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When A WS Leaves For Their OP

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learningasIgo posted 10/11/2007 19:40 PM

I really cannot understand how someone can abandon their children. I can only say that they were most likely like that all along, it's just that it never was revealed. I know this is true when I look back on my marriage and my XH and he abandoned his children as well. He WAS like that all along. I just has my own needs and wants and desires and so I didn't see what I didn't want to see.

queequeg posted 10/14/2007 10:11 AM


I agree with you. I think that a WS who abandons a spouse, especially when there are children involved, has issues of character that were present all along. As long as they get what they need out of being married, everything is, as my FWW used to say, "honky dorey" for them.

When things get rough, the rubber meets the road. That's when the design flaws start to show.

Who you're spouse really is, unfortunately, is not clear until the stress in a marriage starts to show.

Unfortunately, many BSs were not really good judges of character, either before or during their marriages.

I know I was in denial for a very long time. Of course, my life experience hadn't been sufficient to make me less than naively trusting.

[This message edited by queequeg at 10:17 AM, October 14th (Sunday)]

learningasIgo posted 10/15/2007 21:52 PM

Actually, I look upon my own denial as a character flaw. I wanted what I wanted and I was going to have it even in the face of everything saying it was NOT that. AND I wasn't going to admit I made a mistake. Now, many years later, I can see my part.

Eumenides posted 10/17/2007 00:49 AM

Frankly, I didn't want to marry my STBX. I tried to dump him many times while we were dating. However, when I came up pregnant, everyone told me, "You two have to get married." I was only 18. His manner unsettled me from the start. He always acted like a philanderer, but he was good at hiding it from me. To be honest, I never did sleep easy during our entire marriage. I always knew he was either checking out other women, going through reams of porn, or screwing other women at work. Any time *I* brought up the issue of infidelity, he would fly off the handle.

He would go through my private writings while I was at work and confront me about them later. Personal stuff. Poems, short stories, journal entries. He read all of it and even went so far as to tell me that he didn't want me to write anymore. A couple years ago I wrote a short story about a couple going through the pain of infidelity, just because I felt like it. He found it, read it, and had a cow. He accused me of thinking about cheating. One thing he failed to notice is that the story was written from the perspective of the BS.

If I hadn't been so determined to make our family work and prove to him that I was "worthy", I would have paid heed to the massive red flags flapping like battle standards all over our relationship.

Character flaw? In reference to STBX, I would call that an understatement. For six years he kept up the relentless mantra, "I love you, Eumenides. You're beautiful and I don't want anyone else to have you. You've always been the one I've wanted. I wanted you for years and you'll always be mine." The one thing he forgot to add was that *I* had to be his and pure and good, while he could screw anything female that moved while my back was turned.

When you have lies pounded into your head over and over, you start to believe them, no matter what their actions really say. So the fact that he has left without a backward glance come as no surprise to me. He's depraved. He's selfish. He's a monster and he always has been.

My only missteps were; 1. Listening to lies because I didn't want to see the painful truth, 2. Letting it go on this long, 3. Being capable of love beyond all reason and condition.

He has a lot more against him than I do, that's for sure. My current situation will not be my permanent situation. Finances, cars, houses, and other material things shift always. Jobs come and go. Pain lessens. But he has jarring errors in his personality that he refuses to acknowledge and blames on others. He is miserable, whether he realises it or not. He can't buy a new personality, and he can't buy a soul. His problems are so, so much worse than any of mine.

[This message edited by Eumenides at 12:52 AM, October 17th (Wednesday)]

devastated07 posted 10/18/2007 09:18 AM

Is there something special about the "mojo" of WSs who leave for the OP compared to

The "mojo" is the arrogance & complete hubris of the WS; that because OP doesn't ask or require anything too hard from the WS, that they can make a better life for themselves someplace else with someone else. This is called the "greener grass effect".

To this, all Betrayed spouses need to say "Bye Bye and I'll be long gone before I have a chance to say I TOLD YOU SO."

queequeg posted 10/18/2007 16:29 PM


I'm not sure that denial is a character flaw. It is an unconscious coping mechanism meant to protect you from painful situations.

