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Please help--I need perspective! OW is my children's teacher!!

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SweetbutStrong posted 6/4/2013 00:04 AM

This is my first post, but I've been "lurking" and reading other people's posts for months now. Even though people's posts/responses weren't about my own situation, I still found them helpful and informative and I'm grateful this site exists!

I'm posting now because I am having a difficult time with an upcoming decision, and I need to find out if I am "unusual" in my response (i.e. am I over-reacting?) or whether how I'm feeling/reacting is normal for other people suffering from infidelity.

I guess I should give you some background. My D-Day was July 7, 2012. My husband and I are reconciling and he says he's 100% committed to me and making our marriage work. We've been together for 22 years and married for 15 and a half years, and we have three kids. I was completely blindsided by my husband's emotional affair with his co-worker. I had thought we had a wonderful marriage--full of openness, honesty, caring, passion, great sex, similar goals and visions, laughter.... we rarely fought. I say the affair was emotional, but it had started to get a bit physical and was escalating when I "sensed" something and told him he should stop seeing her to safeguard our marriage. Of course, when I told him to stop seeing her I thought they were "just friends" but it had occurred to me they "could" get attached, not realizing it had already happened. By the time I told him to stop seeing her he had already told her he was falling in love with her, he had told her she was his best friend, he was keeping me in the dark about how much time they were spending together, and, most painful to me, they had taken trips together (including a trip to Europe--my husband and I have never been to Europe together) where they had flirted and started to get physical, spending evenings in each other's hotel rooms and drinking wine. He told me that they only cuddled on the bed and held hands, and, I realize this may sound naive, but I do believe him. (I should clarify that I had known about the "work" trips they were taking together, but I didn't know that they actually had feelings for each other or they had been acting inappropriately.)

Anyway, the OW has been on a leave of absence for the past year, studying abroad, and they have been NC (though I had to write the NC email because his NC email was a *!@$@$ love letter). However, she is coming back to work this September. My husband has switched jobs, so he won't be working with her any longer, but here is my dilemma... she is my children's teacher. (My husband is also a teacher). It's a small school, so it's practically impossible for them to avoid having her as I teacher. I have known her for 4+ years and I previously admired her as a teacher, but now it feels like poison to have her "teach" my kids. I wrote her a letter last summer to tell her how betrayed I felt, and she basically responded by telling me she had done nothing wrong (though she was flirting/encouraging him as well) and that I was over-reacting. She also told me that while she didn't care to be a "catalyst" for my marriage's recovery, that's essentially what she was/is (am I supposed to be thankful for her flirtation?). She never once apologized for her inappropriate actions, or causing me (and potentially, my kids, by perhaps being part of the break up of our family unit) such distress. While my husband was the instigator is most of their interactions, she encouraged his attentions and did not stop them or pull away. And my husband is very, very remorseful and knows what he did was wrong.

Now, am I over-reacting for feeling like I don't want her teaching my kids? In my email letter to her (when I told her how betrayed I felt) I had said that if she felt any remorse for her actions she could avoid teaching my children in the future, and her reply was that she would not be guilt-tripped and if I didn't want my kids to be taught by her I should do what I saw fit. I want my kids to avoid her at all cost, but our son, who is graduating next year, doesn't want to switch schools. I think he can avoid having her as a teacher as she doesn't usually teach senior subjects, but it means he will have to drop music (he knows about the situation, so he has agreed to do this). But we're trying to keep our two younger daughters unaware of my husband's dalliance and my middle daughter may not be able to avoid her. Am I putting myself above the well-being of my kids if I make my daughter switch schools to avoid having the OW as a teacher (if she doesn't want to switch schools)? Am I being unfair and unreasonable, or would you, if you were in my situation, feel similarly? I just don't know if I am reacting to the uncaring/unapologetic email she sent me and it's my pride/vanity at work here, or if I am right to think this is a potentially noxious situation. My husband thinks that it's "no big deal" if she remains our kids' teacher. That it just means that it's her signature on their report cards twice a year. But for me, it's trusting someone who shows no remorse for her unprofessional and thoughtless actions with the greatest treasures in my life. Am I over-reacting and being selfish? Please be honest with me. I need perspective. Thank you.

webmistress posted 6/4/2013 00:15 AM

No way would I keep my kids in the same school with OW, much less the same class. Avoidance wouldn't be enough......I'd pull them all, and let your H do the explaining.

njgal480 posted 6/4/2013 01:02 AM

How awful!
I would never have been able to deal with the OW on a daily basis. And would never wanted my children to have OW as their teacher!
I would have done whatever it took to send them to another school.

In fact, I could not have reconciled if my FWH continued working with the OW either.

