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to think the OW is also to blame?

(221 Posts)
HunterWellies Sat 22-Feb-14 15:21:36

Until fairly recently I have always thought that if a dp leaves his family for an OW that the responsibility for that lies just with him.

He is the one with a commitment that he has decided to break to be with the OW. She might be free of any prior commitment and in a position to start a relationship.

But if starting that new relationship means breaking apart a young family, and the OW knows that, should she also carry some of the responsibility? I am beginning to think that she should. Aibu?

WorraLiberty Sat 22-Feb-14 15:23:22

She wouldn't be breaking the family apart though

Because she wouldn't be the one leaving them

I think anyone who would leave their partner and kids for another person after having an affair, would probably end up leaving them eventually anyway.

MrsTerryPratchett Sat 22-Feb-14 15:25:04

The other party is doing a shitty thing. The partner is doing to shitty thing to the partner IYSWIM. No point blaming someone who made no vows, made no life, isn't damaging their children and so on. The person lying to their partner is the one who deserves ALL the blame if you ask me. Often in cases where the OP is blamed, it's because they are looking to deflect blame form their partner.

MothratheMighty Sat 22-Feb-14 15:26:17

No, I still think the blame lies with the liar.
It would be a much better world if people didn't always prioritise their needs and wants and desires above other people's happiness and contentment.
But I came from a time and a background where morality was defined by no sex before marriage, no casual sleeping around...and that was very restrictive.
The OW made no promises or comittments to anyone else, the onus is on the one who is in a relationship to end it before moving on.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sat 22-Feb-14 15:26:47

Agree with Worra and would add that unless you are one of the parties in the relationship, you have absolutely no idea what goes on in it and therefore any speculation is pointless really.

Affairs happen; 60% of married men, 50% of married women (anecdotally). It doesn't always break up a marriage and some of them are never even known about.

Notify Sat 22-Feb-14 15:32:38

I think some men and women are arseholes and do it for the sport but in the vast majority of affairs everyone involved is miserable and punishing themselves already (even if they don't show it outwardly) so assigning blame is pointless, unhelpful and unnecessary.

JoinYourPlayfellows Sat 22-Feb-14 15:34:35

I don't think you have to have made promises to a person to have a moral duty not to completely destroy their life for your own amusement.

I find the idea that two people can do something cruel and hurtful and only of them can be blamed for that really bizarre.

RedHelenB Sat 22-Feb-14 15:35:32

Nope - I think if OW makes a move on a married man then she does share some of the blame for the break up.

HunterWellies Sat 22-Feb-14 15:35:38

I don't know. I think MOST of the blame lies with the partner of course, as I say, I used to think all of it did.

But now I'm thinking would you really, in good conscience, start a relationship with someone who had very small children/ a young baby? Would you not think it better to steer well clear of a situation like that, for all manner of reasons? And if you chose to go ahead, would you not feel in any way responsible for the inevitable fallout from that?

JoinYourPlayfellows Sat 22-Feb-14 15:38:38

would you really, in good conscience, start a relationship with someone who had very small children/ a young baby? Would you not think it better to steer well clear of a situation like that, for all manner of reasons? And if you chose to go ahead, would you not feel in any way responsible for the inevitable fallout from that?

No.

Clearly you wouldn't.

Basic human decency would dictate that.

And you WOULD be responsible for the fallout of your actions if you did something so callous.

IneedAwittierNickname Sat 22-Feb-14 15:42:09

I agree with you op.
Ex left me for ow, she knew he had a fiancee and 2 small dc.
He's mostly to blame, but I hold her partially responsible!

MothratheMighty Sat 22-Feb-14 15:42:10

Hunter, I wouldn't.
But there are a lot of things I wouldn't do, but not judge others for doing.
if someone is frustrated and unhappy in a marriage or a relationship, they may have an affair, That is their choice, and it's wrong. Man or woman.
I could just as easily blame women who get pregnant with arseholes they barely know, or with men that they know are EA or who choose to keep bringing more children into a toxic relationship.
Should I use my rules on what is and isn't morally acceptable to judge others?

