I somehow have become the OW in what was a strictly friendship based relationship with a married man.
Me: Betrayed by WH
He had a 2 year LTA with a woman he cheated on me with 10 years earlier when we were dating. I tried for 3 years to forgive, move past the devastation. I became fed up this year in May, mostly because he continued to have inappropriate female friends, continued to do drugs, continued to gamble and watch porn...the only vice he gave up was his OW.
He moved out as requested on June 1.
How I became an OW:
June 2: I logged on to my facebook page and saw that I had an inbox message. It was my 7th grade bf (typical, right?) telling me how great I look and can we be friends?
At that point, yes, I could use a friend. So I accepted and told him it was great that he found me, however, I am in the beginning stages of a divorce. I think he heard the dinner bell?! The "vulnerable woman" alert must have tuned him in to my neediness frequency because he knew how to draw me in....Compliments, nostalgia, and stories went back and forth in a few phone calls. He told me he had just gotten caught in a two year LTA. This interested me. For some reason I had the idea that I could get answers out of him that I could never get from XWH. I was immediately intrigued because he was willing to be very candid and open with my questions. I basically gave him the 3rd degree. What's weird is I think he like the confessional-type of friendship that started to develop. We didn't talk trivialities. We got on the phone and the infidelity-driven conversation took us deep into our fears and frustrations with our spouses. I was now unattached, but He was still very married, and I knew somewhere in the back of my mind this could get tricky.
Wasn't this the "just friend" bullshit that we always hear about? Was I dangerously becoming a diversion for him, and myself?
Let me be honest, with you guys and myself. I KNEW IT WAS NOT A GOOD THING I WAS DOING. It felt selfish. I would tell him so. But then, we were just talking on the phone. Until...we decided to meet for lunch. Wtf was I thinking?
I wasn't. I was angry. At my Xwh, and at him for betraying his wife. I curiously found it easy to demoralize myself because I found my feelings were numb to everyone. I started to realize, my God, this is how my XWH must have felt. No one matters but you and your selfish desires. This is how it starts. Lightbulbs...
In my lifetime, I was never a cheat. I am loyal, true to my integrity, and my high moral standard always kept me feeling good about myself. Now, I feel awful. I don't recognize myself. This abyss is degrading and hollow. Why would anyone WANT to be the OW?
So if I am confessing, let me do it right.
The fact is I definitely felt a strong and immediate attraction to someone else's husband. This was not ok. Beyond that, in a moment of pure adrenaline, I regrettably kissed him...just like I did in 7th grade. I then felt like a 7th grader...with no regard for the consequence of my actions, just having some fun.
Wait a Freaking Second here! I know all about predator married guys who find lonely, single women with low self-esteem. That is NOT me!
I am now involved. It did not "just happen". I consciously knew what I was doing. I calculated every thought and emotion I was allowing to enter my mind. Every word I said to him brought us closer to a unspoken precarious ledge over which we pretended we wouldn't fall... This is how an affair starts...Many of the questions I wondered about XWH have been answered by this experience and, all the while I realize there is a wife out there, whom I don't know and have no right to hurt, I am destroying. I didn't give her much thought...because I am her.
My dilemma now, I need to be out of this so-called friendship with a married man. It disgusts me. Yet I still find myself taking his calls, answering his text, looking forward to knowing more about him...every part of that is wrong and I argue with myself daily.
My recourse is to put it here. For SI to give me the perspective I am not giving myself.
WHY WON'T I STOP?
WHO AM I KIDDING, I KNOW THIS ENDS BAD?
HOW AM I STILL ABLE TO LOOK IN THE MIRROR?
WHAT TWISTED EMOTIONAL NEED IS DRIVING THIS INCREDIBLY BAD BEHAVIOR?
Please don't hold back...I deserve whatever you have to say, and I welcome it...
[This message edited by blindsidedbyhim at 5:14 PM, September 29th (Sunday)]
"Stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone ought to be."
— Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
The only thing more unthinkable than leaving was
Please do not encourage people to throw 2x4s at you.
