When does the OW stop being the OW?

(333 Posts)
Worldwide2 Tue 12-Oct-21 13:16:24

Hello all

Due to a couple of other threads regarding affairs with married men and men creating second family's with the 'ow'. It has got me thinking when does everything get forgotten and forgiven? As in when does the OW stop being referred to as the OW and is accepted as exes wife/girlfriend. Is it normal to get over such betrayal and move on without feeling bitter or is hard to not harbour a feeling of resentment for a long time towards them?
When you hear someone being referred to as the OW after a number of years you kind of thing ok let go now it's time to move on but is it so simple actually?
I'm not condoning affairs at all but I do know of people who were desperately unhappy with their then spouse had affairs and are now very happy with the other person. Doesn't everyone deserve to be happy or not when it comes off the back of someone else's happiness? I'd like to hear other peoples thoughts on this without it turning into a bun fight of course.

Also this isn't just affairs between married men and women it goes for married women too.

OP’s posts: |
Meceme Tue 12-Oct-21 13:32:27

The OW never stops being the OW and the partner never stops being judged for the affair. If you are unhappy in a relationship you end that relationship before starting a new one. The sneaking around, lying and lack of concern for the feelings of the other people unwittingly involved is dishonest and selfish.

Nojobforoldmums Tue 12-Oct-21 13:32:45

Cynically she probably stops being the OW when he gets a new one.

In reality it depends on the dynamics of the people involved, but some people will consider an OW just that for life.

Tillysfad Tue 12-Oct-21 13:35:21

It depends on the person and their views, doesn't it?

How much they see the left behind partner hurting might also be a factor.

Worldwide2 Tue 12-Oct-21 13:35:50

So even 10 years down the line you think the resentment will always be there?

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Hoppinggreen Tue 12-Oct-21 13:36:18

When the Dickhead man involved fills the vacancy

Worldwide2 Tue 12-Oct-21 13:36:39

Yes I guess it does very much depend on the people involved

OP’s posts: |


Motnight Tue 12-Oct-21 13:36:44

When someone takes her place 😬

Worldwide2 Tue 12-Oct-21 13:38:53

My friends dad had an affair and left her mum when she was 2 for another woman who he is now still with. My friend has a great relationship with her stepmum because she was too young to remember any hurt but her mum never moved on with anyone and still has deep hatred for her ex and his wife. It's been over 30 years. I just feel sad that she's wasted her life being resentful rather than letting go and moving on, enjoying life you know?

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IfIwasablackbird Tue 12-Oct-21 13:40:42

I have a couple of friends who still consider their father’s partner the OW even though their parents split when they were children. It’s such a betrayal that I think it sticks. They’re equally bitter towards their fathers.

HoikingUpMyBigGirlPantss Tue 12-Oct-21 13:41:03

In our family - 4 generations have divorced - never! But my family also love to harbour grudges and we don't have a forgiving bone in our bodies! Makes any "family" gathering a logistical nightmare!!

IfIwasablackbird Tue 12-Oct-21 13:42:43

@Worldwide2 it’s understandable though isn’t it?
The Mum quote possibly gave a lot up to be in the marriage and to bear their child and then he fucks off a couple of years later. It’s not something that’s terribly easy to get over I imagine.

MorrisZapp Tue 12-Oct-21 13:43:08

My mum left my dad for his best friend. My step dad put in years at the parenting coal face with us, and forty years later despite no longer being with my mum, he's an adored grandad and integral part of all our lives.

So it depends entirely on the people and the circumstances. Of course society doesn't have much use for the concept of 'the other man' because of misogyny but my stepdad was a 'home wrecker', who in fact made our home absolutely wonderful.

WatchOutLurkerAbout Tue 12-Oct-21 13:44:00

I'm now nc with my biological dad, he had an affair for years with the woman he is now married to. He left when I was 7. It was messy and angry and hurtful and he caused so much trouble and upset. I'm now 32 and whilst I'm not angry any more I will never forgive him or her. They both had families. Were both married and fully aware of what they were doing. They don't deserve to be forgiven and shoulders shrugged that times moved on and it's ok what they did. He will always be the man who cheated and broke his family and she will always be the other woman. And vice versa to her children and ex.

