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Boundary vs. Ultimatum

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EllieKMAS ( member #68900) posted at 9:57 PM on Thursday, October 7th, 2021

It's pretty natural for a WS to see an ultimatum where you see a boundary.

Yep, mine saw my "demands" as ultimatums too. To wit - that I was not going to greenlight him dating and sleeping with other women while married to me.

In my case an ultimatum is me telling him he cannot do that.

A boundary is saying I don't care if you choose to do that, but you cannot do that and stay married to me. That was the ultimate line I drew, and he ranted and stomped and called me controlling etc. But I wasn't trying to control him anymore - I was defining what behaviors I was not willing to tolerate.

I think the difference is in the intent. Are you trying to control them? Or are you controlling what YOU will put up with?

"No, it's you mothafucka, here's a list of reasons why." – Iliza Schlesinger

"Being weird is just a side effect of being awesome."– Unknown

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nekonamida ( member #42956) posted at 4:00 AM on Friday, October 8th, 2021

You've gotten a lot of good advice about boundary vs ultimatum. But I have to ask - how will knowing that help you? Do you really believe that presenting our arguments about it will CHANGE anything?

IMHO, it's not about whether he truly believes it's an ultimatum or not. He's arguing with you because it takes the focus off of what he doesn't want to do - answer questions. Controlling how it's done buys him time. Since the only logical reason for his refusal is that he has not been honest and doesn't intend on being honest, this time allows him to think of a way out of this. He may be banking on the fact that a MC COULD potentially take his side and go easy on him. Look at your own history with him - this is what he does. He throws out anything and everything to delay and get you off his back so that he doesn't have to do anything he doesn't want to. This time is no different.

If I were you, I would not wait until January. I would stay focused when he starts to argue with you about what you need. You said it yourself - he doesn't get to control what you need to heal! But if he keeps your focus on this rather than you getting what you need, in a way he already does control you. It works. He delays. You question yourself and back down. If you press him now and he still won't answer or if you don't feel like he's being honest, then you have to stick by what you want from a marriage and start to emotionally separate yourself from him.

What strikes me about this situation is that even though you've appropriately set a boundary, I do sort of agree it may be an ultimatum because it is about controlling him. You've been fighting for him to do the work of R and he has resisted consistently. You fought with him when he broke your trust in August and he did just enough to get you back on board but without giving you much in the way of actions and consistency. It doesn't matter how you word it - you DO want to control his actions and this is yet another power struggle you're engaging in with him. When is enough enough? Maybe if you let go, back off, accept that he will not answer your questions, and focus on what that means for yourself, he too will give up some of his power and give you what you're asking for knowing the alternative is D. Or maybe he won't but if he doesn't, fighting him never would have changed that anyways. He should be fighting FOR you and the marriage. Not against you. If you don't want to be here 3 more years from now still having the same fights, same arguments, and same trust issues, you need to learn when to let go of the outcome and do more for yourself.

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gmc94 ( member #62810) posted at 1:41 PM on Friday, October 8th, 2021

⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️
What Neko said

I think a lot of couples get caught up in this dynamic post dday. I sure did.

So….. even if what you want (questions answered) IS an “ultimatum”, so what?

The situation remains:
- You want/need something
- he won’t provide it

Then what? What do YOU want to do in response to the refusal?

You can’t make him talk
You only control you
(Ask me how I know 😵‍💫 )

[This message edited by gmc94 at 1:47 PM, Friday, October 8th]

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

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id 8692136
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KingRat ( member #60678) posted at 2:55 PM on Friday, October 8th, 2021

So….. even if what you want (questions answered) IS an "ultimatum", so what?

I was focused on the specific question in previous post, so I want to address the larger question implied? Is it reasonable to give him an ultimatum such as you did? Absolutely.

I could understand how a person may take issue ultimatums that are arbitrarily issued that have nothing to do with R and are simply a means of control or punishment, i.e. from now on you are doing all the chores or I am out. But this is not that. This is like a lender asking for more financial transparency as a condition to reinstate a loan that has previously been defaulted on. It is necessary to ensure the ability of the transactional relationship to proceed.

