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Reconciliation Post Reply     Print Topic    
User Topic: When does an 'A' start
Camalus
♂ Member
Member # 40199
Default  Posted: 10:55 AM, November 4th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

In MC last week, WW was asked what she felt signified the start of an inappropriate relationship with POS mOM.

The phrase “signified the start….inappropriate relationship” seemed an odd way for the MC to word the question. I was puzzled why he just didn’t ask how the A started. After mulling it over for a few days, I think he intentionally used the phrasing to direct attention to boundaries rather than the emotional or physical aspects of an affair. But then I do tend to over analyze things.

WW thought about his question for a few seconds before she replied she feels the line was crossed the first time the either of them expressed “an emotional attachment” for the other. (Her words, not mine) MC then said, “You don’t think anything you and (POS mOM) were doing before then was inappropriate?” WW said maybe, but she honestly couldn’t think of anything inappropriate before that time. She went on to add, before the first time the word Love was used there was no physical or inappropriate contact other than a harmless platonic hug or two.

Knowing he would be asking me the same question, or at least ask me how I felt about the way WW answered the question; my mind was going a mile-a-minute formulating my own answer.

When he did ask, I replied the relationship became inappropriate the first time either of them were disrespectful of their spouses or said something disparaging about their spouse. Our MC said that seemed a little ambiguous. He asked me to give an example or two of things that might have happened that I would consider disrespectful or the type of comment I would consider disparaging.

I said them the first time they stole time away from their families to be together…even if it was something as simple as coffee after class. It was unequivocally disrespectful if they lied or forgot to mention to their respective spouses that they were eating lunch together or going out after classes for a drink or anything of that nature.

MC asked me why I would think it was disrespectful for them to eat lunch or stop for coffee. I told him the disrespect was in not telling the spouse. That WW clearly knew she was doing something wrong or would have mentioned ‘had lunch with POS PhD today’ or asked if I would mind if she went out for a drink with him.

MC asked ‘so it would have been perfectly fine for them to meet as long as she told you after the fact?’ I said no, but it was definitely wrong for her to either lie or omit telling me. That depending on the reason it might be fine for them to meet outside the office, there could be legitimate reasons, but the lies clearly made it wrong.

I also told them the first time WW said something critical about our marriage, our daughter, or me, a line had been crossed. If she mentioned even during casual conversation something like ‘I don’t like the way my husband loads the dishwasher’ (something we have argued about for over thirty years) then she was taking internal marriage issues outside the marriage.
MC asked if it was ever OK for WW to be critical of the way I load the dishwasher. I said yes; if we were sitting around with several of our friends and she mentioned it I would just shoot back ‘at least I try to load the dishwasher, how many other husbands do that much?’ The difference in my mind is that I am there. I’m don’t think I would even mind if she were with a bunch of her girlfriends and she mentioned it. I would depend on the circumstances surrounding the conversation. A bunch of women sipping wine complaining about their husbands is one thing. A group of women sipping wine and only one of them complaining about her husband is another thing altogether.

I don’t think either one of them liked my examples and WW had a funny look on her face. She commented that my examples were ‘pretty harsh’. I turned it around and asked her how she would feel if I met an attractive co-worker for coffee and complained to her about something WW does or doesn’t do. Then I told them, if I were a player trying to get into a woman’s panties, the first time a woman complained to me about her husband I would commiserate and have her in bed before the month was out.

From the look on her face, WW had an ‘eureka’ moment and was very quiet the rest of the session. For the last couple of days, she has been rewriting her timeline and remembrances with an almost religious fervor.

I'm curious. Am I wrong in my thinking about when lines were crossed. Both WW and MC seemed to not care for my answers. (But neither tried to change my thinking!)


Me–BS age 61
Her -- WS age 59
Married for 34 years
One child, 30yrs

Her 'A' 1994(?) through 1998
D-Day 7/4/2013 Yes, I didn't find out for almost 15 years... but the pain is just as bad as if she were with him last week.


Posts: 115 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Near Houston Texas
Knowing
♀ Member
Member # 37044
Default  Posted: 11:26 AM, November 4th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I agree with your point of view. An A starts when the WS embarks on the slippery slope. Lying by omission, sneaking around, stealing time from the BS are all the first little steps towards full blown PA or EA.

