stalking the OWAs many of you know, quite a while back I “suffered” from the addiction of “stalking” the OW.  Every day I would find myself staring at her pictures, checking out her information, etc. 

I would also beat myself up for doing so.  I couldn’t understand why I would torture myself since I was already being tortured by the emotional affair.

Doug would become very frustrated with these actions because he couldn’t understand it either.  He would tell me just to stop doing it – like that really helped me – just like I couldn’t just tell him to stop his affair.

I would have done anything to find someone to help me with this process because it really affected my healing. 

When I would go see my therapist I would tell him about my obsession with the OW and he would dismiss it and tell me that she was not important right now. Logically I knew that, however emotionally I just couldn’t let it go.

It took a long time to finally end the “stalking.”  In fact, it happened several months ago when everything came to a head. 

I had gathered some information that there was an opportunity for the OW to be at an event that I was planning on attending.  (You have to understand I have never come in contact with the OW and it had been quite some time since Doug’s affair.)  You would think that this wouldn’t have been such a big deal, but to me it was very upsetting.

I made the choice to go to this event knowing that I could run into her. Doug was very apprehensive about my attendance, knowing the effect it would have on me.  However, a good friend of mine encouraged me to go, thinking that it would give me some closure. So I went.

I was really nervous

The event was in an auditorium and I was so nervous that I tripped up the stairs as I walked to my seat.  Instead of watching the show, I constantly scanned the audience looking for her.  When there was only a short time left in the performance I found her sitting 10 rows in front of me.  It took my breath away! She was no longer a fantasy.  She was a real person who had entered our lives without permission.

I was angry.  Angry at her and I was angry at Doug.  Their selfishness had taken me to the desperate place where I was at that day. 

I just kept staring at the back of her head and wondering what had happened to me.  How could I have allowed this person to take over my entire life?  I absolutely allowed her to have too much control.

When I came home I was somewhat hysterical.  I felt like I did when I first found out about the affair.  I was reliving everything down to the physical symptoms I experienced in the beginning – nausea, shakes, sweating. 

Doug made the mistake of saying “I told you not to go.”  Implying that if I hadn’t been so obsessed with her this would have never happened.  Well, we all know that if he wouldn’t have engaged in an affair we wouldn’t have had this argument in the first place, but that is often difficult for cheaters to admit.

After all was said and done, I realized that I wasn’t ready to let the OW go because holding onto her was my way of punishing myself.  I felt so guilty about Doug’s affair that I felt I deserved to feel bad, and “stalking” her produced those negative feelings.  It made me feel bad about myself.  I had to forgive myself for Doug’s affair.  I’m  not saying that his actions were my fault, but I was blaming myself for not being the “perfect” wife I thought I should have been. 

I also realized that “stalking” her did not give me the control that I desired.  I believed that if I could keep track of her she would never be able to intrude on our lives again.  I felt that it was my job to keep my family safe from her.  Well, it is not my job and the only person I can control is me.  So I also let go of that way of thinking.

To sum it up, I feel that a BS must do everything they can to feel normal again and if it takes pulling up the OP’s Facebook page, then do it. If it takes gathering up the courage to finally come face to face (or face to back) with the OP, then consider taking the chance. 

When all the initial emotions faded away, my friend was right…it did give me closure.  I felt strong and in control.  I was OK.  Our marriage was wonderful and it had nothing to do with her.  It was all us.  She was just an intrusion that did not deserve so much attention.

 

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Regaining Control:
Dealing With Obsessive Thoughts, Triggers and Memories of the Affair

Arm yourself with a variety of techniques, practical strategies and  knowledge to help you to manage those intrusive thoughts, triggers and memories of your partner’s affair.

    30 replies to "Why I Stopped Stalking the OW"

    • chiffchaff

      An interesting post – thanks Linda.
      I found your point about not forgiving yourself very useful, I hadn’t thought about it like that but it’s something I’m becoming aware of – that I feel that my H ‘deserves’ to have an attractive wife – like the OW. I don’t really believe that I’m attractive and therefore I have been feeling that looking at the OW and stalking her to a certain extent continually makes me feel bad about myself and reminds me that my H threw me under a bus for someone who was skinny and pretty. The other women he had minor flings with were the same. I’m not sure how to deal with this and it is affecting my ability to make decisions. for instance, my hair is naturally going very grey and I have always dyed it. but now I quite fancy having my long hair cut off into a modern style where I can also let it be grey. I chatted it over with my H who said he preferred long brown hair not short grey. that was the end of the discussion. now I’m too worried that he’d hate me with short hair, I’ve never had it short all our married life but did before him, the OW (and the others) had long thick brown hair.
      in some ways it’s good that 2 years down the line these are my worries but I wouldn’t have worried at all about trying a new hairstyle if I didn’t feel like there was this bunch of lowlife women out there happy to sleep with married men and that my H now has a ‘track record’ with them.
      affairs and the effects of them, certainly go deep.

      • forcryin'outloud

        CC – I can relate to the hair dilemma. My H has always been vocal about how he likes short brown hair and brown eyes. I have long blonde hair and green eyes. Guess what the OW had and every other women he’s crossed boundaries with…short brown hair, brown eyes. There have been many days post d-day that I’ve looked in the mirror and thought if I’m not his visual choice then why did he EVER look my way.
        I like my look and so have A LOT of men throughout my life. (Although the head turns are A LOT fewer since entering my 40s and declining. LOL!) So, why do I let an insecure cheating weasel make me feel ugly and undesirable. These are the effects of this journey I HATE!!!

        I hope you choose to wear your hair however you wish and it makes you feel TERRIFIC about yourself on the inside and out.

        BTW- You inspired me to start the C-2-5K program! Starting on week 3 and loving it! THANK you for helping me to love myself a little more!

        • chiffchaff

          FCOL – really well done on C25K and so pleased you’re loving it! I’m now training for my first half marathon, so be careful, it might take you quite far! Literally.
          My H does say that he likes my firm waist and muscular legs now… perhaps I should wear a wig for the long brown hair fetish? I have always quite liked men with brown hair and beards but I would never expect my blond and beardless H to dye it to fit! it’s a funny old world.

    • forcryin'outloud

      Linda your comment about being “somewhat hysterical” after coming in physical proximity to the OW conjured up visions worthy of a movie scene. 😀 However, I’m glad it brought you closure!

      I was so obsessed with my H’s pathetic OW. It was good she lived a dozen hours away because I’m sure I would have gone “somewhat hysterical” in her face or worse. I no longer obsess over her but I keep an eagle eye out for her and all other women. Nobody is off the radar now! I don’t care how attractive, intelligent, successful, sweet or the opposite to all these they appear. I don’t hesitate to gather info through Google or social media. And I make sure I ping the OW’s and her estranged H’s FB every week so that I pop up in their search criteria. Just a “friendly” reminder of the fallout.

      • Teresa

        Forcryin’outloud ….how do you ping their FB page? I’d like to know if the OW looks at MY FB!! Is there anyway I can tell?
        And if I look at hers…can she know that?? I wouldn’t want her to know!!!!
        I do look every now and then…but it’s just so I can have a good laugh when she posts a TRULY awful pic of herself! Why she does that, I have NO idea!
        She’s fat, with frizzy bleached blonde short hair! My H hates short hair!
        Mine is long and red, very thick, I get compliments all the time on my hair, even from strangers!
        And that makes me smile, because during their EA, she told my H that I have beautiful hair (shes a hairdresser) and she was going to grow her hair out….I guess for HIM, since he loves long hair…LOL!!
        I’ve seen the pics on her FB during the growing out process…she looked like a Brillo pad!! 😀
        I’m not at all intimidated by her…she’s ugly, has low self esteem, which is obvious….she had an EA with a married man, while married herself!
        But I do like to keep tabs on her…her lack of remorse means that she has NO morals and I want to know what she’s up to!!
        She’s tried to contact my H twice, and even though he told me…I still like to know what the enemy to my marriage is up to!

        • forcryin'outloud

          The OW and her estranged H have few FB friends and semi public accts. After stalking her forever my name becomes the most relevant anytime they search a name starting with mine. So I just stay relevant without looking like I’m a lunatic BS. The only sad thing is I’m the only person in the US with my full name so a google search gives me away with all kinds of info.
          BTW – loved the Brillo pad analogy. I have visions of thousands of bleached yellow brillo pads covering a cow’s head. LOL!

    • Rachel

      I thought about checking out my soon to ex’s soulmate but changed my mind. Not worth it and frankly who cares she can have the player.
      Well on Thursday I’ll be able to see the soulmate in person in the court room. Im not looking forward to this in as much as, because I just don’t care any more. I fought my fight and he didn’t choose me so it’s done. So ready to move on from the hurt and pain from a man that hid so much for 25 years of our marriage.

