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Why don't OWs realize that THEY are the ones with all the power?


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Old 8th March 2019, 12:24 PM   #31
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As pepperbird said, I did not feel I had the power because loved him. When you love a cheater and a liar there is no power to be had. I have power over myself and my choices. But I had no power in that relationship other than the option to choose to walk away.

And though it may be different in many affairs, yes - what I felt for him was love. It wasn't an excuse to be ok with what I was doing, it wasn't limerence that would disappear. And I never had any idealized fantasies of who or what he was.

I definitely was addicted/obsessed, but in my case I actually did love him. Still do - however the difference is now I can't imagine having anything at all to do with him, the thought disgusts me. But I also very much want him to be happy and cared for and hope my replacement provides that. Maybe I have clarity on that because he's more than half way through the maximum 5 year life expectancy he was given after a terminal diagnosis. There's no "maybe some day" thoughts to be had.

I think the power always lies with the person who cares less. And since in most affairs the MM has no intention of ever leaving his wife, he's always going to care less.
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Old 8th March 2019, 12:24 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Zona View Post
WOW, the fact that you were single is an anomaly. Most married men cheat with married women. That puts the married woman in an extremely vulnerable position because if the affair is exposed, her life will likely be completely ruined. The shame of having her children and other family members find out is hard to get over. Having an adulterous mother can haunt kids their entire lives because of the tight bond mothers have with their kids, and how this forms a foundation of stability which is destroyed. If it's a co-worker which is getting more common all the time, her career can be ruined.

That being said, where is the power in being in that position?
I don't think the dynamic is generally married men with married women. I think more often it is a married person with a single person.

My comments specifically apply to a single person with a married person that they want some specific type of relationship with (whether they are happy being a permanent other or if they want to become an "only")
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Old 8th March 2019, 12:28 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Finding my way View Post

I think the power always lies with the person who cares less. And since in most affairs the MM has no intention of ever leaving his wife, he's always going to care less.
Yes, so as an OW (assuming you want your man to leave) TEST your power. Be as demanding as you would be if this were any other type of relationship. If he can't give you what you need, exert your power and walk away. Being powerful is cutting your losses.
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Old 8th March 2019, 12:28 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by lolita888 View Post
The real one with real power here is the WS. They can choose to stay to whomever they wanted to stay.
Agreed, especially as some KNOW their wife is going nowhere, due to love, kids, vows, religious reasons, financial reasons, personality, status in the community etc.
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Old 8th March 2019, 12:44 PM   #35
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Yes, so as an OW (assuming you want your man to leave) TEST your power. Be as demanding as you would be if this were any other type of relationship. If he can't give you what you need, exert your power and walk away. Being powerful is cutting your losses.
Many are also risk averse so having half a man is better than no man at all.
Better to think "He will leave his wife", "He does love me", rather than test to find he won't and he doesn't.
Testing him is too risky for many and some have "tested" to find it doesn't work anyway.

But I do agree, women need to take back power and play MM at their own game. Seems to me OW who "win" seem to take no nonsense, but Anika makes a good point too.
Are these "successful" OWs safe in the knowledge they have a man who is ripe for leaving, as opposed to a man who is a true cake eater?
Do they just choose their "targets" well?
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Old 8th March 2019, 1:00 PM   #36
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Many are also risk averse so having half a man is better than no man at all.
Better to think "He will leave his wife", "He does love me", rather than test to find he won't and he doesn't.
Testing him is too risky for many and some have "tested" to find it doesn't work anyway.

But I do agree, women need to take back power and play MM at their own game. Seems to me OW who "win" seem to take no nonsense, but Anika makes a good point too.
Are these "successful" OWs safe in the knowledge they have a man who is ripe for leaving, as opposed to a man who is a true cake eater?
Do they just choose their "targets" well?
People usually choose partners, in addition to looks and whatnot, based how they treat them, and how comfortable they feel around them, also based on if and how they fit into your life, and therefore I think it’s safe to say that a “cake eater” per se (if he acts like one) will not be the chosen one, if he treats you ****ty. At least not for too long of a period. I mean, I can only speak for myself, but I wouldn’t date a selfish prick, or a man who acts selfishly around me, and neither would most women, hopefully. Choosing wisely is key for any relationship, as it is for other life decisions.

Last edited by Artdeco; 8th March 2019 at 1:02 PM..
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Old 8th March 2019, 1:41 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by elaine567 View Post
How do you know how they really feel as I guess most of the posters on here appear normal or in control of the situation IRL, whereas on here we get their true feelings.
I agree some will be detached and at ease with the situation, but then again what are they hiding? Why are they content with peanuts?
Why are they so unavailable to "normal" relationships?
Why are they chasing after other women's husbands?

I was an OW many, many years ago, after leaving an abusive marriage. I didn't "chase" him. I was in retrospect a hot mess. I never wanted to be married again, didn't want the responsibility of a full relationship, didn't want anyone to make demands on my time. I never wanted a full time relationship with him. My life was full with family, friends, travel. When I healed enough to really want to be in a relationship, I ended it with him. As far as I know, his wife never found out and they are still together.



