The LTA is the biggie, but what brought it to the surface were the rumors that my fWH was having an affair with his intern. (rumors likely started by fOW). He was NOT having an A with her (confirmed with polygraph and long convos with her) but was having what he admitted was an inappropriately close relationship. To wit...
While we were in "false R" (ie he was still lying that EA was not PA) and he was promising to do "anything and everything" he became friendly with this new intern "K". He talked about how much he liked her and how great she was to the point that I asked him to stop. One day at work he called me to say that a disgruntled employee that he had just fired for calling K a c@%t was threatening to come up and tell me they were having an A. He admitted that he had been running with her at lunch a few times, mostly with others. He promised that he would stop all nonwork related activities with her.
Later he confessed that he had agreed to train with her and run a half marathon together, to pace her. I flipped out and it became a big issue between us. He has always had fear of control issues and I stopped just short of an ultimatum. He ran with her. During our triathlons that she and her H also ran, he was always looking out for her and checking in with her. This just really bugged me and I told him this. In the fall we were leaving an event and he was texting; I asked to see his text and it was erased. It was to her. He swore it was a "butt" erase. (yeah right). Her response was very mild and confirmed that the text was harmless, but still, red flags.
Finally, the weekend after Dday #2, when the LTA was confirmed but an A with K was again alleged, we were out in another town at a conference, both of us got quite stressed drunk and as we were leaving a restaurant I saw he was texting and when I asked him about it, he erased it in front of me. This led to a screaming fight in the street, where I grabbed his phone and strangers actually intervened. I kicked him hard enough to leave scars and drove back to our home town (and then back again--I had the only car). I texted her that night but her phone was turned off. I spoke to her the next day. The text was innocent and she was mortified and confused as to why he had erased it or lied about it. He says that he felt that since he had no sexual designs on this one that it should be okay, but that he knew I would get upset.
Finally, a few weeks later he brought home his business phone records and they revealed that he had been calling her every morning and afternoon on the way to and from work. This was work related, but way too reminiscent of the LTA phone records. That night was second only to the other Ddays in it's hysteria. He was actually very upset, to the point that he talked about killing himself. He had not realized how deep he had gotten into what was supposed to be a work friendship and how compulsive he had become.
He is still working (after recent stalling) on what needs he was getting filled by this relationship. IMHO, it was a need for constant ego stroking and adulation and may be rooted in CSA, poor self esteem, etc. I have spoken to her (we are friendly) and she says that they were friends, but that he was the one person she trusted at work and she really admired him. He has become much more self aware and now has these needs filled internally or by me. But obviously much more work needs to be done.
So, sorry for the long back story, but now....She still works for him and they have a much more limited relationship. However, she is in a show tomorrow and my fWH asked me to go with him to see her perform. This triggered me. He said that he would only go if I went, but I think that he should know that I would not want either of us to go. As hard as it is for me to turn him down for anything, I said that I did not want to go, and he said that he wouldn't either. It led to a bit of a fight, his saying that I was living in the past (which I HATE! and he now remembers this!) but I held my ground, as I should of (IMO) over the half-marathon.
So, was I right to lay down the law this time, or am I "still living too much in the past"? Thoughts?
Your actions are spot on what I would do...dont think this has anything to do with LIVING in the past and has everything to do with LEARNING from the past.
I say this not based on emotions of being a BS but on the solid fact that your husband admitted to an inappropriately close relationship with another female. This is simply not acceptable post-A behavior displayed by a WS.
I would venture to guess that pre-A you would not thought twice about this type of talking or relationship started by your husband. I personally would have welcomed a male running partner for my wife pre-A...I was that trusting, that unguarded with my wife.
You are doing a tough but right thing here.
Hang in there.
God be with us all.
[This message edited by blakesteele at 7:24 PM, May 4th (Saturday)]
I was actually closer to divorce this summer over this then I was after Dday #2. We had started MC over this. He now puts me solidly first and was clear today that my wishes were paramount but it bugs me that he still doesn't seem to get just how threatening to the M this behavior was.
Thanks blakesteele! It's a bit hard for me to be "that wife" but I have learned!
I so understand the argument that an EA brings to the surface. What constitutes it etc... And of course, the WS always seems to think that it was inappropriate, but 'not that big of a deal."
I would not go to any performance. I would not even consider it and I would ask why your WH would even consider it.
It may have been one sided, but HE was getting something out of that relationship with her. No way would we be doing anything to support anything she did.
You are not out of line. HE is out of line for asking you and further, he needs to really think about why he would even consider it to be a rational suggestion.
When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. ~Viktor Frankl
"When you are happy, you can forgive a great deal."
Also, to really stress to him how betrayed I felt. He says he was feeling controlled and that's why he refused to change his behavior; that it was not so much about the relationship with her. I know he has control issues (and I'm learning why) but I will not be ruled by that anymore.
The fact that he wanted to go and asked me does show how far apart we are on this; but hopefully we'll get closer.
I really know what you mean when you talk about the depth of the betrayal. It is a weird thing because they claim no sexual acts occurred (mine did not have a lie detector test) yet it hurts so damn much.
And I have to say that, infidelity aside, I would be hard pressed to go to a performance of any woman my husband worked with. She would have to be a friend of the marriage and a pretty darn good one. Maybe that is crazy, but that is how I feel.
Going to an event like this is offering support. That support would feel like a betrayal in and of itself because I felt like he was giving support to her before. KWIM?
My WH doesn't get the depth of the betrayal either sometimes and this is what I think makes EA's hard.
Hugs to you as you work through this.