IMO, this is no different. The only minor difference is instead of asking for assurances related to government-issued currency you are asking for emotional currency. You are asking for honesty to protect yourself, improve the relationship, and putting each other in a better position to succeed in your goal of R. Communication is key. That is how you build a healthier bond.

He does have a choice though: how he views the ultimatum. He can view this with a negative attitude and focus on the fact that this causes him shame. But that is very self-centered and not demonstrative of personal growth. Or he can put his feelings aside and view this as something he must do in order to improve the chances of successful R and facilitate your healing from the wound his caused. If he does not do well with ultimatums, then this is his opportunity to reevaluate his attitude and grow personally and into being a better partner.

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WhatsRight ( member #35417) posted at 3:27 PM on Friday, October 8th, 2021

I feel there are guidelines, boundaries, and ultimatums in life.

A guideline is more like a suggestion. "Wash your hands before dinner." No stiff consequences for not following that guideline usually.

A boundary is a guideline that needs to be followed, and if not, there are consequences. "You can’t go to the party this weekend because you broke curfew last weekend." (But there will be other parties in your future)

And ultimatum is "ultimate" boundary. "If you do not keep your marriage vows to me, the marriage will be over."

I have absolutely do not think that and ultimatum is out of line. But I think we go about it the wrong way sometimes. I believe sometimes if you are giving an "ultimatum" to an adult, they feel as though you are treating them like a child. Trying to control them. Making decisions for them. I look as an ultimatum as more of an outcome rather than an "order" or a choice".

In my opinion, in a relationship, you make it clear what lines cannot be crossed. And it’s not so much that; "I’ve had it! That’s it!" It’s more like, "Because this happened, the marriage is broken and cannot be fixed." Like if you drop a bottle, it will shatter in the floor. It’s not someone’s opinion or choice that the bottle will break if it falls, it is simply what happens.

So in my opinion, most people translate and consider an "ultimatum" as being controlled by another person. "If you don’t answer every one of my questions, I will divorce you."

It’s more like an "if, then" situation. A result. If saw off a branch of a tree, it will fall. Period. Or, in this case, "If you are unwilling to respect me enough, and put the marriage first, then the marriage will be broken beyond repair." Or… "If answering my questions about your choices is something you are unwilling to do, I will not be able to recover my trust, and the marriage will be over." That way is not so much a "punishment" you are holding over their head, it is simply the result of the choices that they make.

"Noone can make you feel inferior without your concent." Eleanor Roosevelt

I will not be vanquished. Rose Kennedy

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sisoon ( Guide #31240) posted at 4:01 PM on Friday, October 8th, 2021

Hmmm ... as alluded to above, maybe the difference is that an ultimatum is followed by 'negotiation' of some sort and a boundary isn't.

Consider your example: 'Answer these questions, or I walk'. Are you ready to leave? Are you getting your ducks in a row to leave? If not, it's not a boundary.

I think we all understand the difficulty of calling an end to R, so if you're not ready, that's OK - but then it may be best to withdraw the boundary until you are ready.

IMO, though, a boundary is only effective if the giver is ready to impose the sanction if the boundary is crossed.

WRT revealing the answer only in an MC session, that could be OK. I know there were things my W thought were so terrible that she wanted the support of our MC while revealing them. Since our MC in no way gave W any passes, I was OK with that.

Perhaps your H wants that support; perhaps it was just a delaying tactic. You know him better than I do, so I'll defer to you to figure out his purpose.

Again, if you're not ready to end your M, that's OK. That's where you are. What do you need to do to change?

[This message edited by sisoon at 4:02 PM, Friday, October 8th]

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.

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KingRat ( member #60678) posted at 4:57 PM on Friday, October 8th, 2021

I think WhatsRight and Sisoon made great posts.

A posted speed limit is a boundary, if you exceed it you may be subject to a penalty. A judge telling you that if you get one more traffic violation, he/she will give you the maximum penalty under the law is an ultimatum. It is the demand for compliance with a boundary or specific consequences will be suffered.

Yep. All agreements are controlling because they limit the behavior the parties bound to a certain extent. So the question then becomes is it a reasonable restriction on the parties behavior? As long as there is equal bargaining power and full understand of the exchange, then yes. For example, a full-time job controls what you can do with your time for ~40 hours each week. In exchange for being controlled, you receive compensation that you bargained for. However, you are free to not break the agreement, and if you choose to do so, the other party is not bound to fulfill the promise exchanged.

