distressed coupleA week or so ago, one of our readers posted a comment where he asked me to list things I thought I knew about Tanya (the OW). How I felt about her in the “affair fog” and facts (character, her history) that I learned about her along the way. 

The reader also asked me to examine her from the outside now, more than 2 years after the emotional affair.  What type of person do I see her to be?  And finally, if she was just someone I knew who was dating a friend of mine, what advice would I have for him?

Much of this Linda and I have discussed at various times over the past few months.  It was interesting to note the differences in perception now versus then.

What I thought I knew about her prior to the emotional affair, and in the very early stages of the affair:

  • Good personality
  • Likeable
  • Charismatic
  • Attractive
  • A good conversationalist
  • Confident
  • Could relate to me and my situation
  • Shared similar ideals
  • Shared similar discontent with marriage
  • Had many things in common
  • She married very young
  • Almost backed out of her marriage
  • Never really happy in her marriage
  • Her husband was boring, selfish and unsupportive
  • Very successful professionally
  • Tenacious in business
  • Good family person

 

While in the emotional affair fog:

  • Fun
  • Exciting
  • I felt connected to her and shared the same view points on most things
  • I thought she was everything Linda was not (at that time)
  • She could provide me the happiness I was lacking at the time
  • I felt very much like I did when Linda and I first met
  • It felt like I was in high school again
  • I thought it was love

 

What I learned along the way and to this point:

  • She is somewhat boring – actually quite a homebody
  • She had had an emotional affair previously (though she didn’t call it that)
  • She was very petty.  She complained about very small things like her husband leaving a glass on the counter overnight.
  • Controlling
  • Insecure
  • Possessive
  • Jealous
  • Manipulative
  • Her family was somewhat dysfunctional
  • We didn’t have all that much in common after all
  • Selfish
  • Materialistic
  • Uncaring about Linda and her feelings
  • Her husband worshipped the ground she walked on, but she didn’t care
  • I was in love with the feeling, not the person
  • If I felt like I did when Linda and I first met, then Linda is really the person for me

 

If she were dating a friend of mine:

My advice is that she would probably fall head over heals in love with him but at the same time she would become very jealous and controlling.  Once the newness wore off or he (my friend) wasn’t able to provide as much fun and excitement as he once did, she would be looking elsewhere.

In my situation, while in the height of the emotional affair fog it was difficult to see the OP’s faults. Or if I did, I ignored them.  Once out of the fog, it became quite clear the type of person she really is.

We would be interested to hear form those of you whose spouse has ended his/her emotional (or sexual) affair as to whether or not his/her perceptions of the OP have changed over time.

 

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    58 replies to "Perceptions of the OP Over Time"

    • PTY

      Not necessarily on point, but the Secret Life of Jane blog has been taken down, as Jane noted would be happening. I only found it about 2 months ago, and I will miss it. But I wish the best to Jane and her husband. A reminder that a detour only need be a detour.

      • Doug

        PTY, Yes I knew that she had stopped posting, but was unaware that the site had been taken down all together. Thanks for the heads up, and we too wish her and her husband well.

    • blueskyabove

      Doug

      Thank you for taking the time to post your past and current perceptions regarding Tanya. Your input not only helps me, but also my H. I’m assuming it helps Linda, too.

      Like you, my H’s perception regarding his AP has changed dramatically since the EA ended. He looks back on it and now realizes she showed him who she was from the beginning, but he kept ignoring the signs until he just couldn’t anymore. Things she did, comments she made all pointed to her true character as NOT the nice person he always assumed she was over the years before the affair. He has become extremely aware that flirting is NOT innocent or harmless and that it is easily controllable. He has demonstrated it to himself and me countless times since the affair, and in doing so, has managed to regain some of the self-respect he lost.

      We have read a lot about human behavior, cognitive thinking and body language since the affair, and have gained invaluable information on what makes people tick and why they do the things they do. It has helped ease the pain of the affair. It has also helped us understand our customers, employees, friends, family members, and ourselves better.

      • Doug

        blueskyabove, I would love to learn more about some of the topics you mentioned in your comment. Can you recommend any books that you read on the subject? Linda

        • blueskyabove

          Linda,

          I’ll work on the list for you. It may take me a couple of days.

          I would like to say I understand your feelings in your other post. After two years I probably felt the same way, or close to it. In retrospect I was still in the early stages of trying to make sense of all of it. There seems to be no limit to what I have yet to understand about affairs.

    • michael

      Thank you Doug,
      Around the same time before I asked you, I asked her a less detailed version of the question. I asked her to tell me what she knew about her OM. And then later I defined it a little better when I asked you.
      I asked her to “make a list of things you know about Him”
      She asked things now or history. I told her everything she could think of.
      I told her basically like I’ve never heard of him before.
      before I got to send the last part she sent back, already started. I thought ok that’s good.
      I didn’t ask again but the next day I saw a folded paper on her dresser. And I snooped.
      In it was a short list of mostly stuff I knew and a couple of history items I didn’t. Small list of about 15 items. Like what school, first job, brother, friend in school, married 3 times (that one she told me before that she didn’t know until I found it for myself)
      But it was a info list and not her thoughts or feelings. (Granted I didn’t ask that).
      But I left it there for a couple of days and asked her on thursday when she planned on sharing it with me. She told me “oh I have it if you want to see it, I didn’t know you wanted to see it, I thought it was for me”

      My next question was, “so that’s what you would tell a girl you know who was interested in dating him”
      I thought they were best friends.
      After that she wanted to change the list but I told her there was no need. She said she would make a list about me and I haven’t seen that yet.
      I don’t know how to do this without her going into therapy. She needs it. Not just the affair there’s more.
      I can’t force her to do anything she doesn’t want to do.

      • Linda

        I just want to say that I hate this list. I know that Doug would not understand why. He would think that all his perceptions after the affair fog lifted would make me feel better, but how he felt before and during the affair really are difficult to take. I think it was how wonderful he thought she was and how he compared her to me and how he believed she was everything I wasn’t. It was like he had forgotten the woman he fell in love with, or that maybe I just wasn’t good enough anymore.

        I have thought too much about her positive traits and have beat myself up trying to compare myself to her and what I have eventually realized is she will never compare to me. Doug was right she is everything I am not and I am ok with that.

