Topic: WH Grieving loss of OW
Member # 40354
| Posted: 6:23 PM, September 25th (Wednesday), 2013|
My WH is doing a lot right in trying to reconcile our relationship after 4 PAs - one of which became an EA. We are both working hard on the marriage and I've seen a lot of positive changes. We are in MC and IC and communicating better than we ever have in our 20 year relationship. He has told me when OW has contacted him and he has had NC with her.
However, I am having the most difficult time watching him grieve the loss of his EA / OW. He doesn't openly grieve but I can just tell that he is hurting and it is so painful to watch. He is honest and tells me he thinks of her daily (though it is diminishing somewhat after one month of NC) and he does miss her. Their relationship was primarily through texting (including sexting).
Would love advice from either side on how to get through this ... it is the most painful part for me. right now.
Posts: 15 | Registered: Aug 2013
Member # 40624
| Posted: 6:26 PM, September 25th (Wednesday), 2013|
I'm dealing with this myself - not so much anymore, but only because I think my husband is just sucking it up since he knew it was hurting me so badly.
I'm sorry you are experiencing this. I have no really good advice other than to let you know that you aren't alone!
BW - 44 - SAHM
WH - 45 - 3 year LTA
Blended family - 2 school aged "ours" children left at home.
DDay (which one?) all in 2013
Reconciling - as best we can
Posts: 205 | Registered: Sep 2013 | From: Southwest US (Tucson)
Member # 35215
| Posted: 6:33 PM, September 25th (Wednesday), 2013|
Mine did this too, but hid it from me and then broke NC a bunch of times. Hang in there (((LifeJourney))) at some point it is disrespectful to you, so make sure you are taking care of yourself and getting stronger.
BS/FWS (me):43 Madhatter
WS/BS:46 Serial Cheater
Together 20 years, Married 15
DDay(s) Too many to count
False R 7/11/14 Same OW2
"Never seek validation from those who are unworthy."
Posts: 3912 | Registered: Apr 2012 | From: California
Member # 33338
| Posted: 6:58 PM, September 25th (Wednesday), 2013|
I will share part of a letter I wrote to my H in 2012.
I can't find the original letter but what I wrote is something like this:
Of course you developed feelings for this person. That's what a relationship is. That's what an affair is. But you had NO RIGHT to ever even start that relationship. None whatsoever. I am sure that you are going to experience some sort of loss and/or grief. Well, tough shit. If you have any intention of staying in this M and making things right, you better figure out a way to handle those feelings on your own time. I don't want to see it or hear about it. If you miss her, then go be with her. If you want to be with me, you better be figuring out how to deal with that crap without it affecting me.
I also gave him a quote I had heard on a radio program that was discussing Affairs. It was said that the only way to stop a chemical reaction is to remove one of the ingredients. An A is a chemical reaction and will never be over until one AP completely removes the other. That means every time he thinks wistfully of his AP, he is continuing the A. He needs to learn new patterns of thought and behavior.
JM used to feel so bad for hurting his AP. she didn't know he was M when they began their A. But she sure knew later and continued to pressure him and twist the knife in me. If he thinks of her now, it is with immediate disgust at their behavior and remorse at the harm he did to me and our kids.
There is no way I would have sat around watching him grieve for OW.
Me, 50. (How did THAT happen??)
Him, 42 (JMSSC)
married 20 years. In R. We are making it. The past does not define who we are today.
Posts: 3887 | Registered: Sep 2011 | From: South Carolina
Member # 33867
| Posted: 7:07 PM, September 25th (Wednesday), 2013|
you had NO RIGHT to ever even start that relationship. None whatsoever. I am sure that you are going to experience some sort of loss and/or grief. Well, tough shit. If you have any intention of staying in this M and making things right, you better figure out a way to handle those feelings on your own time.
Standing ovation on that one! ^^^
Grieving the loss of AP ~ I think not! Not in my world.
He is honest and tells me he thinks of her daily
No, offering this information to you is actually called: mean.
ME: 55 BS
HIM: 63 WH
Married: 30 years
in R 6 years and it's working but he is putting 200% into it (as he should) to make it right again.
The truth hurts, but I have never seen it cause the pain that lies do.
Posts: 2419 | Registered: Nov 2011
Member # 37043
| Posted: 9:04 PM, September 25th (Wednesday), 2013|
If I was in your situation, I'd actually prefer WH to be honest. I don't think it is mean. It is wrong, but the whole damn thing is wrong. I'm one of those that wants/needs to know everything, including what he is thinking/feeling. Well, maybe the best thing is to ask you - do you want to know that he thinks of her or not? Let you decide. Either way, it is painful - just whether it is more painful to know and be told, or more painful to know and NOT be told.
In any case, if you have a successful R, he'll look back on missing her and realize that, too, was a load of BS. In due time. It'll make him sick, the whole thing, including missing her. And you'll be smiling then.
Me, BS, 30s
Him, WS, 30s, Steppenwolf
D-Day 1: September 2011, 6 week EA
D-Day 2: January 2013, discovered EA was a PA; there was another PA in 2010. All TT.
