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is this a normal reaction? BS's responses welcome!

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Alyssamd24 posted 6/12/2013 20:10 PM

Since Dday my BH has done some interesting things, and I'm not sure if they are normal reactions from a BS or something more...he has made physical changes; started wearing contacts even though he has always been terrified of them and started working out.
For my birthday I went out to dinner with a few friends and BH went to the bar with my former best friend and her new boyfriend, even though he knows I am not ok with him hanging out with her and have felt that way since she and I stopped talking.

Neither of us have posted anything on fb about our separation, but he has had many posts about hanging out with female coworkers and even posted a pic of him, our dd, a female coworker and her two children in Boston....he had taken Our dd to Boston for the day and just happened to run into the coworker and her children.

Most recently he had the previously mentioned female coworker over to our house for dinner while our daughter was also there....this happened last night actually and I found out when our dd innocently mentioned it to me. When I confronted him about it he said it was totally innocent and they are just friends....I should also mention that this coworker is a woman who I do not trust.....she has had multiple affairs with many different married men and tends to put her own needs in front of her children.
Is this a normal way for a BS to react? Part of me thinks he is doing it only to get back at me and make me angry, but I'm not sure.

Daisy312 posted 6/12/2013 20:23 PM

When one is cheated on, they often feel worthless, and lose self esteem. What your BS is doing probably doesn't have anything to do with you, but a way for him to feel attractive, and desired which you took from him when you chose to be with another person. My H had his A while I was pregnant. After the baby, I lost weight so fast, started running, tanning, getting manis/pedis, and buying new clothes. I look better than before, and I love the attention I get from other men as well as my H. I'm not trying to make him jealous, but help myself feel better about myself.

Alyssamd24 posted 6/12/2013 20:25 PM

Thank you Daisy. I do understand that and think it makes total sense....I guess I am more curious about the other ways he is acting

stilllovinghim posted 6/12/2013 20:34 PM

Slight t/j:
Daisy, hon, you're on a very slippery slope and you're lying to yourself.

Are you and your H getting back together or are you both in agreement to D? Yes you created a problem when you had an A, but it sounds like your H is priming for an RA and at the very least it sounds like he's engaged in an EA with this OW.

YOU did nothing to deserve him treating you like this. If you guys are in R or S but wanting to work on your M, and that needs to be clear on both sides, then him having a date with your DD to give the impression of "innocence" which, by the wat is pretty fucked up, this is not R.

Talk to your H. Right now it sounds like he's single and yes, you are allowed boundaries and if this makes you uncomfortable you don't have to just take it, okay?

[This message edited by stilllovinghim at 8:34 PM, June 12th (Wednesday)]

ThoughtIKnewYa posted 6/12/2013 20:47 PM

I don't know if it's normal or not, but i know it isn't healthy.

After d-day, I stepped-up my workouts- partly to burn some of the nervous energy I had and partly because my self-esteem was shattered. When it came to the opposite sex, though, I basically shut down all contact except with our best friend who lives across the country. Many of my friends are male and they've been friends since we were kids with nothing inappropriate- ever. Still, I felt I was in a vulnerable place and I didn't want to create any MORE devastation in my life.

I took it a bit too far, though, because I'm a bit agoraphobic, now. Anything taken to extremes can be bad for you, so now I have to deal with the issues caused by my isolating myself. Our d-day anniversary is in a couple of weeks. It was six years ago.

BeyondBreaking posted 6/12/2013 20:48 PM

Did he ever hang out with females as friends innocently before your affair?

If so- I'm guessing that your guilty conscious is projecting. I have noticed that at least in my life, I can tell that someone is cheating on me or has done so because they are all of a sudden very jealous of me being friends with men, despite the fact that I have never crossed any lines or boundaries.

If this is completely foreign behavior, it is possible that your affair made him feel bad about himself and he is trying to reach out and make himself feel attractive again.

