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

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 MIgander (original poster member #71285) posted at 4:06 PM on Thursday, July 21st, 2022

Hi Tanner!

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.


We are doing the full disclosure thing to each other now, and I asked H about whether or not he has blocked J. He hasn’t, but said he would think about it and let me know what he decides since it bothered me. Which is all good. He showed understanding for how I feel about the situation and compared it back to how he feels about my work. I clarified with him that the 2 are not the same. He said the emotions are, but I pointed out that the substance of the matters are not. He didn’t make any indication of whether he agreed to that, but he did feel heard about how he feels. All good.
The question I have is, area the two matters- me going to work in the same building (HUGE building with labs away from the offices where I sit), the same?
What was discouraging about the conversation was his justifications for continuing to talk to and help her out. She wanted a power cord for a laptop so she can have one at home. Why she can’t do what everyone else does and cart it back and forth in her work bag… ?? He has an extra. He’s going into work today (on a day he doesn’t have to- said there was no one in the office) so he can go to lunch with a mutual friend of J to hand off the power cord. I asked him, "Why do YOU have to give HER the power cord?" He said he had an extra and wanted to give it to her since he had an extra. I said, "She can buy herself purses every week. She can buy herself her own power cord." He came back with, "to get rid of it out of our house." To which I told him, "We can just throw it out you know." H got quiet after that… rolleyes
Either way, he’s protecting the relationship. And he’s going in on a day when we were considering doing an art fair together. AND he still feels like I don’t plan or want to do things with him since I decided to go w or w/o him Saturday morning, maybe with one of my girlfriends. He is welcome to his feelings. I am not accepting the guilt I feel when he brings up how much he just wants to hang out with me… and then comes up with many reasons not to.

Hi Foreverlabeled,

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?


I’m not doing a 180 as I do want to continue working on R with him. I am, however, slowing down sexual/romantic side of things to focus on our companionship and friendship. I feel safe being his friend and connecting to him on a "dating" level with affection and light touching. While he’s still communicating with J, I’m not doing certain things like sending him sexy pics of myself (I’m losing weight again, YAY!) or having sex with him. I want to hang out with him, I want to demonstrate and build trust, but I will not compete with J for his attention and I won’t be putting up with him bantering with a younger woman he has compared me negatively to (in subtle ways like, "I like J so much because she’s into fashion like me, I’m so lonely since I can’t share that with you" Even though I’ve taken an interest and bought new clothes that interest him… OH! And the lovely, "I love the perfume J wears! I want to go to LV store and figure out which one it is so you can get some!!" EW. barf Just fucking EW barf ). H has apologized once I explained to him how intimate a thing a woman's perfume is and how I equate smelling a person to having your nose up their shoulder and on their neck. J takes whore baths in it, so you can smell her coming and going. (Yeah yeah I'm talking about her like that and I call my self a Christian... tongue )
Sorry, but she finds him attractive and is using flying monkeys to keep him interested. He finds her attractive too and an escape from times when I have to go into work. Not having sex with someone who thinks like that. That’s wayward 101 and yeah… ew. I know it because I lived it. At this point, it’s not hypocritical of me to say, "This is looking like how I was during my affair, and I won’t accept it from you."

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.


