He's doing everything right on paper to help me (and our marriage) weather this storm and for my part, I'm trying to amend some of my behaviors that caused problems in our marriage by being warmer and more available to him. I know that I was often cold and sometimes outright mean towards him - in fact, I felt guilty about those tendencies long before the A came to light.
While I feel like we're on the right path and I'm hoping to fully forgive him one day, I still find myself often consumed with rage directed at the OW. I've known my husband for many years and have always known him to be a good person and his behavior in the aftermath has been very reassuring, so it's easier for me to forgive him. Although I don't know the OW well, we weren't strangers. Sometimes, I try to understand how she could do something so hurtful to me. She's a bit younger than me, overweight, and not pretty - I can see that she's insecure and sometimes think she seeks male attention (not just from my husband - she cheated on her bf with a few coworkers)in order to validate herself, to prove to herself that she's attractive and desirable. Or maybe, like my husband, she got caught up in a moment and felt terrible about it afterward. Maybe in her naivety, she felt their friendship afterward was innocent because it was, as she described it to me, "just talking." On the other hand, maybe she enjoys taking another woman's man, maybe it gives her an ego boost. Maybe she regrets what she did and maybe she doesn't give a fuck about me or my family. Maybe she thinks about me and laughs. My point is, it's really hard to forgive someone when you don't know their motivations, if they're more worthy of your forgiveness or your scorn.
I've contemplated publicly humiliating her. I've always been very witty and can use that wit to scathe like lye and it would be so easy for me to just destroy her, like shooting fish in a barrel. She's no beauty (picture Princess Fiona post-ogre transformation, plus 5 pounds and spectacles) and is just lame in general - not too bright, untalented, and just all around uninteresting. Rationally, I know that it's unfair to punish her while extending forgiveness towards my husband and that I'd only be seeking to make her feel the pain and humiliation she caused me, which is an impossible feat. I know that the biggest fuck you I could grant her would be to completely forget about her like the insignificant pig she is. And yet I keep coming back to these thoughts and the desire to inflict emotional pain on her, to settle the score. After I spoke to her and told her to never contact him and to keep her mouth shut, she pretty much ran with her curly pig tail between her legs and, admittedly, has kept her end of the bargain. Were I to shame her, I'd be going back on my word not to do so and, more importantly, I'd also be shaming myself and putting my business out there. (Thankfully, the A has been kept relatively quiet, so my humiliation has been more private than public.)
Again, how can I move past these admittedly self-destructive feelings? Although I know that she would never reap the benefit of my forgiveness (in the same way that she is unaffected by the force of my unexpressed anger) and that forgiveness is more of a gift to myself, I can't bring myself to do it just yet. How can I let go of this anger when I don't know her motivations, if she is just a naive girl who made a terrible mistake or if she's a selfish c*** who doesn't give a fuck? The oddest part is, I know she's neither a rival nor an equal to me. I outrank her in every measure except weight and dress size, but yet I dwell.
It must be Hell to wake up every morning hating yourself to the point that you would need to stoop so low as to go after the kibbles a married man would feed you.
Just imagine the emotional pain that woman like her feel every time they look in the mirror, amoral, low-self esteem and low-self confidence.
They carry their KARMA like a plague. They are toxic. They did nothing to positively build or reinforce our fWH's. Our fWH didn't grow or challenge themselves. They just wallowed in self pity and waste. Our fWH may have thought/felt like these woman built them up, but the reality is they are less now than what they were before the A. It is disgusting. Try not to focus on hate. Focus on pity and disgust.
I say disgust, because in my case the OW is 10 years younger than me and basically abandoned her daughter to chase my fWH. In addition, she tweets non-stop about Justin Timberlake and One Direction. Who at the age of 30 is so in-love with a rock star? It is just so hard to hate a woman that acts so immature. Mentality wise, she is a 16 yr old child.
Really, once you hit pity and disgust...she just slips from your mind.
She could be delusional - i.e. she honestly thought he would leave you for her
She could get an ego boost out of it-- i.e. I must be something if he's willing to risk his wife for some time with me
She could just be lonely and took any male attention she could find.
Point being, it doesn't really matter. Even if she told you she was sorry, she made a mistake, you'd have no reason to know if she were being truthful.
Ultimately, you just have to somehow get past the obsessive thoughts of her. Others may be able to better advise on how to do that. Are you think IC? That would be a first step.
But seeking out revenge by humiliating her or what not, is only going to make you look bad and belittle others' opinions of you.
I wouldnt worry so much about her not being in pain; most people are to some extent, whether its related to the A or not.
The high road and crickets is the way to go.
