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Newest Member: PowerWithin

Wayward Side :
My unbearable grief over loss as the Other Woman

Topic is Sleeping.

HouseOfPlane ( member #45739) posted at 11:54 PM on Sunday, December 26th, 2021

We sing in a choir together and have many mutual friends.

My recommendation is that you quit that choir, and in fact that you pack up and move to another city. What you did is that bad.

I really didn't know the agreements or expectations they had in their marriage, so it was surprising to me how much this was a breech of trust.

Everything you did with the AP was a part of her marriage. Your interactions with him were as much a part of her marriage as her interactions with him. You had a three-way relationship going on with both the AP and his wife, but only the two of you knew the truth.

Now, the wife hates you with the heat of a thousand suns, and most likely always will. Forever. Whenever she thinks about you. You will be a source of eternal pain to her. There will always be another human being, another woman, who for years will think of you daily and obsessively, in the most horrible possible way. This is the gift you have given her.

And you will have no control over it, no way to influence it positively in any possible way at all. You can only avoid doing more damage.

A harsh message, but really if you want to feel better about what happened, then do whatever you must to help them heal, and the best way to do that is to remove yourself from their lives in whatever way you can. Forever.

Best of luck, friend.

DDay 1986: R'd, it was hard, hard work.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
― Mary Oliver

posts: 2832   ·   registered: Nov. 25th, 2014
id 8706069

Mickie500 ( member #74292) posted at 8:32 AM on Monday, December 27th, 2021


I’m not sure if anyone has made this observation but I will.

It seems to me that you chose poly relationships after you were crushed by betrayal. It seems that that betrayal you experienced changed you and you didn’t do the work to heal. I think you gave up hope of any man wanting monogamy with you so you are okay with being a side chick / affair partner. I also think that it keeps getting reinforced to you that monogamy is but a fleeting thing as you have engaged with open or poly situationships. Also, I think a part of you somewhere doesn’t believe that you are enough or have ever been enough for any one man to want to "wife" you so you settle into being second on the side.

You didn’t care about him as a friend. You were obviously discussing topics as friends that expressed that you were free and willing and accustomed to being the side person and I believe you were grooming her husband - your so-called friend. You don’t do that to friends.

My advice- don’t discuss your willingness to be a side chick with committed men IF you’re really not trying to destroy people.

posts: 371   ·   registered: Apr. 23rd, 2020
id 8706106

Tallgirl ( member #64088) posted at 12:37 PM on Monday, December 27th, 2021

Just a few thoughts.

Why don’t you move choirs? Control your environment, make good choices. I would suggest you stop speaking for him, you are no longer friends. Let people call him directly.

Has this happened before with a married man?

Some of your story sounds whimsical to me, you wrote it romantically. I think you need to remove that filter and look at reality. And look at this based on behaviour and actions and choices. Both yours and his.

You spent an inordinate amount of time with a married family man, you both thought this was ok. Frankly he knew better and so did you.

You acknowledged that there were feelings and grew them knowing he was married, again, you both did. This was selfish on both parts given he is married with kids.

You were looking for permission to continue. You probably already knew the answer already. He certainly did, that’s why he didn’t do it.

You accepted his lack of action of not talking to his wife, for weeks.

You knowingly kissed a married man who was hiding your ‘connection’ from his wife.

And then you both got moral and finally told his wife about what you had been doing for months.

Coming clean was the right thing to do, but none of the above should have happened. You both crossed lines at each step, the first couple are harder to cross, but each time it gets easier until you don’t see them.

From my view, what you both did was wrong, and you did it knowingly.please see this, and understand that you walked into this mess knowingly and that you are hiding your bad choices under the notion of romance.

If you want a fulfilling relationship, position yourself for success, start with single men.