        I know that I am an educated and successful woman, who works hard at her job and makes a difference in a child’s life. I know that I am a loyal and committed wife, who never spoke badly about my husband and always supported him in whatever he choose to do. I cared deeply about him and showed this to him on a daily basis by my actions and my words. I always provided a wonderful home and environment for Doug and our children that was filled with love, laughter and fun. I always tried to create wonderful memories and traditions that our family would always cherish. I know that I was not perfect and made many mistakes but I always tried to learn from them and become a better person because of it. I have learned that I cannot let an affair or another person define me or make me feel badly about myself. I am ok, I am a good person and I can look at myself in the mirror and be proud of the person I see. Linda

    • michael

      Well put Linda,
      A comment from Susan on my blog today questioned me on who I was and what I wanted.
      And in my reply I put it pretty simple.
      No self respecting man would have let my wife continue to do as she has.
      But I don’t see myself as a self respecting man.
      I allowed it. I continued to allow it. I let myself be where I am.
      Maybe being only about a year out of it (maybe, no proof) I have yet to learn that about myself.
      Depression is a strong drug.
      And dealing with it has been tough. But I can and I will. Things do happen that push me to do better. But the drug of little self worth has taken a tole.
      One thing you guys have told me from the beginning. Take care of myself. But maybe I’ve never felt that I was worth it. Maybe I felt that I wasn’t living up to my end of the vows and that kept me from being me. I continue to question and evolve. As I think everyone should. Maybe it will take us longer, but maybe its worth it. I do rely on her too much to make me feel better. And feel worse when she can’t.
      “Expectations” is one thing I can’t let go of. And should. She either will or she won’t.
      But I haven’t set guidelines of what I will do when she wont. I have never had a plan B. Only keep shooting for plan A.

    • Lori

      Amen Linda! You give all of us strength!!

    • Elizabeth

      Here are a few things I know (and I don’t know everything) about before the EAWMO (emotional affair with making out):
      During the affair, he thought:
      1. She is the most gorgeous woman in the world.
      2. She is brilliant.
      3.She is easy to talk to and a very very good friend.
      4. She is a great mother.
      5. She is a paragon of virtue and adheres to all her Seventh Day Adventist principles to the letter. His pet name for her is VIRTUOUS.
      I think he still misses the excitement of being “in love”. But he now says:
      1. She is skinny and somewhat wrinkly.
      2. She is a cheater.

      Linda – you rocked your post! I learned one thing – they always affair down. I am good enough, I’m smart enough, and goshdarnit, people like me.

    • Morrigan

      Linda you are correct, one thing my WS told me as he was coming out of the fog was that if he was going to leave me for someone else, “they would be a step up, not someone like her, a step down” who needs his money and ride everywhere (she does not have her license) and he hates having to drive people around. I am someone that can take care of myself. Thinking back 14 years ago when we started dating, I remember asking him what he found attractive about me, his response then was my confidence and independence. I tried ( although I did have some extreme breakdown moments) but I tried, to show that to him through his fog.

      But I will admit, I get a little nervous and scared of continuing to be as independent as I have always been because I feel that perhaps I neglected him some, and she was there to stroke him with need. And for some reason, he ate it up then, being wanted like that because she needed him. I am having a hard time balancing right now. I was the girl who would throw her kayak on the car and be off all alone, or on the mountain just me and the dog, no one else need follow, he was always invited, but wasn’t his thing, and I was cool with that because it was my alone time and he had his.

      Now I am a bit scared of distancing him with my independence…

    • Norwegian woman

      My husbands thoughts about the OW in the fog vs. reality.
      1. She understands me. She is simple and uncomplicated, while my wife is complicated and intellectually above me.
      2. she have thought about me since we had a two month fling 24 years ago. She have had a lot of men, but its because her loving character makes her a easy prey for sharks to use her.
      3. She is a very caring person, a person that dedicates herself to other peoples needs, especially elderly people.
      4. She likes the same things that I do.
      5. She is a wonderful mother to her grown up daughter.
      6. She is fun and easy to be around.
      7. She is warm and loving.

      Rality:
      1. She really is simple. You will never experience her talking about politics or anything other than her self and her own little world.
      2. She was about to be kicked out by her man, and needed someone, ANYONE. It is allways the same, every time she is kicked out, a new one enters shortly after. I doubt it`s her lovely personality that is the reason no one wants her after a while.
      3. She said she was working in a home for elderly people. She just didn`t mention that she was a kitchen assistant there…..
      4. She likes whatever the man likes to get him. Now she is VERY interested in photo, because her new catch likes it (man nr. 2 after my H in a year)
      5. Her Daughter called her uncle and begged to stay there for christmas, because she really did not want to ruin christmas by spending it with her mother.
      6. Of course. She had a lot of experience how to catch a man by pretending. The problem is keeping them when they see who she is….
      7. She really has no other priority than herself. If she has to play warm and caring, she does. As long as it gets her what she wants.

      Today, my H can`t believe who he almost threw away for this kind of woman. Really, she is an incarnation of his father. A very egoistic man, with no other priorities than himself. I suppose it was what he recognized.

    • FinallyOutofIt

      This post fascinated me – I’ve thought quite a bit about this over the past months. I think once all “good” feelings go away, all the red flags that were brushed away earlier become clearer. When you’re in the middle of it, those things are easily glossed over. She wasn’t nearly as smart as I thought she was. She was more selfish than I originally believed and much more materialistic. It took me a little while to get to this point, but I consider myself pretty lucky that she got cold feet. Would have been a huge mistake to leave everything for her – even if my marriage was already over it would not have been a good decision to start a relationship with her.

      I never made a list like that and wouldn’t bother at this point, but I do think the point of the post is really interesting. The longer the CS is out of it, I think the clearer things become…

      Reading through others lists, seems like that’s the common thread. Maybe there really is a stereotypical OW.

      • Doug

        finallyoutofit, I really appreciate your insight. It is amazing how your perception of the OW changed with time. I know that most of us knew that the other person appeared too good to be true, but convincing our spouses while they were in the affair fog was impossible. I also believe there must be a common thread or character trait for the OW. I have tried to find some research on this but have come up empty handed. I do know that some of the common traits are they appear overly confident (but are actually very insecure), outgoing, flirtatious or do not have boundaries. They like to control, appear to fall in love very quickly,and tend to make themselves appear more desirable, successful, exciting, than they actually are. I have a hard time grasping this type of woman because honestly I really don’t know anyone who is like this. I believe I have removed myself from this type of person years ago. They are not the kind of person I would like to spend my time with. Linda

        • karen

          “I do know that some of the common traits are they appear overly confident (but are actually very insecure), outgoing, flirtateous or do not have boundaries. ”
          Linda: do you think some of the CS’s have the same traits???
          It takes two to have an affair.

