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I need some advice on changing my mindset about the OW

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VictimofLies posted 4/14/2018 02:15 AM

I know my own thinking is whatís causing me the most pain when it comes to the OW, but I canít stop, so Iím hoping someone can give me another way to look at it that helps me not hate her/blame her.

Hereís my situation briefly (more details are in my profile): The affair was several years ago and has been over for a few years now, but I just found out last October. She was my friend. Not my best friend, but in our circle of friends. One night while I was out of town she came to my house with the sole intention of fucking my husband. (They were close friends and talked about sex a lot, so somehow she felt entitled to fuck him.) He was flattered that she wanted him, and he justified it to himself that our sex life was crappy, so he decided to see what sex was like with her. That night started the long term affair. When I first asked her about the affair she blamed him for starting it, but when I confronted her specifically about her intentions that night, she didnít deny it. I am SO furious that she purposefully put herself in the middle of my marriage and tried to get him to leave me for her. (At first she told him it was ďjust sexĒ but later she pushed for him to leave me.) Not that if it had ďjust happenedĒ it would have been much better, but to purposefully go after him like that (and in my own house!) is a whole other level of betrayal and backstabbing (especially since she was my ďfriendĒ).

Yes, I know he is to blame also, and I know she didnít make any vows to me or promise not to betray me, but does that give her the right to have sex with my husband, just because she didnít promise not to? She may not have made any vows to me or owed me anything, but shouldnít I be able to expect her to at least be a decent human being?

Every time I think about what she did, I get furious and hurt even more, especially since I canít get the mind movies of her having sex with my husband out of my head. Donít get me wrong, I hold him accountable for his actions as well, and the pain he has caused me is worse than her, but I will deal with my anger for him when I am ready (it is going to be harder to deal with and I canít handle both at the same time, so right now itís her that I need to get out of my head so I can focus on him). I know I need to let go of this anger towards her in order to move to the next stage of healing, but I just canít. Does anyone have any suggestions for me on how to look at this situation with her differently or change my mindset about her by seeing things from a different perspective? I donít want to feel anger and pain every time something triggers me; I really do want to forgive her and move past this stage, but I donít know how.

NoMercy posted 4/14/2018 04:46 AM

It seems you're doing what a lot of BS's do.

Blaming the affair partner because it's easier to direct your hatred and disgust at them then it is to have to face what your cheater really did.

And, I can see why that's happening. Not surprisingly, your husband has managed to convince you that he was innocently sitting at home reading his Bible the night you were out of town when COINCIDENTALLY, the black widow spider OW just happened to pick that night to show up at your door "uninvited," with one sole intention in mind - having sex with your husband because he's just that much of a prize.

And he was so surprised and flattered that he went for it.

Come on, VictimofLies. Do you REALLY believe that steaming pile? These two had that night planned probably the minute your husband learned you'd be out of town that night. You can't honestly believe that he had no part in her showing up at your door that night?

Of course it was her intention to have sex with him that night - and it was HIS intention as well when he INVITED her to come to your house that night.

Rule #1: Cheaters LIE
Rule #2: When they can't lie, they paint themselves as innocent as they possibly CAN

She's not your problem.

He is.

The1stWife posted 4/14/2018 05:14 AM

I am so sorry for you. I wish I had some answers for you.

In looking back I had a number of ďfriendsĒ try to poach my boyfriends and H. My H had a 4 year EA with a girl who pretended to be my friend (or our friend). He was not in love 😍 with her but she was madly in love with him. I pegged her from the moment I met her.

I might suggest you look in the I Can Relate forum for a thread under Double Betrayal. You may get better advice or support from people in your same situation.

It is harder to heal (IMO) when the AP/OW is a friend. It adds another level of pain and emotion when the AP is a friend.

Logically you have stated what you know. Your H is yo blame blah blah blah. But you cannot help your feelings.

What has been the consequences to the OW? I personally would feel some satisfaction if she got some horrible disfiguring disease and she had boils all over her face lol! But seriously - what has been the backlash to her?

