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He continues to flirt

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inca posted 9/20/2013 22:53 PM

So a pattern has developed about 18 months out. I check his email (very periodically now) and find he has sent these flirty emails.

Latest was to his boss's secretary when the boss was away: "are you being naughty?" Previously there was one to a women acquaintance thru the school our kids go to, and she was struggling with a divorce, and he sends her this email saying she was beautiful, gorgeous, and an amazing person. It went on and on in this fashion to someone we barely know.

It actually occurred to me today the difference between my husband and a dirty old man - he's not old. To make matters worse, he is very attractive.

The first time I "catch" him with this, he acts upset and thinks it is reasonable, but with input from our M counseling, he has conceded that it is wrong ... because it affects me. As in, it is okay behavior otherwise, but because I am hurt by it, it is not. This rubs me the wrong way because I actually think it is plain wrong, regardless of how I feel and our history, and I also feel that his thinking it is wrong only because of my hypersensitivity from the A is him not learning about proper boundaries.

At any rate, with this latest incident he seemed shocked by the fact that he "just didn't think." I don't know what to think. He is a very intelligent man and so his cluelessness in this area makes me feel like there is a passive aggressive effort to end the marriage. He denies this.

I am not sure if this is relevant ... he has a very narcissistic mother, very controlling, and he still struggles with setting boundaries with her. She's a serious bitch. I feel our relationship has been one of equals - I would never say I dominate him like his mother - but I am, how do I say this, a modern woman. Sounds dumb but I guess you get my point.

Your thoughts?

gonnabe2016 posted 9/20/2013 23:03 PM

You say, in regards to his flirty emails, that a pattern *has* developed and you imply that this is a recent development.....

I'm really not liking the *it is the reaction* and not the (his) behavior vibe I'm getting from the exchange between you and your WH...

It actually occurred to me today the difference between my husband and a dirty old man - he's not old

That's .....but not really.....

Ostrich80 posted 9/21/2013 00:57 AM

My ws flirts too, but acts shocked when I call him on it, or used to, idgaf anymore. I would tell him, your not a stupid man, you know when your flirting and you damn well know when a woman is flirting with you. It's disrespectful and its not cute. Those emails your ws sent, especially the "naughty" remark are totally crossing the line in my opinion. I call it, casting out the line to see if someonwill bite at it. I love the way they try to downplay it and act like the h/w is over reacting. If I ever get into another R, I will not stand for it because I've had enough to last me a lifetime. It's simply rude.

RidingHealingRd posted 9/21/2013 01:44 AM

he has conceded that it is wrong ... because it affects me.

It is wrong because HE IS MARRIED!!!

It is wrong because HE IS DISRESPECTING HIS WIFE!!!!

And he knows this, he is not a 2 year old.

What would I do?
Make it very clear that this is completely unacceptable behavior that will not be tolerated.
He has a choice:
1) STOP the flirting or
2) Get the F*&K out.

Sometimes you need to get really mean to shake a person to their core.

nomistakeaboutit posted 9/21/2013 06:28 AM

As you've suggested, your H has issues beyond the flirting.

But first, yes, without a doubt, the flirting he is doing is crazy-making. He has some issue going on with himself to do this. Even without his having had multiple affairs (which makes the flirting so much more damning) his flirting would be unacceptable. "Are you being naughty?" This is bait. It's WAY unacceptable. How can you stand it? ...and from a man who has had multiple affairs? OMG.

The next thing is that often, very often even, people mistake intelligence in one area for understanding about all of life's things. I have learned late in life that that is completely wrong. Your husband might be a Chemical Engineer, or an MD, or some other something that we all associate with "smart", but......he's obviously not smart in the area of relationships with women and boundaries. It sounds like he doesn't get it. He may not. That's a big problem, for sure. Listen, saying "Are you being naughty?" to his bosses secretary when the boss is out of town, well, it's just not right to do on so many levels. If the only thing your H can understand is that it makes you feel bad, then that is a problem, IMO.