I know for myself that I made a conscious and deliberate choice to forsake seeking validation from other men post my break up. I did this because it was my go to and fall back in past times of separation. I had horrible WW tendencies, I realised I needed to fix me not look for superficial validation from someone else.
Why do you think you need this, why did you think it was okay, why knowingly hurt another as has happened to you?
It sucks to dig deep and look at our own shit but it is necessary, BS or not.
"I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel". –Maya Angelou
Now, I feel awful. I don't recognize myself. This abyss is degrading and hollow. Why would anyone WANT to be the OW?
Why? First of all, no little girl looks forward to growing up and becoming the OW. Not any people I know who've been involved in affairs do so with years of premeditation. They kind of do what you have - go down a slippery slope.
Also, when you do get to be an OP, you don't know you are going to feel this bad. You are going to be the one in a thousand million zillion who somehow manage not to hurt anyone, and everything will be OK.
If people knew how bad it was, they wouldn't do it.
Now that you are doing it, and do feel awful, you know what to do:
Nobody forgets what happens, the secret is learning to live with it.
Can they be gentle 2x4s?
I truly need perspective...without judgment.
Totally lost here..I don't recognize myself.
I thought I knew myself so well.
You know what you need to do. You've walked this path before. Tell the BW, go NC with him, and get to your IC to figure out how you could devastate another woman in the same manner that you were.
[This message edited by Skan at 5:35 PM, September 29th, 2013 (Sunday)]
D-Day, June 10, 2012
Can they be gentle 2x4s?
No, because its impossible for us to moderate in a protected forum.
No 2x4's by BS's in the WS forum.
[This message edited by SI Staff at 5:46 PM, September 29th (Sunday)]
My tolerance for stupid shit is getting less and less.
I was able to still look in the mirror, I believe, due to dissociation or compartmentalization. I subtly shifted into a different personality when I was involved with OMM. I was able to deftly shift into and out of that personality, in which I felt no guilt and was just selfishly focused on my own twisted emotional needs.
WHAT TWISTED EMOTIONAL NEED IS DRIVING THIS INCREDIBLY BAD BEHAVIOR?
WH moved out and left a huge hole, the next day you were offered an opportunity to fill it. Now you're pouring water into a bucket that's full of holes, and wondering why it never gets filled up. You'll never be able to answer this question until you shut off the water supply, babe.
Admitting your A here is a good first step.
I know all about predator married guys who find lonely, single women with low self-esteem.
Oh for crying out loud, this again?! Take some personal responsibility, BBH. You say you know it "didn't just happen," but you're writing in a very detached manner, and you're asking the people of SI to act as your surrogate conscience. Nobody can 2x4 sense into you, that needs to come from within.
I write detached because I feel that detachment you described. I stand outside myself and listen to his compliments, taking them in, letting them marinate in what little water I have in my bucket filled with holes... and my "sane self" speaks up, reminding me he is simply using every possible way to get what he needs from me...attention, validation, ultimately sexual fulfillment.
I say it like this because I am a "good student" of infidelity 101. I know what's happening...I am angry that I am not as strong now as I once was...that I can be human, weak, vulnerable to allure of something like this.
Thank you...I need this.
After my xwh I knew I could only trust myself, and now that is tenuous...it scares me
Until then, everything you write about wanting to understand and address...sorry...sounds kinda self-serving, vain & douchey to me. Like you want us to acknowledge something special in you and your behavior. Sorry, nothing special seeming at all. Garden variety. Pathetic. Sad. And this is the worst of all...cruel. You are being cruel to a now twice (at the very least) BW...and you're a BW?
In my lifetime, I was never a cheat. I am loyal, true to my integrity, and my high moral standard always kept me feeling good about myself.
This isn't about OM or his BW, it's about you. If you had been loving to yourself, respectful of yourself, this would never have happened.
Just out of curiosity, did you post that you were separated on FB the day before he messaged you??
ETA: Do you have a plan for ending your A?
[This message edited by ThoughtIKnewYa at 7:59 PM, September 29th (Sunday)]
NO I was still in married status on facebook.
