BrokenLoveOW
I am new to this forum and looking for support.  Is anyone ever in support of the OW?  Let's find out.  
Let me start by saying I was not aware of anyone else in our relationship when it started.  I was a recent widow who set out to try to rebuild her life.  I met a man that made me feel whole again.  We had a wonderful relationship and he quickly became my best friend.  Two yrs into our relationship I found out about the then girlfriend.  I was made to believe it was a "friend" and nothing more.  I tried to distance myself from him, but he continued to contact me.  He knew I loved him and had already suffered so much loss.  I found it difficult to stay away.  Then it happened.  While still dating me....he married her!!!  I didn't even find out he was married until I contacted her to tell her what was going on and find out if it was just a friendship.  Boy was I shocked...hurt...all the things you can imagine.  She on the other hand did not seem surprised at all and told me "Want him?  It's not like I'm madly in love with the guy anyway".  I was floored by the response.  
How could you not love him?  How can you be so OK with this?  I loved this man to my very core and was completely devastated.  We went no contact for about a month.  Then he started with the emails....calls of "I miss my friend" ect.  He begged me to remain his friend, to forgive him.  
I have been going back and forth ....I want to slap him one second for hurting me.  The next I feel sorry because his now wife does not love him.  She admitted she married him because he "fixes things around my house and has a good pension when he dies".  What kind of marriage is that?  

My question for everyone/anyone is this.....How do you let go of someone you love only to give him up to someone who doesn't love him?  He has only been married to her for 7 months now.  He still texts and meets me for coffee and hikes.  We have been intimate, I know it is wrong...so please no judgement.  I am trying to find a way to let go of a man I love....so please...just helpful advise.  The pain in my heart cannot take any more bashing.  I cannot speak to my friends or family for obvious reasons and have no place else to turn.  Any help or advise will be appreciated.  Thanks in advance for your understanding.
Unknowing/unwilling OW
Widow 2017
10 YO daughter
D-Day 2/2020
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TimT
I do hope you will get some thoughtful replies. You need healing, too.

Let me just say this and then let others chime in... You describe your dilemma in a way that casts him primarily as a victim of the circumstances -- someone who is now caught in a marriage with someone who really doesn't love him. Your feelings for him lead you to overlook the clear choices he made to do what seemed best for him rather than what was best for you (or anyone else). He lied to you. He hurts you. You keep going back because you love him and need him.

Healing will start with clear choices you make for yourself. They will not be easy choices; you will need to give up something/someone you have become attached to. But you have to realize you've attached yourself to a bad condition that isn't going to get better. Even if he ends up leaving his wife, you'll end up with someone who has not learned how to build a truly intimate, trusting relationship.

Maybe you want him too much to let him go. If so, no advice here is likely to change that. When you get to the place where you care more about growing & healing than keeping him, then things can start to shift.
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BrokenLoveOW
Thank you Tim for your response.  I do agree with you that I need to let go.  Move forward.  I also know that my life circumstances prior to meeting him play a huge role.  Losing my husband....a truly wonderful loving and faithful man, has left me with a deep wound that I did not let heal properly.  My head knows that this attachment I feel... the fear of letting go....has a lot to do with that feeling of loss.  My therapist said it was "displaced grief".  Almost the reliving of losing my husband.  I appreciate your input.  Thank you for taking the time to comment.  Please know.... I am trying to grow...heal and learn.  It is the most difficult journey I have ever been on.  I joined this forum so I can do just that.
Unknowing/unwilling OW
Widow 2017
10 YO daughter
D-Day 2/2020
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TimT
And I hope others will encourage you as you take your steps. We all need help as we continue to learn and grow!
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ThrivenotSurvive
Welcome Unknowing,

I am so sorry for all that you've been through.  Grief is a terrible thing.  My mom was a young widow (very, very, very young).  I grew up watching her struggle to heal after my father died.  She'd be the first to tell you that she did not handle it well and dove into relationships that were not healthy as a means of escaping grief - not healing it.  Rather than choose people who were like my father - emotionally healthy and good for her - she choose people who were as broken as she felt.  People who needed to be saved.  It allowed her to focus more on them then on her own overwhelming grief that threatened to engulf her.  

