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Wayward Side :
Event with obs - I hate what I'm doing

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 CheetahRose (original poster new member #79545) posted at 11:57 PM on Sunday, November 13th, 2022

One of my AP's was my best friend's husband. Also, my BH's bestie. The story is horrible and so shameful I feel sick thinking about it. I have think about it today as I'm expected to attend her daughters bridal shower. This girl thinks of me as her second mom, and BS as dad - esp now that they are all NC with their dad(AP) and has specifically expressed to her mother that she wants me there for all the wedding stuff. And her mom agreed.

We were a family, we even referred to our tribe with a combined last name (think the Peterson's and the Ford's = Peterford's.) We were going to be bff's until we died. We raised our kids together, I got to be the stay-at-home mom for all 6 while OBS and AP ran their business. As our kids got older our family became the safe place for them and all of their friends. We camped together, spent Christmas day together, and had Sunday dinner for years. We were the 'Peterfords' for 20 years.

About 6 years ago now, everything went to hell. I had a complete breakdown and AP lost his shit as well, about the same time. Our entire world came crashing down, and AP never made it back. He went crazier and crazier eventually becoming estranged from his children and divorced from OBS. I betrayed my friend, my husband and our family in the worst way possible. (God, I just cringe to think that I was literally judgmental of her parenting, so superior was I, while putting all of our children at risk, not just mine. I truly thought I was a great mom!)

I'm supposed to be going to an event tonight with OBS. I am feeling so anxious and sad. I've thought about canceling a hundred times or what excuse I can come up with, but I just don't know the right thing to do.

It's literally happening in a half an hour and I'm so stuck I can't move.

Her daughter is a loving and considerate person, and I spoke to my daughter (they're very close) explaining to her that I won't be participating in any of the wedding stuff that her mom will be attending, I've considered sending a message to OBS directly. I've never apologized and honestly, this is hard to admit but it's only been recently that I have even given my betrayal much thought. I have been in such deep and painful work with BS and our R, and plus, I was just blind. I don't know if it's even believable but I really didn't consider how devastated hurt and betrayed she must be until the last couple of years. (Case in point, maybe four years ago we went to a wedding of one of our kids friends and she avoided me. I was truly baffled as to what her problem was. Ugh.)

I don't want to hurt her. I don't want to cause her one second more pain and there's no way that she can possibly want to see me or be around me. She loves her daughter so much and would do anything for her happiness I just don't think her daughter understands what it is that she's asking of her mother.

I don't know what is going through her mind, but I feel almost outraged on her behalf that I'm still a special and important person to her children - that she has lost her husband and our 'family' and what should have been a loyal and supportive friend through it all.

Shit. 15 minutes now. I just want to cry.

I should have been on here all week talking this through with SI, should have tried to send her a message. I should have tried to talk to her daughter and explain how hard this all might be for her mom, and that making her even tiniest twinge of uncomfortable isn't OK with me.

Why don't I just no show? I don't want to hurt anyone. How do I make the 'rightest' choice in a situation that I can never make right?

Sorry this is such a mess. I don't even know what I'm asking for...

posts: 19   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2021   ·   location: United States
id 8765045
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 CheetahRose (original poster new member #79545) posted at 1:27 AM on Monday, November 14th, 2022

What a coward I am.

Here's what I ended up doing...

BH and I are working on a project only a block away from the venue. We've been painting and there is sawdust everywhere. I waited till the last second and then walked over.

We got there about 20mins late. I still have paint on my hands and my clothes are covered with sawdust. I look a mess. I saw our girls (mine and the bride to be) and motioned them outside. I told them that we had had a mishap with paint (totally true, this whole project has been a shitshow) and had to clean it up before we came over. I didn't want to come inside because I'm dirty. I told her that I wanted to say hi and love you and was going home (at least 40 mins rt) to get cleaned up. Would hopefully make it back before the end. Lots of pressure to just come on in, to not worry about being messy, just go buy a new outfit, etc. I could see OBS through the window and just couldn't. I left BH there and walked back over to my building.

I have clean clothes with me. I could change in a little while and go back over.

BH doesn't know how much I'm struggling, he asked on the way there what my problem was today.

