Being very, very careful
D-day 14 June 2013
I'm smart, good looking and gosh darn it, people like me!
I think you're part of the way there, but it goes deeper than that he was too weak to say "No" to a direct offer. WHY was he too weak to say no?
[This message edited by solus sto at 7:04 AM, July 17th (Wednesday)]
He has to figure out why saying yes, with his actions, was even a possibility for him. "I'm weak" needs some more digging.
It's good you're talking about these things. Really, that's a huge part of the battle. That he's thinking and talking is enormous. Encourage him to peel back layers. For every "why" he offers, suggest he ask himself another. If be says, "I couldn't say no," have him ask himself why. If the answer is, "because I'm weak," have him ask himself why. Chances are, there will be many layers of why before he really gets there. When he gets to the hard ones, like, "saying no scares me," that's when you're getting close. He might be nervous about digging below these layers, because ...well, it's really, really hard to examine oneself so thoroughly. But with encouragement (and IC, perhaps) he can access the real why.
[This message edited by solus sto at 7:05 AM, July 17th (Wednesday)]
Yes, sometimes people with very poor boundaries DO approach people who have strong ones, and get shot down.
But if he's had lots of "offers" and ultimately found himself in a just-couldn't-say-no position, I'd be concerned that his flimsy boundaries are showing, when he's around other women, and that he's NOT sending the appropriate, "don't even bother trying" vibe that those with impenetrable boundaries seem to have. No, that vibe is not failsafe, and some do view it as a challenge. But it arises from boundaries that are very hard to break.
His were not. And THAT why is one of the ones he needs to locate so he can address it in a way that keeps you safe from further breaches.
[This message edited by Blobette at 7:21 AM, July 17th (Wednesday)]
I agree with the previous posters about boundaries. It would be really really unusual if OW walked up to your WH out of the blue and said, "I think your cute and I want to fuck you!"
First, she would have given him extra attention--asked him about his day, his interests, his ideas. Given him positive feedback on his clothes, car, work, hair. Laughed at his jokes a little too hard, looked him in the eye a second too long, stood a few inches too close.
Objectively, I'm an attractive woman, but I never get "offers". That's because I never do the things above, I don't have private conversations with male acquaintances, and I don't flirt.
Every once in awhile, a man who doesn't know me will give me a personal compliment. I say, "Thanks" in the same tone I would if he had said, "Nice town you live in."
In my experience, poor boundaries come from FOO. Usually, parental abuse or addiction of some kind. Your WH could consider digging there.
Living with both feet pointed in the same direction
It is very consuming trying to figure out the "why".
As you work your way through this shit storm called "R after Infidelity" allow yourself some slack.
We are not counselors. Just faithful wives. Psychoanalizing your spouse was not really on the menu when you got married!
It takes some time to rest easy with "well, my husband had a girlfriend".
There will be days where he will morph into the husband that you have always loved and other days he will become a shallow 2-D cartoon douche'.
Hopefully the latter will win you over. It is up to him.
Keep digging for truth and please guard your heart.
Never forget what is worth remembering or remember what is best forgotten.