big deal of their own honesty are usually horrible. They consider 'honesty' a justification for being offensive and unpleasant.
GOod luck DA. Exit affairs are not so terrible, they are a step on the way to a better situation for all concerned.

DiscretionAdvised Tue 19-Feb-13 11:40:33

Thanks.

Today I am broken hearted. I've hardly slept and feel bereft. I don't know why - the OM has emphasised again and again that he does want to make a go of it with me but not unitl he is free to do so. I guess its the mixed messages that I struggle with. It's only a few more weeks and hopefully we will be free to carry on. I know though that the guilt for me was at its peak when DH moved out. Since then I have been very happy, which, I guess, is why it hurts so much today.

I respect hi honesty but do worry that if he really wanted to be with me then he would have overcome his guilt. Especially so close to moving out. I completely believe him that he will.

AnyFucker Tue 19-Feb-13 12:23:22

Exit affairs are not so terrible, they are a step on the way to a better situation for all concerned.

Perhaps, SGB. If it helps a woman to get out an abusive or even just simply crappy relationship, I am with you. However, do it with a man that is single. Because if you don't, you get another whole world of pain. Just like DA has got.

DA, love. Who are you trying to convince...us, or yourself ? sad

badinage Tue 19-Feb-13 12:46:40

I don't think he's being honest with you at all DA. Ending things with you so close to him leaving just doesn't add up. But then, walking out and leaving his daughter with a woman whom he describes as violent, abusive, toxic and manipulative doesn't square with being a decent father either, so unless he's going to go for residence (and it doesn't sound like it) it feels like there are some more lies there too. Could you leave your children with a man who was so described?

Re. SGB's point about honesty masking being horrible, that doesn't appear to fit this situation at all so it seems like a pointless rant. This isn't about tact or diplomacy, but about examining your conscience and seeing what benefit there is to you in keeping schtum about something as big as this and how much a deceit is for your sake, not your husband's. As I recall from other posts of yours, he's asked you if there's someone else and you've lied, so he did want to know. As a poster who's scathing of blokes who walk out insisting there's no-one else (and there usually is, as we all know) it would be hypocritical to say different to you.

The other thing about honesty in relationships is that it's not a pick and choose thing. If someone lies to their partner and children like OM's done, it shouldn't be a massive surprise when he lies to you. I'm sorry you're hurting though, but I do think you're idealising this bloke for his 'honesty' even though you know he can lie when it suits him. I'd be a bit more sceptical about what you're being told, if I was you. If he turns out just to be the exit affair you needed to get out of an unhappy marriage, I don't think that would be a bad outcome for you personally. Because in time, you might start a relationship that wasn't founded on lies and trust will be easier.

AnyFucker Tue 19-Feb-13 13:57:49

DA are you ok ?

DiscretionAdvised Tue 19-Feb-13 14:15:31

I do genuinely believe he is being honest with me. He hasn't ended things as such but said that he can't continue a physical relationship with me until he is free to do so. He says he feels the same way about me as always and is looking forward very much to exploring a future with me.

He says his partner is a good mother, her visciousness is towards him. She will ultimately most likely take their daughter back to her country (within europe so he's protected). He believes that whilst it would be awful for him he wouldn't try to stop her. He likes her family and feels that it would ultimately be best for his partner to be with them and what's best for her happiness is also best for his daughter (3). He also knows that she will make it hard for him to see her, at least at first, and he needs to protect himself legally. He feels that it is best for his daughter for him to move out because she is witnessing horrible arguments. He recently described the fear on her face and never wanted to see that again. You see, he has a lot to lose. He said he has felt pressure from me (and of course he would, its been 5 months) but he needs to feel that he is leaving for the right reasons for his DD and not because of me.

I don't idealise him for his honesty. However do respect him for it. I can't relate to it and have been confused by the mixed messages.

AF - I am in a whole big world of pain, as is the om. We are hurting people we know that. However it is true for both of us that we were in relationships that were over. This has given us both the backbone to do what was ultimately inevitable. We have each done it for ourselves and our DPs, as we do genuinely believe that our other halves will be happier with someone else. We have not ended our relationships to be together. Of course we hope that that will happen but it is not with any expectation.