          • FinallyOutofIt

            Good question Karen – I would have to say yes, if only because a CS is often a OW/OM to someone else. The spouse of the OW/OM would look at your spouse in much the same way as you would look at theirs. So it would stand to reason that a CS would have to share some of those common traits…

            If nothing else, it doesn’t take a leap to say that a CS doesn’t have boundaries…

            • Karen Klein

              Finally OutofIt: I agree with you although it’s probably not a popular view on this site as it is so much easier for the BS’s to focus on the weak character traits of the OW/OM rather than on those same traits in their spouses or significant others. So a question for you: what do you recommend to those of us who have other weak character traits but not those mentioned in this thread (and would never have an affair) who are married or in a relationship with CP’s? Is it fruitless to ever trust again? How should BP’s act to protect themselves and/or help their CP maintain their fidelity going forward? I do struggle with that. And don’t say more sex 🙂

            • FinallyOutofIt

              Wow, talk about putting me on the spot. Right off the bat, I will state for the record that everyone is different. While that may appear obvious, reading through stories really highlighted that to me. Is it fruitless to ever trust again? I understand how difficult it would be to trust again after finding out about a CS. But if one decides to stay together and try to work on their marriage, it would be my humble opinion that you have to be able to find a level of trust. If you don’t, I can’t see how a couple could ever get past the affair and be happy again. Perhaps the old political saying, “Trust, but verify” might be in order for awhile.

              I would never pretend to understand the level of pain a BS feels because of an affair. But I’ve said this before – I do think constantly bringing it up and asking questions well past NC is a mistake. Perhaps that word is too strong, but I do believe that once a CS is “out of it” and thinking clearly and has moved past the affair, those constant questions only serve to keep the AP “alive” in their mind. Just because a CS doesn’t want to talk about it anymore doesn’t mean they don’t understand the hurt they’ve caused.

              Having gone through it myself, I know that when you’re “over” it, you’re over it. I stopped coming to this site for awhile because I just didn’t feel like thinking or talking about it anymore. The last thing I would want to do is continuing think back to the affair and what I was thinking and doing. I can understand the need to understand, but once your spouse stops thinking about the AP, do you really want them going back to that time and thinking about her/him?

              Ok, I digress…. Seems like your question is the same one all BS’s struggle with – how to help their spouse maintain their fidelity. This answer is not going to be popular, but I don’t think you can. Not directly anyway. I think what you can do is work to create an environment that would minimize the need or desire to look outside the marriage. As has been stated over and over, it’s not your job to make your spouse happy. But I do think understanding what your spouse wants out of the relationship (and you as well) is a good start. One thing I read that I really liked was to focus on the future and not on the past. I think it was Mort Fengel – but most people focus on the past and talk about it all the time and try to fix it. I like the focus on the future to build a better relationship moving forward.

              I think if a BS is always thinking about how to make sure their spouse doesn’t cheat again, then that will affect the relationship and will probably end up leading to another affair. I think a better question would be how to create an environment where neither spouse would consider an outside relationship. Perhaps that’s semantical, but I think the focus should be on building a better relationship and not on keeping your spouse from cheating again. Does that make sense?

              And I don’t think this should all be on the BS – perhaps getting input from the CS on what you both can do to prevent this from happening again is a good start.

              I struggle with answering this question because I believe my affair was started directly because of something missing in my marriage (not excusing my behavior, I made the choice.) My affair started as purely physical, it later developed into something a lot more emotional. But I don’t think it would have gotten anywhere close to a EA without the sex part starting it. So my situation seems to be a lot different than others on this site. So in my case, more sex would definitely be part of the solution 🙂

              Wow this turned out to be a long post – sorry for that. I hope I helped answer your questions.

            • Robin

              Did you consider that the reason that you and so many other CS do not wish to discuss the OP or the events of the affair after you are out of the fog is because such discussions would force you to face the true extent of your delusion – generally, the OP is not as attractive, kind, loving, exciting or as perfect for you as you thought he or she was. Equally, your spouse was not as distant, shrewish, unloving, or “just a friend” as you believed him or her to be. I see two possible problems with the CS not really addressing these issues in detail. First, you have believed (even if only temporarily) that your marriage had serious if not unfixable problems, and you have expended considerable energy persuading your blindsided spouse of this “truth”. Oops, I was in a fog and made a mistake, let’s move on” is not going to help you spouse recover. your spouse is also in the devastating position of knowing that you thought the OP was more attractive, better at meeting emotional and physical needs, more intelligent etc. – even if you did not say it specifically. If you cannot bear to or are not willing to look at the OP clearly for who and what she or he really is, how can your spouse ever regain his or her equilibrium and belief that YOU believe he or she is the perfect spouse for you? Second, it seems to me that “moving on” without really examining in depth the who and what of the affair fog could be dangerous to the future of your marriage. According to the theory of cognitive dissonance, humans attempt to reconcile conflicting facts or beliefs in a way that makes us most comfortable…. So once the initial horror of your behavior wears off, what will keep you from developing a slightly more palatable reality, i.e. “Good people do no cheat, and I am a good person, but I cheated…so I must have had good reasons”. As you move on, and marriage is not as exciting as the clandestine affair, what stops you from again rewriting your marital history, since you never really addressed the ways you rewrote it the first time. It also lets you continue to justify – even if it is only internally – and not really look at the true scope of the damage you have done to yourself….you almost threw away the most important parts of your life for someone who was not worth it – and in the process, at least briefly, became a person who was not worth having. I do not believe that your spouse or your marriage can heal completely until you do.

        • FinallyOutofIt

          There are certainly some traits that must be consistent with OW – based on some of the things I’ve read on this site, they seem to appear in varying degrees. My OW was not nearly as needy or clingy or manipulative as others (I am NOT defending her BTW – just that I’ve read about OW that has real problems). But the outgoing, flirtatious, falling in love quickly were all true in my case – and definitely did not have boundaries.

          You know though – I am not quite sure my perception really changed that much. I mean it did, but more importantly, I began to see things for what they were. I just didn’t pay attention to that little voice that might say, “Dude, she isn’t that smart.” or “Holy cow, all she thinks about it material things”. I (and probably most CS) would just tell that little voice to pipe down. Once the fog begins to clear, it becomes clearer and its easier to say, “Wow, that little voice was right”.

