The blame game.

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anonymous user
Registered: 12-31-1969
The blame game.
6
Mon, 10-08-2012 - 12:13am

I hope I do not offend anyone with this post...it is not my intent. I just have something on my mind and "all sides of an affair" seemed the right place to put it.

My H had an affair. After I had found out and everyone had been confronted and the proverbial "sh#t hit the fan" I got so tired of hearing the OW say..."you have no right to be mad at me, I never made you any promises you should be mad at him". Trust me...I DID PLACE the blame on him. He WAS the one who violated my trust and our marriage vows. But, are we not taught as children to not hurt other people? Thats where I get angry and confused at the OW. I have asked myself that as a woman if I wanted a man and he was someone else husband or SO...would MY want and desire be justification to do something behind this other persons back? To instead of saying to him " I want you, but I will not be with you until you have left your wife/SO because she has a right to not kiss/have sex/tell you she loves you while you are having sex with me"?

I have read so many posts where the OW seems to hate the wife ( SOME posts...not all. I am not lumping all OW together). I hae read a comment once that went like " you dont owe her any apology" and this was after the OW made a comment about possibly being spotted going into "their" home. Okay, the husband made a choice when he was with the OW..but my god..the wifes home too? I cannot understand how any OW could want or desire a man so much that it would become allright to hurt another woman that way...another HUMAN that way. If I saw someone about to be hit by a car I wouldnt OWE them my life by trying to push them out of the way..I wouldnt know them from jack...but as a FEELING person..I would try to save them from being hurt.

I read a comment from OW once that said in essance " I wanted to move to close to them just to show the wife how much prettier and thinner I was then her". She had never met the wife. The husband just wouldnt leave the wife for her...so she wanted to apparently shred the wife for winning. In my mind alot of the time the wife doesnt even know she is winning...she doesnt even know she is in a contest and how do you WIN something that is supposed to be yours already? Sometimes I wonder, after awhile when the OW realizes that HE is not going to leave the wife for her. That the future relationship she has been building in her mind is not going to happen...she starts to hate/resent the wife. To wich I guess I would say to her.."hate him, he was the one making promises..not me".

My husbands OW quite literally wanted my life. I found out later she was telling people how she was going to redecorate my house and wich room her kids would have. She even said she would be driving my car. And man, did she ever hate me when my husband chose to stay married and work on our marriage. It was like I took something from HER??!! When he told her that he had made a mistake and that he loved me she called me screaming mean things...like I let her down?

In our town over the week-end there was a big thing on the radio of a shooting. Apparently Mr. Smith was having an affair with Ms. White. for quite awhile, and Mrs. Smith didnt know jack about it. Mr. Smith decided he loved his wife and wanted to come clean. He took her to their cabin and told her about the affair. They took a walk to talk it over and figure out how to go about saving the marriage. When they got back to the cabin, lo and behold Ms. White is waiting for them. There is a confrontation and Ms. White pulls a gun and aims it at MRS. SMITH ( not Mr. Smith!) and yells "die b#tch" and shoots at her...nine times. Even chasing her into the cabin and shooting thru the locked bathroom door. Thank god Mrs. Smith was not killed but my point here is...why didnt she shoot Mr. Smith?? Why is it when the affair is found out you shouldnt blame the OW cuz the husband broke the promises...but when the husband chooses the wife..the OW hates the wife cuz the husband broke his promises to HER?

When two people begin an affair it is not just them involved. You bring in another person ( or two) but the sad thing is that this third(4th) person doesnt sign up for it. They dont get to make the choice...it is made for them. Not to mention kids if either have them. But in the end if your a wife like me sometimes not only are you dragged into your husband and the OW's choice..the upheaval when it happens is dropped into your lap. I dont think it's fair.

Yes, I know...MY HUSBAND is the one who let me down. HE betrayed me. HE broke our vows. He takes the major if not all of the blame. But...as another woman...someone I had never harmed, she also let me down. It was called faith in other people...that if you dont hurt others they wont hurt you. I would not have done it to her..and I didnt even know her.

I know all OW are not cut from the same cloth. I know they are not all hatefull mean people. I am talking from my expierance and from alot of what I have read.