I also exhibited denial when my FWW was distancing from me during her extended A.

I kept asking what was wrong, but she never said what was bothering her.

Denial is not a useful response, but I'm not sure it is a character flaw.

When someone makes a conscious decision to cheat and kick their spouse aside, well that is a conscious, calculated, and repeated behavior.

That represents character.

I take responsibility for at least 50% of the problems in my past marriage, but that is as far as I can go.

When someone brings a problem to my attention, I can try to fix it.

When I make a promise, I keep it.

[This message edited by queequeg at 4:34 PM, October 18th (Thursday)]

Rebuilding_Me posted 10/18/2007 16:57 PM

Actually, I have thought a lot about that 'mojo' thing because WHFXH and LMT (Little Miss Thang) are still together and I have not found someone I am willing to date seriously, let alone fall in love with. I think the ability to stay faithful gives us a higher standard, you know, sets the bar way up there, and makes us way less willing to compromise just to have a warm body in the house.

I look at it this way, my X is the kind of guy who would cheat on his wife and abandon her and his two small children to shack up with a piece of ass. LMT is the type of woman who is willing to eff another woman's husband and shack up with him after only 6 months and have a child with him before his divorce was final.

They are PERFECT for each other!

queequeg posted 10/18/2007 21:22 PM


Here's the weird thing I mean by mojo.

A wife is cheating on her husband, with some low life renting a cheap loft in lower Manhattan.

The guy knows she's married and cheating, but he stays with her knowing she is going home to sleep with her husband.

Then he is willing to marry her knowing that she cheated on her husband and walked out on him.

I mean that to me is a weird attraction, but maybe I'm not a worldly guy.

learningasIgo posted 10/21/2007 19:57 PM

"I'm not sure that denial is a character flaw. It is an unconscious coping mechanism meant to protect you from painful situations."

I don't think denial is a character flaw at all! I'm sorry that I miscommunicated. I think denial is a natural defense mechanism. It is so strong, in fact, that people subjected to traumatic experiences can suppress the memories of it for years or, in more drastic cases of child abuse, even develop multiple personalities, some of which have no knowledge of the abuse. No one should ever be ashamed of having experienced denail. It is just your own psyche seeking to protect you. Every person alives experiences it to some degree in some situation, though not all experience it to the degree that some BS do because not all ever have to face that particularly trying circumstance. Otherwise, they probably would for a period of time as well. When you are ready to face the truth, you do. I experienced denial with my own husband's cyber cheating. I experienced denial about other things too in my life, some very traumatic. I am no stranger to it and I am not ashamed of it. Nor, as I said, is it my opinion that anyone should be. It is NOT a character flaw. It IS a human characteristic which we all share. I am so sorry that you felt I termed it a flaw. Please know that I don't.

cheatedonbyhim posted 10/21/2007 20:05 PM

One of my FWB left me for his dealer (I had no idea he was a drug user). They're now married and have a new baby together.

He works at a coffee shop in the town where my mom lives. On a recent visit, I went to "study" for the national registry paramedic test. Imagine his surprise when I casually set down my study book on the counter as I ordered my drink.

I'm not so far away from applying to medical school, and he's still right where he was when we were dating 3 years ago.

[This message edited by cheatedonbyhim at 8:06 PM, October 21st (Sunday)]

learningasIgo posted 10/21/2007 20:07 PM

I was just rethinking what you said, quee. I think denial can occur in many forms, includone denial of one's own harmful (to others and self) behavior. Hence, an addict can live in denial of both their own addiction and the terrible pain it is causing to those who love them. I have a son who is an addict and who has certainly been the cause of heartrending pain to me. Currently, I have not spoken to him for two years. He is my eldest, the product of an unplanned teenage pregnancy, and my love for him was and is absolute. He was my life for a long time. He knows this, yet the only way he can reconcile continuing as he is (and the things he has done which addicts do and which cause them deep shame, I don't need to go into it because I think all can understand that) is through denial of the pain he is causing. So there is yet another example of denial at work and this time not a healthy one.

