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Need an opinion on wife's friend

JoshQ posted 2/10/2021 15:39 PM

Alright guys,

I know i've been all over the place recently, but this is a large part of that reason.

So back about 2 years ago I became close with my best friend's brother-in-law. Long story short, my wife and him became kinda close friends too. I was a bit uncomfortable with it, but i'd already cheated at that point, so I had to chill.

Well, we had another fall out about almost exactly a year ago. We separated for a few months. I found out that while we were separated he had invited her to hang out with him because he heard about what happend from another source. I thought he would know better than to interfere, but he attempted to comfort my wife. From what i've been told, nothing happend. However, my wife told me she had to question whether she could possibly have feelings for him or not which she decided she didn't. Well, I decided after that that it was best that I am not friends with him because I didn't like for the little amount of time we knew each other that he could involve himself and comfort my wife while were separated(he also told me a story of how he almost had an affair with his friend's wife while his friend was deployed.) He called me some choice words which I did the same times 10.

After that I basically told my wife that there was no way they could be friends because it made me extremely uncomfortable. She refused which threw me into a small manic state. I was flipping out and I didn't know how to handle that because that was the first time that she'd ever chose another guy over me, or atleast that's how it felt. I know I didn't have a right to tell her to do so, but I was freaking out. Anyways, she said her goodbyes.

Well, I did the same thing I did last year and went on a cam site, and we are once again separated. As it turned out, a week after separating she told me that she had contacted him to apologize about everything. She did this the day that I left the house. I knew that she's always wanted to apologize, so I was fine with this. But I asked if that was it and she looked at me like I was stupid. She told me that they continued to talk and almost hung out and that there was nothing I could do about it. I cannot make her block him again. I asked to read through their messages and she showed me. There is nothing worrisome, but she they did both ask to hang out with each other until he said no, luckily. And they both expressed how they missed talking to each other. It seemed platonic, but I don't trust him. My best friend told me he doesn't necessarily trust his brother in law either.

So a few points:
He told me he almost had an affair with his best friend's wife while he was deployed.
She is in a very vulnerable state.
She didn't hesitate to message him the day that I left the house.
She once questioned whether she might have feelings for him.
I don't have access to her messages, so I can't see what they are saying when i'm not around.

Im incredibly scared and i don't like that she flat out refused considering the history. she refuses to let me bring it up again despite how it is driving me insane. I mean it is really driving me crazy. I can't sleep. I want to die because I feel so much less now.

This is a delicate situation because I know what I did and I have no leg to stand on here. But I hope you all have some understanding of my fears. please help. Am i crazy? Am i wrong?

DaddyDom posted 2/10/2021 16:52 PM

I think it is human nature to assume that other people think and react to things in the same way that we do. One of the reasons many of us got away with our infidelity for so long is because our spouses couldn't imagine that we'd react in a way that they wouldn't. If some guy suggested to my wife that she cheat on her husband, she'd punch him in the nose, because she has way too much respect for herself to even consider such a thing. At the time of my affair however, when offered the same opportunity, I made a very bad choice. I did not respect myself or her enough to say no.

During the affair, and even for quite a bit of time afterward (I really, really got stuck in my wayward thinking patterns for the longest time) I kept expecting my wife to do similar to things to me that I had done to her. I expected she was "out to get me". I worried that she was out looking for a revenge affair. During the affair, there were times I wished that she WOULD cheat, just so I could feel better about my own actions and to remove any doubt from my mind. When she asked me to separate our bank accounts I accused her of trying to destroy me financially. When she asked me to enforce boundaries with our kids, I thought she was trying to get them to hate me and love her instead. When she asked for a prenup I accused her of just wanting to punish me for the affair. My point being, everything that I had done to her, I was accusing her of doing to me, because I expected her to react to things the way I do. And in every single case, I was wrong.

My advice to you is to take this as a teachable moment for yourself. This is an opportunity to turn this situation around and use it to rebuild empathy within yourself. As you said, you don't like how it feels to be on this end of the infidelity story. She's shown you the texts and made it clear nothing happened, and yet you can't get over it, can't get it out of your head, can't just trust her to do the right thing, but more than anything however, you are thinking about yourself, your feelings, your hurt, your concerns, your needs, and her... nope. You aren't thinking about her at all. She's not even in this story you wrote except as someone who is causing you distress. Your insecurity is paramount here, and you don't like being put into a position where your feelings are not being considered and where you aren't in control, at all.

