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One week in and he misses the OW

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Arnold01 posted 7/4/2013 17:11 PM

I found out nine days ago that my husband of 12 years had a brief affair with a friend. They tried to cut it off when we moved earlier in June to another state, but I found text messages that made it clear that there was an affair. My husband says he loves me and wants to work on our marriage, and he has cut off contact with the OW...but he also admits that he misses the OW. He is a huge introvert and had become a good friend with the OW before the affair started. He can count in one hand the number of truly great friends he has had, and he tells me what he is grieving the loss of what should have been (they never had the affair, and they could have stayed friends)....and instead the relationship ended abruptly with no closure. As hurt as I am, I get his way he is grieving a loss...but at some point he has to get past it so he can truly focus on me and our marriage. It has been just over a week so not long...but how long should I wait to see him start to come around? He is doing and saying the right things but I can tell he isn't emotionally invested yet while he gets over the other relationship. I am not ready to leave yet - I don't want to rush into any major decisions. Any advice or perspective? It is so hard giving him room to process his confused feelings when I am hurting. Is this what 'the fog' is?

Bigger posted 7/4/2013 17:18 PM

Both of you read the book “Not Just Friends” by the late Dr. Shirley Glass.
It should open his understanding on how his friend is impacting the marriage.
BTW – I always see it as a positive sign if the WS misses the OP. You miss things you don’t have and it’s to be expected that for a brief period (say max 20 days or so) he feels this way. In fact I would be more concerned if he DIDN’T miss her right now.

k8la posted 7/4/2013 17:35 PM

Oh I can relate. My 'working-on-former' wayward husband mourned, worried about and otherwise coded lots of messages after I emailed him and cc'd her that the gig was up, followed up by emailing her that if she had a shred of self-respect left she'd lose his phone #, email and never contact him again.

My husband at that time was also a huge introvert. I required a change in that he could no longer indulge in behaviors that enabled the introversion/depression. I had been financially supporting the family for many years by the time this blew up, and, when I read the emails and texts between them, said - no more self-employment.

Actually - I didn't lay down the law as much as I said I required a plan for his personal and our marital recovery before he left for his temporary job that morning, or he could find another place to live by that night. I was DONE!!

So when he started telling me she was a nice person - that he had done this to her as well as to me - I felt absolutely no sympathy. I told him nice women don't sext with married men - and she can't plead ignorance on that count because she said in one of her emails that she felt sorry for hurting me (that's when I only knew about frequent phone calls and texts, not the contents of those conversations). I had a zero tolerance policy for him romanticizing any memory of her, if he wanted to truly focus on making amends to me.

Don't pity him for wanting closure.

There's no such thing in turning back from an adultery partner or death.

He has closure - it's not all wrapped up in pretty words, leaving a door open for her return at some point to his heart. Amputation is brutal. But that's how it must be so guard yourself against "compassion" for his confused feelings. That's a lack of remorse showing clearly from him for the harm he did you.

OptimisticWife posted 7/4/2013 18:21 PM

I was stupid enough to allow my H one last visit with OW to 'help' him end things and gain closure
They had sex for the first time on that visit for closure (although he insists that he felt guilty and couldn't finish).
H was still under the illusion that she was a good friend after that and took the A further underground. It drove me crazy for a couple more months because my gut was screaming that it wasn't over.
My H was still talking about her as though she was a victim of his actions as much as I was. He still felt sorry for her and told me lots of times that he wishes the "EA" hadn't happened so they could have stayed friends. I had no proof at this stage that it was actually a PA and H wasn't owning it. I found evidence of continued contact and also caught him at her house. My world felt like it was falling apart that day and H was apologizing like crazy and promising me it was me he wanted to be with and it was over with her.
I let him stay. A couple of weeks later a friend called me to tell me she was behind him in her car and asked me if I was aware that he had an OW in the car with him. My friend was aware that H was meant to be on a "boys" trip.
H did end it after he was confronted about this. He finally started seeing OW for who she was and realizing what he was doing to me, himself and our family. He still didn't admit anything physical but he did finally break it off with her.
My point to this long post (sorry) is that my H had a very difficult time breaking off the so called friendship. It took him months to realize that she wasn't a friend. He was able to see that a friend doesn't hurt you or your loved ones. A friend doesn't take advantage of your vulnerability. A true friend (and any self respecting person) would have encouraged him to talk to me and not enter A territory at all. My H does not miss OW at all now. He has no fond memories and is totally remorseful for having chosen her over me during the A. He tells me now that I am his best friend. We never said things like that before. He also opens up to me and tells me things he's never discussed with anyone else ever. I feel that finally he's realizing that he can trust me and open up to me and that I'm not going anywhere. Part of the reason for his A was that he felt unworthy of love and thought that one day I would just leave him anyway. He had walls up and the A reinforced those feelings of unworthiness. I guess I threw a spanner in the works when I didn't leave.
I wish you all the best. I know it's painful but hopefully your H will 'get it' soon. ((((Arnold01))))