    • Strengthrequired

      Wishing you all the very best for your court day Rachel. Take care of yourself. I will be thinking of you and your family.

    • Rachel

      Thank you, strength.
      Today i have to be prepped by attorney. I just don’t want to breakdown while on the stand.
      I keep reminding myself that this is just a step closer to the end.
      This has gone on much to long.

      • Teresa

        Hoping all goes well, Rachel!! You’re soooo ready for this!! You’re going to be FREE!! Yay you!!
        The new woman in his life as NO idea what he’s really like…poor her! Oh well!
        Good luck to you! Check back in on Thursday, let us know how it went!

      • Strengthrequired

        Your right Rachel, this has dragged on way too long for you, it’s unfair that it has. Please let us know how you get on. I hope you can keep strong and not break down in court. I hope your h ow doesn’t show, just to make it easier on you.
        Cyber hugs

    • Patsy50

      I knew of the OW from previous office Christmas parties and had befriended her on Facebook before the EA.
      Two months after DDay, I had made the decision to attend my husbands office Christmas party. I needed to go even though it was very painful it was something I needed to do for me in order to move on. Every emotion came back that night. She never looked our way. She never approached my husband. Sat on the other side of the room with her two little boys, there was no husband as they have been separated for some time.
      I do have lunch dates with my husband every now and then and she has never come out of her office when I am there.
      I do keep a picture of her from that Christmas party to remind me of the reality of that EA.

    • CBB

      Dear Linda thanks for the post. I didn’t have to stalk the OW she seemed to be everywhere !!. At first I was so afraid and uncertain of myself I hardly moved but I wouldn’t let her dominate my outings so I forced myself to attend everything I wanted to. I managed quite well to control my emotions in the beginning. Moving to better place’s in my marriage strangely got me out of control. I started crashing, unable to control anything anymore when we met at different parties. The fact that she would walk head up high ignoring me and making sure she talked and touched my H and then making sure to snuggle up to her own so he wouldn’t have a clue made me hysterical a few times. She once came up to my H and asked him to dance “that is if you have your wife’s permission” she just dropped loud enough for me to hear… (I’m usually a very controlled, reasonable person, I had never seen myself in such a state apart from the period around DD but then only in private) . We are more then 2y from DD and actually getting our lives’ back again. But it’s a major trigger. For me It’s like I need to confront my deepest fears to be able to get over it. Not there yet! We have a big party coming up I’m hosting for my H but we’re obliged to have her there. I hate it!! I try to look my best and make it a nice party (but I know I’ll never be able to compete) but I don’t blame myself. I am more beautiful on the inside; but hurt and that is the most difficult piece to mask. I could get a total make-over, learn to manipulate, bleach my hair and teeth but inside I don’t want to resemble her by far! But if he prefers the perfect package he should leave and be willing to live with the fake and manipulative content of it as well!!
      But to me it feels like I’m more obsessed with this site just to keep reminding me it was real and hurtful and to keep me on guard…

    • Strengthrequired

      Linda, thank you for sharing.
      I moved away from where i lived due to all the places I could have ran into my h ow. ( he was also still communicating with her upto 4 mths after our move, which he had told me he wasn’t, but found out the following week after our move)
      Although I needed the move just to get away from all the reminders, all the could be encounters, it took those 4 mths for me to feel like I was ready to leave, yet my h wasn’t prepared to lose me and ended it. Like I don’t care anymore.
      I believe he ended it after she had with him where , she wanted him to leave me.
      I know if I would have stayed, maybe they would have needed to put me in the funny farm, as I know I felt like I was going crazy. I found when. I moved parts of me started to resurface. The triggers eventually became less. I feel calmer now.
      The only problem is I still need to travel down to where I lived for pediatrician appts. I have to drive down tomorrow, I am not looking forward to going there as it is a major trigger for me.
      Before the move I did have the opportunity to rub noses with the ow, when they happened, while she was secretly meeting my h, it ended up as ey openers for me. I’m not really sure if it helped seeing her, but it did help seeing her squirm at the sight of me.

    • Rachel

      Well, court is cancelled for thursday. My ex’s attorney told my attorney ” it’s amazing what a subpoena will do”.
      Apparently the ex doesn’t want to have princess soul mate appear in court so now FINALLY he willing to settle!!!!
      Oh happy day!!!!!