I am so sorry that you are dealing with all of this.

gonnabe2016 posted 6/4/2013 01:03 AM

No. I wouldn't be able to do this. And an even bigger HELL no....considering both of their responses to this.

And, the cherry on top of my totally negative post to that I'm not so sure that I'd believe that only *cuddling/hand-holding* happened in Europe.

Ladyogilvy posted 6/4/2013 01:14 AM

I'd tell the principal of the school you don't want her teaching your children and why. She may very well get fired. I would also be really POed with WH for not supporting you by validating your feelings. It's not a couple of signatures a year. It's her having the privledge of spending time with your children. Completely unacceptable.

Have you ever considered homeschooling? That's what we do and it's a wonderful way of life.

Nature_Girl posted 6/4/2013 01:16 AM

No, she would not be my children's teacher. In fact, I'd inform my husband that he has to change jobs immediately as well as find a new school for the children.

I would NOT have her as my children's teacher. I could never trust her, never believe she was giving my children an honest education or honest grade.

I might even consider telling the school about what's happened, if that would be a way to keep the kids in same school an ensure she wasn't their teacher

Lucky posted 6/4/2013 01:29 AM

they had taken trips together (including a trip to Europe--my husband and I have never been to Europe together) where they had flirted and started to get physical, spending evenings in each other's hotel rooms and drinking wine. He told me that they only cuddled on the bed and held hands,

YES. Drinking wine always leads to hand holding.

As for the teacher thing? HELL NO.

You are the parent, and as such you owe absolutely nobody a reason why you don't want her to be the educator of your kids, including your kids.

PricklePatch posted 6/4/2013 01:41 AM

They were in each other's rooms and there was no sex. Check his definition of sex do a poly. Tell th principle.

karmahappens posted 6/4/2013 01:46 AM

Welcome Sweetbutstrong

First, I would not let her teach my children, period. BUT I most certainly would not make them suffer by changing schools. I would march my ass down to the princ. office and let them know she is not to be responsible for your kids and let them know why.

If she gets fired, too bad. It's called consequences.If your husband has switched jobs then great, but if the truth affects his job as well, too bad. Get another one.

They not only showed poor judgement but a lack of respect for your children and the jobs they hold.

Since when do schools have work trips in Europe? Any chance they were chaperones for a school trip? If yes that would be a whole other set of pissed off....

I also agree with the others, I do not believe she was his best friend and he was in love with her so they held hands and cuddled.

I would get tested for STD's and let your husband know you need the truth.

My husband and I are reconciling and he says he's 100% committed to me and making our marriage work.

He may be saying this, but his actions regarding the kids and your feelings are not R-friendly.


ButterflyGirl posted 6/4/2013 01:53 AM

I think you WANT VERY BADLY to believe it was only cuddling, and I'm sure he wants you to believe that too, but you cannot reconcile with him if he doesn't completely tell you the truth here..

he had already told her he was falling in love with her, he had told her she was his best friend

Especially this makes me think this was definitely more than an EA.. And his love letter NC email.. Sounds like they built some very strong feelings for each other, and a chance to be far away in another country with wine and their own hotel room was the perfect place to act on those feelings.. Perhaps ask him to take a lie detector on this. You really need the truth about this if you are going to have true R..

And him thinking keeping this woman connected to you and your family is "no big deal" is completely unacceptable.. He is showing no understanding or caring for the pain this will put you through..

DEFINITELY do not allow this completely unremorseful woman to teach your children. You need as much distance from her as possible. I agree that telling the principal why is a good idea.

But I think you have other issues to deal with here concerning your WH and his supposed remorsefulness..

The fact that you even think you are overreacting or being selfish about the OW being so involved with your children here makes me think your WH is trying to rugsweep, gaslight, blameshift, something to keep you off balance, wants to be or still is in contact with her..

[This message edited by ButterflyGirl at 1:55 AM, June 4th (Tuesday)]

fool4adecade posted 6/4/2013 04:10 AM

Now, am I over-reacting for feeling like I don't want her teaching my kids?

No you are not!

I have been in your situation and did not report the teachers A with my husband. I wish I could go back in time and do it all over. Its been 8 years and her involvement with my children has hindered my healing critically. Every school event, every goal my children obtain, she is there for and it is soul destroying. I thought I was protecting my children by not upsetting the familiarity of their lives, but it was a HUGE mistake.

Go to the school and report her and your WH. If they are both fired, too bad. Its consequences. You and your children need to be the priority here and you have rights. If the school won't deal with it, then be prepared to have the children change schools or home school. Its not ideal, but you and the kids will be better off for it.

However, they may just let her go to avoid having to deal with the "messy details" of having other parents (moms) finding out about this teacher's extracurricular relationships.

Seriously, don't lock yourself into a situation where you have to choke down fear, resentment, anger, guilt,and hurt where your children are involved.