          Completely agree – male or female, those are not the types of people you’d want to spend time with. I went and saw a therapist a few times during the affair, and she asked me why the OW was having an affair. I had a logical answer then – now I look back and wonder what she was thinking. Those traits above do help explain it though…

        • Ava

          My husband doesn’t seem to be able to think of any ‘bad’ characteristics or personality traits that her words and actions during the EA demonstrated. I have asked several times what he ‘doesn’t like’ about her, and he just says, ‘I think what she did was wrong’, but that’s as far as he will go. I have a difficult time with believing that he ‘doesn’t feel anything for her anymore’ when he won’t even say that she was selfish for only thinking about herself, not my husband and his family, and not her husband and family. (She pursued him.) This is becoming a real ‘deal breaker’ for me, since I truly believe if he is ‘over her’ (and its been almost 2 years since D day–he did not make up his mind that he didn’t want her and come back to me emotionally, until after I found out) he would be able to ‘see’ things about her that he doesn’t like, things that make him disgusted, etc.

          Doug and Linda: your thoughts, please, please. (btw, I only just found this website and it is really helping me to read the articles and the reply posts; thank you both so much.)

          • Doug

            Ava, it took a long time for Doug to admit or discuss that there were things about her that he didn’t find desirable. I believe that when two people are involved in an affair it is very difficult to really experience the “whole” person. They are living a fantasy life and it is very easy to be the perfect person. I am saying that the OP was perfect by any means it just means they didn’t have the opportunity to show they true selves. Instead of focusing on the OP and her faults or strong points focus on your relationship and how he feels about you. I believe that Doug was more in love with the newness of the relationship, the attention and admiration more than he was in love with the person. Linda

        • suziesuffers

          But isn’t that how we all acted when we first were trying to “get” our husband. Sometimes acted more confident than we were. I’m so confused. My husband “fell in love” with me at one point….assuming all the traits I had…but at some point reality set in and I had flaws, just like everyone else. Isn’t that what happened when he “fell in love” with the OW, she was putting here best foot forward trying to attract this man….and then when reality set in she had flaws just like everyone else…and the husband now looks at my flaws vs. her flaws….and he has more invested in me and I’m more accepting of him….She was questioning his flaws too. They didn’t have 30 years invested so there wasn’t much incentive to put up with their flaws. I could see my husband making the same list about me. All the wonderful things he felt were so endearing to him when we first met…..and as he found the OW…I’m sure as he spent more time with her and I became more distant the history changed and the list included all the flaws in me that were not so apparent at the beginning of the relationship……Doesn’t that list look alot like the list of the OW? Whoever you’re into at the moment has the “good” list and as that feeling fades, the history of those feelings change to be viewed differently?

        • Notoverit

          I really think that a lot of the OWs have a personality disorder called Borderline Personality Disorder. There is a particular subdivision called the Waif. The description of the waif fits most of the common threads I read through the comments here. In response to a waif, a man wants to feel like the “knight in shining armor” to save her, thereby making himself feel much better – a real ego boost. The waif demonstrates so many of these characteristics that your readers have described that it is scary. These people are ONLY concerned with themselves and have absolutely no room in their hearts or minds for anything except what they want. It is not a mental illness but more a bad personality. I have a hard time understanding their actions (my H’s OW seems to hit seven out of the eight characteristics listed for BPD so I have been trying to figure this out because I wanted to understand everything about the EA). One of the many things they do is engage in affairs. You might want to look this up for yourself – it’s a hard thing to understand but the disorder does exist.

          • Doug

            Notoverit, I hadn’t heard much of Borderline Personality Disorder before. Interesting stuff, and it makes good sense. I think I will do some more research on that myself and perhaps blog about it in the future. Could be very helpful and eye opening to people. Thanks for sharing.

        • Anita

          Linda,
          This other woman Tanya, she is not worth your time or energy.

    • Norwegian woman

      Maybe you should have a post about common traits for people that involve temselves in married people… That could be interesting….

      • Doug

        Yes that would be an interesting topic, Norwegian. I will write it down as a potential future post. Thanks!

    • Morrigan

      Finallyoutofit, thank you for your perspective, I find it very useful to hear your side.

      Really I am beginning to think that the issue of trusting your WS again may not be as important to me as trusting myself. This may sound odd but…. I was the happiest I had ever been in my life and my relationship when he told me he had “f’ed up” My world came crashing down around me as we just purchased our first house together and I had no idea what was going to happen!

      So now I struggle with not only trusting him, he may have been honest that it was happening, but he should have told me that perhaps he needed more from me. But how do I trust myself and let myself be happy again like that, how do I trust that things are going great when in fact, when I thought things were wonderful, they actually weren’t. I think I fear my own feelings right now. I can’t trust them to be correct.

    • tryingtoowife

      I gathered from our talks that, at the very early stages of the affair, my husband’s thought that she was young and flattering, she was fun to be with, confident and independent, was very appreciative, flirtatious, she seemed troubled and lonely by work and flatmates problem and he felt sorry for her, she had a huge crush on him and offered sex with no string attached.
      While in the ”affair fog” he thought that she was novelty and showed that she wanted him so much, through sexting and sexual e-mails, never mentioned his family, in fact he thinks now that, she did not want us to exist. In the beginning she never called him after office hours, she knew how to it so not to disturb him, so it was easy to fall into into, but when she did she was very insistent and made him feel good. It was exciting because she was new and young (she lied, that she was at least 12 years younger than she is!) Then when the novelty started to wear off he saw her true colours and started to realise that she was too self-centred and VERY selfish, a deranged mind loner, demanding reassurance all the time and that he felt about her in the same way she felt about him and that he spent money on her (he did very little, because of financial problems at the time, he did not have much to spare), she had no sense of humor ( our family has loads. Or had!), she was obsessive, hostile, revengeful. Said that she always got what she wanted. Once she realised that she did not ‘get’ him, she threaten to destroy his family and his professional life. Today he says that he even didn’t like her as a person, that he is sad and can’t understand how he was ever involved with someone like her, and that he stooped down to her low level, that she is a vicious nobody, that for own pleasure tried to destroy him (he accept that) and his family, and that she was not fit to lick my boots! I have experienced first hand to know that he is right, but the dirt of this sad predator has been spread ALL over our lives. He so regret what he has done that if, he had in his mind that she was a ‘better’ person he would feel less bad, but I told him “nice people don’t go around helping people to F%%%K theirs and other Innocent people lives!

