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ashes73 Offline OP
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I am basically a lurker, posted a few times but value the MB priniciples. I so wish I had found MB earlier and would have likely spared myself a long time of heartache. In summary, my FWH had a 2 year affair with a married co-worker. I had not known of MB and unfortunately went to a MC that gave terrible advice. She had advised us that we could fix our marriage despite my husband still working with his affair partner. Told me that I should not air my dirty laundry and keep our marriage problems to ourselves and not involve our family. So unfortunately the affair lasted 2 years before I realized that I needed to enforce NC and expose. The affair ended over 1 year ago. Since that time my FWH has left his job, we moved to another state and we have been doing the MB take home study course. Overall we have been doing well this past year.

My question is this: I am 1 year into recovery, but I (the BS) still think of the OW every day. I replay confrontations I have had with the OW in my head. I fantasize about what I would say to her if I were to ever run into her. And I really wish she could know that we are still married and recovering well. I wish her a long life of regret and loneliness for the pain that she caused. I know that she does not deserve any space in my brain because she is a POSOW but unfortunately she still pops in my head daily. I wonder if she regrets what she did. (She got divorced over the affair and has 2 young children) Is this normal and how can I learn to let her go???


Me: BW 36
FWH: 35
2 kids (4 yrs and 11 mos)
Dday #1 4/06
Dday #2 10/07
NC 3/08
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She got divorced over the affair and has 2 young children

There is not much more you could legally have done to her I would say you scored a direct hit, lowered her standard of living, her next relationship will likely be poorer in quality than the one she was in, her exH is likely in a better relationship, she was used and dumped, her reputation took a big dive if you exposed properly. Really sort of a sad list so let it go.

NJ

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You are still VERY early into recovery and what you're experiencing is perfectly normal. This POSOW violated your marriage. That's a huge thing to overcome. Some BSs even experience the same symptoms as PTSD.

I'm 5 years out and I still occasionally (rarely) think of OW(x2) and what I coulda, shoulda, woulda. It serves no purpose.


Widowed 11/10/12 after 35 years of marriage
*********************
In a sense now, I am homeless. For the home, the place of refuge, solitude, love-where my husband lived-no longer exists. Joyce Carolyn Oates, A Widow's Story
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ashes73 Offline OP
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While the affair was actively going on we had a phone call in which she told me in a cavalier manner that she did not regret divorcing her husband, that her and my husband were "deeply in love" and that her kids "were fine" despite her divorce. My FWH had told me that she had given him several ultimatums to leave me (we had 1 young DD and I was pregnant with our second DD at the time). I guess I just can't get her selfish, cavalier attitude out of my head and I want her to know that we are happy. But, new jersey, you have made some excellent points...Thanks that helps


Me: BW 36
FWH: 35
2 kids (4 yrs and 11 mos)
Dday #1 4/06
Dday #2 10/07
NC 3/08
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For me personally, the obsession with the OW had to do with not wanting to face that the man I married could have acted in such a way. Of course, there are women out there who will have an affair with a man with young children. There are lots of people out there who have no morals or such weakness of character as to have an affair.

The fact is you married a man who has no morals or weakness of character. When you are able to face that fact, you'll realize how totally irrelevant it is that he had an affair with this married coworker with young children vs. that married coworker with young children.

In my case, the OW had a three year old and a kindergartener. She propositioned my husband on the day I called our pediatrician because I was at wit's end with the colic of our seven week old. We also had a 2 year old, a 4 year old, and a 6 year old.

She's now in charge of ethics for an organization. What a hoot.
If my husband ever goes back to her, I'd say they deserve each other.

Cherished

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As Princess Meggy said, you are still VERY VERY early in recovery. I'm almost nine months in, myself, and I think about her at least once every couple of days. I worry about seeing her when I go out (and sometimes wish to so I could twobyfour ) and I think it's just a normal part of the process. All I can say, is attempt to think about something else when you start to think about her. Read a book, watch a movie, exercise, listen to music, hang with the kids, garden, whatever you have to do.

hug


You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The person who is always finding fault seldom finds anything else.

I pity the fool. - Mr. T
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My husband had a 18 month affair with a co-worker. He was working out of town, so he actually lived with her for the most part.

I was gaslighted, which I would suspect you were as well.

