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Why does this behavior persist? Any advice on how to proceed??

olivedog posted 8/7/2020 13:49 PM

BS (me) and my WS are both women, so the pronouns make sense.

My WS sent a message to a coworker last week telling her she had gotten her something small for her birthday. She didn’t, but she was planning to I guess, or at least blowing sunshine up this girl’s ass. The coworker responded professionally and all other messages between them have been sterile/professional. Coworker lives in another state with her BF and comes to the “home” office in our state every so often.

But after seeing the message, I lost it. It seems small, but WS admits she knew it wasn’t appropriate and that I wouldn’t like it after she sent it. I asked her why she needs to be saying anything like this to her, and she showed me a text from the same day where the coworker had done a task for WS that she didn’t have to do, so WS said she wanted to do something nice in return.

I respect that she didn’t delete the message, which is her usual MO. WS also admitted deleting a few texts in March she sent to this person where WS had referenced grabbing her a company-themed stress ball at a work event, etc, because she had wanted one. She said she deleted the messages in March because she didn’t want me to think anything. I said if she didn’t want me to think anything, she shouldn’t have deleted it.

I will also say she never usually admits something without solid proof. Although I did threaten to check her texts against the phone bill (I have full access), so that may have motivated her to come clean. She said she would ask the coworker to send a screenshot of the texts to affirm they weren’t inappropriate, but I don’t want to risk WS’s job with weird behavior like that.

WS’s actual affair (a few weeks in Sept/Oct 2018) was with a coworker (different job - she quit) and she of course deleted texts as part of her cheating behaviors. So this situation is super triggering. I’ve had two years of trickle truthing and I thought we had made good progress for the past 5 months. To me, this is still “active cheater mindset” shit and I can’t tolerate it. I don’t know what to do. She’s been in IC since DDAY 1 and we’ve been in MC for less than 2 months. I know she’s not cheating now, but I see this behavior as belonging to someone who is never going to “get” what I need to heal or become a better person.

CaptainRogers posted 8/7/2020 14:35 PM

The question on why the behavior persists has a myriad of potential answers. The most likely reason that comes to my mind is that she is conflict avoidant. There is also likely a boatload of guilt and shame that still clouds her judgment. And it doesn't sound like she understands good boundaries yet, either.

One of the things that I told my wife (several times, in fact) is that whatever she things she should do, she needs to do a full George Costanza and do the opposite. For example:

If she thinks it would hurt me to see a text message, so she should delete it...the opposite would be to show me...and the sooner the better.

If she thinks the best thing would be to trickle out some truth and see how well I handle it...the opposite would be to tell the entire story and let me deal with it at once.

If she thinks the best idea would be to hope I didn't notice the $175 come out of our account so she could pretend that she didnt get a speeding ticket, she needs to tell me when she gets home that the guy at the speed trap got her.

Whenever the initial inclination is to hide something...do the opposite. Bring it out into the open and let me decide for myself if its something big or something small. Chances are pretty good that it is something small. Until it gets hidden. Then it becomes something big.

The real question behind this is:

How much are you willing to put up with? You have to decide what your boundaries are, and then hold FIRM to them.

That will make all the difference.

[This message edited by CaptainRogers at 2:36 PM, August 7th (Friday)]

sisoon posted 8/7/2020 15:07 PM

I suggest reframing the question to something like, 'What does she need to do to changer her behavior? What does she need to do to change from cheater to good partner?'

You wrote that you can't tolerate her TT and lack of honesty. If you mean that, D.

If you don't mean that, I suggest 1) change your language to say what you mean, and 2) figure out what you want to do in response to your WS's weird text to her cow.

With the TT and dishonesty, what's good about your relationship? Why work to repair it when the dishonesty continues?

cocoplus5nuts posted 8/7/2020 16:27 PM

With the TT and dishonesty, what's good about your relationship? Why work to repair it when the dishonesty continues?

These are good questions. You've been doing this for 2.5 years. She is still engaging in inappropriate behavior. My question is, why does your behavior persist? How long are you going to allow her to treat you badly?

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