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Apologies from the OW

(219 Posts)
Mosman Tue 21-May-13 15:22:24

I know this isn't typically recommended but I thought I'd share something I actually found quite therapeutic.

After I'd calmed down and composed myself somewhat. Having public ally named, shamed and called them all the names under the sun, I emailed the two other women I had contact details for.

I told them the impact they'd had on both me and the children and they both unreservedly apologised.

Given my behaviour they certainly didnt have to, I honestly feel this did me more good than "dignified" silence whichay have given the impression I didn't care or let them continue with their lives thinking they'd got away with it and maybe doing it again to some other poor married woman.

Anyway just my thoughts on the subject.

Cravey Tue 21-May-13 15:25:04

I couldn't do that, simply because I wouldn't be calm enough. I also think it depends on the circumstances. Don't know the back story to this but did these woman know the man was married ? I also don't think it will stop them in the future people do as they choose I would imagine. Glad to hear you found it cathartic though.

Mosman Tue 21-May-13 15:38:07

They both knew he was married with children.
It took three months before I was calm enough believe me and they'd both already had both barrels, several times.
I don't care if they apologised to get me to fuck off either tbh.

Cravey Tue 21-May-13 15:46:53

If you found it helpful then that is fab. I couldn't do it my temper would still be raging now tbh. Sorry to hear you have to go through this. I don't understand the logic of women who go with married men I really don't.

Distrustinggirlnow Tue 21-May-13 19:05:58

I did the same with one of his ow. I was only calm enough because it happened, twice, three years previously. She too apologised. I told her to sort her life out at home ( she was also married) rather than shag another woman's DH.

There was another one, you know the one, the one he met twice but didn't have sex with blush and I'm very often tempted to email her but the stuff that I do know about her leads me to believe she's a proper bitch and I really don't want an argument. However, like u, I'd like her to know what she did, altho I doubt she would give a flying fuck and is probably still advertising on marital affairs for someone to be her playmate.....

Well done you thanks

LalyRawr Tue 21-May-13 19:14:34

To be fair, these women didn't break up your families, your partners did. They didn't betray you, your partners did. They have no loyalty or duty to your families, your partner did and he was the one who screwed up.

I agree with Cravey, I cannot see the attraction in a married man who is clearly lying to his wife, betraying his wedding vows and destroying his family, but harsh as it sounds, that's his call not hers.

I get you're angry, seriously. But maybe your anger would be better directed at the one who actually did wrong by you, your partner.

It was nice it went well for you and that you feel you benefited from it. But I don't think these women had anything to apologise for. Your partner lied, cheated, destroyed your home life. She had sex with a man she found attractive.

kittybiscuits Tue 21-May-13 19:15:20

Thanks for that Mosman! I just penned an email almost two years down the line. smile

Areyoumadorisitme Tue 21-May-13 19:31:44

Lalyrawr - seriously the OW has nothing to apologise for?

Yes I'm with you that 90% of blame must go to the cheating partner but surely it's not ok to just disregard the fact that an attractive man has a wife and family?

An OW who knows the situation is definitely also to blame in the deceit. You can't just go and help yourself to someone else's man!

OrlaKiely Tue 21-May-13 19:38:16

I know someone who wrote a letter to the wife of someone she had an affair with, apologising, and saying she didn't understand why he had done it as she thought the wife was really gorgeous.

The wife got her new bloke to ring her up and tell her never to send them anything again, to fuck off and leave them alone. Which was fair enough I suppose.

LalyRawr Tue 21-May-13 19:40:47

Areyoumad honestly, it's very easy for me to say this as I've fortunately never been in this position and I don't know what I would think/feel if I was.

But I do stand by what I said. The husband has the responsibility to his family, not her. The husband chose to cheat, she didn't make him.

I know this is a very simplistic view and I genuinely don't wish to offend anyone (which I realise I probably already have), but she did not destroy anyone's marriage (other than her own if she is married), that lays purely at the door of the husband.

bbqsummer Tue 21-May-13 19:41:47

You can't just go and help yourself to someone else's man! shock

how on earth old are you? 12?

OrlaKiely Tue 21-May-13 19:43:36

I am kind of with Laly on this tbh, not to suggest that the OW has no part in it but it's not entirely her's not like she could force the man to be with her.

bbqsummer Tue 21-May-13 19:46:29

I mean, good god, when will you ever see that the husbands helped themselves to another woman. He had absolutely no bloody right or permission to go into her pants.

He betrayed his wife and children. He had no respect or regard for any of his immediate or extended family - he only had regard for his knob.

He is, ergo, one big walking knob.

But yes - if it helps you to shit all over the woman whom (presumably wink your wonderful man clearly had enough reverence and affection for her to risk, and shit all over, his current family - then good on you.

Your man sounds like a prize old trout catch.

MorrisZapp Tue 21-May-13 19:49:16

Of course its the cheating partners fault. The OW doesn't owe you anything. It's a sad day if the only way we can ensure marital fidelity is to agree not to shag each others husbands.

I totally understand that in practice, emotions will take over and logic go out the window, and I don't blame anybody for feeling rage at both parties. But really, the only one who owes you an apology is the cheating spouse.

akaWisey Tue 21-May-13 20:39:55

Mosman I've never seen or spoken to the OW whom my ex left me for.

She knew he was married all along. She, I believe helped write the anonymous letter which I received telling me what a bastard he was for cheating on me. She then went out of her way, with ex, to introduce herself to my DS the week after he left me. He was, in addition to being completely shocked, very distressed and he's an adult.

I then heard, from dear ex that she believes me to be a 'weak woman'.

I'd love to pen something which would adequately describe how I feel about her. But there are no words…… so allowed myself the occasional fantasy about what I'd say which would convey what a nasty piece of work I think she is.

She knew exactly what she was doing.

akaWisey Tue 21-May-13 20:41:13

Oh and I posted before I said well done you. smile

Areyoumadorisitme Tue 21-May-13 20:50:57

bbqsummer - haven't been accused o being 12 for many years!!!!

I am 40!, as my message said I do agree it is 90% the cheating partner's fault, just that I also don't think it is acceptable to go for a married man.

springymater Tue 21-May-13 21:34:27

They wouldn't do it if they didn't have someone to do it with.

Mosman Wed 22-May-13 00:31:49

If the OW didn't feel they had anything to apologise for then surely they wouldn't have.

Of course the blame lies with the cheater but it takes two to tango and if every OW in the world said no then maybe there would be less lies and decite and hurt from stupid dalliances and flings.

Bogeyface Wed 22-May-13 01:04:51

Well I'm sorry but the OW does have to carry some of the blame. "My" most recent OW knew that he was married and that we have children including a very young DD (She was his ex GF. Not the first ex he had "reconnected" with). She didn't care. She wanted to have a fling with him and didnt give a toss about the consequences. She initiated the boundary breaking by telling him that he was her one true love and that she never got over him and did he remember X night when they were shagging somewhere. He should have told her to sod off and he didnt, I am disgusted at him for that and it is the reason we are over. But the fact remains that she was going out of her way to try and rekindle their relationship despite knowing he was married.

I sent her a message tacked onto the long (and revoltingly explicit) FB conversation that the twat didnt delete. I asked her if she was proud of herself for cheating on her husband and being part of the break up of my family. She blocked me on her and her husbands FB, and never replied. She defriended my husband and then a few minutes later tried to re-friend him, I havent worked that one out yet! Unfortunately she doesnt know that I have a second log in for a campaign I used to run some years ago, which is how I was able to send the conversation to her husband. Oops........

Someone that selfish deserves to be told exactly what they are and what they have done. If he had lied about being single and she had not known about me and our children then fair enough, I wouldnt blame her at all. But she did and for that reason she must shoulder some of the blame.

My husband cheated on me, but she actively assisted in that betrayal and for that I loathe her.

KittyVonCatsworth Wed 22-May-13 01:14:14

I'm with you on this one bogeyface. If the OW knew he was married she is certainly contributory to the breakdown of the marriage. I accept, that there may have been problems in that marriage, but my internal moral compass with regards to this would have pointed as far in the opposite direction as possible.

Bogeyface Wed 22-May-13 01:20:43

I suppose I can't get my head around any woman wanting a man that she knows is a liar and a cheat! I didnt know otherwise I wouldnt have married him, but she bloody did!

If a man that I knew was married came on to me he would get very very short shrift, and there is nothing on Gods green earth that would induce me to have any kind of relationship with him. I certainly would not go out of my way to seduce (sorry for that word, cant think of another that fits!) a man I knew to be married.

Mosman Wed 22-May-13 03:46:37

The logic applied I guess is that the wife is so fucking awful and she will be treated so much better because she is nicer than the wife and that makes it all ok.
However given that mine apparently was never leaving, never alluded to any sort of relationship his dick must be so fucking huge she simply couldn't help but sit on it being in the same room as him.

Mosman Wed 22-May-13 03:47:27

Can't say that I've ever had that problem though ;-)

ageofgrandillusion Wed 22-May-13 08:57:04

I can understand the anger with the OW - it is perfectly natural.
But let's be clear here, the OW owes you nothing. Plus, you don't - and never will - know what bullshit story the cheating DH spun them. The cheating partner/husband is the one the anger should be directed at. To focus on the OW is, at best, completely missing the point and, at worst, possibly quite deluded.

Mosman Wed 22-May-13 09:02:10

Actually in corresponding with the OW you get a clearer picture - well I certainly did of the whole story - if he lied, you have confirmation of that, if he didnt and you get a genuine apology again that gives you tools to process the whole bloody mess.
In my case I agree it lies 99.9% with him and he readily admits that but it's still a useful excercise to make other people realise the impact of their actions.

Mosman Wed 22-May-13 09:03:44

It's strange actually but I now see them as victims of all this too, where as 3 months ago I'd have done time for them, if it were not for the kids.

Hopingtobehappy Wed 22-May-13 09:04:35

I am with LalyRawr on this one sorry.

The only person doing the betraying is your partner, the OW didnt make any vows to you and TBH they probably only apologised because they were put 'on the spot'

Harsh as it may sound, the OW didnt do any damage to you or your children, your husband did all of that.

Its good that you feel better about this now, but I think you should probably re-driect your anger and hurt at your partner, not the OW.

Mosman Wed 22-May-13 09:08:25

That's like saying people who handle stolen goods aren't culpriable as they didnt burgle the house.

They certainly weren't put on the spot, I'm 10,000 miles away and they know it but as I said if they apologised to get rid of me I don't really care, they aren't say nursing fuzzy memories of their encounter any more either I know that much.

MorrisZapp Wed 22-May-13 09:24:53

Stolen goods are inanimate objects. Husbands are adult humans with free will. This is all veering dangerously close to the outdated sexist notion that men can't be expected to say no if its offered on a plate, and that women must be held responsible for sex taking place.

Mosman Wed 22-May-13 09:35:05

As I think everyone would agree, it takes two baby, to say the OW owes the family nothing I find very offense people as a society cannot just go around doing whatever they want without eventually facing the consequences.

CremeEggThief Wed 22-May-13 09:40:26

I'm glad it worked for you, Mosman. We all deal with this differently.

My strategy is to ignore and give her the message she isn't worth my notice. And she isn't. I'm far superior to her, as I'm not a homewrecking whore who got engaged to a cheating bastard three months after he left his wife and child, and who is so insecure, she constantly rings and texts him when he is having his contact with our DS. Stupid fucking bitch angry.

And I might be older than her, but I'm prettier and thinner smile.

Mosman Wed 22-May-13 09:42:29

Well obviously I'm thinner and prettier, that goes without saying !

CremeEggThief Wed 22-May-13 09:46:52


Just to clarify that I hate and blame him more, as my previous post may read as if all my vitriol is directed at her. I try to be civil to him for the sake of our DS, but I'm mentally stabbing forks through his eyeballs smile.

