I want to basically say never talk to another female for the rest of your life. never look at a woman for the rest of your life.
but I guess that's not fair?
what is fair where do you draw lines?
is it ever normal for men to look at naked women? I guess society tells us it is. But what if you are a wounded spouse? I don't know. I am not a man. I don't know if it really is normal or not. Is it ok under certain circumstances?
Boundaries are limits that you put on what you will accept. The intent behind boundaries is to protect yourself, not to dictate someone else's behavior. An example of a boundary is "I will not tolerate lies."
Deal breakers are things that will end the marriage. For some people, a deal breaker is their WS breaking NC with the OP. For others, IC/MC is a requirement. If the WS refuses, the marriage is over and the BS will file for D.
Start there. Start with YOU. With what you need to be safe and be able to start healing.
"And never grow a wishbone, daughter, where your backbone ought to be."
- Sarah McMane
For example, WRT to 'looking', I can't stop seeing women around me. Sometimes a woman is so striking I can't really stop myself from looking at her. Sometimes I have to keep reminding myself not to stare - which means I'm staring. But I do stop myself from staring when I realize I'm doing it. If my W wanted me to stop looking, we'd have a big problem. (Fortunately, she's never minded that I see what and who are around me.) If she wanted me never to stare, well, I don't want to either, but sometimes I do.
Flirting is different. That's totally voluntary. I would hope any fWS would stop him/herself from flirting. Flirting can be fun, but it's dangerous and disrespectful after an A - it disrespects the BS, the WS, and the flirtation partner.
If the WS isn't willing to stop flirting, I'd question whether s/he's really a candidate for R.
I have a new normal. Whereas, before learning of WH A, I'd never flirt. I used to shy away from the opposite sex. Lately, I find myself noticing and enjoying men and their attention. I'd never act on it though.
Taking it day by day and working on it as a team will help it become more of an organic process.
[This message edited by Jrazz at 1:45 PM, July 15th (Monday)]
He's trying to change within himself, what society told him was normal "guy" behavior, and part of him just being a guy. The reality is....if it hurts the gf or w, then they shouldn't be doing it. It really is as simple as that.