Complaining about your BS is part of rewriting marital history (another step on the slippery slope). As a BS I have identified the behaviours you describe as those of my WS. He gets it now, it's starts with the slippery slope. He initially though his A started with the first kiss, not the attraction, the secret emails, time spent together that I didn't know about, telephone conversations, flirting, the fantasizing he did...

Our WS' have boundary issues. As for your therapist, she may have been using her poker face? Or your answers were so astute that she surprised her a bit?

[This message edited by Knowing at 11:28 AM, November 4th (Monday)]


Me: BW, Him: fWH
Together 12 years
My EA (?) 2005-2011
His STA/PA: D-day: 19/09/12
TT: 08/12/12

We are in R.


Posts: 697 | Registered: Oct 2012
heme
♀ Member
Member # 40684
Default  Posted: 11:26 AM, November 4th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My WH and I have had this debate several times. To ME marriage issues are private unless its going to negatively effect things so much it will be obvious something is wrong. Obviously if things are huge then everyone will pick up on it.
My WH likes to complain about me to anyone and everyone. He especially likes talking to other older women about me and how "horrible" a wife I am (I make him iron his clothing?? HOW HORRID). Its been an ongoing issue in our marriage. He doesn't see an issue with him "venting" I see it as a betrayal. I don't talk about him behind his back, he should extend the same respect to me.


BS: Me (30)
WS: Husband (31)
Married 8 years, together 9
D-Day: Sept 10, 2013
D-Day2: May 31, 2014
Children: 5, ages 7, 5, 3, 1 and due in September

Leaning towards leaving, no one deserves this pain.


Posts: 205 | Registered: Sep 2013
sinsof thefather
♀ Member
Member # 29295
Default  Posted: 12:52 PM, November 4th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

MC asked me why I would think it was disrespectful for them to eat lunch or stop for coffee. I told him the disrespect was in not telling the spouse. That WW clearly knew she was doing something wrong or would have mentioned ‘had lunch with POS PhD today’ or asked if I would mind if she went out for a drink with him.

MC asked ‘so it would have been perfectly fine for them to meet as long as she told you after the fact?’ I said no, but it was definitely wrong for her to either lie or omit telling me. That depending on the reason it might be fine for them to meet outside the office, there could be legitimate reasons, but the lies clearly made it wrong.

Spot. On.

I turned it around and asked her how she would feel if I met an attractive co-worker for coffee and complained to her about something WW does or doesn’t do.

Personally I don't think you were wrong at all with your answers. In fact I think you explained the slippery downward slope into affair land pretty perfectly. I have no idea why your MC wouldn't have liked it, but I hope from what you say about your wife working so diligently on her timeline since the session that she did get some insight from it.


...second star to the right and straight on till morning.

Posts: 1871 | Registered: Aug 2010 | From: UK
Rebreather
♀ Member
Member # 30817
Default  Posted: 12:59 PM, November 4th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

You are totally correct.

Don't take your MC's silence or questions as disagreement with your answers. At times, that is a tactic to be used to get YOU to come up with answers/discussions, rather than them. Obviously it produced a change in your WW.


Me BS
Him WH
2 ddays in '07
Recovering.
"The cure for the pain, is the pain." -Rumi

Posts: 6428 | Registered: Jan 2011
ItsaClimb
♀ Member
Member # 37107
Default  Posted: 1:24 PM, November 4th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I think your answers were 100% spot on. In general it seems to me that As start long before the WS is actually fully aware that a boundary has been crossed.

Several months ago WH and I were talking and I was trying to figure out exactly when the A started - he said "the February, when she asked me if I would be willing to have a sexual relationship outside my marriage". I said "so you would have been perfectly happy for me to witness your interactions with OW all the months you worked with her prior to the February?" He gave it some thought and said "No probably not" I asked why and he said "we were flirtatious, I definitely wouldn't have wanted you to see us"

For me THAT is the moment the A started, the very moment he would not have been happy for me to see what was going on between them.

After some digging and delving it turned out that the EA began in the July or August... Looooong before the February!!


