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Dealing with feelings about OW(94 Posts)
Hello, hoping for some collective wisdom and advice. I have posted here before but have named changed. Brief history...
H announced about 6 months ago that he had feelings for someone else. We have two small children. I asked him to leave as he said he wanted to pursue the relationship with her, showed very little true remorse or wish to even work on the marriage. Despite being totally blindsided by this announcement (I had no idea he was unhappy etc.) we have managed to keep things amicable and it's working ok with the kids.
Now to my current issues.
He has recently started making noises about the ow meeting the children. She also has similar aged children.
I have just got into this miserable angry phase and it is just directed at her. I know this is probably linked to my fear of her meeting the children. But she knew he was married, I have met her previously. There was no hiding me on my husband's part (they are colleagues).
I feel so humiliated still that she has 'won' him (and although I know neither of them are really a prize). I just keep getting really intrusive images of them together talking about me and her feeling all smug (my self esteem is fairly rock bottom right now).
I also feel this weird sense of jealousy that he and her are happily getting on with their new life and I am stuck in lockdown still picking up the pieces.
Is this a normal phase? Any tips for getting through it.
I have seen on here people saying don't blame the other woman, blame your husband, but I feel like I am justified in these circumstances?!
I think you are totally justified in feeling anger towards both of them and it's very normal. If ever I feel anger towards anyone I try and turn it into a positive for myself by using it to fuel exercise or energetic housework so I only focus on my feelings for that person when I'm trying to run up a steep hill or vigorously hoovering the entire house.
Completely normal feelings op.
I agree with the above poster, fuel it into positive energy and do something very energetic. Harder during lockdown but I used to go to the gym and run like Hussain Bolt I also did boxing classes! Do you have any paperwork to sort out, I always find ripping up unwanted papers therapeutic.
In time your feelings will mellow, you will be grateful for your dh and ow having the kids so you can move on with your like and use that time to do something you enjoy.
Jesus so not BU to feel
Angry with both
I still find it shocking how people can be so heartless and cavalier . I hope they make each other very unhappy
Look all you can do is tough it out , and make sure you have good support . Since I became single I have sought out other single mothers for support as they get it .
Also whilst self development sounds corny , Having therapy , watching podcasts and also working has really helped me . Pushing myself to do things and learn things
The brutal fact is he has acted very callously , and you are hurt . So all you can do is move forward and focus on you . As for the OW ? In simple terms she has landed a man who left his small children and wife for her .
The more you can take steps to bolster your life , the less she will play on your mind
I wish you strength , it’s a brutal blow and you are completely normal to feel shit
Thank you. I think you have all highlighted what is lacking in terms of my own recovery. I have a limited social circle here (we moved to live on his 'home turf') and I am beginning to feel very lonely. In normal times I would be maybe looking to take up some hobbies and meet more people, but not much is happening (I want to start taekwondo ) and then I have the children 5 nights out of 7 which is also limiting in itself.
Podcasts sound like a good idea. And therapy. I was recommended someone a while back so I will look into that again. Maybe it's time.
I did a bit of DIY yesterday which was therapeutic but I just feel so sad which means I have less energy than I would like for the DC.
OP I'm going to tell you this from the OW side to help.
I was her and in no way was I smug. I was embarrassed, ashamed and guilty. I could barely think about his wife let alone look her the eye and I hated what I had done to her.
None of that is to change how you feel - PPs are right that your feelings are fully justified. I just say it to help you know it's unlikely that they are feeling good or laughing etc, it was honestly the worst I ever felt about myself and I was miserable having to meet her and his kids knowing what I'd done (the kids didn't know).
God I realise how self serving that sounds - I'm not telling you to make you feel different about her/them to try and show that you don't need to feel humiliated as they should be the ones who do.
@affor I appreciate your honesty. I can't unfeel what I feel and my mind is its own worst enemy in that respect. I hope they do feel guilt and shame, but slowly their relationship is being accepted (by their colleagues, by his family etc.) It doesn't take away that pain.
You said that you moved to be on his own turf. Is there anywhere else where you would feel happier? Nearer your own family or friends from before the move.
Would you have more people to support you and babysit etc?
My parents relocated to this part of the country recently to be near grandchildren so I have them (which is very lucky). But it's my own social circle that's lacking. Difficult with self esteem in tatters, but will have to find a way.
Do you know about meetup.com - it's not for dating it's for making friends in your area with similar interests. it's brilliant. You should join and do some things you love with like minded people (male and female).
People often use it when they move to a new area or want to widen their circle. www.meetup.com/
You could plan things for when your ex has the children to take your mind off it and have something to look forward to.
I just want to say how much I feel for you. What an awful situation. The best advice I can give is don’t let them see how they’ve ground you down. Rant and vent on here but to them and DCs you are relieved he’s gone because he was really annoying to live with anyway and your life is SO much better he’s out of your hair. Pride. Watch the film “the secret” on Netflix. You can do this. Are they living together? Be interesting to see how long that lasts when cold hard reality hits. My husband stinks. Every morning. His farts are gag making. Easy to be sexy when you aren’t sniffing in morning man stink. Focus on building up your social life. He needs to be having kids 50% so you can get your life back. New job? Start a course? Are you doing zoom exercise classes?
@Mulledmead - understandable but such a shame that your self-esteem is in tatters, as you say, because you sound bloody amazing. So dignified and reasonable. No doubt it still hurts intensely and it’s natural to be angry, but you are clearly holding it together and moving forward with immense purpose. I’ve seen people go through this. It’s hard but they do come out the other side and actually they usually get to a happier place because the person who was able to do this to them – leave them with small children – was also deficient as a partner in other ways.