Bogeyface Wed 22-May-13 10:07:22

I dont buy this "The OW owes you nothing, she didnt cheat on you".

What about basic decency? What about the moral code that most of us try to live by? You know "Do unto others...." and all that? There are far too many OW apologists on MN, "dont blame her, blame him. Dont have a go at her, have a go at him. Dont wreck her life, she doesnt owe you anything." Well I am sorry, but I expect a level of honesty and decency from my fellow human beings and reserve to right to be upfront about what I think of them if I dont get it!

There seems to be this idea that you are letting the side down if you go mad at the OW because it is undignified. Dignified silence seems to be the MN standard, and women who struggle with that are made to feel ashamed.

I dont subscribe to the notion that men are weak creatures that will shag anything with a pulse unless they are kept on a short leash, not at all. But I also dont agree that the OW shouldnt shoulder any blame.

In my case, she knew from the start that he was married with a young family. He didnt lie, he made it clear that he just wanted sex with her and nothing more, she seemed to have invested emotionally and perhaps hoped that once he had experienced her "delights" then he would fall for her too. She was after an exit affair, as that is what she did when she met her (2nd) husband. She didnt care who she hurt or what she destroyed in order to get what she wanted. He cheated on me and for that I hate him but she betrayed me too.

She spent a good amount of the time she was messaging my husband, slagging off her own husband for the affair he had had 2 years previously and how much he had hurt her. That she would knowingly put me through that sickens and disgusts me.

PostBellumBugsy Wed 22-May-13 10:12:15

Apologies change nothing in my book. Words are cheap & easy - actions count for way more.
I have had to deal with the OW for the last 10 years of my life as she went on to marry my ex-H and is my DCs step-mother. I would never dignify any apology she tried to make with my ear-time.

fuzzywuzzy Wed 22-May-13 10:21:43

I never get this, I understand the MN stance is mainly that the cheating husband/wife is the culpable one and the anger should be directed at them.

However, what on earth happened to common decency, yes the married person is the one breaking their vows and the one hurting the family, but the OW/OM is most certainly complicit in absolutely deplorable behaviour.

There are many things in life I would like to do, but I don't due to common human decency and the fact that I would not like to be on the receiving end of such behaviour therefore I would not mete it out to another person myself.

The OW/OM is certainly complicit in the pain, sorry. damage and immense hurt that results from an extra martial affair.

IMO its fair enough to feel white hot fury at the OW/OM, to downplay it or to be disdainful of people who are angry at the other person in the affair is unreasonable. I don't think I've ever met any woman/man who was betrayed by their spouse who feels all sweetness and light towards the OM/OW.

BlueSkySunnyDay Wed 22-May-13 10:38:58

I find it strange how many women on here think its OK to shag a married man because he is the one with the responsibility to treat his wife with respect.

Without a doubt serial adulterers would just find another woman - and for those wives here saying their husbands have had numerous affairs I do wonder why you stick with them.

But I would struggle to like myself if I were involved with someone elses husband

It is about self respect
It is about consideration to others

Saying it is OK to have sex with someone else without considering consequences or morality puts you on a par with a dog on heat in the park. What sets us apart from animals is our ability to weigh up right from wrong

I would have felt physically sick even if I had found out one of my previous partners had been married and not told me, to deliberately get involved with a married man - I would have beaten myself up for years over that.

I agree 90% responsbility to the wife is with the husband 10% with OW. Unless a wife has given permission to the OW, in the case of an open marriage, then 100% of the blame for the OWs bad behavour lays with her.

I am glad you feel better OP and I hope the OW will consider the hurt she can inflict on others in the pursuit of what she wants.

ticktocktammy Wed 22-May-13 10:41:34

have to agree with "ageof"... you don't think pompously "demanding an apology" makes you look like a bitter "scorned woman" and just a bit of a twit?

BlueSkySunnyDay Wed 22-May-13 10:43:36

I agree with fuzzy There are many things in life I would like to do, but I don't due to common human decency

I am sure we have all been tempted, most of us will step back and consider the bigger picture "do I want my mum/dad/kids to know I did this? I dont want to hurt anyone, could I live with this?"

As I tell my children "if you dont want other people to know about it, then you probably shouldnt be doing it!"

BlueSkySunnyDay Wed 22-May-13 10:45:37

Not only are we totally blaming the husband we are also rounding on the op - way to take away her warm and fuzzies guys.

Bogeyface Wed 22-May-13 10:57:44

Where did the OP say she "demanded an apology"? She wrote to the women involved, told them exactly what their part in in the affairs had done to her marriage and they apologised.

Whether they meant it or not isnt relevant, she didnt demand the apology and feels better for letting these women know what they played a part in.

MrsSpagBol Wed 22-May-13 10:58:17

"Saying it is OK to have sex with someone else without considering consequences or morality puts you on a par with a dog on heat in the park. What sets us apart from animals is our ability to weigh up right from wrong"

Could not have said this better.

I wonder if all these people sayin the OW is exempt from ANY responsibility at all have ever had their marriages broken up?

It's quite obvious that the person with the commitment is the DH or whatever, but quite frankly you'd have to be made of granite to not have ANY feelings at all about the OW, and to mock/ridicule people who are trying their best to deal with their hurt and suggest that they are being undignified and as Ticktock said upthread "a twit" is actually quite disturbing to me.

BlueSkySunnyDay Wed 22-May-13 11:02:13

Agree Bogeyface - telling them what impact their part in the affair had on the op and her children is very different from demanding an apology

From what I read on here generally the OW is such a hard faced, entitled f*ck up - I doubt it would really register on her universe anyway, but you can live in hope that respect and decency can be learnt even in adulthood.

Bogeyface Wed 22-May-13 11:04:18

Totally agree with the mocking, its horrible.

"Dont lower yourself to her level"

SHE FUCKED MY HUSBAND! There is NOTHING I could possibly do that would lower me to her level short of physical violence! Sending her an email detailing exactly what I think of her is not "lowering myself", it is calling her on her shitty behaviour that she clearly believed to be consequence free because she isnt the one married to me.

"makes you look like a bitter and scorned woman"

That would be because I am bitter, very bitter indeed. I didnt get a choice over my marriage because 2 selfish people wanted to play hide the sausage (in her car, how romantic). Why should I keep quiet in order to maintain a dignity that I do not feel?

Bogeyface Wed 22-May-13 11:07:47

I wonder if this is anything to do with the fact that some MNers find it very hard to level blame on a woman for anything if there is a man involved. It must be his fault because us women are nice and we dont do things like that. Well news flash, there are some fucking bitches out there who dont give 2 shiny shites about the sisterhood, they dont care about you or you rfamily and they will do whatever it takes to get what they want.

meddie Wed 22-May-13 11:10:29

Of course the OW bears some responsibility. As an adult you have full control over any decisions you make and if you decide to allow a relationship to develop by, making yourself available, seeking attention and situations where you can be with the man, texting him, sending secret messages etc, then you are equally complicit in the break up. He may be the one who is breaking his vows, but no one had her arm up her back and forced her into this situation.

MrsSpagBol Wed 22-May-13 11:10:29

^^ what Bogey said.

And Ticktock

"you don't think pompously "demanding an apology" makes you look like a bitter "scorned woman" and just a bit of a twit?"

and what do you think f**cking someone else's husband, especially if you knew full well he was married, makes the OW look like? hmm

But oh well, it's the wife's job to just shut up and absorb all this hurt, pain, dishonesty and so on, lest she look like a twit.

LovesPeace Wed 22-May-13 11:14:07

I did consider messaging one of the OW that my ex was having romantic Skype conversations with.
'Kissing you deeply' was one phrase that stuck in my head as he actually was so self conscious of his (admittedly terrible) bad breath that he never kissed in RL.
I wanted to thank her - for giving me the opportunity to be rid of the twat, the excuse to tell him to fuck right off guilt free, and to build a much happier life without him. Things are good for me now - promotion offer, new partner who has proposed grin my house is lovely and I'm better off financially.
So thank you Tedy in Plovdiv - I owe you one. wine

siezethenight Wed 22-May-13 11:37:54

Many years ago in my youth, I met a man at work and conducted an affair with him. He had a wife and a son.
I believe absolutely that, that was the single worse thing I have done to anybody - ever. I was 18 so it can be excused by saying youth played a part but I did not excuse myself. It is a vile and horrible thing to do to another person, the hurt you cause, the tears, the pain, the absolute destruction of another person's self esteem. To this day, decades later I feel enormous guilt over my actions back then and responsibility for them.

If you know the man is married then you are as much to blame as the man if you enter into an affair. As a person who did so, I know I have blame no matter what anybody else says about it being his responsibility as he was the married one and/or that I was young and stupid. Its no excuse - I was to blame as much as him.

It was my responsibility to not do it - the man in question had to take responsibility for his actions BUT I had responsibility for mine as well.

The upshot of that affair was I grew up fast. I learned lessons. I would never in a million years want to hurt another person that badly again - it was my fault. Its something that has stayed with me all these years and more so as I had my children - to do that to a woman is bad enough - to do it to a child, to be an integral part of hurting that little child's security is vile, vile and I was then a vile person for doing it. And I do not accept that I had no responsibility, that it was all the man's responsibility. I really do not.

Spaghettio Wed 22-May-13 11:48:57

bogey - I've found that exact attitude on other threads on MN (unrelated to adultery). It's like we couldn't possibly blame a woman as we're all a part of the "sisterhood". Let's blame the men for it all!

I personally know a couple of women who don't give two hoots about other people (male or female) and are in it for themselves. Being a woman has nothing to do with it. It all about being selfish.

CremeEggThief Wed 22-May-13 11:55:12

angry at ticktock.

In my case, I no longer loved my STBXH and couldn't see myself with him forever. He took me for granted and brought out the worst in me. I would have left him when DS was an adult. We both treated each other in ways some people would regard as emotionally abusive and he was also financially abusive to me.

I haven't missed him at all since he left and most of the time, my life is simpler without him and his sulky, lazy ways.

Maybe some people think he has done me a favour, as if we had split up before he had an affair, we would both have had to take responsibilty for why the marriage went wrong. As it is, everyone blames him 100% and I look like a saint smile.

But I will NEVER forgive him for daring to line someone else up before endings

Mosman Wed 22-May-13 11:59:46

You catch more flies with honey than vinegar, I played the OW x 2 like a bloody fiddle, gave them what for and then turned on our common enemy "DH"
It was both informative because if course he'd spun her a load of shit about me and our marriage, but equally removed any justification for her behaviour in her mind by removing those myths.

The fact that neither were hard faced bitches I guess helped, both just normal women in the wrong place at the wrong time.
One said I doubt it's any consolation but I don't think I was anything special to him and actually that's not its worse, so all this hurt and upset was basically for nothing.
That of course all lies completely at his door.

CremeEggThief Wed 22-May-13 12:03:48

Posted too soon.

I will NEVER forgive him for cheating and lying and daring to line up someone else, before ending things in a dignified way with me. And I will never forgive her for being complicit in it all.

WhiteBirdBlueSky Wed 22-May-13 12:07:11

I honestly don't think they owed you an apology. I will prob get flamed for this, but of the wife of the married guy I had slept with (many moons ago) had contacted me then I really wouldn't have taken it personally. He would have cheated on her with someone, if not me then someone else. His family was his responsibility, not mine.

Mosman Wed 22-May-13 12:11:13

They clearly did feel they owed me an apology and thank goodness because I actually don't know what I'd have said if they'd replied fuck off.

"and if every OW in the world said no then maybe there would be less lies and decite and hurt from stupid dalliances and flings"

If everybody respected their own relationships, it would have the same end result.