At the same time, it could be that is is trying to even the score- not necessarily saying he will have an affair, but by making you jealous.

I'm guessing this wont be an easy topic for you to bring up with him- his reaction might very well be very hostile ("are you serious? You had an affair and yet I am questioned for having a friend? WTF?"). Probably a MC discussion.

Skan posted 6/12/2013 20:52 PM

BW here. He should not be hanging out with his co-worker and he DEFINATLY should not be having her over for dinner at the house unless you two are divorcing. He's heading down a slope to infidelity with a known homewrecker. He may be doing it to try to feel better about himself, he may be doing it as a payback, or he may be completely obvious as to what the likely outcome is going to be, but this is not healthy behavior for a married man any more than you going out and dating would be healthy behavior for a WW who is trying to R her marriage.

As for the bodybuilding, contacts, etc., that's pretty normal. We BS tend to go in one of two ways completely falling apart and not taking care of our selves, or getting into ass-kicking shape as a way to manage stress and help ourselves feel better about us.

inconnu posted 6/12/2013 20:52 PM

I'd say it's a normal reaction, in that many BS's have it, but the reasons behind why each individual BS does it varies so much, there's no normal there.

For me, I started doing things for myself that I had stopped doing - wearing makeup, getting my hair cut into a real style and keeping up with it, buying cute clothes instead of my usual baggy t-shirt/jeans sahm attire, and so on. Losing a lot of weight due to the infidelity diet sure didn't hurt, either.

Sure, on some level, I wanted now-ex to notice, but mostly I was doing those things because I was finally taking the time and making the effort to take care of myself.

And I truly didn't do it to get attention from other men. Oh, I got the attention, but I didn't want it. It creeped me out, big time.

I think I may be one of the few BS here on SI that didn't have self-esteem issues after d-day. I actually got more confident in myself, than I had been during the marriage. I had spent a lot of years seeing myself the way I thought my husband did. I was most likely wrong, because he probably didn't pay enough attention to me to form that opinion, but that's another thread. Anyway, once I realized how big of a liar he was, it was as if his opinion, or rather my perception of his opinion, of me didn't matter anymore. I was done seeing myself the way I thought he saw me, and instead I started looking at myself honestly. And I wanted, and still want, to take care of who I am.

People with battered self esteem though, could have very different reasons for making changes like I did. Or they could just be following advice like what we tell the new BS's here - take care of yourself.

HardenMyHeart posted 6/12/2013 20:59 PM

Without knowing your BS it is tough to call this normal, but it is definitely not unusual following the discovery of an affair. Whether the behavior is appropriate depends on where he is with respect to the marriage. If you both are planning to R, then you need to be up front about the boundaries regarding the opposite sex. This puts you in the awkward position of being somewhat hypocritical, but it's still important to have the discussion. The more remorse you show regarding your own actions, the better your position will be.

If he is doubtful about the future of the marriage, then he may be looking for new relationships and friendships in order to build a support system when the time comes to leave the marriage. If those friendships are with someone you don't like, then he knows what he does will not get back to you.

You both need to have a truly open and honest discussion about the future and the expectations you both have. Given where you currently are, it may be best if you can see a MC to help guide you both along. Preferably an MC that knows how to deal with infidelity.

Part of me thinks he is doing it only to get back at me and make me angry

Of course that is part of what he is doing. When someone is angry, they often lash out by trying to punish the person that caused the damage. Try to recognize this and respond with compassion, not more anger. Anger is poison when trying to R.

[This message edited by HardenMyHeart at 9:01 PM, June 12th (Wednesday)]

Alyssamd24 posted 6/12/2013 21:11 PM

at this point we are working towards R I think...the reason I say I think is I want my marriage back and want to R....BH at this point is unsure of what he wants. We are both in IC, and plan on doing MC eventually.
He never hung out with female friends before the A and knows how I feel about this one specific friend...I have never trusted her or been comfortable with her even before the A.
I tried to explain to BH why I was upset and I am worried something may happen between them to which he responded "you are the one who fucked someone else, not me." I realize this comment was totally deserved but I feel like that is only an underlying issue here....I know that I fucked up big time and can't change it or take it back...and he has told me he could never have sex with someone else....but that's what I thought also. I am worried he will have a PA just to get back at me and hurt me like I did him.