BS 46
Together 29 yrs, M 25 years
2 daughters 24yo(married with a brand new little daughter) & 19yo
D-Day 18 Aug 2012
6mth EA lead to 4mth PA with CO-W. I found out 8 1/2 yrs later

Posts: 963 | Registered: Oct 2012
ionlytalkedtoher
♀ Member
Member # 39802
Default  Posted: 1:46 PM, November 4th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Oh my gosh! of course you are 100% correct. That would really bother me if they downplayed your feelings.

My H's A started with the very first email she sent him and he didn't tell me. No reason to keep any secrets from your spouse at all. No reason to not tell your spouse everything about everything.


Posts: 262 | Registered: Jul 2013
Bikingguy
♂ Member
Member # 38103
Default  Posted: 1:49 PM, November 4th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I am not sure I agree.

I do agree that sharing personal issues about your SO is crossing a boundary, but not convinced it is necessarly a start of an A.

I will admit to crossing those same boundaries before, but it has never lead to an A. However I know realize that it CAN be the start of one and besides it is just wrong.

So now I just imagine WW is next to me whenever I have conversations in person or with anything I write - this site is the only expections). I


Me: BH, 44
Her: WW, 43
D day. January 12, 2013

Posts: 671 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Socal
SeeThingsNow1
♀ Member
Member # 38241
Default  Posted: 5:01 PM, November 4th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

exactly what ItsAClimb said...any action , written text, or email you would not want your spouse to witness or read..that is a "cross the line" moment and we all know when we cross a line...

Posts: 115 | Registered: Jan 2013
3kids30years
♀ Member
Member # 38879
Default  Posted: 6:48 PM, November 4th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

any action , written text, or email you would not want your spouse to witness or read..that is a "cross the line" moment and we all know when we cross a line...

My WH and I discuss this at length on a regular basis. He still doesn't get it. I'm going to have him read this thread, if I have to read it to him he will at least hear it!!!

If he is interacting with someone, anyone, and would not say something to someone with me there, he should not be saying it with me NOT there. Make sense? It does to me, not to him. I have the same conversation with him about when things started. He says it started with the sex, I know it started WAY before that. We have MC tomorrow, I may bring this up again. And don't get me started with the timeline. I still don't have one, I've been asking for 8 months.
Guess I'm not important enough for him to put the effort into it.


BS - mid 50's
WH - mid 50's
DDay - 3/2/13 - 2:07pm
2year+ "passionate" EA/PA

Married 30+ years and here I am. Heartbroken.
4/14 Trying to make it thru each day
8/14 - I may be done, we will see
9/14 - getting better. Damn!


Posts: 213 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Nor Cal
BeyondBreaking
♀ Member
Member # 38020
Default  Posted: 6:54 PM, November 4th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My opinion is that the A starts as soon as the WS feels that there is something they need to hide from their spouse.

Many BS knew about the person in the EA or PA- as in that BS knew the person existed, or was even friends with the WS, but didn't know the extent because details were ommitted and outright lies were told.

As soon as information is ommitted intentionally because the WS thinks that the BS would be upset if they found out...it's is an A.


I have been cheated on by 3 different men, and I have more DDays than anyone ever should. I am here, just trying to pickup the pieces.

At least the current man "only" cyber-cheated.

"Love means never having to say you're sorry."


Posts: 840 | Registered: Jan 2013
WeHadItAll
♀ New Member
Member # 38804
Default  Posted: 2:32 AM, November 5th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Right - if they do something that they wouldn't want their spouse to witness, it's probably wrong/inappropriate.

My WS had a long-distance flirtation with the OW for many years - most of that was probably fairly innocent, but I count it as inappropriate because he hid it from me. He knew it was wrong because she wasn't 'just a friend'. In one exchange, they even discussed it. He said I wouldn't 'understand' and would be jealous, implying that he thought their relationship was a totally innocent friendship, but that it could be 'misconstrued'.

If I follow the logic, though, that the A started with these early messages, then in truth the A occurred for nearly 5 years of our 8 year relationship, even if the core of the EA/PA only lasted a year or so.

That's really sad.