Stop blaming the OW!

ticktocktammy Wed 22-May-13 12:20:23

cremeegg - honestly speaking in RL lots of people might placate you to your face by going along with "blaming him 100%" but behind your back they probably know that your marriage had failed because of both of you. I have seen so many "toxic divorcees" treated like this and the gossip is pretty vicious once they leave the room.
would it not be better to face up to the fact that both of you were responsible for your marriage breakdown and just say so?... frankly it seems dishonest to stay in a marriage with a man you hate and were planning to dump as much as his planning to dump you and preparing by lining up someone new? marriage vows include to "love and cherish" as well as be faithful. ... I know you might find this view challenging but a more realistic view might help you reconcile yourself and move on.

BlueSkySunnyDay Wed 22-May-13 12:21:47

oh thats ok then whitebird, you did her a favour hmm

siezethenight - thats exactly how I would have felt about myself if I had ever taken up one of the many offers I had from married men over the years. I have so many thoughtless comments I have made to plague myself about that I really dont need anything else - I know I have always behaved the best I can both for me and for other people.

When I was a child I was walking home from school and I can remember seen a wife and OW come face to face - much writing on cars in lipstick and shouting....that was the exact point when I decided hell would freeze over before I ever willingly got involved in anything like that

Bogeyface Wed 22-May-13 12:25:41

Stop blaming the OW!

Why?! I will blame her for her part in it. I blame him for his betrayal, for breaking his promises, for treating our marriage and family like so much trash, for thinking I was a fool etc... but I blame her for assisting in that.

I am a decent person, I consider others feelings when I do anything and I expect other people to act in the same way. If someone will stamp all over me, my marriage and my children in order to get what they want, in this case a quick shag in a car, then I will blame them for my hurt, both of them.

Bogeyface Wed 22-May-13 12:27:58

He would have cheated on her with someone, if not me then someone else. His family was his responsibility, not mine.

But he didnt cheat with "someone", he cheated with YOU. And that makes you partly to blame for the breakdown of his marriage. Even if she didnt find out, even if they stayed together, their marriage will have been damaged by what happened and you were a part of that.

You DO have a responsibility to her, you knew she existed and did it anyway, she didnt get any choice.

CremeEggThief Wed 22-May-13 12:33:19

That is your opinion, tick tock and you're entitled to it. I rarely vent in RL as I have done here, as I like the sympathy that playing the dignified, brave wife brings, so I doubt very much people gossip about me behind my back, and I stand by my view that the person who commits the infidelity is more vilified than the person who took their marriage vows seriously.

I will move on when I am ready to, but until then, I am entitled to feel as bitter, hurt and angry as I want.

fuzzywuzzy Wed 22-May-13 12:40:23

whaaaaat, he'd have cheated on her anyway so it doesnt matter if it was with you!?!?!

Are you have a laugh?!?!?!

If you knowingly fuck a married man you are responsible for your actions, you are responsible for your part in tearing apart a family, you are responsible in causing great pain and misery to an innocent woman and any children of that family you helped break up.

If it were someone else he fucked it would be her fault.

You keep telling yourself it's not your fault, I sincerely and honestly hope it happens to you and the OW is as callous and unfeeling.

optionalExtras Wed 22-May-13 12:41:53

"to be an integral part of hurting that little child's security is vile, vile"

^ this is what I cannot get my head around, when it comes to married-with-kids folk having affairs.

How two married, 35+ adults, both with young children, succeed in convincing themselves that either they are somehow entitled to shag each other and deceive their spouses about it, or that no one will get hurt... it just beggars belief.

Even if they are stupid enough to think their spouse deserves it (and hmm to that), how can they not think of the children?

Mosman Wed 22-May-13 12:42:41

So affairs never happen in a happy marriage ? That's an outdated view and makes the holder sound like a bit of a twit.

ticktocktammy Wed 22-May-13 12:45:53

I don't think affairs ever happy in a happy marriage. why would they?

optionalExtras Wed 22-May-13 12:49:54

ticktock read some of the relationships threads. Plenty of people think their marriage is happy until they find out they're being cheated on.

Mosman Wed 22-May-13 12:54:18

Plenty of people are perfectly happy in their relationship and just want their cake and to eat it.

CremeEggThief Wed 22-May-13 12:55:27

And as I say, even if the marriage is unhappy, nothing excuses one partner's unilateral decision to commit adultery. Nothing.

I know that's a bit of a tangent, but I feel it's worth pointing out.

BlueSkySunnyDay Wed 22-May-13 12:55:48

See I wonder about the morality of someone who thinks its only the married person's responsibility.

Is it a shop's responsibility to ensure that you dont steal from it too?

I dont think only the OW/OM is totally responsible - I can see some of the women with serial offender husbands on here do think that and I disagree wholeheartedly. The responsibility is shared between the person who is married and the OW/OM - both behave selfishly and hurtfully.

As an OW/OM how can you not care that you have derailed another persons life emotionally and financially, maybe causing children to grow up separate from their parent and having to move home and school. Yes the DH/DW is the one with the relationship but you are TOTALLY complicit in the hurt and damage caused. I couldnt live with myself if I did that in the pursuit of something I wanted and I feel very, very sorry to someone who had such a sh*t upbringing and is so damaged as a human being that they have no empathy for other people.

ticktocktammy Wed 22-May-13 12:57:23

yes but often you read these and think the very least of the problems must have been a lack of awareness about the partners emotional state and that's not a happy marriage, that a complete lack of intimacy... also look at some of above. how did it feel for a man to be in a marriage where he must have felt unloved and disrespected and knew his wife was planning to leave him long term. that's got to be incredibly hurtful (EA) for someone and in such a situation I would advise them to leave the relationship. wouldn't you?

Bogeyface Wed 22-May-13 12:58:57


My husbands has claimed all the way down the line that he was happy withe me and didnt want our marriage to be over. He has admitted that he cheated because he is selfish and thought it would get away with having a bit of fun on the side.

Some affairs do happen as a result of having an unhappy marriage, but most dont. If the marraiges were unhappy then the cheater would leave as soon as the affair was making them happier, but they dont. What does that tell you?

My friend just kicked her husband out after finding out he was cheating on her for 2 years. He hasnt gone straight to the OW and is begging my friend to take him back.

MrsCampbellBlack Wed 22-May-13 13:04:02

I am so with you Bogeyface.

I know several people who have been the OW and all of them have felt remorseful and ashamed afterwards.

Of course the person in the relationship is the most at fault. But come on, having an affair with a married man is pretty shoddy behaviour. And I find it totally baffling on here that so many people think that OW are somehow beyond reproach.

ticktocktammy Wed 22-May-13 13:04:24

I know that must also be very hurtful and am sorry to hear that happened to you.

CremeEggThief Wed 22-May-13 13:09:14

Ticktock, he was dishonest and cowardly, as he never wanted to discuss anything or acknowledgets there were any problems. He took me for granted for years, made no effort whatsoever to reignite passion in the marriage and was financially abusive, including running up thousands of pounds of debt behind my back, if you must know. And yet you seem hellbent on feeling sorry for him and thinking he had justification to have an affair? shock

He could have come to me at any time and discussed ending our relationship. Instead, he took the cowardly, selfish decision to line up someone else before coming clean to me.

I am genuinely shocked to find one person who is willing to make excuses for him, as in RL, even his own mother, who has never liked me, is deeply ashamed of what he has done and at least she had the grace to apologise to me for her son's behaviour.

Wossname Wed 22-May-13 13:09:17

Of course an OW owes a wife an apology. If you want to be used as a w*nksock by a devious, cheating man then fine, I'm sure you'll go right ahead and hop on. But dont try and claim the moral high ground and act like you stumbled and fell on to it and shoulder no blame!


I think it's such a hard one to call. If my DH cheated on me I would entirely blame him, but I wouldn't think the OW was a saint. Equally I have been the OW (long, long time ago when I was very young with a much older man who was also my teacher) and know what a totally awful situation that can be too. I just think in situations of infidelity no one involved in the cheating comes off brilliantly- I hold my hands up, I knew he was married, after all, even if I was only 16. That said his wife always held me 100% responsible and I don't think that's fair. For the wives who have been cheated on, blame has to go to the husbands but I can't blame them for being annoyed at the OW. I would be too, now that I am a wife.

OwlLady Wed 22-May-13 13:18:36

my mum found out where the ow worked, turned up and named and shamed her in an open plan office and slapped her round the face [chosked]
she had got past security by pretending she was delivering a parcel.

I must admit I laughed blush this was about 20 odd years ago now mind!

ticktocktammy Wed 22-May-13 13:21:18

may I ask why you did not leave him? it sounds like the marriage was very unhappy for a long time for you and that it would have been better finished much sooner?

MrsCampbellBlack Wed 22-May-13 13:21:22

Somedizzy - you were 16 and he was a teacher. He was wrong on so many levels. I wouldn't call you the OW in that situation, you were a victim.

And his wife was deluded. We had case locally with similar scenario, that teacher is currently in prison.

BlueSkySunnyDay Wed 22-May-13 13:27:31

somedizzy - even if you offered it to that teacher on a plate as the "responsible adult" it was up to him to distance himself from the situation. I think it goes with the territory, teaching that age group, that you will get inappropriate advances from pupils - if a teacher cant trust themselves to say no then they should be teaching a different age group.

Upnotdown Wed 22-May-13 13:30:06

I'll give an example of an evil twat of an OW. I know it was my DPs decision to do what he did but her actions after it was all in the open were unforgivable.

She apologised to me, I thought she was lovely - said she didn't know we were still together. Lied about how long they'd been at it etc..

When she was aware that we were trying again - decided to email my DP, copied me in (how kind) relaying things he'd said to her and asking him if he meant it and finished off with 'come on, you love me, I love you lets give it a go....' signed off, 'forever yours, Weaselteats' (spot the NC). When that didn't work, she sat outside my house, made crank calls and then started posting pics of herself and my DP on the internet. That's the seriously abridged version.

At that point, I let her boss know what she was doing (as she works in the community and was acting like a complete psycho). The twunt then tried to take me to court for defamation knowing the whole time that she couldn't but still wasted six months of my life with threats from her solicitor.

Before anyone defends this piece of shit, she was married when she met my DP, then split then in between me finding out and my DP coming home (he stayed with a friend (definitely) for 6 weeks) she went on holiday with her son and a man she was seeing whom she met whilst seeing DP behind my back. Came back and sent that email...She's now moved in with the unsuspecting guy she went on hols with!

These OW are not all sweetness and innocence. Some really are predatory and enjoy the act of chasing someone else's partner. It makes them feel powerful. I know that sounds pathetic but I've experienced this first hand. And I'm fully aware that my DP is the one to blame but she really was relentless.

I think you've done a great thing Mosman. Why shouldn't we be clear about the effects an affair has? We need to broadcast this stuff more.

What siezethenight says also chimes with me. When I was very young and naive I "fancied" a guy who was married with kids. Nothing ever happened, and I knew it would have been wrong (which didn't stop the fancying feelings). But I didn't REALLY know deep-down HOW wrong it would have been, without the experience I now have of being married with kids. I can remember being that naive and not-knowing, so I think what Mosman did to share the reality of how it has affected her and the kids, is great.

fuzzywuzzy Wed 22-May-13 13:31:26

ticktock, it is so easy to say why did you not leave.

When you've got kids are being emotionally/financially/physically abused its kind of difficult to up sticks and leave.

ex had affairs and I left him, perosnally I'm nto the least bit angry at the OW, she is now living with a very abusive man, she's going to need all the good Karma the universe has to offer as I truly believe she has placed her life in danger by moving in with him.

I didnt leave for a myriad of reasons, if LTB were that easy, there would be very few of the heart rending threadso n relationships that there are presently.