      • forcryin'outloud

        Yes, happy day! Wishing you all the best!

      • Disappointed

        Rachel – were you going for dissipation of assets?

    • Paula

      Fabulous Rachel! Happy dance xx

    • Rachel

      Disappointed ,
      No deposition questioning before the real trial begins on September 19th.
      It’s just to get all the messy stuff out of the way so the judge doesn’t have to waste his time with it. The judge would have read all responses from me, the ex and his girlfriend.
      Seeing her face receive the subpoena must have been priceless. My attorney also requested her cell phone records.
      The ex received a registered letter requesting the same thing.
      So September 19 quite possible will be my divorce day. The day after our 26th wedding anniversary .
      What is the gift for 26 years? Paper? It’s freedom for me.

    • Rachel

      Sorry , deposition questioning is questions asked by the attorneys.
      I asked my attorney what would he have asked her? He said , if the kissed, if they had sex.Etc. She would have lied anyways he said.

    • Disappointed

      Did you file with grounds of adultery? All 3 attornies I saw said not to bother and just do irreconciliable differences. Said I can still do dissipation of assets to recover some money spent on their activities.

    • Rachel

      No I did not fil on grounds of adultery .
      Well, something new has developed. I had to call the bank today for final balances of our accounts and $8,000 is missing from the savings and I’m sure the tooth fairy didn’t take it!!
      I’m so over all of this. When will this moron stop???? UGH!

    • GodHelpUsAll!

      Yes I still want to know what the OW is up too..Its been a year this month since i found out.But April was supposedly the last time he talked to her….i have yet to run into her although shes less then forty minutes away.i cant even go to the zoo because she goes there a lot..and i mean a lot! she use to go with her kids and my kids.I haven’t been able to forgive her yet.i knew her when she started working for my husbands family business 11 years ago….she got fired cause shes a pothead and a home wrecker..ok…ok…she didnt get fired cause she is a home wrecker….but i think she should have…i torture myself knowing even then she liked my husband.always wanted him to smoke pot with her.we had a 5 month old baby at the time…all the nights he worked overnight with her..she was a cake decorator/baker at one of our stores…sometimes they work overnight….i could just barf thinking about it…..then about 2 years ago the homewrecker resurfaced after all those years….and well i dont need to explain….lets just say today i am having one of my bad days..next month on the 10th will be 11 years since that troll came into my life….and last year my husband wrote on his fake facebook page on september 10th that he met his best friend for life..omg…im sick just remembering those words…..he wasnt suppose to be even talking to her anymore..but ladies i can tell you that most people having EA’s never give up the other person right away…they are emotionally tied to them and its i guess for the same reason we try to fix our marriages..we care about them…I would have rather my husband had a one night stand..but of course if he reads this and does i may turn into that bobbit woman!but i think even for him it would have been easier..he swears no contact since april..we have been in counseling and have been doing The Five Love Languages book by Gary Chapman..our therapist swears by it..it does help a lot..my husbands top love language is acts of service followed by quality time..well acts of service is hard for me because im still emotionally tired from all this crap…so cleaning out the attic ofr mowing the lawn just dont feel possible! however i am slowly trying my best…..best of luck to all of you on here…also i believe my husband had an add on affair..its an affair to fill a specific void in their lives..i know that void was us not being emotionally connected anymore..i know some of its my fault…but i do not believe his affair was my fault..too many men and women go to someone else instead of the one person they should be going to…there would be alot less of us on her right now if our husbands came to us instead……

    • Hopeful

      Boy oh boy, Linda, this one rings true for me. I destroyed myself with ‘stalking’ online (and she has a huge and glamourous presence), in particular. It has been torture. And I have to work on the computer so this is not good. The feelings of wanting / needing / being driven to look her up or think about her has faded, thank god. When I do, I sorta get bored quickly, even if it disturbs me or I easily tell myself to STOP.

      The idea of forgiving myself for not being that glamourous fictional persona (which is totally fraudulent and thin anyways) makes me upset but it resonates with me.

      I had many dark moments of despair with the stalking and obsessing. It just ain’t worth it and we all know that but there is something we have to work through to let go.

