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Another heartbroken OW...

(156 Posts)
HeartbrokenOW Wed 27-Aug-14 17:12:50

So I’m going to bite the bullet and brave the flaming that is all too common on these threads. I’m in a bad place right now and it won’t help.

I separated from my DH nearly two years ago. We had been together for 15 years. We were good at being parents and good at being companions but I think we both wanted more. We have 3 young children and the split has been about as amicable as these things can be and we are on good terms. At the beginning of the year I ended up sleeping with a colleague after a drunken night out and we drifted into an affair. He fell for me quite quickly and I gradually followed and have ended up loving him in a way I have never loved someone before. No one has ever made me feel as loved as he has. We both fell head over heels.

Just a few months after we started my MM told his wife he was unhappy. She didn’t want him to leave and he agreed to try to work on his marriage with counselling. He told me that he had been unhappy for years but it had never ever occurred to him to separate until he met me. He felt that he needed to try to make his marriage work for the sake of the kids (three teenagers, one at uni). He ended it with me but the affair very quickly started again (days). We fell deeper and deeper into our relationship. A couple of weeks ago he told his wife he was leaving and went to stay at a friend’s house with the intention of trying to find somewhere to live asap. However my elation has turned to heartbreak when two days later he told me that he didn’t think he could go through with it and he felt he had to try one last time with his wife. He said he hadn’t tried properly before as was carrying on with me. He has said he loves me but needs a clear head so he can make a committed decision one way or another and has therefore said no contact.

I am hurting so much. I have fallen for this man completely. On the one hand I recognise that his actions are probably honourable in that if there is anything salvageable in his marriage then he should salvage it as there are children involved. At first I didn’t consider his DW’s feeling if I am honest but I have as time progressed. He has a nice family life and he has never described her negatively. He has always said that their marriage is dead and has been for many years. I do completely believe he loves me and he has said many times that he has never felt for someone the way he does for me. So I guess part of me feels that he is potentially robbing her of a chance to be with someone that loves her properly rather than someone who is staying with her for the sake of the children. Already he is not the man she thinks he is as he has had a long affair. I have read other affair discussions on here and I have heard all the views of the MM’s devastated wife.

I know that there will be the usual lines on here that I could never trust him, our relationship has been built on lies, if he’s done it once he’ll do it again etc etc. FWIW – I don’t believe in any of that. The MM is a decent man. It is something that just happened. People fall in love, fall out of love, fall in love with someone else. Shit happens particularly as they got together when young. Of course all along we’ve had the free will to end it but our feelings for each other have done nothing but intensify. If he truly loves his wife then I will lick my wounds and wish him the best of luck. However I don’t believe he does. I think he possibly confused the pain of leaving and guilt for love. I think the sense that he was leaving for me rather than because of a dead marriage compounded that guilt.

But it still leaves me with a broken heart and the reality that we still have to see each other all the time at work. It leaves me desperate to contact and talk to him, to know what’s going on, to understand, but having to try to respect his request for space. I would really like to hear from those who have been in my position, either as the MW or the OW (PM me if you prefer). If your relationship ultimately worked out – did you or your MM wobble time and time again? Did you/he try to work on his marriage? How long were you together before the making a go of it? I would also like to hear from those for whom it didn't work out – how did you move on with a broken heart? Particularly if (as I suspect is often the case) you work together? How do I stop myself contacting him? I am itching to but he has asked for no contact and I have to respect that.

Woe - that was longer than I intended! But hey, rather than drip feed...

AuntieStella Wed 27-Aug-14 17:17:07

"On the one hand I recognise that his actions are probably honourable"

They're not, you know. They really are not.

But whilst in 'affair bubble' it is surprisingly difficult to see when you are being strung along and spun a line, and the ability to rationalise seriously shitty behaviour creeps in.

What are employment prospects like in your sector at the moment? A change of job could be just the thing right now.

cansu Wed 27-Aug-14 17:21:21

Putting aside the rights and wrongs of your position, maybe you should leave him alone and if he really does love you and his marriage is dead then he will leave his wife and start a relationship with you. By trying to contact him you will be trying to sway him and won't know what her he really does want you or whether you are just the more desirable, new and novel OW. I think you should also ask yourself if he is in love with you or instead perhaps in love with the idea and heady feelings of desire for a new partner.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 27-Aug-14 17:21:42

I'm not going to judge or flame because I've actually walked a mile or two in your shoes if it's any consolation. You have to get away from this best you can, I'm afraid. Him, his family, wife and all that goes with it are his business, his decisions and I'm afraid you are quite irrelevant to the discussion, no matter what he says or does. Please don't waste your life waiting for something that is probably never going to happen. It's OK to love the wrong person. It's a disaster to pin your hopes on a man leaving his family.

Please make an independent life for yourself and scoop up what's left of your self-esteem. MM are nothing but pain.

