-I had a 10 month A with MOM in our social group (we live in a very small town)
- Dday was over a year ago
- NC/IC/MC/R started 3 weeks after Dday. R currently going really well.
- a few months after Dday, POSOM's BW uncovers multiple A's with OW within our same social group, including their next door neighbor. POSOM is now socially ostracized and he recently lost his job at the only major employer in town. My BH has heard they are separated but the BW is hoping to work things out. Who knows/cares.
So, this morning, my friend and I meet at our regular work out spot (we have been going there every Tues morning for MONTHS). As I pull into the parking lot, POSFOM is sitting there, in his car. I circle the lot planning to leave, but my friend waves me over and I park. She makes a face, but as he is still in his car, she says "let's dominate" and we walk towards the door. He then gets out of his car, and follows. I tell my friend to go in, and that I'm not going in if he is. I wait at the door, and when he approaches this happens:
Me: (totally calm voice) I do not want you in here.
Him: Hey, I'm just going to work out.
Me: No. I do not want you in here, and there is no way I am going to be in the same building with you.
Him: Why not? What's the big deal? I'll stay on my side, you stay on yours.
Me: Are you kidding me? You know exactly why. Get a clue!
Him: Yeah, well, I'm going in.
He pushed past me and went in the building. My friend came out and we left. There is no way I would disrespect my BH by staying there.
I am a little bit in shock right now. This is the first conversation (first face to face actually) with POSFOM since shortly after Dday. I was surprisingly calm, all things considered. His demeanor was so bizarre - basically smirking, and making light of the "coincidence" that we were there at the same time. And acting as if it would be no big deal if we were in the same space together (it is a swimming pool, so we would have been in our bathing suits - ICK!!!)
I don't know that I really have a question, but I had to get this out to people who can understand. My BH is convinced he is a psychopath, and he was looking for some type of reaction out of me, even if it was a negative reaction. I think he was pretty surprised I confronted him however, as my usual reaction is to turn and walk/run away if I ever even get a glimpse of him.
Here are my general thoughts...
1) POSFOM knows when I use that facility (he has friends who see me there) and he likely planned to show up when it would cause me the most discomfort. Otherwise, why the heck was he just sitting in his car until we showed up?
2) POSFOM can go very few places in town where he isn't recognized as "that *%($ guy". I think it pisses him off that I don't get the same treatment (his BW even called up one of my friends and complained that I was getting a "free pass" ?????) and he wanted to do something to make ME uncomfortable about going about my daily life.
Aside: My BH and I want everyone to know we are in R so we went completely NC with the old social group, we go out frequently with lots of new "good" friends/couples, and have tried to just live our lives and not let the A rule our existence. Yes, I experienced a lot of public shame initially. However, I have demonstrated a tremendous amount of remorse, and our friends see that I am doing everything possible to help my BH heal. I'm sure there are people in town who will always look at me sideways, but we don't interact with them. It's not my fault he had a bazillion A's and is now stuck with the consequences.
3) Why in the heck am I on his radar AT ALL? At last count, I'm aware of 5 OW who live in this town. He was involved with some of his OW for years. Why would he have any interest in pinging on me? Perhaps with all of his new free time, he's doing this to all the OW?
4) What is the general consensus on what to do if this happens again? I refuse to let POSOM dictate where I do and do not go, but I respect my BH too much to share the same air as that psycho. I know this is a consequence of my A, so I may just need to give up that activity for a time. Thoughts?
Thanks for reading - I know it is long.
While I understand the feeling of not wanting to let the AP dictate where you go and what you do I wouldn't confront any more. I think your first instinct to leave was a good one. Sounds like he wanted to see what your reaction would be (sitting in the car waiting).
Can you change up your work out times? He can't possibly have the time to watch all day for you...
I edit often to fix stuff ☺️
Profoundly grateful Every. Single. Day. that I am blessed with an H with strength, integrity, and compassion, and that he decided to try.
I would say that OM got what he wanted, your attention and space in your mind.
If this had been FWW seeing one of her OM at gym or elsewhere I would hope that she ignored him as she went about her business, or as a second option left. I would also want her to tell me, and I see that you told your BS about seeing OM and breaking NC.