Violetta posted 7/4/2013 18:29 PM

Arnold, my husband has been involved in an EA with a "friend" as well. I know he is terrified at the idea of losing her -- he actually came home one day sobbing (and he NEVER cries) at the idea of never seeing her again. He's also quite an introvert, and I know he had felt like over the years, as we got busier with kids, that his friendships had suffered.

I really liked OptimisticWife's points about what a friend does and does NOT do. Those are all points that I'm planning on discussing with my husband and our counselor.

fourever posted 7/4/2013 18:48 PM

I'm sorry you are going through this.

Please, all of you, see the Bitch Boots thread in the R forum.

Married men don't get girlfriends. Period. I'm a firm believer that No fence sitting should be allowed, no matter what.

Jospehine85 posted 7/4/2013 19:43 PM

It is so hard giving him room to process his confused feelings when I am hurting.

Screw that ^^^^ His feelings are secondary to yours. You come first.

I am so sorry you are going through this Arnold. But keep in mind, he is not the victim. You are. Go read my role reversal post in General.

As far as him losing a friendship. I call Bu!!$hit.

Real friends, friends who truly care about what is best for you, do not encourage you to destroy your wife, your family and your marriage. (Actually, even a perfect stranger wouldn't encourage you to do that!!!)

Real friends aren't F@ck buddies.

Real friends don't have to hide their relationship because they aren't behaving tawdry.

Real friends wouldn't ask you lie.

Real friends wouldn't demand so much time from you that your work and family life suffer.

Real friends wouldn't demand you put them before your spouse and family.

The APs are not friends. The WS who mourn the loss of their AP are not mourning the loss of a friendship. They are mourning the loss of the attention and or ego strokes.

Think about this, if you have ever moved to a new city, state or country, did you mourn the loss of the people you left behind?!? You know you will miss them, but did you act like your WS is acting over their AP? Of course not. Because their AP is not a friend. They do not fit in to the friend category. They are not mourning a lost friendship.

The A relationship is a completely different beast from a friendship. It is also a very different beast from a marital, parental or work relationship.

You need to tell your WH to suck it up. NOW. Pop that bubble for him. He needs to leave lala land and step back in to reality.

Remind him that:

OW was a lying, deceitful, conniving person. She conspired to destroy you and your family. She didn not give a rat's ass about you or him.

Does he really believe he is the only person she is sleeping with? Ha!! Like she has integrity and he can believe anything that comes out of her mouth?!?

Haul his butt in to the doctor and get him tested for every STD possible. Have the doctor tell him how frequently he needs to come back for retesting.

By the way, do NOT have unprotected sex with him. And you need to go in to be tested also, especially for HPV because there are no test for men.

ETA: Your WH is still putting the OW before you. His priority should be caring for you and the nuclear bomb he has detonated in your M, not being sad over not getting to pork his OW any more. YOU should be his number 1 priority. His priorities need a serious realignment.

[This message edited by Jospehine85 at 7:46 PM, July 4th (Thursday)]

Runninggirl posted 7/4/2013 23:27 PM

Wow. I just have to say kudos to your post. It's so good to see that you are not making any life altering snap decisions. So many of us in the shock of the moment say LEAVE NOW! And regret it later.

