User Topic: Why be OP? Why engage in an A?
Member # 39971
Default  Posted: 9:22 AM, August 10th (Saturday)

I would like your opinion on why people become the OM or OW. What makes people engage in a relationship with someone when they or the partner is married or in a committed relationship?
I struggle to get my head around why people do this and would appreciate your experience and insight. Thanks.

Me BS (41)
Him WH (45). EA and possible PA (denied)
D Day 7/21/2013
M 8 years - filing for D

**The cruelest lies are often told in silence- Robert Louis Stevenson

Posts: 115 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: New Zealand
Member # 37725
Default  Posted: 9:53 AM, August 10th (Saturday)

I'll take a stab at this...

My FWH's OW was in a marriage that had become a partnership dominated by child-oriented activities and the draining demands of extended family. Both she and her H had demanding jobs. OW worked for my H. One day--she and my H had become good friends by this time, often had lunch together, and had undoubtedly progressed to an EA--she slapped a magazine down on his desk featuring an article about dual income/no sex couples. "This is my life," she said. I'm sure this was an invitation. So a few weeks later, when my FWH called her to meet him at the local Quality Inn, she went.

Shirley Glass feels that women, by and large, do not enter an A unless they have already disengaged from the marriage. I think that's what was going on with OW, and why she fell so hard for my H.

I am still struggling with why my FWH became an OM. He insists that he was happy in our marriage, I was a great wife (I hope I still am!), etc. And sex? I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I've turned him down in 21 years of being together. But something must have been going on. Even after a year since D-Day and several conversations, I have no insight.

Both my FWH and OW were very clear with each other from the outset--they had no intention of leaving their marriages or families for each other. Their A was purely recreational, something on the side. Something to fill the void. It's easy to see what OW's void was, but why did FWH think it was a great idea to become an OM? I wish I had better insight into that.

Me: BW, age 66
Him: WH, age 64
Married 19 years
In R.

D-Day: August 14, 2012
9 year LTA with former co-worker and family "friend"/7 years EA+PA, 2 more years EA

Posts: 408 | Registered: Dec 2012 | From: Connecticut
Member # 23777
Default  Posted: 10:02 AM, August 10th (Saturday)

I can only speak in my case since it was an old flame. The OW had carried a torch for my WH (why???) for many years. She was and probably still is obsessed with him.

All I can say is they are broken. Broken people look for broken ways to heal their brokeness. SO they cheat and for 5 minutes they forget about being broken and feel good.

The truth shall set you free or reveal the name of the OW!
ME 57
WH 64
daughter 27
You give me gifts! I don't want your gifts I want the truth. That's the greatest gift.

Posts: 1402 | Registered: Apr 2009 | From: CT
Member # 34827
Default  Posted: 1:09 PM, August 10th (Saturday)

I can only speculate on ow in my sich
and I do know her so this is what I think. Ow was in an abusive M which ended in D. I don't think she wants a committed R. She has a decent job, owns her own home and seems to have a full life with 2 kids. I think my ws and she have a sex "thang". He likes porn, she posts herself on Pornhub for him. I think it adds excitement seeing if they can get away with what they are doing. I don't think she wants a man hanging around for her to take care of. Hell she even told me before that she would never live with another man. I bet if they tried to set up house together, they wouldn't last a week.
Been with him over half my life
DD1 10-01-09 DD2 02-12-12 discovered it never ended
OW..nothing special. Just your average skank

Posts: 5130 | Registered: Feb 2012 | From: midwest
Member # 28362
Default  Posted: 1:32 PM, August 10th (Saturday)

Lots of different reasons. Some are in just for fun. I think some do it for revenge. Maybe they were a BP. MP are safe. You know they shouldn't have any STD's. I feel many are just plain stupid. I can't figure it out but many actually picture a future with the AP.


Posts: 828 | Registered: Apr 2010
Member # 33642
Default  Posted: 1:54 PM, August 10th (Saturday)

He just wanted to boost his pathetic ego. That's it.

"It's a fool that looks for logic in the chambers of the human heart."