I’ve read CoDNM (GREAT BOOK) and I’ve been re-listening to podcasts on it. It’s a good refresher- I’ve been engaging in codependent behavior lately (AGAIN) in an attempt to control the outcome. That’s why the art fair with one of my friends (who may not be able to go after all- her doggers is dying, SO SAD crying ) is so important to me this weekend. It’s a way for me to regain an identity for myself, pursue an interest and break out of the cycle.
H is invited, but he feels like a 2nd choice because I decided to go for myself w/ my buddy first and I’ll go anyway, with or without anyone else. I also don’t want the kids along- they’ll be hot and uncomfortable and miserable. I want to enjoy this. Love my kids… but sometimes mommy needs a break. laugh
I wanted to go with H today, and he wanted to tie it to a home audio store he’d like to visit, but the time was too tight. We had a good convo around my guilt at doing things for myself and having him do them for/with me (art fair is enjoyable, but really not his bag). H is improving in this, communicating his sadness at our lack of companionship. HOWEVER, 1-2 days after doing something "nice" for me, there’s the old favorite, "I do so much for everyone else, I just want someone to take care of me!!!" look It’s to the point that I am associating good times for myself with H’s unhappiness and dissatisfaction. I expressed that to him this morning and he seemed to understand. All good. I gave him credit for improving. I am also making plenty of bids for his company, wanting to watch a show together, snuggle on Friday, inviting him to the art fair on Saturday and getting a bday party with his fam together for Sunday.
But I’m also doing this for me. H is concerned that since my energy levels are low in the evening that there won’t be any energy left for him. My energy is lower in the evening. It’s also a drag on me to care for everyone all day and end up wiped out at the end of the day. Having this pleasurable time with a friend at an art fair I love will recharge me. H wants to recharge with me too. All good. Both can co-exist!
H points out that his outings with friends (bars on Friday) are a coping mechanism because he wants me first. I wish he could work on seeing his outings with friends as an enrichment to his life in addition to our M, not as a substitute. His dad really didn’t do much for himself and is depressed and enmeshed with his anxious controlling mom. He thinks it’s normal for married couples to do EVERYTHING TOGETHER. My fam did NOTHING together. The extremes are bad, but there’s good in the middle.
Again, this is work he needs to do, but isn’t.

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.


It’s tough because again, I pointed out this morning that the relationship with J is looking like a duck, walking like a duck and quacking like a duck. H doesn’t see it as an EA and certainly doesn’t see it as bad as my inappropriate friendships with co-workers (past oversharing and bitching about H, but no lovey dovey stuff- a TON of "poor me." PITY PARTY YUCK). H has a history of pining after other women and comparing me negatively and wanting me to be more like other women. He says that his relationship with J is not an affair because he doesn’t want to leave me or sleep with her. look Yeah, he wants to stay with me and sleep with me and will be happier with me if I’m more like HER. look Really? Yah, it makes it ok then. I just have to be more like J or Deliah or all the other women he liked and then he’ll want to be with me and sleep with me more… if it’s not an A, it’s screwed up thinking and incredibly demoralizing and painful to me. sad
Which is why I’m starting to focus on my own interests, "dating" companionship with H and backing off on pushing things to "make him happy" and "take care of him." I’ll arrange things and do things for him he says he wants, but if he puts up resistance or backs out, I’m not responsible for his unhappiness.

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.


Yes, yes he is. Shout out to Chamomile on this one. I HAVE gone NC and have pushed the thing at HR as far as I can to ensure NC at work. I’ve also minimized the amount of time on campus and do things (supplier lunches and meetings) off site as much as possible. I also avoid travel for work (gave up a conference in Barcelona where I would be presenting my pet project for H’s comfort sad ). So, yeah, I’m staying at the job and demonstrating trustworthiness and accommodation an as much sensitivity as I can without actually quitting.
To me, it’s not something I’m going to change. It’s triggering to many BS’s out there because that’s standard issue advice. At this point, as Tanner put it, we are working on R and to me, this is something I will resent H for and poison my view of him if I give it up. This job isn’t just a job. It’s a passion of mine. This is sounding entitled and selfish, but there it is.
If H’s relationship with J isn’t just a "friendship" but a passion, then H can make a decision for himself whether or not to keep pursuing the "relationship." I just refuse to compete with her for his passion. Like, really, you want an M with me, but have a passion (or at least strong liking) for another woman? I don't go to work to see my exAP!!!! Work is NOT ABOUT AP. The relationship with J is about a RELATIONSHIP WITH ANOTHER WOMAN WHO DOESNT KNOW ME AND IS NOT A FRIEND OF OUR M.
The crazy making IS REAL as you said. Hence the entire thread on it. I think doing the changes I’m doing (limiting sexual contact to "dating mode" and inviting but not waiting on H) are going to help me while we work out where the M is going and whether or not H wants to do the work to heal.
H says the M will never be as good as the old M because the security is gone for him. I never shared this security he speaks of. Mostly from FOO and also heavily from negativity, comparisons, constant criticism and financial abuse (mismanagement, selfish entitlement and gaslighting and lies told to family) that H practiced in our earlier M. I disagree with him- the M can be much better, even though the security is gone, because we will have deeper respect, mutual enjoyment in each other’s company and a greater appreciation for what really could have been lost.
Yeah, I’m in rebuilder mode (FINALLY) and am wanting to co-pilot the bus of his recovery. H just has to decide whether he wants to take a seat and turn the key. Can’t drive it for him- it’s HIS bus.