The part where he still misses her. Ouch. Hurts like hell. I wish I had words of wisdom, but I think my husband is "grieving" married OW as well. He won't admit it, but that darn intuition bell is ringing in my gut again.

Hugs. Iooking forward to hearing advice you get from those who have good solutions. It's no fun to be in this position. Reading how other BS handled it can be so much help.

TheAgonyOfIt posted 7/5/2013 00:22 AM

My WS also grieved his AP and in a way I preferred that to just having had a series of sexual encounters with no feelings. Each scenario is messed up and painful certainly, but for some reason I found *some* comfort in that he cared for his AP and didn't just entirely use her. It's F*cked up no matter but i choose to think he's not a cold, unfeeling user. Of course, i have other less altruistic choice words for him on other topics!

It's a very, difficult, delicate balance to deal with and difficult/confusing as hell to offer some sort of support to someone who has done you wrong... but still has human frailties and is suffering, even if it's of his own accord.

It's so so so early for you. Day by day the dance continues. One day at a time. Yes, it's terribly hard to process when you are so hurt. I lived it too. He'll move on and through his feelings; don't know when but as he reinvests in you, his feelings for AP will fade. Wishing you the best.

[This message edited by TheAgonyOfIt at 12:25 AM, July 5th (Friday)]

Arnold01 posted 7/5/2013 09:56 AM

Thank you all so much for sharing these perspectives. I didn't now what to expect when I posted, and hearing from all of you has been hugely comforting. I am sure it will be up and down for a long time, but after reading the Bitch Boots post I know I can get through this one way or another.

cliffside posted 7/6/2013 08:09 AM

Yes, it sounds like he's feeling sorry for himself and that he's sorry he got caught and not remorseful for what he has done. If he were out of the fog his regret would be not just that he had the A, but that he ever met the woman.

Was his AP married? If so, let her BH know. They detonated a bomb on your marriage, you need to throw the bomb right back on the affair.

And "closure" is such a load of crap. Did you get "closure" on your marriage ending? Because that's what happens. Your old marriage and life as you knew it is gone. You have to start over with a new marriage and life, otherwise you'll end up at DDay #2.

I second reading Not Just Friends. As others have said, this woman is not and was never a friend. Say to your husband "Are you ok with me being friends with someone who will plot, lie, and set out to destroy our marriage? Someone who is ok with sleeping with me knowing I'm married?"

Lastly, I would strongly suggest you require your H to go into IC. He needs to figure out why he did this. That's one of my requirements for staying and it has opened up a shitstorm of childhood and family stuff I never knew about.

Hugs to you. We've all gotten through this and so will you.

Arnold01 posted 7/6/2013 08:37 AM

I definitely need some encouragement after a dark night. Had a long talk with my WH and felt a lot of anger from me, at the situation, possibly at himself.

He seems to be sorry that he has hurt me but I am not sure he is sorry he had the affair. He defended the OW, said she has done nothing wrong, and that he still considers her a friend. I told him a true friend wouldn't have encouraged him to sleep with him, and he got pretty pissed at me for saying this.

My WH also says he feels totally awkward around me as if he is walking on eggshells. He said he doesn't want to hurt me further, but it came across as his being angry about the situation rather than his having any compassion for me.

He also said that he feels tremendous pressure to reassure me by saying he loves me or whatever, and that the pressure is overwhelming him. He said his emotional energy is beyond gone right now and that he doesn't have any energy to give to anything. Us talking about things is draining for him and makes it worse....he is withdrawing the more we talk. He also said he feels that he is disappointing me because he can't do a better job of moving forward right now.

The good news is that as he reminded me, he is still here and still wanting to work on things...but he has to get himself together before we can do that. He says he loves me and wants to get our marriage to an even better place. in the meantime I have a husband who doesn't want to talk to me, who can't handle seeing me upset, who is so frustrated about our situation that he is just stuck in his anger and unable to act.

I am still not ready to leave but think I need to give him space and wait this out a bit to see if he can come around. It has been only 10 days since D day and start of NC. Any words of encouragement? I really need something positive to hang onto. Thanks to you all.

k8la posted 7/6/2013 09:01 AM

The 180 will help in this. It took my WH about a month to snap out of it. And now that we're rounding the corner on 3 months since DD this next week, he's less drawn to the online places he kept up on "her".

