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Newest Member: Crushedafter46years

Reconciliation :
Setting Boundaries

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 DazzleQueen (original poster new member #82322) posted at 12:59 AM on Sunday, November 6th, 2022

I’m looking for examples of boundaries you’ve set that have helped with reconciliation. Specifically I’m hoping to define things that will help minimize my anxiety about my WH doing this again.

Did you and your spouse write those boundaries down or was it all verbal? Were consequences defined as well?

Thank you for sharing.

posts: 1   ·   registered: Nov. 5th, 2022   ·   location: Washington, USA
id 8763870
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 11:00 AM on Sunday, November 6th, 2022

I’m probably a bit different than most who R.

I did not help my H during R or give him boundaries. It was up to him to figure it out and prove he could make amends and changes on his own.

I was not going to be the marriage police or his "marriage police" spouse. He either proved he was capable of figuring it out on his own or we D.

IMO if the cheater has enough brains to cheat then they can use those brains to figure out R.

DQueen, what do you think you need to help heal and start to feel les anxiety about the Affair and Reconciliation?

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 12794   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8763905
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Tanner ( member #72235) posted at 11:59 AM on Sunday, November 6th, 2022

We didn’t write anything down. She is grown and knows right from wrong. It’s on her to protect her half of the M, I refuse to do it for her.

Dday Sept 7 2019 doing well in R
BH M 31 years

posts: 2007   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2019   ·   location: Texas DFW
id 8763909
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swmnbc ( member #49344) posted at 2:10 PM on Sunday, November 6th, 2022

Since the PA happened on a business trip, he stopped traveling for business for a couple of years (obviously for some people this isn't an option). When he did begin traveling again, he was in touch a lot, FaceTiming and sending pictures, etc.

I do remember having a discussion about one on one meetings with women and how they made me uncomfortable. We agreed that he would tell me if had any.

The consequences were entirely natural . . . a loss of trust. If he isn't motivated by wanting to (re)establish a deep, abiding relationship with me then a slap on the wrist for breaking the rules is meaningless.

These days those actions (checking in while away, mentioning all his meetings) happen as a matter of course between two people who share everything.

posts: 1822   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2015
id 8763922
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Hannah47 ( member #80116) posted at 2:49 PM on Sunday, November 6th, 2022

No female friends whatsoever and, most likely, forever. Strictly professional contact with female co-workers - no personal communication at all (no matter how innocent), no coffees, no lunches, no drinks, etc.

I don't think he's stupid enough to do it again + I believe no amount of boundaries/consequences can prevent betrayal.

So, this is purely for my peace of mind. I already have to deal with a lot, I don't need additional anxiety. In that sense, it does help as there's no additional stress.

In a way, it's also a consequence of his actions (call it punishment if you want). Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

It's a verbal agreement. The consequence of breaking the agreement is losing me.

posts: 134   ·   registered: Mar. 21st, 2022
id 8763925
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 3:05 PM on Sunday, November 6th, 2022

I made it clear, I think, that I required honesty - answers to questions and no more lies. I believe I would have walked if my W had lied, but I'll never know - she had committed herself to no more lies, so the boundary was never tested.

I insisted that we ask for what we want. For months, I responded to explicit requests and gave explicit requests to the best of my ability. We're really imperfect in that, so we've failed on this again and again, but we've succeeded enough to have a good life together. smile

I wanted to be loved and sexually desired, and I told my W about these requirements. Again, I think I would have walked if she hadn't shown me love and desire, but she did, at least to my satisfaction and hers.

For weeks I did not let her go out alone. For some days, I held all keys to both cars in my pocket. W did not object. She actually liked my presence when food shopping, etc. I was going to monitor her cell phone usage, but she changed her number without forwarding from her old number, and she didn't answer the phone - she gave it to me to answer. (She'd check messages and respond accordingly, but didn't pick up when the phone rang.) Her only texts were with ow, but ow didn't have the new number so that stopped quickly. She got snail mail from ow, which she told me about and talked about with her IC.