Colloquially, describing someone or their demands as "controlling", it implies an overbroad, bad-faith, or unduly coercive action that result in unilateral restrictions on another person's exercise of freedom. But as many have pointed out, her issued ultimatum is not "controlling".

Ostensibly, he was not coerced into marriage. He gave up his ability to do whatever he wants for the love and support of his wife. In turn, she receives the same. He defaulted on his transaction and wants a chance. In order for her to reinstate the transactional relationship, she would like some assurances that are specifically related to ensuring the transactional relationship does not go south in the future. These demands only control his behavior to the extent that assure compliance with what he said he wanted and the promises he made. So while they have the effect of control, they are not "controlling".

[This message edited by KingRat at 5:01 PM, Friday, October 8th]

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PSTI ( member #53103) posted at 4:58 PM on Friday, October 8th, 2021

Hmmm ... as alluded to above, maybe the difference is that an ultimatum is followed by 'negotiation' of some sort and a boundary isn't.

Consider your example: 'Answer these questions, or I walk'. Are you ready to leave? Are you getting your ducks in a row to leave? If not, it's not a boundary.

I think we all understand the difficulty of calling an end to R, so if you're not ready, that's OK - but then it may be best to withdraw the boundary until you are ready.

IMO, though, a boundary is only effective if the giver is ready to impose the sanction if the boundary is crossed.

Sisoon, that's part of the fundamental differences.

There is no negotiation with a boundary, because it's about oneself. It is not about attempting to coerce or control another person's actions. It recognizes the other person has absolute sovereignty to do whatever they like. A boundary says "I will not accept this anymore" and then proceeds on with their own life after removing themselves from that situation. Period.

An ultimatum is an attempt to make someone understand what we want and force them to change their behaviour because of consequences. At its heart, reasonable or not, an ultimatum is a control issue. It is not about oneself; it is an attempt to change the behaviour of another person.

We aren't married to children. I would not give an adult a curfew, as in the example above. Adults should know that if they stay out late, they have to suffer the consequences. It's not my job to parent someone into being a decent person who makes reasonable choices. If they don't, then why do I want to waste my time with them? Life is too short for that nonsense.

What an ultimatum really is, 99% of the time? A hurting, angry/broken person who has been walked on too many times, trying desperately for their partner to show them that they matter enough for the WS to change their behaviour. And that's heartbreaking, and entirely disempowering because it puts all the control back in the hands of the WS.

Ultimatums don't work, and they're harmful to both partners individually and to the health of the relationship. You can't change your partner- they have to want to change themselves. Think of it like the 180; ultimatums are the antithesis to the 180 while boundaries are the model of it.

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

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id 8692242
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KingRat ( member #60678) posted at 5:27 PM on Friday, October 8th, 2021

Ultimatums don't work, and they're harmful to both partners individually and to the health of the relationship. You can't change your partner- they have to want to change themselves. Think of it like the 180; ultimatums are the antithesis to the 180 while boundaries are the model of it.

I understand what you are saying, but I think ultimatums are only harmful if, like Sisoon said, are not followed through. Otherwise, they are like notice; in fact, it can be viewed as a courtesy instead of directly cutting ties. Of course there are selfish motivations in issuance, but the basis of every agreement is rooted in self-interest. Relationships (healthy ones) are not altruistic as it reasonable to that each party enters into one because they are getting something positive out of it.

Here, we have to presume each person wants R and is getting an intangible benefit. If my mortgage company sends me a demand letter, they are most selfishly motivated because they want me to continue paying instead of foreclosing. They are in the business of making interest not taking homes. So they are trying to coerce me to follow my obligations. Presumably, since I voluntarily requested the loan, used it to purchase a home, and most importantly, agreed to all the terms and conditions, I received a tangible benefit that I desired. So it is reasonable to presume that I would like another chance/receive notice so I may continue enjoying the house I live in.

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PSTI ( member #53103) posted at 8:03 PM on Friday, October 8th, 2021

KingRat- I see what you're saying but I just can't agree with it. I don't think an ultimatum should be viewed as a courtesy in any way, shape, or form. I think that partners should discuss their needs, wants, and boundaries- that's healthy. I cannot agree that an ultimatum is notice because it involves control.