    • michael

      Good people make mistakes too.
      Not only F-ing other peoples lives but their own in the process.
      So I’m on a “defending OW kick” when I read hurtful things about OW. My wife is one of those.
      Yes they do bad things. Yes they do things that most BS wouldn’t. Ans yes most OW/OM have problems that they need to work out.
      To completely bash and degrade them won’t change them. It won’t change what happened. It just helps you feel better for the moment. But remember we are all spouses to OM and OW. With a few exceptions where the OM/Ow was single
      I’m sure, even if they’re not on here, the other spouses may feel the same way about your wayward spouse. And certainly if their spouse has issues they are saying the same thing our spouses are to us about the OM/OW.
      Just a thought.
      Just a feeling.
      I may be completely wrong but if I found out that one of your spouses was my wifes OM, How should I treat you and your husband.
      How would it feel if I was your husbands OW’s spouse.
      Just a question that should be asked.

      • tryingtoowife

        Michael, I am sorry if what I said hurts you. You are right, my husband is a good man that made a HUGE mistake that nearly cost his beautiful family that he helped to create. And this is more important than the OW. But I was expressing ONLY as the article asks, the perception of my husband’s for his ex mistress, and this is what it came out through our many months of communication work.
        What I said it does not fit ALL OW, but it is a correct description of his feelings before, during and after the affair to the one that he was involved with. I could go on and give lots of reasons to explain why he feel like this, but she is not worth it! His OW was single, so she did not hold back on her revenge plan, as she had nothing to lose. She might have been hurt too in her deranged mind game, but she is a sad soul, and I don’t think that my husband is the first man, or will be the last one that she will “try” to catch and if not able to get – destroy for her own pleasure and convenience. And quite frankly, if what she did to us would change HER to never do it to another family, then something would be worth in this huge pain, but I don’t think that she is this kind of person. But she did not win, because we are still together and working on our marriage, and YES, I am glad he HATES her! We struggle sometimes, but still trying. Good luck with your working on you marriage.

      • Robin

        Michael,
        I’ve thought a lot about this post for the last few weeks, and I think you make some valid points that are very hard to admit because so many of us are ANGRY. If we want to save our marriages, we have to try and see our CS’s point of view, try to understand why they created such a mess, and try to reconnect with all of the facets of our spouse that we love and admire – or our marriages are doomed. When I watched other people go through this, I always thought it was stupid to blame or be angry with the other person – some woman I don’t know didn’t make vows or promises to share a life with me. When it happened to me, it was so much easier to be angry with her and justify it as anger about her hypocrisy.

        I think you are right – in the same way that MOST cheating spouses are not sex-addicted philanderers or sluts, MOST OM and OW are not insane, evil or taking joy in ruining lives – and they are also not sex-addicted philanderers or sluts…they are just damaged enough that what they need comes first. MY husband’s OP was not married – but her husband had ditched her after 28 years of marriage for a 26 year old who he then married and started a new family. She is vain, fearful, and aging, and desperately wants a new husband, so I don’t think that she had a big plot – and I don’t think that she ever really thought of me as a real person. Honestly, I think she saw him on a mutual friend’s FB page, thought “Oh – I used to date him in high school”, looked at his online information and thought what a great guy – what a great life – interesting career, great house, great family, great vacations, adorable daughter Darn, he could have been mine…maybe he still can…and then reached out – and found him vulnerable. The first time she crossed the line from chit chat to personal exchange he should have unfriended her, but he didn’t. Who is really the bad person – the woman who admired my life so much that she wanted it for herself or the man who was willing to throw my life away so that he could have exciting sex. Neither, they were both in bad places and the result was A VERY BAD THING!

    • michael

      Playing devils advocate,
      Knowing what I’ve struggled with for so many months.
      Linda, or any other betrayed spouse,if she were your husbands OW, how would you feel about my wife now? Or me?
      In the past so many betrayed and betraying have talked kindly. Offered helpful ideas. Helped me understand her better. But would that feeling be the same if she was your husbands OW.
      You can certainly see traits in her that you have explained. Just as so many of your husbands have displayed traits my wife’s OM was. So how are any of us different. Good people do bad things. Some deal with issues. Some don’t believe they have issues. Some are terribly afraid of facing those issues. And some are just going to be that way no matter what we do.
      Very few wayward spouses visit these sites. The ones that I came to understand the most have had to stop to feel better. But the ones that are here still are still struggling with it. Some want to help others with it. And in some way I’m sure its like therapy for them.
      The best person to show you that way out of a Maze is someone who’s been there before.
      Sorry to all, I haven’t written in a few days and had to share what’s was on my mind.

    • michael

      Tryingtoowife,
      No, it wasn’t hurt that prompted the reply.

    • Robin

      I actually used this post as a conversation starter with my husband earlier this week, and he was surprisingly willing to answer the questions. Some of the information I already knew, but some of it I didn’t or, like Linda, some of it I just found hard to hear, but it was a part of our new policy of openness – so…
      During First Recontact and the Early Stages of the EA
      • Dedicated elementary school teacher
      • Divorced – married young, horrible marriage, husband had an affair with another man
      • Loving mother of sons who raised them successfully but with difficulty alone
      • Very religious
      • Gorgeous – blond, heart-stoppingly beautiful cornflower blue eyes, looked much younger than her age (52)
      • Adoring of him – told him immediately after contact that she has loved him since she was fourteen, that the memory of his love had helped her survive all of the hard times in her life, and she had always believed he was her soul mate
      • Sweet and ladylike but also sexually experienced, adventurous and a little aggressive – moved within 2 days from catching up to a torrid description of their 1st kiss and then to her list of the other things she wished he could have been her first for and then to actual phone sex within days; when he invited her for coffee, she suggested he come to their condo instead
      During the Affair
      • All of the above – except sexual experience and aggression was only during the flirting/foreplay stage – somewhat uncomfortable or inexperienced during actual sex, but very flattering (yes – very hard to hear)
      • Constant praise – very interested in his work and how much she admired it, his looks, his role as a father
      • Constant adoration – texts, calls, emails – admiring comments on photos on FB
      • Only confidant – he shared his guilt over cheating on me and hurting her by being unwilling to leave his marriage; she reassured him constantly that he was a good person and sent him daily scriptures to help him forgive himself – and constant reassurance that their relationship was ordained or why would they have found one another again
      As He Started to Come Out of the Fog-Things He had Ignored
      • How could such a “Godly” woman have sex with and plan a life with another woman’s husband?
      • Evasive about her life – didn’t talk about her family or seem close to her sons – no pictures of her family or her life at her condo
      • Older than she looked in her pictures and very vain – spent much of their time together changing clothes and redoing her hair and makeup
      • Not very interesting – religiously, politically, and socially conservative – but unable to defend or even discuss her beliefs; uninterested in anything outside of her job, church, and their relationship; timid – scared of dogs, strange food, new ideas
      • Manipulative – started dating someone else while continuing the affair with him – to make him jealous; sent him marriage counseling material, and then called for phone sex; always insisted that they were soul mates and toward the end if he tried to break it off, she insisted that she should call me so that we should all sit down and discuss it so I would let him go.
      Things He Has Found Out Since the Affair Ended
      • She has only been divorced for four years – after her sons graduated college and married – and her husband remarried a girl half the OW’s age and has a new baby.
      • She had already tried the “I wish you had been my first” with one of his friends from high school.
      • Finally looked her up in his high school annual – she had bushy brown hair and dark blue eyes – turns out much of the gorgeous came from makeup, hair dye, and opaque contacts….
      He almost threw away much of his life to satisfy a sexual fantasy, was disappointed but rather than face his personal failing, he turned it into the love of the century…only to have to admit to himself after a year of recovery that he barely knew her in high school and didn’t actually want to know her as a person now….sorry for the length of this post, but it has actually been very liberating!