KinderBoris Sat 22-Feb-14 15:45:33

I genuinely believe people think they just won't get caught and nobody will get hurt. It's the only way I can imagine them ever feeling ok about it.

Funnyfoot Sat 22-Feb-14 15:45:37

No DH/DW should have an affair it is their responsibility to remain faithful. I think that if the other person knew he/she wasn't single then I think they are morally in the wrong.

Notify Sat 22-Feb-14 15:45:39

Hunter, I dont think many people set out to have an affair. It just happens, which sounds ridiculous but it true of almost all the couples I know who have been in that situation. It's not a choice people make. In the early days when walking away would be easy thers's nothing to walk away from but once you've fallen there are v powerful forces involved. Whether you're the mm or ow.

People look back on what happened and what they did in amazement -like it all happened to someone else (someone stupid and selfish) but at the time it felt like the only "right" thing to do - the alternative being to hurt the wife and children by telling them. Stopping was never a real possibility (or so it seemed) at the time)

kickassangel Sat 22-Feb-14 15:47:37

I agree that it is a shitty thing to do and I would never want to get involved with someone who is married or in a relationship of any kind. It has been a few decades since I was single, but I am very much a person who has to know a man well and be friends with him before anything physical happened. If I knew him to be in any relationship I would want nothing to do with them.

OW (or man) = shitty behavior
Married man (or woman) = triple shitty behavior

Tailtwister Sat 22-Feb-14 15:47:45

Well, I have to say I believe the OW does bear some responsibility. If she's aware the man she's seeing is married/has children and doesn't end the relationship she's complicit. I do judge women who have affairs with married men or men in long term relationships, what they're doing is wrong.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sat 22-Feb-14 15:48:20

Good post MothatheMighty. None of those things can be classed as 'mistakes' either, they are choices - albeit that the consequences are not consciously chosen, but often the undesirable outcome.

gordyslovesheep Sat 22-Feb-14 15:49:09

I have little respect for the woman my husband left me for - because I do wonder what makes a woman sleep with a man KNOWING he has 3 children including a 4 month old baby BUT the responsibility for sleeping with HER and breaking up a family is his and his alone

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sat 22-Feb-14 15:53:20

What makes a man do it though, knowing that he has children? It's the same question yet for some reason, people only seem to wonder what makes a woman do it.

Notify, agree with your post entirely. This bit resonates... 'When you can walk away easily there's nothing to walk away from, at that point nothing has happened'.

JoinYourPlayfellows Sat 22-Feb-14 15:55:46

What makes a man do it though, knowing that he has children? It's the same question

It's not the same questions at all.

Why would a person who is married and has children have an affair?

is an entirely different question from

Why would a person have an affair with a person who is married and has children?

expatinscotland Sat 22-Feb-14 15:56:28

Both of them are twats.

HunterWellies Sat 22-Feb-14 16:04:24

Thanks for all the different views. I try to make a conscious effort not to judge other people but yes, I see that I am in this situation.

I have seen this happen to two people in the past three years and I have two very young dcs of my own so I am not looking dispassionately at it perhaps.

But watching the fallout from it does make it hard to think the OW in either case could honestly say 'What? I am single and available. It's not my fault.'

cobaltcow Sat 22-Feb-14 16:05:44

Well if I had a friend whom I found out was having an affair with a married man, especially with young children involved - then I would look at them differently possibly (depending on circumstances). I doubt in most cases I could ever approve and that friend would probably lose something in my eyes. Depends on the circumstances though.

Cobain Sat 22-Feb-14 16:06:21

The OW (or OM) can be deceived, as I know, I was six months in the relationship before I found out about wife and children. Usually each case is individual to the behaviour of the people involved.

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