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User Topic: being the OW...how do you handle it?
Alyssamd24
♀ Member
Member # 39005
Default  Posted: 2:57 PM, September 18th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The only thing I was asking for with this post is how other OW deal with the guilt and feelings of self hatred they may have, and how to move past that.

I never said I was going to contact her. I haven't tried to contact either of them and don't plan on it.

Now I am wishing I had never posted anything about it.


"I need to be redeemed to the one I've sinned against because he's all I ever knew of love"

Posts: 798 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Massachusetts
Kelany
♀ Member
Member # 34755
Default  Posted: 3:01 PM, September 18th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Reread your posts from the beginning and try to look at them objectively as we have.


BS - Me
SA/FWH Him
DDay 1 - Jul 11
DDay 2 - Jul 12
R Dec 12

Former 80s Icon wishful thinking


Posts: 2031 | Registered: Feb 2012
Aubrie
♀ Member
Member # 33886
Default  Posted: 3:04 PM, September 18th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The only thing I was asking for with this post is how other OW deal with the guilt and feelings of self hatred they may have, and how to move past that

And the comments here have not only answered, but pushed you further than that surface question.

I totally know what you're saying. But from personal experience, this goes alot further than just the guilt and feelings of being the OW. It's attached to other things.

Alyssa, if these questions and comments are scaring/worrying/pushing you, please take the time to look at it. The flashlight of truth is uncomfortable. Really is. But it's imperative in healing. You gotta clean out all the nooks and crannies in your soul. This is part of the process.

You can do this.


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne

"What if I fall?" Oh but my darling, what if you fly?


Posts: 6126 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: South, Y'all!
20WrongsVs1
♀ Member
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 3:17 PM, September 18th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

You said your post was misinterpreted I think I get where you were coming from, so tell me if I'm right.

The guilt and shame you feel now, which you didn't feel during the A: I'm no shrink, but I call that cognitive dissonance. BTDT, and it's taken me four months to get close to resolving it. So let me take a stab at what you're feeling. During the A, you didn't see yourself as "the OW." Because OW are evil soulless homewreckers, right? But not you! You're a good person who tumbled into love with a guy who's trapped in a loveless, sexless marriage. You brought each other so much happiness and comfort, how could that be wrong?!

Then the dream ended, and your KISA was revealed a POSOM.

So what does that make you? Us. It makes us all those awful names they call us in JFO and General. Predatory creatures unworthy even of personal pronouns. Not an easy thing to own.


fWW: 42
BH: 52
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
"Between stimulus and response there’s a space, in that space lies our power to choose our response, in our response lies our growth and our freedom." V. Frankl

Posts: 1089 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
sunnyrain
♀ Member
Member # 30164
Default  Posted: 3:24 PM, September 18th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Now I am wishing I had never posted anything about it.

Chin up! You are allowed to question yourself here and search for answers.

This is your journey. Things clear when they clear.


Posts: 333 | Registered: Nov 2010
20WrongsVs1
♀ Member
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 3:46 PM, September 18th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

We cross-posted. So yeah, self-hatred is not productive IMO. Hate the sin, love the sinner. As someone posted to you on another thread: your goal s/b to move *through* this, not *past* it. Hate yourself for a minute, then move through shame and guilt to acceptance and forgiveness. There's no quick fix.

For me the journey may be different than yours because I was profoundly disconnected from my emotions...pretty much my whole life. So I was incapable of feeling guilt after DDay. When the wires started reconnecting, I felt very guiltybut it's such a new emotion for me, I have zero skills for processing it. So I won't go on at length about myself.

IMO a heavy dose of shame is healthy at first, but beating yourself up long-term isn't. Ultimately you need to love and accept yourself if you're going to heal from this, and become a good partner to your husband and mother to your DD. Maybe we do need to wear the scarlet A forever, but eventually you can take it off your chest and just embroider it really small onto the inside of your collar. Forgive yourself, but not necessarily forget.


fWW: 42
BH: 52
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
"Between stimulus and response there’s a space, in that space lies our power to choose our response, in our response lies our growth and our freedom." V. Frankl

Posts: 1089 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
Alyssamd24
♀ Member
Member # 39005
Default  Posted: 3:50 PM, September 18th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Twenty,
Yes that's it exactly!!!!