Who is to blame in the long run? I would now tell her Both of you...he should have got out first and THEN started a relationship. Her because you dont sh#t on another human being to get what you want. Dont hate me because he didnt/wouldnt/will never leave me for you...I DIDNT MAKE YOU ANY PROMISES.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
In reply to:
Mon, 10-08-2012 - 1:13pm

You ask some interesting questions.  I'll have to answer this theoreticall because I have never had an affair.  I think it comes down to moral standards.  It's like some people will do things like cheat on their income tax if they think they won't get caught & other people (like me) won't even if they wouldn't get caught because they know it's not right.  Plus I feel like if I don't do things that are wrong, then I won't have to worry about getting caught for stuff.  So in the past I can't think of situations where married men have come onto me but normally I'd just think "don't waste my time"--part of it is morality but part is also that I know it wouldn't be good for me.  I wouldn't want to get caught up in a situation where I have to sneak around, couldn't be with the person on hoildays & all that stuff--I want a real full time relationship.

I actually think a lot of times that whatever things that people always thought they wouldn't do flies out the window in certain circumstances when you just happen to meet someone you are either attracted to or fall in love with.  My close friend started an affair with a married man she had been friends with for years--normally she wouldn't date a married man and she had said to me that it bothered her because it wasn't in accordance with her moral standards as a church going person--but she really loves the guy.  She also knew his wife and knew he had an unhappy marriage (saw them fighting a lot) and probably thought that eventually he would leave his DW for her.  But he stayed--not appraently to work on the marriage since they are still fighting in public, but who knows why?  The guy will say mean things about his DW in front of other people and generally disrespect her so basically I think he's a jerk all around.

As to why the women hate the wife?  I don't think it's actual hate of her--I think it's unhappiness with the situation that the guy didn't leave his DW, plus it's easier to hate her than hate him--the guy the woman was having an affair with and loves and she doesn't really want to admit to herself that the guy might really be a jerk & played around with her feelings as well as did something bad to his DW.  The OW who shot the DW--well that makes perfect sense in her deranged mind--get the DW out of the way so she can have the guy.  Of course she'lll be in jail so she won't have anybody. 

I read about people who actually socialize with their AP & spouse and I really wonder how they can do that  and keep on having the affair knowing the spouse.  I know this married man who jokes around with me and I know he's probably the one married man who I would be tempted to have an affair with--but I don't know his DW at all.  I think if I had ever seen her it would be different--but if you have never seen the DW it's like she doesn't exist--she's there but in the abstract so it's easier to ignore if you don't see her as an actual person. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2007
In reply to:
Tue, 10-09-2012 - 9:00am

The OW in your case is a person who has little regard for other ppl's feelings. Her needs are the only thing that matters. Unfortunately there are ppl in this world like her. You can't change her or her inability to sympathize with other ppl. I can admit that while in an A your spouses feelings takes a backseat to the pleasure you receive from the other person. Not all OW are as evil as the one your DH had. The best thing you can do is to make sure that you and your DH develop a rock solid M and your DH addresses his issues which caused him to cheat in order for women like her to not have a chance at being a third wheel in your M.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2006
In reply to:
Tue, 10-09-2012 - 9:16am

Farmer,

I'm in total agreement with Music's post.  I've been both an xBS and an xOW.  And as an xBS my xH married his OW (well she's his legitimate W) and they've been together probably over 20 years now.  Though I've not heard anything in a long time, and I really don't care.  Did she hurt me?  Eh, even if she did, so what.  It wasn't the first time I was hurt and it sure wasn't the last.

As an xOW, well I didn't hate her.  I had a lot of confusion at that time, though again it's been a long time now and the memories have faded on this side of the fence too, so it's hard to elaborate.  I'm sorry for what I did, I'll leave it at that.

I'll tell you what I tell all BS and what worked for me.  Don't worry about it.  Focus on yourself and your own healing.  There are no answers to these questions.  Humans behave badly in all sorts of ways.  We are all selfish, every single one of us.  No one person is really better than another.  What goes on inside a person's mind is still a big mystery, let whatever higher power you believe in figure it out. 

I think I put enough cliches in this post.