Must be lovely to be you and never had to face a life with a monster or utter destitution with young children in tow and a man with legal rights to said children on your tail.

CremeEggThief Wed 22-May-13 13:36:45

Fair enough, tick tock.

I felt financially trapped as a SAHM, in an area we had moved to his for job originally, but then he took voluntary redundancy and decided to work away. I came home to find him finalising details of his new job, without having discussed anything with me first, and he started it days later. So I was left in an area with no after-school club, family or close friends to help with childcare.

The other reason is I was brought up Catholic, but I was very aware my own parents were unhappy in their marriage. They parted when we were all grown-up. So, wrongly, I believed the best thing for children is for their parents to stay together, even if they are not happy, unless there was physical abuse. I wasn't really aware of emotional or financial abuse until comparatively recently, and we didn't argue or shout at each other, so DS still doesn't seem aware it wasn't a happy marriage.

ticktocktammy Wed 22-May-13 13:56:33

CET that seems like a very honest response. thank you (Making chicken soup in my kitchen btw and I send you a bowl! don't think there is MN icon for chicken soup but there should be...)

MrsC and BlueSky yeah I guess although I do still feel quite guilty that he had a wife (no kids though) and that I shouldn't have done it. That all said though she was also a teacher so you think she would have gotten how not my fault it was!! He isn't in prison I am afraid but that is a whole other thread!!

BlueSkySunnyDay Wed 22-May-13 13:57:19

I can remember working with a young girl who was very open about having been the OW. It sticks in my mind as I remember her saying "It makes me feel really important when he choses to spend time with me instead of her" like it was a direct competition. Even though I was young I can remember thinking how f*cked up she must be and thinking less of her for it.

So many OW convince themselve they are something special - I always think of the quote "When one marries one's mistress, one creates a vacancy".

bleedingheart Wed 22-May-13 14:16:09

Clearly the husbands/partners are the most to blame but there are women as BlueSkySunnyDay refers to, who see it as a competition and want to 'win' the man off the wife.
The OW might not be betraying a relationship with the wife (although they aren't always strangers!) but they are betraying a basic moral guideline surely? Just because someone is looking to have an affair doesn't mean you have to facilitate it.
It's a myth that only the unhappily married cheat. A sense of entitlement, wrong place, wrong time, thrill of the chase etc... All reasons why people can cheat, none of which relate to the marriage.
What I don't understand are the women who are the bit on the side for years, waiting for him to leave. How could you ever trust him after that?

TurnipCake Wed 22-May-13 14:29:16

I don't want or need an apology from the OW. If someone manages to twist logic into thinking it's ok to get involved with someone else's partner, they don't deserve the time of day, let alone my time, I'm not interested in hearing any of their thoughts.

The OW wasn't responsible for me or my relationship, but had part to play in its downfall and she was responsible for her own conduct, which was shoddy at best, duplicitous at worst - rather like my ex, funny that.

Fortunately that's two unpleasant characters out of the dating pool, hurray for everyone else smile

TurnipCake Wed 22-May-13 14:35:40

Thought I should add: a decade ago, I was the OW. I had the same thoughts - I'm not responsible for their relationship, he is, blah blah blah. It's all bullshit. You're involved, in a roundabout - and fairly toxic - way, anything else is cognitive dissonance, and certainly not a healthy way I'd want to lead my life.

Very much agree with this Turnip whether or not you are responsible etc it is seriously toxic and not a good thing to be in proximity of. It didn't do my mental health much good.

curryeater Wed 22-May-13 15:16:05

When I was young I temped a lot and was often propositioned by married men, probably because I kept appearing on the scene as an attractively unfamiliar young person, probably I seemed more insecure and easily impressed than I was, being young and penniless and having no permanent position within the company, or anywhere really, or family nearby. They tended to have houses and wives and children out in the home counties and knew they could get away with doing anything in central london. I was always a bit incredulous and a bit contemptuous and always said no, and they always disappeared with no fuss and asked someone else. I often think of that now when I hear guff about "soul mates" - for every woman who is having an affair with a married man, there are probably 20 who had more self respect and said no. He just kept asking till he found one who would.

Bogeyface Wed 22-May-13 15:20:41

for every woman who is having an affair with a married man, there are probably 20 who had more self respect and said no. He just kept asking till he found one who would.

How true. She isnt special, she is just the only one who would say yes. She says "We are soul mates, he says he wishes he met me first, he promises he will leave her soon" He says "She was the only one who would settle for a quick shag on the way home from work. She'll do for a bit on the side"

PostBellumBugsy Wed 22-May-13 15:27:05

That is just too much of generalisation Bogeyface.

There may be serial adulterers who think that way, but my ex-H and alot of people I know or work with are now with the person they had the affair with - most of them have remarried. Hardly the stuff of quick shags on the way home.

Bogeyface Wed 22-May-13 15:37:46

Yes but how many of them left of their own violition to be with their affair partner? And how many were chucked out on discovery and ended up with the affair partner because they have no other choice?

PostBellumBugsy Wed 22-May-13 15:51:56

Don't know Bogeyface, but I don't think most affairs happen simply because a husband or wife scratched an itch. That is one night stand territory. A full blown affair is usually something more than that.

2 of the guys I work with left their wives after the affair had started, stopped drew breath & then decided to make a go of it with the OW. They are not proud of their actions but neither of them were looking for extra marital sex or a bit on the side either.

Believe me, having been on the wrong side of an affair myself, I'm not looking to justify or condone any kind of affair - but I just think it is way too simplistic to think it is just married men looking to work their way through lists of women until they find the cheap slut who puts out.

Bogeyface Wed 22-May-13 15:54:08

It may be simplistic, but it happens. Sad but true.

There is a reason why my husband picked the 2 exes he did, and thats because (in his own words) "They would play the game".

chipmonkey Wed 22-May-13 16:06:10

Saying that affairs don't happen in happy marriages is implicitly blaming the wife and suggesting that if she were nicer/thinner/more loving that her husband wouldn't have "needed" to cheat. This is wrong on so many levels. And if you are in an unhappy marriage, you have two decent choices. Either stay and work on the marriage, or go.

chipmonkey Wed 22-May-13 16:08:22

PostBellum, your exH may be with the OW now but will he stay faithful to her? I wouldn't want to be with a bloke who had a history of cheating. Ten to one, he'll do it again.

herethereandeverywhere Wed 22-May-13 16:10:06

I'm thankfully not speaking about my own experience but that of a friend.

The OW and the H went to the marital home whilst she was away with her 3 kids (primary age plus baby) visiting family. This OW will have walked past childrens coats, shoes and toys and sat amongst family photos. Then she will have made her way to the bed in which my friend and her H will have slept hundreds of times before to fk my friends H.

How can someone do that? The H's wretched actions are indefensible. But so are the OW's. What sort of vile human being thinks that's okay?

PostBellumBugsy Wed 22-May-13 16:17:30

No idea Chipmonkey. They've been properly together for 8 years now. My boss is with his 2nd wife for 7 years, my ex work colleague is with her 2nd husband for 19 years, my friend is with her 2nd husband for 9 years. I could go on. All of them together following an affair. No idea whether they'll stay faithful or not, but I don't think any of them left their marriages simply becuase they found someone who put out or play the game.

ticktocktammy Wed 22-May-13 16:24:02

PostBB is right. lots of people who made happy marriages with "affair" partners. the "she can have him / he will always be a cheat / its a cheap shag" but they are just simplistic nonsense to make the person saying it feel vindicated/righteous/etc. but the reality is a bit more complex

fuzzywuzzy Wed 22-May-13 18:12:13

But how long was the cheating spouse with his/her husband/wife till they got caught cheating?

Dunno, the cheating partner has already proven he/she will cheat given the opportunity. I'd be surprised if all these resulting relationships were all faithful.

WhiteBirdBlueSky Wed 22-May-13 19:01:52

I just think that the OW/OM in these situations is pretty irrelevant really.

Bogeyface Wed 22-May-13 20:10:51

Have you ever been cheated on Whitebird?

PenelopePortrait Wed 22-May-13 20:14:04

Having an affair is not a criminal offence, it's just human behavior. Far too many people think that another person is their property. It's not the law that you have to stay with one person for the rest of your life.

I think that for some women it's far easier to blame the OW than to accept that a man prefers someone else to you. People marry for all sorts of reasons - true love for both parties is rare - no matter what they say.

Some women delude themselves that they are in a happy marriage.

fuzzywuzzy Wed 22-May-13 20:25:06

It's fair enough that people fall out of love/weren't ever in love with their spouse etc, but the non cheating spouse should have a say in who he/she is having sex with.

The most humiliating experience of my life was sitting in the STD clinic when I'd only ever slept with one man in my life.

I personally do not mind at all if someone leaves me, I'm nobody's jailer, but to be sharing somebody elses STD's with me without my consent pisses me off immensely.
By all means screw who you want, but tell your partner you're doing it, so they can make an informed decision as to the course of their own lives.

BlueSkySunnyDay Wed 22-May-13 20:41:25

Penelope I think those of us with a realistic grasp of life accept that it may not, in fact is statistically unlikely, to last forever. But if you have loved someone, should you feel the relationship has run its course you the decent thing to do is treat your OH with respect - communicate that its over and end the relationship before starting another.

"It's not the law that you have to stay with one person for the rest of your life"

Part of the wedding vows is the phrase "forsaking all others" - you have made an agreement to be faithful, if you dont plan to do that then dont get married

There is no such thing as a normal relationship but its not rocket science to behave with decency.

You have come to strange conclusions about relationships.

WhiteBirdBlueSky Wed 22-May-13 20:46:17


MrsSpagBol Wed 22-May-13 20:55:52

Penelope It's not the law that you have to stay with one person for the rest of your life.

No it's not but if you have made vows to be faithful to someone and then decide that you'd rather not stick to that model, the decent thing is to inform them, end the marriage and do as you please or at least allow them the courtesy of deciding to stay with you or leave you under the new agreement.

Your posts rile me. You come across so hard hearted - are you an OW?
I don't see how you can justify cheating.

Of course people are not owned, that is why they are FREE to leave or end the relationship if they are no longer happy or no longer want to be in an exclusive relationship.

Bogeyface Wed 22-May-13 20:57:36

Penelope There was a thread on MN recently where those who had been cheated on all agreed that it wasnt the sex that hurt as much as the lies. The person they had trusted to keep their word ie be faithful, lied to them. They didnt give us the honesty they promised. If my husband wanted to be with someone else, he should have done the right thing and told me that. Then I would have had all the facts and could have decided if I could stay in an open marriage or not. I didnt get those facts.

And also, he didnt want to leave, he wanted to stay with me and have some fun on the side, that is totally different me thinking I own him or it being law to stay with one person forever.

Bogeyface Wed 22-May-13 20:59:14

Whitebird I didnt think you had. I hope you never find out what its like, but I can tell you that the person who assisted your partner in tearing your world apart is not irrelevant. Whether you agree that they have a responsibility to you on a purely human level or not, it doesnt stop the fact that it hurts, like nothing on earth.

BlueSkySunnyDay Wed 22-May-13 21:00:49

Actually the more I think about it its not the law LOL - thats the sort of thing my 10 year old says - are you young?

superstarheartbreaker Wed 22-May-13 21:06:00

I agree that the OW DOES owe the wife something. What is the point of marriage if we can just walk off with whatever we might seeminly prefer. I expect most of us would prefer Brad Pitt but that's not the point. The point is ; if you shag someone you know to be married then you are a knob. I'm not saying the man isn't as he clearly is but both are as bad imo.

superstarheartbreaker Wed 22-May-13 21:06:39

Also if you want to be free to shag whatever you might prefer then get a divorce. I hate this 'have your cake' mentality.

