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Ultimatums?

Topic is Sleeping.
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Seeking2Forgive ( Member #78819) posted at 2:50 AM on Thursday, July 15th, 2021

PSTI is correct. You really need to focus on your own boundaries - what you need to start to trust and be happy again in this relationship. Boundaries might be considered ultimatums because they should have two parts: what you need, and what you will do if you do not get what you need.

For example, you need complete digital transparency and if you don't get it you will go NC and start preparing for D.

You say that he has shown guilt and remorse but the actions you describe don't sound like he has either.

You should focus on your own needs and then he will have to show you whether he is truly remorseful.

Me: 59, BS
Her: 58, FWS
Dday: 11/15/03
Married 37 yrs
Reconciled

posts: 76   ·   registered: May. 18th, 2021
id 8675689
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outofsorts ( Member #70701) posted at 2:57 AM on Thursday, July 15th, 2021

Hatablocka - this is so hard!!!

First of all, I urge you to please have some compassion for yourself and the situation you are in. I think we all know how difficult this truly is.

Second, I want to echo SillyOldSod's point about listening to the Stan Tatkin episode of Helping Couples Heal. It really does a fantastic job of framing infidelity and the steps that need to take place for a marriage to work again. I just listened to it for a second time earlier today. You can find the direct link on this post:

https://www.survivinginfidelity.com/topics/617809/finally-therapists-that-get-what-a-bs-goes-through/?AP=181&HL=70701

About halfway down page 10. The entire Helping Couples Heal podcast series is excellent and highly recommended.

Me(BW): 40
WH: 40
Married 7 years, together 20.
Dday 2/22/19
Reconciling

posts: 329   ·   registered: Jun. 4th, 2019
id 8675692
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TheEnd ( Member #72213) posted at 4:38 AM on Thursday, July 15th, 2021

And not let something stupid be the death of our marriage?

Honestly, HE IS LETTING SOMETHING AS STUPID AS A PASSWORD BE THE DEATH OF HIS MARRIAGE.

Him.

Not you.

Him.

He broke the trust in the most harmful, traumatic way a person can. And then, he continues to break the trust on his phone claiming "addiction."

You are spending YOUR time trying to rebuild the trust, you know, the very thing he keeps smashing into the ground? For some reason, you seem to have accepted this (the texting) so you move on to asking for his Facebook password, again YOU seeking to build some trust and he again destroys your efforts.

Honey, these are his choices. He has made them and he defends them loud and clear. He is not interested in building trust. He is interested in you shutting up and letting him carry on being an unfaithful, disrespectful spouse.

I agree with the previous posts that policing one's spouse is no way to live. Healthy marriages should have transparency. Violated marriages often require an "emergency" order that goes beyond the norm but is necessary for some immediate safety. He has not provided you with this emergency protection. You've called emergency services, ordered your own ambulance, drove it over and asked him to ride along. He's pretty much slashed the tires and told you to F off. It's cruel.

No ultimatums. You decide what you can live with. He is not faithful to you. His texting shows that even if you hope none of those exchanges go beyond flirting. He's not respecting you. He is giving his time and attention to other women. He's actively hurting you. And I'd bet my retirement account Facebook is hiding worse.

But you may decide what you don't know can't hurt you and that is your choice.

You of course can decide that you have had enough. Then you make choices that benefit you. No ultimatums. Just the honest truth, first with yourself, about what you need to be happy. Then go do the things that get you there.

That may involve ditching someone who doesn't respect you.

posts: 53   ·   registered: Dec. 3rd, 2019
id 8675710
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sewardak ( Member #50617) posted at 12:03 PM on Thursday, July 15th, 2021

the end result of our marriage is that I didn’t mean more than a password

read this again. You are. LEAVE him!

posts: 4108   ·   registered: Dec. 1st, 2015   ·   location: it's cold here
id 8675741
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DIFM ( Member #1703) posted at 12:56 PM on Thursday, July 15th, 2021

This really is not about the password. That is just the distraction.

Or do I forget the damn password, let it go, try to find other ways he can prove that I can trust him? And not let something stupid be the death of our marriage?