There was another poster here at SI who was in your position. Her H cheated with a friend from her social circle. The BS was going to see the OW at a social event. An intimate social gathering and she was afraid to attend. She decided to go. The OW was there and a few friends knew about the A - but not everyone attending did.

The OW was so horrified to see the BS that she slunk away from the event. Left very early. As soon as she could.

I put that out there b/c maybe that is how the OW in your situation feels. That she would be mortified to see you. Maybe that could help you start to heal from the anger and pain she inflicted on you.

I think if there are consequences to her it could help you. Help you heal. Help you release some pain and anger.

With the woman who pretended to be ďourĒ friend - she had no real consequences (at least from me). I just moved on and put her in the ďidiotĒ category. My last interaction was when she called me to see if it would be ďokĒ if my H went to a wedding with her as her ď friendĒ b/c she did not have a BF or date. Seriously!?

I understand your pain I just wish I had some way of getting you to move past her and the pain she inflicted on you.

I always try to take the high road. Be classy not trashy. Know you are better than the pond scum that was/is the AP.

You just re-read your profile. What the hell?! Your H is a serial cheater and goes to strip clubs. His friend is interested in you and adds more drama to your life. Seriously - I would feel like I need to get out of Dodge and run!!! Waaay too much drama for me!

[This message edited by The1stWife at 5:37 AM, April 14th (Saturday)]

Craztcat829 posted 4/14/2018 06:48 AM

I am so very sorry for what you have had to deal with. As you have said, your H had a choice and he chose to cheat. That being said, that woman was no friend. She had an agenda. But people like that have NO morals and she deserves no part of your thoughts. If you haven't already, please see an IC. And it also helps to write a letter to her, saying all you want to say but don't send it. And then burn it and stop giving her power over you.

Lionne posted 4/14/2018 07:07 AM

Of course you hate her. You are entitled. She was the hidden enemy, sneaking into your home with the sole purpose of destroying it. With the help of your not-innocent cheating husband. You don't need to forgive anyone. You do need to process your anger and that means expressing it appropriately.
It's indifference towards her that you need to cultivate, and not forgiveness, per se for your WH, but acceptance. If he is doing the hard work to figure out and fix the issues that caused him to betray his family in such a heinous way, and you work with a trauma IC, you can get there.
As to expecting decency? No, sadly, there are people from whom you cannot. And many people who are loving and kind a d unselfish.
Don't be hard on yourself. And focus on yourself. The indifference and acceptance will come.

Heart posted 4/14/2018 07:21 AM

I am so sorry for what you are going through. If you are aiming to save your marriage, my advice is to work on your husband. Here's why: as far back as the seventh grade, I can remember girls going after my boyfriends. I am in my 40s now and it still happens. Work on having the best relationship you can with your partner.
My point is there are always going to be trashy people in the world who get their ego kicks from chasing someone's else's partner. Yes... the ow is trash and your spouse acted like trash with her. They are both 100 percent responsible for their behavior.
If you want to work it out with your spouse, then that relationship needs to be your focus.
I understand that as a woman it feels so invasive to think another woman would lay down with a man who she knew was yours and that she pretended to be a friend. That is no friend but an emery of your relationship. Kick her out of your life.

Freeme posted 4/14/2018 07:40 AM

It seems you're doing what a lot of BS's do.
Blaming the affair partner because it's easier to direct your hatred and disgust at them then it is to have to face what your cheater really did.
I'm sorry to say but this is true. It's just easier and less painful to focus on her and I'm sure it's easier on your WH this way so he is continuing to encourage it. It's a way of placing blame away from WH. If she hadn't come over that night this never would have happen...but there are plenty of backstabbing, slutty, broken women out there that could try to flirt, seduce, start an affair with your husband. It's really up to him to have the balls to say NO, it's up to him to realize this is YOUR house/bed/couch. To know that a crappy sex life isn't a good excuse. This is your husband he promised GOD to love honor, respect you. He knew you well enough to know what it would do to you. She was just a slutty woman that wanted to F a married man.