BlueBirdy123 Tue 19-Feb-13 14:19:33

In my case it was simply becuase I didn't know I was the OW. You'd be amazed at how many men (or women for that matter) would lie about relationship status, get someone in hook, line and sinker, then start introducing the 'I'm married but seperated' line. I ran at this point but have never forgiven ex for making me the OW and causing another women so much pain and misery.

AnyFucker Tue 19-Feb-13 14:25:51

Thanks for replying, DA. I am on your side, believe it or not. Your "expectation" is nakedly and overtly obvious all over your posts, I am afraid sad

DiscretionAdvised Tue 19-Feb-13 14:53:53

I agree I certainly do have hope for the future. I have fallen for him head over heels there's no two ways about it. I do believe that we will at least start a normal relationship. So yes you are right, I do have expectation, but then we have started to plans things months in advance. Also surely no one would entertain a relationship unless there is hope for the future? It doesn't mean that there are guarentees. I guess I was trying to make the point that I have not ended my marriage for him. Even if it doesn't work out then it is for the best that my marriage is ended and we are both free to meet someone else.

TBH... I don't know why this has hit me so hard. He has reassured me about ten times today that this is temporary, that he wants to be with me, that he believes we'll get there etc. etc. Fortunaely he seems to deal with my insecurity and need for reassurance rather well, hey, he's had 5 months of it.

ike1 Tue 19-Feb-13 16:10:48

5 months is nothing...my ex husband had an affair for 4 years and still did not leave. I wouldnt be banking on anything if I were you.

badinage Tue 19-Feb-13 16:11:48

If he's got parental responsibility, has he taken legal advice about residence issues?

If so, he would know that his daughter will have the right to see him and that as long as there's a legal agreement in place, her rights would be protected in law.

If he intends to leave in a few weeks time and he hasn't taken legal advice about access and residence, I would be asking why not. I would also be concluding that he had no intention of leaving because good parents don't just up and leave with no assurance in place that their children will have the facility to see them.

DiscretionAdvised Tue 19-Feb-13 16:21:31

Badinage - yes he has

ike1 Tue 19-Feb-13 16:21:50

Yeah In my ex H's case the 4year OW got passed over for a younger version and I busted him for THAT affair....but he had no real intention of leaving before then. None. Oh and I can absolutely promise you ..... he was 'not the type' hahahahaha. Seriously DA get on with your life as a single person and try to enjoy it ...whatever happens, happens...I doubt it will be with HIM though.

ike1 Tue 19-Feb-13 16:31:08

Oh and I watched my best mate get strung along by her bloke....he was leaving his wife definitely afterthe first xmas....then he couldnt due to a family crisis. He left for 2 nights went back for a final 'discussion,' even told his mother in law the marriage was over, never left. That guy has put more plans in place to leave than I can count over, the last 3 years....what a fucking joke and it is still going on.

badinage Tue 19-Feb-13 16:48:11

Good. So why does he think his daughter will have difficulty seeing him then? If he's got an agreement already drawn up, his daughter will have the right to see him, whatever her mother might or might not say. That's not to say there mightn't be anger and bitterness to start with of course, but if he says she's a good mother to the extent that he's happy for her to move countries with his child, she'll put her child's interests first won't she?

DiscretionAdvised Tue 19-Feb-13 20:46:18

No agreements in place but he has looked into his rights. He will ultimately have access, but he knows she won't make it easy.

Some men are bastards without a doubt - but not all. I trust my instincts on this one. Yes I am hurting now but only because my bubble has burst. I do believe that we will at least start a normal relationship. Whether it goes anywhere is another matter. I am cautiously optimistic though. We have talked a little today. He still wants to be with me, just can't lie to see me. He had a deeply religious upbringing and I think that this comes into it

ike1 Tue 19-Feb-13 21:32:45

ok....but some are also very good at playing the game...and I can assure you my ex H never 'appeared' to be a bastard.....

DiscretionAdvised Tue 19-Feb-13 22:22:45

Maybe, but maybe not

badinage Tue 19-Feb-13 22:43:49

DA it's not about his rights though. It's about his daughter's rights; that's such an important distinction and is why, if he's been to see a family lawyer, he would realise that and not be talking about his rights or projecting as yet unmaterialised difficulties.