I've only seen her once in 3 or 4 years. Just a few weeks ago. She came to an art installation where my daughter was displaying, knowing I would be there. I took off before she saw me, and stayed out of sight for a long time! She just stayed with our group and kept chatting with the kids and BH until I finally joined and she said hello to me. I said hi, then something completely asanine. I had an opportunity to look her in the eye and be a real person and instead I just verbally vomited for a few seconds until someone joined our group and interrupted/distracted me. She left shortly after that.

I've been thinking about writing a letter to her ever since. I know the advice here on SI is almost 100% to stay NC with obs and I haven't felt until that incident a few weeks ago like I should reach out, but then with all this wedding stuff coming up, and she seemed so deliberate about sticking around until I got back... Like, is she opening a door? I just don't know. I don't want to cause her anymore pain and no new contact equals no new hurts, right? BUT, what if she feels like I just don't care? What if she thinks I haven't reached out because her feelings don't matter to me?

I just got a message from BH "are you coming back over here, am I leaving or what?" I answered:

"I have clothes I can change into. I just don't know if I should come back or not. I want (bridetobe) to feel loved but I don't want (her mom) to feel uncomfortable. There is no possible way that she can feel ok about me being there."

He responded: "I get that. I’ll come back there and we can go about our business. (Bridetobe) is completely occupied. Shall I smuggle you out a snack?"

His kindness makes it worse, honestly, but I'm relieved not to go back and I'm convinced I need to write a letter.

Shit now my daughter is calling...

posts: 19   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2021   ·   location: United States
id 8765052
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EllieKMAS ( member #68900) posted at 3:16 AM on Monday, November 14th, 2022

Just to make sure I am following along... the bride to be is your ap's daughter and her mom is ap's xbw, yes? Does bride to be know that you were her dad's ap? And have you spoken to obs at all?

Weddings are very stressful to begin with. And I am sure if xbw is recently divorced and dealing with her and her xwh's child's wedding that will likely bring up a whole host of feelings for her that will be tough. I am the bw in my situation and I can tell you that for me, it would be an absolute no to having my xwh's affair partner at a family get-together. But it sounds like your families were particularly close, so that complicates it. So I guess if bride to be wants you around, then I do think you owe it to her to be involved on a very v-e-r-y limited basis.

I will say this though. It sounds like you and your BH are trying to reconcile. But IMHO, you NEED to rip off the bandaid and talk to obs too. It sounds like you miss that friendship and if that's the case you need to reconcile that as well. Yeah, it's gonna suck to look her in the face knowing what you did, but you darn well owe her an apology too.

"No, it's you mothafucka, here's a list of reasons why." – Iliza Schlesinger

"The love that you lost isn't worth what it cost and in time you'll be glad that it's gone." – Linkin Park

posts: 3629   ·   registered: Nov. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: CO
id 8765062
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Howcthappen ( new member #80775) posted at 9:18 AM on Monday, November 14th, 2022

This didn’t have a stop sign.

I put myself in OBS shoes as I’m a BS and a wife. I would be feeling ABSOLUTELY horrible that you get to go on with your life and reconcile with your husband and have a marriage that endured and continues while I am left without a husband. I would be constantly asking hod why you deserve any happiness after being such a low down person and destroying my marriage and our friendship.

I’d also probably be trying not to let you see how broken you left me and I’d put on a phony happy face.

There is a possibility that she wishes you would just disappear out her life already..each milestone the pain of the betrayal probably debilitates her.

I wouldn’t want you having access to ANY thing that I loved!

Just leave the entire family alone.

But if you do write that letter ask your ex best friend what she needs from you fully realizing it might be tainted with trying to not appear devastated and pathetic.

Three years since DdayNever gonna be the sameReconcilingThe sting is still present

posts: 19   ·   registered: Aug. 30th, 2022   ·   location: DC
id 8765074
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BreakingBad ( member #75779) posted at 12:56 PM on Monday, November 14th, 2022

IMO, avoidance is near the top of the list as one of the "whys" for most waywards: they avoid discussing their deeper needs with their spouse, they avoid thinking too deeply about what devastating choices they are making during the affair, they avoid thinking too deeply about the devastation they've caused, etc.