Jospehine85 posted 6/12/2013 21:53 PM

Your BH is now cake eating Alyssamd24.

After Dday I dropped 10 pounds from not eating. I was stressed. There was definitely a desire to dress nicer as a kind of "I'll show you what you were willing to throw away" for my WH.

I did not go out with other men. I did not invite other men to our house for dinner.

And no. I was not sure I wanted to R. But I sure as heck knew that dating wasn't going to help me decide whether I wanted my WH or not.

Your BH is now a WH if he is dating yet hasn't told you point blank that your marriage is over and he is divorcing you.

I know you are a WW, but now you are also a BW. What are your boundaries going to be? I suggest you read some of the threads in JFO.

Good luck.

wannabenormal posted 6/12/2013 22:16 PM

I'm a chick so I think it's a little different, but I get what he's doing.

He wants you to know he's still 'got it' and can get action too - you aren't the only game in town, kwim?

It's not right, it doesn't feel good - but where he's at, he needs for you to know, you're not the end all.

You want you WS to know that while YOU might think they suck, someone else does not.

uncertainone posted 6/13/2013 02:15 AM

Normal, well, some consider affairs normal so, there's that. Some of the posts on this thread baffle me.

First of all, is the home he's living in both of yours? If so I'd head to an attorney and find out exactly what your rights are and also what you are responsible for. Custody should be legally determined.

Work on yourself and your choices. Move forward toward a healthy goal. He's showing you just where his mind is.

Love the "he wants to see if he's still got it"...posted in the wayward forum...with no decision to divorce by the partaker. Got what? Poor decisions and shitty coping skills exposing his children to his search for the answer to whether he still does? Yeah, he's got it. Seems its contagious.

Dear lord. Look, his enraged. Got it. Cheating on someone is one of the worst things you can do to someone. So divorce them. Perfectly reasonable response. Kicking them out while turning the home into a bachelor pad including kids in the reindeer games is fucked up. Don't give a shit what she did.

It's your home too. Find out your rights. Oh, and these women...any of them married? Think their spouses or SO's would be ok with that? I know mine sure as shit wouldn't be.

Unagie posted 6/13/2013 07:03 AM

I'm not understanding some of the posts on here. If this was the WS doing it then its wrong because as a wayward we are broken with shitty coping mechanisms and crap boundaries but as a BS it's okay for him to invite a woman to his home who is known for sleeping around to have dinner? The whole oops we accidentally bumped into each in the city, lets take a pic and post it is ridiculous as well.

From the bit of description here it seems he's rearing up to have a RA whether it is physical or emotional remains to be seen. Just because he is also he BS does not mean he is incapable, does not mean he doesn't have his own brokenness, issues, crap boundaries and shitty coping mechanisms. Because he is a BS should you approach this sensitively? Yes. Does it mean he gets a free pass on any behavior he wants to display? Nope. This is a hard topic to approach but you must voice your concerns. There is a reason there are so many madhatters here folks, a BS can have wayward tendencies they've never acted on until their WS's A. A BS can get on the slippery slope too, being betrayed doesn't mean you automatically will never cheat. Your husband's behavior sounds like he is already on that slope and is sliding fast.

KBeguile posted 6/13/2013 07:30 AM

From everything you've presented, Alyssa, I have to agree with Unagie, UO, and everyone else who says this reeks of foul play, and you should pry your nose into it.

His comment of "Well, I'm not the one who fucked someone else" is a total deflection. It stopped your pressing the issue of his time spent with this other woman, made it about YOU instead of him, and made you feel guilty about your own terrible choices all in one swoop. It was and is an ugly tactic - I should know, because I did plenty of deflection in my day.