The password is not the something stupid and it will not be the reason for an end to your M. Your lying, disrespectful, unsafe, selfish husband is the something stupid and will be the reason. Getting the password will not change a thing about your M and it will not instill trust, as he will just do what he does with some other app or method, because this is who he is - password or not.

posts: 1726   ·   registered: Jul. 14th, 2003
id 8675752
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 HataBlocka (original poster New Member #74208) posted at 11:37 AM on Friday, July 16th, 2021

Thank you everyone. I have read every message multiple times. I will continue to read them in the days ahead. I did write him a last attempt letter. It took me a few hours at work and I asked him to please read it 2 days ago and as far as I know, he still hasnt. Which is an insult. Because I poured my heart out.

I had an issue last night. I recently downloaded Venmo. I don’t know much about it but I discovered that there are friends lists on your page. I immediately went to my husbands friend list and what the hell did I find but two of his affairs listed. He was supposed to have blocked them on his phone so how are they showing up on his Venmo under contacts?! So naturally, I was sick to my stomache right away. I always play devils advocate in situations tho (sometimes to my detriment) so I tested my theory. I blocked someone on my phone and they still showed up in my contacts on Venmo. So it very well may be that somehow he is just linked to them thtu email…whatever.

SO. I approached him last night before I had to go to work all night third shift. I wanted to get it off my chest because it was eating at me. I was very calm. I simply told him what I saw and asked him to block them. He became irate, cursed at me and left the gym cursing me in texts right afterwards. I haven’t heard from him since. Did I overreact? I don’t think I’m being petty but that’s what he said I was.

posts: 5   ·   registered: Apr. 14th, 2020
id 8676022
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OwningItNow ( Member #52288) posted at 12:03 PM on Friday, July 16th, 2021

He became irate, cursed at me and left the gym cursing me in texts right afterwards. I haven’t heard from him since

You are in an abusive relationship. Please leave him.

Did I overreact?

Very codependent, self-blaming people like us are drawn to these relationships, most likely due to our own FOO. Any outsider can see that you are doing nothing wrong, HE is just a selfish, abusive ass. But your comfort in blaming yourself to keep the R going is a problem. It's keeping you stuck in this R.

Are you in IC? You need support to help you see that he is not a real partner. You need to get out and find someone worth your time and effort.

me: BS/WS
h: WS/BS

Reject the rejector.
Do not reject yourself.

posts: 5263   ·   registered: Mar. 16th, 2016   ·   location: Midwest
id 8676026
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sisoon ( Guide #31240) posted at 5:52 PM on Friday, July 16th, 2021

To protect yourself, to heal, you have to learn that a boundary is very close to an ultimatum, no matter how it's worded.

I could have said to my W, 'Look, I won't be in a 3-person M.' I think that would fit into Bigger's recommendation. There's no explicit threat there, but I would have kicked her out within a few days, if she hadn't stopped - to protect myself, not to punish her.

You also have to realize that you need much more from your H to R than his password. I listing some reading for you in case you haven't seen it yet. I urge you to read it. It should give you some insight into what you should require for R and into whether or not your H is a good candidate for R.

Meanwhile, I recommend finding a good IC and getting help in extricating yourself from your M, because I, too, think your H is abusive and won't change.

http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=361740&HL=14993 - serjr threads for newbies

Tactical Primer:

http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=235051

Boundaries and Consequences 101:

http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=385631

Setting Healthy Boundaries:

http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=231851

Before You Say Reconcile:

http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=406548

The Simplified 180:

https://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=598080

20/20 Hindsight: What I Wish I'd Done:

http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=161389

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 25999   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8676154
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PSTI ( Member #53103) posted at 9:02 PM on Saturday, July 17th, 2021

To protect yourself, to heal, you have to learn that a boundary is very close to an ultimatum, no matter how it's worded.

I strongly disagree with this. An ultimatum is attempting to force a change in a partner's behaviour. A boundary is entirely about oneself.