Doesn't it strike you as odd that his religious upbringing and his suddenly discovered guilt so soon after your husband left home, didn't stop him having an affair in the first place? Yes, he might have felt guilt before, but not to the extent that he put a stop to things. It just feels that now it's got to crunch time and things are looking real and serious, he's pulling back.

It's not that he's a 'bastard' any more than you are for that matter. Acting dishonestly, selfishly and disingenuously? Yes, probably. He would have needed to act that way in order to have an affair after all. And that can get to be a habitual behaviour that isn't just reserved for his current partner. I'm sure you can see parallels for example in what you've told your children about your marriage break-up. Be careful you don't judge his motives as being the same as yours. Actions speak deafeningly louder than words.

DiscretionAdvised Wed 20-Feb-13 08:37:34

I know him, and have done for years, and may have misjudged him. But I don't think so. Yes his actions over the next few weeks will indeed be telling.

He did previously put a stop to things back in November. However the ea continued exactly as before until after Christmas when it has occasionally lapsed. He has struggled with guilt throughout. He says always nothing to do with his dp, more to do with his dd.

kalidanger Wed 20-Feb-13 08:59:32

It's like watching a car crash.

DiscretionAdvised Wed 20-Feb-13 10:21:00

Nope... That would be far less painful and at least I would have an idea about the road to recovery sad

DiscretionAdvised Wed 20-Feb-13 10:24:59

Btw, I have had numerous messages from him over last 24 hr reassuring me that he does want to be with me as soon as he is free to do so. Also that it won't be long now and that we are nearly there. I just don't seem to hear them at the moment. I guess listening to the hurt ladies on here is my only reason for doubt. Every thing I know of him and every instinct tells me to trust him in what he's saying.

jellybeans Wed 20-Feb-13 10:34:27

They rarely seem 'the type'. These are selfish men who put their own desires about their DC's needs and the person they made vows with. Years and years later people will still talk about the affair, future grandkids etc. How embarassing! My FIL has 'moved on' with OW every few years. DH has a collection of step mothers now. He is a 'lovely man' but obviously gets a bit chicken when the relationship becomes 'real life'. Of course OW are great while it is fun and they only present their good bits but move in together and throw in ex wives, step kids etc etc things get stressful! You may swap yourexs '10 annoying things' but get another set of 'annoying things'. Grass is rarely greener etc. If he loved you he would have left..

zavi - no, they aren't all 'young, free and single'. H's OW was married with 2 young kids. So does that make her 'as bad' as him?

Personally I don't give a stuff anymore what her motivation was. I could speculate, and have done. But in the end it doesn't matter. I just wish both she and H had actually thought it through properly - the pain they have caused is immense. For bugger all! Stupid feckers.

asktheaudience Wed 20-Feb-13 13:06:26

My H certainly isn't 'the type'.
When he was at the height of his arsey behaviour, a friend who'd been through similar asked me if he could be having an affair and I said no way! He might be an arse, but he's not a cheat or a liar.

Except that he was a cheat. With married mother of two. And still is a liar.

On the one hand he comes across as genuinely guilt-ridden. But his actions are those of a completely self-absorbed man whose main aim is to protect his own back and get away with not facing up to his failings or the consequences of his actions. He is just very good at manipulating the impression he gives of himself to others.

It's very disorientating. And not just for me but for everyone who knows what has been going on. The fallout has been immense.

Don't be fooled, DA. You and he might both want to believe that it will all work out for you, and he might be saying what you want to hear, but be aware that his guilt might also extend to you now that you've left your husband.

Look at the facts and his actions, or lack of, to decide how genuine this man really is.

DiscretionAdvised Wed 20-Feb-13 15:29:06

Thanks ATA

So if I take a subjective look at the facts and actions I see this.

He cares for me deeply but doesn't love me (same goes for me)
He has felt pressure from me which he hasn't liked. He needs to feel he is leaving for him not me
He has complex guilt emotions that I don't fully understand. Seems to relate to his daughter
He has a complex relationship with his dp. I genuinely think he loathes her but is also scared of her. She has controlled his life in the most ridiculous ways for a long time. He will be in a very bad emitioonal state for the next weeks as the separation goes ahead.
He adores his daughter and knows that this will ultimately change his relationship with her. However he believes that that is better that her growing up seeing a toxic relationship with constant rows.