Aubrie and Samantha,

So maybe it is cuz I'm still trying to get through the withdrawal process . Or trying to get past my identity of the evil OW. Its probably both. ..but the question remains the same, how do I move past it so I can focus only on my M and relationship with my BH?


"I need to be redeemed to the one I've sinned against because he's all I ever knew of love"

Posts: 798 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Massachusetts
ThoughtIKnewYa
♀ Member
Member # 18449
Default  Posted: 4:01 PM, September 18th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

ONE EVENING, AN ELDERLY
CHEROKEE BRAVE TOLD HIS
GRANDSON ABOUT A BATTLE THAT
GOES ON INSIDE PEOPLE.

HE SAID "MY SON, THE BATTLE IS
BETWEEN TWO 'WOLVES' INSIDE US ALL.
ONE IS EVIL. IT IS ANGER,
ENVY, JEALOUSY, SORROW,
REGRET, GREED, ARROGANCE,
SELF-PITY, GUILT, RESENTMENT,
INFERIORITY, LIES, FALSE PRIDE,
SUPERIORITY, AND EGO.

THE OTHER IS GOOD.
IT IS JOY, PEACE LOVE, HOPE SERENITY,
HUMILITY, KINDNESS, BENEVOLENCE,
EMPATHY, GENEROSITY,
TRUTH, COMPASSION AND FAITH."

THE GRANDSON THOUGH ABOUT
IT FOR A MINUTE AND THEN ASKED
HIS GRANDFATHER:

"WHICH WOLF WINS?..."

THE OLD CHEROKEE SIMPLY REPLIED,
"THE ONE THAT YOU FEED"

Source: http://www.nanticokeindians.org/tale_of_two_wolves.cfm

(Yes, the story is YELLING on the original page, too. Not sure why.)


Posts: 11558 | Registered: Mar 2008
Kelany
♀ Member
Member # 34755
Default  Posted: 4:22 PM, September 18th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I gave a few ideas, but I can expand further.

I believe you're currently not working right now correct? So you have a LOT of time to just...sit there and think, correct?

Now, granted I'm a BS, but let me tell you, I know how to obsess something fierce! I'm a SAHM and I homeschool.

I got to a point this spring that I just could not stop the obsessive thoughts. To the point where it was hard to function for me. I went into my therapists office and just told her, I need HELP.

I was on one AD, but it's not all that great for the OCD. So she suggested I talk to my dr. about a switch.

Then, she gave me a PLAN. Oh my god a PLAN!!! And it wasn't even a big plan, but it was something I was unable to do for myself at the time.

She told me to make a goal each day. ONE goal. It could be a simple goal like making dinner, or doing the damn laundry, but a goal that I HAD to do that day, so at the end of the day I could say I accomplished something.

I incorporated my kids into this and we planned out a list of goals. One day it was taking them to the library. At the time, the thought of that exhausted me.

She told me, gently, to get a hobby. Something for ME. Something that I could do that didn't focus on the kids, my marriage, my husband, etc. I began to read again. For PLEASURE, not self-help books, not affair books, books for pleasure. The first book I finished I felt on top of the world. It felt so good to get back into that again.

Journaling. I've been doing this for a long time, but it helps me so much. Sometimes I'm angry and pissed off. Sometimes I'm sad and weepy. Sometimes I'm gushy and in lurve. It doesn't matter, but it's a place to spill my feelings and it's MINE.

Slowly I began to get ME back. The me that I lost for so many years.

Now I'm back to the activity I haven't had in years. I'm home maybe 2 days a week between the kids activities. Last year at this time, I wouldn't even leave the house. Now, I'm teaching two classes on Fridays. I'm cooking again, I LOVE to cook. I missed cooking. Before it was too overwhelming. Now, I love it again. I'm meal planning, menu's, etc. Heck I've been teaching teenagers to cook! Fridays, we hang out with friends in our homeschooling community and my husband got very involved with it too.