Frankly, I'd view the ultimatum is extremely disempowering because you have no control over the other person's actions and instead are waiting and hoping that the threat of losing you will change things. Effectively, you're asking them to weigh your value to them. How much harder can you play the pick-me dance than this? There is no self determination in an ultimatum whatsover and I think they are harmful to both the involved people and to the relationship no matter what happens.

A boundary is a simple statement of fact- "I will not be in a relationship that involves infidelity". It is a statement solely about you, and your decisions and actions. And you have to be prepared to enforce it, or it's not a boundary. A boundary reclaims your agency and power and recognizes that you always have the choice to do what is best for yourself. You aren't waiting on anyone but you.

Me: BW, my xH left me & DS after a 14 year marriage for the AP in 2014.

Happily remarried and in an open/polyamorous relationship. DH (married 3 years) & DBF (dating 2 years). Cohabitating happily all together!! <3

posts: 698   ·   registered: May. 6th, 2016
id 8676448
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hcsv ( Member #51813) posted at 9:22 PM on Saturday, July 17th, 2021

I told him...

go to counseling,

sign a post nup,

complete transparency,

and no contact with married coworker.

He told me...

she's my friend and always will be.

I said...

see you in court.

[This message edited by hcsv at 3:23 PM, July 17th (Saturday)]

After 40 years, ex turned into someone I didnt know and couldnt trust anymore. Divorced. 1/17

posts: 647   ·   registered: Feb. 14th, 2016
id 8676451
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OwningItNow ( Member #52288) posted at 10:10 PM on Saturday, July 17th, 2021

I was like you, HataBlacka. I did not understand how to define what was acceptable, what was "fair" to ask of a partner, how to draw a line. My recovery from that self was long and complicated and took a lot of IC; I needed help getting clear on--to be honest--the complicated emotions of guilt, shame, anger, sadness, and rejection that I felt inside when I even tried to draw boundaries with people. My emotions stormed inside of me, mostly due to a narcissist mother who shamed me at every turn by calling me selfish and giving me the silent treatment if I tried to say, "No." I was very confused on this front!

Go back a decade:

So my marriage is a disaster with my H, a person with a lot of good qualities, and he is selfishly taking advantage of me because...I've let him. I mean, I cried and raged and fell into depressions and begged, but ultimately, I did not threaten or start to leave him or anything. So my misery over his actions was something he learned to wait out. After all, I was misersble, but he was doing whatever the heck he wanted. He was fine.

So money is disappearing, and I know that his out of control porn habit has taken a real-life turn. He's also drinking a lot and getting belligerent when drinking, so things were not good. I was a mess.

Then one late morning on a Saturday, after yet another argument, everything suddenly clicked. A calm literally washed over me as a thought ran through my head. "I don't actually have to put up with this. I can just be done. I'll tell my mom that the kids and I need to move in for a while, and I'll just be done with this craziness." There is more to the story because I had suffered a terrible depression and pursued an RA before I got to this point, mostly because my codependency and fear really, really, really, really made me want to change him or punish him but stay M. At any cost. Finally though, I drew that BOUNDARY and said, "Enough."

It was not an ultimatum.

I did not give him a list.

I did not beg him to complete requirements.

I did not argue with him.

I walked into the other room, told him that I was moving out in with my parents and that the M was over. I calmly said, "You can do whatever. I don't want to fight anymore. I just cannot live with the kinds of behaviors you think are fine. I'm sorry."

And I walked out.

He raged, yelled, "What do you want from me?!!!!" and threw the iPad at me. My H does not have a temper, so this was shocking. I was so calm. I wanted nothing other than to control MY life and the crap that I tolerated. It was not an ultimatum, although you can bet your a$$ that my H tried to frame it that way over the next weeks and months. Poor baby was used to getting his way. He tested my resolve at every single turn until I finally did have to file for D. He absolutely positively did not like being "forced" to change. In his particular case, he then--after he had lost it all and we were dating others for months (then years)--started to truly work on himself. He then finally said, "I need to be a better partner in general." There were no promises on the other side. He got help in IC and read books and started growing to survive his pain honestly. But many WS do not do this work. It's too hard and they are too selfish, so nobody should think a story will turn out this way if you stand your ground. No, you stand your ground because you need to live with yourself. And when the pain of allowing people to decimate your boundaries overtakes you--and it WILL because being disrespected by someone you are close to hurts like a S.O.B.--you stand your ground because you just have to. You can't take the knife to your heart anymore. THAT is the boundary.