    • suziesuffers

      Thank you for your LONG post….it was definitely worth the time to read…..Thank you

    • RecoveringMommy

      I read this post to my H last night. He seemed intrigued by it and said he had never actually thought about his perception of the OW now versus then. He is going to compile a list and give to me so I’ll make sure to post it later.

      In response to Robin’s post…

      The OW my H was involved with was also a girl he knew from high school. I had never really asked my H what the extent of their relationship was back then, so I did last night. In the big talk after discovery I remember him saying that she broke his heart in high school, so I thought it would be a deep, involved relationship. To the contrary, he said they never actually went out in high school. He said that he did like her and they went out a few times but that she was actually using him because she liked one his friends and wanted to get closer to him. And it’s funny how conniving women can be. In one of the OWs emails to my H, I remember her saying for him not to feel guilty but to view it as her making him a better husband and man for me! Seriously?

    • Anita

      Today is Oct. 29th and I was reading your March 29th post,
      Tanya was a desperate woman, for doing what she did.
      I know how you feel, I felt that way also when I was trying to save my marriage. I had so many feelings I had to work through. A couple people told me something I didn’t want to hear, because it hurt, they told me that if it wasn’t her it would have been someone else. I fought that at first, because I wanted to blame her for luring my exhusband to her. Yes she did do that, however it was my exhusband who was married to me. It was his job to forsake her, and remain faithful to our marriage. It took awhile for me to work through all that.
      You should be able to trust your husband to forsake all other woman, because there are more out there just like Tanya.
      Now how I got rid of my pain and anger toward my ex and his affair partner I had to forgive them. In the beginning that was tough to do, but I knew the end result would be I would be free
      from all that hurt and pain. It did take awhile it didn’t happen overnight. But the final result is, it no longer has power or control over me. A girlfriend once told me “those who anger you control you”. I wish you the Best!

    • ifeelsodumb

      All great posts…gives me A LOT to think about!

    • Baseballmom

      I am so thankful to have found this website!! I am the cheating spouse. EA which ended a week ago. My d-day was 11/18, but I made contact twice since. It has been really hard for me to let go of the OM. I think about him constantly. I know I need to move on & leave it all behind me…but it still lingers every day. I feel like a horrible wife, undeserving of my family, husband & healthy children whom I took for granted.

      I know I need to work on my marriage, but I have so much doubt now where any intimacy is involved. We never had a wonderful sex life to begin with. Can you recommend any books or other sites?? I’ve been on one, totally exposed myself to only be told I need to end my marriage. My husband has been great. He realizes there are things we need to work on & he says he played a part in my EA because I was clearly seeking attention I wasn’t getting from him. I never dreamed I would have put us in this situation. Please offer any advice

      • ifeelsodumb

        BBMom!!
        First, STOP ALL CONTACT!!! That has to happen BEFORE you can get anywhere!! Second, read this blog!! There is a ton of info on here that will help you…and also, read the comments….all of them! In doing that you can see the pain that an EA causes, just through what is written here…Start with Jan 2011 and keep going!
        Also, my H is now reading “How to Help Your Souse Heal from Your Affair” by Linda McDonald…ORDER IT ASAP!!!
        That is the best present you can give your husband at this time! Also, here is a link to a few postings that will help you!
        http://www.emotionalaffair.org/surviving-infidelity-the-top-26-things-you-both-must-do/

        And this one is a BIGGIE, read it and DON’T make these same mistakes!! http://www.emotionalaffair.org/a-cheaters-mistakes-after-the-emotional-affair/

        This is going to be a roller coaster ride for the next several months!! Your H might be doing well now, this is called the “honeymoon” phase…but don’t be surprised when this changes….anger, distrust, etc….
        We are here for BOTH of you…this is hell on earth, and the fact that you posted on here, asking for help, shows that you truly want to stop the EA…so DO IT!! NO MORE CONTACT!!
        There are a great bunch of people here who can help you and guide you…you now have to do your part!!

        Hope this helps!!

