It's still very new for your BW.
Her world has been turned upside down. She simply wants to believe you care more about her than the OW. It's insecurity. If you can't hate her then you must still having feelings for her ( this is what she is feeling ).
Go to the Healing Library and read under the BS section on why the BS hates the OP more than the WS.
It's a coping mechanism that will begin to allow her to believe you still love her, truly want to be with her and love her more than the OW.
All emotionally based at this point. But right now those are her feelings and if you truly want to help her heal you have to recognize her feelings are all over the place right now because of the magnitude of the hurt and uncertainty she's feeling.
You don't have to understand but try to have empathy. It will go a long way.
Right now the OW is enemy #1 to your wife and your marriage in her mind.
When I would go there with my FWH he would say "screw her; she doesn't matter - we do". He never said he hated her but it helped that I didn't feel like he was protecting her or still thinking of her.
Good luck. Hope IC is in the works for you both.
[This message edited by 1Faith at 4:46 PM, July 24th (Wednesday)]
My ex had an affair with the wife of his best friend LONG before I knew him. However, his friend forgave and somehow they all managed to be friends (don't ask me, I have no idea how).
This couple visited us when we had been married about a year and the wife kept making advances (some obvious, some not so obvious) while they were visiting. She even left her used thong on his side of the bed when she sorted laundry in our room. Right.
For years I tried to talk to him about this and the other things she did while she was at our house. He always defended her and played devil's advocate. I cannot even begin to tell you how hurtful that was. At the time I didn't believe that anything physical had happened while they were visiting but now I'm not so sure. It doesn't matter, we're divorced now anyway.
My point is that your wife likely sees this as you taking the OW's side. She might very well believe that if you're not against her (the OW), you're FOR her. Each and every time you don't attack the other woman (and I'm not telling you to by any means, I'm just explaining how your wife might see it)or validate your wife's feelings, she might see it as another betrayal. I don't know. I don't know your BS.
I wish there was an easy way to fix these sorts of issues but I don't believe that there is. Whatever you do, please don't play the devil's advocate or defend the OW in any way.
I have tried very hard but I couldn't find the posting 1Faith suggested in the Healing library on why BS hates OP more than WS. Can you please post a weblink?
I can fully understand my BW's point (If you can't hate her then you must still having feelings for her), but I feel powerless. I can't fake my feelings & simulate hatred when I don't feel it. The self-resentment is much stronger than resentment towards OP.
I have explained that I have no more feelings for OW, that I want nothing more than R and share everything with BS, build a new common future, leave the old one behind. Yet, she blocks me out now and has suicidal thoughts, even wants me to do kill her (to remove her pain).
You are being utterly logical. Why waste energy hating, indifference is better and besides OW didn't break any vows did she? Problem is I am guessing your wife isn't feeling logical. It's safer for her to hate OW than you. And she wants your unequivocal support at the moment. If she told you black was white she'd want you to agree with her. Why? Because you betrayed her and now she wants you to counteract that betrayal as fully as possible. Worse, you betrayed her with someone else, for a period you put someone else first. In her mind, I suspect, she still feels that you and OW are still arrayed against her as a couple. You have to break that coupleness up. You have to show her that you put her, and your coupledom FIRST.
So don't lie. Just tell her your wife that the OW's behaviour wasn't great, she did something destructive and selfish, just like you did so. Tell her you can see why she hates her, tell her it's OK to feel the way she does. But then repeat that you are now indifferent to OW and that you don't care if she lives or dies, she is utterly insignificant to you.
Break up that affair couple in your wife's mind.
3 children from 10 to 16.
EA with coworker for 6m maybe longer. She was 25!!
Reconciling. Hard work isn't it?
Thanks for your advice watersofavalon. I think it makes perfect sense in my BW current emotional universe to hate OW - she knows her after all and we have spent weekends together with other friends, so I wouldn't call it irrational. I try to give her unequivocal support but it's not always easy.
One element that I thought might help break up the status quo is to write a NC email to OW. So far, my BW and I agreed not to write one and IC also advised against it, because OW would only have the option to deny the EA and this would not help our R process.
An NC would allow though to externalise my resentment that OWs behaviour like mine was selfish and that it has caused my BW so much hurt.
I would want my WS to at least strongly dislike the OW if after all was in the open, I found that OW is a person that I strongly dislike. On the other hand, if she were some random person who was manipulated into cheating with exaggerated stories of how unhappy you were at home, or even lied to regarding marriage status (my XH told at least one of his OW that he was divorced when we were very married and I was 7 months pregnant with our 3rd child).
I cannot say that I hate that OW and would not expect my XH to hate her either. I don't like her because the fact is she still slept with him after she knew. However, I can see indifference and laughable disgust at that one...
With the one who went after my current H when he was out of his mind with grief after losing his mother and DD, knowing he was married (a lot of other details I won't add here). Yes, I have reason to hate her and if my H feels any need to defend her, then we probably would not have reconciled.
I would say in reality he feels mostly indifferent toward her, but like me, he has come to hate the type of person that she is and that is good enough for me. He recognizes it in other women, even when they are chasing and manipulating his male friends and at work, usually under the guise of being "just very good friends" but with obvious extra looks, planning time together, flirting and all that goes with it. Because I know my H hates the type of woman that she is, and has learned to avoid them like the plague, I don't expect him to say that he "hates her" specifically. In a way, though, I think he does. He hates the whole thing that happened, but of course takes the blame himself rather than blaming anyone else.
We are not sure whether to send it off to OW. I am worried of unintended consequences of OW's reply: she will deny, tell me that I'm crazy, that there was never anything, attack BW, inform our common friends. Is it worth that trouble?
If we decide not to send to OW I will post it on the forum.
I have written a draft NC letter stating that my OW and I must share responsibility for the affair
Why the shared responsibility?