Ultimately I want OM to be no factor for FWW and I, just like the thousands of other people we see in stores, on the street, and at work everyday. Avoiding OM makes them special, ignoring (even if faking until we can make it) takes the power away.
He then gets out of his car, and follows. I tell my friend to go in, and that I'm not going in if he is. I wait at the door, and when he approaches this happens:
He got your attention, and you arranged to speak to him alone.
He pushed past me and went in the building.
He got physical contact with you.
Finally, I know this came as a suprise to you, but I see an awful lot of talk about the OM in your post and much less about you. This is not the way to get to indifference.
I am not sure I agree with the idea that someone who had one A is not as bad as a person who had multiple A. Just like I suspect I would not feel much better if FWW had sex 1x with OM as opposed to many times.
[This message edited by atsenaotie at 1:38 PM, May 7th (Tuesday)]
You shouldn't care.
You have the opportunity to switch gyms or ignore him.
How does your BH feel about the interaction?
My BH is actually very proud of me for standing up for myself - he's not hung up on the breaking of NC in this instance. I've turned and run a few times in the past, and he is glad I stood up for myself.
Note: I did not "arrange" to speak to POSFOM "privately". My friend had her young son with her, and she was struggling to get him away from the situation and very uncomfortable. There were other people in the vicinity when I spoke to him, who heard the exchange. I didn't say anything to him that I was ashamed of saying in front of others.
I see and understand that I have not reached the state of indifference yet towards POSOM. But I will never be indifferent to the point of sharing a swimming pool with him. NEVER. I think that is reasonable.
I do think it is debatable that I was trying to get "one up" on him. Those thoughts never entered my mind. My intention was to state a specific, reasonable boundary considering we live in a small town, and use a lot of the same facilities/roads/paths etc. I think it is fair that whoever is there first gets to stay - the other has to leave or can just wait. Since he was still sitting in his car when I got to the door, I was there "first". Obviously he disagreed. My bad (stupid?) to think he has learned anything from all of this.
Thanks for all the feedback. I know I didn't share a lot about me, but any tips on reaching "indifference" are welcome. All I feel towards POSOM is disgust and embarrassment that I ever met him.
imho, this was a confrontation that never had to happen, you *made* it happen. You can't control where OM goes, but you *can* control your own behavior in response to seeing him. It doesn't matter that your voice was 'totally calm', you engaged with him. YOU initiated the interaction. Sure he was there, but your first instinct - to leave - was a good one. Why did you choose not to act on that?
It would probably be a good idea to discuss with your BH how you should handle this kind of situation so that you aren't blindsided and having to think on the fly in the future.
I think it is fair that whoever is there first gets to stay - the other has to leave or can just wait.
Gently - no. Does OM know about this unwritten 'rule' you have? And even if he did would he even follow it (given that he is, as you say, a pos)?
You control you. Your behavior is your responsibility, and doesn't depend on whether he's doing the right thing (in your view) or not. Don't rely on him to do what you think is 'right' or 'fair'. If you don't want to be at the gym when he's there, then leave when you see him. No need to engage.
It's simple. Simple, yet not *easy*.
Today, my first reaction was to leave. Absolutely. Then, I remembered how angry I was the last time this occurred a few months ago. In that instance, I was already in the pool, swimming. Had been there for some time. All of sudden, POSFOM is there and just walks right past me, smirking, and prepares to get in the pool. I stopped immediately, jumped out, and left. No words, no looks, nothing. I was so furious, but of course would not stay in there if he was in there. My BH completely supported my decision, but also felt like POSFOM was way out of line to come in when he knew I was in there (very small parking lot). My BH is fully supportive of the "first" there stays rule.
So this time, yes, I felt the need to confront. Obviously, it did no good, and probably gave him a good laugh at my expense. I'm sure he found it just as humorous as me running away, or leaving, or ignoring (my usual MO's).
Sigh. It is simple. Ignore, ignore, ignore. Don't feed the beast. He is nothing.
Living in a small town is tough, but when/if this happens again, hold your head up and drive away.