I plan to just not answer text or calls, and stay off Facebook.
We have only met up a couple of times, and every time the guilt overwhelmed me. I see now that an EA is just as dangerous.
I need this critique...
I am alone for the first time in 20 years. I never thought my self worth would be something in question, or I would attract something, do something that diminishes all my values...
Also, I have deleted every facebook message, text and phone number. I have no evidence to present to his BS. She sent me a facebook friend request last month which makes me think she was suspicious. At that point, I had not met with him.
Can I be honest here for a minute?
After my WH cheated on me for the umpteenth time, really, he could have fucked a girl in front of me and I would have yawned and gone back to bed.
I believed in reconciliation...I wanted it badly. I still love him!
Without the trust and true remorse, it's just a shell of a marriage.
[This message edited by blindsidedbyhim at 8:47 PM, September 29th (Sunday)]
This is what really struck me....
BSBH..... You gave some pretty detailed description's of why you "should" end this. Also some pretty strong " reasons" why you chose/choose to continue?
Have you really thought it could be as simple as ....
What you are getting out of it is much more satisfying emotionally, filling (your words) a selfish need? Just plain easier than to dealing with your true pain, needs?
You have chosen/are choosing ( knowingly) one of the most
self-destructive behavior's one can indulge ones self in.
You know as painful as this is effecting you , the AP's wife will feel that and possibly ten fold. you say this eats away at you, yet you continue?
You know the answers to your questions. You seem pretty self aware of the entire situation.
You do not need someone on here to swing 2x4's , you seem to be doing that quite well yourself. Rinse and repeat?
What you need to do is pull up those big girl patties and get your butt in IC, and learn to love yourself again and not look to anyone else to do that for you!!!
IMHO..... Love from the "right" partner should enhance, encourage, and reflect ones own self respect, courage,and Integrity. Does this married man do any of those things for you???
SI can be a great place to find advice, understanding, encouragement, but only if YOU are willing to do the work on yourself.
LOL! And just a little FYI...... You will never have to beg for 2x4's, these wonderful FWS, some fondly known as the " old timers" will come at you swinging.
Of course only when and if you continue to do harm to yourself and/or to others.
None, that have I ever read were swung in judgement, anger, mean spiritedness , instead with the intent of...
calling a spade a spade..... So in turn you had better start digging a little deeper! most of these wonderful folks have seen, heard, read, done just about anything you throw out there! Not a fool among them!
Good Luck in finding your healthy self.
I would also recommend telling his BW. She may or may not believe you, but telling her will help you to go NC.
When I confronted my xAP BW she asked why she should believe me and like you, I had deleted all messages and texts. So I had no proof....but you should still tell her. I would like to think that even though she initially believed him and went with him to throw me under the bus (he told the pastor at the church I worked that I was blackmailing him) that my conversation with her at least planted a seed of doubt and maybe one day she will realize the truth.
People can tell you why you need to end it and why it's wrong...but until you're ready to hear it and work on it, it won't matter....you need to do it for yourself because you realize it's what needs to be done.
Being the OW sucks and I can certainly empathize with you....it's role I am still trying to come to terms with. I wish you lots of luck!!
Tell the BW RIGHT NOW!!!!
Blindsided, you have a lot of excuses for not telling her, but none of them hold up. So what if you deleted all the "proof"? Really? Really?? That's not a reason. Really.
Contact the BW. Tell her the truth, straight, without any defensiveness, blaming, or anything but the straight truth, plus an apology (straight, nothing about how you feel in it), plus a statement that you will never contact her WH or her ever again. Give her your email or phone so that she can contact if she wants. Then kill facebook, delete them all from your phone, email, etc. And then leave them alone. If she contacts you, answer her questions. Apologize. Keep your own feelings out of it.
Please do the right thing. I can't speak to your experience and feelings as an OW. I don't have any explanation or analysis for you. I do know, that as a BW and as a person, what the ethical thing to do is. And you do, too. Please do it -- not doing it is disrespectful to the BW and *to yourself*