A romantic relationship simply can't be compared to a mortgage or financial transaction, unless it is a marriage of convenience. That's a false association. I don't view my relationships as transactional; as a matter of fact, I think that once you do, some pretty awful issues are likely to develop such as scorekeeping.

Healthy relationships are interdependent.

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

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HowCouldSheDoIt ( member #78431) posted at 8:05 PM on Friday, October 8th, 2021

Not to nitpick, but depending on the boundary there can be negotiation. For example I have a boundary "I cannot be in a marriage with unaddressed adultery."

What does it mean to "address" the adultery? What is the timeline? These are things I have flexibility on so that I don't have to turn the situation into a showdown. But it establishes and communicates what is unacceptable, and that's the important thing.

I struggle with the semantics somewhat because my initial education on boundaries set a response on something the other person did. For example, "If you drink alcohol I will leave the party."

Where I stumbled was with situations of what the other person did not do, but I wanted them to. For example if I want a drinking buddy, I might very well institute something like "If you're not going to drink alcohol with me, I am not going to the party." However, this isn't really a boundary to me. It looks like it, feels like it, but in terms of a personal boundary, how can you apply consequences on something a person isn't doing?

I made peace with it by reading about relationship boundaries, which I suppose mimic ultimatums because you're establishing what the relationship needs to be for you to stay in it. But as in my example above with the unaddressed adultery, there can be flexibility.

Me: BH Early 50's
Her: WW Early 50's
D-Day Nov 2020
Married 21 years before D-Day
3 children
Working toward reconciling. The most difficult thing I've had to do in my life.

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nekonamida ( member #42956) posted at 9:20 PM on Friday, October 8th, 2021

There is no negotiation with a boundary, because it's about oneself. It is not about attempting to coerce or control another person's actions. It recognizes the other person has absolute sovereignty to do whatever they like. A boundary says "I will not accept this anymore" and then proceeds on with their own life after removing themselves from that situation. Period.

This is a good way to put it. It works like this:

Boundary: I will not talk to my parents about my ex partner.

Actions: If mom brings up expartner, I change the topic. If she still talks about them, I hang up the phone. I will pick up and talk to her next time she calls as long as she does not mention expartner. She is free to talk to expartner and about expartner but I will not stay for the conversation if she does it in front of me.

Ultimatum: Talk about expartner again and our relationship is over.

Actions: If mom mentions expartner again, I'm cutting her off. I will not pick up when she calls. She cannot talk to me again if she can't stop talking about expartner.

Fourn's boundary could look something like this:

Boundary: I will not be in a marriage in which honesty and transparency is not valued and adhered to by my spouse.

Actions: If WH chooses not to answer my questions, I will 180 in order to detach and focus on myself, drop extra wifely duties (like laundry), get into IC for myself, see a lawyer for information, and stop acting as his wife. If by the time January comes and I feel up to it, I will hear him out in a therapy appointment he schedules. R is still on the table if he comes clean and if I want it. If he does not follow through, I will continue to detach and work my way towards an infidelity free life.

Waiting until January to see if maybe he follows through is prolonging healing and risking further hurt if you're not actively using that time to detach emotionally and self focus.

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KingRat ( member #60678) posted at 9:38 PM on Friday, October 8th, 2021

A romantic relationship simply can't be compared to a mortgage or financial transaction, unless it is a marriage of convenience. That's a false association. I don't view my relationships as transactional; as a matter of fact, I think that once you do, some pretty awful issues are likely to develop such as scorekeeping.

Assuming it is a committed relationship, it is inherently transactional though. Transactional does not imply that they are equal (score keeping), they can be equitable (a rough congruence of fairness). Nor does it imply misuse or even abusive practices. But, at minimum, we all get into relationships because they provide some intangible benefit that we perceive as having subjective value. It can be as simple as this person provides me companionship that I prefer than to being alone. In order to avail ourselves to the benefit, in a commitment relationship there is some understanding that we give up certain freedoms in exchange for the subject value that partnership provides.