I think it takes a particular type of person to leave very young children behind and the OW will know that if he can leave his very young children he can leave anybody. Basically, he couldn’t handle raising a young family and he ran away. This is a man you’re much better off without.
It’s also natural to be uncomfortable with the idea of the OW building a relationship with your children but, as you’ve made plain, you know in the end that it’s the right thing and it will benefit you because you will have those evenings to yourself and be able to concentrate on doing things that you would like to do.
Onwards and upwards, OP!
Completely normal to feel this way and I'm glad no-one has told you she owes you nothing and you should only be angry with your ex. I'm a few years down the line, they are married and we are civil when we meet but I will never ever forgive her for what she helped to do to my family and my kids' childhood. It helps to remember that she is now married to a lying snake who put his 'great love' above his commitments and family. In my case ex moved away so only sees the kids eow so he can't spout the 'I left you, not them' line either. I have built a new life for myself, new job, new area and friends, a really good guy on side (but no intention of blending families). Its important not to base your happines on what does or doesn't happen to them.
Also, when our kids meet her and inevitably start saying, oh OW does this or that, just say 'oh right' and change the subject.
It's not a weird phase of jealousy. It's totally normal and justifiable. I think it would be weird if you weren't feeling it.
In terms of DC meeting her, it would be a no from me at this point in time. How do DC benefit from that exchange? It's purely to please him. If he can walk out on his marriage and children, he can walk out on her, only to introduce your kids to a string of girlfriends. I wouldn't say that to him, obviously, it will just sound bitter. I'd just say I didn't think it was in the kids best interests at this point.
As an aside, he sounds calculated, selfish and heartless. You will build yourself back up. Then you'll realise you deserve a lot better than that.
The future always brings curveballs
Will they end up happily ever after ? Maybe
But ironically even if the shit does hit the fan , by the time it does you will have moved
Please have faith you can be happy again
Right now it’s incredibly hard
Focus on healing , and sending you
@dery thank you. I have glimmers of the possible life that awaits and I know I will just keep going, I don't have a choice. It does feel like he has absconded from his real parenting responsibilities, but he is a great dad when with the kids, so it's also like a double whammy as he will eventually move in with them (so he has told me) so it feels like he has just swapped out families.
@HugeAckmansWife good advice too thank you. I am so sorry that we share such similar experiences but it gives me hope for the other side
I think that is bad advice, @ladybyrd. As a general principle, unless there are significant safeguarding concerns, each parent is entitled to introduce the kids to whoever they want during their contact time. If OP tries to block it, her ex would be well within his rights to take her to court, he'd win (unless there were major safeguarding concerns OP hasn't mentioned here), and then she'd feel even worse as ex and his new partner would have "won". Far better to agree for the kids to meet new partner, and retain control and dignity.
I was the OW (we are married with kids now), and like @affor I felt ashamed and guilty initially. The thing that changed that was when my husband's then-wife started behaving badly. She did and said some truly dreadful things and I'm afraid she well and truly ceded the moral high ground. Many of the people who know us both now say they understand why my husband left his first wife for me, having seen how awfully she has behaved since they split. (She behaved badly towards him before the split, but behind closed doors.) Keep your dignity, OP.
I don’t think the OP was planning to lose the moral high ground - she has been treated appallingly by her ex and the OW and is trying to do her best in an awful situation.
You sound amazing @Mulledmead and I wish you all the best. It is well and truly your ex’s loss, and I am sure you will one day meet someone far more worthy of you .
I have said to him (a few days ago now) I think it is too soon and that it feels like it is for him and her and not the children ( and he has said as much in terms of it being a step that enables them to further their relationship), but that is the only thing I will say on the matter. I know I can't stop him and ultimately I do appreciate that he is honest and up front about it.
With all due respect @NamechangeOnceMore your comments about the ex wife aren't massively helpful, because part of what drives my fears and heartache is what he may have said about me. I am a normal and reasonable person and have kept quiet and generally not let him see what he has done to me. But I have suffered with anxiety and pnd over the last few years. I probably wasn't 'fun' to be with at times and that could be spun in all sorts of ways depending on the agenda of the person recounting the experience.
The post separation period is so brutal we all could easily say and do things we later regret or wouldn't normally do. Like I said I have held back from communication with him in general for that reason. I obviously don't know what she did in your circumstances, but for the ex wife to be vilified is pretty depressing to be honest.
I am rambling now. Hopefully you see my vague point...
@NamechangeOnceMore have you always had an elevated sense of self or is it just since you rescued a man from his awful first marriage? Maybe it’s your amazing ability to read a room that people are most impressed with.
@Mulledmead Well done for keeping things amicable so far. That’s never easy. You’ve obviously got your children’s best interests at heart and so long as you keep them and their best interests at the heart of this then no one can question your decisions.
I'm afraid the rewriting of history to justify the split is a very common thing. I'm acalm and reasonable person, virtually never scream or lose my temper but one time, after the split when my dad was in hospital with a heart attack and ex refused to have the kids an extra weekend, I yelled at him and he said 'see, this is why I left'. In the end, feeling guilty gets boring, they tire of being the bad guy and want everyone to move on, forget how appallingly they behaved and write a whole other narrative where the affair does not get a mention. Prepare for that over time op, you'll need to be quite self confident to not doubt yourself.
As for kids seeing ow, you can't prevent it as others have said, just try and be as aloof as you can and don't slag her off to the kids, no matter how tempted you are.
Thanks for whoever upthread recommended meetup.com I will have a research tonight and see if anything is happening locally if not in real life then maybe virtually.
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