He loves being with me, he wants to be with me, and believes we may have a future together. However can't make promises.
He feels uncomfortable if he thinks I have expectations of a future together (I don't, but I do have expectations of exploring the possibility of one and at least starting a 'relationship'.

Apologies for typos... Bloody blackberry!

I'm in hospital waiting for a minor op and feeling very alone and insecure. I have spent much of the day crying.

DiscretionAdvised Wed 20-Feb-13 15:34:56

So to answer your question... I believe him to be genuine. So I really should cheer up, back off and give him the space he needs to sort his life out.

Then we can explore a future together.

KirstyWirsty Wed 20-Feb-13 17:18:45

Sorry DA I think you are living in fairytale land and you are going to be brought down to earth with a bump. He's not rushing to be with you .. You are experiencing what mistresses for hundreds of years have felt .. You are there for him .. When you are in hospital he is with his wife

DiscretionAdvised Wed 20-Feb-13 18:10:46

Maybe... But some fairy tales have happy endings. Whilst I appreciate the chances are slim,

I am listening to everyone, I really am. You all have a snapshot of a complicated situation. I am certain that he will leave his dp, I am far from certain that we will end up together. If nothing else we will have both extracted ourselves from unhappy relationships.

Fwiw - he did not know until last night that I was having op today (neither did I). I would hardly expect him to drop everythine. ExDH wouldn't have been here with me today either. He telephoned me the moment I said I was having op - the first time he has ever phoned me as we coomunicate by text/email/in person. .

DA, I've read your threads and know that you are a fantastically strong woman.

Some fairy tales do have happy endings - I think you will too.

But I don't get the impression that it will be with him. I dont think he is good enough for you - still, if he was the push you needed to change an unhappy situation, then some good has come of it.

Good Luck with the op.

badinage Wed 20-Feb-13 18:56:09

I hope your op. goes well DA and that you recuperate well. I can see how wretched you feel and I feel sympathy for anyone who's feeling like that.

I think it must be the hardest thing ever in these relationships to have a grip on the truth/reality. For example he says he wants to leave for him and not for you, but that must be an impossibility for him to separate the two. Realistically, the thoughts in our head and the feelings associated with them don't have demarcation lines like that. I hear everything you say about being surprised that in the initial stages of your other thread you said repeatedly that your marriage was happy and strong before your daughter's accident, but I can't help wondering why if that wasn't the case, you would keep saying it on an anonymous internet forum. Although I've never been in this situation myself, I do know that affairs distort perceptions because I've seen that happen so many times with friends and colleagues.

It must also be so hard to hear someone you trust completely telling you things about his relationship and his partner and having the wisdom to remember that this is just his spin on things; the reality might be completely different. To be able to stand back and consider what his motives might be for exaggerating or lying about how bad his partner is and his deep unhappiness, to a woman who so needs to believe he's a good person who wouldn't have had an affair unless his circumstances were dire and/or his feelings for you, so strong.

Just try to keep in mind that beliefs and truth aren't always the same thing and that while your beliefs about your own marriage have become your truth and so you feel you're representing yourself honestly to the OM, he might be doing the same thing or because he is less invested, could even be cognitively aware that he is actually misrepresenting his situation to fit the image you have of him.

It's a sound protective measure to acknowledge that truth can get distorted to fit what we want to believe; about ourselves and others.

DiscretionAdvised Wed 20-Feb-13 19:52:23

Thanks - op went fine. Just a big groggy! So apologies for typos!

So I was also surprised that on my thread that I said that before the accident my marriage was good. I had been unhappy since dd was born. I guess I just thought that companionship was enough. We have always been good companions. However I have never really fancied him or connected with him intellectually. We have drifted into the next step. 30 min before the accident we had a blazing row and I told him I wanted him out of my life.

You saw how I felt after the accident. I tried desperately to make my marriage work. DH made no attempt. He has done some shitty shitty things to me over the years (e.g. Leaving me pregnant, looking after a toddler on christmas day in a travel lodge so he could go out drinking, and we're not talking late at night). I knew I wanted out and lacked the courage to do it. I remember clearly the moment I decided to do it. I was talking to the om but without any awareness or interest that he would become the om. We talked and talked about our crappy lives and desire to leave. He said then, as he says now he will leave in march. It was his plan then and he has not deviated from it. A couple of days later we kissed for the first time. A week after that I told dh I wanted out. I am not so impulsive to end my marriage after a single kiss with another man.

