my b/f and i have been together for 10 years. for the first 5 of those, i WAS the ow. however, unlike the op, his marriage was in toxic tatters before i came along. (i was not his first infidelity, but all the others had just been very short flings.) through what was an intensely selfish beginning we have built something we feel bullet-proof for the long haul. it's a very secure thing to be loved unconditionally. it sounds to me the wife is offering that to the op. it's rare, my friend. don't squander it.
eta: my b/f and i admit we were parties to a very bad thing. we hurt his wife, his children and his family. his ex-wife takes no personal culpability at all in the breakdown of their marriage. to this day, it remains all his fault.
i have also been on the receiving end of unfaithfulness.... in all honesty, for me, it was the lying that broke things, not the f*cking.
so i think i can see most sides here.
but there is no "side" to take nor defend in this saga. the op allowed himself to drift into fantasy and a bit of knight-in-shining-armor do-goodery. but by confiding in ow, and not his wife, he did commit some emotional betrayal. the ow seemingly encouraged the op, even though she is bff's with the wife. her self-loathing won't allow her to think through and realize her actions may cause harm to those around her, not just herself. she's been hurting herself for years and it only makes for self-centered behaviors. she married and took back a douchebag. fool me once, shame on me -- fool me twice, ya know? only she can change this pattern of behaviors. it doesn't come by the lopsided example the op tried to pretend he was giving.
it was very brave to have this conversation with your wife and she sounds incredibly loving. make sure you continue to deserve that. what does she have to say about her friend? is it possible they had discussed this little emotional dalliance before you came forward?
Last edited by noodletoy; 10-11-2012 at 08:13 AM.
As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.
– Ernest Hemingway