Bogeyface Wed 22-May-13 21:12:37

I cant help wondering whether the OW defenders are or have been OW themselves, because this isnt about cheating so much as basic common decency. Do as you would be done by. Anyone who can defend a person who knowingly, willingly, and, in some cases deliberately, enter a relationship with another persons spouse clearly missed some lessons in how to be a decent person.

Bogeyface Wed 22-May-13 21:21:07

Sorry, this thread is like a hangnail for me! It hurts but I cant help pulling at it!

Do as you would be done by. THAT is the biggest thing for me with my husbands OW. She knows exactly what it is like to be the wife of a cheating husband, I know she does because I read the messages she sent to my husband about it. She threw her husband out at first and when she took him back went through a lot trying to sort it all out.

Knowing what she felt when she found out about her husbands affair, knowing what it did to her primary age child, knowing the destruction that comes with affairs...she did it anyway. I feel betrayed by her, I really do. I should be able to lean on women like her when I am feeling low about what happened, women who know my pain and can understand. Who can tell me that there is a light at the end of the tunnel whether you stay or split. The reason my friend is opening up to me above her family and other friends is because I have been through it too.

My husband cheated on me, he would have done that anyway I accept that. He is the worlds biggest bastard as far as I am concerned. But for another woman, part of the sisterhood, who knew the pain I would go through, to willingly and deliberately do what she did makes me feel so angry. How dare she? How dare she use my pain to empower herself and get one over on her husband? How dare she tear my family apart because she too weak to leave him without another man to go to?

PenelopePortrait Wed 22-May-13 21:28:35

Everyone's moral compass points to a different point. What decent to one person isn't to another. People have different standards. People trust other people bizarrely - because the only person you can actually trust is yourself. Everyone looks after number one, whether they like to admit it or not.

Making a nice home, having a family etc. are all ways of making yourself happy, looking after yourself. You delude yourself that the person you are with wants these things too but you never actually know. It's not a critisism, it's a fact. That's what human beings do, it makes life easier.

Bogeyface Wed 22-May-13 21:31:41

If you are saying that to think the best of people and to trust that they will treat me in the same way I would treat them is naive then you are right, I think I probably am.

But having a different moral compass to me doesnt mean the OM/W can abdicate themselves of any responsibility for the chaos he/she was part of causing.

TurnipCake Wed 22-May-13 21:32:47

Yikes. That way of thinking reminds me of me about a decade ago.

PenelopePortrait Wed 22-May-13 21:32:54

Part of the sisterhood bogeyface do you really believe that? Women would shaft each other as soon as look at them! Sorry ladies but I would genuinely rather put my trust in a man than a woman. I would rather be in the company of men, I would rather work for a man.

Maybe I'm cynical but I only have to look at the workplace to now that women have no loyalty to each other.

Bogeyface Wed 22-May-13 21:38:35

Yes I do believe that. I believe that, when the shit hits the fan, most (not all, but most) women will be there for each other and support each other.

If you dont like the name "Sisterhood" what about empathy, sympathy, hope, concern, support? All those things that you get on, for example, an MN thread. There is a woman on MN who's husband left her when pregnant for his mistress who was also pregnant. She has now met many of the MNers who have supported her through her pregnancy and the first months of her childs life. She will meet many more soon. That is what I mean, that is the sisterhood to me.

People will shaft each other, of course they will. Men are just as cut throat, they are just more honest about it. Us girls are far more spiteful and coniving!

But if you would rather put your trust in a man than your own sex then that is sad. And I have to say that your comment "I would rather be in the company of men, I would rather work for a man." speaks volumes.

You dont see other women as allies do you? You see them as the competition.

PenelopePortrait Wed 22-May-13 21:44:15

You dont see other women as allies do you? You see them as the competition.

I hadn't thought about it like that and you could well be right. But doesn't that show you (us) that not all women think the same, so OW maybe do not see they have any responsibility at all. They are doing what they want and presume that's what other people also do. They are only responsible for their own actions.

optionalExtras Wed 22-May-13 21:45:30

I wouldn't expect OW to feel any loyalty or sisterhood towards me as a woman. She clearly had a very selfish agenda that excluded absolutely everyone, including her own DC, and I certainly didn't feature on her radar at all. Hell, I didn't feature on my own H's radar!

But the children? I'd have thought they would have caused some kind of crisis of conscience. But no.

PenelopePortrait Wed 22-May-13 21:51:02

Optional I think that you would think of the DC's, as would I but as you point out, she didn't or if she did she justified to herself (somehow).

People are extremely good at justifying their own actions to themselves and some are just as good at justifying them to others, so good that we believe them.

AnitaManeater Wed 22-May-13 21:51:15

I had apology from the OW. She says she doesn't know why she did it as years earlier, she had caught her ex in bed with another woman. Maybe she was looking for sympathy from me by telling me that? It made me feel sick. If you knew the pain you would never inflict it on someone else. My OH is to blame but she was complicit and fully aware of the facts.

She will get her comeuppance.

Bogeyface Wed 22-May-13 21:52:26

Optional I am not sure I expected it, but I was fucking disgusted when I didnt get it, if you know what I mean.

It was the fact that she had been cheated on, her husband and his OW had put her through exactly what she and my husband were putting me through. I think it was the total lack of empathy to galled me. She knew what it would do to me, and then did it anyway.

If I expect sisterhood from any woman it is the woman who knows my pain. A MIL who knows what it is like to have a nightmare MIL and who would go out of her way to be loving and supportive to her DIL. A friend who went through PND being practical and emotional support to the friend who is currently going through it. A woman who survived an abusive relationship helping other abused women to escape.

A woman who had her world torn to pieces by her cheating husband telling her married ex to go fuck himself when he tried it on.

You know?

fuzzywuzzy Wed 22-May-13 21:53:13

Pardon my ignorance but when a couple are in a relationship with children and a house and shared finances, I personally would presume they both want the family life thing nice house etc, it's even more cemented by marriage vows.

Surely if one party did not want that, the couple would not be living together, most certianly not married!

Such a strange mindset.

I personally, do live my life and try and treat people as I would wish to be treated, I value kindness greatly as a human trait. I would never knowingly cause another woman and mother the pain and humiliation I suffered or read about on the boards here. I didn't need to experience it myself to arrive at that mindset either.

Fwiw, twatface didn't want to divorce either, it was rather amusing listening to him ranting on about how the whole divorce was wholly unneccessary in the witness stand in court.

optionalExtras Wed 22-May-13 22:07:22

I understand, bogey.

Definitely different when she has been in those shoes. She could hardly claim naivety...

FWIW, I doubt she much likes herself after what she has done. Heaven knows how she justified that to herself. She might feel that she's got her revenge but at what cost to her self-respect?

Bogeyface Wed 22-May-13 22:24:58

I dont think she hates herself tbh. I think she saw an opportunity to leave her marriage (she had an exit affair with her current husband to leave her first husband) and jumped on it, literally!

She will do it again, of that I have no doubt.

Charbon Thu 23-May-13 00:05:21

Focusing first on what Mosman decided to do in contacting the OW for a moment, this can be a risky but ultimately healing experience for the faithful spouse and I'm very glad that it proved to be so in your case Mosman. Often, the OW or OM in these situations can take on mythical properties in the minds of people who've been hurt and it can be a helpful exercise to communicate in a calm and factual manner because apart from the opportunity it gives to correct any misapprehensions on either side, it also tends to divest the other person of the power s/he is still wielding in one's life.

I would add that very few OW/OM who are now distanced from the infidelitous relationship concerned, espouse this view that they had no responsibility for the hurt caused to themselves or others. However, it is a common and understandable delusion held by people who are at heart selfish and are poor at taking personal responsibility generally, those who have remained in the affair relationship and in those who are on the precipice of an affair or are currently involved in one.

Concentrating on the more general points made, it is an astonishing fallacy that affairs only happen when there is relationship discord. In fact, even if there is relationship discord (as there will always be at some point in a marriage) this will never, ever be the only reason an affair happens.

I really liked an an analogy a poster once shared on a Mumsnet thread, which had come directly from her personal therapist. The therapist said that when a vehicle is involved in a serious collision, an investigation takes place to reconstruct what happened. In the vast majority of collisions, driver error is the primary cause. However, even when this has been proved to be indisputably the case, it sometimes emerges that one of the vehicles had an unrelated fault, such as a balding tyre. In some collisions, that balding tyre might have been a contributory factor, in others not at all. But it would be as iniquitous to say that the presence of a faulty tyre was the sole cause of the collision as it would be to say that an unsatisfactory relationship is the sole cause of an affair. And in some collisions, the tyre issue wouldn't have been a factor at all, just as a normal, unexceptional relationship is very often not the determining factor in whether an affair will occur.

The ultimate determining factor resides with the individual who chooses to have an affair or to become involved in a triangular relationship.

The starting point in all affairs is what life coping mechanisms an individual possesses. These vary enormously from person to person but simplistically, whereas an emotionally healthy person will boost their life esteem through healthy, slow-releasing boosts such as those derived from partners, friends, family, their careers or their talents - an addictive or egotistical personality will reach for 'quick fixes' such as affairs, gambling, substance misuse or a sex industry experience. Likewise people who are depressed, bereaved or meeting a life crisis will often choose an affair as a quick 'high'. The quality of those very differently motivated individuals' sanctioned relationship can have very little bearing on their choice of coping mechanism. The common denominator however is that those individuals (sometimes only temporarily) have poorly functioning coping mechanisms.

Mosman Thu 23-May-13 04:27:04

An excellent post.

I can honestly say I've gone from wanting to boil their heads to almost apologising for his behaviour (not quite though) - maybe I should have seen that from day one but I was told they knew all about me and the children - which they did - but accurate picture, not on your nelly.
They were naive to believe his version of events but equally neither were mothers so no experience to draw upon that would have every Mn'er's bull shit radar glowing.

I'm glad I made contact, that's all I can say to anyone else considering a similar idea, I'm also glad I waited a while though.

DottyboutDots Thu 23-May-13 10:28:01

I might be the only one but who thinks this but infidelity doesn't bother me that much. The only reason that i wouldn't do it is in case it bothers my DH enough to leave me over. If he was unfaithful and discreet it genuinely wouldn't bother me, I don't feel competition with other women for him. Now, if he wanted to leave the marriage, i'd be hacked off as we are a committed unit with our precious children and lovely lives.

In RL, I've known a few adulterers but they don't get scorned, people remain their friends. I'm not sure why but have an inkling that people like to have sex with others and are inherently selfish and other people understand that.

ticktocktammy Thu 23-May-13 10:51:03

I also know couples that are "french" and turn the blind eye to their partners wanderings. not sure it would be for me but most seem to separate out the sex and their happy family live and friendship with DP.
also most people know there are two sides to the story when someone has been unfaithful and have seen the unhappy marriages behind acrimonious breakups. as I said earlier, the "toxic divorcee" does not get to hear whats said once she leaves the room...
and another comment: why does all chatter about the "sisterhood" not relate to the OW? seems OPs feel its ok to dehumanise another woman whilst calling for women to have solidarity but the solidarity only extends to virgins brides ("I only had sex with one man and now am in a STD clinic" how offensive is this thinking) but not the whores? how 1950 and deeply oppressive is that thinking about women and sexuality...

Mosman Thu 23-May-13 10:56:58

Dehumanise her ? No he did that, in contacting her and pitying a voice to the photograph and the story it was quite the opposite as I said almost felt sorry for her.

As for turning the other cheek all very well providing everyone knows where they stand, not ok if one party is being monogamous.

ticktocktammy Thu 23-May-13 11:02:58

Mosman - I actually thought the letter idea quite good if the idea was to have a genuine exchange of experiences. that can be a very healing thing. I see from your many MN threads that your story is quite complicated too.
but some of the other comments here are real women-hating stuff that is really offensive and hypocritical where women are then also calling for female solidarity.

