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Is AP the boogeyman?

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DWBH posted 7/10/2013 13:23 PM

I donít know if this is a question, or just senseless rambling. So, I work with the OM. Read my profile, heís an ex-friend. I sit about 100 feet from him. While we both avoid each other, itís inevitable that I see him in the hallways, common areas, parking lot, etc. We also get invited to the same meetings occasionally (which I will never attend in-person), and are on the same email strings frequently.

To cut off the obvious response nowÖ I have been looking for a new job for quite a while. I am not willing, yet, to take a massive paycut, or relocate my family for the sake of my job unless absolutely necessary. We live in the same town we grew up in, and prefer to stay. We also live in a fairly rural (read: inexpensive) area, but I work in the Chicago burbs making very decent $. It allows us a comfortable lifestyle.

What Iím really struggling with is my irrational, emotional, visceral response to encountering OM at work. When I leave my office, I feel like Iím on patrol. The enemy can be anywhere. Depending on the proximity and specifics, an encounter can send me into a panic attack of sorts. Sometimes itís just a shudder that runs through me, and other times it sends me back into my office or out to my car to rage and/or cry. While the latter is not common, it still does occur.

I canít explain it. Heís just a person, I know that. He used to be one of my very best friends. His sins are on par with what my W did. Logically, this all clicks. But to my reptile-mind, heís become the boogeyman.

Iíve spoken with ThornyRose many times about this. She always comes back to the same suggestion: that I should talk to him. Tell him how I feel (which is pure, unfettered hatred). Her hope is that by doing so, I will not be so rattled when I do encounter him. Like it may somehow humanize him again.

Iíve been very resistant to this. While Iím morbidly curious to confront/talk to him, I really donít see any positive outcome. Itís coin-toss on whether Iíd even be able to restrain myself from pummeling him. I feel as though Iíd be ďadmittingĒ to this continued pain, anger, hatred to him. For the WS reading thisÖ what would you do if your APí BS spoke to you after nearly two years? Would you even agree to speak with them? I know conventional wisdom here on SI says I should not carry through with contacting him at all, and I likely agree with thatÖ but really wondering if anyone sees this differently?

To me, this ultimately comes around to forgiveness. Not for him, but for me. Letting go of that anger and hatred. I know itís so energy-consuming and destructiveÖ but knowing isnít feeling. Iíve read ďHow Can I Forgive You?Ē twice now, and will likely read it again.

Anyway, like I said, donít know if there really is a question in all this, or if Iím just venting. Any input would be appreciated.

Tred posted 7/10/2013 13:27 PM


I feel the same way and I've never run into the AP. I'll have to stop there because you posted this in Recon...

notquiteoverit posted 7/10/2013 13:32 PM

This is an awful way to feel, and I can only suggest what I would do in your place. So, here goes - confront him and tell him exactly how you feel. But, do it away from the workplace and above all, maintain your cool. HE is the one who should be uncomfortable, not you. HE is the one who should change jobs, not you. You should not have to consider changing jobs, taking a paycut because of his presence.

DWBH posted 7/10/2013 13:36 PM

HE is the one who should change jobs, not you.

Yeah, agreed... in a perfect world, eh?

This is especially difficult, as I was the one who recruited him, hired him, and promoted him. He reported to me for like 8 years, and I've been with this company for 17 years.

CrappyLife posted 7/10/2013 14:05 PM

OMG!! I cannot imagine seeing the AP occasionally, let alone working in the same office as the AP and seeing it everyday.

I feel that the BS needs closure, especially if the AP was a 'friend'. My WW had two APs. AP1- my friend. I feel like confronting, shouting, hitting it. AP2 - I never saw it and I dont care.

Personally (and I know the advise on SI is against this), I think you should do as your W suggested. It is like taking back the power. It is like reclaiming your space. He should be the one scared. He should be the one raging and crying.

I am also very confused by this. I also keep on oscillating between confronting AP1 and letting it all go.

I guess one day I will confront.

And yea, he should be the one quitting. You hired him.. now, fire him..

DWBH posted 7/10/2013 14:11 PM

And yea, he should be the one quitting. You hired him.. now, fire him

Fortunately, for him, he doesn't report to me any longer. Hasn't since 2009. Before I revealed the A to several people at work, I may have been able to pull the right strings to have him canned. Now, it would just get flagged by HR, etc. and land me unemployed. Either way though, I couldn't have followed through with something like that. His W and 3 young kids would have been equally as hurt, and I couldn't have done that to them.

painpaingoaway posted 7/10/2013 14:13 PM

"She always comes back to the same suggestion: that I should talk to him".
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ No way. Really really bad idea.