If you've already done a timeline or somehow presented all other evidence of your wrongdoings and have come completely clean, then he should be willing to do the same. Pure and simple. If he's not willing to have open communication about his motivations and what he's doing, then he's pulling tricks from the WS handbook, and you should be very concerned.

itainteasy posted 6/13/2013 10:10 AM

Yeah I would be very uncomfortable with the hanging out with someone that he KNOWS makes you well as inviting a woman over for dinner....and acting like it's ok because your CHILD was there? Not cool.

Also....the 'just friends' line? You know where that's going.

Have you guys read "Not Just Friends"?

I would suggest you do..

Also, like UO said, see an attorney. You can find out your rights AND still R with your BH.

I'm hoping he's not already become a madhatter.

Good luck.

It IS ok for you have limits and boundaries for what you will or won't tolerate from your BH. Just because you had an A doesn't mean he gets a free pass to date and throw it in your face.

losingmyground posted 6/13/2013 10:23 AM

I would not say that this is a normal reaction for someone that is trying to work on reconciliation. It sounds more like he is done with the marriage.

I really don't think there is much you can do about it either. He is pissed right now.

I would just ask that he not bring any other women around your kids, until everything is resolved. That is the only leg you have to stand on.

I am sorry but this is what happens when people step outside their marriage...and it is more come to get this reaction if you are a WW.

I personally would never cross those boundaries while married. But I am a very loyal and forgiving person. Make no mistake though...if my FWH does it again, then I am gone.


tired girl posted 6/13/2013 10:37 AM

I am sorry but this is what happens when people step outside their marriage...and it is more come to get this reaction if you are a WW.

What happens?
The other spouse now has the right to cheat as well?

That is called a madhatter situation. Check it out in I Can relate. See how well it has worked out for some of us.

If he wants to do this, he needs to get D.

losingmyground posted 6/13/2013 10:42 AM

What happens?

It is more common that men end a marriage because of an affair. Most men have a hard time getting past the fact that their wife "slept" with someone else. That was my point. Sorry I didn't get it across a little more clearly. And just to elaborate is hard as a woman to accept their spouse having an affair too.

The other spouse now has the right to cheat as well?

Absolutely NOT. I do not believe any person has a right to cheat. I am a firm believer that if the marriage was bad enough to cheat, then it is bad enough to warrant a divorce.

That is called a madhatter situation. Check it out in I Can relate. See how well it has worked out for some of us.

I know what it is called and I know how much worse it makes the situation. Hence the phrase that two wrongs don't make a right. It is the worse possible thing a person can do when trying to reconcile. But it does not sound like he is up for reconciliation, it sounds more like the marriage is over.

If he wants to do this, he needs to get D.

I agree 100%

Pudding posted 6/13/2013 10:43 AM

As a BS, I would agree that what he is doing is not right nor good for your R. However, it is perfectly understandable.

As the BS, he feels upset, wounded, rejected that you had an A. he feels that there must be something wrong with him, so you had to look outside the marriage, even though we all know that that is not necessarily how it works - that is what he probably feels, even if unconsciously. I would imagine that he is trying to reassure himself that he is still attractive, women still want to be with him etc.

I felt a bit like that soon after DD1. As a reaction, I went out for dinner with someone fully intending to let things happen. When it came to it, I chickened out, couldn't go through with it. I wanted revenge on my WS, but I realised that sleeping with someone else wouldn't solve our issues.. I came right me before dessert.

I think I might help if you really proved to your BH that you love him, find him attractive, want to spend time with him. yo may have had an A, but its over, he is the most important, sexy person in your life. Make him feel good, so no one else has to. Your A has been an enormous low to his self need to convince him that it wasn't about him, but about you. Make sure he doesn't need this reassurance from anyone else. I know its hard, don't have so at him, he is trying to heal. love him through it.

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