Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Questions from a former OM(10 Posts)
I don't know why I'm writing this, maybe I just need to vent but I saw from a quick search that people on here are knowledgeable and sympathetic about these types of situations and the baggage that comes with them.
Ok here goes... I was the OM in an affair that started about 7 years ago, we met at work a few years before that, and lasted roughly 18 months. Ironically she ended it because she thought I was cheating on her. I wasn't, I was madly in love with her, or so I thought. Now looking back and whilst looking into the whole subject of affairs, I believe it was limerance.
The whole thing is nothing like how the TV/movies make it out to be. My experience was stolen moments here and there, seedy rendezvous' in supermarket and shopping mall car parks, her office or now and again at my house. Every single meeting was constantly filled with her clock or phone watching which also didn't help.
It started with her asking me to the movies, but then backing out. I thought nothing of this as I have female friends who are married and we meet for coffee, lunch, etc and their partners/husbands are fully aware. But, and I will only say this once, my inexperience with women and naivety prompted me to give her my number to rearrange the movies.
She started texting lots, telling me how bad her holidays with her husband and kids was, whilst I was on my holidays too. I was busy so I paid it little attention at the time. After the summer break we returned to work where the texts got a little more frequent. I started to think about her more and more and developed feelings towards her. At the time Facebook was newish so I used to post on there, she figured out I was struggling with something and offered a friendly ear. I let on that I liked someone who was with someone and she said going too far would ruin the friendship which isn't worth it. Eventually she worked out it was her.
When she wanted to talk about it I said I needed space so didn't respond to the messages, she sent over 100 texts in a week, to which I did not respond to a single one as I just needed time to myself. She ignored my requests, sent me presents and voicemails.
I eventually gave in and started talking to her again. Then during Xmas she was struggling as we were apart. She asked to meet in a car park, which I did, she kissed me and I didn't reciprocate. Anyway more weeks/months went by on the rollercoaster and eventually we started getting more intimate. We broke up and got back together almost every other week, it was so surreal but emotionally and mentally draining to be in this position.
Like a dumb idiot, thinking with more heart than head, I even got her another phone so we could contact each other without her DH finding out. She used to say he probably didn't care as she thought he was seeing OW behind her back. We arranged meets in hotels before she backed out last minute. Then after she backed out I sometimes went to her house when her DH was away and the DC were upstairs asleep. It was something I thought I would never do. I hate excitement and the unknown. I like safe, routine things.
Eventually, like I said, she ended it. And then she got diagnosed with a brain tumour, she still had my number, so she used to message about her treatment. I felt so helpless about the whole situation and I knew she had lots of friends and family around to support her and I changed my number to extract myself from the situation. The thing that pushed me to do this was when she sent me a photo of her after her surgery, it was the most horrific thing I'd ever seen, no warning, and reduced to a blubbering mess to see someone I loved so dearly go through this without me to offer support like we both wanted.
She got better, returned to work and we never crossed paths physically but she emailed me now and again on my birthday and for other silly reasons which I took to assume that she was hoping to just get something back from me. I didn't want to engage, I felt used and dumped like a piece of crap that somebody got bored of.
We have mutual friends who know about the affair and she has messaged them asking if they've spoken to me, I purposefully keep them at arm's length so they have nothing to tell her and she has now stopped asking them. I left Facebook and LinkedIn so she can't track me down and message me anymore through that.
I left the company and changed jobs and although it was out of sight out of mind, I still think about her. Almost every day, if a song, movie or TV or something that we used to share, she comes to mind.
Then last week I saw her out and about. I was out with a friend and she was with family. I always expect to see her, as we live quite close by but this is the first time it happened. We clocked each other and there was a lot of staring before we lost sight of each other. The problem is that it's made my thoughts of her even more overwhelming. I even thought of rejoining Facebook and getting in touch to meet.
Obviously I am older, hopefully wiser, and less naive and my only reason for meeting would be so I can get closure. I obviously have something that I feel is unfinished otherwise why would I think of her and why would seeing her affect me so much.