It's painful, shameful, risky for them...so, they avoid.

One of the big things for healing, then, must be to work hard to get past avoidance. Deal with things head on (for you), yet with a big eye for empathy with others.

You've avoided this for a long time. I appreciate your candor in how much you even avoided truly empathizing with your dear former friend about her own devastation for many years. You are doing some of the work.
It's time to do some more.

Right now she is in an untenable situation: being the "bad guy" if she tells her DD that you cannot be invited to family events.

Reach out to her in the next few days in written form, so she has time to gather herself before responding. Offer to communicate in any form she feels comfortable with: written, phone, in person. Own that you feel terrible that you've never acknowledged to her the pain and devastation you've caused. Let her know that you are not expecting anything from her--not forgiveness or trust or renewed friendship in any way. Let her know that she can guide the conversation if she chooses to communicate. Ask her what she wants as far as your appearance at these functions. (Maybe you should be willing to be the "bad guy" and decline invitations.) Have your own spouse check your message for sincerity and ownership of your choices (so it doesn't read as a "Whoa is me" missive).

I really would reach out. She might want to vent at you, so brace yourself. But accepting her vent by acknowledging that she is well entitled to it is a very small gesture considering how your choices heaped pain on her.

"Don't you love it, don't you love it?No, I ain't happy yet.But I'm way less sad."[Credit to group AJR]

Me=BW; fWH=online affairs with 3 APs over 2.5-3 yrsBoth in IC & MCMarried 31 yrs now2 kids-both in HSAttempting R

posts: 291   ·   registered: Oct. 31st, 2020
id 8765086
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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 7:44 PM on Monday, November 14th, 2022

I've been thinking about writing a letter to her ever since. I know the advice here on SI is almost 100% to stay NC with obs and I haven't felt until that incident a few weeks ago like I should reach out, but then with all this wedding stuff coming up, and she seemed so deliberate about sticking around until I got back... Like, is she opening a door? I just don't know. I don't want to cause her anymore pain and no new contact equals no new hurts, right? BUT, what if she feels like I just don't care? What if she thinks I haven't reached out because her feelings don't matter to me?

But you're not strictly NC with her when you're in the periphery of her life having a relationship with her children. That's contact. It might not be direct contact but it's still you on her turf. So yeah, I think you either need to actually be out of her life or you need to apologize as sincerely as possible.

It's quite likely that she will view your apology as self-serving, but your failure to offer it is going to be viewed as such too. While it's commendable that you don't want to cause her any new injury, the suffering you have already cause continues every minute that you allow her to think that you just lah-di-dahed off into the sunset while she lost her family dynamic. You certainly shouldn't expect gratitude or reconciliation with her, but it's not like you haven't already overstepped by being in contact with her children. Even if they're in the dark about why you two aren't friends anymore, your mea culpa should have been absolute, "I lost your mom's friendship because of something I did, and she was absolutely RIGHT to unfriend me, so no, it's not appropriate for me to come to your wedding event."

My advice would be to write the letter and then bow out of this family's business.

On a side note... the introspective work of recovering WS's is humbling and painful. Do give yourself credit for your growth in empathy and your willingness to do something about it. Some people never get that far.

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: 6167   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8765141
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emergent8 ( member #58189) posted at 11:56 PM on Monday, November 14th, 2022

Your story is a bit hard to follow. My understanding is that you had an affair with your close family friend's husband possibly AFTER their relationship had broken down (possibly before). Either way, it was obviously . They are now divorced and AP and OBS's daughter (to whom you remain a close family friend) is getting married.

You are running from your shame on this. I think you need to apologize to OBS. I think it should be in person rather than a letter. Writing the letter is the easy way out - it means that you get to avoid her reaction and the uncomfortable feelings that she likely has. The fact that she said hello to you in person at another event suggests she is willing to have have this conversation with you.

Me: BS, Him: WS. Mid-late 30s.
Together 15 years, married 6 (11 m at D-Day).
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
5 years (and two toddlers) into R. Happy.

posts: 1026   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8765172
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 CheetahRose (original poster new member #79545) posted at 12:53 AM on Tuesday, November 15th, 2022

So last night... my daughter calls from the party, and asks what's up. She wants to know if I feel bad sick (we've both were fighting a cold last week) or bad sad. I tell her bad sad, but mainly bad guilty and I'm uncomfortable with the idea that othermom has agreed to my presence there, but no way can she actually want me there.

The kids (all of them, hers and mine) are aware of the dynamic. One of her sons was even NC with me for a year or so when he found out about my relationship with his dad and how much I hurt his mom. I had always been especially close with him, and now he has two little ones that I had adored spending time with.

I'm not surprised that he was extra impacted by my betrayal and his new perspective of me. We still haven't talked, but I did see him in Sept and he hugged me and whispered "I'm sorry it's been so long" I just answered back "it's ok, sweetheart, it's as long as you need it to be..."

That's another conversation I need to initiate.

OBS has been vocal about 'severing' our relationship but makes an effort to spend time with my kids and even BH sometimes. She's an amazing cook and they still have dinner or go out together sometimes.

So, back to the engagement party (I still can hardly believe it!) My daughter tells me that OBS came up to her and said "I thought I saw your mom out the window..." DD tells her that I'm a mess and have to go get cleaned up, she doesn't know for sure if I'm coming back. OBS says "oh! I may have some extra clothes in my car" or something like that.

DD tells me "mom, she didn't say it, but she wants you here. There's been a shift and I feel it." So there's no question now. Othermom has opened the door.

I change clothes and walk back over with BH who's come to fetch me (lol, he arrived with a 'snack' -- this goof is literally carrying meatballs, sauce and all, in his hands, a la the movie Wedding Singer, which makes me cry again, oy)

As soon as I get in the door, OBS comes up to me and wraps her arms around me. She says Im glad you came back. She tells me that I belong there... that I'm a part of this family and I deserve to celebrate too. Im just dying at this point. I want to sob and I'm trying to hold my shit together and not make a scene. (At this fancy, BEAUTIFUL party) I'm making little squeeks and I know I'm snotting and I keep saying thank you and I'm sorry. She pulls back and looks at me and says "Hey. I'm OK, I'm really OK, and I want you to be OK too."

I am just overwhelmed and nod. I take deep breaths and wipe my face, and then... she starts talking! She tells me about the favors for the party and her granddaughter's brilliant idea to put Ring pops in all of the bags, about her trip with her sister in Aug, the gorgeous tattoo she got (didn't see that coming!) I can't even describe the feelings of relief and amazement at this woman.

I'm still super emotional today. When I'm alone I'm just ... crying every time I think of her. I know what Grace feels like and I'm surprised it's so painful.

I have no idea what things might be like in the future for us. I have no expectations of resuming a friendship or even of healing and rebuilding our family, I'm just so relieved. So profoundly relieved. She's OK. She's okay enough to be gracious and generous... even LOVING to me.

So now I need to get to work. I need to write that letter and make an offer to give her whatever she needs. A vent session? An explanation? An apology? A presence to make our sweet girl happy, but then fuck off forever?

I'll write a message short and sweet, but I also think I'll need to get to work on the whole story. What actually happened (I know from the last time she and BH talked, she's got some things really wrong. I'll need some SI help in figuring out the best way [or IF] I should address.) and how I could be someone so utterly opposite of who she thought I was, and hide that from her.

Right now, I want her to know how deeply I feel that I do NOT deserve to celebrate with 'our' family, (maybe without saying exactly that... shit like "I don't 'deserve' whatever" can sound dramatic and like I'm looking for a rebuttal) and how relieved, sorry and appreciative I am.

I don't have anybody else that I can talk to about this I sure am appreciative of this space.

And BS's? I know that you come here for support and to vent but you are also educating. You're allowing people like me to see things from a completely different perspective and it is enormously valuable. I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry that people like me have hurt people like you (and like HER, and BH and all of our children) so badly. Nobody deserves this kind of devastation and betrayal. I would hit undo a thousand times if I could.

OK. Snot&tears mopup and deep breaths. BH is on his way. (And I'm once again covered in effing paint and sawdust!!)

Edited to say thank you very much for the replies. There are a few things I'd like to respond to, but I've run out of time. Later!!