I threw down some pretty stiff conditions and scared the crap out of him on DD. I was dead serious, angry but sane. In the next four weeks, there was a zero tolerance for any mention of "her" in a positive light or at all. Plus, he had other requirements that kept him so mentally focused on other things that he had little time to keep track of her. (he had to have a new job and not be on a computer nearly as much in order to stay married to me).

Come to an agreement that he will keep with regard to romanticizing the time he had with her. It was fantasy. No responsibilities. You bring all responsibilities and no fantasy. So of course, he's going to look back on that time with fond longing until he gets clocked side the head that reality and responsibilities are what he truly wants.

180 lets him experience the "gone" side of you. And that's what continued fantasy will let him have permanently.

So if he wants "her" off the table in your mind, he has to take her off the table in his mind too. No more longing for fantasy secret second life - what extra responsibilities is he willing to pick up to make sure he has no mental space to even think about her. My WH had a new job, new skills to learn, new people to get to know in an environment with very few men. What can your WH do that takes all his mental focus to accomplish?

k8la posted 7/6/2013 09:03 AM

That last sentence should say "very few women" - I'm new enough here I don't know how to edit.

fourever posted 7/6/2013 09:57 AM


Not so Gently, Use your Boots!

He created this shit storm, his selfishness, entitlement, whatever.
Our mow was "a friend" too. A "friend" who wanted to move into my home, split my family of 6 up, sleep with my husband, give me an STD. With no thought of the kids. Yeah, great friend there. Hotel la la land is fabulous for two soul mate adulterers. Not one thing is real.

I made the mistake of letting him talk to her and give her closure. Um, it only gave him the opportunity to tell her they would always be friends, he would always love her, bla bla…..
Now she gets to hold onto that forever, and he feels like an f-ing idiot.

Your wh is sorry, sorry he got caught. That's normal right now, however, if you want to snap him out of it, you need to call him on all of this. This is not about him, he already got all that and didn't bother to ask you how you felt about sharing him.
He took your right to make a decision about your life away. He no longer gets to do that. Period.

I said earlier, he's all in, or all out. There is no better way to clear the fog than that. You need to take control, call him on his "woe is me", and put those boots up you know where. His head is still in his ass.

Sorry, I know strong words, and seems easier to say than do. But, I am 3 years out from his 4 yr lta, and firmly believe that if I hadn't taken that line, I wouldn't be in the R forum.
I also did the 180, (on my own as I hadn't found SI yet.) I am a new strong person that I like, and he does too. He thanks me for being so strong right out of the box. He also knows I would have walked if he played any games about his "friend'.

OptimisticWife posted 7/6/2013 10:39 AM

I agree with fourever.

He created this situation you are BOTH in now. You have to deal with it every waking minute of every day. He needs to stop thinking of himself and start hearing all of what you have to say. He needs to step up and be there for you. You need to ask for what you need and expect him to be there to support those needs.
I made the stupid mistake of putting my H's feelings and needs before mine after my first d'day and it meant he didn't have to be accountable straight away. It meant he didn't have to sit back and process what he had done straight away. It meant that he could still blame me to some degree and justify his actions in his own mind. It meant that he could keep the 'friendship' going because he believed I would never understand and I would never find out.
It needs to stop.
My H also believed OW didn't do anything wrong at first but when he came out of the fog he could see they were both to blame.
I told my H that what hurt me the most was that he was suppose to be my protector. He was meant to keep me and our children safe. It was his actions that hurt me more than anyone else could of. Part of that excruciating pain included the fact that he allowed OW to hurt me too. He allowed her to potentially destroy our children and our marriage. He encouraged her to hurt me. I told him it felt like he was sitting ringside cheering her on while she kicked my oblivious ass.
You need to toughen up on him. Get mad at him and stop listening to his sob stories. My H only really 'got it' once I realized that if he couldn't give me what I needed from him that I would be ok alone. He created the need in me. He needed to then fill that need or he needed to go be with his OW because I deserve better. I had given him all I had. He needed to start giving back or I was gone.
Look for your inner strength. Remind yourself of your self worth. He's been selfish and look where that got you. Time for him to man up and stop thinking if himself first. You should be his priority right now.

atsenaotie posted 7/8/2013 12:29 PM

He defended the OW, said she has done nothing wrong, and that he still considers her a friend.