I think Tim pointed out the thing that stuck out most to me when reading your story.  This man's choices were unfair, untruthful and downright cruel to everyone in the scenario. And they were all made with him knowing EVERYTHING.  That you felt you were in love with him, that you were deceived about the nature of their relationship and worse - that you were still fresh from the pain of loss.  If anything he should have treated your emotions with kid gloves - but instead he lied and put you in a position to be hurt again.  That is not a man you want to make a future with - even if he was 100% single.  God/Your husband/your inner guidance is trying to show you the truth.  This man is NOT good for you.  

While I've always been told that the only way to break a bad habit is to just "do it" - I've personally always found that it is easier to REPLACE a bad habit with a good one than to just have a void...  so find something else to focus on.  Take a couple classes, volunteer at a shelter, become a big sister to a lonely kid, reconnect with old friends or hobbies, whatever works for you - just replace his attention and companionship with other forms of healthy connection while you heal from the trauma of losing your husband.  

When you have to face the grief without this unhealthy connection, it will be very, very hard.  But pain, grief, - they don't go away when we ignore them or compartmentalize them - they just wait, growing in the box we put them in.  Better to engage now with the support of your therapist and groups like ours now and REALLY HEAL.  Because when you do, the people you attract - and are attracted to - will be so much better for you.  I know - because my mom finally did the same and she met and married my step-father who I adore (and adores her.)  They have been happily married for 25+ years now.

She often says she has been lucky to be loved by and married to two of the most amazing men - but trust me there was a long and bumpy road when she tried to avoid grief that nearly broke her before getting there.  While she didn't get involved with otherwise attached people - she did get involved with people who were very emotionally unhealthy.  It took her 10 years to stop the pattern - please don't do that to yourself.  Stop now.  

I know there is likely a part of you that feels overwhelming gratitude to him - for helping you feel better at a time when darkness threatened to engulf you.  But be careful in your very sensitive state to assign altruistic/loving motives to him - if they had been he would not have been seeing/marrying someone else at the same time.  I don't know what his issues are, but they run deep since this is a pretty ugly situation he created through decisions that HE consciously made.  Rather than try to figure him out - leave that to him.  Just get away from this situation and fill the hole his absence makes with HEALTHY things that make you feel good about yourself.  Spending time with friend, family, learning new things, volunteering, etc.  

Again I am so sorry for what you've been through and what you are going through now.  But I hope for your sake you can make the choices that can start you on a true path to healing as my mom was finally able to.  
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
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BrokenLoveOW
Your words touched me in a profound way. Thank you for sharing your experience. I too have a young daughter so hearing what you witnessed in your mom made me take a look through the eyes of my child. I am truly grateful for your time and thoughtful response.
Unknowing/unwilling OW
Widow 2017
10 YO daughter
D-Day 2/2020
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ThrivenotSurvive
You are very welcome! 
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
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Experiencethedevine29

I am new to this forum and looking for support.  Is anyone ever in support of the OW?  Let's find out.  
Let me start by saying I was not aware of anyone else in our relationship when it started.  I was a recent widow who set out to try to rebuild her life.  I met a man that made me feel whole again.  We had a wonderful relationship and he quickly became my best friend.  Two yrs into our relationship I found out about the then girlfriend.  I was made to believe it was a "friend" and nothing more.  I tried to distance myself from him, but he continued to contact me.  He knew I loved him and had already suffered so much loss.  I found it difficult to stay away.  Then it happened.  While still dating me....he married her!!!  I didn't even find out he was married until I contacted her to tell her what was going on and find out if it was just a friendship.  Boy was I shocked...hurt...all the things you can imagine.  She on the other hand did not seem surprised at all and told me "Want him?  It's not like I'm madly in love with the guy anyway".  I was floored by the response.  
How could you not love him?  How can you be so OK with this?  I loved this man to my very core and was completely devastated.  We went no contact for about a month.  Then he started with the emails....calls of "I miss my friend" ect.  He begged me to remain his friend, to forgive him.  
I have been going back and forth ....I want to slap him one second for hurting me.  The next I feel sorry because his now wife does not love him.  She admitted she married him because he "fixes things around my house and has a good pension when he dies".  What kind of marriage is that?  

My question for everyone/anyone is this.....How do you let go of someone you love only to give him up to someone who doesn't love him?  He has only been married to her for 7 months now.  He still texts and meets me for coffee and hikes.  We have been intimate, I know it is wrong...so please no judgement.  I am trying to find a way to let go of a man I love....so please...just helpful advise.  The pain in my heart cannot take any more bashing.  I cannot speak to my friends or family for obvious reasons and have no place else to turn.  Any help or advise will be appreciated.  Thanks in advance for your understanding.