Posts: 769 | Registered: Oct 2011 | From: Texas
Member # 35971
Default  Posted: 2:04 PM, August 10th (Saturday)

In WH's case MOW systematically goes after married men with kids. Her self-esteem is tied up in being able to "win" a MM away from his family. It is a game to her. If she wins, she has value.

WH responded to MOW's proposition because, his self esteem was non-existent, he was depressed, he was intentionally self-destructing, he had some narcissistic traits and was thus a target for a "sexual predator".

From MOW he got validation of his self-worth, ego strokes, encouragement of his self-destructive behavior, and oddly at the same time validation of his lack of self-worth.

ETA: And free porn. Musn't forget the free porn.

[This message edited by Jospehine85 at 2:05 PM, August 10th (Saturday)]

Me - BS 40s
WH - 50s
4 Kids
Dday May 2012

Posts: 895 | Registered: Jun 2012
Member # 16305
Default  Posted: 3:42 PM, August 10th (Saturday)

Wh's ow: divorced twice by age 36.Wanted the picket fence but no kids . Couldnt find anyone in the 2 yrs since her divorce.

Into the bar where she tended was an extremely horny foolywang with a pregnant wife and toddler at home. Wife was told by dr no sex til after the birth of the baby.

Horny dude wanted some ass.

Bartender willing to give some ass.

Their friends/family supported the scene

Ow was desperate. She took what she could get.

Why did she stay? Desperate and she took what she could get.

She also vilified me and lied to herself and others. Hell, just this past Feb she said to me "I believe what (wh name) tells me". Well, he also told me she was whining about not having time with him, she put up with how badly he treated her (didnt fight back or kick him to the curb) and she fell all over him when he was with her

Back to desperate and taking what she could get

But im thinking how wh and I came together. I was in a bad place and lonely. Wh was single but I knew he wasnt for me. He treated me horribly. I was desperate and took what I could get.

Lesson learned.

Now im desperately wanting my freedom.

Ex friend is a mow.

Always negative.

Always the victim.

Looking for better than her h (also a mom to a mow). She didnt put her part into the marriage financially (she kept 1/2 her pay; her h had to put it all in), but her h wasnt good enough

Looking back I remember her telling me about this guy in MI from yrs bf I knew her. She was almost like a preditor

Did I mention infidelity around here has always been as common and normal as taking a dump?

To sum it up:

Taking what one can get

Lack of self repect, morals

It being acceptable so its okay.

People tell you exactly who they are...why expect them to be what they are not ....will be divorcing the selfish creep.

Posts: 8385 | Registered: Sep 2007
Member # 37154
Default  Posted: 4:01 PM, August 10th (Saturday)

My H's AP was going through a divorce and career transition. She had zero self confidence and thought he would save her. He enjoyed (at first) being needed and desired. Wasn't attracted to her, but thought "what the hell" when "no strings" sex offered.

Then she become ever more desperate and "lonely" (her words) as he tried to pull away ; became threatening.

Neither ever spoke of love, or even talked about the occasional sex they had. She did complain of being treated "like a whore". (He refused to take her calls at home--she would go psycho). She complained of never getting a card on her birthday, or a call on holidays, or having ever been taken on a date. Perhaps she thought she deserved that?

But of course he wasn't lonely. He had a full life at home, with a wife he respected and loved ( even though his dirty secret belied that). She never meant more than an ego boost for him, then became a major regret even before he got caught. She knew that, on some level.

Interestingly she became very upset when she thought he started another affair at work (he didn't). Told me he had "issues" (that still burns my ass--as if she knew him, as if she didn't have issues, as if she didn't count as an issue!!). But at least the trouble she caused around this got the truth to come out at last.

Dday -9/24/2012

Posts: 1748 | Registered: Oct 2012 | From: northeast
Member # 20547
Default  Posted: 5:15 PM, August 10th (Saturday)

In WH's case MOW systematically goes after married men with kids. Her self-esteem is tied up in being able to "win" a MM away from his family. It is a game to her. If she wins, she has value.

Here, too.

I actually read her claim once that she just loved kids, and liked dating men with kids. Evidently, kids AND wives.