    • Jeanette

      It has been about 1-1/2 years since my 58-year old husband’s emotional affair with an 18 year old college student. She looked up to him and was brilliant in his field of study and has the world at her feet. He made her believe a family graduation gift was especially chosen for her by enclosing a special letter secretly. Not romantic but admiring and taking her seriously. She sent an over the top thank you telling him how incredibly wonderful he was and he took it how he wanted. An intense daily email relationship followed. He asked her questions and told her how mature and smart she was and she in turn told him how wonderful he was. It went on for 2 months and I discovered it accidentally right before a party for an older gentleman at our church. They had each said how much they were looking forward to seeing each other. I watched. He went right to her and for over an hour right across the table from me he was in intense conversations with her asking about everything having to do with college and her life culminating in him saying he would like to come over to campus some weekend and have coffee with her and she agreed. I confronted him in the car and for the next few months went through the agony of watching him go through ending communication although he mourned if and watched her from afar At our church, trying to be close to her to hear and see her. Finally made him leave the church when she comes as he continues to miss her (he says he is fine now and is waiting for me to “get over it” so he can stop this “silly” leaving the church when she comes(summers and school holidays). She is a casual friend of our 18 year old daughter’s too. Counseling individually and couples since then. Thousands of dollars worth. He says it made him feel appreciated and a year ago at one point he blurted out that ” Leave it to me to fall in love with someone who doesn’t love me back”. He meant her not me. For about 10 months he swore he wasn’t contacting nor following her whereabouts on the Internet (Facebook etc). But she was often in campus news and a friend of our friends’ college kids. And I discovered about six months ago that he had never stopped trying to is out what she was up to or where she was. In fact we went to a college game (free tickets) and unbeknownst to me he went looking at the student section trying to see if she was there. He says that is over now. But he had lied to the therapist and me about following her on the Internet. He also says that is over now. My point is that he will never make a list like was made about any bad characteristics. Because to him she was all good: smart, interested in the same things he was, young, attractive, her life in front of her (supported by her parents on college and not having to work so she can participate in all these activist organizations he was interested in) and she is a leader. She Is a good kid. I like her personally. And I think she was close to being seduced by my husband even though he swears it never souls have happened. In any case he compartmentalism and doesn’t see anything wrong with her and that he is doing this for me. And that of course he misses feeling good about himself and attractive (during this time he exercised and lost weight, bought new clothes. Whitened his teeth Etc

      I wish he would view her as a kid, young enough to be his granddaughter, inappropriately discovered at church. He can’t say Anything negative about her. Our daughter and older brothers don’t know. Our mutual family friends don’t know (their kids are friends with her). Our pastor knows and suggested we not be there for awhile for the sake of our marriage but he doesn’t want to leave our church because that is where all our friends are. His job is unfulfilling and we are having financial issues He has tried to get a different job for years as have I but to no avail.

      He is seeing this more as my problem. Because he says he doesn’t want to talk about her. Talks about “us” in our marriage and that he wants us to move past this and heal. But I just get the feeling he is waiting for me to get over it so he can talk with her again or see her in church and not have to leave. So far unless I have asked him to change a behavior or do something he doesn’t. He never stopped anything on his own. So I feel like I must keep on guard lest the wool is pulled over my eyes again. The threat of me telling our friends or family –to him— is cruel of me to want to do even though only a couple or my closest friends know. They are concerned for me.

      I don’t feel secure and I don’t like that he really put her on a pedestal and left her there. H

    • SoManyTears

      My story is different. My CH says that the entire time he was having his 15 month emotional (denies physical) affair, he loathed the OW. He claimed he was just “f#cking with her”. He says he wanted her to think he wanted her, that he would leave me for her. He claimed that he wanted nothing more than for her to agree to have sex with him so that he could tell her, “Hell no”, and “knock her off her feet”. Now, this is what I do know; they communicated hundreds of times daily by text and phone calls for the entire 15 months. He sent her pictures of his penis (just to f#ck with her). He woke her up every morning and put her to bed each night with very loving text (just f#cking with her). He’s said that he wanted her to feel good because he “felt sorry” for her. Hmmmm… He was a horrible alcoholic back when they met, 39 years ago, but has been sober now for 26 years. He treated her badly back then, but maintains that she was a horrible part of his past. She’s always loved him, though. After Dday, he only told her he was sorry…not that it was all a big joke. Hmmm… He told me he started the whole thing because he thought she had changed, but knew right away that she hadn’t and wanted to hurt her. I don’t buy it. I’ve researched transfer addictions and even thought it possible that they really might love each other, but he’s embarrassed to say. How could he be so living to someone if he was only going to hurt her? No way. Also, our 11 year marriage had NO problems (we BOTH agree) until I caught him…that’s right, he wasn’t going to stop on his own. I feel like it’s a cut case of, he had the opportunity and took it, not realizing he’d get sucked in. I’d be able to accept that. He says, “Not true, I was just f#cking with her”. The story doesn’t make sense. Dday was 570 days ago. It’s his story and he’s sticking to it. I seriously doubt we will make it, even though we both want that. He won’t come clean and I need that.

    • SoManyTears

      Adding… The other woman’s : She has always been quite pitiful. Always been obese (300lbs) and has had to endure a colostomy bag due to anal cancer. She’s always relied on handouts from sweet people (yet bashes them behind their backs). She hates taking care of her aging mother. She hates taking care of her jailbird niece’s two kids. She was widowed several years ago from a man she only married to “get over” my husband. She’s extremely religious. Her house is filthy (CPS investigated) She is a drug user. She owns nothing and others pay her way. Now she has stage 4 bone cancer of the spine. All of these things are fact. I’m sharing this because my CH has always THRIVED on being a knight in shining armor. Opportunity and her pitifulness were, I think, the combination that caused this. That and he’d known her his entire life and knew she’d participate. There is no “good trait” list with this OW. None.

      • OHC

        I’m sorry, but your husband sounds like an absolute asshole. Why are you still with someone who is proud of “fucking” with the mind of a terminally ill widow? This goes beyond the norm here, I feel really sorry for her that he did this to her when she is dying and in extreme pain. There is nothing more painful than spinal cancer. Lets be honest, no matter what you are going through, this woman is in a bad place and deserves some sympathy for what your husband has done

        If he really did have feelings for her, then even more bizarre that he would make up a story about screwing with her when she is in this state.

    • Gizfield

      Ohc, I’m going to have to agree with you on this one. I dont agree with adultery, but that is a cruel way to treat anyone. This lady sounds pathetic enough without adding on to it. how could that be an ego boost to anyone? I talk a good game but I’m nowhere near that vicious.

    • SoManyTears

      I have no pity on this woman. It’s unfortunate that she has cancer. However, she was coming to my home pretending to be my good friend. She actively participated in this affair and enjoyed it. She told me she was his friend, but was hoping for something more. She played back, telling my CH how nice his @as looked in his tight jeans. She was invited to many family functions out of pity where she would sit next to me and text my CH. Now, she uses social media to keep tabs on my CH. Adding his family and children so that she might get a new picture of him or his grandkids. I’m tired of everyone feeling sorry for this low life. My CH is lying about wanting to hurt her, but that’s his lame story…she knows it.

    • OHC

      I still think in this case I would have more serious concerns about your husband As Giz said, cheating is never ok so not praising her, but what kind of man preys on a woman in that condition? And then claims to have been screwing with her head, like somehow that makes him a better person

      Forget about her–who is this man you are married to?!?

