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Boundary crossed - now what?

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avicarswife posted 5/24/2013 05:43 AM

So today WH stepped over a clearly spoken and even documented boundary that we set up. No meeting alone with any woman.

So now what?

It played out like this – WH needed some fund-raising advice. He arranged a meeting for him and another member of his team (a woman he is friendly with) to meet with an advisor. Before he left he said that after the meeting he and the team member would need to discuss where they would progress from there. He asked me if I would be ok if the 2 of them went out for coffee after to do this.

I said I didn’t think it was a good idea and I wouldn’t be ok with it. I said this was stepping over our boundary and it would likely start up a pattern for his meetings in the future.

This woman and he are appropriate with each other, however he and his APs had normal relationships and coffee etc for 5 and 8 years before their affairs enter the EA and then PA zones.

He said perhaps I can just say ‘I need to get home in a hurry if she suggests it’. I said that sounded good and left it there.

So this afternoon I asked him how his meeting went and he says great and they went for coffee afterwards. WTF???

No, I didn’t forbid him too but I made my feelings clear. I think he needs to be the one to be making the decisions for his actions.

We have discussed what he did - he has apologised. BUT… is not that simple. It is the pattern – he does something and then apologises and then lather-rinse-repeat.

How do others of you deal with this kind of scenario?

I get most people will think this is a small infraction. I am incredibly disappointed that even after a conversation and a plan, he went ahead and crossed our boundary.

He is an adult not a child so how does one have a consequence without feeling like it is a punishment? Otherwise this smacks of the parent–child dynamic.

What is an appropriate consequence – or do I have this wrong? Should I just leave it with the apology?

I know this scenario will come up again.

confused615 posted 5/24/2013 05:51 AM

Im not sure what you should do,but no, I don't think an apology is enough.

You were very clear with him that this made you uncomfortable. And,as you said,it is a boundary that has been decided on before,so he was very clear that this was not ok...and yet he did it anyway.

You have been TT'd for months. Right now he is supposed to be doing all that he can to make you feel safe and secure in this marriage and with him. And,yet,he decided to do the exact opposite. He chose to meet with a woman,alone,knowing full well his wife would not be ok with it...for very good reason.


brokensmile322 posted 5/24/2013 06:12 AM

I am sorry avicarswife. This is not an easy position to be in.

As my IC states, at that moment when he was meeting with this woman, when the notion of going for coffee or not came up, he had a choice. He knew your feelings on the matter and he made a choice.

Ask him what he was thinking at that moment. Not accusing him, but asking him to really delve into what he was thinking.

He knew you would not like it, knew it made you uncomfortable, yet he went anyway.

What he was thinking was important.

And might shed some light into why he has this recurrent pattern.


[This message edited by brokensmile322 at 6:12 AM, May 24th (Friday)]

tired girl posted 5/24/2013 09:14 AM

I don't see this as small at all.

If it were me, it would be a deal breaker. I had made my feelings known and if my H chose to go ahead anyway, that would show me exactly where we stand in the M. That he is going to continue to put his needs and feelings first and how HE views things first.

Your H obviously doesn't get it. So what do you want to do at this point? Where are you at with this? That is what is important. It doesn't matter if we think this is big or small, it matters if you think it is a big deal or not.

KBeguile posted 5/24/2013 09:46 AM

I think he needs a 2x4, vicar or no ...

NoMorDeceit posted 5/24/2013 09:48 AM

Why couldn't he and the team member discuss it in the office? or via skype from their home offices after?

Why did they need to go out alone after? Why not meet with the whole team in a more appropriate time and place?

He knew you didn't want him to go, but he wanted to be with her more in that moment, so he went.

It would be a huge violation for me. It was a clear and agreed to boundary. He agreed to it. No meeting alone with any woman. He chose to break it to spend time alone with -this- woman...he chose to risk his relationship. Not minor. You need to find out why.

[This message edited by NoMorDeceit at 9:49 AM, May 24th (Friday)]

BeyondBreaking posted 5/24/2013 09:55 AM

I would do a 180.

He obviously is running around, just doing whatever he wants, with no considerations for the boundaries you two have set up or your feelings. You told him your feelings, and he big fat shat on that and did it anyway.

What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Focus on YOU and 180 the hell out of him.

sinsof thefather posted 5/24/2013 10:11 AM

I get most people will think this is a small infraction.

No. I think most people know that this was not a small infraction at all. This was a blatant disregarding of what he KNEW were your boundaries. I'm not sure what the consequence should be - that depends on you - but this was very blatant in my opinion.

Should I just leave it with the apology?

That was what he was banking on you doing when he chose to go against your wishes.

As I said at the start, I don't know what consequence you should make for this - but if it were me it would be a big one.


rachelc posted 5/24/2013 10:19 AM

avicarswife - my husband broke NC in December and I found out about it by looking at the phone bill. I regret not taking stronger action... Just from someone who's been there.

sisoon posted 5/24/2013 10:49 AM

I'm getting into a honeymoon period, and the world is beautiful, and I don't think this is a small thing - except in that your H sounds like he regressed into being a small boy.

