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Wayward Side :
Texting the opposite sex, advice?

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 Rebuilding1218 (original poster new member #77365) posted at 3:13 PM on Monday, September 13th, 2021

I am WH and we are 9 months in from DDAy. I was unfaithful to my wife for many years. They were always discreet casual encounters with no relationship. We have come a long way and are finally on a path to reconciliation. I love her so much. My wife has always had a lot of guy friends that she texts and talks with. Shortly after DDay she had an online affair with an old boyfriend, sexting sending pics etc. She shared a lot of our marital problems with at least 5 of her guy friends early in the process. I 100% percent don’t fault her for any of this and understand she was doing what she could to cope. She broke communications with Joe (the online affair guy). I have recently told her that I struggle with all the guys she texts with, and she said I can look at the messages anytime I want. So yesterday we were not connecting, and I asked to read the texts with one of her friends, Jeff. There was nothing scandalous, but a lot of what I read made me sad. They are close friends, and he does seem to care about her. They share a ton of memes with each other. Some of them are sexual in nature, but like funny. They have said they love each other to each other via text. He has told her that he loves her and she has told him that she loves him at least once that I saw. That was within the first couple months since Dday. I guess my question is how should I approach this dilemma? She has said if the shoe was on the other foot, she would be jealous about the texting relationships she has. She has always had guy friends and bonds with guys easier than other women. She does have 3 super close girl friends that are like family to her. I don’t want to change who she is and I want her to have her freedom. When we are not connecting, I get very jealous that she has these fun playful relationships with other guys. I don’t know any of them, but she assures me she has no interest in any of them. We are working to strengthen are bond, and this is another road bump. Just looking for advice on how I should approach this. Thanks!

posts: 12   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2021
id 8688275
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sisoon ( Guide #31240) posted at 5:05 PM on Monday, September 13th, 2021

No STOP sign....

I've had women friends and felt a friendship-type of love, but I'd never say so, because it's too easy to misinterpret. Normal friend behavior shows the friend-love; words aren't necessary.

Your W doesn't see any problem with what she's written and received, and that bothers me. I don't know her words, and I don't know what she meant, but I wonder if she's in one or more EAs. I'm not saying she is ... I'm saying I wonder.

Do you have an IC or MC? If so, my reco is to ask your C to moderate a discussion in which you get the truth from your W.

I make that reco on 2 grounds:

1) You need to learn how to raise issues so they can get resolve, and this is an issue.

2) I don't understand how a person can say ILY and also say they have no interest in the person they said it to.

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: 26037   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8688290
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landclark ( member #70659) posted at 6:26 PM on Monday, September 13th, 2021

That’s definitely a tough one. I do believe that men and women can be platonic friends and have a friendship type of love and nothing more. That’s only though if they have really good boundaries.

Is Joe now out of the picture completely? If not, he needs to be, immediately.

Also, you need to get to the point where you’re comfortable establishing and sharing your boundaries and thoughts as well. That doesn’t mean you make her get rid of all her friends, but regardless of the fact that she did it after your cheating, she still cheated and is still a wayward. So she has to also be willing to accept some boundaries and put in work to change. "He cheated first" is not an acceptable reason to cheat really.

Agree with Sisoon. If you’re not yet comfortable with these conversations, is MC an option?

Me: BW Him: WH (GuiltAndShame) Dday 05/19/19 with TT through August
One child together, 3 stepchildren
Together 13.5 years, married 12.5 First EA was 4 months into marriage. Last ended 05/19/19.

posts: 1915   ·   registered: May. 29th, 2019
id 8688299
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emergent8 ( member #58189) posted at 7:36 PM on Monday, September 13th, 2021

No stop sign.

You, my friend, in addition to being a WS, are a betrayed spouse. That means your wife is a WS in addition to being a BS.

As a BS it is totally normal to feel uncomfortable and unsafe when your wife acts in ways that mimic her A. Texting falls squarely into that category. In my relationship I would absolutely not be okay with my H doing this sort of thing (and his affair was totally different). As a WS her job is to make you feel safe and she is clearly not doing that. Think about it, you likely wouldn’t dream about meeting up with women for one-on-one dinners as it would make her feel unsafe. This is no different.

In my view, your hesitation to call her on this more clearly stems from your belief that her behaviour in having an RA was justified due to your behaviour. It wasn’t. It just muddied the waters.

Me: BS, Him: WS. Mid-late 30s.
Together 15 years, married 5 (11 m at D-Day).
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
Currently 4 years (and two kids) into R and optimistic.

posts: 616   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8688308
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emergent8 ( member #58189) posted at 7:56 PM on Monday, September 13th, 2021

No stop sign.

You, my friend, in addition to being a WS, are a betrayed spouse. That means your wife is a WS in addition to being a BS.

