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Probably need to be talked out of doing this; contacting the OW(43 Posts)
My H had an affair in 2011. Was going on about 3 months before he told me, then he spent months deciding who he wanted I was in complete shock and wanted to stay together (had just got married) but found some dignity after a few weeks and threw him out.
He later decided he wanted me, not her and has spent the time since trying to win me back. We're not 100% there but we do have a 9 month old ds (conceived during the seperation in a moment of madness after he attempted suicide) and he has honestly become a changed man, is so remorseful, has shocked me by being the best father I've ever known and is very good to me.
I'm not sure how I feel about him, though. A big part of us is destroyed. Although the man he is now is perfect, I am constantly thinking about her and the way he treated me in the initial aftermath. Because we have ds things are complicated (it would be long over were it not for him) and I cannot classify what we are or where we're going. I'm starting counselling alone next week to help with this (we tried Relate, it was wank).
I contacted the OW when I decided things were over back in 2011. I rang and told her she was an 'unpleasant specimen who was entirely welcome to him'. She didn't talk back, just sobbed. From what I've gathered she was totally in love with him, thought it was some great star-crossed lover thing
Now, I just can't stop thinking about her. I completely subscribe to the fact that it was him that did me wrong and she owed me nothing but but but...I just want her to feel bad. TBH I doubt my marriage will ever recover, my feelings about love and sex are completely dysfunctional and I'm just heartbroken. I just want her to know that. I've never met her and H has had no contact since 2011 but I just imagine she's gone back to her normal life and I just want her to know the damage she was complicit in.
I was thinking of writing a letter just outlining how her actions have affected the 3 of us. I KNOW it's really H's fault but he has apologised and is trying to put things right and he isn't happy, the guilt and the repercussions nearly literally killed him. I just want to spread the misery and remind her of consequences. It won't achieve anything apart from make me feel a bit better. I want to hurt her a bit in a concise and pithy way. I also want to rub it in that H still loves me and we have a child now just to be spiteful.
I probably shouldn't, should I or would it be cathartic to put accross my side of the story calmly to her?
OP,, I think the jist of what selling was saying is that if you don't forgive your h and let him come back, your son will suffer
Which is an absolutely appalling thing to say, and completely untrue
" we are very close friends and co-parents."
If I'm harsh it's because you're deluding yourself. Do stop. Close friends? Please.... It's very clear that you're still upset such a long time after the affair and the break-up largely because you're holding a torch for your ex and are allowing him back in your life. You've therefore created a massive conflict, flattered that he 'loves', flattered that you've 'won' but knowing at the same time that he's a rotten cheat and an emotional blackmailer into the bargain. You've told him to move on and get a new girlfriend but I bet you a tenner, if/when he does, you'd be crushed all over again.
Get yourself a new life and leave him out of it. I repeat. He's not your friend.
Personally, I'd see what insights your own counselling brings before making any hard and fast decisions about your relationship.
Regarding the OW, writing a letter and sending it would only be worthwhile if it healed a wound, but you couldn't guarantee that and it would be unlikely to anyway, so probably pointless and might even pick at the scar, especially if she replied trying to justify herself or worse. When a very close friend went through this, the OW wrote to her and it did help in many ways, because the OW apologised for her part in events, didn't try to justify anything and confirmed that friend's husband had never dissed the marriage or my mate and hadn't made any false promises to her. That must have taken some guts and it did go some way to stopping an obsession in its tracks.
If you truly mean it that you wouldn't even consider a reconciliation if it wasn't for your son, then there really isn't enough there to make a new relationship.
But if you're not sure about that and you think the counselling might help you make up your mind, take your time with it.
I've known some really good people fuck up like your husband, but they've learnt their lesson the hard way and wouldn't dream of repeating the experience. I've also got friends who've been the OW who wouldn't go there again. The key to them all getting the lives and the relationships they've wanted has been acknowledging their own selfishness and changing, showing in their every action that they were sorry and that they took responsibility for the hurt. As a bit of an old cynic, I've been impressed at how hard those people have fought and have been even more impressed at their partners' ability to judge that they merited forgiveness.