The transactional nature is not occurring at conscious level and should not be done with the expectation of equal exchanges. I agree with you that the healthier relationships are not equal, but they should be equitable. Sometimes we carry our partner through tough times; sometimes they carry us. In the end, it does not have to balance exactly as long as it is roughly fair and serving our interests.

It is a courtesy because,like most things in life, he does not not have any vested rights in R nor is she required to give him another chance. Ostensibly her husband wants R; he understands, presumably, that she has certain conditions in offering R. By issuing an ultimatum, it acts like a final warning. So if you look at from the POV that R is something he wants, by receiving a warning is courtesy considering she could just walk away.

While score keeping is one extreme, the other is looking at a relationship as some entity that simply evolves organically. I will offer that I believe one thing that her A has taught me is that relationships should be constantly evaluated and any perceived deficiencies noted and discussed. That does not mean you are always right to demand a change or your perceptions are based in reality. But like my dentist says about cleaning teeth, I firmly believe the same regarding communication: you can never do too much but can fail to do enough. Without paying enough attention to relationships, a healthy relationship can become one-sided and lead one or both partners to feel dissatisfied.

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PSTI ( member #53103) posted at 11:57 PM on Friday, October 8th, 2021

Assuming it is a committed relationship, it is inherently transactional though. Transactional does not imply that they are equal (score keeping), they can be equitable (a rough congruence of fairness). Nor does it imply misuse or even abusive practices. But, at minimum, we all get into relationships because they provide some intangible benefit that we perceive as having subjective value. It can be as simple as this person provides me companionship that I prefer than to being alone. In order to avail ourselves to the benefit, in a commitment relationship there is some understanding that we give up certain freedoms in exchange for the subject value that partnership provides.

Hmm. I'm feeling philosophical today. Will have to think further about this. It feels wrong to me... but I have to think about WHY it feels wrong.

I do absolutely think you can over-communicate though, and my therapist agrees. If it's not productive communication, or if every day becomes stressful, big conversations... that's going to destroy a relationship as surely as a lack of communication.

I 100% agree to you about paying attention in healthy relationships, though. Too many couples think their relationship is solid so it's okay to leave it on the back burner for months or years while more pressing needs take precedence, without realizing that the back burner has set their house on fire. Yes, life is a juggling act and it's difficult to keep all those balls in the air. I loved a description I read about some being made of plastic and some being made of glass- not big categories like work, family, etc but day to day ones like attending a child's recital, date night with spouse, soft or hard deadlines at work, cleaning house etc. But the point I am meandering away from is that the marriage can't be deprioritized on a regular basis and still be healthy and keep both partners connected. You lean in, or you lean out.

I cannot see an ultimatum as a courtesy, ever. I just can't. It's not a courtesy to try and force someone to change their behaviour. If it's gotten to the point that communication and requests aren't working, how do you see an ultimatum actually proving successful? And not in the short term, but the long term? Even if someone grudgingly makes a change, do you think they will keep it up without resentment, or make a genuine long term change? I believe that they won't. They were obviously okay with making their partner unhappy or angry over the period of time that regular requests were made. If a partner is so disconnected from their partner's emotions that they are okay repeatedly causing distress- why hand them more power to do it one more time? They obviously know that you're unhappy. They accept that their desire to do whatever it is, is more important than fixing the hurt they have caused.

Unless you're interpreting an ultimatum as walking away immediately and never having stated the boundary at any point? But that would imply poor communication skills on both sides.

***

I love nekonamida's post. That's it exactly!

[This message edited by PSTI at 5:59 PM, October 8th (Friday)]

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

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gmc94 ( member #62810) posted at 12:22 AM on Saturday, October 9th, 2021

Waiting until January to see if maybe he follows through is prolonging healing and risking further hurt if you're not actively using that time to detach emotionally and self focus.

this... a 1000x this.

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

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 fournlau (original poster member #71803) posted at 11:16 PM on Saturday, October 9th, 2021

I was going to respond to some posters, there is a lot here to really think about. However, WH and I had another conversation that just has me more confused, angry, upset, and reeling all over again.