She went on to be with two more married engaged/married men, before finally having her 2nd OC (by yet a third) and succeeding in "winning" him.

BS- me.
FWS- him.
DDay 6/07 (immediately separated)
RDay 8/07
OC born 3/08
OC Adopted 2014


Posts: 2312 | Registered: Aug 2008 | From: PNW
Member # 36519
Default  Posted: 5:26 PM, August 10th (Saturday)

My WH's AP clearly had some serious intimacy issues. When she lived in City A, she had a long-distance BF in City B. when she lived near City B, she had a long-distance BF in City A. Meanwhile, she had an A with WH. She was also obsessed with style; she lost the job where she met WH because she used her work cc to buy high-end clothing. She never wanted more from my WH, which is why it was able to go on for so long. My WH is very kind and considerate, funny. I think she found it easy to be with him, and she liked having a companion for various outings. She had a pristine apt, very austere, apparently. WH claims he rarely spent the night.

So as far as I can see, never having met the bitch, WH was a nice bed-warmer for her, and a companion. Bizarre.

Of course, I only know tha from WH, so...who knows?

[This message edited by Blobette at 6:08 PM, August 10th (Saturday)]

BS (me): 50
WS: 50
Married: 26 yrs
Kids: 2
OW: Co-worker, 7 yr LTA
DD 8/1/2012, Working on R

Posts: 1061 | Registered: Aug 2012
Member # 33698
Default  Posted: 5:36 PM, August 10th (Saturday)

In my situation, she was looking for a new husband, plain and simple. I don't know what her problem was with her former husband, but she was clearly on the prowl for someone who would fall for her unicorn sparkles and decide that she was good marriage material. She's a college dropout who has been out of the work force for over a decade. She needed to line up a sucker who was willing to give her a soft place to land when her marriage ended.

Enter my idiot XWH... and they lived happily ever after courtesy of Ashley Madison!

BS (Me) 39
Happily liberated!
Two DS and One DD
It matters not how strait the gate,/How charged with punishments the scroll./I am the master of my fate:/I am the captain of my soul.--"Invictus," William Ernest Henley

Posts: 3620 | Registered: Oct 2011
Member # 39667
Default  Posted: 7:42 PM, August 10th (Saturday)

Timely posting. I was just talking to a longtime friend about her year long affair with a MM back in her single days. In a nutshell, they did not think they'd get caught, it was exciting (but that wore off quickly) and she admits they were selfish and only thinking of themselves. In the end, my friend ended it because she wanted more and knew he would never give her more. She admits she didn't really KNOW him, just the idea of him and what their future could be like but they only showed one another the sides of themselves they wanted to show.

And in my SAWH's case, the "girl," as they are referred to in adultery-speak, is insecure, has a drinking problem, doesn't have a lot of close female friends (just a lot of party buddies), loves male attention (has always worked in male dominated workplaces) and is always somehow the best looking girl in her female posse (so purposely? hangs out with other women who are not as attractive - we all know that type - not a girl's girl). Hey, it's easy to be wonderful for 8 hours a week.

Have to add the following, because it's just too good: She thought less of him because he is married and lives in the suburbs. LOL LOL LOL. Honey, you are the one dating a married man. IDIOT.

[This message edited by womaninflux at 7:45 PM, August 10th (Saturday)]

BS - mid-40's
SAWH - mid 40's
Kids - 2 elementary school aged
Getting tons of therapy and trying to "work it out"

Posts: 910 | Registered: Jun 2013
Member # 37735
Default  Posted: 7:52 PM, August 10th (Saturday)

In WH's case MOW systematically goes after married men with kids. Her self-esteem is tied up in being able to "win" a MM away from his family. It is a game to her. If she wins, she has value.

WH responded to MOW's proposition because, his self esteem was non-existent, he was depressed, he was intentionally self-destructing, he had some narcissistic traits and was thus a target for a "sexual predator".