Bogeyface Thu 23-May-13 11:08:02

Why is it women hating to expect the OW (or man come to that) to stand up and take responsibility for her actions? Why is it women hating to expect the same level of decency, empathy and compassion I show other women?

I didnt say that the sisterhood doesnt extend to them, they removed themselves from it by their actions.

ticktocktammy Thu 23-May-13 11:12:04

well bogeyface, that confirms exactly the point I was making!

Bogeyface Thu 23-May-13 11:14:25

Does it? I dont think so.

If you treat someone like shit then you cannot be called a friend to them. A woman who treats another woman like shit is not a sister to her, surely?

MrsSpagBol Thu 23-May-13 11:23:10

Ticktock I can't comprehend the point that you are trying to argue?

OW who go against the basic moral code of sisterhood ie DO NOT FUCK SOMEONE ELSE'S HUSBAND, must now be included in the very same sisterhood or else we are apparently "women hating" and "deeply oppressing"?


If you want to be in "the sisterhood" then don't go around destroying lives of the very same "sisters" you want to be in "the sisterhood" with - surely this is obvious?

You want respect for the OW and sympathy for them but it's ok for them to treat everyone else like sh*t?!

ticktocktammy Thu 23-May-13 11:32:02

... the "basic moral code of the sisterhood"??? and those "who go against the basic moral code"... honestly, how pompous is this "sh*t"

Mosman Thu 23-May-13 11:43:20

Isn't it just human decency I mean some men fuck other women's husbands too and I hold them in the same esteem.
Somebody said there's a special place in hell for women who do other women over - that gives me a nice fluffy feeling sometimes - and not even related to all this shite.

Bogeyface Thu 23-May-13 11:44:38

Some of us believe very strongly in the sisterhood, and that yes, there is a basic moral code that we should try to live by.

That you can't see that is very sad.

MrsSpagBol Thu 23-May-13 12:00:36

Ticktock YOU are pompous!

"seems OPs feel its ok to dehumanise another woman whilst calling for women to have solidarity but the solidarity only extends to virgins brides ("I only had sex with one man and now am in a STD clinic" how offensive is this thinking) but not the whores? how 1950 and deeply oppressive is that thinking about women and sexuality..."

This thread was started by someone who thought she was in a monogamous relationship and found out she was being lied to; NOT by someone who was in an "open relationship" so what exactly do you expect?

if you don't subscribe to the base principle that someone in a monogamous r'ship should not be cheating then why are you commenting on this thread?

Start your own thread about open r'ships or similar, but stop p*ssing on someone else's pain. It's pathetic and disrespectful.

You are entitled to your views, but the OP is obv firmly in one camp and you in another so just go and state your views elsewhere!

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Thu 23-May-13 12:04:00

I think there are an awful lot of platitudes spoken around the 'wrath of infidelity'. 'Special place in hell'? Really? Who thinks this stuff up? It does nothing more than give a false sense of righteousness. Same with 'comeuppance, karma' and the other nonsense. 'Basic moral code of sisterhood' is ridiculous. Everybody works to their own code. An OW/OM may have a different code in terms of sanctity of marriage but you only have to read threads on MN to see that the concept of marriage is deemed outdated and pointless by many. We should take some responsibility for that slide maybe?

I wouldn't have asked for an apology myself because if you have to ask for it, it's not worth having. That goes for anything really, in my book anyway.

I don't believe that there is an OW/OM out there who seriously and consciously weighs up the risks before the act. I believe that they almost 'sleepwalk' into it; they act and believe that they will not be caught. Many are not and the husbands/wives/children are unaware.

I too dislike the 'women hating' tone. It takes two to tango. Most people are inherently selfish (not just OW/OM). There is no 'league table' of decency and anybody who thinks there is is deluding themselves. I have a friend who has just got out of a horrendous affair; she got badly hurt. She's a kind and decent person and whilst her actions in conducting this affair were questionable - and wrong - that changes nothing of her as a person.

I see the judgemental opinions spouted on this board and others and wonder when the decency so lauded, will actually 'kick in'?

People do wrong things, they make mistakes. Hopefully, they don't repeat them and learn from what they did without the need to heap coals on their heads.

PostBellumBugsy Thu 23-May-13 12:09:32

Here, here LyingWitch.

DottyboutDots Thu 23-May-13 12:21:38

With you there, LyingWitch.

RatRatRat Thu 23-May-13 12:24:43

I know two people, both married with children who live almost across the road from each other who have been having an affair for years. They used to sleep together before they met their respective partners, had a break of a few years while they did the marriage/children thing and then carried on like nothing happened.

Nobody else knows as far as I'm aware although I am a friend of hers and only vaguely of his, so I'm not sure if his friends know. They don't want to be together, didn't even when younger and single, I just don't know what it is with them. I try not to think about this situation, I wish I didn't know.

MrsSpagBol Thu 23-May-13 12:27:30

"but you only have to read threads on MN to see that the concept of marriage is deemed outdated and pointless by many"

Fair and fine but why stay in one then, without informing your partner that this is now /has always been, your view?

"People do wrong things, they make mistakes. Hopefully, they don't repeat them and learn from what they did without the need to heap coals on their heads"

Of course they do. In all other situations in life, when you make a mistake and are aware of it, you apologise and/or try to make amends.
It's only on MN, and if you are an OW, that you are somehow exempted from this, per ticktock, lyingwitch et al

PostBellumBugsy Thu 23-May-13 12:32:56

MrsSpagBol - how do you see the OW making amends for the affair?

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Thu 23-May-13 12:37:04

Don't lump me in, please, MrsSpagBol. I am not at all in favour of affairs. I don't see marriage as outdated either, I'm married. If my husband had an affair, our marriage would probably end. I like to think that I wouldn't negate him as a person nor see the whole of our life together as some sort of sham. It wouldn't have been. Easy to say, difficult to do. I don't know how I would react but I would consider myself to have really missed the point if I were to start salivating over the platitudes that would make me an object of pity and more importantly, ultimately hold me back from recovery.

What I don't like is seeing women villified - or just people in general really - for their conduct in marriage or relationships. I despise the silly comments that 'do the rounds', ie. 'once a cheater', 'they'll never be happy and don't deserve to be', 'they've wrecked the childrens' lives'... ad nauseum. I can understand why a partner who has been cheated on is bitter, perfectly understandable, but to believe this tripe and then not see it come to pass (because it IS tripe), is damaging in itself - to everybody concerned, including the children of the partners concerned.

Where a mistake is made and you become aware of it - and make the apology of your own volition - it's exactly the right thing to do. To make a coerced apology is pointless and there is a distinct (and not at all subtle) difference.

MrsSpagBol Thu 23-May-13 12:39:49

Very good question Post. Quite difficult to say as very much depends on the circs.

For example, if the OW did not know the person was married, maybe she could make the decision to not continue the affair, ask the cheater to conclude his current r'ship and then perhaps continue.

If the OW knew the person was married, decided to continue, and then received an email from an obviously hurt woman, she could perhaps respond - with compassion if she feels it, without rudeness if she doesn't?

I don't necessarily think she can do anything to cover over the hurt caused entirely.

I am also not 100% sure that I personally would seek an apology.

I guess the the point I have been trying to argue all along is that the OP, after much consideration, decided to seek an apology. She then received one, which she found healing/beneficial in some way.

Then you and other posters come on and basically piss on her, ranging from Tick tock saying she is a "bit of a twit" etc and then you now saying "a lot of people think marriage is outdated" blah blah.

I guess I don't understand why, when someone is clearly hurt, you feel the need to come and heap, to quote your phrase "more coals" on their hurt.

The OP never prescribed this method for anyone else, she merely detailed something that had worked for her. Then all you lot, come on her thread, and start saying how it's so mean that the OW is excluded from the sisterhood. I find it repulsive. You are entitled to your views, but if you are about common decency, is this the thread to share them on?

MrsSpagBol Thu 23-May-13 12:44:26


"I don't know how I would react but I would consider myself to have really missed the point if I were to start salivating over the platitudes that would make me an object of pity and more importantly, ultimately hold me back from recovery."

Well that's your view. The OP didn't ask you how you would act. Nor did she prescribe her actions as what you should do if you found yourself in the same position.
She described how she felt, and how she acted.
I don't think it's any less judgemental for you to come on here and describe that as "TRIPE" - you are not in her shoes. You've never been, and you never will be.

So how is it right for you to villify her?

Bogeyface Thu 23-May-13 12:46:38

I would just like to point out, again, that the OP did not seek an apology. She wrote to the OW to tell them exactly what their part in her husbands affair did to her and her family, they then apologised. At no point was it coerced, the emails could safely have been ignored by the OW if they chose to.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Thu 23-May-13 12:49:02

My comments haven't been in respect of Mosman's posts but in response to some of the others that have found their way onto this thread. I don't think it is helpful to perpetuate the myths and pass on the trite statements as if they actually meant something. Singularly unhelpful and actually, I'm repulsed by those because they do real harm.

OP did exactly the right thing for her; I'm glad that she derived something positive from it and can now move forward with her life.

Nobody is being rude on this thread, MrsSpagBol, please stop making it about 'them and us'... and you are not the arbiter of 'common decency' either.

ticktocktammy Thu 23-May-13 12:51:10

I think when you post on MN you are making yourself open to being challenged or disagreed with. that's it value - to hear others views and perspectives but lets face it, you might not like them!... its very clear that many OPs here don't agree (and find offensive in the women hating tones) a lot of your views expressed here. I think you are entitled to express your views on MN but so I am I... but if you cant stand the heat, get out of the kitchen

MrsSpagBol Thu 23-May-13 12:52:36


"please stop making it about 'them and us'"

"and you are not the arbiter of 'common decency' "


Really have no idea what you are on about. Have not used those words, or suggested that, in any of my posts.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Thu 23-May-13 12:54:53

MrsSpagBol... I'm not villifying the OP, not at all. Just wanted to make that clear. My view of platitudes is that they are just that; and useless to boot. You don't know what experiences I have had anymore than you know more than what OP has posted about.

Strictly speaking, OP hasn't asked for anybody's views yet here they all are. All I see here are differing views. It's a chatboard, albeit a more serious one and nobody is disparaging the OP at all that I can see and this thread doesn't need a 'custodian'.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Thu 23-May-13 13:00:06

MrsSpagBol... "Then all you lot, come on her thread.... It's only on MN, and if you are an OW, that you are somehow exempted from this, per ticktock, lyingwitch et al". Clear enough for you?

Bogeyface... Noted that OP didn't ask for one although I think it was solicited still; I was talking in abstract really about coerced apologies as I don't see their value.

MrsSpagBol Thu 23-May-13 13:00:30

"All I see here are differing views."

So you can post, but me, not so much?


LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Thu 23-May-13 13:06:24

You've been the one telling people to stop posting here, MrsSpagBol, nobody else did that.

MrsSpagBol Thu 23-May-13 13:11:48

Oh my goodness Lying, seriously? I did not tell anyone to stop posting. I responded to the posts about "lauded decency" saying I didn't see how it could be impressed upon people to be decent to the OW, when I felt it was being cruel and ergo "indecent" to the OP.

That is not telling anyone to stop posting, it's my view - phrased as a question - about how to reconcile those two viewpoints.

You just seem to have an issue with me personally. You are not actually addressing my points, just personalising your attacks on me. Quite strange.

ticktocktammy Thu 23-May-13 13:14:05

I agree with Lying - what she is saying is fair and reasonable

MrsSpagBol Thu 23-May-13 13:15:37

I disagree with Lying and Ticktock - I find what they have said unreasonable.