This is just my advice, but please consider the long running consequences. If you want to reconcile with your husband, this will not be beneficial at all to it.

Also, please please please be prepared. Guard your heart - you have not been told everything and, from experience, your husband is lying and gaslighting you on the details.

Good luck.

purplejacket4 posted 6/4/2013 04:24 AM

I'd tell the powers that be at that school exactly why you don't want her teaching your kids. Since this was on company time and dime she may get fired anyway. I wouldn't let her ANYWHERE near your kids.

And I think you definitely need STD testing if you haven't gotten it.

Bluebird26 posted 6/4/2013 04:27 AM

You are not over-reacting, I would go to the Principal, go above their head if you need too. OW needs to get a transfer or lose her job asap.

Also please get an and STD check to be on the safe side. Protect yourself.

Ostrich80 posted 6/4/2013 04:31 AM

You are not over reacting. its not just a couple of signatures a year. I have contact with my kids teachers a lot more than that, plus...anyone that doesn't respect your family/marriage certainly shouldn't be in charge of your childrent 7 hrs a day.

Laura28 posted 6/4/2013 04:39 AM

Hi honey

I am so sorry you have to deal with this.

it's trusting someone who shows no remorse for her unprofessional and thoughtless actions with the greatest treasures in my life

You do not have to do this.

I am a member of what is known in our neck of the woods as the "Executive" of our school.

I don't know how the system works where you are but here there are a handful of people who, along with the Principal and Deputy Principal, are responsible for the day to day running of the school. We make all the big decisions including who takes which classes. At times there is no decision (there is only one specialist teacher of a particular subject) but often there are ways to deal with your problem.

This is what I would do:

Write to EVERY member of the "Executive" of the school. In your letter state that what you are telling them must remain confidential. You have that right. Also make it clear that you have written to all members of the Executive. This will ensure that your letter will be dealt with at a meeting. In your letter tell them that contact with the OW would be distressing for both you and the child who knows and that you fear the others finding out or her using contact with them as a means of getting contact with your H.

Tell them the sich and that you do not want any of your children in her class.

Where I work this request would be honoured. I am convinced of this.

Please note I said EVERY member of the Executive. I said this for a reason. In my sich I know that one member of my Executive is a former AP. So you need to ensure that what you want is communicated to them all so it is not rugswept. As well, given my own sich, I would move heaven and earth to ensure your request was granted. There is every likelihood that one member of the executive is a BS and would feel as I do - empathy for your sich.

Under professional ethics your statement about confidentiality must be respected.

You have nothing to lose. I would do it.



Angelstar5 posted 6/4/2013 04:42 AM

you are in no way over-reacting. You may have to have your husband start sending out resumes, or she needs to resign or you out them both...or homeschool. It really isn't ok to keep working together, but if you cant get your kids out of that school, you may have to figure out something else. ugh sorry :(

On another note, and others have said, you need to protect yourself and realize unfortunatly that you most likely do not know the whole story. He will never tell you the truth unless you find it out (well most likely he won't, just ask a few of us if they lie)...its almost always worse then they tell you...for a while, and then they may trickle truth you, but for some of us we never feel we get the whole story as ugly as the one we did get is, there is almost always more...and more...and more.

Prepare yourself for the worst and don't stop looking for it either. Hugs and im sorry your here.

confused615 posted 6/4/2013 05:01 AM

No way in Hell would I allow OW around your kids. She is unremorseful,and sounds rather spiteful towards you.

And,I know you said the affair could have potentially harmed the kids. Here's the already has. Some know,some don't. But all have been affected. There's been tension in the house,and their mom is not their mom anymore. Betrayal changes a person,and the first several months are traumatic for a BS. And they have to switch schools.

What your WH has done,and what the OW has done,to you and your kids is terrible. She waged war on your family...that's what an OW does when she inserts herself where she doesn't belong.

Your WH is unremorseful. If he were remorseful the NC wouldn't have been a love letter...and he would fully support anything you needed to heal...especially keeping the OW away from your kids.

From one mother to another...keep your kids away from her. You are not being unreasonable. Your WH chose this as a consequence when he had an affair with a woman who most likely would teach his kids the next year.

Gently,get a polygraph. They are adults...drinking...out of the country...falling in "love"...they behaved as adults do...they had sex. I know you don't want to believe that,and Im sure he's very "sincere" when he tells you there was no sex...he is lying. Cheaters lie and minimize their actions..he is lying. Tell him he needs to take a poly as a condition of R.

You have to have the truth to R. Otherwise your new marriage is built on a pile of shit.

Big hugs,honey. Im so sorry.

refuz2bavictim posted 6/4/2013 06:15 AM

I should do what I saw fit.

Wow she is a real piece of work. Her attitude sounds very much like MOW in my situation.