He agreed on the boundary. Your opinion on this sort of thing is now superfluous. He should have never have asked you how you felt about it. His automatic response should have been to think only about getting the necessary work done without meeting this woman alone.

Is this a deal breaker? If not, there isn't much you can do, except record it and make sure he knows that at some point he may go over your limit and you'll be gone.

You might also tell him, if it's true, that every time he acts like a rebellious little boy, you lose respect for him.

ladya posted 5/24/2013 11:35 AM

He should have immediately said no to her. This was an easy answer yet he decided to go. Let me guess, he said, "At least I told you, I didn't have to tell you we went for coffee?" He is obviously getting his ego stroked by going out for coffee with women. He refuses to acknowledge this is not harmless and can lead to something worse. Why would he have chosen to go out after the meeting was finished. When was the last time he asked you to go out for coffee?

I'm sorry but this just makes my blood boil. I would lay all my cards on the table and the consequences.

NowWhat106 posted 5/24/2013 12:17 PM

This is wayward behavior , in my opinion. He knew the score. You were clear. He just decided that it was okay to disregard all that because he thought the rule was stupid and he should be able to use his own ridiculously bad judgement. Trusting himself to make unilateral decisions is what got both of you here.

Personally, I'd tell him he has only two choices: pack his shit or tell this woman that he can't ever meet privately with her and why and apologize to her for putting her in that situation and for betraying his wife. . .again. He's a vicar. He should understand the redemptive power of confession and making amends. He should understand that humbling oneself before a higher power and admitting his bad behavior is a start to true redemption.

If he's not willing to own this and make it right, he's just rationalizing and engaging in exactly the same deceptive, wrong behavior that led him down the road to his As before.

Why would this behavior be considered okay now, so soon after so many Ddays when it was exactly what got him started before?

Hugs to you, wife!

avicarswife posted 5/24/2013 12:28 PM

I guess I just feel sad and defeated. I thought we might actually be looking at R.

I do get that he probably felt put on the spot and was embarrassed. Prior to his affairs I would have been ok with him meeting in a cafe for coffee.

This woman is lovely - appears to be a devoted wife and not at all interested in WH. However that isn't the real issue. I can't see the point in us stipulating where the boundaries lie just so he can walk over them.

So much of what he is doing has been good but this feels like he negated it all. He made a deliberate choice to cross the line after a discussion on where the line was.

Now I guess I need to decide where my boundary sits for R vs S - I think he may have just crossed it.

sisoon posted 5/24/2013 12:38 PM

Now I guess I need to decide where my boundary sits for R vs S - I think he may have just crossed it.

I think that's exactly the right question to be asking. Alas, there's no obviously right answer....

Just one thing ... the woman's looks and attitude aren't important. It's whether your H is willing to do the work to change his thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

tired girl posted 5/24/2013 14:12 PM

If your H is willing to move that line every time HE thinks it is ok, are you ok with that?

LA44 posted 5/24/2013 14:25 PM

My H was (note the was) AMAZING at doing something and THEN apologizing and THEN...doing it again! We discussed this in MC.

About 2 months after D-Day, the Ow contacted my H with a business question He responded. I was FURIOUS!

I read the note after he told me and she was trying to be personal. I said, "we discussed this in MC, we had an agreement. what don't you understand." He responded that it was a biz question and thought he could. I realize that BUT....the first thing he should have done was show me and then we decide together if this is something he responds too.

There have not been any mistakes since. She has been in contact/he shows me and does not reply.

I guess my point is that this happened. He made a grave error in judgement, we discussed it. A few times! I explained to him that there is NO ROOM FOR ERROR from here on in. He got it. got your apology. Have the discussion. BTW, this has happened a lot throughout our marriage with other topics - when its a reoccurring problem, it is so worth writing a few examples down and reviewing together and in MC.

Best wishes!

[This message edited by LA44 at 2:28 PM, May 24th (Friday)]

LA44 posted 5/24/2013 15:02 PM

Avicarswife, just have to ask, how he is being otherwise in terms of daily remorseful words/behavior? What is the big picture?

I was VERY angry at my H but I also know that these behaviors are LONG-ingrained. I expected some kind of foul up and read as much in one of the many books I read - maybe After the Affair?

It is hard for us to understand - how could they EFF up again after ALL the pain? It's a no brainer! But not for him. In any event, its over now and more impt., he "gets" it.

happierdays posted 5/24/2013 15:16 PM

This sounds like the classic 'it's easier to beg forgiveness than ask permission'. It's brutal that you discussed it with him and were clear with your feelings about it and he blatantly disregarded everything.

What would your normal reaction be, or what do you think he's expecting you to do?

My WH is very much like yours and so often I wish I'd been more of a hard-ass, maybe then he'd stop pulling the crap.

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