SkylerWhite Thu 23-May-13 13:18:09


'You are entitled to your views, but the OP is obv firmly in one camp and you in another so just go and state your views elsewhere!'

MrsSpagBol Thu 23-May-13 13:23:43

Skyler please quote in such a way as to give complete context, it's a bit pointless to single out one particular line. It might even be better to quote the conversation in it's entirety so that it can be clear what I was responding to.

Otherwise you may as well pick out any random line from any of the 166 posts on this thread.

ticktocktammy Thu 23-May-13 13:24:48

also some of the MNers on this thread are very active on MN and regularly post really nasty attacks on OPs on topics such as where OPs are having affairs or OPs whose partners have affairs and where the advise is always "dump the bastard" and similar.
obviously "the moral code of the sisterhood" excludes "live by the sword, die by the sword"....

MrsSpagBol Thu 23-May-13 13:26:09

Off out now, but Lying Ticktock and Skyler - I note your views. I still don't agree but will be leaving it there now.

My intention was to state my point of view in the forum of a discussion - if I've posted anything against this, accept my apologies.

DottyboutDots Thu 23-May-13 13:26:29

It seems to be in context to me.

ticktocktammy Thu 23-May-13 13:28:48

looks like someone left the kitchen...

Bogeyface Thu 23-May-13 13:32:13

looks like someone left the kitchen...

Wow. You must be so proud.

I don't blame the OW, and I don't hate her, but I did email her, and yes, it was cathartic. I just said that I was sorry things had ended this way as I loved my husband very much, but if he wanted to leave I wouldn't stand in his way and I was walking away. I wished her luck, but warned her it wouldn't end well. It didn't, he treated her very badly, and everything I had warned her about happened. I hope she has learnt from the experience that other people's husbands come with a lot of baggage and are not a free meal ticket.

PostBellumBugsy Thu 23-May-13 14:12:11

MrsSpagBol - Mosman posted presumably because she wanted responses or comments. This is MN afterall. I have direct experience, so think I have a valid point of view. I'm not having a go at Mosman, I'm just expressing my own point of view and relating my own experience.

I personally cannot think of a single thing my ex-husband's current wife, the OW, in my particular case could do to make amends and no apology she ever made could even come close to meaning anything when she knew he was married and had children. If you think there are words that adequately cover assisting in the downfall of a marriage and break up of a family, let me know what they might be. My H's own apologies were also pointless - because he wouldn't have been saying them unless he'd been found out. He had to show me he was sorry by trying to make our marriage work & he just couldn't do that. So even though he said he was so desperately sorry, told me he loved me, said he wanted to be with me and the DCs - it mean't nothing because he couldn't actually do it.

I had always thought actions counted more than words, but the actions of ex-H made me really believe it.

Charbon Thu 23-May-13 14:35:33

I'm really glad that this experience helped you Mosman and I'd like to thank you for sharing it with others on Mumsnet. I regret that some posters have felt the need to criticise your actions in such cruel and insulting terms occasionally, but I think the thing that's most helpful to take from this experience is that although this thread might suggest otherwise, not all OW feel completely irresponsible for their part in events and not all OW lack empathy or have difficulty relating to women. From their point of view, your actions will probably have helped them enormously too.

Most logical people understand that if someone is engaged in a joint enterprise that will cause harm and pain to others, there is some responsibility to bear. It is a principle of law that no-one has difficulty understanding, except (somewhat illogically) when it comes to this thorny issue. Taking that responsibility or at least one's own share of it is the first step to healing and forgiving oneself, but being given the opportunity to convey that to a person who was harmed by one's actions and being given the platform to make an unreserved apology can be extraordinarily helpful.

My advice to you is to continue to be willing to share positive experiences like this because they will help many women in the same situation. Regarding the irrelevant and hurtful responses, the most constructive way of dealing with them is to consider what agenda a person might have before posting. Before that vital stage of taking personal responsibility for joint enterprise, it's common to have defence mechanisms in place to excuse either past or current behaviour, or to maintain hopes and beliefs about a current relationship. The women you corresponded with are hopefully further along the line and with luck, you will all have learnt something and can now start healing.

MrsSpagBol Thu 23-May-13 14:36:08

Post thanks for your post.

I appreciate you explaining your point of view, and I accept your experiences. I hope you can see that I also have mine, which I don't necessarily want to detail.

I was responding mainly to the idea that seeking or wanting an apology was in someway undignified or made one out to be weal or bitter or a twit.

In my view, there are many responses to indidelity, and what os valid or helpful to one may or may not be to another. So for you I completely accept that for you an apology might be unhelpful, but for me and the situation I have in mind, the OW's apology would not have fixed everything, but it would have been beneficial.

Regardless, I am glad you found peace in your situation.

MrsSpagBol Thu 23-May-13 14:37:05



Sorry for typos.

PostBellumBugsy Thu 23-May-13 15:04:38

Charbon, what is an unreserved apology? Not trying to be obtuse - but what does that mean to you?

Spagbol, no worries and it is a real shame that some posters felt the need to be rude or insulting - never helpful.

Looksgoodingravy Thu 23-May-13 16:37:46

Mosman, I'm totally supportive of why you chose to contact the OW and it's great you had a positive outcome from such a hurtful betrayal.

I too contact the o(women)! I'm glad I did, I remained dignified and felt such a strong urge to make them aware that I knew everything. That I wasn't just a 'profile picture', I was a person with feelings. They knew about me and now I knew about them.

I didn't get dignified responses but then they showed themselves to be pretty ugly on the inside. I'm glad though that I stood firm and didn't lower myself to the insults.

We're all different in the way we react to traumatic events and being betrayed is pretty high up there with one of the hardest things I've gone through. You just don't know how you'll react to these events until it happens to you.

The ow knew about me, they had seen pictures of us as a family, seen pictures of my ds. Dp is of course the guilty party I'm not denying that but the OW had a big part to play too, they weren't forced to make a bad decision why shouldn't the betrayed partner let them know exactly how much hurt has been caused!im glad I made them feel highly uncomfortable and hopefully it gave them the foresight never to go down that path again smile

Charbon Thu 23-May-13 16:43:53

PostBellum - One that doesn't have a 'but' or conditions attached to it.

E.g. 'I want to apologise for the part I played in the affair and to say I am deeply sorry for the pain it caused you. I do not expect you to forgive me for my actions and this apology is therefore not asking for that. However I wanted you to know that I sincerely regret my actions.'

Not 'I am sorry for my actions, but.....he told me your marriage was over/I loved him/he said he loved me/I was in an unhappy marriage. Please accept this apology.'

That's not to say that if there is an accompanying dialogue or further correspondence, it wouldn't be helpful to truthfully answer any questions a spouse asks. But in this case, the agenda for that should be set by the spouse.

ashamedgay Thu 23-May-13 19:10:07

I apologised to the GF of the guy I had an affair with, had a lot of abuse from her which I totally was in line for. I answered a few of her questions she wanted to know regarding me and him. She has turned into a bit of a stalker now however but suppose that's karma getting me back for the affair

PostBellumBugsy Fri 24-May-13 10:32:32

Thanks Charbon. I still can't help thinking "so what"? So what that you are sorry - what good does your sorry do me or my children?

Don't know. Just seems like an opportunity for the person or people in the wrong to lessen their guilt by saying sorry, when it doesn't really achieve anything.

I'm probably missing something or I'm just a really hard nosed cow these days. grin

Bogeyface Fri 24-May-13 10:52:07

Just seems like an opportunity for the person or people in the wrong to lessen their guilt by saying sorry

That is a good point. The affair partner can say to themselves "Well yes, I did have an affair with him but I apologised to his wife, so I am still a good person". A truly decent person wouldnt need to apologise as they wouldnt have gone there in the first place.

Charbon Fri 24-May-13 11:21:07

In my experience, how an apology is received is often dependent on the timing of it and the 'life outcome' for the recipient. If the faithful partner is now in a better place (either within her marriage or in life generally) there is more receptiveness. It also depends on whether a person believes the apology is sincerely made or is just a guilt-salving exercise. This is why the apology-giver needs to be so careful about the words used and their motivation for saying them.

I don't think that bad behaviour necessarily defines a person though. Just as I've known men and women who weren't 'bad people' to have affairs, the same has applied to OW and OM I've met. What defines people after an experience like this is what they've learnt about it and the efforts they make to change their attitudes and behaviour. I think someone who's got the guts to make an apology like this is unlikely to be a bad person who's going to make the same mistake twice. That's very different to the sort of person who doesn't think any of it was her responsibility in the first place and has therefore got nothing to apologise for.

Mosman Fri 24-May-13 12:36:06

"so what"? So what that you are sorry - what good does your sorry do me or my children?

You're right but I kind of felt it was better than thinking of them sat there enjoying cosy memories of their time together.

Charbon Fri 24-May-13 14:19:26

Mosman I think that's right. One of the usual coping mechanisms for OW and OM is to dehumanise their lovers' partners. Some choose to vilify and reduce them and for others, it is safer not to think about them at all. When OW and OM don't get to see any of the pain and destruction that has been caused to a real, sentient human being who has been hurt, the affair itself still has an unreal quality to it. Having to see that visceral pain in another person can be a real wake-up call and invokes a realisation that this faceless person who was hitherto filed away in the 'too difficult' tray is real and that there have been genuine consequences. I understand entirely why it was important to you that they were aware of that and why that has been helpful to you.

MrsSpagBol Fri 24-May-13 14:33:59

Agree with this totally Charbon
" I think someone who's got the guts to make an apology like this is unlikely to be a bad person who's going to make the same mistake twice. That's very different to the sort of person who doesn't think any of it was her responsibility in the first place and has therefore got nothing to apologise for."

Looksgoodingravy Fri 24-May-13 14:41:18

Charbon, you put into words so perfectly the way I felt and the reasons why I contacted the OW.

Mosman, I'm too hoping that this has soiled the OW 'cosy' image of their time spent with dp.

Definately named changed for this one for obvious reasons.

In my opinion the OW should never be contacted, simply because she doesn't care about the DW. She doesn't want to know how bad you feel, how lost you are, she only thinks about herself.

I was the OW and had phone calls from the DW a few times demanding answers from me that I couldn't possibly give her. It must have made it 10 times worse for her having to speak to me, and I will never understand why she done it and what she gained from it, if anything at all. All I could say to her was, ask your DH why he done it, after I asked that she never contacted me again.

Mosman Mon 27-May-13 01:00:41

Correction - you didn't care about the wife, you aren't speaking for every hoe OW, the fact that you didn't apologise when presented with the opportunity speaks volumes about you.

Offred Mon 27-May-13 10:28:39

The thing is people have different values. Not everybody thinks cheating is that bad (before you leap on me check my previous posting history where I have been vocal about cheating being cowardly and wrong). Where I'm going with this is basically it isn't required that people outside your marriage or relationship feel the same way about the sanctity of your monogamy agreement. You can't blame ow/om for that reason. Perhaps they aren't sorry, perhaps they don't feel the same about your marriage or about monogamy and actually, I'm guessing unlike some of you, I think that is a valid way to feel. I like diversity. Blaming ow/om just seems a little like "so and so told me tooooo!" And lets the one who is really to blame off the hook, I think it often has it's roots in wishful thinking born when your world is crashing down as a result of the one person you thought you could trust and rely on turning out to be a shit and so it is understandable but I still think misguided. The relationship is conducted by agreement between partners not between all society, how can people outside the marriage even know what you've agreed to?