I have been in your situation. The major difference was that MOW was MY coworker and all of my children (4) attended the school, so that added an extra layer of legal implications.

I decided that my children were NOT switching schools....SHE was.
It took a lot of my energy and a bit of money and an attorney. It also resulted a very public battle. 8 months into her LOA she "left" and in spite of the hell I went through, I am glad her contact with ANY children has been greatly limited.

You may not feel that you can expose this, in which case you may have no other option than to pull your kids out of the school to avoid dealing with her. If this is a public school USA then the tangled mess between the district/board/ union would be nothing short of messy.

She sounds stubborn (MOW in my situation most certainly felt entitled to do as she pleased with zero consequence)

There was no way in HELL I would have subjected my children to her. Not even as an authority figure in the cafeteria. She could not objectively make decisions for them or about them, and her having a position of power over them was simply not acceptable AT ALL. I had no choice (in my mind at the time) to take this all the way to the finish line. So I did.

After all was said and done, 2 of my children graduated from that school and the other 2 decided to pursue a career path that required us to move to another area for school.

The teacher is subbing in random districts last I knew, and working some MLM business on the side. She went from the union president to cautionary tale regarding appropriate "technology use" on school time and taxpayer dime. The electronic/paper trail will get you every single time.

But I think your most pressing problem may not be her.

My husband thinks that it's "no big deal" if she remains our kids' teacher. That it just means that it's her signature on their report cards twice a year.

This bothers me most. Like the others, I think you may have some digging to do. This is much more than a "signature" on a card and any contact she has with your children will be done with clouded judgment. How can you possibly utilize the educational process to the fullest as a partner in your child's education if you have to deal with her? Your WH certainly should have NO dealings with her.
She is unable to maintain professional/personal/moral boundaries....what on earth makes him think she will maintain healthy boundaries with CHILDREN???? This comment makes me think he is protecting himself/ and maybe to some degree HER. I am not convinced your H is truly remorseful.

This is really hard stuff, when it not only involves your spouse, but your children. I am so sorry. I really do understand how powerless this can make you feel, and how it can make you question every decision you need to make involving your children. It is not selfish to want to protect them.

Holly-Isis posted 6/4/2013 06:24 AM

Your husband doesn't get it. You're not in true R- ie truly repairing your M- as long as he doesn't get the enormity of what he's done.

Part of why he doesnt get it is he hasn't had to truly face the consequences of his choices. He has you snowed. The first rule of cheating is cheaters lie. My husband had me snowed for nearly a decade...until his 2A. When the secrets remain, the M can never fully heal and the chances of another A are much higher.

Is the OW single? If not, her SO needs to be informed. My guess is there would be proof of a PA found. Possibly even the A being taken underground for a time.

Finally, I've seen moms on here time and again try to protect their older children by putting up with OW in their lives. What happens is the moms slowly die from trying to keep the secret and trying to keep sane in the face of the pain. The ONLY way it has a chance of happening is if you have the full emotional support of your WH, and I'm sorry but from what you posted, it's not there.

My kids go to a small school too. If I was in your shoes, I would have a private meeting with the headmaster about the situation. Is there a morality clause in that school? Your WH has already moved on....perhaps it's time OW has to also.

If the road to R seems too smooth, it is. If the things that happened during the A seem to be minimized...they probably were. Something is being hidden. Please don't dismiss my post (and the others) because we don't know your WH, he's different, he's special. The truth is, he's not the husband you know during the A. He's the cheater we all know through painful experience and cumulated years of posting on SI.

Lucky2HaveMe posted 6/4/2013 06:39 AM

So sorry you find yourself here. Gently, he went to Europe and for all intents and purposes shared a room with the OW - the one he was falling in love with... and they just cuddled?!? I'm sorry, but that doesn't sound like even an ounce of truth. Kinda like when my H said they only had sex once... in the backseat of the car... and it meant nothing... Oh I believed him too! My H would never have an A... Ok, so he did... BUT it was just one mistake... OK, so it was a lot more than once... I wish I had found this site sooner in this journey through hell so that I would have had the insight of so many wise ones to help me see through the bullshit sooner.

There is no way the OW would be my child's teacher. That contact is way to close and familial. Your H does not *get it* - he should want to avoid her at all costs. It made my H physically ill when he would run into OW at work (once we were fully in R). Yet yours wants to have private teacher conferences with her? Hell NO!

Go to the principal. Insist your child not have her as a teacher. ever. Should that mean your child's education is impacted, then the school has a problem & a duty that they need to correct. Could this *outing* impact your WH job? Too bad. I know that sounds harsh, but those are the consequences of his actions and his continued disrespect of you and your M.

[This message edited by Lucky2HaveMe at 6:52 AM, June 4th (Tuesday)]

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