Take this opportunity to turn this around. Rather, ask yourself how SHE feels in this situation. What does SHE need to feel safe and secure? What was it like for her to find out what you were doing in secret, behind her back? Right now, you are thinking almost the same as someone who punched someone else in the face, and then got very upset that the other person wasn't sympathetic to how much your hand hurts after punching them. Do you understand? Understand this... whoever this guy is, even if she barely knows him... she still trusts HIM more than she trusts YOU right now. Because he never betrayed her, or lied to her, or even so much as gave her crap for being married to you. Do you know what that dude has that you don't right now? He's listening to her. He's paying attention to her. He's not judging her and he's not asking for her to care about him in any way. Rather, he is offering her a friendly ear, a shoulder to cry on, empathy... understanding... and wants to be there for her, to help. Sure, he's probably just trying to get in good with her, but put that aside for a moment, because it doesn't matter. What matters is that he is giving her what you cannot, what you will not, and what you are not.

You are here, on SI, among friends, who care about you, and her. You tell us your feelings, your secrets, your hurts, your hopes... these things help, don't they? I mean, at least you have a place to go and people to talk to, can get advice, or comfort, or the occasional ass-kicking even, but we are a support system for you. What about her? Who does she have? Who can she talk to? How should she find comfort? To even talk about this is hard, and in doing so, she probably feels that she is exposing to the world how she got duped and used and dumped. Wouldn't it be awesome if she could talk to YOU about this? She could, if you could be there for her. Right now, you are too worried about yourself, and too worried about trying to control the outcomes, to be there for her. In Brene Brown's terms, you are "hustling for your worth", and that doesn't help her at all, it just makes things worse for her actually, as it diminishes her even more.

If you want to dissuade her from going to other people to get her needs met, then you need to be the person who can meet those needs for her. And until you are, she needs to have the freedom to do whatever she needs to survive, without having to worry about your approval. Telling her who she can not have a relationship with is not a good start, especially when you never followed those same rules yourself. Double standards and all.

This line of thinking is what is preventing forward movement at the moment. Stop trying to do the right thing, the thing that will make her happy with you. You are looking for her approval in order to feel better about yourself. Instead, do the right thing(s), because being a good, decent person is all about that.

“When we can let go of what other people think and own our story, we gain access to our worthiness—the feeling that we are enough just as we are and that we are worthy of love and belonging. When we spend a lifetime trying to distance ourselves from the parts of our lives that don’t fit with who we think we’re supposed to be, we stand outside of our story and hustle for our worthiness by constantly performing, perfecting, pleasing, and proving. Our sense of worthiness—that critically important piece that gives us access to love and belonging—lives inside of our story.” - Brene Brown

JBWD posted 2/10/2021 23:13 PM

I basically told my wife that there was no way they could be friends because it made me extremely uncomfortable.

Well, I did the same thing I did last year and went on a cam site, and we are once again separated.

Comfort vs factual betrayal. You’re trying to fuel your sense of entitlement with this. Plenty of MH’s on here have learned to acknowledge that they reap what they sow. It’s not deserved but sure as shit is understandable. If this argument is the genesis of the maybe it’s time to divorce line of reasoning... You need to assess why you would pursue R. If the only reason to do so is to avoid feeling rejected, I think you should be really taking some time to assess.

Am i crazy? Am i wrong?

Nope, you’re scared and you’re hurt. Sound like someone you know?

MrsWalloped posted 2/11/2021 08:29 AM

because I know what I did and I have no leg to stand on here

I'm confused by the responses you got from two members whom I respect a lot. I don't know your story and maybe that's why I'm confused. Are you divorcing? Separated but trying to reconcile? If you're heading to D, then it's no longer your business and I get why you got those responses. But if it's a separation and not D, then I don't. You are allowed to have boundaries in your marriage, separated or not. They apply to both of you and you both need to adhere to them. Your wife is free to hang out with this guy, but then you get to choose if she stays your wife or not and if you proceed to D. Boundaries work both ways.

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