[This message edited by Tallgirl at 2:09 PM, Monday, December 27th]

Legally separated, one more step.

posts: 1947   ·   registered: Jun. 11th, 2018
id 8706114

OwningItNow ( member #52288) posted at 12:48 PM on Monday, December 27th, 2021

I used to struggle to see how other people's assumptions and advances had anything to do with me. After all, I'm nice to everyone and enjoy people. But as I've gotten older, I've realized that the tiniest signals--not changing the subject, asking too many questions, showing too much empathy--send the message that I want the inappropriate attention, the awkward marital sharing, the boundary crossing. It not only signaled that I was open to listening, it signaled that I WANTED these boundaries crossed (good god, that's how the desperate or narcissistic perceive it)! 

I was NOT open to or wanting any of it! But men kept up the inappropriate sharing until I hung a big ol' sign around my neck that said, "Not interested!" And I'd get angry and upset that people kept crossing my boundaries, but now I get that my boundaries should have shut that shit down much earlier, when I thought it was sad, pathetic, and simply harmless sharing. It wasn't harmless. They were testing me. They were looking for ego kibbles, and I did not want to assume the worst about these people. But I was wrong.

Your "friend's" problem was that he pushed, tested, and pursued you because he wanted ego kibbles. Your problem is apparently that you liked it instead of being offended or disgusted by his two-timing game plan. And then you lowered the bar and justified the accepting crumbs from him by "hoping" he/they would be poly. But he wasn't, they weren't, and you knew this going into the bonding! Yet you are not owning this part. This is the selfish part that is on you and your issues and has nothing to do with him being special. No, cheaters who seek ego extras by overinvolving themselves with other women are anything but special, and you absolutely knew that. But your neediness kept you ignoring that red flag. And guess what? Because this need lives in him, he eventually would have two-timed you just like he did to the wife. And polyamorous or not, it would have hurt like hell to watch him lie and deny about his new relationship, when your connection was supposed to be "special" and more honest than that. (Cheaters Handbook: belief #27. "We're special.")

I'm sorry you did this to yourself; I know it hurts because I've lived it. But you were not (merely) a victim. You made choices that caused this pain, choices that devalued your needs and your person. I hope you will reconsider when a close friendship is offered by another married man (not all friendship, just the close, connected, "we overshare" kind) and remember that if he valued the sanctity of honest relationships, he would not be closely bonding with another woman behind his wife's back. This is a red flag on the type of person he is and a signal that he is not good enough for you. No matter your common interests or good times, see him for the selfishly flawed person that he is and throw up those high walls next time:

"Gotta go! Can't really talk!"

"I'm sure things will work out at home, but either way, this does not seem like something you should be discussing with me."

"This conversation makes me uncomfortable. Can we change the subject?"

Be clear. Respect yourself. Respect your time, energy, and personal goals. These Bozos are a dime a dozen, and they are not thinking about you or your needs in life at all. They are not even thinking about their family. They are just trying to take, take, take for themselves.

[This message edited by OwningItNow at 1:12 PM, Monday, December 27th]

me: BS/WSh: WS/BS

Reject the rejector. Do not reject yourself.

posts: 5474   ·   registered: Mar. 16th, 2016   ·   location: Midwest
id 8706115

ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 8:32 PM on Monday, December 27th, 2021

I hope you'll print out OIN's post and read it twice a day until it becomes part of your overall outlook on life. You said something really concerning earlier about "deep emotional bonds with friends" and how you're just now realizing that "some" monogamous people have a problem with that. But the fact is that the vast majority would have a problem with that. Monogamy isn't just about sex. It's about partnership and not being superceded by anyone else in your partner's life. If you're going to go 50 or 60 years with somebody, you've got to be open with them. You've got to maintain emotional intimacy because this is the grease that makes everything else work. You don't talk to other people about your mate behind their back. You don't keep secrets which affect his/her agency. You are their best friend and you put them before all other friends.

What OIN is telling you about though, isn't about "some" people's interpretation of monogamy. It's about how to NOT GET HURT by people who are using you to fulfill a function in their lives. And yeah, we don't like to think that our "friends" might not be sincere or that they may be unhealthy to be around. People who need external validation from others are typically unaware of their own inability to be self-fruitful in matters of self-esteem and validation. That doesn't make them monsters, right? But in terms of the effect of these kind of emotional vampires on your life, does it really make a difference whether they're a pick-up artist or just broken? The bottom line is that YOU get hurt.

