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Sharing & Boundaries

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GraceRunner posted 7/17/2013 23:05 PM

Hi, I'm new here. I've joined at the encouragement of my BH after reading for many months. I don't quite know where to start with my list of thoughts and questions so I'll begin with a common issue for us these past 9 months that came up again tonight.

How do you negotiate coping styles and boundaries concerning what to share? I'm more private than my BH, less talkative in general, and I deal with things by first thinking about them, then I talk to my BH, our counselor, and maybe a close friend. My husband deals with issues by talking to me, talking to multiple friends, our pastor, our counselor, the community of SI, and has expressed a desire to find other support groups of people to talk to as well... Not only does he have a much larger network of people he talks to, the level of information he shares is way more encompassing and detailed. I feel he'll share just about anything we've talked about or worked through. Sometimes I read things he's posted on here and I can't believe he has shared that with the world at large when it felt so private and personal to us at the time. I do understand the irony of me having an issue with this when I devalued and shattered our intimacy with my adultery. I would like to rebuild it and BH says he does too.

I recognize that he needs to process things however he needs to process them. And that I just need to deal with him working through things however he needs to. But I have to admit it bothers me and to me it feels like it is preventing us from rebuilding intimacy. Part of my work post-affair has been to work on opening up to him, to share my feelings and thoughts on a deeper level and on a more consistent basis. This is hard for me to do but feels even more difficult knowing that whatever I share can and probably will end up out in the world at large. I get this is part of being vulnerable and part of the risk we all take. Do I just suck it up and deal with it and the resentment I feel when our friends know more than I want them to know about our marriage and everything we're going through?

I want him to be able to process his feelings and heal from my betrayal. I realize part of my squeamishness with him sharing is that it shares ugly parts of me. Probably if he were sharing awesome things about me I wouldn't mind at all. But he is also often sharing things we're still working through - things filled with misinterpretations, assumptions, and misunderstandings and it's between us. It seems like we should be working as a team on helping him heal and on us rebuilding and I don't feel like we are at all. We can't even work out this issue of what stays private and what goes public.

Do I have a right to say that I have certain boundaries with sharing during our reconciliation? If I don't, what are ways I can deal with feeling so exposed to not only him but to the world at large?

authenticnow posted 7/18/2013 06:30 AM


Welcome to SI!

I do think you have a right to express your comfort level and boundaries with your BH. The great thing about sharing on SI is that we're all virtual strangers. Sharing with people IRL gets more hairy, IMO.

I think you need to understand that sharing is what your BH needs to heal (and I can't really relate because my BH kept it mostly to himself, other than IC/MC and SI), but I also think he needs to understand that in order to build intimacy with you, that he needs to think it through before he shares with the world.

This is a good opportunity to open up some really good conversation and compromise between the two of you.

The two of you are a team. When I realized that my BH and I are on the same team and we started to build and respect the walls around the marriage, wonderful things started happening.

Good luck and I'm glad to see you posting.

BaxtersBFF posted 7/18/2013 09:20 AM

Hi GraceRunner,

I agree with AN on this one. Sharing on SI, with IC/MC, or with a pastor is fine. When it comes to sharing with family and friends IRL, that's a bit tougher, especially if the level of detail gets into the intimate. Just not something I would be comfortable with.

To that end, I think you do have a right to find some compromise on this. Especially if you are doing the work and your BH is willing to R with you. Given that and the amount of work you will hopefully be doing, having the anxiety of wondering what your BH told your friends or family would make it very tough to even walk out the door.

When it comes to R, I believe you have to be a team. That means compromise. Usually the compromise is going to be mostly on the WS, but that isn't really compromise, just kind of coming back into a normal, trusting relationship. But the BS needs to compromise once R is agreed upon and as long as you're doing the work. If that means limiting the number of people he talks to or the level of detail he discusses, then that seems reasonable IMO.

My BW and I didn't share too much with anyone other that IC/MC. I only had an EA though, so there weren't many graphic details to worry about. It just so happens that we don't have a large or intimate friend base, so it wasn't like there was a big group of people for us to discuss these things. And when we did talk to some of our family, I think we kept it pretty minimal as far as details. Sort of like "baxter did this and we are working on our M now"

Anyway, hopefully you will be able to open up here on SI. You are as anonymous as you choose to be.

GraceRunner posted 7/19/2013 15:57 PM

Thank you both for your insight. It's not just details about the affair but about us as a couple, where we are in this process, new issues that arise, and feelings we have that are being shared.

It's one of those things that we've talked about a number of times but doesn't seem to be changing and I'm not sure why. I think it comes down to that we both don't "get" the others perspective. It's something I guess we will keep discussing.

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