It's a very complicated and difficult aspect of humans to understand. Only each individual can decide where and how it fits into their own situation. Was their own WS in denial of some sort? Were there perhaps addiction issues, personality or other mental disorders, childhood issues? No one can say but those in the situation. I do think that perhaps those closest TO the situation (me included) are almost universally the least objective. But again, denial is part of the human condition and certainly comes into play many times in many aspects of our lives and the lives of all we know. Why is it important to perhaps understand where denial may have come into play with the WS? Or, as in the case of my son, the addict? Because anger, resentment and hatred mixed with love is a toxic potion that consumes only the person who carries it around with them.

Well, I think that at least with a spouse, even a longterm spouse, it is easier perhaps to let the anger do its job and help you detach and no longer love. You read these boards for a while and you see that process occur. A parent, of course, always loves and always hurts. I wish there was a way for people, BS or hurt parents like me, to just love without hurt. I guess that's the real challenge for US, not for those we love.

learningasIgo posted 10/21/2007 20:09 PM

cheated, that's sad. I'm sorry he cheated on you, but you loved him once and so he must've had some redeeming characteristics. I'm sorry that addiction and whatever other problems he has not only made him choose to behave so badly towards you but also to not realize his potential. Despite the fact that he hurt you so much, I think that must be very sad for you, too.

learningasIgo posted 10/21/2007 20:16 PM

You know quee, as to who she cheated with, where, etc., you are still absorbing so much of this as a blow to your own self esteem. If she chose HIM, what does that say about ME? Well, it says nothing about you. In fact, it says nothing about him. It's now irrelevant. She does not define you. The need to put her or her choice of partner down only keeps you TIED to the situaiton. They are who they are. They do what they do. You are who you are. You do what you do. YOU DEFINE YOURSELF. Look around you. Aren't there many, many people, family, coworkers, friends, who esteem and value you? Why then do you allow this ONE PERSON'S opinion to mean so much? It doesn't you know. Let her go off on her own path. It is now irrelevant to you. I see you live in Manhattan. Have you read "How Starbucks Saved My Life"? You might find it an uplifting read. I did!

Rebuilding_Me posted 10/22/2007 22:23 PM

QueeQueg - I am there with you... I just don't 'get' it either. OW knows DikHed is willing to cheat on his wife, obviously, as she was the one he cheated with... Yet she says she 'trusts' him even when proven that he has lied to her directly!

I thank the creator daily that I am no longer in such a horrid place.

It must really suck to be them.

cheatedonbyhim posted 10/22/2007 22:50 PM

LAIG - It made me sad to see that once Z and I started dating, a complete 180 happened. We started off as friends, then slept together. At the time, a co-worker of mine was interested in me, and I told Z that I wasn't going to go back and forth and that I needed to know what he thought. Z thought we should become a couple, and we did.

I don't date guys who aren't worth much, so yes, he did have some redeeming characteristics. He was nice to me (at first), calm, well-spoken, and intelligent. It was disappointing to see him spiral down the drug path, and I know his parents were disappointed, too. They're both volunteer EMTs and I think they were hoping I was going to be the one to pull him out of the gutter. I just didn't have the strength to wait that long to do it, and I don't think he had or has the desire to make anything of himself.

I do feel sorry for him, because I know when I finish medical school, he's still going to be in the same place. I did for a tiny second feel guilty about flaunting my success as a premed... but only for a second. I remembered the times he told me I was stupid for misspelling a word or making a typo in a 10 page neuropsychology paper; I think he was threatened by the fact that I'm s-m-a-r-t.