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 4:23 PM on Thursday, July 21st, 2022

Also to CT:

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


Thanks for the encouragement. I need it to keep myself from backsliding into codependency again. H is not going to like this...

Also, he reads here too, what I'm posting. Doesn't like that I'm on this site and has asked me to stop posting because of all the negative advise I get. "Hurt people giving advice to other hurt people isn't good advice." He sees himself in the right about my work, and yes, I think he's got a big point. He's said that everyone else on the site would slap me upside the head and tell me to quit. Fr. J would tell me to quit, that my M is more important than my job. All good points. He thinks all people hear are the negative and people are judging him. I invited him to post here and tell his side...

This site has been such a relief, an outlet and a help to have others on it who have walked the walk (and come out on the other side, whether that's R, D or S). It's a support group, like an AA for us in infidelity and trying to recover and redeem ourselves. It's community that I can't have in the real world. As IC pointed out, "It's not like you can talk about this stuff in the check out aisle at the grocery store."

IC asked me whether I would resent H if I gave up posting on here too (in addition to giving up my job). I told her I would. She's concerned because if I give this site up, I will be more isolated than I already am. She's right, which is why I am continuing to post here.

I know H will continue to read these threads and continue to be hurt and feel disrespected by me sharing on this site. I did that with my old unhealthy friends- bitched and bitched about him. I'd like to think the difference this time is that I'm actually getting feed back and trying to CHANGE myself and the situation, instead of getting "poor me" ego kibbles. I HATE that I'm making him feel disrespected and exposed to strangers. But... not enough that I'm going to give up the support? That's where I'm torn and a bit crazy... am I being wayward again in pursuing the advice, help and support on this site against H's wishes?

Until I can answer that question for myself (hopefully with some insight from you guys?), this is another boundary I am going to hold. I'll likely take a break from this once we've settled down into the new mode (H gets off the phone w/ J and back into IC on his own accord), but for now, I need ya'lls help in keeping me strong through this trying time.

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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Tanner ( member #72235) posted at 4:33 PM on Thursday, July 21st, 2022

She wanted a power cord for a laptop so she can have one at home. Why she can’t do what everyone else does and cart it back and forth in her work bag… ?? He has an extra. He’s going into work today (on a day he doesn’t have to- said there was no one in the office) so he can go to lunch with a mutual friend of J to hand off the power cord.

What if J was Jim or Joe would he be so eagerly headed in the office? The other thing is this lunch meet up. I would suspect that somehow J will be there. Last minute change in plans or something. He is emotionally attached to this relationship, I’m not saying EA but he is close to the slippery slope.

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

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 MIgander (original poster member #71285) posted at 4:44 PM on Thursday, July 21st, 2022

Could happen. She came last minute to the lunch last week when he, "had to unblock her so she could get help getting to the restaurant." I mean, the other dude had her number too... and it was a place she had been multiple times... rolleyes mad

ETA: He did tell me when he knew she was going, so there is that.
Slippery slope indeed.

So, going on doing what I can and letting go of the rest. If it does go full blown A, or continue on too much longer without him actively being interested in the work, I will have to think more about the M.

[This message edited by MIgander at 4:45 PM, Thursday, July 21st]

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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numb&dumb ( member #28542) posted at 5:07 PM on Thursday, July 21st, 2022

We are offered R as a gift and I've definitely done what I could to trash that gift.

Are you referring to before or after the A?

In R one thing that I'd learned is that it is all too easy to let resentments hang out in the background and grow into justifications.

Further I know that I held onto to those resentments as a way to keep myself from being vulnerable.

Rarely was any of these, "acting in a way to support R."

You know the gods honest truth thought? In holding to those resentments it was a very unhealthy way to keep my W at arms length. She scared the crap out of me. She had hurt me in ways I couldn't put into words and I was deathly afraid of her hurting me again. It looked similar to what you described above. I don't understand why it is assumed that the BS are always mentalky healthy before Dday. A lot of us were/are not. We just did not have an opportunity to do so before our WS beat us to it.

I think he is afraid of being vulnerable with you. As a guy I learned how to fake vulnerable and then let tbe mak slip. It was not that I did not want to be vulnerable with my wife. It was just painful because it always came with negative thoughts that made me feel worse or that I was being playes for a fool again. Allowing vulnerability to someone who may not have intended to hurt me,but did made me lose respect for myself. I'd realize that being gracious paints a target on you. Real or not there was no way to tell for sure because the person who I would normally talk to was suspect. My wife clearly had a lot to lose in a D. Why wouldn't she want to pretend until my guard was down and do it all over again. So I acted out in some unhealthy ways because I yearned to be vulnerable with anyone who I felt I could trust. It took years of consistent action before I could reasonably trust me wife to be as vulnerable as she wanted me to be with her. Words were always assumed to lies or manipulation to erase my Ws actions. Anything I asked for that she didn't agree to in word or deed were assumed to be evidence she did not want me for me. Only what I could her while she looked for my replacement that could give her more than me. I had very little faith for a long time that anyhing she said or did was only a means to an end that solely benefitted her. Yeah I was a big balle of f'd up for a long time.

The co-worker you mentioned. Yep, I did that too. Not justifying what I did in any way. A connection with someone I felt I could trust more that my wife helped to fill a need without loathing myself. Anywhere I felt I could be myself and relax was very welcome. I could rarely do that at home unless my W was not there, but that too was hard. If she was not at home the natural inclination was to believe she was talking to OM or worse finding a new OM. The only way was to validate her words or actions independently. Even then I still had my doubts (See fear).

I have no doubt your H is hurting in ways only he knows, but isn't sure where to go with it. Co-dependcy makes authentic R difficult if not impossible.

I have to agree that you having an opportumity to talk to OM at work weighs heavily on your husband. Even if you've mitigated the risks and showed your H proof of that it still requires him to take a leap of faith he isn't capable of doing. He told you he was ok with it? He may or may not be. When I was at this stage I said I was OK with things because saying I was not made me look weak or scared. It was easier to fake it and be passive aggressive in other ways.

Just trying to give you some insights that may help you determine what to do next.

If he is flaunting this it likely means he wants to see you jealous. Jealousy to him is one way he can assess that you really do love him or at least he has enough.value that you don't want to lose him. You might think he doesn't care, but he does. Indifference and exhaustion look a lot alike. I'd be concerned about the former, but the later is the more lilely scenario behind his ultimatum.

Best of luck on whatever next steps you decide are right for you.

Dday 8/31/11. EA/PA. Lied to for 3 years.

Bring it, life. I am ready for you.

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 MIgander (original poster member #71285) posted at 5:40 PM on Thursday, July 21st, 2022

Hi Numb&dumb,

Thanks for the thoughtful response. I really do appreciate the input from a BS who's been on the other side of an A.

This stood out to me especially:

If he is flaunting this it likely means he wants to see you jealous. Jealousy to him is one way he can assess that you really do love him or at least he has enough value that you don't want to lose him.

This is something I think is behind his desire for me to compete for him. It's a dynamic that's gone on throughout our M- the comparisons, wanting me to be like other women, fear of vulnerability. His wanting me to be like other women and comparing me to other women... he's admitted he is trying everything he knows to get through to me that he wants to see change. Not all the changes were bad. I regret not making some of them sooner. What he's really trying to say (he's told me this directly) is that he has desires that he wants me to meet in the M and doesn't know how else to communicate them. Like, if he's direct (and vulnerable) about the desires of his heart and his sadness and loneliness from not having them met, he risks me refusing his desires and thus himself.

All this swirls around vulnerability and the fear of it. For both of us.

Even if you've mitigated the risks and showed your H proof of that it still requires him to take a leap of faith he isn't capable of doing. He told you he was ok with it?

This is definitely the case- leaping in faith for him is not in the cards. He's lost his faith in me, the M and even God. Only by consistently earning his trust can I rebuild his trust in me. The other 2 he has to do work on himself to improve. H isn't ok with me going into work. He's honest about that.

I yearned to be vulnerable with anyone who I felt I could trust.

This is definitely true for H. He gravitates toward his friend whose 1st wife had an A on him, anyone he can talk to about my A who is not much more than acquainted with me. Thing is, he hasn't been vulnerable with me once the kids came and I acted out from my post partum depression and the lack of stability from financial chaos.

We've had so many years of distance, I just want to figure out a way to come back together.

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
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EllieKMAS ( member #68900) posted at 5:40 PM on Thursday, July 21st, 2022

Also, he reads here too, what I'm posting. Doesn't like that I'm on this site and has asked me to stop posting because of all the negative advise I get. "Hurt people giving advice to other hurt people isn't good advice." He sees himself in the right about my work, and yes, I think he's got a big point. He's said that everyone else on the site would slap me upside the head and tell me to quit. Fr. J would tell me to quit, that my M is more important than my job. All good points. He thinks all people hear are the negative and people are judging him. I invited him to post here and tell his side...

IMHO part of what makes SI such a special place is that it offers true objectivity. I have no stake in your M or if you stay married, get divorced, or decide to shave your head and move to outer Mongolia just for funsies. All I can do is offer objective opinion about what you're sharing.

I know when I was in the thick of things, my cheating husband told me the same thing about SI. That me reading here was bad for 'us'. That a whole bunch of 'angry strangers don't know us'. I was so in the weeds that I couldn't see a way out. But people here COULD see. They could see that what he was doing was bullshit. They could see that I was tying myself in knots. They had no investment in me or my marriage, but they saw things way clearer in that time period than I was capable of. And I thank the universe that I found SI - that objective perspective offered by internet strangers helped me get my head screwed on straight.

MIGander, I still see him him him. More about him. His feelings, his thoughts, his needs, his wants. Yes, considering his feelings and how your behavior impacts him is an important part of R work for a WW. But that does NOT mean that you have to kowtow to him being on a slippery slope with this J person. And IMHO, he is VERY much on a slippery slope with that.

What I see with him is that your A hurt him deeply (100% understandable) and that instead of digging in to HIS work and working on HIS healing, he is instead trying to 'even the score' by hurting you back. Do I get that? YES I absolutely do. I had those thoughts too - I think most BS's do at some stage in the process. But at some point if R is the thing, that kind of retaliatory mentality just has to stop. Cus when will the score be even? When you've spent x dollars on watches? When you've done x activities with him? When he EA's/PA's with x number of other women? When does it end? I get the sense of injustice, believe me. But at the end of the day, he is responsible for his own healing. You can help and offer support but you can't do it for him. And if he is choosing to schmooze with another girl instead of working on his healing... there's really not much you can do about that. He has to want it, and there's nothing you can do that will make him.

I see him pushing the envelope so he can hurt you, and I see YOU allowing it cus you hurt him first. That's not a healthy dynamic for either of you to exist in.

So less about him - what do YOU want? What are your needs and boundaries? What steps can you take to get yourself from point A to point B? Cus ultimately you cannot control HIM, you can only control 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 6:02 PM on Thursday, July 21st, 2022

Hi EllieKMAS,

Yes, H is very much in the "NOT FAIR" stage- anger and bargaining in grief over the destruction of our M.

So less about him - what do YOU want? What are your needs and boundaries? What steps can you take to get yourself from point A to point B? Cus ultimately you cannot control HIM, you can only control YOU.


I want... don't know everything I want, but I do know some things:
-I want to be cherished and encouraged in my growth, interests and activities
-I want to be held up as, not perfect, but largely a great person to be with
-I want to feel like the sexiest woman my partner knows
-I want to be in a place where the only competition I have is myself (like in running- improving myself, not beating someone else)
-I want a partner who is compassionate of others' pain
-I want a partner who is kinder more often than they are critical
-I want a partner who is unselfish with their time and positivity
-I want a partner who is open to new experiences and finds exploring (anything) the best way to enrich the relationship
-I want a partner who is focused more on quality experiences, not on the quality of their stuff.
-I want a partner open to God's work in their life and open to sharing their faith journey with me.
-I want a partner who is healthy (not overweight and a slob) or working earnestly to be healthy (mentally and physically)
-I want a partner who keeps himself, his home and his affairs in order (tidy, clean and consistent)

Nice to haves:
-Good smile,
-Nice ass laugh
-Great laugh
-Sexy voice.
-Sharp/tidy dresser

See? I don't want much, just the entire damn world laugh

For myself as a person I want:
-To keep working at myself to overcome past hurts and drop the baggage that is blocking my progress toward wholeness and happiness
-To find out more about myself, my interests and to pursue them
-To make and keep close friendships with strong, positive and caring women
-To keep innovating and creating in my life: at work, at home, with hobbies and with my garden
-To make more time for enjoying the company of my children and partner
-To grow in compassion for myself and others.
-To continue the path I'm on in perfecting my honesty and integrity
-To not accept anything less than respect and kindness from those closest to me.
-To not tolerate poor treatment (rudeness, aggression or negligence) from ANYONE
-To encourage others not to give up, to give hope to those who are in the black hole that one day they will be healed.
-Also to not "let myself go" and age into ill health, poor eating/dressing/drinking habits or slide into entitlement or rudeness in my old age.
-To treat each day as a gift and to praise God for all the grace He's given me in my life.

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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EllieKMAS ( member #68900) posted at 7:47 PM on Thursday, July 21st, 2022

That's a great list MIGander.

So as far as what you want in an SO/romantic partner, I think that is really important to know those things. To know your must haves vs your would-be-nice-to-haves. To know where you're willing to compromise or not.

I know for me after dday, I definitely spent time on my mental list of what I needed/wanted from an SO. Then came the tricky part - I had to get very honest with myself about whether or not my xwh fit those things. Not whether he had potential to do, not whether he wanted to, but whether or not he DID fit them right now. In my case when I got very honest with myself, the answer was no - he didn't tick those boxes right now. Further in my case is that I had serous doubts that he had the capacity for the kind of deep self-exploration that it would take for him to be able to fit with me the way I needed. I can't date/marry potential - I have to date/marry reality. Might he someday do that work? Maybe. Should I have stayed married to him in the current state that our marriage was in waiting for him to do that? For me? No.

No one but you can answer that 'does he meet the needs right now' question for yourself, but I do think it bears thinking about. For you and for him.

For your personal goals/wants - THOSE are where your focus needs to be IMHO. Not to say ignore your husband, but to say that you can't control what he does or how he decides to handle his stuff. You CAN only control YOU. You can figure out those goals and work towards them. You can take your inventory and take steps to get yourself where you want to be. And just saying, but it is very difficult to focus on your own growth when all your focus is on someone else.

"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

posts: 3516   ·   registered: Nov. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: CO
id 8745693
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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 9:26 PM on Thursday, July 21st, 2022

That's where I'm torn and a bit crazy... am I being wayward again in pursuing the advice, help and support on this site against H's wishes?

I don't think so. BS's aren't paragons of virtue simply because they've once been betrayed. And if we want to get technical here, your WH has already HAD his "pound of flesh" when he cheated on you, so the fact that you're still here trying to improve yourself and your marriage should be an occasion for gladness on his part. You haven't had bad advice here. You've had recommendations to break your codependence and work on your being an emotionally whole and healthy person. So, if he's got a problem with you being whole, healthy, and independent, I think you've got to ask yourself why that is.

When a partner attempts to isolate us, that's a control issue, and control issues are about the self-esteem and dysfunction of the controller. That might not be your WH. He could just as easily be the type who's deflecting because he just wants you to shut up and allow him to continue on ignoring the issues. Yours are the boots on the ground, but no... I do NOT think you're wrong for continuing to work on improving yourself. You don't agree with every post you read, right? Diverse opinion can further your quest as each one exercises your mind before being accepted or rejected.

It's not unusual, especially in this forum, to see BS's feeling threatened or insecure as the WS develops boundaries, but those boundaries HAVE TO be identified and adopted in order for the WS to become safe. It's precisely because there weren't any boundaries surrounding your core values that the adultery happened. Good boundaries don't always look like what we might want as BS's though. Your WH has threatened to end your marriage if you don't satisfy whatever edicts he's set out for you by December, is that right? And he's NOT working on improving your marriage or identifying what it was that went wrong with HIS core values which allowed him to cheat, is that right?

So, why would you give up your career and your livelihood when you're living with the Sword of Damocles hanging over your head? From what you've described, you've successfully implemented a no contact situation which would be nearly impossible for your former AP to breach. Realistically, you could change jobs tomorrow and your former AP could turn up at your work. Changing jobs wouldn't stop that, and from what you've describe, it would be easier for you AP to break contact because there wouldn't be repercussions for him. I realize that our standard SOP is that the WS should always quit when it comes to coworker affairs, but I absolutely do believe you've got a bonafide exception to the rule. Your WS is not doing the work, he's not committed to R, and he's NOT a standard BS. Further, the protections you've put in place are better than a job change because there ARE repercussions to the former AP now that HR is involved.