BloodontheTracks Wed 27-Aug-14 17:22:51

Have respect for his decision. Do NOT contact him. Accept that you have been rejected. It is not your right to make judgements on the truth of his marriage and his love for his wife. It is arrogant of you to assume you can conclude this. It is selfish of you to seek 'understanding' or anything like that, it is an excuse to make contact and feed the affair and the needs it fulfilled for you. I've been on both sides of affairs. I also know it is almost impossible to get people to listen when they are inside of things. But you know in your core what the right thing to do is. It is move on in the way that makes you most independent and most emotionally healthy, for you and for them. This involves new workplace and new social circle and partners. Affairs can drag out for YEARS in this stopping starting, passionate way without ever amounting to anything real. don't be one of those people.

Get TINY BEAUTIFUL THINGS by Cheryl Strayed to read something that offers compassion and guide to being your best self.

you are still caught up in something that he has literally told you needs to be over. Respect this. I am not interest in flaming and I sympathize with your pain for losing someone you care about, but you are coming across poorly in your post by clearly still engaging in fantasies and hopes that are damaging and selfish and actually bad for YOU long term too. Stop.

VanitasVanitatum Wed 27-Aug-14 17:30:37

He slept with you after a drunken night out.. That's not 'Oh whoops we fell in love'..

He's obviously still torn. This needs, as he has said, to totally stop until he makes a clear decision. Very hard for you as you love him, but you need to delete numbers/emails, keep busy etc.

If he 'chooses' you then you will be obviously, from the tone of your post, want to be with him so I won't bother advising you not to. I do think you should be hugely wary though. There is no crime in falling out of love with your wife or wanting to not be together any more. There really really is in choosing to have a relationship with someone else and lie to and deceive your partner. Maybe you could really try and think about what that says about his character, his morals..

helzapoppin2 Wed 27-Aug-14 17:30:48

Please excuse me, I'm an old married lady of lots of years. Your depth of feeling worries me, and seems to stem from the affair being illicit, and him being married. This is going to sound hackneyed, but I bet you wouldn't feel so heady if you were married to him and together all the time, with the socks and washing up!
You need to save yourself. At the end of the day he's got his wife and kids. It's you I'm worried about.
I think your first step needs to be to move job. It's too damned convenient at the moment. You're cutting down your chances of meeting anybody else, and you're always conveniently close to him. That's unhealthy and unrealistic.
Open up your world, meet other men and see if he is still so fabulous.
What you describe sounds too intense.
We all get our hearts broken sometime and need to carry on, putting one foot in front of another. You need the person ( he's out there!) who loves you best of all. Give yourself that chance. I'd hate to see you waste it.
By the way, what he's told you about his wife is riddled with cliches!

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Wed 27-Aug-14 17:50:48

This is a very, very familiar story. I have reason to believe that the OP may be my sister.

I feel so sad for you OP. This must be terribly painful (understatement) but he's made his choice for now but you really have to accept it and extricate yourself from this absolute hell.

thestamp Wed 27-Aug-14 17:53:03

you feel strongly simply because it's a secret affair. it's the romeo and juliet effect. really.

he's just some silly man who cheated on his wife. it's sordid and pathetic. if you did make a go of it, the bloom would be off the rose quite quickly.

a close friend of mine had a similar situation. i met her after it all happened and she had married him, him having left his wife for her. they also worked together, had met at work, were still in the same workplace.

she was 8 years in when i met her.

she told me to never follow in her footsteps.

that it all went down the shitter with some speed once it was out in the open... that amazing bond wilted in the cold hard light of day... that they were judged and gossiped about... that she struggled with feelings of shame and regret... felt sniggered at... they struggled to commiserate with one another... he resented his loss of standing, she resented being painted as the scarlet woman. they had discussed all of this beforehand, but the reality was stark.

that she had realised, years in, that she had probably invested too much into what was at its base, a less than ideal relationship, all because of how strong it had felt at the beginning, and because she felt she had something to prove to all the gossips and naysayers. and to his Ex W.

she told me that you can never trust feelings generated by a secret relationship, because they're based in fantasy and are not a reliable measure of how things will be when you are "official".

this MM of yours fucked some woman from work on a night out. i mean he wasn't even in love with you! he slept with you without even having feelings for you.

and you think he is capable of being honourable? no, my dear. he just knows what side his bread is buttered. you've already shown you're willing to be the OW, why would he leave his wife for you? the woman who had his children and knows how to cook his tea? i mean this kindly, but you need to get real.

AnyFucker Wed 27-Aug-14 17:55:37

Seriously, Bitter ? shock

BuzzardBird Wed 27-Aug-14 18:02:38

Not being flippant Bitter (first time for everything I suppose) but the OP could be my sister and my dear friend...and quite a few other people I have known.
OP, you need to respect his wishes, you have no idea what he really thinks.

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Wed 27-Aug-14 18:06:19

Yes, I am serious. Almost word for word. That doesn't mean the OP is my sister, I bloody well hope not, but the scenario is not unique and neither are the feelings. I could weep for the pain my sister is suffering. She's a bloody fool but I love her so. I have deep empathy for the OP but she needs to go cold turkey before she drives herself mad.