He says that he felt that since he had no sexual designs on this one that it should be okay, but that he knew I would get upset.
catlover, do you think your H has truly realized how wrong he was about that first part? The lack of sexual attraction is not protection against an affair. Especially for Waywards who have too much past experience with sex minus love, and sex minus desire.
What if K's admiration for your H ever deepened into a crush? Your H was already compelled to communicate with her . . . what if she started putting pressure on him to get physical? OW in our case pushed buttons on WH that we still don't understand--could K could tap into something that your H hasn't worked on yet? I know you and she are friendly, but I would say the situation calls for a wide boundary.
The other point is, after all that you've been through over K, how did your fWH not realize that asking to go see her perform would be a trigger for you?
And sailorgirl I think you make a good point as well. He would have probably said the same thing about the OW before the LTA. He had worked with her for a few years prior and felt no attraction. He has even surmised that he paid for the adulation and attention with sex, a very CSA behavior.
His boundaries in general are much better now. But he may be over confident.
We are in R.
Your husband has a long way to go, in my opinion.
I'd be upset if my husband even knew she was performing in a show...after he'd agreed to a more "limited friendship." I'd be demanding a professional, business relationship only...but that's just me.
I can understand being alone; but I hate being with someone and feeling lonely.
Your WH seems to be using the *I have a problem with being 'controlled' in a manipulative manner. It almost seems as if he has you walking on eggshells, and if you aren't walking on the eggshells and are expressing yourself....he falls back on telling you that he *feels* controlled and turns it into a problem with you (you're living in the *past*).
He sets you up for this. He says he would like to go see his co-workers show tomorrow but he'll only go if you go. (First off, unless the entire workstaff is going to this show, he should not have even considered going....and it's obvious that he wants to since he *asked* to go.) But when you told him that you didn't want to go, he didn't just say *ok*. He got pissy about it.
I agree with ReBreather that he is placing too much importance on this woman and that his contact needs to be related to ONLY absolutely necessary work-related issues. Period. And that doesn't include chit-chatting about other co-workers or gossiping about stuff.
He swore it was a "butt" erase.
In my effort to be *concise*, I often come off as blunt and harsh. Sorry, don't mean to be offensive.
People in glass houses...
I said that I did not want to go, and he said that he wouldn't either. It led to a bit of a fight, his saying that I was living in the past
The minute he realized you were uncomfortable with this, and bottom line, the fact that he could even ask makes me wonder if as a wayward he gets it, then he should have said no problem. But he didn't do that.
Don't be afraid to see what is in front of you.
So, was I right to lay down the law this time, or am I "still living too much in the past"? Thoughts?
Yes, you are absolutely right.
No , you are not living in the past.
I'm sorry but the mere fact that he would want to go see her perform makes me very sad. And angry.
The boundries are not strongly defined.
This subject has come to dominate our weekend; sigh. But it can't always just be about getting along great. We have shown that we can do that, but I feel that more work needs to be done to strengthen our future. FWH agrees, in theory, but these topics make him feel badly about himself and therefore he tends to try to avoid them.
He agrees, now, that one can never say never about sex, and wishes he hadn't brought up the show.
I posted earlier this week of my frustration over his lack of work progress and he promised to increase his efforts. The topic of K's show came up when we were riding our bikes and I asked what he wanted to do on Sunday. I was hoping that he would say he wanted to " work", but alas. This am, again, he said he wanted to run, bike, swim. Finally I asked about working and he rather huffily replied, " Fine, I won't run, I won't bike, I won't swim. Instead I'll spend hours trying to answer your questions that I haven't had answers for in 7 months." To which I replied, "Actually I would be just fine with that!" He has always tried to squeeze "chores" into that invisible space where everything else is done and he is rested and really feels like doing it.
So now he is actually doing that! I can't help but feel guilty (which is it's own issue--I have spent years putting his needs first) but I'm grateful. We'll see where this leads.
Thanks again, all.
Finally I asked about working and he rather huffily replied, " Fine, I won't run, I won't bike, I won't swim. Instead I'll spend hours trying to answer your questions that I haven't had answers for in 7 months."
Frustration is one thing; passive-aggressive is another. It worries me that he puts this on you instead of owning that his choices are what got you guys here. Yeah, it's going to be uncomfortable for him to change his habits, but that's what doing the work is.
It definitely sounds like that business between he and K was an EA. And even though she claims she didn't feel that way, she still took his calls twice a day and spent a lot of nonwork time with him. It might have been different if there had been couples' meetings or times together - you two, and then K and her husband, hanging out together. But there wasn't that. And the whole, "Mr. catlover is the only one in the office K trusts"... Slippery slope, A waiting to happen. The more time they spend alone together, the greater chance it has to develop as a crush and an A.
And like others have already said, he chose to erase texts and spend time with her and lie to you and fight with you, over supporting you and prioritizing your feelings.
You're right to call him on this boundaries issue.
Actually, that's mostly because that's what he's doing right now, but I digress ...
My point is that when he's not getting what he wants, he immediately does the verbal equivalent of throw himself to the floor, kicking and screaming, forcing your hand. The only thing you CAN do in that situation is do exactly what you told him you were going to do - in this case, make him answer questions you've had.
I don't care how hurt or put-out he is to answer these questions. It PALES in comparison to the drama he's dragged you through.
And he spent all day working on them. We just had a 2 hour very open discussion. And he said he's just getting started.
So, I'm feeling more settled. He feels like crap, since digging through all that makes him very ashamed. And I don't like that, but there's no getting around it.
Thanks once again.