I think you won't find OW/OM who accept it for what it is on forums. And I often think that being on the other end is my punishment for that sin.
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Old 8th March 2019, 2:05 PM   #38
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What pepperbird said resonates with me and the EA. I'm married and she was in a work context and has a long-term fiancee she is financially entangled with. I had job responsibilities that required me to be at her place of work. So we were roughly equal from a "who has more to lose" perspective.

The limerence and its addictive nature gave us both power over each other. And both of us used and sometimes abused that power over the course of the EA. And both of us at times accepted the other's power over us due to the emotional connection.

From the variety of the responses here it sounds like there are actually a lot of variables in the power dynamic. Some would be:
  • Married or single status
  • BS characteristics (ie, they'd stay no matter what vs. they'd screw the WS over royally) and divorce laws of the state
  • Obviously APs characteristics (e.g. how emotional, how committed to marriage)
  • Degree of emotional involvement
  • Interest/confidence level of single OM/OW in leaving and moving on
I think that in some, maybe many cases the the power dynamic will shift over the course of the affair, esp. at the start vs. middle vs. end. It's easier to leave at the start but there's no apparent reason to. Then in the middle the reasons to leave start to become clearer, but the emotional bond may have a stronger or even much stronger impact. Then at the end there is both a strengthening desire to leave and a weakening emotional connection. So at that point one or the other "takes their power back" by exiting.
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Old 8th March 2019, 2:26 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by anika99 View Post

I believe that's an exit affair and it probably helped you feel like you were the one with the power.
For all the married people that tell their affair partner that they are leaving, they could be communicating that this is an exit affair. How may of them actually ARE? How would an OW truly know that they are REALLY in an exit affair? (hence they feel "powerful") Because as we all know, most of the time all lies.

Since you can't know till after the fact whether someone was or was not leaving, it has no effect on whether you feel you have power in the relationship or not.
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Old 8th March 2019, 2:27 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Artdeco View Post
I can only speak for myself, but I wouldn’t date a selfish prick, or a man who acts selfishly around me, and neither would most women, hopefully.

The fact that a relationship is an affair makes this utterly impossible. Being in an affair is, by its very nature, a series of very selfish acts.
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Old 8th March 2019, 2:28 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by elaine567 View Post
But I do agree, women need to take back power and play MM at their own game. Seems to me OW who "win" seem to take no nonsense, but Anika makes a good point too.
Are these "successful" OWs safe in the knowledge they have a man who is ripe for leaving, as opposed to a man who is a true cake eater?
Do they just choose their "targets" well?
But don't know this until "the game is over" right? You have to be willing to lose. Who is really safe in the knowledge that their man is leaving? I sure did not believe mine. The onus fell upon him to prove it.
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Old 8th March 2019, 2:55 PM   #42
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The fact that a relationship is an affair makes this utterly impossible. Being in an affair is, by its very nature, a series of very selfish acts.
Exactly.

A man that has engaged in an affair has already proven to be a self-centered man? And a cheater. So what's the gain in engaging in an affair with them anyway?
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Old 8th March 2019, 3:00 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by WasOtherWoman View Post
For all the married people that tell their affair partner that they are leaving, they could be communicating that this is an exit affair. How may of them actually ARE? How would an OW truly know that they are REALLY in an exit affair? (hence they feel "powerful") Because as we all know, most of the time all lies.

Since you can't know till after the fact whether someone was or was not leaving, it has no effect on whether you feel you have power in the relationship or not.
Well since your MM left his marriage I'm sure he backed up his words with actions. Most likely he prioritized you over his marriage and his wife even during the affair stage and didn't leave you waiting on him and wondering what is true and not true.
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Old 8th March 2019, 3:21 PM   #44
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Well since your MM left his marriage I'm sure he backed up his words with actions. Most likely he prioritized you over his marriage and his wife even during the affair stage and didn't leave you waiting on him and wondering what is true and not true.
But this is my point entirely.... I 100% believe it is because he knew i would accept no less. I was very clear, he knows me in a business sense, as that is how we met, so he knows i am no nonsense.

That said, i was still really no different than any other single person that wanted their married partner for themself. What would have happened had i accepted status quo? Likely he would have eaten cake (why not, right??) I maintained my position of power. (and i did not believe a word out of his mouth until he backed it up with proof).
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Old 8th March 2019, 4:09 PM   #45
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I think you won't find OW/OM who accept it for what it is on forums. And I often think that being on the other end is my punishment for that sin.
Yes, that is why the MM who ever even find this forum are few and far in between.

I do actually have one friend (my hairdresser, lol) who is single and casually dates many men including a few who are married. She absolutely takes the situation for what it is, says she would never want to have to be their wife cleaning up after them etc., has NO desire for them to leave their wives or be in a permanent relationship with them. She always tells me that I made the "rookie mistake" of letting my heart get involved!

And no, she has no need for this forum whatsoever.
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