My OW also called me and emailed me, saying extremely outrageous and hurtful things in an attempt to get me to divorce husband.

Frankly, one of my main motivators to stay in my marriage, was to make sure he couldn't marry her, and have her in my and my kids life in the future.

There was a period of time I actually "heard" her voice for awhile. I also had horrible nightmares.

I still, 4 years later, think of her every day, but I don't hear her voice, although I would still recognize it. My marriage is still a mess, but that doesn't have anything to do with her anymore. She also lives far away and appears to have moved on with her life.

If you are doing well, it will get easier with time...but you need a lot of time.

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Originally Posted By: ashes73
Is this normal and how can I learn to let her go???


You can't fix NORMAL. When someone assaults you and your children in this manner, it is only NORMAL that you will think about the trauma and the PERPETRATOR quite often as a process of grieving. When women are RAPED, they do tend to think about their rapists and the assault for longer than a year, I suspect.

This woman did a horrendously cruel, callous thing to you, and that will not go away overnight. Just as the trauma your H committed against you won't disappear overnight, neither will the memory of his partner in crime.

Sorry you are here. frown


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


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ashes73, after you process this trauma for a few years you will TIRE of thinking of it and make the decision to move forward. But that will happen when you are ready. Don't let anyone tell you there is a damn thing wrong with you, either.

There would be something wrong with you if you weren't obsessed with a grievous crime that was committed against you. This is as traumatic as RAPE or the death of a child, so your feelings are perfectly reasonable.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


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I know that in PA, PB and recovery you are to work on healing yourself.

I have been reading quite a few books on forgivness, believe me, you can't force yourself to get over this and forgive until you are ready. That has been a huge block in my recovery.

But understand, you like me, I think, have forgivness issues that are stressing you out and eating you up.
I think these plans go hand and hand with MB principles, but there is not a lot here on MB about letting go.
Probably because it is such a painful situation to even go near.

The gist is that we, as normal people, hava a mental "map" of moral direction. We know what is right and wrong, what to do in situations that cause conflict. We navigate (like auto pilot) by the key and rules of this map.

BUT
when there is a huge trauma, and your basic beliefs about behavior are askew and blown to hell- your moral code and the
moral code of those you love are turned upside down- the map does not work anymore. You don't know where to go. Or you go round in circles, or you sit down (in a rut) and try to figure out what to do.

Basically this book is about understanding and re drawing your map so you can move on.

There is quite a bit more I could add, but I don't want to sound preachy- but this book has helped me (with art therapy) to understand WHAT the HECK the problem is.

If you'd like more info, I could pass it on.


Me; W 46
Him; H 46

2 girls
DD19
DD16
Dated/Married total 28 years.
..I am learning and working on myself.
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Yes, forgiveness is a long journey that cannot be forced, even when it is chosen.

I think what you are experiencing may be a bit primal, too. Your OW threatened your family. You are subconsciously "watching out" for her. And it is much easier for our minds to dwell on the OW as the threat, and not our own husband.

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Quote:
The fact is you married a man who has no morals or weakness of character. When you are able to face that fact, you'll realize how totally irrelevant it is that he had an affair with this married coworker with young children vs. that married coworker with young children.


I disagree with this as a blanket statement. It does not describe MOST WS's.

Very likely, she DID marry someone of high moral fiber and good character, as did I. Her husband, if he is in the category of the majority of WS's, temporarily set aside his value system and moral fiber in order to justify the crime he was committing. As did mine.

And of course the OW is relevant to the whole mess, because even though she took no vows to love and cherish the BS, the OW was a willing accomplice in the attempted destruction of a family, and the total ruination of the BS.


A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.
~ English proverb



Neak's Story
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Your feelings are normal and you will think of OW less and less..when? I don't know, but as you heal it should get better. I'm just a year out myself and still have thoughts of blowing OW's world to sh&t but the thoughts are getting less frequent and I remind myself that she's a joke.


BW - me
exWH - serial cheater
2 awesome kids
Divorced 12/2011




Many a good man has failed because he had a wishbone where his backbone should have been.

We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot.
--------Eleanor Roosevelt
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Great post Neak.


BW - me
exWH - serial cheater
2 awesome kids
Divorced 12/2011




Many a good man has failed because he had a wishbone where his backbone should have been.

