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Emotional affairs. How does the ow behave?

(59 Posts)
Ilovebreakfast Thu 19-Sep-13 12:46:01

Out of interest, those ladies whose dh have had emotional affairs with colleagues at work. Before you found out, did you ever meet the ow? If so how did she behave around you? Was she over friendly, or ignore you? Did your dh distance himself from her and become attentive towards you? Interested to know.

Cailinsalach Thu 19-Sep-13 14:19:39

My exH talked about her a lot. Constantly. We all worked together. She sought him out all the time but not me. She mainly ignored me. I remember feeling very humiliated by it all. It hurt a lot that he preferred her company to mine. I overheard her declaring her love for him. He knew I was there, she didn't. He backed off but I often wonder would he have if he hadn't seen me.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 19-Sep-13 14:25:37

If the subtext of this is that you're trying to build a case against your DH's colleague (and your DH) based on either her behaviour or his then I think you're clutching at straws. There is no one standard way people react.

Ilovebreakfast Thu 19-Sep-13 15:34:48

No not trying to build a case. Just interested as a colleague of my dh who he talks about (not excessively) and she comments on his FB a lot, seemed to ignore me/avoid contact with me when I recently saw her at an event.
Just interested by the experience of others.

familyscapegoat Thu 19-Sep-13 15:35:03

I never met her but I knew people who had and who told me that she seemed more obsessed with me and my life than she was with my husband! She was friendless, childless and in a junior position at work, whereas I was a senior manager with children and had a big network of women friends. Years on now I can feel quite sorry for her, but remember at the time feeling a bit stalked by this stranger who seemed to want to punish me for having what she didn't. I agree that there is no 'stock' OW. Other friends found the OW over-compensated with friendliness, some were ignored, some were subjected to open hostility and in my case, I began to suspect she was one of those weird people who had newspaper cuttings and photos of me on her bedroom wall.

3HotCrossBuns Thu 19-Sep-13 15:43:32

I only met my H's OW once at a work event before the affair started (according to him).She organised the seating plan and deliberately sat herself next to him on the other side of me so he had to turn his back to me to speak to her. Which he did. I remember feeling uncomfortable at the time but said nothing as he'd only been in the job a month or so and I didn't want to appear unsupportive. Ha. 6 weeks later they went back to the office after the Xmas party (partners not invited to that event) and 'started' their affair.

tessa6 Thu 19-Sep-13 15:47:59

It varies I think. If it is purely an EA then it's likely she might be very friendly or even a bit patronizing, fancying herself as closer to your hubby than you, and even wanting to present herself as no 'threat.'

However, a full blown affair is unlikely to present like this unless she's totally sadistic. An OW from a real affair is likely to present as slightly afraid of the wife, apologetic even, or avoiding her or even seeming a little bit cold in her presence.

SawofftheOW Thu 19-Sep-13 18:05:29

We all worked together and I had to have daily contact with her as she was involved with the admin of the contracts I let. She was always very sullen with me, to the extent that I said to my DH that I found her behaviour inexplicable and odd. He mentioned her quite a lot but I don't think he realised he was doing so - I think he couldn't help himself. Looks wise she was/is gorgeous so I put it down to that. But a gut instinct made me say to him (ironically), before I went away on a long business trip, 'try and avoid xx won't you as I'm pretty sure she has a thing about you which is why she is so off with me'. By that stage they were in the throes of a full-on affair..

After I found out and he officially 'ended it' - a lie I found out some time later - she was extremely overt towards him in the office and must have spent hours getting ready for work. I witnessed all this as I had returned from sick leave (I had been decimated physically and emotionally by the discovery of the affair) and had to endure her wearing skimpier and skimpier dresses and coming in and out of where we both worked up to 30 times a day. She was openly contemptuous of me, sent me emails saying how awful it must be to be ugly and old (yes, I did send them on to HR), and even surrounded herself with a small gaggle (coven) of women who made it quite clear to me that she would 'win' in the end and that my DH was with me only under duress/because of the children. HR/the bosses were hopeless and I finally had to engineer a job move myself as it was killing me to be in the same place as her and having to cope with her behaviour. I can't begin to explain how dreadful it was. It was bullying of the highest order.

This is a big jump but if your DH isn't in a physical relationship with her, I think it may be an EA. You need to have all your antennae on full alert - he is allowing another woman into his life and your relationship. She is entering the space you should inhabit. I hope I am wrong, I really do. x

Ilovebreakfast Thu 19-Sep-13 18:21:19

I don't suspect anything in particular. I suppose my radar went up as she is working closely with my dh and just happens to be attractive and single.
My dh mentions her and my wars always prick up. Not sure why. When I first met this year she was quite friendly and chatty, but this week when I met her she ignored me and dh, which I thought a little odd given they work together and she often likes his photos etc on FB.
Think it's prob just me being paranoid having recently had a baby and feeling a bit vulnerable.