My feelings towards her and her situation are sadness and pity. The home environment for the DC must be extremely toxic if both parents are doing this. And I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one she's done this with, although she was so bad at it, and so emotional about it, I might be wrong.
I've not been in another relationship since, I've dated but nothing more, and I've started seeing a therapist to help me work on my issues - I grew up in a very abusive environment with a strict religious father. So I'm working on me and my issues without bringing someone else into my mess.
But arranging to meet her would be bad right? I'm just clinging on to a stupid fantasy but 6 years seems like an awful lot of clinging.
I think she isn't a very nice person, treated you and her husband terribly, ultimately chose family life over you and yet continued to contact you sporadically because she enjoyed keeping you on the hook.
Quite why you are still yearning for her after six entire years is beyond me. It wasn't anything special and it wasn't an epic love story, it was a tawdry affair between someone capable of lying to her family every single day and someone who - for some reason - found that an appealing character trait in a partner.
Just because you haven't found anyone else doesn't mean she's the one for you. If she wanted you, she'd be with you. Find some dignity and make a concerted effort to move on.
It's over. You have to move on. That's easier said than done because of the number of 'what ifs' but there is nothing in this but drama and disappointment and hurt.
Book in for a bit of counselling. It sounds like you need to process the whole thing and make some sense of it.
Then get excited. There is a whole world out there - go and date it.
No, no, no no!
Do not contact her! You will be ultimately dooming yourself! I know a OM who continued an affair. It lasted for a decade and he does not know which of the married womans kIds are his. She refuses to leave her hubby. He is miserable and unhappy and wishes openly that his life had taken a different path.
You have written your history with this woman and frankly it sounds sleazy and utterly pathetic. Her chasing you, sending you 100 texts in a week, breaking up every week?? Not a healthy relationship at all!
Nearly everyone feels a pang when you see an ex. That is normal. But pursuing contact with a woman who is a liar, cheat and who frankly sounds a bit unhinged is not the way forward.
I guarantee once you find a loving available woman you will look back on this and be embarrassed.
What are you still missing in your life that means you're still pining for this awful experience? How can you resolve that?
You deserve better than to play second fiddle to someone else. It sounds like the classic wanting, what you can't have.
I bet, if she announced she'd split up with her DH, the reality would be wooooh fuck, what now??
Just don't contact her, whatever you do!
The thing is, you can't get closure from seeing her. That's an interaction, not moving on. Interactions mess with your head and reinforce the memories. They make it harder to move on.
There's a safety in being with someone who doesn't really want you. I know that sounds strange, but it's true. You get all the excitement, but it's all at arm's length. None of the pains are real relationship pains. They're just drama.
Real relationship pains are the ones borne from daily drudgery; being tired after work and getting irritated by a mug in the sink, or having incompatible views about whether the toothpaste cap should be on or off.
You can't move on by getting back onto the rollercoaster. You may only plan to sit there for a minute, but the second it starts looping the loop you'll find it nigh on impossible to get off.
You need to work on you, it's ok to miss things, it's not ok to go back to lifestyle that damaged you just because some of it felt good.
Block her emails, if you see her out and about, turn around and walk the other way.
It will get easier. I know it was long ago, but the first time you bump into someone like that is still just the first time.
Sorry to derail, but where have you been, FuckYouChris??? We've missed you!
Thank you all for your advice - it's much appreciated.
I think because of the holidays, all my friends/family busy with their families etc, I got lost in my own thoughts.
Yes, it's completely silly to even contemplate meeting her, she was/is a complete bitch and not someone I want back in my life. As you can tell this is not something I regularly do or ever will again so I think it was just momentary lapse in rational thinking late last night.
My next meeting with my therapist is next week and I will definitely look to work on this, and anything underlying, to be able to better deal with bumping into her if it happens again.
Now I think of it, I am sooooo lucky to be out of it without any come back as it could have been far worse (unprotected sex type of far worse!)
Jeez... what was I thinking?!
Oscar, that's great, glad you're back on track
Yorick I'm a terrible reprobate who keeps wandering off to RL. I always come back again though, you'll never get rid of me. Lovely to be missed!
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.