I required her to sign a release that allowed her IC to talk with me about her IC sessions. The release called for the IC to call me personally to report if W revealed another A or withdrew her release. Her IC was our MC, and the release allowed the C to bring anything from an IC session into an MC session.

The release was signed and kept by her/our C.

My requirements - honesty, NC, transparency, IC for W, IC for me, MC, and some others - were explicit and written down.

My W never wavered, so the fact that they were written became unimportant. The written words would have been important in case of a dispute.

Above all, my requirements were an expression of the behavior I did and did not want to see after d-day. I wanted to R, but if W had violated any of the requirements, I made myself ready to be sad and to leave/kick her out. I aimed to be ready to wash my hands of her with as something approaching equanimity - I was not going to subject myself to a life as my W's Victim in any Drama Triangle.

Brave words, never tested. My W met my requirements, so I was never tested.

The requirements and boundaries may look like they were about W's behavior, but they weren't. She was free to act as she saw fit. The requirements and boundaries were about what I'd do in response to her behavior.

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: 27878   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8763928
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jb3199 ( member #27673) posted at 3:59 PM on Sunday, November 6th, 2022

You can't give him boundaries. You can give him rules, but he has to create his own boundaries.

You need to create new boundaries for yourself, because YOU will never stop him from cheating. On the flip side, YOU will never make him cheat, either. If he doesn't want to cheat, he will create healthy boundaries to keep himself a safe partner. That's the beauty of being an individual; we make our own choices(and are responsible for them).

What if one of your new boundaries is total transparency? If this is a core belief for you, then you make your husband aware of this. It is now up to HIM if he wants this. If one of HIS core beliefs is that total transparency is a bad thing, then the two of you have an incompatibility at a deep fundamental level. If this is NOT a core belief of his, but he was okay with it in the past, he is now aware that it is not okay with you moving forward. He can then base his future decisions on this knowledge.

Personally, I think that there are a few key items that should always be on the list, but some should be a definite after infidelity:

--Total Honesty

--Transparency(the level mutually acceptable by both)

--No Flirting/Friends of the opposite sex(if heterosexual), until acceptable by the BS

--No Secrets

One of the behaviors that I have often tried to practice, in several aspects of my life, is what would I say/do if the person who could be the most affected was standing next to me? Would they be offended? Should they be offended?

Dazzle, what I am suggesting to you is to work at your perceived problem in reverse. It's not about keeping your WH in line, it is about setting and enforcing your boundaries, and your willingness to act if they are violated. You want you WH to be with you for no other real reason than him WANTING to do so of his own free choice. Give him that freedom of choice, but more importantly, work on how YOU will handle yourself if your boundaries are not respected.

[This message edited by jb3199 at 1:16 AM, Monday, November 7th]

BH-50s
WW-50s
2 boys
Married almost 30yrs.

All work and no play has just cost me my wife--Gary Puckett
D-Day(s): Enough
Accepting that I can/may end this marriage 7/2/14

posts: 4126   ·   registered: Feb. 21st, 2010   ·   location: northeast
id 8763934
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Fof9303 ( member #70433) posted at 11:54 PM on Wednesday, November 9th, 2022

Hi there,

So sorry you are in this position to even ask these questions like the rest of us has gone through. He wrote it down, everything he thought I would need as if it was a contract. Needless to say, those guy weekend trips came to a screeching halt and have stayed halted. Social media-- gone., new phone number, access to anything at any time, and most importantly for us was listed as continue to grow in our faith together and attend church together. If I did not feel safe, I would not have been able to move forward. I hope that you are given the feeling of safety and that you can forge ahead. God bless.

posts: 156   ·   registered: Apr. 27th, 2019
id 8764383
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 4:47 PM on Thursday, November 10th, 2022

Fof9303, your mention of 'contract' reminds me that a former thought-leader at SI, lordhasaplan?, gave me permission to share his contract. Note the comment that the list started small and grew.