So for you, when the sharp pain of disrespect brings you to your knees for the millionth time, you calmly say, "Dude, you do you. These passwords and online escapades are obviously really important to you, and I would never want to interfere. But this level of separation and secrecy in an M, especially after suffering betrayal like I have, is just too much for me. I'm sorry. I have made an appointment with a lawyer to start drawing up divorce papers."

That is NOT an ultimatum, that is you sharing your pain and self-protective boundaries.

You are not telling him what he can and cannot do.

You are explaining what hurts too much to put up with.

If he asks what you need to stay M, in an angry voice no doubt, then very calmly tell him, "But only if you want to. I'm not forcing you to do anything." If he's like a typical entitled WS he'll yell, "Yes, you are!!!!"

Then you stand your f-ing ground. For your own self dignity.

"I'm sorry you feel that way. Never mind. No worries. I am going to pack some stuff to stay at my mom's while I make some plans to separate our stuff." And you fiercely implement the 180. This is about defining what and who you let into your life. Whiny babies who want secret passwords are not allowed. Do not argue with him or beg him. You are allowed to say, "This. Does. Not. Work. For. Me." We are all allowed to say that.

I know you don't want to lose your M, sweetie. But you already have. It exists in name alone if he is doing whatever he wants and disrespecting you. He does sound very abusive and manipulative, but that only means you need to get crystal clear about what you will not--CANNOT--put up with. Even if he walks away. Those boundaries will stay with you for life and bring you a better H if this one does not step up. I guarantee it. Strong boundaries bring and keep the best people with us and kick the riff raff out.

Good luck!

[This message edited by OwningItNow at 4:21 PM, July 17th (Saturday)]

me: BS/WS
h: WS/BS

Reject the rejector.
Do not reject yourself.

posts: 5263   ·   registered: Mar. 16th, 2016   ·   location: Midwest
id 8676464
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ChamomileTea ( Member #53574) posted at 2:51 AM on Sunday, July 18th, 2021

^^^^ Everything OIN said.

posts: 4518   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016
id 8676503
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Seeking2Forgive ( Member #78819) posted at 4:25 AM on Sunday, July 18th, 2021

A boundary is a simple statement of fact- "I will not be in a relationship that involves infidelity". It is a statement solely about you, and your decisions and actions. And you have to be prepared to enforce it, or it's not a boundary. A boundary reclaims your agency and power and recognizes that you always have the choice to do what is best for yourself. You aren't waiting on anyone but you.

Your boundary example includes exactly what I said: A statement of what you need, "A relationship without infidelity," and a consequence of not getting that, "I will not be in the relationship."

A boundary without consequences is just a meaningless gesture that allows people to walk all over you with impunity.

I agree with what I think is your point, which is that we have to be careful that our boundaries are focused on personal needs and not just controlling others. But defining boundaries for what is and is not acceptable in your partner's behavior is an important part of a relationship.

For example, I was never comfortable with my FWW's close friendships with men. That's a boundary that I should have set and since have. The consequence would be MC not necessarily D, but there has to be a consequence.

Me: 59, BS
Her: 58, FWS
Dday: 11/15/03
Married 37 yrs
Reconciled

posts: 76   ·   registered: May. 18th, 2021
id 8676512
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RealityBlows ( Member #41108) posted at 5:45 AM on Sunday, July 18th, 2021

The definition of ULTIMATUM:

The FINAL demand or statement of terms, the rejection of which will result in retaliation, a breakdown in relations or other stated consequence.

There is absolutely no way I would allow my cheating spouse to refuse social media transparency especially in the wake of infidelity that was aided electronically.

There is absolutely no way I would allow my cheating spouse to dick me around like this. Totally disrespectful, inconsiderate and unremorseful.