[This message edited by cheatedonbyhim at 10:52 PM, October 22nd (Monday)]

learningasIgo posted 10/23/2007 20:31 PM

Even his putdowns are a reason to feel sorry for him. Do you think people who have good self esteem, who like themselves, put others down for such things? No. They do not. Think about it. As badly as he hurt you, isn't sympathy and pity a much more healing and comfortable emotion than anger or hatred? From what you've said, he sounds like a person who does have some redeeming characteristcs but could not overcome the negative characteristics that defined him (for whatever reason). That's sad. Aren't you glad you are not him? You saw something good in him. He couldn't be that person but I bet he wishes he could be. And he probably has even lower self esteem because he couldn't. Not that this is YOUR responsibility nor could you have done anything to save him from himself. But it is still sad. Read my post above about my son. You are going to be fine. He's not. That's not something to gloat about. You loved him once. You saw something in him worthy of your love. He couldn't be more and he most likely hates himself for it. That is very, very sad. What jumped out at me from your post despite your "gloating" words was the underlying grief over that. It IS sad. You will be fine. He won't. My son won't. Ever. Addiction is rarely, very rarely, every overcome.

learningasIgo posted 10/23/2007 20:35 PM

Also when he saw you believe me he felt lower than low. And that made him angry no doubt. Just like I'm sure it did in the past. I bet he loved you BECAUSE you are smart and hated himself because of how weak he was. Or at least he thought he was. If he is truly an addict, it is beyond strength or weakness. And it's just so sad. I'm sure you've grieved about it plenty. But listen. Grief is always a better, more healing emotion than anger, bitterness, hatred. Go ahead and grieve over the waste, the loss, of someone who you so hoped would and could be more. And then move on. But you don't need to hate him. My guess is he hates himself enough already. That's how it goes with addicts.

nothappynow posted 10/23/2007 21:08 PM

me too. he left,said he never loved me and he's been in love with her the whole 6yrs we have been married. moved in with her, and after only two weeks he moved out and in with his bestfriend. Two days after that he was crawling back. but ya know, I don't think he regrets it, so I'm not sure R is possible.

queequeg posted 10/24/2007 14:50 PM


I often wonder how my FWW and her dickwad AP,now husband, live together with the memory of what they did as their courting experience.

I wonder how they remember the early morning I called where she was staying after she moved out without mentioning the A, and I asked for dickwad by name.

She put him on the phone!

I asked him how he liked f****ing my wife, and closed down.

Hope they always have that as a cherished memory of their "dating" days.

I take 50% of the responsibility for poor communication and other problems in the M.

I never stopped loving her.

I am not responsible for her affair, and her refusal to reconcile.

I am proud of my new marriage in which I met my SINGLE wife after I was divorced, and courted her honestly and openly as a SINGLE man.

I have also tried to deal with any personal issues that were shortcomings in my first marriage, especially ability to communicate better.

I would have done that for and with FWW, given the chance.

[This message edited by queequeg at 2:56 PM, October 24th (Wednesday)]

learningasIgo posted 10/24/2007 20:34 PM

"I often wonder"

Well quee, there it is in a nutshell. You often wonder. You will get NO answers. The fact of the matter is they might be very well able to live with themselves, be happy with their memories, and never give another thought to all you wonder about. You ofen wonder. You then keep yourself tied to her choices. They are not and were not your choices. Yes, I get that. You would have worked on the marriage but she didn't want to. Got that. So all this wondering. What's it doing for you? She done you wrong, there's no doubt about it. But now she's gone on with her life. And you know what? In the real world, sometimes it works out. Sometimes it doesn't, sometimes it does. Do you see you've GOT to stop tying your sense of self to what SHE chose, what THEY are doing, how SHE is, and so forth? You're still clinging to the anger that comes with being treated unjustly and not seeing any justice for those who treated you that way. Well quee, everyone's got their own story. You've got to write your own. STOP WONDERING. It doesn't matter! It's no longer relevant to YOUR life. Look AHEAD to your future! Wondering about her keeps you in the PAST. And please to not wait wait wait for "karma" (I hate how that term is used here) or "justice" to get them because it may not. And you know what? You need to get to the place where YOU DON'T CARE EITHER WAY. That's freedom. That's growth. Can you hear what I'm saying?

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