First - I agree. It IS repugnant and is an element that I think I'd have a particularly difficult time reconciling in my head. It would have been weird enough to want to hang out with your SO and AP - but to include your children??? creepy. I am curious about your comment that he seemed more obsessed with you than with her. I felt this about the AP as well. Weirdly, she had not paid my husband a lot of attention before meeting me. Nor had he particularly noticed her. But after meeting me and spending the better part of a day befriending me - she started paying him a ton of attention. It was really, really creepy in retrospect. She began dressing more like me and full-on stalked my social media (I didn't become aware of it until well after DD - but it was likely happening for the entire time.) I found this seeming focus on ME rather than my husband, very, very uncomfortable. A friend (who is also a therapist) once said she had "single white femaled" me (the movie from the 1990s.) She felt that she saw something in me, or my life that she wanted to emulate/assimilate/have - and rather than use it as inspiration (as someone more healthy might) she became focused on the trappings of that life - the clothes, husband, daughter (she stalked her too), etc. On one level I realize that this shows why she needs compassion - because that isn't the action of someone who feels good about herself or her life. But on another it makes me feel really, really uncomfortable - and even a little guilty. Like somehow I brought this on myself by being too happy. Too lucky. I've even found myself wondering - what if I hadn't been so friendly with her that day? What if I'd stuck by my husband's side or talked to some of the other ladies hanging out that day - rather than spend most of the day talking and laughing with her as she requested because she also didn't know many people there that day? Sometimes, when I think about how she kept telling me how lucky I was that my husband loved me so much, that he was always talking about me and how much he missed me, asking me questions about how we'd met, how long we'd known each other, etc. I get angry with myself. Because I REMEMBER thinking she seemed a little "too" fascinated with what she deemed the "perfect" love story. But I dismissed my discomfort. I told myself she was just a romantic that hoped to use our relationship as a model... but I think I accidentally put my husband and my life on a pedestal for her that day. Absolutely NONE of that changes the fact that if his heart and mind had been healthy and his integrity intact it wouldn’t have mattered what she thought/said/did. I am not in any way excusing that - or saying it is all her fault. I am just being honest about one of the specific things about the situation that has always made me particularly uncomfortable. Because it is still hard to look back and realize that somehow I appear to have played a role in the worst thing that ever happened to me. And that if I'd listened to my intuition - I wouldn't have spent the last few years rebuilding myself, my life and my marriage.
BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child DD May 2016 “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl