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Wayward Side :
MH question to fellow BS's: to 180 or not to 180?

mad1

 MIgander (original poster member #71285) posted at 10:35 PM on Tuesday, July 19th, 2022

Long post with background of the sitch. Posting here because I'm WW/MH and don't know if it goes in General? Definitely not JFO. Kinda a similar situation as Sammich, but complicated more by my A.

My A has complicated work life *world's smallest violin* rolleyes . Monday I had to go in for meetings and lab stuff. H was triggered. Then he had lunch with his "gal pal" J and unblocked her. Now they're texting like teenagers over one of her colleague's sexual harassment lawsuit involving... her COW's A with the CEO of J's company (she doesn't work with my H anymore- not for over 2 years now)!! barf H got his lawyer sister to send him the filing, which contains all the gory text messages, cringey emojis and all. Ugh. Talk about a trigger there with my A. H and J started texting back and forth lines from the filing to each other and laughing emojis... after H made it clear he had left the window open on his screen hoping she would text him. Like they were starring in their own little fantasy play. The kind of banter we don't have and haven't had in like... never. mad

H needs to read, "Not Just Friends."

Younger, blonder, childless, early 30's, teeny tiny petite well dressed designer label woman. Who likes to trash "friends" behind their backs, makes "friends" with people in A's (there's another gal from her work who ran off to Mexico w/ her lover duh ) and then MOCK them to H as a way to gain ego kibbles. Typical play from the mean girl playbook. What a B. Likely had an A with her BF and broke up his M. They started dating RIGHT after he D'd his wife... he's in his mid 50's. Talk about a sugar daddy- she lives rent free with him and he buys her purses when he hits her (according to what H tells me she shared w/ him). I've told H to be careful- if she's mocking them, she'll be mocking you. He's not too emotionally invested in her, it's more a banter thing to keep his mind off us and himself entertained. Thing is, she's like instagram- the more he's talking to her, the more discontent he is with his life and situation. And the less invested in the M he is too.

Doesn't help that H is displaying the same behaviors my dad did with his A with our family friend- right in front of my mom. Also, J doesn't know he's married to me. Or at least she didn't while they were having their 3 vodka tonics at weekly lunch just the two of them the year after Dday. H doesn't mention me at all. Not badly (which is a HUGE red flag for an A), but not positively either (orange flag). I've asked him to drop me into their conversations so I could feel more respected and safe, but he doesn't.

H is defensive around his relationship with her. Just like I was prior to my A's with my "friends." Am I paranoid? Am I making a mountain out of a mole hill?

I've communicated all this (mirroring my dad's A, her unkindness, my unhappiness with him texting her). He disagrees that there's anything wrong with it. Reverse back to me (anyone play Uno here?).

Says I still go to work in the same building as my AP, so he understands where I'm at but doesn't see a need to stop talking to J since I haven't stopped going into work. I have a responsibility to go in maybe 1x/2 weeks, AP works in a lab away from my areas that I can avoid. Oh, and AP disgusts me. And I've let HR know that on no uncertain terms is he allowed to contact me. They said he will be disciplined if he does. Also made it VERY clear to HR that by them moving him to MY facility (I moved campuses 1st to get away) and NOT TELLING ME, they created a HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT. Basically, if AP crosses a line, I'm going to sue. And probably have a good chance at success blink But I'm not... until he does. I like my job, company and creative freedom I have. It's definitely what I've worked my way up to my entire career and not something I'm going to let go of in the absence of equal or better work. Oh, and I have looked.

Anyway, deflection on H's part- well played, manipulation there, well played. H hasn't worked with J in almost 2 years, and he's attracted to her (has told me he likes her figure, her blonde hair and how she dresses and SMELLS). Also wants me to BE MORE LIKE HER: wear heavy perfume, designer clothes and be more snarky and "fun". But, yeah, no reason to worry or be jealous. Or for me to be concerned after he told me 2 weeks ago that he wants me to compete against other women for his attention like I apparently did in college. SOOOOO... he has absolutely no responsibility to be with her at all. He's deleted texts from her before (several months ago was the last time to my knowledge) and has started hiding his phone when I approach with guilty, furtive movements.

Hmm... yeah... and he's told me a month ago that I've got to December to make him happy in our M. duh

I'm not my mom. As much as H likes to compare me to my mom negatively, I'm NOT her. I'm not a narc and I sure as hell am not going to walk around like her in perpetual victim mode. I'm not going to end up like my mom- disrespected, betrayed and a laughing stock of my father.

Yeah, I'm not doing too well either. I've decided to temporarily 180 him until he gets his head out of his ass, off his phone, into a book (NJF is a good start) and back into IC and MC. We were doing well for a while, but seems like each time we have a few good days and some good sex sessions and some laughs and bonding on dates and good communication around finances and kids... yeah. Brick walls up, and now he's throwing grenades. His emotional brain is equating my work with his EA.

But it is my fault, per H. I was the one who went to work and I know how that feels, so even though I have a responsibility to my job... I could just get a new one. After all, EVERYONE says I need to go full NC with AP. Well... I did. Switched campuses, positions, WFH 90%, nearly sued company for hostile work environment, made it clear to HR that he's not to talk to me (HR made it clear to them) and I WILL SUE if he so as much as TRIES to talk to me.

But you know, H can still get all chatty chatty with blondie because it's no where near as bad to me as my going into work is for him. Yah, you know, starting an A with a younger woman isn't as bad as the 2x/ month I have to go in to DO MY JOB and pay bills that BUY YOU WATCHES. Whatev. duh

Doesn't help that I went to MC alone today because H wanted to visit his old watch salesman in his new position selling lab equipment to a plant he doesn't have direct responsibility in. Priorities. I enabled him though? Maybe? I told him I would prefer he come, but understand he wants to see his friend. They really are friends, and he's a great kid who was selling watches to get himself through college.

Old strategy: blow up, tell H what to do and make demands.
New strategy: talk calmly, tell H how I feel, why I feel it and let him make his own choices.

I'm in this to fight for it. I'm doing the work, showing up, going to counseling and making bids for time and attention. H is not doing that. Frequently when I offer to do things he wants to do with me (basement refinishing, shooting clays, going to fancy places), H either finds himself too tired or it's too expensive or he'd rather take the money and buy a go-pro with it. Then goes back to me and expresses his discontent with us not going to the expensive places and complains about how MUCH he DOES for EVERYONE and how he just WANTS to be TAKEN CARE OF. And how LONELY he is. UGH, get out of your own way!

He tells me he's where I was at the year before my A. I know the territory very well. This time... I know myself much better and know what I will and will not tolerate.

Ugh. I don't want a cold war. I don't want to 180. I'm afraid if I do, he's going to go further into his hole and have less reason to be in the M. If I don't I'm going to keep trying to compete with a 30something woman with no financial or family responsibilities, a nasty personality and few morals for my H's attention. Just writing this makes me wonder why I'm hanging in here anyway if HE is that kind of prize. What do I really do? What kind of things? Soft 180 for a soft EA?

I have no fucking clue what to do with this here. I'm trying to let go of the outcome- let him carry his own weight, see what he can can learn on his own about himself and me too. He has to decide what he wants out of life. Right now that looks like flirting with J and avoiding internal reflection or MC.

I'm so torn though- I am 100% both oars in the water wanting to fix this. BUT, when H is bantering about and entertaining himself with J and distancing himself from me, do I have anything to really R with? We are offered R as a gift and I've definitely done what I could to trash that gift. Isn't doing a 180 a contradiction to that? Or will this be a good way for me to let him grow and do what he can do for himself (and get us out of codependency)? I've pushed rope a lot lately. Doesn't help it's A season either.

I told H the only competition I'm going to have for him is a competition to be better than my old wayward ass self. I'm seeing more and more that I am a very flawed individual, yes, but I AM A PRIZE. I'm 40 years old, have proven myself as a mother, career woman and am now proving to myself what kind of human being I can and want to become (with LOTS of work to go!! UGH- that's a post for another day). I'm smart, sexy, pretty, got a low tolerance for mean people, enjoy building others up and making connections between people, a good mom (now my wayward head is out of my ASS) and gosh, I think I may just be a good friend too.

See how demoralizing this is? I have to use my anger to build myself back up. Sucks. I'm sorry all you BS's out there that had to go through a triple decker club sandwich of what I'm having right now.

Sometimes I think God is asking me to stay in this because I need to learn empathy for the other side to truly heal and truly "go and sin no more." That and a huge helping of humble pie too. You are what you eat. Humility and patience are virtues, right? And empathy is a good thing to have more of, so... bring it on? Sigh.

Please give me some perspective here, mind is spinning and didn't get jack shit done today at work.

For now, I'm going to do things for me for a bit and do what I can do for H during A season... without condoning or enabling the J thing. What ever the hell that looks like in action.

WW/BW Dday July 2019. BH/WH- multiple EA's. Back at it again- bantering w the younger woman. Lied about blocking phone calls and deleted texts. Carried on with her.

Nothing changes if nothing changes.

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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 11:26 PM on Tuesday, July 19th, 2022

I am 100% both oars in the water wanting to fix this. BUT, when H is bantering about and entertaining himself with J and distancing himself from me, do I have anything to really R with?

It takes two to R. Being a BS does not give them a get out of jail card to excuse whatever poor behavior they want. Especially after they have an affair of their own. There is no high ground for him to be scolding you from. Right now he's not doing his part, so he isn't a candidate for R. I'd consider going beyond the 180. Call him on it. Tell him he can continue to be "friends" with J, just not while staying married to you. J's not the prize. She's a user and almost undoubtably a serial wayward herself.

He hasn't worked with J in almost 2 years, and he's attracted to her (has told me he likes her figure, her blonde hair and how she dresses and SMELLS). Also wants me to BE MORE LIKE HER: wear heavy perfume, designer clothes and be more snarky and "fun". But, yeah, no reason to worry or be jealous. Or for me to be concerned after he told me 2 weeks ago that he wants me to compete against other women for his attention like I apparently did in college.


Hell no. You may be a former wayward but no one deserves to be treated like that.

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EllieKMAS ( member #68900) posted at 11:38 PM on Tuesday, July 19th, 2022

MIGander, what he is doing is not okay. You know what he's doing is not okay. Removing all the A stuff, what he is doing is taking time and affection from his wife to 'play' with a single lady at work. In no universe is that healthy marriage behavior, no matter what the justification he says to himself.

I'm so torn though- I am 100% both oars in the water wanting to fix this.

And that's great. BUT.... you can't be in a marriage and working at the marriage by yourself.

BUT, when H is bantering about and entertaining himself with J and distancing himself from me, do I have anything to really R with?

IMHO? No you have nothing to work with here.

We are offered R as a gift and I've definitely done what I could to trash that gift. Isn't doing a 180 a contradiction to that?

I have to imagine that this is a really difficult thing to wrestle with as the WS. Yes, you did a lot of things wrong. Yes you had an A. Yes to all of that. I think there is a certain amount of grace that has to be extended by the BS if R is offered that the WS probably won't get everything right and that the process likely will be one step forward two steps back sometimes. Honestly I don't think some BS's are capable of that.

With all that said, you do not have to put up with blatant disregard and disrespect by your BH because you had an A. You don't owe it to allow him to act like this to make up for what you did. I can tell you as a BW, there was n-o-t-h-i-n-g my xwh ever could have done that would have made up for the hurt he caused me. But had we gotten into R for real, I also know that it would not have been a healthy situation for ME to go and do hurtful things to him and then throw the A at him when he had legitimate concerns about my behaviors. That's a really hard part of R for a BS I think. And it doesn't matter how many of 'his' activities you do, or how many watches you buy him, or how many lunch dates with other women you deal with - nothing you do is going to make the A 'fair' for HIM - only he can do that for himself. A or not, you don't have to just suck it up and do all this either.

I guess my biggest question for YOU when you do shares like this is what are you trying to fix really? Are you really trying to fix your M? Or are you trying to fix him so that you can feel redeemed somehow? Like if you can have a happy M again it somehow evens the scales? I don't need an answer, just telling you that from an objective outside perspective there seems to be a very unhealthy dynamic at play here, for both of you.

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

"The love that you lost isn't worth what it cost and in time you'll be glad that it's gone." – Linkin Park

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 MIgander (original poster member #71285) posted at 11:51 PM on Tuesday, July 19th, 2022

Thanks guys for the quick answers. I will reply in more detail in a bit.

One thing that really jumped out at me though- do I want him to change and heal the M to balance this whole shit sandwich out.

Yes. I want the suffering to have some redemption. But I am trying to control the outcome.

It is funny, like I am being hit over the head with a new set of 2x4s. I am trying to fix H and our M so I can somehow feel better about my A and all my past horrible behavior. Ends justifying the means. I have to let go of that.

I have to let go of H changing and ask myself, if nothing changes, can I live in this M and thrive?

I already know the answer, but dont want to admit it to myself.

WW/BW Dday July 2019. BH/WH- multiple EA's. Back at it again- bantering w the younger woman. Lied about blocking phone calls and deleted texts. Carried on with her.

Nothing changes if nothing changes.

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 MIgander (original poster member #71285) posted at 1:05 AM on Wednesday, July 20th, 2022

So yeah, H asked what my plans for the week are, and I said I would plan my own thing. He senses the distance and asked me if this was what I wanted. I said that I dont want to be romantic with him right now. He want happy with that, but I reminded him that we are more than just the romance thing, that we are friends too. I also told him I really want to hang out with you, but I need some time to process the whole J thing.

So, we will see. If he wants to change he will.

I am so tempted to ping his IC and ask him if he ever sent H openings in the evening for him to meet. But... I am not, because... I am letting go of the outcome.

If/when H decides to join MC again, and I think it about 80% likely for next week, I think MC is going to invite him again. Our MC is his IC.

MC and I were talking about the situation with H today and he thinks H isnt coming to IC because he gets challenged. (Tjis was after I described our lovely fight last week.)

H tried to compare our M back to his parents M on a phone call before I went to the MC session alone today. I stopped him saying, "I want nothing to do with your parents M. They are incredibly unhappy and I do not want to live in a relationship that even remotely resembles theirs."

He felt cut off. But was VERY quiet for a few min.

H has a hard time dealing with things outside black and white rules. He has had a very structured and protected life. Frankly, I have been jealous in the past about it. That slowly changed though as I took a look behind the curtain at what all that security and certainty cost those living in it.

I was practically raised by wolves. Wolves with good table manners... but wolves nonetheless laugh

Anyway, I am used to having to figure things out on my own and have an innate distrust for people bossing others around without showing they can walk the walk first.

All this to say, H has to learn to live outside his comfort zone in a world of his own choosing (and not modeled for him by his parents). Just as I have had to learn to live outside my comfort zone and trust there can be a place for me where I can trust others to care for me.

Anywho. I am currently texting w my GFs and seeing who wants to drink margaritas tomorrow or Thursday. Who wants in? blink

WW/BW Dday July 2019. BH/WH- multiple EA's. Back at it again- bantering w the younger woman. Lied about blocking phone calls and deleted texts. Carried on with her.

Nothing changes if nothing changes.

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PowerWithin ( new member #80349) posted at 1:44 AM on Wednesday, July 20th, 2022

180 has backfired when I’ve tried it with my husband because he would go directly into full-fledged victim mode, and could not pull himself out of it. He has a history of loss, victimization, and neglect as a child, and related codependency that he is still working on. Massive rigidity, black and white thinking, issues with boundaries, control, accountability, etc.

We just recently started making real progress together since we started doing MC with a counselor trained in post-induction therapy. Compared to past therapists, the key difference is that he thinks she really seems to understand how his childhood impacts him now, and she educates and challenges him in a way that he not only doesn’t feel attacked/criticized/threatened, but instead feels understood/validated/encouraged to try new responses. It’s early days with this new approach but we are both seeing positive results.

And damn, a margarita sounds perfect :)

[This message edited by PowerWithin at 1:45 AM, Wednesday, July 20th]

"The future is completely open, and we are writing it moment to moment." - Pema Chödrön

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 MIgander (original poster member #71285) posted at 2:34 AM on Wednesday, July 20th, 2022

Hi PW, that sounds great that you found an IC who you WH clicks with. My H is not comfortable looking at childhood or doing therapy in general. Childhood because he really had a good one, compared with about 90% of the population. That and his family is very strict on the whole respecting your elders thing. Therapy is difficult in 2 ways. 1. Hes male, and dont bash me for stereotyping. He wasnt socialized to get too into feelings inside himself. Its easier for him to project his onto others than deal directly with his own. Plus his mom gaslights the F out of everyone when they are down or upset that theyre the problem because theyre not grateful enough or they need to do more this or do less that. Heaven forbid you have your emotion and allow yourself to acknowledge it!
2. Hs family thinks going to IC or psychiatrist is only for the psychos. Lots of shame to go around there. Really a generational thing, in their generation, if you werent happy or at peace or pretending things were fine, you were an object of suspicion, ridicule and isolated. But H was raised in that environment and absorbed it too. Fitting in and being part of the in crowd or high status tribe is important for him and being in IC and MC is difficult.

Anyway, I am glad you guys are making progress. Hopefully we will too.

WW/BW Dday July 2019. BH/WH- multiple EA's. Back at it again- bantering w the younger woman. Lied about blocking phone calls and deleted texts. Carried on with her.

Nothing changes if nothing changes.

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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 3:16 AM on Wednesday, July 20th, 2022

Just writing this makes me wonder why I'm hanging in here anyway if HE is that kind of prize.

I've been quietly wondering that for a long time now. It sounds like his disrespectful behavior predated your affair and has continued with only nominal attempts at reform.

I have to be honest: if you're really all in on the marriage, I would say you need to quit that job. R is hard enough without any chance of you encountering the AP. (I'm not clear on how him speaking to you would constitute an actionable legal situation unless he was your supervisor at the time of the A. Otherwise, I'd have thought that your employer could fire you both for compromising your workplace effectiveness with your personal relationship.) In any case, just the outside chance of you encountering AP is legitimately triggering, and it gives your H an excuse for entitlement. In his mind, you won't put your marriage ahead of your job, so he won't prioritize it over the fun he's having with J. Of course it's a false equivalency, but it's not a false grievance, which makes for muddy waters.

The other side of the coin is that if there's no chance of turning your marriage into a mutually satisfying adult relationship, then you're going to need that job to support yourself. I think that's likely to be the reality here, MIgander. He's not going to change. He doesn't think he should have to change. If you leave the job, he'll be resentful about the lack of money for the luxury purchases he needs to keep him happy. If you keep it, he'll resent the triggers. Either way, he'll keep up the zingers that you're not the Barbie doll Stepford Wife he feels he deserves. Why do you need that?

It's better to keep the job than the man in this scenario, IMO. But that's my practical rather than principled advice, because if I thought you ought to go for R, I would tell you to quit.

WW/BW

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Dkt3 ( member #75072) posted at 3:33 AM on Wednesday, July 20th, 2022

As a BH I never understood the need to have a WS quit a job. Its not like not working together will prevent them from continuing that relationship.

On the other hand, like mentioned above, it can be viewed as the WS being unwilling to prioritize the marriage.

Honest observation, I dont think either of you really want the marriage. It sounds like you just want to right a wrong and your husband is waiting for you to pull the trigger. Thus neither of you are willing to fully commit.

Thats just my opinion, but it Nothing personal.

I apologize if you feel I'm out if order

[This message edited by Dkt3 at 3:37 AM, Wednesday, July 20th]

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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 3:37 AM on Wednesday, July 20th, 2022

I wouldn't 180 without explicitly telling him that it is due to his inappropriate relationship with J. Because a spouse who 180s appears very similar to a spouse in an A. That his EA if it continues will be the cause of the end of your marriage just as much as your A.

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 MIgander (original poster member #71285) posted at 12:50 PM on Wednesday, July 20th, 2022

Hi BSR,

THANK YOU for calling me out on some things. I definitely got into my lizard brain last night and logic wasn't a strong factor in everything I was thinking/feeling.

I have to be honest: if you're really all in on the marriage, I would say you need to quit that job.

and

The other side of the coin is that if there's no chance of turning your marriage into a mutually satisfying adult relationship, then you're going to need that job to support yourself.

THESE conflicting thoughts are what give me pause about quitting. You're right- I am not 100% in this M while I'm working at this job. It's either the job or H. I'm insecure that if I quit my job (and find one with lest suitability/freedom of thought/pay), that I'll be more unhappy and stressed in that arena and my H will still be my H. I really don't know and this is the core problem of why I'm even on this site and in this job still.

Like, I want my M to improve and my H to be the guy he is on the rare occasions he opens up, but I want to keep my job and have that safety net and more of an even power dynamic with resources (based on our previous behaviors in our M). It also stresses H out when he's the only one with an income. H also doesn't want to leave the house and downsize so we can live off one income. AND I'm REALLY unhappy being a SAHM.