It was a long term affair so you can blame the first time on her but what about the second, third... At some point your WH should have realized how wrong this was.

What it boils down to is that to admit this was his fault would also be admitting that he is not the man you thought he was. That he is the type of guy that would have sex with one of your friends, in your house and carry on a long term affair. It's hard to reconcile with someone that you know is that type of guy so you try to push the blame and make him more like the image of the guy you married...the only way to that is to assign the blame to the OW.

Ginny posted 4/14/2018 07:53 AM


Our stories are so similar they are almost identical.

I can only tell you that Lionne ^^^ hits the nail on the head.

In a lot of cases, the OW, while thinking she is ďall thatĒ usually could be just ANYONE that prompted a ďsparkĒ in your WH.

ďSHE doesnít matterĒ is a favorite mantra of mine. I know I obsessed about her LONG after my fwh forgot about her. It was my husbandís internal issues that caused the infidelity. The OW was just a living, breathing kibble dispenser that made her move during that time in his life.

She doesnít matter. She is a pathetic loser who thought she could step into your shoes. She is a lousy human being. You simply drop her from your universe as if she doesnít exist and let her be THAT unimportant in your life. (Knowing she has no importance in your life or marriage will hurt her more than anything anyway.)

I get it. I really do. This is HARD stuff. I try to be a very kind person IRL. I just couldnít believe a friend would do this to me! For a long time I thought really, really bad stuff about the other woman. It takes a LOT to get to indifference.

Spend so much time really LIVING your life so you have no ROOM in it for thoughts of her. My fwh and I are doing all kinds of fantastic things together. We are having a GOOD time. We are enjoying our family, helping others and living a good life with concerts and physical activities. We are building a new business together and doing a complete fixer upper on a beautiful house. Who has time for thoughts of that old COW? She doesnít matter.

Your WH DOES matter. He has to He has to carry the heavy, heavy load and prove he is worth reconcilliation OR you walk. He has to find out WHY it was ok in his mind to cheat on you. If he doesnít find out his ďwhysĒ and do the work, he is not worth keeping around.

I wish you the very best!

redrock posted 4/14/2018 08:48 AM

Itís hard to get to acceptance.

She acted in ways that were cruel and selfish but you arenít going to make her accountable. She gets to trot off and leave a wake of destruction. It sucks and itís painful. And itís hard to come to terms with. Of course she didnít have the Right to anything she did.

Itís a process. You arenít going to banish the OW in order to get to the work with your H. Sheís gonna to exist in the background of your mind for awhile. Your anger at OW is a kind of safety net. Itís real but over time itís also a comfortable pocket to stall you from dealing with the person who welcomed and accepted the pursuit that so angers you.

Time helps. But I would consider that itís scary to face up to dealing with your anger at your H. Delving into that means digging into uncertainty of what you may feel face and deal with from his side. Something to consider.

Itís a tough road. But if you keeping looking at it and doing the work. Youíll get there.

PricklePatch posted 4/14/2018 10:28 AM

Double betrayal is especially hard as it was done with both people suppose to be in a caring place for you. It is difficult to not put equal blame on the AP. As cynical as it is there is less and less of a girl code or bro code in todayís society.

Friendship is a trust as well. A very wise person once said you will have very few true friends in life and a lot of acquaintances.

EMDR therapy is suppose to help with the mind movies. I have no personal experience.

allusions posted 4/14/2018 10:45 AM

I can understand feeling hurt and betrayed by the OW. She was supposed to have been your friend. But you also read the text from your husband inviting her to come over when you were out of town. He knew full well what was going to happen. They may have been physically involved before that. I'd focus on your husband's part in all of this if I were you.

Shey posted 4/14/2018 11:16 AM

I understand all too well what you're thinking. My fWH's AP was my best friend. It's a special kind of hell.