[This message edited by ShiningAutumn8 at 11:53 AM, May 21st (Wednesday)]
Again, how can I move past these admittedly self-destructive feelings?
I don't think the feelings themselves are self-destructive. Shaming ourselves over having them, or allowing them to drive our behaviour may be, but the feelings are just feelings.
I am a firm believer that the best way to move past them is to move through them. Give yourself permission to feel them, but not wallow in them, accept that they are normal and healthy feelings, and then let them go. It may take a long time, but pressuring yourself to get over them isn't going to make it happen any quicker, and if you focus on your own healing they should dissipate over time.
when I initially read your story, to me it seems you maybe were a Type A person, who liked to control. That maybe you "wore the pants" in the relationship so to speak and were so blindsided that your WS would cheat. I thought it was admirable that you admitted to being overly mean to him pre-A (not that that gives him an excuse to cheat, but its always good to accept our role in the state of the marriage)
Anyway, there's no guarantee you saying "A" to her would cause her to feel "B". In fact, it likely would backfire. she'd think well I must have meant something to him, if its eating her up enough to contact me.
I would say yours was a pretty accurate depiction of our marriage pre-A but I'm not really a control freak. My husband is just very laid-back and often kind of forces me to wear the pants. I have a pretty good, high paying job and he's still working in the restaurant industry, looking for work in his field. As a result, I pay the lion's share of the bills, handle the finances, and basically manage our lives. Plus, his schedule keeps us apart on nights and weekends, so I also have to do the grocery shopping and housework, too - all while juggling an infant son, whom I nursed for a year. I was tired and exhausted and never got to go out with my friends. It was work, baby, home and most of the time, my husband wasn't even there with me b/c he was waiting tables for a few paltry, but needed dollars. I was mean to him sometimes because I get frustrated with the fact that he's still working the types of jobs I worked while in college. He's been looking for work a lot harder since this came to light, but before that, I think he was somewhat content in the laid-back social atmosphere of the restaurant, especially if my salary was enough that we could live comfortably. This is the area in which I still have some anger towards him, because I feel so taken for granted and taken advantage of. I have been generally patient waiting for him to grow up and get a real job so he can contribute more and be present, but yes, sometimes the frustration bubbled over and I would be annoyed with him. When he came home from work and wanted to talk about what happened there or share a joke one of his coworkers told him, I would find myself annoyed by his immaturity and the fact that his coworkers are all around ten years younger than him. I wanted him to grow up and move forward, but instead of helping to push him in that direction, I didn't say anything and just lashed out from time to time. Again, I can see my mistakes in our marriage, as well and I am truly trying to work on them. Even despite everything that's happened, I've shown him much more kindness in the months since D-Day than I had in the year leading up to it and showing kindness which is then reciprocated makes me feel better about myself, too. That's why I really want to move past my anger towards OW. I truly want to forgive her in my heart, not because she will benefit from that forgiveness, but because the anger and hatred I carry around in my chest for her is only hurting me.
I'm working on disgust... The pity might take a while...
*we never did a NC letter*
I too was bothered by the fact that this woman was walking around thinking she was all that to my hubby. Believing he missed her and held her in high regards. Thought the world of her. (the usual A fog bullshit)
His letter was a "This is what I think of you now...sort of a NC letter at the same time." Not very pretty. Mine, was just a plain "This is what you are..." Any contact with her before that from me was always very cordial...asking her why and what her intentions were. Telling her to stay away.
Most on here advised against it. But, honestly I thought about it for months. After a year, I did it. Only I knew what I needed to move on. That was one of them. I needed her to see what she truly was in my fWH eyes now. Lets face it, she knew I was probably thinking about the A on anniversary of D-day. I felt better after sending that letter. A huge step forward in healing. After that she avoided any work meetings and work related phone calls.
Later I looked at her in the "pity" light. Almost 19months now and she isn't a factor anymore.
[This message edited by hopefulmother at 8:34 PM, May 21st (Wednesday)]
Are you seeing a therapist? It might help you get to the bottom of what the OW represents to you.
Whatever doesn't kill you...doesn't kill you.
