HikingOut, I've found your posts to be among the most valuable things I've read in my time on SI, so my previous post was not in anyway a personal attack. If I'm going to participate in this forum, I'm going to do so honestly and openly. So we've hit a point of some disagreement here, and that's ok with me--hopefully it is for you as well.
The reason I was so hard about nc with the obs is she tried to solicit an affair with him. Also he reports wanting to be there to "emotionally support" her. His words. Huge boundary issues here.
I would highly recommend full Nc unless new pertinent info has been obtained or b/c NC between their spouses are broken. Anything else like providing emotional support that’s an absolutely not. I think we have to be clear where the line is in these circumstances. The obs clearly has faulty boundaries and I think dr strange can firm up his for his own good. He is not responsible towards her emotional support nor should he think that is a healthy thing to do.
I'm just addressing the above to acknowledge I have nothing additional to add to the topic; I just didn't want you to think I was ignoring you.
I agree it's not cheating for the record.
The record has been amended.
As I mentioned long ago, H and I were swingers. I agreed to it, but I didn't like it and eventually I made us stop. It was my people pleasing, lack of boundaries, etc that allowed me to agree to it in the first place. I don't go around and say "that was cheating". I agreed to it. But it was hella unhealthy. That's why I relate to what was being said on all fronts.
I'd like to understand more on that, but I understand if it's too personal or if you'd prefer to discuss through PM. Were you actively having sex with other people and not enjoying it? Were you enjoying the sex, but not enjoying how you felt about yourself afterward? Were you resentful/angry to your husband for asking you to do it even though it's something you agreed to do?
And how did you go about ending it? Was it an ultimatum from you? Were you willing to separate if your husband didn't agree? And I assume the swinging happened before your affair, but do you connect that lifestyle to your affair at all?
Secondly, perhaps I see Owning it now and BSR just differently in what they are saying because I know them well as posters. I didn't read owning it now accusing you of cheating. I read her to say what you used to cope with the marriage was unhealthy.
I don't know them well, but it wouldn't matter how much I liked or disliked either--their words speak for them. OwningItNow accused me of cheating--she bolded it in her last post and wrote this yesterday:
If I were married to you, I would 100% consider this cheating.
No need to gaslight me--she can speak for herself and you can agree or disagree with her. My opinion on the topic is that the term "cheating" has a lot of grey area and I don't consider online sex or EA's the same level of deception as PA--but I recognize the opposing views and can appreciate them. None of those distinctions matter in this situation as I did not cheat on my wife at all, through any lens, including hers (most importantly).
I know she said you could get a divorce as one example of choices that you could choose from instead of living things in a way that you tell me you hated. There are many other choices as well. All would be healthier. That's what I was agreeing to, and in your reply it sounds like you agree with that.
Again, we're living in the margins here--healthier for who? This is a big topic. If my wife and I could maintain a happy home with a dysfunctional sex life, I believe that would be "healthier" for our children than D. And as a parent, I'm acting on behalf of my children with virtually every decision I make. So for a poster on this forum to tell me negotiating an unhealthy sex life was worse than D is patently absurd by any real world standard--there are a tremendous amount of variables to consider, so her comment was not helpful or informed, it was arrogant and flippant.
And she would have almost certainly had the same advice for you as a swinger--you clearly should have just divorced your husband then because OwningItNow knows what's best for you and those in your life. There's a huge line between advice and support and some of the egregiously arrogant and sanctimonious posts that I've seen from certain members of the community. And I recognize it appears as though I'm being overly defensive about it, but I see them as bullies and have no use for their advice.
I think you are being defensive more than you are aware here about that situation.
My defensiveness about OBS is because I'm ok with my wife being upset that I'm not no contact with her. Perhaps it's punitive of me. Essentially, I'd never normally let this topic cause a conflict in my M, but in this case, I believe the perimeters I've established are not only fair, but also the safest path for me forward.
I don't want to bend for my wife's irrational fear of me having sex with her behind my back. If I ever had sex with OBS (and I won't), I'd sit down and tell me wife exactly what I was about to do *before* I did it. I don't live in the shadows and have never had an issue being entirely transparent with my wife. And I get it, I'm writing on a forum populated by many people who have not lived their lives with similar guidance. But that's ok--I have my own, different weaknesses.
It's cool though. At any time, just tell me not to post to your page. I am happy to be respectful of anything you need. But, I will give you what I feel is the truth back. I know you were resistant to what i said about the sex stuff at first, but that too was for your greater benefit, at least with the limited lens I have to a stranger on the internet. And, honestly I don't really expect you to trust an anonymous stranger on the internet anyway. I can only give you my experience, and that's all I have.
You will do whatever you like of course with whatever feedback you are getting. I am glad that the online stuff was put away. You need to put away all the crutches that you came up with to deal with this relationship. If it is to succeed, then it will need to be crutchless.
Please keep posting. We needed a few bumps to build a friendship worth having!
[This message edited by Drstrangelove at 12:34 AM, Tuesday, June 21st]