Firstly, let me say how sorry I am that you lost your beloved husband and that your daughter lost her Daddy.  That’s a dreadfully painful experience for you both. Grief is a process that is undeniable, unavoidable and one that we must go through, but navigating it without detriment is a minefield indeed.


That you mention being so recently widowed when you met this man rings alarm bells. As Thrive rightly points out, although for you this chap was a very much needed crutch at a time of hypersensitivity and a need for support, he took advantage of you in the worst possible way. He KNEW  your situation and selfishly set out to satisfy his own needs while sacrificing yours. Had he really had your best interests at heart, he would have ended his relationship with the girlfriend to concentrate on building a relationship with you that nurtured honesty, safety and care. He did none of these things. Instead he continued to lie to you, keeping the worst kind of treachery a secret.

Add into that the fact that even after you discovered his other relationship (and forgive me, I mean no harm, but you continued to spend time with him in full knowledge of it) he still pursued you, rejecting your attempts to create distance, is evidence of his intent. That is to have you both as he pleases, with no regard to either of you, and there’s the rub.

That he was fully aware of your circumstances makes him the worst kind of vile..but you readily admit that because he was bridging an imagined gap in your suffering, you allowed him to continue to take advantage of you. That’s just awful, and while I understand how you let that happen , that he continued to do so makes me nauseous.

Your own alarm bells were ringing, that’s why you contacted his now wife, and although you say she seems unconcerned and unloving, it’s like any other situation where one is in a clandestine relationship, you don’t really know the dynamics of ‘theirs’ because you aren’t privy to it other than what you hear. Frankly, I’m in agreement with you that it seems peculiar to be in a marriage with someone you don’t give a s*it about but unless you’re a fly on the wall....

Do not feel sorry for him. As Thrive says, the dick head put HIMSELF there. Right there going between the two of you and playing king dingaling crowing to himself that he’s got it all...he’s a twat. My advice to you is to drop him like a hot coal, even though it’s going to crucify you for a short time. Complete no contact. Concentrate on your daughter, your friends and while you find your way through this awful grieving process, try to find something, anything that gives you focus and hope for better things to come because I promise you my lovely, they WILL come. That old adage about time is so true. 

You continue to be, now that he has a wife, his very definite OW.. I don’t believe that’s a title you think you truly deserve.  You’re not giving him up to someone who doesn’t love him. You didn’t have him in the first place. 

Wishing you better days.

ETD 🌻


 

Expectation is the root of all heartache.. ’Will Shakespeare
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BlindCheetah
Her response makes me wonder if she already knew about you or that she knew about other OW.  Drop him and walk away, staying involved will just cause more pain for you and his wife. Let them deal with their marriage problems alone. 

Female BS
Married 19 years 
2 tween girls

DDay 10/2019 
Affair 1, 11/2010 to 2/2011
Affair 2, 6/2019 to 12/2019 - Persistent One is still trying to contact him. 

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Sadie
Look at it this way.    He got married while he was dating you.  Right then and there, he did not put you first.   Is that the kind of relationship you are willing to settle for?   
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BorealJ


My question for everyone/anyone is this.....How do you let go of someone you love only to give him up to someone who doesn't love him?  He has only been married to her for 7 months now.  He still texts and meets me for coffee and hikes.  We have been intimate, I know it is wrong...so please no judgement.  I am trying to find a way to let go of a man I love....so please...just helpful advise.  The pain in my heart cannot take any more bashing.  I cannot speak to my friends or family for obvious reasons and have no place else to turn.  Any help or advise will be appreciated.  Thanks in advance for your understanding.
I think the answer to this question is the same no matter what role you've had in the relationship.  BS, WS, OW/OM or whatever.   You acknowledge your feelings and allow yourself the space to grieve the loss of the relationship.  Then you turn an eye towards yourself and make good choices for yourself and learn to fulfill yourself without needing it from something external.  Understand that you cannot make choices for other people or control how they are going to act.  Take your own steps and don't worry about the others.  They have their own journeys to take.  If you make you the priority, the choices will be clear.  They might be painful choices, but good choices are often painful as they force us to heal and grow a bit.
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