[This message edited by CheetahRose at 12:55 AM, Tuesday, November 15th]

posts: 19   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2021   ·   location: United States
id 8765184
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Tanner ( member #72235) posted at 3:14 AM on Tuesday, November 15th, 2022

The day after Dday the AP and my WW went NC. He asked her for my number and wrote me a very sincere apology and assured me there would no futher contact. Her AP was a stranger I’ve never seen him, but I have always said he helped my healing because I don’t hate him. I was able to not have red hot rage towards him. I believe a sincere apology would help OBS, you are remorseful and it shows.

Dday Sept 7 2019 doing well in R
BH M 31 years

posts: 2007   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2019   ·   location: Texas DFW
id 8765203
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EllieKMAS ( member #68900) posted at 6:39 AM on Tuesday, November 15th, 2022

She sounds like a pretty amazing woman and a rare friend. Bear that in mind please.

I do think that you owe her an apology, but just my 0.02, don't start harping on about how you 'don't deserve'. Don't put her in a position to have to support you or coddle your feelings. Sincerely apologize, tell her that you'll support her daughter through the wedding, and that you're grateful for another chance with her and her family. Keep it sincere and brief. And most importantly, work on YOU. You know better now, so BE better. For your BH, for your kids, for her and most of all for YOU.

Just saying that when my xwh's ap barfed her 'apologies' onto me with a huge measure of the self pity thrown in, it did nothing to give me any peace, it just pissed me off.

Fwiw, I commend you for for being here. I do think you're sincere in your desire to become a safer version of yourself. That's light years further than my ws ever got. Just keep working at it, one step at a time.

"No, it's you mothafucka, here's a list of reasons why." – Iliza Schlesinger

"The love that you lost isn't worth what it cost and in time you'll be glad that it's gone." – Linkin Park

posts: 3629   ·   registered: Nov. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: CO
id 8765215
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RocketRaccoon ( member #54620) posted at 6:54 AM on Tuesday, November 15th, 2022

CR,

I also think I'll need to get to work on the whole story. What actually happened (I know from the last time she and BH talked, she's got some things really wrong.


Gently now.

Who is this letter for? You (to relieve yourself from the guilt you harbour), or for the OBS? To clarify to OBS what she got 'wrong'? This could be perceived by the OBS (and possibly your BH) as trying to control the narrative.

If your BH has all the info, then it would be your BH to 'clarify' to the OBS what you perceive to be 'wrong'.

IMO, write the letter with 'what actually happened' by all means, but leave the option to the OBS if she wants it.

A sincere and heartfelt apology letter, with no 'clarifications' of what happened in your A, would be best. In it, an offer to give her whatever info the OBS needs could be put in. Whether the OBS takes you up on the offer is up to the OBS.

She is giving you grace, and it would not be 'nice' to repay that grace with what could be perceived as an opportunity for you to clear your guilt.

You cannot cure stupid

posts: 1026   ·   registered: Aug. 12th, 2016   ·   location: South East Asia
id 8765217
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SadieMae ( member #42986) posted at 12:11 PM on Tuesday, November 15th, 2022

I do think that you owe her an apology, but just my 0.02, don't start harping on about how you 'don't deserve'. Don't put her in a position to have to support you or coddle your feelings.

I agree with this very much. I think you could replace the "I don't deserve..." with "Thank you so much for..." Instead of focusing on what you feel you lack (and placing her in a position to build you up {or feel like she needs to build you up}), focus on the grace you have received and your appreciation for it.

Me: BW 40 on DDAY
Him: WH 40 on DDAY (FlawedBroken)
Together over half our lives.
D-day 3/9/2014
TT until 6/2016
TT again Fall 2020

posts: 1269   ·   registered: Apr. 3rd, 2014   ·   location: Sweet Tea in the Shade
id 8765224
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 CheetahRose (original poster new member #79545) posted at 9:47 PM on Tuesday, November 15th, 2022

the bride to be is your ap's daughter and her mom is ap's xbw, yes? Does bride to be know that you were her dad's ap? And have you spoken to obs at all?