Something that he said during the first conversation kept bothering me. He said that I kept adding to my list of dealbreakers, so I asked him about it. Asked what exactly was on my list. He said he couldn't remember it all, but that I had for sure said those words before (hmm, so, apparently I told him I had dealbreakers, but he doesn't remember what they are? Guess they weren't important). The one thing he said was that one of my dealbreakers was no more lying. Well, to my recollection I NEVER said "dealbreaker" except for the last conversation we had, because like some have suggested, I wasn't sure it would be, or that I would be able to walk away if he committed it.

We went round and round, with him insisting I said the word, and me saying that I didn't. I told him that most of the boundaries I had asked for I didn't make dealbreakers because I knew that if we moved forward, if trust began to be established again, that those boundaries would shift. I also told him that I was tired of having to fight for everything I asked for. It's like I have to write a dissertation and make my argument for him to even consider whether he will deliver on it or not! I have to convince him that he should do it instead of him just doing it because I asked. (also, I realized that he never once has told me that he will do anything and everything to make this up to me, to help me, help us, to give me what I need etc. Not once)

Anyway, I said that I didn't understand why it was so difficult for him, and that I had to "make" him do things and he still feels that I am controlling and micromanaging what he can and can't do. To me, since he feels this way, and, like someone else said, is not WILLING to do whatever it takes, then he is going to end up resenting me for it. Or, will just go right back to doing whatever he wants because he's only doing it to get me off his case and not because he wants and is WILLING to do it for me, for us.

Am I making sense?

He said that I shouldn't ascribe what I would feel to him. That yes he does feel controlled and micromanaged but that if it was a problem, he would speak up, not hold resentment. I said that if I was in his shoes, I would be doing everything I could to R and to help him heal. I would do what he asked without needing him to explain to me why he needed it (within reason of course). He got angry and told me that no, I wouldn't because if that was true, then I would have changed. That he'd been asking me for years to change and I never did (we're talking more sex here). I told him that cheating is a different animal and not the same as normal M issues! That if I had cheated, I would be moving heaven and earth to make it better!

Then somehow, this turned into the issue of MY fidelity! According to him, people he talked to (I don't know what people) during our M said that if I wasn't having sex with him, then I was having it with someone else! This hit me like a ton of bricks and it was all I could do to stop myself from slapping the everloving shit out of him!

This was something he told me a while ago that the OW had said to him too. I didn't go further into it, since at the time it was all too raw. But during this conversation I reminded him of what he'd told me. And asked how she knew we weren't having sex. Of course he told her! And frustratingly said that we had already talked about it and he'd told me. I said that I had asked him if he had ever said anything negative about me to her and he'd said no. To which he replied, again rather angrily, that talking about M issues was not negative. I said, "you were talking about our M issues with the woman you were fucking. Yes, that is negative, and I guarantee that's exactly how she saw it!" The fuck!??? I mean, it's not like he was talking to a therapist or a friend!

At this point I could no longer continue the conversation. I was livid! There were other things in there too, about his history with shit boundaries, and I said that I never gave him a reason to suspect I had ever cheated, to which he brought up one incident of me "flirting" with another man through an online game. At the time when he asked about it, I agreed I had crossed a line. I let the man know I was no longer going to be talking/playing with him. When he did not stop trying to talk to me, I stopped playing the game all together, I apologized to my WH and the incident made me reinforce my boundaries. So, that was ONE...amongst his myriad of inappropriate interactions with other women. He even admitted that had I done the things he did, he would have divorced me! rolleyes

There was another blast about me not changing (still) in regards to sex (hmm, wonder why I'm not feeling like taking my clothes off). Which really set me off too.

He did come back and apologize, but here's the thing, we effectively stopped talking about what I wanted to talk about. He made an inflammatory comment and I fell for it again! I'm feeling so fucking drained! We have talked about if this doesn't work out, that we can stay together until our youngest graduates and decide what to do after that. I'm thinking at this point that I'm done trying to drag the fucking horse to water! I'm exhausted and I'm not the one that's supposed to be doing the heavy lifting. And with the realization that he has never really contemplated, let alone worked on, doing anything and everything to R, well...

