My ex & I didn''t have children so I can''t speak from personal experience about that side of this post, but I can speak about the OW.
It''s been 3.5 years for me & I sincerely hope I never lay eyes on her. The betrayal & hurt runs so deep that even though I am moving on, I doubt I will ever be the same person I was before. It''s massively hard work to rebuild after something like this - so cut your wife a little slack.
I get that people fall out of love & I get that occasionally we are attracted to others - we''re only human. However, the thing is - finish one relationship before embarking on another. You might be attracted to someone else or start to develop "feelings" but for goodness sake - deal with your marriage before you go any further. If it''s not working, then fine - but don''t you owe it to your spouse to not have the replacement lined up before you bail?
I cannot state strongly enough just what a devastating impact bringing a third party into a marriage has. It''s completely crushing & to me screams avoidance & cowardice on the part of the adulterer. Frankly, it''s pathetic behaviour.
I remember there were only 2 people present when we exchanged our marriage vows - in my opinion, there should only be 2 people involved in the ending of those vows too.
Interesting thread...and reading it evoked powerful emotions in me. I think that''s the very reason why it has turned out to be so popular.
For me, this is not a question of rationality or logic...it is a question of raw emotion. How do I feel (on an emotional level) about the pr*ck my wife left me for? I feel genuine fury, anger, and possibly even hatred. Why do I feel such emotions? Because he is part of the reason my life has been destroyed, my son''s life has been turned on its head, my family has been crushed, and the course of my life will be altered forever. He knew the fallout of their affair when he got with her...didn''t stop him getting his end away. Sure...it takes two to tango...but he was one of the two.
On a logical level I know all of the arguments...he simply identified a woman he liked and went for it, most guys would do the same; it was her fault, if she had said no, it wouldn''t have happened; he isn''t the reason your relationship got so bad that she walked...yada yada yada. All true...I agree. He may even give £3/month to the RSPCA and spend every summer patching up the stairways of Romanian orphanages.
However, in this instance the logic holds no sway over the primal emotional responses that this person evokes in me. Period. It''s the same sort of emotional response I imagine I''d feel towards someone with a psychiatric disorder who (god forbid) had murdered one of my loved ones in cold blood. Sure, they "didn''t really know what they were doing," "they aren''t responsible for their actions," "it''s not who they are," "it wasn''t them it was the illness"...but that wouldn''t stop me feeling primal and primitive hate towards them...and why? Because on many levels they''d have robbed me of one of the most precious things I''d ever had, something unique and irreplaceable, something I had built my life around and that was a part of me.
Don''t get me wrong, I''m not comparing an affair partner to a murderer...that would be absurd...but I''m comparing the EMOTIONAL RESPONSE they provoke...that''s the only way I can describe it. I actually think it unfair to expect those left behind NOT to experience and be driven by such emotional responses toward the affair partner...but I suspect this expectation from the leaver is largely because they simply have "no idea" how it feels.
If I had two buttons in front of me and pressing them had no consequences for me:
A red button would bring 1000 curses on the OM for the rest of his existence
A blue button would bring 1000 degrees of good fortune on him for the rest of his existence
...I know which one I''d be pressing...hands down...call me a bitter bast&*d for that if you like...but I call myself a human being acting on quite natural but primal emotional responses.
Samchick, you raise some valid points but our ex''s weren''t forced into anything that they didn''t want to do. You can''t steal one''s heart. It is given freely. I felt that way towards OW (plural) at first...but on many months of reflection my anger lies totally with my ex. You can not steal a heart if it does not want to be stolen. That red button should apply more to our ex''s than the third parties involved. They were the ones we gave our hearts to...they should''ve been the ones to cherish it.
IMO = red button for the ex and blue button for OW (plural) - they''ve done me a massive favour.
JB - you give the impression you are taking everything on board. I think you''re probably very thick skinned. No matter how you look at it you are a liar and a cheat. You betrayed your wife, your child and everyone you lied to along the way. You won''t admit fault - adulterer''s never do, but no matter how much you try and justify or defend your actions, bottom line is you are an adulterer. You didn''t think about anyone but you and are not thinking about anyone but you now.