I have a 'Jedi mind trick ' for ya. Maybe see if it will help.

Let 's imagine a scenario in which the karma bus might one day run his ass over. Think of something that would be humiliating, yet somewhat comical. Say, he craps his pants in the middle of a work presentation, or he is found passed out in the office wearing a ladies bra and panties...anything you want...tailor it to what you think would be most humiliating for him.

Now, imagine that this scenario is actually going to happen, and you are the only one that knows this is going to happen, and, if you chose, you could prevent it from happening. But you are going to let it happen anyway.

So now, every time you think about this asshole, think about the imaginary scenario. Every time you think of him, replay the scenario.

Now, are you having a little chuckle every time you think about it? Good.

Okay, now, whenever you run into him, you are going to think about his humiliation. It's a secret that only you know about, and you are cracking up just thinking about it.

So, when you are about to pass him, smile to yourself, look him straight in the eye, and have a slightly audible chuckle to yourself while shaking your head from side to side.

No pain for you, no angst, no worry, just a big fat, (but silent) laugh to entertain yourself with every time you think of him, or pass him.

Before long, you may even start to look forward to seeing him because it's funny.

(And, it's going to freak him the hell out wondering what the hell is going on). 😈

[This message edited by painpaingoaway at 2:14 PM, July 10th (Wednesday)]

Jono posted 7/10/2013 14:18 PM

Hi DWBH Ė focusing your attention on the AP is a normal reaction Ė something of a protection mechanism to give your and your partner some space to allow you to work things out. In reality the AP is not your problem Ė your WS was the one who breached her contract with you and betrayed your trust. Initially however you will be concerned that the AP might just remain on the scene and you may well be concerned with your spouseís feelings for him. You may well wonder if your spouse still has feelings for her AP and that is something that you will probably never really know or get an honest answer to. You cannot have an affair with someone and not have some connection. With time and self-reflection your spouse will hopefully see the affair for what it was Ė an escape for whatever reason and one that was founded on lies and was by no means the wonderful finding of a soul mate or new life companion. Again with time you will realize that the AP was also just taking advantage of a situation that suited him too and for that you will probably not want to remain in close proximity.

In my case I directed a great deal of my anger at the time towards my wifeís lover. I came to realize that she was really the culprit and he was nothing more than her accomplice. Seeing him however is a strong reminder of what my wife was prepared to do to me and our family in order to satisfy her needs and desires. On such occasions that reminder saddens me and reminds me that no-one is perfect and that life is so very real Ė not that wonderful fairy tale existence that I had imagined in my youth.

Donít let him get to you. Put all your energies and efforts into repairing your relationship Ė that is real and so very pertinent to you. He is just a passing nuisance and in relocating or changing your life because of him is empowering him in your mind which is way more than he deserves.

Forgiveness is another issue. You may well at around 18 months (depends on the two of you) feel that you can forgive your wife. You tell her so. But the memory of what transpired and what she is capable of lingers on. Forgiving is not what it seems Ė it is about recognizing her humanness for what it is and then in that light of reality, moving on and making the now as best it can be. Essentially forgiving is releasing yourself from the pain and burden that the affair saddled you with.

Go well with rebuilding your relationship.


CrappyLife posted 7/10/2013 14:24 PM

t/j - After reading ppga's post, I feel like I should be in a position to see the AP everyday!! Damn!! t/j end

DWBH posted 7/10/2013 15:08 PM

Interesting, PPGA... I need to noodle that one a bit to see if it could work for me.

I actually did have a revenge-oriented idea like this several months back. Something that would allow me to chuckle every time I saw him.

Let's just say it falls in the seriously TMI category... Although nothing dangerous or illegal, it would be seriously humiliating for him, to the core.

[This message edited by DWBH at 4:34 PM, July 10th (Wednesday)]

Offhispedestal posted 7/10/2013 15:39 PM

I can totally relate to the boogey man
It's been 2+ yrs and as soon as my H and I go out I think there is a chance we might run into MOW.
If I was in your situation and working with AP, I would feel the same way.
I have had the same revenge thoughts as you and I could have RUINED her career and even make her leave the city. With all the stuff I had on her. Along with that I would have also ruined a local council woman's career here because things happened between them.
I chose NOT to. My personal feeling is that after 2 yrs, I don't want to let her know that she takes so much space in my mind. She is NOT worth it. She is sick and has caused so much pain...numerous times.
If she had been my friend I would have contacted her somehow in person, by phone or email.