Me - BSO, 35
Him - fWSO, 35
8y together.
DDay Nov 2012
R

Posts: 50 | Registered: Mar 2013
sri624
♀ Member
Member # 33956
Default  Posted: 2:33 AM, November 5th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

the a starts when the wayward takes an action or says something to the opposite sex that cannot be done in front of the spouse. in my book, that is cheating. i think it really is that simple.

all that other stuff about them being friends, etc...is all BS. married people dont have any business being friends with the opposite sex. for what? btdt game.


BS (41):(Former Doormat)
WS (39):(Busted Cheater)
Married: 10 years, 3 kids under 5
DD1: 10/11 PA/EA with pilates instructor/former stripper.
DD2: 10/12 False r, cheating with other women, online dating,Substance abuse issues.
Attempting R in bi

Posts: 934 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: Alabama
heme
♀ Member
Member # 40684
Default  Posted: 6:28 AM, November 5th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I use to have quite a few friends who were of the opposite gender. It came with working with almost entirely men and spending way to much time at work. However, we never talked/met up outside of work unless it was a friend of WH and I and WH was there as well. Also, at work I never talked in a negative light, never bashed him, kept the conversation to work related topics. Basically if I wouldn't have felt comfortable with talking about it with my WH or MIL in the room I didn't talk about it.

After I stopped working I gave up all my own male friends/acquaintances, with the exception of friends of both WH and myself.. I felt it was to inappropriate to have a friendship with someone WH wasn't associating with. I do still have male friends but only time we met up is with the whole family (they are all married/have children as well) and any time we talk the conversations are limited to kids/work/sports etc.


BS: Me (30)
WS: Husband (31)
Married 8 years, together 9
D-Day: Sept 10, 2013
D-Day2: May 31, 2014
Children: 5, ages 7, 5, 3, 1 and due in September

Leaning towards leaving, no one deserves this pain.


Posts: 205 | Registered: Sep 2013
OldCow18
♀ Member
Member # 39670
Default  Posted: 10:27 AM, November 5th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I feel the A started about 2 years before it actually did. When Wh decided conciously or not that he was going to start throwing out his flirty fishing lines to women on FB, all in good clean fun, no harm intended. Not when he slid down that famous slippery slope, but when he stood on top of it while it was still dry and instead of turning back, took a step down, then another, then another.


Me, BW forty something, DD & DS,
Married to WH (49) 11 years, together 16
D-Day 6.8.13

Posts: 620 | Registered: Jun 2013
wanttogoforward
♀ Member
Member # 29912
Default  Posted: 3:49 PM, November 5th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

To me it starts when you say or do something that you would not do in front of your spouse. Or when you would be uncomfortable if you were 'a fly on the all' watching your spouse do whatever the WS was doing.
Anything a WS gets the feeling what they are doing is wrong.... then it is wrong.... that is the conscience working.... and it's often ignored

Posts: 1178 | Registered: Oct 2010 | From: still lost
ReunitePangea
♂ Member
Member # 37529
Default  Posted: 4:01 PM, November 5th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Interesting conversation - for me this question is easy. It started day 1 we dated, she never told me she was already seeing the guy that she would cheat on for the next 12 years.

any action , written text, or email you would not want your spouse to witness or read

This may be too broad of an answer. I post here on SI and don't let my spouse know that I am doing it. If she did find out it wouldnt be the worst thing but this is my place to help deal with it all. I use SI to sort out my thoughts. By your definition this would be cheating.


BS - Me 38
WS - Wife 39
D-Day - Oct 12
Married 10 years
OM1 - 12-year LTA
OM2 - 9 month A turned into open relationship with couple for another 1 1/2 years

Posts: 479 | Registered: Nov 2012
catatonic
Member
Member # 40758
Default  Posted: 11:49 PM, November 5th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Great question. Obviously one that we BS think about. Maybe some WS. After reading this thread last night. I asked the question to my WS. His answer, " when the PA started. I then asked him if he considered the talking , coffee runs an EA. " if course not , I could've done that with anyone. Hmm.
So I restated, " how about if I was a fly in the wall, would u have felt comfortable with that . He looked like he swallowed the fly . And the conversation ended.
And it is funny how I know all of your friends. But she was never mentioned in that context.

Posts: 113 | Registered: Sep 2013
Topic Posts: 18

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