SawofftheOW Thu 19-Sep-13 18:31:51

I don't think you are being paranoid. I would be on full alert. Get hold of Shirley Glass's book 'Not Just Friends'. I will probably be flamed as I recommend it so often on here, but it is brilliantly insightful on how EA's develop from the 'just having coffee together' and then slide into full-on affairs. Most women would at least make the effort to come and ask you how you are and how the baby is, albeit if she is young and single she might not be that way attuned yet. You have the red flags - FB, your DH mentions her (by the way, don't challenge him on it), she ignores you despite working closely with him. Big red flags.

Ilovebreakfast Thu 19-Sep-13 18:37:46

Yes I can see why things can be seen as red flags, but I don't feel as though there is anything inappropriate going on. Her ignoring me could be interpreted as we just didn't cross paths to chat. I don't know. Dh doesn't hide his phone etc, but then he also has a work phone which I rarely see (prob because its a work phone and so wouldn't be around).
I'm just interested in how in retrospect the ow and dh acted when the dw was around and knew nothing.

SawofftheOW Thu 19-Sep-13 18:38:05

Just seen that she ignored DH as well as you - hadn't noticed that. Huge,huge red flags. Did he try and speak to her?

AnyFucker Thu 19-Sep-13 18:40:11

Some worrying signs here, OP. Sorry. Your instinct should be trusted.

Ilovebreakfast Thu 19-Sep-13 18:41:18

How do I go forward when he mentions her? Just nod accordingly etc. he doesn't talk about her loads, but I know they have meetings together etc for a large part of each day. It is a small company.
I daren't mention it to him as I would look mad!

SawofftheOW Thu 19-Sep-13 18:41:18

Before they were outed, the OW and DH acted the way this woman did when me, DW, was around. Of course I don't know how your DH reacted.

SawofftheOW Thu 19-Sep-13 18:43:15

As usual AF is spot on.

tessa6 Thu 19-Sep-13 18:47:29

I agree with AF. Going from friendly and chatty to guiltily ignoring? Seen it, done it, called it. Instincts are not created from nowhere. Two phones? I'm not saying he's having an affair and I know it's impossible to confront without evidence and expect anything honest but I'm afraid I would be scouring if it were me.

tessa6 Thu 19-Sep-13 18:48:30

She ignored DH? yeah, big big flag I'm afraid. That's what someone does who doesn't know what to do to try and avoid the obvious being seen.

DorothyGherkins Thu 19-Sep-13 18:49:22

I m just horrified so many of you had to witness the Other Woman and have stories to tell!

SawofftheOW Thu 19-Sep-13 18:57:15

Tessa sums it up - I would be scouring too. Any way you can get hold of his work phone? I imagine it's password protected though. He may not have got careless yet and used his own phone - can you look at online bills? Do you know he is where he says he is when he is out/away on business? Sorry if any of this is frightening you but as Tessa and AF say, instincts are there for a reason. Trust them. And by the way, the favourite word in the cheater's arsenal, when you first suspect but have no evidence, is 'mad'. But you aren't. We never are.

Mumraathenoisylion Thu 19-Sep-13 19:00:00

I had an EA and nothing else with someone years ago (pre-marriage, pre-children on both sides). When I saw him the once with his gf I completely ignored him and her. It sounds a bit dodgy to me.

Ilovebreakfast Thu 19-Sep-13 19:02:27

When I am with dh at any work event he is always attentive to me.
I just think new baby equals vulnerable time. Dh working with a single attractive female who seemed to avoid me is unsettling. Maybe I'm just being insecure.
Maybe they do fancy each other, but nothing has happened. Everything can lead to something happening but also be explained away.

cosydressinggown Thu 19-Sep-13 19:25:23

Maybe they do fancy each other - or maybe she just fancies him, and didn't want to be around you both together as she felt she would be being obvious? Doesn't mean he reciprocates.

Can't you bring her up in convo... 'X is very pretty isn't she?' and see how he reacts or 'I didn't get a chance to talk to X at the do the other day, how is she?' and so on. You know him well, your spidey senses may tell you if there is anything in his answer...

Ilovebreakfast Thu 19-Sep-13 19:27:33

I actually remember when she first started. He said that quite a few if the guys were pleased some new girls were starting. He had said that she was attractive but not his type. Is this what all guys say?

AnyFucker Thu 19-Sep-13 19:33:04

he made a point of saying she is not "his type" ? hmm

Does he "type" all women he encounters this way to you ?

Walking down the street, etc...yep, that one's my type, that one isn't, that one could be.... yadda yadda

I can't imagine why my H would ever tell me that another woman was "not his type". It indicates he has weighed it up for some reason, and is using a crap way to throw off the scent

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