    • SoManyTears

      My CH was the perfect spouse before this woman moved back into his life…just 3 blocked away. There was some sort of dynamic in play. They have always been this way with each other and, I have discovered fooled around during many of his relationships. They had a physical affair while he was married to his first wife 37 years ago. Over the years, she’d dangle her boyfriends in his face and he’d do the same with girlfriends and wives. It’s sad. I think they belong together. She does too, but he does not. He just plays and she just pines.sick game I happened to be a part of unwillingly.

    • OHC

      I’m sorry, I don’t mean to sound so harsh, I know you have been through a lot. And if there is one thing we should be able to count on when we come to the blogosphere, it’s the ability to vent.

      I should be upfront with you that I was an OW in an EA that ended over a year ago. The connections can be strong and destructive to the parties involved, not just the BS. It sounds like they got caught in a cycle that kept them connected but was mutually destructive. And in the meanwhile you were caught in the gears, but of no choice of your own

      I have to ask, are you and your husband on good terms? Separated?

    • SoManyTears

      We are still in the same home. Our marriage has been destroyed. He wants to stay married. I don’t know how we can. Our marriage now is nothing like it was. We were both very happy. Now all we do is fight. The ONLY thing we fight about it what he chose to do and how it’s hurt everyone.

    • SoManyTears

      Adding… He now agrees that he was addicted to his behavior with her. Says it was worse than cocaine. Having been a 26 year sober user and alcoholic, his pattern of rationalizing and denial came flooding back in and, I believe, fueled the flames. He was like a madman with a cell phone. Addiction transfer? My biggest obstacle is not being able to forgive the betrayal itself. I don’t want to be with someone that would hurt me so bad. I can’t fathom it.

    • SoManyTears

      OHC, how long did your EA go on and why didn’t it turn physical?

    • OHC

      It went on for nearly 4 years. We worked together and traveled together every week, so it would have been easy for us to become physical, but I think it didn’t for three reasons. First, we didn’t fully reveal our feelings to each other until the last few months of the EA. It sounds crazy, since he had told me he loved me more than once by that time, but we just kept everything buttoned up. Second, we never flirted or talked about sex, I think because it was a third rail. It takes a lot of effort to keep an intense EA with the person you work closely with under control. We were both in constant fear of publicly losing control, which to be honest we nearly did more than once. If sex had been involved, there is no way we would have succeeded. Lastly, I think he made himself believe it wasn’t an affair as long we weren’t physical. That is pretty classic for an EA, I think

      I will say that once we admitted our feelings, things started escalating and I believe we were very close to becoming physical. It was an incredibly confusing time, for multiple reasons–his marriage, our careers, our relationship. It felt like the world was imploding. We made the decision to end things, but I don’t think it would have stuck if not for him having a horrible meltdown in which he was screaming, I was crying, and quite honestly he wasn’t even making sense. We then stopped working together and I moved very far away.

      I insisted on no contact, but he never really agreed. He contacted me every month for over a year, in part because of his guilt over how we separated. I recently agreed to some limited contact, as I believe neither of us is in love anymore. He has invested heavily in his marriage and they seem happy again (she never suspected an affair.) We limit our conversation to professional matters.

      I have been heavily criticized for this by BS, but we have been back in touch for about 4 months now and it has been fine. Just 2-3 phone calls and maybe an email here and there. Our friendship still means quite a lot to both of us and he has committed to certain boundaries, but I continue to monitor myself and him until I am certain we can control this

    • SoManyTears

      Yes, I’m certain all cheaters think they can control it. Here’s an idea…in order to still have time with this man, let his wife know and ask her if it’s ok with her. Don’t forget the part about him trying to keep in contact with you monthly for a year. You are hurting someone that doesn’t deserve it. Pull your head out.

      • OHC

        Btw, I have a feeling there are a lot more stories like mine than people realize. The two APs deciding to end it on their own without the spouses finding out. We obviously don’t hear as much about it because I think it’s the BS who tends to be more vocal in the blogosphere. And the WS may never reveal it to anyone, including a therapist. I know my AP didn’t, as his therapist was also his marriage counselor, so he didn’t feel he could be completely open with her. So even therapists are less aware of those situations

        While some may separate forever, I think that if two APs reach the point of a mutual decision to end things and the spouse(s) don’t find out, they tend to retain fond feelings for each other. And I don’t mean a continued affair, they just don’t develop the hatred or resentment that comes from a bad end, such as the BS finding out or one ending it when the other doesn’t agree, etc. Because so many affairs these days happen with work colleagues, I would not be surprised if there were many former APs who work together, are friendly, and no one is any wiser for all of it. Nor is there another affair or continued damage to the marriage.

        I just think these situations fly under the radar. And they seem impossible to a BS, because once the BS knows, those situations must not happen to prevent further pain, which makes total sense. Any contact in that situation is damaging to a marriage. But if the BS doesn’t find out, it doesn’t mean a friendship that maintains boundaries will cause continued pain

    • OHC

      In some ways I am doing that, actually. I used to avoid any interaction with him on FB. He is not very active, he checks it daily but never posts anything. His wife is very active. He never asked me to do this, but instinctively I knew never to like or comment on pictures of him or mention him in a post, etc. Now I am doing normal things–liking pictures she posts of them, for instance.

      I can’t reach out to her without the whole thing blowing up, he hid me from day one, which I didn’t know about. It was frankly stupid. We worked together legitimately, it still baffles me that he never mentioned my name for all those years. And considering how many friends we have in common and the fact that I know his family, I don’t understand how I can truly be a secret. But that was a decision he made and he is the one who needs to be responsible for his relationship with his wife

      I decided a long time ago that I would not out him to his wife, so calling her is not an option. But acting like a normal friend, which includes the FB activity, is a first step to her becoming aware of my existence in his life. I have nothing to hide right now, we are no longer in an EA, so that is how I am approaching it. If she sees the FB activity and is fine with it, great. If she asks him who is this person I have never heard of, that’s for him to handle. If she were to ever request we stop contact, I would honor that immediately

      I have many friends who are men whose wives I have never met–I have never called one to ask if it’s ok to be friends with their husband. It has to be their husband’s responsibility to make sure things are ok in the marriage, it’s not mine. Yes, he is the only one I had an EA with, but I view my responsibility now as maintaining my own boundaries, which I did not maintain with him before. And calling him out if he doesn’t maintain his. And I will no longer cover for him with his wife, even if I don’t purposely out him. That’s my view of it.

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