Like, what if I jump off this ledge and he doesn't catch me. I don't have that trust. Is it because of me or because of him? It's likely a combo of both.

Things keeping him distant:
-Job (for obvious reasons)
-Me posting here (H doesn't like the way he's portrayed and doesn't like me getting advice from mutually broken/hurting people)

Things keeping me distant:
-Repeated disrespectful behavior with other women
-Lack of demonstrated interest in internal growth and participation in marital growth

DKT3: yes, it does sound like neither of us wants the M. I don't want our M to go back to the way it was. I don't want an M modeled off his parents. I don't want an M with the disrespect and abuse of my parents. Question is, what the hell M do I want?

Grubs: I told him about my distance last night. I've decided against the 180, but I am going to do more things for myself. I need to recharge.

WW/BW Dday July 2019. BH/WH- multiple EA's. Back at it again- bantering w the younger woman. Lied about blocking phone calls and deleted texts. Carried on with her.

Nothing changes if nothing changes.

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doninvaun ( member #75329) posted at 2:21 PM on Wednesday, July 20th, 2022

If/when H decides to join MC again


I don't think this is an option, it is a "must" for your H to attend MC to address the many issues in your current situation.
Also seems like there are unresolved underlying issues that need to be discussed at your MC.
You simply cannot resolve these issues yourself, regardless of what you do (speaking from my own experience and as per my IC).

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EllieKMAS ( member #68900) posted at 3:36 PM on Wednesday, July 20th, 2022

I have to let go of H changing and ask myself, if nothing changes, can I live in this M and thrive?

I already know the answer, but dont want to admit it to myself.

I find this ironic and sad and funny - this is the exact same set of questions I had as a BW. Verbatim.

MIGander, I still see a LOT of focus on your H. His thoughts. His feelings. His foo. His actions. etc. While yes, part of your work is paying attention to him and all that, I also think that putting all your focus on him is doing yourself a disservice. Again, a very BW thing to do - I did this too after dday. Put sooooooo much focus on HIS feelings/wants/thoughts/needs. I think for me, I did that because it was simpler to say "Oh he's unhappy with ___, so if I do ____, then it's fixed." That was simpler by far than focusing on MY wants and needs and getting honest with ME that he couldn't meet them. Cus like you, I didn't want to admit that that meant my marriage was done. Took me months and months to get there in my head.

Bottom line - just because you are the WS does not mean that you can't call the game. Just because you're the WW does not mean that you are not allowed to have boundaries and call him out on behaviors that hurt you. I just get the sense that you feel kinda stuck and like you're not allowed to criticize his behaviors cus of that. IMHO, a big part of your work IS learning how to draw healthy boundaries for yourself and to communicate them effectively. Just food for thought.

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

"The love that you lost isn't worth what it cost and in time you'll be glad that it's gone." – Linkin Park

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 MIgander (original poster member #71285) posted at 5:11 PM on Wednesday, July 20th, 2022

Hi Ellie,

Yeah, this is true of me:

Put sooooooo much focus on HIS feelings/wants/thoughts/needs. I think for me, I did that because it was simpler to say "Oh he's unhappy with ___, so if I do ____, then it's fixed." That was simpler by far than focusing on MY wants and needs and getting honest with ME that he couldn't meet them.

I'm quite co-dependent to begin with. This month is the worst because it's A season, and his bday and our anniversary. His bday is very important to him and he sets high expectations for it and expects a lot out of people in order to feel loved. I hate disappointing him on top of everything else I've added to this season, so I rack my brain, punish myself and am frantic to please him so I can PROVE that I'm worth it to him.

It's manipulation on my part, co-dependent and controlling the outcome. I'm deciding to do what I can do for him and do within the constraints of our real-world resources (time, money, energy) and stop the agonizing. In the end, we can't have everything we want, we can't base our expectations on what others have. We are in control of what we feel entitled to and end up resenting each other for.

H reads here and is hurt by what he reads. I get details like timeline confused (H had lunch with J on Thursday last week, I went into work on Monday). I went to MC alone because of H's lunch. H offered to meet me there halfway through session and I declined (wanted him there the whole thing- coming in 1/2 way is too disruptive and we lose a good 10min getting settled).

H isn't a monster. He just manages to trigger me to the extreme between my FOO (dad's A and disrespect of mom), fears of being dependent on him (he was unreliable in the past w/ $$) and my constant sense of competition with other, more attractive females (again, back to my dad and experience of being invisible next to my abuser sister). His friend J too triggers me as he had inappropriate lunches with her when he was most vulnerable after my A and her cattiness and obsession with appearance is so like my abuser sister whom I was in competition with.

It's like I chose H because I liked his kinder, caring and tender goofy sexy side. But also chose him because everything I discussed above I felt at home in (echoes of my FOO). Like H's cousin told me when we visited up north, "we marry people because we hope they heal our wounds from childhood."

I am hoping H will change. I am hoping it to prove to myself that:
1-I am good enough for someone like my family
2-People like my dad can change and be redeemed
3-People like myself can also change and be redeemed.

#1: I am good enough. Period. And I'm not just good enough for people like my family, I deserve better!
#2: H has to decide what his personal growth will look like, this is not my job. Gotta stay in my lane
#3: I am changing and I am growing. Progress is enough for me and I don't want to backslide.

So... gotta make peace with H not changing until he wants to and is ready to. Gotta figure out where the good is that I can stay for and see if that's enough. Gotta keep on keeping on and getting myself in a better place with myself.

Thanks everyone for hanging in here on this thread. I feel like some days I'm smoking the hopium pipe, but H has been kinder and more considerate of me this morning and we had a good discussion around our feelings and I felt heard and he did too. Haven't decided what we are going to do with that though. H is thinking about taking it apart too.

Still stuck with hope, but not having enough faith to really be all in and give up my job for my M. Sacrifice like Jesus did on the cross. Lose my life to save it? But will I be living in the Truth of how He made me? Or is this something H needs to heal for himself on his own, as I can have an A with anyone any time I want to in any circumstance. H can too. He has his nights drinking with his buddies in bars where he can meet available women. He has a blondie young thing (nothing against blondes!) on the hook sucking up his ego kibbles and sprinkling her own in there. Maybe not a full EA, but definitely not giving anything back to our M. H can have an A if he wants to too, anywhere anytime. Just as I did. I guess that part is on him. But quitting my job would make it easier for him to heal and show him I am truly all in. Except I'm not and we are stuck.

WW/BW Dday July 2019. BH/WH- multiple EA's. Back at it again- bantering w the younger woman. Lied about blocking phone calls and deleted texts. Carried on with her.

Nothing changes if nothing changes.

posts: 773   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8745555
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Buck ( member #72012) posted at 5:13 PM on Wednesday, July 20th, 2022

Michigan, 2x4 incoming, you seem to live in a delusional fantasy world. Let me start with this: your company is not legally liable for creating a hostile work environment. You did that when you decided to have an A with a coworker. I would be careful tossing that card around at work or you'll likely lose this job you covet. Willfully fucking a coworker does not constitute sexual harassment. You are not an innocent victim in this situation and you very likely would not fare well if HR decides to investigate the matter. Hopefully you were smart enough to avoid using company email, IM, or phones to communicate with your AP. Stop bullshitting yourself, press the matter and you both will be fired.

A lot of what gets discussed here in this thread is differentiating between consequences and abuse. I'm guessing you work in some sort of engineering\design center for an automotive OEM. I work in a similar environment. The pandemic is over, jobs like those are plentiful in your state. Why are you still working at the same place as your AP? You can't do the calculus to figure out why this bothers your BH? Staying employed there shows you are not 100% in this M and not focused on R yet you expect your BH to bend over backwards to help repair the damage you've done.

You BH has figured out there are other women that find him desirable. I speak from experience when I say this won't end well if you don't start making serious changes. And I realize you're 3 years from d day, you're still figuring shit out, but your posts do seem to lack remorse at times. You seem to be in victim mode instead of repair mode. If you take one thing away from this post, know you're playing with fire if you decide to 180 your BH right now.

posts: 369   ·   registered: Nov. 4th, 2019   ·   location: Texas
id 8745556
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 6:29 PM on Wednesday, July 20th, 2022

The purpose of the 180 is to get out of infidelity and to focus on your priorities other than your WS. The goal is not to repair your M, or trick your spouse into running after you. It could be the case that the two of you are going through the motions in a zombie marriage and really should get divorced because neither of your are really committed to accomplishing specific long term goals or to have a sort of marriage you would both like to have.

If you believe that his ongoing texts and lunches with J constitute a genuine emotional affair, you can't sort of pussyfoot around it.

"I get to cheat because you still work in the same building as AP."

Yeah, you both are doing something the other person should put a harder boundary on.

I know from experience I could only "white knuckle" working at the same company as AP for a year before I asked for a divorce. I think you should really consider this issue more seriously. I'm not trying to muddy the water here, but it's sort of a subject I would tell your H that he shouldn't continue to tolerate. I wouldn't tell him it's a valid excuse to go cheat.

On the question of "opposite sex friends", I think it's clear your husband is crossing boundaries with J (and likely carrying out an EA in front of your face). What's more, he is specifically ASKING that you play the pick-me dance. To "compete" with other women for his attention. That's just a big fat no for me, especially since he is rejecting some of your bids for attention, or offers for nice dates/experiences.

What would an acceptable relationship with opposite sex friends look like for you guys? Have you agreed to that?

My wife and I have worked this out. She has a new opposite sex friend that she has made since her EA. She has put up the right walls. She doesn't text him like a teenager. There is no flirting, and she is totally open with me about their interactions. I talk to him as well, although he isn't directly my friend.

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

posts: 2028   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8745572
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 MIgander (original poster member #71285) posted at 8:18 PM on Wednesday, July 20th, 2022

Hey Buck,

2x4 appreciated. I've decided against 180 and am instead doing what I can and letting go of the rest (not manipulating the outcome through co-dependency).