I feel for you. I really do. I CANNOT STAND the kind of flirting you H is doing. Who knows how much of this BS he does verbally, every day, which you never hear. He sounds VERY insecure to me. Also, has he ever heard of sexual harrassment?

Sorry this reply is so long. One more thing. You said that your H's flirting made you wonder if he was maybe being PA --- maybe trying to leave your marriage indirectly. I don't personally see this being the case. I do see it as bait for possible future affairs, however, and that makes me sick to my stomach, as I know it does you.

Think of the flirting like this. It creates swinging doors in the concrete circular boundaries wall.

I have no suggestions for you. I need to go calm MYSELF down now. I am sorry you're having to deal with this.

[This message edited by nomistakeaboutit at 6:33 AM, September 21st (Saturday)]

Kelany posted 9/21/2013 07:04 AM

He's not clueless, he knows. He's doing this because he wants something in return. Some sort of validation or ego stroke. That is very concerning.

OldCow18 posted 9/21/2013 08:59 AM

This is how my husband interacts with women as well. He's curbed it since the A, but that's only been a few months. I feel it's him throwing out a line to whomever he thinks is attractive and seeing who will bite, and COW bit and look what happened. I know that although his behavior is currently better, this will most definitely continue to be a problem in the future. He has ALWAYS been this way, and always gas lighted me into thinking I was crazy, controlling and wanting to take away his personality and castrate him - AHOLE! I've told him it's a slippery slope, he thought I was over reacting. And now here we are, trying to recover from his effing affair.

OldCow18 posted 9/21/2013 09:00 AM

One more thing, IC told me that flirting is an invitation and I agree 100%

cl131716 posted 9/21/2013 09:16 AM

My Ws is exactly like this. I caught him sending sexual messages to a coworker. He also agreed it was "wrong" but only because it hurt me. Kinda makes you wonder what other things they do that they wouldn't consider wrong unless you stated it hurt you, doesn't it? I have no advice but I'm going through the same thing.

Kierst13 posted 9/21/2013 10:24 AM

I once thought my WS flirting was harmless and funny. He would flirt with anybody and everybody. The lady ringing up his groceries, the barista, the waitress and anybody else that he wanted to. It never bothered me.

I have come to realize men that flirt are seeking attention and validation. They need the outside validation of other women to tell them they are worthy. It is socially accepted behavior but there really is a flaw in the married person doing the flirting. If married people want to flirt it should be with their spouse, and only their spouse.

Perhaps some marriages wouldn't lose some of that spark if the flirting stayed *in house* and not given to the random woman/man who will make them feel cool and sexy.

Flirting isn't harmless. When I was single I didn't flirt with men if I wasn't trying to get their attention and probably a date.

[This message edited by Kierst13 at 10:25 AM, September 21st (Saturday)]

tired girl posted 9/21/2013 13:21 PM

What work did he do to figure out why he had an A?

Are you ok with this kind of thing crossing your boundaries?

Silentthoughts posted 9/21/2013 13:37 PM

Flirting is only ok if you are single and the other person is single. Married? No flirting. It's not harmless.

inca posted 9/22/2013 22:58 PM

Thank you all. I am continuously grateful for the collective wisdom of the group.

I am not okay with this behavior, tired girl.

I have spent thousands of dollars in M counseling discussing just this issue. I have told him that in light of our continued discussions in counseling about this, that his continued conduct in this regard feels like a slap in the face, a PA effort to get out of the M. He says no, he is sorry and seems really surprised that he does this and did this in light of the work.

I too worriy that if this is what he would do in writing maybe he does this in person too but somehow I think he writes things more suggestive than he would be in person. Only a guess. Maybe these comments cloaked by email allow him to be more exciting than he perceives himself to be in real time? Some of you mention your WS flirting a lot, mine doesn't do this as much in person, mainly by email.

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