From MOW he got validation of his self-worth, ego strokes, encouragement of his self-destructive behavior

I couldn't have said it better.
One of the times that I caught WH & OW having lunch together ( a few months after Dday, when they were supposed to be NC), when I walked into the restaurant, she looked positively SMUG. That look said it all.

together 25 yrs, married 24 yrs, 4 children;Rebuilding
D Day: 5/10/2011 PA
OW: WH's co-worker,divorced, no children, 20 yrs younger than I-----& she knew he was married, had met our kids, but that did not stop her from trying to destroy our family

Posts: 1396 | Registered: Dec 2012
Member # 17090
Default  Posted: 9:32 PM, August 10th (Saturday)

Ditto the post above. OW felt entitled to my family and WH. When she couldn't have him, she went after me and my special needs kid, stalking and posting horrible things on Facebook. She is a high school guidance counselor, so this was surprising to me.

BS 52
WH 55
son 13
ddays 9/27/07 and 9/1/10

Posts: 764 | Registered: Nov 2007
Member # 29358
Default  Posted: 9:47 PM, August 10th (Saturday)

Everything Josephine 85 said.

Me - BW 40
Him - FWH 39
Her - MOW 47 Fat Assed Toothless Man Faced Whore!!!

DD#1 July 28, 2010 Admitted to EA. A went underground.
DD#2 August 19,2010 Admitted PA

Posts: 1005 | Registered: Aug 2010 | From: Michigan
Member # 37556
Default  Posted: 10:05 PM, August 10th (Saturday)

I haven't met the OW but the situation sounds a lot like Josephine85's post. My stbx was very depressed and the affair has been very destructive of his life. but really I have no idea why a married man with an 8 year old at home would be attractive. and how you could not feel guilty to break up an intact family is beyond me.

Me BS 54
Him WS 51
Married 10 years together 13
DDay October 11, 2012

Posts: 134 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: Brooklyn, NY
Member # 37439
Default  Posted: 10:15 PM, August 10th (Saturday)

My wh main ow was a slut.

Honestly I don't even say that with malice. Wh and I had HUGE fights HUGE! about his timeline.

My point is the fights stopped because
1) they were too draining (duh)
but here's the clincher...
2) we found out that wh friend (now ex friend) was cheating on his gf with her... (we hacked into her facebook about 4 months after dday). The dates etc all came together. But what she talked to her friend about was the most telling... (I just want him to fuck me I like the thrill of taking away something that isn't mine about both WH and his friend). Then the stuff she sent to her bf about wanting to fuck other women and men, but he's not allowed to... and really bad porno(s) she had written(OMG)

His timeline came together pretty well after that, it all made a lot more sense.

see... told you she was a slut!

ETA 1: My story is that on dday, my wh confessed about the slut after a dday about a different one, 3 days before (really innapropriate). I then made him give me his phone and pose as him to meet him in the park to fuck (his story is that they never did... rings true). You should of seen her face when I ran out of the shadows! Her face was even funnier when I made fun of her for being a slut LOL. She was like "me... really?" She always had this poor little innocent girl act that no girls ever brought. (she was pretty much universally hated)
ETA2: p.s i know my wh is a slut too. But I take solace in the fact that sometimes I can laugh about it... besides what else can I do

[This message edited by lauren123 at 10:25 PM, August 10th (Saturday)]

OW1 inadvertently let me know WH loves English breakfast tea. Never ever saw him drink it. And I never will.

Posts: 818 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: Australia
Member # 40229
Cool  Posted: 10:40 PM, August 10th (Saturday)