Honestly, I don't even want to publicly shame her as much as I want to shatter any illusions she may possess over the nature of her relationship with my husband. I want her to know how insignificant she was
I can totally relate to your post. I dont think she understands that she could have been anybody. She thinks that she was special, like she really meant something and that bothers me now. Its not enough to me for her to know that hes with me now and that she doesnt mean anything now. She needs to know she didnt mean anything then. It was never that he "chose" me. There was never a choice to be made. She was just there because of his personal issues and her "openess" to him no matter his relationhip status(pun intended). She was there because she was so easy and willing. For a long time I did forgive her but something in me, like you, wont let go now. Ive thought about writing a letter. Im going to give it some time though. I cant really give any great advice as im struggling too. I just want you to know that your not alone. Sadly, as others have suggested, I dont believe that most OW are miserable human beings who hate their life and deal with the problems of their actions. I believe MOST ow actually believe they didnt do anything wrong. They think that their circumstances were "different" and dont even feel bad about it. It will take them until theyre in an honest relationship to ever even consider how it feels to be on the BS end of things.
I totally understand the worry that she saw the A as an ego boost. My H had As with old unattractive hags who had nothing on me. Some of them used him as exit As for their own failing Ms...a young boy toy to convince them they wouldnt be alone, yet reality was he would never date them. But one in particular was narcissistic IMO and very much made it a competition with me in her head. It boosted her ego to get a younger guy and to top it off, to steal him from me. I dont doubt she felt this way from post Dday communicationa. And it bothered me for a long time because I knew how untrue her point of view was. My H sent her a NC letter teling her what the As were to him and she didnt believe he wrote it even because that would burst her ego bubble....point being no matter how much you obsess over what the OW felt the A was for her you can never change how she feels. She will rationalize if she wants the ego boost or she may feel terrible because she is remorseful too....it doesnt matter either way. You will have to let it go because you cant change how she feels and public shaming wont help either. Believe me Ive fantasized about those confrontations but I do believe that giving them no room or value in your life or head will prove to be healthier and more rewarding in the long run...it just takes time and effort to realize how their actions are the actions ofan insecure person with some issues to work on. I swore I would never reach that point because I obsessed with the best of them for the first six months or so, then I realized how sad and desperate their actions were. I realized that they were used by my H and they put up with that part of him.
I totally understand this feeling. I am a writer and so I wrote many letters to my WH, which I sent to him and a couple to the OW (The Whore). I even posted the first one here. I re-read it over and over and sometimes I add things. I picture myself telling her the words in person, body language and tone of voice and all.
It helps so much just to get it out. I journal when I am not on SI and I have conversations in my head all the time about how I want to say things. Most of those conversations are ones I need to have with WH when we talk, but sometimes they are with the OW. I have done research on her and she is a master manipulator/con artist. She makes her living as a "psychic" and has a FB fan page. She set her sights on my WH from day one and I knew it. Told him to avoid any "friendship" with her, which I thought he had.
So, for me my letters to her were me letting her know that I KNEW of her intentions and that I was not a fool or naive to HER intentions. I kind of lay into her about how she is not the loving, peaceful clairvoyant she sells herself as on her fan Page. That she is pitiful and that I hope Karma comes to bite her in the ass. I ask her firmly to stay away from my family or I will expose her to her Fan base and ruin her career.
I wrote one letter recently that I am strongly considering sending.
It burns me that she is off traveling the world without a care about what she has helped to do to my family. I hold WH 100% responsible for A, but she was a co-conspirator in the whole thing and I cant sleep at night sometimes knowing that she probably feels like she doesn't have to pay a price, no matter how small.
The therapist is convinced that OW thought WH would leave me for her and that just his choosing me now is her punishment. Im not convinced.
Said all that to really say, write it down. Read it as often as you need to. The more you read it the better you will feel. Write another one as the thoughts come. Then wait on it. As the feelings come and go, so will your decisions about what to do.
Im two months in and Im still riding the emotional roller coaster almost daily. It fucking SUCKS. I wouldn't wish this kind of pain on anyone. Not even her.
I did get to call her a whore to her face and that kind of settled most of the revenge fantasies. We live in a small town and after that she moved and hardly ever comes to town, even thought this is where she grew up and graduated from high school. I know she is terrified of running into me. I am sure pigtails lives in fear of running into you also after your confrontation.
I think them living in fear that we will tell anyone they know what a POS that they are is punishment enough and revenge is always tricky.
There is on old Chinese saying that if you are planning revenge, dig two graves. One for them and one for you.
The therapist is convinced that OW thought WH would leave me for her and that just his choosing me now is her punishment. Im not convinced.
I agree with you. How is us keeping a selfish cheating wayward spouse punishment for them? That is actually punishment for us. In the end, they probably think they dodged a bullet.
I am telling her husband. I am sending him a package with print outs of her porn pages and her blog. This is not revenge, it's the right thing to do and I'm going to do it, have it hand delivered to him by a PI.
I have her mother's name and address. I want to send a copy of it all to her mother, too. That would be revenge. I want to send it... I really do.