From what I've seen personally, their lives are worlds away from the impression you might get from some threads on here. Admittedly some of them are a few years down the track now, but they are all visibly happier as people and as couples than they were before. The mate who heard from the OW wouldn't swap the new-improved version of her husband for the one she had before his affair. Nice bloke who DH and I love dearly, but he used to put himself first every time and he's been like a different bloke now for years.
By all means write down your thoughts about the OW, but don't send them. And just see what the counselling unearths. You don't have to rush any decisions.
Thank you SSA You are right. If she's capable of feeling regret of remorse, she'll be feeling it already, if she's not, then a letter won't help
Selling I appreciate your long reply and think I feel the tone of it is supportive but (please forgive me, I've had a Cosmopolitan) I'm not entirely sure I get the total jist of your post? Please do expand? I've read and reread but maybe my cocktail is stronger than I thought
Thank youto everyone else for your input. I really appreciate anyone taking the time to help me with my heartache.x
I too think you are focussing on her as a displacement for your feelings for your DH.
It's more difficult to be critical of him about his affair (even though it still hurts) because he's being 'perfect' now, so you focus on her.
In response to the post, I speak from experience. An affair in a relationship is never forgotten, though frequently it's forgiven. It does not mean long term happiness can not be achieved - unless of course, in addition, other factors impinge - like generally acting like a twat / bitch. In these cases the affair is generally the straw on camel whose back would have broken in any event.
An affair does change things; one is always henceforth keeping a watching eye. And it does take time for emotions to subside to manageable levels - and 2 years (2011 to now) is not a long time. Attitudes towards sex can take longer to reach normality but will soon follow on the heals of acceptance of things past and REAL forgiveness.
Forgiveness is the key. If you can truly forgive (that does not mean forget) and your man stays being "perfect" then you will have a long and happy marriage and your cute, beautiful gorgeous DS will have both a mummy and a daddy and will grow into a stable, confident young man - job done!!
The possible alternative is that your DS may (only may) grow up having some issues like a lack of self confidence. Just look at the evidence - kids who grow up in a 2 parent family do better at school, are less likely to have emotional problems etc. - and remember; exceptions prove the rule.
In addition, can you envisage this man; who after attempting suicide, who is so remorseful, who is trying so hard; being the sort of guy who will calmly accept that, "it's over", and regularly take his 50% of allotted DS time and conscientiously be a great dad to DS over the coming years?
Or do you think the pain of seeing you move on in life (eventually with another man) and the constant reminder of his mistake and failings and what could / should have been, will be far greater than the pain of abandoning his son? The latter is far more probable than the former - even if it starts differently it will soon become that way.
And how can you say that you will find a better existence elsewhere. You may swap one, "now perfect", man for a less perfect one; albeit without the pain of a past transgression. But is that better or just different - and what about the future of DS?
In the sphere of human relations, forgiveness is a most powerful tool; second only to love. If you can truly forgive then it will be OK. The length of time it takes to return to normality is inversely proportional to his continued efforts and your capacity to forgive. As normality returns, more positive attitudes towards sex so will also return.
Put in the balance on one side, these things:
your hurt emotions and pain, your wish to put it behind you, start again, find a new relationship with normal sexual emotions, the probability that if you do leave then it'll work out better for both you and DS,
and on the other:
your capacity to forgive plus the probability that if you do stay then it'll work out better for both you and DS
If you do decide to break then nobody will blame you but if you do decide to give it a bit more time, let him know his efforts are recognised and appreciated but also tell him that as a couple you're still not over the hill yet and maybe discuss with him your attitude to sex, maybe even together with a professional councillor.
I just want to say (and my NC says it all) that I've been that OW.
I've spent the last 2 years bracing myself for that letter and I think about her very often. I think I would almost prefer to have the confrontation so that I could tell her how her DH pursued me relentlessly telling me his marriage was 'over'. But that's just for selfish reasons.