Yes, the work thing is about consequences of my A. To address some of the history:
-I decided to have an A with a COW not in my supervisory chain (consensual and not harassment).
-When I ended the A and BH told AP's wife, I was cornered in the hallway, shouted at within an inch of my face and threatened by AP to get my BH in line (harassment). THAT was when the harassment and hostile work environment happened.
-I told HR about this, informed them of my vulnerable mental state and the way AP took advantage of that. Also notified them that he's had inappropriate contact with other women across other corporate campuses within his org. He told me about other "friends" he made in prior times. Yah, a real winner I picked. rolleyes
-I moved campuses, switched positions to be completely out of his work environment and thus achieved NC. Company is large enough that if you're not on the same campus or working on the same side of the product (body vs engines), there's no need for contact.
-AP got moved to my campus when he switched jobs. Despite the recorded mental trauma I experienced from AP's treatment after our A, and promises from HR that they would inform me he was moved so I could be prepared to see him in the hall, they did not.
-Hostile work environment created when I ran into him in the hall during one of my supplier visits. Took me a good 10-15min to get calmed down from my panic attack in the bathroom before I could rejoin my meeting. He did not talk to me but DID see me.
-HR was informed of this. HR gave a bunch of excuses and blah blah blah, but they dropped the ball.

You're absolutely right- I'm not likely to win any suits against my employer should I file one. However, I do have a legit complaint against HR for not notifying me of his campus move. My mistake in my posting was letting my panicked CPTSD lizard brain run away with my sense.

The pandemic is over, jobs like those are plentiful in your state. Why are you still working at the same place as your AP?

Work in my field is not plentiful, despite there being any number of engineering jobs in my state. If I switched, most opportunities are in a Tier 1 with in-plant or travel environments. I would likely be back in a quality management or process engineering role with heavier duties, on site work and less pay. I could wait until a colleague at another OEM retires (which may be 5 years or so) and switch to his job, not sure. I could switch orgs again in my company, but again, those jobs require travel and would still be on campus for meetings 2-3x a month. BH doesn't want me to travel for obvious reasons. I'm not a designer, I'm not a software developer, and I'm not in purchasing. I can't say more or people will likely be able to guess who I am on LinkedIn.

You can't do the calculus to figure out why this bothers your BH? Staying employed there shows you are not 100% in this M

Bit insulting. But... I was NOT an A student when I took calc. Thank GOODNESS I am not expected to use it very often, hah. And yeah, I'm not obtuse about why this bothers BH. And yes, I am not 100% in the M because of the job. (2x4 needed there!) I'm about 80% focused on R. I do not expect him to bend over backwards. Neither do I honestly expect myself to in this area either. I WFH 90%, make great money, have a low stress satisfying position and my job enables me to spend a TON of time with BH and the fam. Other jobs with other companies will not allow the level of freedom or pay or satisfaction. I search weekly on LinkedIn to see if there are positions like mine that would not involve travel or more than 25-50% onsite work.

I have high standards because I know what I need to thrive and have expertise in certain areas that not many in my generation have. It's not bragging and is reality when I say that I've worked very hard and very intensely in my early career to gain the level of experience that I have. I've tried SAHM, and I've been in many stressful, overworked, underpaid, ill treated, under utilized or had poor managers (sometimes various combinations of all these) in my plant life. I know what it's like for me to be a mom and wife in that level of stress, and it does NOT work- for me, or for H or my fam. My coping skills and accepted stress tolerance have grown, but I've also raised my expectations for myself as a wife, mom and worker. For me to operate well in all three roles, I want a certain work environment.

and not focused on R yet you expect your BH to bend over backwards to help repair the damage you've done.

Asking BH not to engage in frivolous, flirtatious banter with younger women he finds attractive is not expecting him to bend over backwards. Expecting him to participate in MC for an M he is still legally in, is not bending over backwards. Perhaps my expectation of him getting into IC and examining his need for validation via fancy luxury goods, the finest restaurants, hotels, houses, best dressed and surgically altered women, clothes etc... yeah, that might be him bending over backwards. That's something my little hopium codependent manipulative self (wayward me) needs to get the hell over. I can reasonably expect H to change the way he interacts with me within the M and reasonably expect he continues our MC coaching to become better spouses for each other and to each other.

You BH has figured out there are other women that find him desirable.

This is true- BH has never been an undesirable man... unless you were subject to his demands, rigidity, judgment, perfectionism, gaslighting, denial and financial abuse. If he wasn't desirable, I wouldn't have married him. H as a person is handsome, smart, funny, intelligent and hardworking and dedicated.

As for it not ending well, I really don't get what you're saying? If H decided to call it quits, I want him to find someone who finds him attractive. I don't want him to be miserable. He is ultimately a good person whose flaws line up perfectly with my triggers. I have forgiven him and want to make amends to him to the best of my ability. If that is ultimately D and not a massive change in our M, then that's ending it well. I WANT HIM TO BE HAPPY! Preferably with me, but if not, then I can't have everything I want in life and can make peace with that. Note that I'm not at peace with that right now, but I can adjust. I'll have to in that case!

TIF:

What would an acceptable relationship with opposite sex friends look like for you guys? Have you agreed to that?

For me, it's as you described it with your WW. I want to be a part of the friendship in a tangential way- ie: she knows I exist, knows my name, has met me and made light chat with me. I want H to be friends with people who are friends of the M and not trolling around backstabbing "friends" and in general acting like a big fat user. This goes the same for me. I don't feel comfortable making male friends anymore with my past history and am careful now to make sure that I am friends with their spouse, and H is friends (or acquainted) with them. Basically, I want myself and my H to act like we would when the other spouse were present in any of our relationships. I screwed up massively in the past bitching about H to friends and don't want to go back there.