This type of thinking is why Bigger suggested having him read Not Just Friends by glass. She did something wrong, as a M woman she had an A with a MM. This is wrong.

As for her being a friend, she is no friend of the M. She conspired with your WH to hack away at the roots of your M. You need to decide if you are okay with your WH keeping friends who are clearly not friends of the M.

Part of your WH getting over his AP is NC, not just phone and email, but he must stop thinking about her, especially thinking of her in terms of what a wonderful person she was. He needs to focus on fixing the mess he made.

He is doing and saying the right things but...

No he is not. So long as he is ruminating over the OW, not working at apologizing and soothing you, not exploring his issues that made lying and sex with OW OK, she is not saying and doing the right things.

Jospehine85 posted 7/8/2013 14:21 PM

Any words of encouragement? I really need something positive to hang onto. Thanks to you all.

He has told you he is overwhelmed with guilt and shame. He is having to come to grips with how badly he let himself down, in addition to you.

That is actually a pretty good sign Arnold01. He could be like the completely unremorseful WS and said "F#ck you" and head out to the bars every night to meet up with his AP.

I think the anger is a buffer shield for him right now because he is drowning in his own shame and needs to deflect some of it.

Same thing with defending the OW. But every time he says she is a good friend, point out that no she wasn't. Say it calmly and use logic. Ask things like, "Would (name of best male friend of upstanding character) tell you to go sleep with another woman?" " Would (name of another upstanding person he admires) suggest that you abandon your family for sex?" "No, they wouldn't. Would they? Someone who was truly looking out for your best interest would never suggest those things. A friend wouldn't encourage that kind of dishonest behavior"

He is going to gradually get stronger and he will gradually be able to acknowledge you are right. Then he will be able to support you more. It sucks, because you have to be the strong one right now.

This is what happened with my WH. I had to be careful to say "I feel (fill in the blank) because you did (fill in the blank)" and not just fire off a snide remark over the awful thought that was going through my mind.

The snide remark just made him go in to defense mode. The "I feel"statement didn't and thus he was more able to offer support.

We are 14 months out and my WH still has moments where he starts to fall apart because I do. But I have started telling him that I need him to be strong for me. It's his turn. Then he pulls himself back together.

Ashland13 posted 7/8/2013 18:44 PM

Oh, yes.

STBXH told me he actually felt extremely guilty being when he was with myself and DD after he met OW. He said that he felt that guilt when he was not in the presence of OW. It forced me to face reality and the realization of how left behind I had come...simply kicked out of someone's life like unwanted trash.

It made me vomit. It was also one of the things that pointed me to lawyers, but we all have our own journeys to take.

I hope you can sort through this part, Arnold, and figure out what you can tolerate and what is best for your life that is to come.

I guess I'm on the fence, as far as agreeing or disagreeing with the other posts on your thread, because I think it's disrespectful and not taking you seriously, when there is any hesitation on the part of your WH.

But I know how controversial this all is and not easy for anyone.

Perspective is what I was trying to give by relaying some of what was dished to me, on a platter not very silvery.

The fog is a strange (I don't want to say funny because it's not) there are people who believe they exist and others who don't.

Lately I don't believe in it, but I tried to at first, because it was easier than believing the truth about my marriage and life...and him.

solus sto posted 7/9/2013 13:15 PM

The good news is that as he reminded me, he is still here and still wanting to work on things.
Gently, he's there, but he does NOT want to work on things.

He wants to wallow.

He wants you to get over it.

He is showing nothing even resembling remorse. Good God, he's defending the OW!

That is about as far from "wanting to work on it" as it gets.

Find the 180 in the FAQs for BSs in the Healing Library. It's #11.

In your shoes, I'd immediately implement it.

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