One thing i can tell you is that the AP is swimming in the shit mess he created in his life. Trust me , every time he sees you. You are a constant punch in his face and reminder of the huge fuck up he did. He knows what he did was wrong and hurtful, he knew you were best friends...
When he sees you what you see is
"A selfish dirtbag that never gave a fuck or respect" he may act completely normal like you don't exist.
Trust me he knows. I can understand at the moment you just can't quit your job. Keep looking until you find the right job for you. You might not be on boogey man alert at your new job but there will always be other triggers.
This trigger I must say is huge and its understandable. He is not worth it
Just my 2cents I respect that others would confront, just not worth it to me after 2 yrs

SorrowBhindSmile posted 7/10/2013 18:10 PM

OHHH Lord, i feel your work 100 ft away from the AP.....i LIVE 100 feet away from AP, also a former best friend. EVERY day i am surrounded. It is excruciating and i completely understand your feelings. I have the same panic attacks, the same irrational feelings...i am constantly on guard...i cant even water my flowers without fear of seeing her.

Its funny that your WW said to have a talk with him. I too, have been advised by various people to talk to the OW as well. Even my MC suggested it at one point. In fact, the OW's BH even asked me if i would talk to her....he said she was really deeply affected by what happened, and maybe if we could sit down and talk it would bring us both some closure. (wow, SHE is deeply affected, huh? PUUU-LEASE)

The thing is....even if we DID sit and talk to the AP, our former friends, what could they possibly say?? Is there anything he could say to you that would bring you any sort of peace, closure, relief? Is there anything he can say that would take your pain away? NO, NEVER. This is just my personal opinion and they way i feel.....but talking to the AP only brings THEM THEM the ability to free their mind of gives THEM the ability to try and justify to you, try to rationalize to you, try to make you see things from their twisted point of view and ease their conscience.

My guess is, that your "friend" is dying to talk to you, explain to you....just like my "friend" is dying to do the same. It would bring them such relief to be able to talk to us, wouldnt it??? Even if it didnt go well (which common sense says it never would) THEY still get to ease their mind and feel better. So....on those days when you feel on guard, when you want to pummel him, when you are enraged and patrolling for the boogie man....remember that you hold that power......the power to NEVER let him tell you whats on his mind....the power to never let him talk to you and hurt you....the power to NEVER give him closure he so desperately seeks. EVERY DAY he must look at you at work, knowing what he did, knowing the pain he caused, knowing that he destroyed a friendship. Let him deal with that on his own. Dont let 2 years of hard work be affected by whatever pathetic excuse your "friend" might spew.

Healthiest approach...maybe not...but it sure beats running them over with our car...repeatedly.

DWBH posted 7/10/2013 20:07 PM

My personal feeling is that after 2 yrs, I don't want to let her know that she takes so much space in my mind. She is NOT worth it.

Agreed, that has been my thinking all along.

SBS, living that close, ugh. We live about 8 miles from them, and see them occasionally at a grocery store, or driving, but that's about it.

It would bring them such relief to be able to talk to us, wouldnt it???

Trust me , every time he sees you. You are a constant punch in his face and reminder of the huge fuck up he did. He knows what he did was wrong and hurtful, he knew you were best friends

I can't even speculate about where his mind is at, in terms of guilt, shame, etc. If he's like my W, I seriously doubt he has any desire to talk to me, nor would it relieve him to try and rationalize, justify, etc. Our sitch is a bit unique, given the nature of the TT, and how I caught them. I listened to 7 months of that BS from him (but only knowing a small portion of what actually occurred between them). Interesting question to pose to my W though... what would she say to her ex-BFF, if given the chance?

Regardless, I tend to agree that a conversation would accomplish nothing for me. There are no words that could help me, at least at this juncture.

bionicgal posted 7/11/2013 08:39 AM

I am new here, only 3+ weeks out, but this came up in MC this week, so I thought I'd share.

My husband's OW works at a place we frequent, and was a close friend. Our therapist said writing a letter to her about my feelings would take away some of her perceived power over me. Whether to send it or not is another issue, but I think I plan to. It helped a lot just to write it.

It makes me feel very vulnerable, but I think that honesty is power in this case. I deserve for her to know how this made me feel, particularly because we were friends. I asked for an apology, but in truth I am not sure I need it. It just felt good to say what I felt.

Dare2Trust posted 7/11/2013 12:38 PM


I'm really sorry you have to encouner the OM/AP in your workplace - I can't think of anything that could be so upsetting.