She appears in my dreams frequently (guilt) and I often wonder how she is and wish I had had no hand in all the pain. I was hopelessly in love with her DH and I was heartbroken by the fallout too. At the time I didn't believe that she was my responsibility as he was the one who was married to her. I was blinded by love.
I'm telling you this because I suspect that you don't need to send that letter. I suspect that she already feels bad and I think if she has a conscience it will be doing all the work for you.
I sincerely hope you find some peace, whether it's with your DH or without him.
Why should his former ow give a shit about you when, from what you've said, he left her heartbroken too and your 'concise pithyness' will leave her in no doubt you don't give a shit about her feelings?
The only reason why you maintain he's 'not as bad as he sounds' is that you've got keep telling yourself this because you know the truth is you've compromised your integrity for a sackload of fool's gold and were deluded enough to believe that having a dc with him would go some way to erase those images you have in your head of him paying court to, and having it off with, her.
You're discovering the hard way you couldn't have been more wrong and, sadly, you now have little choice but to continue to interact with him for the sake of your ds and be reminded of the past every time you look at his deceitful face.
Make no mistake, honey. In causing you to deceive yourself, he's continuing to deceive you.
You're being very strong by not taking him back, by co-parenting and by not sending the letter. I'm impressed.
I agree with SchmaltzingMatilda date around, see whats out there and have some fun. Maybe you and your ex will be able to mend things in the future but I think its important you see your counselling through and feel good about yourself before getting to that point.
Matilda Thanks for your reply and I'm sorry you've had to go through it too. You sound a lot more focussed and capable than me
Not one single vote for 'send it' I knew I shouldn't (hence the thread) just wanted to do something to change this merry-go-round of thoughts in my head.
Don't give her the satisfaction.
You do not have to stay with this man - it sounds like a case of flogging a dead horse.
I knew what you meant, love. But he is certainly damaged goods and I agree it would be impossible to still have respect for someone who has acted like he has.
Yes, good decision.
And I read the "perfect" comment as a description, not of him (or what he did before), but of his behaviour since you had him back. And I can actually believe that's the case. But even with a H doing everything right, it is the work of years to get back to a state of adequate confidence for you to be calm and nornmally happy day to day. This is long haul stuff. and that is why counselling now, to work out how committed you really are to reconciliation, could prove invaluable.
I understand the "stuff going round and round" in your head all the time, as I had that for a long time. I have drafted umpteen letters to XH, his mum, OW's H. Strangely, I have not drafted one to OW.
It feels better to get it all down on paper, but don't ever send it. She will not care, it is too long ago now.
Your counselling should help you to move on. Your counsellor will help you to find wAys of dealing with your feelings and go stop thinking about things all the time.
fucker I mean he's behaving perfectly now; doing everything the textbooks say- no contact, open, honest, happy to talk about whatever, whenever, thoughtful blah blah blah. But, yeah, the damage's been done. It's all too late
You are harsh on me cog
It's just complicated, easy to say detach but harder to do. I know it's a cliche but he's not as bad as he sounds. We're not together (I've told him he's free to get a girlfriend) but we are very close friends and co-parents.
I'm just still upset and, yeah, I suppose just using her as a target. I'll write but not send and hope counselling helps clarify everything else.
Thanks all. I wrote the OP genuinely thinking I couldn't be talked out of it but I have been. The thought of her getting it and not giving a shit is pretty deflating.
He's not "perfect"
He has hurt you, terribly. He has cheated on you, blackmailed you and still he has the power to make you cry
What's perfect about that?
He's not 'perfect' because he's still making you feel like shit.... Detach.... Detach... Detach....
fucker He's had one, don't worry. We have discussed it all at length over and over. He truly is 'perfect' NOW but it's too late and there's no more answers or anything I can get from him.
He's putting you under pressure to get back together. He tells you he loves you. He's 'filled with remorse'. He tries to top himself. Pressure Pressure Pressure...
Detach from this very selfish manipulative man rather than lashing out at some woman.
Confucius says: "Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig 2 graves."
Don't do it. Concentrate on your own happiness, not on wishing misery on someone else. Good luck.
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