Don't be afraid to have boundaries. They're good for you and even if your WS can't see it yet, they're good for your relationship. That might mean a future relationship if he doesn't start pulling his weight in R, but life can sometimes bring unexpected changes.

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 8745716
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Dkt3 ( member #75072) posted at 11:37 PM on Thursday, July 21st, 2022

It feels like you have this belief that you are entitled to unilaterally decide what is or isn't acceptable.

Honestly, you don't get to decide how he feels or views your unwillingness to change job. You're asking him to trust that you are no longer involved with the other guy, while you dig in on working with him. Sounds counterproductive doesn't it?

I guess my point is, he doesn't believe in you or trust your word, so to him the two are the same. Asking him to change his situation while you make a 100 excuses as to why you can't is simply extending the predictable outcome.

[This message edited by Dkt3 at 11:39 PM, Thursday, July 21st]

posts: 82   ·   registered: Aug. 3rd, 2020
id 8745738
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Dkt3 ( member #75072) posted at 11:52 PM on Thursday, July 21st, 2022

On the job front, I work for Americas largest plane manufacturer, shh. I know we are desperate for engineers. So much so they are offering huge sign of bonuses and 125k to walk in the door.

If you really wanted to, you could find suitable employment. I'm guess that since you're at an OEM, Its in a densely populated area.

posts: 82   ·   registered: Aug. 3rd, 2020
id 8745742
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 MIgander (original poster member #71285) posted at 1:48 AM on Friday, July 22nd, 2022

Hi dkt3,

We can agree to disagree on the job amd inapporpriate relationship thing. Those are boundaries I am ok placing.

You have a good point about the unilateral attitude about what boundaries and enforcing them. That is something I am going to think about.

One thing I would like to correct you on: I am not telling my H how to feel about any of the bondaries I am putting into place. He doesnt have to like them. No more than I have to like the ones he is setting for me. We are in a shitty place and feelings are shitty and all over the place. I dont expect him to like me going into work. I also dont expect him to like me saying his relationship with J is inappropriate and needs to stop. Just as I dont like him saying I stop going into work and stop posting here.

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 8745760
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Dkt3 ( member #75072) posted at 2:38 AM on Friday, July 22nd, 2022

I'm not agreeing with his point, I'm simply saying his point is valid. I would venture a guess that the discomfort level for both of you are about equal. My personal beliefs are each is responsible for thier own behavior and the two are independent. His PIV seems to be "since you, now I'm going to" and yours seem to be "no matter what, I'm not, but I expect you too". I would bet this has been the overall dynamic throughout the history of your relationship.

Here is the rub with betrayal. You don't trust that he is being totally honest with you that thiers is just a platonic friendship, and he doesn't trust that you are not still communicating with the AP. So you two are running that damn hamster wheel.

Someone has to move the target or you will shoot yourselves into a courtroom.

posts: 82   ·   registered: Aug. 3rd, 2020
id 8745768
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 MIgander (original poster member #71285) posted at 2:03 PM on Friday, July 22nd, 2022

I'm not agreeing with his point, I'm simply saying his point is valid. I would venture a guess that the discomfort level for both of you are about equal.

His point is very valid. It's the whole emotional vs rational thing. H rationalizes his relationship with J as that he can communicate with her because she's fun and he wants that first with me. Logically, yeah, a man can have a friendship with another woman outside the M and not have an A. This case... what makes me so anxious (and spins the evil hamster at the wheel) is she's attractive, he's attractive to him and he's oblivious to these dangers. That's what scares me- the continuing rationalization and the fact that she's not a healthy person or influence and NOT a friend of our M. H is aware that she's not a healthy person... but neither was I when I was approaching and entering into my A. During an A, all sense goes out the window. And H is using his feelings to justify continuing his talk with J.

Right now, I'm in trust but verify mode. I trust that it's platonic... for now. The minute he starts hiding texts and taking things underground and changing passwords and shit... yeah. I trust he's not doing anything weird with her beyond the banter. And the justifications. And the fact that she has shit boundaries and would have no compunction inviting him into an A once he crosses a line and shows interest.

I guess I don't trust him at all. Him not trusting me is an emotional thing at this point and needs to be worked through on his end, not something I can control.