ZZZenagain Mon 27-May-13 10:34:53

if it helped you, then it was fine. I have my doubts about the sincerity of any apology worth having tbh. If the OW really thought it was wrong, she wouldn't have done it in the first place IMO, everyone knows what hurt you can cause by being the OW. No one goes in blind unless they genuinely did not know the man was in another relationship

Bogeyface Mon 27-May-13 11:49:12

Offred I dont think that anyone is letting the cheating partner off the hook by saying that the affair partner had a part to play in the hurt caused to the faitherful partner. And as ZZZ said, unless the OW/OW truly didnt know that their new BF/GF was married, they cant say that they didnt know what they were getting into.

You say that no one outside of your marriage knows what you have agreed to, but thats not true. The vows contain the promise to be faithful to each other so if you know someone to be married then you know that they promised to not have affairs.

Bogeyface Mon 27-May-13 11:49:54

faitherful? Dont know where that came from grin


For that I feel you should apologise.

What apology I should have gave would not have made things any better. What should I have apologised for exactly?

badinage Mon 27-May-13 11:57:45

Crimes against the English language would be a start wink

CremeEggThief Mon 27-May-13 11:59:10

Em, for sleeping with a married man and being a contributor to breaking up a marriage and turning a woman's life and possible DC's lives upside down? Surely that is something to apologise for?!

In my instance the OW contacted ME two years later. It was the most extraordinarily unselfaware sanctimonious correspondence that I have every read. Apropros of nowhere (although I now know precipitated to her moving to my City to live with ex H). Essentially she was said that she did not have an affair with ex H, in fact and I am quoting "I can't tell you the number of times I tried to save your marriage" and she went to to tell me with no apparent sense of irony that "he was looking to me for the emotional support he should have been getting from you". She went on to list my faults and catalogue her virtues "Anyone that knows me would tell you that my core value is honesty". And told me how I must have known my marriage was in trouble due to lies told her by my ex. She ended her unsolicited and unwelcome email with the happy sentiment "Think about it".

It actually became welcome as whilst I had been very keen not to put the blame on her outside of not subscribing to her morals it have me something incredibly tangible to dislike smile

I am a writer and when I put my mind to it can 'innocently' eviscerate. My 'guiless' response a week later elicited a 'gosh I didn't mean it I'm so sorry response' to her original email. I simply responded that I didn't much care for people who simultaneously polished their halos whilst putting in the boot and perhaps she might take some of her self stated core virtues of honesty to own the fact that sometimes people make mistakes, fall in love with people they didn't intend to and write unwelcome and sanctimoneous emails to their partners annoying ex wives. I haven't heard from her since grin

badinage Mon 27-May-13 12:06:14

On these threads, you always get people saying that if a woman blames the OW, it means she's letting her husband 'off the hook' or some such nonsense. As if it's not possible to apportion blame in more than one direction confused. I just can't follow this peculiar train of thought at all.

I've got mates who've been OWs and no way do they think they were blameless.

Mosman Mon 27-May-13 12:08:14

I have no idea how to spell the abbreviation of whore, if it's not hoe then I apologise to gardening tools everywhere grin

Jan49 Mon 27-May-13 12:13:19

I've been in this situation. My h had an affair and then left me for that woman. She dumped him soon after. Apparently she wasn't keen to start a relationship with him when she knew he was married, but changed her mind because he said he was ending his marriage. hmm

I can't understand people who say it's only the person who is married that is to blame because they're the person who agreed to be faithful. I'd blame the OW/OM as well. If the OW/OM can do what they like because they don't "owe" anything to a stranger, then that surely also applies to attacking someone in the street or running them down in your car or sitting on the train when someone clearly needs the seat more than you or saying thank you to a shop assistant? Surely what you owe to a stranger is some consideration and whatever the law says. Yes, I'd expect more consideration from someone who loves me than from a stranger, but I didn't expect any woman to have an affair with my h. I felt "betrayed by women" (intentional plural, not a typo) when it happened. I couldn't understand how anyone could do such a thing. I think the answer to "how" is that the OW/OM is a selfish person who doesn't care about anyone else.

Jan49 Mon 27-May-13 12:18:29

Offred, even people who don't believe in faithful relationships are capable of working out that breaking up a marriage with children will hurt the children. No one's that dim.

Bogeyface Mon 27-May-13 12:34:09

Mosman calling her a whore is unacceptable.

Prostitutes charge for their services, OW give it away for free.

MrsSpagBol Mon 27-May-13 12:36:57


"I was the OW and had phone calls from the DW a few times demanding answers from me that I couldn't possibly give her. It must have made it 10 times worse for her having to speak to me, and I will never understand why she done it and what she gained from it, if anything at all. All I could say to her was, ask your DH why he done it"

If you don't mind me asking - how do you justify/explain your actions?
Do you think starting an affair with a married man is wrong?
If so, why did you do it?
If not, why do you not think it is wrong?

These are genuine questions; I am honestly trying to understand yours (or OW's points of views), especially the ones who don't think they did anything wrong, and don't think they have anything to apologise for.

Mosman Mon 27-May-13 12:48:22

You're right - actually mine went I e better than giving it away, she paid half towards a hotel room, imagine paying £25.00 to be fucked by a married man, the mind boggles !

amessagetoyouYoni Mon 27-May-13 13:32:06

Love Charbon's post.

Personally, hell would freeze over before I'd ever contact the OW. It IS DH's responsibility, his shit, his problem to clear up.

Its just...I dont feels juvenile to start ranting at a strange woman when it was my husband who made and then betrayed the Commitment.

Just my personal opinion.

Offred Mon 27-May-13 16:36:33

No, the vows don't always say anything about monogamy. You can choose to say those vows if it is important to you and sex outside the marriage is only grounds for divorce if the other partner finds it unreasonable. There is nothing in the bare bones of the marriage contract which stipulates there must be monogamy. I'm not a fan of the "oh think of the children" hand wringing either. Ow/om should think about their children if they have any and the cheater should be thinking about theirs. The problem is although it is obviously possible to apportion blame that is very frequently not what happened. Certainly on here it is ridiculously common to hear stuff about the "slag" who "should have kept her pants on" and an almost total absence of comment on the man who broke the terms of the relationship and did all the lying. I definitely think they go together because when you are shocked like that it is hard to adjust to the person going from lover to shithead, much easier if you convince yourself that ow should have kept her knickers on and is a slag who tempted him... Which is another thing the nastiest of cheaters try to portray in order to escape the blame... Never their fault is it?

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 27-May-13 17:27:07

Agrees with Offred's post. The name-calling disgusts me; and it's ALWAYS geared towards the 'other woman'. I think the blame-apportionment here is completely skewed and unreasonable. I suppose it's easier to name-call somebody who means nothing to you rather than somebody you haven't yet decided what to do with.

AnyFucker Mon 27-May-13 17:41:30

I don't agree with placing the blame anywhere else than it is deserved either. Which is definitely primarily with the cheater.

But, am I just being a proper old fashioned stick in the mud to think that if someone is married then, as far as I am concerned, it pretty much defaults to mean monogamy in the abscence of not knowing every single person's marital arrangements intimately ?

Marriage, to me, means monogamy and unless I am explicitly told and have witnessed with my own eyes the same thing said by both partners in the same room, at the same time then that is what I assume and have always acted accordingly.

Yes, I have been lied to in the past but that was my own naivety and foolishness of youth. Most of us grow out of that fairly sharpish.

Jan49 Mon 27-May-13 17:44:50

I'm sure in reality both the married man and married woman and the other woman/man are to blame. But I get annoyed when people suggest that the "other" person is not at all to blame as they didn't make the vows and owe nothing to the injured spouse. That's ridiculous. It would imply that no one need take anyone else into account before doing anything, whereas in reality we all live in society.

I have no clue how I would apportion blame between my ex and the OW except that I would blame them both.

But to me it seems, my ex betrayed me. His OW betrayed all women. That's how it feels to me.

badinage Mon 27-May-13 22:37:48

That's just bollocks that there's an 'absence of comment' about the men who cheat, or the women who cheat for that matter. In fact if an attached woman posts on here about having an affair with an attached man, every epithet under the sun is attributed to him, when in fact he's doing nothing different to the OP. That always confuses the hell out of me - why he's supposed to have 'done this before' and is 'stringing the OP along' but the OP is somehow different? confused

I can honestly say too I've never seen an affair thread where an OP blames the OW exclusively and says that her husband had no part in events. Women really aren't that stupid, in my experience.

It's also bollocks (and highly disingenuous) IMO to claim that an OW might not be aware of the monogamy contract made by her lover. If that was the case, why would she consent to the affair being kept secret then?

DottyboutDots Tue 28-May-13 09:19:54

Fabulous comment about fidelity by my friend's STBXH:

"We didn't mention fidleity, so I thought it was tacitly agreed that i could fuck around".

Same man then when mental when he saw my gf dressed up for a night out, once they were separated, and tried to keep her phone and wallet because he couldn't contain his jealousy.

But then he is the world's biggest cunt.

Offred Tue 28-May-13 10:03:00

It's not that OW/OM are not at all to blame it's just that what's the blame they might take got to do with you? Unless they are your friend and have also shat on their relationship with you any OW/OM is utterly irrelevant because the blame is 'shouldnt sleep with married people' i.e. general whereas it is the partner who has cheated who has actually lied and hurt you and broken your specific relationship. This is about personally blaming ow/om for breaking your specific relationship and i dont know whether that's fair or realistic because someone else outside the relationship simply isnt invested in or thinking about the relationship in any in depth way and i dont think they should be expected to really.

I was very frequently cheated on (he slept with 30-50 ow) by my nasty xp. The problem was entirely his. I don't think much of the girls he slept with so I wouldn't choose to hang out with them. Some of them who were my friends I will never forgive because they broke their friendship with me in a terrible way. I don't blame any of them even a tiny bit for breaking my relationship, hurting me, my children, that was all him. The fact that they would sleep with a man who had children and a partner means they aren't particularly nice people but still not to blame for my relationship and I wouldn't expect/want them to apologise.

I can't understand why someone would go looking for a fight/misery/blame anywhere other than the person responsible unless it was about avoiding putting the blame away from someone they are struggling to see as blameworthy. Unless of course they believe 'boys will be boys' and it is the whole population of women who are responsible for keeping men faithful.

I can get why you'd want to apportion blame, why you might do it as part of the process of moving on, why you might feel you wanted answers from ow/om but I don't think it's ideal or particularly helpful although a very common thing. I don't think it should be celebrated.

Mosman Tue 28-May-13 10:20:59

I don't think it's about blaming at all it's about making sure they understand what the impact of their actions were, that they know they were lied too on some points and that any justification they thought existed for their behaviour was lies.
In my case all three were vulnerable women not witches from hell - if my contacting them helps them make better choices then it's all good.

jayho Tue 28-May-13 11:13:49

dotty reminded me of my exh's immortal line on being told that, no, I would not tolerate his behaviour and wanted to divorce:

'Oh, you just have to take the high moral ground!'


Offred Tue 28-May-13 11:15:24

I'm not sure. I think intellectually they surely already understood how bad it was when you were kicking off but it is difficult to understand emotionally how bad something is for someone else. It is emotions that often lead you into an affair, people are less/more vulnerable to an affair of any kind depending on their ability to deal with/understand their emotions and there's not much you can do about that.

Looksgoodingravy Tue 28-May-13 13:49:13

Downunderdolly, I love your post, made me smile

Amessagetoyou,my contact with the OW was controlled, I definitely didn't rant (even though my insides were willing me too).

I'm pretty sure it will give them something to think about and think twice before doing it again!

Carmenita Tue 28-May-13 14:29:59

I was an OW. The DW contacted me a few times, all via text message. A couple of times to tell me what she thought of me (fair enough), a few times to forward to me messages from her DH, after she found out that we had been in touch secretly. She was clearly desperate, and he clearly played us both.

I never replied to any of the messages. And I never will respond to any message from her. I consider that the best thing I can do is to never have anything to do with him again and leave them in peace to decide what to do with their marriage.

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