WH has mommy issues, which in turn made him selfish and strong overtures of entitlement, mixed in with a sick need for hero worship because really he had severe, well hidden insecurities.
His OW, 20 years younger, and according to the PI she had Daddy issues. So far you see where this match made in heaven came. She has low self esteem, extremely selfish and self centered. I cyber stalked, she had 1800 pictures on FB. She had 1797 pictures of just herself in absolutely ridiculous poses. She also posted how bad she had it that Daddy and Mommy ONLY supported her. The PI states, she has never owned anything, car, car insurance, home, etc. She has never even had a single utility in her own name. She never went to ANY colleges, and barely graduated high school (I'm working on my 3d degree). She sat around for 10-15 hours playing video games. So they both had a lot of selfishness, feeling sorry for themselves, and a strong need for obsessive hero worship from others in common. Up until I got the PI report, I imagined the other woman more accomplished, more educated, and prettier or sexier. She was overweight (cellulite on her stomach and thighs at 23, whereas at her age and well into my 30s I ran marathons, etc.). I honest to God thought she was a male cross dresser when I first discovered her FB. I stopped immediately boo hoo hooing when I first got the report, and saw her picture. I immediately went to the bathroom, threw up, and then got homicidal furious because he had dared step that far down and had emotionally checked out on me and our kids for THAT, as well as emotional abuse for the 2.5 years he was with her. I'm still working to try and respect the man I know he is deep down. It is very hard after knowing that he gave her all that he was supposed to be giving me and our kids. I pray every day, not for forgiveness, but that I can look at him and respect him again one day after his abysmal fall from grace. God is good and after seeing her, I stopped hating her, she is just too ugly, sad and pathetic to work up more than disgust. She knew he was married, she knew I was raising my two stepsons with him as my own children. She is sad and deserves all of the pity I can muster after the gag reflex stops kicking in.

Me-BS 43
Him-WH 45
Married 8, together 9
2 Stepchildren

[This message edited by StillLivin at 11:01 PM, August 10th (Saturday)]

I don't need further confirmation of what a fuckwit he is. I already have plenty, thanks very much. -SBB
D: 7/2/2014

Posts: 2334 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: AZ
Member # 38207
Default  Posted: 11:16 PM, August 10th (Saturday)

OW1- an ex-gf who felt entitled to a roll in the hay with him. They were dating shortly before he and I reconnected, but had never had sex. (Also, single mother to 7 children and no job. My H makes decent money and could have supported her).
OW2- also an ex-gf and single mom. My friend. She and I had shared girl talk about how our men were in the sack before her fiancée dumped her. She moved up here and I welcomed her as a friend. She remembered our talk and some other details - used her friendship with me to get info that she turned around to him in the worst possible light. Thus, she got to see just how good he was in bed.
OW3 - found online. She didn't know I existed
OW4 - found online. In an open marriage. Her H knew that she was screwing my H. She thought I had said it was ok.
OW5 - ex-gf. Single mom (see a pattern here). They were each other's first loves in late elementary/early mid school. She was convinced they were soul mates after one conversation. He and I had a fight and she pounced (drove 16 hours with her daughter to see him). She wanted him and what he had here (including a son and one on the way) were unimportant (she suggested that he could come see them, never even mentioned trying for custody).

Why did HE do it? Bottom line - he wanted to and he was selfish. All sorts of things allowed him to justify and rationalize this, but really, he was selfish.

Posts: 1108 | Registered: Jan 2013
Member # 20647
Default  Posted: 3:24 AM, August 11th (Sunday)

All I can say is they are broken. Broken people look for broken ways to heal their brokeness. SO they cheat and for 5 minutes they forget about being broken and feel good

This is perfect, describes my WW and her OM's perfectly. Too lazy and addicted to do the work to heal so they stay broken and medicate their pain with illicit sex.

1Sa 22:23 (NIV) - "Stay with me; don't be afraid; the man who is seeking your life is seeking mine also. You will be safe with me."

Posts: 681 | Registered: Aug 2008 | From: 2nd Place
Member # 39858
Default  Posted: 6:24 AM, August 11th (Sunday)

I'm not at a point in my recovery that I can answer this with any sense of maturity.

Because she's an effing biatch who gets her feelings of self-worth from being able to entice a man's attention and affection away from his wife and family.

And because he has a self-serving ego who thinks the world should just cater to his every whim without any consideration of the amount of work it takes to grow a genuine relationship...or the deep level of pain caused by his actions.

That is all.

BW - 42 (Me)
WH - 39 (2 ONS, 6m EA)
Married 13 years, 3 children
DD: 7/13/13
Status: Rugsweeping, I guess.

Posts: 248 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: Somewhere Out There
Member # 29816
Default  Posted: 10:18 AM, August 11th (Sunday)

WH has mommy issues, which in turn made him selfish and strong overtures of entitlement, mixed in with a sick need for hero worship because really he had severe, well hidden insecurities.

