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Is my mom an OW?

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careerlady posted 12/18/2013 02:25 AM

Or am I just an overly sensitive jerk?

My mom has been dating this guy off and on for over a decade. He has had a girlfriend for several of the last few years but he told her that the girlfriend knows he dates others and doesn't mind. My mom doesn't have sex with this guy (in fact she's deeply religious and doesn't do premarital sex) but they do kiss when she's not seriously dating someone else and they are definitely emotionally bonded. My mom remarried for a while and they were still friends, no kissing though. Seems like a long term EA with occasional PA elements to me and who knows if he's telling the truth about his girlfriend. My mom and I were texting about it tonight and she was offended that I referred to her as basically a mistress.

She said "I'm really hurt that you find it necessary to put a label on me. A mistress is reserved for a person having sex with a married man. Relationships at my age are different than at your age & it really hurts that after saving myself all these years that you have such a low opinion of me. I am crushed."

Obviously this made me feel bad. But I STILL think she is an OW in an EA because he has a girlfriend! Am I crazy?

standinghere posted 12/18/2013 04:28 AM


the girlfriend knows he dates others and doesn't mind

I think you are spot on about this, but I'd think long and hard about trusting your mom on the truth of the relationship. For, as we know, APs lie all the time about their involvements and totally justify their actions to those about them.

Matisse posted 12/18/2013 06:28 AM

I don't think your Mom is an OW. There's no evidence that she is.

These days a dating relationship seems to automatically infer the relationship is exclusive. If your Mom is at least 60 or older, she grew up with a generation that dated more than one person at a time - it was not considered cheating. Unless the guy gave you his high school ring or his college frat pin, you were just dating, you were not committed to dating only each other.

I know several people over the age of 60 who have long term dating relationships with more than one person. It works for them and there's no reason for me to judge.

Yes, I think you were overly sensitive concerning your Mom's dating. The man she is dating isn't married to anyone else, you have no evidence that the other girlfriend is in the dark and thinks she's in an exclusive relationship. As far as you know, she may be dating two other men.

When you're single and in the later years of your life, friendships, dating, girlfriends/boyfriends do not necessarily have the same rules. Companionship sometimes is more important than the person being exclusive to you.

karmahappens posted 12/18/2013 07:12 AM

There are no secrets, everyone knows the situation.

Nah, I think she is fine.

And if she is happy, kudos to her.

Thinkingtoomuch posted 12/18/2013 10:14 AM

I was 61 when I found out. Engaged and living together 7 1/2 years. It's now about 3 years since DD. Feel like I lost the best of my middle years. Looking at men in their later years, hmmm.

I will not date or get very personal with any man that is seeing more than one person. Really don't know for sure what that man might be doing with another woman or saying about me even if he's kissing me.

I'm not doing it.
My boundaries are set. The other side feels too iffy for me. I feel strong now.

Just thought I'd give my thoughts for me.

Charity411 posted 12/18/2013 11:46 AM

career lady, I had a best friend who was talking every day, sometimes several times a day, to an ex-boyfriend who was now married. I started to notice that if I as her best friend called her on her cell phone it would be days before I got a return call. When he called she answered it no matter what was going on. I finally asked her if she had a boyfriend and she insisted they were just friends.

One day she met me for coffee and started to tell me that her friend wasn't allowed to call her any more. He called her and told her that and said it was at the insistence of his wife. She went on to tell me she thought that was silly and immature and that clearly his wife was insecure and childish. She was sure that the wife was standing there making him make the call. She asked what I thought.

I asked her if she had ever met his wife. Nope. Or if she had ever called his home and spoken to her if she answered. The answer was no because she only called him on his cell. I asked her if she had ever asked to be introduced to his wife since they're just good friends and generally friends want to get to know the people in their friend's lives. No again. I told her his wife was absolutely right. We didn't stay friends much longer after that. She resented my opinion.

If your mom is just friends with this person, she should be able to tell you that she's met or at least talked to the girlfriend if she's fine with the friendship. If she hasn't then it is an inappropriate relationship that would be hurtful to that girlfriend of his. In my opinion that makes her the OW, sex or no sex.

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