Goal = serenity.
Posts: 667 | Registered: Oct 2012
Member # 39803
| Posted: 9:24 PM, September 25th (Wednesday), 2013|
Actually not me, but my H.
It is tough, but it *will* pass. It generally takes 2 weeks to a few months, with a lot of education in there as well. Is he reading? Are you in MC? My husband read over and over how typical he was, and it really helped him de-fog.
Also, our MC said not to check in too often about it, that it was dispiriting. He also told H when he felt like he missed her that it was helpful to think that it wasn't actually her that he missed, but how he felt in the A. (The good part.)
me - BS (45) - DDay - June 2013
A was 2+ months, EA/PA
In MC & Reconciling
"Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point to move forward." -- C.S. Lewis.
Posts: 3491 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: USA
Member # 26465
| Posted: 9:31 PM, September 25th (Wednesday), 2013|
Honestly you are so much stronger then me.
If my spouse was grieving for someone I would boot his ass out of the house. Let him miss me!
Time to knock them into the light so they can see what they didnt have with OW! To me this is just another selfish act of the WS! JMO?
There are degrees to which you let people back into your life and degrees to which you let them back into your heart-which, of course, are not the same thing
Posts: 3223 | Registered: Dec 2009 | From: Indiana
Member # 39000
| Posted: 9:57 PM, September 25th (Wednesday), 2013|
You asked for advice from either side. I didn''t allow myself to grieve the loss of the AP, which I now believe prolonged the process considerably. Later I read in Not Just Friends
that grieving that loss is a normal part of the process. IMO him revealing that he thinks of her daily is a great sign that he''s fully committed to transparency and honesty. I wasn''t nearly as honest even with myself at a month (or two) out, about my lingering feelings for the AP. Even though I never contacted the AP without BH''s knowledge, I definitely was not "over" him when I claimed to be.
You said he doesn''t openly grieve, but you can tell he''s hurting. Are you certain that''s why he''s hurting, and he''s not just generally feeling low about the devastating pain he caused you both? Not saying you''re obligated to ask him, but is there any chance you''re beating yourself up over this somewhat needlessly?
ETA: SImplicity doesn't always like my punctuation
[This message edited by 20WrongsVs1 at 10:11 PM, September 25th, 2013 (Wednesday)]
DDay: April 21, 2013
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
Former motto: "Fake it till ya make it." Now: "You can't win if you don't play."
Posts: 1523 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: The First Coast
Member # 40144
| Posted: 10:06 PM, September 25th (Wednesday), 2013|
Very unfortunately, I can relate... I don't have any advice on how to get through it, except to listen to those who have!
Mine wants to stay moved out so he can "grieve" his loss without us having to watch. How kind of him. It makes it especially hard, IMHO, when Dday occurs right at the height of passion of the A -- when all the Skittle-farting unicorns have lined up to do their wondeful dance and the sunshine is sparkling down into the mist of the heavy fog.
the only way to stop a chemical reaction is to remove one of the ingredients. An A is a chemical reaction and will never be over until one AP completely removes the other. That means every time he thinks wistfully of his AP, he is continuing the A. He needs to learn new patterns of thought and behavior.
I think this ^^^ is it! While I honestly don't think he's continued the physical side of the A, he still has a business relationship with her. I think it's his fond thoughts of her that cause him to occasionally backslide in the R attempt.
It is VERY VERY painful. I hope yours snaps out of it quickly!!!!
Me: 49 BS, Him: 51 WH
M 23 yrs - DD21 DS19 DS16
LTA = 2+ yrs, Dday = 2/10/13, S for 1 year, now Reconciling
Posts: 1454 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: MidWest
Member # 40354
| Posted: 10:47 PM, September 25th (Wednesday), 2013|
thank you so much for the responses - they all are so helpful.
To clarify one thing: he only tells me he misses her and thinks of her daily because I ask. I've wondered if I should ask but like RockyMtn
I tend to operate best on information so that I feel informed to make the right decision for me and my children.
<bionic gal> Also, our MC said not to check in too often about it, that it was dispiriting. He also told H when he felt like he missed her that it was helpful to think that it wasn't actually her that he missed, but how he felt in the A. (The good part.)
So helpful to think of it in these terms.
Even the "well, tough shit" responses are helpful!
So thankful for this support!
Posts: 15 | Registered: Aug 2013
Member # 40354
| Posted: 11:06 PM, September 25th (Wednesday), 2013|
20Wrongs - thank you so much for your courage in sharing this. It is incredibly helpful and has opened up additional dialog with my WH. I appreciate it more than you know.
Posts: 15 | Registered: Aug 2013
Member # 40208
| Posted: 8:42 AM, September 26th (Thursday), 2013|
I also agree you are stronger than me too. I would never be able to stay if he still had feelings for OW. NEVER. I'd leave or make him leave. Luckily his A was 4 years and over and done with when I found out.
BS (me) - 44
WH - 46
DD - July 1, 2013
2 daughters, 14 and 10
Posts: 102 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Southwest
Member # 37725
| Posted: 10:16 AM, September 26th (Thursday), 2013|
I have not asked FWH how often he thinks about OW. Probably often, give the depth of their emotional involvement over 9 years. I don't think you get over that kind of relationship overnight.