Plainly put? I was so damned depressed and isolated and stuck in those compulsive thoughts I was teetering on the edge.

So, make goals of something every day. An hour of job searching. 5 resume's sent out. Taking your daughter to the park. Cooking dinner with your husband, SOMETHING to check off each day. Then after a week, maybe add a second goal.

Get a hobby. Yeah, I'm gently saying, get a life. But seriously. Do something. Being BUSY keeps those horrible depressive thoughts out of your head. Be productive!!! Volunteer with something since you're not working right now, that would be a good filler on your resume!!!

Set aside a night each week for you and your husband to have an in home date night. Watch a movie together, have a glass of wine, just enjoy reconnecting. Talk...TALK!!!! Plan Halloween, thanksgiving, have things to look forward to.

Okay, I can suggest more, but I might overwhelm you.

P.S. don't be afraid to talk to your therapist or if you need to a dr. if you feel you're depressed at all. You've had a lot happen in a short amount of time, compounded with the job loss.


BS - Me
SA/FWH Him
DDay 1 - Jul 11
DDay 2 - Jul 12
R Dec 12

Former 80s Icon wishful thinking


Posts: 2031 | Registered: Feb 2012
bionicgal
♀ Member
Member # 39803
Default  Posted: 5:13 PM, September 18th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I agree that is is a selfish impulse to want to contact the BW. She really doesn't want to hear from you. You are doing it for yourself.

I got an apology from the OW and it showed that she was full of shame and guilt for her actions, but you know what, that doesn't really help. Am I supposed to feel bad that she feels bad? My only wish to to speed along the process of not caring that she exists at all. THe feeling that she is wholly beside the point. That is where BSs want to get, so you contacting them really helps in no way.


me - BS (40s)
DDay - June 2013, A was 2+ months, EA then PA
In MC & Reconciling
An affair is more like a mental break than a relationship.

I edit, therefore I am.


Posts: 1858 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: USA
Alyssamd24
♀ Member
Member # 39005
Default  Posted: 9:20 PM, September 18th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thought I knew ya,
I love that!

Samantha,
Thanks so much for the ideas! Your story means a lot to me and I can relate to it so much.

You're right, i have been home for the last three weeks not working and it is driving me crazy cuz I have all this time to think and its not good. I have been trying to keep busy by cleaning the house and doing other things around the house but it isnt enough. I love the idea of setting one goal for each day and will start with that.

I am on an antidepressant already and have been for many years...I take effexor daily for narcolepsy but am wondering if its time to either increase my dose or change meds. ...I had asked my neuro to increase my dose before the A started as I was feeling depressed then , but now I feel like it has gotten worse.

I am still waiting to hear about this one job. ..she was supposed to call me yesterday to officially offer me the job but I still haven't heard from her :(


"I need to be redeemed to the one I've sinned against because he's all I ever knew of love"

Posts: 798 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Massachusetts
knightsbff
♀ Member
Member # 36853
Default  Posted: 2:25 PM, September 19th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Alyssa,

I haven't read through the entire thread so I apologize if I'm redundant or off here. I can relate to your original post so I wanted to share my experience with you.

I too got to a place where I was sort of stuck on thoughts of my role as the ow. I would think about the BW and her children (who were told of the A, two adults, one in HS and one in pre-k at the time). I was was horrified by how I had made myself a monster to those people. How during the A I blinded myself to what I was doing.

In my case the BW was aware of the A before my BH. She showed up on our doorstep to out me to my BH just before midnight on a Thursday night. I convinced him she was a crazy jealous wife. ...HORRIBLE, I know. Anyway, I had several telephone conversations with her where I answered her questions and I apologized. She initiated this contact at first but then I contacted her a few times after that. I was sort of cyber stalking the AP and I wanted to cut all ties so I ended up calling her and confessing that I had their passwords for fb, email, some forums....I asked her to change their passwords. Of course she was livid and told me never to contact them again. It's been over a year and I haven't.

All this to say I had the opportunity to apologize and try to treat my xAP's BW in the best way possible but I still feel I screwed it up and don't feel I was helpful to her at all. I was still somewhat foggy and not seeing things clearly at all. I did answer her questions honestly and at least she was able to know her WH was still TTing but I doubt she felt thankful for that IYKWIM.