Yes, I will continue to limp along. No, I will not treat him like shit, or turn away, hell, I might even give sex a try, go for that, I get mine, you get yours, and leave it at that! I'm not interested in any other relationship. I've known for a long time that if this M is over, I'd rather live alone, be alone. I've never been! It's kind of exciting to think about! I also know that seeing things from the outside is so much easier than from the inside. You get to a point were you just think, he's not as bad as some...But I'm only fooling myself. I'll give it till Jan when we see the MC and see how I feel at that time. It might not even matter by then, because I doubt he will do anything when I take my hands off the wheel. But I'm done begging for the things I need. Isn't he the one that's supposed to be begging? look

posts: 291   ·   registered: Oct. 10th, 2019
id 8692407
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DevastatedDee ( member #59873) posted at 12:56 AM on Sunday, October 10th, 2021

Well round of applause for him. He managed to deflect the entire conversation and make himself the victim. Nicely done, man. You're seeing some pretty important things here. That was a very revealing conversation. You're still the bad guy. He cheated, but you're the bad guy. There's no remorse here. He's still holding onto justifications (blaming you for not enough sex). He's still defending talking to the OW about you. You were the only one working on R. He merely stayed. He even managed to turn this conversation around so much that he has you feeling some guilt about him not getting enough sex. You're thinking of trying to have more sex with him. He gets even more of what he needs and you're again left high and dry doing this marriage alone.

Fuck January and fuck his secrets. You know what you need to know already. Detaching is a good idea for your mental health.

And yes. He should be the one begging, moving mountains, trying to convince you that he's worth your time. As long as he's going to play the victim (and that is as outrageous and appalling as you feel it is), he can't hear you and he can't care.

Gee, wonder why you don't feel all hot and bothered about having sex with him? It's a mystery, I tell you.

[This message edited by DevastatedDee at 12:59 AM, Sunday, October 10th]

DDay: 06/07/2017
MH - RA on DDay.
Divorced a serial cheater (prostitutes and lord only knows who and what else).

posts: 4531   ·   registered: Jul. 27th, 2017
id 8692422
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OrdinaryDude ( member #55676) posted at 1:12 AM on Sunday, October 10th, 2021

Why do you stay?

I’m not exactly happy in my M, but my WW never acts like that…if she did I’d be D’d long ago!

Me - BH 50+
Her - WW 50+
Married 30+ years, 2 adult kids
(1989) PA Rug-Swept
(2002) EA Rug-Swept
(2016) EA *Getting Out Of Infidelity*

**Working at Reconciling**

posts: 3381   ·   registered: Oct. 19th, 2016   ·   location: The Big Easy
id 8692424
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 fournlau (original poster member #71803) posted at 1:41 AM on Sunday, October 10th, 2021

Gee, wonder why you don't feel all hot and bothered about having sex with him? It's a mystery, I tell you.

Yeah, imagine that!

Why do you stay?

The devil you know and all that? I don't hate him, and I like my life. That sounds so selfish doesn't it?

posts: 291   ·   registered: Oct. 10th, 2019
id 8692430
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 fournlau (original poster member #71803) posted at 5:07 PM on Sunday, October 10th, 2021

He's been acting like everything is fine, which I guess since we're not talking about it anymore, everything is fine for him. Giving me hugs and kisses. I don't resist, but I've stopped doing what I was doing before to try and regain some intimacy. He works overnight so he's home and awake when I get up in the morning. I no longer go to him, wherever he is, and say good morning. I no longer actively attempt to touch him (again, to regain some intimacy). I used to listen intently to what he said, tried not to multitask but give him my undivided attention. Meh...

Today he asked if I was OK and I gave a noncommittal grunt. He didn't push, assumed I was just "tired", and moved on. I will still do the laundry, make dinner and set some aside for him. I'm just trying to keep the status quo and not make waves. What does it matter anyway? If he hasn't taken the lead 3 years out, I doubt he will now. I just want a peaceful home until I come to a decision. Unless I do it, nothing will get done in regards to healing and R. And like most of you have said, if not all, I can't keep doing all the work and just dragging him along.

I'm not sad. I'm not angry. I'm disappointed but not surprised, and am ready to work by myself, on myself. Unfortunately I know that I still have a lot of work to do before I am comfortable with leaving. Did I have the $ I'd be gone already. Hell, I would have left on Dday. I did have hope though. It's hard to let that go.

posts: 291   ·   registered: Oct. 10th, 2019
id 8692523
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