Guns don't kill people; Affairs kill people
My BH is fully supportive of the "first" there stays rule.
99.99999% of the world could be supportive of this rule, but if OM doesn't know it or isn't going to follow it then for all practical purposes the rule doesn't exist. That's the reality that you need to deal with.
I'm sure he found it just as humorous as me running away, or leaving, or ignoring (my usual MO's).
Who gives a shit what he thinks?
Ignore, ignore, ignore. Don't feed the beast. He is nothing.
See - you already know what to do. You just need to do it.
Detaching from him/this situation will help you enormously. Think of him as dogshit you are wiping from your shoe. Yeah, the dog should know the 'rule' that it shouldn't crap where people will walk, but it doesn't. Once you step in it you don't go trying to teach the dog a lesson, you scrape off your shoe and move on. That's all you're doing here with this pos.
Hang in there, I hope that with time it becomes easier for you, or at least more automatic and less of an emotional investment. Yes, your anger and resentment of him is an emotional investment. Work toward removing that emotion from the mix.
[This message edited by DeadMumWalking at 2:12 PM, May 7th (Tuesday)]
Thanks everyone - I read here a lot but rarely post because as I mentioned, R is going really well for us. This situation was just so freakish that I forgot everything I learned about NC from SI, and I have a temper when I feel threatened. It was incredibly stupid of me to think POSFOM would do the right thing, when he has repeatedly demonstrated that he doesn't care about what's "right". Lesson learned!
Note to self: Ignore all dog shit. If you you step in some, scrape it off (or throw the shoes away) and move on.
Note to self: Ignore all dog shit. If you you step in some, scrape it off (or throw the shoes away) and move on.
There you go!!!
I feel a great deal of remorse with respect to how my actions contributed to the ENORMOUS shit sandwich his BW has had to deal with. POSFOM admitted an A to me from 10 years ago, so it appears he is a long time, serial cheater. That doesn't excuse my behavior/choices in any way. But, they both run into either a BH or OW on a regular (if not daily) basis, due to their kids activities, shared driveways, grocery shopping, Starbucks, you name it. I hear that people approach him and tell him he is a creep. It is their new reality.
Seeing as she has made the choice to stand by him through multiple Ddays involving some of her closest friends (not me) and neighbors over many years, I'm sure my request that he stay away from me and his alternate suggestion that he and I just work out in the same small space in our bathing suits will hardly register. If he even tells her. His mindset that it is even remotely acceptable to be in the same enclosed area with one of his FOW says a lot about his respect for his BW. He still has ZERO boundaries.
After witnessing the intense pain and grief of my BH's DDay and living this long path to R, I feel so much sadness for her, and the abuse she has suffered.
[This message edited by Happeningtome at 5:47 PM, May 7th (Tuesday)]
I guess one of my hot buttons is the fact that so many of the cheaters get labelled with some rather nasty terms, like "piece of shit', "whore", "slut", "bimbo" and so forth. I've tried very hard to not apply such terms to my WW anywhere except in my own head (where those words have intruded unwelcomed). As a result, I try hard to avoid using those same sorts of terms against her affair partner too. Because if I think of him that way, I automatically think of her that way.
I am under no illusion that POSFOM's BW feels anything but contempt for me and all the other OW's she knows about. She has never hesitated to express her disdain for me, my actions, my mental health, my sincere desire to apologize to her, etc. I get it.
With respect to the POSFOM label - evidently this guys A antics were pretty well known/suspected long before I ever came on the scene. He chose to use our A as some sort of weapon, and the damage to his BW began to explode out of his carefully crafted good-guy mask. The explosions just kept on going, for months. They tried to cover up the new revelations and continue to blame me as cause of all of their problems, but this town is too small. All the rumors and more were confirmed. It truly took on soap opera-like proportions, with all the intermingled couples, betrayals and lost friendships/marriages. Crazy.
So I don't have a problem with anyone referring to him as POSFOM. I was a POS while in my A, but I had the decency and desire to stop being one.
[This message edited by Happeningtome at 7:33 PM, May 7th (Tuesday)]