I found that the best thing I could do for her was leave her alone. And the best thing I could do for me and my M was focus on the work I needed to do to get healthy.

I went through a stage of anger and resentment with the AP as well. No more. I hope for his W and children that he and his M become healthy and I hope his W heals and finds peace and joy but none of that has anything to do with me.

Keep consistently redirecting your focus to yourself, your M, your family. That's how you work through this part.


FWW 40's
D-day August 27, 2012
3 kids and 2 dogs

Posts: 1406 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: Deep South, USA
Alyssamd24
♀ Member
Member # 39005
Default  Posted: 3:49 PM, September 19th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thank you Knightsbff,
I appreciate your post,it does make it easier when I hear other people have felt the same way as me, and it's even better when I hear others have worked through it!


"I need to be redeemed to the one I've sinned against because he's all I ever knew of love"

Posts: 798 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Massachusetts
hopefulmother
♀ Member
Member # 38790
Default  Posted: 11:15 AM, September 20th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

No stop signs...so here it goes...from a BW.

She doesn't care about your apologies or clarification. She probably wishes you were dead or fell from the face of the Earth. You will never look good to her in her eyes. Anything you say, she will not believe anyways. You lied to her face as she handed you her child.

You will always be the hated "OW", and if she doesn't hate you-she has probably moved to pity.

You have done enough damage to her life and can never make up for it. That is why we talk about KARMA. We don't care about how bad you feel-good-we want you to feel worse. You ruined our lives and you feel bad? Poor you.

This is a wound, you can't clean out. One, you will have to learn how to live with.

Focus on how your husband feels and leave her family alone.

I know I would be pissed if the "OW" in our life, tried to clear her conscience with me. There is not explaining how you chose to act inappropriately with her husband.

Learn how to swallow the guilt like a bitter pill and become a better person that doesn't f*&() up anyone else's life. Take this as a chance to change and focus on doing some good to make up for it. Like some volunteer work.

BTW it is nice to know that all OW are not monsters. Mine probably isn't either, but in my eyes-she will always be.

Good luck and take the advice given. One goal a day and a hobby.

[This message edited by hopefulmother at 11:28 AM, September 20th (Friday)]


Me-BW 39
WH-39
D-day 9-4-12
Major TT 8-14
Friends for 20yrs dating since 2000
Married 9yrs with 2 toddlers
My wedding band is a symbol of hope, forgiveness, love, and grace.

Posts: 931 | Registered: Mar 2013 | From: PA
OldCow18
♀ Member
Member # 39670
Default  Posted: 11:31 AM, September 20th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

BW here. I do wish the OW had the decency to apologize to me and to convey to me that she knew it was wrong and that she would stay the heck away from my WH...she works with WH and I've known her for years, had her to my home, etc., so she wasn't a stranger. I felt I deserved an apology, actually I still feel that way....so good for you for apologizing, like another poster said, because the OW in my case did not, she's turned into the devil in my mind.

As for continuing contact, I feel there is no reason for that at all. If SHE were to contact you, as a fellow BW, I would hope you would be kind and truthful to whatever it is she needed, but I'm doubting she ever will.


Me, BW forty something, DD & DS,
Married to WH (49) 11 years, together 16
D-Day 6.8.13

Posts: 620 | Registered: Jun 2013
Deeply Scared
♀ Administrator
Member # 2
Red  Posted: 11:31 AM, September 20th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

hopefulmother...

Your post is inappropriate for this forum.

Please be more respectful to our members.


"Don't give up, the beginning is always the hardest." My Mom:)

My tolerance for stupid shit is getting less and less.


Posts: 197011 | Registered: May 2002
meaniemouse
♀ Member
Member # 10798
Default  Posted: 11:54 AM, September 20th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Double post.

[This message edited by meaniemouse at 4:48 PM, September 20th (Friday)]


Act as if what you do matters. It does. William James

Posts: 2099 | Registered: May 2006 | From: Midwest
meaniemouse
♀ Member
Member # 10798
Default  Posted: 12:02 PM, September 20th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Alyssamd24,
I am gently stepping in here--being a BW and knowing there are probably many OW in my past, most of whom I will probably never, ever know.