This is our marital contract...

This started as small list and has grown.

1. No contact with OM at all. Any attempts at contact by OM are to be brought to my attention and you are not to read anything that was sent by him, or answer phone if it is him. No conversation at all is to take place between the two of you.

2. Hard stop Deal Breakers:

a. Another affair and I am done

b. Any lies about any relationships with others I am done

c. Transparency at all times, you turn into a liar again, I’m out.

d. We don’t stop counseling without mutual agreement.

3. Complete openness for both of us, cell phones, email, any check is OK! Clothes wallet, checking acct etc…. Suspicion is now healthy for building trust.

4. Walls and Windows for both of us!

a. Never alone with another man/woman unless discussed ahead of time

b. Never alone in a car with another man/woman

c. No conversations about our marriage or any other marriage with another man/woman

d. Never bring anyone into our home without disclosure

5. Open and Honest Communication- No secrets, no matter how hard it will be to hear.

a. Discuss all attractions

b. Discuss all third party attention

c. Discuss all feelings good and bad

d. Be honest with yourself and aware of your feelings, then communicate that

6. Any questions about the affair are to be answered honestly for the rest of our life. Never be done answering questions about it.

7. Friday nights will be for scheduling our lives together.

a. Must plan at least one date night every other week

b. Must have at least 10 hour or more of our time

c. Must have at least one night of family fun time

8. Reconnecting and reassessing WE, I would like to do this daily but realize it won’t happen over time but once a week we can do this at least.

9. Meeting each others emotional needs. Reassessing how we are doing every quarter. Always have the conversation when they are not.

10. Contact about comings and goings at all times.

11. Do one thing special for each other a month, Give rather than take!

12. DS’s activities are a top priority for both of us. Any conflicts are to be discussed and addressed together.

13. We don't do anything in absence of one another that we wouldn't do in the others presence.

14. Confidants must be "friends of the marriage" and must be mutually agreed upon.

15. Social Happy Hours (outside of actual work functions) are to be attended together or not attended at all.

16. We never do anything without enthusiastic agreement between us.

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: 27878   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8764457
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BellaLee ( member #58324) posted at 10:01 PM on Thursday, November 10th, 2022

Hi @DazzleQueen I think it's good to have safeguards and boundaries in marriage even more so when there has been infidelity. Here are some boundaries and safeguards that my H and I agreed upon:

Staying accountable to each other, communicating our plans and whereabouts with each other
Having access to each other's phone and passwords
Communicating with love and honesty
Keeping short accounts with each other and not rug sweep issues
Be easily accessible to each other
Build the broken trust with words and actions
No one on one private meetings with the opposite sex
Being intentional in nurturing our relationships

I know from my own experience that true communication with each other is so important for these boundaries to be effective.

Every relationship is unique, so it's important to find out what will to help nurture and build trust in your relationship especially during R.

We discussed these verbally, but nothing was written down. MC also helped me to express my feelings in a safe setting and to discuss consequences.

I hope this is helpful, wishing you all the very best in your journey of R.

posts: 233   ·   registered: Apr. 18th, 2017
id 8764521
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Chaos ( member #61031) posted at 6:27 PM on Tuesday, November 15th, 2022

I'm not WH parent, teacher, warden or hall monitor. I won't make a set of rules for a grown ass man.

I simply stated - How would you feel if rolls were reversed. If you wouldn't want me doing it, there's your clue.

BS-me/WH-4.5yrLTA Married 2+ decades - Children (1 still at home) Multiple DDays w/same AP until I told OBS 2018 Cease & Desist sent spring 2021"Hello–My name is Chaos–You f***ed my husband-Prepare to Die!"

posts: 3575   ·   registered: Oct. 13th, 2017   ·   location: East coast
id 8765272
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