OAJ

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-14-2003
Wed, 10-10-2012 - 9:10pm

Farmer, 

I agree with the others as well.  I recently had infidelity touch my life through a relative's stbxh having an affair with a friend of her's (she was the mother of her son's best friend) and they were found out when the neighbours confronted my relative to tell her that this woman was coming over to the house when she was at work.  The stbxh was kicked out of the house and has now set up house with this woman, and it has come out that he was incredibly abusive to my relative and she kept it quiet from the family (verbal abuse, spitting on her, and even hitting her a few times).  It'll only be a matter of time before he tries this on the OW but she's financially independent and he' living in her house, so maybe she will be the one to give back what he's been giving for all this time.  I certainly hope so because he is an abusive creep and I would love to hear that he gets a taste of his own medicine.

From my perspective, I hate my relative's stbxh because of the abuse allegations as well as his behavior after we all found out what he was up to.  As for the OW, I have no respect for her because it was a double betrayal of my relative as she was a friend.  But as an outsider, and knowing my relative (everyone loves her, she is just one of those happy, compassionate and loving people that is rare in this world), I know her behavior toward my relative wasn't personal.  I generally have that opinion of the OP right now, and that the hatred that is sometimes shown by some OP is really jealousy.  Even though it was a personal betrayal, I think that it doesn't matter who the BS is, and that's why I don't think it's a personal action against them.  If the wayward spouse was married to someone else and they had the A, the OP's action would still have been the same.

I agree with you that there is a moral obligation to treat others as you would want to be treated.  Morality is subjective, though, and that's why you have some that would never do that to someone else, and some that would.  Also, a person's frame of mind at the time greatly influences the things they do, and many OPs express regret regarding their behavior during an A and even in entering one because they've participated in things that they would not have otherwise if they were in a different mental and emotional state (different = better).  That's why I also think that the excuse "I didn't do anything wrong as I wasn't the one who made any promises to you" is just an excuse to deny their culpability.  I think most OPs, with the benefit of time and introspection, change their tune and truly do become sorry for that they did.  The excuse is just temporary until they are mentally and emotionally ready to accept their share of the blame.  I don't think APs are defined entirely by their poor choices.  They are people who made a mistake and they hurt themselves by what they did too.  They can be very good people that made a very bad decision or decisions.  It doesn't define them, but that doesn't mean they should be absolved of the hurt they helped cause. 

I also have a coworker who had experienced infidelity by her husband for over ten years.  They did a lot of work to get their marriage back together and she told me that if she ever saw the last OW that her DH actually left the house for, for almost a year, that she would actually thank her!  I didn't understand that but she said that through the multiple affairs, she and her DH had the chance to open up to eachother and create real emotional intimacy, and she said she also shares blame in the whole mess.  Not in the multiple As, but in the breakdown of communication in the M.  I wanted to share her story as well as my relatives because it is a beacon of hope that Ms can and do bounce back from betrayal and, in my coworker's case, she says her M is actually much better.  I honestly don't know if I could do what she did, but her story is certainly inspirational to me and I hope it is to you, too.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-03-2012
In reply to:
Sun, 11-11-2012 - 8:10pm
I read this thread with interest. I was an OW. I was (still am) married when my A started. My xAP had been a friend for 3 years. We were both going through a very tough time not just in our marriages, but in life..in general when our A started. I had always had a lot of respect for him and had grown to care for him over the years...when A started he had been separated for almost 4 months. Still not okay. I get that..but I had emotionally checked out on so many levels at that time..that I justified it. Our A was off and on for 9 months. In the end, I ended it because I needed to take back an honest life. During our A, xAP had moved back into his home. I HATED the thought that I was betraying his wife. I have never met her..but the principal of betraying her was really hard for me to accept. Why did I stay? Because I had become addicted to the affair. I still care deeply for my xAP..but I have stayed no contact from him precisely because I don't want to hurt the already hurt BS's in this whole equation. I cannot speak for everyone. But as for who is to blame? In my case, we were both to blame. It was never our intention. I think we were both at a very vulnerable place in our lives and made a very poor decision. I wish I could take it back. Don't know if this helps or not...but it's my truth, anyway..and the only perspective I have to offer.

  The difference between who you are and who you imagine yourself to be, is what you do.