Logically, I'm not going to have contact with AP beyond the RARE occasion where I will see him walking down the hall. Logically, I am not going to enter back into an A with him. I find him disgusting now. Emotionally for H though, he's triggered by it and that's where his work is.

Is it logical that H is vulnerable to an A with J and therefore needs to stop? It's not something I can control anymore than he could control my A. This is something I need to let go, need to be clear that I'm not happy with and need to tell him I need openness from him on if we can continue moving forward in our M. That's how I can move the target.

H said he wanted me to D him and get it over with this morning. I told him if he wants a D, to get a D.

Can I just ignore the J relationship and monitor it and his defensiveness for the time being? I really do enjoy our connection and fun we've been growing together in companionship. I don't want to blow up our progress over this thing out of my control.

It's really not fair for me to expect H to eat the shit sandwich of me going into work 1/2wks and expect him to give up the "fun" and comfort of acceptance and ease in at least one area of his life not impacted by my A. I just wish it was with a guy friend and not this loser user J.

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 8745851
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Dkt3 ( member #75072) posted at 8:31 PM on Friday, July 22nd, 2022

I didn't mention it before, but your points are also valid. What I believe is missing is seeing the situation from each others perspective.

You assume that because you have no interest in this other guy that your husband needs to work it out on his end. I believe that is fallacy. In essence what you're saying is it doesn't matter what you do he should just be ok with it.

Now if your husband was here I would say something very similar to him.

But try to see this from his perspective. Honest answer, say he started incorporating you into his relationship with J and yet they still had the same banter, would you be ok with that?

Thats what you're doing to him. You've stopped the affair but you're still working with this guy, still seeing him, still interacting with him, even if its just eye contact. Its the same slippery slope, right? I dont expect you to agree with that point, yet I'm sure that's what you would see if you took an honest look through his eyes. Its hypocritical, I'm sure not you're intent. But like you said its emotion vs logic. In you're case its you're logic vs his emotions. You said the words but do you really see it?

posts: 82   ·   registered: Aug. 3rd, 2020
id 8745932
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 10:51 PM on Friday, July 22nd, 2022

Yeah, but what I take from MIgander's posts is that her H isn't all that communicative. IDK if he wants her to leave her job as a tactic in a power struggle or if he thinks it will genuinely help him heal.

Personally, I agree that you've sufficiently insulated yourself against contact. Incomplete NC can work when former aps have to meet professionally, and you don't have to do that much. Besides, if you change jobs, what happens if your fap joins the same new company/location/office?

I'm very concerned about his thoughts that MIg should compete for him. IMO, a relationship works best if the partners are good fits for each other. My W & I never competed for each other. I liked her, and she liked me. (I also wanted to get her into bed.) We saw a combo of similarities and differences in each other that we thought would sustain a life together. After d-day, I wanted to R, but I was ready to split if the fit no longer existed strongly enough.

That's why, IMO, you need to look inside, MIgander, and decide if you want to spend the rest of your life with this guy as he is now, and he has to do the same WRT you. If yo do not want to spend the rest of your lives together, will certain changes change your judgement? Are you each willing to make those changes? R requires both of you to commit yourselves to making the necessary changes.

And you have to want to make those changes, or at least make them because they're good for you. (I say that because my W wanted me to make some changes that would primarily benefit me, and I was reluctant.)

The things you report about your H say to me that he's not asking for changes that will make a better life for both of you. He wants what he wants. The thing is, IMO: even if you mold yourself into the person he appears to want, I don't think it will be enough to save your M. He's counting on you to make him happy - but he's the only one who can do that.

I'm also concerned about your unwillingness to enforce an important boundary. Your H is conducting an EA, but your post says you're being wishy-washy in confronting it. (That makes him a serial cheater, right?)

At some point, your H has to choose between you and J. When will that be? I do not mean that you should force the choice now, if you're not ready. But I do think you need to realize it has to come to that.

Also, if your H isn't willing to change from betrayer to good partner, you're at serious risk even if he dumps J. At this point, you seem to be saying that he feels entitled to have this EA. That's the problem that will impact your future - your H's sense of over-entitlement. It's not enough for your H to dump J. He needs to commit to the M that you negotiate now, and M that serves you both. If he won't give up his desire for EAs, is he a good fit for you?

[This message edited by SI Staff at 10:58 PM, Friday, July 22nd]

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

posts: 27424   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8745963
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