Your boundaries are for you. Yeah, it's nice that they protect innocent people too, but having good boundaries keeps YOU safe and sound.

BW: 2004(online EAs),
2014 (multiple PAs)
Married 38 years;
in R with fWH for 7

No one can make you into a liar but you.

posts: 5451   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8706165

BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 9:06 PM on Monday, December 27th, 2021

If your initial friendship was very important to you, then you are supposed to protect it--there should have been rock-solid boundaries that wouldn't let the dynamic change.

I really like this framing. I was so hung up on not "abandoning" OM after D-Day, but the truth is that I threw our friendship in the trash the moment I escalated it to an affair.


posts: 2661   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8706172

Mickie500 ( member #74292) posted at 10:35 PM on Monday, December 27th, 2021

I disagree that yellow was lured in I believe she presented herself and groomed her "friend".

Why would you be talking about how you are Involved in poly relationships? She was in no way an innocent victim who was a listening ear and overly empathetic- she was grooming him to take the bait.

posts: 371   ·   registered: Apr. 23rd, 2020
id 8706185

LostInHisFog ( member #78503) posted at 11:05 PM on Monday, December 27th, 2021

On the other hand, I have been cheated on myself in the past in a monogamous relationship where he had a one-off sexual experience, and though the sex part wasn't hugely painful for me, the breach of trust was. And I understand that must be what she's going through.

It floors me when a betrayed woman becomes the other woman, what kind of alienation are you experiencing to be ok inflicting that kind of trauma on another innocent? Why give so little fucks? Was it entitlement? Thrill? Detachment? It happened to you so it’s excusable?? Whatever it was it would be good to dig into that to find the source so you can fix it so you don’t become an OW ever again.

I edit because I'm fluent in typo & autocorrect hates me.

posts: 266   ·   registered: Mar. 14th, 2021
id 8706190

OwningItNow ( member #52288) posted at 12:26 AM on Tuesday, December 28th, 2021

She was in no way an innocent victim who was a listening ear and overly empathetic- she was grooming him to take the bait.

This feels like a pretty heavy dose of assumption and projection, but since she is here for help and support, let's give her the benefit of the doubt.

me: BS/WSh: WS/BS

Reject the rejector. Do not reject yourself.

posts: 5474   ·   registered: Mar. 16th, 2016   ·   location: Midwest
id 8706208

Ariopolis ( member #75786) posted at 3:02 AM on Tuesday, December 28th, 2021

So what do I do with all my grief?

I think you may be experiencing withdrawal. You may feel the same things people feel after the loss of a loved one or even after addiction. You may feel anger, apathy, loss of appetite, lethargy, lack of interest/focus on family/friends/job/life. You may cry copiously. You may feel emotional withdrawal from friends/family.

It may last a month, maybe a few months, depending on the length of the affair and how much you came to depend on having a relationship with this man without his wife in the way. You are feeling the loss of those dreams.

I never wanted to lose this friendship. It was so important to me.

You lost the friendship long before his wife was informed. You weren't friends in any way once you started excluding his wife, the woman he married and exchanged vows with, from your secret life.

I hope you'll come back and update us with your progress. The unbearable grief will be bearable, of course, and life will go on.

Will you remember us and let us know what you decided to do? I hope you do.

posts: 221   ·   registered: Nov. 2nd, 2020
id 8706222

Disillusioned2 ( new member #79738) posted at 3:38 PM on Wednesday, January 5th, 2022

yellow rose, with all due respect, I think you SHOULD take on shame for this. You carried on with a married man knowingly. That is shameful to you and the AP. You participated in the harming of the family unit in which children and the BS felt safe. Shameful period. I would consult with an IC and try to explore your own sense of morals or lack thereof.

BW, 30 year marriage as of D-day on 5/8/2021, Trying to reconcile but need to figure out how to get past pain and anger.

posts: 10   ·   registered: Jan. 4th, 2022   ·   location: PA
id 8707631
Topic is Sleeping.
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