Yes, you've got the relationships right. I've not spoken to OBS. We saw each other at a few social things for a few years, but it was surface and cordial at best. At that point, I didn't understand the impact that MY actions had on her and had a really warped view of why we weren't friends.

Eventually she stated some boundaries about me (firmly NC) and I believe shared with her kids at that time why.

for me, it would be an absolute no to having my xwh's affair partner at a family get-together. But it sounds like your families were particularly close, so that complicates it. So I guess if bride to be wants you around, then I do think you owe it to her to be involved on a very v-e-r-y limited basis.

This is what I've felt. Learning from so many BS experiences here, I've imagined it would be skin crawling for her. ESPECIALLY because of the particular closeness of our families.

I don't agree that I owe bridetobe, and I'm certain she wouldn't feel that way, either. I thought she couldn't possibly know how awful she should feel about me, and how painful my presence would be for her mom. I worried that:

I’d also probably be trying not to let you see how broken you left me and I’d put on a phony happy face.

and that she was putting on that phony happy face for her darling daughters happiness. She would!

I now think there may be another explanation for my inclusion, her mom really is peaceful with it. She seemed genuine at the engagement party. I don't necessarily trust my perspective at this point... I was so emotional and triggered, but I trust my daughter and also OBS! -She has always been an honest person. She could have said "I'm glad you came back, it's important to DD" and walked away. This woman made an effort to make ME feel ok. I'm so hopeful this is the case, she's really peaceful, I mean, and relieved beyond belief... but I'm planning to find out for sure by making contact now, and doing it the right way.

posts: 19   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2021   ·   location: United States
id 8765312
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 CheetahRose (original poster new member #79545) posted at 10:40 PM on Tuesday, November 15th, 2022

I would be feeling ABSOLUTELY horrible that you get to go on with your life and reconcile with your husband and have a marriage that endured and continues while I am left without a husband. I would be constantly asking hod why you deserve any happiness after being such a low down person and destroying my marriage and our friendship.

You've hit an understanding that is really solid for me now. This talk of deserving is so loaded, but I am fully aware that I do not deserve the life I'm living, and she does not deserve what happened to her. She was a good and faithful wife, she worked her ass off and took care of all of us. She was the stable heart of our family, because my home was always chaotic and messy and I was consistently unreliable. She deserves everything and I deserve nothing and I am baffled and guilty at the injustice.

Because that's such a loaded word, I want to go a little deeper about what I deserve. people here have made very valid comments about avoiding 'woah is me' ism. I've been there so deeply and seen so much of it in other W's here. I know this MO. I absolutely own the way I used other people to make me feel better. The self serving 'apologies' with such hyperbole (like 'I deserve nothing') that the recipient is supposed push back with reassurances...

I'm not worried about it here. You all aren't going to push back. You've been there. You know what I'm saying is true. I don't deserve it. Not being there for this wedding, not being with my BH, not having the support of the kids. It's about entitlement, really. I'm not entitled to any of this.

People who lie like I did... big necessary lies, like that I was a moral and good person, a good mom, trustworthy etc, and a million unnecessary lies like not taking responsibility for something, or making myself look good or just fucking fabricating a story for no reason! People like that don't deserve trust.

People who abuse others in the way I have don't deserve support and love from those people, they just dont. It's not even reasonable.

I'm working to be trustworthy now, but I'm aware that once trust has been broken, especially on my levels of broken, I don't deserve to ever be trusted again. That's reasonable!

I can absolutely give myself credit for trying and trying and not giving up on myself or my BH. I don't think I have a blind spot when I look at the current situation with OBS and say I'm only concerned about her. I just truly want to do the right thing for her.

I really am proud of how far I've come... but part of that journey is to look with clear eyes at what I've done, and feel it. Then, to acknowledge with gratitude that I may have a chance to make amends and maybe by the end of this ride I'll have balanced the scales a little... I dunno. And maybe I'll get to the place where I deserve all kinds of lovely things, but that sure as shit isn't now. There are too many people still hurting from the harm I've done for that to be reasonable.

posts: 19   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2021   ·   location: United States
id 8765320
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 CheetahRose (original poster new member #79545) posted at 11:16 PM on Tuesday, November 15th, 2022

Your story is a bit hard to follow. My understanding is that you had an affair with your close family friend's husband possibly AFTER their relationship had broken down (possibly before). Either way, it was obviously . They are now divorced and AP and OBS's daughter (to whom you remain a close family friend) is getting married.