You deserve so much better. You CAN do better.

Ultimatums must ultimately be followed with consequences or their nothing but weak threats.

posts: 647   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2013
id 8676516
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PSTI ( Member #53103) posted at 7:35 PM on Sunday, July 18th, 2021

But defining boundaries for what is and is not acceptable in your partner's behavior is an important part of a relationship.

Absolutely not. They are not boundaries if you do so. What is important is deciding for yourself what you will accept and discussing that with your partner and making agreements that satisfy you both. Don't make assumptions- actually discuss everything and make sure you're on the same page. You get to decide your boundaries and your partner gets to decide theirs. If you don't agree with their boundaries, then very likely the relationship isn't going to work out. This should be done very early on in a relationship because it's a good measure of compatibility.

Most of the time when people talk about violating boundaries, they mean breaking rules. Rules are created to dictate to your partner what they can and cannot do and are unilaterally imposed. They are not about oneself. Effectively the only thing rules are useful for is to keep score when someone screws up and to set partners as adversaries. We make rules for children, not for adults.

For example, I was never comfortable with my FWW's close friendships with men. That's a boundary that I should have set and since have.

That is not a boundary. It is not about you- it is about your partner. Therefore it is a rule, or possibly an agreement if your FWW agreed to it.

Boundaries are only about oneself. Attempting to control the actions of others is not a healthy way to view relationships. The only person you can control is yourself.

A boundary without consequences is just a meaningless gesture that allows people to walk all over you with impunity.

I think you are not understanding what it means to have a boundary in a relationship. A boundary is the protection of yourself. Therefore, when one experiences a boundary violation, the correct answer is to remove oneself from that situation in whatever way is necessary. For example, if I disliked one of DH's friends, the answer is not to ask DH not to be friends with this person. The response is for me to remove myself when he is socializing with that friend. It would be a rule if I tried to say DH could not be friends with that person because then I'm trying to control his behaviour. Ethically, I can only control myself. If I am that unhappy with his choices, then to protect my boundaries I can remove myself from the relationship.

Boundaries are the ultimate expression of self love and protection. They are not used to control other people. And if you don't act on them, then they are't boundaries- they're merely preferences.

I've already explained how ultimatums give away your agency. That's not emotionally healthy for anyone.

[This message edited by PSTI at 1:45 PM, July 18th (Sunday)]

Me: BW, my xH left me & DS after a 14 year marriage for the AP in 2014.

Happily remarried and in an open/polyamorous relationship. DH (married 3 years) & DBF (dating 2 years). Cohabitating happily all together!! <3

posts: 698   ·   registered: May. 6th, 2016
id 8676594
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Buster123 ( Member #65551) posted at 3:48 AM on Monday, July 19th, 2021

I simply told him what I saw and asked him to block them. He became irate, cursed at me and left the gym cursing me in texts right afterwards. I haven’t heard from him since. Did I overreact? I don’t think I’m being petty but that’s what he said I was.

An ultimatum for what ? he's an unremorseful SERIAL CHEATER who keeps cheating, so forget about passwords or ultimatums, he's shown you who he is, how much longer are you willing to keep wasting your time and put up with this nightmare ?

posts: 2410   ·   registered: Jul. 22nd, 2018
id 8676637
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Seeking2Forgive ( Member #78819) posted at 8:22 AM on Monday, July 19th, 2021

Boundaries are the ultimate expression of self love and protection. They are not used to control other people. And if you don't act on them, then they are't boundaries- they're merely preferences.

There's no protection unless you define consequences for violating your boundaries.

Sorry, I see your arguments as largely semantic and often contradictory. The resources I found that echo your terminology are generally making a distinction without a difference. It's all in how you state the boundary.

Clearly we're not going to reach agreement on this. The OP can read our positions and determine whether either of them is useful to her.

Wishing you well.

Me: 59, BS
Her: 58, FWS
Dday: 11/15/03
Married 37 yrs
Reconciled

posts: 76   ·   registered: May. 18th, 2021
id 8676652
Topic is Sleeping.
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