I would assume the worse: That the OM/AP could care less about your feelings and that he feels ZERO remorse. So, please don't expect any type of sincere apology from HIM!

Please don't talk to this man; and don't disclose your inner feelings. Has this OM/AP made any efforts to offer you a sincere apology for his betrayal, disrepect and the damage he's caused YOU?
I'm really surprized your WW would even suggest that you talk to OM/AP. Has your WW gone to OM's Betrayed Wife and offered up a sincere apology for the pain she's inflicted on this woman and her family?
IF She did: How did the Betrayed Wife respond to such a discussion?

sri624 posted 7/11/2013 12:50 PM

i am so sorry that this guy works with you. hugs to you!!!

i wouldnt say a word to him. no way. you work with this guy...and i am sure he would bitch up and make it a human resources issue. and why put your job and future job opportunities in jeopardy? and he wont care anyway. he wont. they never do. he might act like he does...maybe....but in the end...he wont care. that is how aps are...they dont care about you, or your all. and talking to him at this point only makes him relevant. it is not about him. it is about your wife and her foul actions.

i know that the job is convenient...i really do...i get it....and all the reasons why it is good for you to stay from a financial perspective.

but, i think you should leave that job. i do. there are other jobs. who needs the drama and stress seeing him everyday. it wont go away...or get better seeing him all the time...even if it is over a long period of time. it is cruel to put yourself through that. fuck that, you know?

it aint worth it. not even that job.

Long Gone posted 7/11/2013 15:34 PM

i cant imagine......

I have only run into the OM once.....and strangly only 3 weeks after dday....I stood behind him at a Publix in line....unreal....i couldnt even speak.....

knightsbff posted 7/12/2013 00:35 AM

WW here...

You asked a question for waywards so I would like to answer but first I'd like to say I agree with ppga and OPs who advised against confronting. You can't be sure your ex-friend is remorseful or would give you what you need even if he tried.

My APs BW contacted me shortly after dday and I gave the most sincere apology I was capable of in my confused and foggy state. I answered the questions she asked and tried my best to give her what she asked for but I still suspect it wasn't good for her.

For the WS reading thisÖ what would you do if your APí BS spoke to you after nearly two years? Would you even agree to speak with them?

After nearly two years?... I would try to respectfully listen to figure out what she needed from me and do my best to give it to her if I could. We live in a small town so she and I cross paths occasionally. I mostly try to stay out of her sight.

DWBH posted 7/12/2013 08:58 AM

KnightsBFF... thanks so much for taking the time to respond. I realize this thread isn't really WS friendly.

You can't be sure your ex-friend is remorseful or would give you what you need even if he tried.

I'm still tending to agree with the folks saying I shouldn't confront/talk with him at all. Even considering the idea, I never really had any expectation of him being remorseful, or getting any sort of apology (again) out of him. When my W read this thread, she told me that she never thought or intended this would occur. Her intention would be for me to communicate how difficult it still is to encounter him, and let him know exactly how much hatred/hostility I still harbor. Basically, to convey the fact that nothing is remotely forgotten, and he'd better stay the fuck away. That's it.

I still don't think anything would really be accomplished by that, but I'm keeping the option open if the situation presents itself--basically, if I see ANY sign of him NOT avoiding me as much as possible.

Still doesn't solve my problem really... still noodling PPGA's "internal humiliation" idea...

[This message edited by DWBH at 8:58 AM, July 12th (Friday)]

EmotionalFool posted 7/12/2013 09:31 AM

Her intention would be for me to communicate how difficult it still is to encounter him, and let him know exactly how much hatred/hostility I still harbor. Basically, to convey the fact that nothing is remotely forgotten, and he'd better stay the fuck away. That's it.

And what would that achieve?? What If he smugs and tells u, it wasnít his problem that u r struggling? Forget about remorse, do u think a person who at least regrets what happened will be comfortable being around u? I remember watching a TED talk video where the speaker, who met with a terrible accident and broke his neck, kept waiting for years to meet the driver who caused the accident. There was no way the driver could fix speakerís neck but the speaker kept waiting for his apology. Finally he went to the driverís place to talk to him about the accident and realized that the driver was never gonna ack what he truly had done. Its truly easy to live that way.

The point that I am trying to make is. I donít think talking to him is a good idea. I am not sure if this video makes sense for you, but for me it does.

Personally even though I have terrible revenge fantasies for POSs, I donít really like the idea my BH talking to them and telling them how badly he is hurt

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