As a wife and a parent I can't imagine any way I would ever repeat what he did. If I was that unhappy and I would end my marriage and focus on making sure my kids were as safe, happy and loved as possible. Not shack up with someone else as my priority.

Meceme Tue 12-Oct-21 13:45:28

Dishonesty is dishonesty. I agree the cheated on partner should move on with their life and try to make it as positive and fulfilling as possible but that doesn't necessarily mean that their view of their previous partners actions and character should change.
Once someone shows you who they are believe them.

TolkiensFallow Tue 12-Oct-21 13:46:32

I don’t necessarily think she’s wasted her life being bitter and resentful. His behaviour was despicable. She probably wasn’t inclined to trust anyone again didn’t want her children being subjected to further upheaval.

Worldwide2 Tue 12-Oct-21 13:46:43

@ifiwasablackbird Oh yes I understand her hurt it's just I feel worse for her not living the rest of her life happy. She's let him steal the rest of her life by wasting it feeling bitter towards him.
I think what I'm trying to say its better to move on for yourself mentally and to be happy rather than wallow.

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CointreauVersial Tue 12-Oct-21 13:46:58

I think it's when the hurt dies down, and everyone is settled with their new lives and/or partners.

For some people, that is "never". DSDad died last year, after 50 years with DM, but his first wife still hasn't moved on. Still bitter.

Bagelsandbrie Tue 12-Oct-21 13:47:05

I don’t think anyone ever gets over it. It’s such a huge betrayal.

AnneElliott Tue 12-Oct-21 13:47:23

Like a pp said, I don't think the OW stops being that until she gets replaced! She always will be someone who was fine with seeing a married man - just because he finally got a divorce (or was found out) doesn't wipe away their behaviour even if they marry afterwards.

I know lots of people that have issues with their fathers because of the way they ended their marriage - and yes still refer to the OW even though they are now adults.

goingslowfornow Tue 12-Oct-21 13:48:12

Met my DH a year after he and his ex separated. She left him, met someone else but it didn't work out. Two DC.

She still calls me the OW 20 years later.

Some people like the misery story.

Worldwide2 Tue 12-Oct-21 13:50:31

I have another friend who's dp (father to her kids) cheated and left her for the OW, he went onto have more kids with ow. My friend doesn't care at all anymore thinks the OW did her a favour, they all get on very amicably. Spend time together in the holidays ect

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HeartsAndClubs Tue 12-Oct-21 13:51:39

There’s an expression isn’t there,”bitterness is like drinking poison and waiting for someone else to die.”

While I can see you might never forgive the person, living in bitterness for 30 years and refusing to ever move on is only going to hurt you and the people around you.

I have a friend whose parents’ marriage ended when the dad left for another woman. The mother became so incredibly bitter that she drove everyone around her away, including her own children, who went on to have a good relationship with both their dad and the woman he is now still with.

As hard as it might be, people do need to move on.

And statements such as “she stops being the OW when he finds another one,” are nothing more than wishful thinking. Of course it happens like that sometimes, but equally there are couples who ended up together because of affairs and who are still together decades down the line.

Life just isn’t that black and white.

Namechangeapologies Tue 12-Oct-21 13:51:39

My ex husband did this to me, secret affair which I suspected, challenged him, he walked out and 7 yrs on he is married to "OW" and they have a baby.

His new wife will never ever stop being the "OW" to me, purely because I had two children with my ex husband and I now have to try somehow to co parent with him and he (and his wife) continue to this day to being really horrible and spiteful towards me (and not very nice to my kids).
The OW / new wife is deluded in all sorts of ways but mainly because she is literally with my ex h for his money, my ex h even made her sign a pre nup before they got married 2 yrs ago, but to this day their relationship seems to be based on her "pursuading" him to spend his money on her/what she wants. She even tells my 12 yr old daughter to "ask Daddy for his bank card" so she can get cash out etc.

She will always be the OW because she is in the role of "step mother" to my children (although she does not call herself that) and that was never my choice for my children.

AnnaMagnani Tue 12-Oct-21 13:51:42

I think it depends on the family. I've met families where husband and OW have now been together for years and years, ex-wife get on very well with them and has married again and both husband and ex-wife happily acknowledge they should never have got married and it's all ancient history.

So in those circumstances, OW is not OW anymore.

However the man has mid-life crisis, meets OW, starts running 'the script' at his wife... Totally different situation and some will never forget.

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