It's hard to follow because I'm a messy writer to begin with, the story itself was super messy and I was an absolute mess the other afternoon. I'll try at some point to explain in more detail, but for now just to correct... the affair was long term before their relationship had broken up.

You are running from your shame on this. I think you need to apologize to OBS. I think it should be in person rather than a letter. Writing the letter is the easy way out - it means that you get to avoid her reaction and the uncomfortable feelings that she likely has. The fact that she said hello to you in person at another event suggests she is willing to have have this conversation with you.

Yes and Yes and Yes. I am being honest when I say that my only concern right now is OBS, but I have been way WAY down in shame spiral about this situation for a long time. I've come to some new understandings about the selfishness of shame and how powerfully shame has driven my avoidance. I feel like I've turned a corner in awareness, but that includes acknowledging how huge my blind spots have been. Which is why I'm here because you'll call me on bullshit.

You're right about being in person, if that her preference. I also would like for her to see me, and my reaction to her feelings. I'm going to handwrite her a note and put it in her mailbox.

[[HMM it just occurred to me that might be a little creepy. I should mail it, eh? Mightn't she feel a little weird knowing I was standing on her sidewalk?]]

posts: 19   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2021   ·   location: United States
id 8765325
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Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 1:09 AM on Wednesday, November 16th, 2022

What I don’t understand is how you never thought what you did was that bad - that you couldn’t comprehend the damage.

You cheat on your husband with your closest friends husband snd you can’t understand the big deal?

I’m not throwing a brick - I’m just trying to understand your thought process.

posts: 568   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2020
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humantrampoline ( member #61458) posted at 8:25 AM on Wednesday, November 16th, 2022

CheetahRose,

It is admirable that you are trying to make amends, and I'm glad you are proud of your progress and here to share.

There was a poster who replied that it would be best not to focus on what you deserve in your apology. In your following post, you discussed in length what you and OBS do and do not deserve. Perhaps it's best to fully remove that concept from your thinking.

Does any person deserve anything in life, and if so do they ever get it because they deserve it? I don't think so. It's easy to see from the start that some of us are born into more favorable circumstances than others. It's also apparent in tragedy, or something like a sudden severe illness when the person has done everything to care for their health, that the results can be random and not related to what we earn through our actions.

I'm only mentioning this because there is an implication in your writing that if you become trustworthy and make amends, you might be again deserving of this friendship and might therefore earn it back. I caution that thinking.

This statement in particular concerns me.

I also would like for her to see me, and my reaction to her feelings.

Why does she need to see your reaction? Is that for her benefit or yours? All the questions are purely rhetorical by the way.

There's a thread in another section from a BS who received an apology from the AP. It might help you construct yours. I do think it would be good for the BS to receive a short apology and to be given the opportunity to proceed in any manner she chooses. And if the AP who is your oldest child's father is her ex-husband (a matter you referred to in an earlier post), I think she should be told. Either way, it would be kind to tell your child.

I wish you the best.

Note: Edited for typos.

[This message edited by humantrampoline at 8:46 AM, Wednesday, November 16th]

posts: 590   ·   registered: Nov. 17th, 2017
id 8765356
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 CheetahRose (original poster new member #79545) posted at 2:49 AM on Thursday, November 17th, 2022

Thank you all so much for your good and valid points.

I'm planning to email OBS tonight, here is what my letter looks like right now. Critical eyes and feedback appreciated!

OBS,

Thank you so much for your graciousness at (the engagement) party. It was impossible for me to believe that you would actually want me to attend, although easy to imagine that you would agree if DD wanted me there. Your warmth and authenticity was unexpected and I was overwhelmed with gratitude.

I'm writing to say I'm so sorry, from the bottom of my heart, and to ask if there's anything you want or need from me. If even in the smallest way I can make anything better for you I would be so grateful for the chance. Shall I write you a letter? (I'm not counting this as a real apology, this is just an email asking if I can apologize!) Would you like to talk in person? Are there things you want to say to me? Explanations you want to hear? Should I show up for the wedding functions and leave you alone otherwise? [Edit: I'll delete the following two sentences- she's already established I should be there. I won't make her reiterate by offering to not come] Should I speak with DD and let her know its not appropriate for me to be there? I can not say anything and just throw my back out!