So the om has never deviated from his plan to leave in march when he will be in a financial position to do so. So whilst I think having the om in the background has given me the strength to go through with it it is not why. My bf in rl who knows and loves dh, but has known me throughout implores me not to go back to dh even if it doesn't work out with om. She says she knows I have never loved him in the right way. I have never felt the butterflies and excitement about seeing dh that I do about the om, not even in the early days.

For the om, yes the two are mixed. As I said he wanted to leave for a long time but made the decision the same time as me: when we were no more than friends. Separation takes time and money. Dh and I were able to live under the same roof through this process, whilst the om knew that with his dp it would be impossible.

We have known each other for years. Admittedly the affair started shortly after the friendship developed but we both stated our intentiods to end our relationships before the affair. It is important to both of us to disentangle the two in our own minds because it puts too much pressure on the relationship iyswim.

I promise that if he hasn't moved out by easter I will walk away.

AnyFucker Wed 20-Feb-13 20:07:36

You don't have to promise us anything. You don't even owe us an explanation. I can't remember if you are having counselling in RL...it would help immensely, I think

DiscretionAdvised Wed 20-Feb-13 21:18:46

Yes I know I should.

I'm promising myself!

DiscretionAdvised Wed 20-Feb-13 21:22:17

An operation for skin tags on my anus was so not what I needed today

AnyFucker Wed 20-Feb-13 21:26:03

Erm, that is something you don't need any day < yowcher >

Have your eyes stopped leaking now ? Just your bum left to dry up ? You poor sod ....

badinage Wed 20-Feb-13 21:31:16

I'm sure sad

Glad you're okay though.

Something that might help psychologically is instead of stating things as facts, get into the habit of saying to yourself 'he says.......' e.g. 'he says he'd wanted to leave for a long time' instead of 'he wanted to leave for a long time'. The first is an indisputable fact, the second is a belief. This is a habit I encouraged in a friend's similar situation and it did seem to make a difference.

I too think counselling might help. I hope you sleep well tonight and that you've got nothing too onerous to deal with tomorrow so you can recuperate.

DiscretionAdvised Wed 20-Feb-13 21:40:43

Just to add another element to my woes I have a cold sore developing under my eyelid. It flairs up when I am run down.

Hey let's list my self pity...
Dh moved out two weeks ago, desperately painful though I know it's the right thing
In love with om who is asking me to wait
Skin tag removed from anus: hurty bottom
And fucking herpes in my eye!
A stack load of work to do tomorrow, three small kids to look after, financial worries, and my Dd's party to organise for sun, room to organise for lodger moving in next week.

Now need to sneak Dd's splint on without waking her!

I made my bed, I shalt lie on it!

DiscretionAdvised Wed 20-Feb-13 21:44:07

Oh and ds1 has vomiting bug!

AnyFucker Wed 20-Feb-13 21:45:22

A small part of your woes, but could you ring your GP and get a prescription for Acyclovir to limit the eye blisters ?

DiscretionAdvised Wed 20-Feb-13 21:49:48

Will see her first thing tomorrow. This is fourth time in three months. Hopefully nip it bud before spreads to my nose. Now eye is swollen sore and itchy.

AnyFucker Thu 21-Feb-13 19:32:57

How is your eye, and your bum, today ?

DiscretionAdvised Thu 21-Feb-13 20:37:02

Went to see doc this morning. Have acyclovir so hopefully will calm down soon. She's put me on low dose for next six months as this is the fourth flair up in three months.

Bum is sore and weeping but that's possibly tmi. Feeling bad as had to parcel out kids today and take it easy. It's half term and I have hardly seen them. They have gone to exdh tonight and for the day tomorrow.

Feeling a bit better today, the om has been very sweet and reassuring. I understand where you are all coming from and I am listening however I trust my instincts that he is for real. If you knew the details of his life then you would be telling him to leave his relationship. I guess he is trying harder than me to do it the right way and put our physical relationship on hold until he is out. Sadly it's me that is left feeling vulnerable and insecure.

AnyFucker Thu 21-Feb-13 20:38:47

Glad you are feeling better physically.

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