    • Recovering

      I did a TON of research to find my husband’s OW when I started to become stable again… around 3 mos after D-day.. I made a fake fb page and messaged her threatening to tell her husband if she didn’t stay away from mine. She did have a family pic as her fb profile but she changed the pic to one of just her with holding a glass of wine – like that makes her look classy or something! I think it presents who she is – someone on the prowl! Her husband doesn’t have a fb page. I blocked her from my page, my husband’s page, and my children’s pages… I didn’t want her knowing ANYTHING about our lives!! I don’t really care anything about her – told my husband that she is a dog faced whore (she is plain with no body and a big nose – not ugly, just PLAIN, nothing special), and the other day during a time when we were about to be intimate it all went downhill because I got the visualization in my head of him touching her instead of me (I’ve gained a lot of weight since the whole discovery thing and it has only added to my feelings of inadequacy, especially since the whore is scrawny). I flat out told him that I can’t be with him unless being with me is special and MEANS something – that it isn’t just sex because I know that he will screw anything. Maybe it was mean, but it is true – he screwed a plain lying cheating whore, and I know people he was with before we were married that were DEFINITELY nothing special, to him or in their own right, so… it is true. It was opportunity and an ego stroke for him… GROSS! At any rate, the only reason I care anything about this OW enough to even look her up now (which I RARELY do), is in hopes to find out that Karma has finally won and that it really does exist! I can’t say that I am happy with my husband now… I don’t know if I even know HOW to be happy at all anymore, but I certainly wouldn’t mind if she were miserable!!! I can say I am not worried about it coming back into our lives – I THINK that my husband sees it for what it was – a lying cheating whore who used him and didn’t even really care an ounce about him… someone who didn’t care about their own family and then tried to throw him under the bus at work with more lies… and MARRIED!!! Idunno… I guess I don’t want to care about her so I tell myself that I don’t… I only care enough to desire her to live a miserable, sad, lonely life…. and that makes ME a bad person but I almost don’t care… almost…. So stalking? Nope, not really… just wanna be happy with ME, and believe that my husband now really loves me for who I am, and not what I can do for him…

    • Melissa

      Dear Linda

      Huge thanks for this post. I’m still checking the OW FB page, twitter feed, I Google her to see what she’s up to Sometimes it’s just sporadic (ie when I spend a lot of time with my husband), sometimes every day (ie when he’s away). I do worry I’m not ‘moving on’.

      I often wonder whether my H ever even thinks about the OW – and yet, I fear that, were they to meet at a work event etc, would he fall straight into another relationship with her again and if he did, how would I cope? The fear is what keeps me checking, I think. Which makes me think that despite appearances, I haven’t quite healed fully yet and maybe I never will.

    • ZZZ

      I was obsessed with making sure no guy ever rented a room in the OP’s home ever again. It has been somewhat successful.

    • Sandra

      Actually, I have to appear in front of a magistrate for stalking, it really wasn’t stalking. I was trying to get to ger husband, to let him know about his wife and my husband. I have been telling this woman to leave my husband alone, since Jan. 13th. When I got tired of talking to her, I threatend to tell her husband, she called police and filed stalking, to keep me away from her husband.husband. After the affair started, she moved her and her husband around the corner from us. She had just got married in June of 2015 and was pregnant. They work together, their boss said, they have nothing to do with what they do in their personal life, but I was dissrupting their work performance. Advised me to back off of her, before they pressed charges against me. She’s 27 and my husband is 55. We’ve been together for 23 yrs. He’s black and she’s white. If her husband ever gets the chance to find out, it won’t be pretty for her.

    • Recovered

      My husband’s emotional affair with his ex-girlfriend lasted one month, two years ago. I went through hell and finally got over it – we have a strong marriage now, and I am a different person than I was before the EA – more confident and with a better sense of self-worth. My husband is closer to me than before as well, partly because he realised my worth after the affair, but also probably because of guilt.

      All that’s fine and dandy. The OW lives rent-free in my head – I remember her at least once every day, often many times. I am so tired of carrying her around. The OW and I were good friends before the affair, but I have not spoken to her or even seen in the same zip code as her since. I dread running into her at some point in my life.

    • gigima

      How do you evict the OW from your head? From intruding in the intimate times with the H? How do you finally move on and leave the skank in the dust? Even knowing that SHE was the one to dump the H, it infuriates me even more that he didn’t have the moral fiber to end what he knew was damaging everything he ever stood for….just HOW do you put the whore behind you forever???

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