As a BS it is totally normal to feel uncomfortable and unsafe when your wife acts in ways that mimic her A. Texting falls squarely into that category. In my relationship I would absolutely not be okay with my H doing this sort of thing (and his affair was totally different). As a WS her job is to make you feel safe and she is clearly not doing that. Think about it, you likely wouldn’t dream about meeting up with women for one-on-one dinners as it would make her feel unsafe. This is no different.

In my view, your hesitation to call her on this more clearly stems from your belief that her behaviour in having an RA was justified due to your behaviour. It wasn’t. It just muddied the waters.

Me: BS, Him: WS. Mid-late 30s.
Together 15 years, married 5 (11 m at D-Day).
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
Currently 4 years (and two kids) into R and optimistic.

posts: 616   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8688310
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Bigger ( Guide #8354) posted at 1:33 AM on Tuesday, September 14th, 2021

It does sound like she’s having an emotional affair.

Have you two discussed reconciliation BEYOND your infidelity?
Part of that is talking about what sort of marriage you both want and setting a joint goal on that.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 9858   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8688364
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 Rebuilding1218 (original poster new member #77365) posted at 5:10 PM on Friday, September 17th, 2021

We met with our marriage counselor last week and addressed this. She has not been in communication with Joe, the online affair guy that lives in another county. Her friend Jeff who she said "I love you" to was after he organized a group of friends to take her out for her Bday. It was a month post dday and it was the first day she felt like a normal person. If im being honest with myself it was pretty innocent and the dialogue that followed was more supportive than romantic. I did just realize she is still connected to Joe on social media, he blocked me after I told him to never contact my wife again. She swears that they have had zero communication since I contacted him directly. This was also about a month post dday. I did bring up finalizing some form closure between Joe and her, and I would like to be involved to some capacity. She is not happy about that request at this time. Our MC did not see anything wrong with her having guy friends and messaging them. She recommended that I not snoop through my wifes phone, but have the right to ask for it at anytime and look through it without her getting mad to temper my anxiety. Any thoughts are always appreciated.

posts: 12   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2021
id 8689048
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src9043 ( member #75367) posted at 7:58 PM on Friday, September 17th, 2021

It sounds like Joe is within driving distance to your wife. She seems resistant to doing a final disengagement with him from what you stated in your last post. Did you bring this point up with the MC? She has to do that. Her reticence is not good.

Regarding access to both of your electronic devices. You cheated for years and she recently had or is still having an EA with an ex-boyfriend. You both have trust issues, especially your wife. Consequently, neither of you should have any right of privacy. Should you snoop? Both of you should do what is necessary to satisfy your concerns. Why not both agree that snooping is allowed? It should be. I certainly would not trust you and your wife seems to be in the latter stages of an EA so your concerns are valid. Asking to look at electronic devices is not enough. Messages will be erased. Effort will be taken to hide any funny business. When sufficient trust is built between the two of you, and that will take years, both of you, I suspect will stop monitoring eachother's behavior.

You both have to be as transparent as possible. Hell, I don't care at all if my girlfriend wants to snoop, look at my electronic devices or do whatever if she feels insecure. I am an open book when it comes to her and really don't care what she does to satisfy her anxiety, unless it is something really whacky. BTW, she does not have these anxieties.

posts: 417   ·   registered: Sep. 7th, 2020
id 8689073
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ChamomileTea ( member #53574) posted at 6:20 PM on Saturday, September 18th, 2021

Walls and Windows. That's Shirley Glass's technique for building good boundaries from her book Not Just Friends, which I think both you and your wife would do well to read and discuss. In a nutshell, you open a big, wide, window to your mate and you build tall, imposing walls against interlopers. All those guys she's been texting are interlopers. All the APs you cheated with are likewise interlopers.

Your spouse is your PRIMARY relationship and you are hers. So yeah, it's okay to have friends. But no friend should have a more intimate relationship with your spouse than you, and vice versa. No friend should know a secret you don't know and no friend should be put before you... and vice versa. The primary relationship isn't just about sex. It's about security, both emotional and financial. It's about companionship as much as it is about romantic love. It's about the ONE person you count on and the ONE person who can always count on you. When someone else supplants you in ANY capacity, it's taking away from the strength of that relationship.

Now, we've heard quite a bit about what your wife is doing, but not so much about what YOU are doing to repair what you have broken. Cheating is about the cheater. It's about your relationship to your own core values (or lack thereof) and your true belief about the traits you claim to espouse. Fidelity didn't mean much to you when it was YOUR fidelity in question. But now it does? What's changed for you?... and how are you going to convince your wife that your changes are meaningful and lasting? You're asking her to reinvest, but how have you improved your product?

posts: 4530   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016
id 8689179
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