While I was most certainly angry at the women my ex chose to have affairs with, and I wondered how they could be with another woman's husband (I come from the "we are all women in this together-sisterhood-let's protect each other) the real focus of my anger, hurt, disappointment, humiliation and all of the other horrible feelings I had during that time was my then-husband. He was the one who made the promises to me, he was the one who knew what he was doing to our family, he was the one who made the choice to involve himself with other women. Therefore--he was the one I was angry with and I felt like he was the one who owed me and our family the apology, the remorse and the restitution. I never blamed the OW--I blamed him. He was the one who crossed the line, who chose to cheat and jeopardize our family and our way of life. If he had been a better person the most beautiful, intoxicating woman in the world could have danced on his desk naked and he would have walked away. Not her responsibility--HIS.

That said--I didn't (at least to my knowledge) know the other women personally so that is different from your case. But even if I had, and they would have contacted me I don't think it would have made any difference. Sure it's thoughtful to apologize but what good would it have done for me? Really nothing--the thoughtful thing would have been not to sleep with my husband and my child's father. There wouldn't have been anything she could have told me about the man I married that I didn't think of myself--hearing it from her wouldn't have made it any more true. Believe me, I thought WAY worse of him and still do.

You have apologized, she doesn't seem to want to hear it. I say leave it at that. Take care of yourself and your family, do good where you can and quit beating yourself up. You made a mistake; we all make them. You didn't make the mess by yourself. Her husband helped. She may be in denial about that but that's her issue, not yours. You can't make it better. That's her job. It sucks and it sucks that you had a part in it but I say walk away--from all of it. Good luck to you in your journey.


Act as if what you do matters. It does. William James

Posts: 2099 | Registered: May 2006 | From: Midwest
SuperDuperWonderboy
♂ Member
Member # 34716
Default  Posted: 1:24 PM, September 20th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Just going to chime in. Nothing new to add, but wanted to say that I hope you are doing well. You are making some good progress.

Here's the deal, though, I agree with some of the other posters here that you really need to examine your motivation for wanting to reach out to the BS. Are you doing it to lessen your own feelings of guilt? Are you doing it to harm the AP? Are you doing it to keep intertwined in their lives and thus keep the affair alive in some way?

I think that you really need to examine the motivation here.

Now, my opinion as far as reaching out again. Don't do it.

I called my wife's affair partner shortly after I found out about the affair. He actually gave me a pretty good apology. Umm, great...thanks for the apology bud, now is there anyway you can unscrew up my life? No, o.k. then. I guess I am glad I talked to him once just to meet the man that had helped blow up my family. I didn't have harsh words for him, and as far as I am concerned, he no longer matters to me. (But in reality, if he ever reached out to me again (or to my wife) I would do everything in my power to destroy him.)

I really don't think about him anymore, and I don't want to. It serves my wife and I much better to work on our marriage and not insert ourselves into someone else's.

You did the right thing outing the affair. Now give the family their space. Focus on you, your BS, and your child. Anything else is just a distraction.

[This message edited by wonderboy at 1:27 PM, September 20th (Friday)]


My Friends call me Wonderboy--That's Mr. SuperduperWonderboy to you Tred.


Posts: 1272 | Registered: Feb 2012 | From: Everett
Want2help
♀ Member
Member # 20547
Default  Posted: 2:49 PM, September 20th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I think the first thing you need to do is be honest with yourself about why you want her to believe you.

Would you rather the BW hate you for sleeping with her husband [the truth], rather than the BW hating you because she believes you are a "blackmailing liar" who "accosted her husband [his lie]"?


BS- me.
FWS- him.
DDay 6/07 (immediately separated)
RDay 8/07
Surprise OC born 3/08 (NC)
7 years into successful R.
"That which can be destroyed by truth should be." -P. C. Hodgell

Posts: 2212 | Registered: Aug 2008 | From: PNW
Topic Posts: 64
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