Although we are well on our way in reconciliation, I still harbor an intense hatred of by xBFF. fWH and I have discussed the A in to the ground, back up and back in to the ground again. I have scrutinized every detail of his A from his point of view and from whatever correspondence I was able to dig up.

What I will never get is her point of view on the A, the second side of the story. I probably could reach out and ask her, but I know I would get a bucket full of lies, nor do I ever want to hear her voice or see her again. I am learning to accept this fact and I know one day she will be a distant memory. No, she never made any vows to me, but we had a strong bond until she decided to betray me and that hurts just as bad.

Focus on healing yourself and work on the realization that she is no longer worth any amount of your headspace.

Crushed7 posted 4/14/2018 13:02 PM

While the common advice is to focus on your own WS and how they broke vows, that doesn't quite work so well when the AP knew you, supposedly cared for you and, therefore, had "unspoken" vows of friendship. That is what makes this a double betrayal and a unique twist on infidelity. Given that, I think your progress is, unfortunately, just about right.

I canít stop, so Iím hoping someone can give me another way to look at it that helps me not hate her/blame her.

Anger is a normal reaction when something isn't right. And something was very not right with your "friend". She deserves some blame and releasing your anger (through appropriate ways, of course) is part of the overall healing process. Go google "stages of grief" to get an overview of what you'll walk through both for your former friend and with your WH. Anger is stage 2. At six months out, you are right on course.

This takes a long time. In a phrase, this is a marathon and not a sprint. It's OK. Be patient with yourself. Give yourself permission to be incredibly hurt and to find ways to let the anger out.

I canít get the mind movies...out of my head

<sigh> Yep.

The triggers, mind movies, etc. come with betrayal. It is truly awful.

For some people (myself included), these things don't fade and become intrusive and can be debilitating. That's PTSD. If you feel that might be you, find a trained IC to evaluate whether you have PTSD and if you might be a good candidate for EMDR.

I donít want to feel anger and pain every time something triggers me; I really do want to forgive her and move past this stage, but I donít know how.

Go read the stages of grief again. See that last phase (acceptance)? That is the point when you come to see that what happened can't be changed. It isn't to say that it was OK, but just that it is part of the past and it is time to focus on the present/future instead. That is likely the point when you will feel that you can fully let go of the resentment you feel for the OW.

trustedg posted 4/14/2018 15:13 PM

I agree that the burden should be on your WH, he made the vows to you and broke them.

On the other hand, you trusted a friend and she betrayed you. The OW is a liar and a cheat with no morals. I believe you have a right to be angry with her but don't let it consume you. My IC told me to allow the anger once a day, in the shower. When the shower is over let all the anger go down the drain. If you start to think about it again that day say to yourself, "no, it isn't the right time, I have to wait".

I still have to see the OW in my case once in a while, it sucks. Double betrayals are tough.

VictimofLies posted 4/14/2018 19:29 PM

Thank you all. You really hit the nail on the head when you said that she is a pathetic loser, has no morals, trashy, etc. I suppose all APs fit this description, but she basically defines it. She has 3 kids by 3 different guys, only one of which she was married to (for a few months), and she has slept with close to 100 different guys just since I met her. (She even slept with a customer that she delivered a pizza to - they chatted for a minute at the door and she liked him, so she went back to his house after her shift was over to have sex with him.) I know it's because of her low self-esteem and she needed the ego kibbles from them (and she was really lonely), so I almost felt sorry for her, but she did bring it on to herself with her poor choices.

I really didn't think I was putting the blame on her in order to avoid the pain of holding my WH accountable, but maybe I am.

NoMercy - Yes, I thought the same thing and asked him how she knew that I was out of town that particular night. My kids had been at work with him after school because I had to leave before school let out and the babysitter couldn't get there until later, so she knew I was gone because that's why the kids were there. (He was the manager and she was one of his delivery drivers.) It's definitely possible that they planned for her to come over, but it's also possible that she just saw the opportunity and took it.