We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot.
--------Eleanor Roosevelt
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Quote:
And it is much easier for our minds to dwell on the OW as the threat, and not our own husband.


For me at least, it went much farther than this. The OW continued to be a threat to my family for several years after my DH had stopped being a threat himself.

So when a person has a former threat and an active threat, naturally they will focus on the active threat.

And even if the OW is not still actively threatening, it will take a long time to relax and realize the danger is past.

In the meantime, there is your good FWS doing all they can to make amends for the terrible wrong they did - it is much more natural to view them as an asset than a threat in that circumstance. Because they are demonstrating with their actions that the threat from them is past.

So viewing the OW one way and the FWS another is not an iron-clad sign of defective thinking on the part of the BS.


A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.
~ English proverb



Neak's Story
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Thanks, Raven, and good morning! Yer lookin fine and purty today! grin


A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.
~ English proverb



Neak's Story
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Quote:
Is this normal and how can I learn to let her go???


Yes it's normal.

BTW, IMHO, everything you want her to know, she knows.


Me 43 BH
MT 43 WW
Married 20 years, No Kids, 2 Difficult Cats
D-day July, 2005
4.5 False Recoveries
Me - recovered
The M - recovered
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Originally Posted By: Neak
Thanks, Raven, and good morning! Yer lookin fine and purty today! grin


Good morning yourself! I have to keep up with you! flirt


BW - me
exWH - serial cheater
2 awesome kids
Divorced 12/2011




Many a good man has failed because he had a wishbone where his backbone should have been.

We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot.
--------Eleanor Roosevelt
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ashes73 Offline OP
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Neak,
You make a point about viewing my husband differently than I view her, in that, I realize that he did the same awful deed that she did BUT he has been paying just compensation for it over the past year by changing jobs, leaving the state and actively repairing our marriage. Prior to his affair I would never have guessed this could have happened to our marriage. He is a man of integrity and morals but because of the addiction of the affair he became an awful person I did not recognize. Whereas with the OW I wonder if she has regrets now that she is out of her fog. Can she see the affair for what it was? That they were just meeting EN's and not "soulmates" Or does she still think he is "deeply in love" with her and that he only returned to me because of our children. I know I SHOULD NOT care what she thinks but for whatever reason I wish I knew. I wish I knew that she wishes she had tried to save her own marriage.
Prior to the affair my husband and her were friends. I had met her several times at various work functions. She was charming and I had actually liked her. She held my older daughter and bought her baby gifts. I just can't wrap my mind around the fact that someone I thought was a good person would decide that she wanted MY husband and would stop at nothing to get what she wanted. Is my instinct so far off that I can't detect a selfish, callous person? Or was she just so foggy that she really is a "good" person but could be so horrific because of the addiction of the affair.
I guess, in a way, I want to forgive her. Not for her but for myself. I would like to think that she is in the majority of waywards with integrity and morals but deeply misguided because of the nature of affairs. But when I think of her strongly trying to persuade my husband to leave me even though I was pregnant I just can't get over the cruelty. This person whom I thought was charming could have such utter disregard to the pain of violating a family.
So here I go again spinning my wheels over someone who does not deserve my thoughts....


Me: BW 36
FWH: 35
2 kids (4 yrs and 11 mos)
Dday #1 4/06
Dday #2 10/07
NC 3/08
In recovery
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This is perfectly normal. The ow my xbf cheated on w/ b4 this time, popped into my mind so randomly. I hated it. It was like she and thoughts of the times they spent 2gether haunted me. I thought she would be able to effect our relationship - like she was some type of air bourne virus that could come back at any time.

Anyway, her kids and my kids are going to after school program. And her son just started talking to me one day and asking if I knew his mom, who I had never met in person. When I realized who he was talking about I said oh, yeah. And he mentioned that he recognized my bf and that is how he knew me and he had apparently had some type of brief conversation with his mom about why my kids were going to school out of zone (close to my job). And he said that my bf told him to tell his mom hi. and I said oh, really. And before I left, I said yeah, tell your mom I said Hi, and he said ok.... what's your name again. I said Ms.XBFs last name. Damn that felt good.

A little pre mature though. BF called off wedding. I sent that msg. to past OW less than 2 mths. ago. Yeah, I feel pretty small.

So I would suggest not rubbing it in because it's not nice and can come back to haunt you.

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