I also want to apologize for not reaching out until now. In the most recent times, I told myself I was being respectful of your desire for no contact, but must admit that it was also self serving. I can see that I've been avoiding the shame of  how terribly I betrayed you, and my guilt for the pain I caused. 

There are a thousand words of apology I would like to speak if it would be good for you to hear them. I would gladly hear a thousand words of anger and pain towards me if it would be good for you to speak them. If it would help, I'd like to acknowledge and own every fucking rotten hurtful and disrespectful thing thing I ever did or said to you and to answer for every lie and dishonesty.

Please know, I'm not looking for forgiveness, redemption or anything at all from you. I have no expectation whatsoever, I just want to offer my honest real self, in any capacity.

me

[This message edited by CheetahRose at 3:30 AM, Thursday, November 17th]

posts: 19   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2021   ·   location: United States
id 8765507
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 CheetahRose (original poster new member #79545) posted at 3:27 AM on Thursday, November 17th, 2022

Human Trampoline,

Your points about deserving are completely valid, for most people. I know life isn't fair and we don't all get what we deserve. I agree completely.

What I'm really talking about is entitlement. If I work, I'm entitled to compensation. If I am honest and trustworthy, I'm entitled to be treated with trust. If I betray my friend, I'm never again entitled to that friendship. That's all I'm trying to say. In the past, I would have worked my ASS off to try to get her to forgive me. I wouldn't have been able to stand the thought of her hating me and never wanting anything to do with me again. Not because of her pain and the hate eating at her, but because I couldn't tolerate the discomfort. I (up until my current situation) never had a single person in my life overtly reject me, and I would have smashed through the tiny crack in this newly open door with every manipulative trick in my arsenal to reestablish my good feels and place in our 'family'.

As to your question about her seeing me in person... the reason I'd like this is because I don't think she can understand that I've changed if she can't see it. I was desperately fragile in the face of any degree of criticism, perceived or real and incredibly reactive to anyone being unhappy with me. I had so developed my victimhood and entitlement to never feel discomfort that people were ever so careful with me. I was to be coddled and protected because of my tender tender feelings, even if I had done something shitty or hurtful.

Now, I want her to see that I can take it. If it might help, I want her to be able to say every scathing, raging awful thing that's inside her and unleash it on the person who DESERVES to receive it. I know the catharsis that can happen when you're heard in your pain and anger and would like a chance to give her that. I don't believe she would withhold that expression for my sake, but she's a pragmatic person and I'm pretty sure she wouldn't 'vent' if she didn't think it would be helpful. Venting to old me would have been %100 unhelpful.

Edited to PS: This AP isn't my oldest child's father. She knows who her biological father is, I told her 3 or 4 years ago when she was 29/30. That's another story entirely and one I handled horribly.

[This message edited by CheetahRose at 3:39 AM, Thursday, November 17th]

posts: 19   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2021   ·   location: United States
id 8765512
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humantrampoline ( member #61458) posted at 4:27 AM on Thursday, November 17th, 2022

CheetahRose,

What I'm really talking about is entitlement. If I work, I'm entitled to compensation. If I am honest and trustworthy, I'm entitled to be treated with trust.

I don't know what to say other than I think I have a definite difference of opinion on this. I don't consider anyone entitled to being treated with trust or compensation by me based on their behavior alone.

If you treat me a certain way, I don't have to reciprocate. I can reject you based on anything at all. It's my choice. The ability to choose who i value and treat with favor and priority is mine.

You don't have to be kind and nice equally to everyone you know. That sounds like poor boundaries to me. It sounds like transactional relationships.

I feel I am not explaining this well. Maybe I can write more later.

Also, it still sounds like you are focusing on what this former friend BS will think of you and on her understanding you. Those are your needs. Theyre not the same as focusing on her and her needs.

posts: 590   ·   registered: Nov. 17th, 2017
id 8765522
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