The1stWife - You're right, it would definitely help if she faced some consequences for her actions. One of the things that angers me is that NEITHER of them have had any real consequences for their actions. They had the fun and I am suffering the consequences of their sins instead of them.

Lionne - So true. Indifference is what I need to feel, not forgiveness. It reminds me of that saying "The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference."

Ginny - My WH thinks his "why" is because we had a crappy sex life at the time and he was "sexually frustrated". He says that he's not blaming me, he's just explaining why he did it, and I know he has truly convinced himself that this is the truth, but I recognize it for what it is - blame-shifting in order to justify it to himself. I have no idea how to show him that was not what caused him to cheat.

Allusions - The text that I read where he invited her over while I was at a conference was much later. The affair had already happened and was supposedly over by then, but that text is why I am obsessed about finding out when the affair really ended. He says the affair was 2009-2010 and that text was in 2012, so I obviously think it went on much longer than he said (although she said about a year also). His explanation was that after the affair ended it became a running joke between them.

Everyone - Thank you so much for your replies and support. I will continue to read and re-read the advice and try to implement it the best I can.

Bobbi_sue posted 4/16/2018 10:48 AM

You have every right to be angry at that disgusting homewrecking whore and I don't think you need to change your mind set about her. You are not planning to live with her, are you? Is there any reason she needs to be in your life in the future? My point is there is no reconciliation with this nasty pig, especially if she has never done anything to express remorse.

So my suggestion is to accept your own anger at that piece of trash, but realize that you have more in your life to deal with than her. And then start dealing with your H.

Are you trying to R with him? Is he remorseful? I forgave my H based on his extreme remorse and his actions to save our M based on that remorse. I get very annoyed with the idea that we are supposed to just not feel any anger toward OP, and it all should go to our spouse because they made the vow and as humans we are just supposed to accept everybody doing every horrible thing possible to us, just because they never made a vow NOT to do horrible things.

[This message edited by Bobbi_sue at 10:50 AM, April 16th (Monday)]

DarkHoleHeart posted 4/16/2018 12:25 PM

Donít get me wrong, I hold him accountable for his actions as well, and the pain he has caused me is worse than her, but I will deal with my anger for him when I am ready (it is going to be harder to deal with and I canít handle both at the same time, so right now itís her that I need to get out of my head so I can focus on him).
This is going to be tough question and you have to to answer it to yourself first. Maybe you are afraid to direct you anger at him because you are afraid to start paying really good attention at what is he doing (or not doing) now? Maybe you are diverting your anger towards her because with your peripheral vision you see that next step of healing will never come with the way he's behaving now?

BecauseHeLied posted 4/16/2018 15:58 PM

I have no advice but I'm sending virtual hugs and support!

Batshitcrazy posted 4/16/2018 19:33 PM

I donít understand women who flirt with, entice, sleep with other womenís husbands. I donít understand the disrespect. I donít understand the willingness to debase themselves and to be used.
According to my husband, my lying, cheating husband, these women are broken. They have drama and heartache. His OW was abused as a child and raped as an adult. I donít know how he reconciles in his own heart that he is just another user. He took her blowjobs, kisses, et al without having anything real to offer her.
She thought they were dating. Obviously, she doesnít understand that married men donít date. They fuck. They use. They lie. And then they go home to their wives when the OW stops being fun.
My point is that your WH used her. And she probably is seriously dysfunctional by virtue of allowing it to happen. Pity her. She is pathetic. She volunteered to be a plaything.
I get really really angry when I consider the idea of continuing a relationship with my own WH, knowing that he is a user. He uses and discards women. Myself included. If I stay, I am volunteering for that position. It is a rough decision to make

JpnHeartBreak posted 4/17/2018 08:26 AM

You are right to have anger towards the OW for willingly agreeing to help hurt you. Just donít let that stop you from holding your WH accountable, heís the reason she was able to insert herself into your marriage. Itís okay for you to hate her, but you must still hold your WH responsible for opening the door abd welcoming the intruder into your marriage.

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