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is it ever normal to look and flirt

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ionlytalkedtoher posted 7/15/2013 08:32 AM

after finding out about all husband's stuff I am finding it hard where to draw lines.

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?

nowiknow23 posted 7/15/2013 10:01 AM

Honey, I wouldn't look at what is "normal" or "fair." Right now, I would encourage you to focus on yourself - protecting and healing yourself - and start thinking about boundaries and deal breakers.

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.

sisoon posted 7/15/2013 13:29 PM

Remember, WRT things like looking and flirting, you're asking your H to build new boundaries for himself. Your boundary revolves around what you want and what you'll do if he refuses.

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.

pewpewpew posted 7/15/2013 13:37 PM

Not sure what's normal anymore.

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.

Jrazz posted 7/15/2013 13:44 PM

I remember feeling that way in the very beginning. It's so hard to get a grip on reality right after DDay - everyone looks suspicious. I'm still having difficulty knowing that FWH is engaging in polite water cooler banter with females at work, but in time I've come to realize that you can't micromanage every word and glance they exchange. What's really important is to have ongoing boundary conversations. Maybe for now it's a good idea that he has really stringent boundaries on interacting with women. In a year your gut may tell you that things are a little too rigid, and he's proven himself trustworthy enough to respond to a woman who asked how his weekend went - maybe not.

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)]

TrulySad posted 7/15/2013 23:57 PM

Just because society accepts certain things, doesn't mean they are ok, or right. I've had this discussion with my WBF. I turned the tables on him and asked if he would like it if I checked out other men or flirted with them. His answer was a very loud no. The conversation went far more into things than that, but he gets it.

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.

stronger08 posted 7/16/2013 04:06 AM

IMHO its a waste of time trying to police a WS. Sure you can draw the line, set limits, boundaries etc. But those should be what YOU are expecting from your WS. You can not control other peoples actions. You can only control how you react to them. Again IMHO its best to concentrate on yourself. Work on how you are going to react if he crosses the lines you have drawn. Its much easier to say that certain things are deal breakers. Much harder to actually follow through with any form of consequences. I know for me that when my XWW broke NC I was in a place where I was comfortable enough in my own skin to actually walk away. And walk away I did. But it took me many, many months of working on myself to have that resolve. Boundaries without preplanned consequences are worthless. I suggest you get yourself to a place where if he does cross the line your able to walk away from him and the M. Its not that easy as it seems. But I feel its a must for any BS.

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