^^^^^^This. Exactly. XH, or all for his bravado, is horribly insecure, and demands constant reassurance that he's awesome. Even when what he does is half assed at best most of the time, he wants to be told he's awesome. Now, I have very high standards, I'll even go so far as to say unrealistic sometimes. But I hold myself to that standard to stay competitive in the world. XH thinks that just his presence in a room should be applauded. So yeah, healthy dose of insecurity and narcissism, combined with my unwillingness to settle for what I consider half assed effort (and not being good at the ego stroke) created the perfect storm for OW to enter the picture.

He really sold her the goods too. Boo hoo, I'm an artist and my wife doesn't understand me, I'm so amazing, all I want is her to love me, nothing I ever do is good enough, I provide for her and its still not good enough, blah blah blah. The reality was 1) we made equal amounts of money throughout our entire marriage, 2) the house we live in is my SISTERS; I'm pretty sure he made it sound like his, 3) he's an alcoholic, not an artist.

Anyway, she bought it hook, line, ad sinker. And since she was a hs GF who hadn't "gotten over" the relationship (that's what she told me), and who was unemployed with no education, I'm sure my husband (the version of himself he showed her) looked like hitting the jackpot. She basically thought he'd leave me and DD, and she'd step into the bizarro version of my life that wasnt even close to reality. XH has since told me that she thought he was "taking her places."

He actually did have her come here where she lived with him and his roommate. From all accounts, it was an epic failure. He continued to go out and get hammered, smoked (in front of the baby, (yes she brought OC to live in a house with 3 guys who all about no standards). But she got what she deserved. When I found out she was here, I served him with papers restricting his visitation to basically nothing. I refused to have my DD around her, and he knew that (and luckily, he never took DD around her, I believe that much). Anyway, he used that as a catalyst to have her on the next plane, and that was that.

So, my belief is that AP's have their own motivations for getting involved, all of them self-serving. OW didnt give a shit that my husband already had a family that just might have something to say about him leaving us; she wanted my life, and decided to go for it. After I served XH with the custody papers, he said he was very upset. Her response was, well you've got us now. That is the level of delusion you're dealing with with an AP. yes, I think it's about them being broken, but more than that, I think it's selfishness and emotional immaturity. I want something, don't care who has to sacrifice to get it. It's a 6 year old's mentality where Santa and the tooth Fairy bring money and gifts. In the AP's world, even though a married man or woman is clearly a made up character, they don't care because they're getting the physical and emotional payoff.

[This message edited by webmistress at 10:24 AM, August 11th (Sunday)]

Me: BW-42
Ex-WH: 34
Married: 6 years
DDay #1: 10/5/10, one week before our daughters 4th birthday
D official 2/23/11
DDay#2: 10/20/12, after 8 months of false R
OW: Delusional, stupid whore; OC officially XH's
In R

Posts: 1355 | Registered: Oct 2010
Member # 36976
Default  Posted: 1:13 PM, August 11th (Sunday)

I love all the books that tell us (BS's) not to try to analyze our WS's because it is very upsetting to them

Waa-Waa! A little discomfort over this is the LEAST that they deserve.

We are desperate to know WHY WHY WHY and at least my WH isn't very introspective. He would rather just be done with the whole "affair" topic of conversation. So naturally, I'm left with this same question. Why would you want to do this???

Posts: 629 | Registered: Sep 2012
Member # 34827
Default  Posted: 2:41 AM, August 12th (Monday)

This thread brought to mind something my bro in laws ow said. My sisters ws was was a good looking arrogant cheater. His ow went after him with s vengeance, very bold, told ppl she was. Her very words were " my husband cheated on me and I was a faithful wife who treated him like a king. Being good got me nowhere, so I will fuck whoever I want and I don't care if he's married or not"
After the pain I've felt, I would NEVER inflict it on another so her reasoning really baffled me.
Been with him over half my life
DD1 10-01-09 DD2 02-12-12 discovered it never ended
OW..nothing special. Just your average skank

Posts: 5130 | Registered: Feb 2012 | From: midwest
Topic Posts: 25