WW/BW Dday July 2019. BH/WH- multiple EA's. Back at it again- bantering w the younger woman. Lied about blocking phone calls and deleted texts. Carried on with her.

Nothing changes if nothing changes.

posts: 773   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8745585
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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 8:59 PM on Wednesday, July 20th, 2022

I'm going to fly into the face of convention and say you've done enough to ensure NC on the job. The fact is that you're husband isn't the only one of you married to a former cheater. He's got a cheating history too, and what's more.. not doing the work he needs to do in order to reconcile the marriage. I see you reading lots of books, going to therapy, questioning your behavior and your motivations. I see him having a relationship with a coworker that makes you uncomfortable and ignoring your discomfort.

You've put this post in Wayward, but frankly, I'd say it's a good time to put your BW hat on and consider whether or not this marriage is acceptable to you. A few posts back, you said this:

So yeah, H asked what my plans for the week are, and I said I would plan my own thing. He senses the distance and asked me if this was what I wanted. I said that I dont want to be romantic with him right now. He want happy with that, but I reminded him that we are more than just the romance thing, that we are friends too. I also told him I really want to hang out with you, but I need some time to process the whole J thing.

I think you could be a whole lot more clear with your expectations and to say outright that you consider his relationship with the coworker to be inappropriate and that you're NOT going to continue tolerating it.

The confusion with the 180 is that it's meant by its original author to be something of a manipulation, to show a WS what he's missing. But for our purposes, the 180 really needs to be for YOU, to help you break your enmeshment to a toxic partner who is unwilling to work toward healing. That's what you're seeing, isn't it?.. a guy who is not remorseful enough over his own infidelity to change his current behavior and who appears to be interviewing you for the position of wife that you already hold. If not for your WS hat, do you think anyone, yourself included, would encourage you to tolerate that???

I can't tell you what to do, but as someone who's old enough to be your mother, I can tell you that you won't be getting any younger than you are today. So, if this guy isn't willing to get in the game, maybe it's high time to cut bait and move on. You'll need an income for that and thankfully, you've already got a what sounds like a pretty good job.

Boundaries up! Mean what you say and say what you mean. You'll be okay.

[This message edited by ChamomileTea at 9:03 PM, Wednesday, July 20th]

BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)Married 38 years; in R with fWH for 7

No one can make you into a liar but you.

posts: 5750   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8745591
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Tanner ( member #72235) posted at 1:02 AM on Thursday, July 21st, 2022

Wow I’m sorry you are going through this. In our R I came to the point that it felt like a dictatorship. I’m the BS so I call all the shots. You comply by my demands or else!!! My W was walking on eggshells, scared to do anything.

There came a time to equal up the M. If there are rules of R then they apply to both of us equally. I can go through her electronic devices anytime I want and she can do the same. If I have any interaction with a woman that’s outside the norm, it’s full disclosure. Same with her, she let’s me know when creeps contact her on SM.

You are beyond 180, you are working on R. He needs the same boundaries and standards that you are expected to up hold.

I wish you the best and this isn’t headed in a good direction.

Dday Sept 7 2019 doing well in R
BH 55 WW 48 M 31 years, 4 kids 2 grown 2 grandkids

posts: 1637   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2019   ·   location: Texas DFW
id 8745616
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foreverlabeled ( member #52070) posted at 2:02 PM on Thursday, July 21st, 2022

That saying around here, lose the M/save the M, I took that advice. Except the only one who wanted to save my M was me and now I'm happily divorced living my best life. I don't know how much of my story you're familiar with but we were MHs. We were cheating on each other none the wiser until my A surfaced. And that pulled the cover off the whole situation.

I tried very hard to R, it was my goal alongside getting my shit together. Ex wasn't a very good WS. Lied and denied didn't give me half of what I needed. I implemented the 180 and the jerk went and got a girlfriend. I was deeply hurt and obviously had to leave. Anyone that was here for that knew it was the last thing I wanted, how I desperately held out and desperately held on to anything. To my detriment. It wasn't healthy and it wasn't aligning with all that I've worked so hard for.

And though it was absolutely the right choice for me it didn't feel like it at the time. I was devastated. It was the hardest choice I'd ever made. But it takes 2 to recover, repair, and reconcile. You can't do that alone, and you most certainly cannot do it in the state your M is currently in. Its very hard to fight fair as MHs and your H seems very much like my ex, showing zero remorse and the whole tit for tat. You can't get very far with that. And it seems (and I have no thoughts I wish to share on the issue) that so long as you stay employed at your current job, no matter the circumstances and actions you took, your H is always going to hang it over your head and use it as an excuse to do whatever he wants.

You have very few options if you want to keep your sanity. I lived the life you're heading down longer than anyone should have. It was a struggle to say the least. Two very very conflicting thoughts and feelings it nearly drove me insane. I had to cut something loose and it wasn't going to be my wellbeing, not that far into my progress and all the work.

I know you said you're dropping the 180 are you sure about that? Idk girl, you may need it if he's not going to stop, if he's not going to take the work seriously. How else are you going to stay sane? Because what you are living is crazy making material. Have you read 'codependency no more'? It was fantastic, and there should be an ICR thread on codependency. For now and having been in eerily similar shoes, that may be a great starting point for you.

posts: 2589   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2016   ·   location: southeast
id 8745640
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