Someone who shags a workmate when there's no relationship and then ping-pongs back and forth is a very cruel man with absolutely no integrity to speak of.

magoria Wed 27-Aug-14 18:07:22

Has he ever tried to tell his wife that he is a dirty lying sleaze who has been shagging around behind her back for months?

She may not be so keen to keep him if she knew the truth. You may be the 'lucky' one who ends up with him then.

Read many of the other threads on here about how devastated women are when they find out what a prick their H is. And what a god awful surprise it is when he rewrites history to not having loved her or been happy for years.

It is bull shit. You have fallen for the classic cheaters text book. There is a thread on here about how they all do and say exactly the same thing to justify their sleazy affair. Have a read of that and realise that you are nothing special and just the same as every other sap that falls for it.

Get some dignity and move on. If you can't cope with working for him look for a new position somewhere else and make a clean start.

sweetnessandlite Wed 27-Aug-14 18:14:25

He has always said that their marriage is dead and has been for many years.

They ALWAYS say that. It's not always true - along with those other old 'chestnuts' ''I never sleep with my wife'' and ''I'm only staying for the sake of the children''.

If they were to tell their OW the truth, it would more than likely go like this:

''Yes, we do have our ups and downs and tough times, but sometimes we laugh together and do things together, and yes, we DO sometimes have sex, also, I DO enjoy spending lots of time with my children, and aren't really prepared to cast them aside for a long time''

But the MM knows that if he were to tell the OW the truth, she will be less likely to sleep with him.

By telling her porkies, he manages to have his cake and eat it.

Darquesse Wed 27-Aug-14 18:20:05

If he will cheat with you, he will cheat on you.

He is spinning you the classic script but he wont leave his wife for you. He loved her enough to make a life with her, unfortunately it gets boring as life can do and along came you, good enough for a bit of fun but obviously not to be his one and only. Move on, move job, get some self respect and send him packing.

sweetnessandlite Wed 27-Aug-14 18:24:23

*The MM is a decent man.
If that's the definition of decent I would hat to meet one that isn't.

It is something that just happened.
Sorry, but that is plain bullshit.
Affairs take a LOT of groundwork.

sweetnessandlite Wed 27-Aug-14 18:26:03

OP, you DO realise that by becoming Needy and Clingy and Desperate (hanging around him and refusing to give him space), you are going to put him right off you.

thestamp Wed 27-Aug-14 18:31:09

yes, it's quite something how the lines are completely identical in these cases.

the marriage has been dead for years!
it never occurred to me to leave before meeting you!
we're only together for the kids!
we never have sex!

... oh of course. yes. THIS man is telling the truth. never mind that hundreds of millions of men say the exact same things to allllll the OW... who allllll believe their MM is the ONE exception to the rule...

OP he spun you just enough nonsense to keep you hanging on. that's all it is. that's all it ever is.

mammadiggingdeep Wed 27-Aug-14 18:32:00

Cry me a river op.

You walked straight into heartbreak central with upur eyes wide open, His wife on the other hand, not so much.

sweetnessandlite Wed 27-Aug-14 18:37:47

*yes, it's quite something how the lines are completely identical in these cases.

the marriage has been dead for years!
it never occurred to me to leave before meeting you!
we're only together for the kids!
we never have sex!

... oh of course. yes. THIS man is telling the truth. never mind that hundreds of millions of men say the exact same things to allllll the OW... who allllll believe their MM is the ONE exception to the rule...

OP he spun you just enough nonsense to keep you hanging on. that's all it is. that's all it ever is*

OP, you should really read what Stamp has written.
There's a lot of truth in it, sadly (for you)

ALL married men spin these lies to the OW - does that not tell you something?

This almost exactly situation happened to my best friend. She was adamant (despite my better judgement!) that her MM wasn't sleeping with his wife, their marriage was dead etc until his wife got pregnant by him!

Don't keep chasing him OP. Even though he is definitely a cheating scumbag, his wife is innocent (we have no reason to doubt this) and doesn't deserve this.

CariadsDarling Wed 27-Aug-14 18:47:16

OP you said 'shit happens'.


Could you be any more dismissive of what is going on?

But then perhaps you should have said 'two shits happened' - you and him.

F0ssil Wed 27-Aug-14 18:51:31

You may have a great connection but he's a coward. He has a chance at having something real but he's not going to take it. You (and your xh) were braver. He's clinging to an old raft.

I hope you're not savaged on here. People can be so black and white on mn.

Ilikecooking Wed 27-Aug-14 19:04:15

Bizarrely & being totally honest, the OP sounds like my next door neighbour. She could have written that word for word.

If it's not her or Bitter's sister, this issue seems to be more common than I thought confused

if he's done it with you, he'll do it TO you

AnyFucker Wed 27-Aug-14 19:15:04

I think the fact that so many people are recognising the situation, the OP's justifications and the totally predictable lines she has swallowed is testament to this being just another slightly sordid and ridiculously romance-fuelled badly-judged situation

So far, so yawnsome

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