FWH has kept NC, but OW has contacted him twice about a mutual friend's illness (message 1, in March) and then death (message 2, in August). FWH did not respond either time. He has since confessed to feeling rude in not even acknowledging the messages with a terse thank you. I told him that OW was using these sad events as an excuse to go fishing, hoping to re-establish contact. He was appalled that I could be so cynical as to attribute ulterior motives to her. He feels that she was just being a good friend, telling him something that she knew he would want to know. I told him he was na´ve.
I haven't pried any deeper into his feelings.
Me: BW, age 69
Him: WH, age 67
Married 22 years
D-Day: August 14, 2012
9 year LTA with former co-worker and family "friend"/7 years EA+PA, 2 more years EA
Posts: 497 | Registered: Dec 2012 | From: Connecticut
Member # 31030
| Posted: 10:29 AM, September 26th (Thursday), 2013|
I'm 4.5 years out but the same thing happened to me about two weeks post d-day. My husband looked really sad and I said do you miss her. He said he did. It was like a knife to my gut--but I was thankful for the honesty and it was actually a big step for him and for reconciliation. He knew it would hurt me but he told me anyway. I didn't punish him for telling me--I told him how hard it was to hear but I was grateful for the honesty which had been missing from our lives for a year. Here's the good news--he doesn't really miss her--he misses how she made him feel. Concentrate on that as much as you can. The other really good news--my husband now can't remember telling me that and is horrified that he even felt that way. Keep that communication open and work as team--support each other--I don't mean supporting him for missing her but supporting him for telling the truth--that's a big step.
Married 15 yrs, together 20 yrs
Posts: 862 | Registered: Jan 2011
Member # 33956
| Posted: 12:00 PM, September 26th (Thursday), 2013|
i think a wayward grieving the loss of the ow is a form of blatant disrespect. and not r at all.
i think he needs to work those stupid feelings for his cheating partner who helped destroy his m out before any attempt at r.
BS (41):(Former Doormat)
WS (39):(Busted Cheater)
Married: 10 years, 3 kids under 5
DD1: 10/11 PA/EA with pilates instructor/former stripper.
DD2: 10/12 False r, cheating with other women, online dating,Substance abuse issues.
Posts: 1065 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: Alabama
Member # 36915
| Posted: 12:13 PM, September 26th (Thursday), 2013|
BTDT. When my H finally went NC, it was very hard on him, because they were genuinely good friends and colleagues before the A. They were important friends for each other. And probably would be friends still, if I had known she existed, as I pointed out to him, which I think made the whole thing even more painful for him. The only person who was (and is) a better friend to him is me. So I did listen for awhile to him trying to work through that loss.
It was very hard, and only because the OW got stalkerish and he couldn't pretend she was really a *friend* did he stop grieving for her. That was weirdly a piece of good fortune. I think you listen to it as much as you can take it, if you're willing,and the direct him to a safe friend or an IC when it becomes too much.
Strength to you. This crap is not for the faint of heart.
DDay Feb 2011.
Posts: 1020 | Registered: Sep 2012
Member # 30314
| Posted: 12:30 PM, September 26th (Thursday), 2013|
do realize that they are not really grieving the AP but the feelings they had about themselves when they were in the affair - this mirrored - "you are so great" feeling is pretty addictive. THAT'S what they miss, IMHO.....
Posts: 7613 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: Midwest
Member # 40354
| Posted: 2:19 PM, September 26th (Thursday), 2013|
I've kind of taken the same approach that you've described. Thanked him for the honesty though I felt like I was going to vomit. He has used filters in his communication for so many years that I don't want him to filter anything right now. So my question is: do you recall how long (aproximately) it took your WH to realize the relationship for what it was? Did he ever admit that he never loved her? I sure don't want to stick around if this turns into an "unrequited love" situation.
Thanks for the response!
Posts: 15 | Registered: Aug 2013
Member # 36555
| Posted: 2:30 PM, September 26th (Thursday), 2013|
I went through approx 3-4 months of her "detoxing" from OM. After that she was depressed and it was probably the grieving process. This is one of the hardest parts to get through. Because you're watching them fall out of "love" with someone else. Like WTF? Why am I standing by watching this shit? She also got defensive with me, making it even harder. Like not only driving in the knife but also turning it over and over.
1yr 4 months after DDAY, she says she feels nothing for him. It was just what he made her feel. That's all. That's what it was all about. But basically doesn't care about him. Misses the fact that there will NEVER be a friendship again and also destroyed my friendship with him, but that's all. Sounds much better with her head out of the fog.
I feel you though. Tell'em later he'll feel like a fool for the words he chose.
BS - Me 47 WS - Her 45 (Childhood sexual abuse survivor)
DDAY -#1- June 2012/ #2 -June 2015 / #3-August 2015
Married 25yrs. 2kids
Posts: 1725 | Registered: Aug 2012 | From: USA
|Topic Posts: 29|