My NC letters were very simple. I kept it on me. What we did was wrong, no contact whatsoever with me or my bs, etc. There was nothing to argue in my letter. Nothing that would incite a response.
As far as hating the OP, hate involves a lot of emotion, thought, feeling.
Indifference is where I am, and it's a good place for me.
My ap's get NO energy from me.
Not to say they don't pop into my head, but that is getting less and less as time passes.
"Your secrets keep you sick"
Your D-Day is very recent. I won't get into the details of my story but I beyond despise my former wayward husband's (FWH) OW. I can 100% relate to your wife. While I understand your logic that you're the married guy, I think you're glossing over an important piece. Your OW knew you were married and even knew your wife. She had no problem trying to wreck your marriage and had no problem inflicting pain upon your wife. It's good that you're owning your piece, but if I were your BW I'd be bothered that you weren't taking her to task too. That's just me.
Aside from that, I think the NC letter is a good idea and then let her make the decision on sending it or not.
Please send her to this site. Tell her she doesn't have to share her username with you. Tell her to go to the Just Found Out section. My FWH sent me here. She doesn't have to even post, just reading our stories will probably help her realize she's not alone. And if she does post, we BS can help her.
Also, is she in IC? If not, please get here there asap. She has mentioned suicide. That's not good. I was totally against IC at first, but then my daughter asked me why I was so sad all of the time and I knew I needed help. Like many others on here, I'm now on Anti-depressants and sleep/anxiety meds. It has made a world of difference. As have the people on here.
Lastly, you should both read through the Healing Library and I highly suggest the books "Not Just Friends" and "After the Affair".
Good Luck and please let your wife know we'd love to help her and that there is is this whole club out here who fully understand the trauma of being a BS.
Why the shared responsibility?
Because both ARE responsible. It is great to take full responsibility but it sounds a bit like defending the "innocent and blameless" OP to me. I am so glad to know that while my H blames himself, he also sees the OP for what she is (and that is not a good, or even likable person at all).
[This message edited by Bobbi_sue at 9:01 AM, July 25th (Thursday)]
The NC letter shouldn't contain any language about what the OW should or shouldn't take responsibility for. It should be as simple as "BW and I love each other, she is giving the opportunity to reconcile and make our M better. She is giving me the opportunity to let me show her how much I love her. Do not ever contact me our my BW again." And even than is more than the OW needs to know...
What she does with the letter is her business. You have no control over that, and as long as you and your BW present a united front and are supportive of each other, you will come out on top. You may lose friends, and if you do, then that is their choice to buy into the potential crazy of the OW.
Sending the NC letter may show your BW your commitment to R.
Q: Why am I so much angrier at the O than at my spouse?
A: When we find out about the affair, some of our first thoughts are about the OP. The OP more distant from us than our spouse. They don't sleep with us at night and awake with us in the morning. They aren't the person that we love and care about.
We believe we know the inner workings of our spouse, so we know who they are. We don't want to make them the bad guy. We want to blame the OP. We want someone to have manipulated our spouse into this behavior. The OP is the obvious target for our anger. If we give all of our anger to the WS, it is very difficult to see our spouse in a good light. So. we focus our anger on the person involved that is the farthest removed from us.
This is normal. At some point, we have to give our spouse full credit for their behavior. We have to realize that in most cases, our spouse was the person who was supposed to protect us, not the OP. However, if the OP knew you and knew you were married, they certainly share in the responsibility
Any talks of suicide need to be taken seriously.
The shock of infidelity can cause PTSD. It takes such a heavy toll on the betrayed.
The hurt and despair she is feeling is normal, awful but normal.
Sometimes it takes months to begin to process it all. She needs help to heal.
Be kind to her now. If you both can go to IC, it helps a lot.
It is your job to fix yourself. She can't fix you because she didn't break you.
Regardless of any issues in your marriage there is never justification in cheating. EVER.
You need to reassure your wife that she did nothing wrong. This isn't about what she wasn't doing or giving it was about what you weren't giving. Time attention and honesty about how you were feeling about your marriage.
Right now she questions EVERYTHING. Stand by and support her. The rollercoaster is one hellish ride but you can make it. You can.
Thanks for caring enough to post and to being open to feedback. To me, that says a lot about you.
Good luck. Prayers for strength and healing. God bless.
My NC letters were very simple
My ap's get NO energy from me.
Yes my wife and I are doing IC and I have suggested that she joins SI. She is on antidepressants (Paxil + mollipaxine), but there yet no effective soul pain killers, are there?
So yours was EA only? Was there a PA component?
It was EA only, although I was obviously physically attracted and it could have easily become a PA, if given the chance. I saw OW outside of work a few times and invited her to our house once on her own. Luckily no physical contact developed. Otherwise BW would have left me already, I am sure.
But I so desperately wanted it that he wrote one for me - to send or not as I chose. I chose not to because in the final analysis I had what I wanted - to see how much he wanted me and didn't want her, how much he regretted his affair. It's still in my bedside table and I read it when I get the wobbles.
This is a great idea. A tangible document, stating how terrible you feel, how insignificant the OW was could be a lifeline for your wife, something she could use when the inevitable doubts arise.
The NC letter shouldn't contain any language about what the OW should or shouldn't take responsibility for
I respect your opinion, Baxter but I fully disagree.
The NC letter that was sent to the OW from our case was written by both of us and it darn sure had some language that placed some of the blame on her (where it belongs) and made it clear she is not regarded as a good person. Many would disagree with me, and that is okay. Going back to Wishwell's orginal post about the BW wanted him to hate the OP, well hate may be too strong of a word but the way I see it, if the WS does not see the OP as a bad person and is afraid to make that known to the OP, that would have a very negative impact on my ability to forgive him and move on.